Showing posts with label play. Show all posts
Showing posts with label play. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hybrid Class Playtest and Character Concept IV

Player's Handbook 2 gave us all a bunch of new classes, some cool (like the Bard), some interesting (like the Shaman and Avenger) and the Druid.

I didn't like the Druid really. It focused on one subset of powers (the wild shape ability) and none of the things I associate with Druids. I am not even talking Celtic Druids, but even just AD&D 1st Ed ones. I wanted someone that was more of an elemental manipulating nature dude. Sure turning into a rampaging animal is fun, but not in my Druids.

I liked about half of what the Druid had to offer and about half of the Shaman. In a perfect world I'd cut these classes up and rebuild them for to my suit. Shamans have all the animal spirits and wild shape and druids get all the elemental fun. But I know that is just me.

But that doesn't solve my issues with the Druid and more to the point not my issues with my Druid Character Bodhmall. What I wanted was more of an Earthy Druid like priestess with some power over fire, a gift she believes is from Brigit. So I attempted to try her as a hybrid Druid/Shaman. The results are…interesting. Since it was just a test, I can't judge yet whether or not this will be Bodhmall or not. I want to see if I can do this with just a Druid first. But the character is playable and she has access to the Keeper of the Hidden Flame paragon path, which is what I wanted. I have also always seen Bodhmall as having an animal companion or spirit animal companion of a small wolf. This would work in either regular druid or even hybrid versions.

For her companion Liath, I might multi-class her into Druid, but keep her core Barbarian or Ranger.
One thing I did like was Expeditious Retreat Press' Nature Priest Druid variant. That is more of what I was looking for than WotC's Druid.

All in all, Hybrid Druid/Shaman is a working class and not a bad one. It improves my thoughts on the druid certainly, but I feel I am still not quite there yet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hybrid Class Playtest and Character Concept III


My DM hates gnomes.

This is not a big deal normally, I have never played a gnome in my 30 years of playing xD&D in all it's forms. But during the 3.0 days I made a gnome character to take advantage of the new multi-classing rules. This was a gnome that started out in life as a bard, but eventually became a witch using my d20 book of Witches and Warlocks. He was a hopeless romantic and dashing rake that had a story for every adventure, usually featuring himself as the star, and a lover in town. His name was Jasic Winterhaven. Part Don Juan, part Cyrano de Bergerac, a little bit of Captain Jack Harkness and some of that rabbit in School House Rock "Lucky Seven". But Jasic had another side to him. He was a "Benandanti" or a Gnome Witch (yes I know it means "Good Walker"), he traveled the lands, walking stick in hand, and believed this was his way of serving his Goddess, Cardea (opener or ways, Goddess of the Portals). Jasic was very much a snapshot of what I was doing at the time in my writing.

I never got to play Jasic though.

Now enter the 4th Edition rules and Jasic has returned, and this is even better fit for him. In 4E Jasic is a hybrid Bard/Warlock. Unlike my experiment with Heather, Jasic's concept in my mind fit SO well with the hybrid rules that I have to consider his 3.0 counterpart as nothing more than a rough draft. In this case my character concept and the rules merged so well together that I would be hard pressed to think of him any other way. My multi classed Bard/Witch became a Hybrid Bard/Warlock. Which does bring up a point I want to deal with latter; are 4th Ed Warlocks supposed to be Witches? I suppose I should try him out in say AD&D 2nd Ed as well, but that would be some work and won't really tell me much. What is cool here is that Bards in later versions of D&D became less and less like Bards, and more like some sort of fantasy pastiche of rogues, scoundrels with magic added in. Terrible, if I want to make a classic Bard (like Amergin), but perfect for a "D&D Bard" like Jasic and Heather.

Here are my 4th Ed version using the Hybrid rules and using the DDI character builder. I am sure there are some good Paragon paths for him to take, either Gnome, Bard or Warlock. Fey Beguiler, Entrancing Mystic or Cunning Prevaricator would all be good choices (based on concept alone), but like Jasic himself, I am not going to make up my mind till I am there to see the forks in the road.
BTW I want to add. The DDI character builder is awesome.


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
"Come now, we have miles to go and the sun is only our friend for a few more hours. Have I ever told you about the time I charmed a dragon into giving me a magical wand? It is a wonderful tale for the road mostly because it features me…" - Jasic Winterhaven
Jasic Winterhaven, level 4
Gnome, Bard|Warlock
Hybrid Bard: Hybrid Bard Reflex
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Fey Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Blast: Eldritch Blast Charisma
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Will
Hybrid Talent: Words of Friendship
Background: Occupation - Entertainer (+2 to Bluff)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 15, Wis 13, Cha 19.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 16.
AC: 16 Fort: 13 Reflex: 15 Will: 17
HP: 39 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 9
TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +11, Bluff +13, Diplomacy +11, Nature +8
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +4, Dungeoneering +4, Endurance +4, Heal +4, History +5, Insight +4, Intimidate +7, Perception +4, Religion +5, Stealth +6, Streetwise +7, Thievery +4, Athletics +4
FEATS
Level 1: Fey Trickster
Level 2: Magic of the Mists
Level 4: Hybrid Talent
POWERS
Hybrid Bard at-will 1: Vicious Mockery
Hybrid Warlock at-will 1: Eldritch Blast
Hybrid encounter 1: Witchfire
Hybrid daily 1: Slayer's Song
Hybrid utility 2: Beguiling Tongue
Hybrid encounter 3: Recitation of Foreknowledge

ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit, Leather Armor, Short sword (2), Implement, Rod, Meal, Common, Rope, hempen (50 ft.) (2), Torch (2), Traveling papers, Woodwind, Bedroll
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

I am not going to get to play him, cause, you know, my DM and gnomes, plus he is also not allowing Hybrids in his game. I still have Family D&D Night however, so there is a chance.
In the end, Jasic here looks fun. Chalk up a win for 4e.

 

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ghosts of Ablion at Gen Con

I am running three Gen Con events this year for Ghosts of Albion.

These are the official times and places from Gen Con. Registration is closed now, so you can register for these at the con or use the generic tickets.

I will repost this when I have more information

Here are the details.

Ghosts of Albion: Blight

RPG0906270 - 08/13/2009 07:00:00 PM (Thursday) Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Ballroom B, Table 3

RPG0906268 - 08/14/2009 07:00:00 PM (Friday) Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Ballroom B, Table 3

Ireland is dying. Her Protector has been murdered and you are the primary suspects. Can you clear your name, regain your magic and stop whatever necromancies befoul the land? Time is short, yours and one million lives hang in the balance. Set in 1847 this is an adventure for the Ghosts of Albion RPG.


Ghosts of Albion: Obsession

RPG0906269 - 08/15/2009 07:00:00 PM (Saturday) Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Ballroom B, Table 3

There is trouble at the Plough Street Theatre. The Times reports that authorities have found the strangled body of prominent actress and performer, Miriam White. However Miss White has herself commented to The Times that she is in fact alive and well and has been seen not only on stage, but having lunch with her manager just outside the theatre. You are requested by James V. Harold, esq., owner of the Plough Street Theatre to discreetly investigate this matter.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ærypt and Zakhara

Following up on my previous post on Desert Elves & Orcs, I thought I might detail the region they live in some more.

Ærypt is a pastiche of Arypt, Erypt and Egypt with Gygax's Necropolis and Ravenloft's Har'Akir thrown in.
So Zakhara was detailed in the Al-Qadim boxed set and I am going to use that as much as much as possible. Ærypt is different. I mentioned that I want to use Gygax's Necropolis product as a basis. "Necropolis" is actually two products. The first was Gary's "The Necropolis - And the Land of Egypt" for the Mythus RPG. The second was "Gary Gygax's Necropolis" for d20. Both offer me something that my Ærypt needs; a springboard.
What if we took 3rd or 4th Dynasty Egypt, and then made it very evil and full of undead? We get Ærypt. I will also borrow from my other favorite setting, Ravenloft, and use the background for Har'Akir and its Darklord Anhktepot combined with the Masque of the Red Death background on Egypt and Imhoptep. I never liked MotRD's treatment of Imhotep, but Anhktepot is fair game! I have some ideas here, but I also have an issue now. My Ærypt is sun-baked deserts and Zakhara is a land of sands, dunes and trade routes by camels and oasis's. Looking at the Mystara Map, Arypt is a land of some savannas, scrub land and jungles! That won't do at all.
So I was comparing these two maps. One is of Arypt of Mystara and the other is Erypt of Oerth. The shapes are similar, and fit well with the "Lower Ærypt" on my map. What can account for the changes? Simple. Dark Sun. Or least the ideas from Dark Sun. Combine those, knowing that my starting point is lush Pre-Dynastic Egypt and my ending is the sun, baked, undead infested lands like Har'Akir or Necropolis, I have my history. Plus the nice thing is I am using the Mystara timeline, but about 640 in the future.
Here we go:
Long Ago* the lands known as Ærypt and Zakhara were once a fertile plain. The inhabitants were few, but they made peaceful lives. To the far west Jungle Gnomes and Jungle Elves lived. Along the Eastern Coast lived tribes of Catmen, known as Rakastas. Till one day a great hole opened in the sky and down came gods (Humans really) they brought with them their slaves (orcs) and began to settle. While the peace of the land was broken, there was no outright warfare. The Gnomes went farther west to avoid contact, but elves were fascinated by the new gods. The Rakasta found much in common with these humans and were soon integrated into their society. Yet as the years grew on it was obvious that these gods were not the benevolent kind. To erect their giant pyramids they soon took elves as slaves as well, with the Rakasta as their cruel task masters. For years untold the elves suffered under the yoke of the humans and watch as their forests were plundered and cut down to build more and more temples, all for the glory of the Sorcerer Kings. But even this was not enough.
The latest Sorcerer King, Anhktepot craved more and more power. Eventually he came upon a ritual that would enable him to take magic from the very Earth herself. He drained the land to fuel his own urge for power. The there was a price. The land around him died and became a desert and he became a withered undead thing. The growth of this desert was horrifically fast. Within 100 years the lush green land was nothing but sands. Having enough of this the tribes of Elves and Orcs banded together and overthrew the Sorcerer King. Anhktepot was defeated and buried alive deep in his own pyramid in the dead city of Har'Akir.
The elves. Homeless began to travel the deserts in search for a new life, but unwilling to leave the lands of their birth.
Let the place simmer for 500 years and voilà. Instant new land with history and reasons to adventure. All that treasure that the locals won't touch. Danger, mystery, everything we game for.


Enjoy your Fourth of July weekend!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Family D&D Night II

Well we did a second round of Family D&D night last night to coincide with World D&D Day. We got to another room and found the two kidnapped boys we needed to rescue. We tried to get them out, but triggered the magical trap instead. We fought some living suits of armor and in the end defeated them and rescued the boys. Not your thrilling blow-by-blow D&D adventure recap I know, but that is not the point. The point is that here in the second game I felt everyone was doing much better.

My oldest was more into his character and was trying to move him around where he would be most effective (a Dragonborn Paladin). How effective? Well he managed to move in just in time to keep my Fey Pact Warlock from getting killed. To me that is a good game. And he rolled another natural 20 to do it. He had no complaints about not getting double damage tonight, and it killed the animated armor. My youngest had more of an attention span with this one too. He is only 6, but he was remembering which dice to use when and that was really cool. My wife still is having a good time. But I think she enjoys watching all of us.

All in all it has changed what I think needs to be a minimum age for D&D. I knew my 9 year-old would do fine, but my 6-year old is having a blast too, and he is getting it. He knew he needed to stay back and do his thing with the bow. Plus I also feel they are getting into the role-playing aspects well, which should not be a huge surprise really. Kids are good and playing pretend. I also think everyone worked off of everyone else's strengths well. While last time I was getting my butt kicked by Kobolds (with a high Reflex save) this week I did better with animated armor with low Reflex saves. So everyone did get a chance to shine. I think that is the sign of a good DM and a sign of well put together rules.

So now where we are at is my wife would like to play a game with just the four of us. I am thinking of keeping with D&D4, but BFRPG and/or LL are also sounding like good ideas. I would make their characters 4th or 5th level so they would survive a bit better. I can also ignore feats and skills really and focus on what they enjoy most; exploring and combat. This could be fun really. Get my old-school D&D fix in and still have a game that doesn't interfere with my other D&D night.

ONE HOUR LATER:

Well I talked with my wife and my boys. She wants LESS choices in her game about classes and attacks. The youngest want to play an archer/ranger and my oldest wants to keep with his Dragonborn Paladin. So. I think I will use the D&D Rules Cyclopedia as a base, with ideas from Basic Fantasy and Labyrinth Lord. I think a Basic D&D Dragonborn will end up looking a bit like a Dwarf in terms of mechanics, but I am not worried about that right now. OR I might stick with D&D 4 and just reduce some of the options. Haven't quite figured that out yet. Skills are not important to me in this game; we can just do ability checks, so that is a mark against D&D4; though in general I prefer D&D4's skill system over the past incarnations. I prefer the simpler saves/defenses of D&D4 and the single advancement rules. And I certainly prefer the AC as DC style check.

This will be interesting to figure out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

GenCon 2009 & Ghosts of Albion, Part 2

I am running three Gen Con events this year for Ghosts of Albion.

This are the official times and places from Gen Con. Registration is closed now, so you can register for these at the con or use the generic tickets.

I will repost this when I have more information

Here are the details.

Ghosts of Albion: Blight

RPG0906270 - 08/13/2009 07:00:00 PM (Thursday) Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Ballroom B, Table 3

RPG0906268 - 08/14/2009 07:00:00 PM (Friday) Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Ballroom B, Table 3

Ireland is dying. Her Protector has been murdered and you are the primary suspects. Can you clear your name, regain your magic and stop whatever necromancies befoul the land? Time is short, yours and one million lives hang in the balance. Set in 1847 this is an adventure for the Ghosts of Albion RPG.


 

Ghosts of Albion: Obsession

RPG0906269 - 08/15/2009 07:00:00 PM (Saturday) Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Ballroom B, Table 3

There is trouble at the Plough Street Theatre. The Times reports that authorities have found the strangled body of prominent actress and performer, Miriam White. However Miss White has herself commented to The Times that she is in fact alive and well and has been seen not only on stage, but having lunch with her manager just outside the theatre. You are requested by James V. Harold, esq., owner of the Plough Street Theatre to discreetly investigate this matter.


 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Family D&D Night

The board game companies have been trying to sell us "Family Game Night" for a while. Generally speaking I am ok with this. You get to spend a nice evening at home with people you love and have fun. Not to mention the merits of it being much cheaper. Star Trek + Popcorn for 4 = A lot more than my RPG budget for the month. Plus I can have popcorn at FGN and not have it covered in palm or coconut oils.

So recently we tried out Family D&D Night last weekend and it was a huge success.

We got together with another family we do a lot of thing with. Their boys are the same ages as ours so that is always nice and Greg, the father, is my regular DM (and I am his regular Ghosts of Albion Director). So we had 4 adults, him, I and our wives, plus all of our kids, three boys age 9 and two boys age 6. We got together in my new game room for a night of D&D 4. It was a lot of fun. My youngest didn't like the character he had, so Greg had a back up (was supposed to be my character I think) that he liked better. He played an archer build Ranger, I was playing an-alternate reality version of the warlock I play in the "big guys game", my oldest had his dragonborn paladin he has been asking me to play since we went and got the 4e books at midnight last year together. And my wife got to play a fighter, her first real character and real game. We had elves, tielflings, a sneaky little halfling and a bunch of humans.

We explored some old ruins were we suspected that two boys got lost. Morality tale for our little ones? Maybe. But it did bother the youngest in the crowd. But what was really fun was see what everyone else would do. My youngest and Greg's youngest hated it if any kobolds attacked their moms. To the point of they wanted to attack the very ones that did it. My oldest, who I have been playing 3.x with for a while, REALLY got into it. He was disappointed that his natural 20 was not double damage (as it is in our games) but got over it when he figured out it meant max damage. Plus once a kobold next to him got bloodied he shouted with excitement "I can use my Dragon rage on him now!!". My wife REALLY had fun, it also helps that I had a really cool looking mini for her to use, and yes I am letting her keep it. She was glad her character was so effective in the battle. I had decided to remain understated in this adventure to allow others to shine. That was a good choice cause I seriously doubt I rolled higher than a "3" all night long.

Everyone had so much fun that my wife and two kids had to go to my favorite local game store the very next day so they could have their own dice. My oldest had his own, but I could tell him no while my wife picked out three new sets. They got dice bags too, something I never even got for myself till I had been playing for years.

I bought a new d20. No more "3"s for me.


 

To all my gamer friends out there with families. Have you done Family D&D (RPG) night? How did it go for you?

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