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Topics - Shiftkitty

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Other Games / Castle Falkenstein by R Talsorian Games
« on: September 10, 2019, 03:57:14 PM »
Rooting through my old game books I found the full set of Castle Falkenstein splat books and core book (no adventures, if any were ever published). Sat down and started messing with it. I like the magic system. Not really tuned to big, flashy spells, but just for laughs I tried to recreate Magic Missile with it. Best I could get was an arrow of fire, but it did the job. We did a little "fun run" when two of the group were away with an all-human team who accidentally killed the bad guy they needed to question to find where the main villain was lurking. (Their contact was killed by the villain, and the Sorcerous Order he belonged to believe the party did it.)

Role-playing high-society characters in the Steam Age is actually kind of hard. When language got free I often had to ask if the character really used "those exact words" just in case some ladies fainted at the salty language. Then a bad draw of the cards would happen and instead of the usual verbiage it was funny watching everyone try to find more appropriate words like "Drat!", "Zounds!", and "Dash it all!" Yeah, it was tough, but fun!

I think the funniest part was when one of the guys had difficulty getting into the Victorian swing. We had to remind that Victorians didn't use "thee" and "thou" and "thy". He had gotten a bit TOO proper, but his character evolved into a Shakespearean actor, so his vocal flubs sounded more "normal".

It was a fun evening, and I was wondering if anybody else here has ever played it.

Classic D&D / B2: The Module That Keeps On Giving (Long post, just sharing)
« on: September 02, 2019, 05:10:33 PM »
Found some old notes from a long-ago session, looks like mid 80's. Let's see if I can sum up this chain of dominoes:

The party kills the kobolds in Cave A.

The orcs in Cave B try to find out what happened to their chew-toys, find them dead, and adopt the goblins in Cave D as their new targets for bullying, which proves to be a bad idea when they call on the ogre in Cave E. They take to attacking targets on the road, so here comes the party and they kill them.

The orcs in Cave C, the dominant of the two groups, wonders what happened to their "subjects". Finding evidence of humans, elves, etc. having attacked the cave, they go for revenge and attack a small caravan headed for the Keep. In come the heroes and the day is saved.

The goblins had a pact with the kobolds to help against the orcs if they got pushy. When the goblin emissary goes to ask why the kobolds didn't answer their earlier call, he discovers the corpses and the goblins blame the lizard-men, sending out a squad of 6 for revenge.

Interlude: A traveler arrives a the keep telling of a mangled child's body at the side of the road. Fearing predators or an ambush, he didn't stick around. The party investigates and finds a young lizard-man corpse with a trail leading to the caves.

As the party enters Cave D, the squad of 6 was doing a little hunting before heading back in. They see the party enter their cave and thus become the wandering monster encounter as they try to find them. The party dispatches the goblins and the ogre from Cave E.

The hobgoblins, alarmed by the lack of activity from their neighbors, go on the alert. A unit waits along the road, only seeing small groups of travelers, nothing that could wipe out anything in the region. They decide to kidnap a merchant and his retinue as bait. It works. Here comes the party and they save the day.

The owlbear in Cave G had long been used to snacking on kobolds and goblins who wandered too close, but there haven't been any for awhile. It emerges from it's cave and menaces the nearby area. The heroes clean up that problem really quick.

The bugbears in Cave H find their dead "pet" and go to lodge a complaint to the hobgoblins, whom they believe killed it. The bugbears were kept in line by the hobgoblins (one of two stabilizing forces in the area), but now they're dead. The bugbears whoop with glee and stage a poorly-planned raid on the Keep, which is handily defeated. They put up a sign looking for anyone who will help them get revenge (hence the sign at the cave entrance). Here comes the party and there go the bugbears.

INTERLUDE: The human captive tells of a cave that will drive anyone crazy. The halls twist and turn on their own and he was barely escaped alive, let alone sane... Yeah, you can see where this is going. He's the Berserker. He winds up snapping in a random encounter (the crazy hermit) and he's gone before you know it.

The party investigates the cave, Cave I, manage to not get lost, and kill the minotaur. Say good-bye to the last stabilizing force in the area.

The gnolls whoop with glee, having long feared the minotaur. They go nuts hacking at everything they see on the road. This is bad news for the cultists who send a disguised messenger to the Keep, a priest (yes, the evil one you meet in the Keep). He puts out word of the gnolls' aggression, hoping the party will deal with them and that will be that.

Except the party finds the secret door that leads to the Temple of Evil Chaos, accidentally frees the medusa, and it's all chaos and anarchy from there. Yeah, they win but I don't think anybody was above 5hp, and the magic-user had badly smoking fingertips from a blundered spell.

And all this just because they decided to kill some kobolds. I just LOVE finding old game notes!

Got any old notes that make good stories? (Pours the ale for everyone..)

Second Edition AD&D / How To Derail A Dungeon In One Word
« on: August 23, 2019, 01:05:01 PM »
Tired DMs are the best. I'm sure he meant to say "At the altar you see a stone bier radiating an evil aura." What he SAID was:

"Atop the altar you see a stone bidet radiating an evil aura."

Pardon the pun, but it all went down the toilet after that!

Second Edition AD&D / Why Can't Druids Turn Undead?
« on: August 17, 2019, 11:55:20 AM »
I know turning undead is generally the domain of the Cleric and his or her deity, but it seems to me that dead things popping back to life is insanely unnatural, and a form of turning undead should be allowed to a druid. Maybe only animated undead, like zombies, skeletons, ghouls, and other undead where a foreign entity has to possess a formerly living body? Given this PCs scores, not being able to turn undead won't be an issue, I just think it's odd that some form isn't allowed.

(Heh, I'm creating a druid for a new campaign and this guy has come out to be Vin Diesel as a druid with a Quentin Tarantino background!)

Classic D&D / World of Greyhawk 1980, Combat Computer 1983
« on: July 31, 2019, 03:40:54 PM »
Found at local game shop, 2nd edition Gamma World and 1980 World of Greyhawk folio, both in nice condition. Cover/box show a little wear, and one of the Greyhawk maps has definitely been opened and closed pretty frequently (small hole, maybe a millimeter, at one of the fold intersections), but overall in nice shape. The Greyhawk folio has a supplement inside, a "combat computer" from a 1983 Dragon Magazine, uncut. Can anybody tell me about this Combat Computer?

Other Games / Gamma World 1983
« on: July 26, 2019, 12:57:46 PM »
Just scored a 1983 Gamma World with everything but the dice. 44 bucks, but it was a well-deserved reward if I say so myself (just finished nursing school). Amy way, the box is only a little rough, but the books are in good shape. If anybody here had a mutant cat character named "Scratch", I have your game and it's in good hands! (There are other character sheets, but only Scratch has a name.)

Second Edition AD&D / The Hangover and Other Movies
« on: March 05, 2019, 08:48:06 AM »
We had a great game based on "The Hangover"! Our  missing NPC, it turns out, was not on the roof of the tavern, and we didn't recognize the plot at first (we were prepared for a serious game originally), but about a third of the way in we realized the puzzle ahead of us. Our missing friend, it turned out, was desperately clinging to the top of a very tall steeple in another city which we had to sneak in to due to, ummm, events that the party hopes we can forget! Overall it was a crazy fun session, good for a one-off. And I think someone has a bugbear bride somewhere!

What movies have you ever played as D&D or other RPGs, especially if you didn't recognize the plot at first (if ever)?

WotC D&D / Off To An Awkward Start! (Good Start to a session)
« on: December 28, 2018, 11:35:23 AM »
Just wanted to share this one because of the group's reaction.

Christmas Eve game, 3e, we're all level 1s. We start off having been stranded thanks to a nasty wolf attack. Our horses were dead and we had to walk to the nearest village. On the way there we encounter a group of orcs who demand gold or goods as payment to safely use the road we're on. Aha! We're no ordinary travelers! We're HEROES! We hack and slash our way through the orcs and rack up a small amount of gold and some saleable greatswords. (Poor condition, nothing we'd keep, but should fetch some coin from someone who knows what they're doing with metal.) We get to town and our party leader boasts about having handled the "orc problem" on the road. Far from cheering our great victory, we hear:

"Oh, great! NOW who's going to keep those ogres at bay?"

Seems the orcs were allowed to charge a toll in return for keeping a pack of ogres at bay and away from the village. There was an uneasy silence at the table as it sank in that our brand new characters were now going to have to deal with an unknown number of ogres! I just loved our stunned "Oh, fuuuuuuuudge..." looks. (Only we didn't say 'fudge'! ;) )

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?

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