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Ezren

Haladir's page

RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. 2,811 posts (3,734 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 25 aliases.


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scootalol wrote:

My one and only personal ghost experience has been like one John Kretzer experienced; the phantom cat.

I would climb into bed, and a few minutes later, there would be the sensation of a cat jumping from the floor onto the mattress, walking over my leg. It would then knead the blanket between my knees, and then curl up to sleep. Sometimes it would purr...

I sometimes have the opposite effect. I'm sitting in a chair and suddenly realize that there's a cat in my lap and I'm petting him/her. I have no memory of the cat actually jumping into my lap.

The only conclusion one can reasonably draw is remarkably simple...

Cats can teleport.


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Flumphs.


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"I...DRINK...YOUR...MILKSHAKE!!!"


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My favorite 1st ed AD&D character from my high school days was named "Haladir..."


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The West End Games version of Star Wars: The Role-playing Game.

A little game from the early 1980s called Psi World. The rules kind of sucked, but the art was by Bill Willimgham!

For a modern-day under-played game, I heartily recommend Fiasco!


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You damn kids with your web-pods and your e-phones, and your rap-hop music... Get off my lawn!


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Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:

1. people who pick on mine and my boyfriend's lolitafied fey for...

2. people who claim to be "Otaku"...
4. People who hate "Weeaboos" because every "Weeaboo" they played with played a Generic Tsundere Catgirl Ninja...

I'm guessing that they're anime terminology, but what the heck do "lolitafied," "otaku," "weeaboo," and "tsundere" mean? I honestly have no idea whatsoever.


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Skeld wrote:

I dislike anyone under the age of 60 that comes to gaming wearing a fedora.

-Skeld

I bought a fedora and wore it for three days until my wife told me that it made me look like an @SSh0le.

I gave it to my daughter-- she really rocks that look!


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Generally, in most areas, I say that items sized for creatures smaller than Small or larger than Medium are curiosities rather than useful equipment. They sell for one-quarter list price, unless the PCs take the time to find a specific buyer.

In places with a population of creatues of the appropriate size, they sell normally. (e.g. size Large equipment sells as normal in Kaer Maga or Urglin, with all the ogres and trolls; size Tiny equipment sells as normal in Gnome communities in or near the Sanos Forest, where Tiny fey show up to trade from time to time.)


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A child's nursery rhyme scrawled on a wall in blood.


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My beloved grandmother died suddenly in 1989 when I was 20. I was a sophomore in college at the time. About a month after the funeral, I found myself studying in my dorm room when the phone rang. I picked it up.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Hal. It's Nana."

We had a very typical conversation for a few minutes: My classes, things going on at home, politics... And then I asked a question...

"Um, Nana, aren't you dead?"

"Yes. I'm calling from Heaven."

"I didn't think Heaven actually existed."

"It does if you believe in it. When you die, you go where you think you'll go."

"Huh."

"I have to go now. I won't be able to call you again. I love you. Good-bye."

"I love you too."

-CLICK- Dial tone.

And then I woke up.

The conversation had been a very vivid dream. Did I have an actual conversation with my grandmother from beyond the grave? Our was this my subconscious trying to provide my conscious mind with some closure? Hard to say. All I know is that I found that dream very comforting, and I still think of it 25 years later.


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There have been times when I have been awake in bed and have seen things. Ghostly things. Glowing eyes floating in the darkness, looking at me. Sometimes I would also hear things: Static, or wind rushing, or indecipherable whispering, or a voice speaking my name.

These were always frightening, especially because I would sometimes find myself unable to look away, or even move. And then I would snap out of it, bolt upright in bed, and the eyes and strange sounds would be gone.

I started seeing the eyes when I was about 12 years old. Not often-- maybe once every two or three months. But it was always frightening, and I was sure I was seeing a ghost. Or an alien. Or a demon.

I kept seeing these terrifying eyes occasionally throughout my adolescence, into my college years, and into adulthood. While I am very much a skeptic vis-a-vis the paranormal, these visions both vexed and frightened me. Especially because these apparitions we're personal: They would appear regardless of where I was, and no one who'd been sharing my bed when I had a haunting ever saw anything unusual.

In my 20s, I conducted a good amount of research into what the eyes could be. And in a tome about piercing the veil between sleep and wakefulness, I found the answer:

Spoiler:
Hypnogagic hallucinations.

They're a well-documented phenomenon in psychology literature. It's also pretty fairly common, particularly for people that are sleep-deprived. Eyes in the dark are one of the most commonly reported sights. Many psychologists have speculated that reports of aliens or ghosts are simply people experiencing this.

I still see the eyes from time to time, and they are still frightening, but at least now I know what they are... And I also know how to avoid them:

Spoiler:
Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night!


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I don't award XP any more. I just tell the players when it's time to level up: Usually after they have achieved some goal in the game.

Rewards for good role-playing should be in-game and relevant to the role-playing in question: Acquiring allies, getting information like leads on plot points or rumors of lost treasure, bypassing enemies without combat, free NPC spellcasting, figurative "get out of jail free cards", or similar boons.


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I love mining SCP for campaign ideas!


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I stole this from an adventure from a Dragon from the early 1980s...

A river of blood flows through several rooms of the dungeon, out the dungeon opening, and into a local waterway. The PCs discover the source is a decanter of endless blood.


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KenderKin wrote:
Yeah nothing like pulling a train on your players......

I did once-- years ago. I think this was back in the 2nd ed. AD&D days.

The PCs were exploring an abandoned mine. They got to one passageway that was very long and very straight-- about half a mile long. The mineshaft sloped slightly upward, and had mine car tracks along the center. After following the passage about a quarter-mile, they heard a loud, low, horn sound, and saw a distant light approach. The sound of clickity-clack! Clickety-clack! accompanied the light, as it rushed closer and closer, seemingly at breakneck speed!

The 'train':
It was a mine cart full of rocks, operated by goblins. Up ahead, the shaft sloped upward sharply. The mine cart's wheels and axles were lubricated by a grease spell. The cart was festooned with spikes and blades, and designed to crush/impale/slice up intruders. The goblins hung a lantern on the front and two rode the cart, blowing on large horns. Obviously, the PCs had no idea, but the players suddenly thought that they were about to get hit by a train.

The PCs' brilliant plan:
...actually was pretty brilliant. Realizing that something was approaching at great speed, and that it pretty much filled the passage, the party started to panic-- all but the cleric. The player announced, "I cast summon monster IV and summon 1d4+1 celestial dire bison. I place them at maximum range, and order them all to charge whatever is approaching!" This contingentcy I had not planned for. The player asked if the train approaching was fitted with a cow catcher. When I said "no," the player informed me that she was a train enthusiast, and that before trains were fitted with cow catchers, hitting a cow at speed would derail it. So the train hit three celestial dire bison at 40 mph, killing them, but derailing and killing the goblins. The PCs then mopped up the rest of the goblins running after the train.


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Yuugasa wrote:
There is a fun question to ask, what are folks favorite LGBTQ characters from fiction? ...aside from beloved pathfinder iconics? =p

Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who / Torchwood.


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Aside to Xavier C:
Re: Braille... Braille type is significantly larger than printed type. A Braille Bible is a multivolume set, like a set of encyclopedias.

Re: Swedish proverb: It is indeed possible to use the Bible as a "proof text" to support just about any position you want by cherry-picking verses out of context.

James: There is an inherent tension in RPGs rules between being simulationist vs. being a collective storytelling experience. (Or, to use terminology that I find somewhat offensive, "crunch" vs. "fluff.") I lean on the side of storytelling, and if i think that the rules are getting in the way, I ignore them.

When I GM, I tend to put the emphasis on the story and giving the players a fun time over being a sticker for the rules. I've gone on record saying that I won't let an inconvenient dice roll get in the way of the story.

I love the Golarion campaign world. However, I'm starting to become concerned about rules creep in PFRPG. I find the proliferation of options to be oddly limiting, as codification of minutia can limit on-the-spot creativity. At my table, the most creative players are those least familiar with the rules.

Where do you stand on the simulation vs storytelling issue when you GM? Any suggestion on what a GM in my position should do?


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I included this trap in the adventure last week...

The party found a back marble statue of an obese man in royal robes holding a scythe. In its other hand was a silver platter. On the player was a roasted fowl, loaves of fresh bread, pieces of fresh fruit, and a flagon of wine. The aroma of the good was enticing. Spiky runes lined the statue's dais.

The platter was magical, with a permanent create food and drink effect. The food was wholesome and delicious, and anything removed would reappear in five minutes.

The spiky runes were in an ancient language (Thassilonian) and read, "Behold the magnanimity of Runelord Zutha. All who please him are blessed with his bounty."

The statute was a trap, sort of. Anyone who praised Runelord Zutha aloud (in Thassilonian) was immune. Anyone who did not praise Zutha and touched the statue or the food was hit with a feast of ashes effect, at a high caster level. Anyone under this effect needed to make a will save or try to eat the delicious-smelling food... and be nauseated.


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When I look at the issue of marriage and the vehement opposition to same-sex unions by a loud contingent of the population, what I see is a problem with definitions. The current concept of marriage is a merger of two separate things that, in the 21st century, should be unbundled: a set of legal rights, and a religious rite.

Civil unions should be the purview of the government, to codify the legal rights of marriage, as currently practiced. Civil unions should be nondiscriminatory and open to all couples regardless of the sexes of the parties. Essentially, this is a purely legal contract.

Marriage should be a purely religious rite. Eligibility should be determined by the creed of the particular religious group. As a religious rite, marriage should not confer any secular legal rights at all-- no more do than any other religious rite, like baptism, confirmation, confession, a bar mitzvah.

Under that paradigm, everyone gets to have their cake and eat it too. Religious groups are free to allow our disallow marriages as they see fit, the state can confer legal status to qualified couples. Win-win.

And this has absolutely zero chance of coming to realization.


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Necros thread that everyone was glad to have seen die; repeats same troll bait from weeks/months/years ago.


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I did this once...

The entrance to the dungeon is a solid bronze door with no handle, no grooves, no gaps between it the rock walls and floor, and no obvious way to open it. As you approach, a magic mouth appears on the door and says, "Your first test: Open me by force or by guile?"

What do you do?

That would be telling!:
The door could not be opened by force, by magic, or by Disable Device.

The clue was a trick question. The answer to the question was "no."

The door opened if someone just knocked on it with bare knuckles.

It took my players two hours to figure it out!


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A brief history of Psionics in the Dungeons & Dragons family of games...

As I'm sure you know, Dungeons and Dragons was first published in 1974. It started out as supplemnent for the medieval miniatures wargame Chainmail, where each miniature represented a single character rather than the typical unit. As the game progressed, it became heavily influenced by the fantasy literature of the 1960s and '70s, especially Tolkein's Middle-Earth series, but also Jack Vance's The Dying Earth, Michael Moorcock's Elric Saga, Fritz Lieber's Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser, Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, etc.

The late 1960s and '70s were also the heyday of the parapsychology movement, where science seriously examined claims of psychic paranormal phenomena such as extra-sensory perception ("ESP"), precognition, telekinesis, reincarnation, mental telepathy, memories of past lives, etc. Parapsychologists referred to such paranormal psychic phenomema as "psi." (Note: Parapsychology died out as a serious branch of scientific inquiry in the late 1970s/early '80s, due to general lack of any experimental results.)

The term "psionics" was coined in 1952 by science fiction writer Jack Williamson, merging the terms "psychic" and "electronics." The term was adopted by a few actual practicing parapsychologists of the day, attempting to separate their line of scientific inquiry from the common parlance of the term "psychic," which even at the time had connotations of fraud or hucksterism. (The term "psionics" never really gained all that much traction among parapsychologists or the general public. The general term used was "ESP.")

This line of inquiry into psychic phenomena as something potentially real entered the zeitgeist of the 1970s. Many popular works of entertainment (books, film, TV) used psychic phenomena as their themes. Most of these were set present-day or in a futuristic setting. (e.g. Carrie by Stephen King, Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffery, various plotlines from Star Trek, etc)

When TSR published the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in 1977, Gary Gygax decided to add rules for psychic phenomrena to the game, as something distinct from the standard magic system. (Note: Gygax was notorious for creating AD&D sub-systems that were completely dissimilar from every other system.) He built an entirely separate subsystem for the game, that he called "psionics." The system was presented as optional rules in an appendix to the 1st edition AD&D Player's Handbook. Gygax used terminology for this system lifed from the then-popular parapsychology, as filtered through popular media. Conequently, the psionics system uses pseudoscientific terminilogy, mixed with terms from Freudian and Jungian psychology. (Many have speculated that he threw in some terminology he learned from an introductory psychology class he took at the University of Chicago in 1958.)

The first edition psionics rules were very much a subsystem that was bolted onto the side of the regular rules. Some rules were unique to the psionics system (e.g. the psychic combat system). Other powers more-or-less duplicated spell effects from the standard rules. Reflecting the popular image of a psychic using an inner store of mental strength to cause paranormal effects, this system used a power-point system. (This is quite distinct from the AD&D magic system, which had been heavily influenced by the wizards of Jack Vance's Dying Earth series, who used their spellbooks to etch single-use patterns of unnatural power into their own minds.)

As a subsystem, the 1st. ed. AD&D psionics was unwieldy, time-consuming, unbalancing, and prone to misuse. Psionics were additional abilities that a character could possess, regardless of class, based on a percentile roll at character creation. These rolls determined the character's psionic strength, and pffensive and defensive abilites. Specific abilities were rolled randomly from a chart. Abilities didn't scale with level, and the power level of a character's psionic ability was randomly determined. Because it was an optional rule, very few published AD&D materials used psioncis. Many DMs did not allow the system in thier own games.

When the Second Edition of AD&D was published in 1989, psionics were dropped from the Player's Handbook. A completely revised version of 1st-edition psionics was released in 1991 in the 2nd Edition book Complete Psionics Handbook. Pretty much all of the 1970s-vintage terminology was retained in this book. This book introduced new character classes based around psionic powers, and retained a completely different "psionic points" system for manging abilities.

Third Edition D&D under the OGL also did not include psionics in the core rules. In 2001, WotC released the rules of the 3rd edition Psionics Handbook under the OGL. This was more-or-less the same system used for Second Edition, including the names of powers and character classes. These rules also kept a version of the points system. As a consistent set of balanced rules, they're pretty good.

In 2010, Dreamscarred Press (DSP) released a version of the 3.5 OGL psionics rules that were updated to the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game. DSP did an excellent job of porting OGL psionics into Pathfinder: the system is solid and workable.

Today, when players of the D&D family of games talk about "psionics," they're usually specifically talking about the point-based powers system that works distinctly differently than the slot-based spell system. There is a great deal of controversy among gamers about the appropriateness of effectively having two different and incompatible magic systems in the game, when they both more or less accomplish the same thing.

My personal take is that I'm not a fan of having two separate magic systems in the same game. The 3.x OGL D&D psionics system, as written (either by WotC or DSP) are good. I just don't like them in a game alongside slot-based spells.

Occult Adventures will tread upon somewhat similar territory as D&D psionics, but will be looking at much earlier source material. Whereas D&D psionics is more-or-less based on the parapsychology movement of the 1960s and '70s, Occult Adventures will looking back to occult traditions of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries as its inspiration. It will be far less clinical and pseudoscientific in approach to the material, focusing on the arcane and the creepy. It will introduce psychic magic to the game, whicch will use the familiar spell slot mechanics.


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You have options.

Comic book stores usually stock RPG books.

Most Barnes & Noble bookstores I've been to have a selection of Pathfinder books in stock. They would be with the other RPG titles (usually between the sci-fi and graphic novels section). I wonder if there are any B&N stores in RI?

You can buy Amazon gift cards with cash at most big-box stores (like Target or Wal-Mart), and then use the card to buy things on Amazon. (That's what my 14-year-old kid does.)

You could walk into any local bookstore and ask to special-order a specific title. Very few bookstores charge extra for placing a special order, and some offer a discount. (Although some might ask you to pay in advance...especially if you're a teenager, and the store doesn't usually stock RPG titles.)

You could ask an Internet-savvy grown-up you know and trust to order titles online for you. (You then pay that person cash.)


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Liranys wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Liranys wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Things I use...

A 20+ year old Chessex battle mat (1" grid)

Dry wet erase markers

My battle mat is wet erase only. Dry erase will stain it.
Oops.
LOL as my mat is less than 2 years old I thought maybe Chessex had changed their mat "recipe". Apparently not!

I've also found the hard way that not all wet-erase markers are created equal. The blue marker in my most recent set won't erase completely with water-- I need to use rubbing alcohol. (That marker is no longer in my set.)

The nice thing about wet erase markers is that simply touching the map doesn't erase the lines. Unless someone spills Mountain Dew (or beer) on the map...


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Spoiler for Shattered Star:
The PCs enter a huge chamber full of columns supporting the roof, each carved as a statue. There are dozens, if not hundreds of these columns. A small number of them are advanced intelligent caryatid colums with rogue levels, which sneak attack the PCs when they get near.


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In all seriousness, I'd recommend watching the original versions of both The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes as inspiration before running Hook Mountain Massacre.


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Liranys wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Things I use...

A 20+ year old Chessex battle mat (1" grid)

Dry wet erase markers

My battle mat is wet erase only. Dry erase will stain it.

Oops.


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Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Godel, and Noam Chomsky walk into a bar. Heisenberg turns to the other two and says, "Clearly, this is a joke. But how can we tell whether it's funny?" Godel replies, "Since we are inside the joke, there is no way we can tell." Chomsky says, "Of course this joke is funny-- you're just telling it wrong!"


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At my table, I decided that he would come back as a centaur, with a Ranger level he'd been in life. His human torso resembled an idealized version of what he'd looked like in life.

After the reincarnation, his personality shifted somewhat-- While still friendly to the Black Arrows, he no longer desired to lead them. He remembered his life with the Black Arroews as one recalls a dream. He now had a mystical connection to Whitewillow. The connection to the land was such that he would never desire to leave it.

Of course, the specifics don't really matter. As written, the PCs never return to the area.


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Any info in this book about the elite Silver Falcons squad led by the mysterious masked shield champion known only as "Captain Andoran"?

Their battle song...

When Captain Andoran throws her mighty shield,
All those who chose to oppose her shield must yield!
When she gets to a fight and a duel is due,
Then the Gold and the White and the Blue come through!
When Captain Andoran throws her mighty shield!"


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
haruhiko88 wrote:


If I remember correctly Hackmaster had a pretty good system for fleshing out dungeons with random stuff. But then again that system also had an ENTIRE random dungeon generator you could use.
{. . .}

For that matter, the DMG of 1st Edition AD&D had an entire random dungson generator. It was intended for some kind of solitaire play, but no reason you couldn't use it to generate a dungeon for players to go through. Mind you, this was completely noncomputerized (use tables + dice + pencil + paper), so it was rather laborious to use, even though workable.

Those random dungeon generator tables in the 1e AD&D DMG weren't really intended for solitaire play-- they were for a DM to use if he hadn't had time to prepare anything ahead of time. There is a line in the book about the possibility of using it for such a purpose-- I think Gary Gygax assumed that some people who wanted to play D&D might not have other people to play with.

Honestly, I still occasionally pull out those tables and use them to generate a dungeon map if I am staring at a blank sheet of graph paper.

If you want to see those tables, but no longer have a copy of the 1st ed DMG, they are reproduced on pages 156-160 of the OSRIC AD&D 1e retro-clone.


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Have one of the Graul boys lurk just out of sight in the cornfield. Place something near there that would make the party investigate. Give him Spring Attack, Grab, and rogue levels.

When the party investigates, he jumps out of the cornfield, grabs a PC, and drags the PC back into the cornfield. The rest of the PCs then have to go through the cornfield-- which I treated as the same as a fog bank for vision.

Think Children of the Corn...


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Today, Slate.com linked to a video version of Richard Blanco's poem "Until We Could."

I found it so moving that it brought tears to my eyes. (Which was a little bit of a problem because I watched it at work...)

Enjoy!


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MMCJawa wrote:
I am think the various lists of demigod outsiders, and the lists of their areas of concern

Inside back cover of Book of the Damned III: Horsemen of the Apocalypse...

Harbinger Daemon Folca

Areas of Concern: Abduction, strangers, sweets.

Domains: Charm, Evil, Travel, Trickery.

Favored Weapon: Net

*shudder*

In the same book, on page 39, also note the spell parasitic soul.

*shudder*


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It's awesome when somebody necros an awesome thread!


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Fabius Maximus wrote:
I had no problems of the sort with the degenerate hillbilly ogres.

Yew got a purty mouth, boy.


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Alex Martin wrote:
Liranys wrote:
Someday, I'm going to put a Gazebo in a dungeon. Under ground. Because I can.
Knights of the Dinner Table in-joke?

The KotDT comic is a reference to the old gaming chestnut ""Eric and the Dread Gazebo" that's been kicking around the Internet since the days of USENET and dial-in message boards.

I first heard the "Eric and the Dread Gazebo" story on as part one of a one-two punch involving the infamous player Eric.

The second part was at the climax of the campaign, the PCs were fighting the Demon Lord of the Kuo-Toa at the bottom of the ocean. The party was losing badly: half the party was dead, and the other half were in single-digit hit points. In a desperate move to destroy the demon, Eric's character runs up to the demon lord with a prtoable hole in one hand and a bag of holding in the other. He then sticks the portable hole into the bag of holding right under the demon lord. This opens up a rift in the universe, sucking everything into the Void, including the demon lord and the PCs. A glorious TPK where the PCs save the world

Two weeks later, the group meets to start the next campaign, set on a desert planet where water is a scarce resource. After years of playing in this world, the players realize that they're on the same world as the previous campaign, but 10,000 years in the future. The world is a desert planet now because a void at the bottom of the sea had caused most of the planet's water to disappear...


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A duck that's a high-level spell caster. (She was hit with a baleful polymorph, failed the first save but made the second.)


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Pugwumpis.


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cr..rr..rr..rrr.rrrr.....

TWANG!!

...WOOOSHHH...

...ssshhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHTHWOK!!


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Wasn't always this niche though. Used to be much less niche.

Um, no.

I've been a gamer since the early 1980s. TTRPGs are more popular now than they've ever been. They also have a much more positive view in the zeitgeist. It's probably spillover from the popularity of RPG video games, which is a much larger market.


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I play female characters about half the time.

In fantasy/scifi games, I play human characters about 90% of the time.

Honestly, I find it far easier to roleplay my own species (regardless of sex) than I do playing a PC that's non-human. I would imagine that any non-human has some level of "other" to their mind and manerisms that far exceeds the male/female differences within humanity.

How do I play a female character? Like a person.


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An underground formal sitting garden, complete with pruned trees, well-manicured lawn, flowers, and park benches. (Bonus if you have a duck pond.)

A sentient book.

Green slime.

A viewing portal that can look at specific locations on other planets.

Prisoners that weren't what they seemed.

A mimic.

A magic fountain that has random (usually bad) effects. (Cliche, but PCs always drink from it!)

Tucker's kobolds.


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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
honestly i do as much as i can to dissuade from animal companions and outright forbid summoners in my games, it does make things move along better:)

But (bringing it back on topic) the addition of party-NPCs in an Adventure Path is not so easily dealt with.

Of course, you can sideline these characters during actual combat, but that's hardly an ideal solution.

It's just something for the writers to be cognizant of -- certain plot elements can interact with the system's weaknesses. I definitely count large parties as a weakness of the Pathfinder mechanics.

In those situations where there are a bunch of NPCs working with the party (e.g. "Retaking Rannick" section of Hook Mountain Massacre) my usual solution is to break up the party into two groups: the PCs and NPCs. If there's any way I can do it, I have the NPCs fight their own set of enemies. I don't roll out the combat-- that's boring and a waste of time. I just hand-wave the results of the fight, depending on how the PCs are doing and the needs of keeping the game moving. So, if the PCs are mopping the floor with the bad guys, the NPCs get into trouble and need the PCs to help them out. If the PCs are having some real trouble, the NPCs can also be having trouble, or they can win and give the PCs a helping hand.

If I do have PCs and friendly NPCs in the fight, I'll usually have the NPCs just move around to give PCs better positioning and/or flanking. I'll also have the NPCs take the Aid Another action instead of making attack rolls to give the PCs an advantage in numbers, but still rely on the PCs to do the heavy lifting of the fight. That keeps the spotlight on the PCs, and keeps the game moving.

If I run a party of 6 PCs, I flat-out disallow animal companions/special mounts/Leadership feat. (I always ban the summoner.) In that case, I will try very hard not to introduce friendly NPCs into the party.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There really isn't a lot out there about them.

The first article that directly addresses the Dominion of the Black is going to be in Pathfinder #88: Valley of the Brain Collectors, part 4 of "Iron Gods," to be released in November 2014.

And, no, there hasn't yet been a Big Reveal about what they are. We do know the following bits about the Dominon of the Black:

  • The Dominion of the Black are some kind of alien intelligence connected to the Dark Tapestry (i.e. interstellar space) and the planet Aucturn. (c.f. Distant Worlds)
  • Desna knows of them and opposes them. (c.f. Inner Sea Gods)
  • Insanity is associated with those who have dealt with them. (c.f. Pathfinder #14: Children of the Void)
  • The Dominion had connections to Ancient Osirion, and had something to do with the Aucturn Enigma. (c.f. Entombed With the Pharaohs and Occult Mysteries of Golarion.)
  • The Dominion had dealings with the wizard-astronomers of Lirgen. (c.f. Doom Comes to Dustpawn, Lost Kingdoms)
  • Iron Gods spoiler:
    An encounter with the Dominion of the Black is what ultimately caused the crash of the Androffan starship Divinity into the land of Numeria 6,000 years ago.


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Hama wrote:
I like to keep my anime from my Pathfinder. There are Animesque RPGs out there much muhc better suited for that role. Exalted being the best.

Well, for anime-inspired RPGs, it's hard to beat Panty Explosion. Yes, its a real game. No, I don't own a copy-- I played it once at a con.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
In a rigidly-codified game like Pathfinder (ie, the type of game where system mastery is actually a thing), often the less system mastery one has, the more creatively they play.

Totally true. One of my players in my Pathfinder game is an old-school D&Der who hasn't played any TTRPGs since a few months after AD&D 2nd ed came out. He is by far the most creative player in my group. He's not afraid to try anything!


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I was playing in a GURPS Space Opera game about a decade ago. The theme of the campaign world was a hodgepodge of classic SciFi tropes. I was playing an "Adept of the Grymmoedyrrch" (forget the spelling- it was an actual Welsh word that meant "spirit of the universe" or something like that.) she was effectively a Jedi knight, and she was fiercely loyal to her her homeworld: Earth, which was the capital of the Democratic Federation of Worlds.

After a few sessions, we are on a spy mission, and have infiltrated the much larger Barogen Empire, which had been the former imperial overlords of the Federation before the rebellion 75 years earlier. We'd encountered another Jedi, an older woman, who was working with agents of the Imperial Psi Corps, who blew our cover. The enemy Jedi wore a vowel, and had a scarf over her face.

We get into a fight, and it isn't going well. I get into a light saber duel with the other Jedi, and try a telekinetic trip maneuver, coupled with a saber strike. Critical successes on both: She trips and is unable to take defensive actions, then I roll max damage on the saber strike, but that's doubled for the crit. Combat in GURPS is deadly, and the light saber does a ton of damage normally. What I roll is enough to cut a person in half! The players cheer and start high fiving.

The GM gets a look of shock on his face, "Uh, she's dead. And you really weren't supposed to kill her. Sorry for this..." He went on to describe her beckoning me to her side, which I did. "So proud of you... sorry it has to be like this... love... you..." She shook her head and the scarf fell away. It was my character's mother, who I had thought was dead, who we later learn had been a sleeper agent for the Federation. She was supposed to have been a major NPC ally.

The GM said we were supposed to have been totally outclassed by the "bad guys", who were supposed to win the fight and take us into "custody", but it was really going to be a briefing and a way to bring us deeper behind enemy lines.

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