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 Post subject: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:08 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
Posts: 341
Firstly, I'd like to give thanks once again to Nick... who saved me from sitting at a table all by my self in a room full of gamers... :mrgreen:

I was talking to the shop owner and she said that gamers are always a little sparse this time of year. Then I thought... she's right, In this part of the country when the sun finally does come out, even gamers tend to crawl out of our gaming dens and spend time in the great outdoors. :)

Campaign story arc runs through these modules: DCC 0-level beta -> DCC #1 -> DCC#27; then on to a larger storyline with DCC#14 as a backbone and a fair bit of world traveling to accomplish all that is necessary.

Here is my reworked intro to the "Portal under the stars." In order to understand some of this you'll need to know the following:

1. I have adapted the materials of DCC#35 into a "Living Greyhawk" style with the history spaced out over aprox. 100,000 years of prehistory leading up to the 3rd (and prophesied to be the last) appearance of the Star of the Black Sun at the end of the year 3199.
1a. in the year -1199 (with the fall of the Isle of Lirea as year 0) the Shadow Star fell to Aereth. From that point onwards: anything with an INT score that dies will re-animate within 1d6 hours. Most societies eventually learned to cope with this, as there was usually enough time to get a cleric to consecrate the body before re-animation. With the appearance of the Star of the Black Sun... this window has now dropped to 1d6 rounds. :twisted:

2. my version of Aereth uses a standardized calender that is 13 months of 28 days... nice and neat, because Valdreth "the Lord of Time" likes it that way... and because he hates the concept of a "leap year." The exactitude with which the turning of the year is accomplished is why everyone is so FREAKED OUT! While shooting stars occasionally happen, new stars appearing out of no where is... the end of everything as they know it...

3. the first of every month is always a New Moon and the Full Moon is always on the 14th; and the Spectral Moon is only seen by Northerners every 13 years due to a very eccentric orbit.

I don't want to over load the posting limits so I'll post the rest of the game report after I finish writing it all down. :)


It is the 27th of Winterheart, in the year 3199; the day before the Winter Solstice, and the last day of the year. You are residents or visitors who arrived with the last caravan into town 6 weeks ago, to the smallish town of Grenvec; on the northeastern most edge of the Imperial province of Trella (a.k.a. Silver Reaches) , which encompasses most of the Fang Mountains. The town sits in the scrubby hills at the north edge of the vast grassy ocean of central Crieste. Life is hard here.

The Fangs, an implacable wall to the west, are so named because their jagged peaks are too steep for snow to form upon their crowns even though their height is sufficient to allow for it all 13 months of the year. The summer growing season is short and the weather is violent in the shadows of the mountains, for when the cold wet air from its heights mixes with the hot dry air of the plains it makes for frequent and lethal lightning storms. In winter it always seems as though the lower elevations get all the snow that the peaks refuse to carry, as if Winter’s fury were looking to avenge this grievous affront. The spirit of this Winter seems bent on shaming its predecessors. The chalk white and twisted limestone peaks of the Fang Mountains are also riddled with caves and underground river networks which provide plenty of hiding places for the Monsters that call these mountains home. If it has fangs or feathers… it lives in these mountains.

The harvests are always meager and barely keep you through the winter most years. You sweat and toil for half the year or more only to freeze and starve by late winter. In Grenvec there are mostly just farmers and such as would support them, but the town is fortunate enough to be located on the old Veltoni trade road halfway between Vaqueria and Silverton. It is the steady flow of Merchants and their trains full of metal ingots and finery from the mountains traded for goods in Vaqueria, the Gear-City, that keeps the town alive. But this year has been worse than all the rest, and it was that damn wizard who caused all the trouble!

It was a little less than two months ago. Just after the Passing New Moon in December & and not quite a week from the festival of Death Pass when that no good wizard returned home to visit his dieing brother; Old Man Roberts, the aging mayor of Grenvec. “Tending to the family legacy,” says the Roberts family and, “He is taking a rest from the rigors of the wizardly life.” Everyone knows its troll poop, because it was right after the festival that the strange lights started appearing in the skies, and then the winter started with the most savage blizzard in living memory. It wasn’t until after the wizard arrived that the cows all got sick and the granary burned down. Then last night a new constellation of stars burned brightly in the night at the same time that many other stars began to fall from the sky, streaking through the heavens in all the colors of the rainbow…

(28th of Winterheart; the Winter Solstice) it was the screaming and sounds of panic that roused you from your beds. When you rush outside there are people in various states of dressed running past you, all heading towards the west side of town. No one stops to answer your questions, some point wildly towards the east, north, or south… that is when you see the purple-green glow. You grab what you can and run along with the others; slogging as best as you can through the slushy snow in the muddy churned streets. Long before you get to the west end of town the ground begins to climb steeply towards the apex of a large rounded hill, whose lowest flanks are covered in scraggly orchards. As you run, slipping and sliding through the town you see the glow is caused by a wall of giant purple and green flames consuming everything in its path: even the snow; leaving naught but a silvery powder in its wake. The flames march quickly from all directions save the west, and are consuming the outermost houses of the town as you sprint, fear lending strength to your legs as you make your way up the hill.

No trees had ever grown at the top of this smallish mound, nor had snow ever fallen within the circle of stones with which it was crowned. Long before you reach the top you see that those stones are now eerie black silhouettes like giant rotted bones protruding from the ground; and you know in your heart that you are surrounded buy fire.

You and a few others reach the outer stone ring with the flames nipping at your heels and see that the stone arch in the center of the ring is wreathed in golden orange lightning and where you could normally see the mountains through the arch, there is now a long dark hallway… You have no idea what awaits you on the other side of the portal, but you do know that you don’t want to burn. Damn wizards!


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:20 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
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OK… sorry for the delay, I’ve been recovering from some dental work.


Things went quite smoothly all things considered. The table was reserved for 5hrs so I took my time explaining things. As I’ve posted elsewhere, I made up a “deck” of 70 laminated pre-gen 0-lvls which made explaining the game a lot easier this time. Since they had everything on them they functioned very well as both a check list & as a prompt for more detailed questions.

With one player, the cards (& the handy 4-up blank versions) proved beneficial once again for their size; the ¼ page format was much preferred to the full sized sheets for organizational reasons. He was playing 10 PCs; 3 he rolled at the table & 7 picked from deck, & his very first PC is a Gongfarmer named “Lucky” because he has the highest luck score of the “pack:” 15. Though he did well in the PC’s that he picked, there were 2 PC’s with 18’s (STR & INT) through the game he has been carefully chaperoning these 3 by using the others as cannon fodder.

One other thing I should note, is that because I showed up at the shop not knowing if there would be any one there (or whether any of the folks who’d been at the Free-RPG day demo would be returning) I did some re-writes and re-arranging of the rooms of the module, both for story/campaign purposes & on the off chance that I might need to keep things “fresh” for any return players…


The Game:

Chapter 1: “Never be afraid to Panic…”

Once they got to the point where they were sealed into the “tomb;” with fire across the portal & door glowing ominously on the other side, they rested a bit to observe the door. They noticed right off that the glow was fading, but came to the conclusion that something dreadful would occur when the glow finally faded. After a bit, they shoved the Gongfarmer forward and told him to “try something.” He rolled a nat 20… so the door was disarmed. Then the Gongfarmer decided to “liberate” as many of the gems as he could, but a botch on his Agility check caused the door to open and swing away into the room beyond.

Fortunately someone had a torch and managed to get it lit before anyone moved on into the next room. The lay out is the same and the 4 statues stand flanking the double doors opposite the entrance to the room, but the 20ft x 50ft section in-between the statues and the PCs is now a 4-color checkerboard of red, green, blue, & white 5ft square tiles. I devised a pattern to their distribution, and there was a 50/50 chance of accidental discovery of the “safe” color due to the fact that it was one of the 2 colors immediately inside the room.
They pushed the indentured servant forward because he was least liked & most foolish… (PERS: 4).

Nick made is Spot check to notice the pattern, but chose to go with the generally “panicked” theme… The Servant ran forward, but was fortunate enough to land on the safe color first thing: then botched his Jump check. We randomly determined that he landed prone in the “take-off” square. Continuing with the “stampede” mentality the rest of the group decided they didn’t care about the pattern and were more than willing to take their chances with the 15ft jump. I determined that the DC would be 8 +1 per foot; so with 5ft squares the DC was 13, or 11 with a running start. Not everyone made it across… The green square was a disintegration ray, the red one was death by fire (& resulted in an ambulatory flaming skeleton that had to be dealt with, but which disintegrated with its next movement), & poor Squire Numbly was last seen being enveloped by a thick “soap-bubble” after stepping on a white square… He then started floating towards the 50ft ceiling lined with spikes… the fall killed him & the square disintegrated what was left. Nick managed to clear the room with only 40% casualties & one guy that was burnt but still going.

Chapter 2: “When the lights go out… never be afraid to toss your chicken…”

I’d left this room largely as written except for a few covered pit traps and made it so the statue fires once at each target then has to “reset” for a number of rounds, during which there is a chance to “disable” the statue. Nick doesn’t know this yet, but for his solution it didn’t matter anyhow. Taking a moment to survey the room with the light of the torch and the Dwarf’s ability to see in the dark, they determined the statue was more than likely going to be “bad news.” The Dwarf tried mightily to “blind” the statue by throwing his hammer… but the tactic failed. They did notice that the statue “closed” its eyes to protect them from possible danger. The group then decides to:
1) Dowse the torch and rely (arm-on-shoulder) upon the Dwarf to lead them at speed to the right-hand door.
2) Toss the farmers chicken in the opposite direction to distract the Statue…

Here’s what happened:
Natural 20 on the chicken toss, so they all heard the chicken flapping in the dark… landing gracelessly… then an ominous clanking noise… as one of the pits was activated; alerting the party to be watchful for them. The chicken was last heard clucking, as if from the bottom of a well, but without the water. The statue also turned to fire at the chicken first, (having determined the chicken to be an advancing threat) which gained a little extra time for the party to get moving as the statue had to swing ponderously back towards the main party.

The Dwarven ability with stonework and such allowed them to avoid the trap in front of the door they wanted & the Dwarf’s STR easily handled bashing the door down, but by the time the party managed to get through the door there were only 3 PCs left. A really strong Dwarf, a really smart Guild Beggar, and one lucky Gongfarmer. That is where we ended the session & scheduled to resume in 2 weeks.



Nick sent me an email to say how much fun he had and that he was going to try and convince some of his friends to play next time. It will be great to have some more players, though I’m still debating how to integrate them in: or just re-start things. I already have some ideas… though I may decide to press on and just have everyone roll up some 1st level PCs, just so we can get on with testing all that stuff. I’ll se what Nick, et al have to say…


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
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Session 2- Apparently I got a 20 on my Luck roll when I started up this game-

I deliberately chose a Game shop I’d never gamed in before, though they have a kick a$$ “used” gaming books section.

Most of Nicks friends weren’t interested, but he was joined at the table by my wife Mikki (whose schedules opened up enough for her to play) and a nice couple; Kasi & James, who came out to the “beer & pizza” event that the shop holds every 3rd Thursday… It turns out that the shop becomes 21+ during the hours for our game & my chosen night will intersect often with this event. :mrgreen: Whoot!

Nick waited patiently while I went through the rules again for the 3 new comers, who rolled 2 PC’s & picked 3 PC’s. As for their backgrounds in gaming: my wife has been running and playing in D&D games since OD&D, but has been suffering terribly from “Option Paralysis” when dealing with 3.0e & 3.5e. Nick is a writer, has extensive experience as player and DM going back to the 2.0 days, & loves to play Tunnels & Trolls: doesn’t like 4.0 D&D. Kasi said her gaming experience is playing 4.0 D&D. James is a DM with extensive experience going back to 2.0e and has converted the 3.5 Dragonlance supplement to be 4.0e in which he is currently running a campaign. James had the chance to familiarize himself with the rules prior to sitting down at the table; Nick had spent more time reading through them as well.

2nd order of business, I must admit that in my zeal to portray the flavor of the game (specifically the lethality level) that when Nick went through room 1-2 I neglected to give his PC’s their saving throws… oops. :oops: So before the game started I ruled that 2 of his “dead” PC’s were just “faking it” and managed to scramble forward to find the other 3: and let him pick 2 out of his “dead pile.” I figure that’s fair, and it means everyone at the table has 5 PCs… to start with anyway.
***

The game:

When last we saw our intrepid gaggle of 10 townsfolk, their numbers were dwindled by half, but as fortune would have it, the door they chose actually opened onto the hallway leading to room 1-4; for the moment at least, they were safe to rest and recover their wits.

Chapter 4: Meanwhile, back at the arch…

It turns out that there had been another cluster of peasants who, from shock or prudence, were hiding out at the back of the tunnel. They watched as the first group of 10 disarmed the door and then marched on to their various fates. They also had the advantage of knowing that the blue squares were safe, but it didn’t seem to help much.

They stopped and pondered the pattern of red, green, blue and white tiles & determined that the tiles rotated clockwise through their positions as they moved clockwise through the room. From this they deduced that they could travel, jumping from blue to blue tile moving clockwise through the room and be relatively assured of safety. However, when they got to the third landing zone, it happened to be adjacent to another blue square… that proved to be oddly irresistible to many of them. Unfortunately this move was out of sequence and led to icy death for several. Most chose to take the 15ft leap rather than take any chances on jump rolls.

[The other 2 methods that would have worked were: jump to one of the statues and then climb over to the safe zone; or, using the lengths of chain and grappling hook that were available in Party goods and pull the statues over- breaking their enchantment]

Mikki & Kassi both lost 3 characters to various fates, with icy doom and flaming death the themes of the day. James managed to make it through the room without loosing any characters, but all of them were injured & he had to burn luck to keep one of them from dieing. He also managed to pull off a mighty deed of arms even though he wasn’t using a Dwarf for the action. At one point the flaming remains of one of their comrades reanimated and started to move in for an attack, but James’ character picked up one of the “frozen statues” that was within reach and managed to heave it at the undead horror. He got a critical success on the attack roll, so I ruled that both corpses were destroyed in a shattering blast of steam as they crashed into the wall to the right of the entrance.

Chapter 5: charge of the munchkin brigade…

By the time there were 8 PC’s on the landing zone (more than half considering attrition) they were forced to venture into the larger room [1-3]. The doors to room 1-3 were already open, and the room partially lit by the lantern in room 1-2 and the flaming corpse of one of Nick’s characters. They moved reluctantly into the room being particularly concerned with the ominous statue pointing at them from the shadows.

[When I reworked this room, I’d determined that the 10ft square section beyond the double doors was “safe.” Venturing beyond that started a 1d10round count down before the statue fires flaming bolts (1/target) then has to reset for 1d5 rounds. At which point the process starts all over again. Fortunately for the second wave, none of them ventured beyond the “safe” zone. The Statue still had 4 rounds left on its “reset” cycle” so they got a serious break there.

At this point Nick’s Dwarf notices that there are new comers to the scene and announces who he is and warns them of the statues intentions and the existence of the pit traps from the safety of the hallway to the right of the new arrivals entry. Most of the PC’s were across the “checker board of doom” and starting to drift into the next room when they all noticed the clucking… which had a very un-nerving effect on them. It was shortly after they noticed this when one of Mikki’s characters decided to menace the burning remains of the “corps light,” in the hope that if she did enough damage they might not reanimate. It was fortunate, as her guess proved to be correct, but she also reset the shot clock. The fact that I rolled 6 rounds before the shooting could start gave them just enough time to deal with things. I eventually got one shot with the statue this time and even though the flaming bolt managed to set one of James’ characters on fire, the damn PC survived and managed to put the fire out with 1hp left.


It was about this time that Nick’s cadre was able to start interacting with the second wave and he decided that the beggar should be “shoved out into the fracas” to try and distract the statue while everyone else ran for the relative safety of the hallway. The beggar has a good intelligence and realized what was being done to him… so he threw his begging bowl in a high arc towards the statues base on its north side hoping that the statue would track it just as it has the chicken. Since the bowl is non-living, I had him roll the characters Luck to see if the statue got confused… it did.

That is when they made their most important discovery; the statue was not able to target the bowl, or anything else within 10ft of its base due to the restrictions of the arm movements. It was at or about this time that the party shifted suddenly from panicked town-folk to rational survivors. James, whose last character had only just made the leap over the checker-board, had all of his characters move towards the safety of the hall. Mikki and Kasi split their characters so that some went to the safety of the hallway while the others rushed the statue.

At this close distance both of them heard the whirring and clicking of gear works coming from the statue. Mikki’s Dwarven minor started attacking the statues “Achilles heel” hoping to topple it. She hit the first time, but as luck would have it: the ground level access panel was on the other foot. Her Dwarf then went after the panel on the other leg, but botched the attack. I ruled that her weapon had got stuck in the bronze “skin” of the statue. Kasi maneuvered one of her characters around and rolled a 20 on her chance to hit the control-panel cover; so she exposed some of the gear-works and freed the Dwarfs pick from the statue. Since 2 of James’ characters had 10ft of chain, one of them was sent over to the gear works… After a horrible series of grinding noises; all three characters made their reflex saves to avoid the flying gear-work, as the statue was rendered useless.

Chapter 6: Chicken tossing; Southern Style…

While some of the group was assaulting the statue, the rest were investigating the eerie green glow at the end of the hallway. It turned out to be coming from the doorknob & lock-plate of an ornate steel door. It was riveted with gold and encrusted with gems. None of them was willing to risk trying to open the door. It was at this point that Kasi raised her hand & said, “Um, point of order… It says hear that I have a dog and I didn’t realize this. Where is it?”
Answer: “Well it has been dutifully dogging your every move and is right there willing to take your orders.”
Kasi; “Cool!”
James; “Lets get the dog to open the door!”
Kasi; “NO!”
Nick; “What about the dead farmers chicken? I’m sure neither of them would mind.”
Kasi (as Herder) gets up in the face of one of James’ PCs; “I think YOU just volunteered.” Poking him in the chest.

That’s how one of James’ PCs found himself running out into the room to find the lost chicken… The Statue was harmless by then, but by the time he got to where the clucking was coming from, the last burning bits of “corpse lighting” went out and the glow from the lantern didn’t stretch far enough. I had him roll his luck… he fumbled. The bad news is: he found the trap. The good news is: he found the chicken. His PC took 1d6 damage for the 15ft drop, but I rolled a 1 and that PC had 2hp. [my dice seemed to be favoring him all night… 4 or 5 times all I did was 1pt of damage] The rest of the party heard him calling for help, and rope was secured to the statues leg and he climbed out.

While this was in process, Mikki sent one of her PCs over to listen at the western set of double doors, hearing the rattling of bones, she quickly informed everyone that whatever was beyond that door was most likely dangerous. That is when they crowded ‘round the glowing door and tossed the chicken of fate… When it touched the knob, the chicken lit up like a cartoon; complete with the flash of the things skeleton as its feathers fried off. When they opened their eyes, there was a mostly roasted chicken on the floor.

So… off to the northern doors they went. Kasi’s herder found the last of the pit traps, but made her save and was able to leap to safety. After listening at the doors for a bit, they determined that there were chimes, or singing coming from the other side of the doors. Someone pushed on the doors to find that they were unlocked, as they swung inwards revealing some of the gigantic room beyond.

Chapter 7: Follow the path least frightening…

[When I re-wrote room 1-6, I decided that the harmless crystal statues were to be seated cross-legged, one in front of each of the columns, gazing into the pool & unresponsive to light. The pool was the same except that there was a key on a pedestal at the center of the pool at the heart of the “star map.” The décor of the room was also changed to show scenes of people playing instruments, and singing, etc. Lastly, I looked up the stats for the Water Wyrd in the AD&D monster manual then converted them over to the DCC system… {It took all of 15min. It can take hours to build a monster using the 3.5e monster tables.} The monster is smart enough to lay in ambush. I had determined that if anyone had a minstrel or herder they could have the PC play music (skill check DC=9) or anyone else could try the same check at -2. I figured that if anyone at the table started to sing, whistle, tap a rhythm on the table... anything like that and they’d get an automatic 20. Success on the music check causes one of the statues to walk down into the pool and retrieve the key, then give it to the person playing the music. The key opens all the locks in the tomb. ]

In the bright light of the lantern, the Water Wyrd decided to “lay low” and hope they’d enter further into the room before attacking the party. However, James started whistling the theme song to some show or something at the other end of the table. They all shuffled back into room 1-3 to allow the statue to pass them and enter the pool… the Water Wyrd writhed and thrashed at the statue to no avail. [It’s smart, but not THAT smart…]

The party decided not to risk exploring the room for fear of becoming a target of the water monster. They stopped making music and the statues quieted, but they decided to run the creatures through the routine again just to make sure nothing else was going to happen. Everything repeated motion for motion (only there was nothing delivered) but they did hear faint sounds of cracking coming from the pool while the water monster tried to stop the statue again.

So… they headed back to the glowing door and tried the key.

Chapter 8: Even monsters can get caught napping…

The glow on the doorknob faded to reveal a solid, palm sized emerald and the door swung inward easily at their touch. James had his caravan guard (not very bright) and the herder’s dog move part of the way into the room to “check things out.” The caravan guard failed his spot and search checks, but the dog didn’t and immediately went “hackles up and teeth bared,” refusing to go any further into the room. But the demon snake fumbled its listen check, so the party (with the dogs help) spotted the stub of a tail poking out from behind the throne made of one solid emerald.

With the element of surprise it was Mikki’s Dwarven miner that jumped out to take the first attack. She didn’t do much damage (1 pt); neither did James’ caravan guard do much damage (4pts), but the dog got a critical hit. I have worked out the stats for dogs [and a lot of other animals] as part of my “Find Familiar” spell table. Dogs roll 1d12 on table 2. Not only did the dog get its 1d6 damage, but it also got an additional +3d3 damage and the target was stunned for 1 round. The dog did 12 points total, and after Nick had maneuvered his Halfling to a spot where he could take shots with his sling, the snake didn’t live long enough to make an attack.

[In my re-write of the Scrying room, I determined that any contact with the throne would cause the door to slam shut and anyone in the throne would receive a vision.]

After the snake puffed into ash, the caravan guard asked the Dwarf for her pick; she gave it to him, and he tried to take a chunk out of the throne hoping to get rich. What he got was numb arms (like hitting a ball wrong with an aluminum bat) and the door slammed shut. With no one in the chair, the magic makes everyone in the room witness the vision.

That is where things left off, with everyone agreeing to meet in 2 weeks.
***

So far all of the feedback has been positive. If there was anything that they criticized it was that play was more difficult with multiple characters. Mikki said that some of the random Stat/Occupation pairings were confusing and not to her liking, but in spite of the confusion of multiple PCs, she felt more courageous with them and so took more risks.

With multiple players I was able to experiment with the “ordering” of events. At the Free RPG day event everyone rolled initiatives & each player then moved all of their PCs. We then moved to the next player, but this led to the each of the players dealing with some part of the dungeon with their individual “groups.” This time after everyone rolls initiative, they each move one PC then the cycle repeats in initiative order until all the characters have moved. Doing things this way made for a more natural movement of PCs around the environment. I predict that they will finish the module next session and then we’ll spend the rest of the time going over the “advanced” rules for the Classes.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:15 am 
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Which game store?

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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:24 am 
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caveman wrote:
Which game store?


I'd have posted sooner, but I wanted to get the shop owners permission first. I PM'd the info to you, but I'll post it here as well.

Guardian Games
303 se 3rd ave
Portland, OR
http://www.ggportland.com/

Our next session is on Aug. 4th. Our calendar entry reads "full" for now, but they're giving us some more space. 1 or 2 more players would be great. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:32 am 
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With some slightly cowardly play, three of four survived!

I gotta say it is pretty neat living and dying by the dice roll. Very few modifiers, which is a relief after 4e (DMing D&D Encounters I'm watching 12yr old kids get held up adding d20+7+2+1 each round, which is good for them, but I digress.).

Looking forward to the "Advanced" game.

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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:43 am 
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Session 3 report-

When last we saw our intrepid survivors…
The Characters in the hall stood silently as the sounds of battle ended, followed by a clanging note that made everyone’s teeth itch… then the door slammed shut, an eerie green glow emanating from the cracks around the door. On the inside…
***
Chapter 9: Que the wavy lines aaand… fade to flashback

As the last of the ringing tones and the flash of light from the emerald throne fade, you open your eyes to see that you are floating higher than an Eagle can fly… and that you no longer seem to posses a physical form. For some reason, none of this is all that troubling & you also know that those who were in the room with you are still close by, but they seem to be without for as well. Your awareness turns towards the lands below and the turquoise waters of the Lirean Sea sparkle & glint in the light of Ormazd. The hills and valleys of the island below you are thickly blanketed with trees, stretching everywhere save for the tallest peaks of mighty mountains. A vision of a peaceful, beautiful place; save for the fires & smoke slowly consuming the towering trees of the birthplace of the Elves…

Then you see them, the clashing forces of Elves & Dwarves defending the Isle from a massive hoard of Giants. Even as you watch another hoard of Giants arrives upon a strange conveyance that appears to be made entirely of storm clouds. Lightning bolts from the “solid” storm cloud clearing a swath of defenders; allowing the Giants to disembark upon the northern shores of the isle. All of this you see in the passing of an eye-blink; for it seems to be that you are unseated in time as well as in body, and the passing of several years is naught but the passing of a few heart beats.

You can see plainly even though it is long since the sun has set, and by the waning Moon light, your special sight lets you see the small cloud flitting through the skies less than a dozen yards from where you are watching. You can clearly make out the female form of a Giantess with pale white skin glowing softly; her silver hair streaming behind, sparkling in the star light as she hauls the cloud-skiff hard over & accelerates into a vertical dive. Your sense of time returns as you are somehow caught up in her precipitous decent. She waives her arms and chants something in a harsh language; it’s meaning carried away by the howling winds. Below you a thick swirling fog springs into place with the unnatural speed of a magic incantation, as the Giantess gains speed she begins to level out her decent, adroitly dodging the towering trees as if unconcerned of the danger.

Her course also carries you precariously close to the face of the mountain as she makes her way towards the heart of the island. A clearing of colossal proportions suddenly opens up and is clear of fog, the massive adamantine doors of the Dwarves first Holding. The clearing is obviously a place of commerce, though it has been a long counting of years since it has seen such use. Before you now are Dwarven Warriors clad in their finest armors waiting in with their fiercest weapons as you rush towards them. They stand in thick ranks before the closed doors & behind them, a cadre of powerful Elven Wizards. From somewhere above you drifts the sounds of hundreds of bows pulled to readiness; but the swiftness of her arrival brings her upon them all before they can act.

Leaping from her cloud-skiff so that she is falling in its wake, she screams again in that odd language and the skiff changes its shape to that of a complex rune. You cannot understand the rune, for it is reversed to your vantage point; & for this you are thankful. Most of the defenders fall slack-jawed to the ground & hundreds of arrows fly off at odd angles; wildly missing their mark. The cloud-sigil decelerates rapidly and shatters as the giantess crashes through (slowing her decent to safe speeds) but the spell has already done its work. She grabs hold of a shard of the cloud-sigil as she passes through, cradling it like a babe & speaking softly to it as she tucks & rolls the landing. As she stands, the wisp of cloud has formed into a giant sized club made from wisps of cloud; it seems to be less substantial than a real club. A jet of fire from one of the wizards injures her, but that is the extent of their defense… She quickly uses her club to render the remaining defenders unconscious.

She liberates the door key from the Master of the Gate & quietly lets herself into the Dwarf-hold.
You follow her progress as she moves unerringly to the heart of the Dwarven stronghold & bursts into the chambers of the war council. “I am Jathra, leader of the Dawn Clouds! I mean to harm no one…” she tosses a scroll out onto the large, polished marble table, “Behold! The Pillars of Expulsion!” The leaders of the Elves & Dwarves are suspicious, but in the end, they are too desperate not to trust her & they begin the massive work of building enough pillars to surround the vast camps of the Giant army back on the mainland. The design is to compel the giants peacefully back to their homes… cooling their lust for violence and shattering the spells of binding that hold the army to the will of Aeshotal the Mighty.

Your sense of time slips again and many years pass until you focus again upon the events before you.
This time you are in the lab-workshop of a powerful Elven mage & at its center is a vast adamantine obelisk with craftsmen swarming over its surface. They are carving & inlaying platinum runes and arcane sigils; moving in time with their complex, rhythmic chanting, they create a harmony of action that would make an ant envious. When the work is complete they retire to appointed positions & continue the chanting. Your attention is drawn this time to the vantage of an Elven wizard who enters the room at the back of a long procession of Elven Wizards and Dwarven Clerics. As with all Elves, it is impossible to determine his age, but his placement within the procession tells you he is likely to be the most junior member.

The procession breaks up as they each move to their appointed places, the Elf you are shadowing is stationed by the door as Guardian of the Gate. You & he stare in horror as the bound form of a stone giant is brought forth into the chamber & prepared for sacrifice. You see as the form of an other-worldly presence enters the heart of the diagrams on the floor around the obelisk. Everyone else addresses it as the Elf-Mother, but you and the young Elf Wizard see “it” for the writhing mass of tentacles & putrescence that is its true form. It begins to instruct them in the necessary rituals; blessedly, you never have to hear or witness any more than that. The Junior Wizard has run from the room long before the gruesome rite really gets going and your consciousness follows along behind.
He runs through stone halls until he gets to a series of rooms that seem to be his private study, but after he begins to “pick” the locks with magic, you see that the room is not his & he is looking for specific items. As he finds them, he throws them into a sack that seems entirely too small to hold such bulk. The door to the study explodes inward as he is racing for the balcony overlooking a sheltered vale in the heart of the mountain city. The young Elf leaps from the balcony as Elven & Dwarven warriors rush into the room. He lands upon the back of a mighty eagle as it swoops into position below him and you all fly away into the rising sun. You both hear the tortured screams of the stone giant as the ritual begins.

Many months pass swiftly as the young Elven Wizard sits and waits in the high mountain reaches of the southern Dragonspire Mountains; there is no need of his Wizard skills to scry on the events. Beyond all hope or expectation, the Elves & Dwarves succeed in activating the obelisks… Raging elementals and floods of raw elemental energies consume the island as it slowly sinks into the sea; killing Elves, Dwarves and Giants without mercy. The Elven Wizard flies away upon the back of his mighty eagle, the streaming wind drying away his tears before they can roll down his cheeks. Your journey is long, but he eventually circles down to a small hill that seems familiar. Circling the hill slowly, he casts a mighty spell that calls forth the stones from the ground into the familiar shapes of the megaliths you would run into for shelter… so many thousands of years later.
You return to your bodies, as the door swings open….
***

Chapter 10: Adrenalin can only take you so far…

Shaken from the vision, the physical exertions, and terror of the last few hours finally catches up to them and they decide that this little stretch of hallway is the safest place to make camp… packed in tight, but its better than nothing. They realize at this point that they have no food or water; but they manage to put together a fire out of the broken doors and finish roasting the “chicken of trap detecting.” Lamenting the lack of water, they set up 3 folks to handle “guard duty” in case anything else decides to jump out at them.

About an hour into the 1st watch, they are all woken by Balinor (Nicks’ Dwarf) as he raises the alarm. He has seen and they all have heard something odd. There were a series of loud “popping” sounds followed by screaming. Balinor saw that they were humanoids which seemed to appear out of the rock wall above & beside him, as they rocketed across the room to die a splattering death on the opposite wall 90ft away. Some of them arrived/projected from lower down on the wall to his right; those folks rolled there way nearly as far, but slowed sufficiently to survive.

[the arrival of Daren’s characters… apparently the Teleport Grid is Malfunctioning. He rolled up 4 and drew one from the Deck of Peon’s. then I had him roll 1d2 to determine how many died on arrival. He lost 2… his choice. His PC’s arrived via a failed teleport spell along with a dozen others fleeing the chaos in Vaquaria.]

Chapter 11: Water, water every where & nary a drop to drink…

The party was then increased by a turnip farmer (with a full sack of ripe turnips, slightly bruised), another type of farmer and a Halfling Gypsy, they all managed to avoid the pit traps as they wandered over to the main group to introduce themselves. They brought more food, but still no water. That pool of water in the other room was starting to look pretty good to them, but they decided to get back to sleep after eating a bunch of turnips. [the players were surprised by the fact that the corpse stayed dead; there’s a reason for this, but since players have access to this thread… they’ll just have to wait and see.]

They enjoyed an otherwise uneventful nights rest after all that ruckus. When they woke, they ate some more turnips, and were generally disappointed that they hadn’t all been dreaming. A quick reconnoiter showed that there were still purple & green flames blocking the entrance to the tomb, the sounds of rustling bones could still be heard from behind the unopened “west doors,” so they continued on into the chamber with the crystal statues and the reflecting pool.

They remembered that some sort of monster made of living water was in the pool, & that it could reach them if they were within 10ft of the pools edge. The layout of the room required them to make a 30ft dash to get into the room and clear of the threat. They shoved Lucky [one of Nick’s PC’s] in first to see what would happen… Lucky spotted the ripples, so did one of James’ PC’s, so they didn’t get surprised. James had the highest initiative, so he tried to yank Lucky back. He succeeded on all the rolls but they were both still in range of the monster; Lucky was the target of the attack so I gave him a +2 AC bonus. It didn’t help.

[In the conversion for the Water Wyrd, I read that the creature attacks as a 5th level fighter. Using my ratio of 1:4 levels {DCC to D&D} that meant the creature as a little more than 1st level in DCC. So I figure 2nd level. It then attacks by rolling 1d20+1d5 plus STR bonus & has a threat range of 19+. It only has one mighty deed… drown victim if the action die comes up as a 5; or rolls a critical success. The target of this drowning attack then gets a Luck roll w/ DC=11; success= target has managed to get a good lung full of air before getting pulled under. Dwarves and Half-Orcs then have up to 5 minutes (50rnds) to do something about their situation, everyone else gets up to 4 minutes (40rnds). If the initial Luck roll is failed, or the drowning victim has run out of time, they get a last Fortitude Save; DC=12, Failure= death by drowning. Success= 1 more minute, then the Fort save is repeated with +1 to the DC. They cycle continues until the PC escapes to the surface or dies trying.]

Chapter 12: Upwardly mobile…

Lucky’s sacrifice did allow everyone else to run far enough into the room to be safe… and loot enough gems to get rich… and start a noticeable current in the pool as the water started to drain. They didn’t have time to pull up enough gems to collapse the floor though. After some time milling about and searching the room they find the door on the east wall at the far end of the room. It is just as ornate as the door to the scrying room, but the doorknob is a palm sized ruby that is glowing ominously… and the key is still in the lock of the other door. Someone will have to go back for it… James sends one of his characters, but just before he gets into range of the monster, he remembers the statues. He starts whistling and then has one of Kasi’s PCs to take up the tune so that all his guy has to do is run like mad. They were all pleasantly surprised to see that the monster went for the distraction; as the crystal statue enter into the pool. Then they both fell through the newly weakened floor into the room below.

They open the new door and are not pleased to see that it leads further into the depths of the hill; but down they went, determined to see this through.

Chapter 13: Into the deeps…

[the module has this room set up as the place where the Lich will conduct his after life conquests. In this set up I have this room as the Lab that the Elven Wizard uses to create all of the constructs, traps, & such for this tomb. All of these rare ingredients, potions, and tomes along with the tables and shelves that held them are all long since fallen to moldering heaps. However, the entry of the party into the room empartes enough extra energy to cause the commingling of all of this arcane material to spontaneously form into 2 humanoid shapes with wood for bones, rags for muscles and parchment arteries carrying strange alchemical goo.]

One of Kasi’s PC’s threw in the torch and it succeeded at setting one of them on fire… which spread quickly to everything else. Several of the PCs were overcome by noxious fumes, but since the fire smoldered for 4 hrs, the healer had time to tend to everyone. During this time they sent one of Daren’s PC’s down into the lower chamber via the hole in the now mostly drained reflecting pool. This allowed them to survey the general layout of the tomb and surmise that doors in the room they torched led to this large vault. They’d have entered that way, save that there was naught but muddy water below the hole.

Chapter 14: None shall pass…

When they got to the doors of the room with the (now mostly dissolved) clay warriors, things started to get interesting. [I figured @ this point there were way more PCs than are needed for the overall storyline, so I allowed 4 of the clay warriors and 2 of the generals to survive.] The first four thinned the ranks of the players nicely, & allowed the Generals to get down to that end of the room to enter the fight. And it was quite a battle to remember.
[None of the Dwarves used their Mighty deeds much in this session, but they took full advantage of the Class die (d3) to hit often and hit hard.]

There is something magical about Dwarves. It doesn’t matter what system you are playing in; put 2 of them side by side blocking a tunnel or doorway and there will be carnage. Still there were at least 4 casualties (including the dog) but the healer got to earn her keep, and at one point got a critical success on her healing check. I figure success = 1hp restored, so James’ PC got healed for 2 hp with such a good roll.

Chapter 15: Two’s company, 4 is a bottle neck…

At one point Mikki had her Dwarf take off towards the large platinum statue that had stood up at the other end of the room when the other statues started to move in for the attack. This Dwarf is not that smart, and figured that since she was able to break the other clockwork statue, she could do the same with this one. Additionally it cleared enough space for people to start shooting passed their companions at the advancing Generals. A couple of rounds later and one near miss with a huge battleaxe, the Dwarf came running back to the party. Fortunately she made her listen check to realize that the statue is not animated by clockwork; a fact that she shouted out to everyone as she ran.

Chapter 16: How to think your way through the Dungeon...

The Generals were armored with mithril helms and chainmail, but their degraded condition meant that they still only had an AC of 13. The battle was grand and the peasants represented themselves quite well. While the looting was going on, James was noticing the red glow from the eyes of the statue, and went back for the key, but discovered that Mikki’s other PC “Pat the woodsman” had remembered to snag it before they came down the stairs. After donning the armor, one of Daren’s PC’s starts to query the statue and they discover that it will answer some of their questions.

PC (D);“Why are you here? What is your purpose?”

DM (statue); “I guard that which must not be lost or corrupted.”

PC (D);“Who do you guard it for?”

DM (statue); “For the one who is worthy.”

Were the important questions of the moment, at which time James’ PC (Dwight the Ditch Digger) steps up to the Dias and presents the key… Here is what everyone else saw:

The statue turns to Dwight and swings the axe as if to cleave him and the world in twain; but the blow stops millimeters above Dwights head. The 2 of them are poised like that for a few heartbeats, & then the key disappears, the statue returns to his throne of gold, and Dwight the ditch digger (now quite pale) wanders slowly back to the group.

Chapter 17: …what Dwight saw:

You are standing on an endless plane of dull gray rock; the sky is a darker shade of gray. In front of you stands the statue, but it now seems to be the real wizard only huge. His eyes are filled with fire and he stares hard at you. Behind you the sounds of the Ultimate Battle between Heaven & Hell are getting louder as they approach, over the Wizards shoulder you can see the growing obscenity of the Dark Sun slowly gaining in power as it becomes more solid.

In your mind you hear; “Chose. If the fate of the world was yours to decide, and you were given ultimate power; what would you do with it? Chose now… your time is shorter than you think.”
Dwight the ditch digger; “Um… I kinda like things as they are, so… um… I say keep the balance.”
DM (living-statue); “You are a worthy key barer. When the time comes, judge wisely.” And the statue walks away, fading…
***

Dwight did his best to explain all of this to his companions… but he is a little overwhelmed by it all. [great role playing from James]

Chapter 18: unto their great rewards...

They soon managed to find the secret door that leads to the treasure vault, but only by Dwight’s hand will it open. They enter the treasure vault & are careful to avoid the pentagram on the floor, but James lost his caravan guard (INT 6) after the healer made the connection between the items in the room and the ones in the vision. The caravan guard tried to break the seal on the “bottom-less” bag from their vision… he aged into dust in about 3 seconds.

Game clock suspended until next session @ a little after 8:30pm on January 1st, 3200; elapsed time= 21hrs +/- 15min.
***

NOTES:
I’m still getting positive feed back and everyone is having fun; but when I count everything up, there were (30) 0-level PC’s in this adventure. I count 13 that survived to the treasure chamber; so that’s a 56.6% death rate… & they still have to get back to the exit; which won’t be as easy as they think.

Some of the players have expressed a desire to keep all of their PC’s & others are wanting the herd to get thinned a bit more. Mikki has filed an- RqCE-000t “Requesting Character Elimination form” Termination quantity= 1 Dwarf.

She doesn’t like the “multi-PC” thing… too much to deal with. Additionally, she doesn’t like the way Dwarves are written in the rules, and if she can’t add levels there’s no need to play one. Besides, that character is as “dumb as a sack of anvils, and only has a 5 STR. How it survived to even get to the adventure is too much of a mystery/ disconnect.”
She’ll continue on with Pat the woodsman.

One way to look at it is to take all of the PC’s that they have been using most (because they each have favorites by now) & let them promote those, or let them all level up as I told them at the beginning… Personally, I could do with a few less characters to juggle.

Other problems: In designing monsters for encounters, I find that I’m hindered by the lack of a more developed Statistics chart for ability scores. As written: it means that nothing in the world is stronger or quicker or healthier, etc. than 18; Gods/dragons/men all have the same maximum for all stats.
I’ve been working around this for the most part by swapping out HD and damage dice, etc. with larger dice for creatures like ogre’s and Giants, but it would be easier if the stat chart went from 1 to 25 or 30. While a black bear might have a strength of 18, what about a dire polar bear? At the very least, some guide lines for creatures “Stronger than Humanoids.”

The solution I had for initiative has led to a minor issue in that the characters with fewer PC’s are seem to get more actions than the others with more PC’s. It might just be an illusion… 'cause every player is still taking a turn in sequence, but the folks with more PC’s have longer to wait in between using each character.
***

@ Caveman (Daren) > Not sure what you mean by cowardly play? Are you referring to the “bottle-neck of PC’s” at the entrance to the room with the clay warriors where everyone let some of their PC’s hang back in safety. There wasn’t that much room to fight, so the Dwarves “defended the doorway.” So a lot of the characters kinda held back to let the Dwarves work their magic... so to speak...


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:12 am 
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Posts: 135
Exactly. I held my characters back. Maybe it was careful play.
Thanks for the extensive write up. It is interesting to see different rules interpretations. I agree that there are a ton of characters, but that could change quickly.
Overall, I really dug the problemsolving aspect of your dungeon. Ill try to make it back when I can.

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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:13 am 
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Posts: 341
Game report #4

Our session started with the discovery that the Criestine Teleport Network is apparently more broken than we realized… the 3 PC’s played by Daren had shimmering portals open under their feet and they were shunted somewhere else. But before the enormity of this event could fully register with the rest of the party; the granular remains from the former caravan guard swirled into a vortex centered in the pentagram on the floor. An eerie red glow fills the room and all are whisked into the dusty vortex.

Fade to black.

***

They regain consciousness to discover that they are on the hill just outside of the stone arch in the center of the standing stones, but everything is green and lush; no signs that the town had existed much less having been destroyed in such a violent fashion. It is morning and there is the promise of a beautiful day on the light breeze from the east.

Off to the west there is a collection of grass sod and thatch huts that constitute a fair sized village off in the distance. As you approach you realize that the huts are too small for Humans, a point that is confirmed shortly by the emergence of dozens of Gnomes, their pointy red caps quivering with excitement as they smilingly greet you. Two of the eldest, one female, one male approach the party while the rest hang back; “Greetings fair travelers, be at ease for you are safe here.” Says the gnama (female Gnome); “Our Lord built this refuge and yonder complex and gave us sanctuary in exchange for our promise to act as teachers for the worthy students who would someday arrive.” Says the gnam (male Gnome). Together they say in unison, “Our lord gives you the most precious gifts he has to offer: knowledge & time.”

*+*+*+*

Interlude: We spent the rest of the time going over my version of Áereth in more detail (answering and focusing interests in) the nearly 20 pages of the “players handbook” file I wrote. Then went over the beta rules again and covered the character classes for the first time, including the cleric update.

There are some issues cropping up, most of them minor and solvable: one isn’t.

No body was interested in playing a thief until I announced the d20 rules for thief skills… so that sums up that argument fairly well. For myself, I have no strong opinion on d20 vs. d100; they both work and have advantages & disadvantages. So we’re going with d20.

Necessary basic rules I’ve had to make in order to run the game: this section will be updated as needed…


{this first one is resurrecting an old practice that I stopped after the transition to D&D3.0. Back then I always had every PC calculate their individual luck scores as = the average of all their character stats}
Group Luck: the average of all Luck Scores of the Party members (not including familiars and such). This score is then used to figure things like random monster/encounter checks, weather, and treasure, etc. Players may not burn Group Luck or use the Halfling Luck ability to change the results of this roll. It’s the heavy hand of Fate.

Lifting, Pushing, Carrying, and Encumberance: A medium sized character can lift up to 10 x their Strength stat over their head, and they can carry or push up to half of that weight in equipment and such before becoming encumbered. An Encumbered character has -1 to hit and damage/ -1 AC/ -10 feet of movement, and must make a Fortitude save for every hour of continuous activity. The DC for the Fortitude Save is 8+1 per previous check; failure means the creature is Fatigued. Dwarves are never encumbered by the weight of their equipment, armor, or loot. Characters may combine their carrying/ pushing weight to move large objects as long as everyone can get a good hold on the object. A Halfling sized creature multiplies STR stat by 5, and large creatures multiply by 100; huge creatures multiply by 1000. If the creature is also a quadruped, then multiply final result by 1.5, but cannot lift anything.
Example: medium sized creature with STR of 16 can lift 160# over its head and may carry or push up to 80# without encumbrance. If the creature were Halfling sized then they can lift 80# and carry 40# without encumbrance, though if it had 4 legs it could carry or push 60#. An Ogre (sized large) with STR 18 can lift 1800# over its head and push/carry 900# before becoming encumbered. A Clydesdale with STR 18 can push or carry a maximum of 1350# before injury or collapse. A medium sized creature with STR of 16 carrying more than 80# makes a Fort save DC 8 at the end of the first hour of activity; after the next hour the DC=9, etc.


Objects on wheeled carts count as ¼ of their actual weight for the pushing calculation. For Example: if a wagon is loaded with 4000# of cargo (and wagon, driver, etc.) the Clydesdale above could pull the wagon, but the 1000# effective weight is beyond the 675# limit for encumbrance. so the horse's speed will be reduced and it will need to make Fortitude saves every hour.

Running: A characters top running speed is = [(their Strength x 10) - the amount of weight carried] in feet per round. The character accelerates & decelerates at 2x their move speed. Encumbered creatures cannot run.
EXAMPLE: a medium sized creature with a STR of 18 who is carrying nothing, has a maximum speed of 180ft/ round (12.27 mph) and it will take them 3 rounds (30 sec) to get to that speed. If they are carrying up to 90#, then their maximum running speed = 90ft per round (6.1 mph) after accelerating for 2 rounds.

After reaching their top speed: a character can maintain that speed for a number of minutes = their Stamina x 7.5. The runner may turn by up to 45 degr. before provoking a Reflex save DC= 8+1/10 degrees beyond 45.

Sprinting speed is = their current top running speed x 1.3, and they may accelerate at 3 x their current move speed. The character can maintain this speed for a number of rounds = 1.3 x their Stamina score. The runner may turn by up to 30 degr. before provoking a Reflex save DC= 10+1/10 degrees beyond 30.
EXAMPLE: a medium sized creature with a STR of 18 who is carrying nothing, has a maximum sprinting speed of 230ft / round (15.68 mph) and it will take them 2 rounds and 1 action (25sec) to get to that speed. If they are carrying up to 90#, then their maximum sprinting speed = 115ft per round (7.84 mph) after accelerating for 1 round & 1 segment (15sec). Encumbered creatures may not sprint.

{Applies flame retardant foam to self: the calculations above are based on examining the current world records for the 100m sprint, the measured mile, and the Olympic Marathon and converting them into game terms. The record for the 100m sprint =220ft in 9.58sec which is about 15 miles an hour. The record for the measured mile is 3min 43.13sec= 220ft/rd for 22 rds. The record for the marathon is 2hr 3min 59sec= 184.5ft/rd (12.54 mph) for 124 minutes. I set up the calculations based on the idea that an Olympic Champion has stats of 17, leaving room for the truly heroic creatures. None of this takes terrain, visibility, or weather conditions into consideration…}

Skills:

Climbing: uses strength or agility depending on the type of climbing being done: sheer surfaces (STR), natural rock wall or tree (AGIL). A climber without ropes or a climb speed may climb 5ft per round. Ropes or other climbing gear will double this speed to 10ft per round. Thieves double these speeds.

Jump (STR): A creature rolls a jump check verses a DC= 1 per foot of jumping distance, and a running start grants a +1 bonus per 10ft of running speed; must have reasonable room to run at the speed desired.

Spot (INT): Maximum indoor spotting range at ground level is equal to die roll x 5ft; modified by lighting and environment. Maximum Outdoor spotting range is equal to die roll x50ft; modified by lighting and environment. Every 10ft of elevation doubles the range of the spotting distance; therefore the indoors increment progresses: 5ft@ ground level, 10ft@ 10ft height, 20ft @ 20ft elevation, 40ft @ a height of 30ft, etc. assuming there is adequate lighting or other capabilities. Out doors the progression would be: 50ft gr. lvl; 100ft at 10ft height; etc.

Search (INT): Searching a room thoroughly takes 1 turn (10 minutes) per 400sq.ft.; so a 50ft, by 50ft room takes 62.5 minutes (2500sq.ft. /400sq.ft.=6.25turns) to search thoroughly.

Table top movement: 1 hex = 5ft; all distances are measured center to center.

Flanking: if you can get behind an opponent that is other wise distracted, or when attacking from ambush; then your attack gets +1 to hit and damage.

Fatigue: when a PC is fatigued, they are -10ft movement & -1 AC and on all actions until they can get a nights rest.

Exhaustion: double the penalties for fatigue and the PC must rest for a full day.

***

Now for the tough issue:

I’ve got a player who has no interest in continuing the game because; “I have no emotional/personal attachment & therefore no interest in playing the survivors of the funnel. The disconnect between stats and occupation is too odd to overcome: and I hate the way they wrote the Dwarves.”

When I inquired a little deeper they said: “In other versions of RPG games, I make lots of tiny little decisions about “this” or “that” aspect of a character design. Each of those decisions helps to bring the character alive & makes them unique. The character lives or dies based on the accumulation of my plans verses what Fate has in mind. In this system everything is done to my character by a table of options written by someone else’s ideas of how things should be. There’s not enough room for “me” in my characters.”

I offered the full spectrum of DM “appeasements;” including rolling up new character(s), but no luck.

Response: “ It still doesn’t change the fact that someone else is writing the tables, so I’m stuck choosing or randomly picking from someone else’s ideas…”

Some more food for thought.

***

There is a schedule conflict, so we’ll be skipping a session.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:35 pm
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A detailed and well thought out write up as ever Tortog!
Ok two things stood out to me one trivial the other serious. If I may:-
Tortog wrote:

Climbing: uses strength or agility depending on the type of climbing being done: sheer surfaces (STR), natural rock wall or tree (AGIL). A climber without ropes or a climb speed may climb 5ft per round. Ropes or other climbing gear will double this speed to 10ft per round. Thieves double these speeds.

Golly your thieves climb 2' per second with a rope? Spider man must be jealous! (Page 62 of the beta 1 round = 10 seconds) Or is this a case of Combat round and normal time round confusion as happened in 1st Ed?

Now the serious issue
Tortog wrote:
I’ve got a player who has no interest in continuing the game because; “I have no emotional/personal attachment & therefore no interest in playing the survivors of the funnel. The disconnect between stats and occupation is too odd to overcome: and I hate the way they wrote the Dwarves.”

When I inquired a little deeper they said: “In other versions of RPG games, I make lots of tiny little decisions about “this” or “that” aspect of a character design. Each of those decisions helps to bring the character alive & makes them unique. The character lives or dies based on the accumulation of my plans verses what Fate has in mind. In this system everything is done to my character by a table of options written by someone else’s ideas of how things should be. There’s not enough room for “me” in my characters.”

I offered the full spectrum of DM “appeasements;” including rolling up new character(s), but no luck.

Response: “ It still doesn’t change the fact that someone else is writing the tables, so I’m stuck choosing or randomly picking from someone else’s ideas…”

Some more food for thought.

It certainly was food for thought and well summed up both by yourself and your unhappy player. I think for me however its a play style thing. The random character funnel has had me playing characters I never would have considered as possibilities before. It has caused me and my players to role play reasons WHY the 7 str Dwarven Blacksmith can fight like he does (Belive me he is one LUCKY character in battle for all his incongruous stats/background)

I am in full agreement with your player that there is no room for player tweaking at the early stages of character roll up. I just don't feel it a bad thing personally but can see why they do.

I think this may be a case where you can't "be all things to all men" (sorry ladies just a quote!) DCC is taking a different tac to many another game. Some will not like it no mater what. If so then DCC is not for them. If Mr G wants it to be for them then he had better give a non random generating official option rule sometime very soon. Maybe a point buy system where a good background comes at the cost of reduced stat points or.. something I.. I.. dunno..

For me and my group at least there is a lot of fun and satisfaction developing our "misfits" where charater growth is not from strong to stronger but weak to average as well! But my sympathy to those for whom that is not a fun activity.

And if you playing a game that isn't fun to you ought to stop or else whats the point? How broader market are you going for Goodman Games?

_________________
{Standard Disclaimer} If it was mentioned already and I missed it, please put this down to my advanced age and senility rather than discourtesy!
My DCC spell work page is here https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1x_NmKhGbZLBukbWH78qR-38ebmMULEIbz1vt64YaILM


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:32 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:44 am
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Ducaster wrote:
Golly your thieves climb 2' per second with a rope? Spider man must be jealous! (Page 62 of the beta 1 round = 10 seconds) Or is this a case of Combat round and normal time round confusion as happened in 1st Ed?


No confusion, I just think were visualizing things a bit differently. If someone (thief or otherwise) is climbing a rope hanging from the middle of the room, they're going to slow down a bit. When I wrote the rule I was visualizing a rope next to a wall that you can walk up while using hands on the rope. Though it should be noted that I have a brother-in-law who can easily cover 15ft in 10sec up a rope... just using his hands and no wall... of course he's so physically fit that he'll be dead a year and still be healthier than most folks :lol: Personally, I've always felt that Spider-man (supposedly with the proportional strength of a spider) has always been depicted as TOO SLOW for the superhero's description and abilities. :wink:

Quote:
It certainly was food for thought and well summed up both by yourself and your unhappy player. I think for me however its a play style thing. The random character funnel has had me playing characters I never would have considered as possibilities before. It has caused me and my players to role play reasons WHY the 7 str Dwarven Blacksmith can fight like he does (Belive me he is one LUCKY character in battle for all his incongruous stats/background)


True, but at some point you run up against the law of diminishing returns. This is one of the players 2 surviving Characters...

Pat the woodcutter for example: STR 7; AGIL 5; STAM 16; PER 5; INT 5; LUCK 14. Luck applies to find/disable traps... As a DM & a player it is obvious to me that the only reason the character survived to adulthood is because they are durable & lucky. But there's NO hope of turning this into a playable PC!

Quote:
I am in full agreement with your player that there is no room for player tweaking at the early stages of character roll up. I just don't feel it a bad thing personally but can see why they do.



This is the other, a Dwarf miner: STR 10; AGIL 11; STAM 12; PER 13; INT 4; LUCK 13. Luck applies to save rolls. This is actually a great character by DCC standards, but she isn't interested in the PC because she doesn't want to be locked into playing a fighter. It's not that she doesn't like fighters, she's descended from viking kings, when she desires to play a fighter it is truly terrifying to witness. She prefers to play rogues/thieves, this Dwarf won't be good at either thieving or fighting and is better suited to cleric. Frankly, she's offended by the fact that the Dwarves aren't allowed to be anything else. In her words: "The game system is entirely biased towards humans on a level that's bordering prejudice."

Me; "Actually, you can add classes to the Dwarf..."

Her; "What's the catch?"

Me; "You lose all Dwarven racial abilities..."

Her; "That's an existential impossibility! If you take a way the racial abilities, then it isn't a Dwarf... just a short hairy human."

Quote:
I think this may be a case where you can't "be all things to all men" (sorry ladies just a quote!)
considering that there are plenty of other ways to have said this; I find you comment to be a tad passive aggressive in its tone. It does remind me of something I forgot to put in my last report. When I opened up the discussion at the table to general comments and criticisms, James was the first one off the mark with; "I'm pissed that there isn't one feminine pronoun in the whole damn book! What's up with that? At least 3rd edition used feminine pronouns."

Me; "Actually, if you look closer at 3rd ed D&D you'll see that the gender biases are still there: everything combat related uses the male pronoun and everything healing or magical in nature uses feminine pronouns. The Monk is female, but I think most gamers agree that the 3.x versions of Monk are broken classes that most folks don't bother with."

Quote:
DCC is taking a different tac to many another game. Some will not like it no mater what. If so then DCC is not for them. If Mr G wants it to be for them then he had better give a non random generating official option rule sometime very soon. Maybe a point buy system where a good background comes at the cost of reduced stat points or.. something I.. I.. dunno..
based on things I've read on this site... I doubt it. Though I don't think we don't really need one. I offered a chance to roll up a few 0-levels, pick one and then promote it to first level. I even offered to change George into a human with gender identity issues to explain that he was using Dwarven equipment and fighting styles, clothing, etc. For her it boils down to the fact that: "If we need to twist the system that far to create something interesting then I'm better off focusing on school-work."

Quote:
For me and my group at least there is a lot of fun and satisfaction developing our "misfits" where charater growth is not from strong to stronger but weak to average as well! But my sympathy to those for whom that is not a fun activity.


Whatever floats your boat, but I don't think its a question of going from strong to stronger. I think "normal to hero" would appeal to a wider audience. To me, the whole "weak to average" idea is just a fancy way of celebrating mediocrity... I get plenty of those kinds of stories every day in the newspapers.

Quote:
And if you playing a game that isn't fun to you ought to stop or else whats the point? How broader market are you going for Goodman Games?


Agreed on the first point, but she had fun during the 0lvl game, enjoying it for what it was; but it didn't generate enough interest for her to stretch her schedule to allow for game time. As to the the second, that's tough to answer. The simplest answer: its Mr.G's baby... he can do what ever the f*ck he want's.

Me, I've always been a huge DCC fan (I only need DCC#31 and the tournament modules to have a complete set) so having the DCC RPG system that radically diverges from previous material is irksome to say the least, so yes I've been passionately arguing for a general loosening or lightening of the "tone/and flavor." For this play test I deliberately abandoned the Appendix N flavoring because I'm turned off by the Cold war dichotomies, misogyny, and poorly researched stereotypes of magic that many of those books represent. And a lot of that stuff seems to have made it into the game; :Law vs. Chaos"; the description of the Skill DC's is downright sexist; and I hope the Native Americans Communities don't find out that once again Shamanism has been lumped in with the devil & demon worshipers... they've been fighting that misinterpretation for more than 500 years. Am I the only one who remembers that the two biggest criticisms leveled against D&D was that it conditions young impressionable minds to the ideas of sexism & racism?

When I first met Nick he said he's a writer, so I asked him to read it from a writers point of view. He agrees with me: it reads like an angry manifesto. And that's sad, because the design team can point to the mechanics of the game and justly claim that their brilliance is well documented.

I think the system could be stripped down to its base mechanics to let each play group decide on the flavors they like. If he did that... I predict that the games couldn't be printed fast enough to meet the market demand. To me that sounds like a better way to honor Gygax & Anrneson.

I realize that my comments won't be popular, and some of my criticisms have been harsh; but only because I see the DCC RPG system as a diamond in the rough. Like a diamond, it must be exposed to great heat and pressure to improve its quality.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:49 am 
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Tortog wrote:
True, but at some point you run up against the law of diminishing returns. This is one of the players 2 surviving Characters...

Pat the woodcutter for example: STR 7; AGIL 5; STAM 16; PER 5; INT 5; LUCK 14. Luck applies to find/disable traps... As a DM & a player it is obvious to me that the only reason the character survived to adulthood is because they are durable & lucky. But there's NO hope of turning this into a playable PC!
Eeek! Those are way worse stats than I had pictured. Point wholley conceded. The game ought to have some kind of fail safe to prevent walking statistical disasters from being foisted upon a player that doesn't want them. I'm a little confused however. From a much earlier post you said:-
Tortog wrote:
Things went quite smoothly all things considered. The table was reserved for 5hrs so I took my time explaining things. As I’ve posted elsewhere, I made up a “deck” of 70 laminated pre-gen 0-lvls which made explaining the game a lot easier this time. Since they had everything on them they functioned very well as both a check list & as a prompt for more detailed questions.

With one player, the cards (& the handy 4-up blank versions) proved beneficial once again for their size; the ¼ page format was much preferred to the full sized sheets for organizational reasons. He was playing 10 PCs; 3 he rolled at the table & 7 picked from deck, & his very first PC is a Gongfarmer named “Lucky” because he has the highest luck score of the “pack:” 15. Though he did well in the PC’s that he picked, there were 2 PC’s with 18’s (STR & INT) through the game he has been carefully chaperoning these 3 by using the others as cannon fodder.

So..? How come the later arriving players didn't manage to find a character in the remaining 60 odd cards they liked if you gave them options to pick as you did with Nick? Or was it just dumb luck that killed off their favorites leaving just ... 'examples' like the dwarf described above to survive? That would have frustrated the hell out of me I'll be the first to admit!

Tortog wrote:
Ducaster wrote:
I think this may be a case where you can't "be all things to all men" (sorry ladies just a quote!)
considering that there are plenty of other ways to have said this; I find you comment to be a tad passive aggressive in its tone.

I would like to apologise for coming across this way. It was neither my intent to be patronising or aggressive; passive or otherwise. I just have always used that quote for when I see a situation like that where its hard to please everybody. Personally I have never seen the Issue with the male/female pronouns thing. I hope to goodness that isn't some latent misogynistic trait on my part. I had hoped my wife would have beaten that out of me by now as a long time lady gamer as well. :P Which reminds me the flavor text of the Beta is very reminiscent of the very old D&D text with its incautious references to "evil" magic. But that's never bothered me, as a long time Pagan I am well used to having folks toss about inaccurate references to things I consider spiritual. I guess I just tune it out now as the mistaken opinions of the ignorant, automatically.(Oh, and no, that was not intended as patronizing either. Its just my way of dealing with a nasty issue)

Still your friend Nick is correct it does come across a bit angry! This is a shame as it wouldn't take much effort to convert DCC to a gender neutral write up of the text to avoid many of these issues


Tortog wrote:
I offered a chance to roll up a few 0-levels, pick one and then promote it to first level. I even offered to change George into a human with gender identity issues to explain that he was using Dwarven equipment and fighting styles, clothing, etc. For her it boils down to the fact that: "If we need to twist the system that far to create something interesting then I'm better off focusing on school-work."

Actually from what I have read here your fine options were exactly the spirit of the system that Mr G is going for. Encourage the DM to customize it to suit their (and their groups) preferences. I think I had best shut up on the subject of rules interpretation however. I freely admit I gave up on D&D After 2nd edition because IMOHO it got so rules top heavy (and pretty durn specific rules too!) for me to keep track of. To me DCC is a breath of fresh air in an awful lot of "metagaming" (I hate that word BTW but it seems to be the one in use I am told.)

Tortog wrote:
I think "normal to hero" would appeal to a wider audience. To me, the whole "weak to average" idea is just a fancy way of celebrating mediocrity... I get plenty of those kinds of stories every day in the newspapers.
I hear you. I play FRPG's to get away from real life and its woes and irritations too. Still it is a recognized genre for the boy from humble beginings rise to great things. But if thats not your style fair play to you.

I think I'm gonna make me a deck of pregens like your own but in light of the above deliberately stack it with a few "stars" and/or edit out the hopeless cases the pure random dice throw up.

Thanks again for a detailed and well thought out set of write ups!

_________________
{Standard Disclaimer} If it was mentioned already and I missed it, please put this down to my advanced age and senility rather than discourtesy!
My DCC spell work page is here https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1x_NmKhGbZLBukbWH78qR-38ebmMULEIbz1vt64YaILM


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:19 am 
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Ducaster wrote:
Tortog wrote:
I think "normal to hero" would appeal to a wider audience. To me, the whole "weak to average" idea is just a fancy way of celebrating mediocrity... I get plenty of those kinds of stories every day in the newspapers.
I hear you. I play FRPG's to get away from real life and its woes and irritations too. Still it is a recognized genre for the boy from humble beginings rise to great things. But if thats not your style fair play to you.


This is my lingering challenge with the game. We've had similar statistical disaster zones. My players are pretty good at "shepherding" promising characters now, but we have had some players who literally have gone through 8 zero level characters and gotten nothing with better than a net +1 among their ability scores. And one of those included a 5 Stamina, so not built for the long term.

We've enjoyed the funnel, but I'm not sure where things are headed from there. Admittedly, I've made a few DM mistakes in having some folks doing funnel style while others have had first levels along, and ended up finishing a couple first level characters who it would have been more fun to have survive.

The saving grace right now is the "roll over the body" rules from my perspective. I think I'll convert most of those ability damage penalties to temporary. If I get play moving again. I'm hopeful for a resurgence at game release at least.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:49 am 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

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Personally, I think the funnel can work for folks who want to go zero to hero with the proposal I made in this post: viewtopic.php?p=45099#p45099


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:51 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Ducaster wrote:
... The game ought to have some kind of fail safe to prevent walking statistical disasters from being foisted upon a player that doesn't want them.


True. I've been toying with rolling 2d6+6 or something similar for starting stats. It would keep the ultra low scores from happening and increase the likelihood of bonuses. One of the things I used to do back in AD&D was have everyone roll 3d6; 6x and then write them down on a card.


{these were randomly rolled}
player 1 rolls: 09,06,09,12,12,13
player 2 rolls: 08,11,08,10,14,12
.................: 13,07,13,11,08,09
.................: 11,09,15,09,09,12
.................: 11,17,07, 10,11,05
.................: 15,11,12,13,14,10


You must have at least a grid of 36 numbers in rows & columns of 6. (DM rolls extra sets if there are less than 6 players)

then everyone rolls a d20; highest number gets to pick first. Player can choose any horizontal row, column, or diagonal. once chosen no one else my take the same row, column, or diagonal a second time; but numbers may be reused if part of another row,column, or different diagonal.

So in the above example with 2 players, the first to choose will likely go for the: 13,14,11,15,17,15; & the other can then take 6,11,10,9,17,11. They could also decide they like the numbers on the last row to make a good cleric; but the second player can't take 15,17,15,11,14,13

more than 6 players just means more opportunities for diagonals; and as an extra bonus, I could keep the card and use it to generate any needed stats for at least 72 NPC's

Quote:
So..? How come the later arriving players didn't manage to find a character in the remaining 60 odd cards they liked if you gave them options to pick as you did with Nick? Or was it just dumb luck that killed off their favorites leaving just ... 'examples' like the dwarf described above to survive? That would have frustrated the hell out of me I'll be the first to admit!


Later arriving players only drew 3 cards and then rolled the other two for themselves. Nick pulled 7 cards and got to choose from maximum number of potential cards. I offered a chance to draw new cards too.

Quote:
I would like to apologise for coming across this way. It was neither my intent to be patronising or aggressive; passive or otherwise. I just have always used that quote for when I see a situation like that where its hard to please everybody.
accepted, & I offer mine in return, I sometime forget that communicating via internet can can sometimes distort the intended meaning of a comment.

Quote:
... Which reminds me the flavor text of the Beta is very reminiscent of the very old D&D text with its incautious references to "evil" magic. But that's never bothered me, as a long time Pagan I am well used to having folks toss about inaccurate references to things I consider spiritual. I guess I just tune it out now as the mistaken opinions of the ignorant, automatically.(Oh, and no, that was not intended as patronizing either. Its just my way of dealing with a nasty issue)
no offense taken, as a long time Pagan myself I know exactly what you mean, it's just that my philosophy won't let me sit idle without at least shouting once that the Emperor has no clothes. Stereotypes and such only persist were people permit them too. (that's just a general philosophy of mine, not a statement leveled at you :wink: )


Quote:
Still your friend Nick is correct it does come across a bit angry! This is a shame as it wouldn't take much effort to convert DCC to a gender neutral write up of the text to avoid many of these issues

... I freely admit I gave up on D&D After 2nd edition because IMOHO it got so rules top heavy (and pretty durn specific rules too!) for me to keep track of. To me DCC is a breath of fresh air in an awful lot of "metagaming" (I hate that word BTW but it seems to be the one in use I am told.)


No kidding! I had to start using a computer and spreadsheet to keep all the minutia of the NPC's strait for my campaigns. As a Player I made a computerized character sheet in Excel to keep track of everything... there are something like 10 different situations where your AC can go up or down depending on the situation/event; charging, squeezing, climbing, etc. yada, yada...

Quote:
I hear you. I play FRPG's to get away from real life and its woes and irritations too. Still it is a recognized genre for the boy from humble beginings rise to great things. But if thats not your style fair play to you.

I think I'm gonna make me a deck of pregens like your own but in light of the above deliberately stack it with a few "stars" and/or edit out the hopeless cases the pure random dice throw up.

Thanks again for a detailed and well thought out set of write ups!


I didn't go into the details on this thread, but on the tread started by the programmer. I stacked the deck as much as I could, Nick was just lucky enough to nail a bunch of them in spite of my shuffling. I made sure that there was at least one character in the deck w/ an 18, for each stat. Meaning at least one character w/18 STR, one w/ 18 AGIL, etc. And there is one PC with a double 18 (Agility & Stamina)


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:57 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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jmucchiello wrote:
Personally, I think the funnel can work for folks who want to go zero to hero with the proposal I made in this post: viewtopic.php?p=45099#p45099


YIKES! That is terrifyingly complicated. It's Shadow run meets D&D... :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

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Tortog wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
Personally, I think the funnel can work for folks who want to go zero to hero with the proposal I made in this post: viewtopic.php?p=45099#p45099


YIKES! That is terrifyingly complicated. It's Shadow run meets D&D... :roll:

How is it complicated? It only applies to level 0 play and is entirely within the control of the Judge.
Str 12 (5, 5, 2)
Agil 11 (6, 4, 1)
etc

Player does something agile so you tell him to roll a d6: 5
Agil 15 (6, 5, 4)

Player does something strong so you have him roll a d6: 1
Str 12 (5, 5, 2)


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:28 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
Tortog wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
Personally, I think the funnel can work for folks who want to go zero to hero with the proposal I made in this post: viewtopic.php?p=45099#p45099


YIKES! That is terrifyingly complicated. It's Shadow run meets D&D... :roll:

How is it complicated? It only applies to level 0 play and is entirely within the control of the Judge.
Str 12 (5, 5, 2)
Agil 11 (6, 4, 1)
etc

Player does something agile so you tell him to roll a d6: 5
Agil 15 (6, 5, 4)

Player does something strong so you have him roll a d6: 1
Str 12 (5, 5, 2)


Well... I went back to your post after I'd had some sleep, but it still took me nearly an hour of puzzling through the different possible interpretations of what you'd written before I figured out what you're trying to do with this one. The key piece of info that is missing from your post is a definition of what the #'s in () represent. As written, you go from talking about the "dice pool" to talking about stats w/ (#,#,#) which leads the reader to the natural conclusion that they are not stat rolls, but from this dice pool they were just reading about... now... I think I understand what you're trying to accomplish here..

let me see if I got this right...

0lvl character rolls stat 10 {6,2,2}

the DM has between 25 & 30 d6's to dole out based on the actions of the players... impressive actions get rewarded with a stat bump. But what I still don't get is why the Dice Pool is divided up into groups from 6d6 down to 3d6? What's the division for, they are just arbitrary d6's waiting for assignment to a player?

"Dice Pool," just saying it gives me the willies; in fact my feelings about dice pools are similar to your opinions on skills & skill checks...

If it works for you and your players like it, fine. Nothing personal, but if I sat down at a game table and the DM hit me with this concept... I'd apologize for taking up their valuable time and leave.

***

The design idea behind this system states that role play solutions are better than mechanical ones. So my solution to the abysmal stats of the PC's is: give each player 2d3's at the end of doing the paperwork for leveling up to 1st. these dice are applied separately to stats of the players choice; except for LUCK.
EXAMPLE: warrior with the following stats (pulled from the matrix above to save me time)
STR 12, AGIL 10, STAM 11, INT 9, PER 10, LUCK 13

At the end of his arduous physical training for 1st level, player may add 1d3 to STR & AGIL; or, AGIL & STAM; or, STR & STAM. This represents the benefits of the intense physical training.

A wizard can add those dice to INT and another stat to represent the intense focus of their studies, because becoming a wizard is the D&D equivalent of going to college. The other die could be used to shore up another weak stat, because all classes receive some kind of combat training. Even if they gain no bonuses from the roll, it still means the wizard @ 1st level is going to have some more points available for stat burn.

Nobody can double up the dice on a stat, and LUCK is something you're born with... only the Goddess of Luck can increase that...


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:41 pm 
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While I was typing up my response to jmucchiello I had the following idea concerning my disgruntled player. Pat the woodsman is really just the 10 year old apprentice to a woodsman. the training for 1st level sparks off a spurt of growth and development: +1d8 to all stats less than 10; but no other increases for training. No d3's, but I would let the player roll the dice first before picking a class; slight discontinuity error, but too minor to worry about and I'm a nice DM.

That got her interest... she said that if she hadn't signed up for a bunch of classes for school already, that this solution would bring her back to the table. :mrgreen:

mischief managed...


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:15 am 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

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Tortog wrote:
"Dice Pool," just saying it gives me the willies; in fact my feelings about dice pools are similar to your opinions on skills & skill checks...

The only place dice pool applies to my idea was in terms of inspiration. My system is just a bastardization of the alternate ability score generation found in Unearthed Arcana. Take 25 dice and arrange among your 6 stats (minimum 3 per stat). Roll the selected number of dice and choose the best 3. The difference is you don't get the additional 7 dice (or whatever) until you earn them in the funnel. And you don't pick which abilities get the bonus dice, the Judge does.

And as I said, this isn't for people who like the "you are not a hero" part of DCCRPG. It is for people who want heroes.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:59 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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well this is :oops: its what I get for not letting my wife check the math first....

Sprinting speed is = their current top running speed x 1.8, and their acceleration to top speed is (in game terms) nearly instant. The character can maintain this speed for a number of rounds = .5 x their Stamina score. The runner may turn by up to 15 degr. before provoking a Reflex save DC= 10+1/5 degrees beyond 15.
EXAMPLE: a medium sized creature with a STR of 18 who is carrying nothing, has a maximum sprinting speed of 325ft / round (22.36 mph) Encumbered creatures may not sprint.


& I forgot this one:

Shields shall be Splintered rule: Any creature with a shield may opt to avoid lethal melee damage by sacrificing their shield. A normal weapon may not shatter a magical shield, except as a function of the Mighty Deeds of Arms (MdoA) system. A warrior or Dwarf must score an MdoA value = shields magic AC rating, and the weapon is destroyed as well. Magic shields may sacrifice a “+1” worth of their magic AC rating whenever the owner chooses, until they are rendered normal, after that they are vulnerable to normal weapons again & have one more use.


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:14 am 
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Tortog wrote:
Shields shall be Splintered rule: Any creature with a shield may opt to avoid lethal melee damage by sacrificing their shield. A normal weapon may not shatter a magical shield, except as a function of the Mighty Deeds of Arms (MdoA) system. A warrior or Dwarf must score an MdoA value = shields magic AC rating, and the weapon is destroyed as well. Magic shields may sacrifice a “+1” worth of their magic AC rating whenever the owner chooses, until they are rendered normal, after that they are vulnerable to normal weapons again & have one more use.


I especially like this one! I assume its usable by 0 levels in the funnel as well as 1sts? Is there any chance however that we could see a character having a bunch of small shields (bucklers) on their person just to abuse this do you think?

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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Ducaster wrote:
I especially like this one!


Thanx. I'll pass that on to everyone, cause it was totally a group effort on this one. I came to the table with the basic idea from the links I found at this site, but they had never heard of it before. I asked them if they could help me find a solution to how to deal w/ magic weapons and this is where we ended up.

Quote:
I assume its usable by 0 levels in the funnel as well as 1sts?


Hell ya! I even extend it to tables, chairs, by-standers, small to medium sized land mammals that can't escape fast enough.... Because as far as I'm concerned, no adventure is complete without at least 1 tavern brawl... though a good food/pie fight is an acceptable (children friendly) alternative. :mrgreen:

Quote:
Is there any chance however that we could see a character having a bunch of small shields (bucklers) on their person just to abuse this do you think?


We'd have to hash out the rules for bucklers first... but in theory I have no problem with a player attempting to turn themselves into a turtle. I'd balance things out by increasing their physical check penalties and movement. I don't think I'll have to worry about it in my group. During the discussion, I asked if they thought the idea could be applied to armor as well as shields and they weren't too keen on it. They thought the theory was sound, but too much work.

Guess I'll go back to using my armor degraded by critical strikes rule from my AD&D days.

Every time a creature is hit by a critical strike their AC is reduced by 1 until they can get it repaired.

Our group isn't playing again 'till Sept., if your players are kosher with the Shields rule; do you mind letting us know how it works?


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:48 am 
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Game report #5:

A few last minute book-keeping details before moving on…

1. After the discussions on the threads, I offered James the opportunity to re-arrange the Thief skills for one of his PC’s, but he figured it was too much work… suggested that if he wanted to change them he’d just roll 1d3s for each. He decided to go with the Stock skill lists for now.
2. The players are supposed to email me with the Stats and info for their PC’s but I don’t think the 1d3’s for training helped Dwight the Generic, Hero Protagonist… so me thinks 1d4’s might be better in the future, for a better chance of getting at least 1 stat with a +1 bonus. I think that handing out stats/ level as some have suggested is still the wrong answer, but …
3. The story of Pat the forest runner… So I decided to use the +1d8 for stats les than 10 to simulate the onset of maturity her final stats are STR:13, AGIL:10, STAM:16, PER:13, INT10, LUCK:14; and she will be play-testing my Ranger class. My wife will be playing this PC when she can, I’ll be using it as an NPC the rest of the time.
4. A note on meta-gaming, min/maxing, power gaming, etc.: It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. If players need to meta- or power- game to enjoy themselves, who am I to judge… the point is to have fun. Seriously, I only step in when it spills over from one player to affect another and I try to be as discreet as possible. Besides, if a player has the brass to try and out “munchkin” me on my own turf… bring it on.
5. I also gave them my definitions for good and evil:
· Good= Character places the needs of others before the needs of the individual. Generative acts
· Evil= Character places the needs of self over the needs of others. Destructive acts
· Neutral= Recognizes that Good & Evil Define each other and therefore the only sane approach is to seek a balance between the two.
· Lawful and Chaotic behavior are reduced to mere tactics by which the individual prosecutes their agenda.
· For rules purposes, all references to law and chaos (particularly for healing) are rewritten to Good & Evil respectively. For most it’s just a label change I know, but Law vs. Chaos bugs me on a philosophical level… it’s too muddied to be useful. In LvC system I have to put Mother Teresa (who in many ways was going against her cultural & societal norms= chaotic) in the same category as chaotic demons from the abyss. Sorry, but my brain just won’t go there and if I can’t sell it: how can I expect the players do buy into it?


The final class line-up is rather interesting:
· Nick has a Darven warrior, a cleric of Ormazd, and a gongfarmer turned into a wizard w/ Aristemis as his Patron.
· Kasi had her healer become a cleric of Elyr, and her gongfarmer turned to the Warriors arts.
· James has 2 ditch diggers left: Dwight & Bob… Bob trained himself up in the larcenous arts, but Dwight the Average is now a Warrior… and because the key is now “tattooed” to his chest, I’m pretty sure he has figured out that he is the Hero Protagonist for this story.
· Mikki/NPC had her woodsman train up as a ranger w/ the mountain terrain specialty. Her Dwarf never reappeared… the DM isn’t interested in running NPC cannon fodder…
***
And now for the game:

As the characters have finished their training, they are summoned to the village commons where all the town has gathered in feasting and celebration. The characters are treated as celebrities, and after the food is cleared and the town is growing weary and tired, a Gnam walks into the center of the clearing and onto a small platform. He’s the oldest damn Gnome you’ve ever seen, he has long silver whiskers tucked into his belt; even his hat seems a little faded. He unfurls a scroll that bounces on the grass and continues on for several feet. As he begins to read the characters once again feel their minds leaving their bodies:

…you are a floating moat of consciousness shifting and drifting in the warm winds; but these are not the gentle summer zephyrs of what little youth you enjoyed, no, these are the gales of fire billowing out from the Sun. You dance and cavort in the company of fire elementals and salamanders all gyrating and twirling in time to the Suns pulsing, wholesome fire. It is pure ecstasy and your mind is made dizzy with its power. Just when you begin to think that you could die from pleasure, you turn and look back to the Sun. The handsome, powerful figure of Ormazd sitting radiant upon his ruby throne, his fiery hair blazing wildly around him as he smiles at you. The look in his eyes and in his smile fills you with an equal measure of calmness that harmonizes with the fiery pulse of the dance. Peaceful stillness fills your mind. The Fire Lord raises his right arm and points to something over your left shoulder…

It makes you momentarily sad to take your gaze from the Fire Lord, but you turn away from the frolicsome spirits and their fire music to see the world of Áereth as you’ve never imagined before. The world spins majestically off in the distance beyond the inner ring of Valdreth; looking like an exquisite, grape-sized jewel basking in the warmth and love of the Lord Ormazd. Beyond her are 3 other worlds, growing smaller in the distance, but all nearly lined up with each other and the foul sucking darkness that eats all the light that it touches… the Star of the Black Sun. As the planets move through two more orbits they perfect their alignment such that even the moons of each planet are in-line between the glory of the Fire Lord, and the vile hole in space.

Your vantage point changes and you rush in close to Áereth and see that she is mostly blue and laced with the white cotton of clouds drifting over the few continents and large islands. You recognize the landmasses in the Northern hemisphere as home, but your attention is drawn to the fierce heat of the Southern continent. There you fly over tall, sharp crags of a mountain range; which no longer has a name that anyone remembers. There on top of a lonely tower a man in robes screams in ecstatic triumph as the machine in front of him fills up with power and then releases the energy into the heavens.
It is then that the sickly bolt of greenish-purple-black lightning arcs from the surface of Áereth passing through each of the now perfectly aligned celestial bodies in turn and on to the now obscenely pulsing Anti-Sun at the edge of the solar system. When the energy crashes into the Black Sun, the stars all around it start to undulate like an expanding ripple in a calm pond. The ripple expands outward and towards you and then it is past and contracting, then rebounding against itself. That is when you realize that the Fire Lord, the world of Áereth and her sisters and everything exists within a giant crystal vault… because the parts nearest to the Star of the Black Sun begin to crumble and shatter. Opening into a realm of pure vile darkness from which strange and entirely evil creatures begin to pour out into the wild-space between the planets.

Thousands of multiple-jointed mouths, streaming putrid vapors and drooling from their unholy hunger screech as they advance with their chaotically howling visages on the shining jewel that is your home…

The gnome finishes speaking of these events, then turns to the party: “How you shall proceed is up to you, I know only that the answers to your questions can be found in the silver valley. The path of hope starts there.”

***

The PC’s wake up back in the treasure vault (R:1-9) of the portal under the stars. Each of the Humans has aged 6 years, the wizard has aged 10 years, the Dwarf added 20. This is to account for the time it took them to gain their skills, for all of that time their minds were basically going through a semi-interconnected (and more pleasant) version of the movie “Groundhog Day.” All of the equipment that they had bought and trained with was missing. The Cleric of Ormazd is vaguely aware (through his new connection to the Sun) of the fact that Spring is nearly arrived (they entered the tomb on the Winter Solstice): something is amiss…

It turns out that the bag that cost the caravan guard his life had been stuffed full of all the equipment they would need at this time… by someone else several thousands of years ago:

a suit of gold-tinted full plate armor emblazoned with the symbol of Ormazd w/ matching
Morningstar, and shield.

A set of Banded-mail armor, shield and lt. Mace marked with the holy symbols of Elyr; healing kit with 4 jars and various other healing herbs and bandages.

A set of very vine thieves’ tools, black studded leather armor; and a jeweled dagger

Dwarven ax & shield (Nicks Dwarf already has Mythril chainmail)

Wizard Scroll: find familiar; cloak with the symbol of Aristimis

A suit of fine quality banded mail, shield, and sword for each of the fighters

A suit of green leather armor, short bow (pulling the string
back causes arrow to appear; this was discovered quickly), (2x) short swords

A small mahogany box with the symbol of Olidrya’s symbol on its lid. The cleric of Elyr determined {by rolling well on a knowledge check}that it is: Olidrya's Bountiful Bento Box. -> a box that always provides food and water sufficient to feed anyone who is hungry. [the food is equivalent to trail mix and water and the box will not allow its food to be sold… attempts to do so break the enchantment and the box will be reduced into dust. In the hands of a Halfling cleric of Olidrya it will produce food fit for a feast and all who consume the food will heal an extra 1d4 HP or 2 stat points per day.

As well as everything else that they "Bought" with their starting cash... then the bag turns to dust.

***

A debate breaks out over what to do next, but only one player wanted to do a thorough search of the complex for any additional treasure (though he did manage to swipe the crystal ball from the treasure room), everyone else just wants to get the hell out of there. Dwight quickly realizes that his connection to the key allows him to understand the contents structures and purposes of the rooms. He is able to deactivate the traps and they walk out of the tomb complex like conquering lords…

*Narrator*
The former town of Grenvec sits on the “Silver Road” which is the only road that travels into the mountains from Vaqueria and at 180.4 linear miles (as the Roc flies), would be one of the shortest stretches of road built by the Engineers guild; except for all the switchbacks which makes the journey about 300 miles. It has been one of the most important roads built in the Empire since the currency changed to silver 100 years ago. It is the only road that allows the Guild’s large wagon-trains safe access into the Fangs and the riches of the Silver Vale. Sitting at an elevation of about 6,500ft tucked away on a scrap of land jutting out from the south face of the mountains & overlooking the cloud forests below them and on into the savanna of central Crieste stretching out from the base of the mountains. The ledge of rock doesn’t have enough land or soil for much farming. This part of the fangs has never been known to have any mineral wealth; so the town economy is… or rather it was… entirely dependent upon the flow of trade between the mining towns in further into the mountains and the rest of Crieste.

Most of the land around the town had been devoted to the servicing the guild trains and travelers that passed through at regular intervals; bringing eager merchants, bored caravan guards, and bustling Guildsman transporting them hither and yon. The traffic used to stop shortly after the festival of Death Pass (Dec. 8th) when the snows close the passes at the upper elevations, but when the Council of Lords made silver the coin of the realm in 3099dc, the Engineers guild slowed the schedule and started adding snow removal service on the Silver Road. For the last 100 years things have been marginally better for the citizenry of Grenvec than in previous generations. The Guild sub-station afforded the town some protection against the marauding stone and hill giants that plague the area; but all of that is gone now.

NOTE: Guild roads & how they work:
They are constructed to take advantage of the arcane energies of the Ley-lines (or Dragon lines) that flow through the body of Áereth. The roads tap into the arcane energies and channel them into animating force that will propel any wheeled vehicle with an acceleration/deceleration rate of 40ft/rnd up to a constant speed of 120ft/rd (8mph) on a mostly level surface. They have a minimum speed of 40ft; even up-hill the road won’t allow anything less and each wagon must have at least 1 pilot or teamster operating the wagon or it will crash. Alternately, wagons are hitched together and only the lead wagon needs a pilot but this increases the difficulty of driving the train; increasing the DC by +1 per wagon.

Wagons or Wagon-trains with at least 2 pilots may travel round the clock and cover up to 192 miles a day; assuming mostly flat ground and that the wagon holds up under the strain. The play of forces through the wagons wheels and axles is immense. An overloaded wagon being forced to go up/down hill at a constant rate can easily shear an axle, break a wheel, or run the axles dry and start a fire, etc. Even those who are simply walking on the road are subject to the animating forces; gaining a +1 on all saves verses fatigue related to traveling. Many people have blamed the roads for the restless dead even though Imperial records clearly show that the restless dead pre-date the construction of the roads. Not everything about the roads is beneficial however; just ask anyone who lives near one… Creatures composed of animating force & discarded equipment, rocks, trees, or even snow are always common near the roads.

Pilots and teamsters are registered with the Engineers Guild and each is given a distinct set of commands that will allow them to switch the acceleration and deceleration modes so they don’t crash going down hill. Engineers of at least 1st level are given other commands that allow them to command multiple wagons, and even to disengage the animating force entirely from their vehicle if needed. Most wagon-trains have at least one self-powered Engine to help with moving wagons on and off the road, but every sub-station has equipment for the same purpose, or subcontracted out to local teams of horses or oxen.

***
… the party is standing just outside the stone arch enjoying the last of the afternoon sun (the cleric of Ormazd determines that is 3pm) and they also see the Engineers Guild encampment down to the east of them by the stump of road that leads off to Vaqueria. An animated debate breaks out over how to proceed, some want to start heading to the town of Silverton without delay, others want to go beg/buy help from the Guild. Before they can come to any conclusions, a cadre of clerics of Thormyr step out from behind the standing stones to fill the gaps in the circle. They aren’t brandishing their spears, just holding them in a casually lethal manner. The one in charge steps closer to the party; “Adventurers! I might have guessed! Well your travels will be delayed for now while you come with us to answer a few questions. I have more than 500 dead town folk, AND a missing town to account for… if you’ll step this way please.” He offers them a half-bow and a polite smile, but there is no doubt that it isn’t a request.

As they marched down to the camp they start to get a better look at what is going on, though it doesn’t bring them any closer to any understanding. They are allowed passed the hulking wood and metal engines; each radiating quite a bit of heat, and bristling with weapons and guards. {the smallest of the wagons is roughly twice the size of a Conestoga wagon: 40ft long by 15ft wide by 20ft high; & can haul 12tons of cargo} The center of the ring of engines and wagons looks like a new-age theodolite convention. These complex lens and crystal contraptions have been set pointing in all directions including facing the ground. The pendulum on one of them is made of some neon blue crystal and is hanging straight up to the end of its 3ft chain. There are a number of robed Gnomes circling about the instruments arguing with each other with great passion. At times they gesticulate at one of the theodolites or another and start hopping up and down; as they approach they gnomes seem to be on the verge of pulling each others whiskers out. The lead Cleric of Thormyr says, “Gentleman! Please, if you will just take a brief recess from your debates? After I’ve spoken with these folk I may have more data to help you clear things up?” The lead Gnome (the one with the tallest hat) says, “Adventurer’s by the looks of’em! Put’em to the rack I say!” and he stomps off to one of the wagons to continue the argument with his fellows.

The PC’s are taken to a large pavilion tent where they are made to stand before the camp desk that the cleric sits down at. Everything is clean and tidy the desk is clear of paper work. He looks at them sternly, “Now, would one of you like to tell me what happened here?”

{Naturally everyone at the table started talking at once…} In the end they told him all about the night of the flames and how they were the only survivors of those who had fled into the tomb seeking shelter. 30 went in and only 7 came out… {I was pleased they opted for a version of the truth, they simply neglected to tell him about the whole quest to stop the world from exploding…}

The cleric continues, “Well, an amazing tale for sure; and not at all what I’d have expected, but I’m forced to concede to the truth of your words.” He looks down and reads from a scroll that wasn’t there a moment ago, then reads off their names and former occupations; “Though you don’t look like the folks the records say you should be…” He leans onto the desk and stares them down.

Some odd effect of the tomb was the general response from the PC’s {technically true}

He signals to someone behind a curtain. “The good sister here {indicates a cleric of Justica, whose aura of truthfulness is sufficient to cover everyone in the room} has compelled the truth from your lips. I therefore release you to your own devices, though you should know a few things. 1. it is the 10th of February, and the Guild sub-station and a section of roadway were destroyed by that night of flames. This has left the section of road between Grenvec and the town of Silverton dysfunctional and the rest of the track to Vaquaria at half power. The Archibalde Recovery Service engine #3 (Engineers Guild Contractor local #220) was already tasked with snow removal duty for the Silver Road when the breakdown occurred, so the Guild attached an Alpha recovery team plus my men and I to investigate. 2. There is much turmoil in the realm, the teleportation and communication networks are down and travel has been restricted. You are more than welcome to stay here with us, I can always use more troops; but I’ll give you the travel documents you will need should you decide to travel. You’ll have to arrange that for yourselves, but perhaps I can help keep the prices down a bit.” With that he dismisses them to take care of their needs, and get a real meal for the first time in what seems like ages.

The players decide to go ask for transport to the town of Silverton. After the sun sets, the position of the ring of Valdreth confirms that they all lost about 5 ½ weeks and that it is nearly Spring. After the evening meal the debate begins anew amongst the Gnomes, but the party notices that there is one short fellow off in the back that is sitting on a stool. He's propped up against some fire wood with a mug in one hand and a pipe in the other just watching the others. They approach him and introduce themselves, he is unconcerned until they express their desire to leave. Then he jumps up and becomes rather animated, “Archibalde Springbolt the III at your service! {cracks the knuckles on his fingers and grins} Let haggle shall we!”

They managed to talk him down from 800gp down to 200gp, but as they were concluding the deal, the lead cleric of Thormyr walked up behind Archibalde and said, “Archibalde, are you taking advantage of these poor folk, stranded in the middle of nowhere?”

“Well, they do want to head into the mountains rather than back to the city, but…” and he drops his price to 100gp on the assumption that the PC’s will be acting to help gather wood and water as needed. The cleric of Thormyr added a small wagon (regular proportions: 10ft wide, 15ft long, covered bed is 4ft off the ground) with some more provisions to the deal. When he finds out that they are heading to Silverton he says, “That is most convenient for me, as I was also tasked with finding out why we have lost contact with the town of Silverton several weeks prior to everything falling apart. Since it is obvious to me now that I and my men will be detained here far longer than we anticipated, I would beg of you to report back on any happenings there. The Crown will be most grateful.”

The PC’s agree and then head off in the morning.

For the next part of the adventure I have to get the players from where they are to the town of Silverton. The “straight line” or “as the Roc flies” distance is only 90 miles; but it’s 90 miles of switch-backs going from 6,500ft (former town of Grenvec) up to 10,000 feet to clear the pass & then back down to 8,000ft to the floor of the Silver Valley: I ran some numbers and figure its about 150 miles. With no load, good conditions and weather it actually only takes a “powered wagon” a day if they have multiple drivers; but normally 2 or 3 days depending on what’s in the wagons. Add snow and the time is doubled.

Fortunately the rig they will be on is a behemoth {50ft long, 20ft wide, and 25ft tall} traveling under its own power at up to 15mph. It is equipped with a self-heating snowplow and undercarriage steam jets that make dealing with the snow a piece of cake. Most of its interior is given over to steam gear, but there is a small gnome sized room in the back where Archie lives. The party is introduced to Phranque {frank} the captive fire elemental that lives in the engines’ fire-box to heat both water and plow. “He gobbles through a lot of wood, or anything else he can get his flames on. That over there,” points to a 3ft tall “almost humanoid” shaped creature made of stone mud and sticks coming out from under the superstructure with an oil can. “that’s my familiar ‘Hank’ the homunculus... not an aereth elemental. He helps drive and maintain the engine with me.”

They then set out. I rolled randomly for the number of days it will actually take, and determined that the group luck score is 14! Good for them… it’ll increase their odds of survival. They made it halfway through the second day before they were attacked by 3 hill giants, lobbing boulders at them from over then next ridge. After the first couple of boulders missed, the players could make out the giants from the waist up at medium bow range. The ranger went first with her bow and did damage to one of them, then came the Wizard, who used a tripod mounted “spell cannon” provided by Archibalde; it looks like a crossbow, but is covered in arcane symbols and crystals. When the wizard shot the “cross-bow” at one of the giants, he nearly killed the one the ranger had struck with a 6d6 magic missile. The mechanics require a to hit roll rather than an automatic hit.

Dwight… he decided to be mighty! He took aim to lodge an arrow into the giants brain via its eye. He succeeded and rolled nearly full damage as well… the giant failed its fortitude save {as a system shock} with a roll of “2” and fell over dead.

The first boulders that had announced the presence of the giants, had unfortunately missed their target, but in the second round, one struck the engine with enough force to nearly knock it over. The splash damage from splintering rock (half of the 5d6 damage from the boulder) was enough to kill the wizard… I gave the folks in the target area a reflex save or no damage, but the neither the Dwarf nor the Wizard made their saves. So let the Luck stat flow… the Dwarf lost 2 or 3 points, Dwight lost a few points but they’ll regenerate; but the wizard spent 10 of 11 points to stay alive. Now the character has a luck score that doesn’t even appear on the stat table… I can’t wait to explore the possibilities. I already have 2 ways to fix this in motion the player just doesn’t know it yet.

The ranger killed her target, and both Dwight and the wizard missed their next shots, but it didn’t matter, because the last giant had already failed its morale check and was running off anyway.

After the cleric of Elyr healed everyone, they set out again. Things went well until later that night when they were attacked by a couple of “Grondars.” These were 4d10 HD of snow animated by the force of the roads and once formed they are permanent, but must feed on the energy from the road periodically. When they can’t get that, they will feast on the energies of the living to supplement themselves; they are very hungry due to the road being broken. As fate would have it, the ranger was on guard duty, and as these are not natural creatures of the mountains, her bow delivered some damage before it moved into melee range. The others were roused and able to move in for various attacks. As these are unnatural creatures the cleric of Elyr was free to mess with them, she tried the command spell but failed on the check. Dwight charged one Grondar and Bob the thief took advantage of the Dwarfs charge to sneak around behind the other one.

The Dwarf flailed about (fumbled and got -4 to next attack), but the blades of the ranger went “snicker-snack” and nearly killed first one. I determined that these creatures have enough of an anatomy for the backstab ability to function and he killed it with a great roll. The wizard remembered his “arrow power” and fired at the remaining target even though it was in melee with the dwarf and others by now; only to bounce it off the Dwarfs back after failing to hit the target. The thief moved in behind the other Grondar and got another good roll, but the ranger fumbled and lost her turn. The cleric of Elyr succeeded in casting the command spell causing it to lay “down” for 4 rounds… the fight didn’t last too long after that.

That is were we left off until next session.

{edit: for those interested in knowing things down to the detail that the players have go here:
http://myaereth.blogspot.com/2011/09/ho ... began.html}


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 Post subject: Re: DCC Beta Campaign test: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:00 am 
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I probably should have posted this sooner, but my last post was pretty long so I figured the technical stuff should come in a different post for clarity. Besides, I didn't have the last of the DCCRPG versions of the clerics and their duties finished until a couple of days ago; for the last session I was “winging it” for the cleric of Elyr based on past experience. Now that my test game is in full gear, I thought I should take the time to post the write-ups for the clerics of Ormazd, Elyr, and Gorhan; as well as the write-up for Aristemis as a wizard patron. These all (except for the Patron) existed in my games prior to the DCCRPG, but I've modified them to the new format.

***

Ormazd the sun God L-G
The Sun God is one of the oldest of the Gods and was being worshiped by the Sphinx and Naga races long before the arrival of the Dragon Kings. His worshipers can be found everywhere that the Sun shines, but the center and cradle of the church of Ormazd is within the vast southern deserts. The Sun God is locked into an eternal struggle against his Twin Brother Ahriman, the Lord of Darkness.

You can always recognize a cleric of the Phoenix Lord, during the day they sparkle & have no shadow. At night they radiate light based on level. The minions of Ahriman are easy to distinguish due to their lack of pulse and the fact that they are still moving about. Any folk who use, study, or sell such knowledge are also considered minions of Ahirman, but are usually given a chance to repent of their evil. Additionally the clerics of Ormazd are charged with clearing away the shadows, literally, figuratively, intellectually, and spiritually. To that end they have been given several powers.

1. All clerics of Ormazd are granted a nimbus of light radius = 10ft/ level. Its brightness is equal to 1 torch per level, though there is no harm or penalty to gaze upon the cleric. At 2nd level the cleric may impose a -1 penalty / level upon all who gaze upon them; willpower save vs. DC= 8+cleric level to overcome this radiance. This penalty applies to anyone attempting an action that requires looking at the cleric. At 3rd level the light counts as actual sunlight for all purposes. At 4th level they gain the ability to provide warmth when it's cold, or shelter folks from the suns harshness. At 5th level they gain the ability to gather their auras into a bolt that may be hurled at a foe. They get +5 to hit, and the bolt does 5d4 damage. This power may be invoked up to 1x / level/ day; for 1 round (starting when the bolt is thrown) the cleric has no aura of light and thus no benefits for others.
2. Sun Phase Magic: the ebb and flow of the sun over the course of the seasons has an effect upon clerics of Ormazd. Their power is at its zenith on the Summer Solstice (July 14) and at its lowest ebb on the Winter Solstice (Winterheart 28). The progression is as follows:

· January 2, to February 14 clerics of the Sun God are at -1 to their caster level.

· From the festival of Kindle Hope (Feb 15) to the end of Spring on May 21 there is no adjustment to the caster level

· From Beltane (May 22) to July 12 the clerics gain +1 to effective caster level

· On the day before and after the Summer solstice (July 13, & 15) the clerics gain +2 to effective caster level

· On the day of the Summer Solstice the cleric gains +3 to effective caster level

· On July 16 the clerics effective caster level returns to +1 and stays that way until the end of August (28)

· September 1st is the festival of Harvest bless and makes the start of Autumn, the clerics caster level is normal until the 7th of December.

· The 8th of December is the first day of Winter and the cleric applies a -1 to caster level until the 26th of Winterheart.

· On the day before and after the Winter Solstice (Winterheart 27 & January 1st) the clerics of the Phoenix Lord have a -2 to caster level

· On the day of the Winter Solstice, the Cleric is -3 to caster level.

3. Clerics of Ormazd may add their Luck bonus (if positive) to all attacks and damage to undead
as well as turn and turn results.

4. Clerics of Ormazd always know what time of day it is in relation to where the sun is (dawn,
noon, dusk)

Ormazd is married to Shul Goddess of the Moon, but the vigilance against the Great Enemy requires that they spend most of their time circling opposite to each another. Shul gathers the radiance of her husband and reflects it into the night to harass the minions of Ahriman. Only on the days of the solar eclipses (2) are they allowed to meet. Known as “the time of the lovers,” Clerics of Ormazd are often asked to perform weddings on these auspicious days. The Sun & Moon have 2 children Gorhan the Valiant, & Delvyr the Explorer. The clergy of Ormazd has no authority over the clerics of Gorhan or Delvyr, but can usually expect mutual aid when asked.

Holy Days: the first day of each new season, the solstices & equinoxes, and the days of the 2 yearly solar eclipses.

Favored Weapon: Morning Star

Knowledge base: they have studied: the rituals & history of their order; the Minions of Ariman and how they might be overcome, Prophecies of Áereth two in particular:


Gorhan the Valiant- the Helmed Vengeance [L-G]- The Valiant One, He who fights first is the patron God of those who fight against the lawless & corrupt; he also acts as executioner when required by his wife Justica. Gorhan doesn’t bother to heal anyone who hasn’t proven themselves to be honorable, brave, or innocent. Usually this means that the recipient of the healing has just survived a battle, or are the peasants caught on the battlefield. Those who are killed in combat are His to judge. If the soul is found honorable, or innocent then they are granted a pleasant after-life; if judged corrupt, then the soul is obliterated. The clerics of Gorhan are divided amongst two sects; one that is male only and one that is open to all stouthearted folk who hear the Valiant Lords call to battle. The clerics of the male only sect are paired off with clerics of the female only sect of Justica’s clergy. They live their whole lives within the Temples of Law and function as the Imperial Judicial system. The open order is generally known as the Ordo Militantis they spend levels 1-3 as battlefield troops or helping the Clerics of Thormyr with securing the Empire from harm. In this capacity they are mostly responsible for; escorting members of the wandering order of Justica, hunting the undead, & as bounty hunters serving Sentence on those who have fled Justica’s merciful decrees. All clerics of Gorhan radiate a zone of courage = 10ft / level that grants +1/ level on saves verses fear. Preferred weapon is the Longsword.

Duties of the clergy:
The Ordo Militantis is exactly what it sounds like… When acting within the borders of the Empire, they are basically the national guard. They show up in force when the clerics of Thormyr are out matched. The Ordo Militantis are the ones who show up to deal with local incursions of Orcs or Goblins that are too large for the local militia, but too small to bother mustering an army, or any other such situations. Kinda like a combination of bounty hunters, S.W.A.T., and the Fire Department… D&D style.

One of the duties of the clerics of Gorhan is to hear the petitions of those seeking justice. Anyone may approach them and ask for the cleric to hear their petition for justice. If traveling alone, the cleric of Gorhan decides whether to send the case to a cleric of Justica, or they can offer to engage in trial by combat with a champion for the opposing council. In the case of petty crimes, the intimidation factor of having to face a cleric of Gorhan in combat is usually enough to get the guilty party to confess.

Clerics of the Ordo Militantis are charged with subduing the evil and the wicked for trial. If the targets give up willing they may be brought to the courts for judgment, but if the targets resist… well… that means they have opted for trial by combat. Because the battlefield is the purview of Gorhan and he has the power to decide justice there. Clerics of Gorhan have a reputation for being a little over-zealous sometimes in their persecution of Evil, so the people of the Empire treat them with respect.

The Clergy of Gorhan Are not really all that keen on festivals and such, but they do honor the parents of their deity on the solar eclipses and on the equinoxes.


Elyr- Goddess of Healing [C-N (g)]- She believes that life should be sustained at all costs & is worth any risk. She is also one of two Gods who can remove Corruptions (makes you invaluable to wizards). Clerics of Elyr function as the doctors of this society. Low levels (1-3) clerics wander the world bringing aid to those in need, during this time they tend to develop specialty skills. At 4th level they decide whether to stop wandering and live out their lives in the hospital/temples, or continue their wandering ministrations: this choice is permanent.

Elyr is an ardent pacifist, but has a particular hatred for demons, devils, & aberrations and grants her clerics powers and abilities to deal with these creatures. Elyr’s hatred for these creatures is rooted in the story of her creation. Elyr was the last of the Gods born prior to the creation of Áereth. As the Gods were fleeing into the refuge of the Dreaming realm provided by Oae, the Great Enemy stretched out its talons and nearly killed Ildavir as she was stepping into the portal. The chunks of flesh and blood that fell to the ground in side the Dreaming became the newborn Goddess of Healing. She grew to maturity within the Dreaming, and so her POV on the universe is idealistic and a touch naïve. The trauma of her beginnings is the foundation of her philosophy of preserving life at all costs. All clerics of Elyr are limited to weapons that do no more than 1d4 damage and are not allowed to kill unless fighting aberrations, demons, devils, undead, etc. They are free to paralyze, maim, or cripple an opponent in the defense of others.
Elyr feels that even evil creatures have a right to exist, Evil is as much a part of the designs of the Gods as the concept of Good. Her clerics will even heal them, but along with that healing comes a compulsion to run away and re-evaluate their lives {evil creatures roll willpower save Vs DC= cleric PER bonus+ Level+ number of points of damage healed, or they flee the scene to rethink their lives. Said evil creature may eventually return to their evil ways; but that is their choice, and the clerics of Elyr can only strive to heal and defend the weak and the vulnerable from those who would do them harm. This belief was very influential in helping the Goddess Justica formulate her theory of the redemption of evil.

Knowledge base: clerics of Elyr know all there is to know the history of their order, and are experts at comparative physiology and the healing arts. They know a little about animals as well -3 on healing checks, and if they were a healer prior to entering service the cleric gains +2 on all healing check rolls from the extra training and experience. These clerics also know the science of alchemy, but only with respect to the healing arts… no bomb making, etc.


Clerics of Elyr study old tomes of lore to better recognize their extra planer enemies:

Devils are fairly easy to recognize unless they are possessing someone. Their natural skin tones of red and orange, horns, and lawyer like demeanor are classic hallmarks of a devil. However, devils rarely manifest upon the material plain, choosing instead to possess a normal creature. The clerics of Elyr may identify possessed creatures with a healing check (INT bonus+ cleric level) but the DC will vary by situation. A cleric of Elyr can use their lay on hands ability to exorcise the devils from a possessed creature. A result of 1 die / 3HD of the devil is needed to exorcise the devil from the possessed creature. Should a cleric of Elyr encounter a devil, they are free to use as much violence as the can to destroy its physical form. The cleric of Elyr’s most powerful defense Vs devils is that they can use their turn undead ability against devils.

Demons are easy to spot most of the time, their chaotic nature lends itself to odd physiognomies; like tentacles and tri-partite symmetries; or normal features misplaced, rearranged, swapped for animal parts, etc. They don’t usually bother with possession, their motives are as alien as their physiology. A cleric of Elyr is likewise free of constraints upon the use of force as with devils, but they gain +1/ cleric level to hit, & +1d4/ cleric level to damage when fighting demons. If the cleric knows the demons name or gains access to the info on the summoning ritual, they may attempt to banish the demon back to its plain of origin by rolling 1d20+PER bonus+ level Vs DC= 5+the number of HD of the demon. Success sends the thing spiraling back into the abyss.

Aberrations are the hardest to determine, as they may not always manifest outward signs to advertise their presence and are sometimes confused with demons. Almost all aberrations derive from wizard experiments whether upon natural creatures to create creatures with more heads then normal, to hybrid animal/elemental monstrosities, or upon the wizard directly. In this latter case, the wizard has either succumbed to patron taints or voluntary corruptions from adopting powers/traits from their familiars. A wizard who has accumulated 4+ involuntary corruptions also counts as an aberration. Dealing with Aberrations is difficult. First they must be identified, and that takes a healing check (1d20+INT bonus +level) Vs DC= 20 - the number of corruptions and taints. The hardest part is determining if the wizard or creature can be saved. If the wizard is sane then they can decide they are done with their evil ways and abandon their evil patrons, then the cleric of Elyr will use lay on hands to remove 1 taint or corruption /2 dice of the result. If the wizards oath be false and they return to their evil ways, then the taints and corruptions return instantly.

Presence of Elyr: They radiate a zone of purity with R= 10ft / level that grants all within it range +1 / level of cleric bonus to saves. Furthermore, this aura allows a cleric of Elyr to help those who have already failed saves Vs diseases, unless that failure occurred within the Presence of Elyr. In other words, if someone fails a save while they are within an aura of purity, they can’t then leave the aura and get a new save when they return. This aspect of the ability is for situations for when the cleric walks into a village and a lot of folks are already ill.

Duties of the clergy:

After taking their vows, the Clerics of Elyr never cut their hair again. You can always tell the rank of a cleric of Elyr by the length to their braids and the gray in their hair.

Any healing that the cleric does for the party is subject to the -1 penalty per application (game balance) but when clerics of Elyr are traveling, they may not deny care to any one who asks it of them and they must stop in every town and village to ask if anyone needs healing. In these cases the cleric may heal 5+their stamina bonus people for every -1 of penalty to their cleric abilities to represent the strain of channeling so much healing energy.

Holy Days: Elyr is more interested in healing people than organizing worship for specific events, but in general the first day of Spring and the festival of Kindle hope mark the return of life to the world after winters dreariness and death. During the festival, or wherever they may be, they must spend an hour/level in ritual observance of the returning life force contemplating the nature of life, how the cleric has helped others & planning how they will maximize there efforts for the coming year.

Preferred weapon: Elyr deplores violence, even though she recognizes its role in Nature and that others my not feel the same way. She prefers that her clerics use light hammers, or staves as they are also useful as tools.

*****

The fact that your wizard character managed to think his way through this dungeon environment has impressed the Goddess Aristimis and she has sent to you a Spirit guide in the form of an old feather quill. This tattered but surprisingly functional writing instrument has the ghostly spirit of a once faithful wizard (long dead) attached to it. It’s arrival was as odd as the quill itself; having been bundled up with a piece of parchment (Patron Bonding spell) When you cast it you got an 18 ;) which grants you the Invoke Patron Spell 1x / week; of which the quill is an integral component. {But if you choose to burn 2 points of luck this result will change to 20, which allows you to cast Invoke patron up to 2x/ day; or you can roll it for yourself when we get to the table.}

Furthermore your wizard is marked as one favored by Aristemis: the back of one of your PC’s hands now sports a stylized arrow tattoo and casts the Invoke Paton Spell at +1. You may not cast the Patron Bonding spell on others, and after you finish the successful casting, the spell fades from your memory and the parchment; but at least you have a nice piece of parchment now. The Spirits name is Thob, and the character communicates to the spirit via written questions by the wizard that are then wrapped on a summoned arrow and launched into the air. The responses are inscribed and returned in the same manner with any answers and the arrow lodges in the brainpan of the wizard, which stings a bit as 2 points of stats are burned (players choice) as the information/ service requested (etc) is communicated telepathically. The arrow fades leaving no evidence of a wound.

The wizard may summon forth an arrow and fire it as if using a long bow. This acts as a normal arrow fired from a normal bow, but no bow is required and the wizard uses their standard attack bonuses. The wizard must have the tattooed hand free to cast (not tangled or holding something) and be able to see the target per the normal targeting rules. Using this ability takes the place of a normal spell casting, and his daily quiver of arrows is = Intelligence score. This ability will even function within an anti-magic zone if the wizard is willing to stat burn 1 point for each arrow… this can even take the wizard beyond his daily maximum of arrows.

Invoke Patron results table:

1- Fail: no taint, but the wizard must make a reflex check for half damage vrs the arrow. Arrow summoning ability is suppressed for the rest of the day and for the next 1d4 days…

2-11 Fail and arrow summoning ability is suppressed for 1d24 hours…

12-14 Success: Thob will either answer 10 questions on any given subject; though there is no real way of knowing what he might or might not know. Or the summoned arrows function as +1 arrows for the next 1d6 hours; or, the wizard is granted +2 on all diplomacy checks for the next 1d6 hours.

15-17 Success: Thob will answer 15 questions; or, for the next 2d3 rounds all summoned arrows fired by the wizard will split into 3d3, +1 arrows. Each is rolled separately. The wizard may choose instead to gain +2d3 on any diplomacy or “fast talking” attempts for the rest of the day.

19-22 Thob may be summoned to chat for 60 minutes; or, the wizards arrows are +2 for the rest of the day and for the next hour they may be charged with 2d4 elemental damage (fire, acid, electricity, sonic). Or the wizards voice is charged with arcane energies such that their voice functions as a charm person spell (with this result level) but with a radius = 10ft / wizard level.

23-26 Thob may be summoned to chat for 2d3 hours; or, the wizard’s arrows are +2 for the rest of the day and for the next 3d3 rounds they may be charged with 2d4 elemental damage (fire, acid, electricity, sonic) and each arrow is split into 2d3 arrows. Or the wizards voice is charged with arcane energies such that their voice functions as a charm person spell (with this result level & +2 save DC) but with a radius = 20ft / wizard level.

27-29 Thob may be summoned to chat for 3d3hours; and, the wizard’s arrows are +3 for the rest of the day and for the next 2d3hrs they may be charged with 2d8 elemental damage (fire, acid, electricity, sonic); and the wizards voice is charged with arcane energies such that their voice functions as a charm person spell (with this result level & +2 save DC) but with a radius = 20ft / wizard level.

30-31 Thob may be summoned to chat for 1d4 days; and, the wizard’s arrows are +4 for the rest of the day and for the next 2d4hrs they may be charged with 2d8 elemental damage (fire, acid, electricity, sonic); additionally for the next 2d10 rounds each arrow will split into 3d3 arrows; and the wizards voice is charged with arcane energies such that their voice functions as a charm person spell (with this result level & +3 save DC) but with a radius = 30ft / wizard level.

32+ Thob may be summoned to chat for 2d3+1 days; and for 1d3 days the wizards arrows are +3 and charged with 2d8 elemental damage (chosen once; fire, acid, electricity, sonic); additionally for the next 2d3 days the wizard may invoke arrows to split into 4d3 arrows for up to 4d3 rounds; and the wizards voice is charged with arcane energies such that their voice functions as a charm person spell (with this result level & +3 save DC) but with a radius = 40ft / wizard level.



Thob Summoning: most of the time this takes the form of the wizard writing down the question and then letting the quill scribe the answers, but the wizard may ask him to cast one of the 3 patron spells on the wizards behalf. Invoking this ability costs the wizard another point of spell burn for each level of spell that Thob casts; and the service ends any communication with him for the rest of the day.


Level 1:
Determined Locomotion

Name: Determined Locomotion

Level: 1
Range: self or others
Duration: varies
Casting Time: 1 action
Save: none, or willpower
Manifestation:
General: Aristemis is one of the children of Gorhan and valor flows through her veins; but unlike her father, she is willing to take a realistic look at the battle. She recognizes that there is no shame in retreating before a more powerful enemy. Therefore she grants this spell for those times when the tide of battle has turned against the wizard and diplomacy has failed. Then it is time to run… this spell may only be used for running away from combat or danger that cannot be overcome by the means at hand.
1-5: spell lost
6-11: Success, the spell grants the target +5ft of move rate & +1 on all physical checks related to movement. Duration is 2 hours / level of wizard.
12-17: Success, the spell grants the target +10ft of move rate & +1 on all physical & mental checks related to movement. Movement speed now applies to swimming. May activate the spell for up to 1 additional person per INT bonus. Duration is 2 hours +1 hour/ level of wizard.
18-19: Success, the spell grants the target +10ft of move rate & +2 on all physical & mental checks related to movement; +1 on AC and saves. Movement speed now applies to swimming & climbing. Duration is 3 hours +1 hour/ level of wizard.
20-23: Success, the spell grants the target +15ft of move rate & +2 on all physical & mental checks related to movement; +2 on AC and saves. May now activate the spell for up to 2 persons per INT bonus. Duration is 3 hours +2 hours/ level of wizard. Plus 1 point of spellburn.
24-27: Success, the spell grants the target +15ft of move rate & +3 on all physical & mental checks related to movement; +2 on AC and saves; +1 Attacks and damage. Movement speed now applies to swimming & climbing, and flying. Duration is 4 hours +2 hour/ level of wizard. Plus 2 points of spellburn.
28- 29: Success, the spell grants the target +20ft of move rate & +3 on all physical & mental checks related to movement; +3 on AC and saves; +2 Attacks and damage. Movement speed now applies to swimming & climbing, flying, & burrowing. May activate the spell for up to 3 persons & 100# of cargo per INT bonus. Duration is 6 hours +3 hour/ level of wizard. Plus 3 points of spellburn.
30-31: Success, the spell grants the target +25ft of move rate & +4 on all physical & mental checks related to movement; +3 on AC and saves; +3 Attacks and damage. May activate the spell for up to 5 persons & 10,000# of cargo per INT bonus. Duration is 1 day +1 day/ level of wizard. Plus 4 points of spellburn.
32+ Success, the spell grants the target +30ft of move rate & +5 on all physical & mental checks related to movement; +4 on AC and saves; +4 Attacks and damage. Movement speed now applies to swimming & climbing, flying, & burrowing. The wizard may now teleport to any spot they can see within 5x move rate. May activate the spell for all persons & 100,000# of cargo within a radius = INT bonus x 25ft. Duration is 2 days +2 days/ level of wizard. Plus 5points of spellburn.


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