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Laurefindel's page

3,278 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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well hello there post monster, have seen you in a while!

MMCJawa wrote:

As a fan of the Horror genre, I find Alien to be the best film of the genre. It may seem predictable now, but really it invented a lot of the horror tropes we see commonly in genre films, especially the "haunted house in space" trope, as well as reinventing horror aesthetics and monster design.

I tend to think Aliens is not only over-rated but would have probably worked better as a unrelated movie. It was "lets make a vietnam war movie in space!". I don't think its a bad movie, but I said over-rated.

Agree on the first part, but I truly believe that Aliens was just as influential for the sci-fi thriller genre as Alien was to space horror. So many tropes take their origin in Aliens, and I'd say its one of the success of the Halo series (replace Ripley with Masterchief and you have the UNSC, down to ship aesthetics and Apone/Johnson sergeant).

I give as much credits to Aliens as I do to Alien - and by that I mean that I consider both movies as masterworks of their own (sub)genre.

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Alien Resurrection was actually quite popular in my circle of friends, probably because it felt so much like a RPG party of player characters. Where Aliens felt like a troop of Imperial Guards from the Warhammer 40 000 setting, Alien Resurrection was Space Hulk meets Necromunda (this movie actually inspired a Necromunda RPG campaign now that I'm thinking of it. fun times!)

The feel of Alien Resurrection was different for sure, but so was Alien 3 compared to Aliens, which itself had a different feel from Alien, so it didn't bother us much.

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Dragon78 wrote:
In fact if they at least left Newt alive then we could have a new trilogy with a different main character.


Newt as the new (adult) protagonist backed-up by "uncle" Hicks would have been the perfect way to update the franchise without straying far from the previous Alien lore.

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I'm digging 5th edition with the same kind of enthusiasm I had discovering 2e AD&D some 20 years ago, which is saying much. That's a pleasant surprise since the playtests left me rather cool about the whole D&D next thing.

In no order, these are the things i like best:

I can learn and teach the game easily to any type of crowd, be it veteran players or my 7 years-old kids. Even the Beginner's Box wasn't that straightforward (although I still think this was a turning point in RPG history and I will always love Paizo for that).

Choices and options are meaningful both in themselves and in relations to each others. One of my main criticism of 3.5 was that it takes a significant level of game mastery to see how relevant a +1 to hit is compared to a +2 damage or a +1 to one kind of save etc, and the only reason why the Beginner's Box will never be completely kid friendly.

5th edition is easily customizable, and houserules are less likely to crash the game like the house of card that late 3.5 was. Judgement on the fly, rule twists affecting a single scene, plug-and-play subsystems work better here than in any other iteration of D&D since the "advanced" series.

Low level threats can be used much longer into the game thanks to bounded accuracy. I had my doubts at first (especially concerning skills), but now I'm a convert.

Things are loose enough yet the guidelines are precise enough to play the game in the style/genre/ambiance that works for your group. Heck, even sword-and-sorcery and low-magic can work with minimal adjustments.

Settings are less threatened to fall in the Tippyverse paradigm thanks to a better iteration, scaling and distribution of spells. Magic is still a bit too flashy and many spells are still too "out there" for me, but the urge to find a low(er) magic setting is much diminished by 5th ed default magic.

Pathfinder art and layout is still best, but 5th edition is pretty darn good. I especially like that fact that items can be visualized with an illustration or a evocative description. My biggest complaint: when will RPGs publish a character sheet that doesn't feel like a fraggin' tax form?

So anyhow, there are more but these are the main elements that work for me.

So come-on Paizo, impress me with Pathfinder Unleashed!

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as for alignment, I'd coin Dash as CG (doesn't think the rules apply to him. Uses powers against her sister in a "no powers!" zone/game/houserules, consciously pushes boundaries to see how far he can go before getting caught).

Where Dash is the Incredible who most likely to "go deep", violet is the one looking after the group. She isn't the kind of protector that becomes the target like Bob, she acts in shadows to strike at the most opportune moment, usually to thwart the plans of the bad guys in an unforeseen way. I hesitate between LG and NG, but I could see her developing into a LG character.

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Tacticslion wrote:
I mean, I guess I never put it in the same context as the others, because it was so blatant and heavy-handed throughout.

Yes, its an obvious trick, but a coherent trick with other characters nonetheless.

The whole movie is about transformation; its not a trick really, its (one of) the theme of the story.

Both Violet and Dash (and even Jack-Jack for that matter) change their view on things after their adventure.

At the beginning, Violet is shy in her outlook and relationship, but also in the way she handles change and her powers. It's about confidence of course, but she goes from "better be small, better be protected, better be overlooked" to "others will know I'm there and I will move forward to protect my family". That doesn't prevent her from being invisible, but her powers go from hiding to allowing her brother to run.

Dash goes from "I wish I could show the world how I'm the best" to "I'm good with fronting as close-second"

The movie shows Bob and Helen after they have been transformed. For Dash and Violet, it shows the transformation itself.

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Ok, RPGs are not reality simulators. My bad

Nevertheless, if a poster asks "help me explain this", and your answer is "don't", you're not contributing to the thread and just shutting down people's opinion and denigrating their interests. This is rather frustrating...

thejeff wrote:
We're playing in a world of myth and legend. Let it work like a world of myth and legend.

That is a constructive answer however, expressing a vision of the game and not only saying "don't do it, it's badwrongfun". (although is the answer to dragon flight is magic, what happens to the dragon in an antimagic zone is, for me, a relevant question).

Personally, I find the argument that "dragons fly because magic", and magic exist "because dragons!" rather circular. Regardless of what the characters will ever know for sure, i believe that a world can work of an internal logic without losing it's "fantasy" tag.

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Claxon wrote:
The answer is, don't use physics. This is a game, not a reality simulator.

I agree with the "this is a game" part, but...

Physics, even if its a made-belief set of physics rules, are require the make the world coherent. Otherwise things fall upward, except when they fall toward what's red, cold makes you catch fire, or whatever.

Whether we like it or not, the game is a reality simulator. We have (many) books full of rules that regulate how we can play this simulator, even if the fantasy reality is different from ours. I agree that there is a sweet spot where the in-game world feels similar enough to our reality for us to relate to our character, but not close enough to make the fantasy element disappear for non-conformation with the Laws of our world.

And we need to accept that this sweet spot, this comfort zone is different for all of us. If coherency or verisimilitude with our world is not important for you, that's cool, but please don't shut this conversation down because you think different from the OP :)

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I disagree that the game revolves around CR. CR is a scale. Scales can be translated.

It means that not 100% of the monster manual will be usable. Considering that not all 100% of the magic item section or of the spell section will be used either, it's not unfair. The game doesn't have to be used in whole; very few games ever do so anyways.

And if a CR 15 dragon TPKs a party of 20th level characters, then CR 15 becomes a new benchmark. There nothing silly there. Not more than a medium-sized fighter slaying a Colossal dragon with a sword barely long enough to pierce through its epidermis anyways...

It's all in the expectation of how super you want your character to be, but there are no ways that you can disguise a high-magic game as a low-magic one; it needs to become another game. This is perfectly possible to do with Pathfinder, but I can understand that some people will prefer if the book bares another name.

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Personally, I don't have a big problem with Ye Olde Magic Shoppe. I actually like the curio's boutique where local wizards get their pickled basilisk eye or whatever spell component they need. That this place sell potions, a few scrolls, half a dozen magical rings and trinkets and one or two magic swords doesn't bother me.

However, I dislike the Magic-Mart "if it exist in the multiverse, we'll deliver it within 30 days!" type of magic shop where characters can treat the magic item section of the core rulebook as an online catalog.

Magic can still have a place in a lower magic setting. All I ever wished to do in my games was to turn the magic dial from "9" to "6" or "7".

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Usual Suspect wrote:

The Goblin's Mug

A cheep and rowdy drinking establishment on the edge of town where any 1st level group of adventurers can get a beer before harrowing off to kill more goblins.

goblin muggers...

Good one!

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There's also Goldorak (Grendizer)

Cheesy as hell and probably pretty bad by modern standards, but I remember it being one of my favourites at a young age...

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- Ulysses 31
- Les Mysterieuses Cites d'Or (Mysterious Cities of Gold)
- Albator (Captain Harlock)
- Captain Flam (no idea how good this really was, but it left a strong impression on me as a kid)

If long features are allowed:

- The Flight of Dragons
- The Last Unicorn
- Les Maitres du Temps (Masters of Time or Time Masters?)

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I may be old school, but I though it was the DM's job to be the arbitrator. A game is always gonna be tailored for its players, and that implies arbitrary decisions.

Whether the DM is a dick or not is another question.

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Much of my friends' suggestions and critiques have been made into the final edition.

I'm not saying that my friends are the sole responsible of the final product, just that some people do have the impression that their input was taken into account.

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rainzax wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

At first there were two pools of hit points, like a simplified vitality/wounds system, whereas non-wound damage would heal quickly over a short rest and completely overnight.

Then there was Evil Lincoln's Strain houserule, bringing everything under a single pool of point.

Finally there was only hp and a "wounded" condition blocking rejuvenation of HPs to half.

any chance you'd care to briefly weigh or summarize pros and cons of each?

It's a balancing act between a rule we can relate to as human beings and ease of play at the table.

All three versions assume that hps are abstract representation of your your ability to withstand both tangible injuries and the exhaustion that one undergoes in combat. In other words, lost hps are not all cuts and broken bones, but nor are they all just huff and puff.

Having two distinct pools of points have the advantage of being clear, and its easy to give them two different healing rates. However, it skews balance at low levels either because PCs are extremely fragile (if you just divided their hp in two pools) or relatively resilient (if you basically duplicate their hps in two pools). Monsters have the same "problem". From experience, the problem balances itself around 5th-6th level and amplifies again around level 10th-12th where powerful PCs and/or monsters can be one-shotted with a good critical. That made for a very narrow sweet spot.

Evil Lincoln's Strain/Injury is much better and immediately solved that issue since all damage ultimately goes to the same pool, but with different qualitative. The concept is a bit more abstract and hard to "grasp" than having two separate pools but it worked much better in the D&D/Pathfinder frame, especially for monsters for whom you can just ignore that rule without unbalancing the PCs.

E-L underlying concept was great but it could be simplified with a simple "wounded? yes/no" condition. You miss on the "how badly are you injured" but you gain in eliminating bookkeeping.

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David Bowles wrote:
I'm mostly dismayed at how much play testing and development went into 5th and that the final result is so underwhelming.

David, stating your opinion is one thing, trolling is another... please cut it out.

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Didn't follow 4th ed much, but there was a line called D&D Essentials IIRC that attempted to appeal to lovers of 1st ed D&D, mostly through presentation and aesthetics from what I've gathered.

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Regardless of what I think of the lightsaber (or light-longsword), I've got to admire the fact that they got everyone talking about it. Same with that bowling droid; whoever made this teaser gave us enough material to talk in every forum of discussion that exist on the internetz.

So despite the histrionics, this teaser (and the lightsaber) is a true masterpiece!

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I for one enjoy the strip-down-ness of 5e. 3ed/Pathfinder was/is getting so darn heavy that it ceased to become stronger system and started to collapse under it's own weight.

Mind you, 5e is bound to suffer from the same fate; after years of new feats, new backgrounds and new path/subclasses, character creation and class optimisation will get heavier. But the fact that you get one choice of background, one choice of subclasses and four feats (five if human) over your 20 levels (assuming the feat optional rule is used), paired with the bound accuracy concept ensuring that you don't need to hoard +1s to get to your DC40 checks, should keep things under some degrees of control a bit longer.

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The caster can move away from melee and cast. Only, he'll have to accept the opportunity attack (or whatever it is called).

The fact that casters can't go in and out of combat with impunity is not a bad thing IMO even if it changes the paradigm a bit.

I don't know all the spells yet, but I'm sure there are spells that boost movement and/or allow you to levitate/fly/teleport out of range and/or slow your opponent and/or protects you enough for you to last in melee and/or spells that are cast as a bonus action after you disengage.

These are not available at low level, but even casters are able to fend off enemies in melee at low levels.

As for the rest, I'm sure a 5ed group without a martial character is still less screwed than a 3ed/Pathfinder group without a caster.

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Otherwhere wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
Wizards kept it for themselves;
Except that it is also available to: the Inquisitor; the Alchemist; the Bloodrager; the Magus; and anyone with the Luck or Destruction domain...

that's because Wizards and Magi are under the same syndicated union. Inquisitors blackmailed them so they had to let it go. Wizards had had an eye on the witches for a while, but they never saw the alchemist coming. Lack of clear vision really, they should have had.

Bloodragers, well, who's gonna tell them they can't have true strike? Clerics with Luck domain acquired it as a misplace item in a wizard's garage sale, a stroke of chance you might say.

That leaves Clerics with the Destruction domain. CLearly these guys are OP and should be removed from the book!


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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
A Low Magic campaign is when the Players and GM look at the levels of magic presence in the default Pathfinder rules, think "too much", and try to turn it down a notch.

Indeed, it does not have to be more than that.

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Undone wrote:
tony gent wrote:
Laurefindel has hit the nail on the head there is plenty of magic in lord of the rings it's just much more subtle than the normal gamers version which is a fireball in the face
Except for the part where Gandalf casts fire seeds. That's pretty overt.

Gandalf casts a bunch of spells, including overtly offensive ones (especially in The Hobbit) and makes a powerful display of magic in LotR against the Wargs before attempting the pass of the Caradhras and entering Moria (and also on Weathertop, although it happens "offscreen"). It could be argued that Gandalf is capable of more "overt" magic but restrained himself not to write "Gandalf is here" in big letters in the sky for Sauron to see. Gandlaf is undeniably a power and one of the most "flashy" magic-user in Middle Earth.

But characters like Gandalf don't make or unmake a low-magic setting. He is part of the setting and representative of the fact that in this setting, there are many magical elements sprinkled here and there, some powerful, some less, some overt, some covert, but he is not representative of what the inhabitants of this setting are or can aspire to be. Even if we say that Gandalf is what a player character (as an extraordinary inhabitant of the setting) can aspire to be as the pinnacle of spellcasting, it remains relatively tame compared to a typical D&D/Pathfinder game. That's enough to say "low-magic" for me.

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There's more to the LotR low-magic-ness than failing to teleport the ring to the Cracks of Doom.

There's the ringraiths taking months, if not years to find Baggin's home (or the Shire for that matter).

There's Gandalf failing to fly-out/jump-out/dim door out of Saruman's tower.

There's Radaghast having to search into the wild for Gandalf (and given that he eventually did implies that there is some magic involved, just no scry or message spell).

There's Gandalf relying on a busy innkeeper to relay a message of utmost importance.

There's Gandalf wishing for warmer socks, which any prestidigitation spell would fix.

And there are many more. But there's undeniably magic in LotR. Lots of it too, but it has a lower tone, more subtle uses and less far reaching scope. It's not used as much as a tool or yet-another-app on your i-phone. LotR is one example of low-magic, but not the only one.

Low magic is not about removing magic from the game, it's about reducing its scope.

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While I admit my experience is anecdotal at best, much of "calibrating" a low-magic game is done by choosing the player's opponents wisely.

The quickest element to "break" in a low-magic game is the CR of monsters, which does not always consider some of their abilities that would otherwise be easily circumvented with magic (like flying, high DR, etc). A certain balance can be kept by judiciously choosing adversaries.

In my case that was not a problem, because one of the reasons I went for Low-magic was to be able to use "basic monsters" longer. With AC remaining somewhat stable, your orcs are still going to be a threat even if the players are now much more efficient to kill them and withstand their attacks.

When a giant shows up, the players know better than to face it in melee without some kind of strategy. When the wivern attacks, they know they'll have to play it defensively and ready attacks until it comes within reach.

The magic that do exist is much more fearsome because saves are that much lower. In low magic, you need to assume that spells affect their target in general, but sometimes target make their save (rather than the other way around).

In most cases, the solution to the problems raised by low-magic exist within the system, except they are not often used because they are seen as sub-optimal. Only in a low-magic game will you see a ranger wear full plate for a battle because the boost to AC is worth the non-proficiency penalty and the loss of features...

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DrDeth wrote:
But since both PF and IH are D20, what do you need from PF to run a D20 low magic game?

That's a legitimate question. Iron Hero is a good product.

People like familiarity. Perhaps IH doesn't feel enough like Pathfinder; actually, IH has a very distinct vibe. Would Pathfinder still feel like Pathfinder once you remove X, modify Y and add Z is yet another legitimate question. Still people are attached to their favourite product and well, people are not always rational about that.

I like your posts and you bring some very valid point to the conversation DrDeth, but sometimes it sounds like "you'll fail, don't bother trying".

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Gaberlunzie wrote:
RDM42 wrote:

Really GOOD coffee IS a life changing experience!
Obligatory link

Good one!

Heterodyne Coffee anyone? (be sure to read the following two pages!)

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Petty Alchemy wrote:
Halt! You're in the general area of our alchemists!

...and for you citizen who are witnessing the arrest, we'd like to remind you that the yellow seats are situated in the splash zone!

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Tarantula wrote:
Just seems like archery is the name of the game at that point. Kill them before you can take damage.

Or stealth/ambush. Or destroying the bridge on which they stand. Dynamics would change all around. That's kind of the point.

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Terquem wrote:
the more I realize that what I really want to experience, through D&D or Pathfinder, is the adventure itself, and not the details of how each little thing can or cannot be accomplished.

That's a fair and valid statement.

Speaking from a DM's perspective, the details of how things are accomplished does have an impact on the adventure I present to my players, so it does matter to me.

Perhaps it has less to do with me being a DM and more with me having a genuine interest on the mechanics or RPGs. Such things always fascinated me somehow, and I love games that present a simple but thematic rule or mechanics that reinforce the theme and feel of the game.

5th ed has a few thematic rules like that which I admire for design's sake (because I haven't played a 5th ed game yet).

[edit] 3rd ed and Pathfinder are getting a bit old and heavy now, but it has quite a few key design elements I love. The triple saves of will/fort/ref was good mechanics and a good "innovation" IMHO.

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I not a fan of players insisting on playing evil (or acting like immoral ass**** or playing "neutral-badass" just to impress other players).

I find the enjoyment of doing depraved things disturbing at best, loathsome in most cases.

I can understand (and enjoy) characters struggling against their worst nature, or going into a momentary fit of madness, but there needs to be an intent of redemption somewhere.

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I'm not here to compare who did what better, but 5th ed general simplification is freshening. I'm starting to like 5th ed concept of concentration spells more and more.

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Malwing wrote:
Additionally, how would you feel if there was a full on E6 or low magic product?

I would love such a thing as a Player's guide to Low-Magic Setting or something, ideally something official from Paizo (for support) or a quality non-campaign-specific third party product. Almost made it myself, a few years ago.

Basically a product that proposes 2 or 3 different approaches to Low-Magic, with a few alternate rules a la Unearthed Arcana but otherwise assuming core rules.

I have a feeling much of it could be achieved by achieved by giving casters alternate sets of spell lists, pruning spells to match a vision of "how magic works in fictive setting A, B and C" and attributing the RAW core spells accordingly.

Much can also be changed through re-fluffing existent material, but this reskin must be guided with a certain vision of things.

I wished that had been created.

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Game Master Scotty wrote:
My oldest is almost ready to swim on her own, allowing her mother and I to convert her room to RPG storage.

"So college next yeah eh? Not to put any pressure on you honey, but your mom and I have plans for your room..."

[edit] Oh, and I realise I never congratulated the parents properly, so congrats to Tacticlion and Lady Firedove!

Having a kid in neo-natal isn't easy, but your child is in as good care as you can wish to be. Make sure to give us news when you guys are all under the same roof.

Speaking from experience, keep a budget for (small) treats to buy on the way, if you can afford it. That's going to be a lot of commuting which can become a chore (which you don't want "seeing your baby" to become). A little something for yourself, your better half or the nurse at the hospital can go a long way keeping this joyful.


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Those are cardinal sins!?!

The only "sin" I can understand would be "purposefully ruin the fun of your players"

If any of those "sins" contribute to make the game more fun for all, I say go for it!

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We shut down the factory about 7 years ago.

It means however that the whole family is about to be in age to play RPGs. Soon my older son will be able to take upon the GM's mantle and start gaming with its brother and sister.

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As mush as wikipedia can be trusted as a reference, the wiki page on science fiction is an interesting read, nothing among other things the difficulty to state what science-fiction means.

So let's see what it has to say on the Steampunk subgenre...

wikipedia wrote:
Steampunk is based on the idea of futuristic technology existing in the past, usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Popular examples include The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, Bas-Lag series by China Miéville, as well as Girl Genius web comic by Phil and Kaja Foglio, although seeds of the subgenre may be seen in certain works of Michael Moorcock, Philip José Farmer and Steve Stiles, and in such games as Space: 1889 and Marcus Rowland's Forgotten Futures. Machines are most often powered by steam in this genre (hence the name). Terry Gilliam's 1985 film Brazil is seen as inspiration for writers and artists of the steampunk sub-culture.

[edit] Brazil and Girl Genius; interesting. They seem to broaden the definition to "science in the past" over than "super steam-powered engine", up to Dieselpunk or alternate history when gas-powered engines replace steam.

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Science-fiction doesn't need hard, working science. It just mean that the "fiction" part applies to element of science as well, not only to the plot.

"fictive-science" might have been a better word?

Star Wars is a strange beast, but it can be coined as science fiction because much of what is fictive about it concerns "science". It could be argued that this fictive science is not the main focus of the story and therefore should be another literature genre, but since science fiction and fantasy are often grouped together in libraries / merchandised together / publicized and aimed at the same general public, the marriage of the two genres in Star Wars is a natural one IMO.

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James Langley wrote:

Not sure if this is the proper category for this.

Anyway, I would like to know of my fellow adult gamer-sorts: how do you find time to game?

Hey James,

I'm just gonna echo some of the things mentioned above, in point form because I'm doing homework with the kiddos...

- Taking care of your family is important. Having fun as a dad is important primordial. Participating in the household tasks/routines and giving some slack to your wife is important. Having a hobby outside the work/sleep/baby routine is also important.

- At this point you may have to choose your battle. You may not be able to play twice a week, have hockey nights with the boys, hang-out at Moe's pub with Lenny and Barney and sleep-in every morning because you're so darn tired from partying all night. In other words, your college years are gone, but all is not over.

- If gaming is important to you, then make it a priority to play. Tell your wife you want to make it a priority to play. She's allowed to tease you, but let her know you shouldn't have to feel guilty about it (that last point is actually pretty darn important).

- Consider playing outside your house, gaming IS disturbing to baby/kid bed routine (I don't mean outdoors, I mean in somebody else's home). If your house is big enough you may consider soundproofing a gaming room but if your home is more modest, try to find a new host.

- Be ready to make compromise. Sometimes it may mean just playing board games at home with a few friends and sending them home early, or starting at 10pm. Sometimes it means cancelling this week because your wife is at the spa with her sister. Sometimes it means watching hockey with the boys instead, because playoff!

- Point is, your social life might not "just happen" with a 18 month old baby. You'll need to put efforts to maintain it, but its possible and definitely worth it.


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Orthos wrote:

Pretty much what Laure said.

Here's a test that I think works well: Google the comic Girl Genius and read it, at least the first couple of chapters (it's quite long, so I don't expect you to read the whole thing for the purposes of this one test). If the basic idea of the setting - that people with the innate "Spark of Genius/Madness" can make technology do things that should otherwise be impossible - is too far-fetched for you to follow, I'd say about 90% of steampunk will rub you the wrong way as well. The last remaining 10% or so would be the "hard science" versions of the genre, if they exist.

I LOVE!!! Girl Genius. Hands down my favourite webcomic, and one of my top comics/mangas/bandes dessinées ever.

It's setting is a bit appart from SteamPunk however (more Napoleonic/Habsbourg Empire era than the typical steam-age Victorian) and closer to the "sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic" trope than the typical "20th-century-technology-but-running-on-steam" / Jules Verne inspired.

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It has to do with suspension of disbelief, the rest is (mostly) irrelevant.

Typical fantasy accept that magic and dragons exist. If you refute that, much of the setting collapses.

In steampunk, you need to accept that steam engines can be LOT more efficient that what we know they can be. Be it purely mad science or a combination of magic and technology, it doesn't matter. If you can can't work with that premise (and I wouldn't hold it against you if you didn't), than steampunk isn't for you.

Same applies to many other settings involving technology. Even if you leave the whole Force thing aside, there's no way we can take Star Wars seriously on a science basis. Steampunk is like that; but in pseudo Victorian Europe.

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Fabius Maximus wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
That was the case with Firefly. The Train Job was a good episode but a poor pilot IMO.
'The Train Job' wasn't Firefly's pilot. It's the second episode. I agree that it would be a bad pilot. The real, feature length pilot is called 'Serenity' (like the movie) and sets up the characters nicely.

My point exactly; the actual pilot, serenity was aired after The Train Job which effectively acted as the "revised" pilot. Something about the network people thinking serenity was too slow paced or something, and so The Train Job was commissioned instead.

Fabius Maximus wrote:
The problem with Rebels is that the second episode was as bad as the first one.

That's too bad. I haven't seen the second so I can't make an opinion.

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I find pilots are not often very representative of their series. Usually when I really like a pilot, the series end-up disappointing me. When I thought the pilot was only OK, I often end-up liking the series. Sometimes it has less to do with the episode itself, but in the order or ways that things are introduced for the first time.

That was the case with Firefly. The Train Job was a good episode but a poor pilot IMO. The pilot for The Clone Wars was rather blah IIRC, and the series really picked-up by season two for me.

I don't know how it was for this one, but pilots are often manipulated by three or four different parties. "gotta have humour" "gotta have action" "gotta introduce the characters, but do it quickly". The pilot was also previewed by a test auditory, from which they got feedback and will adjust subsequent episodes (but we still got to see the same pilot)

That was the cover and back description of a book; it was meant to attract our attention but you can't judge its content solely on it.

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I swear when I first saw the title to this thread I thought of the band Journey. I'm sorry for that.

don't stop, believin'! <-- gotta work that into a bard ability or something...

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452. Filling a "dungeon digging permit" application form issued by the Ministry of Evil Overlords.

453. Interviewing the new "interns", and questioning the legitimacy of their references.

454. Petitioning a new grant for the new "Devil Labour Plan" in the nine hells.

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Hello everyone.

Making a new RPG seems to be a hip thing to do nowadays; so here’s my own roleplaying game: presenting Journey RPG!

Rather than going all Big Wall Of Text on you, I thought of presenting the game with a FAQ-style Q&A.



Q. So you wrote a RPG?
A. Yep. It’s called Journey RPG, says so in the title… (gees, do try to follow…)

Q. From scratch?
A. Well, not quite. It relies heavily on the d20 OGL, but it draws from other games such as 7th Sea and The One Ring as well. At its core, it’s still a “roll d20 plus modifiers must beat DC” type of game.

Q. Isn’t there like 100 other games like that, not to mention Pathfinder RPG, 13th Age, 5th ed D&D and SKR’s new Five Moons game? Don’t you think your timing suck?
A. There are plenty of good games, but a little indie game with a particular niche never hurts. Besides, designing games is a good hobby of mine.

Q. So you just woke-up one morning saying “I’m gonna make myself a RPG”?
A. Gees no, that’s the culmination of many years of hourserules, tinkering and playtesting. I started to really get at it when it became clear that 4th ed D&D didn’t have what I was looking for as a post 3e RPG. So at the same time as Pathfinder RPG, roughly.

Q. Whatever. So what is that game’s “particular niche” about?
A. It has more of a down-to-earth game; less high fantasy, bit more late dark age/early middle age feel. Races and monsters a bit closer to norse and celtic mythology. More focus on day-to-day challenges, less on the magical trinkets than one collects to boost its stats…

Q. Oh, historical RPG then?
A. Not quite; it’s a fantasy setting, just with less gonzo. Think more like Middle Earth.

Q. So no full plates, no magic-user and crappy weapons all around?
A. Most typical weapons are there, but no fancy rapiers and the like. There are full plates too, just not high gothic ones. Dwarves make them, and some human cultures have good enough alloys to craft plate armours too. Each culture has its own “thing”, and heavy armour is not the only way to boost your defense.

Q. Armours? With a “u”?
A. Yeah, I’m Canadian…

Q. So, no wizards? (and you forgot to say “eh” at the end, Canadian boy…)
A. Yes, yes, wizards are there. Wizardry is the youngest spellcasting tradition, alongside druids, rune-casters, enchanters and priests. Magic has received a complete overhaul. It’s not a fire-and-forget type of magic anymore, but it still relies on the concept of “spells”. Also, magic is very limited and spellcasters can quickly run out of spells without their wand, staff, crystal ball, stone circle, blessed relic etc. The scope of spells is also brought down a bit lower. In a lower fantasy setting, a spell allowing you to see in the dark can be quite powerful.

Q. Rune-Casters and Enchanters? Aren’t enchanters a type of wizard?
A. Wizards can cast enchantment spells (and can specialise in them), but enchanters cast from a different spellcasting tradition (i.e. different spell list and casting rules). Think Merlin the Enchanter; their spells are closer to D&D’s beguiler or bard, or 1st AD&D illusionist.

Q. You mentioned dwarves earlier, so you must have elves and gnomes and halflings and half-orcs as well?
A. Elves; yes. Halflings and gnomes; no. I’m trying to keep a tighter focus, but there are three human “races” to choose from. One of those branches out as half-elves, another human race branches out as half-orcs. Kind of.

Q. Ok, so we got realistic fighters and all but the most mundane abilities only available through magic… Wait, is this another “martials-can’t-have-nice-things” game?
A. Not at all! First, realism was never a design goal, and it is not a simulationist game either. As a matter of fact, the system has been simplified somewhere halfway between 3.5 and basic 5th D&D. However, the game does focus on more mundane challenges, such as environmental hazards, travel fatigue and hunger so that it becomes more about the characters’ heroism, less about their super-heroism.

Q. But I like fantasy superheroes!
A. So do I, but we have plenty of other games for that. This one is about fighting with more mundane assets and against less supernatural enemies, but without going overly gritty. The game is designed to be played in three tiers. Levels 1-5 is low-fantasy, levels 6-10 see a net progression for martial characters while spellcasters really come into their own at levels 11-15 (and where martial characters start to resemble D&D-style superheroes). The classes are segmented so that you can easily start at level 6 if you want, or stop at level 10 if you want to avoid the most powerful spells and abilities. Each tier has its own capstone ability and symmetry within the classes ensure that each character is about as powerful at these turning points.

Q. So you have five spellcasting classes. What are the others?
A. Bard, Huntsman, Knight, Rogue and Warrior. Warrior is kind of a fighter/barbarian hybrid while the knight is a bit like the Pathfinder’s cavalier and paladin. Huntsman is basically a bow-using ranger, Bard is as much a warrior as a poet and Rogue is more an agile fighter than a thief. Only the bard dabbles in magic, but nowhere as efficiently as the full spellcasting classes.

Q. No monk?
A. No, not for the moment. Journey RPG focuses on the people of the north and west. The Bruce Lee oriental-monk, the Aladdin acrobat-thief and the Jafar elemental-sorcerer will have to wait until the “east and south” extension.

Q. So five martials and five casters then?
A. Yep. The number five is kind of a design leitmotiv; five martial classes, five spellcasting traditions, five stats, five saves, five skill categories of five skills each, five schools of magic, five druidic circles etc.

Q. Alright; so the game is all finished and ready then?
A. I wish it was! It’s mostly all written, meaning there’s still a LOT to do. I’d like to have a few more monsters done too, and I’d like to expand on the travelling part, which is a great deal in this RPG. I also need illustrations. Lots. And editing. Whoah! But I hope that by posting this here it will keep me motivated and that I won’t have to compete with D&D 6th edition by the time I’m finished.

Q. And you really think this will interest anyone?
A. I was kinda hoping so… System design, open testing and designer’s notes always draw some interest, even if I’ll likely be the only one playing the game.

Q. Can’t you keep a blog like everyone else?
A. Hum, that’s an idea… For the moment, no blog; just posts.

Q. Well then designer boy, do you have anything to show yet?
A. Sure, there’s this character sheet here. I’ll post teasers weekly and see what people outside my gaming group thinks of all of this.

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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
It was a fun massacre!

Well; that's something you don't hear everyday...

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You guys keep attacking Kirth's post that was defending equality of sex. Go read it back and try to read past the first degree.

If we are to defend and promote that all have the same potential, I beleive giving free range all stats for both all genders is a good start...

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
There is a special circle of hell for theater talkers.

... along with child molesters.

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