Apr 23, 2013

Quiz Thing

I Am A: Chaotic Neutral Human Wizard (1st Level)

Ability Scores:

Chaotic Neutral A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn't strive to protect others' freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society's restrictions and a do-gooder's zeal. However, chaotic neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all authority, harmony, and order in society.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Apr 11, 2013

My Players Don't Like to Backstab

Maybe because I haven't been horrible enough with traps and that stuff, maybe because I haven't run enough hardcore oldschool, my players all hate thieves.
Not thieves that steal their stuff, but the thief/rogue/specialist/(also assassins) class. Most think it is stupid.
As a thief player myself this is slightly offensive, but nonetheless I have come up with a few ideas that may make them more appealing to some players who don't like the old-style sneaksters:

Special Backstabs
Many players don't like backstab because they feel that, at least at low levels, the risk is not worth the reward, the damage isn't high enough with small weapons and suddenly you're within range with few hit points. Here are some ideas for possible backstab alternatives:

Limb-targeting: Instead of stabbing the back, a thief in prime hidden-strike position can aim for the limbs of an opponent, opening up the opportunity for:

The Hamstring- in 5' scale, humans can move 6 spaces in a normal move. Roll 1d6 and you have damaged your target's leg enough to remove that many spaces from its move.

Alternately Aim for the Arm, mangle a hand or a shoulder on your opponent's sword arm to take your level off his to-hit roll. Possibly temporary, possibly permanent. Level could also be used for hamstringing, so that you have a semi-paralysing attack by level 6 or 8, depending on the monster.

The choke-hold might be included in these attacks. Try to silently choke out an enemy: add your level to checks (strength?) against the opponent's CON, which decreases by one point each round until he passes out at zero; use a garrotte for a bonus. It's more difficult, but with the potential to be extremely useful.

Chain Stealth: A skilled thief is a master of the shadows. On a critical backstab, might a thief be able to perform a silent kill and remain hidden without a check.
Depending on how much power you want to give, maybe the thief does this on any opponents lower than his level or than one-half his level. Maybe he can perform this power once per day, but that seems dangerously late-edition to me.

Special Trap-Working
See a trap, disarm, move on. Standard procedure. Alternatives?

Alter Trap: It might take some more planning on the DM's part, but it seems conceivable to me that one could keep a notebook page of common traps and what parts are in them. One need not even go this far to allow creative thieves some options in changing the traps they find.
For example, a pressure plate trigger might be tightened (something involving the spring?) so that it only operates under a greater pressure. If the heroes can lead the troll through that corridor... BAM. Advantage to the planners.
This leaves all sorts of possibilities for making dart traps launch other small traps, etc. A thief with a mind for tinkering might carry around small springs or wires to widen his options, so long as he can convince the DM that it seems plausible.

Replace a lock with a different one? Wire a trap to a lock? Put gunpowder in a lock and rig it with flint? There's something there.

That's all I've got for now. I may try the trapwork and backstab targeting. Please share any additional ideas.

Apr 4, 2013

Game Summary: Wednesday, March 27

With a drinking holiday approaching, the adventurers journeyed out of the desert and into the small pious town of Termine Bay. They got some fortunes told by a weird old lady (Vornheim Fortunes Table), met a juggler who was alright, and with a couple days left until the festival, traveled north to Riverton to celebrate in a bigger city.
One (Jeff Rients' Carousing Mishaps Table) long night later, Fredick (the festival's designated teetotaler) discovers that the inn room contains one pig, Castiel and a repulsive woman both in wedding garb, and Locke nowhere to be found.
Dispel Magic turns Decanus back to human form, the woman is swiftly and angrily escorted from the premises, and Locke wakes up in a temple to find that in a drunken stupor and emerging from a fight, he asked the gods to heal his wounds and provide more booze. He was answered by Gulmar and was bound in return to kill a corrupt priest. Frederick goes to the assassins for an assignment, and so begins...

The Post-Night-Of-Drunken-Mistakes Murder-Holiday
First up: Frederick is supposed to kill a smith, but spare his family. The adventurers enter the shop where the man is working with his teenage son. It is empty.
Lock door.
Cast silence.
Knock boy unconscious.
Arrow to smith's throat.
Clean arrow wound.
Slit throat with razor.
Put razor in boy's hand.
Cast Cause Disease on the boy for good measure. The roll is small pox.

Next: The priest turns out to be rather high ranking. The adventurers deem it too difficult to get to him stealthily (no thief) and in any case it is raining, which means...
Cross the canal-street into alley.
Decanus uses Call Lightning on the wooden roof. Twice.
Roof burns and collapses in on crowd at evening mass plus priests including the target. Death toll is estimated at 35.

Finally: It is deemed that, so long as they are on a roll, they might as well free Castiel by killing his corpulent bride. Sneak into house, cast disease on the sleeping woman. Roll is tuberculosis.
On exiting quietly, the small idol to Gulmar seems to whisper. The voice declares Locke and Decanus as blasphemers against his church, to be punished in kind to their deeds. Frederick and Castiel are allowed to go and then Locke and Decanus are struck by a Call Lightning spell of the same level Decanus cast. They survive by 3 and 1 health points respectively and escape the burning home.

The next day the adventurers volunteer to help some guards sift through the wreckage of the church, and pocket some kickshaws from the high priest's charred remains which turn out to be extremely valuable.