Daily Punch 1-29-14 HIT THE DECK! Positive quality in Shadowrun

How about some more love for Shadowrun 5e?



Karma Cost: 10 Points

You see things that most miss, and It’s save your life on more the one occasion.  When you are targeted by a ranged attack (physical or magical), you may make a perception + intuition (mental) check and reduce your initiative by 10.  If your roll beats the attackers dice roll for the attack, you may drop to prone out of turn.  If this places any objects between you and the attack the attacker fires but misses you completely.  You take any normal modifiers to the perception roll, but you do not take any modifiers due to the type of attack roll to your perception check.  If you fail to notice the attack, you roll defense as normal.  Us must be aware of the attack to use this quality.

Ring Side Report- RPG Review Pathfinder Society Adventure #5-8 The Confirmation

Product– Pathfinder Society Adventure #5-8 The Confirmation


System– Pathfinder

Price– $4

TL;DR– An excellent introductory adventure for any PFS player 97%


Basics- Time to earn your stripes Pathfinders!  This adventure is the capstone of any Pathfinders training.  Players get to go on an expedition with an experienced bard as they try to understand why Gillmen are journeying to an old cave each month.  Along the way the PCs and their guide are separated and the PCs must continue the mission alone.  After discovering the mystery, the PCs face off against a climactic battle at the end of the mission.


Story- This is a fun one.  As a GM, I get to learn lots about the Pathfinder Society history and organization.  The players get to learn about the ancient history of the world as well as bits of Chronicle lore.  The basics of the adventure is a dungeon crawl, but the extra bits make it that much more fun.  5/5


Mechanics– This is a fast paced one.  It’s aimed at newer players so the game doesn’t have lots of show stopper enemies.  The last enemy is pretty tough, but over the course of the adventure the party gets some help from their guide.  What the adventure does have is random encounter tables.  That’s new to me, and it makes the adventure more fun. For the PCs the best part of the adventure will be the rewards.  I promise if you are a Pathfinder and low level, DO THIS ONE JUST FOR WHAT YOU GET AT THE END! 5/5


Execution- I liked this one, but it’s got a few minor problems.  The adventure is aimed at newer players. But, most newer players will need some help with their characters and turns will take a bit longer.  That’s not bad, but the adventure has a lot packed into it.  That’s good for experienced people, but for new players it’s a bit much.  Otherwise the layout is great.  Every major person and the last bad guy get a nice picture.  A good adventure.  4.5/5


Summary- This is a fun one.  It’s worth your time as a GM and as a player.  Go out and play this one! 97%

Ring Side Report- Dual Review of Pirates of the Inner Seas and Isles of the Shackles!

How about a dual review?  I’m late, so two should make up for being lazy!


Product– Pathfinder Player Companion Pirates of the Inner Sea



TL;DR-  Not much magic, but a darn fine book 93%


Basics- Ah hoy landlubber!  It’s time to be bad guys!  Pirates of the Inner Sea discusses being a pirate in Golarion, Pathfinder’s default setting.  The book opens with a chapter discussing different pirate histories of the inner sea ranging from sanctioned privateers all the way to all and out pirates.  Next the book moves to different pirate gear.  After gear, several different archetypes are introduced as well as the Inner Sea Pirate prestige class.  The book then discusses Besmara, the god of Pirates and sea monsters.  After Besmara, the book introduces a few pirate focused spells and then pirate codes and rules aboard ship.


Mechanics–  I liked this book, but it’s not perfect.  The prestige class is a nice pirate focused martial character.  The archetypes are great pirate focused changes to the core classes.  The magic spells build upon what you would expect a pirate would need.  The gear is cool.  All that is great, but I felt like magic was a bit left out.  The spells are good, but there are not many of them.  Spell casters didn’t really get any pirate focused prestige classes.  The bard got one, but his stuff didn’t focus on magic.  It’s good for what you get, but it leaves half the available classes out. 4/5


Theme-  This book is amazingly theme-tastic.  I liked all the different kinds of pirates discussed in the book.  I can play a scallywag, but at the same time I can be a good guy as an Andorian privateer.  I can play evil and play a slaver.  Awesome.  The book ends with a small section on terminology and pirate codes.  The codes give the feel of being on a lawless ship where someone has to hold court.  The terms make my home game that much more interesting when I bust out random phrases to get my players into the game.  Besmara has a nice pirate feel for a god who really doesn’t care what you do! 5/5


Execution- The book is arranged well.  I loved what I saw.  The art is beautiful.  The test isn’t hard to read.  I’d like bigger, but then Paizo would have to cut stuff.  I enjoyed reading this.  Standard Paizo quality. 5/5


Summary–  If you want to play pirates in Pathfinder, then go pick this up.  If you want to fight pirates then go get this.  In both cases, you need this book to make your game that much better.  If you plan to run a game inland with absolutely no water, then don’t get this book.  All and all I liked what I saw and can’t wait to put more of it to use in my home game. 93%


and now the second review


Product– Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Isles of the Shackles



TL;DR- An amazing textbook of the Shackles 97%


Basics- It’s time to set sail in the most lawless island of all Golarion!  This book discusses the different major populated islands of the Shackles, the pirate islands of the Inner Sea of Golarion.  The first part of the book give a major island by island run down of each isles people, towns, races, languages, religions, and what you can plunder from the towns there.  Each island gets its own story seeds for your game.  After the islands, the book shows different random encounter tables as well as new Shackles specific monsters for you to throw in your home game ranging from a CR 1/2 pirate to the CR23 Blood Queen.


Mechanics–  This book is only about 1/4 mechanics with new monsters and random encounter tables.  I the monsters and well done and most of them are flavored for high seas battles.  Don’t read this book expecting new crazy rules, but what’s presented is done well.   5/5


Theme- Most of this book is stories of fantasy places.  It does read like a geology and history text book, which can get a little boring even at the best of times.  What’s there is great and the seeds that are set in the book do give you a lot of places to run with if you want to run a Shackles campaign.  I’d have liked a section on the Isle of Empty Eyes since that’s where the players end up in the Skull and Shackles adventure path.  4.5/5


Execution- The book is well put together as you would expect from Paizo.  I’ll admit I did take a few breaks to read this as it is primarily a history textbook of a fantasy place.  Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing textbook of a fake place and its well written with a nice layout so I can read it easily.  But, it does get a bit long as you march from one island to the next. 5/5


Summary–  If you want to play in the Shackles, this is the book for you.  I liked this one a lot.  It will take a bit to march through, but if you can pull through you will enjoy what you fine.  Most likely though, this is a GM only book.  97%

Daily Punch 1-28-14 Defensive Training Positive Quality in Shadowrun 5e

How about something not brutal and back to Shadowrun?


Defensive Training

Cost: 7 Karma

You’ve spent time learning how to take a punch up close.  It might have been a penny-ante karate school when you were a child or the mean streets when you were older, but either way you know how to not get knocked down and to get back up again!  The character gains a +2 dice pool modifier to all melee defense rolls and a +2 dice pool modifier to all rolls to resist melee damage.  You may also stand up as a free action.

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of The Witches: A Discworld Board Game

Game-The Witches

Producer-MayFair Games

Price- $50

Set-Up/Play/Clean-Up– 2 Hours

TL;DR- A fun, non-competitive, competitive game 87.5%


Basics-Welcome to Discworld!  Take the role of the younger witches of Lancre.  Players take turns setting out random problems.  Then players get to do two actions after moving.  The actions are solving problems or having tea.  When you want to solve a problem, you roll two dice.  You can then play cards or run away.  If you don’t run away, you roll two more dice.  If your total beats the number on the problem, you take the problem for its points.  If you fail, you must move away and take a cackle token.  Ones on the dice are cackles; cackles are tokens you take and when you can’t take any you gain negative points.  Instead of solving a problem after moving, players can have tea with other players at your space and remove cackle counters from everyone involved.  There are two types of problems: minor and major.  For every two minor problem’s you solve, you increase your hand size by 1.  For every two major problems you solve, you gain a permanent +1 to your dice pool.  The game ends when all the problems are solved or until a situation where everybody loses occurs.  If the problems are all solved, then the player with the most points wins.


Mechanics-This came is competitive, but there is no fighting between players.  This is an interesting experience.  Someone wins, but you can’t really hurt them at all.  Everybody can lose if you don’t work together, but you have to play smart to make sure that doesn’t happen.  I honestly enjoy the experience.  You cheer other players on since if they don’t win it gets worse for everybody.  The simple mechanics of rolling four dice make turns go fast.  Cards give you powers, bonus to your rolls, or movement abilities.  The whole game works well together. 5/5


Theme- The game does make the Lancre come alive.  All the problems of the books show up here.  Also, all the major locations from the books are here as well.  Players get to be four of the different, junior witches with each one having different starting powers.  The randomness of events does take a bit a way as the problems come up in strange combinations.  That’s not game ending, but it’s something to note. 4.5/5


Instructions- The instructions are not great.  They get the point across, and there is a nice cheat sheet.  But, the Board Game Geeks forums are full of questions that should have been answered in the instruction book. 3/5


Execution- Tokens are nice quality cardboard.  The board and cards all have beautiful artwork that looks like the artwork from the books.  I liked what I saw when I opened the box. 5/5.


Summary- If you like Arkham Horror and the Discworld novels, this is an instabuy.  If you want a game with a winner, but no real losers, then this is a great game.  It’s fun to play a game with your family where you don’t compete so much as just try to be the best.  I love this game, my wife loves this game, and most likely you will love this game. 87.5%


My Love/Hate Relationship with the Battle Interactive

It’s almost Winter Fantasy, one of my favorite cons out there.  This is the first place I ever played in a battle interactive.  So for this week’s column, I’ve decided to talk about my love/hate relationship with the battle interactive.

A battle interactive is a multi table game of any RPG.  Each table acts simultaneously in the event and can even lend help to other tables.  Some battle interactive have multiple, different events occurring simultaneous while some have every table doing the same event at the same time.  Let’s give this a rundown of the good and bad at them so you know what to expect.


            Team Work-You and your friends are part of something much larger.  You get a feeling being part of the larger group while getting to see the rest of the group.  You and your closest over hundred friends are all gaming together at the same time.

Influence-I have a character who sacrificed himself to seal away an elemental.  His name is forever part of the Living Arcanis world.  Throat Punch, my gaming guild, is known for trying to prevent the capture of Myth Drannor from secret demons.  I have personally affected games that many people play.  I take pride in that.

Prestige-Battle Interactives are few and far between.  If you’re part of one, other players will want to learn about what happened at it.  You’re famous!

Reward-Battle Interactives are rare experiences.  When you do them, you travel far and wide to get there.  You play for long hours.  And, the organizers reward you for it.  Battle interactives have some of the best loot/boons that any event in a living game can offer.



            Time- Battle interactive are about EIGHT hours.  Now eight hours of DnD is fun, but even I need a break after eight hours.  Once you’re in, you’re in, so keep that in mind when you go in to the event.

            Bad days are REALLY bad-When you have a bad day of DnD, it’s about four hours.  Maybe the dice are cold for you or maybe you’re not in a social mood today.  In either case, DnD just isn’t where you want to be today.  Battle interactive tickets are some of the first tickets to sell out so you buy those months in advance.  You don’t know what kind of DnD day you’re going into.  Now, when you play, it’s eight hours of bad DnD Day.  It still beats work, but maybe not by much.

Challenge mode!-A battle interactive isn’t your standard Living Game experience.  You don’t role-play much.  You don’t go shopping before in the town.  You don’t take things slow.  In a battle interactive it’s GO GO GO!  You will be hit with the highest challenge your party should be able to handle.  You will take your turn in under 30 seconds.  You MUST know your rules for your character.  YOU MUST BE READY!  A battle interactive is a stressful experience.  You get thrown into the hardest, most brutal fights with a timer.  You have to complete objectives that are nearly impossible, and you have to move fast enough to get them all done NOW!  If you fail you let the room and your organization down!



            Your GM- I’ve been in awesome battle interactive, but I’ve also been in not so fun ones.  Even people who play the same game don’t have to see eye to eye on how the rules work.  If you and your GM are likeminded, then it’s eight hours of fun.  If you and your GM don’t like each other, then you’re going to have a bad time!

Friends/Enemies- If you go to a battle interactive and you bring a full table with your local gaming group, get their early!  You might get a choice table with your full party and life will be great.  If you are going alone then go early and find some new friends.  Hopefully, you and they will love one another and you will make friends with some people you’ve never met before.  And it will be a glorious eight hours of gaming.  On the other hand, if you don’t know these people and you get stuck with five alpha males or power gamers or some other group you hate, then it will suck.


That said, I still love Battle Interactives.  It’s a great day of DnD.  Even a bad day is awesome.  I hope I see you at Winter Fantasy!


How about a few tips:

-Bring some drinks/food in a small cooler

-When you get a break, go to the bathroom/smoke.  Get the biology stuff done when you can!

-Veggies and fruits are your friend.  Don’t just pack chips and cookies!

-If your character is complicated, bring books and have them marked with your powers/spells.

-Be nice to your GM.  He’s here to have a good time too!

-Be nice to your fellow players.  They are your life line!

-Be able to take your turn in under a minute.  Five players plus one GM with two monster groups means 14 minute rounds if every player takes a two minute turn.  You might only get 30 minutes in a particular scene.

-GET TO THE PLACE EARLY!  For life to go smoothly, you should get their 20-15 minutes in advance.  It makes making groups easier.  It makes getting GMs easier.  It makes every facet of life easier.  DON’T BE LATE!   Same goes for breaks!

-Have fun!

Daily Punch 1-22-14 Two quick feats for Pathfinder

I’ve been going through a few of the Pathfinder Player Companions and thought of a few feats I’d like to add-


Finger Trick

You’ve done this so many times before your fingers know how to do their work on their own

Benefit: If you have a weapon that you can modify to a different fighting form, you may do one step quicker.  An example is adding a bayonet to a firearm is usually a move action, but now is a swift action.


Fast Healing

In the midst of combat, the healing prayers are right on your lips.

Prerequisites: Divine spell casting

Benefit: A number to times per day equal to your spell casting statistic’s bonus, you can cast a spell with the healing descriptor as a swift action.  This spell may not be cast from a magical device.