Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
If anyone's even out there... what typical elements of your game of choice do you have a hard time buying into? Me, I'm a D&D girl, but... I just cannot into dungeons above a small "lair" size and population, unless they're so big as to be an environment unto themselves (like the Underdark). Those of us that have crossed paths with Mike Mornard have all heard the story of how he deflected the question of what the monsters in his dungeon eat by putting a McDonald's on the sixth level of it, but (as non-seriously as I normally take my gaming), even then I tend to fixate on how a handful of goblins are going to navigate through all the intervening hazards that presumably exist between his lair on the first level and Mickey D's on a regular basis. Feel free to describe setting elements (from any game) that stick in your craw, or try to disabuse me of my notions, or whatever.
There are many things that fascinate me. Two of them in particular are the 1950s as perceived by America, both at the time and subsequently, and the prospect of nuclear war, perhaps because the Soviet Union fell when I was less than a year old and therefore its spectre never hung directly over me. As you can imagine, I am thus greatly enamored of the Fallout series. Last night, while watching a promotional video made by Redbook in 1957, I think I figured out exactly why, apart from the obvious fact that the bomb weighed heavily on many minds in the 1950s, that combination of 50s aesthetics and nuclear chaos have always captured my imagination so. 1) While I admire many of the aesthetics of the period, they are a thin veneer over a lot of simmering unpleasantness. I don't think the pretty stuff can be divorced from the hidden turmoil and hypocrisy that gave birth to it, so the only way to bring the two out of dissonance is to let the fire, the radiation, and the passage of time take a bat to it all. 2) I sometimes, in my more paranoid moments, think that humanity collectively cheated death in the cold war and worry that as the first generation after it came to an end, fear that it will be us that death ultimately somehow comes to collect on.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Okay, so, as those of you who know me are aware once upon a time your Auntie Rachel was a 4e player with the best of them. There are plenty of fine reasons I left it behind, but there were definitely elements of it that I like. One of the things I liked best from 4e (Heresy!) is that different humanoid monsters had traits or powers that helped to mechanically differentiate the tactics they used in a fight. I've never been the most tactical of minds so having these was useful to me because it gave me a clearly understandable reason to change up how I had groups of humanoids fight. To that end, I've tried to do something similar for each of them. They aren't strict conversions, but they mostly take inspiration from the ones in 4e 'cause I was satisfied with those. These are, of course, completely unplaytested. Bugbear Bugbears love nothing more than isolating their enemies to increase their fear. A bugbear gets a +4 bonus to attack rolls against an opponent that cannot see any allies or is separated from them by more than 10 feet. Giant A giant can grab a horse-sized or smaller opponent and squeeze or throw it. Squeezing works identically to a python's constriction. The giant can throw an opponent as far as he could a rock, dealing damage equal to the rock throw if he hits a hard surface, or half damage if he hits a soft surface. The giant can even throw an opponent at another opponent, dealing half damage to both. If you use a save for reducing falling damage, it applies to being thrown as well. Gnoll Gnolls are vicious pack fighters. Should a gnoll hit with a melee attack, it deals extra damage equal to the number of other gnolls within melee range of its target, to a maximum of +5. Goblin Goblins are cowards with only the barest concept of loyalty. A goblin can make a fighting withdrawal at full speed as long as its opponent is within melee range of at least one other hostile creature. Hobgoblins Hobgoblins are as disciplined as Goblins are cowardly. A hobgoblin gains a +1 bonus to AC for every hobgoblin that stands within 5 feet of it, to a maximum of +4. Kobold Kobolds always know when they're outmatched. If a melee attack misses a kobold, it can safely retreat at full speed. Lizardfolk and Troglodyte At least in BFRPG (I'd have to check others to be sure), there's already mechanical support for Lizardfolk and Troglodytes as ambush predators, because they surprise on 1-4 in 1d6 if they can hide in water or underground, respectively. I might expand that to sand as well in the case of lizardfolk, because I've had desert lizardfolk from time to time. Ogre An ogre's strength is such that it can sacrifice its +3 damage bonus in order to push a man-sized or smaller opponent 10 feet away or knock it prone. If the force of the blow results in an opponent being dashed against a hard surface (but not the floor), it deals 1d2 additional damage and the opponent must save vs. paralysis or be dazed and unable to act for one round. Orc Orcs are ferocious to the last. Upon being reduced to 0 HP, an orc can make one last attack before falling. These are just sort of me rolling ideas around in my head, I don't know if they're quite perfect yet.