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1  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Dissociated mechanics and a gamer manifesto on: May 12, 2014, 09:38:00 PM
Though I won't defend the OP's manifesto, I do think Justin's essay is on to something and is very well stated. The point to take home, I think, is not that a game with dissociated mechanics can't be a roleplaying game, but that dissociated mechanics have their own theoretical cost in terms of how many players will be able to use them without losing immersion.

Now some people don't value immersion. They approach it from what some would call a "gamist" standpoint. But for those of us who come to the table for the immersive experience, it's a real consideration.

Now there are good reasons to have dissociative mechanics. Sometimes the balance between giving PCs cool story-significant abilities without handing them the keys to the kingdom means you need to place some limits on it. And to do that in ways that are easy in terms of playability often means making very artificial limitations. But every time you introduce such artificial limits, you are putting something into the game that we (I'll own it) immersive players have to grapple with cognitively. So you better have a good reason and do it only when needed IMO.

I won't mince words here. I don't think the -Craft games go overboard here, and have what I consider to be a positive trade-off in the use of dissociative mechanics. I contrast this with D&D 4e, which invoked dissociative mechanics frequently with very poor reasons.
2  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Other game's mechanics/ideas you implement in you Fantasy Craft games on: May 05, 2014, 11:51:06 AM
Having finally played 13th Age, I'm not fond of backgrounds (seems like an excuse to forego a balanced skill system to me.) But I love the idea of importing Icon relationships and One Unique Thing into character generation.
3  Products / Fantasy Craft / 3.5/DCC conversions. Any interest? on: April 27, 2014, 12:13:47 PM
I am starting up a new dungeon-crawling PF fantasy game for off weeks in my group. I am going to be running the Dungeon Crawl Classics Castle Whiterock boxed set megadungeon.

At one time I posted a bunch of my monster stat blocks in the Pathfinder conversions thread. Are conversions for Castle Whiterock something folks would  find useful?

Here's my conversions for level 1 except Ikenvar (who I converted on the fly and is now dead):

Slaver Warrior (Medium Folk Walker — 40 XP): Str 12, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 10; SZ M (1×1, Reach 1); Spd 30 ft. ground; Init II; Atk IV; Def III; Resilience II; Health III; Comp II; Skills: Athletics IV, Intimidate III, Notice III; Qualities: class ability (Captain: battle planning I), feat (Club Basics, Elusive, Staff Basics, Two-Weapon Fighting).
Attacks/Weapons: quarterstaff (dmg 1d8 subdual, q: double, trip), stenchpot (2x2 area fort save DC 10 or sickened for 5 rounds.)
Gear: Partial Chainmail (DR 2, Edged resist 2, DP -1), monk's outfit, symbol of the dawning sun (fake)
Treasure: 1C, 1L

Notes: Battle plans are I want them alive (+2 morale bonus to subdual damage rolls) and stand fast (+2 morale bonus to defense)

Slaver Rogue (Medium Folk Walker — 52 XP): Str 10, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 10; SZ M (1×1, Reach 1); Spd 30 ft. ground; Init IV; Atk III; Def III; Resilience IV; Health III; Comp III; Skills: Bluff IV, Disguise IV, Intimidate IV, Search IV, Sneak IV; Qualities: class ability (Scout: sneak attack 1d6), feat (Bow Basics, Bow Mastery).
Attacks/Weapons: Masterwork Short Sword (dmg: 1d8; crit 19-20; q: keen 4; upg: AP2), short bow (dmg: 1d6, crit 19-20; q: AP 2 (+ AP 2 standard arrows))
Gear: partial studded leather armor (DR 2, DP -1), 2 stenchpots (impact 2x2 sq., fort DC10 or sickened for 5 rounds), 20 standard arrows, monk's outfit, symbol of the dawning sun (fake)
Treasure: 1C, 1L
Melchin (Medium Folk Walker — 87 XP): Str 12, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10; SZ M (1×1, Reach 1); Spd 30 ft. ground; Init V; Atk IV; Def V; Resilience VIII; Health III; Comp V; Skills: Acrobatics VII, Athletics VI, Notice VI, Sense Motive VI; Qualities: class ability (Burglar: evasion I, Martial Artist: beat down), feat (Combat Instincts, Martial Arts (Dex), Sword and Fist, Two Hit Combo), tricky (Arrow Cutting, Back at You), veteran I.
Attacks/Weapons: stunning fist (stunning I: linked to attack unarmed strike), superior quarterstaff (1d8 subdual, q: double, trip, upg: finesse)
Gear: monk's outfit, masterwork quarterstaff, potion of barkskin, oil of magic weapon, symbol of the dawning sun, 90 sp
Treasure: 1C, 1L, 1M

Skeletal Owlbear (Large Animal Undead Walker — 81 XP): Str 14, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 10; SZ L (2×2, Reach 1); Spd 30 ft. ground; Init III; Atk VII; Def IV; Resilience V; Health V; Comp None; Skills: Notice IV, Survival IV; Qualities: damage defiance (edged), damage immunity (bows), damage reduction 2, fearless I, ferocity,grappler, improved sense (sight), rend.
Attacks/Weapons: Bite I, Talon II × 2
Treasure: 2T

Rust Spider (Medium Beast Walker — 80 XP): Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 6; SZ M (1×1, Reach 1); Spd 30 ft. ground; Init IV; Atk IV; Def IV; Resilience III; Health V; Comp None; Skills: Athletics III, Notice III, Tactics V; Qualities: damage reduction 2, darkvision II, fearsome, grappler, superior climber III, superior jumper II,superior runner I, tough I.
Attacks/Weapons: Bite I, Web (entangling I: ray 20ft. range), rust glob (rusting IV: ray 40ft. range; damage type: acid)
Treasure: 1A, 2T

Blood Hawk (Small Animal Flyer/Walker — 64 XP): Str 10, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6; SZ S (1×1, Reach 1); Spd 80 ft. flight, 20 ft. ground; Init IV; Atk IV; Def III; Resilience VI; Health III; Comp None; Skills: Acrobatics VI, Notice V, Search V, Survival I; Qualities: improved sense (sight), rend.
Attacks/Weapons: Bite I (finesse), Talon I (bleed; finesse)

Giant Praying Mantis (Large Animal Walker/Flyer — 61 XP): Str 14, Dex 8, Con 12, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 10; SZ L (2×2, Reach 1); Spd 20 ft. ground, 40 ft. flight; Init I; Atk IV; Def IV; Resilience V; Health III; Comp None; Skills: Athletics IV, Blend I, Notice III; Qualities:chameleon (forest/jungle II), darkvision II, frenzy I, tough I.
Attacks/Weapons: Bite I, Claw I × 2 (grab)
Treasure: 2T
4  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Need Insight on: January 27, 2014, 09:53:17 PM
I think partitioning scenes is largely a matter of GM preference and pacing. Because how frequently you shift scenes will impact the flow of the game.

I tend to switch up scenes when the locale/activity/goal changes. So if I could roughly sum up my activities for the evening as "investigate at  the docks", "deal with chaos surges in the markets", "track down the rebels at the palace", and "deal with the cultists in the harbor", that would be 4 scenes, albeit each of those might be broken into different combat, investigation, and roleplay activities at each site.
5  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Gen Con Schedule's Live! So... Fantasy Craft... on: August 17, 2013, 10:57:26 AM
Any revelations that can be shared via text here?
6  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: How to handle fumbles on: May 30, 2013, 09:32:46 AM
I can't really comment on your particular case but what I did is bought a fumble deck for pathfinder; when a 1comes up, I pull a card, decide the cost in AD, and decide whether or not to activate it.
7  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Stress Damage and Partying on: May 29, 2013, 08:47:15 AM
Yeah, I frequently invoke the "sources of anguish" clause. I find stress is a little too transient without it. I consider any major unresolved threat sufficient to trigger it.
8  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Spellbound Update: Is that the finish line? Way over there? on: May 23, 2013, 10:45:07 PM
Two words.

Turtle Artillery.

Or... mine turtle?
9  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Gen Con Schedule's Live! So... Fantasy Craft... on: May 11, 2013, 04:12:22 PM
When are the sessions by Google hangout for those of us not making it this year (weep)?
10  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Pathfinder Adventure Path Conversions on: May 10, 2013, 08:39:20 AM
Here's a conversion of the pathfinder moon beast. I replaced shadow evocation with a "shadow blast" ability, a stress damage attack. Stylistically, I assume it makes the characters see their flesh melting away in their mind's eye (like the scene from the Dune movie.)

I was a little wasteful/generous with the abilities, but I don't award xp from creature xp in my games (though it still counts for coins calculations.) You could trim some of its redundant abilities.

It has no tough like most of my creature conversions, but the near immunity to crits and sneak attack damage should give it some staying power.

Moon Beast (Large Horror Ooze Flyer/Walker 246 XP): Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 18; SZ L (22, Reach 2); Spd 50 ft. flight, 50 ft. ground; Init VII; Atk V; Def IV; Resilience VII; Health IV; Comp VII; Skills: Athletics VII, Intimidate IX, Notice VIII, Resolve VIII, Sneak IX, Spellcasting X; Spells: Air Walk-4, Call From Beyond III-5, Charm Person IV*-6, Counter Magic I-3, Detect Emotion-2, Disguise Self-2, Illusionry Image III-5, Insanity I-3, Mirror Images-2, Plane Shift-6; Qualities: blindsight, condition immunity (blinded), contagion immunity, damage defiance (animal, blunt), damage immunity (cold), damage reduction 6, feat (Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Martial Arts-Cha, Mobility Basics, Mobility Mastery), monsterous defense I, rend, telepathic, unnerving.
Attacks/Weapons: Claw I 2, Tentacle slap I 4 (grab), Wisdom Drain (draining, attribute III: linked to attack rend), invigorating drain (draining, life III: linked to attack rend), Shadow Evocation (damage III: cone 40ft range; damage type: stress)
Treasure: 1C, 1G, 1L, 1M
11  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Spellbound Update: Is that the finish line? Way over there? on: May 07, 2013, 06:35:52 AM
Dammit, where the hell is the like button?!
12  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Pathfinder Adventure Path Conversions on: April 26, 2013, 10:16:05 PM
Horror, not outsider.

If you do that, take away the sneak attack damage reduction and monstrous defense, because they are sort of built-in.
13  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Pathfinder Adventure Path Conversions on: April 26, 2013, 09:25:12 PM
Anyone want a Denizen of Leng for their Runelords or Legacy of Fire APs? Some of the abilities came from the description of the inspiration. Blood flow that isn't hindered when limbs are severed sounds like immunity to bleeding to me, and their eerie alien nature seems unnerving. Plane shift isn't an FC spell; I just straight converted it.

Denizen of Leng (Medium Outsider Walker 221 XP): Str 12, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 16; SZ M (11, Reach 1); Spd 40 ft. ground; Init VI; Atk VII; Def IV; Resilience VIII; Health IV; Comp V; Skills: Bluff X, Disguise VII, Intimidate V, Prestidigitation VIII, Sneak VIII, Spellcasting VII; Spells: Air Walk-4, Confounding Images-3, Detect Emotion-2, Illusionary Image III-3, Levitate-2, Locate Object-2, Plane Shift~-6; Qualities: bright I, class ability (Scout: sneak attack 5d6), condition immunity(bleeding), contagion immunity, damage defiance (cold, electrical, sneak attack), damage reduction 4, darkvision II, everlasting, feat (Actor, Mobility Basics, Mobility Mastery, Surge of Speed), monsterous defense II, regeneration 5, spell defense V, telepathic, tough I,tricky (Deft Blow), unnerving.
Attacks/Weapons: Bite I (finesse), Claw I 2 (finesse), warping bite (draining, attribute IV: linked to attack bite)
Treasure: 2A, 1L, 1M
14  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Rise of the Runelords on: April 16, 2013, 06:06:47 AM

When converting clerics, do you make then just similar to the FC priest, with some paths depending on their role in the adventure, or more classic cleric-ish, with arcane healing spells to be closer to the original?

More often than not, You'll have to use some spellcasting ranks to represent the broad spellcasting a billies of higher level PF clerics. FC priests tend to have fewer, more potent spells. You might have a few devoted abilities at the core of the concept, but round out with spellcasting ranks for specifics.

Also, a typical high level PF spellcaster will have many more spells than spellcasting npcs allow for. Start by emulating the higher level spells first. Don't forget FC spell casters can use their spells multiple times, so don't waste you spell picks on spells of different levels that do similar things.
15  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Rise of the Runelords on: April 14, 2013, 03:21:35 PM

I converted the whole Serpent Skull AP; I posted some of my conversions and techniques in another thread, but could sum them up (later, when I have something better than a smartphone to type on) if you are interested.

That would be great!

First off, see the conversions thread for a bit of prior discussion and many conversions in-progress:

Converting NPCs from PF adventures:
A lot of the conversion work I did was the stat blocks; the d20 conversion section of the FC bestiary can do most of the work you need to do.

Much of the opposition in Pathfinder APs are intelligent PCs with items. The D20 conversion notes in FC are more concerned with creature conversions than items. Fantasy Craft doesn't have the same baseline assumptions about the presence of magic as PF and 3.5. Accordingly, when converting NPCs from APs, I recommend:
  • Reduce the number of consumable items (potions, scrolls) by about half.
  • Replace charged items (like wands) central to the NPCs tactics with elixirs and scrolls.
  • Convert magic weapons and armor to high quality nonmagical items in FC; I give the item 1 upgrade for each plus it had in PF
  • If you don't want a magic item in the game and it doesn't convert neatly, consider just making it an ability of the creature.

When doing conversions, take a look at the final product and consider
1) How it compares to your PCs
2) What its stated tactics are, and if it can still operate this way under FC

Make appropriate changes to the creature, its tactics, or in some cases, the way it is approached in the adventure. For example, when I converted the final encounter in Serpent Skull, I could tell it would wipe the floor with my party. So I made the final encounter more about preventing the return of the creature than defeating it. If it did come into play, I gave it significant penalties to start with (-10 to all scores and power levels), but it improved at 1 point per round, meaning they had to act quickly.

One simple consideration is whether the creature will be a standard or special character. Generally, I make named/singular creatures special. Note that making opposition into standard characters will change the character of the fight. Generally for the better, but sometimes you might need to make the minions stronger or weaker.

The easiest way to do this is by tweaking toughness levels. But toughness can get really annoying really fast if you use it too much. Consider Ferocity as a first step that makes sure your minions get a few licks in before they die without making the fight drag out over long. PF APs tend to re-use rank-and-file NPCs, so you might have a little room to try different things during play.

Non-stat block considerations
Though PF APs are better than 3.5/4e when it comes to being more than just about the fight, I still think that sometimes PF APs are still a little fight heavy. If a combat encounter seems excessive or pointless, consider whether it can be replaced with a negotiation or you can whip something up using skills with FC's more robust skill system.

Take a look at the PF forums for the AP here. Even some PF players find some adventures a bit tedious and provide suggestions for alternatives.

Again, magic comes into play here. FC spellcasters don't usually have quite the broad variety of utility spells they have in PF, and you might not have any utility spellcasters at all. So if a certain challenge requires magic to overcome, consider ways that the challenge can be changed to use the non-magical skills that FC characters have in order to overcome them.
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