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DungeonmasterCal's page

5,133 posts (5,199 including aliases). 14 reviews. 3 lists. 1 wishlist. 8 aliases.


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1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love listening to old time radio detective serials.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm going to save mine for Bestiary 6!

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Kileanna wrote:

The last story I completed as a GM was a Dragonlance Price of Courage game and I've always thought of this song as the song for both the group of players and the end of the story, which was epic. Maybe a bit too mainstream but I love it.

I also pick songs for most of my characters, some NPCs, locations and events.

I LOVE Rhapsody of Fire!

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Mine appeared. It's a Mikazemas miracle! Thanks, Paul! Happy Holidays!

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Paul Watson wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Dangit! I missed it by 1 post! Again!
There are only 7 people ahead of you, Cal.

Oh! I thought it was full up. I'd like to receive one. Thanks for your generosity.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Dammit! I missed it by 1 post! Again!

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I get art of mine done for free by a friend. :)

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Lots of players have favorite songs that they either play aloud or in their cerebral jukeboxes when playing, but does your group as a whole have a theme song? We recently voted the theme from the 1970s television show S.W.A.T. as ours, mostly to be silly.

Here's the short tv intro version. There was a longer version that was a radio hit in 1976 or so.

Theme from S.W.A.T.

So what's your group's theme song? Or if it had one, what would it be?

That's what emoticons are for. :)

Personally, I don't see a problem with them working together. I'd allow it, at least.

I'm not sure I do those things. If I do I was unaware of it. I try to not compare things to the old ways because I like PF better than the older systems (though I do have a fondness for 1e because that's where I started) but I wouldn't go back to it. I guess I let things slip through from time to time, though.

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My question is at what point to you become a grognard? I've been playing since 1985 and am 53 years old. I started with AD&D 1e. Does this qualify me for grognard-ship? Do I have to wait another 10 years? I'm so confused.

David Peters is an absolute idiot.

3 people marked this as a favorite.

My players don't trade out their magic items. They save them if they get a better one, or pay to have an existing one upgraded. I'm kinda proud of 'em for that. Plus it helps there are no magic marts in my campaign world. The magic they have is found in loot piles of BBEGs or other powerful opponents. And even then they're pretty rare.

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I collect dice. I have nearly 700 individual dice, divided into two sets. One set is made up of individual dice or incomplete sets, and the other is made up of dice that are in complete sets of certain colors or manufacturers.

I only play Humans.

I can say with nearly 100% certainty I've only actually lost 8 dice. I've given away sets as gifts to people who really like them, but my dice are the only things I'm somewhat OCD about.

I don't allow the "furry races" in my homebrew world.

I altered the official PF Hobgoblins to resemble Klingons. I've done this since I first began playing in 1985.

There are no Half Orcs in my campaign. They are a full race of primitive and savage humanoids.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dire Elf wrote:
But I hate looking at my character sheet on my tablet. I don't like having to scroll up and down. I have a binder for each of my characters, with the sheets in page protectors. When my characters level up I print a new copy of the sheet because I despise eraser marks and whiteout. A friend created a character sheet in Microsoft Word and I modified it to my taste, so all my characters are printed out on my personal customized sheets. I also have specific dice that I use for each character.

I do, too. I use a binder for my only 2 player characters (I'm the GM 98% of the time) and I hate keeping my character sheet on the computer. I also have a Microsoft Word created character sheet that I customized to my own tastes (I hate the official sheets and I lack the Excel knowledge to use one of those). When I level up, I update the character on the computer then print it out. Maybe there's some mind-sharing going on between us.. lol

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I love reuniting with old friends on Facebook. It might be decades since we last saw one another, but with FB those years melt away and it's like we're all together in the same room again.

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Pan wrote:
Ithsay the Unseen wrote:
Heh. My current group all use laptops, except for me; I've kept to pencil and paper, because a folder with several sheets of paper (character sheet+scratch paper) is SO much easier to haul around and set up, imo.
I go P&P when im playing. I however must have a laptop/tablet when I am the GM. Its just too useful a tool not to have for a game master.

My characters and NPCs are on paper. But as a GM or player I use the laptop when I play both roles, in order to quickly look up rules, and in particular spells. Rather than write out the entire spell for my character sheets I can quickly look up the spell and its stats as both player and GM a lot faster than digging through the books. We always play at my house and I have my own little table where I set my things up, so I can keep the lap top handy without it cluttering up the rest of the area.

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Tacticslion wrote:

The succubus in a grapple thread er, uh, Imean... the people. Yeah, that's it.


I never read a single word in the Succubus Grapple saga. By the time I discovered it the number of posts was higher than I cared to read. And it just kept growing and growing.

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Hitdice wrote:
It's important to keep in mind that niche doesn't mean dying so much as "not the multimillion dollar industry it was at its peak." I think the comparison to model trains is very apt, mostly because model trains, however niche their market, aren't going anywhere, you know?

Well, they do kinda go around in circles or ovals or something. :D

Any hints about what's coming next?

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I don't know about him, but I've been very concerned about Mark Hoover, who used to be a frequent poster here. He and I corresponded person to person quite a bit for awhile and I know he's got some serious things going on his life right now, but I'd like to hear from him.

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I've seen people saying this since 3.0 came out. It's mostly grognards who have the money to attend cons, but I know the 5e community is alive and well among the kids in my area.

It won't be for awhile yet. Several months, most likely. The group I'm running now is all about city and courtly intrigue (started over 2 years before Ultimate Intrigue came out) and there's very little dungeon crawling in it. In fact, one of the characters has said she refuses to go into another sewer in this campaign... period. So it'll have to wait. I do have the 3.5 hard back "Expedition to Castle Greyhawk" that I'd like to run. I may do that when this campaign is over. Also the hard cover "Vault of the Drow" (or Drow of Underdark"). It's packed away and I can't remember the title. Either one would be a good challenge for them.

Never had the pleasure of playing it. My original DM was homebrew only and I inherited that trait when I became a DM/GM. I've tried running modules and I fail at them miserably, as much as I'd love to run Tomb of Horrors against my crew someday I know I'd botch it up.

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While you can't just walk into any city in my homebrew world and buy any magic item you can think of, I do feel I've given out too much magic to my players in this campaign and they've come to expect like rats that push a button and get a piece of food. When we finish this campaign (probably a year from now as they want to reach level 20) I plan to change that and use the rules PF Unchained.

The pic Set found is a good one. I like it. And dammit, I was Rick Rolled.

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

The purpose of this, or any game, is to have fun. If you're not having fun, then you shouldn't play it and look for a game or activity that IS more enjoyable to you.

I could go look it up, but only fighter types could have STR scores above 18, and that was the 18/00 thing. I had an Antipaladin with that score, rolled naturally, right in front of the GM and the other players. But no other scores could be raised above 18 w/out magic items or wishes.

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Aberzombie wrote:
Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway and Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. She is the younger sister of Margaux Hemingway, born in 1955, and Joan Hemingway ("Muffet"), born in 1950.

And in the 80s I had the Playboy Magazine issue with her in it. Rowr rowr.

Thanks, KestrelZ. My players nearly always start out as adventuring fools then end up micromanagers. I don't know why they do this, but that's how it nearly always happens.

They live in a fairly large city (about 150k people, counting outlying communities) and the reason the player who wants to build the houses is because the city still hasn't fully recovered from a terrible dragon assault some 2 years prior to the current time. She wants to take some of the money she's made adventuring and help the poor by building affordable, decent housing for those in the worst hit areas. The kingdom is fairly prosperous, ruled by a good man who's taken a liking to the adventurers and sometimes supports their exploits for the help they've given him against threats to his rule. But despite this, there are still areas of the city that need improvement and that's where the player comes in.

I just can't decide what a fair amount of gold would be to build and charge for say a small home with an open kitchen/living area, two sleeping areas, and perhaps even a lavatory, though most likely this would be a series of communal lavatories set up over sewers like the Romans or Harrappans did. But the primary cost is the house itself. Just can't figure out what the cost should be. And the migraine I have isn't

But thanks again to everyone who's taken the time to throw some ideas at me. I have some staring points and as soon as the headache subsides I can get to work tinkering.

EDIT: I just re-read Odraude's suggestion and it seems to be very reasonable. I can adjust up or down from his cost suggestion as I need to. Thanks!

Thanks, everyone.

Is there anyone that has an easier way to do this than the (IMHO) needlessly complicated method that is the "official" way to do this? I have a player that wants to build low cost housing for the poor in her home city and quite honestly I don't get how it's done in the Ultimate Campaign book and am not good at homebrewing my own methods for this, though I'd be willing to work with someone.

So, anyone have their own methods for pricing construction of homes, businesses, etc? Lay 'em on me.

Ok. thanks.

ba bump

I have a player who wants to invest some of her hard earned cash into building affordable housing in her home city, which is still reeling from a dragon attack a couple years ago. But the rules in "Ultimate Campaign" are, IMO, ridiculously and needlessly complicated. I borrowed the book from a friend and I hate how it describes the way calculating construction costs are done.

So, is there a 3PP product or a simplified Homebrew method for pricing construction of houses, apartments, and the like?

Thanks in advance,


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Without Pathfinder we might have actually stopped gaming as my players were losing interest in 3.5. So thanks to everyone at Paizo from the top to the bottom for all the hard work and great products.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dire Elf wrote:

Now on to another grumble. I was reviewing 7th level cleric spells, as my cleric in Kingmaker has just leveled up. There's a spell called 'Regenerate', and the description says that it will regrow severed limbs. But there's no real mechanic for severing limbs in Pathfinder, so how is that property of the spell useful?

My first roleplaying experience was with RuneQuest, which uses hit locations, and hit points and AC are assigned by body part. In that system you can have 2 points of armor on both arms, or no armor on your arms, or 2 points on one arm and none on the other. I'll admit that it's some extra bookkeeping, but I never found it too difficult to manage. It means that your character can lose a limb or an eye - permanently. I miss that level of detail in d20 games.

The old 1e "Good Hits and Bad Misses" critical and fumble charts are great for this sort of thing. It's not hard to convert them to PF, even on the fly, and yeah, you can crit yourself and die. My players were all like "Chart! Chart! Chart!" and when I said they applied to PCs and NPCs alike they changed their minds... lol

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Here's a new question: What is your preferred level of danger in a game? How common is PC death? Do you fudge it, or look for ways around it, or do you run a harsh, cutthroat campaign? Do you hate it when your own characters are at risk of dying?

In my 31 years of playing I've had precisely 1 TPK. I'm not a creampuff GM, but I also don't throw things at them they can't possibly defeat. I want them to feel the danger and the thrill of nearly dying in a combat situation, but I like them to live through it as much as they do. As much as I personally dislike the Resurrection spells, they know they're available if they need them, and they know they can afford them. Right now everyone is 12-14 level and the goal is to get to 20 then retire the campaign and begin a new one. I want them to make it as much as they do (I've never had a campaign get that far, either) but if they die there are ways to rectify it, one of them being Hero points which have rescued more than one character from death. Had it not been for those, there'd be only one or two original campaign characters left.

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Dire Elf wrote:
You've got to do what works best for you. But I would like to offer that should you ever want to use minis, when we play around the coffee table the people who are seated closest to it take care of moving things so the other players don't have to get up every time it's their turn. Of course, that only works if you have players who are comfortable with letting someone else handle their minis.

No one has any issues in my group with handling each others' dice or minis. To us that's one of the silliest things imaginable.

As far as a coffee table goes, our set up is 3 couches and a very wide easy chair in a circle in the living room. There's a table for me and my set up, a table for the snacks, and a table for a couple of the other players who bring laptops. I don't think we'd have room for anything else, so that's another reason we don't use the mat. The mat is handy, don't get me wrong, and it certainly has its place in the game. We just haven't found an effective way to use it.

We tried using a card table set up in the middle of our living room for the battle mat but having everyone get up from their seats (we sit on couches around the living room) and walk over and back again just took up too much time. When we played at FLGS we used it more, as we had larger tables and we could all sit at the same table to use the mat, but I'm not able to play there anymore because of my anxiety issues. So we just went back to doing things the old way. It works for us and has for 30 years. My group most likely wouldn't mesh well with others as we've rarely played with people outside our group so we all know how each other is going to play. Playing with mats and minis just isn't our bag.

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I took two mint condition Planescape box sets plus all the supplements to my favorite FLGS here in my hometown and got $65 for them. A month later I took some mint condition 2e books (extras that I'd acquired from retired gamers over the years) and got $1 apiece for them. I didn't go outside and hurl them across the parking lot.

Terquem wrote:

wait, what? So you just, what, imagine what the character is supposed to look like

*pffft* that is so 1975

We don't even use a battle mat. We still use theater of the mind. That's how old school we play. Actually, we found that moving the figures around during battle and such just took up too much time, so we just use the same way we always did it. We also don't have room for such a thing in our play space.

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I'm really glad I discovered MMCJawa is a paleontologist. I've been an armchair paleontologist all my life and it's great to talk to an actual expert in the field. If you're into the field at all, check out this thread.

We don't use minis, so it's not an issue for us.

TigerTiger wrote:
Yeah - anything which is created & sold specifically to be collectable very rarely goes up in value.

That's exactly what I told my friend who collected action figures, Star Trek and Star Wars in particular. If it says "collectible" on the box, it's not going to be worth much at all later, which he found out to his chagrin.

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I used to play regularly at a really large and very nice FLGS about 25 miles from where I live (until my anxiety issues got to the point I had to quit). That's where I saw the Chinese kids break out into a physical fight and get banned from the store. I saw a woman (a gf or wife) of a player come in and knock all his WH40K figures (and those of others) off the table because she was wanting to go out that night with friends and he'd apparently sneaked off to play Warhammer without telling her so she was stuck at home with the kid (who she'd dragged into the store to watch all this), and of course the awkward kids who didn't quite know how to act in public (getting angry over rulings, CRYING over rulings, etc).

But these are just a tiny handful of incidents. My ratio of good experiences far outweigh the bad ones when it comes to FLGS'. Of course, it also depends on the stores themselves and how well they're run, but I've been lucky to have played at a couple of really good stores when I was able to get out more.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I know a lot of people have their own reasons for optimizing, but I don't think optimizing to make a "survivable" build really has any point to it. Most GMs don't slavishly follow encounter table guidelines, and those that do can still produce some really skewed encounters. Consider witchfires, and orcs, and other monsters that are overpowered for their CRs.

It really is alien to me. The mentality just doesn't add up, which is ironic, since those who are determined to make "survivable" characters have to be pretty good at math.

The two players I have, well, used to have because they just don't have time to play with us anymore, were heavy min/maxers. I swear they could take the lowest commoner and beat everything I threw at it with their builds. But they are both very competitive players and feel like they have to "win" the game for it to be fun. I'm NOT a competitor and that method of play really ruins a game for me.

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Roleplaying-to-combat ratios
We're about half and half, with some games having more of one than the other depending on the session's objectives.

Rules vs. flavor
We stick to the rules as much as possible, but the rule of cool and the rule of common sense still play a powerful role in what we do. We recently had a CoCd20 game where the fun quickly deflated because the GM couldn't find a rule that perfectly fit what the PC was trying to do, so rather than wing it or use common sense he ruled it couldn't be done. There were some bad feelings after that.

Powerful and flavorful builds
We tend toward more flavorful builds. In fact, I'm not sure that even as long as we've played most of my party would know how to Min/Max a character as they play more for flavor and interesting characters rather than to see who can do the most damage per round.

Evil parties vs. noble parties vs. slightly sketchy parties
I personally don't have a problem with evil parties. The very first campaign I ever played in back in the mid 80s was evil and I learned that evil can get along as long as there is a motivation for them do do so. You don't have to kill your party mate "just because you're evil". I really like noble parties, where the PCs are actual heroes, but the slightly sketchy party has a special place in my gaming heart, as well, as it often opens up great roleplaying opportunities about what should or could happen.

"Sandbox" (open route, open destination) vs. "railroad" (set route, set destination) vs. "freeway" (open route, set destination)
I've always played a mix of Sandbox and Freeway options. Sometimes I just let the players do whatever they want and let them choose everything, even how the session ends. But I tend to prefer the Freeway method, with an open route and a set destination point. The trick is to let the PCs think they've arrived at the destination point on their own while on the Freeway. If they don't take Exit 1 where the Owlbear is, I simply move the encounter to another exit point and they think that's where it was supposed to happen all the time. I let them have their side adventures while gently coaxing them along in the general direction of where they need to be, with them setting the speed on the cruise control and enjoying the scenery along the way.

Silly vs. serious
More serious than silly, though you have to have at least one silly thing per game to keep things fun (not that we're not having fun already) but a bad decision can make for some hilarious results and sometimes the PCs just play off that and still manage to accomplish the game's goals. I guess it also asks the question "What do you consider silly or serious"? We've had some very serious games lately as they players are rising in power and becoming noticed by the more powerful entities of the game world and not in good lights in some cases. So there's seriousness there. But every three or four games ike those demand something more lighthearted, so we have them attend a duke's wedding or something where the punchbowl is spiked and silliness ensues.

Genre choices
I'm not sure what you mean by Genre Choices. Are you talking Homebrew vs Published Setting, or Sci Fi vs Fantasy or what? I'll answer with this, and if necessary you can better explain the question and I'll change my answer. I prefer Homebrew over published any day. I've only ever played or created Homebrew games, though I've cherry picked from published settings if something struck my interest.

Whew. That took awhile. I need a Mtn Dew and a Hostess cupcake now.

More and more evidence indicates that as late as 50k years ago there may have been as many as 4 Homo species (H. sapiens, H. neandertalensis, H. denisova (?), and H. floresiensis), do you think interbreeding among species is the main reason our species came out on top? And there's even evidence of another unknown species showing up in genetics of some of Oceania's peoples, and there is also evidence Homo erectus stayed around as late as 75k years ago in some places. To me this is one of the greatest paleontological puzzles existing, and it actually keeps me up at night thinking about it. So what's your take on it?

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