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.

Thoughts?

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

Book– Pathfinder Player Companion: Demon Hunter’s Handbook

Publisher-Paizo

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?

 

Nosferatu/Vampire

+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.

 

Thoughts?

 

Daily Punch 10-22-13 Spell Sickened Heroes in Pathfinder

How about some love for Pathfinder for spell sickened heroes with a drawback?

 

Spell Sickened

Spells hurt you almost as much as they do your enemies.  You have learned to cast them with care.

Effect: When you successfully cast a spell with out an item, you must attempt a Fortitude saving throw. The DC is 10 + level of the spell. If you fail this save, you become sickened for 10 minutes.  If you case another spell while sickened from this effect and fail the fortitude save, you instead become nauseated for 10 minutes.  At the end of each round of combat while nauseated form this effect, you may attempt another fortitude saving throw for the second spell.  If you pass, you become sickened instead.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 10-21-13 Spell Sickness in Shadowrun

Hay all, how about a negative quality in Shadowrun 5e?

 

Spell Sickness

Bonus: 15 karma

Your body rejects magic the way some people reject soy.  When you cast a spell, you become sick and take a -1 dice pool modifier to all actions until you do not cast a spell for two rounds.  If you cast another spell while you are sick, your dice pool modifier increases by another -1 that is cumulative.

 

What do you think gang?

Ring Side Report- Kingsburg Game Review

Game-Kingsburg

 

Producer-Fantasy Flight Games and others

 

Set-up/play/take-down-~1 hour

 

Price– ~$50

 

TL;DR–  Good game of Kingdom building-80%

 

Basics-In Kingsburg, each player takes the role of different governors in border territories to a large kingdom.  Each year the players roll three dice and spend dice to influence different patrons.  Patrons are influenced by spending dice that exactly total a patron’s value.  Theses patrons give the players gold, wood, stone, military support, surveillance, dice change values, or victory points.  Each patron can only be influenced once per season.  After each season, each player can build different structures for his town.  After each season, the king helps the leading or losing player, and the process repeats.  After three seasons, monsters attack all the towns and each player sees if they were able to fend off the hordes or if the hordes destroyed part of his or her town.

 

Mechanics-The game is somewhat a eurogame, but with some strong American style themes.  The dice can be somewhat swingy, but the fact that the king helps each player really does help balance the game.  No one really spends to much time far behind the other players, and that is excellent game design.  My only major problem with the game is the way the king helps each player.  One player each year rolls a d6 and that much military aid come to all the players for fighting the hordes.  This really makes this part of the game swingy and can lead some lucky players to victory instead of smart players.  Also, some buildings are completely useless and far to overpriced.  3/5

 

Theme-This game has some problems with theme.  I like it, but I don’t completely feel like I’m a governor at the edge of the known world.  It’s not a major problem, but I don’t feel taken away.  Also, since this is a eurogame, the game has to use small wooden cubes.  Now I know it’s not a large thing, but why not use small things that look like what they are?  You never have huge piles of the resources anyway; why not give me something that makes me feel a bit more in the game?  Another problem is the swingy nature of the game.  Since you roll for what you can play, it does take a bit away from the nature of smart play, but could be interpreted as you harvesting what you can, when you can.  While I am complaining, I did like this game and really liked the fact that only one player can influence a patron each season.  It really does add to the theme of working in a feudal government. 3/5

 

Instruction-They game is well written, and the board and player mats are built to execute these instructions well.  I had absolutely no problems playing the game as written. 5/5

 

Art and Construction-The art isn’t bad.  It has a distinctive style and nothing is too small to be visible.  Everything is written in icons on the main board, so the board reads fast.  I liked what I saw and think it’s built pretty strong. 5/5

 

Final Thoughts-This is a pretty decent game.  I’m glad my wife owns it.  It’s one of the game we play pretty regularly, and I’m not disappointed when we bust it out.  It does have its flaws, but those are usually something I can overlook.  Good game that you should give a try if it comes to the table.  80%

Ring Side Report-Pathfinder NPC Codex

Book-Pathfinder NPC Codex

Publisher-Paizo

Price-~$40

Pages-320

TL;DR-It’s an “OK” source book with some charms, but not enough use. 57%

 

Basic-The Pathfinder NPC codex is just what its name says: a book of NPCs.  Its only four short chapters: base classes, prestige classes, NPC classes, and iconic characters.  For the base classes, each class has write ups for levels 1 to 20 with every other level being a strange offshoot of the norm.  Prestige classes are several versions of the prestige classes from the base pathfinder book.  NPCs are the standard base book classes (expert, commoner, warrior, etc) from level 1 to 10.  The last chapter is the iconic Pathfinder characters (Kyra, Seelah, Ezren, etc) with several builds of these characters at different levels.

 

Use– This book will only help the DMs out there do game prep. And at that, the characters are only ok.  The presented characters don’t really feel challenging when I’ve sent them at my players as a GM.  However, they builds are not bad.  And, the fact that there is a book full of ok NPCs does give me at least some rough stats for what I want to throw at my players, so it will unquestionably save you prep time. 2.5/5

 

Execution-I have some gripes here.  I don’t really need 20 fighter builds.  What I really need is one build, ten times from levels 2 to 20 with some quick rules on how to change it from two swords to sword and shield.  This goes for the monks, rogues and almost all the classes EXCEPT the wizard and the sorcerer.  For these classes, I need builds for each school of magic and ten times levels 2-20.  For the NPCs, I don’t really need 10 commoners.  Four commoners is good enough.  Same goes for all the other NPC classes.  What I don’t need at all is the iconics.  These stats are presented elsewhere AND are given out for free as part of the Pathfinder Society stuff.  As a GM, I have never seen a wizard or a sorcerer not focus on a school of magic.  The book presents 20 different wizards who each have different focuses.  That makes the presented classes much less useful and really messes up my planning as a GM.  Again, nothing presented is “bad,” but it’s really not useful.  Even more distressing, there is absolutely no mention of any of the Advanced Character Guild characters like gunslinger, witch and the gang. 2/5

 

Art, Layout, and Book Quality-This part is the standard Paizo quality.  The art is standard pathfinder art.  Also, there are a bunch of new art here, so I do feel like I got my money’s worth with the art.  If you like the art from any other Pathfinder books, you will like this.  Layout is good.  The sections make sense and are put together with the standard Paizo quality.  The physical book feels like a decent value since it’s over 300 pages for ~$40.  I may not be enamored with the contents, but the book itself is at least close to worth the money. 4/5

 

Final Thoughts– This is an OK book.  Not good, not great, but OK.  It does give me some good NPCs to work with, just not the ones I really need.  Also, the random nature of some of the NPCs really doesn’t help me make the characters I need.  I’m glad I have this, but you need to really consider how many NPCs you will have in the future.  If you will mostly run monsters out of the bestiary, then this book is not for you.  It will save you time, just not all the time you hoped it would. 56%