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Topics - Sobek

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So, I've been thinking for that I should have a focus for my campaign setting and should put it in writing, both for my benefit and that of my players.  Here's the first draft.  Feedback welcome.
 
Quote from: Theme and Tone
On Albathador, good people accomplish great things and leave legends and legacies for those who come after.  Entropy is a fact of life, though, and all things succumb to decay.  Each successive generation may build on what has come before, but they must fight to preserve it, too.
Demons, devils, and all manner of sinister beings are very real threats.  That doesn’t mean, however, that such evils are always obvious.  Subtlety is their favored weapon.  A slow, creeping corruption can lay low many more souls than can playing purely in strength.

Just as the fiends have their reasons for seeking the shadows, so too do the forces of good.  Whether it is avoiding collateral damage, a desire to use minimal force, a respect for individual choices, or the simple idea of mutually assured destruction, the powerful celestials do not often fight openly on the material plane.

Each side uses the mortal races as intermediaries.  The fiends manipulate pawns with promises of power while the celestials seek out champions of strong character.  As with anything found in the shadows, it’s often difficult to tell one thing from the other.  Did the (apparently) just king rise to power with help?  If so, from who did it come?  Was the mayor’s covert meeting with the thieves’ guild, or was it with a Valkirian Ranger?

Ultimately, the player characters must wade through the gray and decide for themselves where, and with whom, they stand.  Do they want to take the side of those who claim to be good?  Do they want to play with hellfire and hope to not get burned?  Or, do they want to hold off the darkness just enough that they can be left alone – and please stop shining that light in my face?

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Other Games / Champions of Norrath
« on: June 02, 2006, 04:41:38 pm »
We got ourselves a PS2 for Christmas, and picked up Champions of Norrath with it.  Nice game.  My wife and I have been doing that as "couple time" every now and again.  First time I've actually finished a game and actually been able to stand replaying it at the next level (like Diablo, it has three difficulties that you can work through).  We're half-way through the second difficulty level and still having fun.
 
Has anyone else played this game?  What did you think?
 
How about the sequel -- is it any good?

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What tools (software, dead tree, or otherwise) to record information about your campaign?
 
Myself, I use PCGen for PCs/NPCs.  While there are some bits I'm not tickled about, I do love how flexible it is, and how easy (compared to anything else) it is to customize the data.  I use the GMGen tool to track initiative, too.  That's another feature that kinda sold me on it.  That said, I'd love to find something even better.
 
For maps, I use a combination of hand-drawn and CC2-Pro.  I'm finally starting to feel like I understand CC2 (now that CC3 is coming out), so I'll probably be using that more and more.  Even my hand-drawn maps, though, I've started scanning in, just for storage.
 
Adventure/campaign outlines, etc. are stored in Word, as are most house rules.  Really, though, this is an area that I'm horrid at doing.  Every time I try to put together a compilation of house rules, I never seem to be able to properly organize things.  Ditto for the majority of campaign notes.  What I have, I have in Word, but I'd love to hear a better tool or a template.

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Just a general discussion topic, but what role do you think the talents of a Bard would have them gravitate towards?
 
So far, the one that seems stand-out is as an advisor/guard to a figure of power (say, king).  I used a Warmage and Bard to really, really nice combination as the elite guards of a baron.  The bard was capable of doing the diplomacy, enchantment, healing, and divination, while the warmage blew the shit out of whatever pissed off the bard.  Even without the warmage, I'd think every lord would want a bard on staff.

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Well, besides pie.  (I'll kill the obligatory joke, now.)
 
I'm setting up a new adventure that takes place at the site of an orcish invasion into a typical kingdom.  The PCs are 10th level, so I want to throw more than just orcs at them.  The terrain is mostly forest/mountain.  Also, the orcs are being quietly "advised" by a psion-heavy "evil empire".
 
So, what sort of oddball mounts, pets, and allies can I throw in.  I'm pretty sure I'm already going to use an orcish druid with the Awaken spell and Leadership feat.  I might throw in an orcish Binder and/or a human Ardent.  Other human/elan psi-types will be present.

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First, I don't think any of my players read this board, but if you do don't read this thread.
 
Okay, so, I've been running a game for about a year or so.  Back in November, I placed a simple, masterwork shortsword in a side-adventure.  The PCs almost didn't take it, which would have been a pity.  In the end, though, the exact character I'd hoped actually did grab it.
 
Since then, it has slowly been revealed to be an intelligent weapon that is cloaked to hide its magic aura.  Its purpose is to aid wizards in accumulating as much power as posible.  It's taught its bearer a couple of spells and given some advice, telepathically, as well as demonstrating a couple of pretty cool powers.  On the other hand, it has also urged the bearer to keep its existence quiet.
 
So far, she has complied, even going so far as outright lying to the other PCs.  Only the warlock has seen anything unusual and he's decided to let her play her hand.  The wizard PC, and all the players, are bloody freaked by a sword wanting to remain secret.  The wizard is willing to give it a go, though, since the sword said it'd like to see her as guildmaster.  She has been leaving the sword in her inn room an aweful lot, though, so she can have secret conversations with various people.
 
Now, the bastardry (to be revealed in another couple levels):  The sword is nothing special in any way, shape, or form, other than being masterworked.  It is, instead, and item possesed by a glabrezu (as per BovD).  Actually, that's not even true.  The wizard willing lowered her resistance against the demon, which allowed it to slip into her body.  The glabrezu has been doing little more than playing watcher and talking to the wizard, but started off giving aid to her.  He is working to corrupt her, and has begun her downward trend.  I'll be interested to see how far the PC takes this.
 
So, is that bastardy enough?

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I rather like the idea of rewarding the racial niches that exist in D&D.  Elves should be good wizards.  Orcs should be good barbarians, etc.  So, I think the idea of a favored class is good.  I just don't much care for the implementation in 3E.  I don't want to penalize anyone for playing against type.  I would like to reward them for playing to type, though.
 
The only idea I've ever heard, besides the XP penalty for multiclassing, is to grant an extra skill point to characters for the levels which they take "in class".  Has anyone tried this?
 
Anyone have a better idea?

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Since the last round ("group name") went pretty well, I thought I'd share my latest quandry, too.
 
Back in 2E, there was a book called "Viking Handbook" (or some such).  Pretty cool sourcebook, actually.  In that book, there is a new race called Trollborn.  The Trollborn are, basically, half-trolls.  But not standard D&D trolls.  Viking trolls are a smart and magical and shit like that.  Anyway, I pondered these Viking trolls a long while and decided I liked the idea.
 
I tweaked mine a bit, making them refugees from the plane of Shadow, having fled enslavement by the Illithid (that may change, as it hasn't been revealed yet -- maybe gith).  Anyway, they still have a tie to Shadow (thus, why I was pretty excited by "Tome of Magic" -- I'd been using psionics as a stand-in) and draw upon it for mystic abilities.
 
Anyway, I've been calling the race "trolls" for years, but still including the standard trolls, too.  The idea is that the local humans dubbed them trolls, while true trolls tend to roam a bit further south.  Anyway, I'm looking for a better (real) name for the race.  I've been rolling around variations on "darkin", "dirkin", "dyrken", etc.  I just really don't want the name to sound like "dark kin", though.  So, through some words at me.  Let's see what sticks.

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Okay, this one has bothered me for years, and I haven't come up with a solution on my own, so it's time to seek help.
 
My homebrew has existed for over 20 years, since I was in junior high.  It's got a lot of good things in it, but it also has some... erm... leftovers from my more juvenile days, which I've been slowly purging.
 
In this case, I've got an elite, evil group of soldiers.  They're psions, trained from birth to do a few specific things.  Typical MO is to teleport into a place, kill some people, and teleport out (this worked better under 1E/2E psionics than 3E, but whatever).  These guys are the elitist of the tools at the disposal of a very dark empire of humans.
 
So, in 1985 or so, I decided to call them "Stormtroopers".  :sigh:  The name bothers the shit out of me, now.  Any alternative suggestions?  I can pass off the old name as being a localized translation, so no continuity issues.

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With the "Complete Psionics Handbook" about to hit shelves, I'm looking at psionics again.  I use 'em in my game and rather like 'em.  The only base class I've hedged on is the Soulknife.
 
Don't get me wrong; Psylocke is a fine comic character, and I like that the concept is possible in D&D.  Still, is there anything else that this class does, or is it "all Psylocke, all the time"?  What warrants the Soulknife as a base class?

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