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1  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: Today at 12:20:39 AM
Transcendence: Profoundly Not Good.

It peaks at mediocre, it dips down to complete horseshit, but most of the time it's just bad.

If you have two brain cells to rub together I recommend you wait for a $1 rental and even then you might consider the abuse of your time too high a price.
2  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Inspiration] M:tG's Theros Setting on: April 17, 2014, 07:19:42 PM
Climber language was something I was exploring when working on travel powers for superheroes Smiley. The minimum 15 really just sweeps a lot of little piss-ant rolls off the table and lets you climb without hassle.

In many ways this version of gorgon is a complete and deliberate inversion of the Light of Olympus approach: This makes the petrifying gaze and the serpentine body the default rather than something to work up to. I don't want size-category mismatches between the Talent and Feat, so for the moment if it happens at all it happens on the feat - something I will be keeping an eye on as I continue to experiment.

The petrification is actually something of a fluff effect (dead is dead, really). Any sort of intermediate stun/paralysis would be much more powerful. I have chopped the number of targets off at the knees in the most recent edits, so at the moment its actually a pretty mild effect with the biggest advantages being that it doesn't require an action and that its divine damage (which cleans up a lot of questions about "why does armor help with a gaze attack...?"). On the whole I think it's weaker than drake's breath now. I can see increased damage and multiple uses in a single round as good candidates for further feat support. Possibly a stunning effect, but I'm always leery of stun lock.

I'm holding off on a gorgon card spread until the last set is out, but this is the primary example of the breed~

3  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Inspiration] M:tG's Theros Setting on: April 17, 2014, 04:45:46 PM
Did some tweaking on the natural attacks Smiley. Should be more in tune.

The trick with something like the drake (or 'elf') is mostly in identifying the 3 points worth of goodies that are present in all of the variants you want to group together. Do all Drakes fly? Do they all breath fire? Whichever one gets the strongest 'yes' goes in the feat, and the other stuff may or may not be present in any particular Drake-Talent.

It may end up working out best with the near humans, but I was originally exploring this approach for the human offshoots of Farthest Star. I wanted them to accessible to any Origin Talent/Specialty combo because they are a feat taken outside of the one from colum A/one from column B approach, but still have room for a dedicated offshoot-based Talent that grants the feat and plays up supporting details.
4  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Inspiration] M:tG's Theros Setting on: April 17, 2014, 02:28:37 PM
Experimenting with a new approach to Gorgons.

New Talent

  You are one of the gorgons of Theros, skilled in the uses of poison to both harm and heal.
  Species/Size/Type: Your Species is ‘Gorgon’. You have the Large (1×2) Folk size and type with a reach of 1. However, you wield weapons as if your size was Medium. Your Wounds equals your Constitution score × 1.5 (rounded down).
  Native Culture: Setessan
  Native Language (suggested): Theroan

•   +2 to lower of Constitution or Charisma
•   Base Speed: 30 ft.
•   Field Medicine: You may make Medicine checks as if you have doctor’s bag.
•   Gorgon: You gain the Gorgon species feat.
•   Venom Master: You gain the Venom Master trick.

Species Feats

  You are a gorgon, your torso merging with body of a great serpent and snakes for hair. But your strongest feature by far is you eyes...
  Prerequisites: Level 1 only
  Species/Size/Type: Your Species is ‘Gorgon’. You have the Large (1×2) Folk size and type with a reach of 1. However, you wield weapons as if your size was Medium. Your Wounds equals your Constitution score × 1.5 (rounded down).
  Benefit: Add the following benefits to your Species or Talent:

•   Petrifying Gaze: Once per round when a character you can see targets you or a square you occupy with an attack or skill check, you may meet their gaze, forcing them to make a Will save (DC 10 + one-half your Career level rounded down + the number of Species feats you have). If they fail, they take 2d6 divine damage after resolving their action. Characters killed by this damage are instead petrified. Characters with a mirror or similar reflective surface are considered to have petrifying gaze when you target them and you both may take a –4 penalty to your checks to gain a +10 bonus to this Will save. Characters able to target precisely through other senses are not affected by this ability.
•   Serpentine: You gain the Tail Slap I attack but cannot kick (see page 235).

5  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Inspiration] M:tG's Theros Setting on: April 17, 2014, 12:19:29 PM
Ideally, putting the species info into the feat will allow Talents to represent regional or cultural differences in a way more like humans enjoy, and allow non-humans to take non-species Talents while still gaining the defining features of their line.

As an examples of different branches of the Leonin...

New Talents

  You are one of the leopard-like catfolk of the jungles of Naya.
  Species/Size/Type: Your Species is ‘Leonin’. You have the Medium Folk size and type. Your maximum Wounds equal your Constitution score.
  Native Culture: Marisi
  Native Language (suggested): Old Nacatl

•   +1 Strength & +1 Dexterity
•   Base Speed: 30 ft.
•   Fast Climber: Your climb speed is 20 ft. and you have a minimum Climb check result of 15. Climbing occupies one of your hands at all times, but you may cling to a position without using any hands.
•   Heat Acclimation: You gain heat protection I.
•   Leonin: You gain the Leonin species feat.

  You are one of the wild catfolk of the icy wastes.
  Species/Size/Type: Your Species is ‘Leonin’. You have the Medium Folk size and type. Your maximum Wounds equal your Constitution score.
  Native Culture: Ronom
  Native Language (suggested): Terisare

•   +2 Strength or +2 Constitution
•   Base Speed: 30 ft.
•   Improved Stability: You’re considered 1 Size category larger for carrying capacity, Trample attacks, and resisting Bull Rush and Trip attempts so long as you are standing firmly on the ground and not climbing, flying, or riding.
•   Language Barrier: You must spend 2 interests per language to learn any additional languages.
•   Leonin: You gain the Leonin species feat.
•   Natural Attacks: You gain the bite I & Trample I natural attacks (see page 235).

6  Community / License to Improvise / [Inspiration] M:tG's Theros Setting on: April 17, 2014, 11:33:49 AM
I've been enjoying the Greek Mythology-themed Magic the Gathering Setting and wanting to test out some tech to make species a function of feats so that non-humans can mix and match origins more effectively. So here's a little of both!

New Talents

  You are one of the catfolk of Oreskos, a kingdom that controlled much of Theros before humans rose to prominence.
  Species/Size/Type: Your Species is ‘Leonin’. You have the Medium Folk size and type. Your maximum Wounds equal your Constitution score.
  Native Culture: Oreskos
  Native language (suggested): Theroan

•   +2 Strength or +2 Dexterity
•   Base Speed: 30 ft.
•   A Friend Indeed: You may keep two additional contacts without them counting against the maximum number of Prizes you may keep (see page 187).
•   Leonin: You gain the Leonin species feat.


  Your people are a mighty warrior catfolk, lithe and muscular with faces like the great cats.
  Prerequisites: Level 1 only.
  Species/Size/Type: Your Species is ‘Leonin’. You have the Medium Folk size and type.
  Benefit: Add the following benefits to your Species or Talent:

•   Cat Fall: You take 1 less die of damage from falling (see page 215).
•   Dauntless: You gain a +1 bonus to all saves (see page 216).
•   Natural Attack: You gain the Claws I attack (see page 235).

7  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting. on: April 14, 2014, 11:30:39 AM
I think we have a slightly better special FX budget, but the comparison doesn't seem awful. Stargate has a similar mobility at the speed of plot vibe.
8  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Contemplating BattleTech-style combat add-on on: April 14, 2014, 11:22:12 AM
Rounded out the Missiles list.

I just need to get some anti-missile systems on the gear list and we should be ready to do a little structured strider-building competition, starting with Registering Your Company Smiley.
9  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting. on: April 14, 2014, 10:19:43 AM
I would approve that artifact is the right level of power for allowing return trips.

The Sun-pools are designed to act as chapter breaks rather than bus line - a way for players and GM to work together in saying "we've played this area out, lets throw ourselves of the mercy of a benevolent deity to put us in the next cool space to play in."

Its also interesting that Sun-pool manipulating spells could be found in several disciplines. While divination for probing/predicting a naturally occurring link is fairly obvious, the disciplines of Compass, Energy, and Glory all have grounds for interaction.
10  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting. on: April 14, 2014, 08:11:26 AM
Lets see if I can rough these in.
Though on the whole Sun-pools seem to function randomly, is there a larger pattern at work such as the location of other celestial bodies within the solar system that people haven't seen simply because they haven't been looking / don't have a big enough data sample to recognize it?

The paths connecting pools are believed to be the direct intervention/choosing of the Sun-god Avva. Thus sunchasers are treated a being guided by divine providence and their arrival has a hint of destiny to it. Avva may make these decision based on other celestial phenomena, but as you say, no causal link is currently known to mortals.

What exactly are moon-pools and how are they related to sun-pools?

Unlike most cosmologies that are Sun-centered, Sunchaser has a Moon-centered larger universe. There are 5 worlds plus the Underheart in the larger system and while each world has its own Sun, it is the same moon that shines down on all of them. Moon-pools act largely like Sun-pools but connect different worlds (and at one time the Underheart) in the same way as the Sun-pools connect places under a single sun. They are considerably rarer, and open much less frequently.

What does it take to break or destroy a sun- or moon-pool, and are they self-repairing? What would it take to create one? What effect would either action have on the larger system?

Filling one in or dredging one (too deep and they don't open either) could disrupt one. They are self repairing only in that the forces that generate a natural pool are difficult to restrain over long periods of time. Ponds an other bodies without an active outflow generally do not serve as sunpools, so you need a lot of running water to qualify.

How does the travel between them work once you're "lost in the glare"? Is space folded pool-to-pool, or is there some sort of hyperspace-like movement involved once the link as been established between pools?

Generally you just walk forward until you come out of the glare (which some believers claim is the direct gaze of Avva upon you - though he's not chatty). Trying to circumvent the pools as two way-travel with things like tying together with ropes generally results in you not entering the glare at all (unless the entire linked packet is small enough to fit into the gleaming region in the midst of the pool). The total distance walked is usually slightly larger than either pool could encompass, so a "hyperspace-like" middle region is probably the more accurate model.

Do the pools of either sort exist outside the Valley?
Yes. Both versions are available as explanations for why the GM might introduce characters outside of the normal spread for the setting. Sunpools could draw in resident of other parts of the world while moonpools could provide for cross-campaign visitors.

I anticipate the existence of spells (possibly prayers considering the mechanism at work Wink) That can set the destination of a pool about to open (6th level?), divine where a pool is going to lead to (4th level?), and open a random pool outside of the normal window (3rd level?). Snowblade arguably enacted a spell that locked a moonpool at the cost of her own life, so lesser version of that effect might also be possible.

The sun-pool "network" is a capricious thing - its not been pressed into service as a trade corridor because of its extreme unreliability in destination. It also has a strong reputation for "there's no going back". Its very rare outside of the use of powerful spell/prayers that a sun-pool jaunt will ever take you back to a place you've already emerged from once even in a lifetime of travel. It may be possible that people essentially carry an internal register of all their previous jaunts and that register is used as an exclusion list when a pool cycles open...
11  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: April 13, 2014, 10:18:27 AM
Its been my experience I'm looking for different things from a game than the critics are (I found Web of Shadows and most of the Activision Spiderman games #*(&$! Brilliant, but I've heard every kind of complaint about them...). Its quite likely that the gameplay in Star Trek is entirely too slow and too common for a shooting game aficionado. I'm not one - I'm much more interested in the story and environment than a revolution in gameplay in a category I don't do all that often (I'm more fussy about fight games, since I play damn near ALL of those that come out Wink). That its much like every other shooter ever doesn't bother me. I'm looking for things like level design that tries to slightly mask that its a linear path rather than a real place. I like a well dressed set and I think that the aforementioned space station and the Vulcan colony world were both well done sci-fi 'places'.

Tastes will vary Smiley.
12  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: April 13, 2014, 05:33:48 AM
I've been playing the Star Trek console game. It is surprisingly good (so far).

The opening scenario on a disintegrating semi-clandestine solar power research station built and operated by Vulcans hits a lot of good notes. Gameplay is simple and fluid. Its well voiced by the movie actors in nearly all major bridge-crew roles. The banter in solid if not perfect (a few weak spots but the highlights are very bright indeed). Its made good use of politics in the Federation and continues to reinforce the notion that many high ranking officers of Star Fleet are analogous to independent warlords with a common credo but quite individual ideas how to use their budgets in the Federation's best interest. And some of them think Kirk's position is a bunch of homeworld cronyism. Kind of fun to watch Kirk get dressed down for holding a command he really does have no right to beyond having friends in high places Wink. I feel like the writers of this game have watched some of those "everything wrong with the new Trek movie" videos and saw some valid criticisms that could be used in-setting.

The weapons I've discovered far have been a nice shooter take on the Star Trek universe with primary and secondary modes at are sometimes obvious and right (hand phasers with kill/stun settings) and sometimes surprising and still right (Gorn bio-rifle can cough out a large caliber blob good for knocking down shielded targets when your usual hissing spray of bullets isn't enough). With two distinct cultures in play, the Federation Weapons and Gorn Weapons have actual character both in appearance and behavior. The Federation assault longarm's secondary function reinforces you personal shield, while the Gorn Sniper riffle also double as a beaming beacon allowing you to summon/direct a hover-drone escort.

The Gorn have also been very nicely embellished with various castes, roles, and body types. I've only scratched the surface and I'm looking forward to seeing more.

More later, but for now I am wildly satisfied for a disk I picked up for $20. Excellent production values all around.
13  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: April 13, 2014, 05:09:16 AM
Well that's taking my money, and maybe a substantial portion of my soul Smiley.
14  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread on: April 11, 2014, 11:46:04 PM
Animal training skill will let you add improved stability to any animal a player regularly uses they think will need it. 2 XP will let the GM add it to anything they think will need it. Dwarves and Giants get it natively (including in their critter templates), Rootwalkers and Unborn can get it if they want it without it always counting against their (limited) pool of design points. Is the concern really any deeper than that? I guess it would be a plus if there was a Drake option for it somewhere, but that race is not exactly starved for cool choices, and its kinda hard to trip them when they're aloft... Flight > Improved Stability Smiley.

Its really easy for the GM to add it to most things (other than player characters, who do or don't have it for balance reasons) so if its important to you, cough up the 2 XP. But the default RAW does not draw an absolute correlation between more feet on the floor and tactically advantageous squatness.
15  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: April 09, 2014, 05:32:19 AM
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was better than The Dark Knight. Yeah, I said it.

I... I... ((looks flustered))

I can't go there. But I can be immensely thankful we're seeing entries in the genre so powerful that we can have these kinds of debates in wider Geekdom and they're not one-sided blowouts.
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