Daily Punch 10-21-14 Dragon Warrior Fighter Archetype for DnD 5e

I’ve been thinking about the Eldrich Knight archetype, and I thought there should be one for the charisma based casters out there.  Here’s my contribution:

 

Dragon Warrior

Somewhere in your family line was a dragon.  It might be something open to all.  It might be a secret passed down through the generations.  Or, it might be unknown to anyone.  But, for some reason, it shows in your.  You’re starting to look a lot like someone you may never have met, as well as, being able to tap into power that most people in your family and most mortals can only dream of.

 

Spellcasting

At 3rd Level, you gain the ability to cast spells as a Sorcerer.  Use the Spellcasting rules of the Eldrich Knight (PHB 75), except you cast using your charisma modifier instead of intelligence.

 

Dragon Ancestry

At 3rd level, you must choose a draconic ancestor using the types presented on page 102 of the Players Hand Book.  Once choose, you may not change this type.  Based on the type of dragon chosen, you gain resistance to the type of damage associated with that dragon.

 

Elemental strike

Beginning at 7th level, when you your action to cast a spell that does the damage of the type associated with your Dragon Ancestry, you can an extra action to make a weapon attack.

 

Draconic Metamorphosis

At 10th level you begin to change to look like your draconic progenitor.  Your body gains scales and possibly small horns as your fore-father/fore-mother.  This makes most conventional armor all but useless, but your natural armor gives your AC equal to 16+dexterity.

 

Draconic Breath

At 15th level, you gain the ability to perform a breath attack as a dragonborn (PHB 34).  The DC for this save is not based on your constitution, but based on your charisma.

Dragon Wings

At 18th level, your metamorphosis completes as you gain a pair of dragon wings.  These are permanent wings that grant you a flight speed equal to your normal movement speed.

 

 

Thoughts?

Blurbs from the Booth-What the Heck is a Throat Punch Games?!

Hi, I’m Dr. Edward Alan Kabara, Ph.D., and I, along with my wife, run Throat Punch Games (http://www.throatpunchgames.com).  I started Throat Punch Games after GenCon one year.  I wasn’t in a supper happy place in my life as my current job wasn’t very fulfilling, I had just moved to a town with NO board games or RPGs groups, and I just wasn’t happy.  So, I decided to be creative.  I’ve always loved RPG and board games, but I didn’t know how to make my own.  To be honest, I still might not, but after having spent the con talking to tons of the industry leaders, the best way to get into the industry was JUST START CREATING!  If you want to paint, paint.  If you want to make video games, start to program.  If you want to be something, then start to be that something.  That first few things you make will be crap (most likely).  The first cake you bake will be crappy and misshapen.  The first thing you draw will look like crap.  And, the first feats I made were not the best.  But, a master has failed more times than a beginner has even tried.  Thus, I’ve made it my (week) daily mission to develop my favorite games.  I’ll keep banging on this website till I get something awesome to fall out.  And, I invite any criticism you have!  Tell me it sucks.  Tell me I’m stupid.  Tell me exactly why what I proposed will break the game.  But, tell me your thoughts.  I’d like to know what you think.  It’s the only way I can get better.

Over time, I’ve added a few things to my weekly lineup.  Mondays, I do a board game review.  I love board games, and I figured I should put my thoughts out there on game design and the games I play.  Wednesdays, I do an RPG review.  Some days it’s a whole system and other days it’s a simple module.  Fridays….I *try* to put up an opinion piece on something.  This is one of those.  These reviews and opinion pieces are where my wife is most helpful.  I love games, but the weakest subject for me in school was always writing.  I’ve keep working on it, but it’s never going to be my favorite thing to do.  Thus, I decided to make a website where I pound out 5-10,000 words a week. (Hay, you don’t have to be a smart person to get a Ph.D., just a persistent one!)  My wife loves English and wields it like a repair man fixing all my flaws.  So, blame her for when a participle is still dangling!  I’ve also added book, video game, and movie reviews to the lineup, but those happen when I finish some media that has a relation to gaming in any way.

Where will Throat Punch Games go next?  Well, I’d like to use this website as a spring board to some industry involvement.  I’m still a scientist, and I don’t want to stop being one.  But, one day I’d like to see my name as a developer, designer, or author of some major RPG and board game products.   That’s the big goal, but I’d also like to expand the website.  First, I’d like to learn how to make this thing look better.  I’ve done some web design before.  That’s crappy hard coded HTML, not fancy Dreamweaver.  However, with some learnin’, I’m sure I can make this look better.  With the website up and running, I next plan to work on our podcast.  I’m working behind the scenes assembling the greatest geek minds I can to get a podcast up and rolling.  We’re looking to December to get the first one out the door, but this is a process and much harder than I thought.  Also, Ph.D. stand for poor, hungry doctor, and these things take money!  With an every-three-weekly podcast moving forward, I’m also working on a YouTube channel reviewing board games and RPGs.  That’s much further down the line and much more expensive as good cameras cost money!

 

Where does the name come from?

Let me reveal the secrets of where Throat Punch Games come from…for it is a tale of children, violence, and bored gamers.  My closest siblings are 18 years younger than me.  Same mother, same father, same everything, but my parents had just moved to a much larger house and wanted to finally expand the family after living in a double wide trailer for 16 years.  My sister is even younger than that as we’re over 24 years apart.  Well, one day I was at home visiting from grad school.  I was putting on my socks getting ready to go out and help with some chores.  My sister, as carefully and as stealthfuly as only a as a 4 year can manage (which is to say not at all), snuck up to my other sock on the chair, grabbed it, and hid it behind her back.  She then quietly tried to hide the fact she was walking away with her face turned to me as I stared her right in the eyes, backwards walked to a corner of the house, and throw my sock down a hall far from me.  She strode up toward me, looked me in the eye and said “Ha, Ha, socks all gone!”

I responded as an adult…by grabbing the collar of her shirt, looking her in the eye and saying, “You’re so lucky you’re cute, or I’d punch you in the throat!”

She giggled and ran away, and  I was left with a quick anecdote.   Later, when I was telling my friends about this during a Living Forgotten Realms game as I was drawing the map for an encounter, they all laughed.  This became a rallying cry for my party.  And, at the Dungeons and Dragons Expo during the battle interactive, our group was called to the center to decide the fate of the forgotten realms, and we needed a name.  Guess what name came to mind…. Announcing our group as Throat Punch! we were met with cheers. And much later when I was thinking of what the heck to call my fledgling gaming company I thought back to that con, my family, and my silly sister.

Daily Punch 10-17-14 Society Patron Vanity for Pathfinder

Played a ton of Pathfinder Society this weekend, and I was surprised by the number of people who didn’t want to roll for a day job.  Some of these people just wanted to have their characters do something else.  How about some support for those people….

 

Follower

Patron( 5pp): Be it an art collector, someone who likes to hear your stories, a leader of the Pathfinders, or a wealthy person at your church, someone has taken an interest in you.  This patron will now pay for you to adventure full time removing your need for a day job roll.  After each adventure, you gain five times your current level for your day job roll instead of rolling any skill.

 

 

Thoughts?

 

 

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of AMP: Year One and Attack of the Buzz

Product– AMP: Year One

Producer– Third Eye Games

Price– ~$15 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/132784/AMP-Year-One

TL; DR– Want some amazingly customizable superheroes? Look here! 93%

 

Basics– When they showed up, everything changed.  AMP is a near future, heroic RPG.  Players take the roles of super humans in 2015.  The mutants have only been around and in large numbers for about a year, and the world isn’t really read for what they have to offer.  Will you fight to save mankind or destroy it?  Are you here to put these monsters in their place or will you stand with the mutants?  All of these are important questions that you will have to answer as you struggle to find where you fit in.

 

Mechanics or Crunch-This is a new RPG theme and with a ton of new mechanics.  Let’s do a rundown of some of the high points that are offer.

Base mechanic-This game has echoes of its d20 past, and I mean that in a good way.  Everything in this game is a d20 + skill A + skill B or d20 + 1 1/2 skill A.  That’s it.  It’s simple, it’s quick, and it’s fun to play.  Want to treat an animal’s wound?  That’s a d20 + beast handling + medicine.  Want to shoot a gun?  That’s d20 +marksmanship*1.5.  Simple enough.  It only gets slow when both the target and the attacker have to roll to determine if a hit is a success.  In my game, I found myself just saying 10 plus the skills for the attack or defense.  That change made my game run just a bit quicker.

Character Generation-This character generation is complex but has several walkthroughs.  This is a true everything point by.  You can really screw up your character if you try to min/max and fail horribly!  Everything from your speed, to your health, to your attacks is all bought via points.  You don’t have to take any points in speed, but you will move really slowly.  I love this style of customization, but newer RPG players really need to look over the example characters to make a useable character.  Unlike DnD5e where you make about five choices, when you make your character in AMP, you have at least 20+ decisions to make.  It’s easy to do as the math of the system doesn’t operate like the point buy from Shadowrun 4e, but don’t expect your first character to be made in five minutes.

Loyalties-One thing I wanted to point out from the character generation was loyalties.  This game has lots of different themes that are really well integrated into the mechanics.  One way that is done is with loyalties.  When you make a character you decide how important various aspects of your life are.  These range from your community, yourself, and to lovers you may have.  Each rank in these provides in game bonuses with ranks varying from rank zero to rank five.  I like the addition of mechanical benefits from role-playing choices, and these loyalty ranks really provide that connection.

Powers-It wouldn’t be a superhero RPG without superhero powers.  Powers come from several different general areas ranging from batteries (you store up energy) to behemoths (you are the Hulk!).  These powers all have augmentations that provide extra benefits like the behemoth has the crush augmentation that adds extra damage on melee attacks or the bolt ability which allows you to fire elemental blasts at people.  Most of these powers are dependent to on Juice.  Juice can be thought of as adrenalin, and it powers the superpowers of the heroes and villains.  Each broad category has a number of smaller augments that you get as you level up in the power.  Some categories have several different augmentations, while some only have a few.  It’s a quick and easy way to broadly provide the foundation for lots of different hero powers, options, and flavors.  Some of the names might be somewhat confusing, but looking over the powers the descriptions provide the rules and the story to how each power works.

Summary-The mechanics of this book are well done.  The game provides near endless customization and the ability to create the heroes and villains you want to be and see.  The new ideas such as the loyalties are excellent mechanics that other RPGs should employ that really developed the mechanics and the theme together.  However, this isn’t perfect.  Some aspects are a tad fiddly such as rolling for both attack and defense on both sides of the GM screen.  It’s not the worst thing in the world, but sometimes dealing with the amount of rolling in combat can be annoying.  Also, character generation is somewhat difficult.  If you know what you’re doing, you get all the tools you need to make any hero, but if you are just by yourself readying a character for a friend’s game, you might be lost in the amount of options you have to choose from.  4.75/5

 

Theme or Fluff- The basic story of AMP year One is that after World War I governments around the world worked on a super soldier project to stop war altogether.  Over the generations, the children of the experiments developed these super powers and passed them on.  Now, lots of super powered people are emerging.  How will the world change because of this?  What kind of person will you be?  This is a standard comic book intro, and this is semi-cheesy.  But, its super powered people.  You have to expect a little cheese in that territory.  Just look at the number to times Batman has died and come back to understand.  While it might not be my absolute favorite intro story, it does leave a lot of room for the GM to design a story in the near future world of 2015.  The first half of the book describes the history of the future, and provides lots of different story hooks as well as doing an excellent job of introducing the various groups at play in the lives of the mutants. Does this feel like the X-Men?  Good!  This RPG specifically mentions that as one of the main inspirations behind the themes of the game.  And since there is no currently published X-Men RPG out there, this is the best solution if you want to play in that world.  I think AMP does a great job driving home its theme while providing lots of different stories for the GM to run. 4.75.5

 

Execution– AMP is done fairly well.  The powers section is a bit wordy, but all the powers get nice flow charts explaining what augments you have to take to take the next one.  A little more art would be nice as well as color, but for a black and white book, it’s done really well.  The font, words, and layout all work well, and the hyperlinks don’t make my iPad slow to a crawl.  I would have liked a few more pre-generated antagonists for the PCs to face as well as a better guide on how to generate encounters.  But, on the whole this is a well done book that was fun to read. 4.5/5

 

Summary-If you want to play a free form superhero RPG?  Then, pick up this book.  The mechanics are simple, the powers work well, and the execution is great.  I have my minor gripes, but overall, this is a fun super hero RPG that isn’t too crazy or cheesy.  The world is fresh and interesting while providing enough open-endedness to give the GMs free reign in the stories they want to tell.  I was actually pretty entertained by the story that this book had to tell.  Since the tile of the book is AMP Year One, I hope the authors keep up with other AMP books or splat books to keep the metastory going.  93 %

 

How about two products today?  Here is the first adventure for the AMP Year One RPG-Attack of the Buzz!

 

Product– Attack of the Buzz

Producer– Third Eye Games

Price– ~$3 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/137727/Attack-of-the-Buzz-Adventure-for-AMP-Year-One

TL; DR– Know your group, and this will be a blast. 90%

 

Basics- Alice, Texas is under attack! Not by the mutants that are running around but by bees! Hundreds have died, and no one knows why the bees won’t give up attacking people.  Can you and the other AMPs you travel with find out how to prevent the bees from killing the town or will you end up like the rest of the town?

 

Mechanics or Crunch-The adventure is a fun one, but there are some problems depending on who is playing.  This isn’t a bad adventure for mechanics as everything presented makes sense in the AMP work and is balanced, but bees are swarms.  And, swarms are always hard to fight.  Especially with new characters.  Some characters will be completely useless for some of the major scenes in this adventure.  If you have a super computer hacker, then that character will spend most of his/her time running from the bees.  It’s a bold move for the first adventure put out by a system to feature swarms as the main villain, and I think it hurts the fun a bit.  However, the adventure does provide some new powers as well some equipment to help smart players.  What’s here is good, but the mileage your players will get out of the module really depends on who is at the table. 4/5

 

Theme or Fluff-This is one of the major events in the AMP Year One story.  My players enjoyed being part of the world and solving a major mystery that is presented in the main book.  It was fun for the players to work out how to solve some problems as well as fighting for their lives!  Also, the major groups all have reasons to send characters to this location helps me as a GM bring all the players to this location while still allowing the players to be whatever they want to be.  I didn’t feel like I had to shoehorn my players into this one size fits all adventure. 5/5

 

Execution-This product was laid out like the AMP Year One core book.  Overall, that’s good as I like the text, font, and layout, but I felt this lacked a few things.  Alice, Texas doesn’t have a map.  That was somewhat troubling.  However, I did like the fact that there is some new art like the main villain and the bees attacking the town. The art was well done, conveyed the sense of terror from a bee swarm attacking people, but didn’t go gory.  The RPG was still pretty age neutral, and that makes the super hero genera fun.  I would have liked a bit more art, but for the price of the module, it’s worth it.  4.5/5

 

Summary-As a mod that’s a cold intro to the system, this one might not be favorite.  The main enemies that are thrown against the player are kind of hard to deal with when players have limited resources and powers.  That said, if your players know that swarms are a problem here and they can plan accordingly, then this is a fun module.  I’d like a bit more to the module like a map, but for the price, I had fun and so did my players.  It’s a quicker mod as it doesn’t have tons of scenes, but that’s not a large problem.  If you need your AMP fix and want to learn one of the major secrets in the AMP world, this is a great way to get some more of the system. 90%

Daily Punch 10-15-14 Snake Speed alternative Monk class feature for DnD Next

How about a different class feature for the monk?

 

Snake Speed

Immediately after you are hit with an attack and the attacker is in reach, you may spend one ki point make an unarmed attacks as a reaction.  If you spend two ki points, you may make the attack before the attacker hits you with an attack as a reaction.  If the attacker is still able to make the attacks after these attack, the attack occurs as normal.  Any effects, powers, feats, or abilities that require or use Flurry of Blows allow apply to this ability instead unless specifically stated different.  This ability is taken instead of Flurry of Blows.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 10-13-14 Replicator for Pathfinder

Numeria is in full swing, but I was kind of surprised that the artifacts list missed the most obvious item from Star Trek

 

 

Replicator                  Technological Artifact

Slot   none                      weight varies

Capacity   varies         Usage  See Text

 

A replicator is a box of various sizes ranging from a small foot, by foot, by foot desk model to a horse sized models.  This device will create any object that the user can describe to the device with a knowledge(engineering) check equal to the craft check of the object.  The device can only create one object per day and must be provided with enough raw materials (skymetal, gold, rocks, biological material) to create the object with the value equal to the cost of the item.  The entire process takes less the one minute but must be uninterrupted, or the object is destroyed and the components lost.  The number of charges varies based on the size of the object created.

 

Size Charges
1ftx1ftx1ft 25
4ftx4ftx4ft 125
10ftx10ftx10ft 625

 

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Among the Stars

Product– Among the Stars

Producer– Stronghold Games

Price– ~$50 here http://www.amazon.com/Among-The-Stars-Card-Game/dp/B00KD4LN36/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413249689&sr=8-1&keywords=among+the+stars

Set-Up/Play/Clean-Up-One Hour (2-4 players)

TL; DR– Builds well on the drafting mechanic with a fun theme 97%

 

Basics– The galactic war is over, but how will peace proceed?  In Among the Stars players take the roles of different alien races building a communal space station to serve as neutral territory after an intergalactic apocalypse.  Players build their space stations over four rounds.  Each round a player receives some location tiles. Each turn, a player selects one tile and can either pay to build that location, discard it for money, or discard it to buy and build a reactor (some tiles need power that reactors provide).  Then, all players will pass the remaining tiles to either the right or the left.  The player then builds onto his or her station or collects money.  Some locations give instant points while others provide points at the end of the game.  A round continues until you only have two location tiles left.  After selecting your last tile, you discard the other, receive a new hand of tiles, and the game continues.  After three more rounds, the player with the most points wins.

 

Mechanics-I love drafting games.  I love planning and tile laying games.  This combines them booth beautifully.  Each choice you make maters and you never feel like you can’t do something.  Also, the alien races provide interesting powers that help you plan your moves.  This game feels like a combination of Suburbia, Carcassonne, and Seven Wonders, and that’s great company to be in. 5/5

 

Theme- The theme is good here, but not perfect.  The basic story is the alien races declared peace after a giant war.  The instruction book does an excellent job explaining all the nuances of the war and the races which I enjoyed.  However, the fact that this isn’t a co-op game loses some of the theme for me.  The story of cooperation is somewhat lost when the different races have to fight over who builds the better station.  I love the details and art that build this world, but the story and the mechanics fight at bit in the execution. 4.5/5

 

Instructions-The instructions are well written and easily describe the game.  The mechanics are not difficult to understand, and the rules explain them well.  After the rules, the book spends most of its time describing the game universe.  Since this world is well developed, it’s a nice addition to the game and the story you get to play in. 5/5

 

Execution-I like the tiles, I like the art, and I like the pieces.  The components are all well done.  I would have liked a bag to shuffle the tiles in, as it’s always harder to shuffle tiles compared to cards.  But, what is here is well done. 4.8/5

 

Summary– A friend of mine brought this game with him when he stayed at my house for a weekend.  I played once and asked my local gaming store to pick this up right away.  It’s a great game that has a lot of replay.  The randomness of the tiles and the different races all provide a different experience each time you play it.  The story might not be perfect, but it does draw you in a bit.  The mechanics are a combination of all the things I love to make something better.  You can’t go wrong with this game. 97%