John-Michael Gariepy

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Dungeons and Dragons Random Encounters: Level 17

For an explanation and introduction to Random Encounters, go to Why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?

Roll once for each adventurer in your party.  Whenever you roll a Brute, or a Soldier, add two of that creature and roll one less time total.  If the last creature you roll is a brute, or a soldier, your players will have to suck it up.  There will be more experience for them anyway.  Whenever Minions are rolled, add the number of minions shown to the encounter and count them as one creature for the purposes of generating an encounter.  Whenever an Elite creature is rolled, count it as two separate creatures for the purpose of generating an encounter.  When a Solo creature is a, stop rolling, since a solo monster by itself is a good challenge for characters of that level.  If you’ve already rolled up three creatures before the solo joined the party, you may want to indicate to your players that now would be a good time to run…

01- 05 Roll again in the Level 16 Random Encounter Chart.

06 – 10 Roll on the Random Hindrances Chart.

11 – 13 (Artillery Leader)  Aboleth Slime Mage

14 – 17 (Artillery) Cyclops Storm Shaman

Read more…

Advertisements

DC Adventures Log 3: Bad Medicine, Part 2: Badder Medicine

In Bad Medicine, Part 1, the players, after much investigation, shut down an illegal drug processing center, and found the man responsible for putting Venom on the street as a party drug is one Thomas Weston.  Mr. Weston was the original CEO of Amertek, was caught selling Super-tech Toastmaster guns to kids in street gangs, did time, and was back at his old game with old contacts and a new product.  Our questionable heroes may have taken out his processing center, but unless they tagged Weston, he was bound to restart his lucrative operation somewhere else.

All this the players knew.  What was happening behind the scenes, however, was that another team of ‘heroes’, the Secret Six, was also hot on Weston’s trail.  Bane and his crew were working hard to find Weston and wipe him off the underworld map.

Bane is the man who broke Batman’s back in the now classic series:  Knightfall.  He combines both brawn and intelligence in one lethal package, and when his strength is augmented with the drug Venom, he can be nigh unstoppable at getting what he wants.  Venom, though, is a terrible, addictive drug that was forced on Bane when he was a prisoner in a Santa Prisca gulag.  Bane spent years kicking his addiction to Venom, and withdrawal from the drug haunts him daily.  He’s made it his personal goal to take vengeance on the drug that stole his life, and works to stamp it out where ever he finds it.

So while the crew was going from location to location tracking where the Venom came from, I selected a few locations in my mind Read more…

Dungeons and Dragons Random Encounters: Level 16

For an explanation and introduction to Random Encounters, go to Why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?

Roll once for each adventurer in your party.  Whenever you roll a Brute, or a Soldier, add two of that creature and roll one less time total.  If the last creature you roll is a brute, or a soldier, your players will have to suck it up.  There will be more experience for them anyway.  Whenever Minions are rolled, add the number of minions shown to the encounter and count them as one creature for the purposes of generating an encounter.  Whenever an Elite creature is rolled, count it as two separate creatures for the purpose of generating an encounter.  When a Solo creature is a, stop rolling, since a solo monster by itself is a good challenge for characters of that level.  If you’ve already rolled up three creatures before the solo joined the party, you may want to indicate to your players that now would be a good time to run…

01- 05 Roll again in the Level 15 Random Encounter Chart.

06 – 10 Roll on the Random Hindrances Chart.

11 – 14 (Artillery) Ice Archon Hailscourge

15 – 17 (Elite Brute) Earth Titan (Giant)

Read more…

DC Adventures Log 2: Bad Medicine, Part 1

All right!  Game Two with Team Lex!

Our first DC Adventure was a combination of “Let’s introduce the characters, the system, and have a bit of a beat-em-up.”  Since I didn’t know what characters the players would choose, I made the game open, but linear.  The players would A, be introduced to each other, B, conduct an interview with the media, then, C, be called off to action against a bunch of baddies, and leave a hint of an ongoing plot brewing.

It would be nice if the first adventure lead us directly into a second one, but I like how the bad guys getting away seeds a plot much further on.  That means that we’re starting from scratch again, and we can’t have the same story format twice.

Enter “Gimmicks & Gadgets: Mutants and Masterminds Adventures“.  While DC Adventures doesn’t have a lot of support yet, the game it was sired from, Mutants and Masterminds, has been around the block a few times and there are 12 pdf adventures at Green Ronin’s website.  I made a quick scan, and found that the first one listed, Bad Medicine, was appropriate given a DC Comics update, so off we went.

Our heroes wake up on the 99th floor of Lexcorp Tower and have a chance to freshen up and interact before Mercy Graves approaches them with today’s field mission.  Mercy dumps a handful of patches on the table and informs everyone that what we’re looking at are ‘slappers’.  Slappers are a new party drug that has hit the streets of Metropolis, and, is likely manufactured in Metropolis since there’s been no reports of it in any other city.  This $500 a patch drug is slapped at the base of the neck, where a cocktail of Venom (the deadly drug previously used by the man who broke Batman’s back: Bane) is absorbed into the bloodstream.  The effect is immediate:  The users muscles and veins bulge and they are wracked by an increase in durability and strength.  There’s also a savage surge of testosterone, turning the user into a violent animal.  Mercy warns the group that they need to be very careful with these samples, since slappers are not only dangerous, but highly addictive.  That’s when Harley Quinn slapped one on the back of her and Person Man’s necks. Read more…

Dungeons and Dragons Random Encounters: Level 15

For an explanation and introduction to Random Encounters, go to Why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?

Roll once for each adventurer in your party.  Whenever you roll a Brute, or a Soldier, add two of that creature and roll one less time total.  If the last creature you roll is a brute, or a soldier, your players will have to suck it up.  There will be more experience for them anyway.  Whenever Minions are rolled, add the number of minions shown to the encounter and count them as one creature for the purposes of generating an encounter.  Whenever an Elite creature is rolled, count it as two separate creatures for the purpose of generating an encounter.  When a Solo creature is a, stop rolling, since a solo monster by itself is a good challenge for characters of that level.  If you’ve already rolled up three creatures before the solo joined the party, you may want to indicate to your players that now would be a good time to run…

01- 05 Roll again in the Level 14 Random Encounter Chart.

06 – 10 Roll on the Random Hindrances Chart.

11 – 14 (Artillery) Destrachan Far Voice

15 – 18 (Artillery) Rakshasa Archer

Read more…

Rock Band Track Pack Reviews: The System that is Down

For those (few) of you that have noticed, we’ve had some techincal difficulties.  Click here to read more.

Session Impressions: Elder Signs

Elder Signs is the latest in Fantasy Flight’s H.P. Lovecraft inspired line: Arkham Horror.  Unlike many other games in this line it takes a reasonable amount of time to play.  About an hour.  Ye elder gods!

Dan, Mike Bergeron and I had a fun time playing it.  It’s got a cool, everyone racing against the clock, feel.  And while the game is centered around rolling dice, it’s natural and entertaining instead of tedious.  After playing for a full hour, my first impetus is to play another game… and that’s the best complement I can give any game, really.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.  Mind the shoggoths.

Dungeons and Dragons: Fifth Edition

WotC announced they are working on the fifth edition of their game.  But what does that mean?

There’s been a split among D&D characters, and, as any good player will tell you “You don’t split the party”.

This is the message Wizards of the Coast has put out for us fellow adventurers.  Since 4th edition, there’s been grumbles from the core players.  Then, after a few months, dissent lead to desertion.  Dungeons and Dragons fourth edition, with all it’s good points and bad was plagued over the past three years by a decision made in 2000 to have Third Edition be printed under an Open Gaming Licence.  This allowed any company to make additional products for Dungeons and Dragons Third Edition using Wizards terminology without the threat of legal action looming over them.  It strengthened the game, and the brand.  Dungeons and Dragons was already the leader in Role Playing Games, but the OGL solidified Third Edition, turning it into an RPG Juggernaut.

And when Fourth Edition came out, it was hit head on by that Juggernaut, and is grinding under the gears of it.  As of this writing, Paizo, the makers of the Pathfinder line of 3rd Edition D&D products is making more money from publishing 3rd edition products than Wizards is making off of 4th edition products.  And that’s one company.  If you count Goodman Games, and all the other publishers of Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition products, 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons is getting squeezed out of its own game.

That is why the announcement for 5th edition from Wizards sounds like a plea instead of a celebration. The good news is, that Wizards is very serious in it’s desire to get feedback from players.  Instead of looking at surveys and godbooks, then building a game based upon a design group’s philosophy, they are soliciting responses from everyone.  The makers of Dungeons and Dragons want to keep making Dungeons and Dragons, and we should support them when they ask for our help.  The future of our game is at stake, and, to a lesser extent, so isn’t table top roleplaying.  Feel free to drop on over community.wizards.com/dndnext and give the makers of D&D a piece of your mind.  [You know… after you get done reading my article.  :D]

I don’t get it.  What’s wrong with 4th edition that we couldn’t patch it up and wait another 3 years to make 5th edition?

I suppose you’re new to the game, Huh?

It’s cool.  I’m going to admit something that few people who play the game would.  I like 4th edition.  I think it empowers the Dungeon Master, and streamlines the game.  Oh, I’ve got problems with it.  I could write a book about the failings of 4th edition.  No.  Honestly, I could write an entire book about how4th edition failed to live up to people’s expectations for what a Dungeons and Dragons experience should contain.  I could write most of it off the top of my head.  The holes in the game are so large, that you can’t compare it to swiss cheese anymore.  More like Swiss air with bits of cheese.  Here’s a quick run down of some changes that we may see because so many people will complain about them:
Read more…

Spambots, and the evolution of modern writing.

We’ve had some… strangeness with the bots on Multiverse. Wait.  Let me step back.

Multiverse is a website where you create Magic cards, and each card is given a discussion thread.  It’s a bit like making a forum out of the custom Magic: the Gathering set you were designing.  I was skeptical at first – I’ve been looking for a way to store my cards ‘in the cloud’, but wasn’t sure about letting other people comment on what I was working on, while I was working on.  Turns out, it rocks.  Immediate reaction to your work lets you understand what is good, and what only you think is good.  Immediately writing about your design allows you to focus on what you are creating, and chisels your theories into a sharp edge.  For Alex Churchill, I give three cheers.  If he didn’t live across the pond from me, I’d take him out for drinks on me.  Excellent stuff.

Enough background.  The thing I wanted to talk about is spambots.  Multiverse gets a fair share of traffic, and a very important part of Multiverse is the discussion threads.  Spambots see this, and the open nature of the message board, and harass us with inappropriate responses.  Someone will design a card, and a spambot will respond with “i lik yur articels.  they really make me think.”  It’s the sort of stuff that would go unnoticed on other message boards, but sticks out in a card design website.  Alex has done a fair job of sweeping up after them, but occasionally leaves funny, oddly prescient ones alone.  Like the spambot responses for the card Euphoric Confidence. The card itself is perfectly fine common filler.  Pay 4W, gain 7 life and draw a card.  Nice artwork, nice flavor, normal common… nothing crazy.  Then this popped up: Read more…

Dungeons and Dragons Random Encounters: Level 14

For an explanation and introduction to Random Encounters, go to Why would anyone make a giant chart of Random Encounters?

Roll once for each adventurer in your party.  Whenever you roll a Brute, or a Soldier, add two of that creature and roll one less time total.  If the last creature you roll is a brute, or a soldier, your players will have to suck it up.  There will be more experience for them anyway.  Whenever Minions are rolled, add the number of minions shown to the encounter and count them as one creature for the purposes of generating an encounter.  Whenever an Elite creature is rolled, count it as two separate creatures for the purpose of generating an encounter.  When a Solo creature is a, stop rolling, since a solo monster by itself is a good challenge for characters of that level.  If you’ve already rolled up three creatures before the solo joined the party, you may want to indicate to your players that now would be a good time to run…

01- 05 Roll again in the Level 13 Random Encounter Chart.

06 – 10 Roll on the Random Hindrances Chart.

11 – 13 (Artillery) Cyclops Impaler

14 – 16 (Artillery) Githzerai Mindmage

Read more…

Post Navigation