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Topics - Opaopajr

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Play by Post Games / IC: Talislanta Sword & Planet Disco Fantasia!
« on: July 27, 2020, 01:09:23 AM »
It's gonna begin! Run for your lives!

Deposit your simplified PC here.

Older recruiting topic will now double as an OOC (Out-Of-Character) Topic.

We will be starting in the Wilderlands by the town of Akmir. I am also starting the party off with a Salt Flats Catamaran Racer (just in case someone wants to emulate Mad Max or a Duran Duran video). Further, it has a jukebox with a band of tiny imps forced to play music, where slain enemies may drop new collectible soul records for the juke's catalog (and yes, songs replays by PCs'll cost lumen, :p). Gonna do a 'Lawrence of Arabia' long shot with the Salt Flats Catamaran pulling into the Akbir Depot while mysterious strangers have their robes billow dramatically as the music builds & swells.

Feel free to mention in the old topic where you wanna start: On Catamaran or Akbir Depot.

Well, this is it kids... sanity's precipice. :cool:

This'll be a Play-by-Post where I am new to running Talislanta (viiiirgin!), and I hope most of you are too! (:o be gentle) So far the concept is mostly what it says on the tin.

I wanna test out a mostly RAW barebones Talislanta on its rather "high concept" world through a sword & planet world lens (pushes up my 'problem glasses'), with the twist of a disco soundtrack aesthetic instead of an acid heavy metal one. /pursed lips smirk

What that means is euphoric, flamboyant, and more than a touch shallow... also it's an excuse for me to post video links to cheesy videos and bad fashion. ;) (Yeeeees, we will have violence, too! :rolleyes: )

I dunno how many players are too many for Talislanta, but eh, if it can handle Stable of Characters playstyle like D&D (quick chargen, low PC attachment, can split up, regroup, and/or wander off into the sunset like Conan/Rastan) we can do that if there's a lot of players. (:o no seriously, please be gentle) So let's see a show of victims while I decide a starting location, any demographic & resource restrictions, and other world building context.

Pray for us all. :)

PS: ... yes, it should be "do the hustle." :p this is off to an amazing start! I have a good feeling about this, bring facial tissues. :D

OK, time to get words on paper out to people! :)

This idea is a Behind-the-Screen GM tool. It takes a Region filled with major Locales (filled with multiple NPCs: persons, places, and things) and generates a Regional Campaign Hegemon. The Hegemon's Agenda will create Adventures; the PCs explorations, discoveries, and alliances will create complexity for further Adventures. The MtG Cards drawn will shape the major resources the Hegemon can bring to bear, while doubling as Bookkeeping as the Campaign progresses.

The Reputation Duel

As a GM there is no need to tip this metagame bookkeeping level to players. Just run the game, listen to players' plans, and run the NPC Allies as "doing the best they can!" This is mostly a 'faceless' Hegemon pushing away threats to their power, which PC Adventurers can be. When either loses all their "Reputation Life" in a Region, they are unwelcome there and on borrowed time while lingering. At any time either side may 'scoop' and concede the contest to the other, ending any Agendas & Card threats... PCs do this naturally in-game by expressing disinterest and just leaving the Region. ;) Again, no need to reveal the metagame.

Hegemon vs. PCs have a Reputation "Life Total" represented by NPC assets, unknown to each other. Hegemons start aware of their NPC assets, yet PCs start unaware, for they get to choose differently in spite of their potential NPC Allies favorable reactions to them. (Just try to positively introduce another NPC for the PCs later in play.) Begin with a decided "Life Total" for each, then seed "Life" into an available NPC each, having a minimum of one "Life" in each Locale.

Each day the Hegemon and PCs can message known NPCs to take an action (if they can) in a Locale, though the message's speed may delay this across Locales. Only one action can occur per Locale, regardless of extra NPCs present. However, a split PC party across Locales can carry out a coordinated long term agenda in each Locale. Hegemon can give long-standing orders as PCs, too.

When PCs Adventure in a Locale, building their fame, the Hegemon becomes aware of them. The Locale's Land enters the Hegemon's in-play resources, and the Locale's Cards become available opportunities. Hegemon's mobile NPCs need to smuggle Locale Cards off into the Hegemon's Hand as an action for availability to cast.

A Locale's Number Value equals the Hegemon's Card Opportunities there, as well as the Card Slot Max for the Hegemon's In-Play Cards that can be present there.

A Card-Involved Attack can take place at each Locale once a day by the Hegemon. A Hegemon's "Life" can make more attacks, but tends to be weak and exposes them.

[other procedural content generation rules to be added later, as needed.]

:) next step! The example Mini-Region, with Locales!

This topic is how to open Battlemaster maneuvers into maneuvers available to the general populace. It's meant to help GMs field the common maneuver questions without left adrift staring at 'Improvise Action' with a brain fart. It's not meant to a) replace Battlemaster, or b) replace regular Attacks by being strictly better.

Houserule: Most Battlemaster maneuvers in the PHB are usable as a generic maneuver -- those that involve your character using any weapon to attack/hit -- just remove the Superiority Die and drop down the attack's damage die (dice) a step, (including up to d2s, minimum 1 damage before mods,).

Namely I was wanting these maneuvers democratized.

Disarming Attack
Distracting Strike
Goading Attack
Lunging Attack
Maneuvering Attack
Menacing Attack
Precision Attack
Pushing Attack
Sweeping Attack
Trip Attack

However I do want to exclude Feinting Attack because it would be too easy to pull Advantage reliably, and would pair with terrible consequences to multiclassing shenanigans.

Thoughts? Wording suggestions?

So, I vaguely recall someone here, possibly estar, suggesting a form of generic Parry using Reaction and Hit Dice. But I could be wrong.

Anyway, looking at the list of Universal Reactions, I realized a generic form of Parry didn't exist. It was presumed Dodge as enough (and it is exceedingly good). However, I really thought the Hit Dice as a resource a clever development (an adaptation of 4e healing surges into a more elegant and obvious form). But given healing rates from Long Rest are quite generous... HD expenditures from Rest doesn't come up often.

And I also dislike the whack-a-mole effect from healing up from zero, too.

So, I like the houserule "Fainting's Exhausting!": When you reach 0 HP you pick up a point of Exhaustion, period.

But I also like the idea of using one's experience level as a resource (Hit Dice) to endure. Thus I want to tie Hit Dice into an available to all Parry Reaction:

Parry: Use your reaction and personal reserves to reduce damage to you. Spend one of your HD and roll it to reduce incoming damage by the HD roll result plus your CON mod.

Yes it's more HP to chew through, but it's borrowing from the future to avoid exhaustion from swooning at zero HP. Thoughts?

Part of the joy of CtD 1e's madness was the cantrip card system. It is not hard, but it does need extra material to play. For the creative, it's a delightful excuse to run off to the craft room and fuckin' lose your goddamn mind! (There shall be much huffing of glue and doing lines of glitter.)

And then there's the rest of the player base who hate the idea of 'homework', even if it's just art (or maybe especially because it is art?).

So, the basics are not that hard:

Each Art has Five Distinct Named Levels.
Each Realm has Five Distinct Named Levels.
You Get One Distinct Named Card for Each Dot in Your Arts & Realms.

So 3 dot Chicanery Art gets you: 1x Fuddle, 1x Veiled Eyes, 1x Fugue
Three dot Scene and 2 dot Prop gets you:
1x Closet, 1x Bathroom, 1x Guest Room. 1x Ornate Garb, 1x Crafting Tool.

That's an 8 card hand for a starting player, and pretty easy to hammer out as ATCs (art trading card).

The challenge comes with the Bunks deck. I prefer a 15 card deck, 3x each of Dots/Successes 1-5.

That can get into some extra work, as you do want to know the Art "suit," associated Attribute (in case of resists,) and the described Bunk for after the fact narrative purposes.

All in all it's a bit of overhead for drop-in players, recurring NPCs with defined stats, etc.

Quick Substitute Solutions!
(Note: Sharpie markers might make life easier here.)

  • A regular deck of playing cards. You can use the four suits to cover the four most common Arts in your campaign. Also you can get two Bunk Decks, 3x Aces through 5s, and 3x 6s through 10s. It leaves the face cards and some number card as spares to scribble out Distinct Arts & Realms cards. Covers = 2 players.
  • Old spare CCG cards. Magic the Gathering has commons printed and tossed out by the box load, and many FLGS simply don't care if you want to salvage some of their soon-to-be-waste.

MtG has some nice advantages: 5 colors plus colorless Artifact covers your starting 6 Arts "suits." Cards come with Converted Mana Cost for representing Dots 1 through 5 in Bunk Decks. So Giant Growth (G) is a One Dot Bunk for, let's say, Primal.

  • Dice Masters Dice. These seem to collect in FLGS as well. And unlike regular numeric dice, their proprietary faces don't really add utility for alternate uses to other games. BUT!, they are tiny and come in so many colors! And most of the dice run the gamut of 3-6 different values. Make the colors ordered to a 1-5 success value and then roll off to determine the Arts suit (and thus Bunk). Throw 15 of these dice in a bag, then draw & roll accordingly.

Repurposing this way helps open the game to more "grab 'n go" play.

Any other creative repurposing ideas?

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Purple Rain, Purple Rain... Prince died.
« on: April 21, 2016, 09:39:38 PM »

2016 is having a hell of a concert upstairs. Meanwhile we live here... :(


Wow, the hits keep coming. After so many beloved talents passed away recently, this one hits like a pile of bricks. As if art gave immortality it seems as though I was not as prepared for his mortality as I believe I am for so many other legendary talents.

But what beauty he left us. :)

Side note, his recent song "Lazarus" is quite moving. Reminds me of Johnny Cash and "Hurt."

In the spirit of 'how do you make monster conversions?' topic I came back to my brainstorm about one of my favorite Magic the Gathering settings, Fallen Empires. I wanted to run an AD&D spin-off of the setting and revamped a whole new spellcasting system (point-based) as a baseline conversion for cards into setting elements. However without getting too far into the weeds, I want to return to the idea so as to utilize MtG cards for their 5e setting potential.

One of the things I did was note that many 1/1 creature cards were often a group of commoners, unless heroic (like Benalish Hero or Prodigal Sorcerer). So the assumption I derived is that the group averaged around 10 HP with around 10 damage output average within a couple rounds. So Llanowar Elves or Pikemen are a group whose collective HD roughly corresponds to around 10 HP and can relatively threaten 10 damage per turn or two average. Using that baseline I tried my hand at card to monster conversion.

(There's other ideas, but they change the core mechanics of spellcasting that it changes the nature of the game greater than I want to discuss here.)

But there's plenty of challenges to deal with, especially converting keyword abilities into setting representation. So I thought this would be a fun exercise to tinker with as a community brainstorm. We'll come with our own viewpoints, and naturally butt heads, yet usable fun stuff should likely arise from the friction.

Let's create!

I'll start with my example baseline:

Prodigal Sorcerer. 2U. creature — human wizard. 1/1. tap: deal 1 damage to target creature or player.

So try to get a single character to have around 10 HP average, and deal around 10 dmg average within one to two rounds. Also have a means to emulate the card's special of 10 dmg, ideally at distance or without immediate retribution, a la the CCG.

Prodigal Sorcerer. 2nd lvl Human Wizard.

Assume point buy primary stat, INT human max of 16. Atk +5, Save 13.
Assume point buy secondary stat, DEX of 14. Ranged atk +4, +2 dmg.
Firebolt, 1d10. Avg 11 dmg over two turns.
Darts/Daggers, 1d4+2. Avg 9 dmg over two turns.

Assume point buy secondary stat, DEX of 14. +2 init., +2 AC.
Assume point buy tertiary stat, CON of 12. +1 HP/lvl.
2d6+2 HP = avg. 9 HP. (akin to PC 1d6 HD +1 CON, which would be full HD at 1st lvl, half HD+1 for subsequent lvls, +1/lvl for CON. = 12 HP.)

Magic Snipe - Magic Missile. 3x (1d4+1) missiles, avg 10 dmg (10.5 round down). 3 slots. Req. Long Rest to recharge slots.

So why is this useful than a regular MM entry? Well, it's an example which helps for cards that have no real MM analog. That is actually going to be a big issue later for conversions, and where I will need more community help.

Also it is a quick note summary, which can help visualize NPCs and their agendas. Want to have a BBEG show his muscle, sending his hitman sorcerer? Then you can allocate a pool of MtG cards to him, what he has to expend to get stuff in play, and visualize resources as they are being tapped for effect.

For example, taking out the lone Pikemen card defense of a small village openly would be suicide for Prodigal Sorcerer, due to Pikemen having First Strike. However the Prodigal Sorcerer special ability shows a level of abstracted cunning and assassination of the Pikemen over a day's worth of time and preparation. The end result creates content for PCs to solve, while tallying expenditures of Holders of Power resources.

Design, Development, and Gameplay / Maztica, the re-working
« on: July 02, 2015, 10:15:23 AM »
So, I just finished reading Maztica from beginning to end (OK, I skimmed some parts, shhh!). And there's some things I want to do with it. Granted the author has an admitted point of view, and the tropes play painfully unfavorably as old knowledge about Mesoamerica and its Colombian conquest. But without apocalyptic disease on the same scale I can easily deal with even post-conquest Maztica.

First, I just love the awesome pyramid cosmology reflecting the Manual of the Planes (Maztica Alive! p. 49).

Second, the idea of pluma and hishna is cool, even if the execution is painfully weak. No, I'm not interested in reading the novels to get a sense of how powerful it can be. (Most "game novels" read as warning labels of bad writing to me. Yes, I'm an elitist. I can live with that.)

Third, as written, the magic system and class system clash with standard readings of AD&D core. But this is more an exciting opportunity than a problem.

(I actually read only the 4 core archetypes and their base classes, and all the kits are just unfleshed out optional classes. i.e. Paladin Samurai or Ranger Myrmidons are not really something I allow or want to encourage. So the idea of Jaguar/Eagle Knights and Pluma/Hishna Weavers sound quite cool as classes unto themselves.)

My first challenge is -- what to do with super-weak Pluma and Hishna. Well, the first obvious thing is that they should be considered incomplete spell lists. That's a standard thing for spells of all sorts since the beginning. These spell spheres just need more spells, period.

Gameplay-wise it asks the question, though, how is such weak magic functional in a Faerun-Maztica game? Short answer, it's not. Easy answer, you don't play mash-up games -- or you fix it yourself!

So my next post is going to be how I take Pluma and Hishna, tie it into cosmology and alignment, and try to make it a fun something unto itself... See you around!

Been on a 1980s kitsch movie kick and wanted a comedic, dystopian future with a continuous supply of playable material. Don't know the system yet, maybe an iteration of Gamma World, or X-Crawl (very Smash TV, tho do not want the 3e-isms). However TORG or Rifts might work, as gates of TV Hell opening up into our world.

Idiocracy, albeit newer, has a large enough world to sandbox and an almost cohesive structure (it's obviously falling apart). Also sets a happier atmosphere for a blatantly hostile world. And it comes with a built-in PC entrance, as cryogenically frozen victims to a questionable future. So I like the foundation.

What I really need are quests, and that's where The Learning Channel (well, reality TV in general) and tabloids come in. Sure there'll be adventuresome violence around, but I like the voyeuristic exposé excused with 'advancing tolerance & understanding' glaze. I think I want my players to be paparazzi or Xtreme reality TV contestants strapped with Go Pros (or 'squids' from Strange Days) on them. Like, they have to be Investigators exploring the lowest common denominator, muckraking the tragic for fun and profit, without dying or before their prison parole gets canceled due to lack of viewers.

... I think I just made a Nybbas focused campaign (demon prince of media, IN SJG).

So, horrible TLC + tabloid mashup quests requested!

Media & Inspiration / Cooking as Inspiration
« on: May 08, 2015, 07:22:52 AM »
So, I often run food as an important part of my games. Occasionally they are the focal point which a campaign may revolve around, or at least will bleed into whatever the PCs do. Food, like music, language, fashion, and other parts of culture, set atmosphere and impart meaning in ways words fail.

I will also say here I was, and still am, extremely envious of Benoist's table where he spoils his players with French cooking, sometimes even thematically related. A pity he is still on a 'personal sabbatical'. Maybe he'll join in for a recipe or two.

Anyway, it's currently late at night (the best time to go grocery shopping, I think — no crowds!), and I have around 4 lbs. of pork shoulder to marinade and then dump into the crock pot for 8+ hours. I was going to do a family traditional semi-Italian seasoning, a la bay leaf, oregano, rosemary, etc. (along with S. American family secrets that I'd tell you and then have to kill you). But I am also thinking of my PbP game here and thinking of Great Basin seasoning, like sage, sumac, pine nuts, and a shot of rye whiskey to tenderize (for the wild rye).

I'll get back and let you know what I finally chose — and whether it tasted good or not — but I thought a cooking topic would be fun here.

Anyone prepared, or interested in preparing, a campaign relevant recipe? Always wondered what Karamaikos or Ierendi food tasted like and have strong opinions on that? What does go into good dwarven grog? Share.

Almost exactly what it says in the topic header: what are your current, or near future, system dabbling for a new campaign? Something that is not your standard go-to system, but is that reserved coat you just gotta try out for that special occasion.

I recently snagged Star Children used, and getting into the groove of trying out something insane. Either that or find that lost email from flyingmice about his High Strung project, about roleplaying rock band dynamics. (His beta-tester call was here in this forum awhile ago.) Something to stretch the GM wings and have an excuse to slap on the Glam or Acid Rock as we play. I think the playlist might be the most challenging part so far...

Anyway, anyone else "broadening their horizons" in the near term?

Might as well get this ball rollin'. Due to the idea from danskmacabre

Quote from: danskmacabre;791830
I have this idea I thought I'd put out here.

It's a very common occurrence to have an NPC that you didn't intend to be important, but ends up requiring to be statted out in more detail.

[...] it'd be great to have a sort of repository that people can contribute to here where if they've statted out an NPC or something, with background, items, spells (if appropriate).

I would personally find [it] really useful for example to have say a flavor of Sorceror, statted out with background as a 1st level character and then 5th, 10th, 15, 20th.  all done with appropriate spells and kit.

Given the huge amounts of variety of classes, races, backgrounds items, obviously for one person to do this, would be nigh on impossible, but as an ongoing group effort could be pretty fun and very useful.

I do know that PF (and earlier editions of DnD) has had books out like this, but there's nothing for 5E yet.

Is anyone interested in something like this? [...]

The Point

To provide character fodder to fellow GMs out there.


As of yet, there is no standard. All I ask is attempt clarity for others. Seek this in stat block organization, note reference to what effect came from where, and effect summation of key features.

Character Additions

As of yet, there is no expectations or restrictions. Ideas about how a character would progress along major level milestones are welcome. Ideas about where and how a character would be integrated into a setting, published existing or not, are also welcome. Please be sure to provide such info in an easy to read manner, if you can.


Please stay on topic. That topic being the contribution of new characters, helpful audit corrections in a finished character, discussion on when, where, & how to use such characters, and so on. Take unrelated topics off onto its own new topic post as soon as possible as a courtesy to others.


I liked the "floating islands/Gas Giant world ecology" idea mentioned in the 5e Setting Remakes topic.

Curious what others would like, and especially if people are more specific than mere genre gloss.

Ideas like, Dark Sun's "Dying World in Red Giant Star System, rapine magic & prevalent psionics" instead of "hardcore, low-metal/tech, post apocalypse."

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