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Austrailan Diver

Cleanthes's page

618 posts. Alias of Scott LaBarge (RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32).


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RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

I'm trying to keep a sock stuffed in my mouth (harder than I expected), but I hope I can at least say that I'm really enjoying this round, and am learning a lot -- and not just from my own map's feedback. This whole contest is just such a boon to the gaming community in general, and everyone who dreams of designing fantasy RPG's in particular. Like a free, public master class in game design for the world. I know Paizo benefits from this, but it's also an act of great generosity.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Thanks, I assume, to hordes of eager voters, I couldn't even get the Paizo page to download till 3:00, and have had to spend almost all my time on work and family stuff since. And probably for most of the rest of the night. Killing me!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Ah, yes, but by then we'll have all sorts of new material to obsess about! :-)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I woke up this morning thinking, "I need Feros' countdown." And here it is! Thanks, man. Sometimes you just need external confirmation that time is actually passing.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Ah, that's it!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Monica Marlowe wrote:
You spent perhaps a hundred hours or more in a place, it becomes like a home, like reading a book.

Yeah, I know what you mean. And I have to say, that AP had one of the best non-combat-centered stretches I've ever seen in published adventures, namely the Flood Festival. I added in lots of events of my own design and used it to build in all sorts of material centered on each character's personal plot line. And we must have spent 4 long sessions just on the Demonskar Ball, as lovingly expanded by Delvesdeep on these very boards. My players weren't earning any xp to speak of for those sessions, but they were having so much fun they didn't care. And that whole festival grew out of the geography of the city too!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Eric Morton wrote:
Scott LaBarge wrote:
So are there minions around to give back-rubs in this guildhall joint or what? (Filigree not required.)

The Guildhall is fully staffed by the Staff of the Top 32 Guildhall, which can tend to all your chiropractic needs. Observe!

*pokes Scott LaBarge with a stick*

Lower.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It really is funny that we could get so attached to that city even though you just new what was going to happen to it, isn't it? I remember that in Ch. 2 one of the examples of goblin graffiti that the PC's could find around the city said something like, "Who builds a city in a volcano? Stupid humans."

A map-related story: When I ran that campaign, one of my players ran a cleric of an obscure Greyhawk deity named Mayahene. (It was all about getting a bastard sword as a deity's favored weapon, sigh.) Anyway, Mayahene tasked him to open a temple for her and grow her worship in Cauldron. During one session he wandered around the city looking for a property to purchase for that purpose; I had several buildings picked out in different districts, with individual costs, backstory, and everything. But I knew which one he would go for, and I specifically chose it because of its location on the back, post-destruction side of the map. When the disaster finally struck, and the party was trying to rescue people in that district, I had Mayahene do a direct intervention to rescue the area immediately around the cleric's new temple -- which just so happened to be in the southeastern quadrant of the city where a part of the city stayed intact with collapsed parts on either side of it. Totally blew the players' minds that they had "chosen" a building that ended up intact on the second map. It's a testament to the brilliance of the Cauldron maps that they inspired that bit of DM legerdemain on my part.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

I've got to admit, this wait is driving me bats. I'm usually a pretty steady character, but I'm all keyed up like I haven't been since I don't know when. Just can't wait to know what I'm up against!

So are there minions around to give back-rubs in this guildhall joint or what? (Filigree not required.)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Of course, the instinct is to say "Omigod that means there's 31 awesome maps, and then there's mine....o.O"
Even more eager to see the spread now. Tuesday 2:00 can't come too soon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I know I'm very free with my wishlist, but fwiw, I think you and your company do a stand-up job choosing your range of minis for each set. There certainly are always some I wish you'd get around to sooner, but your picks (almost) always make sense to me. You're certainly doing a better job than the managers of the old DDM line did, especially toward the end of the run (though Lords of Madness was a nice surprise, for me, anyway. Too soon to tell where the new ones are concerned.) I feel like we're in very good hands with you and Paizo -- true gamer's hands, at that.
Now bring us a Shocker Lizard and Froghemoth =7

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Right, got it. RPG Superstar Fight Club it is.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

I thought we got a copy of the setting guide, but I've never heard anything about it. I've got a hardback copy on my shelf, so it was no big deal, but I'm surprised I never heard about it from Paizo. No big deal, though.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Ok, thanks for the quick feedback, and I'm glad I asked!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

And a question about Round 2: Once our maps are up and public, are we allowed to talk about them, explain what we were thinking, etc.? Or is it like Round 1 and we have to maintain radio silence about our own item? I would think that since everyone knows whose is whose, there shouldn't be any problem in speaking up (judiciously), right?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just saw this, and thought that the folks here might be interested: Fat Dragon Games (the 3D papercraft terrain company) is giving away its new Baba Yaga's Hut pdf for a limited time. Check it out here.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

So is it Tuesday yet? Got to see these interesting maps....

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Chris Shaeffer wrote:
Just know Nikko that, someday, I will find you.

Depends on the map you use, no?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Now that could make for a fun wondrous item or rod: Be able to use command words on other people's magic items. Potentially so eeeeevil.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Andrew, man, I wish you could play in my game too. If you're ever in Santa Clara, drop me a line.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

You're probably thinking of Jzadirune in the 1st module, which really was massive, and the Kopru ruins in the 3rd adventure. The bugbear/goblin caves in the 2nd adventure were pretty extensive too. But the Kuo-Toa fortress was actually pretty reasonable, with just 3 fairly confined levels.

I had to cut that campaign short in order to draw to a close before my players all graduated and left town, so we never got past the Fiery Sanctum (which I did in 2D only :-( And I'm kind of glad I never tried Shatterhorn; that was another big, big dungeon. But I would have liked to try my hand at building the final tower in the last chapter (can't remember its name offhand.) I've also contemplated trying to build Ravenloft in 3D, since that is indeed such a beautiful map, but I've never found the time or willpower, and my wife would want to kill me to boot o.O

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

And you know, there are a couple of great things about having 3D builds of stuff: for one thing, players will try more crazy maneuvers and do more creative movement when they have a visual sense of how everything is related to each other in space. But also, stuff that you have to decide more or less by fiat when you're adjudicating 3D mechanics on a 2D grid can be resolved decisively on a build like this. At one point when I ran an encounter in that space, a kuo-toa whip unleashed a lightning bolt at a player who was near to him, and I then said, "Oh, and look, these two other PC's a floor below are also in the path of the lightning bolt; make Reflex saves!" The players protested that no, they weren't positioned all in a line. So we took out a string, ran it between the relevant two points, and voila! Two more Reflex saves were made. Very satisfying.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Andrew Black wrote:
Scott LaBarge wrote:
I loved the shrine to Blibdoolpoolp in the Kuo-Toa fortress in Shackled City. I made a 3D version of that to play in, and it was one of the most interesting and challenging spaces to run an encounter (series of encounters, really) that I've ever used. Here's a link to it if you want to see a giant statue to Blibdoolpoolp in all her glory!
That is absolutely AMAZING. How long did it take to make the temple and the giant statue?

Me, or the kuo-toa? ;-)

Just kidding. Actually, it's a few years back now, so I don't remember clearly. I think that the statue took me about two days, though there was a lot of waiting in between steps. You can see the stages in the earlier pages of that thread; it really wasn't all that hard to do. (And my daughter still gives me grief about the horrible fate of that Barbie doll -- and no, it wasn't one of hers!)

The build itself -- by which I mean all the architectural elements -- probably took me three or four days of pretty steady work. But if you really want to see a build that took a lot of work, that would be the Lucky Monkey Inn, also a favorite map from Paizo's Shackled City campaign. That's the most ambitious terrain project I've ever completed, and you can see it here. Though you'll have to read a few pages further into the thread to see it completed, with the 2nd story and roofs added. I need to find more excuses to bring that build out and play with it.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

And another Paizo map that I had a great time with, and had tons of fun turning 3D: The Stag Lord's Fort at the end of the 1st Chapter of Kingmaker.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

I loved the shrine to Blibdoolpoolp in the Kuo-Toa fortress in Shackled City. I made a 3D version of that to play in, and it was one of the most interesting and challenging spaces to run an encounter (series of encounters, really) that I've ever used. Here's a link to it if you want to see a giant statue to Blibdoolpoolp in all her glory!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Yeah, I've killed characters before without really meaning to/wanting to, just because the dice had their own ideas. Makes for memorable stories, though, like this one!


Halflings and gnomes have done relatively well with gender mix also, though still not 50/50.
I often get asked by customers what prepainted minis I have available to cover this or that gender/race/class/weaponry mix, and I don't feel too bad when they ask for something with very unusual weaponry and I can't help them, but I do feel bad when I can't accommodate them just because the gender isn't well represented.
Paizo, want to make a lot of players happy? More druids, and especially more female druids. I'm constantly telling people I can't give them the female druids they want. (And yes, I know about the Human Druid from H&M. I can't keep her in stock.)


Leo_Negri wrote:
All told, there are, I believe 3 female giants (Storm, Stone, and now Frost) currently in the Pathfinder battles line, 2 female trolls (The Matron and an Ice Trollop), at least 1 female gnoll, 2 female goblins. All in all Paizo is doing a wonderful job of upping the gender diversity in PPM.

Isn't The Matron a sahuagin? And we can also include the Brinebrood Queen.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Mark Seifter wrote:
Alanya wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
at the end of the day, it's a quarterstaff, which isn't the deadliest weapon around

I seem to remember a particularly deadly quarterstaff...

Congratulations on making the top 32!

That was a deadly d20, not a deadly quarterstaff!

Sounds like Storytime to me. What's the story?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

This one never came across my screen during voting, but I do love the visual of the armor flowing on and off the wearer. Like Mark, my first thought was, how does the armor know whom to listen to? And my answer would have been to state that the armor must be donned and worn normally for an hour for it to bond with its wearer. (Or I suppose it could be something more graphic: sneeze into it? Something involving bodily fluids....)


So. Much. Win!

Love all 3, but especially the giant and the sarcophagus. I really, really like how butch the frost giant is, and all the details on her armor. Honestly, it looks like a figure I'd like to get unpainted and do up myself.

And the sarcophagus! I really, really hope the paint job on the lid is up to the task. That will be a must have for anyone doing an Egyptian-themed adventure, and it's a nice touch to give us a mummy whose face is unwrapped!

Really strong picks. Enjoy Maui!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's funny how images and ideas from other sources can creep into your thinking. For instance, I didn't make the connection at the time, but I think that my stiletto may have had a bit of the knife-and-forcefield fighting from Dune lurking somewhere behind it.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

I really liked this item too; I find haunts very threatening, even with divine casters and channelers, around and if I were playing a divine character I'd be very tempted by this item. And both "Psychopomp" and "Crosier" are really flavorful and evocative words too, which make for a great title (even if I'd have to explain it to most of my fellow players.)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I've been enjoying the generally high level of positivity too. Go us! May we all collectively win the classiness race regardless of who moves forward round to round.

Also, however well my map does or doesn't do, can I just say how exciting it is for me to have Rob Lazzaretti be a judge for my map? I've loved his stuff since the Planescape days; those were some amazing visuals he gave us for some of my favorite fantasy places. Props to Liz, too; I don't know your work as well, but what I've seen is really beautiful! Win or lose, it's just a thrill to have the attention of these people, however briefly.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Chris Lambertz wrote:
I just need food to live D:

You see, that's where actual robot-hood would be an advantage.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Jacob Kellogg wrote:
Given that most of us probably don't have access to super-duper, professional-publisher-grade imaging technology, I'd be surprised if anyone managed a perfectly 8.5x11 image. :)
You can just count the pixels.

What he said. Really not that hard. I was able to get it sized right in Irfanview, which is hardly super-duper. (No digs at Irfanview intended: great program!)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Jeff Hazuka wrote:


Serious question: For those that got confirmation emails, how long did you need to wait?

It was a few hours for me. But I think Russ is right: I think Chris is sending out acknowledgement emails in batches when there's time. Also, I think they post something on the Superstar front page acknowledging the submission, just like in Round 1. I think that showed up sooner than the email, for me anyway.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

A lot of the item's criticism has focused on its description, and for the record, I agree I was lacking in that area. Looking back at it, I could have used more vibrant language, and I really don't *describe* the item in any substantial way at all. I'll try to do better in this area next time I design an item.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

dana huber wrote:

Anyway, this weapon turns a battle-dividing wall of force quickly from "massive impediment for the PCs" right over to "sweet, the bad guys just gave us this amazing fortress to hide behind; let me poke a hole in it, then archer-or-caster, you come nuke the hell out of them while the rest of us remain largely safe..." ...and I'm torn about that, basically.

On the one hand, it rewards a character for carrying 'just the right item' to deal with a certain problem, and I do like that. On the other hand, it turns a 'normal' fight into a weird, bottlenecked version of rocket tag, where casters and ranged can each fire through this tiny gap at each other, but the melee-people are going to stand around not doing a heck of a lot. IDK. I guess it's not so much that it's too powerful, it just creates an unusual situation where many of the combatants might stand around with little to contribute. And I'm ambivalent about that.

That's interesting feedback, and I appreciate it. And I'm not trying to change minds here so much as work through the problem. But I guess I'd put it this way: imagine you've got 2 casters, a tank, and a ranged weapons type who carries the stiletto. There's 2 ways a wall of force enters the picture: (1) An enemy uses it to do something like shut out some or all of the party. (2) The party generates a wall of force for purposes of its own. Let's imagine it's the first scenario, and the enemy caster walled off the tank and the archer so he could focus on the squishy casters. In that case, it's not a choice between a full range of activity for the walled-off people or a limited range of activity through a small hole in the wall, it's a choice between a limited range of activity or effectively no activity (unless they have some other way around the wall.) In this case, the tank might find the situation confining, but provided he has some sort of ranged option (or can borrow one from the archer), he can make at least some kind of contribution, and he's better off than he was behind a hole-less wall. And of course the archer is perhaps better off than he was without the wall.

Ok, second scenario: The party creates the wall themselves. In this case, presumably they would act strategically to place each party member on the side of the wall that would best enable their contribution to the attack. In this case, everybody's got their full range of options available, and the party members who can benefit from it get some nice added defense. I can understand why someone might think the tacitical advantage this bestows can perhaps be *too* good, but I think there are any number of spells and magic items in the game of which that complaint can be made situationally, and in any case it's an advantage which the party can only enjoy once a day, given the constraints on the item.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

I cheddar at the thought.

And anyone who saw only this page of the thread would never know that the thread was supposed to be, you know, helpful and stuff o.O

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Jaragil wrote:

Congratulations on making it to the Top 32!

A mid-level item for me. I upvoted it a lot, but wasn't really a huge fan. I think that the main ability of it to ignore force bonuses is a nice one, if a bit uninspired, but the idea of a dagger that can cut through anything is a nice one, hoped you would have explored the idea a bit more.

And I also kind of wish you would have discarded the hole cutting effect altogether, because it doesn't feel that exciting, and there's really no reason why it cannot cut more, if it can already bypass force effects in the shape of armor and the like. Though I can understand that if that was your starting idea, you'd be loathe to give it up. Kill your darlings, as the writing rule goes.

Nevertheless, the idea has potential and is deserving of advancement. The best of luck!

A big part of the reason I limited it to one cut on a wall of force a day is pricing; I think of cutting a small hole in a wall of force as disintegrate-lite, but even so that's a 6th level spell, and anything at that level is pricey. As it is, by making it a once-a-day ability and cutting the price for a disintegrate effect in half because of its limitations, I was able to keep it in a price range that mid-level adventurers could afford. (I know it's pretty rare that my own characters get loot worth more than that.)

As for the hole-cutting ability itself, to each their own, but personally I've had a lot of fun thinking up uses for it. A wall of force with a hole in it has a whole range of uses that a flawless wall of force does not, and as I said earlier, I like to fuel player creativity. If it only ignored mage armor, I agree, that's cool but kind of boring. A hole in a force wall, though, is an opportunity to strategize and invent.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Unless he's of a Gouda alignment.

How long do you think before the Monty Python Cheese Shop references start?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Monica Marlowe wrote:
Go big or go home!

Personally, I hope to go big AND go home. I like home. It's all, you know, homey.


Sounds like a great campaign to be an enchanter in! Come to me, giants, bring me your low will saves! Mwahahaha.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The die is cast, and for better or worse, I didn't take 10. My submission is in. Good luck everyone, and I can't wait to see everyone's entries! I'm even ok with 15 of them being better than mine.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

That's philosophers for you: always looking for another perspective :-)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

I think I'm settling on portrait anyway, but it's nice to know what the possibilities are regardless. Thanks for the response, Adam!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

The issue isn't where north goes, it's the shape of the map. I think I can make it work in portrait format, but landscape might be better. Just checking, and would still appreciate an official piece of guidance. :-)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

When the rules say the image has to be 8.5x11, does that rule out landscape? Or can you ask the reader to turn the book sideways?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32 , Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Yeah, I just finished a draft too, although I really fear I'm biting off more than I can chew. But copious hours spent converting 2D maps into 3D papercraft actually seems to be helping out quite a bit! Who knew.

And Jeff, I certainly had a different emotion collecting a new set of papers to grade this morning than usual, all thanks to Superstar :p

So who's going to tell their students about all this insanity?

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