Adamantine Dragon's page

8,271 posts. Alias of brassbaboon.


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Renata, and that is a major reason I roll random dice. My players get used to me rolling dice, and eventually, after so many times that I roll the dice and nothing happens, it just becomes background to the game, so when a truly important roll happens, they don't notice.

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For things like sense motive and stuff, the player really shouldn't roll anyway, since if they roll a "1" they'll "know" they blew it. So what I do is I just randomly roll dice all throughout the session.

Then when something like this happens, I can just say "I rolled your sense motive and..."

It's also fun to just every now and then roll your d20 two or three times, raise your eyebrows and then roll a bunch of d6s.

Drejk, the link I posted is to the Kindle Store. I currently have the book in the "Kindle Select" program which is essentially an Amazon eBook store exclusive marketing program which gives me some benefits on Amazon. The Kindle eBook works with Kindle readers, including free Kindle readers for pretty much any computer OS.

There is also a paper option, but it's print-on-demand and so isn't cheap. You can get a paper copy for $10.99 off Amazon, plus shipping. That is the lowest price Amazon would allow me to set for the physical book.

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Man, I've got so many toys I use in my games, it's silly. Here's an example of taking a toy and turning it into a Beholder:

Dollar Store Beholder

When I first self-published Warrior back in January I posted something here to let folks know. It didn't get much attention.

Since then Warrior has sold over 1,200 copies, has been as high as #13 on the Amazon young adult fantasy best seller list and has 22 of 27 reviews on Amazon as five stars.

If you like epic fantasy with lots of action, interesting characters and a unique setting and magic, you might want to check it out.

Amazon listing for Warrior

Also, I am in wrapping up editing for the next book in the series, "Warlock" which will be out by the end of next month.

Hi, I haven't posted here in a while except on the miniatures forum, but I have just self-published my epic fantasy novel on as a Kindle ebook.

Here is a link to the page if anyone is interested.

Here is the blurb I wrote to describe the book:

Warrior wrote:
The Testing Time has arrived. The world is falling into darkness. Lirak, a young forest-dwelling stone-chipper has become a pawn in the eternal battle of the Gods. Born of an outsider mother, feared by superstitious villagers, distrusted and resented by his own brother, Lirak must fight back an invading army while learning how to control the destructive powers that boil inside him. Lirak's path from simple stone-age villager to heroic warrior is only the first part of a much longer and more dangerous journey.

I have probably 15% of my rather substantial miniatures collection made up from cheap toy store, dollar store or thrift store animals, bugs, birds and dinosaur miniatures. I frequently will frankenstein them to create new creatures, or my own versions of mythological ones.

There are lots of ways to build up a miniature collection with cheap, easily obtainable miniatures. If you are willing to put true 25mm scale minis (the original "official" scale for D&D before miniature makers started creeping the size up for "heroic" figures until they now are closer to 30mm standard) you can get dozens of boxes of 30-40 quality miniatures for less than $10 a box.

Miniatures don't have to be crazy expensive.

I generally don't like the hot glue gun, but I think it's a great tool for certain uses. I use it a lot for prototyping, and then use other adhesives for the final build. But that's mostly due to my clumsiness with hot glue, which results in endless spiderweb effects around virtually anything I build.

There is a contingent that does not like grid play on the DM's Craft boards, and I have seen comments from time to time about how superior gridless is to grid play, but I have always taken that as personal opinions and not as criticisms of people playing with grids. Of course it may well be that I just don't care much if someone bashes grid play and so it doesn't penetrate my general armor of indifference, where other people may react more strongly to it.

What I like about the forum is the incredibly helpful vibe I've found there. I posted some stuff on the Hirst Arts board back when I first started making stuff out of Hirst blocks and I was very surprised by the negativity of some of the comments about my work. I've never had that happen in the DM's Craft forum, everything has been positive or at least the critical comments have been made in a helpful manner.

And I've learned a LOT about how to make stuff that is cheap, useful and in some cases, quite well done. I think folks who are looking for that sort of thing should at least check it out.

Hmm... not sure if the anti-grid sentiment was a phase or if I've just been lucky. I play with a grid, and I use Hirst Arts blocks which are basically grids. Nobody has ever given me grief for my grid items.

I've had nothing but positive experiences and I've posted a lot of stuff.

I am a member of the DM's Craft forum and it is an awesome resource with the most pleasant and supportive forum members I've ever encountered anywhere.

If you are wanting to make terrain on a budget, or almost for free, that forum is an ideal place to visit.

Perhaps one day you might think of answering this question with "I know! I'll make my own." If so, let us know. :)

One thing to think of is to check your newspaper for Michael's coupons of up to 30% off (or more). Then you can check out their plastic craft cases and get a good bargain. I got some stackable trays with individual compartments for less than $10 per case after Christmas.

One of the things I use for filling gaps is milliput, which is also sold at hobby stores. I've also used coarse epoxy putties sold in big box hardware stores for a pittance compared to hobby epoxies. But that tends to harden very fast.

The real question you need to ask is whether you are just filling gaps, or if you are needing to improve a structural joint. Green stuff is actually very good for the latter.

There are a lot of different epoxy putties. Green Stuff is one of the most expensive you can find. There are other ways to fill gaps besides epoxy putty. I use "Apoxie Sculpt" a lot because it is much cheaper than Green Stuff.

I've also used plaster for gap filling as well as various sorts of glue.

For what it's worth, here's what I was painting this weekend.

How did I miss this? That is friggin' awesome! Mind blowing.

Over the years I've collected a fair number of dinosaur miniatures from dollar stores. Some of them are really close to the right scale for 28mm, but you have to keep your eye out for them. I also have some smaller ones that I use as "young" template dinosaurs for certain purposes and I've Frankensteined a lot of miniatures using odd sized bits and pieces of dinosaurs. One of my favorite custom bosses was made by grafting a stegosaurus head on a giant snake and then gluing on a bunch of octopus tentacles... Creepy for sure...

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Asakura, I'm not attempting to rebut the advice you've been given about not starting with your own campaign world. It is a lot of work and if you don't have a ton of free time you will probably end up with some large gaps in your campaign.

But having said that, I was running my own campaigns in my own campaign world within a few weeks of being introduced to the game, and I'm still running campaigns in that same world today, using many of the same maps and content.

It can be done, it just requires a certain sort of compulsive dedication to doing it, and the time available to spend on it. I used to work as a night drive up teller and would draw maps and write up campaign notes as I was between customers.

Do you know what the rest of your party is going to be?

I'm playing Carrion Crown right now with a detective bard, and none of our party has any real anti-undead focus and we are doing fine so far. My bard has been very useful with research, perception/searching and social skills working with NPCs.

thejeff wrote:
FlySkyHigh wrote:
Spiral_Ninja wrote:

Also, IIRC, only elves that had seen the light of the Undying Lands glowed. She's not Sylvan.

Not sure if she was actually glowing, or her little dwarvish lover-boy was just hallucinating. Or it was the fact that all the elves have a bit of inner "light" from their relative close relationship to the Valar.

Again, just a shot in the dark, but possible.

Or Jackson doesn't pay that much attention to the lore.

Or maybe it was a shot as seen through Kili's eyes, where she was glowing radiantly in his mind..

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As I said Viv, when you are desperately searching for misogyny under every rock, you'll find it even where it doesn't exist.

As I also said, this sort of thing is a deadly insult, the sort of personal accusation that generally reflects more on the accuser than the accused.

I always try to be polite and rational in my discussions on these boards and try my best to keep things from being personal

But you are an unmitigated ass.

It's hard to be too critical of The Hobbit for ridiculous amounts of gold treasure when "National Treasure" had a similar pile of gold that was supposedly mined, smelted and crafted into statues and artifacts by, apparently, the Blackfeet tribe.

One of my constant pet peeves is the Hollywood idea of a "pile of treasure."

It's not just in this movie, although this was one of the most egregious, it's in pretty much any movie with a "pile of treasure" including National Treasure or Indiana Jones or even The Mummy.

Most people don't realize that all the gold ever mined in the history of the human race would more or less fit in an Olympic sized swimming pool.

That's ALL the gold, not just the gold in a single treasure pile.

And before someone says "well, Middle Earth isn't our earth," go check your Tolkien quotes, because he asserts very much that it is.

BlackKestrel wrote:
The movie was absolutely atrocious. Save your money and see something better. The only redeeming quality in the whole movie was Benedict Cumberbatch's voice acting as Smaug

Wow Kestrel, can you provide some details about WHAT was so atrocious (without spoilers)? I mean nothing's perfect and there are always flaws in any movie, but "absolutely atrocious?" That seems harsh.

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LOL Jaelithe, when you call "sentient irredeemable" an oxymoron, what am I supposed to conclude other than that you have an inability to imagine it? It's NOT an oxymoron to me because I CAN imagine it.

And the 8 years thing... LOL, I just said that it's fascinating to watch Vivianne, not that my analysis was clinical. I stand by that analysis anyway because I'm not delving into motivations or morality, I'm just pointing out what is being done right there in public.

The bottom line is that it is you and Vivianne who are passing judgment on people for playing a game where you fight sentient irredeemable monsters, because you simply can't accept that sentient irredeemable monsters can exist anywhere. You've both said it enough times that I hardly think calling that an inability to imagine is an indefensible position.

But it's time to let this rest.

I would take rapid shot before deadly aim.

Every dedicated archer I've built and played in PF has had point blank shot and rapid shot. Most do not have deadly aim.

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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
What you are asserting is that YOU are the judge of what IS valid.

Yes, I do believe that the things I believe are valid. If I didn't believe they are valid, I wouldn't believe them...

Are you upset that I think the judgements I make are valid? Why wouldn't I think that?

It's your naked willingness to shout your beliefs from the mountaintop and accuse those who run afoul of your prejudices and biases of horrible crimes that is the problem Vivianne.

Go ahead and believe what you want. But it would be nice if you didn't let that lead to you publicly calling people names and questioning their moral character.

Believe me, I have lots of biases and prejudices that I could turn into accusations and zealotry if I wanted to myself.

The difference between us isn't that I don't have those biases and prejudices, it's that I don't let them overrule my common sense and humility.

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I used to play in a group where the player who played the party battle cleric liked to assert that his character was the most powerful character in the party. We had some good-natured discussions about whether his cleric or my druid would win in a PvP duel.

Neither of our characters would ever do PvP, so we just sort of kept ribbing each other about it.

Until the GM handed me a note out of the blue that said "You believe your allies are your enemies".

After the dust had been settled, half the party was dead, the battle cleric and the party rogue together, between them, managed to finally subdue my druid.

So there are ways to do "PvP" without true conflict in the party.

My druid would have wiped out the entire party too, if that dang cleric hadn't rolled a lucky save on a very high fort DC...

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Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Vivianne, reading your posts is a fascinating exercise in practical psychoanalysis.

What happened to spending 8 years in school, with years of clinical study?

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
You continue to assert that your interpretation of things is the only valid one, and that you are the only one who can judge the morals of the people you view.
I've not asserted that. I've asserted that some perspectives are invalid, but that's different from saying all perspectives but mine are invalid. ∃x φ(x) is not the same as ∀x φ(x).

You don't even know what you are asserting.

What you are asserting is that YOU are the judge of what IS valid.

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Jaelithe, your inability to imagine "sentient irredeemable" monsters is not my problem.

Your insistence (and Vivianne's) that since YOU can't do it, it can't be done, is my problem.

Imaginary worlds can be whatever the imaginer wants them to be. Even if that means things are possible there, that aren't possible HERE.

Like, magic.

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Vivianne, reading your posts is a fascinating exercise in practical psychoanalysis.

The assumptions you make. The motivations you accuse. The grand sweeping generalizations you apply. All in the service of biases and prejudices that you wear on your sleeve like a neon tattoo... It's really stunning sometimes.

You continue to assert that your interpretation of things is the only valid one, and that you are the only one who can judge the morals of the people you view.

I've said it before, but it is a quite stunning performance of self-actualized judgment of others based on a remarkably narrow and focused world view.

Nobody has said that they want to build worlds where horrible actions are "the virtuous choice".

The ONLY thing anyone has said here is that it is possible to imagine and therefore play in a world where there are sentient irredeemable monsters, and that doing so allows players to engage in combat simulations without getting tied up in moral knots.

Everything else you have asserted is some sort of weird compulsive perception that you insist on applying on other people based on your own biases and prejudices.

"Hey, I know, let's play a game where we get to be heroes who protect the world from rampaging goblins!"

"You genocidal bastards!"

It's absolutely fascinating to see.

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Oh, and I do think your example is probably pretty common in the overall community Vivianne, so yeah, I think it's a pretty poor idea to make judgments of people's moral character based on their current role playing situation. For anyone. It is simply too easy to let our own biases and prejudices get in the way of our objectivity. As has been demonstrated here I think.

Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
Edementine Dregon, so you agree that people's beliefs about the real world affect what kind of roleplaying they engage in? You agree that certain kinds of roleplaying should be judged? Is the point of contention just that you don't trust me personally to make any judgements?

Well, maybe if you didn't call me "misogynist" with the slightest of pretexts, I might find your judgment to be a little more reliable.

See Vivianne calling someone "misogynist" is a deadly insult, one that should be leveled only with the most careful of consideration of a preponderance of evidence, not based on one casual use of a common phrase in a manner that is completely consistent with the current discussion.

But you just go there. Blithely, confidently, boldly.

So yeah, I definitely question your personal judgment. Hard.

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Vivienne, I'm saying that you have demonstrated poor judgment in judging the motivations of people ON THESE BOARDS, so stating that you are able to read the secret motivations of your fellow gamers is something that I feel is worth challenging.

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Jaelithe wrote:
I didn't think she was addressing anyone directly, but instead speaking in general—that though some behaviors are innoucuous, others are, indeed, indicators of our essential selves.

And people spend 8 years in school, with years of clinical study to be able to make a wild guess at which is which in pathologically disturbed people.

To think a typical gamer is able to discern motivations of other gamers is, well, a pretty monstrous conceit.

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Quite judgmental. It sets you up to be judge and jury of people based on your own prejudices and biases. Based on an innocent statement I made about women and children being flagged as 'misogynistic' I'm pretty sure your reaction to other things is just as questionable and will result in other accusations against other innocents.

But hey, it makes you feel superior, and that's what counts.

walled towns

Not sure what your intentions are here, but my personal experience with large-scale battles in D&D/Pathfinder is that there are better game systems for doing that, and they can actually be combined with the RPG rules fairly easily. If you really want to do a large scale battle.

I once wrote my own wargame because we had some largescale battles going on in D&D and I didn't like the results.

But since then I've mostly stuck to the basic rules and set up specific encounters that had some outcome that would affect the larger battle. Take out the wizard raining death from his tower, or kidnap the enemy general, etc.

Hama wrote:
Which scene?

more than one, really:
There were so many of my favorite scenes from the book left out, including a couple with Smaug. The one I really was hoping to see with Smaug was when Smaug decided it was time to plug up that little hole on the side of the mountain and rained fiery death and destruction, essentially smashing the mountainside into rubble, forcing the dwarves to hide inside the tunnel as Smaug destroyed the door, trapping them, which is why they finally followed Bilbo.

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Jaelithe wrote:
Would you petition the DM for permission for (further) player vs. player if such occurred, AD?

It would be a character based decision. I haven't actually even played a rogue in Pathfinder, all of my rogues were played back in 3.5 and earlier versions. If it was one of my truly evil rogues who had a chip on their shoulder, ESPECIALLY when it comes to magic users, then yeah, I'd probably petition the GM to allow my rogue to teach the witch a lesson. Maybe a permanent lesson. It would depend on how embarrassing the situation was when the rogue was hexed.

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Ellis, I'd say that for quite a few of my rogues, if you fired off a "sleep hex" because my rogue was "shooting his mouth off" you might find that you have just encountered a pretty significant risk of death.

Smaug most assuredly was a truly evil bastard. My only regret is that Jackson chose not to put in one scene from the book that would have done even more to show his awesome power. But that's a rather minor complaint.

I will just once again point out that if you want to, you can take the Peter Jackson dodge and have your irredeemable monstrous sentient species grown in pods and "birthed" fully grown and ready to fight. Then the whole "baby problem" can be totally avoided.

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It has been my experience so far that the desire to PvP is generally expressed much more strongly by one player at the table than the rest. That alone is a potential problem.

If everyone at the table wants to do it and can deal with the consequences, then fine. It just has rarely, rarely been my experience that everyone at the table wants to do it and can deal with the consequences.

137ben, I have not once suggested it was the default. In fact I have come right out and said I HOPE it's an uncommon, or even rare way to play.

I'm just saying it's a perfectly legitimate way to play and if people want to take a few hours from their week and whale away on "monsters" to blow off steam and ignore the moral implications for an afternoon...

I'm fine with that. I've done it myself. "Hey, goblins, get ready to fight!"

Nothing "wrong" with it. Sure I generally appreciate a more nuanced form of role playing, but I normally DO a more nuanced form of role playing.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

While the species may be known for monstrous activity, you cannot judge any individual you are putting the sword to by their entire species.

If that is how that world works, BNW, yes, you absolutely can. This is yet another example of "they aren't monsters, they are misguided."

The whole argument boils down to "there's no such thing as sentient monsters."

Jaelithe, a couple of points.

1. Whether YOU have "free will" is still an open debate among philosophers and scientists, so building a world where sentient creatures lack free will is no problem at all.

2. You are asserting things as absolute facts that are nothing but your opinion.

3. Even if there is "free will" it is still possible for a world builder to create creatures that always use their will to choose evil.

4. If you want to try to pull "facts" into the discusion, the fact of the game is that the GM controls the choices of every single NPC or monster. There is no "free will" involved.

5. Whether you would find such a game to be fun or not is not the question. The question is whether it is "murder" to kill monsters. Again, "monsters", not differently colored human being analogs.

I really think that the fundamental problem some people have is the possibility of the existence of "monsters" in the first place. Every argument I see boils down to "they aren't monsters, they are just misguided."

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In my world probably the closest thing to a truly irredeemable sentient species is my version of the ilithids. They eat living sentient brains to survive. I've never yet put a baby ilithid in my game, but if I did and a PC killed it, I wouldn't turn that into an alignment threatening activity. Killing something that has to eat living sentient brains to live seems to me to be a pretty defensible action.

I agree with theJeff above, and think that most of the time if the party encounters baby goblins, it is usually an attempt to force some sort of moral quandary on the party.

To me the game can be played on different levels, with different goals. I see nothing wrong with playing the game as a pure problem-solving and battle tactics simulator if that's what the group wants to do that day. In those situations throwing a moral conundrum at the party is sort of a jerk move. Giving the players a supply of legitimate targets to fight is just a way to let them blow off steam.

Another level of the game is to introduce concepts that are important in the real world, concepts like diversity, moral quandaries, etc. In those situations the RPG world is a wonderful opportunity to introduce people to concepts that they may not have really encountered in life, and that can produce some really useful life lessons.

And there are more levels than that. The game works on all of them. The trick as the GM is to figure out what level is appropriate for the players right now at this time in these circumstances. I can tell when my players are just exhausted from work, fed up with something at home, or otherwise just want to whack some monsters to blow off steam.

I am pretty careful about introducing the more complex themes to the game, but I do introduce them. I find that a little of that goes a long way though.

For the most part the best way to avoid this whole problem is to not throw a party that is in a "blow off steam" mode into a room full of baby goblins.

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