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Laurefindel's page

3,167 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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rainzax wrote:

Unawares (new condition)

** spoiler omitted **

Not sure if I like that since it only allows the DM to better kill players without a warning. The OP was on the contrary about causing a reaction from the characters based on a distinct warning akin to the "no point to run, we've got snipers on every roof" trope we see all the time in movies/TV.

In that regard, your previous post was more pertinent. Start with rolling to hit. Then offer to surrender. If target refuses, deal damage. The thread was about rogues and sneak-attack, but it could be applied here as well.

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!

I should make a good looking pdf of that.

Also, why wasn't this tread dotted for me (the OPer)? Do dots vanish after a while?

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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.

Tarantula wrote:
How would anyone heal in that game? Just keep rest for days until you're back to full?

With skill (heal) and rest, you can go from 0 to full in about 3 days, without houserules, alchemical substances, not-quite-magic-but-almost healing slaves and herbal remedies or campaign specific rules.

That's super slow compared to the fast pace of high-magic games, but still incredibly fast compared to how wounds are healed in the real world, and about the same as other "gritty" RPGs.

Still, I'm not saying a Pathfinder Guide to Low-Magic couldn't have some alternate rules about recovering hp.

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Also because it was a book or movie and Frodo (...) had on plot armor.
Which in this case takes the form of a physical armour.
Except it doesn't. There's no implication anywhere in the book text that Sauron's eye is a physical shield -- and the Nazgul were literally impotent at the time of Elrond's council, having been deprived of both their steeds and their physical forms at the fords of the Loudwater -- as Elrond and Gandalf were aware.

eh, it was only meant as a smartass comment on the Mithril shirt (literal) armour acting as plot (metaphorical) armour against the orc chieftain who attacked Frodo in the chamber of Mazarbul.

Its worth mentioning however that Frodo was still defeated in this combat, but not killed and without lasting injuries.

*mumbling sulking voice*well I still think Middle Earth is a low-magic setting and that it doesn't stay true to its source when you just port in D&D characters...

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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.

the secret fire wrote:

Discussing a low magic setting is pretty much explicitly a matter of homebrew/house-ruled versions of PF, is it not?

That said, it would probably be a good thing for Paizo to publish a supplement with structural suggestions on how to do low magic in Pathfinder. Among other things, I think there is a market for it.

At least it would put a definition on low-magic. I wouldn't need to be the only definition of low-magic, but there would be one to use as a benchmark. Publishing third parties and homebrewing DMs could then crystallise their ideas around that definition, or in contrast to that definition. I'm still surprised that no one attempted this without creating new rules for a specific setting.

Auren "Rin" Cloudstrider wrote:
i wouldn't so much say middle earth was low magic, as much as there were a massive variety of low level magic items and magical effects...

I wouldn't call that a massive amount, even if we count elven Lambras or Beorn's honey-cakes as magical.

The character's in LotR are possibly the most magically equipped character in the last 1000 years of the third age and even if we consider them 1-6 level characters, they remain pretty under-equiped in terms of resources (spells and equipment) compared to a typical 1-6 level adventurer band.

Never mind the whole setting, change the fellowship for a typical group of 9 D&D/Pathfinder adventurers and the story is severely altered by the player's resources and possibilities (especially one that is composed of one of the most prominent wizard of the world, a king in exile, two princes, the son of an extremely rich and famous dwarven lord and the blessings of two elven "kings").

Still, Middle Earth is a low-magic setting, especially in the third age.

Middle Earth has magic, so it isn't a no-magic setting. Some of it has a rather large scope, such as ignoring winter and natural decay in a whole country, making a volcano erupt or condemning a whole nation to become ghosts. Many locales seem to be able to act according to the will of an individual, such as the Old Forest with Old-man Willow or the high pass on the Caradhras, which are typically beyond the scope of typical D&D PC.

Even then, such powerful effects cannot seem to be possible without powerful items/artifacts/title, such as the rings of power (who were created by the most skilled magical craftsman of the second age with the help of Sauron, who was sort of a demi-god and the right-hand of the most single powerful gods save the creator himself). Even then, most of such big magical effects took centuries to prepare.

Invisibility is a BIG thing, and only possible with the One Ring (although Gandalf implies that such can be granted by lesser rings as well). Scrying seems to be reserved to the three individuals in the world possessing a palantir (who all end-up being antagonists). Those are otherwise early-level, go-to spells for most spellcasters in high-magic fantasy RPGs. Even a lowly endure elements would have been a life-safer, which only Gandalf and Legolas seemed to have by simple virtue of being a mayar and an elf.

While big magical effects had a big impact on the story of the LotR, they are relatively tame compared to how magic change the life of ordinary people (not to mention adventurers) in D&D.

So while we do see spells such as light, arcane lock, pyrotechnics, control flames, we don't see effects that allow casters to fly, teleport, gain knowledge of your surroundings, blast your opponent with magic repetitively (although Gandlaf is a bit more potent in The Hobbit in this regard)), or spells that enlarge, haste or amplify the strength of your allies (although inspiration-type spells or effect are used by casters and martial characters alike).

By the third age in Middle Earth, magic is not only rarer than in most D&D settings, spellcasters have a severely limited "spell list" to speak in D&D terms.

Auxmaulous wrote:
Also because it was a book or movie and Frodo (...) had on plot armor.

Which in this case takes the form of a physical armour.

also, concerning using the Eagles... (safe for work)

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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.

Low-magic is an ill-define term.

No one seem to agree whether it stands lower to D&D/Pathfinder (usually taken as reference benchmark) in terms of magnitude, frequency, reach or ease/availability. Besides, high-magic is often put together with high-fantasy and therefore low-magic must be low-fantasy in many people's mind.

Regardless of how low-fantasy is defined and what solution is proposed, I can understand why many people look at D&D/Pathfinder saying "whoa, that's too much".

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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.

thejeff wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:

I mean, it's cool if you want your speculative fiction and games to be escapist fun. But if that escapism means erasing or ignoring the parts of history where white imperialism destroyed, exploited, and stole from other people around the world, then that's not something that I'm interested in.
Yes, I did so enjoy the section of Lord of the Rings where Frodo dies of dysentery, or where the cut on Sam's head from the orc fight gets infected.
Well, they did mostly skip the disease, but there was a section in the Appendices talking about the Numenoreans returning to Middle-Earth and setting themselves up as kings over the men living there.

not to mentioned that both Numenorean kingdoms collapsed mainly due to disease...

Plagues and diseases occupy an important part of Middle Earth's history and one of the "dear" themes of Tolkien, from the meant-to-be-funny "thag you berry much" cold-afflicted Bilbo to Frodo's departure to the West due to his sickness.

But I feel we digress here...

Well, one thing we can agree on is that this Steampunk stuff is super trendy these days

Orthos wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Granted, that still doesn't stop most bookstores and libraries from stocking those books in a sci-fi section.
Though most bookstores and libraries don't actually have separate science fiction and fantasy sections anyway, so hard sf winds up next to swords and sorcery.
Really? Man, I've been living in the odd place out all my life, then. Almost every bookstore I can recall had a separate section for fantasy and for sci-fi, with different signs for each.

They are more and more recognized and cataloged as different, but they were (are) equally snob-ed by the literary community for a long time and thrown in the same basket. Many libraries have a bigger spirituality/esoterism section than sci-fi/fantasy combined.

Writers of fantasy and sci-fi are still under the same association if I'm not mistaken.

quick question James,

do you have a (private) car garage or lawn-mower shed you could turn into an improvised gaming room? I had a friend who did that.

They even turn the game into a sci-fi Tank-Girl wannabe game to match the 2-stroke engine smell of the shed...

When my son was under a year-old, we played on the balcony outside. We had to install something to make it (somewhat) wind-proof, but otherwise we brought our sleeping bags out and butane-powered camping light. We moved-in when it started snowing but until then, I have good memories of that era.

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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.


ElterAgo wrote:
Yeah guess half of my problem would be the people describing it as not magic, it's just technology applied a different way. But it isn't. Almost nothing of what they describe can possibly work.

As noted above, Steampunk isn't that more far-fetched than many other sci-fi settings (like Star Wars, even without the Force).

Even if we remove the "but, dragons!" element of fantasy RPGs, humans can typically do/withstand things that we know don't work, or would kill us outright. Having machines doing/withstanding things that we know don't work isn't a big leap.

Steampunks doesn't make more or less sense than any other fantasy/sci-fi settings; that ALL break down at the slightest application of logic.

When was SteamPunk coined as a genre anyways? I heard of Cyberpunk in the late 80's, but I never heard of steampunk or dieselpunk back then (although I remember steampunk-ish art from as long as I can remember).

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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.

Morganstern wrote:

So, my players are interested in the idea of a Greco-Roman style campaign, and we even grabbed the greek pantheon from 3.5 and converted it for Pathfinder. But as I read over some threads on this style of game I noticed that a lot of people advised against it as Bronze makes Heavy Armor and many Two-Handed weapons impossible to craft, making a lot of builds useless.

To counter this problem, I intend to give everyone that would be able to use heavy armor Combat Expertise for free, regardless of Int score. Does this seem like a reasonable compromise, or does this still sound unfair?

You could also get a look at SKR's The New Argonauts for inspiration. It has some interesting mechanics, stressing on the importance of the shield over heavy armour. Otherwise its mainly OGL and easily portable to Pathfinder.

looky here

[edit] not what I had in mind, but very interesting and relevant stuff nonetheless, and 100% Pathfinder compatible!

Zmar wrote:
Oh we sure are listening... is there some compiled draft for testing? (I might have missed it)

There are no playtest document yet (well, no public one anyhow), but the idea is to have one ready soon.

I knew writing these previews would be beneficial, but they are being more helpful than I expected (I wrote half dozen more, some I reserve for later, some I didn't think were pertinent enough). They force me to voice my intention, and in as few words as possible. I can then compare how the verbatim of the rule follows the intent of the rule, and correct it/modify it appropriately.

The next part about magical props is doing that bid time right now...

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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.

Journey RPG excerpt #4 part 2: Casting a Spell

All spellcasting classes are built on the same frame. They get to cast cantrips from 1st level and gain the ability to cast 1st order spells by level 2.

incidentally, level 1 is called the “apprentice level”, and that is true for all character classes. Typical, young adult characters are expected to start at level 2. Within a character class, level 2 is called the “journeyman level”, where the class gets its signature ability (such as the ability to cast spells in the case of spellcasters). A starting character can thus decide to start as an apprentice in two character classes or a journeyman in a single class.

Spellcasters get to cast 2nd order spell by level 5, 3rd order spells by level 8, 4th order spells by level 11 and 5th order spells by level 14 (classes top at level 15). Journey RPG also makes the distinction between a spell and a ritual. Rituals require time and calm (from a minute to several days) and cannot be cast in combat. Otherwise, all spells are cast as a Simple Action (equivalent of a standard action). Thus all rituals are spells, but not all spells are rituals.

To cast a spell, a spellcaster must spend a talent pool point (called arcane points for wizards, glamour points for enchanters etc). The cost is the same for spells of all levels, but some rituals are more expensive. As with all other classes, spellcasters possess a number of points equal to half their level plus their key attribute (ranging between 2 and 5), and these points do not replenish in full overnight. Add to the fact that these points are also used to fuel other abilities, such as counterspelling, turning undead or shapeshifting, and a spellcaster can quickly run out of points to cast all but the most basic spells (cantrips).

For this reasons, spellcasters rely on props and implements such as wands and staves, orbs and pendants, divine symbols and relics etc to cast spells without the expenditure of talent points. Druids also learn to draw magic from the land, wizards can scribe scrolls and rune-casters can etch runes to diminish their dependence on talent points.

The next excerpt will show examples of spells, wands, druidic rituals, spell-runes and holy relics to illustrate how the game works mechanically.

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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.

Yes, the boost mechanics sound promising, as are many other elements of the game.

So SKR, if you do end-up dropping CON, will you have to rename your game Four Moons RPG?

Journey RPG excerpt #4, Part 1: Spellcasting Traditions

Magic is a big chapter. I shall break down magic excerpts in three. Part 1; the five spellcasting traditions:

Druidism is a primeval spellcasting tradition, drawing form invisible laylines and springs of “surplus” earthly energy to weave magic. In Journey RPG, druids are far from being mere tree huggers (some can be very dark indeed), but their source of magic limits them to natural themes such as weather, plants, animals, and the cycles of seasons, day and night or life and death. Druidic magic is distinguishable by the way druids can draw magic from the land and store it in items such as protective talismans or the druid’s staff and weapon; the shillelagh.

Druids often have a public position among their societies but their teachings are very secretive. Older druidic orders left monuments as open “spellbooks” for the initiated to read, indicating how to draw special powers out of special places, making a druid BBEG in its own earthspring a very powerful villain!

Even if druids are the true architects of their own spells, they consider their magic as divine and often pray to older, sometimes barbaric, gods. Priests and shamans of older faiths use the druid as their class template.

Druidic spells resemble their d20 counterpart. They consist in a small core list further enhanced by the choice of one druidic circle completing the druid’s spell selection.

Rune-casting is also an old spellcasting tradition, practiced principally by jotuns and dwarves. An ancient feud persist as to who stole the secrets of runes from whom, but both agree that rune-casting was a gift from the gods. Regardless of who practiced it first, rune-casting is unquestionably the spellcasting tradition of choice of both races and of their human allies.

As the name implies, rune-casting is the art of invoking the sacred powers of the runic alphabet. According to the rune-casters, runes do not only represent sounds; they are concepts, ideas that can be invoked, commanded or summoned. Knowing how to invoke these concepts is knowing how to control the forces of the universe.

Like druids, rune-casters see their magic as a divine gift but in truth, the power of runes is closer to the arcane arts practiced by wizards.

Spell-runes are somewhat of a hybrid between a d20 cleric’s spell list and that of an abjurer specialist. Of all five spellcatsing traditions, rune-casting is the most vancian-like. Runes can be either invoked or inscribed. Once they have been inscribed, they can be triggered at any moment and thus can transcend the spell’s usual range or target.

Enchanters hail from a very old magic tradition, descending directly from the primordial chants that shaped the first spells at the dawn of time when even the old races were young. Enchanters practice glamour, a magic of images and illusions made real.

Glamour is the magic of the fey, refined and practiced by the Sidhe lords of old. Elves do not only excel at glamour; they are the only race of the free people who can master it. Glamour is a magic that cannot be learned; it is an innate quality that only flows in the veins of the fey and of humans claiming to have elven blood among their ancestry.

Of all five spellcating tradition, glamour is the most fluid and free form, with a spell list resembling that of d20 bards and 1st ed AD&D’s illusionists.

The priests of Journey RPG are the leaders of the new religion and of its established pantheon. They revere the gods and goddesses who brought about civilisation, teaching order and justice so that men, elves and dwarves may thrive. “Priests” of older faiths and savage gods usually use the druid class instead. Priests can be healers, “white wizards” or militant combatants depending on their chosen sphere of influence, but all fight darkness with devout conviction.

Priests claim to receive their powers directly from their deities. While every spellcasting tradition has its own occult rules and limits, divine magic is the most apt to transcend those limits and to perform where other magic have fail.

Divine spells resemble those of a d20 cleric. Priests are the spellcasters with the widest spell selection.

Wizardry is a newer spellcasting tradition built on principles borrowing from druidism, runecasting and glamour magic. For a long time, wizardry was broken up with scattered arcane knowledge, each region possessing a fragment of what was to become a complex notation system. Using a systematic approach, travelling wizards banded together to form covenants, share their knowledge and develop spells based on a common magic language. This gave birth to a rich and diverse spellcating tradition, unbound by philosophical or metaphysical constraints and capable to create more dramatic and flashy results than any other tradition. Today, the practice of wizardry is resting on its five pillars, five schools of magic that defines the arcane arts: Abjuration (after the wards of the rune-casters), Enchantment (after the charms and illusions of glamour magic), Conjuration (after the summonings of the druids), Divination (after all three previous traditions) and Transfiguration (again borrowing bits of all three parent traditions).

Thanks Aneirin, I wasn't sure if anyone was still listening...

Crit +4?

Resolve = mental hp?

Lots of room for languages. Had a lot of space left in prototype sheet or are characters expected to speak many languages?

Cool, I was waiting for that! I've always seen the character sheet as a game's curriculum vitae; it says a lot about the game on one single page (well two pages really, there's a back side too...)

I presume these are the six skills of the game, or are there more that this character doesn't have access to?

About know(ledge?); will it also include more practical skills such as healing, or mainly cerebral one like spouting arcane lore and whatnot?

Also, How to Solve the Charisma vs Appearance debate by SKR:

Don't include either. Done!

Journey RPG excerpt #3: Combat Manoeuvres

Characters in Journey RPG can perform (and face) three main types of attack.

The first is the most straightforward and familiar to most gamers; you make an attack roll and compare the result against your opponent’s defense DC. If successful, you deal damage which your opponent may negate with parry points to avoid being defeated. If you roll a natural 20 (or less depending on weapon), you score a wounding hit. A wounding hit causes your opponent to become wounded and becomes a critical hit if the confirmation roll is successful. Poisons, bleed damage and other type of secondary damage effects are only conveyed on a wounding hit.

The second type deals damage over an area without an attack roll. Everyone caught in the area must make a saving throw against a predetermined DC to avoid or reduce the amount of damage received. If the saving throw is failed, you become wounded. Regardless of the outcome of the saving throw, you can avoid being defeated by the attack by spending parry points as normal.

The third is a hybrid between the two, whereas the attacker makes an attack roll, setting the DC for the defender’s saving throw. This third type of attack is generally used to convey a particular effect other than damage, such as grappling or disarming an opponent. These attacks sometimes cause a loss of parry points but generally don’t directly injure the target (although it might be more effective to push your opponent down a ravine than attempting to defeat it with your sword).

This type of attack is used in certain spells and with certain forms of nonlethal attacks such as disarming or intimidating your opponent. The following example shows the combat manoeuvre action, a Simple Action* that a character can take in lieu of a regular attack.

Journey RPG wrote:

Perform a Combat Manoeuvre

You can perform a combat manoeuvre to push, grapple, tackle or unbalance your opponent.

To perform a combat manoeuvre, you must make a brawl attack which your opponent may oppose with a Fortitude save. The defender may substitute its Fortitude save with an Acrobatics check, if desired. This remains a saving throw and thus, no action is spent by the defender for initiating a skill check. Typically, up to three assailants can team-up against a single creature of the same size, and up to six characters can team-up against a larger creature. Attack rolls do not stack, only the best result is kept with a +2 gang-up bonus for combat advantage (as per gang-up rule).

If the opponents are of different sizes, the larger creature gets a +5 bonus on its roll.

If your opponent succeeds the saving throw, your attempt fails without further consequences. If the defender’s fails its saving throw, it loses 1d6 parry points and receives one of the following effects (at your choice):

Push: You push your opponent up to a distance equal to your speed. You can push an opponent out of a melee this way, but you cannot escape the melee yourself with this manoeuvre.
Grapple: You grab your opponent so that it may not move. A grappled defender is considered overwhelmed and must either break the grapple or become the grappler to be allowed to act freely on its turn. If you are still considered the main grappler on your next turn, you can attempt to pin, attack, tie or disarm your opponent. See Wrestling below for more details on grappling.
Tackle: You trust your opponent violently, making it fall prone. If you wish to move past a tackled defender, you can move up to the distance indicated by your speed.
Some weapons allow you to trip your opponent. While tripping and tackling differ in technique, the result remains the same. In this case, you may initiate combat manoeuvre using your weapon’s attack bonus but you must chose the tackle option.
Unbalance: You unbalance your opponent by disrupting its immediate environment, such as knocking over the table on which it was standing or rolling a barrel under its feet. An unbalanced opponent becomes overwhelmed until the end of its next turn. Instead of applying the overwhelmed condition, your GM may decide to apply another similar condition, as deemed appropriate to the situation.

*Simple Actions are completed at the end of your turn. In contrast, Complex Actions extend beyond your turn and into your opponents' turns, thus allowing your opponents to interrupt and ruin your action. A character is allowed one movement and one action (either simple or complex) per round.


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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...

Journey RPG excerpt #2: Ki Points and Rogue Talents For Everyone!

The Pathfinder’s monk didn’t make it into Journey RPG, but one of its key design elements did. Every character class in Journey RPG possesses a pool of talent points, which the character can spend to perform special abilities. For example, the Rogue possesses a pool of knavery points, allowing him to fight with both finesse and shenanigans:


Roguish Knaveries: Rogues are resourceful combatants with a few tricks up their sleeves. As of 2nd level, a rogue gains a pool of points equal to ½ his rogue level + his Acumen score that he can spend to perform combat tricks. This pool of knavery points replenishes in full after a period of 8 hours of complete rest. A rogue can spend a point of knavery to perform one of the following:

Precise Strike: As of 2nd level, the rogue can spend one point of knavery to add extra damage from his sneak attack ability (see below) even against a ready target. An opponent’s weak spot cannot be exploited this way by the same rogue more than once per combat. Creatures immune to critical hits are still immune to a rogue’s precise strike ability.

Crippling Strike: Starting at 5th level, the rogue can henceforth apply one of the following injuries instead of extra sneak attack damage: hand injury (target suffers -5 penalties on attack rolls), foot injury (target’s speed is reduced to 2 yards or can no longer fly) or head injury (target is dazed). Effects of an injury apply until the victim receives magical healing or medical treatment (DC 20 Heal check).

Opportunistic Strike: Starting at 8th level, the rogue can henceforth spend a point of knavery to make a free out-of-turn melee attack against an opponent only just wounded by one of his allies.

Hide in Plain Sight: Starting at 11th level, the rogue can henceforth spend a point of knavery to use the Hide skill to disappear even when observed and without cover or concealment. Treat the rogue as the recipient of an invisibility spell against all observers who fail their Alertness save, but his position is automatically located by all who have a line of sight toward him. As with the invisibility spell, this effect is terminated if the rogue makes an attack or interacts violently with its environment.

Defensive Roll: Starting at 14th level, the rogue can henceforth spend one knavery point to automatically evade a melee or ranged attack (including magical attacks) as a free out of turn action. The rogue takes no damage against the attack evaded this way.

Similarly, warriors possess a pool of fury points, knights have valour, bards have their bardic music and huntsmen have marksmanship. This pool of points is also used by spellcasting classes to casts their spells and use magical abilities such as counterspelling, shapeshifting into an animal or turning undead.

In addition, every class possesses a number of talents which can be purchased at level 4 and every 3 levels thereafter (similar to Pathfinder’s Rogue talents and Barbarian’s rage powers). Some of these talents require the expenditure of talent points, others don’t.

This allows the character to have access to a limited amount of powerful or rule-defying abilities without using a system of strict use/day. Regrouping all abilities of limited usage under a single pool of points also simplifies bookkeeping, while talents allow expanding on character options and customisation.

Talents were also a good opportunity to include options that traditionally were available to all in the d20 version of the game, but were almost useless without the investment of feats and skill points. This way, the core combat rules of Journey RPG could be kept simpler without taking all options out of the game completely.

Recently, I've been toying with the idea that this pool only replenish in full when characters are resting in a safe haven. Otherwise, the character only regains an amount equal to the ability's key attribute (in this case Acumen) per night of sleep.


@Tinkergoth, Aneirin and Psiphyre, thanks for your interest.

I take all kinds of questions, opinions or criticisms by the way, should you have comments to make.


RPGgeek site is down.

GreyWolfLord, what have you done!

Flagged for moderators attention...

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.

Journey RPG excerpt: Damage, Wounds, Parry Points and Recovery

Journey RPG; Parry Points wrote:

All characters and creatures possess a pool of parry points. Parry points represent the character’s ability to roll with blows, block incoming attacks, dodge projectiles and step out of harm’s way. Parry points may also represents minor cuts and bruises, or else be attributed to a creature’s determination, large size or thick hide. In short, parry points are a measure of the character’s ability to avoid being mortally injured with a combination or skill, resolve and luck.

Journey RPG’s combat rules use a variation on the typical “damage makes you lose hit points” system. The main difference is in the semantics and interpretation of what “hit points” are. In this case, hits points are renamed Parry Points.

Parry points represent your ability to avoid being injured, but they are not an indicator of how badly wounded you are. For that, there is the wounded condition which you acquire if your opponent scores a wounding hit against you, of if you fail your saving throw to resist damage (from a fireball or from a fall for example). Wounds are bad, but they are not life threatening until you are also defeated in combat.

Parry points are an active defense; a character spends parry points (equal to the attack’s damage value) rather than losing some to an attack. This is an important precision since certain conditions (such as hunger and despair) limit your maximum of parry points while some effects (like discomfort caused by cold temperature or prolonged travel) cause you to lose parry points properly speaking.

When you run out of parry points, you are not killed but become spent. A spent character no longer has the will or the energy to go on. If you were engaged in combat, you are considered defeated and lay at the mercy of your opponents. Depending on who you were fighting, you might be left for dead, wake-up chained in a cell or forced to listen to the bad guy’s monologue, or whatever. Of course you could end-up having your throat slit; GMs have the option of being nasty here.

If you were already wounded when you got defeated, you are now mortally injured and may die if no one tends to you wounds. Chances of recovery are pretty high if you’ve got friends skilled in healing, but if you are wounded and defeated by the same blow, you are killed outright.

This system was designed to be simple of use and to remove the “regaining hit points = healing” element of the game. With recovery of parry points and healing of injuries being two different things, adventurers can cope better with mundane skills and the absence of a dedicated magical healer in the typical fantasy RPG sense.

It also emphasize the importance of other mundane factors such as the importance of the bard keeping the group’s morale high around the campfire, and the safety brought by the huntsman’s judicious guiding through the wilderness, both of which will ultimately give the adventurer more parry points. As one might guess from the title of the game, traveling is an important aspect of Journey RPG.


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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...

Haladir wrote:
Many genderqueer individuals don't identify with binary sex definitions.

This; intention was to be inclusive (since it was a post about inclusiveness).

Being rather clumsy when it comes to genderqueer-ness (<-- see can't even use the right word), I probably didn't use the correct term, or context.

The point was to acknowledge more than the traditional male and female as the only possible gender/sexual identities.

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