Daily Punch 10-30-13 Signature Move in Shadowrun 5e

I think its time for some more Shadowrun 5e fun.  How about another quality?

Signature Move

Cost: 7 Karma

Whether a German Suplex, a cutting a Z into your opponents with your sword, or hitting all the five point of the exploding heart technique, you know how to get things done up close and personal.

You may take a minus -1 to the dice pool of a melee attack and declare you are using your signature move.  You must describe your move to the GM. If you succeed on the attack, you deal an additional +5 net hits when the opponent makes the soak roll.


Ring Side Report- Review of Shadowrun-The Assassin’s Primer

Module-The Assassin’s Primer


Game System-Shadowrun


Producer-Catalyst Game Labs




Page Count-17


TL;DR- Good story with a few rules.  A little pricey for the page count. 87%


Basics-The first player centered addition to the Shadowrun 5e RPG.  This focuses on a webpost by an assassin who is about to die.  He wants to help future assassins and give tips and tricks through this post.  Along the way, various other Shadowrun characters pop in to give their two nuyen.  At the end of the story, the book also gives stats for a new gun as well as few new qualities for your character.


Art– The book does have some art, but don’t expect much.  There are a few black and white pictures as well as a picture of the new gun with its stats and background story.  It’s all ok, but this is not an art heavy book.  I liked what I saw, but there isn’t much. 3/5

Story or “Fluff”– This is really a well done story.  The whole story and they way you read it really put you in the world.  I loved every minute of it.  I felt like I was sitting drinking a soyacaff in a crappy rundown house reading this in AR. 2.5/2.5


Mechanics or “Crunch”– Don’t go into this looking for crunch.  The book does have some mechanics, but if you are a living game person like me, most of the new qualities are parts of codes of honor which you can’t have in the living game. So, that is kind of a bummer.  The story does give some good hints on how to play an assassin.  All and all, it’s an ok book for crunch, but I wanted more. 1.5/2.5


Execution– The way this ways laid out initially left me a little put off, but once I got into it I liked it.  It’s worth a read, as it does get you into the head space of Shadowrun and some of the major players in the universe.  The rules part at the end was a bit short, but well executed.  However, I was a little disappointed with the price.  For a PDF that is mostly story, I felt the $5 price was a bit much as its pretty short and rules light.  I would have liked this a bit more at the $3 price point.  I’m quibbling over dollars, but this is Shadowrun!  What good would a run be if we didn’t negotiate the price? 4/5

Final Thoughts– All said and done, I’m pretty happy with this book.  It’s not up to the quality of the core book, but I’m glad I read this small part of the Shadowrun lore.  I really enjoyed what I read.  And think that for anyone out there who likes the Shadowrun world, it’s worth it.  Don’t go into this thinking it’s going to give you the metagame advantage you were hoping for as there are only two pages of real rules though! 87%

Daily Punch 10-29-13 Quick-Step Ring Stats in DnD Next

Been working my way threw “The Companions”, and I think its time for Regis’ ring.

Quick-Step Ring

Legendary ring

A round golden ring set with a clear diamond.

Property [Attuned]:
You gain immunity to all fire damage.  Also the ring has three charges.  You can use a charge as a move action to move 50 feet without provoking any attacks.  If you remain engaged with an enemy that you were initially engaged with, you count as an ally for any effects that require another ally engaged with the enemy.


Ring Side Report-Game Review-The Manhattan Project

Game– The Manhattan Project


Publisher-Minion Games




Set-up/play/clean-up– 2 hours


Basics-It’s time to build bombs!  Each player takes the role of a different nation building nuclear weapons.  On your turn you do one of two things: place workers on the main board and your board or recall your workers.  Yes, this is a worker placement game, but the main twist is your building and how you use them.  On the main board, players can buy buildings, repair, declare war, get money, get yellow cake, get bomb designs, get more workers, get more planes to attack, steal other player’s spaces, or refine your yellow cake to plutonium or uranium.  You also get buildings that do much of the same but these are on your board.  When you place workers, you get to place only ONE worker to the main board, but you can place as many workers as you want on your board.  This leads the start of the game to go slow as everyone builds their home boards or only place on worker on a turn, but later in the game, you will see people place well over 10 workers to several different places.  So, like some other euro style games, this is an engine building game.  The way you win is building different bombs.  Each bomb functions like a single use building that requires different types of workers to use as well as an amount of plutonium or uranium.  When you build a bomb, you score its points.  You can also load a bomb for five more points.  With plutonium bombs, you can actually test fire a bomb.  When you do this, you lose all that bombs points, BUT plutonium bombs are not worth that much more.


Theme-You play a nation trying to build bombs, and it’s fantastic.  The different worker types make the game fun and make you really think you are sending your scientists to develop better reactors while engineers are building buildings and the base workers are out there in the mines.  Espionage as an action is amazing.  It really does feel like the cold war where your agents are out there sneaking into different facilities and stealing for your country.  The fact you can declare war and attack really adds the feel of warring nations, and it’s a welcome addition to the euro game genre.  Honestly, I played this game at Gencon, and bought this the next day. 5/5


Mechanics– Again, this is a great game through and through.  It’s a euro, worker placement game; that’s a pretty crowded genre, but this game’s different spin on that really make the game.  The different actions and workers really enhance the theme.  And, the different actions complement one another.  As an example, when you take some actions, money goes to a bribe pile.  When you buy the cheapest building, you get the bribe pile.  This means that you don’t have building build-up that you see in other games where no one wants to take a specific group of locations.  This game might not be for everyone as there is direct player vs. player combat, but it was definitely for me!  My only real complaint was the location deck.  The game starts with a standard set of buildings, but after that, anything thing goes.  So the next five buildings could be the most powerful combination in the game.  The randomness in the building pile could hurt the game play and does take a bit from the game play.  Check below for my suggestion on how to fix that.  4.5/5


Art/Construction– The art of this game is great.  It’s got a retro, 50’s fib to it, so the art really enhances the theme.  The board looks like pieces from a 1950’s office hammering home the feel of the cold war.  The pieces are thick cardboard.  Since I’m crazy, I would have liked different colored meeples for the workers, but the cardboard works.  The boards use iconography instead of words, and that works well.  All and all, a well put together game. The tracks for fighters/bombers could use a bit of work, but I’m happy. 4.5/5


Instructions– The instructions are online at http://www.boardgamegeek.com.  They are written in well-written, readable English with different translations available.  It’s a beefy book (10+ pages), but it does explain how to play quite well.  5/5


Final Thoughts– I love this game.  I love the combat, the engine building, the theme, the mechanics, and almost every aspect of this game.  It’s one of my favorites.  I bring this game with me to every game day I go to.  If you want a great game, the easy to play, but has levels and levels, this is the game for you. 95%


Quick Fixes– The main problem at hand is too much randomness in the building deck.  To fix it, I look to Suburbia.  In that game, when the players set-up the game, they make three piles of tiles to play based on the tile backs.  These tiles are marked with an A, a B, or a C, and they tiles get more powerful as the letters go up.  If Minion games released a revamped set of building cards where the buildings were marked A, B, C so I could shuffle them appropriately, I would buy it in a heartbeat.  Heck, maybe this week, I’ll sit down and make a list of cards for each group!

Why I love Living Games

It’s the first Blurbs from the Booth and today I talk about why I love Living games!


I’ve stood at the invasion of Elturguard as the companion went dark.  I’m immortalized in a statue commemorating the defeat and sealing of an elemental in Mil Takarn.  I’ve thrown waves after waves of demons against intrepid heroes as they stood valiantly in Jappa.  I’ve hacked computers owned by Renraku and stolen a wizard only to sell him to a different corporation in Seattle.  I’ve single handedly destroyed skyships as during the invasion of the floating fortress.  And you may have too.

I love living games.  Living games are long running campaigns where a series of modules are put out by a company or group in a particular game system.  The living game will place rules on what can and can’t happen in character generation and each module so the story that every character experiences is somewhat standardized.  Games like the Living Forgotten Realms, Living Arcanis, Shadowrun missions, Living Divine, Pathfinder Society, Legends of the 13th Age, and others all fill me with only happiness.  Now I know many others out there poo-poo the idea of a “regulated” game, but I don’t mind slight changes to the rules.  Where they only see “limitations” because they can’t do everything they want, I see only opportunities and awesomeness.  Here are some of the high points I see to living games:

  • Unity-Every week, I go to church.  I’m a Roman Catholic and at just past midway through, we all say the Our Father.  I get a feeling of unity with the larger group out there.  I’m not just one guy, I part of a larger whole.  I get that same feeling during a battle interactive (a large multi table game where parties can often interact with one another to help each other out).  I’m filled with a feeling that few can experience when I know several other people are all out there at the same time all fighting for a common goal.
  • Shared Experience- I talked above about all the crazy things I’ve done in game as a GM and a player.  You may have done something similar, and that is AWESOME!  We might not have ever met, or ever will meet, but we have shared something that only a few other people can.  We can sit down at a bar or a con and talk about the crazy stuff that happened when I tried to steal the gem and what happened when you did it.  No two tables are the same, but the basics will be there and now we have some comradery that would never have existed if it weren’t for our shared passion for an RPG.
  • Family/Friends-I’ve met friends at living games who I would have never, ever know existed.  These people came to my wedding, go with me to other cons, play other random games, and have become an important part of my life.  I look forward to hearing from them on a regular basis.  Living games give you an impressive opportunity to meet people you would otherwise not know existed.
  • Personal Opportunities-Everybody has to start somewhere.  Monte Cook did not start writing 1000 page source books.  Neither will you.  But a great place to learn about the industry is to do the grunt work of it.  Cons and living games get your name out there.  I’ve ran games for Wizards of the Coast and got to have sit down chats with heavy hitters in the industry, and it was amazing!  Also, since living games are constantly looking for people to write, it’s a great place to make some in roads.  Now, I’m not saying this will the minor leagues compared to major league baseball, but it’s at least like playing in high school.  It will get your feet wet and get your name out there.  Have a favorite game and want to make a name for yourself?  Check their website.  Most have a proper procedure for you to try being a writer.
  • Groups-Have a game you love, but can’t find a home group to do your crazy My Little Pony/Cthulhu version of it?  Go check out the living games.  Any company worth their salt will have an awesome website to support their living game.  These websites will help you find games or even give you Google groups to start playing in.  Then you find some friends, and eventually crazy Cthulhu Shuterfly with some equally crazy people.
  • Achievement (Real)-Paizo does this amazingly well.  The more you GM for them, the higher your rank.  I was at the table where the first five star female Pathfinder GM earned her rank.  In addition to being with an awesome group of people, I got to witness something phenomenal.  Or, think of it this way, YOU GET TO LEVEL UP IN REAL LIFE!
  • Achievement (Not as Real)- Every Living Forgotten Realms adventure ends with a reward sheet.  Every Pathfinder Society event ends with a chronicle.  You get a tangible reward for playing.  Now, I know it’s just paper, but you “earned” that.  There is a reason why so many companies are popping up selling game aids that represent in game achievement like gold and weapons.  It’s not much, but these represent some hard work by your character.  And, while not as great a say winning a football game, getting your sheet for winning the day does feel pretty good.
  • Effects on the Game World- I’ve been part of a vote to turn the Companion of in Elturguard.  I’ve changed the world of the Forgotten Realms forever.  Can you say that? Often times in each living game, the people who run the campaign ask for feedback based on what the characters did.  This affects future mods and ultimately changes the world.  I want my character to be part of the world and to make a difference.  Do you?  While I know you’re home group now destroyed Cormyr, but did you change the larger world outside your home group?  This is an awesome aspect of Living game: real, tangible effects on the game you love.
  • Company Opportunities-I honestly play more “living” games then I do home games.  I play a lot, but I prefer the play games where anybody can drop in and play and everybody gets a shot to have some fun.  These games give companies who might not otherwise get their game out there a shot to make some noise.  As a player, if I can’t find a group to play a game, then I won’t spend the $90+ to play Dungeons and Dragons (Players Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Masters Guide).  But if I know that I can easily just jump into a random group and play for free a bunch of times, I am much more likely to buy those three books and as many source books as I can get my hands on.
  • Portability-Some people are locked in an area and can only play RPGs with one group of people.  In some of these groups, sometimes you have to deal with people you otherwise would not like, since it’s your only shot at playing a game.  Living games don’t have that problem.  Don’t like how I GM your game?  You can most likely find someone either online or close by who will run the game system you love for you.  Or you could start your own group and get other who loves your game to join you!  Its win-win!
  • Spreading the Good Word- You have a system you love.  Whatever it is, you absolutely love it.  And I’m happy for you.  So you go to a con or two and run your intro game with pregens you personally created and a mod you wrote with love.  Your players all adore the game and say they will get every book then can!  And they don’t.  They look around, see no one else playing, and forget about that greatest game they ever played.  Living Games give you a bit of help with spreading your word.  Now, that group that loved your came know how to find others.  They know that others are playing.  They will (hopefully) join up with those others and now play your game.  And your game will spread.
  • Adventures- We all love RPGs.  It’s why you’re reading a blog on a RPG website.  What’s harder is having that game ready when your friends show up.  Every week they’re going to show up and you have to spend the prep time to get the game ready, and they don’t care that game prep takes away from your spin class because in this example your friends are mean.  Any Living game worth its salt will have a giant back log of adventures and whole quests for you to work through.  And they are cheap, well put together, and right there!
  • GAMES!-WHY ELSE ARE YOU PLAYING A RPG!  Here are some games that you don’t have to (usually) pay for!  Great living games give you a good taste of a game that a demo can’t.  You get to play a few sessions and maybe even gain a few levels.  Honestly, if you’re at a con and you see a new living game you’ve never heard of, give it a shot.  You’ll get your new pregen character and some fancy new adventure logs.  You have some tangible rewards and you got to play an awesome new game that you can show your friends back home with a ton of adventures for them to play and other new friends to show it too.

This is what I see when I see a living game.  Give them a try if you can.  You just might get more out of them then a simple game.  See if you feel what I feel when I step into a room with a couple hundred of my comrades at arms.

Daily Punch 10-28-13 Contingency Spell in Arcanis


How about a trait to make contingency spells in Arcanis?


Spell Stitched Body [Arcanum, Limited]

Through your faith, dealings, or abilities, you have placed spells into your very body.

Benefit: Your body is stitched with a spell.  The abilities granted by this spell vary by the spell. This spell will go off when conditions imposed by the spell are met or if you lose all wounds.




Daily Punch 10-25-13

How about something I read about while reading the Sundering?  Its another feat for DnD Next



Charge and Throw

You’ve trained long and hard for this.  You use an opening with one attack to make another happen

Prerequisite: Charge

  • You gain +10′ movement bonus
  • When you charge you may make an additional attack along the way.  This attack must be a thrown weapon attack.
  • If you charge the target of your thrown weapon attack and you hit with the thrown weapon, you gain a +2 bonus to the charge attack.


What do you guys think?

Daily Punch 10-24-13 Improving Grappling in DnD Next

I know some of my players wanted this last night in our DnD Next Game as a feat.

Grappling Master

You’re good with you hands, and even better at bending your opponents.

  • Gain a +2 to all grapple attempts to escape, maintain, or pin an opponent
  • When you have an opponent pinned, you may immediately do 1d8 +str damage.  This counts as a blunt weapon attack that you may modify with other feats or class abilities
  • You may grapple creatures that are up to two sizes larger then you.


Ring Side Report- A review of Pathfinder Player Companion: Demon Hunter’s Handbook

Book– Pathfinder Player Companion: Demon Hunter’s Handbook


Price – ~$13

TL;DR– A must have if you fight demons 90%

Basics-The title says it all.  If you’re going to focus on hunting demons, this is the book for you.  This book focuses on the different aspects of hunting demons.  Special attention and class features are given to barbarians, inquisitors, paladins, rangers, and wizards, but every class gets something a little something out this book.  Besides the crunch in the book, the book has a lot of roleplaying/fluff to it focusing extensively on who you might meet when fighting demons and how to deal with demons and demon worshipers.  Last part of the book focuses on the new adevneture path Wrath of the Righteous and focuses on some of the major places you will visit while in that path.

Art– This is the standard Pathfinder style, but be warned!  Demons tend to be the crazier of the evil thing out there and they tend to push some peoples buttons on what passes for ok.  Some of the art might not make everybody comfortable.  It’s a thing that you have to get used to or don play with demons.  I didn’t find anything offensive, but this might not be for everybody. 5/5

Mechanics or “Crunch”– I wasn’t as impressed with some of the character options as I’ve been with other books.  The barbarian gets called out as a focus of the book, but only really gets two class features that focus on critical hits.  The ranger gets three and they are only traps.  If you don’t use traps or focus on critical hits, then the options are kind of useless. Also some of the other character options tend to be high level stuff.  The spells shine as they are a good mix of levels and casting classes.  I didn’t hate what I saw, but I was left wanting more.  1.5/2.5

Story or “Fluff”-Here is where the book really shines.  The fluff in this book is top notch.  Lots of focus on the different types of demons and how to fight them.  Sidebars to expand what you should know when fighting demons and how to fight them.  Heck as a DM, I learned a few things to use in my next demon encounter.  Only sad thing is the focus on the Wrath of the Righteous tends to lead to Pathfinder specific focus and less general demon focus.  But since this is a Pathfinder book, I expect that going in.  Again, this book is focused on the crazies of the Pathfinder world so keep that in mind when you read this. 2.5/2.5

Execution– I liked the set up and layout of this book, but a few things really set me off.  The book references lots of other books, and as a Pathfinder fan boy I have them all.  BUT, the book does not have page number for all of them.  WHY?  Why are some there and not others?  Please put this in.  It makes my life as a player and DM that much easier!  Also, I’m not sure I like everything about the roles.  I would like a few things in the future.  1) Give me levels for each feat they have.  It helps me as a DM make characters on the fly.  If you list feats with a number ahead of them, that’s all I need  2)  Give me some base, not racially modified, stats.  Again, nothing to fancy, but just base stats I can bolt on some race stuff to.  Heck, extra points if you give me a quick level guide for stats.  These things would really make these that much better. 4/5

Book Quality– This is a standard, well done Pathfinder player companion book.  I love this style as the ink doesn’t smear and the pages don’t tare easily.  Good print quality does count!  5/5

Final Thoughts– I liked this book.  The crunch might not be where I want it to be, but the rest was spot on.  A few tweaks in the execution will really make this thing shine and going forward will really help pull it all together.  If you’re going to fight lots of demons, then you should buy this book.  If your game doesn’t have any demons at all, then this book maybe not useful to your table.  90%

Daily Punch 10-23-13 Vampires in 13th Age?

Its almost Halloween!  How about an extra ghoulish race for 13th Age?



+2 Str or +2 Dex

Vampires may look like any other race, except they are unnatural pale.

Blood Drinker (Racial Power)

Once per day as a standard action, you may drink the blood of an adjacent immobilized, unconscious, or willing creature.  You gain a recovery and the creature loses a recovery.  Roll a save,on a +17 you regain the use of this power.  If the creature you drank blood from had no recoveries left, you still gain a recovery, but the creature will arise as a Vampire if not decapitated.

Champion Feat:  The value of the save may be +14.