Danse Macabre

Midnight-Gamer's page

129 posts. Alias of William R Madden.


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It's been a full year since I was kicked out of my long time gaming group. Gaming counts for most of the best parts of my life, friends were made, adventures had, and life has been richer because of it. I'm grateful.

Things change however, and after nearly 10 years at the game table, the social dynamic among those I played became quite different from when I had started.

There was a period of time were I felt I was no longer fitting in at the table. I tried to convince myself it was just insecurity as these people had been friends for years, and I still enjoyed the chance to get out of the house for a couple hours a week. Sadly though, my instinct was right, and I should have left some time earlier to avoid embarrassment.

At the start of a late summer game session, one of the guys in the group. Someone I really admired and respect, gave me the talk. Some of you may know this feeling when you are fired from a job. It was just like that, only rather than a job, it was friendship. I didn't have whatever qualities were needed to fit in, and they wanted me gone.
It was an "Et tu, Brutus" moment for sure, and it honestly felt like someone had stuck a physical knife into my heart.

Things haven't been all bad as a result. The free time has allowed for me to focus on college, and I have stellar grades as a result, but there are times I still miss those nights.


I didn't take the time to read all of the comments to see if my suggestion had already been posted, if it has, take this as a +1.

Has the formulaic structure of your game sessions become stale? Are story arcs with the traditional beginning, middle, and end getting boring? Cut it out, toss it all aside and try a organic sandbox approach.

Tired of a slow build up? Set your own pace by building the story based on the actions of the players, and the reactions of the inhabitants of the game world.

For this style, game hooks can be rolled from random tables, and customized to the group. Stories should progress quickly, with completion within a session or two.


The Gingerbread Club

Rolls: Rogue, Rogue (rolled twice consecutively), Bard, Witch

..........................................................................

For generations, parents have frightened their misbehaved children with stories about "Agnus" the Witch of the Blackwood, who steals bad little boys and girls in the dark of night. These rumors and stories do have merit, because there really is an old witch, and she really does steal children.

A network of kidnappers, con-men, wealthy patrons, and corrupt officials, have formed a secret organization with the single goal of collecting children for the Witch of the Blackwood.

After being stolen away, the children are fed a steady diet of sweets until they are considerably fattened during captivity. When a desired weight is reached, Agnus delights in cooking the children alive in a number of ways. Most often, they are placed screaming, inside a giant brick oven and turned into delicious gingerbread cookies.

These cookies are infused with magic, and they literally give the gift of extra life for anyone who partakes.

The Gingerbread Club employs a large number of people, who are very, very well paid by societies elite for Agnus's cookies.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Midnight-Gamer wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Reactionary eats a trait, and Divine Warrior adds a flat +1 damage, every time I use magic weapon, or Divine Favor.

I suppose I could swap that.

I can't take Power Attack at first level, and if I want, I can retrain either Improved Initiative, or Tribal Scars, for Power Attack, after I get to second level.

I don't know what I would have instead of that.

Do you plan to branch into two weapon fighting for shield bash?

No.

I would rather two-hand the Longsword.

The only way I could see using a Shield, is if I had Quick Draw, and a Quickdraw Shield, allowing me to put it away as a free action, attacking two-handed, then pulling it out as a free action, for added AC on my off turn.

That's fine by me, I didn't use it on my Cleric either, I was just asking to tailor advice. Improved iniative will be fine if you can't decide.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Reactionary eats a trait, and Divine Warrior adds a flat +1 damage, every time I use magic weapon, or Divine Favor.

I suppose I could swap that.

I can't take Power Attack at first level, and if I want, I can retrain either Improved Initiative, or Tribal Scars, for Power Attack, after I get to second level.

I don't know what I would have instead of that.

Do you plan to branch into two weapon fighting for shield bash?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
How do you feel about the above build?

It's solid


I'm not sure Improved Iniative is a must have, even though it's awesome. Maybe consider the reactionary trait, I get a lot of mileage of of magical lineage too.

The only feats I'd really say that are must have are weapon focus and power attack. The rest is season to flavor.


A lot of people will tell you Crusader is bad. It's not,as long as you can manage to conserve your spells,the extra feats more than make up for the loss for a melee Cleric. Yes, spells are often the most powerful thing available, but the Crusader matches your concept, and I can positively say it works well.


Yes, but it might be painful.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Aquatic races make this hard.

Okay, let's just get the Al Gore joke out of the way. He invented the internet and s***. 'Kay? Done? Let's proceed.

Nobody is exactly sure when the world froze. Nobody is exactly sure why. It has been like this for centuries, but all everyone is sure of is that it hasn't always been so.

And now, after all this time, it is beginning to thaw once more.

Amazing.


The campaign begins on the island of "Kressos". The inhabitants have been affected like any other part of the Empire, and the people have morphed into things that are totally inhuman. An infernal mist blankets the island, civilization has ended, and what remains is something worse than anarchy.

However, not everyone has descended into madness. Some have clung to the old ways, these are followers of the Goddess Athnea, their faith has partially prevented them from the horrible transformation of their brethren. A sacred artifact called the "Sun-stone" maintains the sanity of those nearby.

Player Races

Dark Folk: This isolated group has retained their humanity more than any other within the Empire. They worship the Goddess Athnea from within their cavernous ungerground temples.

Derro: The Derro were never human to begin with, but are descended from Fey. They have taken refuge with the followers of Athnea in a bid for protection

Orc: These are people from above ground that have been physically afflicted by the "Curse of the Prophet" which shall be explained later. Proximity to the Sun-stone has caused their sanity to return.

Vanara & Thri-Kreen: The same situation as the Orcs Applies, but with radically different Forms.


Recap:

Campaign overview:

Long ago, the known portion of the world was divided up into various city states, small kingdoms, clans, and wilderness expanse.

Many different regional cultures flourished, ranging from the straights of Iburnus, to the Hanging Gardens of Gilga in the far east.

Centered in the Mederi Sea, was the Kingdom of Roma. This kingdom was at one time a small city ruled by the Human king Reemus, he was a paranoid man living in fear of attack by his neighboring states. The way Reemus put those fears to rest was a military campaign, in which he conquered all rivals in the peninsula Roma resided on.

After Reemus's death, his actions left an impact on the way Roma was governed, and over the next 250 years Roma expanded in size, conquering one territory after another. During this Conquest, the human citizens of Roma turned away from their traditional worship of local deities, and openly endorsed the worship of sinister an corrupting forces. (Deities/Demons/Devils to be later named)

More to come.

400 years after the death of Reemus, the human inhabitants of Roma and it's expanded territory have become monstrous both physically, and mentally as a result of state sponsored (Devil/Lovecraftian/Abomination) worship.

Leadership changes hands from council rule, to an Emperorship during this time. The Emperor "Justinian" is to be the final ruler of Roma and his reign last for 100 years, it's rumored that dark magic has kept him alive far longer than any normal lifespan.

Under Justinian's rule the "Apocalypse" occurs. The devoted within the Empire turn to madness. Politics are forgotten, armies disband, and the lands inhabitants become bestial. (Think Silent Hill meets Roman Legions)


Midnight-Gamer wrote:

1) Derro

2) Thri-Kreen
3) Dark Folk
4) Vanara (Monkey Folk)
5) Orc

This is going to be awesome!

Shadow of the Empire

Campaign overview:

Long ago, the known portion of the world was divided up into various city states, small kingdoms, clans, and wilderness expanse.

Many different regional cultures flourished, ranging from the straights of Iburnus, to the Hanging Gardens of Gilga in the far east.

Centered in the Mederi Sea, was the Kingdom of Roma. This kingdom was at one time a small city ruled by the Human king Reemus, he was a paranoid man living in fear of attack by his neighboring states. The way Reemus put those fears to rest was a military campaign, in which he conquered all rivals in the peninsula Roma resided on.

After Reemus's death, his actions left an impact on the way Roma was governed, and over the next 250 years Roma expanded in size, conquering one territory after another. During this Conquest, the human citizens of Roma turned away from their traditional worship of local deities, and openly endorsed the worship of sinister an corrupting forces. (Deities/Demons/Devils to be later named)

More to come.


1) Derro
2) Thri-Kreen
3) Dark Folk
4) Vanara (Monkey Folk)
5) Orc

This is going to be awesome!


wraithstrike wrote:
Syrus Terrigan wrote:
Yes.

I am assuming yes means the hard way.

Forumla---->h(d+s)+tchd.

h = Chance to hit, expressed as a percentage
d = Damage per hit. Average damage is assumed.
s = Precision damage per hit (or other damage that isn't multiplied on a crit). Average damage is again assumed.
t = Chance to roll a critical threat, expressed as a percentage.
c = Critical hit bonus damage. x2 = 1, x3 = 2, x4 = 3.

PS: If "yes" meant give you the link then let me know.

I presume we are to distribute the "h" to "d" & "s", multiply the variables on the far right, and add the result?


Gory details:
That character was an absolute beast until he got eaten by a Shoggoth, no really!
The fight went like this, my pc went straight into the Shoggoth lair, not suspecting such a thing would have been there. I lost initiative, got grappled; and that was all she wrote. My poor guy was Shoggoth lunch.


I've run a Cleric with the Crusader archetype with good success. At mid to high levels I focused on getting the best AC possible, the armor was adamantine for good measure. Going this route makes a freaking hard to kill tank that provides support, and deals moderate front line damage.


Syrus Terrigan wrote:

Midnight --

It's not just alignment -- concept and all. True neutral druid yields NE blighter. Guaranteed.

Spastic --

Ummmmm . . . . Even crummy paladins sacrifice themselves first. And if we're fighting a "greater evil", then there's that to deal with first, too. Just saying it's a bit tough to justify a do-nothing pally. I'll run with another treacherous scoundrel soon, though. Thanks! :)

yeah, if his sole purpose is to antagonize you, do yourself a favor and walk away. You can find plenty of people to game with who have better social skills.


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he likes to build opposite aligned characters, solution; true neutral Druid.


Congratulations to the students for mastering Algebra! While some may question it's usefulness, Algebra is required in a number of professional fields, and is requisite for most College degrees.

Edited to add: I hate Algebra!


Update:

" What happened Monday?

Thousands of Market Basket employees, customers, and supporters rallied for the second time in four days, this time at one of the company’s Tewksbury stores. Monday’s rally drew an estimated 5,000, and saw protest organizers urge company stores to pick up the fight against existing leadership by shutting stores down. Organizers and employees also seemed to endorse a customer boycott, an idea that had been floated by politicians."

Story


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Sean,

Thank you for your contribution to what has been a important and fun part of my life these last four years. My weekly game night is loads of fun and you helped shape that, bravo!


Professor Farnsworth, Scientist wrote:
Michael Ansara -- aka Captain/Commander Kang from Star Trek.

"Only a fool fights in a burning house."

-Kang


The Market Basket grocery chain has been a vital part of my community for many decades. A chain store that is stuck in the past, the owners have old fashioned values and I've admired them for this at a time when big business is very concerned with the bottom line.

Workers enjoyed decade spanning careers at Market Basket, jobs that pay a fair wage because Arthur T. Demoulas cares about the communities his stores thrive in.

Today I read the local paper to see the headline that residents are protesting in the streets. It may seem strange to some readers, but people are protesting for a corporation! The CEO, Mr. Arthur T. Demoulas, is battling a ousting attempt by board members who wish to turn his vision of Market Basket into a different type a store, one that cares very much about quarterly profits and the cost of human labor.

There will be a meeting on Thursday, July 18th to decide Arthur's removal. If you have read this and are thinking, this is bad for the companies 22,000 employees, there is a place you can go to sign a petition at Save Market Basket


Ruloc, you're a pro! Laetitia is amazing.


"Sean K. Reynolds is a professional game designer who has worked on and co-written a number of D&D supplements for Wizards of the Coast, as well as material for other companies. He worked for Black Isle Studios on the canceled projects Van Buren (Fallout 3) and Project Jefferson (Baldur's Gate 3: The Black Hound). "
Link

Sean, I never noticed your work history before. You had a personal hand in making my favorite games of all time! You've just been elevated to superstar status in my eyes.


Nice work, Mew & Ellianna are perfection.


Jubal Breakbottle wrote:
On Full Metal Jousting they used light lances and heavy lances. Have them break lances when they do X amount of damage. Make them roll each time they take damage and add any damage to the Ride check DC to stay in the saddle like a concentration check.

I loved Full Metal Jousting. Anyone remember when that guy took a lance in the hoo-hoo?

As for the OP, riding checks, attack rolls to target areas of armor, and damage to break lances would be the way I'd go.


I'm a big fan of Adamantine, even with the high price. If it's too much, maybe Mithril would work better for you?


Luna_Silvertear wrote:

What about a whip? I'm using a +1 throwing returning longspear...

EDIT: I should add distance to it as well. My GM was all like "WTF really?" when he saw my build.

I was just thinking this could work with throwing and the snap shot line.


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Give your dragon minions.


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Our group has agreed to split the cost of the AP's. Assuming four players, that's $5 each for a lot of entertainment.


Mazzy Star: Into Dust
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here

Oasis was on the radio while my dad was in open heart surgery. My Psychopathic boss had just laid me off that day, exactly one day before the start of a vacation I desperately needed.


Ruloc wrote:

I wasn't sure about the military outfit so I decided to go Andori on Danny

** spoiler omitted **

This is perfect! I especially love the face, he looks a little bit like Sean Connery. A gruff and down to business attitude is what I see from this depiction. Thank you!


Kat Tenser wrote:

I just don't see it for this character.

He isn't a fighter primarily: He is more of a detective or bounty hunter perhaps. Being good in a fight is important, but having the skill points and class abilities are more important for a character like this in my opinion.

He is definitely not an alchemist.

I say play it and have fun! Milking the absolute, most combat damage should be left to classes that specialize in that. No harm in trying different things, this build does not look gimped at all.


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I have to give a shout out for Planescape Torment. There are so many PC games that I love, but they are all topped by this classic. In my view, it transcends (pardon the pun for those who know) PC gaming and is more akin to a playable piece of literature that rivals any famous author I can think of.


Ruloc wrote:

Glad I could finish something today. Here's Haldyr.

** spoiler omitted ** small change of GTC included.

I really want to thank you all so far, not only for the praise(may continue, it really is motivating :P.) but also for your patience!

I'm really, really excited to see what you make. I've been following this thread with anticipation.


I have a lot of love for the Crossbowman. There's some good stuff in a thread from a few months back.

Link


Update!

Danny, the Crossbowman, has advanced to level eight and is on the cusp of ninth. The concept does what I set out to achieve thus far.
The ranged damage is very reliable although moderate when compared to other builds. Casters have much to fear.

Danny is at his best when using terrain for hit and run tactics. If he is the only one doing damage, then his middling DPR matters much less. Groups that enjoy, and are able to work as a team, will make the most out of the Crossbowman's abilities. Battles last slightly longer, but individual turns move much more quickly. This is due to rolling a single attack via Vital Strike.

The one trick pony trap that fighters can fall into has been avoided completely. Danny, with his high intelligence handles problems that would stymy the typical meat headed fighter. My Crossbowman did not need the intelligence to be jacked to function well, but it's liberating that I could do it while still contributing in combat.

For those GM's using the massive damage rules, the Crossbowman can easily achieve it by mid levels, something to think about.


Back when I was a kid, I walked to school up hill, both ways!

*Waves cane and grumbles in a old man voice*

Seriously though, this country has changed so much since I was a kid, I don't even recognize it.
I'd guess my parents felt the same way when they got older and the world looked like a different place.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
There are traits that give you spellcraft as a class skill as well.

My single classed fighter actually does use spellcraft and arcana. Both skills have been useful. You might like the trait that allows you to detect magic while you're at it.


You could have the players that enjoy the building aspect build up the kingdom on a off day. Some burden will be on you to entice the players with interesting things to do and learn about in between exploration and combat.
My players attempted to frame Mivon as an agitator against a neighbor, after I dropped some hints about a looming war.


Well, If you want to avoid the Rock em Sock Robot Fighter, you could take the vital Strike or Spring Attack feat line.
You might also raise Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma higher than is normal for a Fighter. Some Arch-types might fit the bill, Tactician comes to mind. If all else fails, splash another class into your build.


Cidwin wrote:
Also, if I recall correctly... that weapon has a pretty horrible downside as well for any PC trying to use it.

Yep, that's how fight #2 with Armag came about in my game. Good times!

It lead to this exchange.
PC1:"Is your dwarf getting taller?"
PC2: "Er, no?! Btw, my dwarf will spend the next two weeks training in his secret hideaway."
PC1: "Why?"
PC2: "No reason."


Write in: Maximus Decimus Meridius


Shifty wrote:
Midnight-Gamer wrote:
Not very intelligent, educated, or wise, her power comes supernaturally.
ZOMG you are playing Paris Hilton!?

Some brain dead model would make a good comparison. Thanks for the laugh Shifty!


John Woodford wrote:
Robert Little wrote:
John Woodford wrote:
Robert Little wrote:


Unfortunately, the majority of the farmers only have access to seed for crops that are unedible unless highly processed (i.e most corn grown in the U.S., meant for ethanol and high fructose corn syrup) <...>
Could I get a cite for that? Also, how does that affect things like wheat?

Two cites

** spoiler omitted **...

Thank you much...interesting reading. I was trying to work through the amount of corn used for ethanol production in the US and getting nowhere; my google-fu was weak.

Corn ethanol has been pushed by lobbyist from the corn industry. As of this time, corn bio-fuels offer a poor return for the investment. Google the EROI from corn based ethanol. EROI, stands for Energy Returned On Investment, and there's little to none.

One possible exception might be cellulosic ethanol, which is more promising.


I have two request for Ruloc, pick whichever you prefer based on my description. Btw, the artwork I've seen is superb.

Concept 1: Danny. A seasoned military man who has taken up work as a mercenary. Danny has an average build with dark features, his signature weapon is a heavy crossbow which is used to great effect at long range. His armor consist of nothing more than a old stitched up cloth uniform from his military days. Danny is based on modern special forces as inspiration.

Concept 2: Delphine. A Stunningly beautiful Oracle with inspiration drawn from the Oracle's of Delphi. Delphine will have a Mediterranean look, with light fitting clothing. Not very intelligent, educated, or wise, her power comes supernaturally.

Ruloc, it bears repeating, your art is stunning!


Darkwing Duck wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:


It is uncommon to find them in high concentrations.
Which is the problem.

In a world with almost 7 billion people and counting, any finite resource can become a problem.


The premise is entirely plausible, at least within the context of the United States. Our civilization is dependent on oil to keep running, from top to bottom.

Nitrogen in our soils is replenished with oil products, consumer products require oil to produce, our fleet of combustion engine vehicles take oil both to manufacture and operate. It goes on an on.

Large numbers of people commuting to work from suburbs does not help matters. At some point segments of the population will be priced out. What that means is the price to buy heating oil, to fuel a car, or to purchase food, will be to high.
A speculated result of this is economic collapse, once enough of the population is priced out and unable to contribute to consumerism.

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