re: campaign ending (soliciting advice; thread) 

The PCs know most of this, at least in parts. The Macguffin they're about to finish assembling allows complicated but possible travel through the Far Realm, meaning they could take the fight directly to 2e Vecna. This seems, after 12 years, to be a bit of a boring way to end things, so I need some other choices they could make.

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re: campaign ending (soliciting advice; thread) 

- 2e Vecna has cultists in the 3.5e universe and an army of Far Realm entities trying to invade it to destroy it or let him through the Lady of Pain-style barrier to take over.
- A handful of entities (Lovecraftian gods in the Far Realm) are pan-universe but too busy fighting each other to get involved, except one ancient night hag that's been trying to help the PCs.
- "Normal" gods crossing between universes is cataclysmic for the whole multiverse.

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re: campaign ending (soliciting advice; thread) 

Without getting too into the weeds, the Big Ideas:
- The trilogy of Vecna modules (Vecna Lives!, Vecna Reborn, and Die Vecna Die!) are simultaneously the myths and legends of Vecna's rise to godhood in the 3.5 universe, but also what happened in the 2e universe.
- 2e Vecna still exists, pissed that he didn't get a seat at the table and instead created a new universe where a copy of him is a god.
- The multiverse is interconnected via the Far Realm.

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campaign ending (soliciting advice; thread) 

Still trying to conclude the 12-year campaign, "Too Many Vecnas". I need to give the players some more levers and choices and consequences so that they can choose an ending themselves and drive towards it. The last couple years have been a bit of a guided tour through Vecnan history, which was always the intent, and they're getting close to the final half of the macguffin,

worldbuilding failure mode 

In Alt History worldbuilding, there's a Big Idea, with consequences and dependencies. Those have further consequences and dependencies, and often it's 3+ levels deep that the really important Ideas show up. They might be more subtle than the Big Idea, but they're what impact gameplay (or story) the most.

I'm reminded of this because I'm watching For All Mankind. Pretty decent Big Idea, but utterly incurious about further implications, which leaves it feeling hollow.

worldbuilding with animals 

A quick idea for fleshing out a 'foreign' culture, in a way that conveys a cultural difference to players rapidly:

Pick an animal from this list, particularly one with an uncommon use. The place the PCs visit have that as a tradition in a way the PCs will run into. E.g. this town is big into ferret racing. This rice-farming community keeps a comunal flock of Ibises to control pests. This city is famous for exporting crocodile oil.

ai-generated art, ec 

AI art generator, given the prompt "Illithid in the style of Grant Morrison" with some hand-curation. The interactivity of the generator is a killer feature (on top of an obviously extensive corpus) - you can hand-pick a favorite (from a group of four) and keep iterating on it and then upscale the one you like best.

I look forward to having this in a self-hosted context, though; the discord (ugh) is noisy and the service a bit expensive after the free trial.

Roll20 findings 

Some pretty big issues with roll20 make it a tossup whether it is better to use it or the workflow I have now:

- can't upload from firefox (images corrupted)
- on chrome, cursor bugs out on mouseover on many controls, freezing chrome for seconds to hours
- grid is nearly useless on maps not designed on a computer specifically for VTTs (e.g. screenshot of hand-drawn map of PDF of 2e-era module), unlike MapTools' grid.

I haven't even gotten to a test run with other players yet...

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re: online RPG tool wanted 

I have toyed with the idea of forking jitsi to add some web-based tools (dice especially) into the one conference view, but self-hosting jitsi has been a buggy nightmare. Big Blue Button may be easier, but it's a big unknown to me.

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online RPG tool wanted 

When I run D&D (3.5e) online, I need four windows:
- videoconference (jitsi)
- map software (maptools; used to be 2x, but a player took over screensharing the PC view)
- chatroom for dicerolling and posting pictures and text blobs, with history (mattermost)
- DM's notes and such (nextcloud)

Plus extras for rules, pdfs, etc.

Juggling this many is a lot of time-wasting cognitive overhead. I'd love an all-in-one app that does most of this. Any suggestions, preferably FOSS?

D&D 3.5e demon/devil NPC plot 

Several real years (and a couple game months) ago, the PCs received an egg containing a reincarnated Big Bad who'd been killed by a Bigger Bad. A half-marilith-half-chain-devil, who died in a place most souls come from. She hasn't hatched yet, in part because I have no idea what to do with a newborn demon/devil baby. I mean, I could threaten it with Lawful Stupid paladin NPCs, but that seems too obvious...

AI-generated images of monsters 

Playing around with VQGAN/Clip, which can take arbitrary text descriptions and try to generate images from them. Here are some monsters from Dungeons and Dragons, using phrases picked out of the 1st edition Monster Manual... Also, Gygax can't write descriptions and desperately needs an editor.

first edition liches followup 

Weird followup: in first edition, phylacteries alone don't keep liches alive. The canon is far weirder, even if it didn't stick around in later editions.

Liches stay immortal by hunting "Larvae" which are the souls of particularly selfish evil people that sink into lower planes (like Hades) after death. They're farmed to make low-level demons and devils, and night hags use them as some sort of currency? Anyway they look like worms with human heads.

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review site project idea 

Idea I probably won't get around to: a bookwyrm instance specifically for reviewing RPG books. In particular, reviewing adventure modules.

This idea from my digging, over the last couple years, through old modules and Dungeon, looking for location-based adventures to add to a sandbox campaign with minimal effort.

Could add custom review criteria:
- sandboxiness
- customizability
- Jaquay-factor

discussion of antisemitism 

I spent way too long looking into the question of "is the lich's phylactery antisemitism?"

And then a while longer: "was it malicious, who did it, and when?"

The answers turned out to be "sorta maybe" and "no; not Gygax; somewhere around 2e, but then again with 5e and that was worse."

Epic Miniature Dungeon 

Not sure, but this looks a lot like some of the free printable models, or maybe some of FFG's offerings.

Post from

I simultaneously want to build something like this for post-pandemic gaming and also want to stop using miniatures altogether.

more high-level 3.5 weirdness 

The party is trying to find a location on the quasi-elemental plane of ash (border of fire and negative energy). No air or light, the space is full of ash at varying degrees of solidity.

Party cleric opens a gate for the wizard and druid, both shapechanged into wraiths, to fly into. But a key question that the too-elaborate rules still fail to address: can an incorporeal being cast spells with verbal components in the absence of air?

gdorn boosted


I've been getting into locksport lately, just seeing if I can get good enough to pick the average lock. Pictured below: not at all an average lock. I didn't realize it at the time, as this about the 15th lock I've successfully pick out of this random box of door locks with missing keys I picked up on eBay a couple weeks back. Gutted it to see why I'd failed a half-dozen times, only to find the first security pins (deliberately pick-resistant) I've encountered in person. Five of the six driver pins are spools! OTOH, this lock evidently has at least two keys (potentially up to 2^6 possible variations) as it has middle pins that make it work with a master key. That may have made it slightly easier to pick...

re: Homebrew OSR 'realism' 

- There's not much difference between materials. A sword is a sword, whether it's made of bronze, iron or steel.

This is also best dealt with via ad-hoc bonuses/penalties when different materials meet up. The pricing and availability for each material can also vary dramatically; you need to find a smith who knows how to make steel swords if you want one.

This opens up space for more non-magical graduations; a "+1 sword" might just be pattern-welded steel, not magic.

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Homebrew OSR 'realism' 

Collecting some tidbits of things D&D gets wrong, and some ideas about how to correct this.

- Swords are better than spears. With rare exceptions, this is almost always false. Spears are much better in almost every way. You can even treat a sword like a spear (throw it) and get far better armor penetration. In almost all ages of warfare, the sword was a sidearm, used when your spear broke.

How to fix? I think I want to dive deeper into ad hoc adjustments for this.

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