Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

Postby niko2pico on Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:11 pm

Everyone who uses this forum currently is invited to partake in my incredible idea for a campaign

Behold everyone
D20 Mecha
A D20 giant mecha battling experience

The mechas serve as the main form of combat and most of that will be handled using my own custom system, all the on foot stuff will be d20 modern

Just as a little teaser here are the first mechs you get to pilot

Kaleidoscope
AC: 1600
HP: 2200
Strength: 1400
Speed: 1400
Maneuverability: 1700

Weaponry:
Heckler & Kotch, Mech Grade SMG: Damage (1d6) x 100
Arm mounted Vibro-blade: Damage 1d10 x 100

Special
Movement Burst: after a melee attack the mech may fire it's thrusters to move a solid distance away from the enemy.

The Kaleidoscope was once a top of the line combat mecha, but progress has reduced it to nothing more than a low grade ambush craft. The Kaleidoscopes main advantage in combat is it's once record breaking ease of mobility. The numerous thrusters giving it a near 360 degree maneuverability range in space scenarios, and revolutionary balance servos allow for remarkable maneuvers whilst planetside. The downside of this remarkable system is the lack of armor and the lack of capacity for armament.


Attacker Killer 47: Standard Assault Issue
AC: 2000
HP: 3200
Strength: 1600
Speed: 1000
Maneuverability: 800

Weaponry:
Mech Grade Assault Rifle: Damage 1d8 x 100
Mech Grade Pistol: 1d6 x 50
Grenade: 1d4 x 500
Arm mounted blade: 1d4 x 100

The Attacker Killer (A.K.) is one of the oldest yet most trusted models of mechs. Though by the time this campaign is taking place in the A.K. 50 has been released the A.K. 47 still remains one of the most popular models due to how cheap it is to produce, how reliable it is in the field of combat, and the numerous options for upgrades and customizations. The strength of this mech comes in it's durability, reliability, and how flexible it's armaments are. It's movement speed is nothing to write home about, and it's maneuverability is downright atrocious, but that is the price of a decent carrying capacity as well as good armor and durability.
Last edited by niko2pico on Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:01 pm

To answer Von Gentleman's first question: Well, isn't it rather obvious? Considering the entire Dreamaniac reboot project and everything. Simply put, Comic author and artist.

Thursday, eh? Maybe. Theatre's going till 5:30 starting this week, but if the rest of the group is o.k with starting later then it's all good.
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:19 pm

Elliot, I'm not going to be at tomorrow's session. I decided to practice for the upcoming play, which is in desperate need of more chorus members who actually know what the hell they're supposed to be doing.
As a small consolation prize, I wrote up a ton of stuff for your Orbahlen character's race:

Orbahlen Races: Spirimen
Spirimen, known to some as ‘The Masked Ones,’ are the result of a crazed experiment in the distant past. An insane magician, attempting to create powerful warriors, summoned ethereal spirits and then forcibly bound them into physical forms and masks. The fate of the magician is unknown, but the Spirimen are the descendants of the original results of that experiment. Now a fully physical race, the Spirimen nonetheless retain a slight connection to the ethereal plane, and it affects their culture, their interactions with other races, and their individual personalities.

Personality: The mind of a Spirimen is not strictly bound to the real world. In their dreams, Spirimen come into direct contact with the ethereal plane, and a Spirimen’s mind is prone to wander into this realm. While some Spirimen embrace this disconnected state of mind, the majority train themselves to concentrate fully on the physical world. A Spirimen who has not quite mastered this discipline will seem to float between strict concentration and air-headed dreaminess.

Physical Description: Spirimen are essentially humanoid, but their appearance is rather bizarre. A Spirimen’s ‘Mask’ is actually a face; male masks are rounded along the bottom, while female masks are pointed. The masks vary between white and white with a tinge of blue in color. Their eyes are large and ovular, and glow faintly in a variety of blue hues when they’re ‘open.’ The bodies of spirimen are dynamic and herculean; their ethereally-infused flesh and bone grants them increased physical strength. They lack toes, but the muscles in their feet are flexible enough to function in the same way. They have two fingers and thumb on either hand, ending in tips that grow sharper with age. The body as a whole appears seamless, without the nails, hair, and other fixtures most humanoids have.

Relations: Spirimen have existed long enough on Orbahlen to no longer be considered horrific aberrations by the other races, but their odd form still draws nervous glances in many parts of the world. Of all the other intelligent races, Xalvi tend to get along best with Spirimen; as a culture, they do not hold prejudice against any other race, and they share an affinity for spirituality and inner reflection with the Masked ones. On the other end of the spectrum, devials are frequently suspicious and nervous around the spiritual and commonly air-headed Spirimen, and rarely trust them with their magical engineering devices.

Alignments: Spirimen raised by other Spirimen almost universally select a Lawful and non-evil alignment; they are raised to learn to control their floaty minds through intense concentration and meditation, as well as learning the balance a soul needs to maintain peace between the physical and spiritual worlds. Spirimen raised without such influence are rarely lawful, their natural state of mind interfering with direct or rule-abiding thought processes.

Spirimen lands: Spirimen have never been a dominant race, and thus have no true homeland. The greatest concentration of the race is in the country of Gelt, especially in the extensive Geltain mountain range; there are a large number of exclusively Spirimen-inhabited monasteries spread across the mountains, and even those monasteries with multiple species have a significant number of spirimen monks and martial artists.

Religion: Spirimen practice a form of ancestor-worship that exalts those who found inner peace and accomplished great deeds, in that order as far as importance goes. The most exalted ancestors are those who agreed to have their souls re-bound to the physical world after death so that they could continue to provide guidance to future generations. Some monasteries worship the gods of the other races or aspects of nature and the elements.

Language: Spirimen, like the other races, speak Ailevian (at least, Spirimen who actually live in Ailev do.) Older Spirimen learn Ethereal to better understand their heritage.

Names, Male: Hazal, Croshan, Pherzin, Zieln, Makar; Female: Zaza, Mieli, Salen, Mytha.

Adventurers: Spirimen Noble Fists adventure to fulfill the second requirement to become an exalted ancestor; by accomplishing great deeds or dedicating themselves to a personal mission, they hope to earn respect from future generations.

Spirimen Racial Traits
+2 Strength, -2 Wisdom: The ethereal energy infusing their bodies give Spirimen great strength, but the incessant drifting of their minds impedes their ability to think and sense clearly.
Medium Size
Base land speed is 30 feet.
Ethereal Sense: Spirimen have a tenuous connection to the ethereal plane, and while this impedes their senses, it also allows them to perceive beings, objects, and other things that exist on the other side of the physical world. When a Spirimen makes a spot or listen check, they have a 50% chance of having those senses reach the ethereal plane; if they succeed on this chance, then the DM should treat the ethereal plane and its contents as physical for the Spirimen for the rest of its turn.
Low-Light Vision: Spirimen can see twice as far as a human in conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
+2 Racial bonus on Knowledge (The Planes) and Escape Artist skill checks; Spirimen have an inherent connection to another plane, and their anatomy is unusually malleable when required.
Automatic Languages: Ailevian (Or primary language of continent of origin.)
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

Postby XIVcaliber on Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:37 pm

Actually, never mind. It's off. If you show up at my house, I will not take care of you for six hours.
What is the true path to victory? I say start with Flashman's stage.
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:19 pm

Hm. Well that's a pity.
Anywho, I've finished typing up the class sheets for the captain, magician, and brawler classes for Orbahlen. May finish Noble Fist tonight if my mind doesn't pull a fast one on me. Then its just typing up the stats for your chosen races, and you guys will be ready to play.
I have a skeleton plan for the first session in mind, but it lacks actual numbers and juicy details. I may seek your guidence on this, VonGentleman.
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

Postby VonGentlemen on Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:09 pm

I thought this up whilst I was driving today. I'll probably post it on one of my DM forums or something later.
Niko can probably guess where I got the inspiration.

Common mistakes of aspiring DMs.


1.) Taking the road of least resistance. Face it, the statistical work is usually boring when it comes to making a campaign. Many amateur DMs forgo it anyways because they feel it takes too much time. Although it does save time in the short run, it can make things more complicated, if not even painful in the long run. As a rule of thumb, the longer something takes to make in relevance to the rest of the game, the more it can kick you in the face once the players realize you skipped an important part.

2.) Writing a story, not a setting. A general storyline or plot progression can serve to make a good setting amazing. It gives players a solid place in the world, can be used to explain some inconsistencies that come with the game, and most importantly, give players some amazing opportunities to develop their characters. Unfortunately, some DMs don't realize that it is the players that progress the storyline, not the DM. The result is the players being told what to do in usually indirect (or even, god forbid, direct) ways. This usually leaves the players feeling robbed of free will, or even puzzled as to how events turned out in a remarkably obligatory fashion.

3.) Building from the top down. A lot of aspiring DMs get the idea for their campaign from a single thought or concept. While this isn't really a bad thing at all, the problem comes from when the DM tires to build everything around this single idea. This usually leads to large parts of the design process being skipped or done half-heartily, as the DM is to busy thinking about what the main villain will say before the final battle to bother figuring out how the players are being introduced into the setting in the first place.

4.) Good ideas, terrible documentation. First sitting down to write a setting can be overwhelming, to say the least. The problem from this arises when a DM has tons of great ideas, but doesn't bother to take the ones he is going to use down. Or, in the event he does, he just puts them as a part of a bullet point list somewhere, neglecting to figure out the stats of the AWESHUM FLAMIN SWORD he gives the party, or failing to realize that THE AWESHUM BOSS THE PARTAY FIGHTSS will kill the part in two turns because he neglected to actually check the balance.

5.) Too easy, or too hard.Hard battles are fun, they give the party a run for their money and force them to apporach things tactically to survive. Easy battles are fun, they let the party blow off some steam, get some loot, test out new weapons or items, or just generally serve to break the mood after a long day. After all, what's not fun about beating up some Kobolds to blow off some steam after one of your Guild Leaders died? The problem is when the battles are either consistently too easy or too hard. While many DMs like to challenge the player, and place them in a situation where they must think combat out carefully to survive, the game becomes tedious if every other battle results in a player dying. Similar, if the players can breeze through every combat in a couple of turns, taking only light damage, things start to get bland fast. The secret is mixing up the combat enough so that players can still have fun battles, but can also feel challenged at times.

6.) Seeing the game as a game. This one is tricky to avoid. A certain degree of recognition is needed for the game to make sense from a numeric standpoint. After all, players generally like to know how much damage a sword-slash did to them, or what the bonus on their AWESHUM FLAMIN SWORD is. The problem arises when combat becomes little more than a collection of numbers. While it is important for players to have a general grasp on the situation by knowing damage output and damage received, combat loses its' luster very fast when rounds consist of little more than players rolling a dice and a DM blandly telling them that they did X damage. Consider the examples below. Which would you rather be hearing through 30 or so rounds of heated combat?

Wrong:The knight attacks PLAYER X. The knight misses.
Right:The knight swings at PLAYER X, brutally, with an intent to maim echoing through his blade. Deftly, PLAYER X twists out of the way, the whoosh of the blade coming clean past him.

Wrong:The swordsman attacks the knight for 28 damage.
Right:The swordsman manages to slice the knight across the back, cutting him cleanly for 28 damage.

7.) Bosses are just enemies on steroids. It's been a long hike through a haunted mausoleum. The party is weary, but takes a few minutes to prepare before entering the final chamber, the resting place of the cause of all the miasma in a local farming village. Now, which do you think the players would have a more exciting fight against? Ugg, "The Slightly Taller Zombie With a Cutlass", or Zeaul, "The necromantic shade who hides in funeral urns, randomly jinxing players"? The end of an area should offer some sort of climax, as opposed to an enemy the party spends a few extra turns smacking around in a circle before it curls up and dies.

8.) Customs are easy to make!!!!1. This unfortunate fact is the one that usually keeps many campaigns from ever seeing the light of day. So many a new DM often find themselves wanting to make an exciting new system or class without even the slightest idea how a normal system or class works. In the event that this inbred disaster does see the light of day, it often tends to be broken, leaving the players wondering why their MAGIC USING WARRARRRIOR is doing half the damage of their SNEEAAAAKKKYYYY SNAKEEEEE ROUGEEEE because the DM didn't know how to balance classes.

9.) Not communicating with the players. This is quite possibly the single biggest nail in the coffin of any campaign, be it run by a hardcore veteran DM or a new DM. Communicating with the players is the single most important aspect of the game, and when there is not enough communication, the game tends to get funky. Many DMs spend a long time working on their sourcework, and as a result, know the entire thing inside and out. The problem, then, can arise when something that the DM thinks will be obvious is not obvious at all, leaving the players lost and confused. Additionally, many new DMs refuse to accept advice from players, thinking they know what is best from the campaign. What they fail to see is that the players, who are playing the setting can usually provide a better perspective of what it is like to play than the DM can. A DM doesn't have to take all of the advice or pay attention to all of the comments of the player, but it never hurts to listen.

10.) Not being familiar enough with the content. Many a DM makes their content in the wee hours of the morning, or is forced to comply with a sooner-than-expected session and has to hurry on the work. Neither of these are a kiss of death in the slightest. The problem arises, however, when the DM does not read through and familiarize themselves with their work enough times to be totally comfortable delivering it. Ideally, the DM has read through the work enough times to use notes as a reminder, rather than a script.

11.) Not writing anything original. Using someone's pre-made content can have many advantages. It allows the DM to run a quest or town that has already been through testing, it saves the trouble of having to create something when options are limited, and it allows a DM new inspiration and content when the two-ton-writer's-block finally hits. The problem, however, arises when the DM becomes so reliant on other people's work that they neglect to write any of their own. While the problems aren't always directly apparent, this can lead to some major consistency errors down the road. Additionally, a good amount of work is written for personalized settings, so only using other work can leave the DM with a lot of untied stories, useless NPCs and empty towns. After long enough, the game becomes little more than the DM train tracking the party from borrowed quest to borrowed quest.

12.) Not preparing to be unprepared. Every DM, sooner or later, messes up or something happens in a way it is not supposed. What separates the men from the boys, however is how the DM handles messing up. (That is, unless this is Greece. Then, crowbars separate the men from the boys.) Good DMs usually have some sort of contingency for if the players discover that the sweet old lady giving them a quest is actually the main villain of the town, or the party fails to notice a trap that would kill them unfairly. Poor DMs tend to freeze up when such happens, having no idea what to do when the party's rouge announces that he's going to kill the baron that the DM intended to live and steal his treasure or when the party sells the amulet that is supposed to tie them into their next quest. The more possibilities that the DM leaves open, the more natural the game feels.

13.) Being a DM without being a player. Almost every good DM out there will admit to being a player first, and admit that being a DM is a fundamentally different experience than playing. However, it is almost impossible to be a good DM without having an understanding of what being a player is like. It's roughly the equivalent of writing a book giving advice on surviving life blind whilst you still have both eyes. The work may have some degrees of solid writing to it, but without the author understanding the audience, so much of the magic of the game is lost.
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

Postby Dreamaniaccomic on Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:29 pm

I wanted to ask you guys something.
I'm preparing a "We Help The Helpless Operative Field Guide" as a primer for you guys on Orbahlen. Good idea, even if it causes a delay in how soon the campaign starts, or should I concentrate on getting the campaign up and worry about informing you guys about the setting later?
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

Postby VonGentlemen on Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:28 pm

Alright-y-o.
I got three class sheets made. I'll show you guys at school tomorrow.
Which is probably before you'll read this.

Oh well.
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Re: Tabletop Roleplaying Thread

Postby VonGentlemen on Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:03 pm

And hooray.
After countless hours of Sadomasochism, intellectual labor and hot grease, I finally managed to create a functional Kingdom Of Loathing Campaign.

Feel free to worship me now.
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