Daily Punch 1-29-15 Expert Social Edge idea for Shadowrun 5e

In Run and Gun on page 126, there are several combat edge ideas added to Shadowrun.  What about being able to use edge in a non-combat setting?  How about being an expert in something? (Most likely to bull drek about it latter!)

 

Expert

You’re an expert.  People know your an expert because other people say your an expert.  That’s how it works.  When you make a social test and have ranks in a knowledge skill, you can spend a point of edge to add those ranks to your dice pool.  You must explain how being an expert in the specific skill adds to the use of this skill in this context.

 

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 1-28-15 Animal Aid feat for DnD 5e

I think animals should give you a flank attract the attention of the enemies in 5e.  Let’s make that happen!

 

Animal Aid

You and your animal are a team.  You hunt as one, and you fight as one.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Increase one stat of your choice by 1 to a maximum of 20.
  • When your animal companion, familiar, or another creature under your control is engaged with an enemy, instead of using an action to attack, that creature can use an action to cause the target to grant advantage on your next attack roll against the target or cause the creature to have disadvantage on any attack or spell that does not target the animal companion, familiar, or other creature you control.

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review Machi Koro

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Product– Machi Koro

Producer– IDW Games and Foxgames

Price– $30 here http://www.amazon.com/IDW-Games-665IDW-Machi-Board/dp/B00JGHCBZA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422494958&sr=8-1&keywords=machi+koro

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 20-30 minutes (2-4 players)

Type-Euro

Depth-Light

TL; DR– A good lighter, quicker version of Settlers of Catan. 88%

 

Basics-Who’s the best mayor of Machi Koro?  In this game each player has just been elected the mayor of the city and starts with two cards that represent the building in the town along with four public works.  The building come with numbers ranging from one to 12 while the public works give you new abilities to the ability to roll two dice or reroll.  On a players turn, he or she rolls one six-sided die and every player consults the cards they have.  Some cards give you money on anyone’s turn, some only on your turn, and some steal from the player who rolled the dice.  After rolling the dice, the player can buy a card or build a public work.  Then, play continues with the next player doing the same.  The game ends when one player builds all four of their public works and is the best mayor!

 

Mechanics– This game is like a less complicated version of Settler of Catan.  That doesn’t make it bad, but it somewhat simpler.  There are some choices, but don’t look for Rococo level’s of depth or strategy here.  It’s fun and you can make some plans.  However, even the best strategy can be ruined by rolling like crap for half an hour straight.  Also, there is no real way to deal with a runaway leader.  That person either rolls something or the other players have to luck out and steal from him/her with specific buildings.  It’s fun, but has some balance issues. 3.75/5

 

Theme- The theme in this game is kind of off.  It’s cute and easy to play, but why are there up to four mayors of the same town?  I felt more like a land developer than a mayor.  I did have fun, and I did feel like I was building something, but I didn’t feel like the leader of a town.  In addition, I also don’t understand why some buildings hurt other players.  Why does my cafe steal from the other players?  It does feel light and cute, but I don’t get some of the feelings the designers hoped I would have. 3.75/5

 

Instructions– You can open this game up, read the rules, and be playing in less than five minutes.  The game isn’t super complicated, and the rules don’t over compensate things either.  I like what I’m seeing here! 5/5

 

Execution– The game is some dice, some money tokens, and some cards.  It’s not much, and others have done similar things.  But, this game is one of the best executions of these basic components.  The dice get their own separate areas of the box while the cards have nice dividers to keep things from getting messy.  Also, the art is nice and cutesy.  And the best part is all this is on some nice high quality cardboard and plastic box inserts, so the box doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall apart! 5/5

 

Summary– I love Settlers of Catan, but sometimes it’s hard to get a game in.  This one feels like Catan, but is much quicker and lighter.  You can’t expect a ton of strategy though, and the theme of being a mayor feels a bit off.  However, if you just want that quick Catan-like game experience or need an under half an hour quality game, this is a great option to have.  90%

Daily Punch 1-27-15 Star Light Strike cantrip for DnD 5e

My wife plays a druid, but she wants to stay a bit out of the way.  How about a way to do that and not have to fire a crossbow?  How about a spell?

 

Star Light Strike

Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 100 feet

Components: V,S

Duration: Instantaneous

You call the light of the stars down to scorch your opponent.  Choose one creature within range.  A target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 radiant damage.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6)

Daily Punch 1-26-15 Warrior Druid feat for DnD 5e

How about we make our druids more powerful in 5e?

 

Warrior Druid

Prerequisite: druid

You have trained your whole life to be a force of nature.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your wisdom by 1 to a maximum of 20.
  • Add your wisdom as bonus damage to any cantrip you cast that does damage.
  • When you damage an enemy in a wild shape, add your wisdom bonus to the damage.

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Shadow, Sword & Spell books, PART 2

 

Last week I reviewed Shadow, Sword & Spell: Basics, Expert, and Threats. Here-http://throatpunchgames.com/2015/01/19/ring-side-report-rpg-review-of-shadow-sword-spell-books/  This week let’s dig deeper by looking at Player, Gamemaster, and an adventure The Stew.

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Product– Shadow, Sword & Spell: Player

System– 12*

Producer– Rogue Games

Price– ~$5.25 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/127666/Shadow-Sword–Spell-Player?term=shadow%2C+sword+%26+spell%3A

TL; DR– Hard to follow the last book, but still well done.  93%

 

Basics– You know what players want? Lots more options!  This is another splat book in the same vain as Shadow, Sword & Spell: Expert.  It covers a ton of new additions to the system from rules about honor and reputation to new options for martial arts.  The biggest change in this book is the change from human-centric to now introducing the full gambit of new races.

 

Mechanics or Crunch– I really like this one for its mechanical additions to the system.  The 12* system really expands itself nicely into all the new subsystems, skills, and mechanics.  I also enjoy the addition of templates for quicker character generation.  The system is pretty easy to build characters, but the templates really do add a nice touch to the system.  Well done! 5/5

 

Theme or Fluff- S,S&S:Player adds a ton into the system, but this book doesn’t add as much to the story.  S,S&S:Expert added the world to the game.  S,S&S:Player does have story for all its elements, but it’s less than the last supplement.  Not bad, but it’s hard to keep up with a whole world. 4/5

 

Execution– S,S&S:Player shows that Rogue Games has grown as a company.  It’s still the smaller book style with nice spacing, but now with better art!  The production quality on this one is much nicer than the previous books.  Well done!  5/5

 

Summary– This book is a good book, but the victim of how good S,S&S:Expert was.  The production quality is better, but there are fewer stories in this one than Expert.  However, if you’re a player and your GM has made his/her own world, then Player have some amazing options for you!  Also for less than a Happy Meal, this is well worth it.  93%

 

Want more Shadow, Sword & Spell?  Here you go!

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Product– Shadow, Sword & Spell: Gamemaster

System– 12*

Producer– Rogue Games

Price– ~$5.25 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/133788/Shadow-Sword–Spell-Gamemaster?term=shadow%2C+sword

TL; DR– Lots of different topics in one book including the dreaded psionics.  97%

 

Basics– Well, your players got some options in S, S&S: Player, why not you, the GM?  S, S &S: Gamemaster give the GM more options for his/her games.  This book also introduces the controversial psionics to the game.  However, most of this book is more rules options that you don’t have to figure out on the fly.

 

Mechanics or Crunch– After working my way through the entire S,S&S/12* system, it’s fast becoming one of my favorite systems.  12* is really well done, and expands nicely by adding new skills to accommodate new options.  Psionics operate just like magic except you have a pool of points you spend from.  DONE!  The book also expands on the rules for running kingdoms and domains, adds ship combat, and provides new multiverse rules.  All the rules all work well and give some really nice rules that a GM can use and not have to devise on the fly.  5/5

 

Theme or Fluff- The book has rules on how cities work, but I would have really liked if the book revisited the different cities from S,S&S:Basics and Expert to provide some examples on how those cities should work.  That’s not bad, but now I have the numbers to describe what they are and revisiting would help a bit.  What this book will be really remembered as this is the multiverse and psionics book.  What’s here is full of different descriptive options on how the multiverse could works.  And then the book goes crazy by describing deep math physics in chapter to demonstrate the multiverse.  As a PhD, I loved this!  You might not enjoy this as much.  But, if you want some options to throw at your PC’s from the quilted universe model to old school 1st ed. DnD, here you go!  As for psionics, I was a little surprised to see this here and not in S,S&S: Player.  The authors describe why this is here since the addition of mental magic makes games a pain, but it does stick out a bit.  It is described well and given some nice story elements, but it is a bit off in this book.  4.5/5

 

Execution–   Just like in S,S&S: Player, the art budget really helped this book.  It still has the small book style with nice font and good layout.  But, focused art and even asides for math really made me enjoy reading this book. 5/5

 

Summary– I really liked this book.  It’s up there with S,S&S: Expert on how happy it makes me.  The 12* system really shows its versatility by easily just adding a whole new class mechanic here without any real growing pains.  The city system is well done and reminds me of city stat blocks from Pathfinder.  The multiverse has a section for discussing how real multiverse could work with included simplified math!  That warms my heart! 97%

 

And the last S,S&S book I have- THE STEW!

Product– Shadow, Sword & Spell: The Stew

System– 12*

Producer– Rogue Games

Price– ~$5.25 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/84047/The-Stew

TL; DR– A few errors in a pretty nice, standard pulp story.  87%

 

Basics– Looking for adventure?  The Stew is an adventure for the 12* system where the players wander into the town of Flatrock as mercenaries for a wizard.  In town, the players learn about a rash of disappearances.  Will the players protect their charge and find what’s happening is Flatrock?

 

Mechanics or Crunch– This is a fairly simple adventure.  It’s a town full of people to talk to, a tower the wizard in interested, and the cause of the disappearances.  The adventure doesn’t add any major mechanics, but uses the basic mechanics to great effect.  Players get to face off against  everything from social encounters to magic nicely rounding off all the mechanics of the system.  You won’t spend all your time in magic duals or social combat, but everybody will get a chance to shine.  4.5/5

 

Theme or Fluff- This is a simple adventure.  Players are trying to understand what’s going on and keep their charge safe.  It’s not Lord of the Rings epic, but it does have good points that keep the storey going.  Honestly, a party that works well together and doesn’t mess around will have this whole adventure done in four hours.  That’s not bad for a one shot adventure.  There is a reveal that you might see somewhat coming, but that’s not handled poorly either.  Also, I do like how the different chapters of the book are named based on different types of dinner courses. 4.5/5

 

Execution–   The Stew works well, but has a few problems that hurt things.  Some of the NPCs don’t have all their stats.  Some characters don’t have stats that let them use the weapons they are carrying.  However, all the named characters get nice pictures that you can show your players.  Overall, the adventure works, but some elements are not as clean as I would hope.  Also, this adventure is priced as much as the core book.  That’s a bit steep for an adventure that is relatively short.  But, that’s not a major complaint as the total price is still less than a Big Mac. 4/5

 

Summary– Rogue Games has put out some quality, and this is no exception.  It’s a bit short and a bit pricy compared to the other books.  But, what you do get is a fun mystery for the players to solve, some psychological terror, and a nice dose of combat and social deduction.  It’s not at A Game of Thrones level of storytelling, but it is well thought out.  If you want a good intro adventure for your players, this is a great place to start.  87%

Blurbs from the Booth-Do I really love Dungeons and Dragons?

Well it’s Sunday, and that means option time.  And today, I’m going to write about Dungeons and Dragons.  In the comments below, you can start your own edition wars, but today I want to talk about something I’ve been thinking about for a little bit.  I’ve written a ton of RPG reviews, but what’s really strange is most of these I think I like more than DnD.  But, I play more DnD and Pathfinder than any other RPG.  So my question today is-Do I love Dungeons and Dragons?

This seems like a pretty no brainer question, right?  Ya, you play a bunch, so you do.  But at the same time, DnD has pretty much all I hate in an RPG.  It has one time failure.  Roll a dice wrong, and you don’t open the gate or you don’t know the important thing.  Also, I have to say, I hate the D20.  A single die that just has a flat distribution of numbers doesn’t really demonstrate the reality of life.  Sure, it makes for easy math, but most often your average.  Life doesn’t have these massive swings.  Most of the time you will roll a 10 driving to work.  Sure you might need a 5 to do it and have a +3 to the drive skill, but honestly does the 2 really matter?  Does rolling a 20 on the drive check before the mod really reflect you critically pulling into the drive way?  I like when there is a distribution of numbers.  I like the bell curve!  Also, I like my number mattering.  As with my above driving example you roll your d20 and drive to work.  You get a perfect 23.  Does that really matter anymore than the 5?  Heck in DnD rolling a 19 most times won’t even get you more damage.  I like when the numbers matter too.

So those are all things that prove I don’t like DnD/Pathfinder.  But the question remains-If I hate the major parts of it, why am I staying?  All of the above are major flaws in the D20 system, be it 3.P 5e, or even 4e.  How does one rectify that fact?  Well, I have a few ideas.  First, there is some legacy.  I cut my teeth on 3e.  That’s not a misprint-3e.  Sure it’s broken, and the math fails about 3/4 in to the system, but its fun with your friends.  Also, I like the worlds.  Math isn’t everything, and you can role-play with a quarter.  I like Golarion and the Forgotten Realms.  I love these places.  I’m sitting are reading tons of books both on fluff and on mechanics and I know these places.  These places have earned a place in my heart.  Also, these games are big.  McDonald’s might not be the three Michelin Star material, but it’s pretty ubiquitous.  I love getting geeks together to get some games to happen.  These platforms both have some awesome support, and I do love them for that.

What do you think?  Do you love some games despite the game?  Do you hang on to a game that irks you a bit because it gives you something else?  Leave your thoughts below.

Daily Punch 1-22-14 Arcane Master arcane tradition for wizards for DnD 5e

I mentioned a player really loved the arcane familiar, but wants to expand the creature she can get.  Let’s make that an arcane tradition.

 

Arcane Master

You have bound creatures to your service.  They work for you and do your bidding unquestioningly.

Master Manipulator

When you select this school at second, you gain the arcane familiar as an extra known spell.  Once per day, you am perform this spell as an action with no cost instead of its normal time and cost.  You do not have to have the spell prepared to cast the spell in this way.  Your familiar can be any type as long as the creature is not humanoid and has an intelligence of less than 7.

Bonded Power

As you gain power, so does the creatures you summon.  You may choose a creature of a challenge rating up to 1/4 your level to be your familiar.

One Mind of Two Bodies

Starting at level 10, when you at damaged, you can assign the damage to your familiar.  If your familiar is damaged, you can assign that damage to yourself.

Two Minds

Beginning at 14th level, you gain an extra action that can only be used to cause your familiar to attack a target.  If your familiar hits the target, the creature takes disadvantage on any saving throw or you gain advantage on your next attack roll against the target when you cast a spell at the target this turn.

Daily Punch 1-21-15 Improved Animal Companion feat for DnD 5e

If a wizards familiar can get better, then so can a rangers!  How about this?

 

Improved Animal Companion

You can master the toughest beasts.  You beast companion can now be any size, and it’s challenge rating may be up to 1/2 your hit dice.  It may be any type, but must be alive and non-humanoid.  It may not have an intelligence above 6.  It does not gain your proficiency bonus to AC, attack, or damage rolls.  If you beast has the multiattack power.  It may only make multiple attacks when you use the Beastial Fury power.

 

Thoughts?  Is 1/2 to much?  Would 1/4 be better?