Daily Punch 3-18-15 Armored Flight feat for DnD 5e

With people flying around, someone is going to want to fly in some armor.  let’s make that happen!

Armored Flight

Prerequisite:  The ability to naturally fly with wings

You have worked hard to strengthen your wings to carry even the heaviest of loads.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your strength or constitution by 1 to a maximum of 20.
  • You may now fly with any armor you are proficient with.

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 3-17-15 Flight Mutation for DnD 5e

The Aarokacra can fly!  Devils and dragons have wings too.  Could a tiefling or a dragonborn get wings?  Maybe…with a feat

Flight Mutation

Prerequisite: Dragonborn or tiefling

Deep in your family history are flying beings, and you’re lucky enough to gain that too.  You gain wings that allow you a flying speed of 50 and to hover.  You have to spend an extra 25% of any armor or clothing’s cost to modify the armor or clothing to fit you.  This is not true for magic items as they resize for you.  You may not fly with heavy or medium armor.

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Kanban: Automotive Revolution

pic2041406_md

Product– Kanban: Automotive Revolution

Producer-Stronghold Games

Price– $60 here http://strongholdgames.com/store/board-games/kanban-automotive-revolution/

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 60-90 minutes (2-4 players)

Type-Euro

Depth-Heavy!

TL; DR– Almost too complex…Almost 90%

Basics-Who can build the best car?  In Kanban, each player takes the roll of a car designer in the Kanban Company.  Under the careful eye of your supervisor, players choose what departments they want to work in each day for three weeks or until there are three companywide goal assessment meetings.  I won’t go as in depth as the rule book, but here is a quick summary of the rules.  The departments players can work in each day include: administration, design, logistics, the assembly line, and testing and innovation.  Players can choose which department they want to work in and place a worker on one of two spots in that determent.  These spots determine how many shifts a player can take in that determent, usually two or three, an in which order they get to work with the first having fewer shifts, but being first.  Each shift in a department allows you to do a few different actions.  Here is a quick summary of the different actions:

Design: get car designs and car designs with upgraded parts

Logistics: pick up car part cubes for yourself or place part cubes on the main board for all

Assembly: spend car part cubes to build cars

Testing and Innovation: spend car designs to get cars OR spend car designs with upgrades and a car part cube to improve a car part

Administration: use one other area’s abilities

Players also have the option to train in each area.  By training players can unlock new abilities in each area as well as allowing more storage on their player board.  In addition, when it comes time to score points later, players order is determined by who is the most training in more areas.  The supervisor will move around the board, and if you take a shift in a location with the supervisor, the boss will evaluate your performance in that section.  Here is where the game adds an extra layer with two modes of play.  One mode the boss is nice and gives you extra points if you are being productive.  In the other, the boss punishes you if you fall short!  The boss also moves between sections to move the game forward.  When she moves back to administration, she advances the week marker.  When the game reaches the third week, the game is over.

Also, when players use car designs to put cars in their personal garage on their player sheet, this moves a pace car in testing and innovation depending on how far back the car they took was.  When the pace car in testing and innovation moves to a certain point on the testing track, you have a meeting at the end of the business day.  Meetings are the major way to score points.  As you do other actions in the different departments, you will earn chairs at the business meeting.  Some of the actions to earn chairs are building specific cars or training in a number of different departments.  At the meeting, players can place chairs on goal point cards to score those points.  Most cards will allow you to have multiple chairs, but the boss will want to hear less and less about the same topic, so scoring later on the same goal card will win you less points until no one can score on that goal at all.  Also, each player can play one card from a hand of goal cards as a pet project that they and anyone else can now score on.  The first set of public goal cards are random, but the second and possibly third set of cards all come from the players hands as you start with three, use one each meeting for a pet project and then play one as a new public goal before being dealt two more cards.  The most important thing to know here is if you don’t have seats, you can’t score points!  The game can also end when the third meeting happens.

The last thing the happens at the end of the game is players can use seats to score points on the game goal conditions.  These end game goals can be scored by as many players as are out there and, as an examples, are having five cars, being training in so many departments and so on.  Then, players get points for each car they have in their player board garages, and they score points for how upgraded each car they have, but only if they have they have the upgraded the car part in one of those cars he or she has.  Players also get points for being first, second, or third on each sections training track and for how many resources they still have at the end of the game. Person with the most points in the end is the winner and best designer in Kanban!

Mechanics– WOW there is a lot going on in this one!  But, honestly in a one page summary without the pieces to play with, it’s a bit harder to digest than when you sit down and play.  It’s still a lot to digest, but it’s not nearly as bad.  The hardest thing for me to wrap my head around was scoring.  How to get the chairs at the meeting is really important, but you can make up for blowing a meeting if you have the right cars and upgraded car parts at the end of the game.  It’s a ton of fun making sure you choose the right department and actions at the right time.  It’s not too hard, and it is a lot of fun.  But, it is a brain burner to understand initially. 4.75/5

Theme– Now, the theme of being an office worker in a car company might not sound like the most fun thing in the world (I’m from Michigan, I know this!).  But, it does feel like you’re part of a company competing to be the best.  Having to get seats at the meeting does feel like you maneuvering politically to get noticed by the boss at the right time.  Having to move between the department really did feel like you were doing different jobs each day to make sure that you got everything lined up to succeed.  Even the limits on the number of activities you could do feel like a really like job.  I can’t work 30 hours in a 24 hour day.  It all adds up to some positive stress that makes a good Eurogame fun!  It’s not perfect though.  While I know Ford gives some good discounts on cars to its employees, you don’t just get to take them home for free!  It’s a few minor things that break some of the illusion of the game.  It’s fun and feels like the real offices experience, in a good way, but some minor things do break the fourth wall a bit. 4.5/5

Instructions– The instructions to this game are good, but they are not perfect.  The game comes with a link to an instructional video, and that really helps.  Also, the designer is spending a ton of time answering anybodies questions on board game geek in a thread.  It’s a really great effort by Stronghold to present this game to the players and to make sure everybody knows how to play it.  That said, the rules by themselves are ok, but it’s got a lot going on!  Even the rules themselves say that you have to read everything!  That should go without saying, but if you skip a little bit of say the Splendor rulebook, you’re going to be ok.  Miss or skim a paragraph in this one?  You will be lost and play the game completely wrong.  But, if you just want to complete board game experience without any internet guidance, the rule book itself will teach you how to play, but you have to make sure you really read this one! 4/5

Execution– As I’ve been doing lately, I made an unboxing video for this game!  Here is a link to the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6628QbxggOs  All I have to say to make my day with this one is: CAR MEEPLES!  I love what’s in this box.  It does come with some bags showing that Stronghold Games does love me!  It also comes with a ton of cardboard for seats, tokens, and car designs.  The car designs are nice chunky cardboard, which makes it hard to shuffle, but it also makes it easy to pick up and play with, so I’m happy. The art on the tokens and the main board is also great.  It’s got a lot going on, but it also doesn’t overwhelm you.  One problem I do have with this game is the same problem I have with many of Stronghold’s Eurogames.  The box is somewhat thin.  I’d like the box to be made of a bit more sterner stuff. Overall, this game has some top notch components that really stand out. 4.8/5

Summary– I really like this game.  It’s truly a puzzle.  Kanban has levels and layers that will make even the most determined and smart players have to really consider what they have to do next.  That also makes it a bit harder to explain, teach, and understand.  I love this game, but I had to work at it to get to that point.  This game is almost too hard for me to understand.  That’s the double edged sword of Eurogames.  Too simple and no one will play it.  Too hard and no one CAN play it.  This might not be my favorite Eurogame of all time, but this is one I will keep going back to as, no matter what I do, I still see new options in this game all while having a blast playing it.  If you want something simple to play game at the end of the night after you might have had too many beers to do calculus, then this is not the game for you. However, if you want a well done, extremely intellectually, surprisingly quick game, then this is for you.  I know I can’t wait to get it back to the table.  90%

Daily Punch 3-16-15 Large Weapon Master feat for DnD 5e

Let’s keep rolling with DnD.  I’d like to build on the thoughts of the Dual Wielder feat, but this time for one large weapon.

Large Weapon Master

You avoid the safety of a shield or the quickness of two blades for the power of large weapon.  Gain the following benefits:

  • When you use a two-handed weapon, double your strength bonus to damage.
  • When you use a two-handed weapon, gain a +1 bonus to all attack rolls for that weapon.
  • When you use a two-handed weapon, you are still considered to have a free hand.  However, if you use a free hand, you can’t make a an attack with the two-handed weapon until you only have your hands on the weapon.

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 3-13-15 Hold Your Ground Feat for DnD 5e

You can charge and do damage.  What if you could stand tall and hold a position?

Hold Your Ground

You are a wall!  You don’t move the fastest, but you no one moves you or around you.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Gain +1 to your strength or constitution to a maximum of 20.
  • Gain advantage on any saving throw that would move you.
  • When you don’t move for a turn, gain a +1 bonus to your AC and any attack you make.
  • When a creature moves to engage you in melee, as a reaction you may make an attack against that creature.

Thoughts?

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Baker Street

142228-thumb140

Product– Baker Street: Roleplaying in the world of Sherlock Holmes

System– Baker Street

Producer– Fearlight Games

Price– $20 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/142228/Baker-Street-Roleplaying-in-the-world-of-Sherlock-Holmes?term=Baker+Street

TL; DR– If you want to investigate some Victorian crime, you can’t do better. 93%

Basics– Holmes is dead, but the world still needs heroes!  In Baker Street, the players all take the roll of inspectors hired by Scotland Yard to help solve cases that would normally be throw to the late Sherlock Holmes.  Are you on the case?

Mechanics or Crunch– This is its own complete system, so let’s break this up.

Base mechanic- This is completely a skill based system.  You only have a handful of trained skills, and when you do an activity, you choose a skill and roll that many six-sided dice along with a Sherlock die.  If you are not trained and you need a skill, you roll two six-sided dice.  You succeed on a 4, 5, or 6.  The Sherlock die will add some randomness to the other dice.  The Sherlock die has a 1, 2, 3, Watson, Moriarty, or Sherlock face.  The 1, 2, and 3 sides of the Sherlock die make the 1s, 2s, or 3s successes on the other dice.  Watson gives you a free assist to help another player or an extra success.  Moriarty makes all non-successful die faces count against the successes!  The final face Sherlock, Sherlock himself, allows you to name a dice face number and those dice now count as successes.  The last thing to mention is professional skills and specialties.  When you use a professional skill (think a skill you have ranks in) any 6’s you get on dice allow you to reroll the die for extra successes.  This can continue until you don’t roll a 6 again!  Specialties allow you to gain two extra dice on a check because of your degree of training in a particular area.  The whole system is quick and easy.

Combat-Combat happens, but this isn’t the main push of the system.  Sherlock fights some foes, but that’s not the big pull of the books.  However, this game does have some interesting twists to fighting.  The basics of combat work just like any other skill.  If I try to hit your character, you would roll you dodge skill, and I would roll my weapon or attack skill just like the base mechanics above.  If your dodge roll has more successes than my attack, you didn’t get hit. However, if I have more successes on the attack, I roll a weapon damage roll.  This weapon damage roll works just like above, but I use a chart to determine how many dice I would roll for the attack instead of a skill.  I still roll the Sherlock die however.  The most interesting thing is combat is not done with initiative like any other RPG.  It’s done by naming another character or the game master.  Players start, then after the first player goes, and he/she chooses who gets to go next.  However, keep in mind if all the players go, and choose the bad guys run by the GM to go last in the round, the GM can choose to have the bad guys go again at the start of the next round almost taking two turns in a row!  That’s a simple turn order mechanic, but it does lead to some interesting thoughts and discussions around the table!  It’s also fun to see a novel way of managing combat in a RPG.

Investigation- Here’s the real meat and potatoes of Sherlock Holmes!  When players investigate a murder or a crime scene, they enter a new phase of the game to gain and eliminate clues through several sub-phases.  First, players Observe the scene revealing clues. One player rolls the dice for their observe skill, but every other player can give that player half their dice pool rounded down for their observe skills.  The number of successes reveals clue cards that the players can begin to investigate.  Each clue has a description as well as three leads that may go deeper down the rabbit hole or throw them off the trail.  After the Observation round, players then do a Reason round.  One player rolls his/her reason skill and other players aid as above.  This will eliminate a number of clues that are false or erroneous.  Finally, players then enter the Deduction round.  Just like the previous two phases, one player rolls deduction while the other players help.  This phase gives players a number of times they can ask the GM about different leads on each card to ask if they are real or not.  Some leads on a clue card are not useful at all, while some are the next area that they players must observe or interrogate to determine who did the dastardly dead.

Threat-Sometimes a player want to ask more questions to a NPC then there is time to do.  Sometimes a player want so re-investigate a room.  Sometimes a player just wants to ask the GM for an assist to find the best way forward.  When that happens, the threat level of the investigation raises!  This is a behind the GM screen level of general tension that can only hurt the players.  When the threat level rises, some bad events may occur like thugs ambushing the players, making the Sherlock die’s 1 phase not work, or just adding extra bad guys to the final fight.  It’s an addition to keep pushing the players forward in their quest to solve the crime while preventing them from spending days looking over the first room.

Characteristics-This game doesn’t have feats like Pathfinder/DnD, but what it does have are characteristics.  You start with two personal characteristics, two professional characteristics, and two negative characteristics.  These characteristics not only give you roleplaying hooks, but when you invoke a professional or a good quality you get extra dice on that skill roll.  The negative characteristics give the GM some story hooks in you as well!

Resolve-I love story candy for my players.  Resolve is that currency in this game.  It’s used for several things from adding dice to a dice pool to preventing damage when you are hit with a weapon.  Also, when a GM invokes a negative characteristic of your player, you can spend a point of resolve to avoid the flaw.  If you don’t have some resolve, then you follow your darker impulses and do something that most likely won’t end well!

Summary- Overall, this is a good system, but it does some minor flaws that are flaws in how investigations are narrated in all stories.  You know every day you sit at the gaming table that there will be an investigation scene, kind of like every episode of CSI will have an investigation scene.  If you can’t get past that or don’t want that in your game, then this system might not be for you.  The system of investigation means that pretty much every charter has to have some ranks in the three skills used to find and discard clues and leads.  Now, that isn’t too much fun to have some of your character planed before you get to play, but then again you are playing a criminal investigation game!  The basics of the skill system and the ease of it use do work really well.  It’s quick, fun and easy to play this game, even if I’d like a bit more flexibility in the game overall.   4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- You want some classic Victorian crime novels?  You got it!  This game has some great world building describing in vivid details the different classes of servants the upper class has to the various different kind of criminals that stalked Whitechapel in the 1890’s.  Baker Street is set up to tell a Sherlock Holmes’ story well, and it succeeds in spades!  Even the provided adventure looks like it’s printed on a newspaper from the time!  5/5

 

Execution– Overall, this book is really well set up, but there are some problems.  The general character building and how to play are all done well.  It reads quickly and has some good spacing, all of which are very important to me.  The PDF is presented like an old book with some wear and tear, which does give some excellent flavor.  However, the PDF isn’t really hyperlinked well with the hyperlinks just listing all the pages.  Also, the adventure that is presented has great flavor as it looks like an old newspaper, and I’m happy to see an adventure here to help me run my first game.  However, the use of Victorian newspaper format makes it harder to really read and digest quickly.  You can’t really scan it to find what you need in a hurry as it isn’t really spaced well.  It’s some minor complaints, but these small things did hurt my overall experience slightly.  4.5/5

Summary-This is a great way to run an investigative RPG, but the problems you might have are if you want an investigative RPG.  This game solves the absolute hardest and worst problem to correct in a RPG investigation-are the players and GM out-thinking each other?  Much like old school point-and-click adventure games, investigation in a RPG might stall out because neither side of the GM screen finds the train of logic from the other side.  The investigation system here is top notch allowing for really deep stories to be told.  However, my only real problem with this system is its build really well to do what it does.  If you want to do something that the system isn’t designed for like run a Sword and Sorcerery campaign on Mars, this isn’t what you should use.  Also, you need to want to play a criminal drama and build your character for that.  Pathfinder/DnD will have this one beat for variety, but if you want some really well done Victorian sleuthing, then you can’t do better than this out of the box!  93%

Daily Punch 3-12-15 Bow Expert feat for DnD 5e

How about some feat for DnD 5e.  If there is a crossbow feat for DnD 5e, then let’s make a longbow/short bow feat for DnD 5e!

Bow Expert

Your skill and speed with the longer bows makes you a formidable foe.  Gain the following benefits:

  • Increase the damage dice for any longbow or shortbow you you by one step.  As an example a d6 weapon would instead deal a d8.
  • As a bonus action each round, you can shoot one additional arrow with a longbow or a shortbow.
  • As a reaction each round, you can make an attack with a shortbow or longbow when an enemy moves into its melee range and engages you for the first time.  This one attack does not suffer disadvantage.

Thoughts?