Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Sasha » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:22 am UTC

I play D&D 3.5. I also play Warhammer 40,000: Dark Heresy.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:57 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Still, I haven't read through the Exalted Deeds thing.. might need to look that over, as I wasn't aware there was an ability like that in there. And if nothing else, there's probably a better variety of Paladin-themed feats in there. Thanks for the reminder of that book.


The Exalted feats and stuff are fairly unbalanced mechanically because they are balanced by the roleplaying need to be an exalted character, which the book goes into a great detail about. Its more than just being a LG paladin and generally much more deficult to roleplay properly. Its a HAVEN of unbalanced things though if you're just looking to twink out a character :P

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:11 pm UTC

Oddly enough, nothing in there appealed to me.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby rheakith » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:19 pm UTC

One of my favorite classes to play as, especially during a low/no magic campaign, is a Monk who has taken a Vow of Poverty. It really isn't very hard to keep up with all of the necessary things as long as finding food daily isn't an issue, and the bonuses that you get, along with the exalted feats if I'm fighting a lot of evil/undead are quite amazing. No one else in the party can get magical enhancements on their weapons, and the natural armor/deflection bonuses are huge. I'll usually only use this if it's a short planned campaign or something, as it's not usually a very fun character to RP as.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Klapaucius » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:55 pm UTC

Are there any races that are playable, and naturally grow to Gargantuan size? Because I want my next character to be a 50-foot rogue. -14 to Hide and Move Silently, but once I pump all my skill points and feats into boosting those above +1.

It'll be a terrible character, yeah, but an amazing one.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

rheakith wrote:One of my favorite classes to play as, especially during a low/no magic campaign, is a Monk who has taken a Vow of Poverty. It really isn't very hard to keep up with all of the necessary things as long as finding food daily isn't an issue, and the bonuses that you get, along with the exalted feats if I'm fighting a lot of evil/undead are quite amazing. No one else in the party can get magical enhancements on their weapons, and the natural armor/deflection bonuses are huge. I'll usually only use this if it's a short planned campaign or something, as it's not usually a very fun character to RP as.


From experience I'll say its completely broken for a low magic campaign and will seriously ruin the fun for the group unless everyone else twinks out characters too. Monsters will either be trivial for the VoP character to kill or far too deadly for the rest of the PCs. Not to mention the VoP char will outshine everyone by a ridiculous factor. It makes for a very poor group dynamic. VoP really only works decently in the "standard" magical allowance games since its slightly better stat wise than what you get with standard treasure but with less versatility.

Klapaucius wrote:Are there any races that are playable, and naturally grow to Gargantuan size? Because I want my next character to be a 50-foot rogue. -14 to Hide and Move Silently, but once I pump all my skill points and feats into boosting those above +1.

It'll be a terrible character, yeah, but an amazing one.


I'm fairly sure nothing without a very large ECL can be gargantuan. Its too large a benefit in combat. That said there are rules for playing giants and such, but they generally require significant level adjustment (and monster hit dice).

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby rheakith » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:31 pm UTC

Chen wrote:From experience I'll say its completely broken for a low magic campaign and will seriously ruin the fun for the group unless everyone else twinks out characters too. Monsters will either be trivial for the VoP character to kill or far too deadly for the rest of the PCs. Not to mention the VoP char will outshine everyone by a ridiculous factor. It makes for a very poor group dynamic. VoP really only works decently in the "standard" magical allowance games since its slightly better stat wise than what you get with standard treasure but with less versatility.
Oh it definitely is a broken class combo, but it's still fun to play with as long as everyone else has similarly powered class types.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:44 pm UTC

Klapaucius wrote:Are there any races that are playable, and naturally grow to Gargantuan size? Because I want my next character to be a 50-foot rogue. -14 to Hide and Move Silently, but once I pump all my skill points and feats into boosting those above +1.

It'll be a terrible character, yeah, but an amazing one.


This reminds me of a debate me and my cohorts used to have.

Hide in Shadows.

Lets say you have +100% hide in shadows, due to clothing, race, dexterity, spec, etc etc.

Then you are put into a 10X10 empty room with the walls ceilings and floor all painted bright white that is lit with a powerful and magical light spell.

Can you still successfully "hide in shadows"?

Do you agree or disagree that same things are just impossible regardless of your +%'s or hit rolls etc?

I am all for a DM either telling characters "that is impossible" or saying "Ok I have a -negative modifer in my head, go ahead and rool" and regardless of the outome tell the character they failed.


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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:50 pm UTC

Depends on the game. As it's a point and not a percentage in 3X (and I forget how it works in 4) there's no such thing as a 100% chance anymore. Not to mention the skill specifically states that there needs to be something to hide behind/in... a featureless room with good light does not give you much to hide with, so you take massive negatives to your roll if the DM's even nice enough to let you try.

That said, there's the Shadowdancer, which as a supernatural ability lets you do just that.. but it's more of halfway traveling to the Shadow Plane than it is actually hiding.

(Shadow Plane being somewhat like the Ethereal of 2nd Ed, sorta kinda)

...

That said, in 2nd Ed, one can only do so much with standing in a corner and looking casual. Depending on the game style up to that point, I'd either inform them that it's simply impossible, or I'd let them roll it.. no reason to tell the player it's impossible. They can try, but even with a 150% chance to hide in shadows, it's not going to happen.

For starters - there's no shadows to hide in.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Jessica » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:52 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Klapaucius wrote:Are there any races that are playable, and naturally grow to Gargantuan size? Because I want my next character to be a 50-foot rogue. -14 to Hide and Move Silently, but once I pump all my skill points and feats into boosting those above +1.

It'll be a terrible character, yeah, but an amazing one.


This reminds me of a debate me and my cohorts used to have.

Hide in Shadows.

Lets say you have +100% hide in shadows, due to clothing, race, dexterity, spec, etc etc.

Then you are put into a 10X10 empty room with the walls ceilings and floor all painted bright white that is lit with a powerful and magical light spell.

Can you still successfully "hide in shadows"?

Do you agree or disagree that same things are just impossible regardless of your +%'s or hit rolls etc?

I am all for a DM either telling characters "that is impossible" or saying "Ok I have a -negative modifer in my head, go ahead and rool" and regardless of the outome tell the character they failed.


Ixtellor
Personally I prefer there being a practically impossible negative mod. Something I enjoyed a lot in... uh... I think it was the 3.0 book, when they had possible negative modifiers to listen, like -1 through a wooden door, -5 though a metal door, and -40 on the otherside of a giant battle, with explosions and a concrete wall. That sort of thing. The sort of thing which is "technically possible" if you happen to have epic level ears.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:57 pm UTC

I need to break out Dalil's character sheet again. I know that my average Spot/Listen roll was in the 40s. Which made for some fantastic DM comments. "Okay, everyone who's not Dalil roll me a spot." and "Normally you guys would get a spot che.. wait, Dalil.. go ahead and roll one. Okay, you DO see the invisible man swimming in the water."
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Ixtellor » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:21 pm UTC

Ok...

1) So we are in agreement that somethings thieves want to do are impossible regardless of there pluses. I figured that 50' foot tall thief would find himself in many situations like that.
Furthermore, I would make pick pockets next to impossible for them in most instances.

2)
SecondTalon wrote:For starters - there's no shadows to hide in.


In my gaming group which lasted around a decade and ended 1995ish, we finally came to the consensus that "hiding in shadows" wasn't literal. For example you could still successfully hide near the roof as you hold yourself up there motionless, even in the absence of shadows with a successful roll meaning "'they' dont' see you hiding up out of their vision as they didn't expect for you to be there and/or weren't even looking for you" (See Ninjas)

So while I still can see impossible hiding scenarios, I don't think the absence of shadows would qualify. (You could also hide in a crowd, but just acting casual and non-descript to a chasing pursuer)

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

Right, but the point being - if there's nothing to hide behind, in, within, in front of, above, beside, below, etc.. where are you going to go?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Klapaucius » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Right, but the point being - if there's nothing to hide behind, in, within, in front of, above, beside, below, etc.. where are you going to go?
If you're Gargantuan, you can just pick up the room you're trying to hide in and place it on your head. Boom--where'd he go!?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:35 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Right, but the point being - if there's nothing to hide behind, in, within, in front of, above, beside, below, etc.. where are you going to go?

Clearly the character needs levels of ranger.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby OmegaLordX » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:17 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Klapaucius wrote:Are there any races that are playable, and naturally grow to Gargantuan size? Because I want my next character to be a 50-foot rogue. -14 to Hide and Move Silently, but once I pump all my skill points and feats into boosting those above +1.

It'll be a terrible character, yeah, but an amazing one.


This reminds me of a debate me and my cohorts used to have.

Hide in Shadows.

Lets say you have +100% hide in shadows, due to clothing, race, dexterity, spec, etc etc.

Then you are put into a 10X10 empty room with the walls ceilings and floor all painted bright white that is lit with a powerful and magical light spell.

Can you still successfully "hide in shadows"?

Do you agree or disagree that same things are just impossible regardless of your +%'s or hit rolls etc?

I am all for a DM either telling characters "that is impossible" or saying "Ok I have a -negative modifer in my head, go ahead and rool" and regardless of the outome tell the character they failed.


Ixtellor


I think you cannot for the sheer fact that there are no shadows in which to hide, unless you have the Hide in Plain Sight feat(/skill maybe?)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:43 pm UTC

Er.. he's talking Second Ed. rules there. Even then, the Hide in Shadows percent was still not a "You literally need shadows to hide in" yet (while not quite as open yet restricted as the Hide skill became in 3rd) could be pulled off if you had something suitable to hide within/around/behind and so on.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:47 pm UTC

A better idea would be to have a gargantuan character, with a rogue who rides shotgun.
That'd be interesting, and not deliberately playing hell with the rules.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Natael » Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:57 pm UTC

I'm going to go ahead and toot the GURPS horn again. The wonderful thing about GURPS is that I don't have to do crap like take dip levels in a class so I can finally get my imagined concept at level 12. I can start with it, and there are rules for having anything that it happens to be, likely in the main book too.

I am also a hopeless sucker for "frivilous" skills. I get disenfranchisded if I can't have my character put legitimate points into something like origami, even 3.x D&D let me with craft (paper trinkets), and then 4e D&D took it out.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby AttackAttack » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:42 pm UTC

D&D sounds like the most fun game in human history, but I'm a total newbie to it, and the games I would play would be online, not on a table. I don't know if it's worth all the research unless I'm sure I can find a game online. I got the character builder demo (and would happily torrent anything I needed elsewise), but can you guys guarantee that I'll be able to play once I'm well-versed?

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby rheakith » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:41 pm UTC

I'm not exactly sure how it would work out online, unless some kind of system of webcams was worked out. At least in all of the campaigns I've been involved in, visuals are huge, from maps of the overworld/specific dungeon to face to face interactions with NPCs via DM or other players.

However, if you do want to go through with it, I would recommend getting access to at least the beginning series of books for whichever version you're planning on playing. These would include Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, any pertinent world books for the campaign setting, and anything you need for your specific class/race combination if it's anything outside the PHB. After reading them, you'll have all the basic rule sets down, how the different classes work, and things like that. From there, it just takes experience to figure everything else out.

I don't know how finding a game online would work as that's not anything I've done, but good luck to you in finding something that works out.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby AttackAttack » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:53 pm UTC

I was thinking we might use some kind of free, online conferencing software. The specifics would have to be worked out by a really good DM, but hey, it's not impossible. This is the internet; nothing is impossible.

EDIT: PDFs of the aforementioned materials would be much appreciated.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby TaintedDeity » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:01 pm UTC

The relevant material to start 3.5 can be found here, keeping in mind each book is about 300 pages long.
I've seen D&D played post by post over a forum and by msn, conferencing software should be possible.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby rheakith » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:25 pm UTC

Personally, I use digital copies of all of the books I own rather than hard copies or internet based rule sets. It makes it way easier to have multiple things up at once, as long as you aren't easily distracted by other things on the computer. This is usually what my DM uses as well, it makes it so he doesn't need a board to hide behind or anything like that.

I think post by post would be absolutely horrid to play, at least for me. It would prevent most of the immersion into the campaign.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:29 pm UTC

AttackAttack wrote:I was thinking we might use some kind of free, online conferencing software. The specifics would have to be worked out by a really good DM, but hey, it's not impossible. This is the internet; nothing is impossible.

EDIT: PDFs of the aforementioned materials would be much appreciated.

Check your PMs for a reminder of the rules.
That said, the parts that can be legally and freely distributed are available online in various forms. d20srd.org being one of them, as Tainted Deity linked. I am not currently aware of a .pdf version of the free ruleset, but I'll dig around and see what I can find.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby TaintedDeity » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:31 pm UTC

Oh yeah, I'd watch the play by post games and cringe, it looked far too rigid to me.
I found that the computer distracted me too much when I tried DMing with one :D
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

Re: Play by Post/Email - I find that if you utilize a completely different gaming style, it works better.

Most starting face-to-face games that fail are because, for a variety of reasons, the game itself was not engaging enough to the players, the DM wasn't able to keep up, etc etc... rarely is it ever because of the combat (unless it's just an endless one after another fight-fight-rest 8 hours-fight-fight-fight-rest 8 hours-repeat game).. in fact, the combat is what keeps the game interesting when the DM's having problems with the story.

Contrasting that to a Play by Post/Email game, where a combat that would take a half-hour in real life will take two or three weeks as you're constantly having to wait on the next person to post their action, the DM to then post the resolution to the action, tracking down where Karl is because it's his turn next and he hasn't been online in three days.... and sending all the actions at once often doesn't work (unless the battle is a simple one and the tactics are fairly well-oiled) because of the chaotic nature of the battle.. you can't simply say you're going to attack Karl's target or, if it falls, the most promising next target. By the time your turn rolls around, Karl may have killed the first thing, but you've got a cleric at 1/4th their hitpoints all alone, and your mage (who could end it all in a round) is currently being grappled. Does the DM say you rush to the Cleric's aid, or to the Mage's? You might as well have not even sent in your turn anyway, as if you'd realized the Mage was going to get that close, both you and the Cleric would have chosen different actions.

D&D combat just really can't be treated like JRPG combat, where you set your meatshields and damage dealers to attack, and your magic-folk to prepare an airstrike. Things happen to quickly for that to work all the time... unless, as I said, it's a basic battle and you're using basic tactics.

Where the Play by Post/Email games shine is when it's mostly a chatfest anyway. Combat is rare, and you're part of.. for example.. a team of investigators, hired by (party1) to investigate the (action1) occurring in the (area1) of (party2).

aka the Prince hired you to investigate the Mine Closure occurring in the Ridgeback Mountains of the Chulk Clan. Your adventure there is mostly talking, searching, showing your badge but not in an obnoxious manner, and generally figuring out why the mine is close and why the locals (of the Chulk Clan) refuse to talk about it.

Especially if you're playing characters with 14+ Intelligence and Wisdom scores, or characters with lots of verbal skills (Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, Gather Information) and a high Charisma, as sometimes coming up with charming, witty, intelligent things to say on the spot is difficult (see also: The phenomenon where you think of a snappy comeback that will absolutely shut down your verbal sparring partner... five minutes after it would have been effective)

Basically, if you throw a wrench in the DM's plans, the DM doesn't have to immediately wing it or call it a night so they have a week or so to plan how this changes things. The DM has plenty of time to change it so what you did somehow works in the benefit of the enemy, so it turns out that the completely unplanned thing that never even occurred to the DM that you did was actually all part of the Big Bad Evil Guy's plan all along.

This also allows you, the player, gobs of time to think up a better parting shot than "Oh yeah? So does your Mom!"
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:07 pm UTC

It occured to me the other day that there are so many RPGs that would work SO MUCH BETTER on Play-by-post/MSN than DnD.
The main one that springs to mind is Paranoia, but that may be because I've been kind of obsessed with it lately. I was thinking I might write a Primer for the basic rules needed to play and set up a Fora game... watch this space, or possibly don't.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Xanthir » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:36 pm UTC

I have had many successful play-by-post games.

As SexyTalon wrote, the key insight is that successful PbP D&D is a different game entirely. You have to have a *heavy* focus on story, with minimal combat, because combat takes an enormous amount of real-world time to resolve.

That said, a good PbP game is motherfucking awesome. You can get *much* better roleplay, because everyone has time to really write their posts in character. In face-to-face it's difficult to play anything other than a slight variation on your real personality, but in PbP you can do *anything*.

When you do have combat, you need to streamline it a bit. I've had the most success with a team-based turn system, where all the players go, then all the monsters. Turn order is whoever posts first. This way you don't need to wait for the DM to post between each character, and you're not waiting (and getting bored) for the guy before you to take his turn before you can. To put it another way, standard combat produces a latency equal to the *sum* of each player's latency, while the system I just suggested produces a latency equal to the *maximum* single latency amongst all the players.

It's also best when the players can roll their own dice and see all the monster's relevant defenses, so they can tell the success of their actions while writing their post and narrate appropriately. You can either trust your players with dice, or use an online roller. This produces better narration (none of the "if I succeed, I'll do this, otherwise I'll do this"), and, once again, makes combat run faster.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby AttackAttack » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:31 pm UTC

Out of curiosity, is it more common/preferred to have one character you always play, or to start a new character for every game?
I ask because I would prefer to work on one character and learn the ins and outs of my race and class (which I think would be a Dwarf Swordmage; seems kinda crazy, but I'd like to use a Dwarf for its strength). I think the only way I could get "good" at D&D is by lots of training, and becoming more "one" with my character.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:59 pm UTC

Personally.. I've never revisited a character after the game I played said character in stopped. In theory, we could pick up said games from where they left off, and go at it again, but due to various circumstances, the odds of that happening are slim. That said, it might be nice to revisit some games.

DM'd 2Ed - 1998?-2000
Female Cleric in a Birthright Game - DM moved away - 2002/2002ish
Male FBI Agent in a Modern/Homebrew Resident Evil Game - DM now has a job on the nights I'm free to play. Also, got tired of the setting for a bit. 2003-2003?
Female Halfling Rogue in Return to the Temple Elemental Evil blah blah blah - Same DM as above, works on the game nights, forget why we stopped. 2002?-2003?
Male Monk/Drunken Master in a Middle-Eastern-ish Game - Player died, DM decided to take a break from that game for a bit, and from DMing for a bit. 2003?-2006
I ran a game for a bit, lost the ability to devote enough time to plan out the game, had to call it off as a couple of players could no longer make the (new) game night - 2006-2007
Warforged Paladin/Juggernaut - Current game. 2007-now

And a couple of PbP characters and single-shot games, like the Skald Mafioso (Bard/Barbarian with delusions of Criminal Mastermindery) or the mute Fighter (High Int, Didn't Talk Much).
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Xanthir » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:19 am UTC

I've never replayed a character, but there is one particular character theme I've riffed on several times. In several games I've played a dude named Mikhail who worships Vecna. Details vary (once he was a Cleric, once a Wizard, once an NPC mayor of a town, once a Champion of Darkness).

I've also played the daughter of a previous character before.

For me the issue is probably one of how much I've invested in the character. Most of my characters were created for PbPs, and they gained much of their definition in terms of their interactions with the world and the other characters. It would feel weird to thrust them into an alternate universe with no history. Frex, I couldn't play Valanthe without her being in charge of an anti-goblin cavalry, and Anjou's romance with Borric was far too touching for me to remove that from her.

I would like to play my Tolan again, though - he didn't get nearly enough screentime when I created him. I wouldn't feel weird about reusing him. Plus, part of his personality is that he's a wanderer, so it would sort of fit in. Another character that I could see replaying is my Jhessail - she was Valanthe's cohort, and so didn't get as much direct characterization. Plus, I have written into their history a nice place where I could fit in some adventures without messing up my internal plot.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby AttackAttack » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:11 am UTC

In that case, perhaps it's better to have a class or race preference, instead of a combination preference, so I can be more versatile and experiment a little more. For instance, if a DM doesn't want to allow anything other than the Player Handbook, I could play a Dwarf Cleric instead of a Swordmage. If it was more open, but I still wanted to be more magic-based, I'd play as a half-elf instead of a dwarf. My preference, however, would be dwarf, Swordmage, or both.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Spuddly » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:03 pm UTC

If it's still relevant:

SecondTalon wrote:Postin' in a D&D thread to bounce an idea around..

3.5 Game
Character is a Warforged Paladin6/Warforged Juggernaut 3 (and will be completing 5 level class).
Str 14
Dex 10
Con 16
Int 10
Wis 12
Cha 16
Adamantine Body, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush and Exotic Weapon Proficiency - Bastard Sword so's I can get an Armblade (in case you're not up on the Warforged Component Lingo, an Armblade is basically a Bastard Sword that gets attached to the forearm of the Warforged, making it difficult to disarm.) ... DM let me swap out the Mount ability for the Charging Smite feat - the gist being that the smiting damage is doubled when one smites at the end of a charge.

When Pal6/WJug5 is hit, I'm pondering my next steps. I'm thinking of alternating Paladin and Fighter levels, grabbing the Extra Smiting feat along the way, and using some extra Fighter feats to beef up my fighting. Probably end up with something like Pal11/WJug5/Ftr4, more or less.. need to sit down and see what cool crap I get at the 10-12 range of Paladin and 3-6 range of Fighter. But the idea being to pick up a Weapon Focus (Armblade) feat, maybe do 4 levels so's I can specialize in it, and use my non-fighter bonus feats to get Extra Smiting. The game itself is focusing on Demon/Devil/Undead killing in battle so far, so having more smiting doesn't seem like a bad thing.

Anyone see something obvious that I'm missing that I might want to go for?


Looks solid. I would recommend against bastard sword, unless you really have your heart set on a big sword in one hand. It's only 1d10 vs. 1d8 damage. Damage is better when you two-hand power attack (2 to 1 instead of 1 to 1). Toss in leap attack and you get 4 to 1 returns for damage. Alternatively, I think you qualify for shocktrooper, which lets you instead take penalties to AC instead of hit when charging & power attacking. That is, if doing absurd damage while wielding a giant axe in two hands and recklessly barreling into enemies is your thing.

Psychic warrior may also interest you, as it lets you spend power points to increase in size. A holy robot that also gets bigger would be pretty cool. There's a feat that lets your manifester level count as four levels higher, capping at your HD, called practiced manifester. This gives you more power points, more augmenting, and more power points from bonus wisdom. The first two levels of psychic warrior also give you two bonus feats. For four levels in psychic warrior, you can get psionic lion's charge, which allows you to make a full attack at the end of a charge. 3/4 BAB, though. This is assuming you aren't playing with multiclass penalties.

You could also go into Hellreaver from Fiendish Codex II. When you fight, you go into a divine rage (free, as often as you like), that makes you weapons count as good. In addition, you gain points equal to your Hellreaver level + cha mod, which can be spent on things like healing yourself or your allies, doing more damage and getting a bonus on damage, getting a bonus on saves for one saving throw, dimension anchor foes, and gain AC vs an attack. They're all swift or immediate actions, so you won't be doing more than one a round, but the points refresh every encounter. You can even take con damage to refill the points in battle (how this works with being immune to ability damage isn't stated). Points refresh for every encounter.

It also gets Mettle at 4th level, which is evasion for effects that target fort & will saves.

Another added advantage is ease of entry: +5 BAB, power attack, and knowledge the planes 4 ranks. And you have to be good.

It has the feel of 4e, actually.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Maseiken » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:11 pm UTC

Starting up a pbp of Paranoia if anyone's interested
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby BigMcStrongmuscle » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:11 pm UTC

Re: using the same character, it was much more common to bring a character from game to game in the old days than it is now. The main reason for this is that every DM has a different set of things they'll allow and things they won't, and when Wizards started to publish splatbooks, too many of those lists got more and more different.

Rules issues aside, I find it difficult to do anyway because every campaign is a little different, and sometimes your old character just doesn't fit into the plot or style of a new game. It's pretty common, though, to see players who specialize in playing one or two particular classes. There's a guy in my group who has been playing for about ten years, but plays wizards so much of the time that he often forgets how attacks with actual weapons work. When I play, I am usually some flavor of fighter or rogue.

The kind of player skill that accumulates over several campaigns tends to be a knowledge of the general D&D setting, basic capabilities and best uses of the classes you have experience with (which also includes the ones your friends played!), some know-how about applying spells and magic items, and a few useful tricks that don't depend on your class - things like how to set trip-rope ambushes, how to disarm traps by setting them off with a long pole, and Caltrop Shenanigans 101.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Klapaucius » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:57 pm UTC

Maseiken wrote:A better idea would be to have a gargantuan character, with a rogue who rides shotgun.
That'd be interesting, and not deliberately playing hell with the rules.
But deliberately playing hell with the rules is the entire point.

It wouldn't be the same at all, but I can see your point--it would be a pretty great addition to a campaign. A rogue goes out into the wilds and bluffs his way to a giant's friendship. No training in weapons, no intelligence, wisdom, or charisma to speak of, but he knows how to be friendly, and especially how to hug. All going up to the treasury guards, "HEY GUYS I LIKE YOUR HATS", while the rogue liberates their goods.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:03 pm UTC

Spuddly wrote:If it's still relevant:
SexyTalon wrote:Mah Characterin'
Advisin'
Well, I did go with the Bastard Sword - which is good as, unbeknownst to us, we'd actually picked up a fairly kick-ass bastard sword in our travels we just hadn't had the time to identify, so I'm using that and my Armblade as my primary weapons at this point. Armblade being nice as I was wrong about it being difficult to disarm - it's impossible to disarm. And deals double-damage when you set to receive a charge. Given that I do rely on my shield for - at this point 4 points of my AC, but in the future will be using it for more, I'm perfectly content with burning a feat to get a weapon that cannot be disarmed with just a die increase in the base damage.

While Sil - the name of the character I'm playing... because he's Silver - is all about charging recklessly into enemies and smiting the hell out of them (ha ha!), he's also about doing it with a Shield... and a 14 strength isn't really all that great for two-handing weapons. Oh, golly.. a point increase in damage. How useful. Yes, it's more useful when one power attacks, true.. but as I said, the +4 to my AC is better than the +2 per BAB sacked for me in the long haul. We are fighting Fiends, and I generally make myself known as The Overwhelmingly Good player on the field.

Re: Psychic Warrior - I actually made a joke about that... that I needed to get a Battlefist, a Brilliant Energy Weapon, take levels in Psychic Warrior, and call myself a Librarian. The other guy at the table who played Warhammer 40k laughed at that. Maybe I should actually seriously look in to that.

But.. yeah, that would hit the Multiclass penalties. Not sure what a Warforged's favored class is, but I doubt it's either Paladin or Psychic Warrior.

Re: Hellreaver - That.. actually looks pretty damn entertaining, and seems a logical step for Sil, given the roleplaying background going on - ie, he's getting pissed off at his Undead and Fiend-hunting order for seemingly just sitting around bickering with another Good-aligned order when there's Fiends running around on the hills, tearing up the countryside. Wouldn't be able to take 10 levels in it without going Epic, but I could get 9.... though it would cause a bit of a problem... (5th level Warforged Juggernauts are immune to Ability Damage. 5th level Hellreavers can voluntarily damage their Constitution to restore their Fury points. What would happen to a 5thWarJug/5thHellRv who did that? Division by Zero! Oh shi-)

It probably has a 4th ed feel as a lot of the later basic classes and PrCs were tests for certain 4th Ed base concepts. The Warlock, for example, was pretty much a straight-out test for the 4th Ed Wizard.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Spuddly » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

Re: feels like 4e. So are the ToB classes (which I'm a big fan of).

Re: Power Attack. You don't two hand for the strength bonus; you do it for power attack. Power attack is THE biggest source of consistent damage for a melee'r in 3.5. With leap attack, you take -1 for +4 damage; with smithing charge that goes up to -1 for +8!(!!!!) Due to an errata that changed leap attack to a flat +100% increase in damage, rather than a x2, the multiplier multiplies with other multipliers, rather than adding.

It's pretty cheesy, but see if you can't get an animated shield. They're dirt cheap for how freakin' (mechanically) awesome they are. I always feel guilty when I use an animated shield, though.

Can you switch between two handing and one handing? There's a shield enhancement in Magic Item Compendium that changes shape from buckler up to tower, called variable. It takes a mental swift action to activate. Make that mithril, so when it's in buckler, the -1 armor check penalty goes away and you don't take a -1 on attacks, charge in with a 2handed leap attack (charging smite if it's something particularly nasty), then pop the shield out for defense. A glove of storing (10k gp) could also potentially work, if you work with your DM. Just get extradimensional space installed in your forearm that pops out a shield as a free action. A ring of force shield, while only +2 AC, is a free action to activate or deactivate, and is a force effect. It's pretty cheap; only 8,500 gp. Personally, I'd go with the variable shield, as I'd imagine it spring right out of a warforged's arm, transformers-like. It's also dirt cheap; +1 variable mithril buckler is only 3,015 gp, and can give up to 5 AC and full cover.

Re: What class to take next. Hellreaver is pretty juicy for at least 4 levels. Heals, damage, AC, saves, and mettle are definitely worth it for pretty much zero investment. It's not particularly powerful, but it sure as heck ain't weak. At the very least, you can be healing yourself 10 pts/round for 7 rounds as a swift action. (20/round if you get 5th level in it). It also advances will saves, which would normally be pretty good, given that outsiders throw around nasty spells, but being warforged juggernaught, it's not such a big deal. As for the con damage, it *probably* should be an ability you can't use if you can't take con damage, like hellfire warlock or other classes that take stat damage to fuel an ability.

If your DM enforces multiclass penalties, then definitely don't take psychic warrior. I think the warforged has fighter as a favored class. Also, as written, you can't multiclass out of paladin and back into it, but I don't know if your DM gave you the thumbs up on that or whatever.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:31 pm UTC

Ebberon has a feat for that. Lets you pick a base class, then you can level in it without losing the ability to level as a Paladin.

As far as Power Attack goes - I say again, I'm getting a hell of a lot more use out of the 4 (to be increased later as my shield gets nicer) points to my AC than was when I power attacked with a two hander.

"But I just mentioned the Leap Attack that lets you blahblahblahblahblah"
Spoiler:
Yeah, that'd be a nice feat to have. Except I don't. In order to get it, I'd have to spend the next four (4!) levels sinking skill points into a skill that I have no use for to get it. I wouldn't have enough skill points until level 13. In order to use the feat, one has to charge, make a jump that covers 10 feet, and attack. Sounds nice.. except I have the Adamantine Body feat and a 14 strength. Before we drag any other magical items in to it, I'd have to make a DC 10 Jump Check - With 8 ranks in the Jump skill and a +2 mod making it a 10... and then a -5 to -8 (depending on how you read the Jump skill) tacked on to it due to my armor check penalty and speed. That's assuming I start out 30 feet away from my opponent, whereas my regular charges only need 10. If I start out 20 feet away, I have to make a DC 20 check with not too much backing it up. Hellreaver seems a bit more beneficial over the long term and has less of a chance of failure, so I'll likely spend the next several levels sinking my whopping 2 skill points per levelup into the cross-class Knowledge (The Planes).

Not to mention that I seem to have trouble actually hitting our opponents, so I'm hesitant to sink much more than 2 or 3 into a power attack. Granted, with the Leaping Attack thing that would make a 2-hander deal 6-9 extra damage.....

The kickass bastard sword we picked up is a +1 Holy Axiomatic Bastard Sword. So with it I'm doing 1d10+3+(2d6 if it's Evil)+(2d6 if it's Chaotic) one handed On a charge I deal an extra 1d8 of damage. If I'm smiting, I drop in an extra 12 in to that charge as well. We seem to be facing mostly Demons at this point. Devils might pop up later, sure.. but right now it's demons. The other issue is also that I'm not the primary damage dealer in the group. I know this, and I'm fine with it. I am, however, the primary damage taker of the group. I've got more hitpoints than most everyone else and I've got a hell of a lot higher Armor Class than most of our members as well.

I guess what I'm getting at is, spending 4 levels, waiting two, then getting a feat to increase my damage 6-9 points on my charge that will be difficult for me to pull off isn't really all that important to me. "But Talon" you say, "You could drop a lot more in to there and deal, like, an extra 15 points!" I could also crit on that too, making it all the more impressive... but given that in combat, my d20s decide they want to be in 10 or Under mode, I'm a lot more interested in consistency than one-time bursts. Hence, the Hellreaver appeal, though I'd have to wait the same amount of time to pick it up.


Though it's entirely possible I'm still missing something that makes the Leap Attack feat a no-brainer.
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