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Ashiel's page

RPG Superstar 8 Season Star Voter. 12,077 posts (12,080 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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One could also pose that because of Intelligence and the ability to override our instincts as AlicornSage suggests would mean that even if we did have a purely flight (not fight) instinctual response as "prey", it doesn't matter in the context of humans vs anything else because if we decide to go into "predator" mode then we would, unless we saw that as a bad idea. Of course, this is pretty much identical to any regular animal who decides between flight or fight when presented with a threat that's clearly dangerous to it.


Also, the shift of readiness has nothing to do with it. I've seen animals recoil from me simply because I picked up something that could be used as a club, while never making any threatening actions or there being any tension between us other than picking up the could be weapon.

I think a lot of animals are smart enough to recognize that we can beat the **** out of them with a stick. XD


So why do a number of herbivores fend of attacks with violence rather than simply being cowed?


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Icehawk wrote:
And drama! But thats mostly on the developer end than the games themselves :p.

True that. :o

EDIT: I also recently beat the modded version of CoC (which has an ability to beat it, then begin new game+ runs) and I realized I'm a big softy. There a way to attempt to restore the souls of all the demons (including the BBEG) and redeem everyone. I took that path. It was happy. There were smiles. ^-^

EDIT2: I beat it with a naga with stinging anemone hair, I have affectionately deemed a "gorgon" (similar to how what's-'er-face deemed herself a siren). Turns out that having poisonous venom that debuffs Str/Spd while afflicting L-damage, combos exceedingly well with the Naga's ability to constrict enemies (which seems to be affected by Str/Spd to determine if you grab or maintain). Once you've debuffed 'em a bit and grabbed 'em, it's over.

Muahahaha. ($-$)

... It occurs to me that I also played a really pacifistic character now. I built her as a tank and defeated enemies with her nonlethal poisons and/or via constrict-teasing and was constantly merciful. I'm a badass warrior, I swear. D: (o//o)


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Klara Meison wrote:
What is your favourite brand of smut, Ashiel?

Oh good lord, that's a lot to filter through. It would probably be easier to list stuff I don't really care much for, which would include (put politely): vore (eating people), guro (violence/bloodshed/killing; and I'm not fond of anything with an emphasis on inflicting pain), anything involving biological waste, etc.

Personal favorites subjects include gender-bender stories (like where a character is somehow flipped to another gender), futanari, and as a fan of CoC it's probably obvious that I enjoy fantasy scenarios involving dominance, reluctance, coercion, etc (preferably with with the protagonist being the one ending up in a submissive role). A common theme in CoC and a lot of H-games (it's a very specific kind of fetish, where your protagonist is taken advantage of by lewd villains but it's quite...amusing). Of course, I'm also a hopeless romantic and I'm a sucker for any sort of smut with lots of feels, smiles, and happy sentiments.

That said, I feel like smut is like a diet. A well balanced diet leads to a much more enjoyable life. You can have your favorites but refusing to eat anything but chocolate is probably a bad idea. Likewise, I can recognize even if I don't like something, someone else may, and vice-versa. For example, one of my friends is a big fan of vore, blood, vampires, lolis, and furries (she's kinda special), but that's what she likes and I can accept that (except the furries, heathens! Joking) so I'll send her stuff that I think she'll like. She usually does. :D

As far a medium, hard to say. Lately I've really enjoyed hentai games. They can be fun and entertaining and you can find translations for some of them, and there's a few good prospects in development on Patreon. Some of them mix fun gameplay, humor, plots, and of course, sexy action.


Yeah speaking of those spiders eating birds and animal intelligence...

If you draw up anything that can be perceived as a weapon, animals immediately react. Fearfully. Pick up a stick and watch dogs, who have never been struck, cower. Completely wild animals will have pause when they realize that a human has become "armed".

It's kind of fascinating. :o

On an unrelated note to arming, but related to instinct...

Great white sharks have to learn to hunt seals, which are their main food source and have been for as long as we know. I guess if the only way to be a predator is to innately "know" how to do a thing without learning or practice, then great white sharks are probably the greatest herbivorous failures that have ever existed. Joking


Define predatory instincts?


Put simply, if we prey upon, we are predators. That's pretty irrefutable.

As to endurance being good for running away, not really. It's pretty crappy for running away because a predator only needs to sprint and get you, which is why most of the quadrupedal preys have evolved to sprint ever faster to get away. Being able to run for five miles without stopping to take a break doesn't do you any good when the lioness got you in the first ten yards.

But those sprinting animals lack endurance so they can keep sprinting away, and do, but it fails, because they just keep coming. They just don't get tired and give up. They just keep going, and going, and going. Lurching ever forward relentlessly. Like the undeaaaaaaddd.... >:3


Example of endurance hunting.


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Actually humans are adapted for endurance hunting. We can literally run down prey by following them for extended periods of time. Our ability to sweat, our posture, and our ability to carry water and such with us can allow us to run down animals who are better evolved for sprinting by simply out enduring them.

There have been cases of Indians who have slain tigers simply to protect their children/grandchildren, etc. A knife is enough to kill one of them, but most tigers are ambush hunters and attack from behind whenever possible. In places like the Sunderbans where tigers hunting villagers is a common problem, they tend to get unarmed and unaware foragers and fishermen.

Humans have been hunting things via means other than "fishing" since before recorded history. Last I checked, we're responsible for the extinction of at least a few other animals, including some larger than us, because we hunted them out.

As to the colonization part, we're at the top of the food chain. That's not to say that we don't get eaten by wild animals who are often bigger and stronger than we are (such as bears or tigers) but we also have our means of elevating ourselves like a web-spinning spider elevates itself when otherwise challenged.

And yes, pack-hunting is a traditional method for hunting worldwide. Having multiple hunters driving prey into traps, surrounding prey, baiting/feinting prey, or simply overpowering them with greater numbers has been a thing humans have been doing for ages and still do today. Humans also have demonstrated an amazing ability to integrate other species into their hunting routines, domesticating and breeding animals to join their hunting packs (such as hunting hounds).

My uncle routinely hunts bear. He and his friends go out in groups, with hounds that have been raised and trained to assist in hunting bear (they're tenacious lil' f***ers, and they surround and intimidate). They hunt them with guns, bows, etc. These are pack tactics. These are trap tactics. These are, without a doubt, predatory tactics. These are not fishing. :P


cuatroespada wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

While technically not a "true" dragon, I'm also extremely fond of wyverns and have used them as NPCs on many occasions. They are also a great base to use when creating alternative dragons using the half-dragon template (which gives them a pair of forearms which they don't normally have) if you want that kind of classic spell-less dragon with the barbed tail.

i was considering just taking the spells away from true dragons (though perhaps leaving them an SLA or two) and trying to guess at the CR from there. this might work better...

You might like the revised half-dragon template I was working on for my friends' Wyrmspire campaign. It scales better than the regular half-dragon template (it's not nuke-tastic on low-CR foes and the breath weapon is usable frequently and scales with their total HD/level). It's less front-loaded with ability scores and such, and if you advance them as a half-dragon (similar to advancing them in a class) then you assume the CR adjustment into their advancement.

Other creatures that can be fun to turn into "dragons" are hydras. They tend to be very sluggish by comparisons to traditional dragons (the run and fly very slowly) but they're pretty flavorful and are already giant reptile-like monsters.


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Lemmy wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
No body, not dead.
Of course, by that logic, the only Disney character who ever died was... Mufasa.

Well, I think the thing that makes Maleficent's demise strange is that Philip actually takes the time to look down at the remains and it zooms in on it, and even makes a point of the glowing sword going out, but the body is suspiciously absent.

Which is slightly different from the typical Disney villains where they are shown to be slain but "off screen", such as with Ursula being impaled and going down with the ship, or Clayton's shadow showing he was hanged, or seeing the silhouette of Scar getting torn up by hyenas. It's strikes as something else when a second look is actually taken but the villain is curiously...gone.

The odds of a sequel were slim though since Sleeping Beauty didn't do well at the box office's and led to Disney not making any more "fantasy" themed movies for quite a while.


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Tels wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Black dragons have always been my favorite. Probably because of Sleeping Beauty.

I apologize in advance if this comment starts a 5 page dissertation on how Maleficent wasn't an actual dragon...

;)

Hmmm this reminds me, didn't Ashiel run a campaign featuring Maleficent once?

I don't remember that I did, but I damn well should. She is just sooooo cool. Look at how awesome she is during the throne room scene!

Her glory!

She's just so...stylish. :o
EDIT: And she's damn sexy. Look at her coy facial expressions. She doesn't even need to show any skin beyond her face and fingertips to be this sexy. XD
EDIT: Also, oddly enough, her body is conspicuously absent when Philip whacked her with the true-striking sword. He looks over the edge and all that's there is some tattered cloth. No body, no dragon, no badass mage. I call shenanigans.


Klara Meison wrote:
This reminds me. What breed of dragons is your favourite?

Black Dragons actually, though White and Red are probably tied for a very close second, with Blue being probably third favorite. Out of the metallic dragons, probably the bronze dragon, then silver.

While technically not a "true" dragon, I'm also extremely fond of wyverns and have used them as NPCs on many occasions. They are also a great base to use when creating alternative dragons using the half-dragon template (which gives them a pair of forearms which they don't normally have) if you want that kind of classic spell-less dragon with the barbed tail.


Honestly, I don't mind debates. Though I feel like this one is more of a semantics issue at this point. :P


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I remember reading in an early 3.5 book (i'm thinking Draconomicon maybe ELHB) an entry describing dragons when they get to so great an age where they become comparable to deities (and one of the reasons most dragons don't worship deities is there not so far from them) however I suppose one is allowed to fluff there adventure however one wants.

Yeah more or less. The point I was making is ancient red dragons are ancient red dragons. We can look at what they can do and see what they can do. If the idea is to have a more mundane sort of dragon that isn't city-levelingly awesome, then use a different kind of dragon.

But as is, an ancient red dragon is essentially a death sentence for an army of mundanes or pseudo-mundanes. There's just no reasonable hope of defeating or even driving the darn thing off unless it allows there to be. But that's kind of the point, because it's supposed to be a foe that's beyond mortal men.

And I was using this to contrast the mechanical implications of 5E, where a mob of angry peasants (or undead or whatever) can wreck pretty much anything given the numbers to do so, because 5E's (whack) bounded accuracy mechanics and lack of things like Damage Reduction mean that the world trembling terrors (who are still described as such as well) such as great wyrms, pit fiends, and the like can be taken out by a horde of low level peons.

Whereas in 3.x/PF, that doesn't fly. There comes a point where even if you do have a 5% chance to hit the big bad, you still have no chance of actually hurting them (due to combinations of things like DR, fast healing, immunity, etc). This creates a niche where you absolutely, positively, must have heroes. Trivial summons, animated mooks, and the town militia aren't going to do it.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
That dwarven "kingdom" was naught but a single city, plus the city of Dale. They also were taken by surprise, and the dragon, one of the greatest dragons, had the advantage of "tight confines" which drastically favored him. Things were also good in those days, so military would have been at a peacetime stance, and indeed the men of dale likely had never seen combat outside a tavern brawl. Also, given the chaos, trying to evacuate women and children, units never having the chance to form up nor even properly equip themselves, it is no surprise the two cities fell. With all of those circumstantial things stacked in favor of the dragon, there is no need to attribute invincibility to Smaug, no need at all. Also, it is known that dragons can't repair their scales, and knowing that requires seeing them damaged, which requires the dragons being hurt, and in lotr no one reaches mid level, even Gandalf at best a lvl 8 (a stretch) and he faced a Balrog single-handed and Gandalf is one of the maya, greater than men or elves.

It's been a while since I read the Hobbit, but I recall his flesh being likened to armor that would turn any blade, his teeth like swords, his breath death, blah-blah. It was pretty clear that either they shoot him in his weak spot or he murders everyone, end of story. All the armies showed up to contest the loot AFTER Smaug was gone. Men, elves, dwarves, everyone coveted the loot enough to be ready to fight to the death with everyhing except the freakin' dragon.

I really feel like this cannot be overstated enough. Three armies composed of men, dwarves, and elves were ready to fight each other to the death over the treasure that was described as being so vast that they could have easily shared it, but not one dared to try to even fight the dragon for it, not the three of them. Not a single army, not a dozen armies, was willing to go and fight the dragon for a treasure that they were willing to fight and die for.

Because even Smaug, who isn't a D&D dragon, was no joke. His strength was legendary. He was, by the large, believed to be invincible. The moment the dragon was dead and word spread, BAM! ARMIES. Not before, but after. Not during. But after. Everyone wanted a piece but none dared to even test the dragon's might.

Quote:
As for demigod vs dragon, the dragons are described as powerful but not demigod powerful in the fluff, but the stats say demigod. Thus, the fluff and stats are contradictory.

Um, not sure what fluff you're describing. D&D dragons have traditionally been described as being potentially immortal and of ridiculous strength in their old age. Their mechanics actually demonstrate the scale of that, because you can clearly see that an ancient red dragon is "THIS AWESOME". If they weren't, then they wouldn't be.


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Tels wrote:

Do you read fan fiction? If so, what's your favorite kind? AU, crossovers time travel etc. Also, what's your favorite fandom?

Me, personally, I'm a huge nerd for the Harry Potter fandom. Recently, I've been really keen on Harry Potter/Star Wars crossovers.

Since I wanted to give a more detailed response once I got home from work...

I used to read some fanfiction when I was a teenager, but I kind of fell out of it because most of it was crap and I couldn't really find anything that appealed to me most of the time, so I kind of fell out of interest.

That's not to say I dislike the notion of fan fiction however. Technically doujinshi is essentially fanfiction, and the idea of writing about original characters set in a pre-established fantasy world (such as stories set in the Harry Potter universe that are about someone other than the Potter-gang) is pretty neat. I also don't even mind OCs interacting or being involved with cannon characters if it's done well (in which case it feels like a fanmade x-pac), or even self-inserts or cross-universe stuff (though it's hard finding good material, I feel that's less because it's innately crap and more because there's so much fanfiction that it's hard to find the diamonds in the rough).

When I did read fanfiction, I spent a fair amount of time reading some Ranma 1/2 'fics, X-Men, and Pokemon, and a few other things. I think writing fanfiction is tons of fun though. The ecchi story involving Agatha and Magthera was technically fanfiction wrote at the behest of another player in that group ('cause he shipped Agatha & her Psicrystal), so it was fanfiction of a D&D game (talk about a tiny fandom :P).

Potentially, I could conceivably enjoy fanfiction about anything that I already liked (such as Star Wars), or theoretically anything at all (since good writing is good writing).


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I'd like to point out that Smaug, cannonically, sacked an entire dwarven kingdom and the entire kingdom couldn't do anything about it. The only way he was killed because of a special vulnerability he had due to "plot" (a single patch of his underside with no scales which had to be found by Bilbo and relayed to his killer).

Saying a dragon is not what it is doesn't really serve much of a purpose. A dragon of the magnitude of an ancient red dragon just shows where they sit on the proverbial food chain (which is to say really high, as you need mid+ level heroes to even be able to scratch them, let alone actually defeat one).

And no, there really isn't a difference between story and mechanics as far as what something is. An ancient red dragon is, effectively, impervious to an army of mundanes or even pseudo-mundanes. If you don't want it to be an ancient red dragon, you use something that isn't an ancient red dragon, but let's not split hairs pretending that an ancient red dragon isn't, or that story somehow overrides the fact the dragon is what it is.

You could create some sort of "dragon" that was quite large but not of an ancient red dragon's calibur, such as an advanced wyvern or half-dragon wyvern (which for most respects if fairly indistinguishable from a traditional dragon to layfolk), if the desire was to have a dragon that was "big" but still mundane enough that soldiers could reasonably harm it.


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As to the dragon thing, and the level of soldiers, it will suffice to say that I disagree. The 1-3 level thing is more a matter of preference and world expectations so I'll leave that alone, but an ancient red dragon really has no business losing to a level 1-3 army. It's very possible for the dragon to simply be impervious to them. Even if they hit the dragon, or cast spells on the dragon, or whatever, the dragon is simply immune to the damage and/or unhindered.

The dragon likewise has so many ways of destroying everything in sight that it can dismantle an army of mundanes in short order. It's breath weapon turns 50 ft. radius areas of land into death sentences for everything in the area (that's 100 ft. across the entire circle that gets turned into lava, dealing an automatic 20d6 fire damage the 1st round and 10d6 the second, no save allowed).

The dragon's mere presence near enemies is enough to kill them.

If making attacks, they must be lucky enough to hit the dragon (only 5% of their attacks will make it through the dragon's AC), overcome the 20-50% concealment (things like blur, displacement, or greater invisibility), very likely must be a melee attack (because things like fickle winds) vs your flying ass, and then they must pierce any DR you happen to have (which means it must also be done with a magic weapon and very likely a blessed weapon as well, since they can mimic spells like righteous might and 3.x red dragons can cast some Cleric spells). This is, of course, ignoring any feats or magic items the dragon has on hand.

If casting spells, then the dragon's SR 30 (impossible for a 1st-3rd level army to pierce effectively), saving throws, immunities, and resistances, make such attempts trite and trivial. A thousand 3rd level mages could volley their finest spells at the dragon and not even inconvenience it (a thousand acid arrows, ignored; five thousand magic missiles, laughed at; one thousand hideous laughters, pointless; a thousand more scorching rays (even metamagic'd to something like [Sonic]), hopeless.

EDIT: This is the real measure where 5E falls apart when describing high level beings. No amount of angry militia, soldiers, pitchfork wielding peasants, or animated skeletons is going to stop this fiery engine of destruction and death. You either get the big boys or you run away. End of story, more or less.


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When I remarked about creating "hackneyed" mechanics concerning the differences between fleas and tarrasques, I mean, specifically, that there's a point where the point seems to fall apart. With enough detail, you could model theoretically anything in an RPG, but there's a tenuous balance between simulation and usability. These things aren't directly opposed (in being less simulationist doesn't make something more usable, or vice versa) but they do interact very strongly with each other (such as accuracy of falling damage rules vs ease of use at the table).

When everything's a matter of relativity, and determining the value of a flea vs a tarrasque is a moot point either way, is there something to be gained by trying to focus the lens that finely?


TheAlicornSage wrote:
Quote:
It seems to me that if the entire campaign, or even a branch of the campaign, was to spend time as an incredibly small creature, the easiest way to handle that would be to run the game normally but change the fluff and environment. Redefine the scale, which is easy enough to do.

How is that easier than just using the rules as is? Basically, the idea is that it can be handled and done without redefining scale or making any changes really.

D20 can't do it, and for d20 redefining scale is probably easier than going for a new system, but when designing a new system, that issue can be avoided completely, oh bonus, it would also handle any size issues more consistently, unlike d20. In d20, the bonus/penalty for being one size larger/smaller grows the further from medium you get (i.e. -1 to 0 has a difference of 1, but -16 to -8 has a difference of 8).

It's easier for two major reasons.

1. It means that you don't have to come up with some sort hackneyed mechanics that try to define where a flea sits on the scale next to the tarrasque. A flea might legitimately be something that could be a hazard in a game where the average sized creature is a house mouse the length of two finger knuckles (it would essentially be like a giant insect at that scale).

2. It means you have more options available to you as a GM without having to stat up things houseflies, fleas, kittens, dragonflies, and other minutia that would be legitimately a thing in a game where everyone was the size of mice. Instead, you can just use the mechanics more or less as-is, using monsters like giant vermin to represent actual vermin at this scale. You don't have to throw your bestiary in the trash for the duration of the "Mighty Midgets" campaign in favor of resources explicitly built for a campaign that expects your average PC to be able to climb through a keyhole.

As to the size differences in d20, I've never disliked how the size differences grow because the size differences aren't linear.


TheAlicornSage wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

"I've never seen a cat just KO another cat in a shot or two."

True, yet despite the ability for one human to quickly and easily kill another, even without tools, it rarely happens. In fact, most fights are things more like tavern brawls, where each side batters the other into exhaustion and submission.

Why? Because killing is rarely the intent. The intent is to "teach them a lesson" or more accurately, to express themselves and try to dominate them.

Well, when we're talking about regular unarmed humans, they're also dealing nonlethal damage with unarmed strikes and have little to no positive modifiers on their attacks, and making those attacks lethal incurs a nonproficiency penalty to their already less than wonderful attack rolls.

Consider two bikers in a bar wearing leather jackets (we'll say they count as padded armor so AC 11). They each have a 50% chance to hit the other with nonlethal damage or a 30% chance to hit each other with lethal damage. Since D20 Legends allows you to keep going until you're rendered unconscious, they can exchange quite a few blows with some of them being glancing (due to poor rolls) and a few actually hurting pretty good. Neither is at much risk of dying suddenly unless someone hits lethally or brings in an improvised weapon.

This glosses over the difference between two bikers having a brawl vs two bikers trying to kill each other. There is a massive difference there, but the mechanics basically ignore it, and the closest way to handle it in the mechanics (-4 for making lethal unarmed strikes) sucks horribly at handling it.

Well, bikers often keep lock-whips in their pockets explicitly so they can have ready access to a lethal weapon in brawls. Or use various other improvised weapons. Or someone has the know-how to actually kill someone with unarmed combat without getting a lucky shot off (which is represented by things like IUS, which removes the penalty for "getting serious").

When dealing with thugs, if they're not skilled at unarmed combat, they're just as crude with their murders as the cats. Look at gangs that kill people just by flailing into them. Usually they deal enough nonlethal damage to disable or beat the fight out of the person and then they just keep beating them or begin performing coup de grace attempts (like stomping on their necks).

If we're talking about people that actually know how to kill you and can do so quickly, we're likely also talking about someone with IUS or some equivalent. :)


TheAlicornSage wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

"I've never seen a cat just KO another cat in a shot or two."

True, yet despite the ability for one human to quickly and easily kill another, even without tools, it rarely happens. In fact, most fights are things more like tavern brawls, where each side batters the other into exhaustion and submission.

Why? Because killing is rarely the intent. The intent is to "teach them a lesson" or more accurately, to express themselves and try to dominate them.

Well, when we're talking about regular unarmed humans, they're also dealing nonlethal damage with unarmed strikes and have little to no positive modifiers on their attacks, and making those attacks lethal incurs a nonproficiency penalty to their already less than wonderful attack rolls.

Consider two bikers in a bar wearing leather jackets (we'll say they count as padded armor so AC 11). They each have a 50% chance to hit the other with nonlethal damage or a 30% chance to hit each other with lethal damage. Since D20 Legends allows you to keep going until you're rendered unconscious, they can exchange quite a few blows with some of them being glancing (due to poor rolls) and a few actually hurting pretty good. Neither is at much risk of dying suddenly unless someone hits lethally or brings in an improvised weapon.

This glosses over the difference between two bikers having a brawl vs two bikers trying to kill each other. There is a massive difference there, but the mechanics basically ignore it, and the closest way to handle it in the mechanics (-4 for making lethal unarmed strikes) sucks horribly at handling it.

Well, bikers often keep lock-whips in their pockets explicitly so they can have ready access to a lethal weapon in brawls. Or use various other improvised weapons. Or someone has the know-how to actually kill someone with unarmed combat without getting a lucky shot off (which is represented by things like IUS, which removes the penalty for "getting serious").

When dealing with thugs, if they're not skilled at unarmed combat, they're just as crude with their murders as the cats. Look at gangs that kill people just by flailing into them. Usually they deal enough nonlethal damage to disable or beat the fight out of the person and then they just keep beating them or begin performing coup de grace attempts (like stomping on their necks).

If we're talking about people that actually know how to kill you and can do so quickly, we're likely also talking about someone with IUS or some equivalent. :)


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
Quote:
One thing that concerns me about this is it reminds me of 5E and how heroes really aren't very special. Animate dead can kill virtually everything in the game simply because dogpiling things in fodder (with their "bounded accuracy" system) is so darn effective. One of the staples of being a high level in D&D is that you reach a point where you can't be replaced by a mob of angry villagers/undead/summons.
Lol, I understand the desire to stay away from 5th in this regard. Rest assured my system doesn't really have that issue. In my system, skilled warriors are more likely to hit and more consistant with their attack rolls. I do admit that it is intended to remain in the gritty first tier in general, but it can actually handle going beyond that if you really want demigods.

Essentially it's just a matter of time. In 3.x/PF, things like DR, resistances, and such make angry mobs a moot point. By 20th level, an army of mundane soldiers (IE - 1st level warriors) couldn't have killed my Malconvoker if she never uttered a spell and just fought them with her claws and staff. Even if they landed hits, the hits couldn't effectively harm her due to secondary defenses.

So with any sort of system where things have something like 10 wounds, and you still have a chance to cause a wound, dogpiling becomes a strong option. Because even if you only had something like a 5% or even a 1% chance of landing a wound, it's easier to find 100 commoners than it is to find a 20th level hero. Probably easier to find 10,000 commoners in fact. One of the reasons you need things like real heroes to deal with dragons and the like in D&D is that commoners just can't. There comes a point where common man just cannot fight an ancient red dragon no matter their numbers and all the alchemist frost and magic weapon oils in the world won't change the fact the dragon can level a city without the entire populace being helpless to stop them sans any significantly leveled hero sorts.

5E totally failed in this regard. Virtually everything can be killed by the town militia. It even describes high level heroes as they exist in 3.x/PF, but the mechanics fail to deliver. High level martials are essentially replaceable with chaff like mindless undead (hilariously, the mindless undead also hit harder since they get their Str plus a bonus to damage from the mage's...proficiency I think it was called?).

Which isn't to say it's impossible to make a system that handles that well, just very difficult.


Tels wrote:

Do you read fan fiction? If so, what's your favorite kind? AU, crossovers time travel etc. Also, what's your favorite fandom?

Me, personally, I'm a huge nerd for the Harry Potter fandom. Recently, I've been really keen on Harry Potter/Star Wars crossovers.

I'll have to answer this more fully when I get back from work (gotta go right this moment) but I don't really read fanfiction much these days, and I'm not sure if I could pick a favorite fandom if my life depended on it. :P


TheAlicornSage wrote:

"I've never seen a cat just KO another cat in a shot or two."

True, yet despite the ability for one human to quickly and easily kill another, even without tools, it rarely happens. In fact, most fights are things more like tavern brawls, where each side batters the other into exhaustion and submission.

Why? Because killing is rarely the intent. The intent is to "teach them a lesson" or more accurately, to express themselves and try to dominate them.

Well, when we're talking about regular unarmed humans, they're also dealing nonlethal damage with unarmed strikes and have little to no positive modifiers on their attacks, and making those attacks lethal incurs a nonproficiency penalty to their already less than wonderful attack rolls.

Consider two bikers in a bar wearing leather jackets (we'll say they count as padded armor so AC 11). They each have a 50% chance to hit the other with nonlethal damage or a 30% chance to hit each other with lethal damage. Since D20 Legends allows you to keep going until you're rendered unconscious, they can exchange quite a few blows with some of them being glancing (due to poor rolls) and a few actually hurting pretty good. Neither is at much risk of dying suddenly unless someone hits lethally or brings in an improvised weapon.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:

You must remember that d30, like what ashiel is doing, raises or lowers strength amd hp and some other stats not only based on size but also the desired challange. Dragons have high hp only because they are larger and tougher than humans.

But doing that doesn't scale well when you start playing outside the expected parameters.

For example, ashiel's game and d20 would need to redefine mice as medium creatures and make a series of other changes if the players wanted to play a game set in Redwall or Mouseguard, but in mmy system, because average stats are for each size, an average mouseguard character has similar stats to an average human character, thus using a system like mine needs very little altered to play Mouseguard, and indeed, once I get a full beastiary established, many of the smaller animals could be used straight as is in either a human or mouse game, without adjusting stats to fit the scale of the game. That is something d20 can't do.

It seems to me that if the entire campaign, or even a branch of the campaign, was to spend time as an incredibly small creature, the easiest way to handle that would be to run the game normally but change the fluff and environment. Redefine the scale, which is easy enough to do.

For example, if everyone in the campaign was supposed to be Fine and Diminutive size (rather than Small & Medium), then you'd just use larger versions of existing creatures such as lions, giant insects, and giants to represent things like cats, bugs, children, etc.

It's less the statistics in those cases that make it rather than the environmental fluff and the feeling of being in a world much larger than normal, such as being able to hide in a teacup or scurry about a network of tunnels inside the walls of a house.

If it IS about statistics, then you use the regular scale and accept that being fine or diminutive SUCKS for most characters (it even kinda sucks for casters in a number of ways mostly involving focus items / components), and they'll be easily crushed by being stepped on and such. But that's part of the experience if you really want to play a house mouse fighting pit fiends.

Quote:
Consider for a moment the key phrase at the beginning "Every size is handled identically." That means that if the average medium sized creature has the equivalent of 10 hp, then the average colossal creature has the equivalent of 10 hp as well. Seems suddenly easier doesn't it, while it clearly is a case of needing plenty of men, or some exceptional heros, it is suddenly a far more manageable thing to deal around 10 hits to the dragon.

One thing that concerns me about this is it reminds me of 5E and how heroes really aren't very special. Animate dead can kill virtually everything in the game simply because dogpiling things in fodder (with their "bounded accuracy" system) is so darn effective. One of the staples of being a high level in D&D is that you reach a point where you can't be replaced by a mob of angry villagers/undead/summons.


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Klara Meison wrote:

>one third for each of 2 size categories of difference

That is a horrible idea, at least the way you described it and without heavy revisions of the rest of the system. Lategame monsters can be Gargantuan, if not Colossal. Medium adventurer druid vs a Gargantuan dragon will deal 1/27th the damage. That is like dragon having DR f#~#-you/-. I mean, it turns 50 damage attack(quite a fair bit of damage) into 1.8, 1 rounded down(less than a commoner deals at lv 1). Even if druid can deal, let's say, 400 damage with their pounce of doom, that will only be 14 damage to the dragon. Given their 300-400 HP, it means that martials will ~never be able to kill big monsters.

And Small halfling druid vs a colossal BBEG? Yeah, forget it. 1/243 damage means that even if they deal 2k damage on a full attack(is that even possible?), it will only be -8 HP to the boss. Your contribution to the fight can be countered by a lv 1 mook casting Infernal Healing on their boss.

David vs Goliaph? More like small pile of guts and blood vs Goliaph.

One of the things we're intending to figure out is some consistent mechanics for truly enormous size categories. We might drop the naming conventions for size and give creatures a size rating (so fine might be size 1, while a human might be size 5 (fine = 1, diminutive =2, tiny =3, small=4, medium=5, etc), so we can more readily give mechanics that reflect truly titanic monsters without having to scour dictionaries looking for anything synonymous with "bigger than really f***ing huge".

I hope to include some mechanics for scaling larger creatures in combat and some sort of benefits for doing so, which would finally allow you to do things like ride on an angry wyvern while it tries to buck you off, or climb a colossal giant Shadow of the Colossus style. Aratrok had been putting together some early drafts last we spoke about it, but that's been a while.

Mostly because when you get right down to it, monsters get big but not that big in D&D. This was the visual representation of the size categories in 3.x, but dragons aren't even that big at colossal size, based on their spaces.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:

>> seriois question: What is lvl 0, where is that from, and why does it exist?

>> not so serious question: Why is there a commoner class anyway, shouldn't they be experts specializing in farming?

>> suggedion with example: Doing that to the cat's damage makes it unable to kill a mouse with it's claws. Wouldn't it be better to have a size modifer on damage and hp, or a scaler perhaps? For example, my system treats every size identically, then scales things when sizes interact, thus damage from a cat would be 1/9 normal when applied to humans (one third for each of 2 size categories of difference).

That would allow a cat to be a serious danger to mice or even other cats, but still do very little to a human. Also makes it easier to handle when the standard size is not medium, such as for a party of halflings.

Of course, when you are simply adding extra dice to either the attacker or the defender, it is much easier than the math d20 would require, but it still isn't that bad.

In D20 Legends, level 0 is what a character is before they have gained a heroic class and become level 1. There are no hit dice in d20 legends, but all characters (humanoids at least) begin with 6 HP and a few skill points. Each time you progress in level, you gain a flat amount of HP/BAB/Casting/etc, depending on your route.

As to experts specializing in farming. Yeah, probably. Or just experts in general, though not necessarily farmers. It's generally true that the common guy had to be pretty self sufficient in most D&D-lore, so a smattering of random skills across the board is pretty true to type, especially in rural environments where the town "Smith" probably also knows how to help raise a barn, takes care of his own horses, and cooks for himself.

As to the cat thing, a mouse would essentially crumble to the cat after the cat grabbed the mouse and bit him. I've grown up with cats and I've watched how they hunt fine-sized prey, and it's rare that they just tap them with their claws and they keel over. They usually grab 'em and then bite them to kill them. A mouse would have 1 HP and die at -1 HP. If a cat pounces the mouse, that mouse is probably boned. Even dealing nonlethal damage, the cat's going to kill it quickly.

How I would see that playing out is the cat charges the mouse (pouncing on it) and grapples (in D20 Legends, like 3.5, you can charge into a grapple). The mouse, due to being fine sized and having a Str of 1, is very likely to get grabbed by the cat who is noticeably larger than it is. Once the cat has it, he can inflict damage from its natural weapons while pinning the mouse and kill it in short order.

Seems to be working as intended. :3

EDIT: In a similar fashion, when two cats are trying to kill each other (this is something I've witnessed a fair number of times due to having grown up with lots of cats in a rural area where toms fight for territory), it's rarely a quick affair. There is a lot of back and forth slugging it out, biting, clawing, grappling, running, chasing, and more. The cats inflicting various amounts of misses and non-lethal hits until they wear the other down likewise seems to be working as intended. I've never seen a cat just KO another cat in a shot or two.


Klara Meison wrote:

> Plus, even if you're a 6th level character, that doesn't mean all your friends are.

This goes both ways, and heroes are perfectly capable of finding the friends of the BBEG.

Yes they are, though I'd question their heroism if they made a habbit of breaking the knees of the mafia boss' twelve year old son or something. :P

Of course, all the more reason to have masked villain sorts as well.


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Klara Meison wrote:

>Nothing that small should be dangerous in normal combat without some sort of magic or poison.

Yes, but then again, there are tales of killer rabbits.

Clearly some sort of crazy paragon of rabbits I say. This rabbit is probably much higher than level 0. :D

Also, I <3 Dragon's Crown. Did you know that there's an entire boss that's a homage to MPatHG? In the forest stage you encounter a cloaked wizard wearing the same helm as the one in the movie, and when you're going through taking the 2nd path route to all the stages, what you seek is guarded by a "horrible monster".

That horrible monster is...the Killer Rabbit.

Damn I wish this game would get a PC port. I could forget about consoles if it did. XD

EDIT: The folks in the video need a lesson from Mr. Piccolo.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
You mentioned a pathfinder/dnd superhero game. I'd just like to say that the idea made me gitty (but i agree vigilante doesn't cover it as well as people would think) do you think it would ever be on the table?

Maybe, who knows?

It's usually a pretty difficult pitch since people tend to think of superheroes and D&D as wildly different genres and it's difficult explaining that I'm not so much talking about the "hey be Superman" kind of superheroism as I am talking about the whole masked hero with a secret identity thing going on.

See, the idea is that general adventuring activities tend to be pretty well frowned upon in most civilizations if you're not actively slaying some ooze in a sewer or repelling a goblin invasion or something. When you get right down to it, heroes acting outside the norms of society would be frowned upon. Plus, even if you're a 6th level character, that doesn't mean all your friends are, and badguys are known for attacking your friends if they can't attack you.

So the idea is that everyone dons an alias and at least a crappy disguise (thanks to the way Disguise works, most people don't even get checks unless they're paying good attention, and IDing disguised people at a distance is super hard due to how Perception works) and goes out and does some kickass heroing. Make a few recurring enemies. Uncover corruption in the system. Find out the city is secretly being run by mind-flayers or something. Point is, there's great potential for some fun Urban adventure mixed with slice-of-life RP opportunities with this sort of campaign.

The idea was probably what originally spawned my character Wraith (or was spawned by, I forget the order). Essentially, Varisa Heavens AKA Wraith was murdered and returned to life as an undead creature (a ghoul/ghast actually). Being undead is in itself super illegal in the kingdom she is from (they're an open-minded bunch on the large but there are stiff laws against many forms of necromancy and conjuring, especially as it pertains to undead and fiends) and she could legally be destroyed simply for existing.

However, she's got a new chance on life and she's now a psychic warrior with an appetite. Have claws will paralyze kind of thing. So during her quest to find her family and her killers, she dons the alias Wraith, named for the misnomer that the villagers used when they thought she had returned as a ghost or something (ignorant peasants for the win), and goes out to engage in some vigilante justice. Vengeance is...delicious.

However, on the way she has to deal with hurdles and strangeness she never expected, including romantic interests, the quest to be reunited with a family that may reject her, and being hunted down by her sister who has been tasked with finding and eliminating the undead monster known as the Wraith. I guess Varisa found the fastest way for life to get more complicated was to die.

/Teaser


TheAlicornSage wrote:
I'd read it. :)

The Wraith. WIP, on hiatus until I find the will to jump back into it in earnest. I still think about the story though and have most of it already planned out.


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Tels wrote:
Does D&D Legends solve the house cat vs. Commoner problem?

Y'know, I hadn't even thought about that question. My first impulse would be to say yes, because Strength (which a housecat and most other small furry critters would be in short supply of) determines things like Hp. Additionally, making extra attacks comes at a penalty to hit, so if a cat tried to do the whole claw/claw/bite thing, it's accuracy would trash for its level range (it's level range being sub-1st).

Commoners (that is, level 0 characters) also have a base of 6 Hp (as opposed to a base of 3 Hp) so they don't crumble in a stiff breeze quite as readily. So assuming only core adjustments, and no other changes, the matchup would look like this.

Housecat
CR 1/4, 2 HP, AC 14 (+2 Dex, +2 Size),
Atk Bonus: +4 (+2 Dex, +2 Size); Attacks: Bite (1d3-2)/2 Claws (1d2-2)
Notes: Characters benefit from Dex to hit and damage with natural weapons if better than their Strength. However, like with Bows in Pathfinder, a poor Strength penalty applies to damage. So while a cat gets a +2 to damage from its Dexterity, it immediately eats a -4 from Strength (in essence, tiny creatures just do not hit hard).

Commoner
CR 1/4, 6 Hp, AC 10,
Atk Bonus: +0; Attacks: Unarmed (1d4 nonlethal)
Notes: The commoner can pull up at least a +1 bonus from ability scores out of their butt due having a floating 3 PB unaccounted for. This is also assuming the commoner is nekkid.

The biggest change in favor for the commoner is actually from the Combat rules themselves. See, Diehard is kind of built into everyone. Each round you find yourself below 0 HP (or with too much nonlethal damage) you have to make a DC 5 Strength check or fall unconscious. You take a penalty equal to the excess damage you've taken (so if you can drop to -17 without dying, that's great, but you'll be making a DC 5 Strngth check with a -16 penalty the last round before you expire).

The cat's negative HP threshold is a mere 3 points, while the Commoner can likely take up to 16 points of damage before he or she is pushing daisies on the new farm they bought. Most likely the Commoner is going to give the cat one good whack and the cat is going to run screaming for the hills before it collapses or it's going to get KO'd.

This has the side effect of making tiny creatures like cats, rats, fairies, and so forth wussies. Which is good. Nothing that small should be dangerous in normal combat without some sort of magic or poison. It also has the benefit of making big beefy heroes, dragons, and other massive high Strength creatures quite tenacious.


Klara Meison wrote:
You have been writing a novel?

It occurs to me that I didn't even offer to send you a copy. If you want to read what little I've got, I can send you a link via my google drive.


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Klara Meison wrote:
You have been writing a novel?

Yeah I started writing a novel a while back during November, 'cause a friend of mine provoked me to do so. I figured it'd be fun. I only worked on it for three days though. It's sitting at 14,512 words at the moment (s'bout 9 pages long in two-columns in size 8 font).

I realized that it might not be horrible either, 'cause I ended up pulling my brother off of Skyrim.

That Story:
So I had been writing my novel for a bit and my brother was sitting in my room playing Skyrim. He had just got the expansions Dawnguard and such and was super into playing through it.

Well, I asked if he would check out what I had written thus far. He said he didn't feel like reading anything right now, so I said I would read it to him. He said "Okay," but his voice implied more heavily "gtf away". :P

Anyway, I started reading it aloud and he continued playing Skyrim. However, about 1/4 the way through, I noticed something...odd. Each time I looked over my shoulder, there was no movement on the screen. A short bit later, the camera on the screen had begun to idle and pan around his character. He was so intent on listening to what was going on that Skyrim was sitting idle in front of him. A little further in, he sat the controller down and went and sat on my bed, chest down, and just listened.

When I had reached the end of what I had written so far, he bemoaned that it had to stop there. I figured that, since it got a (then like 14-15 year old kid) to choose listening to it over his X-box, maybe it wasn't utter garbage. Made me feel pretty good. :P


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Something my friend Arcane Knowledge and I started throwing together. This is a cutscene made in RPGmakerVX-Ace based on a novel I was writing.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Well it's not like you HAVE to play the masked avenger game, if you don't want to.

Since you seem more familiar with them than I, what does a vigilante bring to the table?


TriOmegaZero wrote:

You should look closer at the avenger talents, Ash. I literally have hard choices to make as Falandar levels up.

As for the dual personas, I plan to just stay in social guise and use everything he has anyway. Not even bother with Disguise. If I know we're going to a fight, I'll put on the warpaint and shift alignments to CN just so he's less effected by evil spells.

There's something really funny about that, actually. :P


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Pretty much. I think with non-prestige classes, forced fluff should be kept to a minimum. The vigilante just rubs me in a lot of the wrong ways, which is sad, because I've been trying to pitch a D&D-superheroes game for like three years now. It's almost like conceptually the class was made for this sort of thing but the vigilante just doesn't do it for me.


Lemmy wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
137ben wrote:

So Ashiel,

I recall early in this thread you said your least favorite Paizo class was the Oracle. I think that was before Occult Adventures and Ultimate Intrigue, and maybe before Pathfinder Unchained. Is the oracle still your least favorite Paizo class, or has it been superseded by the Vigilante or one of the OA classes?
Honestly, I haven't even bothered to buy either of those books. Some friends of mine have them though, so I've taken a look at them. Vigilante easily overtakes the oracle as a class I really dislike, both mechanically and also thematically.

Care to elaborate? So many people seem to be infatuated with the class...

I don't particularly care about the class one way or another, but it did improve a lot from its playtest version (which was possibly the worst designed class I've ever seen in Pathfinder).

From a conceptual standpoint, you don't need a class to play a masked hero. You could always do that, with infinitely more options, with the core rules and a little investment in disguise. More options to support those types of things (such as ways of more readily avoiding "I win" divination questions would be helpful, etc), but from its very conception, I feel the idea of the class was flawed.

Though I don't have the book with me at the moment to reference, many of its class features when I checked it were very underwhelming, or too limited to make use of in any game where you regularly traveled around, or just tried to have you spend a feature for something that was basically fluff.

Having to actively change between your identities to activate your abilities is stupid. It means that you can never have to make that decision to reveal yourself for who you truly are in a moment of dire need because you just can't. It's like forgetting you know kung fu, when in reality you just choose to not demonstrate your kung fu except when in disguise. Except for the vigilante, you really do just forget kung fu.

As with a lot of their features and options are just trash or come with ridiculous level requirements. A few examples yanked off of d20pfsrd.com...

Quote:

In Vogue (Ex): The vigilante's crafting or professional business is always at the height of the local trends, allowing the vigilante to gain more profits than usual. Goods he crafts with a Craft skill he chose with social grace are worth 1/3 more gp than normal due to his celebrity, without increasing the cost to create. Whenever he uses a Profession skill he chose with social grace to make money, he makes twice as much money. A vigilante must be at least 5th level and have both the double time and social grace social talents to take this talent.

Celebrity Perks (Ex): The vigilante is a celebrity in his area of renown, and adoring fans are all too eager to shower him with the fundamental necessities. While within his area of renown, he can always receive common meals or lodging (worth up to 1 gp per meal or night) for free, and can avoid paying taxes or bribes of 1 gp or less. If he wants a particular non-magical item worth 1 gp or less, he can spend 1d10 minutes interacting with people in his area of renown to receive the item from a fan (if he ever sells such a gift from a fan, he loses this social talent permanently). If he has the great renown social talent, he can receive gifts of up to 5 gp, receive fine food and lodgings (worth up to 10 gp per meal or night) for free, and avoid paying taxes or bribes of 10 gp or less. If he has incredible renown, he can receive gifts of up to 25 gp, receive exquisite food and lodgings (worth up to 100 gp per meal or night) for free, and avoid paying taxes or bribes of 100 gp or less. A vigilante must be at least 5th level and have the renown social talent to select this talent.

Some of the archetypes are worse (Aratrok showed me one that might as well be called "be spiderman" except to really get into that you gotta be like 17th level to swing from stuff).

Vigilante's just don't really do a lot of what they seem to suggest, don't have much of a real place, and aren't as good at doing things like the Avengers as they are doing stuff like this.


137ben wrote:

So Ashiel,

I recall early in this thread you said your least favorite Paizo class was the Oracle. I think that was before Occult Adventures and Ultimate Intrigue, and maybe before Pathfinder Unchained. Is the oracle still your least favorite Paizo class, or has it been superseded by the Vigilante or one of the OA classes?

Honestly, I haven't even bothered to buy either of those books. Some friends of mine have them though, so I've taken a look at them. Vigilante easily overtakes the oracle as a class I really dislike, both mechanically and also thematically.

EDIT: It's worth noting that overall I like the oracle. I just dislike the amount of forced fluff involved with them. I'd rather see the oracle's curse as an optional part of the class, not something required by all oracles.


Lemmy wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
JWong or ChrisG?
Kayo Police. :3
Pfff... She doesn't even play Marvel... Nor SF. :P

She doesn't play Street Fighter anymore? :o


Lemmy wrote:
JWong or ChrisG?

Kayo Police. :3


Tels wrote:
So, is this one of your games or just eerily close to something you would do?

Not my game but it sounds awesome. :P


TheAlicornSage wrote:
Why do I get the idea that Tels is actually Kiel'ndia? (Drowtales: Moonless Age reference. Have you read it Ash? Like it?)

I haven't read Drowtales. I've heard about it. I know it's been in existence for a super-long time. I just haven't ever looked into it much. I probably should, given the subject material.


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Tels wrote:

Dumb idea sparked by Pokemon: Pathfinder Go app.

You and others walk around with as PCs. You will randomly come across encounters that will be generated based off the number of people in the encounter area. Have quests giver NPCs spawn around town that send you to different locations to solve quests. Fight monsters, save princes, slay dragons.

That's be pretty cool actually, if it was done well. :)


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You're dimensional anchored during the process, and local refers to issues of space, but you still have spell effects that are preventing you from leaving. As written, local conditions, based on the definition of the word local, would mean irreverent of the destined location. It says nothing about allowing you to ignore spells affecting you, which would be important to note if it did allow you to ignore things like dimensional anchor.


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Can't. Nothing you do can hamper the circle. You cannot affect it. Period. That's the point. If you could, it would be trivial, since most anything you're seriously going to use greater planar binding for tends to have things like at-will dispels and summoning.

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