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PH Dungeon's Hyborian Campaign

Game Master P.H. Dungeon

A sword and sorcery campaign set in Hyboria, initially Shadizar Zamora, using the Barbarians of Lemuria Rules.


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male human

This will be the discussion thread for this game.


Posting here so i don't interfere with the game thread

Ardeth Bay wrote:
Does that mean you're just going to read the thread or something?

Yep. I read through the rules and really liked what i read. I think this will be an interesting game to read. Making a post in it i get a dot next to the thread which makes it easier to follow.


Male Kushite; Barbarian 1/Slave 0/Gladiator 2/Mercenary 1, Str 4, Agil 1, Mind 1, Appeal 0, Brawl 1, Melee 2, Ranged 1, Def 1, Health 12/16, Hero 5/5 Armor 4

Is 6'10" tall enough for Juma to be considered "a Giant of a man" in Hyboria, or does he need to be taller?


male human

That would be plenty tall.

Juma Oathbound wrote:
Is 6'10" tall enough for Juma to be considered "a Giant of a man" in Hyboria, or does he need to be taller?


Male Kushite; Barbarian 1/Slave 0/Gladiator 2/Mercenary 1, Str 4, Agil 1, Mind 1, Appeal 0, Brawl 1, Melee 2, Ranged 1, Def 1, Health 12/16, Hero 5/5 Armor 4

ok doke


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

Xanos Doom, alias of Doomed Hero reporting in.


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

Mr. GM, did you get the Private Message I sent you?


male human

Yeah I checked it out this morning, but haven't had a chance to comment on yet. I'm currently responding.

Xanos Doom wrote:
Mr. GM, did you get the Private Message I sent you?


male human

I'll be making use of this thread for some discussion on house rules etc...

Given the nature of php games, I want to try to keep this game running fairly loose, so that it doesn't get bogged down in mechanics.

In combat situations, I want to try as much as possible operate via Theatre of the Mind. It it becomes absolutely necessary I'll post up some maps on photo bucket, but that's a bit of hassle , so I'd prefer to avoid that as much as I can.

I'm not going to fuss too much about actions during turns and movement. Characters will be able to do about what a PC can do in D&D game, and if that involves drawing a weapon, running and jumping a pit and then attacking a opponent, that sort of thing is fine. PCs only get one attack per round however. If I notice you're trying to do a little too much on your turn, I might cut one of your actions or ask you to spend a hero point to pull it all off.

In terms of initiative, I'll probably use common and sense and order of posting instead of die rolling. If combat starts and you post first, your character will normally go first. We'll just make sure that people aren't taking a second turn until everyone has had a chance to act. If one person is taking a long time to post (like more than a day or two) they might miss a turn in combat, as I don't want to have the game grind to a halt waiting for one player to post.

If I'm not going to be able to post for a day or two for some reason I'll try to give a heads up, but I should normally be able to make at least one post a day.

I'll be posting some more info on spending and earning hero points as well as character advancement in the next day or so.


Male Kushite; Barbarian 1/Slave 0/Gladiator 2/Mercenary 1, Str 4, Agil 1, Mind 1, Appeal 0, Brawl 1, Melee 2, Ranged 1, Def 1, Health 12/16, Hero 5/5 Armor 4

All sounds good to me Boss.

@Xanos: Love your Character concept, that's a movie I'd watch! "Search for the Serpant Eye" perhaps? ; ) But one thing I'm curious about, how do you work it mechanically/thematically that your character is so massive in height and girth, yet still quite relatively weak? Is is because his energies were drained? So he's not just weak magically, but overall?

Also, seems like he's already been leveled a few times, no?


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

I've been discussing that with our GM. I'm bringing him back down to the level you guys are at (he leveled in a previous game)

As far as his size goes, he's something of a man out of time. He doesn't look like any recognizable race or culture. His size is part of that. He's also considerably weaker than he looks. For all intents and purposes he's operating in a perpetual state of fatigue.

edit: character sheet updated.


Male Kushite; Barbarian 1/Slave 0/Gladiator 2/Mercenary 1, Str 4, Agil 1, Mind 1, Appeal 0, Brawl 1, Melee 2, Ranged 1, Def 1, Health 12/16, Hero 5/5 Armor 4

Very Interesting! I'd love to see his full character history if you have it written up. Or is that something you'd prefer to have come out in game?


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

I have it, it may come up in game but he's a pretty secretive guy. Get him to trust you and he might spill the beans.


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

Ok, not trying to start an argument here, but I'm seeing something a little odd-

I attempted a Paralyze effect, which basically would negate it's actions until it broke free. This cost me 2 SP.

It attempted a grab, which basically would negate my actions until it broke free. This cost it nothing.

These effects are essentially identical apart from the cost.

It got a resist check (+5 Mind. Holy cow, what kind of beast is this?)

I did not get a resist.

So basically, I had to spend resources to attempt to do what it got to do for free. On top of that, it's effect was unable to be resisted, but mine was.

I don't remember the Sorcery rules being like this. Have I forgotten something? Did I do something wrong?


male human
Xanos Doom wrote:

Ok, not trying to start an argument here, but I'm seeing something a little odd-

I attempted a Paralyze effect, which basically would negate it's actions until it broke free. This cost me 2 SP.

It attempted a grab, which basically would negate my actions until it broke free. This cost it nothing.

These effects are essentially identical apart from the cost.

It got a resist check (+5 Mind. Holy cow, what kind of beast is this?)

I did not get a resist.

So basically, I had to spend resources to attempt to do what it got to do for free. On top of that, it's effect was unable to be resisted, but mine was.

I don't remember the Sorcery rules being like this. Have I forgotten something? Did I do something wrong?

Well I gave it a Str test not a Mind test because it seemed more like a Fort type effect than a Will type effect.

Keep in mind that this thing is kind of nasty critter. Most of the opponents you guys will normally fight will have much lower scores (but probably have higher numbers), so a spell like that would nearly be guaranteed to succeed.

It also happened to get a somewhat above average roll on its resistance test. It could very easily have gone the other way.

You guys have them outnumbered 5 to 2, so they need to be somewhat badass to make things remotely interesting.

Anyhow, since spell mechanics aren't really laid out feel free to propose what you think would be fair for the spell you are attempting, and I'll certainly take it into consideration.


male human

Xanos- sorry I just realized I wrote Mind test in my game post, but I had meant to write Str, which I'm sure threw you off.


male human

Because of the nature of a rules lite game, a lot of the rulings in terms of mechanics are kind of left up to the GM, which obviously has pros and cons. Try to remember that my intent is to keep the game fun but also challenging for the heroes. I'm happy to hear any concerns about rulings or proposals for how you would see the mechanics of an action working, but because of the nature of posting on the internet and not being able to have a face to face discussion, it can be a little hard to address such concerns in detail without a lot of back and forth and time being used up. I'm pretty busy for much of that, but I'll do what I can to address issues that arise.


male human

I was also planning to try to give you some time to post again before making an attack on you. I'll give you a good shot at getting free. With a magnitude one spell you could do something like cover yourself in grease or breath fire in his face, which would likely also cause him to drop you in addition to doing damage.

Xanos Doom wrote:

Ok, not trying to start an argument here, but I'm seeing something a little odd-

I attempted a Paralyze effect, which basically would negate it's actions until it broke free. This cost me 2 SP.

It attempted a grab, which basically would negate my actions until it broke free. This cost it nothing.

These effects are essentially identical apart from the cost.

It got a resist check (+5 Mind. Holy cow, what kind of beast is this?)

I did not get a resist.

So basically, I had to spend resources to attempt to do what it got to do for free. On top of that, it's effect was unable to be resisted, but mine was.

I don't remember the Sorcery rules being like this. Have I forgotten something? Did I do something wrong?


male human

Xanos- 1st magnitude spells are also rated with a standard damage of around 1d6. Since that seems fairly weak. I would allow your Mind attribute to be added to the damage of such spells and once per encounter you could also add your magician career rating as a damage bonus.

Keep in mind also that hyborian magic isn't intended to be overly flashy, but now and then it could, so paralyze seems like a pretty appropriate spell for the setting. It is often more like ritual magic than D&D style spells, though certainly magnitude 1 spells would often function more like D&D type spells, and magnitude 2 spells could go either way.

One other thing that I just realized you/we missed was that due to Juma's war cry you should have rolled three dice on your spell casting check and taken the 2 highest, which likely would have made the spell more difficult to resist. Since we missed that, you are free to take advantage of that boon this round for spell casting or whatever action you attempt.


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5
P.H. Dungeon wrote:


Anyhow, since spell mechanics aren't really laid out feel free to propose what you think would be fair for the spell you are attempting, and I'll certainly take it into consideration.

Admittedly my experience with the system is limited to one other PBP game, but it did last a couple years. It might be that we were doing things wrong/differently.

My thoughts on the matter are pretty simple-

Thematically, magic in the setting borders on a superpower. It's terrifying. If brainless monsters (of either the 4 or 2 legged variety) can essentially charge through a spell, there's really not much worth being afraid of. In the books people beat wizards by catching them off guard and just not ever being hit by a spell.

Mechanically, magic is a limited resource. That means it should have an edge over cost-free abilities. If a blast of magic has the same range and damage as an arrow, then there's not much point in being a spellcaster is there?

Here's some examples of ways we could do things that might address these issues-

Magic System A:

If a spell effectively has a "double safety" mechanic (first the caster rolls to cast, then the target rolls to resist) that means the caster is expending resources to do something that has a 100% greater chance of failure than a standard ability.

In that case, if a spell is successful the effects should be catastrophic. Save or Die type stuff.

Magic System B:

If a spell works the same as other abilities (one roll, pass/fail), that means it's no different in mechanical strength than, say, swinging a sword, except that it is an expenditure of resources, which makes it more like swinging a sword and spending a Hero Point.

Which means basic magic effects should be non-resisted and have about the same effect as something you could spend a hero point on.


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

Thanks for addressing this stuff with me. It's good to get it out of the way early.


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

I was just thinking, maybe a Paralyze effect is too big for a 1st Mag spell?

I was thinking of it something like Force Grip in star wars, which is a pretty basic magic ability. If you want 1st mag spells to be weaker than that, I'm fine with that.


male human

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll think on them.

I've run this game before, but not with a PC spell caster. To be honest IMO the system isn't really intended for PC spellcasters, though technically it can support them. Also I will run a NPC sorcerers with similar mechanics to how you're running your character, so if magnitude one spells have the potential to be pretty devastating to an opponent then that could end up being pretty nasty for you guys if you are dealing with NPC sorcerers.

As a GM and player I tend to prefer low magic, and I probably err on the side of nerfing magic to some extent. For instance, I don't really care for Pathfinder because I find that magic takes over the game (starting about 6th level and getting worse with each level after), so my first instinct with this game is to put in checks to make sure that doesn't happen. However, since I know you want to play a spell caster, I'll try to find the balance, so that it still feels useful and fun for you, but doesn't get out of hand. It may take me a couple of tries to get there, so be patient with me.

Some further thoughts:

One of the big pros of being a spell caster is versatility. Particularly with this system, where you can propose a vast variety of magical effects.

Also archer have a finite resource as well in that they are limited by the amount of ammunition they have.

You also have potential to build your character so that you are at somewhat useful in melee as well. Obviously you won't be as good in melee as a character that is really built for it, but you will be more useful than a D&D wizard, which means that you don't have to be entirely reliant on your spells for being useful. For instance, you can use melee weapons without penalty, so you aren't restricted to quarterstaffs and daggers.


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

I'm aware. :)

My original concept for the character was a warrior-wizard. Turns out beginning characters have a pretty hard time with that.

A few character points and I'll start working toward that goal.


Can you have a max of four careers? It would be cool to take a little alchemist with Ardeth so he can make poisons.

This game is a weird situation for me, because
A) I don't know the system at all
B) It's my first ever rules-light game
So I find myself in the position of the new players at my pathfinder games who are like "Can I do this? How do I do this?" etc.. It's kinda nice actually because instead of having to referee everything I can just describe what I want to do and then let you work out the mechanics P.H. I imagine this must be what the old editions of D&D felt like. It's fun.


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

The entirety of the alchemy system is in my alias. Take a read.


male human
Ardeth Bay wrote:

Can you have a max of four careers? It would be cool to take a little alchemist with Ardeth so he can make poisons.

This game is a weird situation for me, because
A) I don't know the system at all
B) It's my first ever rules-light game
So I find myself in the position of the new players at my pathfinder games who are like "Can I do this? How do I do this?" etc.. It's kinda nice actually because instead of having to referee everything I can just describe what I want to do and then let you work out the mechanics P.H. I imagine this must be what the old editions of D&D felt like. It's fun.

I think the brewing poisons could be done with the assassin career. Other traditional alchemy stuff (greek fire etc..) would need the alchemist career.

Brew Poisons: Mind +Assassin or Mind + Alchemsist, and of course access to the necessary ingredients.


male human

Xanos, I'm going to post the second beast's attack on you when I get home from work today, so you might want to try to take your turn before then.


Wait, since we're going in posting order if you don't post you are skipped? Can I post my next move now? You also didn't answer my question about dodging.


male human

The idea is that we give a chance for each player to post before posting again. For instance, I wouldn't make any more attacks with a monster that has acted in a round until everyone is given a chance to go.

I think you jumped the gun a little with your last post and acted twice in round 2. Since your second attack missed it doesn't much matter.

At the end of each round I'll post a little wrap up post, which will be players' cue that it is acceptable to take another round of actions. For instance, I did that at the end of round #1.


male human

I'll double check on Dodging, but I think the RAW is that if you dodge or parry you forfeit your action for the round, and you have already attacked in the round then you can't opt to do a parry or dodge.


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

I think there are rules for taking more than one action in a round, at a penalty to both. I don't remember specifics though.


So which one is correct?:

Round 1:I attack monster on my turn
Round 1:Monster attacks me, I say I want to dodge
Round 2:I can't attack, already used my round 2 action dodging

or

Round 1:I declare I am dodging on my turn
Round 1:Monster attacks, I dodge
Round 2:I attack
Round 2:Monster attacks and I can't dodge, even if I want to give up my round 3 action?


male human

I'm not picky, whichever one you guys want to be correct. Just let me know your preference so that we can be consistent. I assume you'd rather go with option #1.

Ardeth Bay wrote:

So which one is correct?:

Round 1:I attack monster on my turn
Round 1:Monster attacks me, I say I want to dodge
Round 2:I can't attack, already used my round 2 action dodging

or

Round 1:I declare I am dodging on my turn
Round 1:Monster attacks, I dodge
Round 2:I attack
Round 2:Monster attacks and I can't dodge, even if I want to give up my round 3 action?


Yeah, that sounds good to me. I vote #1


male human
Ardeth Bay wrote:
Yeah, that sounds good to me. I vote #1

I guess the issue #1 becomes you that could end up in a cycle where you are permanently on the the defensive and never doing anything.

However, to be honest it probably won't come up that often. It is more likely that you will encounter swarms of mook type opponents that don't do near as much damage as these critters can and have much lower chance of hitting, so your regular defence bonus will give you reasonable protection much of the time.


Yeah, but it gives us the choice either way.


male human

Fair enough. I'm fine with that.

Ardeth Bay wrote:
Yeah, but it gives us the choice either way.


Male(s) 27 Ducks in a James suit Duck 27/ Expert 5

One thing I'm not sure of from the PDF- for attacks, is there a hard and fast rule for whether you add strength or agility to an attack roll? For example, rolling 2d6 to attack with a dagger, I add my melee skill. But do I also add strength or do I add agility?


male human

I would say that speed weapons like rapiers and daggers could use agility, but most weapons would use strength. Strength is the default for melee attacks, but I'll allow agility for daggers and rapiers (not that you will see many rapiers mind you).


male human

I've come to realize that I really like rpgs systems that include a fighting attribute. I do that with my current homebrew dragon age game. Fighting is an attribute and Melee weapons and Marksmanship are both skills. This means that you can be a really competent fighter in melee, but not have to be really strong. Granted most weapons use strength for damage, but with rapiers and such I use the Perception attribute for damage for that game. This makes it possible to build a really decent swashbuckler type, which is hard to do in D&D and systems like it.


Cool, I won't be completely useless with Jambiyas if I ever get any.

Just to clarify a question, I should only get to add my assassin bonus to damage once per combat, if the enemy is unaware of me?

When would be appropriate situation to add a Mercenary or Hunter bonus to damage?


How will you handle dual wielding?


male human

I'm not a big fan of dual wielding granting extra attacks, especially in this system. I'd probably just grant a dual wielder a +1 or 2 to damage (based on the weapons) since a shield grants a +1 or 2 to defence.


male human
Ardeth Bay wrote:

Cool, I won't be completely useless with Jambiyas if I ever get any.

Just to clarify a question, I should only get to add my assassin bonus to damage once per combat, if the enemy is unaware of me?

When would be appropriate situation to add a Mercenary or Hunter bonus to damage?

I guess hunter could work well when you are using a bow and the target is a beast. I could see mercenary working well with a melee attack (ideally a weapon a little heavier than a dagger) when you are fighting in something approximating a formation. For example, when you have an ally fighting beside you in melee against human type opponents.


Male, Defense 2, HP 7/11, SP 9/15, PP 8/11, Hero Points 4/5

Sorry. Real life complications kept me from posting.


male human
Xanos Doom wrote:
Sorry. Real life complications kept me from posting.

No worries. You missed one round of combat, but that's about it.


Can I change my hunter and mercenary careers to scout? I haven't used either yet. I somehow missed that choice during character creation.


male human
Ardeth Bay wrote:
Can I change my hunter and mercenary careers to scout? I haven't used either yet. I somehow missed that choice during character creation.

Hunter and Scout would be pretty similar, but if you want to change it you can. You should still have 4 careers, but it's okay to have 0 in a career. Having a 0 means that you may have access to skills you might not otherwise have, but you won't get any bonus when using them.

For example, someone without thief as a career would have a very high target number to pick even an average lock. However a character with a 0 in thief would have a more standard target number, but wouldn't gain any bonus to his roll.


Okay, I'll change it. Thanks.

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