A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

[Let's Play] Fun in Mystara! Let's play Order of the Griffon Part 24: Bend it Like Bauer.

Today I finish this project on time, on schedule with only a single week where I failed to keep it (not counting the hurricane week, which I caught up with, getting both installments out ASAP).

It is complete.  Yay me.  Boo game designers for slacking it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My D&D 4e Castlevania Campaign Notes Part 1: House Rules

This is just going to be a series of writings based on both whatever dumb house rules I come up with (and possibly reports of how terrible they were in active play), and the history/cosmology of my campaign setting.

It looks like I am starting it up Tuesday, thanks to a bit of luck, and me being entirely too aggressive via the internet in roping people in.    If you can't get people to play the most popular RPG in the world (even if its taken a serious marketshare blow from Pathfinder) what can you get folks to play?

Probably nothing unless you have a large and openminded group of friends.

So here we go!

House Rules:

Healing Surges:  Normal Healing Surges(HS) can NOT be used.  Once per day as a Standard Action a PC may immediately recover ALL HP, have all negative status effects cancelled, and gain Defense and Resistance bonuses equal to their Level x 2.  Regular HSes may only be used through powers and abilities.

I kind of like more of an old school thing as opposed to having everyone rest up to max constantly.

Action Points: Gone.  However once per character level (and you can keep collecting them if you don't use them) you may spend a "Hero Point" to change the value of any die roll made by you or that affects you.  Any roll at all.

Don't like Action Points and keeping track of them is a tad odd.  I do however like the idea of a "Get out of doom free" thing.  Honestly I would say all PCs ought to save this for things like their final death save or if they find themselves in a position where if they fail a roll they are dead.

Death: For saving against Death a 19-20 takes you into safety instead of just a 20.

A little less brutality here.  Its kind of tough but fair, and this helps a bit.  I could go with "Add your CON bonus to the roll" but that makes death all but impossible outside of TPKs and the like.

Enemies: Enemies do NOT have Healing Surges or Action Points.  Also to speed gameplay and compensate for reduced PC self healing average monster HP will be reduced by a good 25-33 percent.  I am lazy so it will be me eyeballing it.   If things are really too hard or easy I can modify on the fly and who will know?  BWAHAHA.

Minor PC nerfing ought to have minor monster nerfing too.  Plus, as I said, speeds up the game.  Do you want to do math for 600 HP monsters all the time?  No.  400 is sillier but not AS silly.

Dead PCs:  If a player's PC dies their replacement starts with half the xp of their previous one provided they play either the same race or the same class as their fallen character.  (Could be a comrade from back in Wizard school or a relative.  Be creative here!)  Their starting gold is whatever level the new PC is times 150.
This CAN be used to buy their choice in magic items from the Essentials books or possibly Adventurer's Vault 1 and 2.  If a new PC only has the XP to be Level 1, they just start as a Level 1.

Adventure Cards:  If you build a deck, I get to draw one of your cards before play each session and may use it for the enemies.  Or I may use the card to cancel a card you play.  So your 8 card deck becomes 7.  Hope I don't take your favorite!

Game Table: Open table for anyone who isn't rude or disruptive.  First 6 players play (announcing playing ahead of time locks your slot in, though if you don't show up at least 30 minutes after play has begun it becomes someone else's slot), next person in line becomes the DM's assistant and helps move monsters and stuff.  The DM's Assistant gets 3/4ths the XP the rest of the PCs get and 1/4th the treasure.  It is assumed all the regulars and semiregulars are present each session but only so many can be handled by one DM.  So people are there but not really.

This makes it a far less restrictive game.  People don't have to be there every session if they can't make it, and it doesn't OH NO GAME IS RUINED every time one or two people don't show up.  If you can only play 1 out of every 4 times well that's fine.  Sure your XP gain is gonna suck and you might not want to play a front line fighter, but you can still show up and get some monster bashing in.  I seriously doubt I will have a 7+ player group ever much less constantly but I have given some thought just in case I do.

Campaign Restrictions:

Essentials ONLY classes and races.  Standard arrays from those rulesbooks.   If you really want to play some race not in it, do "Counts As".  You might be following the rules of an Elf or a Halfling, but you can say you are a Drow or a Gnome.  Good enough for government work!

While not restricted, it is HIGHLY recommended nobody play Dragonborn or Tiefling as the former are very rare in this setting, and the latter are generally despised.

Good and Unaligned alignments please.

Level 1 to start.

Essentials is what I have and what I like.  If there is that much outcry for non Essentials stuff I will probably just allow the PHB classes that are the same core as the Essentials, albeit with different builds.  So: Assassin, Fighter, Wizard, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Cleric, Druid, and Warlock.  Thanks to the D&D Character Builder online and my books it shouldn't be a big issue, but if it is I could easily see myself meeting folks halfway at least.

Character Level Cap:  The Cap for this campaign is Level 15.  From Level 1-10 XP costs are as usual.
The chart for level 11-15 is as such:
11: 50,000
12: 80,000
13: 120,000
14: 170,000
15: 230,000

I want to have a campaign with a semi set length, and I really don't want to go far beyond the Level 1-10 tier.  If there is enough outcry for me to continue the campaign past my end point I could do it, or I could either let someone else DM the next part as they choose to, or we could start a new game or new campaign.  But I want a campaign with less insane levels of power, and with a SET SATISFYING ENDING.  Even reaching level 10 should take a good 9-12 months given the schedule I am setting.

Schedule: 2 games per month on roughly a biweekly basis.  Long as we manage 2 games per month we are GOLDEN.  Due to my schedule and player desire we may have 2 games back to back then it could be 4 dead weeks before we play again. I will do my best to make it every other week however.

 If scheduling and player desire is so strong we play more than 2 I have no issue, but I generally want a schedule everyone can keep without being too intrusive.  Free time to spend with friends and family outside of playing imaginary Elf Braunsteins (go look it up kids!) is ALWAYS a good thing.  And hell, holidays and the like always make stuff a bear.


Well this is what I have so far.  Hopefully everyone will enjoy it and the house rules will work smoothly.  If not I can always fall back to RULES AS WRITTEN, or even what the players wish.

Sure I might be the DM, and I have been quite beloved due to my loving tortures and terrors I put Players and their Characters through, but its EVERYONE'S GAME, not just the DM.  Gotta make it as fun for as many people as humanly possible.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

[Let's Play] Fun in Mystara! Let's play Order of the Griffon Part 23: Final Floor, Final Bore

Yeah I know this was supposed to be the last installment but its just too big of one so I am splitting it up into 2-3 parts.  Depends on how much effort I want to spend on my final thoughts on the game really.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

[Let's Play] Fun in Mystara! Let's play Order of the Griffon Part 20: The Tomb of King Cut n Paste

Its a day late but days without power really cut into the time one has to work on these things.  I'm LUCKY in that it was only 65 hours or so spread over 4 days.  Some people lost power last Sunday and it won't be back till Wednesday of this week!

No promises but if I can, I will try to have this week's update up by Saturday but I am not gonna hold myself to it as I need to both play, MAP, and then comic it up.  Only 3 game updates left I think, so I will say I will be finished before October.


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