Monday, October 15, 2018

Pathfinder 2 (Playtest) Session Zero

    After a long hiatus I've decided to return to writing here on my blog. Tabletop role playing has been a favorite hobby of mine for years. Even though I haven't had the opportunity to play as often as I like, I still enjoy reading rule books or looking at stuff about games online.

    Recently I got the chance to play a game of the new Pathfinder 2nd Edition play test rules. One of my friend's sons posted something on Facebook, looking for people to play the game. We know each other, but had never really hung out before. On a whim I said I was interested.

    We set up a date and time to meet with some of his friends and the game was afoot. This is a brief overview of our group and the character creation process...


Getting Started
     Our group consists of Nolan (our DM), Kaleb, Abbie, Elias, and me. I've been playing games for awhile. The others have experience mainly with D&D 3.5, Pathfinder, and D&D 5th edition. Nolan said he hasn't played anything in awhile. This new edition of Pathfinder (which I'll refer to as PF2 for now) piqued his interest and he wanted to give it a try.
     So here's what everyone decided they wanted to play:
          Abbie is Breena the gnome Bard
          Kaleb is Orion the human Paladin          
          Elias is Blorp Blorp the dwarf Monk ( His name is actually longer, and ridiculous )
          Paul (that's me) is Ugdumph the half-orc Monk

Character Creation
     Character creation is similar to other modern editions of D&D, with a few tweaks to make the characters stand out from each other. Mainly differences come from the feats selected during character creation. Those feats and special abilities come from several sources.
     
     With eight ancestries (races), nineteen backgrounds, and twelve classes, there are a lot of choices to make. 1824 combinations, and that's before you even make any detailed decisions. I have played similar games, but sometimes the new game terms and amount of page flipping was a bit overwhelming.
     Even so, I liked the options I was given once I found them in the book. I'm sure with experience the process would get easier. Maybe the actual second edition book will get an edit to make it easier to find stuff.

Ability Scores
     As anyone who's played any type of D&D knows, ability scores are the core of the character. PF2 is no different. It uses those six abilities as the basis for bonuses just like other editions. However, the standard way to generate the abilities is different, with an option to roll randomly if the DM allows.
     
     Using the standard method, each ability starts with a score of 10. Then you apply several +2 ability boosts to the various scores based on your ancestry, background, and class choices. I think there may be a couple ancestries that have -2 on as score here and there.
     
     There is an option to voluntarily lower any of a character's scores, but there is no trade-off for doing so beyond the chance to role play that score somehow if it's really low. Why would someone do that? It could be fun in a challenging way, but it's not really explained.
     So standard characters in this game will rarely have penalties based their starting scores. That's quite different from older editions. I'm not saying that's good or bad, I just don't know enough about the game yet. It's different. I guess I'll call it D&D 3.75B.


Ancestry
    What was formally known as a character race in previous editions is now called their ancestry. Each ancestry provides those ability score adjustments, languages, and a starting ancestry feat.
     Ancestries include the standards you might expect from D&D 3.x. Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Halfling, Human. Also included are Goblin, and now Half-Elf and Half-Orc are sub-types of Human.

Background
     This concept is similar to the background trait from D&D 5th edition, but not as detailed. It provides two +2 ability boosts, a feat, and one or two skills. Most of the backgrounds are based on an occupation.

Class
     The classes include all the standards that were in D&D 3 and Pathfinder, plus the Alchemist. I think that one was in one of the previous PF source books. It's kind of a fun idea for those players who might want their character to blow things up or make formulas to mutate themselves temporarily. 
     A class provides starting skill choices and a couple class feats. All of them provide many choices as they level up. Customization seems to be a theme of the game, if you couldn't tell by now. By this point characters will have about four or five feats.


Skills
     The skill list is short and sweet, eighteen in total, and includes stuff you would see in a standard fantasy setting. Nothing real new or groundbreaking here.

Feats
     I haven't read through all of these in detail. There are a lot of them. Other than a character's class abilities, this is what defines the characters. During character creation, you will have a total of at least four or five feats from their ancestry, background, and class.
     This is where I had the most difficulty making my character. There are some new terms introduced in this edition, and the rules are like clockwork. I had to get an idea of what my character was going to be capable of. Thus the flipping of pages back and forth began. As I said earlier, I liked the options presented once I found them, but there is a learning curve.

Hit Points, Equipment, ETC.
     Hit Points are based on set numbers added together from your ancestry and class, so no two hit point Magic Users starting out.
     Equipment is bought from a pretty standard fantasy list. Every character starts out with the same amount of silver pieces.
     Alignment is based on the standard D&D thing. I know in D&D 5th edition alignment doesn't impact the character much rules wise. There are no restrictions on class and spells don't even detect it anymore. I haven't read PF2 in depth enough to see if that is the case here. Does anybody even care about alignments anymore? I could see using it in earlier editions if you were to set up whole pantheons and cosmologies, where gods and demigods react with everything in the world. Divine wars and infernal invasions, all that epic stuff. Maybe that's just me.

Closing Thoughts
     Character creation offers a lot of options. I was able to create the monster hunting Monk out of a kung fu movie I had in mind. It will be fun to see what new abilities he can learn as he gains experience. The other players in the group had fun making their characters as well.
     
      Next time I'll go into more detail about our first adventure. You know, walking around in dark sewers, stomping around in smelly slime and sludge, that kind of stuff.


Friday, October 12, 2018

OSR Guide For The Perplexed Questionnaire

Things are happening. Looks like I'm going to start blogging again.
Hoping this series of questions serves as inspiration to learn more about this hobby.

Link to original post can be found here:
OSR Guide For The Perplexed Questionnaire

Pass it on.

OSR Guide For The Perplexed Questionnaire 

1. One article or blog entry that exemplifies the best of the Old School Renaissance for me:

Jeff's Gameblog, wherein he transcends the Gateless Barrier:
On System   http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/08/on-system.html

2. My favorite piece of OSR wisdom/advice/snark:

The DM must be impartial for the game to work logically and fairly. Not sure who exactly said it, but I gather that's how someone like James Ward would run a game.

3. Best OSR module/supplement:

Yoon-Suin By David McGrogan. Check it out.

http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/david-mcgrogan/yoon-suin/paperback/product-22880912.html

4. My favorite house rule (by someone else):

It's a houserule for OD&D, where weapons normally all do 1d6 damage. The houserule allows a character to roll their hit-die type and use that as damage if it is higher, or do some cool stunt like a disarm or knockdown.

5. How I found out about the OSR:

I don't recall exactly. Probably on Google+ ?

6. My favorite OSR online resource/toy:

Wizardawn, for random fantasy and sci-fi generators:
https://wizardawn.and-mag.com/rpg_add.php

7. Best place to talk to other OSR gamers:

Google+ as of now, future spot to be determined.

8. Other places I might be found hanging out talking games:

I go by my name, Timothy Paul Schaefer, or Nemo235.
Google+ , MeWe, or Facebook
Chaosium Games Forums
Palladim Books Forums

9. My awesome, pithy OSR take nobody appreciates enough:

The Marvel Superheroes rules mixed with the skill list from Toon can be used for any genre.

10. My favorite non-OSR RPG:

Feng Shui ( 1st or 2nd edition. 3rd edition didn;t work for me. )

11. Why I like OSR stuff:

I like mashing games together. Most of the rules are simple enough to use like that.

12. Two other cool OSR things you should know about that I haven’t named yet:

A. Sabres & Witchery RPG, By Simon Washbourne is a simple human based fantastic horror game based on the Swords & Wizardry game.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/simon-washbourne/sabres-witchery-rpg/paperback/product-20994192.html

B. Go and check out information on Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd edition by Graham Bottley. You won't regret it.
You can get it directly from the publisher's website. Do not pay Amazon or EBay prices. That shit is ridiculous.
http://store.arion-games.com/Advanced_Fighting_Fantasy/cat2182565_1992412.aspx

13. If I could read but one other RPG blog but my own it would be:

Swords & Stitchery written by +Eric Fabiaschi. He writes something at least once a day, and is very creative in his use of so many sources to inspire his campaigns.
http://swordsandstitchery.blogspot.com/

14. A game thing I made that I like quite a lot is:

Marvel FASERIP + Cthulhu D20 = B.P.R.D./Hellboy RPG. It made for fun games. I'll have to get back to that idea.

http://mutantsmagic.blogspot.com/search/label/FASERIP

15. I'm currently running/playing:

Gamma World + Other Dust mashup


16. I don't care whether you use ascending or descending AC because:

I just don't care. Have fun.


17. The OSRest picture I could post on short notice:

Russ Nicholson rocks and rules!
Go visit his website and be amazed!
https://russnicholson.blogspot.com/2014/12/to-end-it-all.html

Good gaming!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Drawing Practice (Vaults of Vyzor)

     +Jeff Rients recently ran some D&D for +Mike Davison , +Zak Sabbath , and me.
A play report can be found here on Jeff's Gameblog.
     I had so much fun, I was inspired to draw a comic strip based on the events. I wanted to make it sort of like the old D&D ads you would find in comic books.

      I got the title panel done and discovered that both of my old printers are pretty much junk. What a sad, shitty situation.
     But I haven't been this inspired to draw something in awhile. So I have decided to try to learn how to use Gimp with my Wacom tablet. This is going to take a lot of practice.

    And now, the stuff.





Monday, October 10, 2016

"You Can Feng Shui 2" Free Giveaway

ANNOUNCING THE

"YOU CAN FENG SHUI 2"

GIVEAWAY


Feng Shui 2 : Kick Ass Boogaloo

Feng Shui 2 is a roleplaying game based on high octane action movies.
This description of the game is straight from the Atlas Games website:

"In Feng Shui, the action movie roleplaying game, you play heroes of the Chi War, protecting humankind's destiny in a titanic struggle across space and time.
Victory depends on your gravity-defying kung fu powers, your ancient magics, your post-apocalyptic survival instincts, or your plain old-fashioned trigger finger.

You might be a maverick cop, a cranky kung fu fighting master, an everyday hero, a masked avenger, or an enigmatic drifter from a post-apocalyptic future."


Yep, that's a picture of the cover.

This is not a review of the game. There are plenty of those out there.
Choose from 35 different character types, describe a bit of background, and GO!
Add more detail or customize your character more later.
Suffice it to say this is one sequel that's worth the price of admission.

This is a random drawing for a physical copy of the Feng Shui 2 game.

Here are the rules:

1. Express to everyone why you want a copy of the game.
Will you use it as is? Will you use it as inspiration for other games?
Or will you just use the book to somehow improve the strength of your Kung Fu?

This could be a couple sentences, an essay, a link to a clip of your favorite action movie, a link to some art on the web, a link to a post on your own blog, or whatever. 
All responses or links must be submitted in the comment section of this blog post.

2. You may only respond to enter the drawing once.
Entries must be submitted by midnight(EST), Friday, October 14, 2016.

3. ONE lucky person will be selected randomly on Saturday, October 15, 2016.
The winner will be announced and receive a copy of the game shipped to them free.

Don't just sit there!

GOOD LUCK!

This blog is not affiliated with Atlas Games.
All text and pictures Copyright the respective owners.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Free Board Game: Ghost Town Gold Rush

Here is my first attempt at creating a board game.

All you need to do is print it out and find dice and a few playing pieces.

             * LINKS *
Ghost Town Gold Rush Rules

Ghost Town Gold Rush Board



If anyone actually plays this, please let me know what you think.
Thanks!



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tempest Everlasting: Survival on the Strange Seas

+Joey Lindsey has a contest on his METAL vs SKIN blog for a copy of  Doom Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children, an adventure written for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG. Plus another adventure written by Joey himself and other runner-up prizes.
    This map of encounter ideas is my entry

TEMPEST  EVERLASTING

Ancient Legend
    Air. Earth. Fire. Water. Since time beyond mortal understanding the primal elements of the world have struggled for dominance over one another.
    At the forming of the world, Earth called out to a mountain from beyond the sky.
The mountain pierced the Air, boiled the Water, embraced the Earth and awakened the Fire below.
    The balance of the elements is inevitable . The mountain was shattered, leaving a colossal wound in the Earth. Water rushed in to claim the new void. Fire boils and churns from beneath, never allowing the scar to heal. Still to this day Air lashes the area with raging storms and blasts it with bolts of furious fulmination.
    A tempest everlasting.

Current Events
1. The Puzzling Desert - This dry waste was once home to a thriving civilization that was long ago conquered by wizard allies of the elemental plane of Earth. The people were transformed into living husks who don't need to drink water to survive. They are trying to deforest the surrounding landscape and expand the desert.

2. Port Underfoot - This town is a known smugglers den. Anything goes as long as a hefty tribute is paid to Nix and Nox, twin ogre magi. They control an impressive fortress on Mount Overhead to the south. Any who disrespect the ogre magi or their enforcers are thrown into the shark infested reefs nearby.

3. Island of the Astrologer - On the southern shore stands an ancient stone lighthouse. A huge enchanted telescope has been built into the top of the light house. The astrologer wizard who lives here can summon creatures represented in the constellations to do his bidding.

4. Segar Isle - Rose the sea hag and her vulture familiar make their home here. She is served by a small army of degenerate pink tropical  kua-toa. They believe she is an avatar of the Sea Mother, their elemental water goddess. She can also be found terrorizing the seas in her pirate ship, the Black Barnacle.

5. Lost Adakkor - Here lie the ruins of the civilization that suffered the curse of the Puzzling Desert to the north. A few noble families and their retainers remain here in the hopes of finding a way to defeat the elemental earth wizards and reclaim their people and their country.

6. Aerie of Megaira - Megaira the gynosphinx rules these mountains and commands an army of corsairs. She resides at the peak of the mountain in an ancient temple of the air elemental Boreus. She and her pirates ply the seas in search of weaker ships to plunder.

7. Brakoora Isle - Despite its sparse vegetation, this island supports a small human population.Traders who frequent the island tell tales of nocturnal rituals on the beaches and the hunched silhouettes of huge, clawed beasts that crawl from the surf.

8. Aerie of Aella - Aella the gynosphinx makes her home here in the ruins of an ancient college on the slope of this dormant volcano. She spends most of her time studying occult tomes in the library. It is built like a vault, with walls of adamant steel and sealed with sturdy locks and magical wards.

9. Knucklebone Isle - A family of oracles makes this island their home. They are famous for casting the knuckle bones of their ancestors to foretell the future. It is said to harass them is to invite calamity and doom.

10. Aerie of Kimon - The criosphinx Kimon guards a forgotten prison at the top of the mountain. For the right price one can bribe Kimon to abduct one's enemies and lock them in a cell here to rot. He is constantly trying to impress and seduce the sphinx sisters, Aella and Megaira.

11. The Quickmire - This island is covered in brackish swamp and deadly quicksand. There is spring near the north shore of the island whose waters are said to make the drinker invulnerable to the stone gazes of the basilisk and medusa. Giant shark-form lamias hunt the waters around the island.

12. Jub-Nelumbo - Villages in this area produce a variety perfumes from rare tropical flowers. The plants are also sought by alchemists and poisoners for their toxic properties.

13. Muckmarsh - The soggy wilds of Muckmarsh are dominated by insects of every sort. Explorers tell tales of dense swarms of bugs that imitate the shape of men and speak an alien language in buzzing voices.

14. Charmaw Peaks - This entire mountain range boils with volcanic activity. The tribes here are lead by shamans who channel and transform into fire elementals. They have dire plans for the kingdom of Akandwa to the south.

15. Mount Jak'Irby - Jak'Irby the storm giant resides here in a palace carved around the entire mountain. He does everything in his power to protect travelers around his home. Some believe he has the knowledge, if not the means, to banish the Tempest.

16. Lush Lea - These verdant farmlands are home to settlers from the west. They are very superstitious  and fear the spirits of the surrounding jungle.

17. Gurunga - Tribes here have legends of men who live underground. They are said to steal children and replace them with changelings.


18. Akandwa - A noble kingdom in the heart of the jungle. Their monarch uses his natural prowess and magic items to emulate the abilities of the savage mantygers who stalk the night. The enchanters here make magic items using a strange metal unique to the area.

19. The Brashwash - This rocky land is unable to support anything but a few fishing villages. The lack of any strong central authority makes it the perfect hiding place for all manner of criminals and malcontents.

20. Greymist Bay - This well defended fortress is a foothold of law for those who travel here from the east.

21. The Tempest - Abandon all hope...

Things Yet to Pass
    The tables below will hopefully help in generating some interesting situations by rolling on each. Some of the combinations may be vague or nonsensical, but they are meant only to provide the germ of an idea. The basic result is some detail about an NPC and something they want.
 
    How an adventure actually starts or who instigates it is not defined and is best left to the individual DM. Maybe whomever completes a number of missions is rewarded a great treasure. Or perhaps it could all be part of an epic quest to find a way to dispel the Tempest Everlasting.
 
    As an option, objectives could be presented by consulting the oracles on Knucklebone Island (Area 9). For a small fee or favor the oracles will recite the following ritual:

Five pale knuckles shall we cast,
A crook'd pentagram to frame.
Within this starry pattern lined
Our inner eye shall quickly find:
A Form, a Fault, a Place, a Past,
An Appetite to claim.
 
    Then they will allow the characters to ask two or three questions to determine some detail about the five aspects of their prophecy. In other words, of the five (Form, Fault, Place, Past, Appetite) they will discuss only a few. The rest is a mystery to be solved through wisdom and endeavor.
 
A Form
1. Human
2. Elf
3. Dwarf
4. Hobbit
5. Giant
6. Naga
7. Ogre Magi
8. Aarakocra
9. Genie
10. Rakshasa
11. Lammasu
12. Shedu

A Fault
1. Drunkard
2. Cowardly
3. Death Mark
4. Gluttonous
5. Blind
6. Insane
7. Hoarder
8. Phobia
9. Lame
10. Paranoid
11. Megalomaniac
12. Polymorphed

A Place (Where the NPC may be found)
1. The Puzzling Desert
2. Port Underfoot
3. Island of the Astrologer
4. Segar Isle
5. Lost Adakkor
6. Aerie of Megaira
7. Brakoora Isle
8. Aerie of Aella
9. Knucklebone Isle
10. Aerie of Kimon
11. The Quickmire
12. Jub-Nelumbo
13. Muckmarsh
14. Charmaw Peaks
15. Mount Jak'Irby
16. Lush Lea
17. Gurunga
18. Akandwa
19. The Brashwash
20. Greymist Bay

A Past
1. Fighter
2. Cleric
3. Magic User
4. Thief
5. Sailor
6. Artist
7. Fanatic
8. Escaped prisoner
9. Outcast
10. Local hero
11. Sage
12. Feral

An Appetite (What the NPC wants to do or prevent)
1. Research something
2. Deliver something
3. Steal something
4. Destroy something
5. Rescue a person or monster
6. Capture a person or monster
7. Kill a person or monster
8. Defend a place
9. Spy on a place
10. Attack a place
11. Create something
12. Contact the Gods


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 Drawing Post #2

Hey! I drew stuff two days in a row!
Got to keep the momentum!
Normally this is a blog about RPGs that I never play.
More of that stuff later.