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Longes
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
If your party, currently living in Sigil, wants to go hunting for astral diamonds - what's a good setup for this goal? Just let them start digging into whatever god corpse they find, raid a githyanki mining fortress, turn tricks in the back alleys of Tu'narath?




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Mask_De_H
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How hard would it be to take the After Sundown engine and use that to run WoD material? Barring that, are there any notable mechanical changes from aWoD to AS?
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virgil
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

As natural healing is on hold in the Astral, this would include the recovery of the fatigued/exhausted conditions?
Mask_De_H wrote:
How hard would it be to take the After Sundown engine and use that to run WoD material? Barring that, are there any notable mechanical changes from aWoD to AS?
IMO, not particularly hard. The mechanical changes are sizable, as the rules are closer to Shadowrun than WoD.
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Mord
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mask_De_H wrote:
How hard would it be to take the After Sundown engine and use that to run WoD material? Barring that, are there any notable mechanical changes from aWoD to AS?

Not very hard depending on what WoD game line you're trying to emulate. After Sundown began life as "Alternative World of Darkness," after all, and about 90% of its content is analogous to something that already existed in Vampire.

You would probably have to do more work to play Werewolf or the other miscellaneous crap using the AS engine, but the only one that flat-out won't work is Mage, because Mage is fucking insane.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
If your party, currently living in Sigil, wants to go hunting for astral diamonds - what's a good setup for this goal? Just let them start digging into whatever god corpse they find, raid a githyanki mining fortress, turn tricks in the back alleys of Tu'narath?


Could go with a blood diamonds story. They can get them, but it involves fucking over a native populace. But, that's unlikely to bother adventurers.
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Cervantes
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mask_De_H wrote:
How hard would it be to take the After Sundown engine and use that to run WoD material? Barring that, are there any notable mechanical changes from aWoD to AS?

AS is very unpolished and rough around the edges atm, probably worth it to look up what other people here who ran it did. The only houserule I remember is "no celerity".
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Mord
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quick question about probability:

How often can a competent specialist fail at a level-appropriate easy task in their field before you consider the game to have devolved into Three Stooges? How often can that competent specialist fail at a level-appropriate hard task? Ditto for someone who is untrained or otherwise incompetent in the field.

Assume both people are level X characters taking on something that is intended to be a level X challenge. Of course even a competent specialist of level X will fail at a task that is theoretically within their domain but intended for a character of level n*X, n>1.

If you want some more specific examples to ground the questions:
1) How often should a level 1 Rogue successfully slip by an ordinary guard on a rainy, moonless night?
2) How often should a level 1 Rogue successfully slip by an ordinary guard in broad daylight?
3) How often should a level 1 Cleric perform the task in #1?
4) How often should a level 1 Cleric perform the task in #2?

Why do I ask? Right now I'm doing some math and have no benchmarks for these things. I'm working out the differences between challenge DCs on three kinds of tasks:

A) all party members may try, only one must pass (e.g. the party is looking for clues at a crime scene),
B) one party member may try, that party member must pass (e.g. someone is trying to swap the golden idol with the bag of sand),
C) all party members must try, all party members must pass (e.g. the party is trying to stealthily sneak through a patrolled area).

Right now I'm using benchmarks of an easy task having the party succeed ~85% of the time, a default task succeed ~75% of the time, and a hard task succeed ~50% of the time. I'm mostly concerned that my current benchmarks are set too low.
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GnomeWorks
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Do we consider a level 1 anything to be a "competent specialist"?
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mord wrote:

If you want some more specific examples to ground the questions:
1) How often should a level 1 Rogue successfully slip by an ordinary guard on a rainy, moonless night?
2) How often should a level 1 Rogue successfully slip by an ordinary guard in broad daylight?
3) How often should a level 1 Cleric perform the task in #1?
4) How often should a level 1 Cleric perform the task in #2?


1) Close to 100%. Probably 95%
2) Probably no better than 50%
3) Probably ~50%, but maybe up to 75%.
4) Probably close to 0% and probably no higher than 10%.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mord wrote:
Right now I'm using benchmarks of an easy task having the party succeed ~85% of the time, a default task succeed ~75% of the time, and a hard task succeed ~50% of the time. I'm mostly concerned that my current benchmarks are set too low.


You could probably stand to add 5-10% to your easy task success rate, but other than that it sounds about right. The two main symptoms of Three Stooges gameplay is when either failing an easy task is reasonably common (i.e. in Dark Heresy 2, starting characters have a ~25% chance of failing a Routine(+20) task even in areas they are very well qualified in, which is way too high even for a starting character) or to a lesser extent when succeeding at hard but nominally level-appropriate tasks is very unlikely.
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Mord
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

GnomeWorks wrote:
Do we consider a level 1 anything to be a "competent specialist"?

Relative to other level 1 characters attempting a challenge appropriate to a level 1 character: certainly. Compared to characters attempting a challenge appropriate to a level 20 character: certainly not.

If it helps you to contextualize the question, imagine if instead of asking about a level 1 Rogue or Cleric slipping by an ordinary guard, I instead asked about a level 20 Rogue or Cleric slipping past the monster-goddess Ammit, perhaps as part of an attempt to steal the Feather of Ma'at.

The broadest possible way I can think of to phrase it is, "how often should someone who is supposed to be good/bad at what they do successfully overcome the kind of challenge you would expect someone like them to be faced with?" But that introduces all kind of ambiguity as to what is a "challenge you would expect," especially since there's not much in terms of a real-life basis for comparison of a "level 2 person" task versus a "level 3 person" task.

deaddmwalking wrote:
1) Close to 100%. Probably 95%
2) Probably no better than 50%
3) Probably ~50%, but maybe up to 75%.
4) Probably close to 0% and probably no higher than 10%.

Thanks! Translating that into terms of the 2d10 RNG I'm currently modeling, it sounds like you evaluate the "rainy, moonless night" challenge as being somewhere in the 9 to 11 DC range (inclusive) and the "broad daylight" challenge as around DC 16 - 18. It seems that the Rogue has a bonus of somewhere between +4 and +6, while the Cleric has a bonus of +0.

Does that feel about right to you?

Chamomile wrote:
You could probably stand to add 5-10% to your easy task success rate, but other than that it sounds about right. The two main symptoms of Three Stooges gameplay is when either failing an easy task is reasonably common (i.e. in Dark Heresy 2, starting characters have a ~25% chance of failing a Routine(+20) task even in areas they are very well qualified in, which is way too high even for a starting character) or to a lesser extent when succeeding at hard but nominally level-appropriate tasks is very unlikely.

Thanks! Assuming I raise the "easy" task chance to ~95%, when I translate this scenario into terms of the 2d10 RNG I'm using, I get this:

"Rainy, moonless night" challenge DC: 9-10
"Broad daylight" challenge DC: 15-16
Rogue sneak bonus: +4 or +5
Cleric sneak bonus: +0

Does that feel about right to you? It seems that you err a little bit to the side of more probable success than deaddmwalking, but so far you guys seem to be in a "Venn diagram" level of agreement.
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Cervantes
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

its a good question too since it lets us figure out hit thresholds in After Sundown's system and what they mean. a visual display of "threshold" vs "chance of succeeding" for various dicepool sizes:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

(ideally there would be more tickmarks on the % side and less dicepool sizes per single graph, i can whip those up real quick)

some observations:
dicepool size 5 is when you have enough competent to do DC1 tasks at around 80% success. size 9 gives you that level for DC2, size 12 for DC3.

the 95-100% chance thing is far, far more difficult than the 80% thing under a dicepool system. this is not particularly surprising. also worth noting that someone at the extreme end of human accomplishment (6/6 + 2 (specialization)) can succeed in the "superhuman" tasks around 30% of the time.


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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cervantes wrote:
its a good question too since it lets us figure out hit thresholds in After Sundown's system and what they mean. a visual display of "threshold" vs "chance of succeeding" for various dicepool sizes:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

(ideally there would be more tickmarks on the % side and less dicepool sizes per single graph, i can whip those up real quick)
[/quopte]

I like the fact that achieving 8 Hits is only plausible with collective action of several characters working together. It makes "collective rituals" make a lot more mechanical/narrative sense, as well as encourage players to collaborate on tasks they want to see succeed (instead of each PC trying to solo every task that crosses their mind).

[quopte]
some observations:
dicepool size 5 is when you have enough competent to do DC1 tasks at around 80% success. size 9 gives you that level for DC2, size 12 for DC3.

the 95-100% chance thing is far, far more difficult than the 80% thing under a dicepool system. this is not particularly surprising. also worth noting that someone at the extreme end of human accomplishment (6/6 + 2 (specialization)) can succeed in the "superhuman" tasks around 30% of the time.


That highly trained humans can appear superhuman seems reasonable based on footage of high skilled humans performing tasks that's available online. While at the same time, not being able to appear blatantly magical, or vSFX.
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GnomeWorks
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mord wrote:
GnomeWorks wrote:
Do we consider a level 1 anything to be a "competent specialist"?

Relative to other level 1 characters attempting a challenge appropriate to a level 1 character: certainly. Compared to characters attempting a challenge appropriate to a level 20 character: certainly not.


You might think that's a helpful answer, but it's not.

It's more like this: is level 1 supposed to represent an individual who's got solid training, but perhaps no real experience (perhaps akin to someone who's fresh out of high school or college)? Or is a level 1 adventurer already a cut above the rest, in a world where everyone else is "level 0"?

Those are different questions. The level of competence and skill that "level 1" signifies differs depending on who you ask, which is why it seemed a pertinent question to ask.


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Mord
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

GnomeWorks wrote:
is level 1 supposed to represent an individual who's got solid training, but perhaps no real experience (perhaps akin to someone who's fresh out of high school or college)? Or is a level 1 adventurer already a cut above the rest, in a world where everyone else is "level 0"?

Those are different questions. The level of competence and skill that "level 1" signifies differs depending on who you ask, which is why it seemed a pertinent question to ask.

You seem to be hinting at the idea that, as the party's position on the great chain of being rises, their relative chances of succeeding at level-appropriate tasks should change. If that's what you're trying to get at, can you make your position more explicit?

Is it your position that as levels rise, the success gap between specialists and bumblers should grow? Shrink?
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If the guard were 15th level and the PCs were 15th level, the odds should be approximately the same. If the guard is 1st level and the PCs are 15th level, I would posit that the PC's chance of success would increase substantially.
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GnomeWorks
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mord wrote:
You seem to be hinting at the idea that, as the party's position on the great chain of being rises, their relative chances of succeeding at level-appropriate tasks should change. If that's what you're trying to get at, can you make your position more explicit?


Explicitly and specifically in the case of level 1 characters, there is not an agreed-upon definition in terms of skill level that "level 1" represents. Likewise, a "normal guard" could be a "level 0" asshole in one setting, and a level 3 fighter in another.

So the phrase "normal guard" is meaningless in this context, because not only do we not have an agreed-upon understanding of what exactly it means for someone to be level 1, but also because the definition of "normal guard" varies wildly from case to case.

I am not talking about anything past first level. I am explicitly and specifically talking about level 1, and what it means, in-setting, for a character to be first level, and how they compare to regular-ass NPCs.

Quote:
Is it your position that as levels rise, the success gap between specialists and bumblers should grow? Shrink?


Define your terms. What the fuck is a "bumbler" in this scenario?

I would argue that someone who is a not-thief should be shit at picking locks at first level, and if said not-thief doesn't bother investing in picking locks at all, their skill level in picking locks should be constant after an arbitrary number of levels, while someone who is a thief who continues to invest in the skill over levels would, presumably, increase the success gap between himself and the not-thief.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A bumbler is someone who fails a lot. If you're failing at your job even 25% of the time, you're likely going to get fired (or pressured until you quit, in places where that isn't an option). Now put a group of people in constant life or death situations. Being a bumbler for mundane stuff (which is what most RPGs actually model, if not worse) is completely unacceptable.
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Mord
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

GnomeWorks wrote:
Explicitly and specifically in the case of level 1 characters, there is not an agreed-upon definition in terms of skill level that "level 1" represents. Likewise, a "normal guard" could be a "level 0" asshole in one setting, and a level 3 fighter in another.

So the phrase "normal guard" is meaningless in this context, because not only do we not have an agreed-upon understanding of what exactly it means for someone to be level 1, but also because the definition of "normal guard" varies wildly from case to case.


The "normal guard" in the example is meant to be CR 1. The "rainy moonless night" is meant to reduce the EL of the encounter to less than 1; call it 1/2. The "broad daylight" is meant to increase the EL to more than one; call it 2.

What I want to know is how often your gut says a specialist PC should pass an easy-but-level-approprate challenge (i.e. EL < level but not by too much) in their specialty, how often the same should succeed at a hard-but-still-level-appropriate challenge (EL > level but not by too much), and how often a non-specialist PC should succeed at the same two challenges.

GnomeWorks wrote:
I would argue that someone who is a not-thief should be shit at picking locks at first level, and if said not-thief doesn't bother investing in picking locks at all, their skill level in picking locks should be constant after an arbitrary number of levels, while someone who is a thief who continues to invest in the skill over levels would, presumably, increase the success gap between himself and the not-thief.


Can you assign a success rate to your descriptor "shit at picking locks?"


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virgil
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A player wants to invent a new spell. Any changes I should have made to their ideas? I'm tempted to attach a miniquest for completing the research

Magic Missile Explosion : School Evocation [force]; Level Wizard 3 or 4
Casting Info:
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V, S

Effect Info:
Range: Medium (100ft. + 10ft./level)
Area: 20-foot-radius spread
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

Description:
The spell functions like Magic Missile except the maximum number of missiles based on caster level will hit each valid targets within the area of effect.

The caster can exclude a number of targets equal to his caster stat bonus from the effect.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The obvious comparison is Fireball, which is already a bad 3rd level spell.

It does roughly half the damage of a Fireball, but it also doesn't allow a save. It does [force] damage, which bypasses any normal energy resistance and hits incorporeal creatures. It's range is Medium instead of Long, but that's still good for a lot of situations.

Damage wise, against "normal" targets, it's inferior to Fireball. Against fire resistant/immune creatures, it does more. Against incorporeal creatures, it does more. Against creatures with Evasion, it does more. You do get to exclude targets, which makes it easier to hit a bunch of people while ignoring your allies. You can ignore 3 people by the time you could cast a 3rd level spell.

I would say, under "normal" circumstances it's a bit worse than Fireball (but the ally exclusion makes up for a lot of issues), and it's better in some edge cases. It's probably fine as a 3rd level spell.


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virgil
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Good to have confirmation. Following the principle that evocations should be lower level, which I've been slowly adapting with new spells for this player to make it more palatable, I'm going to go ahead and set it for level 2. To help with their acceptance, I'll add either an esoteric focus (worked glass with personal arcane mark) or have it be 3rd level unless they can obtain some research material to lower it to 2nd, like the ruins of a force dragon battlefield.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm working on a Smutty D&D Sourcebook, because I have a group that is reasonably compatible and wants to play a smutty D&D game, and the existing Sex and D&D books are all terrible.

I'm on STDs in D&D now, and have decided that people care about real STDs in their games about as much as they care about their characters catching the flu. But it's a decent opportunity for some fantasy diseases that can be used for low comedy.

I have Astral Crabs (crabs from the astral plane eat 1 con and deal 1 random elemental damage a day) and Wang Fire (your dick is a pyromancer). What other fantasy STDs would people actually care about in a D&D game?

Edit: I also now have Bigby's Clap. It's like Wang Fire, but with Bigby Spells instead of fire spells.
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You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.


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DSMatticus
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, I'm putting together a campaign for some players who are probably not going to play anything approaching 'the good guys,' and I've settled on 'capital city with looming secession struggle clusterfuck' as a fun playground for characters with an unpredictable moral compass. Right now, I'm feeling out what the power centers should be, and what sort of stakes and NPC's that should translate into as you move down the totem pole to where the PC's are.

Way I'm leaning right now, you've got a dying king and three different major power centers; the hedonistic firstborn and the evil vizier with his evil ruling council (status quo), the scheming secondborn and the merchants and lesser nobility (the upstarts), and the devout thirdborn and the church and the commonfolk (the masses). You've also got the marshal, who will take any opportunity given to him but is hesitant to do anything because he's afraid all of his subordinates are in someone else's pockets (they are), and the captain of the city guard, who just wants his city to not implode as everyone throws money at criminals to carry out all sorts of treasonous plots against one another.

The players are small fries, for now. The kind of disposable muscle that underlings of underlings of underlings hire to go throw a wrench in their opponent's plans. Like the Secondborn has the unofficial support of the Merchant's Guild, and the Merchant Guild's leadership have ties to the smuggling cartel at the docks, and that smuggling cartel hires the PC's to do shit that ripples upward to help out the Secondborn. They're pretty far removed from the central conflict, but it still needs to be interesting and build towards something. What's some good ol' fun criminal cloak and dagger shit for them to get caught up in?

Barring anything else, what are some cool ideas for gangs and iconic criminals they'll be interacting with? Imagine that seedy characters are pouring in from all over the kingdom (and beyond) as money changes hands to make all these illicit schemes happen. So there are established criminal organizations and opportunistic thugs and they're butting heads sometimes for the sake of butting heads and sometimes because it's part of some convoluted plot one noble is carrying out against another.


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Whiysper
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

DSMatticus wrote:
What's some good ol' fun criminal cloak and dagger shit for them to get caught up in?


since you're dealing with minions-of-minions people, I'd go for their 'fixer' equivalent trying to play off two or more factions against each other - impersonations, breaking-and-evidence-planting, kidnapping-and-leaving-with-another-party, setting fires, and general shit-starting. The more opportunities to interact with the various faction underlings while still anonymous, the more you can paint the different factions as part of the game, rather than as preamble.

And of course, later on, that's loads of blackmail/conflict-generation/killing-to-keep-our-secrets material, which adds a wonderful layer of paranoid tension to an escalating situation.

Favourite gangs and factions? Thieves Guild. Spymaster's agents. Dockside thugs. Cultists (accidental or deliberate). Ambitious, unscrupulous minor nobles. Unscrupulous old money, who will hire gentlepeople of some distinction to keep the status quo more-or-less intact. Depending how far you want to take this, outside interference. Be it an Orc clan mobilising on the border, or infiltration by Doppelgangers/mindflayers/devils/your mum, an outside threat can be interesting - and, if the campaign gets *too* complex, then they can always be a useful foil for people to unite against.

Hope that helps.
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