September 29, 2014

Feng Shui 2: The Executive Order


One minute, we were all sitting around the card table in the back room of the Noodle Bucket, smoking cigars and laughing about Bruce Liebeowtiz's latest adventure in dating and the next minute Banana Boat is laying dead on the table, his ape brains mixing in with the money from the pot.
Monique and Unique get hit before I can even think and then Bruce falls on top of me, while trying to somersault to cover.  He's been shot in the throat and he can catch bullets.  Bullets!.

Finally, I catch movement from the back door and I can't believe I'm saying this but George Washington, my country's first president moves toward me through the haze of cordite.  He's wearing black ray bans, a black suit with a white shirt and a bolo tie...with the Presidential Seal on it.

"I guess my ticket's gonna get punched....Mr. President?"

He stares me down, that crazy grin from the dollar bill on his face.  He levels the pistol with it's fat silencer on the end, "I cannot tell a lie..."

The Order burst upon the Chi War two years ago, with a coordinated strike of three Feng Shui Sites in Los Angeles, Laos, and Sydney.  The didn't seem to be any real connection as each Site belonged to a different faction.  But it did announce their entry into the War.

Currently, they sell their services out to the highest bidder for only one reason:  burning down sites.  They have take several lucrative missions for the Ascended and Simians and even, according to rumors, whatever remains of the Architects of the Flesh.

Its unclear if they are from a pop-up juncture, clones, life model decoys, or refugees...or if they'd merely been hiding in the shadows all of this time.

Each agent appears to be a "deceased" President of the United States.

Confirmed agent sightings include:

Jake - Geore Washington
Fitz - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Bane - Lyndon Baines Johnson
Ruby - Rutherford B. Hayes
Bluegrass - Abraham Lincoln
Shorty - Martin Van Buren

Primeval Thule: Occult Scientist for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.




Occult Scientist 


Areas of Proficiency (1st level): You are proficient in Arcana, History, and Religion

Langauges (1st level): Two of your choice.

Tools (1st level): Alchemist's kit and one other of your choice.

Metamagic Action  (Level 1):  You can use a Luck point when you cast a spell (or use a spell-like power from a magic item or other source) to apply the Sorcerer's effect of the Distant Spell, Empowered Spell or Extend spell metamagic to the spell.
 
Overcome the Parameters (6th level): You may study and memorize one spell from any class's spell list as long as it is equal to or less than highest level you may cast.  Once that spell is cast, this ability cannot be used until after a short or long rest.  You can only choose a new spell after a long rest.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level.

Personal Laboratory (10th level):  Through either your own inventions or the largesse of a satisfied patron, you obtain a small domicile or run-down manor to use as your laboratory. Consult with your GM to determine its layout and location; it is sturdy, but made of ordinary materials, and contains appropriate equipment for alchemical, biological, or otherworldly investigation and experimentation. You also gain a laboratory assistant (hunchback optional) who will do your bidding but rarely leaves your laboratory. You can furnish or expand the laboratory as you wish, and under ordinary circum- stances, it’s a reasonably safe “home base” for you.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level, additionally gain +1 Intelligence.

September 28, 2014

Primeval Thule: Myrmidon for D&D 5th Edition

I'm still alive, September was just filled with comic conventions, magic prereleases, monster manuals, and the day of my birth.

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.




Myrmidon 


Areas of Proficiency (1st level): You are proficient in Medicine and Persuasion.

Langauges (1st level): One of your choice.

Tools (1st level): Land animals and one of your choice.

Inspiring Action  (Level 1):  You can spend a Luck point as a bonus action to grant each ally within 30 feet advantage on attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws for 1 round.
Indomitable Defense (6th level): As a reaction, each adjacent ally gains a +1 bonus to AC until the end of your next turn.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level.

Honor Guard (10th level): High Command has seen fit to assign you some myrmidons of your own. You gain a company of guard followers. They’ll follow any orders that aren’t obviously suicidal, though they’re really more useful for guarding your camp and delivering messages and treasure back to civilization while you continue to adventure. Your myrmidon century pays for your honor guard’s gear and wages, and you can replace fallen myrmidons when you reach a new level. In addition, once per three years you can call an army to your banner.  Finally, you and each adjacent ally gains advantage on initiative.
 Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level, additionally gain +1 Dexterity.

September 11, 2014

Some Thoughts on Pathfinder

First off, I don't think there is a "correct version" of tDnD to play and I am a big fan of Paizo and actually enjoy their Pathfinder RPG more than DnD 3.5.  In my case, Pathfinder's rules are too much for me, I want something...more open to interpretation at this point in my life.

The point of this post is that in my job as a manager of a comics and gaming store, I was reading the solicitation for two products coming from Paizo for Pathfinder that made me go "hmmmm..."

The first was the Pathfinder Strategy Guide, I remember when something similar to this was done for DnD 4E and it turned me cold then.  A book that's purpose is to teach you to build (and let's be honest, optimize) a character is not something I want (though I don't assume there aren't plenty of people out there that do want it).  But more importantly, it makes me think the end of the Pathfinder 1st Edition line is imminent.  Hardcover products of this nature are big red herrings that the mine is running low.  And that isn't a slight to Paizo, it happens to every publishing company in this day and age.  Heck, White Wolf spent most of its life simply rebooting their lines and were the #2 company for most of that time period.

The second product was the Ranged Tactics Toolbox.  Yes.  A sourcebook on ranged combat.  Let that sink in a second.  Ranged.  Combat.  Once again, the mine being low is reinforced, but one of my personal problems with the game is highlighted.  A book on ranged combat. Again, this might sell like hot cakes and maybe the diehards on the Pathfinder boards are clamoring for this, but it isn't something I've ever wanted in a sourcebook.  Even at only $12.99.

Paizo has been successful by listening to its customer base and selling directly to them.  But sometimes listening to the fan base might give you a product that might not have the broadest appeal.
Or maybe it will be a bestseller.  I fully admit I'm not the core Pathfinder customer and could be completely wrong.

September 10, 2014

Primeval Thule: Katagian Pit Fighter for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.



Katagian Pit Fighter 


Area of Proficiency (1st level): You are proficient in Deception.

Langauges (1st level): One of your choice.

Tools (1st level): One of your choice.

Pugilism (1st level): Enemies have disadvantage when they try to grapple you.

Resuscitating Action  (Level 1):  You can’t be kept down for long. You can spend a Luck point to heal hit points equal to your level when you start your turn at or below 0 hit points. After you’ve used this ability, you can’t use it again until you’ve had a short or long rest.

Pugilist's Knack(6th level): You gain advantage when you take the grapple action.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level, additionally gain +1 to Strength.

Expert Trainer (10th level): You’ve started to attract thugs and would-be gladiators who want to fight like you do, gaining you followers. Choose a “home pit” where you can find these thugs whenever you need them. Your trainees handle their own upkeep, and they hang on your every word, doing whatever you say unless it’s obviously suicidal.  Additionally, you may use a bonus action to grapple a target.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level, additionally gain +1 Strength.

September 9, 2014

Primeval Thule: Jungle Trader for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.


Jungle Trader 


Area of Proficiency (1st level): You are proficient in Deception, Insight, and Persuasion.

Langauges (1st level): Three of your choice.

Estimate Value  (Level 1):  You can spend a Luck point to cast identify on an item with no component cost.

Profit Margin(6th level): Whenever you sell an item for gold, you obtain 10% more than the standard price
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level, additionally gain +1 to Wisdom or Charisma.

Trusty Steed (10th level): As a side benefit to a deal or as the winnings in a wager, you obtain a well trained, loyal exotic steed—anything from a warhorse to a rideable dinosaur. Work with your GM to determine exactly what mount you get. It’s primarily a cool means of transport, not a combatant in fights, though it should be tough enough to survive the ordinary travails of the adventurer’s life. As long as you don’t abuse the mount, it will serve you faithfully and well. You can replace a fallen steed when you reach a new level.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level, additionally gain +1 Wisdom.

September 8, 2014

Primeval Thule: Initiate of Mysteries Background for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.


Initiate of Mysteries 


Area of Proficiency (1st level): You are proficient in Religion and two additional skills of your choice that are related to your god.

Langauges (1st level): Two of your choice..

Healing Blessing  (Level 1):  You can spend a Luck point to heal yourself or an ally within touch range. The amount of hit points healed is equal to 4 + proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier. After you’ve used this ability, you can’t use it again until you’ve had a short or long rest

One With My God (6th level): You can regain the use of a spell you’ve cast that day during a short rest. The spell can be of up to the second-highest level you can cast.  You must take a long rest to use this ability again.
 Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level.

Keeper of the Shrine (10th level): Worshipers of your god raise funds to build a shrine to your deity— and to you. They consult with you on its location and construction, though they possess only ordinary building techniques and craftsmanship. The shrine, once completed, can serve as a “home base” for you. While there, you have a reasonable expectation of safety, insofar as anyplace in Thule can be considered “safe.” You may take the help action as a bonus action.
 Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level, additionally gain +1 Wisdom.