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Laurefindel's page

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has anyone tried that yet? I'm thinking to start a game with my son (who loves magic).

I tend to forget about it as a DM, and some players are more keen than other to award them to fellow players.

In my next game, I mean to merge Inspiration with Hero Points as described in the DMG. Basically, the players have access to a pool of points (I call it the fellowship pool in honour of TOR rpg) that a player can spend to gain advantage on the next d20 roll (like inspiration) or to add a d6 to a d20 roll (like hero points).

The pool is equal to the number of players in the party (thinking of making halflings count for two because they bring luck) and refreshes at the beginning of each game. The pool also gain one point back when a player selflessly put its character in danger to save another one, or other great acts of camaraderie.


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I don't think I want a PHB2. I like the self-contained-ness of 5e, but I'm the type of guy who like to work within an enclosed paradigm.

I'm afraid that more material will either create redundancy or invalidate already available options by providing better ones.

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I like the inherent STR bonus route.

A crossbow has a stock about the size of a shortbow, so base damage d6. But it's a super tight crossbow, one that needs a significant STR to pull. Give the shortbow an inherent 18 STR because of its mechanical advantage (so 1d6+4 damage) and the heavy crossbow 22 STR (for 1d6+6) damage.

SmiloDan wrote:

Hex must be amazing on a flurry of blows!

Walock dips are SO awesome!

Yes, I had a lot of fun with my Elemental Monk / Blade-lock multiclass. Very manga-y.

I'm presently playing a battle master fighter/barbarian (rage re-fluffed as a defensive fighting style), inspired by Mad Martigan from Willow.

My friend played a solid battle master fighter / rogue multiclass fencer, with feint maneuver + sneak attack as his go-to attack

from what I've seen and heard, fighter, sorcerer and warlock multiclass rather well.

"Beast" is a type of creature in the monster manual, alongside "aberration", "plant", "dragon" and the others.

It does indeed cover all manners of animals, insects and dinosaurs.

On another subject: the sprite's invisibility

Sprites of the Monster Manual have invisibility at will. I want to keep that racial ability somehow, but it doesn't have to be used as such.

I want to fluff their invisibility as an ability to fly fast and erratically which, combined with their small size, makes them really hard to catch. Reciprocally, they can use this ability to their own advantage (no pun intended).

The invisible condition fits the bill perfectly; disadvantage to attack them, they have advantage against their target. The condition drops if they cast a spell, make an attack or lose concentration. So far its all good. But how can I...

- word it in such a ways that the sprite remains visible (he's just hard to catch!) and therefore can be taken as a valid target by all.

- reduce its effectiveness outside combat so that stealth checks remain relevant.

- nerf it so that it doesn't get too strong of an ability.

So far I've reduced the duration to "until the end of your next round". It takes an action to activate.

SmiloDan wrote:
Maybe AC equal to their proficiency bonus?

I thought of that, and that's probably what I'm gonna go for.

It would start at AC = 12 + DEX and wouldn't exceed AC = 14 + DEX (the equivalent of a 18 CON barbarian before) 13th level. So probably similar to a point-buy barbarian built. A barbarian with lucky stat rolls will probably exceed that progression. This would make a high AC rogue however, but not much more than a dwarf rogue in chainshirt.

It would reach the equivalent of a 22 CON barbarian at 17th level, but the barbarian's capstone ability is still better. At this point I'm not too worried about balance

I guess you could say that the automaton could dump CON and boost DEX for the best AC in the game. So its on the strong side, especially for a racial trait, unless you compare that to the sprite's flight or invisibility...

SmiloDan wrote:
If you polymorph someone into something with 1 hp, and they hurt themselves for 1 hp worth of damage, do they un-polymorph and return to their original form?

I would say yes since the text says " "until the target drops to 0 hp or dies", although this encourages suicidal behaviour metagaming.

What I'm wondering is, what is left of the target's memories, personality and tactical acumen now that its mental stats are those of the beast's shape.

Poison damage of the Girtablilu is based on the giant scorpion entry. scaling from 2d8 to 3d8 at 3rd level and 4d8 at 5th level was made to echo the Aasimar magic, but now that I think of it, I may dial it down to d6 and scale it to 5d6 following the Dragonborn's breath weapon trait...

As for Skin of Bronze, I basically want to give them a natural armor. There is the AC = 13 + DEX route, or giving them proficiency like dwarves, or a straight +1 to AC like the Warforged of the UA.

I recently converted my Dark Woods setting* to 5e, but I'm still struggling on certain racial traits, particularly the sprite's invisibility, the automaton's skin of bronze and the girtablilu poison scaling.

any input would be greatly appreciated

Dark Woods player character races

* Dark Woods is a homebrew setting created by rolling 5 random races from that worldbuilding exercise thread that is still going since 2012! (I've got Aasimar, a make-your-own construct race, girtablilu, sprite and vegepygmy)

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Hitdice wrote:
but I wish there were more (any?) low level legendary creatures in the MM.

Yes, me too. The Unicorn is a good example of it. Unfortunately, it is not an antagonist in most campaigns.

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Your 1st level ninja has 15 DEX (+2). Your 20th level ninja might have 20 DEX (+5)

So effectively you are going from +4 to +11

But bounded accuracy goes both ways, the AC of a high level character is not much higher than that of a low level character

SmiloDan wrote:
Maybe there could be a ranger spell that gives it better control of its animal companion?

people generally don't like that since it would require concentration, which competes with Hunter's Mark. But I'd be interested into such an option (wizard kind of did that with their spirit summoner ranger in one of the UA)

Mordo wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
I'm not to kind about this one as it breaks the action economy, and is a major boost the the ranger power. Which, as I said in my introduction, is already balanced.

My big gripe with the Beast Master's economy of action is that it is a stand-alone mechanics. I'd be ok if that was how extra "characters" work in 5e but that is not the case. A familiar uses its own action, as do summoned creatures, hirelings and just plain war dogs (well, that last one depends on your DM). The fact that the Beast Master has the least control over its pet seems wrong somehow, even if I understand the logic behind the mechanics.

Another Beast Master fix I like is for the Ranger to spend an action to give a command, and then the beast companion uses its actions to suit that command the best it can.

"attack this guy (points finger)": first round, the beast use the Dash action to reach, then attack on the following rounds until the opponent is defeated.

"follow me": the beast companion take the Dash and Disengage actions as long as the Beast Master take the Dash and Disengage action.

"stay away": the companion uses the Dash, Dodge or Disengage action as need be to stay out of combat.

"guard this place": the beast companion use the attack action if an opponent enters the guarded area.


Mordo wrote:
What if the companion could act independently but couldn't take the attack action on its turn unless the Beastmaster spend himself his action to give him the order to attack? It works pretty much the same as written in the PHB, but the companion, will be able to dodge, disengage, help, dash on its own.

I can meet you halfway and say that the Beast Master could command its beast companion to move and take the Dash, Disengage (and Hide because, why not?) at no action cost from the Beast Master. The Beast Master would have to spend its action to command the Attack, Dodge or Help actions.

At 7th level, the Beast Master can command the Help and Dodge actions as a Bonus Action of its own.

Being able to disengage without spending the ranger's action would improve the (relatively fragile) companion's survivability significantly

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James Langley wrote:


~Place a majority of the features into a sorcerer archetype.
~Keep the feat, but it only grants a reserve (and only the absorb spell recharge) and the create spellflame feature.

This way, it would allow someone to use spellfire, but it would require a little bit more investment to get the meaty-goodness of the original concept (via levels in sorcerer).

Does this seem workable?

I understand the intention of making it a feat rather than a class. In theory, everyone can multiclass as a sorcerer (and the sorcerer gets its archetype at level 1, which is nice), but not everyone meets the prerequisites. Besides, the only class that could never get spellfire would be, ironically, the sorcerer since you cannot multiclass into your own class...

Breaking-up your spellfire feat into two or three feats could also work. Even if the final result is strong, ASIs are a rare commodity to trade.

Hi James,

Spellfire does a bit much for a single feat. Compared to Magic Initiate, Spellfire gives you more spells, of higher level, and even more as you level-up. Spellfire does not refresh after a long rest, but the way to recharge your spellfire is yet another set of beneficial abilities.

Spellfire has its own pool of points, its own mechanics, abilities and some improvement as you gain level. For me, this is class material, specifically a new sorcerer archetype.


I wonder what they will take and leave behind, or build upon. Mind you there are many similarities already between the two games, it wouldn't be a far stretch to adapt...

Like Pan said above, I like to give more meaning to proficiency than a +2 to + 6 bonus. Sometimes, especially in the case of obscure knowledge, only the proficient character is allowed a check.

Sometimes, success from a proficient character can mean something slightly different than a success from a non-proficient character.

I also like to give players "raises" for each +5 by which the result beats the DC, granting additional bonuses. Attack rolls preceded by a raised acrobatic roll may be granted advantage, or a raised deception check may open an opportunity for a sleight of hand, etc.

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GreyWolfLord wrote:
I don't get the 5e love personally, but then, I pretty much love AD&D and D&D (the REAL D&D, meaning Original, B/X or BECMI) and would rather play them any day over 5e anyways. Heck, love Pathfinder even...though I view it...

I loved 2e AD&D, despite its small issues. I resisted the switch to 3rd ed for a long time, but I came to appreciate the enhanced customization options it brought. Of course by the time I switched, 3rd ed was already starting to become discouragingly bloated. Then came Pathfinder and the promise of a fresh start, it too became discouragingly huge IMHO.

For me 5e brought a nice balance of old and new, the houserule-friendliness of AD&D with the customization of 3rd ed. It's a nice modern game and a tribute to all its previous iterations. I have a nostalgic love for 2e AD&ad, but 5e is my favorite.

I played games from level 1 to 20 where skill DCs where more or less the same (typically somewhere between 13 and 18), and as far as I experienced it worked fairly well.

High level characters succeeded in the field of proficiency reliably, which is what I would expect of high level characters, but failure were still possible in your low-stat abilities or when you weren't proficient with the skill. For characters with expertise and rogues with [can't remember the ability] that gives them a minimum result of 10, checks became auto-successes toward the end.

I can see this (maybe) causing some issues with athletics (for pushing) and stealth (against fixed passive perception DCs) or if player push the DM for knowledge checks all the time.

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it means that someone with a 14-15 INT is naturally just as knowledgeable as an average person trained in its field of study. At 18-19, you intuitively grasp concepts normally reserved to those with considerable experience (i.e. 9th level and up) or with experts (i.e. characters with a skill expertise).

With abilities caped at 20, I feel that it is easier to gauge what the ability scores mean. It used to mean that 12 was above average, 15 was "smart" and 18 was "genius", but in a world where adventurers reached INT scores of 25+, it didn't mean anything anymore.

I like it too, although I was skeptical at first.

I thought I would find the proficiency bonus too irrelevant, but given the bounded accuracy system, even a +2 is actually a meaningful bonus.

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I think I lost my d20 once...

In all seriousness, we had our share of petty drama but compared to these stories, that's about how bad it would sound. I consider myself very lucky now.

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I wonder, are promotion completely random or are they based on the performance of your rookie?

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Oh, nice. Two spider races and two water races.

... and an undecided one...

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I had many good moments with my TTRPG groups, finding the "best" is difficult.

Some of my best moments where not even around a table but around a campfire, mostly RP sessions with few or no dice rolls. Another good moment involves us playing in a cold and damp cabin where the players' discomfort added much to the feel and atmosphere of the game.

One of the moments I'm most proud of as a DM is when I had my friend played a guest role in a Planescape game. His Forgotten Realms character died during our last game, and the player was not sure if he wanted to have his character raised or play a new one. So in the Planescape game, his guest role was a petitioner NPC, a newly deceased soul torn between acceptance of death and a vague feeling of unfinished business.

The NPC was of course my friend's deceased character, but I managed to hide it from him until the end of the session when the story reached its climax. So after a brief adventure in the planes, his character returned to our group in FR, reincarnated as an aasimar.

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Freehold DM wrote:
lucky7 wrote:

Rememberto ignore Dr. Vahlen's about explosives: she's French, and no amount of fragments is worth the life of a soldier.

Any recruits stick out yet?

none yet, other than the veteran. It turns out I am in a weird tutorial, and most things are locked down.

Yes, the first game is the tutorial game. Only one survives the first encounter in Germany, and the first three or four encounter are pretty much scripted. After that you are in full control of the game. And by in control I mean you can finally build satelite uplinks...

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lucky7 wrote:

Rememberto ignore Dr. Vahlen's about explosives: she's French, and no amount of fragments is worth the life of a soldier.

Any recruits stick out yet?

I though she was German? But yeah, troops before artifacts.

Freehold DM wrote:
Just picked up enemy within on the advice of Sharoth and a certain someone from the chat. Here's hoping it's as awesome as it sounds...

good luck commander

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Finally finished Ennemy Within. The Volonteer was Juan "Crash" Delago. my sqad leader and sole survivor of the tutorial mission (and of the original four after Pixie's death).

Ironically, it is the Uber Ethrereal's mind control attempt on my gene-modified heavy that spelled his death (can't recall the name, but one that deals damage to the mind controller). Live by your sword, fall by your sword...

All and all, I really enjoyed that game. I'm glad I resisted reading all the guides and spoliers on internet, and save-cheat my way through (except a few mission in the beginning), that made the game very "real" as I was evolving with my operative, with few twists and nasty surprises (like Site Recon in Newfoundland, for which I now realise how unprepared and underquiped I was)

It's funny how you get attached to your operatives; I don't recall feeling the same with the orininal game. I'm starting a second wave game now, but I have the feeling my first crew will always be the one I'll remember.

commander out.

Just discovered Sectopods. God daaaaaamed.

I love reading people's XCOM saga. I don't have the will nor the time to write mine, but I decided to describe the "cast" of my XCOM adventures, as they were when I last stopped playing.

So in order of appearance:

Col. Juan “Crash” Delago
Class: HEAVY
Country of Origin: ARGENTINA
Status: in psi-testing (10 days):

Crash is XCOM’s senior agent and squad leader of Strike-1. He is a team player, helping his teammates with holo-targeting and suppressing fire.

Sole survivor of the first encounter with the extraterrestrials in Germany, Crash has participated in every single mission and somehow managed to come back uninjured every time, that is, every time except the last EXALT covert operative retrieval mission. His armour took the worst of the blow really, but the doctors insisted that he spends a few days at the infirmary. He watched the two following missions from the monitors back at the headquarters of XCOM and saw that he had trained his crew well. That’s when Dr. Vahlen approached him to become XCOM’s first psi-trained officer…


Col. Shivani “Pixie” Jaiteley
Country of Origin: INDIA
Status: ACTIVE:

“Pixie” is a dynamic woman part of XCOM’s “original fours”. Her good spirits lifts the squad’s morale and her skills as a combat-medic saved her teammates many times. She and her good friend Juan “Crash” Delago have participated in the most mission, and Pixie seems to be blessed with incredible luck. Plasma bolts seem to fly over her head, and she alone resisted an alien’s attempt to control her mind.

Pixie is everything a good support can be but most importantly, she is the soul and essence of the team. She is everything that XCOM represents. Would she be killed on the battlefield, XCOM would lose much more than a good fighter…


Shaojie “ Chilong” Zhang
Class: HEAVY
Country of Origin: CHINA
Status: ACTIVE:

Our “friend in low place” Zhang used to be a member of the Chinese triad but he risked everything to bring valuable information to the XCOM project. Ultimately, this led to a tide-turning victory when a battlecruiser appeared over Asia. Skilled with heavy weapons, Zhang has been fighting along us ever since.

It took some times for the team to accept Zhang’s sincere adherence to XCOM but after a few mission, his loyalty was no longer doubted. Zhang shone in every mission in which he participated, always ahead of the squad and drawing fire from enemies. More mobile than Crash and quicker on the trigger, Zhang makes-up for most of the team’s firepower. His role was essential in key missions such as Newfoundland, the assault on the battlecruiser and the invasion of the alien base. Zhang was also among the first soldiers to be deployed when the aliens attacked XCOM’s headquarters. His stand against the berserkers was worthy of an epic opera and will be always remembered as such.


Col. Jessica “Boomer” Barnes
Country of Origin: CANADA
Status: Wounded (6 days):

Boomer is one tough gal. Born in St-John’s Newfoundland Canada, the young rookie Barnes enthusiastically volunteered for a council mission to northern Newfoundland. The horror we witnessed there changed everyone, but it affected Barnes most of all. She spent days in front of Double Down’s locker, the man who died covering her from the Chrissalyds. With the sounds of his shotgun still resonating in her mind, she resolutely took his back-up shotgun and insisted to be on the away team when the alarm rang for a new mission. The squad needed an assault on the field!


Col. Rosa “The Baroness” Garza
Country of Origin: ARGENTINA
Status: ACTIVE:

An abduction mission brought the XCOM squad to Argentina shortly after the disastrous mission in Newfoundland. Locals put up a good fight as the aliens unknowingly attacked the residence of an Argentinian drug baron. Nevertheless, the local authorities and their unlikely ally were overwhelmed and sent a distress call to XCOM. Alien resistance was minimal when the squad landed and was quickly dealt with.

The drug baron’s wife was our contact upon arrival. After losing her husband and now being exposed to the authorities, she expressed her desire of joining the XCOM team. A quick assessment of her skills showed that she excelled with long rifles and the team was in desperate need of a sniper after the death of Claymore. Thus HQ command agreed to her request.

Her name is Rosa Garza but around here, we simply call her “The Baroness”. She proved to be a most essential asset and played a key role in the defense of XCOM’s headquarters, receiving the Star of Terra medal for her extraordinary contribution. Despite her habit of confirming commands in Spanish, she is a fighter on which the squad can rely.


Maj. Sofia “Vita” Golubeva
Country of Origin: RUSSIA
Status: ACTIVE:

Sporting a bright pink and blue armor, Vita Sofia is an energetic and athletic soldier, and by far the best runner of the XCOM’s team. Training under Pixie as XCOM’s secondary support, Vita Sofia quickly rose in rank and abilities. The two work exceptionally well as a team and often get deployed together. Whereas Pixie specializes in healing soldiers on the field, Vita often acts as a scout and spotter for The Baroness. Needless to say, we owed much of our MELD collection to her.

Vita Sofia played an essential role during the alien attack on XCOM’s base. As things were looking desperate, she managed to hack her way into the map-room and save the squad with a well-timed smoke grenade. Flanked by cyberdisks and muton berserkers, the team would not have survived the assault if it wasn’t for her timely intervention. In private, Crash believes that Vita should have been awarded the Star of Terra. The Baroness surely contributed more to the fight, but Vita’s intervention was the turning point to victory.


Col. Emma “Arcade” Schwartz
Country of Origin: GERMANY
Status: ACTIVE:

“Arcade” is a recent addition to the XCOM’s team but she is showing great skills with her heavy plasma gun. Her lightning-fast reactions makes her a good bodyguard for The Baroness; she disabled many threats while our sniper was getting in position.
While she is a good team-player on the battlefield, Arcade is a bit of a loner back at the base, preferring video games to real combat simulations, while listening to ‘90s techno music. Perhaps these interests prompted her to volunteer for Dr. Vahlen’s MELD mutation program. You should look at her jump!

Her bright pink hair and personalized armor distinguishes her as an artist and a bit of an anti-conformist. When Crash confiscated her xBox, she spray-painted her whole room at the barracks. If you ever see a “XCOM was here” graffiti on a burnt wall, you’ll know that Arcade was there.


Maj. Polina “Ice” Semyenova
Country of Origin: RUSSIA
Status: ACTIVE:

“Ice” got her nickname from her cool nerves. Although she is trained as a sniper, she is not afraid to get into tight corners. Her ability to shoot from the hip with her rifle allows her to advance with the rest of the team and while she is a decent sniper, pistols are really “her thing”. She is always the one pushing for new pistol technologies and upgrade.

Polina is also a quite capable hacker. With her nerves of steel, knack with guns and computer skills, Polina is an ideal candidate for covert operation. She has so far infiltrated four EXALT cells. Now if only HQ command could figure out where they are hiding with all the information she is bringing back every time…

...and those who feel on the battlefield:

Cpt. Daniel “Claymore” Matthews
Status: KIA:

Daniel “Claymore” Matthews was also part of the original four-man team of XCOM. He was a quiet and calm man, always very polite and respectful of his colleagues. His teammates used to say that he wasn’t a true Scott!

A series of bad decision from HQ command spelled his death. The team deployed in the wrong direction and allowed it to be flanked. As Claymore was gaining height on a train cart, an ill-chosen route from Double Down attracted the attention of a pair of mutons who attacked from behind. Claymore was taken as target and killed on the spot. Their death left XCOM without a sniper for a series of mission, which proved to be disastrous in Newfoundland.

From that point on, every member of XCOM would wear carapace armor regardless of their role and position, no matter how much these armors cost.


Cpt. Paul “Double Down” Johnson
Country of Origin: USA
Status: KIA:

Paul Johnson was part of the original four-man-squad as XCOM’s assault squaddie. His boldness and his speed on the battlefield quickly gave him the nickname of “Double Down” and the rank of major. He spent half his days on the battlefield and the other half in the infirmary, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Double Down felt responsible for the death of Daniel “Claymore” Matthews when his recklessness attracted the attention of a pair of mutons. Taking the squad by surprise, they shot the sniper before they were shot themselves.

The following mission brought the team to Newfoundland Canada. Never forgiving himself for the death of his teammate, he took upon himself to protect young rookie Barnes who was asked to re-activate the ship’s transponder. He and Tombstone did the best they could, but Johnson never made it out of the ship. Double Down died covering Barnes out of the ship’s cabin, but at least he was redeemed and his soul now rests in peace.


Lt. Javier “Tombstone” Moreno
Country of Origin: MEXICO
Status: KIA:

Javier “Tombstone” Moreno was the first rookies to be promoted after the “original four”. He stayed with the team for most of the winter and kept-up with Double Down. The two worked best in pair, flanking opponents and protecting each other with their close-combat skills.

Tombstone was killed in action during the Newfoundland mission. He and Double Down were charged to protect the (then) rookie Barnes from the cryssalids emerging onto the deck of the whaler ship. Unlike his brother in arms, he escaped the ship and made it almost all the way to extraction. His way was cut by a pair of cryssalids freshly born from shark carcasses. “GO!” he screamed as he entered a building. All we saw is the cryssalids blocking every exit before we boarded the skyranger. We heard a few shotgun shots, and the skyranger took off just before the airstrike. We can only hope that the blast killed him before the cryssalids.

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Freehold DM wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

Aaaaah, the aliens are invading my base! MY BASE!

And I only have three of my guys, plus two xcom guards with basic rifles. S*$$, there are mutons all over the freaking place, and chryssalids too. Not sure how we're supposed to get out of this one!!!

[edit] ok, got reinforcement, major Barnes to the rescue with two more troopers!

are they killing your dudes?

Things started to look really grim. I was flanked from both sides in the map room, with three cyberdisks and their drones on one side and berserkers on the other. My heavy just barely survived the berserker's assault, and the rest got bombarded by cyberdisks' grenades, wounding most of my soldiers and killing one of the base staff member. Then a door opens, and I'm thinking "alright, this is the end"...

But it wasn't an enemy, it was my best healer support coming as reinforcement! Her combat drug smoke grenade shielded my troops just long enough to wipe the cyberdisks and berserkers without further casualties.

The rest of the fight wasn't exactly a walk in the park, with some of my troops mind-controlled and my over-confident assault basically melee-ing with mechtoids, but nothing as nerve-racking as the map-room fight. While the infirmary will be crowded for a while, that X-COM base guard was the only casualty. What a fun mission!

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Aaaaah, the aliens are invading my base! MY BASE!

And I only have three of my guys, plus two xcom guards with basic rifles. S$+*, there are mutons all over the freaking place, and chryssalids too. Not sure how we're supposed to get out of this one!!!

[edit] ok, got reinforcement, major Barnes to the rescue with two more troopers!

I too don't really buy the "you-will-kill-yourself-if-you-aren't-force-sensitive" about lightsabers (although I can accept that only a trained, force-sensitive person can manufacture one). I can also accept that you need near-clairvoyant reflexes to deflect blaster bolts

They are probably stupid rare, stupid expensive and well, rather flashy in a non-desirable attract-inquisitors'-attention way. That's enough for me to explain why people don't carry lightsabers.

DSXMachina wrote:

So the more in pain & bleeding a character is, the more sleepy he is?



In all seriousness, I think the intent is that the more beat-up and weary the character is, the more susceptible to have his mind hammered by an enchantment spell he is.

...except other enchantment spells do not work that way...

Set wrote:

Hit points, obviously, starting out squiffy, and getting increasingly absurd as one becomes 'higher level' in Commoner or Expert, and becomes increasingly able to jump off a cliff and recover fully in a few weeks.

Which leads to healing. No matter who you are, even being reduced to zero hit points and left 'Dying,' once stabilized most injuries will heal in a week (equal to your HD per day) or less (with bedrest). No non-supernatural injury will have a lingering effect, like give you a limp or leave you paralyzed or disfigured unless it's a specific story element. After being swallowed whole and bathing in the stomach acids of chi-jaluud a purple worm, you'll cut your way free, and recover without any scars.

This for me was the greatest disconnect between D&D (AD&D, D&D, Pathfinder etc) and the fantasy worlds as I imagined them. I've since made peace with hit points, but the lack of quick recovery and injuries bothered me for a long time.

SmiloDan wrote:

At least your cleric can't have both bless AND guardian spirits up at the same time....

no but the combo plate/shield + dodge action + spirit guardian + spiritual weapon is just as interesting. It makes for pretty consistent damage while keeping the cleric quite safe and unlikely to lose concentration. You pretty much have to hit him with AoE otherwise your orcs and goblins are toasted.

I've rarely seen our cleric concentrate on anything but bless or guardian spirits.

spirit guardian makes me cringe as a DM and is more than challenging when a NPC uses it against the players.

I don't think it's broken, but it's a bit like haste in pathfinder; there are two categories of combat, those with spirit guardians and those without.

I'm far from having the computer that can support a game like X-COM 2, and I don't think we'll upgrade our XBOX 360 for ONE just yet, so I guess I'll have to enjoy Enemy Unknown/Within for a while.

In the meantime Major Jessica "Boomer" Barnes is rocking her new scatter-laser shotgun. T'was about time too, cyberdiscs are starting to appear on the battlefield...

Gaekub wrote:
Are people looking forward to XCOM 2? There's a gameplay series or two on youtube, but I've been avoiding them so I can experience the game for myself.

looks like they inverted the roles; aliens are the "good citizen" and XCOM operatives are the invading units.

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nerco-ing this tread because I got the game for my son this Christmas. Had a day off today and tried the game myself. Having played a bit of the original game and Terror from the Deep, I was treading on familiar grounds...

Game started good, a bit of save-cheatging but not overly so. I was about to loose North America when a well timed terror mission allowed me to keep panic under control. New satellites where their way, things where good...

Then a pair of mutons appeared behind my squad when my assault revealed their location while dashing. Crap. Overwatch failed to connect, and two lucky crits take both my snipers out dead-cold. No time to mourn, show must go on.

Then I get a council mission to Newfoundland Canada. If you played it you probably know which one I mean. Some of my best friends are from Newfoundland, so of course I accept. I even take Canadian rookie Barnes (who I decided was a Newfie) with us on the field for our first mission without sniper back-up.

wow, I was in for a ride worthy of Aliens/chryssalids extravaganza! I had never encountered more than two (on that Terror mission), and now they are spawning at a rate of 1-3 per round! And I have to cross their nest AND make it back to evac ?!? With more of them bursting out of sharks all over the place when I'm racing back ?!? Damned, lost two more experienced soldiers that day, my two assaults, and I considered myself lucky I didn't lose more. Barnes made it back however, but I fear she will never be the same...

Now i'm out of snipers AND assaults... oh wait! Barnes has taken "Double Down"'s fallen shotgun and filled-in the role!

SmiloDan wrote:
Hi! I really hate characters rolling on random tables. Is there any alternative to rolling on the 5th Edition Sorcerer's Wild Magic Surge chart?

There are a few ways to address this, but the simplest is to have a binary worst/better effect on the spell, some thing like this

On a magic surge, roll 2d10 of different colour. Elect one colour as bonus die, the other as malus die. If the bonus die has a greater result, then the spell is bonified by [result] damage, or rounds, or targets, etc. If the malus die has a greater result, then the spell is reduced by [result] damage, rounds, targets etc.

Another would be to print a bunch of effects of blank business cards. Call it your wild surge deck.

You could also photocopy the page and give it to the player

My random encounter table is more like a "random event" table with only about half the possible outcomes involving a fight with a monster.

Typically, a skill check of some sort can eliminate or mitigate the effects, but results range from "getting lost" to "spoiled rations" or "interrupted rest" to "exhaustion".

The monster encounter part is typically divided in animals and other monsters with animal intelligence, intelligent monsters, humanoids (including giants), undead etc.

The exact nature of the adversary if left intentionally ambiguous; I choose the monsters based on the region and strength of the players. I"m not against going above the players' CR (sometimes flight and survival is "winning" the encounter), but I eliminate challenges that the party can easily defeat without investing lots of resources.

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may Itchy die of a thousand horrible deaths by his hands.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:

bah, since we're necro-threading...

Vancian magic is a combination of three things

1) Magic is packaged as "spells" with relatively narrow usage. i.e. you can't downgrade your fireball to light your cigarette, or spread it in a wall-like linear fashion. There are other spells for that.

2) It is possible for a magic-user to "run out of magic". It's not an at-will skill like magic in Harry Potter.

3) Casting a spell is impractical; you've got to pre-cast it in order to trigger it with a few words latter on. Thus a magic-user memorizes spells like a gunslinger loads bullets in a revolver.

3rd ed D&D and Pathfinder (and 5e even more) already took distance with Vancian magic with sorcerers (who do not have to memorize/prepare spells), metamagic (which broadens the effect of a single spell) and at-will cantrips (meaning that a magic-user will never run out of magic).

Some people have issues with spell slots, which is a spell-point system really, while most agree that the three main points are viable concepts from a gameplay/balance perspective.

Amber Diceless had an even more extreme type of Vancian Magic. You could only either memorise one spell... (and you had to work to keep it memorised) or you could hang a few on the Pattern/Logrus/ or some kind of object and you had to "maintain" them every now and then until you cast them. It was enough of a pain to explain why most Amberites didn't bother with the spellcasting thing at all.

interesting from a narrative standpoint however...

bah, since we're necro-threading...

Vancian magic is a combination of three things

1) Magic is packaged as "spells" with relatively narrow usage. i.e. you can't downgrade your fireball to light your cigarette, or spread it in a wall-like linear fashion. There are other spells for that.

2) It is possible for a magic-user to "run out of magic". It's not an at-will skill like magic in Harry Potter.

3) Casting a spell is impractical; you've got to pre-cast it in order to trigger it with a few words latter on. Thus a magic-user memorizes spells like a gunslinger loads bullets in a revolver.

3rd ed D&D and Pathfinder (and 5e even more) already took distance with Vancian magic with sorcerers (who do not have to memorize/prepare spells), metamagic (which broadens the effect of a single spell) and at-will cantrips (meaning that a magic-user will never run out of magic).

Some people have issues with spell slots, which is a spell-point system really, while most agree that the three main points are viable concepts from a gameplay/balance perspective.

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