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Nexian Galley

CapnVan's page

45 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


KGM, it's not that I don't love the fact that you're out there killing.

But I must admit that I admired your deft handling of your previous groups. Just letting them, well, for lack of a better word, kill their own dumb selves. That is your sheer genius — you just give them what the dice say.

Is this group actually vaguely sentient?

You haven't gone soft, right?

Killer_GM wrote:
The group I've played in for the past 13 years has a house rule of sorts of having Charmed PCs "defend" whatever monster has charmed them, IF the other player characters are attacking the monster.

Well then, fair enough, sir. As long as everyone is on the same page, I can happily adjudge this a:


And may there be so many more to come.

As an aside, I'd like to point out that the lamia (depending on your Edition) seems to have a little lion and goat heritage. They're both make for good eatin', (A lion burger was surprisingly tasty, and goat is just plain good)

ALSO: Never forget the true old school — wandering monsters. I'd rule that they play hell on spellcasters' rest.

But what I love most? What's coming right up. Play your best game! Anything that says "it always hits" is no less than a recipe for sheer beauty.

"The player rolled a ‘Nat 20’ and then rolled the confirmed critical, as Lenny Critted the Hell out of Medic with a Dwarven War Axe, doing 48 HP of damage and cutting Medic in half"

Ahh, good chuckles, particularly after the fumble. I love dice.

"If the potion is drunk the taster will sleep for 5,000 years, or until the potion’s effects are neutralized"

I also love the Old School.

"...which saw Medic #2 and Squiggy the Wizard get squashed by the Loadstone. The adventure really didn’t give a good damage approximation, so I had the trap do 6d6 damage, and both characters enjoyed -16 HP damage."

I'm assuming they lost 16 hp, as opposed to being at -16.

Re: Area 27, the original states: "To dodge the millstone a saving throw versus petrification must be made. If the characters react quickly, they may save at +2 by hugging the walls. Failure to save results in one of the following:
1-4: 1-8 points of damage
5: Backpack and contents are smashed and destroyed.
6: Pack and contents are torn away, but recoverable."

Oh, if only you had them roll a 5.

"When the player of Lenny the Dwarf's turn came, I informed the player that the best thing Lenny could do to help his new “special friend,” would be to stop the "evil cleric Medic" at all costs. Lenny did his best “D’uh, Okay George” impression and swung on Medic the cleric."

In fairness, did you give Lenny the Charisma check?

From the SRD on Charm Monster:
"This is mostly in the purview of the GM. If you ask the creature to do something that it would not normally do (in relation to your friendship), that is when the opposed Charisma check comes into play."

As much as I just adore making the PCs pay, that would certainly seem to have come into play as something that he wouldn't normally do. A grapple, maybe. But an actual attack? I'd even have had to give Lenny a bonus on his roll.

KillerGM: Just a quick question from looking at my old copy of Tamoachan — you mention the giant crab in Room 3 and the lamia in Room 13. Are these substitutions for Pathfinder from the original? And why was the crab dead and the crayfish gone?!

CapnVan wrote:

#1 I shall have to see if I have a copy so I can follow along.

#2. I am so ridiculously happy to have you back! Ah.. so many Red Shirts, so little time…

#2a: Feel free to be descriptive with the PC gore. I like that stuff.

Re: #1. Ah ha! I do.

Re: 2a: And by that I mean the wailing and gnashing of teeth around the table.

#1 I shall have to see if I have a copy so I can follow along.

#2. I am so ridiculously happy to have you back! Ah.. so many Red Shirts, so little time…

#2a: Feel free to be descriptive with the PC gore. I like that stuff.

Good glavin! I love Doofus. It's like a work of perverted genius, sauntering up to a hulking snake-dude and basically going, "Come at me, bro!"

And, or course, ending up a smashed can of tomato soup.

Brother Faust the Elder wrote:
Killer_GM wrote:
The next game is scheduled for Saturday March 24. ~KGM
Kill zem, kill zem all.

I approve, although technically, if you're thinking of the Raiders quote, it was, "Kill them both."

In the spirit of GM mayhem, I'll let it slide ;-p

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Make them fight to the death in the arena — the Romans were the height of civilization at the time.

And when you get down to the last survivor, fireball his humanoid butt. Entire tribe = civilized.

DeathQuaker wrote:
Thing is, I don't think that's the case (and as an aside, I really don't pay much attention to tiers, but the cavalier seems a solid class, so I don't know why you have it so low).

That's not my tier system, DQ, that's the one that the min/maxers have come up with. You can feel free to argue with them, but there have been many discussions, and this is what we've got. These are the guys who sit around for hours on end figuring out, sometimes to more than one decimal, just how much damage a particular build can put out.

DeathQuaker wrote:
I mean, I don't think, based on Frustrated's initial posts, that Wizard and Oracle and player were even all that "good." Let alone "Really good."

I believe at one point, he specifically referred to them as both the most intelligent and the best players he has. Whether from an objective standpoint they're "really good" is something that none of us can answer. I can only go with the info I have.

Wow, did this thread get overly complicated, even after the OP bailed.

Look, it's really not that complicated. We have:

Wizard — Tier 1, really good player
Oracle — Tier 2, really good player
Rogue — Tier 3, meh
Ranger — Tier 4, decent player
Cavalier — Tier 5, meh

When looking at a group, I also consider the player's ability.
Really Good — up 1 tier
Decent — even
Meh — down 1 tier

You're left with:
Tier 0
Tier 1
Tier 4
Tier 4
Tier 6

Color me shocked! The party is unbalanced?!

Even if the OP has bailed: When faced with a situation like this, you *have* to nerf the high tiers. There's just no other way. No kidding, the other 3 feel like they're not contributing — Tier 0 & 1 can do everything they can do, and do it better, and it only gets worse at higher levels!

If you're going to game with a group like this, as a DM, you've got to take the initiative and tell your best players, "Hey, nothing above Tier 3. If you try it, I'm just gonna smack you down."

If you haven't yet, your whole group should be taking the time to sit down and work out your group's tactics, both what each prefers to use, and what won't work with your group dynamics.

Yes, obviously, obscuring mist, cast over the entire battlefield, won't work for you, or almost anyone else, for that matter. Total concealment kind of ruins ranged attacks. There's a time and a place for the spell, and heading into melee isn't it.

And, as BigNorseWolf points out, every caster should have templates for their spells. But that's really the casters' responsibility. I'd suggest that you make that point to everyone involved.

Those are all team dynamics — if I'm playing a bard, I like to have cards to pass around to remind the other players of their bonuses from inspire courage, so they don't forget to include them in their rolls. Etc.

Just part of being a team.

DreamAtelier wrote:
Also, if your summoner is hitting everyone in the party with haste on the first round of combat every fight, it means that your PCs are always walking around in Fireball Formation (which is to say, a formation in which they can all be struck by a single fireball). Since only the eidolon should possess evasion, this is definitely the spell to be having any enemy casters use.

And battlefield control spells as well. And area effect spells. A little bit of rogue and tumble gets some of your mobs beyond their tanks and into the "soft underbelly". As someone else mentioned, you've got a 5 member party, so feel free to increase the challenge level. Or, if you're using mooks, toss in a level or two for spellcasting — even a grease spell can make a difference. Let alone a daylight, even from a wand, at the right time.

DreamAtelier wrote:
One of your biggest concerns here is going to be forcing the party to expend resources... As always, make sure you aren't letting them get away with a 15 minute work day. At fifth level, your summoner should only have 2 to 4 second level spell slots to cast haste with, which means if you ensure they're running into 3 to 5 (or more) encounters in a day, at least one of those should be fought without haste. If your PCs pull the "we're going to rest cause we're out of haste" move, feel free to have them be attacked while they're rest/sleeping (hint: unless your summoner has invested in a very specific set of feats, he won't have his eidolon when you do this).

To add to expending resources — each haste only lasts 5 rounds. So use hit and run tactics to draw out combat encounters. Etc. How many rounds of inspire courage does the bard get? How many uses of prayer will the cleric have?

You could use a mook to make them buff up, and then draw out the encounter until the effects start wearing off. Are they going to buff up again? If they do, and they try to get out of it with a 10 minute workday, go ahead and hit 'em hard. At the very least, it will push them out of their comfort zone.

Josh M. wrote:
So, a lot of FR fans didn't like what happened in 4e. So, WotC is going back and making a sourcebook and supplemental material that covers the time before the Spellplague, essentially reviving that time those fans liked, and said fans are still upset. Wow.

Actually, I found a whole lot of what came out of the 3E Realms objectionable, too.

But to address your comment: Why on earth would I possibly believe that they're going to do any better job with the 5E Realms than they did with 4E (or 3E, for that matter)?

They're many of the same people, working with the same impulses, working for the same company — they decry high level NPCs, and then write all about them. They deplore RSEs, and then come up with more than ever were before.

I expect nothing good to come from it. I could be pleasantly surprised, but calling in an obscure Chinese video game company to help out doesn't exactly fill me with optimism.

Back in ma day, we had to get to school if the headmaster could make it to his office. And he lived on the grounds. And I carpooled with a kid who lived on a private road. At the end. All two hilly miles of it.

You ain't really lived until you've gone up a half-mile hill sideways.

Now I live in Africa. And man, is that pool calling.

I, too, would love to see what you've accomplished! I'm looking at updating a number of small Side Trek style works, and I'd love to see the approach you took.

capnvan at yahoo dot com


11? 17 in 2 sessions?

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
How I chortle in my joy.

Killer_GM wrote:
In the form of an update, I've had two sessions cancelled due to player problems. We're next scheduled for the 2nd session on Jan 14. I deeply regret the missed sessions.

Good glavin! They can't even get their act together outside the game?

I worry that this group may not be sufficient challenge for you.

TPK? I approve of this start.

I particularly like that rather than attempt a parley with the pretty obviously prepared NPCs, they just waded in blasting. Clever stragety there, Doc.

So bookmarked. And hoping so hard that your players will have the thick-headedness to never give up.

Simple and obvious question: Why would you go Eldritch Knight?

What does it possibly bring you? You lose a level of spell-casting. You get a bonus feat, but that's counteracted by needing to take Militia to qualify for EK (In fact, I don't think Militia is a core feat, so you don't qualify for EK, period, as a straight bard). You get no advancements in bardic abilities.

Core bard is basically a gish-in-a-can, so why toss in EK anyway?

As for any kind of two-weapon fighting: To be any kind of effective, it requires a whole slew of feats that you don't have the time for. Not to mention that shields don't do a whole lotta damage. TWF is generally considered sub-optimal.

Killer_GM wrote:

Jean Claude Van Dumber (Ninja 8)

1. I really like the way you helped out.

2. I think you should be able to insist, because of that helpfulness, that the player actually change the PC's name to Van Dumberer. That, and because of his actions.

CunningMongoose wrote:

Does the very simple writing we find on Kyra's sheet reveal this product to be aimed at a very young crowd (8-12 years old)?

I though it was a simplified version, but still aimed at a slightly more mature one (13+)...

I think you'll find that the Kyra example would be aimed at 13+. My 11 year old niece, who's neither particularly bright, nor particularly dumb, would probably have trouble with some of the vocabulary at this point.

On the other hand, it does need to be accessible to the "not-the-brightest" 13 year old, as well, right?

In short, I don't find it too simplistic. Basic, sure, but then, it's a Basic Set, as it were.

Edit: Let me add, I found it better than the sample chapter I read of the Abyssal Plague, which I thought was really simplistic.

Killer_GM wrote:
Greetings to all. I have been offline for several weeks due to problems between my HOA and internet service provider. I'll work on the post for the game we had the last week of June, and we play again on July 23. ~KGM

I, for one, would greedily read the real life account of running an ISP through Tomb of Horrors.

You know, a reversal of fortunes type thing.

"But it's about the story!"

Turin the Mad wrote:

They'd best hope that rancid crab butter isn't flammable then, eh?

Cap'n Van, would you be so kind as to perform a small-scale real life experiment involving verification of the combustibility of butter? ^_^

Sadly, butter, as anyone who has burned it in a pan will know, doesn't combust. It burns, badly, but... meh as a weapon.

On the other hand... it does take medium heat relatively well, and is sticky. And splattery, like most fats. As in, one PC goes splatting down in, and several other might be in the area of effect of a solid hot fat splatter, with its associated damage and effects on Concentration.

And, of course, we're ignoring the effects of combustibles added to a boiling crab/butter/water mixture: should one add, say, some spirits, perhaps a barrel or two to a pool, the evaporation of alcohol will cause, well, let's just say the entire room, to become a firebreather's dream.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

And, if I may add, the death of a PC due to drowning in a pool of rancid crab butter deserves to be enshrined in the Hall of Ignominious PC Deaths Fame.

Edit: Also Rancid Crab Butter would be a decent name for any metal band.

I have to point out that those are the most ridiculously useless shackles ever.

She looks like she's getting ready for jump-rope.

Killer_GM wrote:
...lastly, I will swap in 'Scorch' the dragon for the giant crab (having boiled the crab in the boiling geyser water, and then dipped him in a giant bowl of butter, and eaten him for good measure), who was the guardian of the trident Wave.

Keep in mind that rancid crab butter can take the place of both a grease and stinking cloud spell for additional battlefield control.

Killer_GM wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:

Assuming they didn't mutiny after 12 character deaths in a single session. :)

Well, the end of the game is certainly at hand, though it is due to personal reasons on my end. Arguably, this might help steer the ship a bit more rapidly into the malestrom, but its of little matter. My family obligations are going to cut the campaign short no matter what. I'm just going out with a bang:)

My thoughts exactly.

If you've got to go out, might as well go out on a high bodycount, err, note, I meant note!

18 in two sessions?!?!

I am so very, very happy now.

Brother Faust the Elder wrote:
CapnVan wrote:
Killer_GM wrote:
I regret the delay in putting this latest entry together. I wish it would be more worthy of your wait, but alas… In Last Saturday’s session of the campaign classics campaign, there were Zero (0) Player character fatalities. It was a depressing day at the game table...

I continue to hope that this was an elaborate April Fool's prank from our favorite campaign.


I can assure you that the lack of fatalities was no prank by the KGM. Maybe by his players on him ...

Well, revenge is a dish best served cold. Two weeks later is ideal.


Killer_GM wrote:
I regret the delay in putting this latest entry together. I wish it would be more worthy of your wait, but alas… In Last Saturday’s session of the campaign classics campaign, there were Zero (0) Player character fatalities. It was a depressing day at the game table...

I continue to hope that this was an elaborate April Fool's prank from our favorite campaign.


Turin the Mad wrote:
I have let him know that his slavering fans are practically doing the "little kid GOTTA GO NOW dance" anticipating the next journal entries.

I'm without a group at the moment, and I have to admit:

I love reading about a DM who channels my favorite memories of D&D. Where the goal was simply to survive.

Not, "How shall my character's life arc play out?" but rather, "What the heck do I have to do to make it through this session?"

It's adventure, doggonit! It's supposed to be dangerous!

Now, KGM: lay the devastation upon us! And we shall mock them!

Turin the Mad wrote:
In preparations for tomorrow: kill zem, kill zem all ! *But one, to tell the tale ...*

Ahh, rot grubs and gas-filled rooms...

This is why we love the classics.

Killer_GM wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
CapnVan wrote:
Is it wrong for me to be longingly hoping that the next session delivers us 2 TPKs in the same session?
Not in my book, CapnVan! ^_^ Although I think the KGM strives to avoid delivering two in the same session for a reason. That reason being to have a game to come back to in two weeks or so.
In 2008, I had 1 TPK and a near second TPK (Turin the Mad was in on the second one as a co-GM) in the same session, and the player reaction to it was pretty negative (those wimps...), but my group survived it.... It takes some clever player management to pull two off in one day. I suspect that at the end of 6th level in the current campaign (when my players face the Slave Lords in combat), that there may be multiple TPKs in one day. Incidentally, speaking of TPK's :D:D:D...

I find the TPK followed by sustained flogging acceptable.

Is it wrong for me to be longingly hoping that the next session delivers us 2 TPKs in the same session?

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:

Most of the bits they blew up were sparsely described, at least in the 3e canon (when I came to FR - I didn't have anything pre-3e) or were fairly ossified places where nothing much was happening, and so I didn't feel that they were really missed...

My main beef, inasmuch as I had one, was the relative lack of detail, especially of newish areas.

Of course, the main complaint about FR at the time was that it was overly detailed.

Killer_GM wrote:
then PC's really should start dropping like flies:)...

We sincerely hope so!

A session with zero PC kills? Sad...

It's worth pointing out that Livingstone wasn't really an explorer. His motivations weren't to "discover" new lands — he was a missionary.

Of course, it's also worth pointing out that he wasn't particularly successful there — he had, apparently, only one convert, and he gave it up after Livingstone died.

Question: If, as the caption to the photo suggests, the corpse wasn't found...

Why are we assuming that Blinky is dead?

Wouldn't it be equally possible that he's escaped his aquatic prison to carry on his nefarious schemes?

Doubt not the mighty will of the living fossil!

I enjoyed Final Resting Place from Dungeon #122. Although it does take place underground, it's definitely a different feel from your typical dungeon crawl experience.

Ahem. I believe the preferred form is:

"I prepared Explosives Runes this morning."

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