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Topics - Shiftkitty

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WotC D&D / Goblins, Goblins, Goblins!
« on: September 03, 2018, 03:13:43 PM »
We were playing a home adaptation of "Keep On the Shadowfell", converting it from 4e to 5e. The party had gone through the entire first level of the Keep, or so they had thought. While looking at the map, they noticed that they had missed two rooms early on. Because I had to substitute monsters (including replacing the kruthik with a psychotic Spectator beholder), the party had advanced a little faster than I anticipated and were now level 3. No big deal. But that's where the fun began.

After realizing they left an unknown behind them at the beginning of the dungeon, they decided to go mop up before heading on down "lest anything bite us in the butt". Besides, on player mused out-of-character, that far back they're probably looking at level 1 monsters at best. They dispatched room 2, four goblins and a hobgoblin, with the anticipated ease. The only other room, room 4, was a goblin barracks. So they made a sneak check, saw the two goblins at the table... and missed the sniping attempt.

"Then a goblin in the dark
Gave a shout of 'BREE-YARK!"
And it turned into a Dungeon Blitz!
Dungeon Blitz!
Dungeon Blitz!"
(Apologies to The Damned and to Sweet)

Even playing Balgron the Fat by the book, the goblins nearly wiped up the dungeon with the party. Nobody seemed able to hit anything, but the goblins were spot on with ranged attacks, closing only when they had to. Several serious flesh-wounds later the party was finally victorious, if you can call it that. Their confident "mop-up" operation now has them limping back to town because it took all of their healing potions and spells to stay alive.

Overconfidence has killed more PCs than any ambush or trap!

WotC D&D / Legends & Lairs, Spells and Spellcraft Missing Page, HELP!
« on: August 02, 2018, 05:43:28 PM »
Today I scored a trove of books at the thrift store. They're in decent enough shape, but one of them is missing a page and I'm hoping someone can scan it for me so I can print it and slip it into the book? (Hope this doesn't violate any site rules!)

It's from Legends and Lairs. The book is "Spells and Spellcraft", and the missing page(s) are 89-90.

I apologize if I'm in violation regarding published material.

First Edition AD&D / Great Misspoken Or Misunderstood Lines
« on: July 21, 2018, 11:03:50 AM »
Got to chatting with an old friend from back in the 1e days. He loved playing a Barbarian (Unearthed Arcana). We recalled the first game he played as "Grundar the Bear". One of the guys had the name stuck in his head and when Grundar entered the stereotypical tavern to meet an old friend (the Fighter) for a promise of "wealth and adventure in the old ruins", the Fighter's player had his PC say "Pull up a chair and join us." However, he actually said "Pull up a bear and join us." Grundar shrugged, left the tavern for a few minutes, knocked out a bear and dragged him in to use as a chair. As if that wasn't giving us enough laughs, at the end of our obligatory adventure introduction, the DM woke the bear up. We were never allowed into that tavern again.

Star Frontiers / Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn Couple of Questions
« on: July 15, 2018, 11:53:28 AM »
First off, is there a difference between the original Star Frontiers (which I have never seen) and the pink "Alpha Dawn" set?

Second, melee combat uses half of your STR or DEX (you choice each time you use it). Why only half? Is the assumption that your character is more used to lasers, etc? If your character was used to bare-knuckle brawling, an archaic combat enthusiast, etc., why wouldn't they get the whole attribute score?

First Edition AD&D / Sunglasses and Infravision
« on: June 24, 2018, 09:00:59 AM »
Unless I'm wrong (as I sometimes am, believe it or not ;) ), infravision works off of temperature. If so, does wearing dark glasses affect it? The glasses would be a solid wall of a different temperature, wouldn't it? And how would this affect a drow wearing shades in the daylight? Do they turn the infravision off? Just a question that came up over coffee.

Second Edition AD&D / Question About Weapon Damage/Target Size
« on: June 03, 2018, 11:08:06 AM »
Found some old character sheets and a question popped into my head. I know the answer is probably in the book somewhere, but I'll ask anyway:

Why do some weapons do greater damage against Large targets while others do less?

Campaign Worlds / Have You Ever NOT Rolled For A Result?
« on: May 09, 2018, 08:20:32 AM »
Have you ever had a player describe an action his PC was taking that was so crafty that you decided to just let it work without rolling for a result? You know, something so creative and entertaining that even as DM you wanted to see it work?

Example: The rest of the party had noticed the dragon waking up, stuffed what gold they could into their pockets, and ran. The Thief (this was 1e) was still stuffing his pockets, having failed to notice the dragon, and angry Red. The dragon made his presence known with an indignant "Ahem!" When the Thief realized his predicament (he would never be able to outrun the dragon's breath weapon), he offered to bargain for his life by showing the dragon a magic trick, and if he had never seen it before, then the Thief could leave with his life. The dragon agreed, having been old enough to know every magic trick in the book. The Thief unfurled the leathery map the party had been following, spread it out on a pile of gold and sat cross legged on it, acting like a mystic from India. He then picked up the leading edge of the map and announced his "ancient magic words", said "Bye-bye" and sledded like a shot down the pile of gold and out the door.

Okay, in a hard-nosed campaign he probably would have been smoked by the dragon before he reached the exit. But this move was so straight out of a light-hearted fantasy movie, even drawing applause from the other players, that I described the dragon staring confusedly at the empty space, thin tendrils of smoke curling upwards from his nostrils, saying "I don't get it."

Any overly creative players out there do something that you decided not to spoil with a dice roll?

Other Games / Just Played Theatrix... Whoa!
« on: April 10, 2018, 01:58:28 PM »
Theatrix, by Backstage Press, is a game you have to meet halfway. As Director (DM) you're going to have to improvise a lot. Yes, it's one of those "diceless" games that I never really quite got. Basically, what? You sit around chatting and telling a mutual story over your cappuccinos? There is an option for using dice, but they don't get much into it. We gave it a shot anyway, making up the dice rules as we went, sort of. We mostly based it on a d6 system.

After describing our characters (two of us had the nerve to actually make characters while the others decided to watch a short vignette), we assigned numbers ranging from 1 to 6, with the odd decimal point to give a little edge. The scale runs from 1 to 10, but anything above 6 is really super-duper heroic, and we were just starting.

This was sort of Indiana Jones in Gamma World Meets D&D. My "Actor" was a junkman and explorer of ancient ruins. He found old pre-war tech and either fixed it up for resale or used the parts to make new stuff to sell. He and a friend, a guy with mutant abilities akin to magic, were out in the wastelands scavenging parts off an old air conditioner when they found evidence of a courier who had been attacked and killed, his parcel missing from his pouch. Reporting it to the village council when we returned, we were sent out to get clues as to who did this. We stumbled across a hidden opening in the canyon wall with signs of recent passage of hobnail boots.

All that was pretty much just narrated, but the Director is a pretty good storyteller. When we entered the cave, he actually brought out Thunderspire Labyrinth, a 4e module, It was to serve as the ruins. To attack he had us roll a number of d6 equal to our base ability score (such as Coordination from ranged attacks) and add 1 per point we had in a relevant skill (you pretty much make up your own skills in this game, so I used Pistol at 4.0, added to my Coordination of 3.5, or 3d6+.5+4). To get the monsters' scores he divided their ability scores by 3 rounded down. Every attack could be potentially dodged with a Coordination roll, or withstood by a Stamina roll.

We had to wing it with magic, so the Director told us that any Actor capable of magic had to pick which stat the individual spell was based on, as long as it made sense. For example, shooting a ball of fire from your hands might be based on Intelligence as you bring the right words and gestures to mind, while clairvoyance might be based on your Intuition and charm effects or illusions might work off of your Presence. You roll as you would for an attack and the enemy can choose how they intend (or would be likely) to resist or defend against it.

By the book, the results of combat or any encounter are dictated by the needs of the "Script". For the sake of our game, however, hit points for monsters were 1d6 per monster level; the Cast gets hit points equaling the sum of their stats. While this may prove flawed at higher levels, right now it seems to be working cinematically fine. We've had one combat with a Hobgoblin and four Goblins that actually did flow like a movie scene.

When my Actor realized that we had bitten off more than we could chew, the Director made up a small rule based on what my Actor said. Yes, we decided you could get extra perks for quoting a movie at the right moment. We realized that just two of us was not going to be enough to deal with this bunch. My Actor was about to get killed by two Goblins when the wizard, having finished off the Hobgoblin, made a heroic dive off of the balcony, blasting fireballs from his hands and taking down one of the Goblins. Then I was able to take out the other one. We got out of the dungeon. I mimed slamming a door shut and blocking it, then turned around panting and leaning against the door and said "We're gonna need a bigger boat."

Yes, I got points for quoting "Jaws" at an appropriate time!

We'll likely adjust things as we go, but meanwhile this is actually a pretty fun game for experienced gamers.

WotC D&D / Massive Damage Question
« on: March 11, 2018, 10:30:42 AM »
By the book, Massive Damage is 50 points or more of damage. So if a creature has 300 hp, you can drop him instantly by only doing 1/6 of his total hp in damage? And doing 3 hp of damage to a 4hp kobold isn't considered "massive" to the kobold? Shouldn't the definition of "massive" be dependent on the target? Could you theoretically drop Tarrasque by reducing him from 840 hp to 790 hp in a single blow? (What did he die of, humiliation?)

Second Edition AD&D / Red Steel? (Plus Dwarves of a Different Flavor)
« on: March 04, 2018, 10:14:12 AM »
I've never played in this world before. Looking over the stuff the DM handed us, it appears to have a US Southwestern or Northern Mexico flavor. Based on this assumption, I've started creating a Dwarf PC, but not the typical Germanic named fellow with a Scottish accent. I decided to draw form my own ancestry and created what one of the guys calls Mexidwarves, Dwarves with a definite Hispanic flavor. I haven't decided on what they call themselves, but gave them the local name of "Gorditos", or "Little Fat Ones". They are not necessarily hung up on decorating their beards, but the women (gorditas) do appreciate a guy with a full, lush one. The DM seemed to like the idea of a more local flavor for Dwarves than the typical Eurocentric variety, so Pancho de la Barba has been accepted.

But I've never played Red Steel before. Any insights or things I should be aware of? And what do you guys think of Tortles? They seem kind of weird to me.

WotC D&D / I Finally Got It! "World's Largest Dungeon" Is Mine!
« on: March 01, 2018, 10:06:13 AM »
800+ pages and 16 maps of dungeon sweetness is finally mine! When I first saw this thing I thought it would just be a gonzo, over the top dungeon crawl, but there's a lot of meat on this one. Well thought out and nicely organized, I can't wait to get into this beast. Has anyone here played it? What were your experiences or trouble spots? And what size party would you recommend to keep pace with their recommended levels? (They say that as is, you can actually hit level 8 by the third dungeon level. I'd like to not have the team super-powered too early.)

Classic D&D / Crazy Dream About Classic D&D
« on: February 16, 2018, 06:19:49 AM »
So I went to bed after looking over some game material and yes, it affected my dream. I dreamed we were playing a BECMI game with a standard party of four when, fairly early on, we stumbled across a large chest. As the thief picked the lock, my fighter had to help pry up the insanely heavy lid. A glowing light was emerging from the inside, so everybody jumped in to help get at whatever it was. As the lid fell backwards, the DM (whom I couldn't see behind the DM screen) described a blinding light and flash of intense heat coming from the chest. He described us lying on the floor all around the chest in great detail. We could see everything. He even cracked some jokes about cellulite thighs. Then he said, "But none of that matters now. You see, you're all quite dead." The game's goal was to return from death, and it promised to be a great game. Unfortunately, my alarm went off and I never got to finish the game.  >:(

Other Games / "Kult" by Metropolis Limited
« on: November 14, 2017, 10:02:43 AM »
Has anyone ever played "Kult", by Metropolis Limited? I found an old copy and wondered what it was like. It looks sufficiently creepy, but is it more gonzo supernatural or subtle supernatural? I was thinking of starting up a game based on the movie "Se7en" with some tweaks.

General Discussion / Favorite Misreadings
« on: October 30, 2017, 10:49:35 AM »
Okay, so far twice have I made such a mistake that it changed the whole flavor of the dungeon. One was when I thought I had grabbed my notes for "Acolytes" but had actually grabbed "White Ape". I was DMing this thing blind, so I just read the encounters as they popped up. Instead of evil cultists, the party saw white apes running amuck in this temple. They responded by hooting and whooping like howler monkeys and chasing the enemy with knuckle-dragging delight. They even marked their territory by urinating everywhere, even on cornered prisoners. When I realized my mistake, I decided that the party had hallucinated the apes and a bunch of freaked-out cultists couldn't get out of that temple fast enough, urine-soaked robes and all!

The second one happened last night. Another seat-of-the-pants dungeon, another slight misreading. The party fought it's way through a dungeon, hoping to find survivors of a missing unit of soldiers. The map clearly read "Massacre Site". My eyes clearly saw "Massage Site". I lost control of the adventure at that point, but at least they found the soldiers!  ;D

General Discussion / Hey, Wait A Minute. Yoda Looks Like A...
« on: September 12, 2017, 08:55:16 AM »
So I was trying to find out what kind of alien Yoda was. Yeah, I've been on a Star Wars binge. Anyway, from what I've read, the race is intentionally left unidentified. However, I couldn't help but notice how much he looks like a goblin, albeit a very old one. So suppose the reason you don't see Yoda-looking goblins in D&D is because very few of them live that long? Perhaps there is a goblin culture that is a bit more civilized than the little savages we all know and love (to run swords through)? Heh, methinks I need more coffee!

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