Deep 6 FaWtL


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lynora wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
lynora wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

So... if your new character's background is so over-the-top dark that your GM says she's a bit uncomfortable with it, do you:

(1) Win
(2) Lose
(3) Both?
Now I'm just dying of curiosity...

Since it's FaWtL, and it's not against the rules (I think), here's the GM-approved version, with a couple of notes about the changes at the end. (Yes. I'm a good player. I worked with my GM to come up with a back story we could both enjoy. So sue me...)

** spoiler omitted **...

Oh. Okay. I've...actually seen worse. But then I'm a big fan of let evil be evil...so it's way more satisfying later on when you get to destroy it. :)

But I can see how that might not be the right tone for every campaign.

Yeah, I've heard MUCH darker, but not with our groups. We tend to play to a lighter crowd. I think this is the darkest background I've written for anyone. (When I'm GMing some players ask me to write up backgrounds for them so they know what they're like. To each his or her own...)

EDIT: And when I get dark, I do it naked. I do it naked in the dark? When I'm naked, people would prefer that it were dark?


NobodysHome wrote:
lynora wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
lynora wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:

So... if your new character's background is so over-the-top dark that your GM says she's a bit uncomfortable with it, do you:

(1) Win
(2) Lose
(3) Both?
Now I'm just dying of curiosity...

Since it's FaWtL, and it's not against the rules (I think), here's the GM-approved version, with a couple of notes about the changes at the end. (Yes. I'm a good player. I worked with my GM to come up with a back story we could both enjoy. So sue me...)

** spoiler omitted **...

Oh. Okay. I've...actually seen worse. But then I'm a big fan of let evil be evil...so it's way more satisfying later on when you get to destroy it. :)

But I can see how that might not be the right tone for every campaign.

Yeah, I've heard MUCH darker, but not with our groups. We tend to play to a lighter crowd. I think this is the darkest background I've written for anyone. (When I'm GMing some players ask me to write up backgrounds for them so they know what they're like. To each his or her own...)

It's probably a lot lighter without clothes!

Wakka-wakka~!


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This is a night for some amazing animation. I just saw this episode of Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil, and this episode of Bob's Burgers.


Tacticslion wrote:

Related: not sure if should mic-drop, or wait for... two more hours (based off of yesterday's posting history)*.

- (Also not sure if my posts would be engaged with this time or ignored.) -

((Or if, unlike the first time they were engaged with, the point was completely missed and the post was taken with umbrage for the exact reasons I noted that two people could both look at the same situation and come to differing conclusions without being wrong. Heh.))

* EDIT: To be clear, I really didn't expect to end discussion or "win" or be in a position to "mic drop" anything. It's just... so daggum quiet. That post has been unchallenged for... seven hours. And it claims that "greater good" can be a "lawful good" mindset. Like, I don't know if I actually made a solid enough argument that people actually agree or at least can't come up with solid counter-arguments; that I've grown well-known enough to be verbose/tenacious enough that people ignore me and/or have me on block/ignore lists of enough people that participate there that no one is willing or aware enough to challenge; it's just that somehow all the active participants in that thread happen to be on a timezone shifted "off" of mine; or that all enthusiasm from others died for the thread immediately before I posted. I'm just... stunned that there's a (currently active?) alignment thread that's been still for seven hours and I was the last post in it. It's... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrriiiiiiieeeee...

EDIT: 2 and 3 are for minor typos and just making it look better on most screens.

Well, it took ten hours, but people finally posted there again. At least there is that! Two posts so far and no response to me. Hm...


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I don't do alignment threads until they spiral downwards, sorry!


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Looks at time and calendar.

Oh, s&%#!

Begins adding more layers onto the Pillow Fort, assigns every stuffed animal to the battlements, with instructions to fire at will, except Squidward, and Plankton, who are sent for pizza, and booze.

It would appear it's my birthday again, i'm now forty, i could swear i had one of these last year.

Assigns Mister Krabs to search for the Vegas of time travel, which (as far as he knows) is next to his lost dollar.


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~pops up behind Captain Yesterday and attacks~


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Happy Belated Birthday, spouse of TacticsLion!

A cautious and uneventful birthday to you, Captain Yesterday!

As for me, running Crimson Throne today (boo!), then taking Delphinia on her first day of adventuring tomorrow (yay!). Her trip should be rather interesting -- I'm a very "immersive" player, so I chose her skill points based on her past, not on what she might need in the AP. The GM pointed out that I HAD to take Swim for Skull & Shackles, so I rearranged her points accordingly.

But I entirely forgot Climb. And considering every ship-to-ship combat involves a Climb roll to get from one ship to the other, I think she may be using that Swim roll more than I'd anticipated...


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When I was 22 my wife was going to college in Madison, and she and a couple of friends from the school newspaper (one of whom was a guy that had a thing for her, she ran the comics page) scored tickets to see Rage Against the Machine.

So the day of the show, the other person cancelled, I lived on the way out of town, wasn't doing anything, the General knew this, yet they never once thought to see if I'd be interested in going (she said it would've been awkward) despite knowing my love for Rage, I even had the money to reimburse for the ticket and chip in for gas, so they went to the concert, and Rage Against the Machine broke up shortly thereafter, meanwhile the dog chewed up my disc for Legacy of Kain which I'd just gotten myself for my birthday and played only once because my lazy brother couldn't be bothered to put the disc back in it's case, which he of course denied.

However, the General told me about the concert the next day when she gave me a ride to spend the money I could've spent on Rage to buy the game I'd already purchased three days prior.

And that, was my worst birthday ever.

I still give her s&#+ to this day about it "ask your mom how good they are live, I wouldn't know!"

Addendum: the General clarified that she was given and extra ticket for providing transportation, there was no third ticket evidently (but I had plenty of money to get one at the show, so... also the other dude "never had a chance" as she put it.


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Backstories are like poetry and babies; beautiful to their creators, but pretty much wastes of space to everyone else after about two minutes time...also much better when they're short and sweet (giant babies are the stuff of nightmares).

The game is about now and your interaction with the team, not then and your solo career.

But then that's my opinion. As a GM I ask not for story, but personality. Personality can drive a game forever, backstory can give you at most one or two hooks.

Grand Lodge

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I believe backstories should be built during play.


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Happy Birthday Captain! The past is behind you, the future ahead.

You can emulate Kain, and Rage has been touring again for years (though those f#@%ers still won't record any new material). You can overcome!

My birthday was last Wednesday. I ate much free food at restaurants across town by signing up for their mailing lists a week in advance. It was so good I got sick the next day - my wife says from eating too much.

No regrets.


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Okay. Got a good night's sleep, a change of wardrobe, and a change in energy and perspective.

Take 2.


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*deep breath*

Maximum effort!


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thegreenteagamer wrote:

Backstories are like poetry and babies; beautiful to their creators, but pretty much wastes of space to everyone else after about two minutes time...also much better when they're short and sweet (giant babies are the stuff of nightmares).

The game is about now and your interaction with the team, not then and your solo career.

But then that's my opinion. As a GM I ask not for story, but personality. Personality can drive a game forever, backstory can give you at most one or two hooks.

To each his own. When I GM, I like all the PCs to have strong backstories so I can "personalize" the campaign for them, adding in NPCs and encounters that make the world more "immersive" for them. If a player doesn't want to write a backstory, I offer to do one up for them.

So for me, it's a useful GM'ing tool, and I provide a backstory for my PCs. If my GM throws it sight unseen into the circular file, that's perfectly OK. It's mainly for me to get a handle on my PC's personality, and what might be motivating him/her before I start playing him/her.


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The Green Tea Gamer wrote:

Happy Birthday Captain! The past is behind you, the future ahead.

You can emulate Kain, and Rage has been touring again for years (though those f%&#ers still won't record any new material). You can overcome!

My birthday was last Wednesday. I ate much free food at restaurants across town by signing up for their mailing lists a week in advance. It was so good I got sick the next day - my wife says from eating too much.

No regrets.

Happy birthday! I definitely don't dwell on the past, they're fun stories to tell, and its quite cathartic to get them out, I'm pretty sure it's a statistical anomaly to have so many bad birthdays in life, last year was pretty sweet, and I'm hopeful for this year.

That's a great idea about the restaurant hopping, I'll look into that, we're going downtown today. :-)

"Every day is a good day, but some are better than others" - Dan, a hippie I worked with in Seattle.


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RE: backstories.

There is no wrong method for creating a cool character, I know plenty of people that use the backstory to build their personality, I've seen plenty of people use their personality to develop their backstory.

Personally, I used to write long backstories but I found I neglected the personality, so now I go the other way, come up with a personality, a few lines of who he is, or what he looks like then develop the backstory as we play.

Either that or I make a Halfling and give it Dragontoe* as a last name.

*My only AD&D character that lived to retirement, Orion "Dragontoe" Whisperain, Halfling Thief, they're like the PC equivalent of the Vancaskerkin's in our campaigns.


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Grandpa Ory is the best!


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I've had like four cups of coffee so far.


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The best backstories are outlines with just one short story about a memorable moment to fill in personality a backstory otherwise couldn't do. As you adventure you can make new short stories to fill in more areas of her past. But overwhelming the GM is never a good idea. And if you fill in too much detail ahead of time you lose the advantage of filling it in AFTER experiencing the world or other players, who will make such stories more relevant and involving.


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Aranna wrote:

The best backstories are outlines with just one short story about a memorable moment to fill in personality a backstory otherwise couldn't do. As you adventure you can make new short stories to fill in more areas of her past. But overwhelming the GM is never a good idea. And if you fill in too much detail ahead of time you lose the advantage of filling it in AFTER experiencing the world or other players, who will make such stories more relevant and involving.

It sounds like it may well be the people I game with.

If I (as GM) try to add backstory after the AP has started, 40-50% of the time the response is, "Oh, no! My PC would NEVER have been there/done that/known that person! Please don't make me do that!"

Whenever one of my players tries to add backstory, it's something utterly derailing. "Oh, the town is being plagued by the Skullnibbler goblins? Good thing I was raised by their shaman, and I (and all my party members) will always be welcomed by them, so we can go ahead and go in and work this all out peaceably."

I could even roll with that if it happened once, but once one player is a "special snowflake", then suddenly that tribe of orcs used to ride with the barbarian, and the evil wizard is an academy sweetheart of the arcane caster, and...

My rules are pretty simple:
- You can have any background you want, as long as it doesn't impact the campaign negatively.
- You can have any background you want, as long as it doesn't impact the campaign negatively.

So maybe 60% of my players have backgrounds thought up before the campaign begins (anywhere from 2 sentences to 2 pages, depending on the player), and the other 40% just show up and play.

But in 4+ years of weekly (well, 2-4 times a week) GM'ing now, with over a dozen different players, I've only had one player ever who actually added to her PC's background after the campaign started. Everyone else is Simba: The past is in the past.

EDIT: And in a totally non-scientific, far-too-small-sample-size-to-care study, the people who actually think about who their PCs were before they became adventurers tend to also have the PCs with the stronger personalities. But I suspect that's just an aspect of investment in the character.

EDIT 2: And it may sound like I am very disdainful of my players. I actually love them quite a bit. It's just more often than not you're complaining about things that go wrong, rather than praising things that go right. In terms of asking for AP-changing stuff as PC background, I think that's more human nature: You're not sitting at the table thinking, "Oh! I should add that I worked in the fighting pits of Belketor for 3 years! That would be cool to introduce right now!" It's more that you're sitting at the table, the GM says, "And now you learn about this city," and your immediate response is, "Oh! That sounds really cool! *I* want to be from there!" and the GM has to make a judgement call about how much being a local would impact the AP...


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Happy Birthday, Captain! I'm getting to you! Only six more years and I've caught up! I'll catch you this time, I'm sure of it! Muwahahahahahahahah~!

(Happy Birthday!)


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captain yesterday wrote:

RE: backstories.

There is no wrong method for creating a cool character,

This one. (Don't take this to extremes. This is the Internet. The Internet is perverted enough: it can make a "wrong" way to do anything. But outside of such depravity... this one.)

There are definitely certain methods that work better for certain people and for how those people interact with various social groups, but, over-all, there is no wrong way to create a cool character.

I've created characters:
- mechanics first: then make a story that matches (this way I'm not left with weird incongruencies between mechanics and story)
- story first: then find mechanics that matches my vision "best" to create cool and organic experiences
- long detailed back stories filled with rich history and secret lore of the world that have been carefully integrated into the campaign setting by the GM or latched onto by myself or other players to inform the characters we played in that world
- long detailed back stories filled with rich histories and secret lore of the world that have been promptly ignored (or even countermanded) by the GM (even after clearing it with him, first), myself, or other players
- short or even virtually non-extant or phoned-in back-stories filled with a sentence or two (if that) and what was there was banal and troperriffic that was fleshed out in gameplay
- short or even virtually non-extant or phoned-in back-stories filled with a sentence or two (if that) and what was there was banal and troperriffic that the GM completely latched onto to fill in as a blank slate for their own story (this has been both awesome and suck, depending)
- short or even virtually non-extant or phoned-in back-stories filled with a sentence or two (if that) and what was there was banal and troperriffic that no one cared about and was never expounded upon and never grew (this was kind of boring, but the character and game was cool and interesting and fun, even if their background wasn't!)

I've seen others prefer any or all of those methods and probably others that I've forgotten: any of them have generated great character concepts at the table and great play times together with others in large and small groups. Lots of fun playing and lots of fun talking about it. Good gaming in all the right ways!


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Happy birthday captain. :)


Hm. 26 - well, 25, after this - more posts to a new page. I wonder if a at is going to set a trap, set a pace, or start a race for his birthday?


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Tacticslion wrote:
Hm. 26 - well, 25, after this - more posts to a new page. I wonder if a at is going to set a trap, set a pace, or start a race for his birthday?

Don't look at me -- taking Impus Major to the skate park, then running, then playing. No posts 'til Monday for me!


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Not even one?


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maybe two?


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captain yesterday wrote:
The worst thing that happened to Tammy was her dog getting kicked.

Who did the kicking?


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Freehold DM wrote:
Well, this con is off to a rough start...

Ugh. Yeah, hope today is a better day for you (and the other Con'ers.


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Happy Birthday, CY! May today be your best birthday yet!


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Also Happy Belated Birthday to Lady Firedove!

But, after all the duck talk yesterday, maybe belated wishes are for the best.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I believe backstories should be built during play.
Aranna wrote:
The best backstories are outlines with just one short story about a memorable moment to fill in personality a backstory otherwise couldn't do. As you adventure you can make new short stories to fill in more areas of her past. But overwhelming the GM is never a good idea. And if you fill in too much detail ahead of time you lose the advantage of filling it in AFTER experiencing the world or other players, who will make such stories more relevant and involving.

Yeah, as a GM (it's been a while), I prefer a bit of wiggle room. I also used to tell players to specifically include someone by name from their PC's past that they wouldn't mind dying, so I had a seed for a revenge/rivalry/redemption/student-becomes-the-master/whatever character arc. As a player (it's been even longer), I'd include several seeds/hooks (and a sacrificial lamb or two) on my PC's character sheet, but tried to keep things in broad strokes except for specific details that needed to be nailed down.


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Thus ends mini-blitz.

Grand Lodge

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For being the Tomb of the Iron Medusa, we've seen more stone medusas than iron.

Dark Archive

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~plans to make Captain Yesterday's Birthday the worst ever~ Why? Because we're Evil!!!

Dark Archive

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~evil laughter~ YES!!! Captain Yesterday is getting older! ~goes back to reviewing my plans for death traps to use against Captain Yesterday~


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You can't.

Phil Collins has disarmed them all.

Your puny traps are useless against Phil Collins.

Neither mortal nor immortal can produce a snare, or lock, or puzzle, that Phil Collins cannot defeat.

Anyone who thinks that rogues are a weak class needs to talk to me, Phil Collins, and I will show them what-for.

Ua-ha-ha-ha.

Now that's over and done with, I shall wish my good friend, Captain Yesterday, a happy birthday, and play a drum solo.

Drum solo:

*Thump-a-thump-a-thump. Rubadubabadubababa Biddley Dump ting TISH wap bediddleydiddley thump rubbathump ting TISH ting TISH tishtishtish rubbadubbadubbadubbadubba BRANNNNGGGGGG*

That last bit was Phil Collins hitting a gong, by the way.


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{rolls Will save vs. Sussudio: 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (12) - 4 = 8 vs. DC 15 = FAIL} 1d4 ⇒ 3 goblin babies fall to Phil Collins' earworm attack. It's super effective!


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"Dennis, your mule is s*+%! I'm no longer turned on by mules" - Frank, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.


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Huh, it's almost midnight. I wonder what to do before I go to bed.

Silver Crusade

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Happy b-day CY, it just so happens to be one of my best friends b-day as well so I am off to the game store to pick him up something.

On the subject of backgrounds. I keep them simple, but then I do not possess NH's writing skill.

Here is my new character's for our upcoming campaign

Backstory:
Most people don't care much for Cyrruk for not just his surly mouth or belligerent attitude, but also for his lack of restraint in speaking his mind.

When you see him walking around, he's wearing a fancy-dancy shirt. A nice sansetukon and dagger on his belt, too. Maybe you've seen him practicing with the longspear he keeps in the back of the wagon, but maybe you haven't. He ain't sure what you have seen.

His cloak is dusty, as is his hat. Well, what did you expect from a wagon driver? It's dusty on the roads, obviously. You got a problem with dust? Well, get off the road and quit complainin'.

Oh yeah, he got himself a backpack...and it has stuff in it. Stuff that is stuffy...unless you've been poking through it? Have you? Did he see you? He wouldn't have liked that. No, not at all. You should be more careful next time. Sheesh.

Now, not that Cyrruk would have done much, Cyrruk is a nice guy, mostly. But how would you expect him to react if he caught you rifling through his gear? Huh? And how would you like it?! HUH!?

Well, back to the point, he's a nice guy. He does his job, mostly. Drives the caravan, stands watch. You ain't yet caught him not watching stuff when it was his turn to watch stuff. If he's being paid to watch stuff, then he's probably watching stuff. Like his backpack.

Do you want to know more about Cyrruk? Well, you should probably ask him. He might answer you...or not. I'm not really sure why you're looking at me to explain things. He's right there...in the wagon.

You *can* see him, right? What? You're not blind, are you? Well, there you go...you can see him. And you're probably not dumb either...and your mouth works so you can ask him whatever you want to do and maybe, just maybe, you'll leave me alone.


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Am I the only one on these boards who likes giving PCs cinematic, epic bossfights that let them use all of their special abilities without letting them curbstomp the BBEG? Seems like people are focused on "beating" the PCs with cheap tricks rather than giving them an epic climax.


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The Doomkitten wrote:
Am I the only one on these boards who likes giving PCs cinematic, epic bossfights that let them use all of their special abilities without letting them curbstomp the BBEG? Seems like people are focused on "beating" the PCs with cheap tricks rather than giving them an epic climax.

probably because 4 PCs vs one bad guy results in a curbstomp. Many do not add extra npcs to their boss battles to even things out.


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This has been a more normal day at the con- although anything would look good after yesterday. It's going to be on Sunday to provide the real boost in sales to make this a success.


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Eh. I solve the problem of giving the BBEG three initiative counts, a boatload of HP, and more spell slots than normal if they have them.


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Aaaand I occasionally cheat and give them more hit points and an ad-hocked final form if the PCs beat them too easily.

Grand Lodge

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Meh. If they beat the BBEG in a round, they beat them. I'll just build a better one next time.


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I give everyone Jabberwock eye lasers... now.


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Tin Foil Yamakah wrote:

Happy b-day CY, it just so happens to be one of my best friends b-day as well so I am off to the game store to pick him up something.

On the subject of backgrounds. I keep them simple, but then I do not possess NH's writing skill.

Here is my new character's for our upcoming campaign

** spoiler omitted **...

I have an aunt with my birthday, and I've known at least five other people with my birthday, turns out Christmas time is a sexual trigger for a lot of couples. :-)

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