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Douglas Muir 406's page

9,421 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.


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Haruka Shiraboshi wrote:
heal +8 :)

Up to one other person can try to help you with an Aid Another check.

BTW, the damaged thing was a half-fiend / half-ogre. That's about CR 4, meaning a tough fight for you at the best of times. I ruled that it was knocked down to 10 hp and had the Shaken condition from the fall, but even so and it could have killed any one of you with a single good hit.

There are times when negotiating or talking with the bad guys is totally appropriate! However, there are also times when correct play is to hit first, fast, hard, and without warning. Figuring out which is when is of course part of the fun.

She tries, but her face twists with pain. "No..."

Has anyone in the party got ranks in Heal?

Smiting actually makes all the difference here, because the creature had exactly 10 hp left. So instead of being staggered, it drops!

I will assume that you went ahead with the smite.

If you want to smite here, you may.

Activating the Shield spell is a standard action. You can't do that and attack on the same round.

That attack roll hit. Do you want to keep the damage? Or do you want to activate your shield spell instead, and give up the roll?

Okay, everyone can act. Creature is adjacent to Takka and Sir Constantine, meaning it's now an additional 10' close to everyone else.

Okay, then. The thing's piggy little eyes narrow with hatred. It lets out a grating hiss. Since Sir Constantine is nearby and talking, it focuses on him. It moves forward -- it has a sort of odd, slinking gait, strangely graceful for such a big clumsy-looking creature -- and aims a powerful blow at the paladin.

1d20 ⇒ 6 Apparently it's still a bit disoriented from the fall -- it flails ineffectively, clutching at air. That's okay, it swings again!

1d20 ⇒ 6 Well, bother.

Okay, Takka is not acting this round. Let's say he's still caught up in misery and introspection.

Felice is freezing in place and trying not to attract the creature's attention. I'll treat this as a Stealth check with -2 on the roll for circumstances. 1d20 + 3 - 2 ⇒ (13) + 3 - 2 = 14

Does the creature spot her? 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13 Oooh, it just barely does not.

I hope he's okay too.

Meanwhile: will give it another day and then proceed without him.

That's true, but standard procedure is to notify the rest of the group in advance.

[sfx: crickets]

I just sent Takka a PM this morning. Has anyone else heard from him?

Laurine: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Felice: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Takka: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18

So, Takka goes first, followed by the creature. Takka?

The characters certainly start fully formed, although fans have produced earlier, less experienced versions. So the Lee-Ditko Spider-Man is out there.

Gaining experience does power you up, but not all that much -- your dice get better, you can maybe get rid of a limit or two or acquire an interesting piece of gear. But you don't become dramatically more powerful. This is consistent with the comics, yes? Spider-Man of today is clearly more formidable than the teenage version of him from the Ditko years, but he hasn't evolved into Spider-Thor. (Absent some occasional odd episodes like the Captain Universe thing and whatnot.)

Doug M.

No. My point was, if I want to make this NPC more powerful as the campaign progresses, I'll do it by adding more levels, not more tiers.

Point of clarification: this is a first toe in the mythic waters. I want to see how it plays with a single low level NPC. If that seems to be interesting and workable, we may go further from there.

Doug M.

Assume this is an NPC, 3rd level sorceror (so all 1st level spells) with a single mythic tier. I doubt this character will be around long enough to worry about building, and any leveling up will go on the sorceror track rather than additional mythic tiers.

Mythic Bloodline looks intriguing, as does Speedy Summons -- though at this level, spamming Level 1 monsters is no big thing unless the sorceror has a round or two to prepare. Mythic Spell Focus looks interesting if we build for save-or-sucks, but there aren't that many great save-or-sucks at first level. hm.

Doug M.

A low-level arcane caster, let's say. What's the most efficient way to deploy the mythic tier? Are there low-level spells that work particularly well as mythic versions?

Doug M.

It looks like the creature beat everyone but Takka... is Takka around?

It's a pretty good system. There are things that are a bit "hm". The heroes are noticeably more powerful than most villains. This is not obvious at first, but when you work out the dice rolls, it's actually not that hard for (say) Daredevil to take down a seemingly much more powerful villain. The power bands for heroes are fairly narrow, too; most of the heroes "feel" rather middleweight. The few heroes that are clearly better in combat (the Thing) can do less other stuff, which I guess is fair enough. The healing between action scenes seems odd, and I'm not sure how it will work in play.

It's firmly narrativist rather than simulationist, and that's a feature, not a bug. This is not a game built around a physics engine, at all. As noted above, it's like playing a comic book.

The plot point mechanism draws on that indie tradition of handicapping your guy to make him better. You *want* a certain amount of bad stuff to happen, so that you can build up those PPs for the combat-ending stunt or haymaker. I think this is a fairly clever mechanism, myself, but YMMV.

Doug M.

-- Now in this particular case, the creature was fixed at Hostile, and there wasn't much y'all could do about that. However, if it had been open to discussion, you had two characters shooting at it while another was trying to talk!

Point being: going forward, you probably want to coordinate on this stuff before acting. PBP tends to encourage an "every man for himself" style of play, because talking stuff out first takes time and slows down a game that is already slow. But failure to cooperate is going to lead at a minimum to wasted actions. (At worst it's going to get y'all killed.)

Difficult terrain, half movement -> it moves 20' towards Takka and Sir Constantine and 15' towards everyone else. It is now standing directly adjacent to Felice! But it doesn't seem to have noticed her yet.

Anyone who can beat an Init of 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18 can act this round. (And if anyone wants to set up an initiative macro, I'll be much obliged.)

The thing sees you.

It lets out a shriek of hatred and stumbles forward, arms raised, to attack.

Additional question: can you use multiple SFX at once? For instance, the Thing has Haymaker (double a die) and Area Attack (add a d6 and keep another effect die). Combining those two could be pretty powerful -- with a decent roll, or spending a PP to boost a roll, you can put some serious damage on two or three foes at once. I don't see anything that prohibits it, so I assume it's allowed. Is that right?

Doug M.

Okay, but... doesn't this mean the Watcher can trigger PP-paying Limits almost at will? Because given the number of dice rolled, a player rolls an opportunity about every other roll.* What stops me from shutting off Spider-Man's web shooters near the beginning of every action scene? (Aside from "that would be a jerk move", I mean.)

Doug M.

*A pretty typical dice pool would be affiliation, distinction, and a couple of dice from powersets or skills. So say 4d8 on average. Then the chance of rolling an opportunity is (1-(7/8^4)), or about 40%.

In this particular case, the DC is higher than 19. (And before y'all start metagaming and freaking out, note that rare or unusual monsters get higher DCs.) That said, if you still want to offer to parley with the thing (even not knowing what it is) I'll allow it. Do you?

Sir Constantine Godalming wrote:

"Hold your ire! Tis a half man, whose life has held little choice till now."

1) You don't know the DC on the Knowledge check. (Sometimes I'll put it under a spoiler, but not always.) Good form is to roll it and then say "if that made it, I do X, otherwise I do Y".

2) Diplomacy takes a full minute. Everybody always gets this wrong, so it's not just you. But that's how it works. Otherwise, you could build specialized "face" characters who could turn a charging dragon friendly with a single roll.

You need a Knowledge (planes) to realize it's a half-fiend.

So, two people took shots at the thing (both missed), and Balek is moving closer to it.

Anyone else, or does that end the surprise round?

Okay, two questions on Limits. Question #1: can the Watcher activate a Limit any time a player rolls an opportunity? Because if so, then it would seem that the Watcher can (for instance) make Spider-Man run out of web fluid as soon as he rolls a 1. And Question #2: if the Watcher activates a Limit that requires payment of a PP or a Doom Die, is that *in addition to* the normal 1 PP for the opportunity?

Thanks in advance,

Doug M.

It is absolutely possible to talk to demons, and it is occasionally worthwhile. Whether it's a good idea now, with this particular demon, is a separate question.

Sir Constantine Godalming wrote:
SCG and Takka had just located a small child with a possible broken leg, when some other commotion occurred...

Felice is actually a young woman, late teens or early twenties.

Also, there's a demon right behind her.

Marvel Plot Points is a great site! Unfortunately, they don't have a forum, so you can't ask questions.

The MWP forum is, as you say, mildly active. Still, I guess I could register and post there. Figured I'd ask here first, since I'm already registered here...

Doug M.

JGray wrote:
In fact, there were multiple supplements. Considering the brief life of the line they put out a lot of books.

Are you sure? I thought there was just the main rulebook and two supplements -- "Civil War" and "Annihilation" -- with each supplement coming in a "Deluxe" version that included the rulebook as well.

As to Weis walking away from it, AFAICT they're giving zero support to it any more. They're not selling the books or the .pdfs, and the game is not even mentioned on their website. There's a resource page where they say they're sorry they can't provide resources, because Marvel demanded they take them down, but that's it. No summary of the game, no links to fan pages, nothin'.

MWP has been working on a generic version of the system to put out but it has been a while coming and behind Firefly in importance.

Apparently it's called just plain "Heroic Roleplaying" without the "Marvel". IIUC it was originally announced for 2014 but currently has no release date.

Doug M.

Sadly, Margaret Weis Productions walked away from this (giving up the license) in 2013. So, only two supplements were ever produced. Since the system belongs to MW and the heroes belong to Marvel, this is done -- there may be other licensed Marvel RPGs, but not this one. It's a shame, because it's actually a pretty good game. It's very cinematic, and it feels like playing a superhero comic book.

There's a website dedicated to producing new material for it: They post new material (datafiles, action scenes, and the like) once or twice a week. It's obviously a labor of love, and the quality is pretty high.

Doug M.

Got this as a Christmas present back in 2012. I didn't have other gamers around who were interested, and my two sons were too young for it, so the book sat at the bottom of a box for a couple of years. Then one of my kids ran across it and asked if we could try to play. They're 13 and 11 now, so I figured we could give it a try.

And, you know, it's not half bad! The rules are a little dry and require more than one read-through, and it's a very different sort of system from d20. But it plays fast once you get the whole "dice pool" concept down, and it's very cinematic. As various reviewers have pointed out, it feels like playing a comic book.

Unfortunately, Margaret Weis Productions walked away from the game after less than two years, giving up the license in 2013. So it's now an orphan system, with just two official supplements ever published. (There are a couple of websites keeping the flame alive, most notably the excellent Plot Points site.)

So, my question: is there anyone on this forum who still plays this game? Or at least, who played it enough that you'd be comfortable answering questions? Because we're trying to figure this out from a cold read of the books, and it's tricky. We have questions! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance,

Doug Muir

Osei Otieno wrote:

[dice=Random Distance]3d6 x 5 = 65' away.

Osei attempts to clear his head after the events of the last hour or so, and draws upon his studies to identify the creature.

[dice=Knowledge (Planes)]1d20+9

Osei only:

At a guess, it's a half-fiend: demons are fecund, and can and will breed with pretty much anything. This looks like one of the slinking red ambush demons crossed with... something.

It'll have lesser versions of the demonic powers and immunities. OTOH, it'll be meaner, stronger and tougher than whatever the other parent was. And it's a Large size humanoid, which is not at all encouraging. If it wasn't massively damaged, y'all would be toast. You may be toast anyway.

She's about 50' away from you, direction roughly right angles to Felice / Takka & Sir Constantine / the demon behind Felice.

Something rears up out of the darkness behind Felice.

It's big -- over eight feet tall -- but emaciated-looking, leathery crimson hide barely covering a skeletal frame. Its posture is slouched; its arms are long and apelike. Its eyes are small and piglike and full of confused hatred. It doesn't have wings, and has obviously taken a lot of damage from the fall. It drools, and a mixture of purplish blood and slaver runs down its receding chin.

It doesn't seem aware of any of you yet, but in a moment it will be.

It's 15' behind Felice, and 30' from Takka and Sir Constantine. Everyone else is random 3d6 x 5' away (roll it). Note that the rubble is difficult terrain, making it impossible to run or charge.

Okay, back-ish. Light posting over the next few days.

A voice from some little distance away. "Hello? I can't see anyone. I... I'm hurt. Can you hear me? Hello?"

Sir Constantine Godalming wrote:

SCG notes the lights as they appear. He helps Takka to his feet...

"Come my friend I hear voices in the darkness we must aid them."

Okay, you two are near each other.

As you move towards Felice, you hear someone scramble towards you. A moment later, Alderman Gwerm staggers out of the darkness. His clothes are torn and he looks rather wild-eyed.

"What! You! Where... where are we? Who is responsible for this?"

1d100 ⇒ 43
1d4 ⇒ 3

Takka of the Toad wrote:
"...I tried... I tried to stop it... I... tried to tell them... nobody would listen... why can't I..? ...why show me that vision..? ...I can't do anything... why show me..? ...why can't I do it..? ...why can't I do it..?"

"Mister... kobold." Felice's voice is tight with pain. You look up in surprise. She's only a few yards away, lying on the ground. Her posture is strange and uncomfortable looking. After a moment you realize that her leg is pinned under a chunk of rubble.

"I think... my leg... is broken."

Osei Otieno wrote:
Osei would also like to find the remains of the ... thing ... and retain them for later study.

There's not much left of it, and the little that remains is pretty nasty. But you can if you really want to.

Gang, I've got a hell week coming up -- have to finish a 100+ page report, with editing and annexes. I think I have to declare hiatus until this weekend, hopefully Sunday but possibly Monday. Don't normally like to do that, but I'm transitioning between jobs and I absolutely have to get this done (and done well) before I start the new thing. So, need a few days. See you in about a week.

You're not alone down here.

"My... my leg! I can't move it!" < -- that's Felice.

"What's going on? Where am I? Someone do something!" < -- That's Alderman Gwerm.

"H-hello? Is someone there? Hello?" < -- Not immediately clear who that is.

(Haruka's spell is giving light, but not a lot, and there's rubble and wreckage everywhere, and the echoes make it hard to locate stuff by sound. So, someone needs to look around a bit if you' re going to see what's what.)

A faint little voice is saying "beautiful day for a... Wardstone failure... Wardstone failure... Ward... stone..." Then it trails off into silence. Osei, the doll-thing has dissolved into a mess of sticky nastiness and a black, shriveled gourd. The spell was set to end with the day, at nightfall. Apparently being plunged a few hundred feet underground works too.

You're in a large but low-ceilinged cavern. There is a lot of rubble here. There are a lot of dead bodies, too, both human and otherwise.

Haruka Shiraboshi wrote:
cast light

And here I was just about to ask who had darkvision... okay, light it is!

And then the chasm slams shut above you.

And stuff is still falling in here with you, in the dark. (Some of that "stuff" is people. You hear screams. Apparently whatever the dragon did there, it didn't get everyone.)

Everybody is going to take 2d6 of damage from being hit by falling rubble. Roll it, and note the damage on your charsheet. This may knock you out... if it does, then it does.

The very last thing you see is the demon bringing its sword down with tremendous force...

...and with one mighty blow, severing the dragon Terendelev's head from her body.

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