Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Days 24 through 30: Other Favorites

Day 24:30: Favorite Energy Type

This is a thing? OK. Sonic, from my 3.X Alienist, who had that as his Energy Substitution choice, because powergaming.

I admit it! I regret nothing! In fairness, the system was asking for it.

Day 25:30: Favorite Magic Item

Bag of Tricks: This small sack appears normal and empty. However, anyone reaching into the bag feels a small, fuzzy ball. If the ball is removed and tossed up to 20 feet away, it turns into an animal.

I've always liked the picture in my mind of drawing a squirmy fuzzy ball out of a bag and getting a bear.

Honestly, the Wondrous Items section is the best section, bar none. How different a feel would DND have either without it, or with only Wondrous Items?


Day 26:30: Favorite Non-Magic Item

Crowbars and bricks, of course.

Day 27:30: Character you want to play in the future

Wasn't this a previous question? Same answer: a Fighter that gets to take advantage of ACKS' domain rules.

Day 28:30: Character you will never play ever again

The Halfling Rogue archetype.

Day 29:30: Number you always roll on a d20

A 7. That being said, having been doing Roll20 for a while now, it seems to be a 1. I don't trust that RNG.

Day 30:30: Best DM

All of my playing has been with good friends - it's just as much just hanging out as it is playing. We don't have a style that's not beer-and-pretzels, fucking-around, regardless of the DM. So, whomever was DM at the time was the equivalent of the guy that picked the bar or movie or whatever that night.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Days 15 through 23 - Monsters



Day:15:30: Favorite Monster (Undead)

The lich, by far. The final destination for mages who fear death, or for what may happen to their souls afterward. The ones who will do anything to continue their lives, and therefore their research. The ones who don't care about their body outside it's ability to function for magical tasks.

I like it because it's a choice.

A few tech levels later and they'd all be brains-in-jars-on-robots.


Day:16:30: Favorite Monster (Aberration)

Otyugh! For whatever reason I've got a soft spot for weird things that happen to have a strong ecological niche.

Day:17:30: Favorite Monster (Animal/Vermin)

Ankhegs! Makes traveling through farmland fun.

Actual animals I try to use as ambiance. I don't know what the point of a half-mile stack of published DND-compatible monster books is if you're just gonna throw a normal bear at somebody.

Day:18:30: Favorite Monster (Immortal/Outsider)

Demons/devils/etc. I don't make the distinction betwixt the various types. Creature of Chaos from beyond, and I try to keep them unique-ish.

Day:19:30: Favorite Monster (Elemental/Plant)

Plant: Shambling Mound. Just angry biomass, no need to apply a faux noblilty as what happens with treants.

Elemental? The various Genies - I like the idea of a noble class in the Elemental Planes.

Day:20:30: Favorite Monster (Humanoid/Natural/Fey)

<rod sterling>The most fearsome monster of all - Mankind.</rod sterling> Kuo-toa take a close second, just cause I want to use them in some sort of Innsmouth knock-off.

Fey? Not sure. Don't use them much.

Day:21:30: Favorite Dragon Color/Type

Hey,  you know what would make this dragon with all the wizard levels even scarier?
What?
If it was a lich, like, a dracolich.
Woah.

Day:22:30: Favorite Monster Overall

Humans. It's all you really need.

Day:23:30: Least Favorite Monster Overall

Everything that's almost-but-not-quite-just-like-a-human. That includes the demihumans. Anything that can fall under the Star Trek Forehead Of The Week rule.

I try and often fail to really get humanoids acting and presenting as alien.

I still use them though, because all human humanoids gets boring too. I dunno. It's a conundrum, and, at the end of the day, who cares?



Day 24-Favorite energy type
Day 25-Favorite magic item (your character’s or someone else’s)
Day 26-Favorite nonmagic item (your character’s or someone else’s)
Day 27-A character you want to play in the future
Day 28-A character you will never play ever again
Day 29-What is the number you always seem to roll on a d20?
Day 30-Best DM You’ve Had

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 8-14 of 30 - Characters and Adventures



I'm a cheater!

Day 8:30:Favorite Character You Have Played

Gruia the Alienist, a High Elf that fell into hard times as a youth and spent a few years on the open seas, his ears docked to try and pass as human. Wizard, summoning specialist, then Alienist prestige class from...Tome And Blood.

Tentacular. 

Did you know summoned Psuedonatural Dire Weasels can use their one-time True Strike (+20 to hit!) to bite (can't miss!), "attach" and drain CON in subsequent rounds? (Go home, 3rd Edition, you're drunk.)

Day 9:30:Favorite Character You Haven't Played

The one where I get to be a Fighter that establishes a domain.

Day 10:30:Craziest thing that's happened that you saw...

Less crazy, more a lesson? There's all sorts of crazy stories, but they've gone so far into legend I don't know how to tell them without unwrapping them from fable. And I won't even pretend I can compete with other blogs on this one.

During a campaign where I was a Halfling rogue (STR of 5, didn't need to roll damage for a 1d4 dagger), we had a night where only two players showed up, so we did some one off.

There was gonna be a long hard trek in through a riotous city to get to a ship on the docks to deliver something (or pick something up, I can't remember)

And, it took 5 minutes. As it happened, the DM forgot the other player that showed up had Boots of Flying.

Day 11:30:Favorite Adventure You Have Ran

I don't know I've ran enough to pick out anything in particular.

Day 12:30:Favorite Dungeon Type/Location

I'm a fan of ruined temples, I guess? It's an excuse for weird stuff.

Day 13:30:Favorite Trap/Puzzle

I'll be honest: 3E ruined me on traps. The fiddly rolls and stuff just kinda turned me off on the whole thing. I'll get better one day.

Day 14:30:Favorite NPC

Henwen, the fallen druid. I ran a modified Standing Stone, once upon a time. My wife was a druid as well.

At some point the party encountered her in her makeshift shrine; she was naked, fervently supplicating herself to several sects of Druidism all at once, and all up in a fugue. Having a crisis of faith, evidently, due to her role in events. 

I don't know what clicked with my wife, but she got all up in that druid's face, and we went into this ~15 minute long interrogation scene. At first, the other players were like, wat, and then they were like, woah, and then it started getting funny. They'll tell  you to this day they're not sure if that was "roleplaying" or if there was some sort of marital argument subtext going on. I'm going to pretend she saw her as a floundering colleague, and much like she can't in real life, she threatened Call Lightnings and summoned dire weasels and all sorts of fire and brimstone if Henwen wouldn't get her shit together.




Day 15-Favorite Monster (Undead)
Day 16-Favorite Monster (Abberation)
Day 17-Favorite Monster (Animal/Vermin)
Day 18-Favorite Monster (Immortal/Outsider)
Day 19-Favorite Monster (Elemental/Plant)
Day 20-Favorite Monster (Humanoid/Natural/Fey)
Day 21-Favorite Dragon Color/Type
Day 22-Favorite Monster Overall
Day 23-Least Favorite Monster Overall
Day 24-Favorite energy type
Day 25-Favorite magic item (your character’s or someone else’s)
Day 26-Favorite nonmagic item (your character’s or someone else’s)
Day 27-A character you want to play in the future
Day 28-A character you will never play ever again
Day 29-What is the number you always seem to roll on a d20?
Day 30-Best DM You’ve Had

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 4, 5, 6, and 7 of 30: Favorite Gameworld, Dice, Diety, Edition


I am evidently not built for this, or I don't have wordy enough answers for a lot of this. But, like a dummy I started it, so I may as well finish it. Plus, it gives me time to work on meatier things.

Therefore: Condense!

Day 4:30:Favorite Gameworld

Supposedly, the Malazan Book of the Fallen series is based on Erikson's mid-Eighties DND gameworld.

It's not published, technically, but that's my favorite for the moment. I am capricious.

Day 5:30:Favorite Dice

I have a set of solid red, blue, and black die. I want to get the rest of the "primary" solid colors.

I used the blue for DMing, and playing Cortex (Firefly) a few years back. I last used the red and black for a barbarian character - black normal, red when raging.

Day 6:30:Favorite Diety

Grummsh, only because of a running gag, where, instead of saying Hastur thrice, you said Grummsh.

That and it's just fun to say.

Day 7:30:Favorite Edition

I've said this before, but it's whatever I can play with good people. Right now, that's:

1) 3.5E+E6 via Trailblazer in a hacked up Dark Sun with some of the old college gang
2) Simplified ACKS with the kids, which I should get around to putting up here




Day 8-Favorite Character You Have Played
Day 9-Favorite Character You Haven’t Played
Day 10-Craziest thing that’s happened that you saw (to party/character/your players etc)
Day 11-Favorite Adventure You Have Ran
Day 12-Favorite Dungeon Type/Location
Day 13-Favorite Trap/Puzzle
Day 14-Favorite NPC
Day 15-Favorite Monster (Undead)
Day 16-Favorite Monster (Abberation)
Day 17-Favorite Monster (Animal/Vermin)
Day 18-Favorite Monster (Immortal/Outsider)
Day 19-Favorite Monster (Elemental/Plant)
Day 20-Favorite Monster (Humanoid/Natural/Fey)
Day 21-Favorite Dragon Color/Type
Day 22-Favorite Monster Overall
Day 23-Least Favorite Monster Overall
Day 24-Favorite energy type
Day 25-Favorite magic item (your character’s or someone else’s)
Day 26-Favorite nonmagic item (your character’s or someone else’s)
Day 27-A character you want to play in the future
Day 28-A character you will never play ever again
Day 29-What is the number you always seem to roll on a d20?
Day 30-Best DM You’ve Had

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 3 of 30: Favorite Playable Class


Day 3:30: Favorite Playable Class


Are there non-playable classes? Why would one bother with such a thing?

Fighter.

There's something clean (simple? pure?) about a man or woman taking up sword and shield against a world full of the randomest '70s inspired monsters, and, by opposing, end them, and perhaps found the start of a kingdom in the end.

You're not giving in to Chaos and picking up arcane spells, you're not relying on the favor of distant gods, and you're not skulking around.

In fact, here's the anthem for Fighters:



Fuck yeah. Go roll you some d8 hit die.



Walking out into the wilderness with a hit die and a sword, and walking out with a castle and an army. That sort of self-sufficiency (ignoring for the moment magical items, perhaps) is very ...libertarian? Randian? in a way, which is good, because fantasy worlds are the only places that sort of poor philosophy works out. Some quote about orcs and Atlas Shrugged would go here.

But it's fun to play.




Next up:

Day 4-Favorite Gameworld
Day 5-Your favorite set of dice/individual die
Day 6-Favorite Diety
Day 7-Favorite Edition
Day 8-Favorite Character You Have Played
Day 9-Favorite Character You Haven’t Played
Day 10-Craziest thing that’s happened that you saw (to party/character/your players etc)
Day 11-Favorite Adventure You Have Ran
Day 12-Favorite Dungeon Type/Location
Day 13-Favorite Trap/Puzzle
Day 14-Favorite NPC
Day 15-Favorite Monster (Undead)
Day 16-Favorite Monster (Abberation)
Day 17-Favorite Monster (Animal/Vermin)
Day 18-Favorite Monster (Immortal/Outsider)
Day 19-Favorite Monster (Elemental/Plant)
Day 20-Favorite Monster (Humanoid/Natural/Fey)
Day 21-Favorite Dragon Color/Type
Day 22-Favorite Monster Overall
Day 23-Least Favorite Monster Overall
Day 24-Favorite energy type
Day 25-Favorite magic item (your character’s or someone else’s)
Day 26-Favorite nonmagic item (your character’s or someone else’s)
Day 27-A character you want to play in the future
Day 28-A character you will never play ever again
Day 29-What is the number you always seem to roll on a d20?
Day 30-Best DM You’ve Had


Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 2 of 30: Favorite Playable Race


Day 2:30: Favorite Playable Race


As a player, I don't have one - I'm pretty sure I've played everything but a gnome, as I've never managed to conceive a character that fits that particular niche.

As another wanna-be world creator, I certainly do : Human.

The sci-fi part of me insists loudly that we have no business attempting to emulate how an entirely different species may comport themselves. Steeped in stories from the masters, I have this weird want to have my elves and dwarves entirely alien, not just humans with pointy ears, or Star Trek forehead-of-the-week aliens.

Not that I'm against that, mind you - Star Trek utilizes the forehead-of-the-week to tell a story about some part of humanity, or about being human.

And even those that have the incomprehensible alien (let's pick Joe Haldeman's Forever War as an example) uses them as merely a mirror to hold up against more human protagonists.

So for me it's cleaner to forgo the makeup and prostheses, and if I want to tell a story about humanity, just do it with humans.

And put all the foreheads-of-the-week in the dungeon (or dangerously fey forest)

It's kind of dumb, but there I am. I can easily see myself arguing the other way next week.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 1 of 30: The Heathkit Dungeon

So there's a September 30-day challenge, let's see how fast I fail!

Day 1:30: How you got started.


I've posted on this one before, so I won't go into too much.




This was it, on a Heathkit Z100 sometime around when I was perhaps 8 or so.

I started off with a Ring of Regeneration +1 just now, that's not bad. In my haste to get a screenshot I let a Level 1 Sorcerer gank me.

No class, no races, just your stats (I'd have to check the source to see what they did!) and a small subset of magic items you can find to battle a subset of monsters from the Monsters & Treasure book. A few traps, some Grey Misty Cubes for teleportation, a random number generator, and there you go.

You had to get back up to the Inn above to turn in your gold to gain XP and level up.

I didn't have a live DM until highschool, though I knew DND from all sorts of computer RPGs - most officially SSI's Gold Box series.

Is that a valid start? I think so. It's certainly the start for kids today - they'll encounter all manner of MMO or other RPG on their PC, tablet, handheld, or phone.

And as I've mentioned before, MMOs are in a lot of ways a headless hex crawl.

And, hopefully when they find the game that started all this fun, it'll be like reading the book a movie was based on - a whole lot more fulfilling.


And that was the action decision for the game, and something I spent a lot of time looking at. That'd make a nice way to describe your pre-initiative choices, actually. I almost named my blog this - I googled it, and it was apparently a now-defunct "furry" DND comic.

Way to spoil my childhood, people.

:)