Sunday, February 26, 2017

Into the Sighing Valley - Princes of the Apocaverse - Session Thirteen






Arrangements made for the pirate’s boat;
To be sent back to Waterdeep port;
An asset for the Lord’s Alliance to quote;
To Red Larch the party aims a trip short.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Random - The Monster in the Movie



This is a bit of short-story I used set in the Whateley Academy shared universe fiction that was focused around a mutant school a la the X-Men. The primary characters of those stories were transgendered due to some aspect of their power though none of these characters were like that. This isn't exactly an early version or Random and marks as the first story in which her personality and oddity started to take form. This version was before I came to the idea that Random's active emulations would alter her physical appearance. At this point she had a semi-static form that was a bit of a mix between girl, raptor and xenomorph and the emulations were entirely mental/supernatural. This started with the Changeling the Lost version (which I haven't rebuilt yet, mostly because building a Hallow is headache inducing and also because the metaphysics of Changeling the Lost won't exactly be friendly to the modern version of Random). That version had a much more human personality, having remember most of her prior life, but that version did lead to the version represented in the story and builds before.

This piece of art shows a version of Random from Changeling the Lost.

Recent versions of statting this character in different games are linked above the story.

Oh, one thing to note. Random's internal thoughts at this point in her development follow up all speech with something like "I said" whether she said it or someone else did. I haven't really used that conceit in more recent versions but don't have as complete a representation of her thought processes as this. The modern version of Random also never really uses gender pronouns in reference to herself. Actually, within her thoughts she doesn't even use pronouns to refer to herself always calling herself "the monster". Then again, this character might be a non-binary character really, in which case I should probably alter all the pronouns here, but I'm not really sure. By default, most of my characters are female and I've only occasionally played non-binaries and I generally only realize their non-binaries sometime after the campaign is finished. An early version of Random had a maternal instinct and so was feminine, but modern version is so divorced from normal behavior that it's hard to say what she identifies as.

I am not entirely certain Random is alone in her mind. Then again, if there is another entity in her mind, I'm not entirely certain they can tell each other apart any longer and thus they might as well be one entity.

Random - Powered by the Apocalypse


The first of these two game stats, Masks, uses a homebrew playbook that I made to represent characters like Random. Some examples from fiction include: River Tam from Firefly and Sousuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic! As such, it was meant to extend from a "normal" person who just is exceptionally good at combat and grew up on battlefields like Sousuke to someone that was hideously experimented upon and given weird powers like River. I should note I'm not listing all the options I had devised for the playbook as a whole, just the ones I used for Random.

Random - Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition



Mutants and Masterminds is a union of Hero System and d20. In some manners, M&M is more efficient than Hero, but it is somewhat less versatile. In general I feel the loss of versatility isn't huge enough to matter but then I sometimes run into a concept that M&M makes complicated while Hero handles it very well. It also suffers from being a d20 system slightly with the exception that most rolls, attacks and skills, are opposed rolls, which eases up the flat curve a little bit even if it makes for two rolls to every one of D&D's. Random is a case where M&M is either better suited or just as well suited as Hero to making a character.

Random - Three Styles of Fate



When it comes to Fate, I generally prefer to match the dial-heavy Strands of Fate's character creation with the smooth game play of Fate Core. That said, Random's magic, narrative as it is, sometimes feels like it would work best in a Fate Core sort of character creation where her emulations are represented purely by Aspects rather than flat numbers. That said, the complexity of Strands of Fate is still interesting.

Random - Hero System 6th Edition



Random

Hero System 6th edition is very versatile, but sometimes it is a bit difficult to tell whether or not you have taken the most efficient method of achieving your desired effect. I could have done the emulations as a multipower and I'm not entirely sure that all the sample emulations are, by default, legal but the book does allow for modifying things when it makes thematic sense.

5e Random - Avatar of Storied Monsters

The basic premise of Random pretty much requires a modern setting so using D&D you would have to use some of the advice on playing D&D in a modern society setting which can be found in Unearthed Arcana and the DMG. Another important note is that the sort of flavor that is supported by D&D's rules is not the same flavor of game that Random was imagined for. Namely, Random's powers have oddly specific and arbitrary rules, which isn't that different from D&D spells, but the odd and arbitrary rules that Random exists under are different from the odd and arbitrary rules that D&D spellcasters operate under. As such, this is a case where you have to reduce the character down to a raw concept.

Random is a very stealthy, fear-provoking character that invokes the abilities of creatures drawn from scary stories. If this weren't a modern-setting D&D game, then it would be from the more horrific fairy tales and myths of the world. She also has access to an entire demi-plane of her own. Unfortunately, that is not something that a starting character would usually have access to in D&D so we're going to assume that this is early in her development.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

5e Spirit Eater (Tabaxi Sea Sorcerer)

Back when I was attending university, I used to have a thing where I would take a game system that had numerous splatbooks and see how many books I could use to create a single character. This would usually be when I was stuck somewhere for a long period of time doing nothing and unable to head anywhere for some reason or another.

One of these characters was made using the Streetfighter RPG by White Wolf. And I didn't have that many splat books but I went to see how many of the optional things I could put into one character from the one expansion book it did have. This resulted in Reiko Satomi in whom I had combined the Hybrid, Elemental and Ninja backgrounds. Her backstory involved being born to a ninja clan and having elemental powers. However, on her first mission the clan was hired to recover an idol of some sort and weren't told that the idol would send spirits into people nearby which would turn them into vicious jaguars. When such a spirit tried to possess and devour Reiko, she defeated it in battle and swallowed it instead, leaving her as a cat girl and rather confused in her thoughts. The clan then exiled her as many were disturbed but what she was and what she had done but others didn't want her just killed.
Looks nothing like the inspiring character's design. But, cat, water, slightly ethereal. Eh.
I've since expanded on the storyline and come to the conclusion that even her water powers are based on an event as a child when an elemental possessing entity tried to slip into her and she had eaten that instinctively and the fact that she is a spirit eater is what truly concerned the clan.

5e Reincarnated Fox Familiar (Human Rogue Scout)

I've already rebuilt this particular character concept already, the basic idea being that she was a wizard's familair that died and was reincarnated as a human. She is on the 5e build page. However, that rebuild only went to 1st level as that was as far as I played the character before the game abandoned D&D and just went full freeform. (Yeah, it didn't go long.)

In any case, some of the recent Unearthed Arcana have given me the idea to try and do a different version of this character. I considered doing the non-magical ranger, but even that has aspects that don't fit the character. I might end up giving her some touch of magic via a feat or so to represent her wizard-connected background, but other than that, she's not a very magical person.

Friday, February 17, 2017

5e Abyssal Angelic Pixie Monk

Recently I saw a tweet from a Wizards of the Coast staff in response to the following:

The original question was asking where the templates for Celestial, Fiend and Fey referenced in Summon Familiar could be found (I'm assuming they meant either Find Familiar or the Pact of the Chain feature in Warlock). The WotC staff member responded that these were just types, not templates and that a familiar simply had their type changed from Beast to one of the three listed types.

No wings, but some mix of angelic and abyssal traits.
The tweet in response to this was something along the lines of "I'm sure you'll find a way." I saw it and responded with the idea of a halfing/gnome sized Fallen Aasimar that multiclassed into Archfey Warlock, but have since decided to look a bit deeper into this.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Divine Blood - Wasps Among Butterflies - Flaming Zombie Dogs - Session Fifteen

This session includes three characters:
  • Arianrhod Monica Trengove (aka Aria), the succubus and Perfect Yandere of War who believes Psyche is Doing the Right Thing and is Lost Outside the Hierarchy
  • Sophia Ecks, Ainur of the Interface and Virtual Apex Predator who lives on The Bleeding Edge
  • Sarah Gow, a Napoleonic Werepanther from an Urbanized Tribe who's a Practiced Shapeshifter
Elsewhere in the world.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

5e Lesser Gorgon Archer (Archfey Yuan-Ti Warlock Pact of Blade)

Okay, I made a gorgon archer as soon as I had access to the Player's Handbook but I hadn't written it down for posting anywhere that I remember. Now with the yuan-ti and the very recent Unearthed Arcana articles, especially those that were focused on Warlock, I've decided to re-approach this using entirely official material (though some of the Warlock bits I am using are from the Unearthed Arcana playtest materials).


Monday, February 13, 2017

Sunday, February 5, 2017

5e Crippled Dragon (Dragonborn Draconic Warlock)

This is a build for a 5e dragonborn warlock based on the idea of a character who is actually a dragon from within their first century when their level of power can fit within that of the normal PCs. Due to an extended period of torture as a wyrmling she can't take her natural form without experiencing great pain so she spends most of her time in a humanoid form. Despite the dragonborn stats, she'll appear more like a half-drow. Basically assume she tried to take a human or elven form and didn't quite get it right. I'm going with black dragon based on a character I found in a late 90s fan fic and have re-used in my own stories later.


Summer 2017 One-Shot Scenario Schedule

This summer in August, I'm planning to run seven separate scenarios three times each. The listed times are Japan's timezone (GMT +9)...

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