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Showing posts from June, 2013

A New Destination: Battleship Island

Straight out of Google Maps, here is a destination I'll be using sooner or later in one of my modern games.

View Hashima Island in a larger map

The above comes from this fascinating article on the island.  Go read it.
Aerial view (Copyright: Gakuranman)
Map came from this article here (also interesting).

Pathfinder Character Generator

I am a big fan of using a character generator in Pathfinder to help get better access to all of the character options.  I also think it can be useful for what-if exploration of where a player may want to take their character.

A player pointed out PCGen (FREE) to me today and it appears to support a lot of Pathfinder options.  Please check it out and let me know if you have any feedback on it in the comments below.


Best Alignment Guide Yet

(Click to enbiggen)

Thursday Night One-Shot Pathfinder: Dravens' Bluff

A new party has ventured into the swamp to rescue their 3 comrades from certain death.  There, the Dravens have set up a fortified position in some old ruins.

So the party consists of: (comment if I get a name wrong)

Kaleb the Rogue who rides a GriffonBarbarian named YucklesRoderick the clericPaladin named ThantosCeebs Enchantress

The initial approach took them across a bridge that was trapped.  The rogue found the trap and dsiabled it without issue.  Across the bridge there was a building with no roof left and stone walls standing.  The rogue rushed in to find a lion and a druid from the Dravens.  The druidwarned the adventurers to leave.  The barbarian attacked and the druid turned into a triceratops.  Overhead a hippogriff flew with a crossbowman and an alchemist dropping bombs.  The lion got hit and withdrew.  The druid got hammered.  The griffon got hit by a bomb and set on fire.  A cast of hideous laughter sent the hippogriff out of range while the druid withdrew.

The part headed…

GM Prep for Thursday

Shadowrun: The Take

When last we left the band of misfit Shadowrunners, they had found the place where the music disk they were seeking was going to be converted.  Through a deal with the hacker group, they were going to get a copy of the data and know when the group would be arriving.

My Black and Ender set up in the space to watch.  Void hid in the van inside an adjacent crumbling brick building.  Vee his around the corner from the entrance with a big gun and some grenades.

The large limo pulls up.  Two big trolls get our of the front and open the rear doors.  Two more trolls get out with a man in a business suit and walk inside.  The disk gets converted and the data is handed to the suit.  They are walking back out the door.  Mr. Black tries to stop them, but doesn't.

Ender and Mr. Black both missed the device the suit dropped inside.  Outside, Vee throws an incendiary grenade, not realizing the range of it.  She catches the trolls, car, and building on fire.  The delay or the blast itself trigger…

Rise of the Runelords: Playing Once Again

I've joined a game as a player recently, and though getting enough players started out a little shakey, it looks like we are going strong now.

In the first session, there were only two players, so we each played 2 characters each, a primary and a backup.  We've dropped our backup with the arrival of new players.

My primary character is Ranier, a male human magus, who tries to portray himself as just a ranger.  When his powers first manifested, he accidentally shocked his sibling to death.  With this deep hurt heavy on his heart, he goes out into the world seeking redemption for what he feels is an unforgivable sin.  Under the weight of this legacy, he still isn't pulled completely into fighting for good and law.  Instead he is looking for things worthy to atone and in between follows a path of balance.  When a man has done something so bad, why should little bad or good things even matter.  More will come about Ranier.

My backup character was a dwarven fighter named Grievl…

Player Advice: My Two Cents

Apparently there is a lack of player advise in the realms.  It is one of those things as a GM that I hadn't really thought about.  It makes sense though.  Motivated people really into gaming, the kind that would maintain blogs, also would have a tendency to become GMs and so blogs are GM focused.

Being a player is hard.  As a player you only control one small piece of a bigger picture, and it is very easy for someone else to come through and take your thunder.  In the past, I have posted some player tips (look here),  So to help the greater community, I will try to post more player tips.

So here is my top ten players tips today:

Make an Impression -- Too many players don't ever get the point across in the game as to what their character is all about.  If you're in that mode, stop, pick a spot in the game, and start role playing with you other players to start building a view of your character in the other players' (and GM's) minds
Talk to / Help Your GM  -- GMs are p…

Thursday Night Pathfinder: The End of the Pyramid Campaign

The story starts with the enemy army attacking and everyone in place, having previously set up a strategy with Eliminster and the rest of the army leaders.

Galanth is leading the Lord's Alliance Army against the incoming armyMalachi, the gnome high sorcerer, lead the gnome army against the incoming armyVictaerrus and Roderick with his bear prepare to battle the Nightwatchman, a foe from Innsburck that the party had previously met but were unable to defeat.Corrail and Yuri lined up against the Lich NecromancerKhalil and his godly mac lined up against the dragon ShardosferinElminster climbed aboard Palarandusk to take out the incoming army from the air. The battle began and Corrail lined up against the Lich.  The lich summoned his undead golem, a hideous creature with four arms and four legs built of undead pieces.  Corrail took out the golem.
The Nightwatchman charged at Vic and Roderick.  Vic nailed him with a readied action and Roderick bashed him with an attack of opportunity as …

Thursday Night Pathfinder: Sneaking Around

So the party had the job of sneaking into the enemy army camp and getting their plans of attack.  Given a map of the camp, the party planned to take control of one of the outer edge scouting group camps and then sneak in.
The party snuck up on the camp.  From 500 feet away they could see that there were 3 guards.  One was waving around a torch every few minutes while looking left and then right.  The player/character correctly discerned that they were sending signals to adjacent scout camps.  Oh, and there was a guard dog.
Sneaking closer to the camp, they found the mechanism for the scout camps to work so effectively.  Every 20 feet or so, there was an item that was alarmed (per the spell) in the tall pine forest.  The party contemplated climbing over (radius = 20 feet), but ultimately Khalil talked Ali (catfolk monk) into getting into a bag of holding for "the climb".  He then dimension door'd and "let the cat out of the bag", so to speak.  (Pun intended by t…

Advanced Pathfinder: Armor for Your Familiar / Companion

Starting a New Game: The Bootstrapping Method

As pointed out by other GMs, starting a new game can be tough.  There is, however, one method that is tried and true, for just this sort of problem.  In these cases, many GMs bootstrap their campaigns by starting with a prewritten module or adventure and then move on into their own campaign ideas.

I've used this before with my pirates campaign.  Sure, I was comfortable with the idea of pirates and the big picture, but getting down to the nuts and bolts of what happens on a pirate ship was new.  So I grabbed the Wormwood Mutiny and started out with that story.  When the party got to a point that I wanted depart on my own adventure, we jumped the path and went on our merry way.

The nice thing also with starting out on an adventure path is that adventure paths are already set up to provide a step-by-step learning experience.  Each new thing is learned in a specific encounter.  These build up all the pieces up front needed to define the world.

So next time you are starting a new game …

Player Advice: Sometimes Running Away is a Good Option

Expected Damage Corrected

So I finally got around to making a spreadsheet for expected damage.  It can be downloaded here.  Leave a comment if you would like to see it in a different format.

The formula for expected damage with criticals is now give by this equation:

Phit = Probability of Hit = (20-(AC-Attack))/20; 1/20
Mdmg = Mean Damage =(Max Damage + Min Damage)/2
Mdmg, crit = Mean damage that is multiplied by a crit
Pcrit = Probability of a crit = Crit Rolls / 20
Crit Rolls = the number of side on the d20 that result in a crit (so 17-20 would be a crit roll of 4)
CritM = crit multiplier
Some example numbers: Expected DamageED no CritProb of Crit Prob of HitTarget ACAttack BonusCritical RollsCrit MultiplierMin DamageMax Damage3.6753.50.050.52010122123.853.50.10.5201022

Airship Unveiled: The Wobbly Dragon

As always, click to see larger versions of the pictures.

Thursday Night Pathfinder: Death of an Old Friend

The party continued with the battle against the old wizard Pharalyn and the few survivors of his army.  They had surrounded the camp, splitting the party into lone individuals and attack during daylight and the strategy did not pay off.  Felix was killed by five of the enemy forces wielding rapiers.

Pharalyn was becoming annoyed by the catfolk wielding a rather unpredictable magic rod.  He target the rod outright and blasted it into oblivion with acid.  Pinnacle got off a spell and then withdrew (his player was absent this week).  The battle raged on with arrows and spells flying.

Ali the monk, Corrail the ranger, and Khalil the cleric gathered and prepared for an assault.  Unfortunately a group of four sorcerers sneaked out of the ruins, got line-of-sight, and blasted them with fireballs.  Corrail and Ali dodged out of the blast, but the cleric got his by the brunt of it.

The rapier-wielding militia pulled back from attacking Roderick and Victaerus, who his behind structure.  The mil…

A Few Notes

Really Funky Armor
Does that armor really have a mustache built in?

A Savage Worlds Cyberpunk
If you get a chance, check out Interface Zero, a savage worlds cyberpunk rules set and setting.
Interface Zero 2.0 was kickstarted and I am a backer.  It is under beta test and development and looks to be well thought out.  I can't wait to try it.

Ultimate Campaign
Mine will be arriving next week.  Paizo has been talking about it on their blog for weeks now.