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 hendusoone » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:59 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Chen wrote:At lower levels it can be useful to take a level 1 animal companion and just advance it according to the rules given. They tend to do less damage but they have a much higher AC which can be useful if you need a tank. Plus you can give them feats and such which is pretty nice. Remember though they DON'T change size for gaining more hit dice despite what the MM might say about it in the specific monster entry. Those HD are not the same as the ones gained from leveling.
Huh? The MM section on monster advancement clearly says that additional monster HD gives them larger size. What other way to advance them is there besides giving them monster HD?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby El Spark » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:27 pm UTC

That would be awesome, though, and a hell of a handy way to gauge relative skills.

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"Sir, that's a Gnome."

"...well. Time to go."

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:59 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Huh? The MM section on monster advancement clearly says that additional monster HD gives them larger size. What other way to advance them is there besides giving them monster HD?


I believe it was either in the remaider of the Rules of the Game article that was linked by hendusoone or in an FAQ ruling, but they clarified that the extra sizes in the MM refers to larger or stronger animals of that type. As in, if the DM made you fight an advanced wolf that had extra hit dice (using the monster advancement rules in the MM) it would be large after it hit a certain category. Since animal companions advance differently than the MM monster advancement its not the same thing. Animal companion HD increases are more like levels than the animal actually getting bigger/older.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Levi » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:26 pm UTC

Had some fun in the latest session I played in. The party is on a quest to find some crystal or something and we've also got the Il Cartographer along for the journey. I convinced him that it would be a good idea because he could make maps of the places we went to. Along the path is a big old goblin fortress. There were two ways to get there from where we were. One was through a forest ("Shadowvale") and the other was through a fairly barren area. We chose to take the forest route, but I suggested that instead of walking through the forest and probably getting attacked by whatever lived in it, we burn it instead. I didn't think anyone would miss it; it's called Shadowvale after all. I had forgotten that forest fires tend to last a long time, but unfortunately I was reminded of this fact only after I had set it ablaze. We ended up taking the other route.

Then, at the fortress, after killing a few goblins and making it to the top of the walls, we encountered a dragon who was apparently leading the goblins. We were four level ones and twos. I don't recall the level of the dragon, but it had somewhere around 200 HP. We could have beaten it, but it would have been difficult and we had a better idea. Earlier the DM had described a massive siege cannon which the goblins were going to use to attack a nearby town. We split the party - two of the team went to set up the cannon and the myself and a rogue stayed to position the dragon. There was a short scuffle which ended with me running for my life towards the cannon and the rogue on the dragon's back, stabbing it repeatedly. It turns out that the cannon was much too big to turn and was pointed outwards. Lucky for me I had been ecstatic that Feather Fall was a level two spell and had learned it when I leveled up. I leapt off the walls in front of the cannon, the dragon followed, the cannon was fired, and the dragon was hit at point-blank range by a gigantic cannonball.

It was quite the action-heroey session.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby BlackSails » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:41 pm UTC

The easiest way to deal with the size and HD thing for monsters, is how savage species puts its - when animals level up, they can take levels in their racial class, which has certain benefits. If they have sapience, they can take levels in character classes as well, as long as they have the full base racial class taken.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby EmptySet » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:05 am UTC

Levi wrote:There were two ways to get there from where we were. One was through a forest ("Shadowvale") and the other was through a fairly barren area. We chose to take the forest route, but I suggested that instead of walking through the forest and probably getting attacked by whatever lived in it, we burn it instead. I didn't think anyone would miss it; it's called Shadowvale after all. I had forgotten that forest fires tend to last a long time, but unfortunately I was reminded of this fact only after I had set it ablaze. We ended up taking the other route.


I'll be terribly disappointed if the next session doesn't have you run across a group of elven refugees whose tree city was tragically burned down by some lunatic who goes around casually setting forests on fire because they might inconvenience his travel plans.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:13 am UTC

I always have fleeting fantasies of characters I make up that I always want to play out in some PBP D&D game that never happens.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Levi » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:41 am UTC

EmptySet wrote:
Levi wrote:There were two ways to get there from where we were. One was through a forest ("Shadowvale") and the other was through a fairly barren area. We chose to take the forest route, but I suggested that instead of walking through the forest and probably getting attacked by whatever lived in it, we burn it instead. I didn't think anyone would miss it; it's called Shadowvale after all. I had forgotten that forest fires tend to last a long time, but unfortunately I was reminded of this fact only after I had set it ablaze. We ended up taking the other route.


I'll be terribly disappointed if the next session doesn't have you run across a group of elven refugees whose tree city was tragically burned down by some lunatic who goes around casually setting forests on fire because they might inconvenience his travel plans.


Like I said, it's called Shadowvale. I think most of the people from the region would thank me. It's much harder to go in there and clear out all the bad guys one by one than to just burn 'em all in one go. I guess there might have been dark elves living there which could come after me.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Meteorswarm » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:04 am UTC

Levi wrote:Like I said, it's called Shadowvale. I think most of the people from the region would thank me. It's much harder to go in there and clear out all the bad guys one by one than to just burn 'em all in one go. I guess there might have been dark elves living there which could come after me.


Frankly, anybody living there would be pretty upset. It'd probably be hard to blame you in particular, though.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:30 pm UTC

You do know that forest fires happen regularly, and any forest for which an arsonist could set ablaze would be set ablaze by lightning?

Forests are fire-resistant. They are designed to periodically burn, and they survive it. Humans mess with it by preventing the regular small-scale burns, which then results in an abnormal forest which burns ... much more vigorously than the alternative.

In short -- if you try to set a natural forest ablaze, you'll probably fail. And if it does catch fire, it will probably peter out. Because if it was easy to set ablaze, it would have burned down while ago from natural processes (let alone other casual arsonists). And if there is a naturalist long-lived civilization in the forest, they'll know how to weather forest fires.

Bravo on the cannon. :)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:11 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:You do know that forest fires happen regularly, and any forest for which an arsonist could set ablaze would be set ablaze by lightning?

Forests are fire-resistant. They are designed to periodically burn, and they survive it. Humans mess with it by preventing the regular small-scale burns, which then results in an abnormal forest which burns ... much more vigorously than the alternative.

In short -- if you try to set a natural forest ablaze, you'll probably fail. And if it does catch fire, it will probably peter out. Because if it was easy to set ablaze, it would have burned down while ago from natural processes (let alone other casual arsonists). And if there is a naturalist long-lived civilization in the forest, they'll know how to weather forest fires.

Bravo on the cannon. :)


Unless of course you light it on fire with some sort of persistent magical effect. Then I imagine it'd burn pretty damn well.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:00 pm UTC

A persistent magical effect that spreads? That is near-epic-scale magic.

A simple static magical fire? It will burn out all of the fuel nearby and then sit there, all burny, doing little until enough greenery regrows nearby.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby BlackSails » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:19 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:A persistent magical effect that spreads? That is near-epic-scale magic.


Summon elemental?

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:20 pm UTC

A campaign in which an epic spellcaster has set the world on slowly-spreading fire/is planning to would actually be pretty cool.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Jessica » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:25 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:A campaign in which an epic spellcaster has set the world on slowly-spreading fire/is planning to would actually be pretty cool.
Thanks.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:36 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:
Yakk wrote:A persistent magical effect that spreads? That is near-epic-scale magic.
Summon elemental?

That moves, doesn't spread. It could burn down a lot of forest by moving to new spots to create new fires, admittedly.

But you'd probably have to gate one in, not summon it, for it to last long enough to burn an entire forest, wouldn't you? And that is what, a level 15 spell? Most of the way to epic. :)

(of course, I probably missed something -- it seems like 3e wizards can destroy entire planets by level 10 sometimes!)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:48 pm UTC

Semi-related - had a game world, map, blah blah homebrew. Started another game, decided to set it 500 years earlier (so that in theory some of the young elves they met could be the older elves they met in the last game) and changed some of the geography, turned a plain into a forest, that sort of thing.

So what did the PCs do? Accidentally start a fire in that forest that, 500 years from now, is a plain.

...

That explains that one, I thought. Cue huge ass fire.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:30 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:That moves, doesn't spread. It could burn down a lot of forest by moving to new spots to create new fires, admittedly.

But you'd probably have to gate one in, not summon it, for it to last long enough to burn an entire forest, wouldn't you? And that is what, a level 15 spell? Most of the way to epic. :)

(of course, I probably missed something -- it seems like 3e wizards can destroy entire planets by level 10 sometimes!)


The lesser planar binding/ally spells could call a small elemental for a long enough time I'd imagine. Also a big enough regular fire + control winds/control weather could probably do it too. Control weather lasts many hours I think. As long as you can keep the fire moving towards more fuel you're probably pretty set.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby BlackSails » Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:10 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:
BlackSails wrote:
Yakk wrote:A persistent magical effect that spreads? That is near-epic-scale magic.
Summon elemental?

That moves, doesn't spread. It could burn down a lot of forest by moving to new spots to create new fires, admittedly.

But you'd probably have to gate one in, not summon it, for it to last long enough to burn an entire forest, wouldn't you? And that is what, a level 15 spell? Most of the way to epic. :)


Oh, gate is easy. But a druid, preparing all extended summon elemental spells could summon elementals for a good portion of the day.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:21 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Oh, gate is easy. But a druid, preparing all extended summon elemental spells could summon elementals for a good portion of the day.


An extended summon cast by a level 20 druid last 4 minutes. Thats 15 slots per hour (each at +1 level due to extend). I don't think a level 20 druid, let alone a lower level one, has enough slots to do that for more than say 2 hours at best (I don't recall what level SNA first gives elementals).

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Solo » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:09 am UTC

You could simply get the Summon Elemental Reserve feat for infinite small elementals.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Levi » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:09 pm UTC

When I burned down the forest, the DM asked me to make a roll, but then said "Wait, you're just going to keep trying until you do manage it, aren't you?" So I declare that I retroactively spent days in the forest lighting things on fire.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby The Utilitarian » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:43 am UTC

Seems like all you'd really need is a Living Spell from Eberron from something as simple as Create Flame. To be fair though I don't know that there are any canon methods for PCs to creat living spells outside of causing the Day of Mourning.

Hmmm something akin to the Locate City Bomb would likely work as well, just have to make it effect objects somehow.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Shadic » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:14 am UTC

I've been played a few sessions of Shadowrun with my group. It's actually a lot of fun. Playing a Rogue-like character who made it three sessions without actually having a firearm.. Until I needed to try and gun down a magician floating 20 feet above us with a slain security guard's assault rifle.

..After that, I picked up Pistols.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby El Spark » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:04 pm UTC

Shadic wrote:I've been played a few sessions of Shadowrun with my group. It's actually a lot of fun. Playing a Rogue-like character who made it three sessions without actually having a firearm.. Until I needed to try and gun down a magician floating 20 feet above us with a slain security guard's assault rifle.

..After that, I picked up Pistols.


I'm running into things like that as my friends play in my DC Adventures game. At the start, I hear things like, "Well, this person's not really a very good fighter, so I won't give her any ranks in Ranged combat or anything."

By the end of the first session (which is always, always a shakedown session), I'm hearing things like, "How much was a rank in Ranged so that I can actually hit with my power?"
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:07 pm UTC

Yeah, but that can be a good roleplaying point. I mean, it's almost a classic TV trope, where the non-combatants in a mixed group become trained as the show goes on. Stargate SG-1 being a good example here.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Shadic » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:26 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Yeah, but that can be a good roleplaying point.

Bingo. After trying to (and miserably failing) to use the assault rifle on the magician, it makes sense that I would want to pick up a fire arm. My character had been shot by the a few times now, anyways. Besides, the boss of the security guards was packing around two fancy pistols!

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

4e D&D: the character builder is going online, based off of MS silverlight.

Could be interesting.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby JQH » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:07 pm UTC

I was glad to find this thread - all the threads about computer games I'd never heard of were making me feel old.

I suspect that even my table top preferences are going to show my age but here goes:

for reffing and playing fantasy I liked RQ3. For SF I played and reffed Traveller but it had its limitations - try creating a non-military character! I liked GURPS but only played in a friends Time Travel campaign, never reffed.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby BoomFrog » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:19 am UTC

Yeah... I've never heard of RQ3 or Traveler before so uh... yeah. Some googling turns up Rune Quest 3, which is I guess what you mean. So, I'm curious, do you still play? Do you still have friends who are interested in this stuff?
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:40 pm UTC

The D% games have too much resolution in their RNG -- nobody can distinguish between a +7% and +6% modifier to a roll without seeing numbers (ie, if you just get a sequence of success/failures, the time it takes to distinguish between them is on the order of 10,000+ rolls). Even d20 resolution is too high that way, but d% gets ridiculous.

There are also the problems approaching and passing 100%, where the house rules breed, the options multiply, and everything gets crufty -- which also happened when someone approaches 100% in a defence skill. Then again, it wasn't RQ3 that I played -- it was another RQ revision number.

I also had fun playing traveller. The solar cells that manage to extract more energy out of sunlight than passes through the area of the cell are amusing. :)
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:07 pm UTC

The Dark Heresy et al games have some fairly sensible ways of running d% though, such as having no % step smaller than 5%, and making efforts to keep percentage rolls under at least 80% most of the time.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:24 pm UTC

Meh, if your step size is 5%, why not roll a d20?

I have played around with patching RQ with a "roll 2d10, and read the result as a pair of d%". It worked reasonably well.

(If both are under your target, you get a major success -- if one is, it is a minor success. If you roll a pair under your target, it is a crit.)

It still had the problem that it broke down at and over 100%, so I didn't play with it much more.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:40 pm UTC

Because a percentage is easier to think about than fractions of 20? Also, I'm more comfortable assigning certain things to 100% and 1% rolls than I am to 1 and 20.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Terebrant » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:16 am UTC

Yakk wrote:I have played around with patching RQ with a "roll 2d10, and read the result as a pair of d%". It worked reasonably well.

(If both are under your target, you get a major success -- if one is, it is a minor success. If you roll a pair under your target, it is a crit.)

Interesting and I don't remember seeing that used. Did you draw inspiration from another game? I am curious to see the surrounding system if there is one...

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Yakk » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:23 am UTC

Naw. It was inspired by how people cheat when they roll d% without a "10s die" obvious, and thought "if the dice backwards work, that is almost a victory". It took a few iterations to get that refined (I forgot what I tidied up, but it was more crude before).

The curve is quite neat -- if you count minor as 1, major as 2, the average number of successes with S% is 2*S%. If you add in crits as 3 success-equivalents, it hits about 2.1 S% or so, which is nice and linear.

It is very close to "roll twice per trial", as the correlation between d% forwards and d% backwards is low, with the extra doubles effect.

Extending it with an extra d10s might work. Counting how many ways you can get successes -- this does get overly difficult with more d10s than 3 I think... Probably better would be mechanics that lets you reroll one of the d10s you roll in the d%.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby She » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:18 pm UTC

Unknown Armies does some nice things to the d%-roll-below-your-skill mechanic:
- having a certain skill as your specialty means you get to flip the 10s and the ones die (83 becomes 38)
- hand-hand-to-hand damage is the sum of your dice (so 54 would deal 5+4=9 damage) +1 each for the weapon being big, heavy or sharp
- handgun damage is the result of your roll. So you want to roll lower than you skill in order to hit, but as high as possible since the result is also your damage
- anything under 10% of your skill is a critical - so if you've got 40% to succeed, you crit on 04 and lower.
- The double results are special, so succeeding the roll on a 22 or 33 is almost like a crit, but failing the roll on a 66 or 99 is extra bad.
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Terebrant
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Terebrant » Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:51 pm UTC

She wrote:Unknown Armies does some nice things to the d%-roll-below-your-skill mechanic:
- having a certain skill as your specialty means you get to flip the 10s and the ones die (83 becomes 38)
- hand-hand-to-hand damage is the sum of your dice (so 54 would deal 5+4=9 damage) +1 each for the weapon being big, heavy or sharp
- handgun damage is the result of your roll. So you want to roll lower than you skill in order to hit, but as high as possible since the result is also your damage
- anything under 10% of your skill is a critical - so if you've got 40% to succeed, you crit on 04 and lower.
- The double results are special, so succeeding the roll on a 22 or 33 is almost like a crit, but failing the roll on a 66 or 99 is extra bad.

It also makes comparing degrees of success very easy: just compare the dice. It's nice that, as skills increase, not only does it improve chance of success but allows for better successes too.

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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Telchar » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

RQ is probably my favorite fantasy iteration but I haven't played it since second. The problem with it is it takes a campaign with either really experienced players who really want to play it or a relatively political campaign ala Pocket Empires or you can get bogged down in combat fast. Maybe that's changed in 3rd.
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Re: Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop RPGs)

Postby Jesse » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:14 pm UTC

What I miss most of all are my weekly Paranoia games with Rodan. We played the quick, Zap! style of the game and it was just so much fun.


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