Daily Punch 12-17-13 Reaction Spell Metamagic Feat

How about some love for Pathfinder?    What about making a spell happen whenever you want?

 

Reaction Spell (Metamagic)

You prepare a spell to go off whenever you want.

Benefit: You prepare a spell to go off exactly when you want it.  Any time you could use a free action, you may cast the spell you prepared as a reaction spell.

This feat can not be applied to any spell with a casting time of a turn.

Level Increase: +4 (a reaction spell uses up a spell slot four levels higher than the spell’s actual level.)

Daily Punch 12-16-13 Sending Spell Kit for DnD Next

Reading “The Advasary”, and the mentioned an item.  I felt its time ti got stats in DnD Next.

 

Sending Kit

Common Magi Item

Price: 100gp

This is a kit packaged in a simple metal box.  The metal box is simple tin, but designed to prevent the contents from being damaged.  Inside are two glass vials and two slip of paper.  One slip of paper  contains instructions written in common with phonetic pronunciation of magic words written on it.  The second is a magic scroll to power the magical ritual.  The metal box contains a painted diagram of how to mix the vials as well as pictures of how and where to draw the symbols to power the ritual inside the metal container.  The entire item is considered “idiot proof” and designed to be used when the user is in great distress.

This are now considered standard equipment for Harpers operating out of Waterdeep.

Property: This is an extremely simple compartmentalized version of the Sending Spell.  It follows all rules of the sending spell, however, it is designed so any character even those without Arcane/divine spell casting can use this item.

Ring Side Report-Review of Ultimate Campaign

Book– Ultimate Campaign

Publisher-Paizo

Price – ~$40

TL;DR– Tables and Rules Everywhere!-83%

Basics– Ultimate Campaign focuses on the rules around the rest of the Pathfinder RPG. This book is more “meta” then most books.  The book starts with a chapter on how to make characters; not how to make stats, but how to build a story into your characters.  Next the book gives a chapter on what you can do in your down time with ideas ranging from building businesses to creating organizations.  After that is a chapter on different rules systems covering ideas such as bargaining to taxation in your game.  The final chapter is how to build a kingdom and mass combat.

Mechanics or “Crunch”-This book is crunch-tastic!  If you want rules regarding all the extra stuff in your game, this is it.  Want rules for an honor system? It’s here.  Want to start a kingdom? There is a whole chapter on how to do the rules for it.  It covers a lot of ground.  Some of these rules are kind of reprints as these rules were covered in different adventure paths, but that’s not necessarily bad as the rules have gotten a polish since their last printing. 5/5

Story or “Fluff”-This section might not fit the best here.  This book sets out to be a rules book.  It’s pretty system neutral as you’re just running the Pathfinder/3.5 system somewhere and these rules cover the “in between” stuff.  You don’t need a lot of story.  However chapter one is how to build a character.  It does an excellent job of describing what stuff you could include in your character.  If you’re George R.R. Martin, you don’t need this.  However, I have a friend who loves Pathfinder, but when presented with character generation, he freezes.  This chapter gives some good fluff for your characters and suggests traits for you to take for all the fluff.  Heck, if you want to completely randomize your PCs, this chapter gives tables and tables of random stuff to make your new PC.  Where the fluff is needed, it’s done well, but don’t expect it throughout the book. 4/5

Execution-This book is the standard Paizo quality.  The book is a nice hard cover with well put together pages.  The layout lacks a bit.  There are pages after pages of tables or rules or columns of text.  Nothing brakes up much of what you’re reading, so it gets a little boring.  It’s important rules, if you want them, but they get very dry, very quick.   3.5/5

Final Thoughts-Unlink a base book, this is a one copy at the table max book.  This is something you might want to get, skim through, and then give to your GM while telling him which of these rules you want in the game.  It’s a repeat of many of the rules systems explored in the adventure paths, which isn’t bad because the rules do get a little touch up here and there.  However, if you want a dungeon crawling game where you find some monsters, kill them, and take gear, this isn’t for you.  If you want to do some crazy game where you explore a mist filled continent via random hex crawl where you establish a kingdom while maintaining your family’s honor, waging a war for the throne, marrying into different family lines, and dealing with the crushing shame of your fathers half fiend lineage, then YES you will need this book.-83%

Daily Punch 12-12-13 Social Stigma Flaw in DnD Next

Another Flaw in DnD Next

 

Social Stigma

You grew up far removed from society.  You did well enough with you own family, but now when you’re off by yourself, its a completely a different ballgame.

Penalty: You have a minus -1 penalty to all social checks and any to any check that involve you even tangentially due to your social standing.  This penalty increases to -2 at level 10.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 12-11-13 Over Curious Flaw in DnD Next

More character flaws!

 

Over Curious

When you were a child, you spent all you time pestering those around you.  Now you can’t stop yourself from asking questions and barging in where your not wanted.

PenaltyYou ask far to many questions and it makes those around you uneasy.  When you join a conversation and start asking too many questions, you take a -1 penalty to this social interaction.  This becomes a -2 at level 5, a -3 at level 10, and a -4 at level 15.

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Seven Wonders

Game-7 Wonders

Producer-Repos

Price– ~$50

Set-up/Play/Pick-up– One hour

TL;DR-Sleek, well-crafted, fun game 90%

 

Basics-In Seven Wonders, you play a different country throughout history.  Each country starts with a different resource and a play mat that shows costs to build wonders.  These wonders give the country either points or abilities.  Each turn, you look at a hand of cards and pick one to play.  The cards are resources, points, military, science, trade, or other options.  You can play the card for its value, use it to build your wonder, or spend it to gain money.  You then hand the remaining cards to your neighbor.  After all players have selected their cards, you reveal and repeat with the new cards you got from your neighbor.  When you have two cards left you select one and throw the other away.  After a round of this, there is a military phase where losers in battles gain negative points while winners gain positive points.  After three total rounds, the points are counted and the winner is determined.

 

Mechanics-This is where the game really shines.  The rounds go fast with some quick, important choices flying bye.  What strategies really emerge is what to play vs. what to keep vs. what to bury for your wonders/money.    In addition, what makes the game quick is that everything is done with icons and few rules.  The cards have a sleek design that reads quickly.  This game has won world wide awards because, honestly, besides the rules no changes have to happen to play this game across the world.  I could easily sit down in China and play a game with some people who didn’t speak English.  If you know the rules and can see the card icons, you can play. 5/5

 

Theme-Here is where the game suffers a little bit.  I don’t really feel like ‘Rhodes’ when I play ‘Rhodes’.  I feel like I’m a guy building a place, but not really ‘Rhodes.’  I honestly don’t know what ‘Rhodes’ feels like, but I don’t feel that.  That said, I do feel like I’m building an empire over time.  The different rounds or ages do make this game have a distinctive feel.  I like that feeling.  Also, when you go one in a major direction for points, you change your whole strategy, so that does change what you do thematically.  I like this despite not having a country specific feel. 3/5

Instruction-The rules are short and well-written.  This game is a eurogame despite the cards.  That’s not something you hear often, but it’s true.  The instructions have a lot of ground to cover and it does it well.  Lots of examples really help explain this game well. 5/5

 

Summary-This is, quite frankly, an amazing game.  It’s fast, fun, and really replayable.  I loved every moment of this game.  I’ve play is several times and even my not so geeky friends love to bust this one out.  Go get this one. 90%

Ludonarrative, 4e DnD, Eberron, and the Forgotten Realms

I’ve been thinking about what I play, and why I play it.  Now I don’t want to join the edition war, but I think what you play is impacted largely by the fiction the surrounds it.  I want to talk today about my love for 3.5 DnD Eberron vs. 4e Eberron and ludonarrative.

PLEASE DON’T JUST RUN AWAY FROM THAT TOPIC!  I PROMICE I HAVE A REAL MEASAGE BESIDE EDITION HATE!

I read a lot.  I love audiobooks.  I listen as I walk around my house and clean.  I love print media.  I say up late and read old books while my wife sleeps.  I love my Ipad.  I keep my wife up late as I read next to her.  So when DnD fiction comes out, I go buy it and read it.  I won’t say it up to King’s level, but I’m not looking for that.  I want people to have adventures in worlds that I play in.  I want to read about people in the Forgotten Realms.  I want to see skyships in Eberron.  I want adventures in Dark Sun.  AND, I want the people to, at least tangentially, follow the rules my characters have to follow.  Make no mistake;  I’m not a guy counting fireballs in a fight as I read, but the healing cleric shouldn’t be able to pull off a fireball without some serious ‘splainin’ to do.  And this is why a specific breed of author works well in these books.  You have to follow the rules of the game, and that limits your creativity a lot.  It’s hard work to write.  I’m not even good, and it’s hard.  If you don’t believe me, then I implore you to do NaNoRiMo.  In one month, pound out 50,000 words.  If you can do it, THEN do it while following fake rules.  If you do that, then my hats off to you.

Now here is where rules hurt and help a book set in a world.  I want to introduce something called ludonarrative.  Here is a link explaining it for the video game crowd.  He also goes into why it’s a bad term, but since it’s established I’m going to use it for a bit.  For ludonarrative, it’s how well the story and the rules of the game mess together.  If in a cut scene your character can fly, but when you get to play the game for real, you can’t, than there is a problem.  That’s the basics.  I hit this hard when I played Batman Arkham Asylum on Hard difficulty; in the cut scenes Batman would one-two punch bad guys to the floor, but when I played for real, I might as well have been using cold ramen noodles to beat them down instead of his punches.  In the end, I felt disconnected from the game.

How does this affect my Eberron play experiences?  Well, if you read the fiction of Eberron, its primarily set in a world of 3.5 DnD.  And that’s OK.  However, when you play 4e DnD, the world doesn’t “work” as well.  Now, I’m not saying you can’t ‘make’ it work, but I would read through things in the book like a dual wand wielding wizard (alliteration!) and be amazed.  But when I got to the 4e table, I could use a wand once an encounter and then be sad as a free action.

Why did this happen?  Well, the quickest explanation is in 3.5 magic is broken. (ah I can feel the angry from here!)  It’s almost impossible for a fighter to deal with a 20LvL wizard who can wish his mom away before he was born.  And, that’s OK.  Those kind of crazy things make 3.5 fun.  When I play some 3.5 Eberron, magic’s broken, so crazy wand wizards are a thing.  I feel like I’m playing the ‘real’ Eberron.  The constant nature of magic without balance really helped me feel Eberron and its world.

Does 4e do something right then?  Yes.   Arguably the longest I’ve ever played DnD is Living Forgotten realms.  And it was 4e.  The fiction matched the books, and it worked in reverse.  I loved to read about the realms in the books, and I loved to read about the rules that supported it.  It worked well together, and how well this worked together really made me enjoy my game and books that much more.

In the end, the take home message is I need fiction to match what I’m doing in game.  I’m seeing more of this with the Sundering.  Magic is changing, and it’s changing how players play.  That’s good.   I might not like the ‘how‘, but the end result will be a system that meshes well with the books and books that mesh well with the system.  And, that what any good system needs.