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1  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Cloak and Dagger on: Today at 11:23:54 AM
To give the players a brief rundown of the world, I put this together for them:
(click to show/hide)

One of my biggest concerns going into this was the number of different factions in the world; seven Great Houses, uncountable number of minor houses, Fulminarii, Imperial Army, clergy (which may also have sub factions), etc. My game took place in Imperia and I wanted my PCs to be able to come from any of the factions while also having some common purpose and reason to actually be working together. To that end, I created the House of Seven for them.
(click to show/hide)

I also created a patron as a ready means to drop plot-hooks into the mix as necessary.
(click to show/hide)

And on a miscellaneous note, I also made 1 lb of spice equivalent to 100s, not 50s as listed on page 26 of the Adventure Companion. The core book already set the price of spice as 25s per 1/4 lb so it was more consistent with existing material.


That basically covers the information I gave my players to start. When I get more time, I can post some of the plots and characters they have run into.
2  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Cloak and Dagger on: October 30, 2014, 10:08:43 PM
I need to head out for work shortly, but I've got some stuff on my gaming laptop in the car. I'll bring it in when I get home and post what I have.
3  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: STORMSURGE: Around the Campfire [OOC and open feedback] on: October 28, 2014, 11:55:34 AM
So, since all parties involved are used to Mastercraft, how would you feel about combat vehicles as a prize with a Reputation cost not too far off of its point value + a few points for each tech?

I presume you are referring to the design point value. If so, I'd recommend you use the base design point value listed on "Table 1: Strider Weight Class" before being modified. Options like Battler and Tracked are already paying an opportunity cost for the increased design points and other options like VTOL are already gaining other benefits to offset the reduced design points. Increasing/decreasing reputation for Warstriders with these options seems unfair/OP.
4  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 26, 2014, 02:09:53 AM
Setups! Let's see 'em.
Faction: Iberian. A free Tech every 10 Virtues is awesome seeing as the timing tends to work out at when I'm choosing between 500+ Techs and the second one arrives around the time of 2100+ options.
Settlers: Artists. Improved happiness and more Cultures for Virtues. Notably there is a Combat Virtues tree, so presumably my coterie of emotion-wanking, lisping, mincing "Arteests" also manage to inspire some really excellent military doctrine.
Ship: not sure, but I think I like Tectonic Scanning.
Other: Weapons. Workers are great, but trouble is best accounted for early.

In my current game I wanted to try a wide approach, so most of my choices have been geared towards rapidly growing cities and more health.
Faction: African Unio: +10% food when healthy
Settlers: Refugees: +2 food in every city (in hind sight, the +1 Health from either Aristocrats or Artists may have been better)
Ship: Lifeform Sensor (I so wanted to avoid a accidentally stumbling onto another unknown nest)
Cargo: Hydroponics: +1 Pop (also in hind sight, given the rapid pop growth from extra food, one of the other bonuses may have been better)
Planet: Atlantean, though this was random.

I wonder how helpful the ship option to see all coasts would be on Atlantean or Archipelago worlds. I may gave to just start a game and see next time.
5  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 25, 2014, 03:47:17 PM
I pretty much got stomped my first game in Civ BE. My home base had ocean to the S, SW and W and there was an alien nest about 7-8 hexes NNE of my starting base. My Explorer found this nest on turn 2 and was promptly ganked by the aliens. I then spent most of the first 100 turns confined to my starting 7 hexes (3 of which was in the water) with aliens swarming over everything around that. I thought about building the sonic fence, but my city's ranged attack was the only thing I had to pick off the aliens. The soldier I built was killed the first turn it was out. To make matters worse, the other factions starting complaining about me killing the aliens!

It wasn't until I read up about it online that I discovered a few of things.
   1) Aliens have a murder range around their nests where they will be aggressive
   2) Otherwise, aliens tend to be neutral and won't attack.
   3) Unless you attack them enough, then they may become aggressive.
   4) And when they become aggressive, they become aggressive to everyone, not just the ones attacking them, which is why the other faction were complaining.

So armed with this knowledge, I'll start a new game soon enough and see if I can successfully get off my starting hex.
6  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread on: October 19, 2014, 03:58:32 AM
By contrast, it makes plenty of sense for a low-Prudence character to realize, "Man, I have a terrible habit of always blowing all my coin on ale and wenches. Hey, Bob, you're good with money. Can I ask you to hang onto this for me to save me from my own stupidity?" It's the difference between an in-character and an out-of-character solution to the problem. It's one thing if you're buying things you actually intend to use but could sell off to fund a more important purchase, but personally, if I were GMing for a player who kept buying stuff solely for investment purposes to circumvent a low Prudence, I'd probably start revoking last-call shopping privileges if they didn't cut it out when asked nicely.

This is where I disagree. Realizing that you suck at saving money and need to hire a financial planner to do it for you is something Prudent people do.

It's really just another cheesy way to take max Panache (and Income) and then never having to suffer the consequences of having a zero Prudence.

I would agree, but here's a question.

What would you say if a high prudence character said "Look Jim, you keep spending all your money at the horse track. From now on I think if it's best that I hold on to the majority of your money for you." to the other character?

Unfortunately this comes from personal experience Sad, but the usual response from someone with no prudence is "F*&@ off, it's my money, I'm going to spend it however I want."

But even if said character agreed, high Panache has a higher income (more coin in hand at the start of each adventure) and lives a flashier lifestyle that gives a benefit as a higher appearance. If someone else is applying their prudence score to his money, he isn't living as someone who has a higher Panache. If I allow it all, which is unlikely, whatever increased benefit he gains for Prudence is going to be trimmed off his Panache.

* * *

Panache: "All right, all right, I'll stop gambling at the track. At least I still have my woven gold garments, crowns and nightly orgies to look forward to." (Adventure Companion pg 26)
Prudence: "What!? No, you're trying to save money here. No orgies, no gold garments, no crowns."
Panache: "No orgies? Man, how can you even live with yourself."

* * *

Prudence and Panache fall under Lifestyle for a reason. You don't get to live it up AND save it all. Letting someone take all Panache and using someone else's Prudence to basically double their effective Lifestyle is absolutely gaming the system.
7  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread on: October 19, 2014, 02:13:06 AM
By contrast, it makes plenty of sense for a low-Prudence character to realize, "Man, I have a terrible habit of always blowing all my coin on ale and wenches. Hey, Bob, you're good with money. Can I ask you to hang onto this for me to save me from my own stupidity?" It's the difference between an in-character and an out-of-character solution to the problem. It's one thing if you're buying things you actually intend to use but could sell off to fund a more important purchase, but personally, if I were GMing for a player who kept buying stuff solely for investment purposes to circumvent a low Prudence, I'd probably start revoking last-call shopping privileges if they didn't cut it out when asked nicely.

This is where I disagree. Realizing that you suck at saving money and need to hire a financial planner to do it for you is something Prudent people do.

It's really just another cheesy way to take max Panache (and Income) and then never having to suffer the consequences of having a zero Prudence.
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: D&D 5e Going Live In July on: October 17, 2014, 11:16:04 AM
I've got 3 problems with D&D Next.  First off.  $150 buy-in price.  *whistles*  And that $150 Core Book collection is spread out over half a year and the DMG is LAST?!.  Everyone have their Player's book?  Great!  I'll let you know when we can use them.  (Yes, I know the intro set is meant as a stop gap until the DMG is out, but.. ugh.. just annoys me.)  After the 4th Edition "We turned our Randomly Packaged Mini game into your RPG game engine", the increasingly skyrocketing cost of D&D is becoming annoying.  At this point, I'd rather play Warhammer.  At least the Orks are cooler.  Secondly.  The mechanics are better than 4e, but they're still very mundane.  I understand the changes.  It tried to go somewhere between 3 and 4.  Combining the best of both.  I don't enjoy it.  Probably the minority C_P is referencing.  (You like crunch, go play Intro to Calc.  RPGs are going Narrative Heavy / Rules Easy.)  lol.  Thirdly.  It doesn't do anything I can't already do with FantasyCraft, and do so with a superior feel.  The ONLY thing it has going for it is the built in world.  That's it.  Even then.. ugh.

Our current playtable is:

Fantasy -> FantasyCraft.
Sci-Fi -> FFG's Star Wars EotE or CL's Shadownrun 5.
Modern -> Spycraft 2.0 with FantasyCraft evil NPCs jammed in with the grace of a Sledgehammer.  Spycraft 2.0 doesn't have a defense against that sorta damage?  Great.  Neither do you!  Cannibalistic, Space Squid worshiping undead Santa Mall Elves?  Now 100% more terrifying when they can throw things at you that you have no defenses for.
Non-RPG -> Pathfinder Adventure Card Game / Eldrich Horror / Descent 2.0

(Edit: Clarified Modern)

Agreed on almost every point.* It's becoming increasingly obvious that I am no longer part of the target audience for D&D and that saddens me a bit.


* My non-RPG list is much bigger thanks to a friend that should belong to Board Games Anonymous. And I can't include "Cannibalistic, Space Squid worshiping undead Santa Mall Elves" in my list, but I am really thinking of changing that.
9  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Any update of Thieves in the Ninth House release on: October 14, 2014, 02:33:49 PM
I'm also curious about "Thieves of the Ninth House." I understand that it isn't ready yet so are there any other one-shot game supplements out there? I'd like to try running a game but I've never DM'ed before and having something to try out with friends would be great.

On another note, are there any people running online games that would welcome another player? I have the core book and I ordered the AoL and Terris supplements a couple of days ago. I have experience with Pathfinder and D&D 3.5 and have played by Skype before.

I really enjoy Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn world and would love to play around in it with some like-minded people.

There are a number of play-by-post games running over on steelministry.com. New Mistborn games start up there occasionally, so it may be worth keeping an eye on their forums.
10  Community / Off-Topic / Re: D&D 5e Going Live In July on: October 12, 2014, 03:43:10 PM
I don't actually like the advantage/disadvantage mechanic as presented in 5e.* No matter how small or how large of an advantage you have, it's the same bonus.

Huzzah! You're flanked, I have the advantage!
Huzzah! You're prone, I have the advantage!
Huzzah! You're blinded, I have the advantage!
Huzzah! You're stunned, I have the advantage!

Huzzah! You're flanked, prone, blinded, and stunned; I have the advantage!


I could add many more advantage inducing states if needed but there's no real point.


*For the record, I like the basic mechanic of rolling 2 dice and keeping the best or worst. I just don't like the advantage/disadvantage mechanic.

It doesn't scale very well. 2d20 keeping the best or worst one is a fairly straight forward skew of the odds. The curve goes very, very vertical very, very fast as you add more dice to the pool. It's why team checks only roll  once for the best or worst score.

Maybe you didn't catch it from my previous post, but it is that lack of scalability that is the main reason I don't like that it is the be-all, end-all mechanic for advantage in 5th ed. No matter how big, or small, the advantage you get the same benefit. The mechanic can't handle any kind of graded effect which makes it, in my mind, an inferior mechanic to build a major portion of the game around.

It can be a really handy mechanic for some secondary effects, I just don't like it for what is basically the bread-and-butter mechanic of the system.
11  Community / Off-Topic / Re: D&D 5e Going Live In July on: October 10, 2014, 10:46:29 AM
I don't actually like the advantage/disadvantage mechanic as presented in 5e.* No matter how small or how large of an advantage you have, it's the same bonus.

Huzzah! You're flanked, I have the advantage!
Huzzah! You're prone, I have the advantage!
Huzzah! You're blinded, I have the advantage!
Huzzah! You're stunned, I have the advantage!

Huzzah! You're flanked, prone, blinded, and stunned; I have the advantage!


I could add many more advantage inducing states if needed but there's no real point.


*For the record, I like the basic mechanic of rolling 2 dice and keeping the best or worst. I just don't like the advantage/disadvantage mechanic.
12  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: New to Fantasy Craft on: September 30, 2014, 01:11:49 PM
Could I, given all the above, take Talented for both Conqueror and Savior (or can Talented only be taken once no matter how many Basic Skill Masteries you have?) and if so, would putting a point into Tactics raise both Notice AND Impress? Because that would be awesome. Costly (since you're essentially spending 6 feats to get the ability to triple dip on at most 23 skill points) but still awesome!

As has already been pointed out, you can't take Talented twice, but you can pair it with the Paired Skills Origin ability.

A Cleric (Paired Skill for Resolve to Medicine) with Talented (Athlete) could put 1 rank in Resolve and get a free rank in both Medicine and Athletics.




Since I have seen you make several scholars in Mostborn, here's another character build snippet for you (needs Adventure Companion).

At first level, a character can normally have up to 3 studies. If you take Educated Scholar as your Origin you can get 4 more studies and for your first feat you can pick up Depth of Study for another 5 studies. This will give you 12 studies to start.

For Knowledge checks you add your Intelligence modifier and number of studies. Educated's If I recall . . . ability also adds +5 to Knowledge checks. Not including Intelligence modifier, this character can add +17 to Knowledge checks at first level. And since he has Perfect Memory from Scholar, he can roll 2d20 and keep the better one or just take 10 on Knowledge rolls.

With a 14 Intelligence and the bonus interest at level 2, you can hit DC 30 Knowledge checks by taking 10 as a full round. For the record, DC 30 knowledge checks are for incredibly obscure knowledge that is "Presumed Lost (e.g. laws of ancient gods, info about unique creatures of myth and legend)".
13  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions on: September 13, 2014, 05:53:24 AM
My read of the rules went the other way.

With a Word just says if you fail and the DC is equal to or less than some number, you still succeed. The actual result mostly doesn't matter.

Mostly. Untrained skills checks increase the error range by 2 and the flawless skills don't trigger on errors.

So while an Orc Courtier will be better with Influence actions than his non-Courtier Orc buddies, he won't be as reliable as his non-Orc Courtier buddies.
14  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Third party books, taking a pulse on: August 12, 2014, 05:32:36 AM
Depends on the content.

I am interested in settings and rules but generally not adventures.
15  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Any update on Spellbound? on: August 11, 2014, 11:22:41 AM
I wasn't sure what you meant with the last line ("We got nothin' to talk about across that whole line right now"), whether "that whole line" is Fantasy Craft or Spellbound

"that whole line" refers to Fantasy Craft, per the following quote concerning Gen Con . . .

My guess is there's virtually no chance this year's seminar will wind up on the web. We have no plans to record it ourselves, so it's entirely up to those non-staff going to make that happen.

As to the content, I will warn everyone right up front: don't expect a lot of Spycraft Third discussion. We're not in a place to talk dates or very many details. We can talk a bit about Z-Corps, and a lot about Mistborn (especially Alloy of Law), and we might discuss a few other minor things. Mostly it will be a very low key year for us. Necessary transitional thing that will make more sense over time.

Also, there will be no updates on Fantasy Craft. Don't even ask. We got nothin' to say there at all right now.

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