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Topics - Omega

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I never knew the Harlot Table existed before the EnWorld thread. Slovenly Trull is one of the funniest things I have ever read. It's even funnier because as far as I can tell there's no such slang term as trull, (but there probably should be).

My Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Group has just reached Marienburg and if anyone doesn't think they are going to meet a slovenly trull in the next session, well they just haven't been paying attention.

I am actually factually, literally, crying with laughter over the harlot table. The follow up with saucy's so ridiculous.

Moved from another thread. But this brings up something thats not discussed enough really. The fact that alot of terms that seem made up, turn out to be actual real terms used once or even in some rare cases still used.

Trull = prosititute.
Strumpet = woman who is very sexually active.
Trollop = woman who is very sexually active.
Tart = woman who is very sexually active.
Wench = attractive girl
Doxy = a mistress.
Procuress = essentially a female procurer. In this case could mean brothel owner?

Several of these have over time also been used mean a prostitute. Even wench and tart and strumpet.
Bemusingly my grandmother would call some women floozies.
Tramp was another one used way back.
For men heard words like lothario, and cassanova used to be used quite a bit.

On the non-sexual side there are terms like cobbler for shoe repair people. Tinker for utensil repair people. Straw boss for an ineffectual boss. Raconteur (or Recounter as I've heard it) for a storyteller, and so on.

And this does not even get into local slang or local terms for things. My aunt used the term holler to refer to a swampy valley nearby where she grew up for example.

Anyone else have old or local terms for people, vocations or locations like that?

Spinning off from the other threads on the disabled and what can be applied.

Being disabled myself and having worked with a number of disabled gamers now. Some thoughts.

Note that all of this is totally dependent on how flexible and/or lenient the setting, system, other players, and especially the DM are. But it can also help when dealing with a character thats become disabled during the course of adventuring.

One of the big things that a fantasy or Sci-fi/Cyberpunk setting and system can allow for is the exploration of various workaround to being disabled. This could be done right in chargen, or something a PC is working to create, find, or otherwise gain access to. And by workaround I mean things that lessen, or totally negate being disabled. These things exist in the real world and some have been around a long long time even. But in settings with access to fantastical methods all manner of new approaches could possibly exist. Some have been discussed in the other threads.

First off is the factor of the severity of the impairment and how much it impacts an adventuring lifestyle.
The simple fact is that without some sort of effective workaround certain impairments will make adventuring impossible. Easiest example is a straight-up blind person. Without some means to perceive their surroundings with some modicum of accuracy, its not going to work. While a character that has lost just one eye might be at a slight disadvantage with ranges and be better off with melee combat. A deaf person on the other hand will be easier to sneak up on. Obviously co-ordinating with others they cant see will be dicey. And are not going to hear certain auditory cues like footsteps, a monsters roar, a cry for help. While a person only 1/2 deaf will have no auditory "depth perception". They can hear the sound but figuring out WHERE the sound is coming from will be a hassle. And a person missing a limb is going to be restricted in types of weapons can use if say missing an arm or even just a hand.

Now comes the workaround factor.
Workarounds have been around for probably as long as theres been tool use. Possibly even before that as will detail next. Workarounds as noted are things that lessen the impact of being disabled in some way. These too have some variance in effectiveness.
The most basic are natural enhancements of one or more other senses to make up a little for the loss of one. From discussion and experience talking with others theres no set pattern or surety that you will ever get any compensation sense. Or even that what you get will be actually useful. It also depends on the level of the enhancement. Some Ive seen or discussed with others are things like enhances sense of smell, sense of touch, sensitivity to vibrations, sharper hearing, etc. Then theres just how well a person can make use of that.
But the main type of workaround are tools of some sort. Everything from hook hands, peg legs, utility stump caps, wheelchairs, even crutches can lessen the impact of some disabilities. And once you get into the fantastical tools the types of problems and level of counteracting it can expand quite a bit.

Starting off with our old friend the wheelchair. This is just not normally workable in say a fantasy adventuring/dungeoneering setting without some effort. And about all of these do take effort and/or co-operation with other players and their characters to sometimes make this possible. So a bog standard rigid wheelchair is right out not going to work. But a folding one can. Meet an obstacle? Someone carries the character and someone else carries the wheelchair on their pack/back, etc. Working together to make this work.

But fantastical conveyances are often to be bought, created, or unearthed. In D&D things like Animate Object or a tailor made golem can work better. Creating a more mobile and agile conveyance. Theres also the animate dead idea presented in another thread and even things like a broom of flying or flying carpet as the conveyance. Much the same in a technological setting. Depending on what might be allowed to a character that could include things like magical legs or a prosthetic that is a plant grown and fitted to or in the character. Some of these can totally negate a disability. A good example in D&D are the various eye items that allow recovery of sight. Cybernetics can do the same things. This can also include things like a full suit that restores movement, or a helment that restores sight or hearing.

But one trick that rarely seems to get used is the concept of the "waldo" or remote body. Instead of the character going out themselves they instead adventure through some construct or even an animal/monster they control with their will or actually inhabit fully with their mind.

Thats just some basic ideas that might, or more likely, might not, prove of use to someone.

Inspired by one of Pundits new vid threads.

For those of you that did change over from an older edition of D&D to 3e. How smoothly or not did it go for you?

I never got to play it much as the players disbabded after a few sessions due to moving away or just far away enough gathering was not really viable anymore. But for me 3e felt alot like 2e and even used large chunks of text from A and 2e D&D books. The only thing I had any hassles with was figuring out the feat tree and how the BABs factored in. Once got all that more or less sorted out it was not too bad really once you got to actual gameplay. Just a bit more moving parts than I tend to like. The DM though loved 3e and still does. His transition to 3e was boom! we there! lets go!

And I guess the same applies to other RPGs.

Shadowrun comes to mind. I tend to prefer 1st ed. But have played alot more 2e. Transitioning to 2e was for me fairly smooth once got used to some of the changes. 3e was meh and 4e was just blah.

The recent set of D&D 5e playtest material had a sort of theme to them that reminded me alot of TSRs Arabian Knights setting and got me wondering if they are planning a return of Al Quadim.

It is one of the few TSR settings I have never had a chance to look at. Just heard others accounts and the occasional articles on it.

Anyone ever used it and what were their impressions?

This came up in a discussion with another DM today and got me wondering.

Where did the mechanic of taking 10 or 20 start in D&D? I could have sworn it started in 2e. But a glance through the PHB and DMG did not see it. My friend believes it was first implemented in 3e.

Closest found was in 2e where it states that taking your time may add a bonus to the check in some cases. And that some skill uses are automatic if given enough time and all the tools and materials needed.

Did not see this posted yet so here goes.

On the off chance anyone still uses YahooGroups. They announced that they will be changing the service and due to the wording that means either they are taking down Image and file hosting. Or they are taking down YahooGroups totally. Far as I can discern it is just the file and image hosting going away.

As some know. YGroups, and the e-group it was before Yahoo bought it and renamed it, used to be a really big place for RPG gatherings and discussions before the rise of Forums took the fore.

Some of the groups, like the Gamma World one I am a moderator on since before Yahoo, is one. Also the old Metamorphasis Alpha PBM and way back a Rifts PBM I ran. There was a Star Frontiers group, and many many many many many more. So if you had any favourite groups you liked. Now is the time to get on and back up anything there you want to save just in case it all is gone in a month or so.

Initially things were fine. But I think part of the problem. One that would be mirrored later by YouTube. Is that YGroups suffered from rampant covert group purges and account lockouts. Usually with no warning and a pain to even try and get an answer or an account unlocked. This happened to me many years ago and was the reason I pretty much quit the site. Moreso because there was no ryme or reason to the purges. Fan groups, business groups, art groups, game groups. One day they are fine. The next gone. Or the group owner is gone and the group is now possibly locked down depending on settings for post permission. To this day my original account is locked for no reason.

Had some great times there though while it lasted.

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / 5e Kenku PC race quirks
« on: September 28, 2019, 12:51:41 PM »
Volo's Guide to Monsters introduced the Kenku into 5e as a playable race. Pretty much the same Kenku from Fiend Folio, but overall following the 3.5e and on alterations.

But the 5e version adds some rather odd traits and a totally new background to the Kenku that may, or may not make them a challenge, or nuisance, to play.

First off is the big one. The 5e kenku cannot talk normally. They can ONLY talk by mimicing and repeating things they have heard before. Like the Aliens from Greatest American Hero or the Abrams version of Bumblebee. Mixed in with sound effects.
Who thought this was a good idea for a PC race?

The second one is not as much a problem depending on the player. Kenku also cannot come up with new ideas. They can only repeat what they have seen before or follow instructions. They cannot improvise. This is not so much a hurdle for players that aren't idea people themselves. But it can be tricky for others.

On the positive side Kenku are surprisingly loyal and make excellent team players. I feel like they are perfect for the new Sidekick rules from Essentials.

So for those rare few who have actually either played or DMed for a player with a Kenku character. Or are considering them. How did/would you handle them? What did/would you change?

Personally, before she passed away I was prepping to allow Kat to play one as she was very keen on birds and had a fair knowledge of various species. First off I would remand the Kenku back to their older iterations being able to talk normally and just being able to mimic things perfectly. As for that "no creativity/cant improvise" part. I'd either tone it down or just remove the "cant improvise/alter orders." part. Mainly because since while they can not make new or personalized things. They are really really good at duplicating things and learning crafts.

And I'll close with this totally amazing Kenku costume.

So there are probably at least a half dozen different Conan RPGs out there now. The four I know of are.
AD&D Conan: A series of modules frpm around 84 set in the lands of Conan with rules for using the D&D system for it to create the overall low fantasy feel of the books. There was also a Red Sonja one.
Conan: From TSR in 85 and probably the first Conan RPG. Uses a percentile system and is pretty good really.
Addendum: And a Gurps Conan from 89
d20 Conan: By Mongoose in2004, saw 2 editions.
And one other recent Conan RPG? addendum: From Modiphus in 2017 it seems.

So. If you have tried any of these, or ones not mentioned above. Which one did you like and why?

For me I really enjoyed the original percentile system one. It was fairly well put together and had an extra section covering various details.

Runner up is the AD&D Conan set as it does the job really well of showing how you can trim down AD&D to use for such a setting. No elves, no clerics, wizards are mostly NPCs and so on. Also a system for dealing with fear and horror which was a recurring element in the books.

I have seen at least one of the d20 books.

WOTC has had out now for a month or so the revised artificer class after we kinda lambasted it during the first playtest as just way too powerful compared to the other classes.

This new artificer shares little with the original. Which is too bad as it had some good ideas as I noted in my older thread here on it. But just needed toning down.

The new version still uses a d8 for HP. Spells available has been bumped up from topping out at level 4 spells, to now eventually gaining access to level 5 spells. Makes sense in a way as thats when a caster gains access to Animate Object.

The core class no longer can craft an automaton companion, instead they can infuse non-magical items with a power or effect that lasts as long as the Artificer lives and knows that particular infusion. Such as making a weapon or armour +1, adding an element resistance, or even duplicating various semi-common magic items. It feels like this could be potentially destabalizing for a campaign. But the Artificer has a limit on how many of these can be infused and running at a time. Only 5 at level 20. And some do need attunement.  

Gone are the Alchemist and Gunsmith paths. Instead there are the following 4.

The new Alchemist, who can concoct a little alchemical homunculus servant, and gains a slight advantage to acid and poison spells. As well as resistance to those later.
The Archivist, who feels really out of place. They can craft a sort of data AI that gives proficiency with skills based on the material its made of. For example infusing your AI into a mirror you could then make its advisory skills from 2 of the following. Deception, Intimidation, Performance, or Persuasion. The artficer can also manifest the AI as a sort of ghostly image/hologram and even cast spells through it akin to a familliar, or cause it to mentally zap a target. And eventually can mind blast targets themselves. Seems to be a bit Eberron themed as that setting is mentioned even.
The Artillerist path is another odd choice. This one can summon a sort of mechanical mini crawler tank armed with a flamethrower, energy balistia, or shield generator. Or make it explode like a grenade. They only exist for 10 minutes and can only be called up once per long rest. They can also infuse a cantrip into a wand for one day. And eventually add a barrier force field to the turret so it acts as partial cover.
Lastly is the Battle Smith. This one can craft a mechanical pet to fight alongside them. And do extra damage when the Artificer or its creation attack. Which improves at later levels. This one is the simplest path and probably the least troublesome compared to the other paths.

Over all a new mixed bag of tricks. Feels like they could have done more with it. But alot can change after feedback is collected.

A thread about something other than the latest SJW nuttery?

So have been working out the carrying limits using the 5e D&D optional system and then got curious and compared it to AD&D.

In AD&D a person of average STR can carry around35 pounds. And can stumble along heavily burdened up to something like 105 pounds. Less if the stuff is not properly packed and distributed, a 5e character of say 10 STR can carry unburdened about 50 pounds and tops out around 150. That seems to be close to many medical and military studies when looking at the AD&D potential. 5e carry seems a bit less realistic

At STR 18 it gets a bit weird as the AD&D character can tote 110 pounds unencumbered and maxes out around 180 pounds. While a 5e character can carry unencumbered 90 and tops out at 270. An interesting disparity. But then you get into the percentile strength of AD&D characters and things shift again with at the high end of 18/00 STR a PC can haul upwards of 405 pounds while a 20 STR 5e PC caps at 300. (Barbarians can potentially go to STR 24 which puts the max carry at 360.) Again AD&Ds weights seem more plausible vs 5es. But things break down a little after that.

Interestingly enough, if you convert 2e/r Gamma World's kg to pounds it is not too far off from AD&D.

From the older thread on encumbrance I know more than a few here dont like to track stuff like that. But for those that do. What do you make of the carry capacities if AD&D vs 5e? What other systems have encumbrance rules that you like or find realistic/plausible?

I did not look at BX's system as I allready knew it was not based off STR and is its own little system. A character STR 3 has the same limits as a STR 18 one. Which I allways thought was a little odd.

With the death of my sister and talking with my dad and learning a few things about the family. This got me thinking about the general lifespans of races and PCs in RPGs.
My sister died in her mid 30s, and like Kishma who passed away recently at around the same age, suffered from a lifelong illness. Way too young to pass on like that.

On the flipside though according to my dad alot of the women in the family tend to live well into their 90s. My grandmother was 97 when she passed away in 2012. Same for my great grandmothers. Well into their 90s.

So does anyone actually enforce lifepans of PCs and NPCs? If so. How much or how little? Seems alot of DMs ignore that. Or the nature of a campaign is such that it never becomes an issue?

Playing AD&D was when it seemed we used it the most. Not sure about 2e. But characters did get older. If they lived so long. There were tries to extend lifespans. But eventually those fail. Assuming the character did not become some sort of undead or otherwise no longer exactly alive.

But in general life extending magic and items were rare or epic quest sorts of deals.

Then there are the long lived races. They can end up playing across generations of shorter lived comrades even. Had one player way back, Dale, who played an elf across a generational campaign. Same elf. Eventually hitting the peak for his race and just kind of adventuring with the descendants of his original companions out of fond memories. Contrasting with Jans usual half-orc PCs who tended to never even make it to the ripe old age of 50.

And as mentioned way back in an older thread. We did once accidentally Haste to death one players Dwarf character. No one could tell how old he was anyhow! :o

A recent thread on another site about movement speeds in 5e D&D had a few comments where people kept harping that the speeds were "unrealistic".

So I sat down and parsed out the speeds and actually. Its not as wonky as people keep claiming.

The average walk speed in 5e is 30ft/r which comes to about 3.4mph. A little above the average walking speed of a human being.
Standard Dash bumps that up to 6.8mph.
A level 18 monk can double their walking speed which bumps up their dash speed to 13mph. Still well within limits.
Using the Mobile feat you can bump that up to 15.9mph.
Even dabbling in 2 levels of Rogue to get cunning action for another dash only increases the speed to 23.9 or so mph. Various sources cite the average human running speed at 28mph.

So without magic the speeds are actually within human norm. Could a person actually sustain that pace? Didn't check but 5e does have some rules in place for speed travel.

So far this is looking at just sustained speeds.

Next we get into short bursts and here things get a little odd. But what were you expecting? Magic is involved.
Using a haste spell on our speedy Monk/Thief we can double their 70 MOV to 140 then dash-dash that into a whopping 420 MOV which translates to 47.7mph.
But we arent done yet. Monk can dash again as a bonus action using 1 chi point. Bringing that all up to a 560 MOV and a velocity of 63.4 mph.

And if you really want to get funky. Go Tabaxi from Volo which gets an additional speed bump so you could crank out a 560 MOV for a nice burst of 63.6 mph. With a chi point it accellerates to 700 MOV and a sprint of around 79.5 mph

There are a few outliers I did not include like the speed boon for an added +30 MOV or an arifact with the +10 MOV bonus. Or Longstrider which adds a +10 MOV. Or an Wizards Transmutor Stone set to +10 MOV. With those you could blast off with a crazy 130 base MOV turned into 260 with Haste and then quad dashed into a 1300 MOV which brings our would-be Flash up to 147.7 mph. The wonders of magic indeed!

Pretty sure my math and the rules are right.  I did not factor in anything involving flight or polymorphing into something weird like a Quickling as it tends to over-write or prevent some skill uses depending. But I would lay good odds that with one or two you might be able to push the speed barrier to 150 mph or possibly 200 mph. Without accessing the Tabaxi the speeds drop down by one unit each where the extra dash would be lost.

Can anyone think of any possible additional perks I missed?

And for those interested my base assumption is each dash used just adds another bump of speed rather than doubling the prior dash and that Haste is factored in before Dash is.

Oh and on a side note a Broom and Carpet of Flying are rather slow. Base speeds of 5.7 and 9 mph respectively. Though assuming dash is allowed on both then you can accellerate to 11.4 and 18.2 mph respectively.

Media and Inspiration / RIP Fred Patten
« on: November 20, 2018, 03:15:04 AM »
Most of you probably do not know Fred Patten. But you likely have at some point felt his impact on the animation world and moreso if you happen to like anime.

I knew Fred only briefly as one of my early customers would later end up having a short story in one of Fred's anthology books. Which unfortunately is how I discovered that Fred Patten had passed away just 8 days ago on the 12th.

Fred was influential in the animation and anime industry and was well known for his connections and interviews and especially books about Anime and animation over the decades. He got the word out and was editor for various magazines in the US and Japan even. Fred was also an early member of Streamline as his connections were extensive and had some bemusing anecdotes about why certain things happened the way they did due to the changing tides of fandom and the mercurial and oft ephemeral nature of animation studios.

Fred was considered one of the founders of anime fandom in the United States, and one of the country's leading experts on anime and manga. He was an employee for Streamline Pictures, a dubbing company for Japanese anime titles, from January 1991 until it went out of business in 2002. Fred was the official editor of the Rowrbrazzle APA from 1989 to 2005. And the founder of the Ursa Major Award.

Busy fellow indeed even after a stroke in the early 2000's

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Astral Travel in D&D
« on: October 26, 2018, 08:02:35 PM »
The thread on novels and RPGs got me thinking of this.

I oft wondered if D&D's Astral Projection spell, and later material which noted that you create a new body when entering another dimension, was inspired by either Carter's ability of astral projection which had him creating a new body on Barsoom? Or a similar technique used in at least one of Lovecrafts books?

Or were both inspired by something older?

Well the chain of events leading to a game company trying to acquire the SF title or more lead to WOTC putting scans of all the Star Frontiers product up on Drive-Thru.

They then ended the agreement with the Star Frontiers community and all the PDFs are gone from the site. They also ordered the removal from Drive-Thru of the Star Frontiersman fan magazine. (and apparently disallowing new publications?) But the PDF are ok on their site.

Pretty strange odyssey for the game.

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