Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Playtest Report: Magical Miscreants & The Curse of the Elf Whisper Part 3

Artwork from Dungeon Adventure Elf Whisper
Titanic Wizard Battles to follow.

We returned for the final segment of the adventure as the PC's were conversing with the Three Elven Sisters of Illumenine.  Not quite trusting what they were up to or believing that Illumenine was the one responsible for Ygwannach the following happened:

Lance:  "I cast Damning Silence after her last statement."
DM:  "The sisters glare at you but make no noise."
Aldehyde: "Hell with this I think we found the real culprits.  Blood for the Blood God!"
DM: "Your surprise attack (and subsequent critical) nearly slays one of the sisters.
Completely aghast the illusion on the other two fades away, the bodies of elder hags are revealed misshapen and foul, their mouths are frozen in agony but no sound yet escapes.  Between them they clutch a giant glass eye that seems to resonate with Lances Amulet."
Aldehyde: "If I play a Beholder will I find them beautiful?"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Playtest Report: Magical Miscreants & The Curse of the Elf Whisper Part 2

by David McClellan
Party returns to town and with their downtime level-up.
Acquire/rediscover some new spells, and experiment with a new school of magic.
Level-up took 10 minutes, mostly spell selection.
Keith Zone hauls Mario Navarro to the authorities, will return soon.
Water Wizards recover very quickly compared to ordinary mortals.

Party returns to bog.  
Encounter Morgo the Hillgiant guarding his three elven brides in the mud-bungalow.
Regret leaving behind Keith Zone, he would smoothly deal with this situation.
Lance notices Morgo's weird eye amulet, chooses not to vaporize it in the pursuit of science.
Morgo hurls boulders at party
Party avoids being squished.
Aldehyde casts Chiseled Champion on Morgo's next boulder.  Rolls out of his hands and clunks him over the top of the head.
Party takes advantage of Morgo's vision clouded by canaries.
Morgo tramples party, Lance chooses to get out of the way.  Aldehyde goes for the gold and cuts him down while getting stomped on.
Lance takes weird eye amulet around Morgo's neck.
Does not wear it (Drat!)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Excerpt Armor: Descending Armor Class


Since I'm getting pretty close to a stable release it is time I start posting more excerpts.  Armor factored pretty decently into the last few posts on proficiencies so let's continue with that.

Here's how I handle Armor.  I use a similar system from the past that has been cut down, renewed, rewritten, retooled until eventually I found myself returning to Descending Armor Class.  Ol' Faithful.  Of course this has a twist.  I still use Armor as a way to reduce damage, now how do we reconcile that with descending Armor Class if lower is better?

Playtest Report: Magical Miscreants & The Curse of the Elf Whisper

Princess Mononoke

Party of traveling Wizards including one drunken monk and one battle mage approach sleepy town in pursuit of known bandit Mario Navarro.  500GP reward, will let them live the high life for a long time.
Sleepy town not so sleepy.  Probably cursed.  Local bard is crazy and crying constantly at the bar.
Drinks ruined by tears party decides to end the curse, first step investigate all these Elf Ghosts Song and Dance the bard won't stop blubbering about.
Find Keith Zone, local bounty hunter and woodsman.
Finding him so smooth the party cannot help but recruit him.  Kick crazy Bard out of party.
Bard invisibly follows party.  Party not perceptive enough to notice constant invisible weeping.
Party ambushed by Navarro's bandits.
Party remember bounty notice.  Party out for weregild.
New Ranged combat proceeds smoothly.  Party still pincushioned.  Lance glad he took a shield.  Drunken Monks lack of armor clearly shows.
Party clear cuts bandits.  Navarro was not present.  Party commandeers bandit horses and rides east. 
Party gets caught in Ettercap nest.  Horses in web, party deals with poison (successfully). 
One evil-spiderman bewitched into seeing its greatest fear, a giant moa, flees.
Too close for spells, switching to spears.
Keith Zone kills the remaining ettercap.  
Party remounts and finds Pixie groves.  Deals with Pixie nonsense.  Answers riddle and receives Ring of Swimming.  
Puzzled DM doubtful this Ring will ever see use.
Pixies direct them to bandit camp.  Tells them to avoid the bog, scarred man was lost there.
A clue for Navarro!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dungeons & Drawings Artbook

I received my copy of Joe Sparrows and Blanca Martinez first art book just recently after a short hop across the pond.  The two of them write and draw for Dungeons & Drawings one of my favorite blogs.  Their speciality is going through the various Monster Manuals and reinterpreting various creatures in new and exciting ways.  Take a look, there's plenty to love.  Especially Mecha Crabzilla

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Proficiencies in my game: Fighter Archetype

Warrior of Light by BaiHu27
Alright, after two posts examining proficiencies it's time to propose a solution.  A quick recap:
  1. Character Creation shouldn't determine the only weapons you wield in your career. 
  2. While the Fighter may share proficiencies he is still the best at wielding weapons.
  3. Not only can the Fighter wear heavy armor but he is still capable of quick movements

Taking that altogether here is the base Fighter Archetype I use in my games.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Proficiencies: Final Fantasy

One thing I always liked was the portrayal of the Fighter in the original Final Fantasy.   He was a master of all arms and armor, he hit the hardest using the best weapons and could take as much as he could dish out wearing the thickest of armor.  This is never quite realized in D&D in my opinion.  Let's take a look at 3rd edition with allows for broad weapon and armor categories.  Sure the fighter classes can wear all armor and use all non-exotic weapons but it's really not that big a boon.  You might have a slightly larger die (d8 vs d6) comparing your martial weapon to a simple weapon (the elimination of speed factor is one less variable to differentiate between the two groups but that's worthy of its own post) and you're armor might provide you a marginally higher armor class (Heavy Range +5 to +8 VS Light +2 to +4) at the cost of seriously slowing you down and giving you tremendous penalties to useful skills.  That's before we get into the overly economic mithral chain shirt which eclipses most heavy armor provided you have a bit of dex and enough coin to buy Full Plate.  The point is, being trained to use better weapons and armor isn't much of a feature if the weapons and armor aren't markedly better.  Let's take a look at the original Final Fantasy a direct descendent of D&D.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Proficiencies: Baldur's Gate

When I first started this I never expected I'd make it to 100 posts (and I passed it a while ago).  I started this blog as a way to bounce ideas around, to get a better idea of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to implement them.  Plus, I needed to start writing again because if I wanted to put together a book I better return to my eloquent ways.  That said this is a post I've been working on for a while.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Playtest Update: Tammeraut's Fate 1.3 Conclusion

Zombie poster by Jeff Proctor distributed by Mondo/Alamo Drafthouse

We began the session with the PC's fortifying Firewatchkeep.  Due to their candy filled coma the DM had to provide a lot of suggestions on areas where it might help to barricade, areas to destroy or objects to move for the impending zombie apocalypse.  In the end the the PC's with ranged abilities (Streetshark and Quickman) would hole up on the second floor and guard the only entrance to the arrow slit room where the Priestess, infected NPC's and the remaining PC Brock Sampson, incredible bodyguard that he is, would be holed up. The two PC's upstairs barricaded one door, applied Salve of Slipperiness on the only staircase leading up and took up vantage points to see anyone entering from the North or South.  They then took note of what Scrolls they happened upon during their initial search.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Playtest Update: Tammeraut's Fate 1.2

I mentioned before my love of the death-exploration-reset cycle in Dark Souls.  One of the major stopping points for incorporating this fully into your home game is that it doesn't make sense unless your game takes place in a dimensionally fragmented world and the player's are undead.  So then I thought to myself, why not make these Halloween hoodlums undead?  The conclusion to this adventure just got a lot more intriguing.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Playtest Update: Tammeraut's Fate 1.1

Taking a break from the parties Wizfest debaucheries while hunting down a way to break the Elfwhisper Curse I'm running a special Halloween game this week. The adventure in question is Tammeraut's Fate appearing in this issue of Dungeon.  I wanted to run a zombie themed adventure to test out mob tactics, two-weapon fighting, wound recovery, missile combat and a few classes that haven't been playtested since they went through a major revision in February of this year. Tammeraut's fate just so happens to involve my favorite zombie scenario.  A hapless group of adventurers stranded on an island who must survive the night. This time though instead of mindless zombies the adventure provides Drowned Dead, intelligent former Scarlett Brotherhood with a hivemind and life sense. You can run my friends but you can't hide. The finale has the zombies attack in waves but since my system makes the characters a little more robust encounter-to-encounter due to some Hit Dice Witchcraft I've decided to change it up a bit.