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Leonard Kriegler

Mark Hoover's page

4,793 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Gonna have to admit it... I put Season 1 of AoS on my Netflix queue, watched two episodes, and sent the disk back. Disk 2 will not be on my list.

The whole first season for me was worth it to see Coulson's breakdown on the doorstep of a secret base. "This HAS to mean something! It HAS to matter!" Sure, a lot of the characters are a little over-the-top super-spy schlock and sure, the first couple episodes were snoozers, but seeing Coulson suddenly lose it and become an everyman from time to time, especially in that scene makes it worth it for me.

Coulson is why I've always Made Mine Marvel (nuff said). Because Marvel is about regular people first, super second. What would happen if you took a real life nerd, age 15, with all the awkwardness and insecurity of adolesence coupled with the trauma of a broken childhood, and suddenly gave him the power to run up walls, leap rooftop to rooftop and throw cars? Well of COURSE he'd try to cash in on his powers and act like a brat! That is, until something terrible happened.

Coulson knows that with great power comes great responsibility. Coulson makes tough calls. Coulson doesn't always have the right answer. And yet, somehow, he's the guy that took Loki's spear to the chest and lived; he's the guy who died so that the Avengers could live, and he's the guy that has to carry around ALL of this on his shoulders.

Not once in a while. All the time.

Yeah, once these things start becoming a factor in the show it goes from being a cute little time filler to an interesting play on what it takes to be a normal guy in a world where aliens and super-soldiers duke it out on the streets of NYC.

There's only so much character you can show, episode to episode on TV, as opposed to a 2 hour movie. For what you CAN get out of a show, I'd say Coulson is top of the line. That's my CP anyway.

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The Indescribable wrote:
How much of that can they actually digest?

About a reader's digest

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You know the GM is out to get your WHOLE PARTY when it's game time.

Also I don't always have a house, but when I do, its a Taun-Taun.

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I try to be impartial when running. I try to be inclusive, giving opportunities for the PCs to interact with the world. I try to be engaging and urge the players forward or incentivize their characters to act.

The emphasis here is on the word "try."

Sometimes I had a stressful couple weeks, have little in the tank and suddenly realize my players will be here in an hour. Other times I lay out a couple plot hooks, look across the table and my players are literally just staring, not saying anything; when I ask for their actions they just kind of shrug.

Every once in a while I'm just fed up. Yeah, I'm gonna say it. Sometimes I get mad at myself for making such a convoluted plot that even I can't follow or my players are running like this is a game of Talisman. When these things happen I'm a crap GM.

I'm the first to admit I'm a crap GM too. When I look around and realize I've just dumped the game into a ditch I apologize to my players. Then its a matter of picking up the broken pieces of whatever plotline is happening and try to repair the damage.

My players tell me I'm good at improv. I don't know if I believe them; it's like a 50/50 crap shoot every time I ad lib a scene. Regardless I basically spend most of my "prep" time between games just making up random set pieces, weird NPCs and variant monsters while surrounding myself with as many random generators as I can.

I make stuff up a lot. Worse, I don't take notes. My last couple games have revolved around a wight animated with the heart of a saint. I named said saint in the opening 5 minutes of the session a month ago; I didn't write the guy's name down or anything. Now it just so happens that player decisions are driving the next plot point RIGHT AT the origins of this dude.

I'm ill-prepared.

Despite all of the above my players keep showing up. I think its because they like their characters, they like hanging out together and they think I'm doing a decent job. I HOPE that's what it is anyway.

I guess my only advice and the only thing I've learned over the years of running games is to be honest. Be honest with your players and yourself that you're only human; you'll make mistakes, forget stuff in your game, and sometimes you won't have anything for tonight's session. Be honest about your villains/monsters: roll on the table, where people can see it. If you, say, have a pinnacle cairn wight animated by the corrupted heart of a saint wielding an awesome Death Scythe you made up and you roll a 1, then an 8, followed by a 7 in three rounds of combat, own it.

And, finally, a note to players everywhere: help a brother out. If your GM has told you he wants to run an immersive world then sets you in a Large City after an adventure and says "ok, you've all got some downtime. What do you do?" Play along. Don't go deer-in-the-headlights; look at your guy, look at his skills and review the past few adventures, then take a specific action based on that info.

Maybe you've got Profession: Innkeeper as a bonus skill from your backstory. You don't feel like there's anything more to do on the previous plot points, so maybe you go to the bar. However don't be passive about it: "I drink at the bar." Be as immersive as your GM is trying to be.

"I go to the bar to get a drink. While there I ask the inkeeper how's business, try to gauge what kind of place this is. Also I'll use my skill to size up the joint; maybe if we need extra muscle on the next adventure this would be a good place to look."

Suddenly the GM knows: you're thinking ahead, you're interacting with the game world and you're willing to RP. Now said GM can ad lib a hulking barbarian... halfling. His nam is Barleykorn and he wants to arm wrestle you; he smells like rancid cheese.

Be honest. Be immersive. Be specific. Everything else is probably in the CRB, Bestiary or the GMG... if I can just FIND them...

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An idea for a low-level mini-campaign. It could be a stand-alone or the lead-in to a longer game.

Level 1: the PCs arrive in the town of Haliwick, a Small Town run by Lady Mayor Alophine Harrowbrook. Lady Harrowbrook is a mature woman but still very beautiful. She is also conceited and vain, outwardly critical of ugliness and over the years has surrounded herself only with pretty people and things. Not surprisingly she is a devout of Shelyn and that faith flourishes here.

The town has recently become plagued by vermin. Known infestations are in the sewers of the town, the woodlots of the town's hinterlands and in an abandoned mine. The whole of the first adventure consists then of exploring these locations and clearing out the nests. This gives the PCs clues to the history of the town being tied to a coven of witches. It also reveals that mites are working with the vermin.

Level 2: after completing their extermination work the PCs get a couple weeks' downtime. This gives them enough time to level, make some disposable magic items if they wish or purchase custom mundane gear. At the end of this time they learn that children in town have been disappearing. The parents all shut their mouths but the kids say that Mr Grins has returned.

The kids are being snatched at night. Every one of them are the offspring of the "uggos" that the Lady Mayor has been overly critical of. The abductor leaves behind bizarre tracks but never a trail; they also leave behind cocoons full of spiders. Unbeknownst to the PCs the mites have joined forces with "Mr Grins", a particularly vile ettercap who has a taste for children.

While Mr Grins does the abducting, some of his victims over the years have been handed off to the fey. They have been transformed into more mites. The PCs have to follow some clues, find Mr Grins' lair and put a stop to him. Here they find more clues directing them back to the Lady Mayor who they come to find out was once a witch in a coven that included, among other sisters, a mite.

Level 3: Lady Harrowbrook is actually being framed by her former sister. The mite witch Gulgurtha is getting revenge for Alophine's dissolution of the coven years ago. Either the Lady Mayor is imprisoned at the end of the level 2 adventure or she has at least been stripped of her authority.

Now at the outset of this final installment Lady Harrowbrook has disappeared. If she was in the dungeons beneath Haliwick her cell is empty; otherwise she has just disappeared from the town. Clues suggest the sewers from the first adventure. The party must descend there, search around and find the coven's old haunt beneath the town.

At this point it's a race against time. The party begins finding mites with minor arcane powers that make them slightly more powerful than their typical kin. These are in fact the children abducted over the years and changed by faerie magic. I haven't decided if the PCs will be able to save the kids or not yet.

Anyway of course at the heart of all this is Gulgurtha. She intends to not only drain the beauty from Lady Harrowbrook as part of her revenge but will also be unleashing an Apocalypse Swarm; a collection of different vermin swarms that will destroy the town above. The party must put an end to her inside a set time-frame (haven't decided what that is yet) or game over.

Please give me your honest thoughts and critiques as well as any advice you can offer.

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The spell component pouch only contains one thing: a red button. On the red button is painted the word "Win". Press the button, cast the spell, get the word. You're welcome.

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blackbloodtroll wrote:
Are actually having problems making touch attacks?

I am, but it mainly has to do with some profane enchantment called a "Restraining Order".

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Matthew Downie wrote:
I think there's a guy with a sack full of scrolls who follows adventuring parties around from village to village hoping they'll buy something.

I want to get back to this. I think that'd make an AWESOME side plot in an actual campaign.

PC's start off level 1. First time they go hunting for magic items they find this human with a handy haversack full of potions and scrolls. He asks them to buy, they do or don't, end scene.

Next time they go looking, he's there. If the players actively try to avoid him on their next shopping trip, his "twin brother" shows up with a mustache. This goes on, through the whole game.

This vendor just ALWAYS happens to be around the PCs, no matter how remote their location. He also has JUST the right scroll or potion they need, whenever they need it. In the end the GM can use this guy to represent whatever they want:

Light world: the little guy was a solar/planetar/whatever agent of the gods sent to help the heroes on their journey

Dark world: this is a demon in disguise, slowly getting them to trust and depend on his wares so that, when the chips are finally down he has the ONE thing that will save the day, but it'll cost the soul of an innocent to buy it

Fun world: he's literally a rip-off of some video game trope, like the peg leg boy or the elf-guy from G A or whatever

Sorry for hijacking the thread.

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Run Kingmaker or your own hexcrawl type game. Go read the [url=]West Marches] article about sandboxy hexcrawls.

Make yourself a map. It doesn't have to be big; start out with a single hex and the six around that, then expand out, say, 2 rings worth of hexes from there. Using the rules in Ultimate Campaign or Kingmaker each of these are 12 miles corner to corner, roughly 95 square miles.

Just over the weekend I grabbed UC, the Gamemaster Guide, the CRB, Bestiary 1 and Raging Swan's Wilderness Dressing book. I made some random rolls and came up with a central hex that's settled but forested. Surrounding this are 3 mountains, 3 forests. Essentially through random rolls I came up with an alpine region.

For a little bit of variety I gave the hexes sub-terrains. I have forested hills, forested mountains, mountains with an abundance of rivers, streams and lakes capped in snow, and finally a hex of forested marshes and wooded heath and moors (plains).

I came up with a few sites. These I've keyed to specific hexes. There's a bugbear cleric with some undead and tamed fire beetles; a wizard's ruined tomb with 3 darkmantles and decorated in ossuary; the wooded swamps hide pools of leeches (hazard) that can sap con and inflict disease. One of the wooded mountain hexes has a dwarven "hamlet" sized settlement hidden in the overhangs of a pass. By random rolls however this place is NG in alignment and led by an overlord. I decided to make it a trading post and way stop for travelers who are on an approved list of honored guests.

If I were to turn this into a campaign then I'd make up a few more rings of hexes. I'd hand this map to the PCs, point out the couple of obvious "landmark" type sites and provide them with starting information and plot hooks. Then I'd let them wander running each session as an exploration of a hex or known site, at the end of which the PCs would return to whatever they're using as a base of operations. If players swap out I'd merely explain it as those PCs leaving the party to resolve personal quests while the new PCs join the party having heard of their glory.

Ex: 4 PCs, a wizard, rogue, fighter and cleric set out from the town and head out into the moors to find the Tomb of Balak Thuul. They encounter some goblins in an ambush, cross a flooding river and then arrive at the tomb. Somehow they get past the locked gate and barely survive the CR 4 encounter with three Darkmantles. In the treasure they find a couple scrolls and lots of coins along with a secret door leading to an area with a magical trap and a homunculus. Defeating these and nearly spent they find the wizard's hidden library containing his spellbook and enough tomes on magical theory that, if studied for an hour they grant +2 to Spellcraft. Finally they find a rope that radiates magic and has 1 charge each of rope trick and animate rope (CL3).

The session ends there. The rogue drops out for the next game but I pick up a ranger and barbarian. The PCs ended the last session returning to town, so the rogue gets called off by the guild on a special burglary mission while the ranger and barbarian arrive with lore about some clan of dwarves hidden in the nearby pass. For the right price these dwarves will allow you passage in their heim and will trade with you for their rare goods. The party decides to follow the new pair and goes up into the mountains. They brave some dire boars and flee from a patrolling chimera only to be nearly killed tumbling down a ravine. Here they find a spider-infested cave with mites using the creatures as mounts. The PCs defeat the nest and find a map of the pass as well as coins and gear. The map indicates an "enemy hall" on a spot in the mountains dominated by rocky ledges and overhangs. Using the map the PCs scour the area, are confronted by a dwarven patrol, and once they reveal they have slain the spider-riders they are given passage into the heim where the second session ends.

Now if the PCs swap again you can say one of a few things. You can say the new characters were in the dwarf heim as well. You can also say that the PCs were officially awarded passage to the heim when needed but they went back to the town for whatever reason where they met the new PCs. Finally you could bring in the new PCs as destitute wanderers in the pass begging for protection. Whatever the case you have built in PC swap ability and the game can be focused on what they want, not some pre-planned storyline.

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294. Someone rings a bell and the bald barbarian begins humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" while rising menacingly to his feet

295. A disembodied voice cries out "FIGHT!" as the room darkens. The word actually appears in the air. Suddenly techno music begins playing...

296. It's Whitefish Wednesday and all they have is eel

297. "I'm so glad Firefly got cancelled; Whedon's a hack!"

298. The town drunk just spotted the temperance nuns; three of them are using a prayer circle to block the bar while the fourth, behind the rail, brandishes an axe

299. Necromancy

300. The bar is filled with younglings and a pansy with a glowing sword and a rat tail is standing in the doorway

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A few suggestions:

1. Not everyone/thing in the dungeon is a villain: I have a large homebrewed dungeon and in building I thought "why would humanoids have coins as treasure?" The obvious answer was to buy things but from who? The obvious answer again was that there was some kind of economy among the humanoids. Therefore they have to be willing to buy, sell and trade stuff. Why not to adventurers? From this line of thinking I created whole sections of the dungeon as well as traveling "merchants" that would serve the PCs' needs such as potion-peddlers, neutral "inns" of a kind and even a modest trade town for use by low-level adventurers.

2. Bend the rules of time and space: there was a great article in Dungeon magazine back in '06 about adding extra-dimensional spaces in dungeons. One of the spaces was a pocket dimension that appeared once in a while to help provide food and rest to adventurers. There are a lot of ways to do this. You could make it a divine respite provided by the gods, some First World portal from helpful faeries, a permanent Mansion spell from some old wizard or just simply a timeless pocket dimension. Whatever the case you might limit its use through everchanging passwords or some other challenge.

3. LOTS of consumables: this one's an easy solution. If you have a party spellcaster that refuses to capitalize on the value of cantrips at low level or wield a weapon when spells run out and you don't want to frustrate them further drop in consumables like scrolls, potions and wands. Even alchemical weapons replace low level spells and keep the action going just as well. Consider: at 1st level an average loot pile is worth roughly 260 GP. If you threw in just 4 1st level scrolls, say Mage Armor, Sleep, Expeditious Retreat and Magic Missile now the arcane caster is set for the next couple rooms and you've still got 160 GP left in the loot pile for the rest of the party.

4. Remind players to use their other skills/feats: a lot of players need reminders that their PC is more than their consumable powers. Using Survival you can rig up simple snares; you can use this skill and some available rope to defend a room while you sleep. PCs can work on certain magic items or mundane items while they adventure, albeit very slowly. Clever players memorize where that pit trap is and use Disable Device to reset it, then lead the next monster back to the thing to try and trap their foes.

Dungeon delving at low to mid level is daunting, no doubt. Most modern players at my table are expecting 10 rooms to explore, tops. Even after I tell them there are MILES of dungeon before them they shrug, grab some basic gear and start going nova in rooms 2 or three. They need reminders that this kind of adventure, the MEGADUNGEON adventure, is about resource management.

You can't clear a megadungeon. The players need to be aware and accepting of that fact. Once they do and they're still willing to play that style of game suddenly their minds switch. I have one player who is running a level 3 sorcerer. I've only seen him use a 1st level spell maybe 3 or four times in all our game sessions. This is because he almost exclusively uses Acid Splash plus a flask of acid as a Material Focus. It's not tons of damage but it's reliable and everlasting for every fight, every round.

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I think one reason folks go low magic is to limit magic items. I think one of the reasons for THAT is simply that magic items never break.

People in this thread have equated magic to technology in the real. Well, I'd disagree because my computer can get a virus, my car can break down from wear and even my push-point pen can get jammed.

When was the last time a wondrous item in PF wore out?

Now you can have charged items, sure. Consumables are fine. But when you have, say a Handy Haversack, unless someone targets you with a Sunder attempt or something the device NEVER breaks. Ever.

Consider that for a second. What if you could make a blender that would NEVER break unless you physically destroyed it on purpose. The motor would never weaken; the blades would remain sharp for literal centuries; the lid would fit as snugly on the millionth blend as on the first.

That's ridiculous, but yet that's magic items in Pathfinder. So for some folks this simple truth makes limiting magic items imperative. If you can always consistently count on your armor, bracers, belt, Ioun Stone or whatever to never falter unless specifically targeted by an enemy that means that your players will ALWAYS have that level of power at their disposal.

Frankly for my games I play the system as is. I don't really care too much about the magic level, demographics, realistic economies and such. I'm playing a game where a mortal male was drunk one night, in the right place at the right time, and blacked out; suddenly he is an immortal, eternal power of the universe with millions of worshippers and near-limitless magic. Yeah, there's no comparison to my reality there at all.

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213. one I actually used in a game was the start to a campaign involving fey. Mites had snuck into the undercroft and cellar of the tavern. A couple of them got bold enough to even climb up the stairs and hide out in the rafters and dark corners of the taproom. Then the fun began.

When the crowd was rowdy and with the PCs present the mites started pranking, hard. The drinks suddenly tasted sour or spoiled; the food tasted super peppery or salty; a drink was tipped onto a barbarian and the resulting stain on his hide armor turned bright pink. Prestidigitations were all over the place.

To tip it over the edge the mites used their vermin empathy. They started urging harmless insects living in the woodwork like flies, ants and spiders to come swarming into the room crawling into people's food, drinks and clothes. The place erupted in a brawl but the PCs were allowed to notice the snickering mites hidden in the periphery. Now all they had to do was GET to them through the fight...

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203. a "Your mom" joke contest gets out of hand

204. "Got 'yer nose" game goes terribly awry

205. A man and his 2 female roommates get into another zany misunderstanding

206. Someone eats the salmon mousse

207. a male duelist walks in, picks out someone in the crowd and calmly announces "halo, my name is Anigo Montoya. You kill'd my father; prepare to die."

208. A man with the death sentence in 12 systems doesn't like you

209. Bees

210. "Wow, the warm yellow mead you're serving seems like it got real sour in a hurry!" to which the bartender replies "I'm not serving any warm yellow mead..."

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If the player wants to skip the level of cleric have them find a level 1 adept NPC. Said adept has CLW studied for the day. The player pays them 10 GP for casting the spell into their newly created wand, and it's done.

Also if you're using Ultimate Campaign's Downtime rules, the PC could use a skill to earn Magic capital at the cost of 50 GP/pt. Spending one pt of magic capital is then the equivalent of 100 GP towards the cost of the wand. In this manner they could work a bit more to earn the capital and spend 200 GP instead of 375 for the creation of the wand.

Finally it might be worth it to just have the player research Infernal Healing as one of their spells. This is a 1st level spell that grants 1 minute (10 rounds) of Fast Healing 1. Essentially this is (over the full minute) more healing than CLW at CL 1 and costs the same for the PC to put in a wand. Of course, they have to find either 50 doses of unholy water or a vial (50 drops) of devil blood, but I'm sure that's in every corner apothecary right?

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I don't know how to defend or refute a lot of the stuff going on in this thread. One thought occurred to me though. There are 35 core skills; 21 of these are Int and Dex based. Of these 21, 7 can be used untrained, one of which is Craft which has a number of different permutations. When an elf begins play at level 1 they have a +2 to Int and Dex. This means, on top of the basic stat bonuses they also get one extra skill rank to start and one extra language.

What if, on top of maturing a little slower than a human, they are trying lots of different untrained skills. Not sitting and focusing on them mind you (not a ton of skill ranks piling up) but one day they try Craft: basketweaving; the next couple days they try their hand at acrobatics; for the next week they alternate between watching grass grow and attempting to appraise old tapestries in the great hall.

After 100 years they've only managed to master a few ranks worth of skills, but they've actually attempted every kind acrobatic move, appraisal, craft, escape trick, flying, riding any kind of animal they could mount up on, practiced stealth in any situation imaginable and mastered a second language.

They've also practiced with short and long bows, rapiers and longswords, elven curve blades (maybe they're not proficient but they've messed with one a bit so it's martial instead of exotic) and they've studied the very basics of magic properties on items (+2 to identify properties with Spellcraft). They've also honed their senses. Not just one or 2 but ALL FIVE senses to acct for their +2 Perception.

Elves at 1st level are jacks (or jills) of all trades but masters of only, say, one or 2.

Another explanation would be a racial ADHD that they learn to finally cope with and work around by, say, age 90.

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195. A bard walked in, cast darkness then called out "LET'S GET READY TO RUMMMBLLEEE!!!" accompanied by a frenzied techno beat.

196. Your favorite armor was stained by Dragonsblood cabernet; a red wine that never comes out no matter how many Prestidigitations you cast.

197. Because: Tuesday

198. When you caught the gnomes with the scrying/recording lenses looking up your skirt they claimed it was for research.

199. The bell rang

200. Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting

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Y'know the ones I never understood? Dwarves.

Look at the OP. Dwarves are fairly long-lived and take 5 decades to hit 1st level. Unlike Elves or Gnomes however dwarves are depicted, at least by the fluff, racial bonuses and Golarion-specific religious focus as being studious, hard-working crafting types. Are they spending 2 decades just mastering how to hold a hammer or looking at rocks?

For all these races, I favor a more mystic approach. They actually live several lives. They are not Time Lords; they do not regenerate. They mature and go off on their first life adventure, or their second or what have you. Some die on these; they are not PCs. Others accumulate miraculous success transcending their race; these are not PCs either.

PC characters are elves, dwarves and gnomes who fall into the average for their races. They have 2, 3, 4, maybe even 5 lifetimes worth of experiences, each time going to some central repository and downloading these into a collective consciousness. Each time they retain maybe a fraction of their knowledge. By the time they are being played as a PC they are off on another whirlwind adventure at the end of which they will either die or be allowed to continue on. They have reached an age where their mental maturity is able to deal with the extreme length of their lifespan.

If this process wasn't followed by the "Elder Races" they would be teenagers with MASSIVE amounts of levels. Imagine if the races learned at the same pace. You could have an elf with the mental maturity of a 10 year old and 20 levels even of an NPC class. I'm just imagining one of my daughters with 20 levels of Adept: "Why'd you call me a name you Jerkhead! YOU'RE A TOAD!"

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Sissyl wrote:
Elven children are morons. So bad they can't be potty trained for decades. It is... An undertaking. Usually, elven children are stored in what is affectionately called 'moron cocoons', cocoons of plant matter and magic that hang from large trees. When the kids finally grow a brain at about a century of age, they are released from the cocoons.

I've seen this posted before, probably by you, and it's always hilarious. Thanks!

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Succubus in a Grapple wrote:

Oh, it feels so wonderful to be so appreciated.

Hugs for everyone!

I'm part of everyone

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Yay for Donna again! I'm sure she had such a short run on the show because Catherine Tate seems to be quite a powerful actress in England (I see episodes of her own show online) but I really wish she could've gone on. Seriously the character of Donna Noble had it all; human frailty, obnoxious behavior to cover it up, and the willingness to fight even with the Doctor when she thought she could do more.

Rose and Martha might've quibbled with the Doctor but when he put his foot down they just sort of resigned to doing what he said. One was in love with him, the other had puppy love for him. But Donna was a companion without being a submissive.

And her story arcs were heartbreaking! Listening to the song of the Ood just to beg for it to stop; having an entire imaginary family only to have it ripped away; missing the man LITERALLY of her dreams as she left the library. And then to end it all by saving everyone and getting to remember NONE of it. That is really tough stuff.

Rose would've crumbled. Martha wouldn't have connected with any of it in the first place. It took Donna, the perpetual temp that everyone underestimated or avoided, to pull off all that. And it took Catherine Tate to make it look that good. Oh, and also she's really pretty.

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@ lucky strike: Well that brings me back to the other point I suggested upthread - maybe if you're looking for magic = special then don't have spells. When people know exactly what the definition and variables are on a "Fireball" spell then handing them a necklace of them isn't going to be exciting. Now imaging a game where you literally have no insight into magic spells at all and your GM gives your caster "a small, bulbous flask which, when thrown explodes and amazing ball of flame!" The PCs still don't know how much damage it'll do or anything.

Would that enhance the magic and make it special? I polled my players and 2 of them didn't care. One said it would be like getting an alien laser pistol but not knowing it was an alien laser pistol and so you end up calling it a Sunray Wand or something. The last player of the 4 just said that sounded annoying.

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For folks that say magic items = rare and precious why not just houserule: no magic items can be bought, period? I'm not being snarky it's an honest question. Sure there are still crafting feats out there and everyone's free to craft on their own but literally no one in the entire game world will sell them, not even the consumables. The only way magic items then change hands are by gift or force.

If the PCs want to start off at first level with a potion of Cure Light Wounds they either need to have the crafting feat or have done a special favor for a church/witch/bard etc. When they hit 2nd and they want a wand, they have to go on a quest for that crafting entity or have earned their trust already. At third level the greatsword wielder better either be happy with the +1 hand axe they found in the loot pile or he better be willing to go on another side quest.

Rather than make a bullet pointed list of how they buy items or where or whatever, just remove buying. I know my own players have said they don't enjoy side questing for specific items but maybe yours will and that will make them so much more precious yes?

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I think I'm in Lemmy's boat here. If you don't like talking but wanna play the "face", go for it. If you're not as strong as, say, most houseplants and you want to play Ahnold from Conan, that sounds awesome.

The only time I get cheesed off is when a person uses mechanics and CALLS it roleplaying. Stated another way, I don't enjoy passive players.

Roleplaying to me is an active experience. If you enter a dungeon don't wait to be attacked or caught by a trap to start interacting with the environment; when you enter a town don't wait until the guard harasses you before you ask for directions. Get involved. Play your character; literally play your role.

In respect to this thread then that means explain how, or at least why, you're using a skill. Don't just wait til someone comes up to you and go "I use diplomacy. 25; what info do I get?" That's my opinion though and others' most certainly will vary.

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Simon Legrande wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I've run both, and I much prefer the heroic gaming style. I love the reckless, daring acts, the close calls, the edge of your seat brushes with death. Man, that's fun stuff.

To me, that's the whole point of playing. I want to be a heroic hero who takes crazy heroic risks. I have a house, kids, a job, and bills in real life, I game to escape from that for a while.

I will say this though, having ADD can make ignoring the asides and OT conversations incredibly difficult sometimes. I'm one of those people that takes a bit to get focused, but once I do I'm good to go. Sometimes it's really easy to get knocked out of that focus and off into la-la land.

I think this is how I feel about darker-themed games. I add horror elements in my games and sometimes the heroes lose but overall I tend to stay away from the completely dour game. IRL I've dealt with some truly dark stuff, family issues, death and loss of a very personal nature. I lose as many life-conflicts as I win.

When I game I'm looking to escape that for a time. I actively pursue a game where fantastic things happen, heroes get rewarded and doing the right thing works out.

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Y'know what I think makes magic so dang commonplace where players lose their sense of wonder? Spellcasters.

Seriously. All the magic shops in the world can't compete with a guy, in the party all the time, who with the right spell selection can do nearly anything everyone else can do and at least once/day win just about any fight.

Also think about it. Even if you sold items to the party without spellcasters you could describe ANY effect they perform and it would seem amazing. "This blade is forever sharp, clean and pure. What's more it traps even the most miniscule motes of light from the deepest shadow and amplifies them so that it always glows from within!" Then the wizard steps up and goes "Prestidigitation and light? Big whup."

Not having magic items being sold because it breaks player immersion or engagement or verisimilitude or whatever the right phrase here is just does not compute for me. If we want wonder at the power of magic then it can't be codified, quantified or even identified. Once it is, it's not wonderful anymore. Amazingly any spellcasting class, even bards, do this instantly just by existing.

Anyway sorry again for the rant. Really, I'm sorry.

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Earwings is banned for overuse of dramatic lighting

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Here's one I stole from the old Batman: The Animated Series cartoon. There are several canopic jars with symbols on them. Later there are alcoves in the walls with corresponding symbols. Specific jars placed in the right spot to match up the symbols unlock a passage.

Similar thing happens in the movie The Fifth Element. The female protagonist gives the hint "wind blows... rain falls..." and so on. The other protagonists have pylons that need to fit to pedestals but then need to be "opened" through the use of the elements they align to. The one for air for example needs to be blown upon and the one for water has sweat dripped upon it.

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I have these giant retail outlets built in enormous warehouses. They have a blue sign out front that says "Magci Mart"...

Seriously, I don't know a single GM IRL that actually does it that way. I also don't understand the other extreme where NO ONE sells magic items or it's highly restricted. What sense do extremes make in a fantasy setting?

Anyway, netiher of those work for me or my players. If it does for others then I apologize for any malignancy in my above statement. It wasn't meant to inflame.

So in my games I ask the PCs what they're looking for. I also have random items in the settlement per the settlement rules in the Gamemastery guide. Finding these items for sale takes a little effort; they need to use either Knowledge: Local or Diplomacy or some other method to find them. DCs are usually averaged to the level of the PCs or maybe lower depending on the item requested.

Then the actual purchase. I don't have "magic shops" but rather traders, merchants, artisans and common folk who are willing to part with these fantastic items for a price. Once I had a PC looking for magic armor. The settlement happened to have a set of Chain Mail +1 so I had the party roll Diplomacy to gather info. Turned out that a former militia soldier of the town had been an adventurer in his youth but now was old and infirmed. His granddaughter had come of age but also was beginning to develop latent supernatural powers (budding sorcerer). He wasn't going to be around to help her but in a city nearby there was a college of the arcane where she could train and study... if only she had the money.

The PCs met the man, brief RP ensued and they bought the armor. Felinda took most of that, hired on with a trade caravan headed for the city and went to pursue her training. Had the campaign continued I might have kept her as a potential NPC.

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There's this article in an old thread I res'd here that I want all my players to read. At least point 1 and 2 anyway. I can't stand it when folks make up a PC with a backstory and then are passive and expect the GM to play it all into the game for them.

I had a dwarf cleric of Desna - an interesting choice but hear me out. His backstory was a little different than stereotype dwarves. The setting we were using had a really rugged hills/cliffs area along a big river that had once been dwarven territory. My guy was part of a mercenary band of dwarves that were once from the area but had no illusions of retaking it for their people.

They were mercenaries. They wandered the wilds doing jobs for anyone, including goblinoids. My PC was born into bondage when his father, a merc soldier took a young dwarven girl as a slave. She was, *ahem* useful to the others in the clan until I came of age at which point she murdered her pimp/husband and staked herself as a soldier of the crew.

So my guy is raised by his fiercely independent mom but within this crew of mercenaries. His "uncle", boss Thane was the leader and kind of a reprobate (LN) who had honor but would literally take any job. My guy grows up trying to dissuade the guy from taking certain bounties all the while learning to be a soldier.

The last job the crew takes is working for a hobgoblin warlord. My guy attempts to abstain, gets nearly killed for insubordination and eventually finds himself afield. The dwarves win but while they're recovering the warlord sends in more troops to kill them. With the double cross on Uncle Thane gets shoulder to shoulder w/me and repents for his terrible decision saying we're all free if we survive.

My guy dies on the field. He's saved by Desna and becomes a cleric after coming back to life. A few other mercs and my mom are still alive; Uncle Thane held to his promise and they all now live in towns around the area.

The whole point of this detailed background is to explain my skill in Profession: Soldier, my feats and traits around endurance and armor training and also my faith in Desna. My from the backstory I also played up that, in towns and villages I might "know a guy."

So we start playing and I go into soldier mode. I talked like my brother did when he got out of basic saying things like "We need to get squared away" or calling it KP instead of cooking. Then we get into town and I'm asking about dwarves who might live in the area to see if I "know a guy" that might help. Finally I almost got the party to force march simply because that's what I'm used to.

My thing is, like point 2 in the article above you can't put something in a backstory you're not willing to play. Also try to actually RP your guy and don't just say "it's in my backstory" or whatever. I'm not saying that you have to be an expert orator to have a Diplomacy skill or that you even need to talk in character to use said skill but don't give your PC that skill if you're not prepared to at least describe using it. Just saying you have/are something isn't enough in my book to say you STILL have/are it.

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Taliesin Hoyle wrote:

"My character is a beautiful blonde with big t$%#.

.She's a lesbian."

How appropriate that your avatar is a hand.

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Have the barbarian charge who cares.

1. villain starts monologuing
2. Surprise Round! Everyone roll Sense Motive vs villain's Bluff if he's toting a hidden crossbow; otherwise villain vs barbarian's Bluff to anticipate the charge
3. fight ensues; villain, so confident in their master plan CONTINUES monologuing while fighting because talking is a free action

Nothing like Baron Boilface easily sidestepping the barbarian's clumsy charge in the surprise round and momentarily pausing in his monologue to comment: "You see? You are nothing but impetuous children. This is why my plan will succeed..."

Then WHILE fighting he continues

*Baron 5' steps, power attacks barbarian and deals 62 damage plus Fort 22 or 1d4 Con from poison* "...and now at the zenith of my power, my glory is nearly at hand! I have already set things in motion..."

*Baron survives party's onslaught and flies into the air, fireballing the party for 150 damage* ... so that, even if you slay this pathetic mortal form before you the comet will still strike the coast, sinking your wretched kingdom into the sea, while my soul will merely return to it's phylactery. I will rise again in possession of a new body, perhaps even one of yours, and my victory will be COMPLETE! AHAHAAHAHA!!!"

Yeah, that happened. Blam. You're welcome *mic drop*

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Do it like they did in Unbreakable by M Night Shymalan. Do the whole monologue in flashbacks. "Now you know who you are; now you know who I am. I should have known. It was the kids David. They called me Mr Glass."

I love monologues. As a GM I try to work them in though my players always spoil them. When I'm a player though I always make a point to sit up and listen and play up my PCs reactions. I'm a sucker for comic books and by that I mean good old fashioned super hero types. I suppose I have monologuing villains on the brain.

As for why villains do it? Are you kidding? I do it in my daily life, though not as grandiose. Who here can't say that, every once in a while when you feel you're right about something you don't explain HOW right you are? Congrats - you're monologuing. Now pretend that by explaining to bob in accounting how you were smart enough to manipulate Sarah into going out with you as part of your master plan he becomes so enraged that he and his three friends pull their medieval weapons and fantasy spells and begin trying to kill you. Who cares? You pull a level, drop through a trapdoor in the floor and the entire inside sales team of expendable minions keeps them busy while you escape.

Did I mention how into comics I am?

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Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
Curmudgeonly wrote:
What level are the adventures? Are they tied together in any way or are they just standalone?

Just as an FYI for later on this fall, our next book release will be Cults of the Sundered Kingdoms which include not only a gazetteer of a good portion of the Sinnar Coast region (the poster map with the prior Barakus KS) but also an AP for levels 4-13.

It'll include updates of the three classic Necro adventures Morrick Mansion, Aberrations, and Crystal Skull (a less-known gem) as well as the addition of the three new adventures Beasts Among Us, Shades of Yellow, and Vengeance in the Hollow Hills. The gazetteer will feature the regions/kingdoms/areas that make up the Sundered Kingdoms and consist of:
The Matagost Peninsula
Ramthion Island
The Duchy of Southvale
Old Burgundia
The District of Sunderland
Kildren Point
The Wildlands
The Giantlands

Basically everything south of Endhome and north of Hawkmoon (and east of the Trader's Road).

It will also include a chapter detailing the 13 demonic cults that have great influence in the entire area.

But that is a another story...

I wish this one was first. I have 2 FGG books, full of random encounters alongside setting-size megadungeons. Both however tease me with references to a larger setting I can SEE in glorious full color (the Sinnar Coast map from Barakus) but I know NOTHING about.

Why is the land lost? What are these districts/provinces/counties of? Who are the traders on the Way named for them and which king gets their own road? I could of course make it all up, and indeed I've been puttering with ideas for just that. But then I see this book is on the way and a full setting book to follow so I wait and bide my time.

But the Frog God is cruel. He taunts me with MORE adventures for now; more ways to distract myself and kill time until the product I want comes. Vile deity; your schemes vex me so. I am vexed.

Also I still haven't had the conversation with the wife about pledging at the signed copy level, so there's that...

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I don't know between funny and not, but I prefer fun heroic games instead of grim and gritty. I like Indiana Jones and Star Wars because there's heroes, villains, escapes close calls, danger and romance. While I occasionally watch your Game of Thrones or Supernatural or what not, I wouldn't want to PLAY there.

In other words more The Hobbit, less Lord of the Rings. Does that make sense?

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Some handy tips from my own recent experience trying to sandbox:

- tie the PCs together as a group or else let them develop motivations as the game goes on. A couple of my PCs had motives based on individual backstories and as a result they argued over going after the paladin's mcguffin or the cleric's revenge kick.

- actively/publicly incentivize exploration. It might be as simple as "thar's gold in them thar hills!" to telling the players outright that if you discover a secret area in the dungeon and survive it'll unlock some hidden ability in them and you'll hand them all a free trait bonus or something.

- watch for the player with analysis paralysis. So far I've cycled through 2 groups of players in this sandbox. Both have included at least one guy who, faced with an open world and near-infinite plot hooks simply shuts down and stares blankly as his mind seeps out of his ears. Some players NEED to be led; if this happens talk with all your players and see if they'll work out a "leader" to decide missions to take, directions to go etc.

I'm sure you already know all this Mighty J. As long as I've GMd though and even having run sandboxy in the past I still got caught up by these so I figured I'd share. Enjoy the game it sounds totally RAD!

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Now that I think of it I had a bad backstory of my own. This was back in 2e and we were playing D&D in the Forgotten Realms setting. We start up a new campaign and the previous one had been very tragic and "dark world" kind of stuff so the GM says he wants to try and change it up.

We break for a week and meet back up with our new 1st level characters. We have a jedi-style fighter who has a dark and mysterious past; a dwarf cleric who was forced to witness the destruction of his entire clan; a ranger hell bent on revenge for the murder of his wife and children. Then they look over at me:

Arlyss Coranth, AKA Arlyss the Gaunt. He's basically Ichabod Crane; a really tall, gaunt man who up until now has been an absent minded school teacher/professor type. He got his start at adventure late in life though he's an expert sage who travels and gives lectures all over the region of the realms. His path to adventure came after writing a dissertation on the elves and his work helped secure a truce between them and some human woodsmen. To reward Arlyss for his service they taught him magic. Oh, and he's working on a 9 volume set of teaching spellbooks he calls the Coranthium.

... dead silence. I look around the room. "What?" Turns out the GM wasn't turning over a new leaf at all and it was supposed to be another dark world. It ended up being fun to role play though. The other PCs would walk around all grim and gritty and then here comes Professor Gaunt, stumbling in with an armload of books and scrolls and maps, adjusting his spectacles and his balding black hair tied in a pony tail and spouting some rambling lecture on the historical significance of lantern design.

I never really did fit into the game though and the campaign ended prematurely. Still one of my own personal faves though.

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Watch out though; some houses have PCs of their own under their control. They are called House Parties - they made a bunch of movies on the subject back in the 90's.

Also check for vermin; houseflies are no joke.

Some of them can be beneficial though. There is a famous physician house that they made a tv show about so the construction may provide healing.

Oh and finally check the elevation of the place before you attack. Hill House is notoriously haunted and evil.

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@Kydee Lang: I hear you and sometimes the PC doesn't gel in your own head until after you've played them. I'm not talking RP though; that does come with playing the PC. I'm saying backstory.

By that I mean: how did you come to have those traits? Why the battle axe over the greatsword? Did anyone teach you Power Attack or is it more like some preternatural knowledge you were born with?

For example, let's say I don't know how to play my Halfling ranger and can't express him very well to the GM or even myself at the first gaming session. I do know however that I gave him the traits Reactionary and Friend of the Fey. Why? Because I wanted the Trait bonuses. But what do those choices say about the PC?

Well with a bit of thought I decide on a very simple explanation: I had a bully, befriended a pixie, and they helped me deal with my enemy. I hand that over to the GM as my backstory.

Now a bad GM asks for a backstory then disregards it. A decent GM might take my 1 sentence and go "Fine; you know a pixie" writing in a friendly pixie contact to their game. A REALLY good GM though would work with me and ask more questions like: what else did the faeries teach my PC? Is the favored enemy I took at 1st level tied to my experience among the fey? Do you expect anything more from this pixie like fey-enchanted items and, if so, how will you repay them?

I guess I don't need to know every nuance of the PC before they ever hit the table, but if I ask for a backstory I'm looking for some explanation of why they are.

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Another bad backstory I had was a player who constantly changed his. He was playing a barbarian. First some of his tribe was killed by drow. Later he "revealed" they were all killed; some by drow and the rest by a dragon (when I hinted that the BBEG would be a dragon). I was irked but decided to run with it. Later he reveals they were killed... HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO. His character is human so, no.

Also I was getting backstory from this guy in pieces. That's one thing that irks me in games: I ask for a backstory. I hand out questions to new players and I work with folks who want my help. I even tell them flat out that I'm asking for this to get a sense of the character AND to gather fodder for the games. I'm already putting in a significant amount of work.

There are STILL some players who either don't like to RP or aren't very creative or just want a popcorn game. These folks just plain don't meet me halfway. Getting any kind of backstory from them is like pulling teeth. Then when I've finally got something they forget it's even out there and when elements from it come up they're like "oh, the ghost of my mother is warning me about the dragon in my dream? Whatevs..."

I don't know - maybe I'm going through a dry spell or something.

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I had a player who didn't like to roleplay. I mean ever. First time he ever came to a game and I didn't know him at all, he shows up with a female elf paladin. I'm like "Score! This guy's really getting into a role!" So I open the session with background questions. He tells me "amnesia" for everything.

His next character is a dwarf fighter. I sent out a questionaire before the game started. Every answer was one or 2 words. For "where were you born" he answered "a village".

Next game he came in late so I gave him an NPC. The guy was another dwarf fighter with a fairly intricate backstory tied to another PC. This is a character made famous (that I mentioned in another thread) for being played with SO little RP that he nearly died standing exposed to the elements for 3 days in the middle of the town square while the rest of the party was off on Downtime.

Finally the last game he was in he made... another dwarf. This time however he made up a cleric. Predicitably he ignored the email for backstories. When I forced him to come up with one on the spot for the first session he said his home had been destroyed. I asked "by what?" He goes "what's the main monster for the ranger?" I answer kobolds. "Them; they did it."

Needless to say I constantly wondered why this guy sat down to play a "Fantasy RPG" if he disliked both pretending in fantasies and RP.

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Wait, for ME IRL? Oh then of those 4 DEFINITELY Draconic. Are you kidding me?

*In line at Caribou*
Barista: Next!
Me: I'll have...
*Guy in a suit on earbud cuts in front of me* Gimmie a large Americano
*Claws and wings* Me: BY THE HOARY HOSTS OF HOGGOTH THIS SHALL NOT STAND!!! *shreds 3 piece suit while cutter flees in terror*

Of course any sorcerer bloodline gives you spells that automatically do the same thing, but to be able to proudly say that the blood of DRAGONS runs in my veins? Yes please!

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This topic is SO ripe for plot hooks I can't stand it. There's the villains going about the "beautiful" people making them ugly; there's the oppressive government weeding through the undesirables who become resistant to the anti-ugly magics; there's cosmetic merchants selling "beauty in a bottle" and ending up with BBEGs modeled on Batman villains like Clayface, Joker, Killer Croc or Poison Ivy.

Seriously there are a million different ways this could break bad. Comic books have sustained themselves for decades on this simple premise: what if we eradicated ugliness. It's been covered from Judge Dread to X-Men and more.

In the end it all comes down to this (for me anyway): individualism. If everyone were beautiful, then no one would be. Couple this with the ever-enduring desire for sentient beings to at times feel unique and special and I don't think you could possibly achieve what the OP was suggesting.

Incidentally I had a plotline kind of along this tack in a previous campaign. A fey Eldest banished from the First World was imprisoned in a mirror when she tried to cheat at a "fairest of them all" competition. Even though she was the most beautiful her cheating got her bounced.

Her only escape from her prison was to possess a mortal shell. She had mortal servants steal her away to the Prime, then commandeered a handsome lord with a comely wife. From these and other pretty servants on the lord's lands a breeding program began. 7 generations later the PCs came along and the town was holding it's annual "Fairest of them All" contest. Oh yeah, and the fey queen's minions were hags and ugly witches. Good times...

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Not to hijack my own thread, but @ Troy: I don't need a great background, only a good one. When considering a new PC in a homebrew game with people you don't know, follow the KISS method.

In other words instead of detailing his whole life prior to the first adventure, consider key points. Help me understand in very simple terms

- why does he adventure?
- what's his most importatnt memory?
- what does he look like?
- how did he acquire power?
- does he have goals/ambitions?

Consider your guy
NG male human summoner (master summoner)2

Key features might be
- summoner was an outcast for consorting with extra-planar beings
- pursued forbidden lore; befriended eidolon
- first adventure was a solo exploration of a ruin; he found a site where the Prime and the Etherial met and barely escaped with his life
- he's tall, gaunt and bony; he often forgets to eat while researching
- His eidolon has helped him understand a handful of heretical planar tomes he constantly studies for power and research
- his dayjob is crafting leather goods; he intends to create bindings to solidify ethereal creatures who escaped into the prime for study and research before releasing them back into their home plane if he can

All of this might be summed up in a simple background:

Bob the Summoner hailed from a small village where he was shunned as an outcast. The son of a tanner he learned enough to pass as a journeyman and earn his keep as he wandered the lands. One night bob took refuge in a ruined tower where he heard the whispering of alien words. Instead of fleeing in fear he followed the voices and met his eidolon; a winged creature of otherworldly origin.

The poor creature was dying. Bob offered to help in any way he could and agreed to an arcane pact - in exchange for a bit of his own mortal life he would learn powerful planar spells and summoning. No sooner had they bound to one another though than another creature of the aether arrived. Bob and his new friend barely escaped with their lives.

Since then Bob's wanderings have brought him to many other sites of planar intersection. In such places he has found scrolls, tomes and other missives detailing the weird happenings. Through the aid of his eidolon Bob has begun deciphering the lore and making sense of it all to further his own studies. He is a tall, gaunt young man prone to absent mindedness; when lost in research he often forgets even to eat.

In several instances Bob has seen the ravages of planar creatures. He is convinced however that many, like the fey are trying to find a habitat close to their own alien worlds in which to settle. Unfortunately such adaptation is not possible in the Prime for these expatriates. Bob has therefore made it his mission to study and catalog these creatures while working to pacify and ultimately return them to their native planes. Of course not all such trespassers are merely confused wanderers; for villains of the planes Bob is prepared to deal out the ultimate penance.

Now the above is really flavorful and flowery, but yours doesn't have to be. It does several things though for me as a GM:

1. Bob has a family, even if they don't like him. What if they suddenly want/need him back home? PLOT HOOK!

2. Bob has already visited some small and preveiously explored adventure sites to obtain knowledge for his studies. What if the lore he's gathered points him to one that HASN'T been picked over yet? PLOT HOOK!

3. I know that bob is on a mission with specific goals. This can easily be broken up and translated into occasional adventures specific to him. PLOT HOOK!

Simple, direct, meaningful. That's all I'm looking for.

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I usually work off of a 10 people/home and 4/shop rule. I also like to locate key features obvious to the city; the market(s), the main entry points in the wall and the primary defense (simple keep, full castle, palace, etc). From there I spiral outward putting the different classes of folks together.

I would suppose that merchants and traders want to be as close to where the goods come in as possible; this puts the market on the river or near the main overland gate. There might be a secondary commerce center elsewhere but this'll be the biggest one. Near this you want businesses that serve transient clientele; warehouses, inns, cheap entertainment and livery care and storage.

The wealthy want the highest level of protection so I typically add them near the primary defense. These folks also want decency and culture, so they might also have outdoor space, intellectual or decadent entertainments, and dining experiences available nearby.

Most people live and work in the same place unless the business requires tons of space or is otherwise dangerous. Modest shops don't need to be placed on the map; assume they're right in the homes you're drawing. These would be weavers, simple smiths, cobblers and such. Think of any business you could run out of your home with hand tools without much risk to life and limb and you can understand what I'm saying.

This leaves highly skilled, dangerous work to be segregated away from homes. No one wants to live right above a poulter, abbatoir or a slaughterhouse. A tannery is not only stinky but might also have dangerous chemicals piled about. These kinds of businesses might either exist outside the walls, in their own district or perhaps cordoned off somehow and scattered within lower income districts.

Will the town have guilds? If so give them a place or places to meet. Churches also fall into this category and can be scattered or located near specific features. If you're using the Golarion core gods and following the traditions of the setting, chances are you have a single church or maybe only a couple houses of worship containing shrines to allied deities.

Finally you need to think about civic works and life. Do they have running water? How is waste handled? Street lighting, prisons and justice, pest control and charitable doles; all of these can shape the city depending on their prevalence.

There is no "formula" for crafting a city. As I started out saying, I use roughly 10 to a home and 4 to a business. My city blocks are usually about 10 buildings each, with 4-6 blocks making up a ward or district. Based on these numbers and my arbitrary location of the major features, I can usually sketch out a city in about an hour. It looks terrible (I'm not an artist by ANY stretch!) but it's enough to give my players a sense of where they are and what's going on. Hope all that helps!

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I use either a flip mat or some kind of dry erase surface and draw out the dungeon as we go. I could have a player do it but it often gets mixed up. Also I've used Dwarven Forge 3d tiles or homemade ones made with Hirst Arts molds.

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Lathiira wrote:

If it worships Zon-Kuthon, is it a House of Pain?

What if it worships Desna? Is it then a Dream House?

Worships Saranrae: House of the Rising Sun

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I still keep coming back to Donna in the library episode. Martha, Rose, Amy; I could see them saying "sorry darlings but you're not real - I have to get back to the Doctor" but not Donna. Come hell or high water she was going to fight for every second with her pretend husband and kids. That was touching, sweet, human and heartbraking all at the same time and in a way I haven't seen in Dr Who before. Sure Amy wants a family but she has Rory with her most of the time. The other companions, even Rose, got to take their significants with them from time to time. Donna is the one who suddenly had someone significant in her life, some people to really love and care for, but she didn't get to keep them.

That, the miming through the window bit, and Donna running in that dress in the Pompei episode. You guys can all keep your Perris and Leelas and such; Donna's the total package for me.

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*Thread Res*

I found this thread by typing 2 simple words in the messageboard search: Donna Noble

I watched Who as a kid in America but it was too weird for me to really appreciate at the time. I remember thinking it was a fun, rubber-monster way to watch hot girls with British accents run around. Of course then I saw the episodes with Tom Baker and Sara Jane and my mind exploded.

I lost interest with the arrival of the 6th doctor and didn't watch anymore. I saw the Fox made-for-tv special and got excited, but that didn't go anywhere either. Then I caught Eccleston and Tennant episodes on Netflix and sure, Rose was kind of cool and all but it was just so...DRAMA all the time.

I just couldn't get myself re-addicted to Dr Who. Then Donna arrived.

I REALLY wish they'd done more with her. Catherine Tate is freaking hilarious alongside being a really good actress IMO. Seeing her and Tennant miming to one another through windows when they finally reconnect was absolutely priceless!

But more than that, she didn't instantly LOVE the Doctor as the other nuWho companions have. I'm sure Donna was at some points attracted to him but there was no soap opera love thing going on. But more than that she was more human than a lot of the other companions I've seen in a while. She wasn't particularly smart, or brave, or strong. But she was loud, insecure, and her heart was ALWAYS in the right place.

I honestly felt for the character when she had kids, KNEW they weren't real, and still sat with them for one final bedtime. That was the real deal, I don't care who you are.

So for this thread, fave companion, I'd give it to Donna. Balsy, brash, easy on the eyes and on top of it all... scared. Exactly what I picture a real person would be like if they went off on adventures with an alien.

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Folks, we have a company that is willing to hear and sometimes respond, in real time, to our concerns about the rules. They have also hired someone recently whose stated role, among other things is to answer FAQ requests and make clarifications.

I don't think we need a new edition.

What we need is to have access to these FAQs in errata updates, which we have and to make some judgment calls of our own once in a while. Also Paizo announced a new project suggesting alternate rules to adjust some of our pet peeves like Rogues, martial characters and monks. Use these.

I have been through this ringer with D&D. I really don't want to keep re-buying books and re-learning a game every 5-10 years. Tinker Paizo, please don't overhaul.

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