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"Our Favorite Edition is 2nd Edition..."
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OH WAIT!

I Forgot THAT OTHER GUY

Dwarf Man Was the OTHER other player. He is pretty much one of those guys who play's dwarfs. I'm pretty sure he was playing a dwarf fighter, all drunk and axes and such. And was everything you might expect from that. But he doesn't become particularly important until later.

They Called Me A Crazy Cat Lady But WHO IS LAUGHING NOW!?
OK So I joined the group for the first time. And being a 2nd edition group they are a distrustful and paranoid lot. They are unsure if I understand the rules, LESS sure if I understand their "philosophy" of how to properly play "awesome" 2nd edition (the one true REAL D&D), and uncertain as to whether they want a stranger around their sacred hobby table (actually cramped dining table in small old house in bad part of town).

So. On arrival I was told hey, don't go making a character. We will provide you with one!

I got a female elven fighter/mage. With at least 18/00 strength and I think at least 1 more 18 and certainly at least a 16 and 15 and nothing under a 12 (hell maybe not even that low). This character belonged to the "Girl Who Was Never There".

When I questioned the seeming super powers, and awesome elven chain and magic swords and such, much of which appeared to be part of a never used and neglected inventory. I was told "Yeeaaahh... whatshername is pretty terrible at surviving the game so we sort of gave her giant awesome stats. She mostly tends to stand around at the back and cast spells very ineffectively".

One way or another, between stats and equipment she was a giant combat machine. I was unsure what the hell I could responsibly do with such a character.

I'm a super powered Elf Chick and Darth Maul is my Super Powered Elf Chick Twin Sister
Now Darth Maul is new to the group too, not as new as me, but he remains on "questionable status" and is using I think Fat Lady's character, an elf girl with similarly giant stats to mine, a similar multi-class dealio, and a similar tendancy to stand up back MAYBE casting spells ineffectively. Who I am informed is like "maybe your twin sister or something, LETS NOT GO INTO THAT whatever it doesn't matter and it's sort of weird now with you two guys and all..."

COME FORTH... Kitten Kong!
Soo... I'm like perusing my character sheet during travel and minor encounters that amount to basically nothing much. Since it appears to contain many a hidden disused gem.

So I say "Wait... what's my familiar then?"

Group in general : "Er What familiar?"
Me : "My Familiar, my spell book, which is pretty damn lame otherwise, has Summon Familiar in it"
DM : Oh yeah, that, she found it on some useless random scroll or something...
Me : So... she hasn't cast it yet, I mean it's pretty cheap and I have the time, I think I'll go off give it a shot right now...

To which the group in general was "Summon a Familiar!", "Are you MAD!". See a familiar is a weakness the GM will exploit to deal you serious damage. They in fact believe the DM will kill it, and that it's death will instantly kill me. Now I don't any longer recall the arcane workings of 2nd edition familiars, but I'm pretty sure it was con damage and maybe a save, and I had ludicrous con and saves and such so I was all "screw it, I could take it if it came to that, and THIS FAMILIAR WILL BE USEFUL!"

OH HOW THEY SCOFFED!

One way or another. I summoned a Cat. I cannot recall what I called it, probably "Cat 1".

Assault on Cult Compound Hill
Now the game is in Forgotten Realms, and we were up to, I dunno, something, as part of some big meta plot adaption of something forgotten realmsish I never cared about, and it was a big old mess because most of the party has about zero co-operation with the GM, or each other, or encounters and attempts to survive them.

For, whatever, reason (it was deeply unclear), we found ourselves outside of a compound of what may or may not have been evil cultists. I have no idea how we even got there, because frankly determining where we were going and deciding to go there seemed largely beyond the group. Regardless, we were there.

And we were pretty sure they were evil cultists. There was certainly agreement among at least three of us that we wanted to be sure of that, because some killing things would be nice. More responsible parties, probably in the form of the Fat Lady, were not there to stop Darth Maul steroid pumped elf girl, me (Darth Mauls Twin Steroid pumped Sister), and Dwarf Guy with the axing fever. Doormat probably had some elaborate plan to sneak somewhere that would turn out to be useless and too far away to help the fight.

Their compound was on a hill in the forest.

I'm not entirely sure why we attacked, or when, someone might have gone in. Hell I think we may even have talked to the "cultists" and found no particular notable genuine evidence of anything.

But however it happened combat was on.

Which was odd, because even though we WERE finally in a fight... the group was largely trying to avoid interacting with it. With the possible exception of Darth Maul who's elf girl was out to prove her manliness, largely by shooting something somewhere, I think she'd gone round the back way, probably with Doormat (the probably Thief) then decided to archery up some guards. I was all up for that with my elf girl too.

I think the conversation went a bit like this.

Me : So... at this entrance there are like two guards who aren't particularly alert? At the gate, on the hill?
DM : Yeah but they are like Way far away...
Me : So... have you ever seen that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail? I'm pulling a Lancelot.
DM : What?
Me : I'm running right at them then I'm gonna slaughter them with my +more than it should be elven long sword.
DM : But they are way over there, and probably have crossbows and stuff
Me : Don't care, I've got crazy AC, crazy HP, and a crazy sword
DM : It's kinda out of character, steroid elf chick usually stays up back and never does anything, occasionally casts magic missile or shoots a bow or something...
Me : Uhuh, well, elf girl has suddenly realised her sword is way awesome and is charging to close combat however many turns of running that requires. You coming with me Dwarf Axe Dude?
Dwarf Guy : Oh hell no, I'm staying here and drinking and watching the show, this should be hilarious you are going to go down like a ton of bricks, blind charge, hahaha... ridiculous...
Me : dumdedumudedumdmdud
GM : Well you're undamaged and you've slaughtered those guys...
Me : I go straight through the open gate into the compound
Dwarf Guy : Ah crap I guess I better stop drinking and follow into combat... NEEDLESSLY SLOWLY THOUGH, make sure it's needlessly slowly, because that's how I'm doing it, while grumbling, and maybe still drinking more alcohol.

ANYWAY. Everyone else ends up in combat around the place... and I pay little attention, just charging randomly through rooms making guards explode on contact. Each new room/door is 'I lancelot it!", as I search for the missing friends who are SUPPOSED to be fighting or in peril or something in here, or the evil plot, or sacrificial captives needing rescue, or treasure, or whatever the hell it was.

The originally small compound seems unusually large and hard to navigate, presumably largely as the DM seems fairly intent on me not joining any allies at any point, I swear I ran through enough rooms to go through that place and out the other side three times over.

The Inevitable Trap
Now it is against 2nd edition philosphy to reward success. In fact, succeeding, much less succeeding through means of Lancelotting, is to be PUNISHED. I knew that. But Lancelotting was the most fun I'd had so far with this group. So...

My elf girl storms into a room.

There are no enemies to sword at.

There is a pedestal with a magical orb or something on it being all tempting.

DM : Would you like to take it?
Me : Not right now, I'm lancelotting...
DM : It's very shiny and tempting, maybe you should touch it?
Me : I think not, I'm lancellotting back out of this obvious trap and leaving it until there are no lancellotting targets left.
DM : Er... THE WHOLE ROOM IS A GREATER MIMIC!

Bored

Now... we have encountered nothing on that scale before. This compound is not on that scale. The character's are not all that high a level. A greater mimic is kinda a big deal. And I'm pretty sure he did it wrong.

But, well, bugger it, I'm a roided up elf girl, so I lay into it. And to be honest, much to the DMs chagrine I did a CRAP load of damage before it eventually knocks my elf girl unconsious.

Around about the time that the rest of the PCs have finally got their asses in gear and cleared out the compound. But, being asses, are not looking for their missing group member. It's fairly clear that basically elf girl is going to bleed out or get eaten or whatever before (if ever) rescue turns up.

Being all too cunning and familiar with how 2nd ed style likes to do things I go...

Me : So... where is my cat even at? cause maybe my cat could first aid me or something...
DM :Er... ... .... AHAHA, it can't, it's outside the mimic!
Me :Oh dear then I guess it will just have to attack it...

Now I have no idea if a cat should even be able to do that, but well, it wouldn't be the last ridiculous ruling if he did get that wrong.

But the cat, well, it's stats aren't all that bad. And the mimic, giant pile of HP that it apparently had was waaaay low. (possibly it didn't even have a HP total until, oh dear the ajillionty HP damage you dealt before KO was just 9 short happened, I mean, it WAS second edition...

But the HP did now have a number, and a low one.

So my cat killed it.

Plinked it down with cat scratches while barely surviving, in a nick of time saving Elf Girl On Steroids.

The other PCs turned up like ONE turn after the cat did it's work. Having begun and hastened their search the moment it looked like the cat might actually WIN and damnit they wanted to turn up to steal the glory, or maybe the XP, or perhaps the treasure.

ANYWAY. It was rather a lot of fun. If a bit confusing for some people involved around the table. I'd pulled some stuff that they maybe might find confronting as traditional 2nd ed players, but apparently in a fun way as at the very least dwarf guy and doormat thought it was hilarious.

And so it was generally agreed I could have my own character now. Oh and Darth Maul who had been coming for longer could have one too...

But all in all that may have been more in order to take the elfen super woman out of my hands (and her twin away from Darth Maul, who emboldened by my lancellotting had been pulling off similar by the end of the encounter).

In the long run it may not have worked out so great. Since it eventually led me to one of my most ridiculous characters ever. In the short term however it led to a depressing career in...

Being A Character From Obscure Italian Cinema... next time...
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

PhoneLobster wrote:
I inexplicably decided to resurrect this thread for no good reason.
And I'm so glad you did. There is some sadistic and masochistic joy I get from reading about old 2E campaigns.

I played in one, circa 1999, with a PC I had already rolled up for a different campaign (same group, different DM), but didn't use. We got up to somewhere between level 5 and 7 when we encountered the BBBBBEG (he was 17th level, I think).

It just so happened that my wife (girlfriend at the time) was tagging along because she was visiting me at college for the weekend, so the DM let her play some NPC. This NPC was several levels higher than us, somehow used two swords, and had double the number of attacks as anyone. Each attack hit for a shit-ton of damage. I think she might have had psionics, too, but no one knew how that shit worked.

There is something weird about this whole culture of giving a girl who isn't normally part of the group a super-powered female PC to run.
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Being a Character From Obscure Italian Cinema
I'll be honest, the Branca Leone portion of this story is possibly the least interesting bit, but it's here for completeness.

So anyway. I had to make a character. for whatever reason, probably because I'd just watched Brancaleone's Army I decided to base my character on Branca Leone. (this is the only remotely watchable clip I could find, its really a terrible pair of movies, a lot like Monty Python and The Holy Grail only not at all funny)

Now before you go "You asshole, playing an Italian medieval movie character in forgotten realms! How out of place!". Well, A)It's Forgotten Realms, so I didn't want to be assed researching in character, B)It's Forgotten Realms it's a grab bag of bullshit already and C)It's Forgotten Realms and actually with minimal stripping Branca Leone actually fits pretty well already.

So Branca Leone in the movies is a kind of bumbling fool of a knight who claims to be some sort of minor lordling from a place and family that probably doesn't exist and no one seems to recognise. He is on a never ending quest for adventure, fortune and knightly deeds or something. And at various points is a holy crusader and such. He is accompanied by a troup of bumbling disinterested hangers on who mostly never help him with anything, and his personal war horse, Satan. I felt that since the other PCs were largely filling a pretty good role to match the unhelpful hangers on anyway and the world felt like all the not so funny bits of Monty Python And The Holy Grail, it was pretty fitting.

So I made a Paladin called Branca Leone. I selected some bullshit Forgotten realms goddess who apparently granted Paladin Powers, but was in some way non standard such that Branca Leone, or maybe not him but then at least the Goddess who granted his powers was in some way not your standard Paladin alignment and also had a philosphy somewhat differing from that of your standard Paladin's code.

I can't remember the details of that, but I think the alignment leaned more towards a Neutral Good or something, the goddess leaned towards a more pragmatic and less proscriptive idea of good, and Branca Leone leaned toward a personal code of honour and trying to do the right thing as best he could without letting the biases around him dictate his morality, even if he most commonly got things massively wrong because he was dumb.

This was somewhat represented in the movie character by the time he rescued a pretty innocent young woman from being burnt as a witch. And she promptly followed him everywhere using her evil witch powers to get him out of trouble.

In the game it was most represented by that time we found those Orcs who claimed to be nice guys and Branca Leone sided against commiting racial genocide on them "because orcs are always evil", Branca didn't believe that and was convinced his Detect Evil wasn't picking anything up, and anyway, they hadn't done anything provably evil... and I'm Pretty Sure Dwarf Guy and Darth Maul (as police paladiness, more on that in a moment) slaughtered every last man woman and child of them behind his back anyway.

A Warhorse Named Satan
So one of the key things I wanted to adopt from Branca Leone was his capable, intelligent (and possibly malign) war horse named Satan.

I was all "And I'm a paladin and my bonded mount is an awesome warhorse named Satan and ..."

DM : What bonded mount?
Me : My paladin has a bonded mount, I got it already on a level advance prior to character creation here (Branca was coming in around level 5ish I think, cant recall)
DM : Bonding a warhorse is not an entitlement for leveling up! You don't JUST get a class feature because it's on your class feature list! You have to be like, judged fitting and then you are given a chance to perform deeds and go on a quest or something!
Me : Yeah, and Branca Leone did all that back during the five levels of adventuring he had before all this.
DM : You can't say that!
Me : Why the hell not?
DM : Just... you can't say that!
...

So yeah, you know how 2nd ed DMing was. I'd an expressed a desire for a thing from the books. One right on my class ability list no less. So, in typical dicky 2nd edition style, I did not get it. And in fact Branca Leone NEVER got a bonded paladin steed in all his career. He kept a keen look out for this supposed "opportunity to obtain one through spirit quest" or whatever the hell it was supposed to be. He pretty much asked every horse he met if it was his bonded mount. The answer, always, was "Neigh".

Darth Maul, Paladin Police Woman
So for a, brief, time after Branca Leone's creation Darth Maul actually chose to forgo the opportunity to create his own character, choosing instead to adopt the character I had briefly been given, steriod elf girl fighter/mage for all the steroids and all the Lancellotting.

I dunno if he changed his mind or the DM decided to push him on to his own character to cut down on the steroid pumped Lancellotting. Or maybe he didn't like "Darth Maul, Hot Elf Chick of Doom" thing. Though if it's the last bit it the DM lost out because Darth Maul decided to play another female character.

He decided to create a Paladin Woman from some particularly war/prissy flavor of forgotten realms paladin god who's primary purpose was to follow Branca Leone around telling him he was doing it wrong then attempting to out macho Branca Leone at being macho.

Yeah...

So Branca Leone now had to contend with a rival Paladiness following him everywhere attempting to go "ahahaha! Breach of code! You lose your powers!".

In practice however Branca Leone... never actually violated his, admittedly nicely flexible interpretation, of Paladin code. Well maybe he did, there was some sort of bullshit "something is up with the gods!" forgotten realms meta plot going on, so everyone's detect evil and other paladin powers may easily have been "secretly on the fritz" or something. But we shall never know for sure.

Generally over all Police Paladiness Darth Maul was actually more helpful to Branca Leone than anything else. And time and again what ACTUALLY happened was Branca Leone would in fact identify a threat, charge into combat, and Police Paladiness in part due to her own much stricter 'Rar! War!" god/code of conduct and in part due to Darth Mauls "Rar! I'll sword better than you!" code of conduct was compelled to follow. Thus providing SOME sort of front line support while the Dwarf Guy grudgingly waddled in even slower than he could, Fat Ladies uber elf tried to decide if she cared enough to shoot arrows or magic in for support, and Doormat's rogue hung somehow trapped upsidedown from a tree somewhere far far away. Oh, and Wild Eyed Goon's Fighter or whatever it was would typically run in to help, but was often not there, or sort of fell asleep and missed it, or even when in combat was so ludicrously incompetent as to not be helpful.

And then there was that time Police Paladin and Dwarf guy genocided that village of nice orcish civilians or whatever the hell they were. After that the Paladin Code policing was a rendered a touch toothless by Branca Leone asking "Hey whatever happened to those nice orc guys, you two saw them last right...?"

The Adventures of Branca Leone
Honest to god I can't remember most of it. The game was SUPPOSED to start at like 8:30 pm and go MAYBE to midnight. All to often it was actually lucky if everyone had both turned up AND decided to play by midnight and it went until well after 3 am in the morning.

Also the adventures were confusing, dull and chaotic, following the general formula of...
0) Doormat the Thief wanders off exploring elsewhere.
1) Oh no! Bad Guys!
2) Branca Leone Charges in on (regular) horse back!
3) Paladin Police Girl refuses to be left out and charges after (on the back of a horse she insists IS a bonded steed some the fuck how).
4) Dwarf waits a few turns then walks over to combat.
5) Elf/whatever she was waits at least four turns to say "oh, is there a combat" and then MAYBE does SOMETHING, SOME of the time.

And somewhere around step 3 Branca Leone shortly followed by Police Paladiness tend to be knocked down either KOed or sometimes dead.

At some point I think we fought a dragon, also a lot of evil orcs, and maybe some trolls I don't know. Whole levels went by in some kinda blur.

The Final Death Of Branca Leone
So Branca Leone had gone down in virtually every major encounter we had for his entire career. Which in some ways was appropriate, but in others was deeply frustrating, because he pulled reasonable weight and if other party members had chosen to contribute, like, at all, in a timely manner that would not have happened.

And he died. Something like I don't know, 3-5 times. It was getting ridiculous.

After one particularly bad major encounter, so bad that even Dwarf Guy was starting to say "Hey, for fucks sake guys, that one was a really major combat why the hell can't anyone but the warriors contribute somehow?" we found ourselves in the odd position of not only Branca Leone, but also Police Paladiness and even Drunken Dwarf ALL being quiet thoroughly (and avoidably) dead.

Now Police Paladiness came back, only briefly mind you. But I said ...

Me : Hey... I can like opt not to return from the dead right? Pretty sure it says about as much here right...?
DM : Er in the afterlife your goddess seems to want to talk to you about something being afoot in the realms and may have information for...
Me : Good, she can talk to him as much as she likes, because Branca Leone is NOT going back, life and death... and death and death and death have been cruel to Branca Leone, he is ready to move on.

Anyway. Branca Leone finally stayed dead. And it might have had some tiny bit to do with it now being a VERY respectable level at which to be a Wizard instead.

!!! Your Dwarf Guy is Evolving!!!
Also Dwarf Guy was "ooh cool, I opt to stay dead too, there's this kick ass Centaur Barbarian I've been talking about doing for ages..."

DM and Rest of Party : YOU playing a NOT dwarf! We scoff, this shall surely not last!
Dwarf Guy : My Drunken Axe Wielding Centaur Barbarian says otherwise!

And so Dwarf Guy was now Centaur with approximately a million Strength and a MUCH worse attitude than Dwarf ever had, but at least now he moved faster guy.

Next Time A Bold New Character...
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A Bold New Character
OK at this point I was getting a bit jaded with this group. Their general incompetence had gotten my character killed repeatedly, and had gotten so bad as to very nearly set half the party at each other's throats over their ridiculous lack of contribution in combat having somehow extended now to "fights that matter".

I felt I needed a competent character to carry as much of the massive amount of slack as possible, and who maybe was also a self centered ass so as to fit in with the party dynamic (or lack of it).

Oddly enough I was not alone. Dwarf Guy did exactly the same thing with his new Uber-Centaur. I have no idea what the hell 2nd ed rules contributed to his crazy ass barbarian centaur character, but it was a god damn combat machine.

My approach was different. I took about every old 2nd ed book I had lying around and cobbled together an insane Frankenstein's monster from the parts. Somehow incorporating elements of a wide range of archetypal abilities all in one character who was still, somehow a single class human wizard (and a specialist at that).

The basic elements were these...

He was a Chaotic Neutral Wizard. And before you complain, NO I did not try and pull of the "Chaotic Neutral means... Crrrrraaaaazzzzy! I might do anything, let me roll a dice! Today I'm Lawful Evil, Chaotic Good, and Kender Fiddling, in order 1 each turn!" Nope. I did NOT do that. He was simply, not evil, not bound by any particular morality, and tended to be a fair bit spontaneous and impulsive. That's all. I mean, sure, he was also self centered and greedy, but in a largely rational and not specifically evil way.

From the Tome of Magic he was a specialist Elementalist (Fire). Why? Mostly because I liked Aganazzars scorcher for no reason, and it was in the forgotten realms spell list and I reasonable argued it into my speciality. But more than that, fire balls and such were pretty good in 2nd ed, and as a specialist I think there was some bullshit "cast as one level higher" but DEFINITELY some bullshit "-2 Penalty to enemy saves" which may seem small but in 2nd ed was a rare ass and super awesome effect. Throwing in some luck, and this character was one lucky fucker, and almost no one ever actually saved against his fire magic.

And YES I know I made fun of some bastard for playing a typical fire wizard crazy man in this very thread. But I was determined to play this one a little different. SURE he was an itchy trigger finger on a Fireball first ask questions later chassis, but that was just basically how to be effective as a 2nd edition fireballer, and seemingly the best way to interact with the somewhat confused game play we were producing. And really he only ever fire balled his own party ONCE. In a CLEARLY tactically beneficial situation, ONLY catching the demigod like Centaur in it, NOT coming close to killing him, and totally wiping the mob that was both overwhelming him and wasting our time. Not that the Dwarf Guy playing the Centaur didn't try and use THAT as an excuse to try and fight my character to the death, but whatever.

From, mostly the core players hand book, but also other places, a pile of dumb Non Weapon Proficiencies leaning toward a bit of theify (Escapalogy, somehow) and I think maybe some survival and perhaps some first aid.

Then, the grand and amazing bullshit trick pulled from the Complete Fighter. No, not some bullshit "Template" or whatever those were, something much simpler and more awesome. See. Wizards got crap all Weapon Proficiencies to spend. And crap all options to spend them on, it was like, "Dagger, Dart, Staff" and that's it. Now Complete Fighter introduced piles of ways to specialize in various weapon proficiencies. And while most of them were "Fighter Class Only" options, the option to specialize in either "Punching" or "Wrestling" very specificially stated "Oh hey yeah ANY character can take Weapon Specialization: Punching or whatever yeah..."

And so I looked up the crazy ass Punching/Wrestling table in core. You see the way these zany unarmed attacks worked in core was weird as heck. You rolled your attack, then, if you hit you looked up your raw roll on this zany table to get your damage, and also a percentage chance to KO your victim. I don't recall the EXACT benefits of specialisation but they included some combination of some or all of, raw bonus to attack when punching, maybe a flat bonus to KO chance, and I think the ability to pick results either side of the one you rolled off the table (potentially significantly improving damage/KO chance depending on what you were going for).

So my wizard spent basically ALL his Weapon Proficiencies on being a crazy ass wizard punching specialist. This was somewhat surprising to the DM that time a +4 Quarter Staff dropped and he was like...

DM : Well no one else wants this, so finally some sweet loot for your wizard hey...
Me : Eh, I guess I'll take it, but the bonus barely outweighs the penalty for non-proficiency.
DM+Everyone :What the hell why is your wizard not proficient in staffs, hell HOW is your wizard not proficient in staffs, you've got like 2-3 points of weapon proficiencies, there are like only 3 choices, you can't specialize and at least one choice other than quarter staff really sucks!
Me : I spent it all on being specialized in fisticuffs.
DM+Everyone :What the hell can you even DO that?
Me :Apparently.

Anyway, any fear of munchkinyness or whatever was largely assuaged by pointing out just how tiny the HP damage was. And for whatever reason the DM and others Laughed off my insistence that the up to 20% or so chance to KO per hit with only moderate luck on the table selection was totally awesome. Oh how they laughed, for now...

So anyway that's what he was, an awesome wizard, a broad selection of spells, awesome pyrotechnics, a zany grab bag of NWPs and the ability to punch random things unconscious with surprising efficiency.

Fluff wise his background was something I decided to try as a bit generic as again, I didn't want be forgotten realmsy, but not too generic and not too "mysterious nameless orphan" like. So he was literally born into adventuring, his mother (and probably his father) being members of some fairly typical adventuring party, over the years raised by adventurers while they adventured he picked up all sorts of random skills then eventually settled on exploding things as his main specialty. He now has become his own independent adventurer and has a lust for adventure, loot, crazy magic, fancy wizard robes and glory.

The rest of this set of stories are basically all about this wizard, I named him... Eldritch CannonUndead Porn StarAttorney At Law... next time.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well anyway. I got distracted from this, I'll totally get back to it at some point, but the adventures of that group are too old to be as entertaining really.

BUT SUDDENLY INTERMISSION!

His Favorite Edition is D20 Modern
So board game club this month was down to a choice of 2 RPG groups. I had a choice of joining a pick up game of D20 Modern, or a pick up game of D&D Next (That guy's favorite edition is "the newest least finished one" and has been since they hadn't finished 4E).

So I joined the pick up game with d20Modern, because I know the system and I couldn't be assed learning D&D Next until it's actually finished what with the various ridiculousness and changes. Also all in all I'd rather play with that particular group of players.

I've played d20Modern with this guy before. He's an OK kid, I have NO idea why he likes d20Modern so damn much. He does a moderate to OK job GMing. He has a tendency to waste too much time on character creation, and can have difficulty bringing the group into some actual action during play. But he is at least competent.

Previously on "His Favorite Edition is D20Modern"
So last time he ran d20Modern he was all "It's a post apocalyptic scifi setting and you guys are super amazing commandos going after science terrorists in a compound in a jungle that was maybe used to be a city."

Blah Blah Blah, I wrote up a Dreadnaught and dual wielded Chainsaws and Rocket Launchers.

Blah Blah Blah, we EVENTUALLY hit combat and I ran around making everything explode, mostly using the chainsaws rather than rocket launchers.

Nothing much was ever explained. There were dudes. We killed them. There was more stuff we didn't interact with. Because it was a one off game, but he ran it like it was game 1 of 1000. It did not become that, it wasn't really interesting enough.

The only really interesting thing, was that a Chainsaw Dreadnaught could pretty much carry a combat we would otherwise have horribly lost with minimal difficulty, and that we faced opposition that really was deeply unreasonable to face in a straight up d20 modern assault scenario.

This Time on D20 Modern
"Everyone's making level five characters we have Smart, Strong, Fast, Dedicated, what do you want to be!"

"I'll be fast too, of course... no... WAIT! I'll be charismatic".

I wanted to be something different, and level 5 is about break even point for managing to use super diplomacy/bluff etc... thanks to Charm and Fast Talk.

The important things? I had three talents I put them in as Fast Talk, Charm (Females) and Charm (Males). So I got +5 to all social skills involving some form of deception, and +5 to all social skills against targets with a gender. Which is to say, I close enough always got an extra +10 on my social skills.

Also, I spent nearly all my feats on skill bonus feats for social skills.

Also I picked an Occupation that added some +1s to some social skills.

Also Charisma.

So I had basically +23 or +24 to pretty much all Cha based skills.

Combat wise I had Simple Weapon Proficiency (because we got it free) and Heroic Surge or whatever its called for 2 extra move or attack actions per day.

I equipped myself with a Musical Instrument (keyboard) because I had invested in Perform(Keyboard). And I took 2 Tasers, 1 Stun Gun, and a Whip because they were all bullshit status effect weapons you can use with no penalty on Simple Weapon Proficiency alone.

And then the GM is like "You are playing in a scifi apocalypse, lets define it!"

My suggestions were "Aliens!", or "the French had conquered the earth in a new age of imperial colonialism", or "that it was some time this November and the Republicans had failed to raise the debt ceiling on Oct 17 and it had led to significantly more chaos than expected."

But some other ass at the table quitely said "are there zombies?" despite my violent waving of arms and mouthing "nononononononononoooo!"

I mean I'd made it pretty clear where I was going with my character. We had a damn SMART character, we had dedicated character, we had diverse skills and deeply non-optimal combat styles made out of d20modern nerfage. The one damn thing in the world we didn't want was a bunch of bullshit non-interactive anti-social god damn undead invulnerable to half our party and whose setting alone crippled all too many of us.

And the GM taking that into consideration picked up on that quite mutter and said "It's a Zombie Apocalypse!", as if it hadn't been largely his intention to start with.

From there inquiries from people other than me, as in people who thought for a second zombies might be remotely intractable on any sensible level quickly determined that these zombies had a deeply high bullshit level. And all questions of "Can a Zombie X?" Were answered with "Long version: Blah Blah Blah aberrants Blah Blah Blah, Short Version : Yes".

Then there was were would you like to be? Places were floated. I tried "Brazil!" and "Japan!". They seemed fun and my character spoke 9 languages so we could totally go international. But GM was, "I was thinking more of Europe". I was like "I know some good Mediterranean islands, I know the perfect Island".

He was like "I was thinking more Eastern Europe".

Myself and several other players promptly all disagreed on "Byzantium!" "Constantinople!" and "Istanbul!". It was a pretty good routine for something that came out of nowhere. But, as you all know, you can't go back to Constantinople. And GM was like "I was thinking of somewhere more like Ukraine".

No one had any suggestions or leanings toward somewhere in the general vicinity of Ukraine.

This lead to the GM saying "Yep you are in the Ukraine".

Then he said "You were passing through on a road trip somewhere east..."

I said "Oooh, can we be going to Kyzyl" and the GM said "You are going to Moscow, by somewhere east I meant Moscow."

It didn't matter. We had misplaced our car and were near a "largish town"... "Somewhere in or near whatever Ukraine is"

There was an extended period of confusion as he presented no particularly clear motivation or conflict to the group. The only guy to invest much in shooting, I think, was the Dedicated/Soldier. He decided to go look for water. The GM let him do this for a good 15 minutes before saying "look you just have supplies and stuff OK". Not because he changed his mind and told him that because it was dull, but because it took him 15 minutes to figure out how to break it to the player who was engaging with his game in the most active manner that actually that was how he intended it to be all along.

I suggested several times "we should look for people!". The Fast Guy liked the idea and went to do so sneakily, I went with him, (but not too near him) less sneakily, ready to play my electronic keyboard (one of those guitar style ones) in an instant.

Eventually he decided we found something. We found gunshot noises. We decided to investigate further. Fast guy was sneaky, everyone else came along, and I played my keyboard at it to show I was human and friendly.

It was a service station. There were humans three of them, with guns, fighting off 20 zombies. My music playing, responsibly done somewhat separately to the group lured 2-3 zombies in my direction promptly. Everyone else's actions, including shooting them, not so much, but that was after when the zombies suddenly became less aggressive when it became clear just HOW much of a clusterfuck this was going to be.

So anyway. When 2 zombies came near I shot each with a Taser, 1 as my normal attack and 1 with an attack from Heroic Surge. One failed its save and fell down stunned. Yes somehow we managed to convince him zombies would need to be vulnerable to tasers. I'd have been well screwed otherwise.

Fast guy revealed his entire build was as a mostly subdual damage unarmed brawler (without grapple related options). And attempted to grapple a zombie in order to "snap his neck, can I do that? would that even do anything?". The GM's answer was NOT "yeah thats gonna suck, and probably not do anything even if you could" but was instead to just bust out the horrible horrible grapple rules.

Dedicated busted out a Molotov Cocktail only to discover they really kinda suck.

Smart failed to do anything effective, because being smart she was pretty much physically crippled by the rules set. And eventually resorted to sneaking closer, and failing, then going home during the dinner break and surviving by dent of no rolls being made to simulate her continued doing of nothing while a zombie stood next to her doing nothing.

Strong attacked things, I think with an axe or something. But was also not so great. And also left at dinner, and also went into "keeping a couple of zombies busy without rolls" mode.

The 3 NPC gun users holed up in the servo continued to gun down about 2-3 zombies every turn with basically no rolls, or at least not, nearly enough rolls to be particularly convincing.

Now when we FIRST saw the Zombies a big thing was made of them being FAST zombies, with none of this "move or standard action" slowness, and also they were very aggressive and responsive, 2-3 turned to me immediately. One of which then "got distracted". And on turning they immediately performed full charges directly into melee.

After the first, deeply incompetent, round of combat we achieved... suddenly the zombies suddenly took extra turns to notice things and think about changing their minds, their movement seemed to drop, and their advancement towards the only other people they advanced toward ever again for the combat (the NPC gunners slaughtering them) switched down to like MAYBE 10 feet a turn or possible no actual movement at all and just fluff text saying they were advancing while they really just stood there and died from gunfire with too few rolls involved.

So anyway. Dedicated busted out a cleaver and a gun, and did OK for a character with not nearly enough combat focus. Brawler wasted a few rounds horribly on grappling with no result, distracted some zombies, then resorted to just punching them with brass knuckles and did about as well as you might hope for that strategy.

HOWEVER in the process both of them FELL DOWN PRONE. Why? Oh yeah, for a GM who arguable knows the d20modern rules as well or better than me, and sticks to them far closer than I ever would dare (beyond emergency zombie softballing) he really really likes critical fumble house rules. I blame his dad who does the same thing only worse with pathfinder. So THOSE guys rolled 1s and critical fumbled onto their asses.

Meanwhile I didn't roll 1s. And eventually got both my zombies stunned. I then intermittently stun locked them with my mellee stun gun while pummeling them with my Keyboard as a club, which inexplicably was ruled to do 1d6 damage and be a simple weapon (I'm pretty sure it should have been 1d3-1d4 damage and been a crappy improvised weapon with proficiency penalties as a result). While that was hilarious it took ages.

And in the mean time in the one round of initial contact where 1 zombie was not yet stunlocked, it bit me. Because it's d20 modern so ONLY the fast guy had a viable defense score, and all I had was a Leather Jacket for +1 on top of wishful thinking. There was a fort save, I failed it, nothing happened.

Then the dedicated guy got bit. There was a fort save. He failed it. Nothing happened. Other than a discussion like...

Dedicated "What was that save for?"
GM "er... mumble mumble zombie bite mumble"
Fast "did the zombie just bite you?"
Dedicated "nah it just hit me, I'm asking about this fort save, is it like zombie contagion, am I a zombie now? No but really am I a zombie now, because that would really suck, if it bit me, just like that, and I was gonna be a zombie now..."
GM "No it really did bite you"
Dedicated "it BIT me?" (in the tone you might expect from anyone who ever watched a zombie movie and noticed what zombie bites always do, and who felt possibly justifiably pissed that zombie bites the go to first and only attack and were so damn easy to come by, get hit with and fail saves against)
GM ... trundles off a bunch of backpeddling from every genre convention ever and deciding zombie contagion not being a big deal unless you also die from natural causes and totally maybe getting better and stuff.

Yeah, anyway. I whip trip a zombie on the Smart distractor, and the combat is finally over. It took HOURS. Basically the whole board game club meet. Aside from character gen, and maybe an extra hour to spare.

We spent several minutes doing the following.

Dedicated "Well they are hardly going to thank us for saving them, we killed hardly any compared to them"
Me "Oh no, they are GOING to thank us, I'll be making sure of that"
GM "the NPCs are 2 males and a female"
Me "Excellent that means I get a social bonus against them for their gender"
GM "Against who?"
Me "All of them, I go tell them I want to be their friend (but I don't really want to be their friend, that gives me a bonus)".
GM "I'm going to have to make everything androgynous mutants... har har har... ... ..."
Me "... anyway, so can we like borrow your car new buddies? I TOTALLY promise to get it back to you, er, soonish."
GM "sigh, diplomacy roll"
Me "36"
GM "Er... Ok sure, we didn't want it anyway! We're um, going to clear this town out of zombies!"
Dedicated I'm short on ammo now, I need ammo too.
Me "hey buddies spare some ammo?"
GM "sigh, diplomacy roll"
Me "I really shouldn't roll again, they should still be as helpful as possible, but anyway... 42"
GM "I'm making a big thing of them giving you just 2 clips out of their gigantic ammo crates."

But anyway, it's irrelevant, we had a car, that was apparently the magical computer flag for mission accomplished game over. He said something about it being "Way too easy". But I have to say, even WITH bullshit large diplomacy rolls, a couple of hours of incompetent zombie brawl slog did not FEEL easy.

NEXT TIME on d20Modern adventures
BUT IT WAS NOT REALLY OVER.

GM "Hey guys! So we got like half an hour, maybe a bit more left, instead of playing games, what say we generate MORE CHARACTERS! For a game we MIGHT PLAY next time!"

... the uneasy silent reluctance all round was not precisely a rejection of his suggestion ...

"It's called Hounds Of God!"

... "God?" people were heard to uneasily mutter, and not even me people, other people...

Clarification came in the form of taking his damn time to get around to "GOD as in Genome Operative Dick" (ok maybe not Dick, I forget the last bit, but lets face it, that NPC is gonna be a Dick). And all the waffling before managed to clarify that its a distopian sci-fi WEREWOLF type game. Made by some indi-RPG guy on the interwebs.

Hm.

Character sheets were given out. We got to step ONE of character generation and hit a notable hurdle.

"Roll 3d10, add 30, distribute the points between 6 attributes putting between 1 and 10 on each attribute!"

Myself and Fast PC rolled 52, Dedicated rolled 47. I said. "This can't be right, and called my stat array of "10, 10, 10, 2, 10, 10" to his attention.

Attempting to glean SOME sort of understanding of "WTF?" from the system we proceeded to try and figure out what the hell the basic fucking mechanic of the game even WAS.

We flipped to "The Rules" chapter. Which was confusing, because "The Rules" actually were exclusively rules for seeing freakyshit and freaking out and turning into a werewolf.

Which raised further questions. Because what you did was roll Control Tests. The system is a dice pool system with variable dice pools, variable roll under target numbers and no clear fucking explanation of how many successes you need.

To retain control and not turn into a werewolf and maul random people you roll a Control Check, you roll your Willpower in d10s, and your target number to roll under is your Control. Thinking control might be some additional attribute (since it wasn't on the first list of 6) and it might be the limiting factor that makes all these 10s less ridiculous seeming on skill checks in general we looked further (it wasn't, its just for Control checks for freaking out and changing and stuff).

Control is cloned from your initial willpower attribute. Which for me was 10 and for Fast guy was hilariously his 2. It was pointed out I seemingly could just short of never fail a Control check. While Fast guy... got 2 chances to roll a 1 on a d10.

The GM said "hrm... maybe hey, you can like lose control points?" And indeed you can. But further research indicated you lose control points... by failing control checks to see if you lose control points. Which means I never lost control points and never became vulnerable to failing control checks, and Fast Guy almost automatically lost control points and did that twice and got "Locked" in berserk wolf form.

Then we discovered that "The Rules" chapter was REALLY just the "freak out rules" and the bit where it started out talking about some half complete thing like carrying on from some unfinished thought not at all part of the prior 'Character Generation" chapter was actually where it really WAS carrying on the next sentence of an unfinished thought from a couple of chapters ago which was some sort of 'The Basics" chapter that ACTUALLY covered what the hell the rules were.

And THOSE rules well... They talked about making your OTHER rolls you might make. You rolled (Attribute) Dice vs roll under target (Skill)

We'd hit our hurdle before doing skills so we went back to skills.

You have like 8-10 skills or something, mostly fairly broad sounding. You get 1 in each free, for some reason. And 35 points to spend between them. I attributed mine 9,9,9,8 in Guns, Athletics, Martial Arts and Piloting before I even knew anything much more.

This suggested a ludicrous amount of success on rolls.

The question was floated "How many successes do we need?". The answer, in the limited time we had to find it, seemed to be (partially implied only) by the unfinished cross chapter thought, that basically (only implied) one success was a success, and explicitly stated that all the rest just "made it better".

Another question was floated "Does the combat include a defense roll". The answer was provided by the GM as "er it looks like a Martial Arts Skill Check".

So. Yeah. That seemed insane.

Various attempts were made to explain WTF the designer was even thinking, by all of us.

Some thought there "had to be something we were missing"which we might be. But then, it's an indi designer, so "maybe he just expects gentleman's agreement" was a very frightening option. ONLY even then we realized "But really with those numbers, there has GOT to be an expectation of lots of 10s floating around, it's just about impossible to avoid even if you try.

Then the GM was like "hey wait, armour is crap and battle rifles do a JILLION damage! So like, you only get hit a vanishingly small number of times, but when you do you are totally insta-killed! Maybe thats the brilliant balance point!

To which I suggested that was the worst possible of both worlds when it comes to threatening combat and predictable character survivability.

Anyway. We MIGHT play hounds of GOD next month. If anyone can figure out how NOT to break it.
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Avoraciopoctules
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh wow, this sounds like it's gonna be hilarious. Good luck.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

PhoneLobster wrote:
This lead to the GM saying "Yep you are in the Ukraine".
...
Then he said "You were passing through on a road trip somewhere east..."
...
I said "Oooh, can we be going to Kyzyl" and the GM said "You are going to Moscow, by somewhere east I meant Moscow."
...
It was a service station.
And here I was hoping for a showdown at Bachevsk-Troebortnoe. Biggest missed opportunity ever. Bash
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh yeah and I remember now what the Strong guy attacked with, it wasn't an axe, it was his combat "Combat Martial Arts" feat. So he was doing 1d4 damage maybe 1d6 with 2 levels of the much overrated Martial Artist advanced class, with unarmed attacks, explaining why it sucked.

Yes, our only two "physical" base class characters in the party were both looooow damage unarmed combat users. Yeeeeep....
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I like everything in this thread and want to continue to hear about you playing with idiots.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I agree with the enjoyment factor, PhoneLobster seems to be better at storytelling, than (clearly) discussing designs/design theory and such.

Quote:
I wrote up a Dreadnaught and dual wielded Chainsaws and Rocket Launchers.

That sounds pretty awesome, would you be able to provide the statblock to it? If I recall, I think the one-off was 20th level characters?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Fuck THAC0, that fucking fuckshit.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I was heartbroken that we had to wait for the adventures of Eldritch Cannon, Attorney at Law, but the zombie brawl made up for it.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Aryxbez wrote:
That sounds pretty awesome, would you be able to provide the statblock to it? If I recall, I think the one-off was 20th level characters?

I couldn't for the life of me give you the actual stat block because I can't remember the attribute rolls, or even the exact level we were.

But it wasn't 20th. And how would you recall?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

After a long wait. Because I was disinterested. Then I just plain forgot about it...

Eldritch Tales
Eldritch Cannon, Attorney At Law
OK, so he wasn't REALLY an Attorney at law. And that only REALLY went on his character sheet as a sub title because, A) Fuck it and B) "Professional Adventurer" plus "Wizard For Hire" just didn't seem like enough sub titles and C) I'd been watching a lot of Harvey Bird Man.

Though in an elaborate and surprising twist, oddly, while he was NEVER paid for his adventuring or Wizarding, he WAS once an Attorney at Law.

Because there WAS that one time where he went ahead and defended himself in a court case.

No really. This one time DM decided to have Eldritch charged with murder.

The premise was kinda confusing. But well we were out on adventure. After more cultists I believe. There was a suspicious man servant, a fire ball, an over eager Centaur, we may have looted a burning mansion. I don't remember. Hell. that was at least half Eldritch's defence, which was awesomely hilarious under the "Zone Of Truth!" When he pulled out an entirely honest "I Don't really recall..."

In the end despite there being no physical evidence. No witnesses. And Eldritch didn't actually directly incriminate himself with the testimony some random bullshit kingdom decided to give him some piddling three month sentence for contempt of court or being a decidedly suspicious bastard. Which he basically just waited out. Unless I had a clone do it. Or maybe he just got his clone to look after his stuff. I can't remember.

Eldritch Vs The Animal Kingdom
Starting Items for Eldritch Cannon were rolled up. He didn't get cool stuff. According to the GM. Who was really aiming at bracers of armor and +4 quarter staffs or something similarly lame. He didn't for instance get the Rod Of Absorption that the fucking magic police woman (more on that) just fucking got.

But what I DID roll up was a Ring Of Mammal Control. The BIGGEST AND BEST Ring Of Mammal Control. And the DM was "aw... sucks to be you... look if you beg a bit I might give you a pity reroll..."

And I was "Oh hell no, I'm keeping this one". And rode into the game on the back of a mother fucking BISON.

The ring of mammal control let you control mammals. Out to some ludicrous range and up to some ludicrous hit die total (like 40 or 80 or some crazy amount) and did so automatically with I think no action cost and definitely no save.

It was declared lame because like, it didn't effect humans and humanoids and junk, and didn't effect monstrous critters and so on. But 2E totally had PLENTY of kick ass "mammals" with various entries in the monstrous manual.

Having a relatively kick ass charging steed under total mind control was just a minor trick.

At some point the question was floated of "So I take the collected 40-80 HD worth of angry 1/2 hit point mice and squirrels from the forest and bury that asshole in a bity rodent Tsunami, what does that DO?"

I think the whole enormity of what I had in my hands only really began to dawn on the DM the first time he said. "And the evil cultist knights lower lances and charge at you for potentially a zillion lance charge attacks!" and I said "At that range? No. They all get thrown off their traitorous war horses and stomped on repeatedly. No. The horses don't get a save. The only rolls here are the throws and the stomps. How long can these guys keep their seats on a stationary angry war horse?"

Carrying obedient mice around in all Eldritch's pockets to throw at people was also hilarious.

And became MORE hilarious once Eldritch could polymorph the thrown mice into stuff. Since that was why he carried them. Because 2E polymorph was totally fucking broken.

Why was 2E polymorph totally fucking broken? There were basically no limits on it, it was super powerful, and the "limit" was the "risk" that the creature would fail it's will save developing the full mental personality AND FULL SET OF POWERS of the thing you turned it into. The INTENTION was that when you turned the fighter into a Red Dragon or a Hill Giant he would kick ass until he went insane and turned on you.

In PRACTICE the result was you turned a mouse into something, you WANTED the mouse to fail its, well actually I think it was a weird "Int of original vs Int of new form" contest of some kind, but lets call it a will save. And since mice were Int nothing and Gold Dragons were Int a million your back up emergency plan be was "Gold Dragon I CHOOSE YOU!".

I never ACTUALLY pulled the gold dragon. But I DID clone various individuals, throw a mammoth at someone and create my own Eldritch Cannon Clone as a decoy. The DM wanted to punish me on that one. But... Eldritch and Eldritch Mouse shared all their stuff, had motivations largely inscrutable to the GM and never fell into conflict. It also helped that Eldritch never really insisted that Eldritch Mouse come along on any adventures. He was largely just created for some special one off event where we desperately needed a decoy/extra fireball wizard for some ridiculous reason (I think most of the party was being held hostage unconscious in a larder by hungry river trolls or something similar and it was down to Eldritch... and Eldritch... to save them). And anyway after his initial use he was just left to hang around our not at all secret forest fort and do his own thing.

Was Eldritch Mouse Clone cheesey AND an abomination against the Forgotten Realms Gods of magic? WHY YES HE WAS. Was Eldritch Cannon courting the anger of such magic police gods. WHY YES HE WAS. Was he doing that entirely deliberately because I wanted him to. WHY YES HE WAS. Because go ahead Mystra, show up so Eldritch can try to PUNCH YOU UNCONSCIOUS. But really he was also courting such magical treason because A) Pretty Sure Mystra was dead or missing or otherwise messed up as part of the mysterious and opaque meta plot for the campaign so AHAHAHAHA and B)...

Darth Maul, Magic Police Bitch
Darth Maul finally got around to producing a new character. So. After starting as a Multi Class Steroid Elf Girl clone of my Multi-Class Steroid Elf Girl I was handed.

After continuing as a bullshit Paladin Police Bitch following my Paladin around trying like hell to call "AHAH! CODE OF CONDUCT BREACH, HAND IN YOUR POWAS, I'M A BETTER PALADIN THAN YOU!".

... he then made a Half Elf Girl Cleric/Wizard... magic police religion character who tried to follow Eldritch everywhere and call "AHAHAH! ABOMINATION AGAINST THE LAWS OF MAGIC, HAND IN YOUR POWERS, IM A BETTER MAGIC PERSON THAN YOU!".

And the DM gave him a Rod Of Absorption gratis, or maybe by accident. To assist in that role in a manner that BOTH (and everyone else) thought made Magic Police Bitch immune to and able to totally own Eldrich because... well they didn't really understand the whole idea of indirectly hurling mountains of mind controlled attack mammals at her, and well, all those other things you can do.

Not that it ever came to it. I have no idea why. Eldritch did every damn thing he could to perform an abomination against magic. He cloned people with mice. He cloned HIMSELF with mice. He also... well...

BAD SCORPION MONKEY! DOWN BOY DOWN!
So anyway. Some random piece of loot was "er a manual of dark and forbidden experimental magic rites!".

Eldritch : Oooh! Like what?
DM : Er... what do you mean like what?
Eldritch : I mean like what sort of exciting abominations against magic can it teach me to perform?
DM : Really complex expensive ones that require lots of study and investment and...
Eldritch : I have more money than god (see Under Wear story), my own wizard's tower lab and time on my hands.
DM : Well er... it can turn your familiar into a hybrid monstrosity of some kind, combining it with hideous monsters for dark powers no right thinking person would ever and...
Eldritch : Awesome, I always thought my tiny monkey was lame.
DM : Tiny Monkey....? ....
Eldritch : The damnable monkey I rolled as a familiar. He hardly ever does anything fun. I'm gonna make him into a monster super monkey. He will like that. Won't you Mr Monkey.
DM : Well you gotta invest a jillion bucks, a bunch of months, and write a new spell then memorize it then carry it around. Then you need to like cast it to combine the monkey with a thing and er... there... that seems improbably unlikely that you would ever...
Eldritch : Sold!

ANYWAY. About like at least a month or 3 of real time goes past and the DM largely forgets all this. But the research was done. Fees were paid and Eldritch totally carried around his monkey and his memorized special single use bullshit monkey combo pokemon evolution spell.

One day half way through a fight with some seemingly awesome "Giant Scorpion Things" something somewhat like this happened when, after half the party was down fighting the things, the Centaur and Edritch were basically the only ones standing (suck on it unconscious Magic Police preistess/witch thingy) and only one giant scorpion... thing... remained something a bit like this happened.

Eldritch : Hm... I'm a bit low on spells and these aren't mammals... well, guess it's as good a time as any... I throw Mr Monkey at them and yell "Eat Monkey!" and cast that spell...
DM : What spell?
Eldritch : That custom familiar mutation abomination against magic spell you made me pay for and research that I've been carting around all that damn time.
DM : What the hell are you talking about...
Eldritch : The one from that book. The book full of abominations against magic. That you gave me that time...
DM : ... oh god no... not that thing...

I think he had not only forgotten about it. But whatever his plan was involving elaborate abomination against magic and magic police double crosses or whatever had been abandoned for other things, possibly after the rather surprising events at either the Eldritch's Last Stand or the Time Eldritch Punched Out A Lich events may have thrown a spanner or five in his works.

So anyway it went on a bit like...

DM : Well they'll get saves and stuff and things...
Eldritch : Well that's spell casting for you. I call it a career. A professional mercenary one!
DM : Are you sure about this.
Eldritch : 100% sure.
DM : Mr Monkey doesn't like it.
Eldritch : Mr Monkey can do what he is god damn told.
roll roll
DM : Against all god damn odds it looks like you succeeded.
Eldritch : Yay! Giant Scorpion Monkey is going to be such a cool new front line fighter. He and angry barbarian Centaur will be such good friends!
Centaur Dwarf Guy : It's chewing on my head.
Eldritch : Bad Scorpion Monkey!
Centaur : I should kill it. It's like an abomination or something and I currently hate giant scorpions since we just fought them.
Eldritch : No no, just remain calm and I'm sure he will stop chewing on your head any moment.
DM : I'm going to I dunno, make you roll some sort of mind contest thing to avoid going insane through familiar bond.
Eldritch : No sweat, totally succeeded against all odds. Is Scorpion Monkey under control now?
DM : ... God Damnit.

So there was that whole thing. But the game sort of discontinued some time around then so scorpion monkey never really saw the battle field.

Eldritch's Last Stand
ANYWAY. After a while most of Eldritch's adventures could largely be summed up as "The DM presents some convoluted bullshit to kill Eldritch In Particular, but then things go horribly awry".

Which was mildly hilarious. And was also where Eldritch REALLY got to pull out the stops on his PUNCHING SPECIALIZATION. Thanks largely to the INCREDIBLE luck on that bastard.

Anyway.

This one time the DM says "fuck you TRAINING RULES!" and in order to level up we all needed to go off and train. As an unaffiliated wizard of non-traditional alignment with a history of abominations against magic and an almost criminal record it was supposed to be SUPER HARD for Eldritch.

BUT. Well there was a lull in the action. Everyone was like "We are going to ass around in the forest fort doing administrative bullshit" and I was all "Screw it, I guess Eldritch will pop over to the nearest big town that doesn't want to pull a re-trial on a failed murder case against him and go find someone to train him. Who wants to come and join me for training adventures, I bet we can find trainers for you guys too!".

No one wanted to come. So I was all like "screw it I can training montage alone over here while they non-training montage over there. Eldritch makes the trip."

The GM is all, AHAH Chance! And decides to present an entirely upstanding gnomish illusionist who is totally not an Evil guy trying to manipulate Eldritch. Gnome says "Why Gee Mr Eldritch, I would TOTALLY train you and trade some illusion spells for your spell book and such, what with this GENEROUS fee you are offering me in cash up front, BUT there is an evil anti-wizard cult RIGHT OUTSIDE who want to kill me. I GUESS if you could just deal with them for me I could train you, but really there is no way you could so you should probably just try and run away, though you are certainly doomed already...

Eldritch : Deal! Where do you live I'll meet you right after we will start to train tonight!
DM Evil Gnome : Fuck it, whatever, chump, I live just over there. Like it even matters. You'll never survive my goons my personal enemies hunting me for my debts/crimes the anti wizard cultists!
Eldritch : I Got This.

SO ANYWAY. This lead to a sprawling fight all across town. With no back up, on his own against a huge cult of what appeared to be attack ninja thugs of some kind. The DM just kept throwing waves of bad guys at me. Indeed. It looked and played EXACTLY like he kept doing so EXACTLY until I had run out of ALL spells and expendable resources.

To make it look... not all that bad... he perhaps foolishly decided that with the LAST spell expended and the last bad guys defeated he'd have the LEAD bad guy step out and basically stand right next to Eldritch and do a gloaty little "You put up a good fight, but just barely not good enough, I'm surprised you killed, fuck it was that really 120 guys? wow, anyway, time for me to cut your helpless throat you weakling harmless wizard with no spells left!"

Eldritch : I punch him in the face. Oooh look a KO result!
DM : ....
Eldritch : I walk over to the Gnome's house for that training.
DM : ...
Eldritch : So... can we all do our montages and I can have my level up now? Oh yeah and he was going to throw in some illusion spells for me too...
DM : ... Yeah OK then. That was pretty impressive. The Gnome is amazed to see you but out of sheer shock goes ahead and trains you.
Eldritch : Hey Magic Police Bitch guess what, I'm back and I LEVELED UP HIGHER THAN YOU!
Darth Police Bitch Maul : Fuck You. Hey DM I'm off to train right now, and I don't care if everyone's montages are over.
DM : Er... you are going to miss the next bit of adventure...
Darth Police Bitch Maul : Don't care, won't be lower level.
Eldritch : So in that case since whatserface is off somehwere for this next trip I make SURE to pack my monkey.
DM: Why?
Eldritch : Oh, you know. Monkey business.


That Time Eldritch Punched Out A Lich
UNFORTUNATELY. That time round the "Eat Monkey!" plan didn't go off. Instead the GM decided to try and kill Eldritch AGAIN.

The "awesome support" of Cleric/Wizard magic police bitch (who never really seemed to actually help much, especially if Eldritch might conceivably benefit) was not around. We were going off to some ruined elf city or some such.

Turns out there were cultists out there. Turns out they were sneaky. Not entirely sure they were ACTUALLY evil. As usual. But fuck it. Things turned out that way. I mean MAYBE the lich guy was going to pull a "I'm actually one of those good police elf lich assholes in forgotten realms" monologue. But well, he was fighting Centaur Dwarf Guy and Eldritch Cannon. Things didn't turn out that great for opponents with expositional monologues.

I mean he HAD the set up. SOMEHOW the GM pulled some bullshit "ambushed while you were sleeping or something I dunno" on me and Eldritch was captured!

Tied up!

Drained of all his spells!

Stripped of his items including his ring of mammal control and his awesome +4 Quarter staff that he surely needed.

And the enemy boss, who I didn't KNOW was a lich until like later for some reason. Who might not even have been one at that stage, but who was just like "evil cultist leader elfy guy or something" at the time. Was there to do a gloat and kill or some such thing.

DM: Gloating monologue time...
Eldritch : I punch him in the face.
DM : Can't you are tied up.
Eldritch : That's cool I'm a trained Escapologist.
DM: You what?
Eldritch : Hey look I'm free!
DM : ...
Eldritch : I punch him in the face. Oooh look a KO result!
DM : God damnit not again!

Anyway there was more fighting, the elf guy was all along/suddenly a lich after he had to resurrect from being knifed while unconscious by an anonymous fire wizard who just got all his stuff back. Centaur Guy cleared out all the minions and I think THAT was the fight where we ended up resorting to the Rodent Tsunami to finish things off in a pinch.

Treasure Distribution and the god damn Centaur
So this group had... odd ideas how to play.

Treasure distribution. FUCKING treasure distribution. Basically everyone I've played with otherwise has just gone. "This would be good with you, so you can have it" as their distribution methodology. Its an awesome methodology.

THIS group had an "Anyone can call dibs on anything and then you have to roll off on it".

Eldritch had... not been calling dibs. Nothing he wanted had dropped. He just cast lots of Identify magic for everyone else. And relied on his Mammal Control Ring and raw punchy awesomeness. I don't think he even called dibs on the quarter staff.

Then finally an interesting item dropped. I don't recall the details other than. A) It was a hat. B) It enhanced wizarding in some way. C) Only wizards could use it beneficially. D) Either Darth maul police bitch wasn't around OR she couldn't use it because she was still a paladin/it would work for elves or her alignment or something.

I mean SURE it may have been a trap MAYBE the Centaur was secretly saving my ass from a 2E Dick Move from the GM. But...

Centaur dwarf decided he would look cool in a wizardy style hat. Called dibs and won the roll off. And then threatened to murder anyone who touched it. Eldritch NEVER got that hat. No one other than the Centaur ever did.


Eldritch's Underwear Funds An Entire New Colony :
AND THEN. There was this other time. Most of the players were missing one night. And during our adventures it was really just me, the Centaur, Doormat the incredibly useless thief. And the DM.

And we got to roll some treasure drop. And the DM is like Imma getting you guys to roll on this here Forgotten Realms Useless Cashable Items table.

We were... hm... OK...

Me : So... those items look sorta like cheap crap.
DM : There are a couple of ludicrously big ones on here.
Centaur : How big?
DM : Um...
Me : I tell you what. What is the biggest item and what do we have to roll on this percentile roll to get it's entry on the table?
DM : er... 89 is some sort of "Sapphire Garter" or some such worth a bijjilionty dollars but there is no way you could possibly...
Centaur : Eldritch is freakishly lucky you roll.
Me : Cheers, now we know the number this will be a sinch.
DM : There is no way even you assholes can just roll a specific number on a percentile roll just because you kno...
Me : 89!
DM : ...

After some discussion it was agreed we would never speak of this to those not present that night, and that since the Centaur didn't have the legs for it, and since Doormat, in a manner remarkably in keeping with his actual character had been out of the room and missed the action, Eldritch would secretly WEAR the garter under his dress wizarding robes.

Anyway. So me and the Centaur pressed the party pretty hard for a few games to "go to the biggest city in the region for some trading and stuff". I mean we had all this treasure to sell we needed a city with some REAL spending money to buy our vendor trash stuff. After all we had this kick ass Sapphire Garter we had found. In front of the entire party.

And we did go to a city. And we found our ludicrously wealthy fence, and he agreed to buy all our trash gems and such. He agreed to buy our ludicrously expensive garter. The party were all high fiving over the vast loot coming our way.

And then, with some nodding with the Centaur. Eldritch says "and in that case what will you give us for THE MATCHING PAIR! Puts his leg up on the table and pulled his dress wizarding robes up to expose his fancy ultra expensive garter.

You see. The garter we had rolled up in front of the entire party we rolled up AFTER the secret garter we had rolled that only Eldritch and the Centaur knew about. The centaur had totally pulled out his lucky wizard to roll an 89 on the loot table a second time running, and I had. And the second time was the LAST time the GM let us roll on that or ANY loot table.

So the party had been obsessing about getting this one garter to a city. They had been guarding it and protecting it. With elaborate means. And then BAM, "Oh yeah, and I'm just WEARING THE OTHER ONE!".

We walked away from that city with what may as well have been limitless wealth by 2E standards.

Lacking anything else to spend it on we bought our own unpopulated forest as a kingdom, gave ourselves titles and built our own fortress base. With a wizards tower. Eldritch and the Centaur demanded the full value of the second garter, and 50% of the bonus cash for the matching pair for ourselves because "We owned that one" and what with the horrendous loot division methodology in use, and what with the two of us basically being the ENTIRE backbone of the parties actual fire power... we kept it.

Which is why the fortress definitely got me a private wizards tower/abomination lab and the Centaur a private binge drinking Stable/Tavern/hall.



Well... that's all I can remember about that for now...
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dang, these 2e adventures sound really fun. Your DM tried to kill you a lot, but he abided by the results of the dice so that's cool.
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radthemad4
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

These are awesome. Especially like your changing nicknames, clericbarian, barbaromancer, etc. Also the brick joke cat thingy was utterly hilarious. Please, keep going to terrible games for out amusement.

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Aryxbez
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

PhoneLobster wrote:
But it wasn't 20th. And how would you recall?

Actually, I recalled incorrectly, I suppose seeing the words "D20 Modern" made me asssume, or because I figured most of the good Dreadnaught stuff wasn't till 13th+ level or so. According to the source post itself, it was actually 7th-9th level?

Oh, and good work, it's interesting example that only the absurd characters build fun stories in equally absurd games. Once you had said "Attorney at Law", I was literally thinking of that show, song and all.
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What I find wrong w/ 4th edition: "I want to stab dragons the size of a small keep with skin like supple adamantine and command over time and space to death with my longsword in head to head combat, but I want to be totally within realistic capabilities of a real human being!" --Caedrus mocking 4rries

"the thing about being Mister Cavern [DM], you don't blame players for how they play. That's like blaming the weather. Weather just is. You adapt to it. -Ancient History
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fbmf
The Great Fence Builder


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So...anything else, Phonelobster? This is quality material.

Game On,
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think this might be all I have right now. If I'd kept a log of my adventures, especially during teenage years I'd have much more as bad or worse. But within functional memory... this is mostly it.
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fbmf
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Re-reading this has been hilarious. Any updates, PL?

Game On,
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OK, so I decided to scrape my brain barrel for more memories, I have a minor additional recent game I was in, and then I've got a stupid plan to draw on for some more stories.

I was all "I might manage this by new year" but then I actually started, had one morning off sick and suddenly I have like 16 pages worth of draft document and while it's not all prime material there IS a fair chunk of potential stuff...

So, before I kick into my SECRET BACKUP STORY STASH it's time to dredge the barrel of my standard story stash with...

Phonelobster's Untold Tales
That which is more wisely left untold

I was One Half Of A Handy Capable Space Cowboy Duo
A Firefly adventure, only without the usual focus on prostitution

So this one time. At a gaming store. Some guy actually bought an RPG for Firefly (I believe there is/was more than one, who knows which one this was, I'm going out on a limb and suggesting the least successful and well known one). It seemed pretty crappy, but what the hell, he was desperate for players and I my gaming store night was looking pretty dismal with nothing else but 40K clogging the place up, sometimes with actual gunk.

Sadly I vaguely recall only two others also joined and one dissolved prematurely into the ether. Or possibly into some sort of late wargaming commitment that actually surprisingly turned up in the end I don’t know.

Our series however was not cancelled. Characters had by then been made. We continued.

The game, or the GM, or some greater system no one has ever heard of that it was a standalone core book/campaign setting for made a big deal of how god damn detailed, hard core and realistic the combat system was. It was deadly and difficult. You didn’t start shooting unless you were prepared to risk death blah blah.

It was also points based with attributes and no spending caps to anything and so on. It also had flaws worth negative points. It also, well, it hadn’t thought a lot of things through very well, notably for instance it had it’s own semi-complete and semi-functional system for land vehicles. (I guess because that one time in just one of the many prostitution related episodes of Firefly those guys who looked like devo were zipping around in what looked like a hover craft from a 1970s bond film?)

Anyway. I didn’t want to go TOO far to town on some pretty obviously flawed stuff with no solid limits. So I took one flaw, one I thought might actually have some consequences, I decided to be deaf. I specialized hard on combat, despite the system definitely leaning on having various “non-combat” skill focuses that I’m sure it thought were vital. But I went with I think quick draw dual pistols stuff and decided to break the specialisation a bit and branch out for flavour and (limited) versatility I decided to get some land vehicle skills. Unfortunately between character building budget and wealth budget… being good at guns, with the added bonus from being deaf, left me barely affording the minimum skills and expenses to drive the cheapest slowest thing available. Some sort of “hover mule”.

The GM kept on going on over how the game totally didn’t reward combat because it was so hard core and deadly and rewarded combat avoidance and all so we needed hacking and social and piloting and mechanics and blah blah. But the groups all, it's cool we will cover the bases. But then one of the vanished. And the other, being a notorious ass, turned out to have been lying about that as a tops funny joke when he did his big reveal of the character he had been secretly working on.

The other player of course leaned in even harder than I did on combat specialization. I don’t recall what his disability was but I’m pretty sure he had at least one big one, I have a vague recollection of giggling hysterical homicidal mania, but that may have just been the player. I don’t recall for sure what his combat specialty was, but I’m going to say he killed things with dual knives, and I don’t think his build had any other function whatsoever, maybe a back up long range option with long guns.

The GM was fairly on board with my deaf gunslinger and his “probably silent stealth” hover mule, but then seemed marginally at a loss when the other player ALSO revealed, at the last minute, that he was effectively the insane stabbing machine that surely even the great Roberto from Futurama would one day be based upon.

Because the GM was all “my prepared/canned adventure is…” a bank heist that REALLY requires multiple specialties in social, stealth, awareness, hacking, blah blah or else you will surely be destroyed by some pretty hard core combat opposition. And also there were only two of us and really we probably needed 4-6 characters to even cover non-combat specialty skill bases let alone survive the combat encounters. So with only two characters basically incapable of anything except killing things and driving something the GM determined was basically a forklift we would if we were dumb enough to just go in guns blazing with out scouting and trickery surely die a horrible and inevitable death…

So, Deaf Yosemite Sam and Roberto the Stabbing Robot (he wasn’t an actual robot), decided the clear course of action to avoid wasting the time we had spent generating characters was to go into that bank guns (and shivs) blazing. And LET THE HOVER MULES FALL WHERE THEY MAY!

Now. I would like to think that it was my genius character build. But the other player was a card carrying idiot and his build performed at least equally as well. I think it was maybe something about some sort of initiative check and/or multiple actions for dual wielding and high agility or something, I don’t remember clearly. But, pretty much by chance alone, we had hit on something, even two somethings that resulted in us slaughtering ludicrous numbers of asymmetrical opposition unscathed.

Oh sure there were very well armed guards. Sure the system was high fatality, but, I'm pretty sure what went horribly wrong was that we just killed them, multiple times over I think, before they could even act.

And sure we triggered every trap, hostile encounter and alarm for police and reinforcements in the place. We just killed everything the moment it showed it’s face, pop up turrets, back guards, police, heavily armed mercenaries, named gunslinger sherrifs, the lot.

Ah. But then we came to the vault. The alarm triggered locked down vault that only some sort of tech specialist or hacker or whatever could possibly open. It proved resistant to shiving and it was news to my deaf character that we had even set off an alarm.

And then we found the vehicle ramming rules. And good god were they broken. The damage and chance to hit was phenomenal even compared to the apparently irresistible output of the handy capable duo. Unfortunately ramming productively required skills. Or more specifically the minimum skill that my character happened to have branched into.

So we drove the hover mule through the re-enforced bank walls, rammed the safe/vault off whatever it’s foundations may have been, loaded the still locked safe or whatever the hell it was on board and drove out over the exploding remains of the latest reinforcements to arrive. Rather slowly. And as far as my character knew silently.

We then declared victory. Roberto may have stabbed some extra stuff and definitely made some loud noises. The end.

I think, all in all it was actually a rather successful session, I’d like to blame the GM for the success, since he was a friend and a nice guy, but I kinda recall him largely being amazed and perplexed by the entire process.

He thought the game, and the adventure was going to deliver on it’s promise of high stakes high difficulty high fatality mult-speciality non-combat/combat-avoidance skill reliant game play. And thank god it failed abysmally to deliver on those promises because it was a reasonably fun evening instead of a wasted character building session and a low numbers (and competence) fizzle/TPK thanks to that.

But still. No one ever played that game again. I’m going to guess that extends to the entire world because why not it might even barely be true.
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

That Time I Operated One Half Of A Murdered Sentient Lobster Suit
Ultra-Yahtzee : The Power Rangering

This was actually fairly recent. And I don’t want to be too harsh. The guy who wrote the (kinda bad?) homebrew for this system and wrote the (kinda stupidly silly?) adventure was not just a nice guy but a good and accommodating GM who made it fun, despite some notable flaws predominantly in his own rules.

The rules system had some good things going for it. It had a very limited hard class/subclass system. As in those were the ONLY two choices you made during character creation. You were dealt a small number of cards and picked one as your class (gaining everything on it) and one as your subclass (gaining only the “secondary” ability). This would be sorta terrible in many TTRPGs… but this one was intended as a lightweight single session comedy thing so… actually probably a good thing then. On the unfortunate side the abilities were terribly worded incomprehensible due their tie in with the opaque core mechanics, and the synergies were all over the damn place, even on the same character cards, definitely on the combination of class and subclass, and DEFINITELY on the combination between co-operating party members.

The system also had some bad and ugly. Specifically the rolling mechanic. It was… I probably can remember the details but I don’t think I want to, it would be too traumatic. It was a dice pool. But only barely sort of since you would be (sometimes) going for a total roll, sort of, and it was opposed, in various ways.

It incorporated different sized dice. And on rolling you would maybe spend dice (removing them from future rolls of the pool) on special abilities. OR you BUY dice for your future rolls of the pool with your rolls (in strange ways with special result grouping rules I forget that brought it sort of closer to dice pool successes, but also a lot like Yahtzee or something stupid) OR deal damage with an attack based on your total opposed roll, somehow. And you would roll once a turn, but maybe also extra times from abilities, but maybe with different limitations like instead of rolling your vast main handful of gradually purchased and accumulated dice you might just roll only two tiny dice and be expected to believe that would contribute any damn thing.

Basically all the abilities mostly revolved around really abstracted and arcane ways of manipulating dice rolls and dice purchasing/expenditure. It felt rather… disconnected.

The adventure premise was… pretty silly. We were low ranking comedy mooks in a farcical “adventurers guild” we had gotten a shit job to save a giant sandcastle beach resort from giant killer crabs that were stealing metallic jewelry from the super rich very posh guests.

The opening gambit was supposed to be being bullied into submission by the posh hotel boss because we were nothing more than commoner skum who knew nothing of the nobility and how to deal with it.

It was pointed out that with only very mildly generous interpretations of our class and sub class card titles the party consisted of a gourmet chef gunslinger, some sort of fashion designer that fenced on the side, a demonic lawyer and I forget, some sort of famous musical prodigy or something. We were pretty certain that we knew the nobility and how to exploit it pretty well. We pretty much rumbled the hotel owner’s whole causing monsters by dumping magical pollution scheme entirely by accident in the process by basically describing it in pure speculation. We just didn’t particularly care or think there was more to it than that. Though there was one rather key (ridiculous) complication beyond that we missed that would come up later.

After much discussion on how to make the most profit from taking metal jewelry into protective custody during crab patrol we eventually wandered down to the combat music on the beach. We were jumped by not one, but TWO brightly colored crab monsters.

Now the ultimate result of the game’s… interesting combat mechanics was that you start combat with god damn hundreds of HP each and something stupid like a few d4s to roll. The two crabs EACH had basically the same dice as us and about the same total of HP as the whole damned party. With some assing about we eventually figure out that the routine is you basically stand in front of each other for about a half dozen to a dozen turns doing nothing but building up your super sayan auras by spending every possible action on buying more and bigger dice until you had some close enough to optimal large pile of large dice and then you started spending your rolls and actions on dealing damage by margin of success (with the rolls opposed in multiple elaborate ways) to the giant ludicrously bloated HP sponges of the enemy.

It took... a very long time to resolve that one combat. Most of the session really. It felt like playing some surreal complex Yahtzee variant rather than playing an RPG battle. Only with more sentient lobster cannibalism since my chef powers apparently let me give out combat buffs and healing by chopping bits off the enemy and eating them/serving them up to allies.

Upon murdering and eating the two crab monsters while they were still alive, we, the heroes, decided to use the fashion designers completely off sheet assumed powers to turn the uneaten remains into a pair of giant crab disguises.

There was basically no mechanic for this. On the one hand, why would there be, on the other hand you would hope for some sort of fall back, and on the other other hand we had a fashion designer with no clear ability to design fashion.

But the GM pulled a tv judge "I'll allow it". With the proviso that the resulting costumes were stupid over sized and had too many limbs and we could barely manage to operate half of it. Thus rendering the costumes useless. Until we decided to sideways pantomime horse it with two characters per costume conveniently disguising all the party at once.

We discussed for a while running around the beach demanding everyone’s metal jewelry.

But then we decided that the hotel manager was still too shady and we should go and try a quick purity test on him, and if that failed we would demand all the metal jewelry he probably had.

So we spontaneously decided to turn up in his office in our giant murdered pantomime crab shells and say “Greetings Maaaaster we have returned to report on our progress! (hey you click your claws with me) Click Click Click”.

At this point the GM was basically ramming his head against the desk and with a mix between breaking down in laughter and being genuinely at a loss as to how this had happened or how to deal with it was all “Excellent we must meet the others in the secret lair immediately!” and revealed that his grand master plot was in fact that he was stealing all the metal jewelry… to build a giant modular robot piloted by sentient multi-coloured crab monsters similar to the Power Rangers to fight OTHER giant monsters that came from the sea due to the dumping of polluting magical items.

Um. Ok. Anyway we trundled downstairs to meet the other three crabs and their giant robot.

We felt disinclined to do the 2 hour yahtzee power up combat dance again only now with, maybe?, an extra hour of HP to eat through.

The fashion designer had been examining her weird social sub class ability. It was poorly written. But it was MORE poorly conceived. In a game of gigantic HP and endless charge up dice purchasing dances… it was basically a flat single action save or die. Oh you couldn’t use it against an opponent being attacked by you or your allies.

But you could use it while everyone else was combat charge up dancing just in case. And you could, one by one before everyone even reached optimal dice pools manage to subvert all the remaining crabs by giving them bedazzling fashion makeovers or whatever that ability was flavoured as and turn them against the hotel manager. Who apparently completely lacked combat stats.

So he just ran off to operate the giant robot, because one human hotel manager who completely lacked combat stats could totally have enough limbs to operate a machine normally driven by five horse sized sentient creatures with at least eight moving limbs each.

The machine also somehow completely ignored various class abilities by means of things like “not being a living creature”, including portions of my cannibalistic chef powers, but somehow NOT all of my cannibal chef powers, because of bad wording. But also for some reason some other guys secondary pyromancy or something I dunno. Apparently “boss fight most of your specials don’t work for no reason” was the order of the day.

It felt like we didn’t have time for it, but we basically had the routine of the yahtzee combat dance sufficiently figured out and the GM graciously let us keep our yahtzee combat dance powering we were doing while the fashion designer bedazzled the crab rangers, so we finished the combat off eventually and only barely in time for the end of the session. Castle collapses, we escaped riding the backs of our subverted crab friends.

In the whole game amongst the padded sumo HP system and live cannibalism healing murder Teppanyaki show two characters nearly died. One was the guy who didn't manage to grab a trusty crab steed and needed to run out of the crumbling castle himself, and the other was the demon lawyer who's abstracted yahtzee specialty consisted of such an arcane and ridiculous gambling investment risk scheme that a moderate miscalculation of the incredibly opaque system nearly had him explode under the weight of his own combat power up dance.

Regardless, the game was basically over on time constraints alone, the GM suggested we had maybe failed our mission by destroying the hotel and had to fight the oncoming giant pollution sea monster the hotel manager had been preparing for without a giant robot.

We pointed out that our mostly intact demon lawyer patched together with hastily fried sentient crab snacks felt that our contract very specifically only related to ending crab related jewelry robberies our fee had been earlier described as being held by the guild as potential wages or something and the rest wasn’t our problem so we rode our giant crab ranger steeds into the sunset to collect our fee from the guild.

The game system was, ultimately, godawful. The adventure plan was, corny and misguided at best, the GM made only a few minor in game bad decisions but otherwise ran the game in good faith and did well all in all succeeding in running with the group's mood and presenting a fun game. We were lucky he was that good and he was lucky we had a group that generated the humour he wanted for his “comedy” game largely in ways he hadn’t really anticipate or supported with his game rules and adventure.

Nothing will save him from his corny adventure stories, but so what TTRPGs are not known for and do not really need high quality stories. I hope he comes up with better game rules and continues to run good and better games as a result. Though last I saw he had been roped into being a player in a group playing seventh sea that admittedly at a distance seemed to be marginally befuddled and talking about something abstract to do with multiple demon interactions. Damned if I know what that was about.
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PhoneLobster
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I spent most of 1st edition advanced D&D Unconscious and surrounded by girls
In a cave... well, ok... more than one cave

I don’t entirely remember how I was introduced to D&D. I know I saw the cartoon first. But I don’t know what brought me into role playing and knowledge of what it was and what D&D was. I know that several things happened between around about the age of 10 to 13 I think.

I bought 2nd edition (basic and then advanced)… somehow knowing what it was when I did, also vaguely around then I was making my own board games and had veered into what was clearly RPG territory… but I don’t think I properly knew what D&D or rpgs really were when I did that. I suspect that the event connecting those two things was knowing this one DM from this story who probably informed me in between and would, I think after that?, Run a somewhat short campaign of 1st edition advanced I got to play in on several occasions.

So anyway. This one time I was a preteen boy sleeping over for a week at the home of these two girls around my age that I knew… that sounds weird. Look. My sister was with me too. Ok that doesn’t entirely help...

OK. Look. I was just a kid staying over at a the home of a couple of friends of mine with my sister. And at some point their dad offered to run some D&D for us. He was a somewhat old school guy in the era of 2nd edition. He claimed to have bought one of the first of a batch of only three of some sort of early D&D boxed set imported into the country as Australia’s first official exposure to the product and had been running it ever since. He had made his own campaign setting in the form of a giantly detailed map about the size of Tasmania with a giantly detailed dungeon underneath it.

On the drop of a hat I had read pretty much every relevant D&D rule book he had cover to cover. It (and the campaign) was a bunch of AD&D stuff, pre second edition, mostly hard back publications, I have no idea (nor much interest) in precisely what era of 1st edition strata that made it. And anyway, after reading that stuff, god damnit I wanted to play a wizard. He was however all “no play a fighter”. Pretty sure the resulting fighter was basically all chainmail, a for some reason prominent helmet, a falchion, an idiot and as it turned out a card carrying “mansel in distress”.

My fighter’s (I think his name started with R...) most memorable character trait was the mansel in distress routine, a mysterious and apparently predestined means by which to one way or another be involuntarily cleanly knocked out on turn one of all major encounters and then require the girls to rescue him.

In particular for some reason this would happen especially in the context of entering a cave. Like that time my fighter got club ninja’d in the troll cave. Or that time things went tragically wrong with the mounted lance charge in that brown dragon cave. He may as well have had a critical allergy to caves that resulted in unconsciousness after one round of exposure.

So that was probably my introduction to D&D. Basically getting KOed by some trolls and waiting around for a bunch of bloodthirsty girls to beat the trolls to pulp and rescue me. It was fun, I’d do it over again.

On an unrelated note I continued to play (and mostly run) RPGs with that group of girls. Well. Pretty much up until now. They shaped a lot of my opinions and attitudes about TTRPGs and players, in particular ones about girl gamers. Which is to say they are just gamers who are girls, all the bullshit that used to go on for years about them being alternatively mythical, faking it, wanting different things, being more into social and less bloodthirsty, etc… was a bunch of bullshit and I damn well knew it from personal experience. Those girls beat the living shit out of those trolls and that brown dragon, they enjoyed it with as much bloodthirsty glee as any male gamer and rescued my fainting petal of a mansel they routinely outperformed as an afterthought.

Also the guy that ran that game, who unfortunately died rather a while ago now, has somewhat shaped my opinion of the first generation of D&D players and the OSR movement. Amongst other things while they did things differently “back then” it wasn’t a wonderland better time, or a blasted Gygaxian hellscape, and the defining qualities of that first generation DM in my experience were very different from the confused fantasies of the modern OSR movement.
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Last edited by PhoneLobster on Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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Judging__Eagle
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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Location: Lake Ontario is in my backyard; Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Perfect 7/5, would read again.
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Miryafa
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Joined: 10 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whoa, PhoneLobster is back with more rage stories. Awesome!
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