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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 5763
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:26 pm 
 

You can make a cool character out of anything, because that's just roleplaying. The question is whether you want to be mechanically oddball or mechanically optimal to go along with your character.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 6151
Location: Kansas City
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:30 pm 
 

A lot of people do enjoy powergame dungeoncrawling hackfests. Those kinds of game seshes were the more common type until a few years ago, in my experience. Also that's how teenagers tend to play, again in my own experience. :D
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 10946
Location: Tyrn Gorthad
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:48 pm 
 

Well, I didn't mean to say "DEX is better than STR, so make DEX characters instead of STR ones." The game has stats and a lot of options, so naturally I think many people are drawn toward optimization to some degree. Anyway I don't let things like "mechanically, DEX is better than STR" deter me from making big hulking characters. Mechanically, the berserker barbarian is just plain worse than the totem barbarian, but my half-orc was a gruff mercenary veteran who fought among a mixed group of warriors for contracts, not some spirit questing tribal guy from the boonies. So that totem thing was right out. But then, once I know *who* I want to play, I have no problem with optimizing things within those parameters, as long as it makes sense for the character.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
Posts: 12230
Location: In the Arena
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:08 am 
 

Sure, that makes sense. Obviously you want to be good at what you do, once you decide what that is. That's what leveling up is about, after all.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3793
Location: Fml States of America
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:24 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
See, I'm against that kind of video game thinking in general. When I came up with my character, I thought of who I wanted to play, not what stats were best and whatnot. D&D has never been perfectly balanced, some stats have always been better than others, and that's fine. Go for a cool character theme, not a super powerful build.

Exactly. It is a role-playing game, afterall.

Of course, that's just my preference. I'd have a hard time playing nothing but stats. I'd inevitably synthesize a personality, backstory, and character flaws and wind up playing an autistic Olympian.
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
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Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:42 pm 
 

You can do both, you know. You can make a character that performs optimally while also giving them an interesting backstory and dynamic personality. It's called "doing it right."
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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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Location: The Land Down Under (no, not THAT one)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:28 pm 
 

There's a difference between "my character is pretty competent at what he does" and "I've obsessively tailored every single stat to turn him into a game-breaker. Backstory? Characterization? What's that?". It's the latter mentality that people take issue with, and with good reason. I fucking hate min-maxing.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:36 pm 
 

Besides which, in most systems there are certain classes or races that are just suboptimal no matter what you do. For example, a guy in my 5e group wanted to play a beastmaster ranger for RP reasons, but in base 5e rangers in general kinda suck and archer fighters are wayyyy better at ranged combat. He rolled a ranger anyway, because it fit his backstory better, and that's more important than numbers.
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:24 pm 
 

And if you've got your heart set on a subpar class, you do everything in your power to make sure it performs up to snuff with the rest of the party.
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rexxz
Where's your band?

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
Posts: 11010
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:31 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
Besides which, in most systems there are certain classes or races that are just suboptimal no matter what you do. For example, a guy in my 5e group wanted to play a beastmaster ranger for RP reasons, but in base 5e rangers in general kinda suck and archer fighters are wayyyy better at ranged combat. He rolled a ranger anyway, because it fit his backstory better, and that's more important than numbers.



If you use the updated classes from Unearthed Arcana, the ranger is actually rather good, including the beastmaster. I'd encourage him to look those up on Wizards and use that instead.
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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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Location: The Land Down Under (no, not THAT one)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:40 pm 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
And if you've got your heart set on a subpar class, you do everything in your power to make sure it performs up to snuff with the rest of the party.

Honestly, that doesn't matter that much either. As long as it doesn't outright suck, it's fine. Optimal, perfectly tuned stats and combat is not the reason I play and DM RPGs.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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Location: In the Arena
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:39 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
failsafeman wrote:
Besides which, in most systems there are certain classes or races that are just suboptimal no matter what you do. For example, a guy in my 5e group wanted to play a beastmaster ranger for RP reasons, but in base 5e rangers in general kinda suck and archer fighters are wayyyy better at ranged combat. He rolled a ranger anyway, because it fit his backstory better, and that's more important than numbers.

If you use the updated classes from Unearthed Arcana, the ranger is actually rather good, including the beastmaster. I'd encourage him to look those up on Wizards and use that instead.

Yeah, he already has done that, but we rolled our characters a good while before it existed so the UA update didn't factor into his decision.
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:40 pm 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
Zelkiiro wrote:
And if you've got your heart set on a subpar class, you do everything in your power to make sure it performs up to snuff with the rest of the party.

Honestly, that doesn't matter that much either. As long as it doesn't outright suck, it's fine. Optimal, perfectly tuned stats and combat is not the reason I play and DM RPGs.

Exactly, it's not about "winning", it's about acting out a story. Sometimes the story is about people who aren't great at everything.
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Metantoine
Big Beautiful Frenchman

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
Posts: 11675
Location: In the Rectory
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:19 am 
 

Solstron's (Paladin) (now level 9) campaign (Storm King's Thunder)

I'm not gonna talk about the story since it's a module but it was a great game. We were missing 2 of our 5 players but it was almost better that way. After we slew some yetis in a cave on our way to a barbarian stronghold to retrieve an artefact, we've decided that the bard and the fighter/rogue were the best to go scout and possibly get the artefact without causing a bloodshed. We've killed most of that tribe in another temple but still. I stayed in the cave waiting for my comrades (they both have skills to disguise themselves and high stealth and I'm, well, the tank.)

During their mission, the white dragon that we fought during one of the previous sessions came back. During the battle, he was almost dead so he decided to fly away and despite the wizard's protests, we decided to let him escape. So while I was there, waiting (I have a pair of boots of the winterland so I never get cold!), I heard a loud voice outside, calling me. I was like "no, YOU come to me, motherfucker". The first thing the dragon did was a cone of cold (I get half damage because of my boots and I save the CON saving throw so I took 1/4th of the damage, pfff), I did a Shield of Faith on myself (so 24 armor class) and killed the motherfucking dragon. I have 3rd level spell slots (1d6+5 for my magical mace +4d8 divine smites two times in 1 round). His 133 HP went fast and he rarely managed to hit me with his bites and claws because of my insane AC. At one point, I dropped my mace so I dropped my shield and took my 1d12 magical great axe to finish the job! So yeaaah, I killed a young white dragon by myself... hahahaha
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
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Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:59 am 
 

failsafeman wrote:
Xlxlx wrote:
Honestly, that doesn't matter that much either. As long as it doesn't outright suck, it's fine. Optimal, perfectly tuned stats and combat is not the reason I play and DM RPGs.

Exactly, it's not about "winning", it's about acting out a story. Sometimes the story is about people who aren't great at everything.

But I spent a lot of time on my character's backstory and personality! I'll be DAMNED if I'm gonna let them die!
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MrMcThrasher II
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:01 pm
Posts: 1113
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:33 pm 
 

Well I've successfully bought several copies of Betrayal At Calth and Burning Of Prospero if I hadn't made mention yet. It'll be great to play 40k again after losing my armies though rebuilding won't be fun.
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MammothRider
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:16 am
Posts: 329
Location: Alberta, Canada
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:44 pm 
 

I got the Innsmouth expansion for Arkham Horror in today, and I'm pretty stoked to play it! The game is a favourite among my group of friends, so it'll be interesting to see what challenges this expansion holds.
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 5763
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:01 pm 
 

Earlier this year, my sister and I went to a friend's house in Maryland, and there we played a few board games (they collect the hell out of board games). I remember a super-elaborate Lovecraft-inspired board game with an accessory program on Steam that made running the scenarios entirely electronic. We got an Innsmouth storyline, and we erased the fuck out of a bunch of magic circles while witches and fish people attacked. That was neat.
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MrMcThrasher II
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:01 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:43 am 
 

MammothRider wrote:
I got the Innsmouth expansion for Arkham Horror in today, and I'm pretty stoked to play it! The game is a favourite among my group of friends, so it'll be interesting to see what challenges this expansion holds.

The Gravedigger character is so much fun to use.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: Fml States of America
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:23 pm 
 

Metantoine wrote:
I killed a young white dragon by myself... hahahaha

FUCK YES.

There has to be an achievement patch for that.
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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
Posts: 2338
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:42 am 
 

MammothRider wrote:
I got the Innsmouth expansion for Arkham Horror in today, and I'm pretty stoked to play it! The game is a favourite among my group of friends, so it'll be interesting to see what challenges this expansion holds.


The Innsmouth expansion is a good one. Makes the game a lot harder, which the vanilla set needs after you've run through it a few times and realize what's optimal, and makes the endgame especially harder, what with the gate openings hitting the seals actually having at least some effect now.

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hey
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:41 pm
Posts: 1600
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:03 pm 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
Earlier this year, my sister and I went to a friend's house in Maryland, and there we played a few board games (they collect the hell out of board games). I remember a super-elaborate Lovecraft-inspired board game with an accessory program on Steam that made running the scenarios entirely electronic. We got an Innsmouth storyline, and we erased the fuck out of a bunch of magic circles while witches and fish people attacked. That was neat.

Little late, but sounds like Mansions of Madness.

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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
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Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:24 pm 
 

hey wrote:
Zelkiiro wrote:
Earlier this year, my sister and I went to a friend's house in Maryland, and there we played a few board games (they collect the hell out of board games). I remember a super-elaborate Lovecraft-inspired board game with an accessory program on Steam that made running the scenarios entirely electronic. We got an Innsmouth storyline, and we erased the fuck out of a bunch of magic circles while witches and fish people attacked. That was neat.

Little late, but sounds like Mansions of Madness.

That was it. It was pretty bomb.
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MrMcThrasher II
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:01 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:23 am 
 

Mansions of Madness is excellent. My friends and I finally managed to complete the mirror scenario, with my kickass Priest killing all the bad guys.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: Fml States of America
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:49 pm 
 

I've been playing Descent against the iPad any chance I get. I'm squaring up for the knuckle sandwich a couple expansions will give my wallet.
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CorpseFister
Veteran

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 2586
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:26 pm 
 

I'll be running my first game as DM tonight. We're going to be playing The Sunless Citadel so all the content is prepared, but I am still a bit nervous. I've played shows in front of hundreds of people with no problem but I'm more nervous to sit around a table with four friends!

I'm sure I'll screw something up but eh, as long as everyone has fun I'll be happy.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

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Location: Fml States of America
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:12 am 
 

Good luck, Corpsey. I'm sure you'll be terrible. And then you'll realize you're dreaming and it'll be fine and you'll all have a great time.
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Morn Of Solace
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1041
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:50 am 
 

Aww, big envy for the d&d players :(

i had for years an amazing group (6 people and a DM) and we played a 2 year long enormous 3.5 campaign where we legitimately reached level 15 starting from level 1.. some of the best moments of my gaming life, for sure

i'm still struggling to find a DM as good as the previous one, it's really hard to find the right chemistry :(

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

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Location: Fml States of America
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:21 pm 
 

It's difficult to find the time and the people to brave a broad campaign without unemployment or slothful affluence.
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Morn Of Solace
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:19 am
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Location: Italy
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:15 am 
 

Time is the hardest thing to find, but also DM's with a good grip on both the rules and the storytelling are lacking around here :(

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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 7474
Location: The Land Down Under (no, not THAT one)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:36 pm 
 

So, I started DMing a new fantasy campaign for some friends who haven't played in a while, and we're off to a pretty good start. The premise is simple; four adventurers from different walks of life have run afoul of Morvran Zalamor, leader of the Covenant of the Defleshed, a group of mages who sacrifice parts of their own bodies in exchange for sorcerous might. Zalamor is, by now, little more than a disembodied spirit inhabiting a suit of enchanted armor, and so he has turned to sacrificing the souls of others to augment his power. Being an incredibly powerful being himself, only the souls of similarly powerful individuals are enough to satisfy his needs, and rather than annihilating our heroes where they stand and devouring their essence for a pitiful boost, he has deemed it worthy to hire them. Well, it's more like coercion, really, but details like that don't concern you when you're an unliving abomination made of raw magical power. The deal goes as follows; there exist four creatures whose souls this monster craves, and if the protagonists are able to take them and bring them to him, he will free them from the spiritual shackles that will burn their very spirits away in a year, which he implanted on them to make sure they don't just fuck off. To aid them in their task of obtaining the radiant souls, they have been given an artifact known as the Anima Syphon, and the locations of the four beings they must hunt down, which are as follows:

1) Nimburex the Astronomer, a mighty storm giant, whose legendary observatory can be found at the top of Allfrost Peak, near the world's North Pole.

2) The Samsaran Serpent, an ancient snake spirit from the heart of the Nexus, where primordial elemental forces constantly fight for dominance.

3) Balar of the Evil Eye, a dreaded fey lord, whose southern hordes, hailing from the alien jungles of Ilfneker, are rightly feared.

4) Scholar Gorbulot, an undead abomination who heads the Pestilent Academy, a mockery of mortal universities where all kinds of supernatural poxes, plagues, and illnesses are developed by Gorbulot and his next of kin, the Malfesters.

The mortals forced to undertake this herculean task, on the other hand, are:

- Lady Ersbeth Illyander, of the righteous Sunseeker Knights, sworn to seek and destroy evil wherever they go. Unflinchingly noble, Lady Ersbeth has no intention of empowering an already dangerous monster, only playing along to Morvran's tune until she can find a way to reverse the curse and somehow turn the tables on him. She might be biting a lot more than she can chew, though...

- Sister Ivanna, of the Disciples of Kharzov, and order of monks who have learned to turn their very bodies into weapons against the unholy. Originally sent along with a group of her brethren to destroy Morvran, the order clearly understimated the sheer power of both their target and the Covenant in general, resulting in Ivanna being the only survivor. Now she thirsts for vengeance against Zalamor and his men.

- Imamu Moonhopper, a shaman in training from a tribe of reptilian humanoids. He had come to the Covenant's Black Citadel to steal knowledge he could use to get ahead of the other trainees; he very much regrets his lapse in judgment now, and will do anything it takes to get out of his current situation.

- Katsumoto Ichiro, a disgraced dwarven samurai carrying a blade possessed by the soul of a bloodthirsty ancestor. He's been searching high and low for an opponent who could grant him a worthy death, and sees Morvran's coercion as a blessing in disguise, given that he has literally pointed him in the direction of several creatures which could definitely kill him in battle. Time is ticking though...

So yeah, that's basically it for now. As they're currently in one of the southern regions of the world, they're going for Balar first. This is a group of experimented players, so I expect lots of cool shenanigans :-D I'll post more about the adventure as we go along, if I can be arsed to :-P
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HellBlazer
Veteran

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:24 am 
 

Pretty awesome campaign idea, Xlxlx!

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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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Location: The Land Down Under (no, not THAT one)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:41 pm 
 

Thanks, man! We actually had our first session last sunday, and it was a pretty good start. They arrived at a coastal city where they were supposed to take a ship to Ilfneker but, of course, things weren't gonna be that easy; locals were sketchy, uncooperative, and even somewhat hostile. If you've read The Shadow Over Innsmouth, you surely know where this is headed :-P Turns out a good part of the city was under the thrall of a monstruous water spirit posing as a sea god, turning many citizens into slimy, predatory hagfish people! The party of course fought its way through the port, slicing, punching and burning any grotesque halfbreeds they encountered on the way. The whole thing culminated in a duel with the fake sea god itself; an enemy far too tough to crack without some sort of strategy. Sister Ivanna got it pretty bad, as she was stung by the beast's poisonous tentacles and spent several turns writhing on the ground trying to get back on her feet, while the samurai got some terrible rolls and ended up nearly drowning under a flood of silt and muck. However, Imamu spotted the many ritual stones scattered around the area, and through a nice knowledge check deduced that they were the only thing anchoring the water spirit to the physical plane. Through judicious application of Ersbeth's morningstar and a now recovered Ivanna's Cleansing Fists, they broke the stones and vanished the monster back to its ethereal lair.

As a reward for their efforts, the surviving, non-mutated citizens gifted them with a small ship of their own, plus a cheap automaton to pilot it for them (simple, servile golems are a relatively common thing in this part of the world). Now they're at sea and on their way to the south, hoping they won't have to deal with anymore sea monsters on the way :lol:
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theagentcoma
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:31 am
Posts: 358
Location: Seattle
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:48 pm 
 

Anyone play Shadespire? It's Games Workshop's new competitive miniatures skirmish game. I've never played a GW game but I bought hard into this and I must say it's a ton of fun
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:50 pm 
 

Looks pretty cool. I have conflicted feelings about Games Workshop. Glad to hear it's good. Play Blood Bowl if you get the chance.

Recently I've been venturing outside .. .. of miniatures. I've found that I've developed an allergic reaction to gak. Don't get me wrong: I like playing with dolls as much as the next macho-presenting game dork (I have a clutch of sweaty, snarling greenskins on my desk waiting for me to rub them down with more paint as we speak), but I have an abiding love for a streamlined game design. Like the awkwardly-named Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space (which I'll be buying for Halloween next year). Or Pandemic, or Cosmic Encounter, or Not Alone, or Sushi Go! Opening up those games was a dream. Card games do a lot to accomplish this as well. There might be fair bit of information on the cards themselves, but there isn't a ton of crap to make room for. So why did I start looking into war games? There's loads of fiddly crap in those.

I recently purchased Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan after reading some of Matt Thrower's war game column on Shut Up & Sit Down. I'm a doughboy when it comes to war gaming, and I've been looking for something a little more serious. He brought my attention to the fact that at their best war games aspire to be conflict simulators. A lot of the games I'm used to playing don't even bother trying to recreate anything like a simulation experience as far as pace, tension, and troop movement, preferring instead to cater to faster play and "take that" startles (is it manufactured excitement, I'm not quite sure anymore). Worse, like Blood Rage, they'll lean on the sex appeal of their really cool miniatures instead of polishing the sculpt of their game design. War gaming, visually, is easily among the more austere of abstractions, but what I'd never realized is that the genre is not only thematically and mechanically different, but is after pretty much a different objective all together. They're looking to provide varying levels of, if not true similarity to real life, attempts at making the interaction of the components something closer to realistic than basically the vast balance of the hobby.* As an example, he compared Commands and Colors adaptation of the Memoir '44 troop movement system being able to produce a more realistic simulation than Memoir's stylized one. I bought Memoir '44, of course, but I also bought Sekigahara a) because it's so much different than both of those others, b) is a strong war game that can be learned and played in two or three hours, and c) LOOK AT IT. It's beautiful!

I like that both it and Memoir '44 tick more than one box in my collection, as well as satisfying significantly different roles than each other. Sekigahara is a block game but it's also a bluffing game because of it's back-facing fog of war effect. I've recently been wanting to play more tile games, so it scratched that itch as well. Memoir '44 is also a war game, but a miniatures game as well as a more fast-paced dueler with loads of replay value. Sekigahara is probably the one I'm most excited to play because of how different it is from everything else I own. The scope and theme is awesome: no individual units, only clans on a relatively tight board simulating the deciding battle between the main rivals for rule of 17th century Japan (aka Capture the Feudal Flag), presented with a minimum of rules in compelling contrast and simplicity. Matt Thrower called it the militaristic counterpart to Go. I can't imagine this game getting dull any time soon.


*For similar reasons, I also purchased The Grizzled, a French card-and-token game of brotherly solidarity set in the French trenches of WWI. The designers' intention was to avoid the combat and focus on the experience of the men working together to survive. It's apparently one of the more emotionally engaging table top games available.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:11 pm 
 

Oh, I have The Grizzled. It's really cool.
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demonomania
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:44 am
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:04 am 
 

Stratego is a great game.
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