Thursday, May 19, 2011

Session Roundup #13, part a

A week late, but I wanted to go ahead and get through this, as there is Mage and DtD Website Updates tonight, so the chance of my getting a Roundup done this evening after the game is exceptionally slim. So this will be a two-part Roundup, to make up for last week's total lack.

Last week, there was Eclipse the between-meal-minigame, and then Eclipse the actual LARP. Shieldhaven has a breakdown of the first here, where he talks about the pros and cons of this way of running between game events.

I've been chewing over the subject since the thing started steamrolling. The playerbase saw a report of some serious evil dudes attacking the Fringer planet of Taranis, and I'll admit to being one of the players who went, "Hey, I have a whole military division just cooling its heels! Can I do something!?"

And I was super jazzed when Plot said, "sure! Do it!"

This was a hugely experimental and neat thing to do on the part of plot, and will probably go much more smoothly next time (I'm certain that there will be a next time), but permit me to break down some of the sticking points along the way, and how they went.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Session Roundup #12

A very quick check in, as I am near to passing out. We played a session of Mage: The Awakening, No Justice Like Mob Justice tonight, as run by the Wonderous Clever Shieldhaven, you know, like you do.

Learning Rotes is going to be a really good thing for us. We're all still operating on 100% improvised spells, and doing pretty well, though the bar for success is high. I blew through really _all_ of my willpower, adding dice to various things I wished to do. Mostly pulling info out of people's conscious thoughts, and a tiny bit of psychic assault. By the way, heavy Stamina was completely the way to go, because I keep spells running all the damn time.

This time, we were investigating the disappearance of an acquaintance of Ikarafox's character, Saint. Well, we could have been chasing down Banishers, but changed it up at the last minute. There was... too much to explain, but it involved a running joke about chickens, shark-ghosts (though not really), and an Abyssal cultist cannibal (really). It ended... maybe well? Well right then. We'll see if Four-Color's character, Sequela, and I wind up arrested for murder or not. We'd just better hope that the security cameras caught the part where the janitor with the crazy teeth jumped on Stands-In-Fire, then tried to eat my character's face after he'd hit her with just a little bit of psychic bashing damage...

Ah well.

Seriously though, good times.

Also, I ought to have commentary on the Portal 2 co-op, now that we've finished it, but that'll wait for a more awake time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pwny Island, 4e-- act 1.

So, I didn't mention this in my last Roundup, but I've been playing Pony Island quite a bit also, as an Attention Eater for my normal workday. And there was a forum thread about a player who wanted to run a one-shot D&D game, 3.5e, using the pony breeds as the races. Which made me want to do the same for 4e, since it seems to me that reskinning races is a lot easier in 4e, ultimately. There are some serious complications here as far as playability, which I'll lay out in the initial.

Here's the complete list of pony breeds and their PI stats. PI was kind enough to supply base Strength, Intelligence, Agility, and Charisma scores for all of their breeds; which track pretty well to potential D&D bonuses-- except that WIS and CON are out in the cold. I'm going to attempt to convert the stats given for each race into reasonable bonuses based on a) the PI base stats as much as possible, and b) expected 4e classes. All ponies will be medium sized creatures, and there are some races, that while I list them here for completeness, I'm likely to leave out of the final conversion (ie, all of the aquatic breeds). Anyway, if you would like to read the descriptions that I'm going to be working with, you can look here

Earth Pony (your basic, no-frills pony): [IN: 7 | ST: 10 | AG: 6 | CH: 7]
Flutter Pony (flier): [IN: 5 | ST: 5 | AG: 12 | CH: 8]
Pegasus Pony (flier): [IN: 7 | ST: 8 | AG: 5 | CH: 10]
Unicorn: [IN: 11 | ST: 5 | AG: 5 | CH: 9]
Fairy Pony (flier): [IN: 6 | ST: 3 | AG: 9 | CH: 12]
Dragon Pony: [IN: 12 | ST: 12 | AG: 8 | CH: 2]
Winged Unicorn (flier): [IN: 11 | ST: 8 | AG: 5 | CH: 10]
Wishing Pony (flier): [IN: 12 | ST: 5 | AG: 8 | CH: 15]
Valkyrie: [IN: 13 | ST: 6 | AG: 13 | CH: 2]
PhoenixPony: [IN: 8 | ST: 4 | AG: 12 | CH: 10]
Kirin: [IN: 14 | ST: 6 | AG: 6 | CH: 12]
Purr Pony: [IN: 9 | ST: 9 | AG: 14 | CH: 8]
Reindeer Pony: [IN: 9 | ST: 5 | AG: 13 | CH: 13]
Mountain Pony (flier): [IN: 6 | ST: 13 | AG: 13 | CH: 8]

Aquatic ponies, either left out or for another type of campaign:

SeaPony: [IN: 6 | ST: 6 | AG: 10 | CH: 8]
ShellPony: [IN: 8 | ST: 12 | AG: 4 | CH: 6]
MerPony: [IN: 8 | ST: 4 | AG: 11 | CH: 10]
MerDragon (flier) : [IN: 10 | ST: 10 | AG: 10 | CH: 10]

Right out of the gate, we've got an issue with with fliers, because the ability to fly is Just Plain Better. Although this is a subject of considerable obnoxious debate, Fly speeds are the shit, as are potentially avoiding attacks of opportunity by flying over someone's head. Also, the chance of making the game just unplayable for non-flying PC characters, because they can't follow their flier friends, is a worry. There are certain types of campaigns that you can have with a party of fliers that you have a harder time with, using non-fliers. Earth Ponies are pretty much the humans of the world, and making them competitive will be something of a trick.

Secondly, there's how nothing in D&D is really designed for quadrupeds. I am getting around that by assuming that a Pony Game would be ponies only, and so all armor/items/etc exist in a pony-friendly version. This will be harder to justify for weapons like swords, axes, bows & crossbows, et al, unless they are mounted on the armor somehow. Ponies have the advantage of having things like hooves, teeth, and (in some cases) horns, which can be easily weaponized. Anyway, I'll deal with Pony Itemization in a later post.

I'll be using some of the ideas and versions of the powers shown for the Gritaur, here. Specifically, I am thinking I will grant flying races the following power (modified from Sabelkatten's Gritaur racial of the same name):

Take Wing Flying Pony Racial Power
With a powerful thrust of your wings you launch into the air to find a better spot from which to engage your enemies.
Move Action Personal
Effect: Until the end of your turn you may fly your speed +2. If you don't end your turn on solid ground, you glide to the ground without taking falling damage.