3.5 mechanics note (PC-related death) 

It turns out there's a reason there are very few, if any, area effect spells with a Fortitude save instead of Reflex save. I stand by my choice - there was nowhere to escape and the extra-planar energies warranted a Fortitude save. I also wanted to emphasize the alien nature of the danger they're getting into...

But familiars have almost no hit points and Improved Evasion, so it was a simple save or die situation. It's okay, just an unintended consequence.

long-term campaign wrangling 

This came up in my RSS feeds recently, and I think I may follow it to try to clean up the mess of plots and threads and foggy motivations that have accumulated over the last decade.

campaignmastery.com/blog/webs- (and the later followup).

Anybody else have suggestions for managing (and especially _ending_) a campaign that's gone on this long?

3d-printed mini (or not so) 

This month's contest entry is Crokek’toeck, the Styx-dwelling mount of Yeenoghu, god of the gnolls. It is big enough to carry medium-sized miniatures in its mouth; in the adventure he is from, he crawls up on the bank of the river (partly like a mudskipper, partly with his tongues) and disgorges masses of demons.

My blending skills have leveled up significantly, thanks to getting some actual acrylic medium...

re: OSR musings: shields 

That'd be for trained users; untrained users picking up a shield and trying to use it while doing anything else just gets the one point. And maybe the 4 AC points only apply for melee defense.

Show thread

OSR musings: shields 

It bugs me that a shield is only worth one point of AC. Entire styles of warfare are based around "sword and board" or spears and shields. From my own sword-boffing days, a shield completely changes defense in a way that a single point of AC fails to capture.

My idea is to bump it up to at least 4 points (akin to "full parry" in 3.5) but lean hard on the limitations of devoting an entire arm to defense: One-handed weapons doing less damage, maybe not getting STR bonuses?

possible DM burnout 

I've never tracked it, by I have a theory that my increasing pre-game dread is a sign of burnout. A big part of that is system-related; high-level 3.5 is probably the most complicated system I've ever played, possibly the most complicated system still in popular use, and it also has the least amount of support in terms of published modules flexible and generic enough to port into other campaigns and settings.

I need to end this campaign before I can't run it anymore.

gdorn boosted

3d-printed miniature (demon lord) 

My photography has gotten a little better (blocking some of the direct lighting and dimming some of them). This paint job was kinda rushed and I'll probably put another six hours into it, touching it up and doing something with the faces (dunno what yet). But I had to declare it 'done' to enter mz4250's monthly contest (he's the modeler, runs a monthly contest on his patreon).

3d-printed miniature (demon lord) 

My photography has gotten a little better (blocking some of the direct lighting and dimming some of them). This paint job was kinda rushed and I'll probably put another six hours into it, touching it up and doing something with the faces (dunno what yet). But I had to declare it 'done' to enter mz4250's monthly contest (he's the modeler, runs a monthly contest on his patreon).

re: RPG design criticism 

This module's authors (one now a Darkwing Duck) claim it is usable with 5e. But my feeling is the players need to engage with it on a certain level incompatible with the core design elements of 5e. It is ideal for the players to be running quickly-created, disposable characters and have an agreement to deliberately poke all of the hornet's nests in order to be entertained by all the ways the megadungeon can extinguish PCs. Something like DCC or LofP is far more suited.

Show thread

RPG design criticism 

You're in an art-themed megadungeon. A summary of the art you've encountered thus far:
25% tries to kill you outright if you touch or maybe even look at it.
25% curses you, often with no save
25% is a mixed bag of effects, generally horrible, sometimes merely annoying
25% could be treasure, if you're okay with stealing and can figure out how to transport it

This room is a kid's tea party, with a gorilla in a cage. It looks sad and hungry. There's a cake. What do you do?

D&D 3.5 high-level encounters 

It turns out there are roughly six modules ever published by WotC for level 20 adventurers, if you count both 3.0 and Dungeon Magazine publications.

I'm trying to find examples of decent encounter design at that level, to crib for the upcoming spaceship crawl (basically a 5 Room Dungeon), and there are surprisingly few resources for this. And that's before filtering on thematic appropriateness of mechanics...

Another option is to fork jitsi-meet itself and add buttons to the toolbar, and then figure out how to handle the results of those buttons on the server side. Maybe follow the same path as whatever shares the 'muted' icon, only show tiny dice rolls there instead?

This is almost entirely react and node, though, two techs I'm not especially fond of.

Show thread

Looking into this some more, there's lib-jitsi-meet, which allows you to embed jitsi in another application and interact with the jitsi streams via API. I'm not seeing an obvious way to modify video streams, though there's some methods for creating new tracks (their term for video/audio stream) and replacing existing ones. Not enough examples, though.

Show thread

I want a dice-rolling plugin for jitsi. It could just be a box in the corner with a collection of dice, and anything rolled in there is shared with everybody. Or maybe a graphic overlay on everybody's video stream, good for when everybody needs to roll at the same time?

My OSR game could be run that way with no additional programs.

re: homebrew OSR musings 

Maybe the greedy choice could just be an emergent property of systems allowing for training. The village could permanently hire a combat trainer for discounted okay-ish group training, or individuals could splurge on private lessons for better results but only for themselves...

Show thread

re: homebrew OSR musings 

My initial thought was to have a strong communists-vs-feudalists vibe, but I just had a thought. It'd be more fun if there were a push/pull there, where some PCs benefit from greed and others benefit from cooperation.

XP was going to be earned mainly by spending gold on changing their town's circumstances, but I need to work out an alternate approach for greedy PCs who don't share the wealth, to add some drama. But more than just gold = XP, it still needs to be spent.

Show thread

homebrew OSR musings 

The homebrew campaign that had a kick-off one-shot some six months ago might actually get underway soon. It is refreshingly simple, and we'll all be developing the system as we go. Aside from some combat progression tables, no other advancement is particularly baked into this system. Players will need to lobby to invent new classes, magic is extremely rare and more folksy than traditional D&D, and the starting rules can probably fit on 3-4 pages, tops.

high-level D&D 3.5e musings 

I'm really looking forward to bringing my 3.5 game to a conclusion. 20th-level 3.x is just not as fun to me as 3rd-level 3.x, or 1st-level OSR.

How do you end a campaign that's been going for 10 years, with mostly the original party, who started at level 1?

In retrospect, I'd much rather have played E6.

re: D&D nautical space battle map 

Sadly, despite detailing what happens in each region, the PCs are unlikely to experience more than a quarter of the possible events. They witnessed a couple big events from a distance, including the weaponization of 'dimensional anchor' effects which causes massive destruction out here in the outer far realm, anchoring space itself to the luminiferous aether, ripping it out of its surroundings and leaving a singularity behind.

Show thread

re: D&D nautical space battle map 

I could have used the fog-of-war system, but instead opted to mark hidden creatures as not-visible and reveal them after Spot rolls. I only let the PCs doing the driving roll Spot (the others rolled to assist) to have more time to avoid dangers; often they had to choose between diving futher into the coral region or going back out into the battle region.

It occurs to me this is basically a three-lane MOBA map with terrain effects.

Show thread
Show more
Tabletop Social

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!