kahoolin's page

823 posts (850 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 aliases.

Hi Paizoans, long time no see...

I just thought I'd drop in and say merry festive season to all of my old mates. You guys still hold a place in my heart as the most intelligent, civil and fun forum I have ever been a member of. Plus it makes me feel good that so many of you have added me on facebook when I haven't shown my spiky-haired and chisel-jawed face around these parts in a year or two.

I just wish I could put avatars to faces (except James Keegan, that guy sure is consistent with his internet handles).

Anyway hope you all have a great xmas or whatever dark ritual you celebrate... ;)

I can't shake this strange desire I have to try an Orange Julius, yet tragically, they only exist in the US and Canada. Could someone please describe to me what they are like? I like the name.


Don't know if any of you guys read Something Awful.com, but they have a humorous gaming podcast called "The Barbarian's Dojo."

I downloaded them and am enjoying them quite a bit. This dude basically rambles about gaming (mostly D&D), video games, movies, fantasy art, etc. It's not too serious but good for a listen all the same. I recommend the Halloween episode, and the Sexiness in Gaming one was funny too.

Just got my final issue of Dragon (I know, I'm slow) and there's an ad in there for Gencon Australia 2008. This is great, I can do a roadtrip to Brisbane and I have like a year to plan it. I've never had the opportunity to go to GenCon before, obviously.

Any Paizoans thinking of going at this early stage? I assume the Aussies are up for it. It would be fantastic to see some of the other folks too, if you could make the journey...

Just thought I'd mention that today's random feature article on the front page of wikipedia is Dungeons & Dragons.

That is all.

So I've been thinking about how the way the Ninja are portrayed historically has changed over my life time. When I was a kid there was crap like the American Ninja movies. Then people started writing serious histories of the Ninja and guys like Masaaki Hatsumi in Japan popped up claiming to be masters of Ninjutsu. There were heaps of books released and the general idea became that Ninja clans existed as outcasts in the Japanese feudal system, and hired themselves out as assassins, terrorists etc to lords because they were willing to fight dirty, unlike the Samurai.

Now the general opinion among miltary historians seems to be that these clans didn't exist at all, and that in fact Ninja as people generally think of them didn't exist. The Samurai were no more honourable than any military class, ie, they fought with every weapon available to them, including espionage, terror and ambush. Some families like the Yagyu codified these techniques into "ninjutsu", but it was not like there were Ninja and Samurai operating independantly. The Ninja were Samurai. "Ninjutsu" was just the medieval Japanese equivalent of modern special forces training. Some Samurai families taught it, others specialized in things like horsemanship or were famous duellists or strategists.

It's really hard to know the truth seeing as the very subject is murky. One thing I DO know is that no Ninja-To has ever been found that dates from before the 20th century. Ninja, if they did exist, used guns, bows, katana and wakizashi just like any other Japanese warrior. The straight-bladed Ninja sword was invented by Hollywood, so how much else was?

Anyone have any knowledge/opinion (crazy or otherwise) about the real Ninja? I reckon it's pretty unlikely that I'm the only gamer who has ever looked into the history of the Ninja.

PS. I fully recognize that a certain number of smart-arsed comments about pirates etc. is an inherent danger of a thread like this, so I'd just like to say... knock yourselves out :)

Being the optomistic kind of guy that I am, I've been thinking and I reckon 4E is going to be awesome. The few bits of info that I've seen about actual changes to the game's rules (which is the only thing I care about, all that online jazz and the rest is just packaging) seem to me as if they will be a lot better, at least by my standards. An update of classes and races is sorely needed IMHO and I really like the sound of the weapon-based Fighter powers and even the modular online drop and drag PC design. My players have been asking me if something like this exists for ages now. Only a few months back I asked on these boards if anyone had a SIMS-like program with D&D clothes, weapons and armour for making PC portraits exactly how you want them. And as for sucking money out of us: It's a hobby, by definition you're paying for a luxury. At least it's not as expensive as those model trains old guys play with. Have you seen how much it costs for a half-inch high mailman?

I think 3/3.5 is an overblown beast that needs a clean slate and hey, I can always use my old 3x stuff as a goldmine for resources and ideas. I can't wait to get the 4E core books and start playing. And no, I'm not being sarcastic and I don't work for Wizards.

...Who's with me? Anyone?

I just finished reading From Hell, by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, and I have mixed feelings. Anyone else read it?

I liked the occult thing and Gull's insanity and his attempt to suppress the Goddess stuff, and the conspiracies were cool. I'm interested in the Victorian age and magic, and I probably would have said it's a stronger book that Watchmen except

...that it's too long and unfocussed. It kind of felt like Moore was trying to include every little theory and side-plot put forward for the Ripper murders, of which there are MANY. There are also lots of cameos which he put in because, I hate to say, he wants to show off his knowledge of the Victorian counter-culture. The Oscar Wilde bit was done well, but the bits with WB Yeats and Aleister Crowley, they added nothing to the story. And the police following dead ends - that just wasn't exciting. You don't want to read a hundred pages of a policeman saying "I dunno, I don't think it was him" and then discovering that no, it wasn't him.

In real life you might meet someone and then never see or hear of them again. The same thing doesn't make for a good story. It just wasn't tight like Watchmen, where everything seemed to have a purpose. It seemed like he didn't have anyone to read it and say to him "yeah that's cool Alan, but it doesn't really add much you know? Maybe you should just put that in the notes at the end."

I think it's interesting that the movie is so very different. I actually enjoyed the movie, and even now after I've read the book still do, but I don't think it shares anything much with the book beyond the name. If they'd called it something else entirely and claimed no connection I don't think Alan Moore would have had any grounds to sue, especially since his idea of who the culprit was and why comes from a non-fiction book. Wierd.


Holy crap. I'm no scientist but it seems these guys just made a working cloaking device.


That's awesome. Humans rule (at least sometimes...)

I was just reading Saern's thread about point buy and I started thinking about a problem we've been having in our current campaign. Rolling dice for hit points just doesn't seem fun. It's not working out.

As of last adventure the party had a Bard, a Rogue, a Monk and a Fighter. Not your average party but that's cool, I'm not one of those "me against them" DMs and I'm happy to tailor an adventure to suit the PCs to an extent.

The problem we've been running into is doing hit points by the RAW. At first level they all get max HP and everyone's fine and happy etc. Now it's level 4 and the guy playing the Fighter has rolled two 1s and a 2 for his HP when he leveled up. The other players have all rolled high. So the only good melee combatant has 17 hit points at 4th level. The Bard for example has 28. And as there are no straight casters the challenges are nearly all melee and skill-based.

I told the guy playing the Fighter we would retcon his PC and he could take 5 and add his CON bonus (+1) for each level instead. Of course he jumped at the chance. But I've been thinking about it further and I really don't think the game would be particularly unbalanced if all the PCs just got their maximum HP at every level without rolling. I think the only difference it would make would be to increase everyone's fun. You should have seen the look on the guy's face after his second 1, it was just "this is stupid, why does my character's life have to rely on this dumb random roll?" But he sucked it up because it's the rules. Then I thought screw that, I agree with him.

OK, I'm long-winded as usual, but has anyone encountered any problems doing away with random HP? Seems to me anything that can kill a 10th level fighter will kill him whether he has 111 hit points or not.

One of my players wants to play a ghost/undead hunter type character with good fighting abilities and some magical tricks to help them in their field, like in the show Supernatural. She wants the PC to be clever and tricky rather than faithful.

I was thinking of allowing them to play a Ranger/Cleric only instead of her spells being wisdom-based they will be intelligence based and she knows and prepares them as a wizard. But seeing as all the good undead-bashing/warding spells are on the Cleric list she'll still use that list.

I feel odd about this. Would any of you have a problem with it? We used to do "counts as" stuff like this in warhammer all the time, eg your rough riders are exactly the same game-wise only instead of being guys on horses with lances they are guys with jetpacks and grenade throwers. But it seems wierd in D&D to say OK, this character is mechanically a cleric but in the game world she doesn't worship a god and her spells, though they are the same as divine spells, are gotten from old books and memorized. Her Turn Undead power represents ancient rituals she's learned to repel or destroy undead. Odd huh? But I can see the character and it's a cool idea. After all, why should pious people have all the vampire slaying fun?

Also, should I give her something else to make up for restricting the Cleric's spell list? Or is it not that big a deal? And should she suffer arcane spell failure if the spells are arcane spells that just mimic divine spells (thereby unfairly nerfing the cleric's armour)? Or are they Divine spells that don't come from a god? Is that even possible?

Or should I just let her do it and not worry about the logical incnsistencies? :)

It's a great big mess...

In the MM it says that a vampire spawn reduced to 0 hp has to return to it's coffin or grave and regenerate in two hours or it is dusted.

What happens if it doesn't have a grave? Say a vampire attacks a church, kills a paladin (thereby turning him into a spawn) and leaves his body on teh floor of the church. When 5the spawn awakens the master vampire orders him to guard the area. Say the very next night after the spawn rises PCs come and reduce spawnboy to 0 hp. Where does he flee to? He's never been buried, just killed and reawakened...

Since its a low level party I was thinking of ruling that because he was never buried (and the vampire who made him regards him as expendable) that he has nowhere to escape to and is destroyed after 2 hours in gaseous form. But recurring villains are always so much better so maybe I should rule that he flees to a hole in the ground on the island he died on, or flees to his master who has a bed ready for him in his lair.

What would you guys do?

So I just made a halfling wizard for my new PC, and I can't find any halfling minis wearing shoes. The sculpture world seems to be stuck in 2E where all the little guys have big hairy naked feet.

I'm thinking I'm going to buy a halfling and a gnome and swap their heads, but there's precious little gnome action to be found either. All the Gnomes have puffy sleeves and lutes and all the halflings have short swords.

Doesn't anyone else like small wizards?

OK, this is vaguely about D&D but is pretty well off-topic...

My girlfriend plays a rogue in our game, and is also a big fan of the Sims. She has decided that instead of finding or drawing a picture of her PC she wants to make her as a Sim to show people - that way she can make the face exactly how she wants and get a nice 3D model. So she spent most of today looking for places on the net to download fantasy clothing/equipment etc for the Sims, but didn't have much luck. Then she said "can you ask for me on that forum you're always on, and see if anyone knows anyone who makes D&D style clothes for Sims 2?"

So, does anyone? She's thinking like Lidda-style leather armour, a cloak, that sort of stuff. I'm sure someone out there on the net has sat down and thought "you know, it would be cool to make a Sim that looks like my PC." We just can't find them. Any help would be much appreciated...

With all of the changes lately (Dragon, Dungeon, and Dragonlance having their licenses pulled from the creators) I've been thinking about the future of D&D as a whole. Mostly, I am a bit skeptical that something like D&D can even survive in a large corporate environment in the modern world.

Let's face it, D&D is not a mainstream interest and never will be. It doesn't matter how you advertise it or how great the books are (or look) or whether they are paper or PDFs, or anything else. The bald fact is that pen and paper RPG's are the sort of thing that appeals to maybe 1 in 100 people, at best. We aren't talking Halo or WoW here, the sort of thing that pretty much every teenage boy can get into. We're talking a niche market like model trains. That's the nature of the product.

So with that in mind, it seems unlikely to me that D&D can ever be successfully supported by a large corporation. It will simply never make enough money to jusify itself, and the corporation will always be in the position of either squeezing the customers dry or keeping the game going pretty much as a favour.

Someone (I think maybe Sebastian?) suggested in another thread that what is likely to happen is that D&D will eventually be canned and the OGL will mean that there will be five or six different third party versions, each surviving solely on it's version of D&D. The niche game will be being produced by niche compaines, not groups like Hasbro. This sounds to me like a reasonable idea. I mean TSR couldn't keep afloat on D&D alone and they invented it.

I think that it's sad, but with the world becoming more and more globalized niche products will be dumped by large corporations and either fall into the hands of niche companies, or fade away entirely and be replaced by different versions, also produced by niche companies.

In 20 years the game called Dungeons & Dragons may be a nothing but a memory, but there will be several small games with different names almost exactly like it.

But meh, I'm no businessman so what do I know? Anyone else got thoughts on the long term future of D&D?

I've had this question kicking around my head for a while now. What is "offical" D&D to you? Is there such thing?

I used to play a lot of warhammer and in that scene it's pretty obvious that what's in the rulebook IS the rules. No-one would expect someone to deviate from the RAW in warhammer, though playing contrary to their spirit for advantage is another thing entirely ;)

But among many D&D players there is and always has been a strong sense of "if you don't like something in the book, don't use it." This makes it hard for people to transfer their PCs from one DM to another, or to play competitively. The way the game is written the DM is a tyrant who is free to ignore anything they feel like. But at the same time there are hundreds of rulebooks (including 3rd party books) and things like Dragon and Dungeon available to be plundered.

So I'm just interested to know. If someone were to ask me where the official, unchangeable rules for D&D are to be found I'd honestly have to say there aren't any. The game is designed to be tailored to each group. I guess the PHB, DMG and MMs are pretty universal, but no-one says you have to use them either. You can drastically alter the PHB etc and still call what you and your mates play "Dungeons and Dragons."

So if you joined a new group, what rulebooks would you assume they have to acknowledge as official in their entirety? Wierd question I know but it's a funny old game we have here.

Just saw this movie the other day by the makers of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead. Twas very entertaining.

It manages to lampoon several genres and does the "everyday hero" thing that was done so well in Shaun. Also I found the plot unpredictable which is always cool. I read an interview with Simon Pegg and he said they were trying to make a film that would bridge the gap between UK and US audiences. I don't know if they succeeded or not but I liked it.

OK it's time for everyone to break out their inner hippie, and cough up your zodiac. Who knows, maybe we'll find 90% of gamers are scorpios or something wierd like that.

I am a virgo. In Chinese astrology I am the wise and crafty snake.

For me, I'd like a hero who isn't naive or in the agriculture industry, bad guys who have good reasons for what they do so you can kind of see where they're coming from, and a magic system that is internally consistent (I'm looking at you Rowling).

Oh and no elves, dwarves or Dark Lords.

I think I'm about to start a second, but I am in a bit of a quandary.

I have a bunch of 4 people who want me to DM a game for them (they have all played before) but I am already DMing another campaign with 4-5 players and I don't want to add 4 more. I could handle adding two of the 4 new guys to my current game, but the 4 of them are a package deal.

So I've agreed to run two seperate games, but I am having serious doubts about this. I have a full time job and a girlfriend and barely enough time for my current game. I love D&D but I'm getting stressed out over what I should do, which is not cool for something that's meant to be fun.

I was thiking of playing a few one-offs with the second group while continuing my current campaign. Anyone else (with a job etc) had any success DMing more than one game, or is it more trouble than it's worth?

I don't want to say no to either group - they are all my friends :(

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I've never been able to figure this one since 1st edition. The druid is pretty well celtic themed, and most of their weapn proficiencies are traditional celtic weapons, eg spear, sling, club, but the scimitar is not at all associated with the celts. In fact one of the iconic weapons of the celts was the straight longsword, which is not on the list.

At first I thought maybe the druid's scimitar proficiency was supposed to represent the druidic sickle, but no, "sickle" is a weapon on the list all it's own. Then I thought maybe it was supposed to represent a machete for cutting through the forest, but a) that doesn't seem a very druidic way of navigating the woods, b) I would think a machete was a short sword rather than a scimitar, and c) machetes aren't exactly celtic either.

So yeah. Not really the most pressing question, but why DO druids have scimitar proficiency?

Any one have an answer for this perplexing mystery?

I was just reading the Star Trek thread and it reminded me of when Buffy ended and my friends and I were discussing what should have happened next for the Buffyverse.

I remember I thought it would be really cool to have a series that went throught time, each episode about a different Slayer, starting from the cave-girl First Slayer and ending with Buffy discovering her powers.

I really liked the flashback episodes, like when Spike killed the Chinese Slayer in the 19th century. There's so much potential, but I get the feeling only I think that the "Slayers through History" would be a cool series. Anyway, just wanted to share that with the Paizonians coz I think it would have been cool.

How come book libraries are free, but it costs money to borrow a DVD?

One of the many mysteries of the universe...

I just a read a description by Cosmo in "what books are you currently reading?" of Demon Theory by Stephen Graham. It sounds like one of those wierd and unclassifiable books that is something of a fiction, non-fiction, and parody all at the same time. The sort of book that has a core theme or story but it is almost unimportant compared with all of the side-material; where you read it and learn a lot and every time something wierd and wonderful comes up you just think "who wrote this thing? It's remarkable."

I love books like that, but they are very rare. Some I can think of are The White Goddess by Robert Graves, which I'm reading at the moment, Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, and (along the same lines) Illuminatus! by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. Anyone know any more wierd maniacal books like this?

This show just started in Australia (I've seen the first two episodes) and I'm really enjoying it. It has a very comic book feel, but not spiderman-comic, more like hip modern horror comic.

The scene in the first episode where the Vegas lady wakes up and the guys are dismembered all over the floor looked just like a panel from Neil Gaiman's Sandman. It's shaping up to be a great show, I hope they can keep it together.

Supernatural kicks ass.

I have a bit of a crisis. I need the help of some wiser DMs than I for a problem with my two new players. They metagame like mad and it's causing a serious rift between them and the two more experienced players. The game I DMd last night was ruined. Me and the two experienced players had no fun at all, but the two new players thought everything was fine. The problem is that they aren't doing it for some munchkin reason, they just play so many console RPGs that they can't get out of the mindset. They are very enthusiastic and understand the rules well enough, but they just can't seem to grok the spirit of D&D or how it's played.

For background I'll tell you that they are a couple, and their hobby is staying awake all weekend playing things like Fable, Morrowind, Zelda, etc. They play so many console RPGs with each other that they can't grasp that each player has their own character and the idea is not to influence each other too much because it destroys the fun. They play D&D as if it's Final Fantasy, eg whichever character is acting at any particular time represents all five players and everything that everyone does is a group decision. They annoyed the two experienced players and confused everything totally by constantly yelling "no, don't do that we're probably meant to do this" whenever anyone tried to actually DO anything.

Which leads me to the second problem: They seem to think that everything that happens is important, or some sort of vital clue, and can't tell the difference between something I mention for atmosphere and something that is important to the story. They react as if I am a computer saying "choose left or right" and if faced with any decision they try to second guess me on what they are "meant" to do as if the game is a giant puzzle with right and wrong answers. They simply don't get that they can do whatever they bloody well like and I'll try to deal with it, they aren't going to walk into the edge of a screen or hit a direction they can't go in. They think if I mention something, anything, it must be for a specific reason in terms of solving the "puzzle." It puts enormous pressure on me, as they don't give anything back; they don't understand that the DM needs the player's help to tell the story.

The third problem is that one is a fighter and one is a monk. They don't get that they can do things outside combat. If it's not a fight and I (or one of the more experienced players) asks them what they're doing they'll say something like "I'm just standing there. You should talk, you have better charisma." Then as soon as the other player opens their mouth they say "hang on, tell him this..." Last night a couple of times I had to say "so your monk is standing there, and you say "say this" to the bard, right in front of the suspicious guard?" The player said "Oh no, I uh, just stand there" and then sat there doing nothing looking bored. And she STILL didn't get it and was back to her old behaviour in minutes.

They have complex back stories and good characters, but none of it affects how they play. They approach the game as if it is puzzle, fight, puzzle, fight and whenever battle is joined seem relieved as if "finally, the realgame is actually beginning."

It's really difficult. They like role-playing but they can't seem to do it. The more experienced players are having serious thoughts about quitting the campaign already (last night was the first adventure). Both these people (the new players) are very intelligent adults in their mid 20s and I don't know how to get them to understand the spirit of the game. They are not learning by watching me or the other players; they think they know how to play RPGs because of their bloody console games! It's as if they have high Intelligence and low Wisdom and I don't know how to fix this without offending them. But if I don't fix it my game will be ruined.

PS. I even gave them a bunch of old Knights of the Dinner Table comics, hoping they'd catch on, as that's how my two experienced players learnt to role-play. They brought them back and said "I don't get the jokes. I like Order of the Stick better."

WTF am I going to do? Help me Lords of Paizo!

I just realized if you multi-class monk with warlock (maybe with the feat that lets you channel eldritch blast through a meleee attack) you could make a sweet martial artist who shoots fireballs like Ryu in street fighter.

That is all.

So my girlfriend gave me season 1 of the most excellent American show Boston Legal, the only legal show I've ever enjoyed even in the slightest. It's great. One of the best things about it (besides Shatner and Spader in the same show) is that the characters are very well drawn and deep. We started after a few episodes trying to guess what alignments the characters would be if they were in D&D, and it's actually very challenging.

At first we decided Alan Shore (James Spader) was Lawful Evil, because he didn't seem to care about hurting people's feelings and he is a lawyer, but then we realized he is actually the opposite of that. He must be Chaotic Good as he routinely breaks the law if there is what he thinks is a compelling moral reason to do so. He just doesn't care about rules where ethics are at stake and he encourages others to break them too.

The old boss man, Schmidt, we thought was Lawful Neutral, but as the series goes on we're starting to think he's a very crabby Lawful Good. Many of the characters are perfect examples of good people who don't appear to be good, and have personalities ripe for stealing and using for friendly NPCs to avoid that "LG is boring, CG is predictable" factor.

Anyone else watch this show? We haven't even tried to give Denny Crane an alignment yet...

OK here's my problem: My group plays 3.0 and I want the stats for githyanki/githzerai for one of my players, but they aren't in the 3.0 MMI. I went to my FLGS and found that they're in the 3.5 MMI, which is the worst possible one for them to be in because I can't really justify spending money on a book that is almost identical to one I already own, even down to the artwork. My next brilliant idea was to check the 3.5 SRD Monsters section, assuming it is MMI 3.5, but for some reason the Gith races aren't in it. Why is this? Does someone else own the copyright or something?

And can I get their stats without having to buy the 3.0 MMII (which would be a waste seeing I'd like to convert to 3.5 at some point), or the 3.5 MMI (which is a waste as I have the 3.0 MMI).

It's a bit of a pickle, as I only want the stats for those two monsters and I don't want to pay 60 bucks for 'em. Any ideas anyone?

I'm about to start DMing for a bunch of 1st level PCs. All the players have played before, but not much. I am very busy at this time of year and want to try my hand at runninga published adventure (the last one I did was TOEE when I was about 16!)

I'm looking for a decent published adventure to get the ball rolling, but most of them seem to be for at least 4th-5th level PCs. Does anyone have a suggestion for an adventure I could buy that won't massacre my puny 1st levelers? Should I just go and by a Dungeon mag?

Just wondering who/what that guy in my avatar actually is. I picked him because he kind of looks like me (except for the blank eyes...) but I've just noticed he may have some sort of doggie nose. It's been slightly bugging me since the day I picked him, and now it's time for the mystery to be solved. Who IS he?

If anyone else wants to know who their avatars are they can post here too. You never know, could be handy...

I had an idea the other day for a campaign world that is very different from any world I know of. A normal world (that is, a material plane) where humans are the rarest of the intelligent races, filling the spot usually taken by elves only with a different flavour.

This is how it goes: The Humans, with their ingenuity, high rate of breeding and courage, dominated the world. They took magic and technology further than anyone else, and were more civilized than anyone else. Then a plague struck that only affected humans, and wiped out about 90% of them, leaving most of the remainder sterile. Monstrous humanoid races like orcs, and semi-barabaric elves and dwarves rushed to fill the vaccuum, taking over the abandoned human cities, and now the only humans left in the world are of two kinds:

ORPHANS: These humans wander the world alone or in small bands led by ex-generals, clerics, or some other leader type, kind of like the Melniboneans in Michael Moorcock's Elric books. Humans are highly prized as mercenaries, with better quality weapons, armour, and magic than just about anyone else. They are also feared, and rightly so.

HERMETICS: These humans fled the cities before the plague reached their land. They settled in secret villages which are completely hidden and cut off from the outside world, ruled most often by druids and protected by rangers. Some hermetics are banished or leave out of wanderlust, and all of them have curious customs that have evolved in the century since the plague.

What do you think? I think it would make a really interesting campaign. Maybe it's an Aussie thing but we love the underdog, and I think many players would be proud to play a Human PC in a world like this. It makes humans rare and mysterious and tragic instead of being the vanilla flavour of the world. Sort of a post-apocalyptic thing where humans are the endangered species.

OK that last bit was cheesy but you get the idea...

OK, I thought of a character concept the other day that I would really like to try out - an ascetic hermit who gains powers over his own body and nature through meditating under waterfalls, fasting, etc. The Monk would of course be an obvious choice for such a character, and I want him to have some unarmed combat ability, but I also want him to have more dramatic nature-based powers. What I want is a sort of Monk of nature. A Monk/Druid.

I am not usually overly concerned with power-builds, but I am having trouble trying to make a Monk/Druid that wouldn't be, well, average. It seems like alot of the higher abilities of each class overlap, and Monks especially don't get much at the early levels that would justify losing several levels of Druid spell-casting. Plus there's the whole monk multiclass restriction thing to tangle with. No matter how I balance the classes (assuming I have 5 levels to work with) I seem to end up with a PC that is not really good at anything in particular, just a weak Druid or Monk with some quirky side abilities. Is it just a bad idea to multiclass these two particular classes?

I thought of just being a straight Druid and spending feats on unarmed combat, but then I don't get the other things that fit well with the character concept, like the monk's AC and speed bonuses. And a straight Monk is not what I want at all.

At this stage the Arcane Fist (modified to be divine based, as shown in Complete Arcane) looks cool, but I try to avoid PrClasses and splat books if I possibly can - it feels overly complex to me.

Help me o Lords - How can I balance Monk and Druid classes to make a PC that will actually kick at least a little bit of ass?

I was just reading the thread about using CHA based skills against PCs, and it got me to thinking - do we even need charisma as a stat?

I remember when I was younger we once played a game where everyone chose their own charisma score, because we reasoned that having to roll randomly for something like that didn't make sense - you may as well roll to see what hair colour you have or what your personality traits are. This was back when CHA was your looks plus your likeability, none of this "strength of personality" jazz that it includes today.

So what I'm thinking is, everything CHA based should be handled purely in role-playing, the way you choose what your PC looks like, what their voice sounds like, etc. If it has no solid game effect then it won't unbalance anything and won't be prone to munchkin abuse. The most a player can do is say "but my guy is good with people, he's a smooth talker" and if the DM doesn't want to let it work that time they can just say "this guy is just too suspicious." Why roll? It would make the game much more role-playing and problem solving oriented if you couldn't just roll your way out of situations that you should really be thinking or talking your way out of. Why not just use dice mechanics for combat and magic, where it's really needed? I think the sense of the DM and players working together to create a story would be much more palpable if one or the other couldn't just use a heavily modified dice roll to change the storyline.

Also the facet of CHA that controls spell casting for sorcerors and paladins etc I've always thought took a huge chunk out of what WIS is meant to represent. Force of personality should be WIS in my opinion, which would make WIS more useful than it currently is.

So what do you think? I know D&D without CHA is unlikely to happen for historical reasons, but hypothetically speaking, do you think the game would be better off without it?

I was thinking about D&D and how the playing style seems to have changed over the years and I think I've had a bit of a revelation. When D&D started it was an attempt to use wargaming rules to simulate the sort of thing that went on in fantasy novels. Fantasy literature and film was the touchstone, the thing that people who played D&D referenced and were attempting to re-create, in a way. Thus we have old school players emphasizing storyline, heroics, role playing, etc.

Nowadays alot of younger players come to pen and paper RPGs after having already played MMORPGs. They get their group of friends together and plan their team of adventurers meticulously, approaching the game as though it is a military operation and they must all work together to kill the bad guys and grow stronger. Parties don't have a spread of different classes because it is interesting or because that's what happens in books; they have them because it is effective. As proof I would cite the many threads on this very forum that follow the pattern of "my party already has X, Y and Z, what class would be best (read: most advantageous in a battle) for me to be?"

I'm not saying either way is better or worse, it just seems to me that someone who has come to RPGs via literature is going to tend toward the RP style of play, and a group that has come to them via MMORPGs will probably play a typical munchkin game, more like a recreation of a crack commando mission where they work together as a well oiled team and there is very little non-metagame speak. The simple truth is that older players will tend to have come to D&D with visions of their favourite novels/movies in their head, and younger players with the idea that it's just another group combat oriented "RPG" they can play with their mates without using a computer. It makes sense that people play the game that their experiences have led them to expect.

Any thoughts on this? Maybe I'm just stating the obvious...

Hi everyone, this is my first post here, but I've looked around a bit and it seems like a nice place :)

I've been playing D&D and AD&D since the red Basic set (damn I'm old!), and am currently GMing a 3.0 game. I've done a quick search and can't see if anyone has asked this before, so hopefully I'm not bringing up a question you guys have discussed a thousand times!

My question is, what are your opinions on removing alignment from your game? The whole alignment system has never rung true to me ever since I was a kid, and I noticed early on that most players would just pick one because they had to and pretty much ignore it as much as they could. A black and white view of morality like the alignment system bothers me, as it ruins roleplaying (in my opinion).

Real people are not good and evil, they behave in different ways depending on the circumstances they find themsleves in. Someone could donate to charity one day and murder the next depending on what happened to them in between. Not to mention that different cultures have different concepts of ethics. Like many gamers my players are bright people, and were always pointing these sorts of things out...

So in our campaign only Outsiders have alignment. It is assumed that no mortal creature (no, not even a good or evil priest)has the strength of will to register as "good" or "evil" or "lawful" or "chaotic" in terms of the grand scheme of things. This has caused a few problems gamewise but has not been as difficult as I originally feared. I simply made all "Detect(alignment component)" magics function only on Outsiders of the type listed, and "protection from good/evil etc" effects are now a blanket "protection from Outsiders." Holy weapons function against evil Outsiders and undead only. There are no paladins in our campaign, if you want to be a holy warrior who casts spells you have to multiclass.

It has created a much grittier feel we have discovered, and my players appreciate not having a game mechanic governing the way their characters behave. It hasn't made everyone evil either. In fact nothing has changed about the way the PC's or NPC's behave. There are still good and bad people, it's just good and bad aren't objective forces like in a typical D&D game. It has taken away much of the cartoonish element that D&D can sometimes suffer from, I think. An evil wizard is not evil because it is his alignment, he's evil because he consistently chooses to behave in a horrible way towards others, and this makes him even worse.

Has anyone else done this, and if so what sort of problems have you come up against? Has it worked well for you or not?