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Thread: Character and Rules Guidelines

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palpatim View Post
    Do I read that correctly--Magic Missile now always hits? It seems like that's going to make minions less useful for DMs to use as an encounter element.
    Yes, it has the potential to do so. If it makes minions somewhat less useful, I might grin and bear it; otherwise the spell is going straight back to its original 4th edition form.

  2. #32
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    blydden, again, I don't know if you can post that as it is copyrighted.

    Umi, I indulged and picked up a MM3, and oh my, I would suggest getting it and checking it out (although I may dread that suggestion later). I got it because it had imix, cloakers, and mimics MAINLY, but I have found some serious gems in there. I.e. umber ravager - lvl 7 brute with a double claw attack and a recharge (6) gaze attack that stuns.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    I like MM3 for the rot grubs, which I used in a 4e-conversion game. I had to invent a 4e version of rot grubs for my game. I like the MM3 version better, though they would have decimated my group.

    As for magic missile making minions less effective -- I don't see how. It would only get rid of one minion per round, period. I guess that's a bit better for higher-level minions, where dice-rolling might not be high enough against the reflex defense of the minion.

    Cloud of daggers is another nearly automatic minion-killer, but it also has a small terrain-controlling secondary effect. Magic missile's advantage is the long range, and that it is a ranged basic attack. Still, 2+Int mod damage is not a lot, especially without any secondary effects.

  4. #34
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    The magic missile is a free thing with a free character builder demo.

    Therefore, all you need is a computer to download it. And you'd need a computer anyway to look at it.

    Besides, it isn't like I am making any money off of posting it. ^_^

  5. #35
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    Apologies to Blydden, but after spending some time reading through the licensing information, system reference document and fan site policy, I've come to the conclusion that we cannot reproduce stat blocks in such a manner. A relevant quote (there are others) is from page 2 of the System Reference Document: "you may not reproduce any running text, statistics block, or table from the Core Rulebooks" I believe there is no problem describing the original Magic Missile in prose for the purposes of review and discussion. I will now delete the referencing post.

    I appreciate the intention of making the original magic missile available for reference, but I must take a narrow approach since what we post here is also subject to the rules and oversight of the Pen and Paper Games administrative staff.
    Last edited by Umiushi; 07-08-2010 at 07:43 PM.

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    My humble apologies...

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    Good idea; just ran afoul of the suits and their sinister words.

    In other news, I have obtained the following three books that will now be incorporated into all Unquiet Lands campaigns:

    • Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons
    • Open Grave
    • Monster Manual 3

    Thank you for the recommendation of Monster Manual 3. To be honest, I've had these books for a few days but since the information contained in them is not particularly useful to players, I was being lazy about reporting them.
    Last edited by Umiushi; 07-09-2010 at 12:40 PM. Reason: cannot count properly

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    I wasn't trying to argue with you blydden, but I know the policies of this site and I didn't want you getting in trouble.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    Blue Truth, a tool for players to keep track of in-game information

    Background
    As I've stated before, When the Gulls Cry has been an influence for me, mostly in terms of exploring ways to present and contextualize information within a game. I previously mentioned using the concept of "Question Arcs" and "Answer Arcs" to divide an adventure. Now I would like to explore a more participatory tool, the "Blue Truth."

    The Issue at Hand
    At the time of this writing, the Acqua Alta thread consists of 745 replies, spanning 50 pages; the OOC thread consists of 1939 replies, spanning 130 pages, and is by itself larger than any other play-by-post sub-forum hosted here. Simply put, it is difficult to keep track of all the information within the game.

    There have been many good efforts by the players to lighten this load, including Yukonhorror's facts thread and Palpatim's wiki. "Blue Truth" is another way to do so. It is, frankly, inferior to the methods listed above, but has the singular advantage of requiring less effort, especially less continual effort at maintenance.

    How Blue Truth Is Used

    1. In the "Out-of-character adventure discussion thread," a player may make any number statements concerning the plot, characters, setting, and other facets of in-game importance. These statements will be colored blue. For reference, this is the medium blue of the sixth column and third row of the Advanced Settings controls for text color. I would suggest also using boldface.
    2. The player does not have to spend time fact-checking these statements. However, to be a useful source of information, it would be best if these statements were closest to what the player believes is accurate information about the game.
    3. I will leave as blue any statement that the player characters have not ascertained is false.
    4. Any statement that the player characters should believe is false will be reset to a black text color.

    Please note that this is a method to quickly discount misremembered facts or other inaccurate information that may have seeped into the game, due to the large amounts of discourse we've generated. This is not a way to uncover deeper truths about the nature of the game itself. Therefore, blue truth will not guard against the following:

    • Anything that the player characters cannot tell as being true or false will remain blue.
    • Anything that the player characters believe is true will remain blue, even if it is actually false.
    • Facts that player characters would be expected to believe as false, but are actually true, are a special case. In general, I will leave fantastic speculation as true, even if a character would have a hard time believing it, based on the possibility that "it might be true." I hope blue truth will not be used to go into this area, as it will only lead to confusion.

    Usage Examples
    Expected Usage
    Here is a usage example that is a "typical" way to use Blue Truth. I would encourage this sort of use, though it would be better to break the bit about Duvek being a half-elf and Polon's father into two separate statements:

    1. Lywthast is a half-orc.
    2. The word "Ortalan" in "Little Ortalan" refers to a drake.
    3. The Garden of Preparation is at the same elevation as the Second Candle Inn.
    4. Duvek, a half-elf, is Polon's father.
    5. Erszebet replaced her predecessor one month after he took ill and died.

    1. Lywthast's half-orc ancestry is reasonable to suppose from looking at her.
    2. It is reasonable to assume that the Ortalan in the Little Ortalan refers to the same creatures that the party identified in the tower of the Magus.
    3. The Garden of Preparation rises above the level of the Inn because it is on an earthworks "mound within the mound," as per Main Post #20. It may not be completely obvious to the players, but that fact would be obvious to the characters.
    4. Duvek claims to be Polon's father, but he's clearly an elf, not a half-elf.
    5. This claim about the Magus was related to the party by Duvek.

    Poor Usage
    Other than the first two statements that provide the setup, this example is about the pitfalls that occur when overreaching with Blue Truth. Using the Blue Truth to speculate will only lead to the nonsense that this example demonstrates. Don't use Blue Truth to make wild guesses, unless you want a ton of false positives.

    1. Uign was among the dead bodies encountered in the Hall of Heroes.
    2. Uign was among the dead bodies in the Hall of Heroes.
    3. Uign is alive and well.
    4. Uign miraculously survived, and is alive and well.
    5. The idea that Uign miraculously survived is nonsense; she's dead.
    6. Clour was among the dead bodies encountered in the Hall of Heroes.
    7. Clour is among the dead bodies in the Hall of Heroes.
    8. Clour is among the dead bodies in the Hall of Heroes; we just never found him.
    9. Having completely explored the Hall of Heroes, we found Clour among the dead bodies.
    10. Having more-or-less explored the Hall of Heroes, we found Clour among the dead bodies.
    11. Clour is alive and well.

    1. Uign was encountered by Tanglar in Piast's room. She was the "girl that brawled...in The Little Ortalan."
    2. If 1 is true, this is also true.
    3. Clearly, having seen Uign's corpse, Tanglar, and consequently the rest of the party, would strongly reject the notion she is alive and well.
    4. If presented with the fantastic speculation that Uign miraculously survived, the characters would be very skeptical, but cannot completely discount this idea. Therefore, do not make fantastic speculations.
    5. On the other hand, nobody would have trouble believing this.
    6. Nobody saw Clour's body in the Hall of Heroes.
    7. At face value, this is just a more casual way of stating 6.
    8. Calling attention to the fact that not every part of the Hall of Heroes was explored, it's possible his corpse is lurking there somewhere.
    9. The party did not entirely explore the Hall of Heroes, but if the premise of a conditional is false, it cannot be shown that the conclusion is false.
    10. That the party more-or-less explored the Hall of Heroes is more-or-less true, but given that, you certainly did not find Clour's dead body.
    11. It's also possible, and not difficult to believe, that Clour is alive and well, and not in the Hall of Heroes at all.

    Why Not Just Ask?
    How does going through an exercise like Blue Truth beat simply coming out and asking the relevant question? Well, it might not, especially for singleton questions. However, it can be a good way to quickly check and correlate a body of facts. It is an organizational method to use at your discretion.

    Put another way, I'm not forcing anyone to do it like this, and by the same token, I will not penalize anyone for not using it, and I won't penalize the party as a whole if this post gets ignored for the rest of the campaign, either.

    Fallibility
    Clearly, if I make a mistake about my own game, I'm in trouble, but it can and has happened. Therefore, please remember that this tool only reflects my own abilities, and if the players can spend the time and energy fact-checking on their own, I only wish to continue to encourage that.

    Appendix

    Further Background
    For those who may be familiar with When the Gulls Cry, this usage of Blue Truth differs somewhat from how it is used within that story; I have adapted it into a form useful for our gaming needs. In its original form, it was a challenge issued by the player to the game master, a statement about the facts of the game that either had to be discredited by the end of the adventure or allowed to stand as the legitimate truth. However, the game played in that story is an antagonistic one, where the Game Master seeks to force their version of the truth onto skeptical players. Since the point of a normal game is for players to uncover the truth, you could say that our method of using Blue Truth is reversed.

    Other Colored Truths
    Blue Truth is just one of several "color truths" used in When The Gulls Cry.
    There are others, such as "Red Truth," and I can potentially see a use for them, in this campaign, in the future. However, Blue Truth is the one color truth reserved exclusively for the use of the players. I want to proceed with this one first, and evaluate whether or not it becomes something that will be of benefit to you.
    Last edited by Umiushi; 09-26-2010 at 05:51 AM.

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    October Rules Update

    It's out. I believe the changes are very minor, this time.

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    Red Truth

    This is a fairly late entry into the rules of the Red Truth introduced in Main Post #182. As with the blue truth, this is inspired by and similar to, but slightly different from the red truth from the meta-rpg played in the novel series When the Gulls Cry.

    Just as the blue truth is the sole domain of the PCs, only the DM and a very specific set of NPCs known as "Territory Lords" can use the red truth. If something is said in red truth, it is unquestionably true in the context of the game world at the time it is pronounced. When I say "at the time," that means a "reasonable and indefinite period of time, perhaps forever" and certainly not "instantly true and then false." You may not see this very often, but in general, I expect to employ red truth in areas where mechanics and game-play intersect.

    Red Truth should not be confused with the red text in Round Summaries, which indicates unfavorable PC conditions.

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    June Rules Update

    Once again, there's a new rules update, which can be found within a link or two of here: http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/updates

    At a glance, it looks like there are no changes that involve the party. The update to Pacifist Healer simply reaffirms that the feat works with Healing Word.

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    Optional saving throw for being downed by non-lethal damage

    I will allow "death saves" for non-lethal downing, but it's at the player's discretion, because it does come at a cost.

    Such a saving throw has no effect if 1-19 is rolled. If a 20+ is rolled, the character expends one healing surge and recovers, just as for a regular death save.

    The cost of deciding to make these saving throws is of course the healing surge spent, and missing out on the trivial free 1 hp of healing a knocked-out character recovers after a short rest.

  14. #44
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    Dark Sun Creature Catalog, Heroes of the Feywild, and Player's Handbook 3

    We will be incorporating some parts of three more rulebooks into the campaign.

    Dark Sun Creature Catalog
    For my reference. In most cases, creatures and hazards from this rulebook will be significantly altered to fit into The Unquiet Lands.

    Heroes of the Feywild
    Implemented
    Some generalized locations described in the book, such as fey-crossing hamlets, may be used.

    The Signs of Influence optional class feature will henceforward be used for Bards if the player has access to the Heroes of the Feywild rules. If the player does not have access to those rules, the class feature may be implemented at my discretion as part of the general campaign narrative.

    Some of the "subclasses" introduced in this book may be used for new characters in the campaign:

    • Berserkers are a subclass of Barbarians. Berserkers in the Aucothian setting may not take the "arid desert" version of the Heartland class feature.
    • Skalds are a subclass of Bards. They may be used as written.
    • Protectors are a subclass of Druids. They may be used as written. Communicant Protectors exist and may belong to circles that are active in the midst of civilization. (Communicants are described in the Adventurers and the Empire thread.)
    • Witches are a subclass of Wizards. They may be used as written, and resemble both warlocks and communicant primal classes.

    The expanded list of familiars may be used by characters with familiars.

    Feywild magic items may be granted as part of the magical items given to PCs who begin the game above level one, subject to my approval.

    Not Implemented
    None of the specific locations described in this book are applicable to my campaign.

    The races presented, hamadryad, pixie, and satyr, do not fit in with the Aucothian setting as PC races, and are not available for players.

    I am not happy with the "Character Themes" rules in the book, and will not implement them. Characters may not use character themes, nor may characters use feats, paragon paths, or epic destinies that use these themes as a prerequisite.

    Feywild equipment is not generally available in Aucothia and may not be purchased by characters who do not begin in the Feywild.

    The character upbringing rules, while interesting, rely on locations that do not exist in my game setting and will not be implemented.

    Player's Handbook 3
    Implemented
    Player characters may be of the runepriest and seeker classes.
    Skill powers as replacements for utility powers are allowed, both for new characters and as retraining.

    Feats are allowed, except for feats that use proscribed rules as a prerequisite.
    Superior implements exist, but are rare. If not included as part of a character's starting equipment, they may be hard to come by. Also, only characters with the Superior Implement Training feat may buy a superior implement as starting equipment.

    The new magic items listed in the book are available. Of course, many of them are not fully useful to PCs.

    Not Implemented
    The races presented, githzerai, minotaurs, shardminds, and wilden, do not fit in with the Aucothian setting as PC races, and are not available for players.

    The psionic power source is not available to PCs, so the psionic classes, ardents, battleminds, monks, and psions, are not available.

    Hybrid character classes are not available to PCs. PC multiclassing should be accomplished through the use of multiclass feats.

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    Biannual Rules Update

    The comprehensive D&D Rules Update for 2011 is now available. As before, we will comply with all rules changes unless stated otherwise (such as for Magic Missile, from post #28 above).

    Here are some of the more significant ones:

    • Daily Magic Item Uses are no longer enforced. The daily powers of magic items may still only be used once per day, but any character may use an unlimited number of such powers. (This was from an earlier update, but I missed it.)
    • Implement and Weapon Expertise have different effects for higher-tier characters. This may be beneficial for the Dispositio Diabolum characters as the bonuses now occur at levels 11 and 21 instead of 15 and 25.
    • Many wizard spells have been altered. The alterations don't look major at first glance, but there are a very large number of them.
    • Similarly, many powers have been limited to only doing damage or having an effect once per turn, so that forced movement or other abilities cannot be used to rack up large "combos" of damage or other effects.

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