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Count Strahd Von Zarvoich

Digitalelf's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 2,605 posts (2,682 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 3 aliases.


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
All I can tell you is it wasn't me. I'm not that perceptive of subtext.

Yeah, sorry... Not sure why I associated you with that post.

Anyway, I found the post that I was talking about.

It was from "Frostflame", who sadly has not posted since 2011.

Here is a snippet of what he said back in 2010:

FrostFlame wrote:
Well to demonstrate how much further rpgs have progressed since the eighties and nineties... ...In addition we have a homosexual darklord in Ravenloft Hazlik. Hazlik was the red wizard with the imprinted female tattoos.

The thread that was from is: Dungeons and Feminism!?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
That pretty much backs my interpretation, I think—homosexuality is present and not too hidden, but always fairly discreet.

A few years back, I think it was you, who said that you thought TSR was discreetly letting fans know that a certain Red Wizard of Thay turned Ravenloft Dark Lord was gay because of what was done to him by his Red Wizard peers.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
My reason for this interpretation is the way it was written up—most powerful characters are male, and there's pretty much no reference to orientation.

In the City of Greyhawk boxed set (for 2e), the description of Kaltek: the Warden of the Citadel Prison's apartment shows he has a fondness for looking his best with plenty of powdered wigs and a lot of perfume (and it goes into great detail about these items). Now bear with me here...

If that were everything it said about Kaltek, then it would not be worth mentioning...

However, it goes on to say: "Kaltek will occasionally have male visitors -- sergeants and other officers... ...for drinks and dinner."

Now this was TSR, circa 1989, so while it could have been perfectly innocent and straight-forward, it could also have been a very discrete way of inferring that the Warden of The Free City's prison was gay or at the very least, bi-sexual...

It wouldn't have been the first time TSR did something like that while being very discreet at the same time.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Fiend Fantastic wrote:

What's a calzone golem?

I can't seem to find it on the net search.

It was in one of the free 3.0/3.5 adventures Wizard's of the Coast had on their web site. I believe it was an adventure for 3rd level characters, though I do not recall the adventure's name.

Grand Lodge

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MMCJawa wrote:
gods do withdraw power from those who don't roughly follow the dictates of their faith.

I can just imagine the player's reaction if a GM EVER said to the player that his cleric PC can't cast spells any more, or was denied any specific spell that the character prayed for... Would go over like the proverbial passing of gas in church...

It's something that as a DM, I would do (provided that the player of a cleric was playing the character rather flippantly towards his deity/religion), but I know that many players on these boards don't think it is the GM's place to take anything away from a player's character, especially standard class abilities.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Transgender goes back long before modern times.

It's been said that the (first ?) female Pharaoh Hatshepsut not only wore the headdress of (male) kingship, but also wore a fake beard, though it is thought that she did this to help her to be accepted as Pharaoh, as that was a position traditionally held by men.

Though I've also heard it said that she typically went topless as well...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't know if I'd call it THE oddest, but it is certainly up there...

In the Deck of Encounters for 2nd edition, there is an "encounter" with the PCs entering a town where all of the inhabitants are at some kind of rally, and a young child approaches them and asks if they bought a raffle ticket yet, because the prize is really good...

Assuming that they do, the mayor then asks the crowd to look at their tickets and see if it has a black dot upon it.

Spoiler:
Of course one of the PC's tickets does, so the PC is asked to come up on stage, where the crowd then proceeds to throw rocks at the character.

There is extra XP given if the PCs do not kill any of the townsfolk...

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
I've thought about using Frank N. Furter as a NPC and possible bad guy.

Madness... Takes it's toll.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:
That's not the relevant factor here.

It is the player who determines a PCs actions in life, and those actions have an in-game effect/consequence on where that character's soul goes in the afterlife, and that IS a conscience choice made by the character through the player. It is different for an NPC as the GM just determines things however he wants/needs, but the player's character is a living entity within the game world, and the player's actions are how the character effects and interacts within the game world around him.

If the player decides to have his character be an evil bastard, how would Pharasma judge him? Where would his soul go? His actions in life are his choices in the afterlife for good or ill.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:
Ultimately Pharasma decides. The choice is never in their hands.

Does Pharasma send souls to an afterlife not appropriate to their alignment?

Are you in fact saying Pharasma does not judge souls properly, and just willy-nilly sends them where-ever; regardless of what alignment they were in life?

If so, then I could agree with you, but since Pharasma only sends souls to the appropriate afterlife, unless compelled to do otherwise for very specific reasons, I have to disagree...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Norv wrote:
...I mean, your soul (if it makes it to Pharasma) is sent to the plane that most matches your alignment, so...

Exactly...

Pherasma does not just for S&G's "switch things up" every now and then and send a soul who was Chaotic Evil in life to "heaven" or a soul who was Lawful Good to "hell"; those souls are sent to their appropriate afterlives...

And if within the game, your characters have an actual choice of what alignment you want them to be, then YES, the character (or rather the player) does have a choice as to where the character's soul ends up.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
137ben wrote:
I'm going to guess that this rerelease mans WotC is not planning on reprinting the 1e core rules in the immediate future

These PDFs are from the re-prints of the original 1st edition books that Wizards of the Coast released (in physical dead-tree form) in 2012...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Simon Legrande wrote:
if a human is running the game then every adversary is going to be human.

Don't you think that you're perhaps, just perhaps, over thinking this a little? I mean, I am pretty sure every one of us on these boards knows that we are discussing make-believe, and that monsters don't really exist anywhere but in our collective imaginations.

Perhaps I may be the one over thinking this, but I just fail to see the logic in pointing that out to us.

YMMV...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:
If they don't have stats? Yes.

So by that "logic", Farmer Joe the 1st level Commoner, can kill a god too, because, well, they have no stats and Farmer Joe does...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:
Things without Stats are powerless before things that are statted

So the gods themselves are utterly powerless?? They can do nothing against the might that is Arkalion??

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Cevah wrote:
The Book of Exalted Deeds and Book Of Vile Darkness are from the list of magic items/artifacts from 1st ed.

The difference, is that the Van Richten's Guides, Ravenloft Gazetteers, and Volo's Guides, read like they were written from someone living in those settings. The 3rd edition Book of Exalted Deeds and Book of Vile Darkness read like the 3rd edition rulebooks that they were...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Then there's: THIS

The individual PDFs on this site can be printed out at whatever size you need/want.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TheAlicornSage wrote:
Ark is evil for taking those things away, regardless of how nonviolent his methods.

Indeed, while the actions a person takes can be neutral by themselves, the intent and motivation behind those actions is what makes those actions good or evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Awesome point Digital Elf

Thank you. :$

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Humans make the best antagonists, because their motivations are varied, hard to predict, but possible to empathize with once discovered.

I agree. Some of my favorite Ravenloft Darklords were human.

I know this isn't a conversation about Gothic Horror, but on a related note, being able to empathize with the antagonist is what makes classic gothic horror, truly "horrific"; we're able to see the humanity within them and perhaps even recognize ourselves in the face of the "monster", or at the very least, what we could be capable of doing if we were in their place...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Both the 3rd edition and 2nd edition "Van Richten's Guides", as well as the 3rd edition "Ravenloft Gazetteers" were supposed to be actual in-game books that the character could come across in their adventures. There were other such books for other settings as well (such as the various "Volo's Guides" in the Forgotten Realms", but the Ravenloft books were the first to come to mind.

So, the precedent is there for in-game books such as bestiaries to exist...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The answer really depends upon what game, or at the very least, what edition one is playing, and what hit points are supposed to represent within that system.

For example, in original D&D through 2nd edition AD&D, a 10th level character wasn't all that different from a 1st level character, except in terms of his skill level within his chosen class(s). Sure he is a bit tougher, and more resilient, but the disparity between his class abilities and hit points were not as extreme between 1st and 10th level as we see in 3rd edition, 4th edition, and Pathfinder...

Heck, going by the RAW, in 1st edition AD&D, having enough XP did not automatically mean that your character went up in level, he had to first find training, and how long training took was based upon how well the DM thought you as the player, portrayed your character.

Grand Lodge

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As had been said already, the 20d6 cap has been in place for several editions of D&D, and in 2nd edition AD&D (which also had the 20d6 cap), the developers went into some detail about falling damage.

While the conversation IS about falling damage in Pathfinder, I think looking back at past editions might shed some light on perhaps why the developers of 3rd edition retained the rule, and why the developers of PF decided to retain the rule as well.

Here is what the developers of 2nd edition had to say:

The 2nd Edition DMG wrote:

Player characters have a marvelous (and, to the DM, vastly amusing) tendency to fall off things, generally from great heights and almost always onto hard surfaces. While the falling is harmless, the abrupt stop at the end tends to cause damage.

When a character falls, he suffers 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6, which for game purposes can be considered terminal velocity. This method is simple and it provides all the realism necessary in the game. It is not a scientific calculation of the rate of acceleration, exact terminal velocity, mass, impact energy, etc., of the falling body.

The fact of the matter is that physical laws can describe the exact motion of a body as it falls through space, but relatively little is known about the effects of impact. The distance fallen is not the only determining factor in how badly a person is hurt. Other factors might include elasticity of the falling body and the ground, angle of impact, shock waves through the falling body, dumb luck, and more.

People have actually fallen from great heights and survived, albeit very rarely. The current record-holder, Vesna Vulovic, survived a fall from a height of 33,330 feet in 1972, although she was severely injured. Flight-Sergeant Nicholas S. Alkemade actually fell 18,000 feet--almost 3.5 miles--without a parachute and landed uninjured!

The point of all this is roll the dice, as described above, and don't worry too much about science.

It is true that things like HP totals were lower in 2nd edition, but the point I wanted everyone to see by posting this, was that yeah, it's unrealistic to fall 5000 feet and have a good chance at surviving, but the developers knowing that, just said "have fun, and roll the dice anyway"...

Oh, and for the record, regardless of what the rules state; I'm in the "IF your character falls from orbit, your character is just plain dead." camp. So while I can see why the developers (of 2nd edition) rationalized using the rule, I prefer to run a more realistic game. :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Going back as far as 1st edition AD&D, there have been "non-standard" spell books (mostly written for the Forgotten Realms setting), appearing at first in the pages of Dragon Magazine, and then into various (FR) sourcebooks... Even the 2nd edition DMG listed a few "alternate" materials to make a "non-standard" spell book.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As a DM/GM, I love to have the players "think outside of the box", and I would have no problem using something like a monster that is tied to a specific weapon, and, like your example, have the monster be weakened by breaking it.

HOWEVER...

I would NEVER rely on knowledge of that fact be with the player having seen a movie, read a book, or whatever. I would drop clues into the game that hint or make mention of the monster having a vulnerability, and how to exploit that vulnerability; so then, if the characters decide to fight such a monster without having done any information gathering on it, then having a tougher fight is on them.

The being said, I would not just place such a monster or foe in an adventure randomly or on the fly. The hints or rumors I mentioned would be spread about the game-world before the characters ever even think about going to the place where such a foe makes his lair.

I play my monsters and foes of the party intelligently (well, as intelligent as their INT score anyway), but sometimes, I do "dumb-down" a foe, just to keep things interesting.

As for giving out magical items, well, I tend to run relatively low magic games. So I don't start handing out magical equipment until the characters are at least 4th level (e.g. +1 weapons and/or armor, single use low-powered items, and the like), though sometimes I will do so as early as 3rd level. And even though I run 2nd Edition AD&D now, I did this back when I ran Pathfinder and 3rd Edition as well.

Grand Lodge

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Kthulhu wrote:
drinking the milk

That was #13 on the list. :-)

Grand Lodge

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Haladir wrote:
@Digitalelf: Your campaign does have a theme: "Anything goes."

I suppose that is technically true; though I've never used those exact words to describe my campaigns.

As for character-making, since I use 2nd edition AD&D, it is much easier to make a generalist character, though I have had players make more "specialized" characters, and those characters still "had a decent shot" (of survival and participation) in my campaigns – though to be fair, 2nd edition does not allow players the ability to customize their characters anywhere near the level in which Pathfinder (or 3rd edition) allows for.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I never run "thematic campaigns", I can never say that "this campaign will be one of high seas adventure" or "dungeon exploration". The campaign may start in the city of Greyhawk, but it's just as likely to wind up in the Ruins of Undermountin, or the elemental plane of fire than it is to stay confined within the walls of greyhawk...

And not all of this jumping around is player-driven, and it is never something that I tell or forewarn them about; things like that fog that rolled in from the sea last night... Wasn't normal fog...

Now the campaign has moved to the demi-plane of Ravenloft.

But the one thing that the players are all aware of is the fact that something unknown like that may happen during the course of the campaign.

I do however listen to what the players talk about in-game to see what they want to do and where they'd like to go.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
94. Dude was banging his best friend, his girlfriend put it all together by his in game actions, and hit in the head with a cast iron skillet, cops were called, whole fiasco broke up the group.

Doing my best to sound like David Bowie...

- When the kids had killed the man, I had to break up the band...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Psionics = Magic is the default though, and is the method I was addressing.

Yeah, psionics being different than magic is a "default" holdover from 2nd edition that I had kept back when I played 3rd edition, and then Pathfinder...

Grand Lodge

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
On the surface Psionics is just magic. An NPC could be a Sorcerer or a Psion and without comparing the spell lists it would be almost impossible to tell between [unless the GM was announcing his moves out loud and declaring the use of power points or metapsionic feats or whatnot.]

Since in my games psionic abilities are not magic, when I played 3rd edition and Pathfinder, I gave spell-casting classes a (secret) "Spellcraft" check, and non-spell casters a (once again, secret) "Perception" check to notice if there was anything "unusual" about the way the psion/psionicist was "casting" his "spells".

Now that I play 2nd edition once again, I do something very similar, only now I’m using the proficiency system.

Grand Lodge

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I use psionics in my campaigns, and have no qualms about mixing sci-fi with fantasy, as I never viewed psionics as belonging solely to any one category (which are very nebulous to begin with).

I take the rather unpopular stance that psionis are not magic. I run 2nd edition AD&D, and the introduction of "The Complete Psionics Handbook" says (very loosely paraphrased) that magic is an external force, that casting spells is the shaping of that external force, while psionics on the other hand is a completely internal force, and using psionic abilities shape that internal force and then "throws" that power outward from within the user.

Later the book has this to say about the effects of magic on psionics and vice-versa:

The Complete Psionics Handbook wrote:

The essences of magic and psionics are wholly different. A wizard or cleric who can detect magic will never detect psionics. Nor will a psionicist who scans for psionic activity ever detect spell-casting. This holds true even if the effect of a particular magical and psionic skill is identical, or nearly identical. For example, a wizard can use hold portal to hold a door shut. In his own way, using psychokinesis, so can a psionicist. If a psionicist is holding a door shut, and a wizard casts detect magic on the door, the wizard will find nothing unusual about it. If the wizard casts dispel magic, the door will not open. No magical forces are at work on the door.

Exceptions do exist, but they're fairly easy to determine. For example, a wizard who casts a detect invisibility spell will see a character using psionic invisibility because the spell description states specifically that the spell does not discriminate between types of invisibility.

From what I have read here on this message-board, a lot of posters, even those that use psionics, do not agree with that, and therefore let magic effect psionics and vice versa.

I happen to like keeping the two independent of one another in that regard.

Grand Lodge

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13. Drinking the host's milk. ;-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was wondering if anyone that purchased these brand new (unopened), knew the exact number of cards each set contained.

I recently bought these 2 sets used, and the boxes only says that they contains "Over 400 encounters" (each)... Hardly an exact number.

I am curious, as I would like to know if I managed to buy complete sets...

Thank you all in advance,

-That One Digitalelf Fellow-

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DSXMachina wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the older versions of D&D the 'weight' in pounds of items was actually a weight/volume.

The D&D Rules Cyclopedia says: "All coins are about equal in size and weight. Each coin weighs about 1/1O of a pound."

The 1st edition AD&D Player's Handbook says: "It is assumed that the size and weight of each coin is relatively equal to each other coin, regardless of type."

Later the 1st edition Player's Handbook states: "Weight is usually stated in gold pieces, 10 gold pieces equaling 1# (pound)."

And the 2nd edition DMG says: "Coins (regardless of metal) normally weigh in at 50 to the pound."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Queen Moragan wrote:

This sounds like something like...

How many coins in a coffer?

Dragon Magazine, Issue #80 - December of 1983.

Wow, I'm just old...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've been a GM since I was introduced to D&D, nearly 34 years ago. For me, I prefer to GM, as it caters to my creative side more than playing a PC does, and I like that. When I am behind the GM screen, I can assume the role of anyone within the game world that the player characters interact with, from the guy behind the bar to the horrible monsters and other foes the Player Character's must face; which to me, is far more exciting that playing just one single PC at a time. Being a GM also lets me create the world around the player characters, it lets me draw the maps to the locales that they will explore, etc.

So yeah, it lets me be creative in ways that playing one single character at a time just cannot accomplish.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Orfamay Quest wrote:
a wizard, for example, to dump strength is not really a handicap.

The problem comes if the GM, like I did back when I played PF, uses the encumbrance rules...

That 7 in STR is all nice and good until you realize that your character can't carry anything over 23 lbs. without suffering penalties for movement and a limit to the character's maximum DEX bonus.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jacob Saltband wrote:
I have played with alot of people over the years, maybe it was just 'luck' that I came across so many who play very similiar to the other people I played with before.

I too have had many years of gaming with many players from across several different states (here in the US) that have all pretty much shared my personal tastes in gaming, but all of that, is my own personal experience, and no matter how many games we've all played or the number of players that we've met whom share similar gaming experiences and expectations, it's ALL anecdotal, every last bit of it...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I had to have some emergency cash a few months ago and sold a bunch of 2e stuff (I kept the core stuff). I hated hated hated to part with it, but times were tough.

Well, I hope you at least got a decent price out of them, and that the financial woes that forced you to sell them in the first place are well behind you now :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Man, we had some good times.

Oh yeah, same here! LOL... I even pulled several more of those old notes (in addition to that one on fighting styles) in order to make use of them once again as well in my current 2e campaign.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Any good? All you remember and more?

Yeah, it is pretty much as I remembered. As for the quality, it was one of the better "user" files uploaded to TSR Online back in the day; wish it had the author's name on it somewhere so I could give credit where credit was due... Oh well.

But man, going through 18 year old (and in some cases, much older) campaign notes and print-outs sure brought back a lot of memories.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I found what I was looking for! And it wasn't in Dragon Magazine after all.

It was an RTF file I downloaded and printed out 18 odd years ago from TSR Online (back when TSR's major online presence was accessed through AOL).

So now, not only do I feel a tad silly for remembering it as an article in Dragon Magazine, I feel quite old...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, that was the first place I checked, to no avail. :-(

Thank you though...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There was an old issue of Dragon Magazine during the 2nd edition era that contained an article on various fighting styles and the schools associated with them.

I am familiar with the article in issue #232 ("En Garde: Secret weapon passes for the Savage Coast online campaign"), but that is not the article I am looking for.

In the article that I am looking for, one of the fighting schools is called "The Edge"; unfortunately, other than the name of that one school, I do not recall anything else about the article.

Does anyone here know of the article and what issue of Dragon Magazine it can be found in?

I thank you in advance. :-)

Grand Lodge

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thejeff wrote:
On the other hand:
CRB pg 403 wrote:
Rolling Dice: Some GMs prefer to roll all of their dice in front of the players, letting the results fall where they may. Others prefer to make all rolls behind a screen, hiding the results from the PC so that, if they need to, they can fudge the dice results to make the game do what they want. Neitehr way is the "correct" way; choose whichever you wish, or even mix and match as feels right for you.

There's also this from page 402 of the CRB:

CRB page 402 wrote:
Cheating and Fudging: We all know that cheating is bad. But sometimes, as a GM, you might find yourself in a situation where cheating might improve the game. We prefer to call this “fudging” rather than cheating, and while you should try to avoid it when you can, you are the law in your world, and you shouldn’t feel bound by the dice.

Grand Lodge

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Thanael wrote:
Google Dyson Logos

Wow!

I can only dream of having that kind of talent (or patience for that matter)...

Grand Lodge

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Jacob Saltband wrote:

"....will reward role-play and creativity...."

"We sometimes go entire sessions with out rolling dice."

I give out XP for good RP, and many of my sessions do play out entirely without any dice being rolled.

That being said, I don't require my players to physically act anything out. I do however, encourage the players to speak as if they were their characters (e.g. saying to me, "I go through the door", instead of "my character goes through the door"), but nothing more than that is required to gain any extra XP for RP (and speaking in character, again while encouraged, is not necessary to receive any XP for "good" RP within my games).

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MMCJawa wrote:
I don't think most of the modules and APs would adapt well. As RPG materials, the most important elements of the story (The characters) are intentionally left a blank slate.

it's been done before. HERE is just a recent example of putting a story behind a module/series of modules.

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Irontruth wrote:
You can respond with more righteous indignation, but it'll be pointless, because you'll be tilting at windmills that you built, not my windmills.

Wow, such hostility from the get-go... Especially if you believe it is from what amounts to a simple misinterpreting of your post; there is just no need of it.

For the record, I take you saying that if you provide a high adventure game, and then later ask for saves for monoxide poisoning (which I take to be seemingly out of the blue), then that is a bait and switch. I am simply wondering why? I hardly see the need for such hostility for a question that might stem from a simple misunderstanding...

My last post may have been a tad on the snarky side, but I don't feel that either of them were of an accusatory nature, but if you read them as such, then I apologize, as that was not my intent.

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