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<![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - Dytrrnikl]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/7465-Dytrrnikl Pen and Paper Games hosts a very powerful, but easy to seach and join database of players and game masters in the United States and Canada. Our forums are also a great place to find the most recent news, product releases, tips, and rpg discussion. en Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:32:54 GMT vBulletin 60 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/pnpg_style/misc/rss.jpg <![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - Dytrrnikl]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/7465-Dytrrnikl What happened to having a thick skin?! http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1427-What-happened-to-having-a-thick-skin-! Tue, 26 Oct 2010 01:39:54 GMT Maybe I'm old school in thought, however, Sascha's most recent blog, along with some other things that have struck a cord with me, really got me thinking about one simple question, "WHAT HAPPENED TO HAVING A THICK SKIN?!"

I was ridiculed mercilessly for living with my Grandmother while I was child, for having second hand clothing, for going through someone else's trash to find bike's to clean-up, cannibalize, and slap together just to have a bike. I got my ass kicked on an almost daily basis for how I looked. As a teenager, the ridicule became more about how I dressed - what eventually became the so called grunge look, wearing bobo's, for being fat and uncoordiated, and told over and over that I was butt ugly. One thing that did stop, was getting my assed kicked - I learned my lessons well in that area.

As far back as I can remember, a point that was drilled home from an early age by my own family, or at least those that took the time to have anything to do with me, was the old addage "Sticks and stones may break your bones, but NAMES can never hurt you."

Before I express my view, I do not condone bullyingof any sort. However, the harsh reality of life is (movie quote) Life is pain...Anyone who says differently is selling something. It sucks, it stinks, but that's reality. I'd love to keep my kids sheltered from this one simple truth as long as possible, at least a simple truth as I understand the world. But not too long. I want them to learn to have a thick skin, to learn that names can't hurt you if you don't let them, to gain some much needed armor to a harsh reality of life.

What I see in today's society, is one in which people are encouraged to NOT LEARN how to find the strength to get past the simple bullying of names and ridicule for choices you make for your own life. In my understanding of the world, my own limited perspective, that's just plain wrong. No matter where you go, someone just isn't going to like you for whatever reason, however illogical or illconceived it may be. It's not worth getting upset about it. If my kids learn nothing else from me, it'll be "Sticks and stones can break your bones, but NAMES CAN NEVER HURT YOU."

So, what the hell happened to having athick skin? ]]>
Dytrrnikl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1427-What-happened-to-having-a-thick-skin-!
An Apology and Correction... http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1406-An-Apology-and-Correction Thu, 07 Oct 2010 02:55:08 GMT First, to anyone who has read my Draining Magic blogs, I apologize, as I discovered to my dismay that in Part 2, I posted my system for an alternate... First, to anyone who has read my Draining Magic blogs, I apologize, as I discovered to my dismay that in Part 2, I posted my system for an alternate spell casting system for which I have not worked out all of the bugs as of yet.

Here is what I came up with, something which has worked out well so far in the limited playtests I have done.

1. No more # of spells per level per day. Instead, each spellcasting class has a Maximum Spell Level Known. This is based upon the spell level progression of each class. The Wizard, for example has a Maximum Spell Level Known Progression (as shown on page 81 of Pathfinder Core Rulebook) at Levels 1 - 2, 1st level spells; Levels 3 - 4, 2nd; Levels 5 - 6, 3rd; Levels 7 - 8, 4th; Levels 9 - 10, 5th; Levels 11 - 12, 6th; Levels 13 - 14, 7th; Levels 15 - 16, 8th; Levels 17+, 9th.

2. The Condition Track used in the Star Wars saga system, is ported into the system. This can be doen quite easily without affecting any other areas of gameplay. If you want to bring Damage Threshold for all classes, go right ahead. In this instance it is only brought in for Spells and Spellcasting.

Basically the condition track is set up as follows modified for Pathfinder/DnD: Normal State (No Modifier); -1 step (-1 modifier to all saves, armor class, attack rolls, ability checks, and skill checks); -2 steps (-2 modifier to all saves, armor class, attack rolls, ability checks, and skill checks); -3 steps (-5 modifier to all saves, armor class, attack rolls, ability checks, and skill checks); -4 steps (-10 modifier to all saves, armor class, attack rolls, ability checks, and skill checks); -5 steps (Helpless - unconscious or disabled).

3. You're option, port in the Endurance skill from Star Wars Saga or use the Concentration skill as is from 3.5E PHB. The purpose for this ties into the condition track.

Casters have the freedom to cast spells up to their maximum spell level known as they see fit. Each time a spellcaster casts a spell, an Endurance check or Concentration check (depending on which way you choose to go). For Psions, Wilders, Wizards, Sorcerers, Clerics, Druids, and Bards the check is equal to 15 + level of the spell + 1 for every previous spell cast in the encounter. For Psychic Warriors, Rangers, and Paladins, the check is equal to 15 + level of spell + 2 for every previous spell cast in the encounter. Thus, a 5th level Wizard is attempting to cast his 6th spell in the enounter and has decided to cast Fireball. His Endurance/Concentration check would be a DC 23 (15 + 3 for 3rd level Fireball spell + 5 for the 5 previous spells cast in the encounter). Failure results in moving -1 persistent step down the condition track - basically, until you get a restful night's sleep, you're stuck with the condition.

This system makes metamagic and metapsionic feats a bit tricky. Basically, casters are augmenting their spells with some extra oomph to get a bigger bang...or putting more power into their spells. This is going to result in quicker drain. These feats not only require the caster to be able to cast a higher level spell, it adds to the Endurance/Concentration DC by +2 per spell level. For example, Empower spell requires the ability to cast spells two levels higher than the spell being Empowered and an additional +4 to the Endurance/Concentration DC to cast the spell. In the above example, the Wizard who has cast 6 spells in the encounter, now wants to cast an Empowered Fireball, now has an Endurance/Concentration DC of 27.

Once a spellcaster reaches the bottom of the condition track, that's it, your done, no more magic until you get some R&R. You recover 1 step on the condition track each day. One thing I did was to allow 0th level spells to be cast freely, being so minor power-wise as to not matter. There is one exception Cure Minor Wounds - No character may benefit from Cure Minor Wounds more than there Constitution modifier (minimum of 1) each day, and for consecutive days no greater than your Constitution modifer (minimum of 1).

Only once, in a particular difficult encounter, did I see a player - a 10th level Psion with maxed out Endurance, push themselves to the helpless state. ]]>
Dytrrnikl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1406-An-Apology-and-Correction
Draining Magic part 2... http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1405-Draining-Magic-part-2 Wed, 06 Oct 2010 14:02:15 GMT Ok, as I said previously, magic that ultiamtely has a draining effect on the caster has always resonated with me. Well, here is what I've created (hopefully original).

A few terms, used for convenience:
Spells - cover arcane and divine spells, as well as psionic powers.

Magic - covers arcane and divine magic, as well as psionics.

Caster - all classes that cast or manifest

First, a nod to 4E, as I seperate spells into quick and dirty spells and rituals. All spells with a casting time greater than 1 full round is a ritual, and may only be used in non-combat situations. Everything are considered quick and dirty magic, meant to hit hard, hit fast, and hopefully bring a satifactory resolution as quickly as possible - these are spells.

No changes are made to spell level for rituals. The wizard spell Permanency is listed as being a 5th level spell, or in this case ritual (a casting time of 2 rounds according to d20pfsrd.com). It's still 5th level. The only prerequisite to casting rituals is that one must be able to cast spells of that level.

Just as each caster class has a primary attribute to determine the highest level spell they may eventually gain access, they have a secondary attribute that is of primary importance in determining the number of spells or spell slots they have each encounter.

Arcane magic is physically taxing to the caster. Spells slots per encounter for classes that use arcane magic is equal to Constitution - 10.

Divine magic is spiritually taxing to the caster. Spirtual strength is a measure of belief, conviction, and sense of self. Spell slots per encounter for Druids and Clerics is equal to Charisma - 10. For Ranger and Paladin, it is equal to their Charisma modifier + 1.

Psionic magic is mentally taxing to the caster, drawing the energy from your subconcious mind or intuition. Spells slots per encounter is equal to Wisdom - 10 for Psions and Wilders, for Psychic Warriors it is equal to their Wisdom modifier + 1.

A spell slot can be used to cast a single unaugmented spell. Metamagic feats and Metapsionic feats work differently, which I will explain in my next blog.

Casters have the freedom to cast spells in whatever way they wish, focusing on nothing but their most powerful spells, are a combination of their lowest spells to their highest, exactly the same type of freedom as the Psionic classes had in the Expanded Psionics Handbook.

Now, each class may cast spells up to their maximum spell level known. No conversion is really necessary. At whatever level a particular class gains access to different spells levels - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so forth, that becomes their Maximum Spell Level Known. Table 2-3, page 20, in the Expanded Psionics Handbook shows in the last column 'Maximum Power Level Known', as an example to see how this works.

In part 3, I'll address metamagic and metapsionic feats, and some key magic and psionic items. Additionally, a mechanic ported in from Star Wars Saga, used in conjunction with a ported in Saga Skill (Endurance) or the COncentration skill.

All comments are welcome. ]]>
Dytrrnikl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1405-Draining-Magic-part-2
Draining magic... http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1404-Draining-magic Mon, 04 Oct 2010 11:43:01 GMT Something I have been working on for awhile is modifying some mechanics in regards to magic - be it arcane, divine, or (for those of you that lump it... Something I have been working on for awhile is modifying some mechanics in regards to magic - be it arcane, divine, or (for those of you that lump it all in one) psionics.

The Inspiration: Something that has always resonated with me in regards to magic, is that it is taxing in some fashion; that the human or demi-human body isn't truly capable of constantly handling the energies being channeled through or manipulated by the individual. Shadowrun had a nice drain mechanic to simulate that sort of effect. And I always thought that it would be nice to see in a more traditional fantasy setting. I didn't really put anymore thought into it, until about a year ago, when my buddy started dropping Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels in my lap. Ever since I read how physically draining magic is in the Dresdenverse, I've been working on a way to introduce something like it to fantasy.

I know many may boo and hiss this idea, and I respect that. However, I've always taken issue with the capabilities of the magic-using classes, but not so much as to create 'balance' as seen in 4E DnD.

Well, after a lot of work, I've finally hit on something for 3E/3.5E/Pathfinder that does exactly what I want, by porting in something from Star Wars Saga.

More in the my next blog... ]]>
Dytrrnikl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1404-Draining-magic
Gaming Variety... http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1358-Gaming-Variety Sun, 05 Sep 2010 15:38:43 GMT When I first joined P&P, I was in the midst of gamer burn out looking for something - anything to reinvigorate my gaming passion. I'm the type of person, that probably over thinks things, and as is typical, have spent a good deal of time over the last year and half, trying to figure out why gaming just wasn't enjoyable for me. Recently, thanks to some insight from my wife - who happens to loathe the fact that I game, but figures if I enjoy it who is she to judge. She made mention that she's picked out some changes with gaming dynamic within the group compared to when she first met the guys. Her observation was that it went from casual fun, with the group sort of collectively taking abreak in the middle of a session to talk about the latest movie or some book or events in real-life; now, when something like that happens, the player who initiates it gets the thrid degree.

Another bit of insight I came to on my own, as she was gifting me with her observations, was that for the last 10 years, we've been playing d20 in some format - either with DnD, Star Wars, our own conversion of FASA Star Trek to a d20 skills only format, and our 'Freedom' system d20. Now, look at the 10 or years prior to that, we would switch between systems - Shadowrun to WEG Star Wars to FASA Star Trek to White Wolf to 2E DnD. Add in the fact that I've been hit with an almost irresistable urge to stop running d20 format games due to some very innovative and imaginative settings with hold of Alpha Omega and Eclipse Phase, and my recently acquired copies of the Dresden Files RPG.

It hit me that my burn out was brought on, not just from the no nonsense, business-like approach the group has to gaming, but also from the gaming staleness of playing the same system in various incarnations for a decade. Since I came to this little bit of insight - I came to the decision that once I'm through with my Star Wars Saga campaign I am stepping away from d20 systems. For me as a player, and a GM, I crave - NEED not just a different setting, I need a different system all together with new mechanics. Variety is the spice of life or at least variety is necessary for this Aquarian gamer. ]]>
Dytrrnikl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1358-Gaming-Variety
<![CDATA[Let's set the record straight...]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1355-Let-s-set-the-record-straight Fri, 03 Sep 2010 13:52:12 GMT It's nice to see the many discussions that always seem to show up time and time again, here on the internet or in face to face chats, concerning Old School and New School. I would consider myself an OS gamer, considering I began gaming in the late 80s when 2E DnD was first released. From the 'good old days' to present, I have had the opportunity and good fortune to play and run a variety of systems. However, I'll focus on DnD, as 2E was my first and still is my favorite system...this excludes about 95% of the material presented in the black cover Player's Options edition released before Wizards purchased TSR.

From my perspective as both a player and a DM, old school gaming was and is much more focused on keeping things fluid. Old School gaming was not, is not about who wins, the GM or the players. In my experience, it was about keeping things moving fluidly or as my group used to say 'Story, not detail!!' The books would be at the table, opened only when spells were being cast. If you made a bad choice, something bad happened to your character or in some instances the group. I saw as a GM, and enjoyed as a player, far more party cooperation than what I see today. If the group didn't work together, chances are things would go poorly or would be a lot more challenging at the very least. Only once can I recall playing with a GM who genuinely felt the goal of the GM was to turn the PCs into blood pudding. The rest, wanted to have as much fun as the players. I can tell you, if Old School gaming really had GM vs. Player as the order of the day, with GMs TPKing group after group, I never would've made it past a 2 or 3 sessions. If there is a real difference between Old School (2E and earlier) and New School (3E and later), it's the evolution of characters as they advance. Old School characters didn't start off as being heroic, so much as evolving into a hero, New School characters start off heroic and evolve into Legends. One is gritty without rules crunch, the other is forgiving with lots of rules crunch. ]]>
Dytrrnikl http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1355-Let-s-set-the-record-straight