Daily Punch 5-16-14 Spider String Spell for DnD Next

Was watching Spider-Man and I think this spell needs to happen.  Let’s get some supes in DnD Next

 

Spider String
2nd-­level conjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 or 100 feet
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour per character level
While you are concentrating, with a flick of your wrist you can conjure a one inch think cable of of thick, sticky webbing.  The webbing does not stick to you or any other creature you want it to not stick to. The webbing may be up to 100 feet long but may only target creatures with in 60 feet.  You may climb the webbing as if climbing a knotted rope if you choose.  When you cancel the spell, all spider strings you have used vanish.
You may target a single creature with the spider string spell and you may target various portions of the creature. A creature targeted by your Spider String Spell must make a dexterity saving throw.  If the creature fails you may impose different conditions to the creature such as blinded if targeting eyes or sensory organs, restrained if targeting limbs, deafened if targeting ears or similar.  You may also target objects to grab them or seal them in place with the spider string.
On a failed save,the creature is restrained as long as it remains in the spider string or until it breaks free.  You may spend additional turns adding more spider string to a target to add more conditions or to increase the save DC by 1 to a maximum of +10 on the initial save DC.  Other creatures can assist a creature with a saving throw as an action giving the creating affected by spider string advantage on the saving throw.
A creature restrained by the webs can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. If it succeeds, it is no longer restrained.
Spider strings are flammable. Any 5-­‐foot-­‐area of spider string exposed to fire burns  away at the start of your next turn.The fire spreads 5 feet at the end of each turn until the spider string burns away. Any creature that starts its turn in an area of burning spider string takes 2d4 fire damage.
Material Components: A bit of spiderweb.

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Book Bout-Book review of The Sentinel: The Sundering, Book V

Book– The Sentinel: The Sundering, Book V

Author – Troy Denning

Price- $8

TL;DR– Not bad, but Sundering formulaic 80%

Basics– How faithful are you?  Kleef stands as the last worshiper of Helm, the dead god of law and service in Toril.  As a watchman he is dragged into a struggle to save two chosen of two different gods have stolen a power artifact of a third god to inspire a divine love triangle with two other gods.  Along the way, a third chosen is dragged into service to try to save Toril.  Can Kleef stand firm in the Forgotten Realms as even his god has seemed to abandon him as he travels to world to save it?

Setting– This is a fairly standard Forgotten Realms story.  The world and story feel like it’s in the Realms as lots of the high notes that have been going through the world are mentioned.  The story does go to some specific Realms spots so it is a Realms story.  As this is primarily a traveling story, the pace makes set building a bit hard and that makes the setting and story suffers a little. 4.5/5

Characters– I felt that characters were a bit off.  Nothing horrible, but the seemed somewhat wishy-washy.  The most fleshed out and stable character was the chosen of the death god.  I felt sometimes the choices the characters made were not the real choice or action the characters should have made.   It’s not story ending, but it did affect my enjoyment a bit. 3.5 /5

Story– The story isn’t bad.  It’s basically the Lord of the Rings in a single book.  That’s not bad as most Dungeons and Dragons quests are like that, but having more time to build sets would help a traveling story.  This book is one of the shorter Sundering books which is good as some stories have dragged on a bit longer then they should.  But, it’s also bad as this book could have used a bit of padding in some places.  4/5

Summary– This isn’t a bad book.  If you’re reading the Sundering like me, then this is one of the better ones.  If you want an introduction to the Realms, then this might not be the best book for you.  The book follows the standard Sundering formula, but don’t let that distract you.  If you want to learn about the return of some of the more important Toril gods, then this is right up you alley.  80%

Silver Screen Smackdown- Movie Review of Captain America-The Winter Soldier

Movie– Captain America-The Winter Soldier

 

tl;dr– Better than the original 100%

 

Basics-Captain America is back!  This time, something is dirty in SHIELD.  Can Cap find what’s wrong before the three new helicarriers are launched?  Along the way a new villain appears., but  WHO is the Winter Soldier?

 

Plot- This is the best spy thriller I’ve seen in a long time.  All the plot elements make sense for the established characters.  This even follows the good sequel rules by expanding the characters AND building the world not just repeating the same things again.  Top Notch.  5/5

 

Acting- Again, this is amazing.  All the actors make the characters they are come to life.  Every character FEELS like who they are while BUILDING who they are.  Again, well done. 5 /5

 

Visuals- The movie looks great.  Everybody looks like they should.  And, the world looks amazing.  Heck, most of the third act is CGI and I loved every minute of it. 5/5

 

Summary- This is an amazing movie.  Why haven’t you gone to see this yet?  Honestly, it’s better than the original. 100%

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Champions of Balance

Product– Pathfinder Player Companion- Champions of Balance

Producer-Paizo

Price– $20 or $13 for PDR

System– Pathfinder

TL;DR– Slight story concerns, but awesome character options.93%

 

Basics– Time for the epic battle of good vs. neutral!  Champions of Balance covers the hows and whys of neutral characters.  The first section covers the types of neutral characters (LN, N, and CN).  Next the book discusses neutral countries and organizations.  From here, the book introduces new character options from new subdomains, ninja tricks, feats, spells, orders, archetypes, magic items, and a prestige class.

 

Fluff or Theme– I liked and didn’t like this one.  The story and backgrounds of neutral characters is well written, but it didn’t hook me.  I didn’t hate reading it, but neutral characters have an uphill battle for getting me as a motivation.  What I saw was well done, but it just isn’t what I want in a character.  And I think many other readers will have the same problem. 4/5

 

Crunch or Mechanics– This was really well done!  There is an amazing amount of stuff in this book.  Almost all the classes get a bit of stuff even more than most of the player companion line.  Even if you don’t care about neutral characters, this one is worth a look for the plethora of options alone.  5/5

 

Execution– This one is as well done as any of the other player option book.  Lots of art and well done layouts make this a pleasure to read.  Well done. 5/5

 

Summary– This book might not have hooked me on story, but everything else is amazing.  If you play or want to play a neutral character, then you need this to make a well done and flesh out character.  Even if you want some character option, this is an excellent book. 93%

Daily Punch 4-15-14 Technique Not Strength Quality for Shadowrun 5e

Been reading Run and Gun.  Its amazing!  Going to take me a few more days to read through it, but here is something I’ve been thinking about…

 

 

Technique Not Strength -10 karma

You know how to properly perform what you’ve been taught.  You’re not like the oafs out there who just use their muscles to get the job do, you have technique.  When you perform a non attack action that uses strength like Clinch or throw person, you use your agility in place of your strength.

 

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Eclipse

Game– Eclipse

Producer-Asmodee

Price– ~$100 !

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 50min/play (2-6 players)

TL;DR– Some minor issues, but a great game. 90%

 

Basics– Eclipse is a four X game (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate).  Players take the role of different races or group as they explore the galaxy following the fall of the “galactic UN.”  Each turn, players use influence disks to dictate which action they will take.  These actions range from moving ships, building ships, exploring, researching new technology, upgrading their fleets, or moving influences disks on the main board.  When you explore you can also move influence disks to the board and colonize planets.  Colonizing planets allows you to move population cubes from your player board to main board increasing your resources which are research (upgrades), money (actions), or materials (ships).  Players may take as many turns as they want, BUT each action costs more money.  At the end of a turn if you don’t have enough money or resources to exchange for money you have to remove influence disks from the main board which also removes any population resource production cubes you have on the main board planets too.  Combat is quick.  Each player rolls six sided dice adding and subtracting numbers based on the type of weapons, computers, and shield the ships may have.  If you have a six after math or a natural six, you hit the enemy.  Different weapons do different types of damage causing either one, two, or four damage on a hit.  The game continues for nine rounds.  At the end of the ninth round players score points for space sections controlled, research, battles, diplomatic relations, and discoveries.  The player with the most victory points has led their civilization to victory across the galaxy!

 

Mechanics- This game looks complex, but it’s actually pretty simple. Action selection is done very simply by moving discs on your player board.  However, that is deceptively simple.  You can take as many actions as you want, but balancing growing your society and paying off your debts.  I like that aspect of the game.  Also, it’s amazingly fun to build up your ships via research and upgrades, throw lots of plastic ships on the board, and then destroy your opponents in war!  However, the game walks a bit of a fine line playing like a Eurogame AND an American Style Game.  Players randomly explore a galaxy, receive technologies, and get ancient technology, but randomness sometimes can really hurt a good strategy.  That can put a few players off.  Also, once you explore all the available tiles, the game inevitably turns to conflict.  The galaxy of infinite, but the play space isn’t.  The last turn is always build some ships then destroy the others guys ships.  That predictability kind of hurts the experience. 4/5

 

Theme- The game does have a solid theme.  I do feel like a space faring race exploring the galaxy.  Also, the different powers of each race do make the game feel that much more like different creatures.  The “borg” have cheap ships while one alien is a plant that spreads quickly across the galaxy.  The instructions give a nice run down on each alien race too.  I’d like a bit more, but it’s not bad.  4.5/5

 

Instructions- As I said before, the game is pretty simple, but the designers had to work hard to make the simple show through.  It would be easy to confuse the players with this many options.  However, the instructions are well done and even dedicate several pages to a turn by turn walkthrough of the game.  There are LOTS of pictures to help explain things as well as several breaks in text.  The instructions are 32 pages, but you can easily read through them in 30 minutes and understand the game.  Well done! 5/5

 

Execution- This one is an uphill battle.  The retail price of the game is $100!  That’s a lot of money for a game, but this game has lots of stuff in the box.  It’s a heavy box full of lots of cardboard and plastic.  The pieces are well done and the cardboard is nice and chunky.  Hard the shuffle, but for 100 bucks, I expect something pretty substantial.  The colors are nice and the iconography works well once you read the rules.  I like what I see, but I still think 100 is a bit high.  If you can get this at a con for $70, then do it!  4.5/5

 

Summary- This is a fun way to spend an evening with some friends.  It will take you about 15 minutes to get the rules down pat, and you can take off right away.  You do feel like different races fighting one another for dominance, but beware of the late game fights and randomness.  If you know it’s coming, then you can prepare for it! 90%

Ring Side Report- Video Game Review of Grand Theft Auto 5

Video Game– Grant Theft Auto 5

Producer– Rockstar Games

Price– ~$50

TL;DR– Slight story issues, but a fun ride! 93%

 

Basics– Time to go back to the GTA universe again!  GTA5 is the newest game in the GTA series, and this one pulls out all the stops.  For the first time, players play as three different characters.  First players are introduced to Franklin, a black man trying to find success in a world against him.  Over the course of a repossession scheme, he meets Michael, a former bank robber who is living under the protection of the Federal Investigation Bureau.  Michael starts to mentor Franklin as Michael resents his retirement.  Together they piss off the local mob leading to Michael having to go back to his old bank robbing ways.  This tips off Trevor, Michael’s former bank robbing partner and all around sociopath, that Michael is alive.  Trevor begins to look for Michael causing all kinds of hell along the way.  Together these three are drawn into a web of the FIB, the agency, Chinese drug cartels, movie stars, and local hoods as they deal with success, money, and life.

 

Story- I wouldn’t call this game the story of the year, but it’s not just stupid shooting either.  The character have a life of their own are well executed.  Even Trevor, who kills someone in his opening cut scene, ends up somewhat likeable.  They all have their own, well-defined personalities.  You will have your favorite, but all of them are good additions to the story.  The story has some issues with purpose as the characters only motivation at some points is to deal with the world around them instead of their own goals.  I would put this more akin to Oceans 12 as it’s a heist story, but motivated by the villain instead of the characters.  Not bad, but not Oceans 11. 4/5

 

Mechanics and Play- Rockstar did an awesome job with this one.  It’s easy to get lost in the world.  There are several radio stations each with their own personalities.  There is a whole aspect of the stock market where characters can make millions.  Even the missions where its go to X and steal Y are not that boring as the missions have enough variety to make it interesting.  Speaking of missions, the game has bite size chunks of story in its missions, so if you just want to spend only an hour playing, you can!  Heck even the story is delivered via driving.  The game has cut scenes, but more often than not, two characters will drive through the country and talk.  You control the car, so it’s not a boring monolog between two characters.  It feels organic, and you feel involved.  In addition, you get to play in the air, on the land, and in the sea.  YOU GET TO SWIM! 5/5

 

Delivery and Execution- Again Rockstar hits a home run.  This game has so many small touches you will lose count.  Road sounds when you drift out of lane, the internet, the cell phones, the noises a car makes when you turn it off.  You feel like you’re in a different world.  Very little is left out when the crafted this world.  Heck, it’s even a multimedia experience as you can download a real app to your physical phone and train a dog!  The net result is the world and these characters feel like something you could be part of even after killing five people with a stolen car.  The newest part is heists.  In heists, you decide on two different ways to perform a robbery, choose the team, and then assemble the parts.  It’s a fun change from the go here, kill a guy/steal a thing, drive away formula.  I really enjoyed it! 5/5

 

Summary- I liked this one.  It might not be true love, but man is it fun.  I really enjoyed this game and its subtle world.  It’s got some deeper themes then you would expect from a game about killing people for money, but that’s part of its charm.  It’s a worthwhile way to spend your time even if it’s just to figure out how the stock market works! 93%