What's your favorite Undead?
This is going to sound funky and obscure, but I really like the Eye of Fear and Flame (D&D 3.5 Book of Vile Darkness, pg.177) because it represents everything both magical and ridiculous about D&D all at once.
It’s literally just a skeleton with gems in its eyes, but they’re MaGiCal GemS of PooOooOOOwer and you can sell them once you destroy the skeleton body. It summons a fireball once every 3 rounds, because why not.
Calling it a one-trick pony would be an insult to ponies that have at least learned a trick. It’s so dumb. I love it.
Hey CP, I thought you would be excited to hear that I'm going to be playing my first game of Dark Heresy in the next couple of months (I have a trip to go on first before we start.) I've never been a huge Warhammer buff but it seems like it mixes my favourite parts of roleplaying in D&D and the combat and horror/insanity fun of CoC. I'm especially excited to try playing a Psyker, because I'm a sucker for exposing my characters to horrific things in the name of flavour. Good plan?
Great plan! Psyker is and always will be my favorite class in Dark Heresy, as it’s equally destructive to the party as it is to the enemy.
For extra reading, check out this post on playing Dark Heresy for the first time, and some tips about being a Psyker!
Do you think the Wyatt family has staying power?
Apparently talking about wrestling will be a thing now!
I like the Wyatt family. They’re occupying the now vacant slot of “Spooky Character” after the fall of The Undertaker. While they certainly aren’t as silly as “Wrestling Zombie Controlled By Magic Urn”, they take the spot of making stories about how wrestlers can be characters of different stories, rather than all characters of the same story.
That being said, Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt are monstrous in the ring, double-so on NXT. Erick Rowan will most likely get there, as he has the same “throw my entire weight at you” offense as the other two, but currently plays the straight-man to the others. Which, as we’ve discussed before, isn’t a bad thing.
That being said, I think they have staying power as soon as they stop bashing up against the iceberg of character progression, John Cena.
The problem with Cena is that he wins. He always wins. His entire career is based around his ability to get destroyed by better wrestlers selling better moves for 19 minutes, and then having his trainer use a Full Restore at level 20 to AA you for an instant KO.
Much like his wrestling style, his wrestling character is exactly the same. John Cena is what happens when Superman is poorly written; right around the last three pages of the comic, he realizes that he could win the whole time and just wins.
Even if its AA to near-fall to STF, he’s going to S-T the F out of you and just kinda win. It makes whoever he’s up against irrelevant, the storyline they’re promoting completely useless, and the feud build-up for the past (X weeks before a PPV) a giant letdown.
The Wyatts versus The Shield was one of the most exciting, refreshing feuds in a long time. I would take seven more years of Wyatts vs. Shield rather than seven more seconds of Wyatts vs. Cena. The only reason that we question whether or not they have staying power is because Cena is involved.
Post PAXeast I have the DM bug again and I'm building a starting campaign for my Non Gamer Friends. To get them over the initial entry curve I figure it would be best to avoid grid/minis. What's the best conversion for squares or square related powers? How could I remove the movement stuff entirely while still making the fights engaging? 4e is really intent on movement and space and I don't want to switch out of the system I know best for my first time DMing.
This is a tough question to answer.
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition works best when you embrace those giant, movie-esque combats and fight scenes with people running around and pushing and sliding all of the enemies, and delivers that experience through its firm placement on tiles (sold by Wizards, of course).
To really deliver the same experience without having the visual, you’ll have to emphasize the storytelling aspect of the game over the mechanical aspect of the game, which is hard, as the system itself generally emphasizes the mechanics over the narrative.
On the one hand, you can deliver everything through imagination-space. Two squares is roughly ten feet, have yourself constantly be converting “Squares” to “Feet” both in description and production of the game. Although if you’re using the WOTC Character Builder or any “legitimate” power cards, you’ll run into more confusion than delivery.
Honestly, I think the better question, rather than not using squares, would be how to make a non-gamer understand squares as a tool of the game rather than a detractor from the game.
If it’s a matter of players not being able to wrap their minds around the “nerdiness” of having a mini on a grid, use a chess board and make everyone pawns. Chess is widely accepted as a great game, and you’ll be broaching the subject of bringing the players into a grid-based combat with less theoretical backlash.
Then, if they’re comfortable with that, you could work into bigger grids, better minis, etc.
I believe that rather than removing grid-based combat, especially and mainly because 4th Edition utilizes grid-based combat so much, you could simplify grid-based combat into something that is more universally understandable, and then work yourself up to a full-on grid with “real” minis.
Okay, I have to know where this hatred for bards stems from, is it stats? Is it the way they're described? Did one sleep with your sister? Or Is it just personal preference? I apologize if you've already answered this, but, if you could link me to your answer, I would like to read it.
Do you have any stories about Daemonhosts? Either those bound by the enemy, or any stories about those bound by radical acolytes?
The very first villain that my very first Dark Heresy campaign had was a Daemonhost.
For a truly embarrassing revelation, when I first started playing Dark Heresy, I was obsessed with trying to make every villain a giant anagram or an insinuation of an idea, etc.
Almost every “warehouse layout” was a chaos symbol that nobody had noticed before now ooOoOoOoOoooo that kind of thing.
So, the very first villain of my very first Dark Heresy campaign was a Tzeentch cultist Psyker named Eli Sionne because if you say his name really really fast it sounds like illusion oooOooOOoooOooOoo.
Anyway, in the final battle, he finally had become a full-out Daemonhost. I had an entire stat-line rolled up and a firm understanding of how Psychic Powers worked, and proceeded to accidentally murder three out of five of my PCs.
While everyone remembers the fight sort of fondly, there was massive backlash at the time about how strong the villain was and how quickly the party was totally wiped by the combat. I’m reasonably sure the Psyker PC had all of his bones broken at once, including his teeth.
After that, I strayed away from the destructive power of Daemonhosts, for the worry that if I were to roll another one it would completely destroy the party.
So I've been writing a homebrew forum game recently, and trying to explain the system to interested parties. The problem is, it never seems to come out how I want it to. I either explain the system and leave out massive chunks because I assume everyone already knows those bits, or I over-explain the system, to the point where it's unreadable. Have you ever had to deal with this problem, and if so, how?
I had a professor that once asked all of us to think of a game, any game, and pitch it to him “correctly” in seven seconds. Anyone that could do it correctly would instantly receive an A for the class.
So of course, we all tried to explain various high-level, big concept games and we all started how we assumed was correct: setting, structure, coolest points, etc. as much as we could fit into seven seconds.
Nobody nailed that A. Afterwards, we all asked what we should have done, and the professor said what I believe to be the best piece of advice I have yet received in game college:
"The only thing that matters is the actions that the player can take. Everything else is secondary.”
If you’re explaining your system, refine the pitch down to the specific concept of what it is players do, and then deliver it in a “player-sense” rather than a “game-sense”. If players can punch gods in the face, say “In my game, you punch gods in the face. Here’s how you do that thing.”
The narrative and the mythos come secondary. If a player isn’t interested in doing the things you do in your game, no amount of setting will change their mind (usually). As a creator, you’re most likely unbelievably excited and passionate about your project and want to deliver all of the good stuff at once.
Which is amazing, and I do it too! Be proud of your work.
But you’re excited because you know how cool everything is, and the viewing audience is unaware of how cool they can be after trying your game. Keep it short, tell the players what they can do in your game, and then answer any questions they have afterwards.
If they’re hooked, they’ll read your world-bible. If they don’t care, then they don’t care. Lead with the good stuff!
Dark Heresy Second Edition is a roleplaying game of danger, mystery, and brutal violence set in the decaying far future of Warhammer 40,000. Players take on the role of defenders of humanity and embark on hazardous adventures into the dark heart of the 41st millennium. As an Acolyte of an Inquisitor, you’ll serve at the front line of a great and secret war to root out dangers that imperil all of humanity.
It’s coming Q3, 2014.
That’s a fine looking book.