Here's the rule (from the Hypertext d20 SRD):
"To determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC)."
And you can pick any square of a multi-square creature when determining cover.
Now, I read "square" to mean "cube" in a three-dimensional situation. This is largely because you have to trace to the back corners of the square when considering the more common 2D situation--I think the most reasonable way to read that is that you have to be able to trace to all 8 corners of a 5' cube.
So, using your picture and that interpretation, #1 could shoot at the large character without worrying about cover, but there is no corner of #1 that can trace to every corner of the medium creature without intersecting some part of #4, so the medium creature gets cover.
I'd avoid CMON, but not because their criticism is harsh. The problem I have is that their ratings are random, depending too much on the miniature chosen and the reputation of the painter and not enough on the quality of the painting.
Regarding the figures:
1. It looks as though you didn't prime the figure before painting. (Note that paint isn't primer; you need to use a real primer.) Primer color is a style issue; black, white, and grey are all commonly used. Tamiya Fine-surface primer is probably the most common among the better painters, but it's expensive. I normally use Krylon Sandable primers, which are both cheaper and easier to find.
2. You need to thin your paint down before painting with it. The result will be smoother, more even coverage with fewer brushmarks.
3. You need higher highlights and deeper shadows. (Get used to this comment; you'll probably hear it forever. Nearly everybody does. 8-)
4. You should darkline your color transitions. This can be done before or after painting the adjacent colors. I find that darklining works better when I do it before painting the adjoining colors because this allows me to get narrower lines, but both can work.
5. If you haven't done it, I recommend that you get a good brush. Specifically, I'd recommend a Kolinsky sable brush from Winsor & Newton, Da Vinci, or Raphaël. (FWIW, I've had good prices and excellent service from Dick Blick.) There's not much reason to go smaller than a #000 (3/0) brush; I use a #2 brush for nearly everything. This is advice that is commonly rejected (I rejected it for years), but once you've tried painting with a really good brush, you'll never go back. You do need to know how to clean brushes, though, because good brushes are more expensive. With care, though, they'll last for many, many miniatures.
David Marks wrote:
As long as the character made a special arrangement previously, sure. 8-)
I would not assume that a polearm had any sort of sling or sheath by default. And getting something that would work without causing a problem with using the weapon would cost money. (I would assume that warhorse tack would have a scabbard for a lance by default.)
I have played a character who used a polearm as his primary weapon. That character never tried to sheath it in play, because I didn't think it was particularly reasonable, especially for a character that regularly tumbled.
Fake Healer wrote:
Slings have a higher distance record in real life than a longbow and can blast through a sheet of 3/4" plywood with ease leaving a 3-4" round hole. If you go for realism you are gonna end up with everyone trying to inject their own personal ideals for realistic options.
While I have different views about the value of simulation in an RPG than Fakey, the general point he is making is a serious one. There's a long road available there, and it's not obvious how far down it one should travel.
And, FWIW, that slings (particularly staff slings) have range, accuracy, and damage equivalent to or better than most bows is simply not controversial among those who have studied ancient warfare. They are widely reported in contemporary sources to be equal or better weapons and modern tests have confirmed this. They're quite difficult to use, though, so if you want realism, I'd recommend making them exotic. 8-)
Oh, and before I stop, a Mongol horse bow (short composite bow in D&D) had a better rate of fire and better range than an English/Welsh longbow and better energy at short range. (At long range, the better sectional density of a longbow arrow might have maintained a higher delivered energy on target.)
David Marks wrote:
FWIW, I believe the statement I've used at the beginning of several campaigns is, "Stupid weapons like double-headed axes and spiked chains offend me and therefore don't exist in my world."
Note that I said, "... at the beginning of several campaigns...." This is a departure from the default rules and noted as such before character creation. Conveniently, my players have intuitions adequately similar to mine, so this hasn't become a problem.
Rob Bastard wrote:
Even so, no one 5' tall will be carrying a 6-8' weapon on his back.
Not really. You'll want to suspend your weapon some distance above its center of mass. If you hang a headed weapon head-down, the suspension point will be somewhere around the midpoint of its total length. Even with an 8' weapon, that means you'll have about 4' below the attachment point, which would work for a 5' character.
You'll also have about 4' above the attachment point, which can be a bit awkward, but not really much worse than the sort of things that are handwaved all the time. (Say, for instance, a character with a 50# backpack, a shortsword, a greatsword, a longbow, a quiver, and a bedroll fighting without encumbrance penalties.)
Rob Bastard wrote:
A weapon with a 6" length beyond the grip point (a sap or small dagger, for instance) has a reach out to 5' from the character's square or 7-1/2' from the center of the square (ignoring diagonals). I don't see it as unreasonable that a weapon with a length of 5' beyond the forward grip point would have a reach of 10' from the edge of the character's square. If the latter is a problem, so is the former.
Sorry that I can't point you to any sources. But having used a 12' polearm, I can tell you that it's only useful at all if used for thrusts. Its moment of inertia is just too great to swing it and expect to hit or parry; this problem would be exacerbated for a headed weapon like a glaive, halberd, or guisarme.
Several points going to realism:
1) Polearms are mostly not weapons suited for use by single fighters. They're largely useful for groups.
2) Polearms other than spears or pikes were commonly about 6-8' long, not 12' long. A 12' long polearm is almost impossible to use other than as a thrusting weapon.
3) A carrying strap would be quite awkward on a polearm. It would tend to get in the way of many combat techniques.
Reaper's Figure Finder:
Searching on "swashbuckler" returns 12 figures; perhaps one of them will work for you.
The Foundry (http://www.wargamesfoundry.com) has a full line of rather nice pirate figures.
Old Glory (http://oldglory25s.com/index.php?cat_id=709&catname='Figures') has a less-expensive line.
There are others around, but those are the ones that come immediately to mind.
Laminated silk, that is, layers of silk bonded with lacquer or resin, would be pretty similar to fiberglass. It would be quite expensive, but pretty good armor.
Now, since D&D armor has so little relationship to real armor* in its effects, how you want to model that would depend on the effect you are trying for.
* For reference: In real life, hardened leather armor (cuirboilli - probably most similar to hide armor in D&D) protects a bit better than chain, but not quite as well as plate. It's also heavier than steel covering the same areas. Fiberglass would protect quite well for as long as it lasted, but would degrade relatively quickly unless it was quite thick and heavy.
Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Anybody who thinks that "It's like a horse, but with tentacles instead of teeth, eyes on stalks, and claws growing from its shoulders" is the pinnacle of creature design really doesn't worry me much. So let me just take this opportunity to say, "Come and get me if you think you're tough enough!" 8-)
There are about as many miniatures that I actually want to own as usual in a set. For me, this is actually a major improvement on my expectations, since the official previews have been of a subset of miniatures that I like much less well than the average for the set.
After seeing these, I'm much more likely to buy a case than I was yesterday.
Just a quick note: GIMP is approximately equivalent to Photoshop, and is designed for creating and manipulating images bitwise. Inkscape is approximately equivalent to Illustrator, and is designed for creating and manipulating vector-based images.
They're not meant to do the same sorts of tasks. (You can use both on the same image to do different things, though.)
Marc Radle 81 wrote:
How, if at all, do you guys mark your plastic minis?
Two possibilities: Either a sticker with some marking (this is the scheme that MageKnight and MechWarrior use) or a paint marker in gold or silver (which will show up just fine against black plastic).
Ral Partha is gone, though many of their figures are now available from IronWind Metals. Grenadier is gone, and I think most of their molds reverted to the sculptors; in any case, the ones that are still available are now scattered about some, and many are no longer to be found.
Reaper is still around, and they do have a small line of pre-paints, some of which are quite nice. (I'm pretty sure Paizo carries their full line.)
You should also take a look at the Rackham figures, which are very nice. They are going entirely to pre-painted plastic for their stuff. I don't know whether Paizo is planning to carry the new line. (Much of the stuff here seems to be the discontinued metal minis.)
Rambling Scribe wrote:
Hypertext d20 SRD wrote:
Kobolds with levels in NPC classes have a CR equal to their character level -3.
Now, it might be better to assume that is supposed to be, "Kobolds with levels only in NPC classes have a CR equal to their character level -3." (And, FWIW, I haven't actually used that particular NPC.) But that's not what the description in the MM says. 8-)
Even without pushing the issue, a 4th-level Kobold warrior is pretty clearly a CR1 creature with rather better numbers than most CR1 creatures. And, as Sebastian noted, CR is deeply inexact. I wouldn't count on this to actually balance encounters, but as a way to tweak people complaining about whether encounters have ELs appropriate for the group, it could be useful.
ps. Goblins have similar text ("level -2" in that case). You don't need to keep this trick for kobolds alone.
1) Humans become slightly less attractive as PCs. Not a big deal, since humans would still have some nice bennies and are arguably slightly too good right now.
2) Half-elves become even less attractive as PCs. (And they're already very weak.)
3) You'll likely see some players playing less-coherent class combinations. I don't see this as a problem, but some find characters with 5 base classes (say) to be a problem.
4) Characters who play many classes may have some really high saving throws (or some really low saving throws, for that matter). This is possible even by RAW if you use care, though.
5) You are likely to have more power differences between the characters of good optimizers and the characters of poor optimizers. (Done well, this can increase power, but done poorly it can cripple a character.)
FWIW, I don't see it as a problem.
For an off-the-wall possibility, you might consider Warlock/Warblade.
The Warlock is effectively an archer in play, and also gets decent social skills and some really interesting incantations. And the Warblade can be played very much as a swashbuckler. The classes have little overlap in their best parts, so a gestalt would be quite effective.
Though I doubt that was what you were thinking of. 8-)
I don't know of any way to drop ECL below 1; there are no negative LAs and a kobold uses a single hit die. ECL = hit dice plus LA plus character level, with the exception that single hit die creatures use their first class level to replace their single hit die rather than adding it.
1st level kobold warrior = ECL 1. 1st level kobold warrior = CR 1/4.
ECL != CR.
As you quoted, wealth is based on level, not CR. Warrior is a class, so a kobold warrior 1 is a first level character. For that matter, kobold warrior 4 (CR 1) is a 4th level character, and should get that level of wealth. This is explicitly a difference between NPC wealth and wealth per encounter, which is based on EL, not level. That's the RAW argument.
That said, it's pretty clear that specific equipment chosen (just like specific terrain chosen) can dramatically affect the difficulty of an encounter. By RAW, that has no algorithmic effect on either experience or treasure, but should be taken into account by the DM when he is designing encounters. I think increased difficulty warrants increased experience, but that's a house rule, not RAW.
ps. For a nasty encounter for a low RAW CR, try including a kobold warrior4/barbarian1: CR 2, 5th level equipment.
I played a warlock for 10 levels (including playing through RHoD). My take:
A bit boring and a bit underpowered.
The power peak (relative to other classes) is about 5th level or so. After that they become less and less relatively powerful.
They are also a very hedgehog class ("The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one."). They do a few things very well and whenever they feel like doing them. If a problem can't be solved by one of those tricks, the warlock has limited utility.
Further, they don't get new tricks very often, so if you make a poor choice, you'll take some time getting a new choice.
I'd discourage a player from taking the class, because its fun palls pretty quickly, but I'd allow it as written if the player were adamant.
I wouldn't call those CR 4 even with the pipes. For a third level group, you could expect about a 50% chance of a one-shot kill, even with the temporary hit points. The saving throws are low enough on the pipes and the effects are limited enough that those wouldn't be problematic for a lower CR. And the same is true of the poison (since it doesn't have a chance of a permanent effect and since the significant damage doesn't happen for 10 rounds).
With the poison, I'd put them at CR 2 or CR 3.
The grey area is that the Races of the Wild dosn't specify the "type" of bonus each has. After reading the descriptions in the DMG I think that both are Enhancements.
If no bonus type is specified, the bonus is untyped, and thus will stack with any bonus from a different source. These are clearly not the same source.
In the case of bonuses that have a different effect depending on the order in which they are applied, the choice is that of the character to whom the bonuses apply. Clearly the penalty would be reduced from -2 to -1 per range increment first, because otherwise there would be no benefit. There is some question as to how to do the halving of the remainder, but I'd be inclined toward figuring the total range penalty, then halving, with rounding not in favor of the character.
He also constantly attacks only me and my brother, because "I know you two can handle dying, but I don't think the others would take it so well."
That's what is known in economics as a "perverse incentive". He is rewarding people for tantrums and whining. If that's what gets rewards, ....
Seriously, if he has a DMPC that's more powerful than the PCs, he's managed to do just about everything on the list of "How to be a terrible GM".
Hypertext d20 SRD wrote:
Interestingly, the blurb from "Entangled" refers to "mov[ing] at half speed", rather than doubling movement cost.
Hypertext d20 SRD wrote:
I don't see the difference in terminology as being important here. I think they stack.
Caveat: I don't have the description of a harpoon's effect here, so that might change my response.
Certainly you can. If the dwarves no longer have control of the mines (which they clearly do not), recapturing them is basic salvage/spoils of war. The nature of locks, etc., is not relevant.
If drow are considered to be enemy enough to kill on sight (as it seems they were in the OPs description), then whatever they have when you kill them is spoils. This can be modified, of course, if the party has some obligation in the laws or customs of the world, or if the party has some contractual obligation to the "dwarven community".
The reason an LG party wouldn't just grab the sword and leave is that a magistrate is better able to sort out the tangle of property rights and possible contractual obligations that might be implicated.
Contact the magistrate over the issue of a sword that is claimed both by "the dwarven community" (whatever that means) and by the adventurers as rightful salvage. I don't see why this should be any different than any other issue of disputed ownership.
I have to say that I've become something of a proponent of using Kobold 4th level warriors or Goblin 3rd level warriors. (Both are CR 1 creatures.) For that matter, a Kobold warrior 4/barbarian 1 is rather more of a problem for the PCs than a Kobold barbarian 2, even though both are the same CR.
Yes, I am an RBDM.
1. By your description, the dwarf does not have possession of the item.
2. By your description, there is no reason to believe that the dwarf has a right to possession of the item.
Lawful Good: Dispute the dwarf's right to possession of the item. If the dwarf does not agree, contact a magistrate and let him work it out.
Chaotic Good: Probably leave the item to the dwarf, who might have a better claim on it. Besides, it's what the cool guys would do.
Neutral: Take the item. If the dwarf tries to stop you, hit him until he forgoes his foolish attempt to claim treasure that is yours by right of conquest.
Evil: Kill the dwarf and take his stuff too.
Ed Healy wrote:
I'm only going to local conventions this year, in Denver, CO:
Genghis Con, President's Day weekend, usually about 1000-1200 attendees, gaming-specific plus a very good miniatures painting track.
Tacticon, Labor Day weekend, usually about 800-1000 attendees, gaming-specific. (Also a DGA con, but the website isn't live yet.)
Denvention III (World Science Fiction Convention), about 5000 attendees, there's usually a gaming track, but it's pretty minor.
MileHiCon, about 800 attendees, literary SF con, gaming track, but it's not a major focus.
I'm strongly tempted by ReaperCon, in the Dallas area, but I think this won't be the year.
das schwarze Auge wrote:
Right. Pine=evil, oak=neutral, walnut=good, mahogany=exalted. What domains does your religion offer, again?
I don't see why not. Also, if there's enough rain in the area, you might have trees that capture the rainfall in such reservoirs.
For strength, you can certainly postulate plants that create fibers stronger than cellulose (as somebody mentioned).
If you care about evolutionary sense, you might want to consider what evolutionary advantage you get from height. For real trees, this is largely a competition for light, since light is required for photosynthesis. You need sufficient nutrient density in the ground below the plant to support multiple huge organisms in close proximity, otherwise other considerations are more important than expending resources in competing for the light.
None of this is necessary if you don't care for that level or type of detail, of course. Sufficiently pervasive magic is interchangeable with complex biology. 8-)
Because leftists and Democorats force them into the commons so that it's in nobody's interest to keep them around long enough to grow that big.
Forest product companies plant nearly a billion trees a year in the US alone. I wonder why Georgia Pacific hasn't gotten a Nobel Peace Prize?
I don't see any problem with just ruling that some animals are "usually evil" (rats, maybe wolves, definitely pigeons), "usually good" (rabbits?, sheep?), "always chaotic" (cats), or whatever. Malevolent nature* is a common element of many sorts of fantasy. Just make sure you mention the possibility to your players, since you aren't using the default that they might be counting on.
* Evil storms or good rains (for instance) might also be possible, depending on your world design.
That's the book. And the price looks reasonable, too, though I don't think the rest of the rules are anywhere near as useful now. (Miniatures game design has advanced too far over the last 35 years.)
You might want to consider having the knight observe somebody cheating (or possibly "cheating", depending on the rules) in the more usual sorts of tournament events. Perhaps he sees a character casting a True Strike during an archery event, or entering a melee with False Life or Bull's Strength, or the like. At any rate, using some ability that he doesn't have to gain an advantage that he cannot match.
Kids that age are especially interested in fairness, IME.
This gets more interesting if he's using some ability of his own to gain an advantage and is accused of cheating by an opponent.
Whether the actions are actually against the rules or not, there might be a good roleplaying opportunity or two there.
ps. My son is 8. 8-)
While it's probably too difficult to find, Chainmail (the original one from the mid-70s) had jousting rules that required interesting decisions. They required the jousters to choose an aiming point and a defense, and determined the result from the interaction of these choices.
You mentioned the trial of a pickpocket, which sounds interesting. Other conflicts that might involve the character as a judge or participant:
Adulterated currency - Somebody is passing gold coins with silver mixed in. This is determined when a merchant is caught using a coin that was passed to him. Is the merchant liable? How can you find out who really did it?
Three-card monte - A sleight-of-hand artist is running a three-card monte game (or equivalent). One of his victims knows the trick and proves that he's cheating in front of the player.
Other carney games - The player notices that a game is far harder than it looks at first glance. Maybe the runner is cheating or maybe the game is just absurdly difficult. Does he accost the person running the game, bring this to the attention of the authorities, announce it to the crowd, or win the game with his superior skills to take the carney's money?
Finally, any of these can be adjusted by making the player the victim of the scam, either before noticing the problem or by having the player notice as the scam is being run on him.
Let's assume that the party and its opponents in each encounter are evenly matched and that there are 10 encounters per level. For the purposes of this analysis, I will assume a 50% chance of a TPK in each encounter that the party loses (because that's about what I see with NPCs.)
Using these assumptions, the party has about a 5.6% chance of avoiding a TPK for one level.
If you assume a 5% chance of a TPK in each encounter and 10 encounters per level, there's a 40% chance the party will get a TPK before 2nd level. If you assume a 5% chance that a given character will die in each encounter, 2 out of five characters will die every level.
For a long-term campaign, the party must have a massive advantage in nearly every encounter.
And if you believe that you have "disproved" the facts I have laid out then there is no way I can convince you.
When you use quotation marks in a response, it is traditional to use them to enclose quotes. The word I used was "mooted", not "disproved". I chose that word fairly carefully.
And from the evidence of the strength of your arguments to this point, I agree that it is unlikely that you can convince me. Please feel free to surprise me.
Way to be a smart ass. When is the last time you have encountered canvas that has the hardness of steel? (Which it may but assuming it to be without any indication is... wierd.)
The technical term for that logical fallacy is "strawman argumentation". When is the last time you encountered wood that has "the hardness of steel"? Is "the hardness of steel" a necessary precondition for counting as cover? I never said that; would you like to take that position? Until you do, you might wish to respond to what I actually wrote, which is a refutation of your point that if you can see a shadow on it, it must only count as concealment.
I assume you mean "quit"? I don't see the need, since you just quoted the whole thing (twice, now). I merely pointed out a sentence that moots your entire argument. Also twice, now.
I've yet to meet a player that doesn't get a kick out of a creature breaking his weapon, claw, or tooth off on a critical fumble result.
Pleased to meet you, Varl. Now never say that again.
Seriously, I don't much care for that as a player. I think it detracts from the heroic nature of the sort of game I prefer to play, in a way that a critical hit by either side doesn't.
No way. The square, in a physical sense (to the extent that it exists at all in a physical sense, being a metaphysical construct adopted for the purposes of the game*) encompasses, no contains the so-called "guy in the square".
Which is, like, cosmic and all.
* That is, to quote Alfred Korzybski, "The map is not the territory."