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16  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Some spells I need in the absense of the Spellbound preview on: October 25, 2014, 10:58:01 AM
A big goal in Spellbound was keeping the ability to do damage from being the province of only a handful of schools. I would shuffle the school/discipline on a few of these to reflect their themes.

CALDOFRIGO BLADE
  Level: 4 Energy
  As Burning Blade except damage changes to cold or heat

STORM BLADE
  Level: 4 Weather
  As Burning Blade except damage changes to electricity or bang

TERROR BLADE
  Level: 4 Shadow
  As Burning Blade except damage changes to force or stress

HOLY AVENGER
  Level: 4 Glory
  As Burning Blade except damage changes to divine or flash

PANDEMONIUM BLADE
  Level: 4 Force
  As Burning Blade except damage changes to sonic or explosion (cone, blast 1)

17  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 25, 2014, 09:40:41 AM
  Rough start here. Game was unplayable due to laggy response times. Cranked the graphics down to pong and it suddenly perked right up. Still finding the unit movement controls really awkward and my units seem to carry out multi-turn movement on a purely hit-or-miss basis. Maybe they have mood-swings?

  I find the tech-web page a little bit noisy but that may improve with familiarity.

  Random quests have totally derailed my grand schemes several times now. I think that's probably a good thing - their impact is great enough to shift the course of nations.
18  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 24, 2014, 06:36:37 PM
So, should I take the silence on the forum as a sign that everyone's playing Civ: BE?  Wink

I promised myself I'd finish a little License to Improvise project before I fired up Civ: BE.

I'm installing it now Smiley.
19  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] One Hour of Justice on: October 24, 2014, 06:31:42 PM
Reserved for feat tree.

BASIC COMBAT FEATS

Final Warning
  There is death in your eyes. Even fools can see it.
  Benefit: Enemies you have not damaged during this combat must make a Will save when they attack you for the first time (DC 12 + you Wisdom modifier + the number feats you have from all Combat trees). If the save fails the attack is canceled and the attacker is baffled for 1d6 rounds.

DETECTIVE FEATS

Grab Your Gear!
  Gear up, we've got a body.
  Benefit: At the beginning of each session you gain 2 bonus action dice that can only be spent to boost Notice, Sense Motive, Tactics, or Initiative checks made by you or teammates able to see or hear you. You may also use these dice when activating your BOLO core ability (if you have it).

Hard Boiled
  Some would call it ‘jaded’. You call it ‘seasoned’.
  Prerequisite: Wisdom 15+
  Benefit: You gain Stress Resistance 1 and may ignore up to 2 shaken conditions you would gain each scene.

Read Between the Lines
  The connections are faint, but they are there.
  Benefit: You may consider any library you are researching up to 2 categories larger, increasing the check time and DC but also the likelihood that a useful clue lies within (e.g. you could treat a library consisting of several books as containing dozens or hundreds).

Tough As Nails
  They can just keep trying to hammer you down. It hasn’t worked so far.
  Prerequisite: Constitution 15+
  Benefit: You gain Subdual Resistance 1 and may ignore up to 2 fatigued conditions you would gain each scene.

STYLE FEATS


20  Community / License to Improvise / [Notebook] One Hour of Justice on: October 24, 2014, 06:27:25 PM
  Some modern heroes from the small screen in Mastercraft form Smiley.

Examiner
  Every contact leaves traces. And those traces tell a story.
  In your campaign, an Examiner could be…
•   A consulting detective the police have grudgingly come to rely on
•   A scientist whose expert testimony is invaluable to national authorities
•   An unstoppable forensic specialist powered by caffeine (and plushies)
•   A vigilante-for-hire armed to the teeth with poetic justice
•   A world-class hitman who scours the scene of his crimes, leaving no trace

  Party Role: Solver/Specialist. The Examiner squeezes every possible clue out of the environment, turning objects into witnesses and then listening to their every story.
  Build: Dip into Examiner to show off your keen senses and encyclopedic knowledge. Commit to the Examiner to further hone that intelligence into a blade able to cut through even the most complicated dilemmas.

Class Features
  Favored Attributes: Intelligence
  Class Skills: Crafting, Disguise, Impress, Intimidate, Investigate, Medicine, Notice, Prestidigitation, Resolve, Search, Sense Motive, Tactics
  Skill Points: 8 + Int modifier
  Vitality: 6 + Con modifier per level
  Starting Weapon Proficiencies: 3

Core Ability
  Life of the Mind: A mind of your caliber does not lack for lucrative opportunities... or distractions. Your lifestyle rises by 3. At the beginning of each adventure and once per downtime you may spend 1 action die to gain 1 temporary interest until the end of the current adventure.

Class Abilities
  Perception: You may make Disguise and Notice checks using your Intelligence modifier. You gain formidable Search.
  (Whenever you roll a 1-9 on an Search check, turn the die to ‘10’. If you gain the same formidable skill a second time, you instead gain a bonus Skill feat.)

  Review the Facts: At Levels 2, 11, and 19, once per adventure you may reduce the time required for a single Investigation check to one minute. If you make a canvass check there are no population modifiers (see page 76). If you make a research check you are considered to have searched you choice of anywhere from a single book up to hundreds of books (see page 77).

  Bonus Feat: At Levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19 you gain an additional Detective or Skill feat.

  Past Clients I: The gratitude of those you have helped can be quite tangible. At Level 4, choose one type of favors: Delivery, Diversion, Event, Rumors, or Support. At the beginning of each adventure you gain a pool of 20 Reputation points which may only be spent on favors of the chosen type. Renown requirements are waived for these favors.
  Past Clients II: At Level 8, choose a second type of favors and this pool increases to 30 points.
  Past Clients III: At Level 12, choose a third type of favors and this pool increases to 40 points.
  Past Clients IV: At Level 16, choose a fourth type of favors and this pool increases to 50 points.
  Past Clients V: At Level 20, you may use this pool for all five types of favors and the pool increases to 60 points.

  Brilliant: At Levels 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18, your Intelligence rises by 1.

  The Criminal Mind I: At Level 10, you gain either formidable Disguise or Tactics.
  The Criminal Mind II: At Level 20, you gain formidable Disguise and Tactics.
  (Whenever you roll a 1-9 on a formidable skill check, turn the die to ‘10’. If you gain the same formidable skill a second time, you instead gain a bonus Skill feat.)

  All for Naught: Once you’ve unraveled someone’s schemes, they’re rarely at their best anymore. At level 14, Once per scene as a free action you may choose one character that can see or hear you. That character suffer a –4 morale penalty to damage rolls and is baffled until the end of the scene. During dramatic scenes this increases to a –10 morale penalty to damage rolls and 3 grades of baffled.

Table 1.7: The Examiner
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Def Init  LS Lgnd Abilities
  1    +0  +0   +2  +1   +0  +1   +1  +1  Perception, life of the mind
  2    +1  +0   +3  +2   +1  +1   +2  +2  Review the facts
  3    +2  +1   +3  +2   +1  +2   +2  +3  Bonus feat
  4    +3  +1   +4  +2   +2  +2   +2  +3  Past clients I
  5    +3  +1   +4  +3   +2  +3   +3  +4  Bonus feat
  6    +4  +2   +5  +3   +2  +4   +3  +5  Brilliant +1
  7    +5  +2   +5  +4   +3  +4   +4  +6  Bonus feat
  8    +6  +2   +6  +4   +3  +5   +4  +6  Past clients II
  9    +6  +3   +6  +4   +4  +5   +4  +7  Bonus feat, brilliant +2
 10    +7  +3   +7  +5   +4  +6   +5  +8  The criminal mind I
 11    +8  +3   +7  +5   +4  +7   +5  +9  Bonus feat, review the facts
 12    +9  +4   +8  +6   +5  +7   +6  +9  Brilliant +3, past clients III
 13    +9  +4   +8  +6   +5  +8   +6 +10  Bonus feat
 14   +10  +4   +9  +6   +6  +8   +6 +11  All for naught
 15   +11  +5   +9  +7   +6  +9   +7 +12  Bonus feat, brilliant +4
 16   +12  +5  +10  +7   +6 +10   +7 +12  Past clients IV
 17   +12  +5  +10  +8   +7 +10   +8 +13  Bonus feat
 18   +13  +6  +11  +8   +7 +11   +8 +14  Brilliant +5
 19   +14  +6  +11  +8   +8 +11   +8 +15  Bonus feat, Review the facts
 20   +15  +6  +12  +9   +8 +12   +9 +15  Past clients V, the criminal mind II


Investigator
  Some people just can’t rest until they get to the truth and the Investigator is used to staying up late.
  In your campaign, an Investigator could be…
•   A special agent tasked with his agency’s most pressing crimes
•   A prize-winning journalist who never backs down
•   A gumshoe whose day hasn’t really started until somebody has beaten him up for asking the wrong question
•   A rumpled police detective who would like to go over your story just one more time
•   A menacing bounty-hunter who always finds his mark

  Party Role: Solver/Combatant. The Investigator is a shrewd observer of people and knows that people can turn nasty.
  Build: Dip into Investigator to cut through the bullshit and for a powerful take-down attack at the beginning of combat. Commit to the Investigator to build keen instincts and acquire connections that reach across communities to bring in the information you need to move forward.

Class Features
  Favored Attributes: Wisdom, Constitution
  Class Skills: Bluff, Haggle, Intimidate, Investigate, Notice, Resolve, Search, Sense Motive, Survival, Tactics
  Skill Points: 6 + Int modifier
  Vitality: 9 + Con modifier per level
  Starting Weapon Proficiencies: 4

Core Ability
  BOLO: You and your teammates gain a +1 teamwork bonus to all Sense Motive, Notice, and Tactics checks and are considered skilled even if they have 0 ranks in those skills. You may spend 2 action dice to increase this bonus to +3 until the end of the session.
  (Teamwork stacks, but cannot exceed +4)

Class Abilities
  Take the Case: You may make Bluff and Search checks using your Wisdom modifier. You gain formidable Sense Motive.
  (Whenever you roll a 1-9 on a Sense Motive check, turn the die to ‘10’. If you gain the same formidable skill a second time, you instead gain a bonus Skill feat.)

  Freeze! I: At Level 2, during the surprise round and the first round of each combat when you attack a single character you may gain +4 threat range on the attack by demanding their surrender. Before rolling your attack check, the target may surrender to cancel the attack.
  Freeze! II: At Level 11 the bonus to threat range increases to +5 and the target must spend 2 action dice to resume hostilities.
  Freeze! III: At Level 19 the bonus to threat range increases to +6 and the target must spend 3 action dice to resume hostilities.
  (Characters who surrender drop any readied weapons and submit to being bound. A surrendered character must spend an action die to resume hostilities during that scene unless attacked)

  Bonus Feat: At Levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19 you gain an additional Basic Combat or Detective feat.

  Legwork I: Sometimes the job requires you put some wear on those soles. At Level 4, choose one type of favors: Decree, Detention, Invitation, Loan, or Reconnaissance. At the beginning of each adventure you gain a pool of 20 Reputation points which may only be spent on favors of the chosen type. Renown requirements are waived for these favors.
  Legwork II: At Level 8, choose a second type of favors and this pool increases to 30 points.
  Legwork III: At Level 12, choose a third type of favors and this pool increases to 40 points.
  Legwork IV: At Level 16, choose a fourth type of favors and this pool increases to 50 points.
  Legwork V: At Level 20, you may use this pool for all five types of favors and the pool increases to 60 points.


  Promotion: At levels 6, 12, and 18, you gain 1 renown rank of your choice.

  Break the Case: At Levels 9 and 15, once per adventure, you automatically succeed with 1 Investigation check (DC up to 50).

  Good Cop, Bad Cop I: At Level 10, you gain either formidable Haggle or Intimidate.
  Good Cop, Bad Cop II: At Level 20, you gain formidable Haggle and Intimidate.
(Whenever you roll a 1-9 on a formidable skill check, turn the die to ‘10’. If you gain the same formidable skill a second time, you instead gain a bonus Skill feat.)

  Legend on the Force: At Level 14 your Wisdom rises by 5 and your Constitution rises by 2.

Table 1.13: The Investigator
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Def Init LS Lgnd Abilities
  1    +0  +1   +0  +2   +1  +2  +0  +1  Take the case, BOLO
  2    +1  +2   +0  +3   +1  +3  +0  +1  Freeze! I
  3    +2  +2   +1  +3   +2  +4  +1  +2  Bonus feat
  4    +3  +2   +1  +4   +2  +5  +1  +2  Legwork I
  5    +3  +3   +1  +4   +3  +5  +1  +3  Bonus feat
  6    +4  +3   +2  +5   +4  +6  +2  +3  Promotion
  7    +5  +4   +2  +5   +4  +7  +2  +4  Bonus feat
  8    +6  +4   +2  +6   +5  +8  +2  +4  Legwork II
  9    +6  +4   +3  +6   +5  +9  +3  +5  Bonus feat, break the case
 10    +7  +5   +3  +7   +6 +10  +3  +5  Good cop, bad cop I
 11    +8  +5   +3  +7   +7 +10  +3  +6  Bonus feat, freeze! II
 12    +9  +6   +4  +8   +7 +11  +4  +6  Legwork III, promotion
 13    +9  +6   +4  +8   +8 +12  +4  +7  Bonus feat
 14   +10  +6   +4  +9   +8 +13  +4  +7  Legend on the force
 15   +11  +7   +5  +9   +9 +14  +5  +8  Bonus feat, break the case
 16   +12  +7   +5 +10  +10 +15  +5  +8  Legwork IV
 17   +12  +8   +5 +10  +10 +15  +5  +9  Bonus feat
 18   +13  +8   +6 +11  +11 +16  +6  +9  Promotion
 19   +14  +8   +6 +11  +11 +17  +6 +10  Bonus feat, freeze! III
 20   +15  +9   +6 +12  +12 +18  +6 +10  Good cop, bad cop II, legwork V


(click to show/hide)
21  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 23, 2014, 06:01:42 PM
Man, that Ultron trailer is SERIOUSLY stuck in my head now. And its somewhat hilarious how much of the screen time is frittered away on an Ironman-Hulk fight that could be nearly irrelevant to the main story. Must be nice to have something that badass and iconic you can use as a throw away subplot/loose footage.
22  Community / Off-Topic / Re: XCOM (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: October 23, 2014, 08:06:01 AM
  Its like seeing the inner rage and embarrassment of Farthest Star given a voice Smiley.
  Humans get to be the dominant species in their slice of the galaxy, and have had a few episodes where they've met the alien and the knee jerk reaction to things that startle us has lead to tragedy - mostly for the other guy. On the whole they are trying to do better, and the people who actively pursue lifestyles that could lead to a first contact are well coached in not opening fire just because it's revolting, but accident still happen and the thoughtful types back home just keep hoping we don't stumble over anything that could hit back really hard...
23  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 23, 2014, 07:55:24 AM
  I just cruised over to my local gamestore to pre-order it about 10 hours ago. I had successfully let it sneak up on me. Gotta get some work down today because tomorrow belongs to BE Smiley.
24  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Why Did I Do This? on: October 19, 2014, 10:13:52 AM
 Cheesy
25  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Halloween Spirit on: October 18, 2014, 02:31:34 PM
In the holiday spirit I recommend browsing the Magic the Gathering's gothic horror block Innistrad just to soak up the luscious art Smiley.

For a bit of Mastercraft crunch, how about some alignments Grin!

Alignments of Innistrad

Church of Avacyn
  “What cannot be destroyed will be bound”
  Dedicated to the survival of Man in the face of Innistrad’s countless terrors. In particular the Church tries to ensure the “Blessed Sleep” preventing the faithful from being violated after death.
  While the Church has enjoyed a living god in the form of the Archangel Avacyn for centuries, she has mysteriously vanished some months before our tale begins.
  The Church’s reach extends to all four of Inistrad’s provinces, but its strongholds and manpower are chiefly gathered within the Province of Gavony. The church is lead by the Lunarch from its central cathedral in the city of Thraben. The office is currently held by Mikaeus, a man of genuine passion and faith and a beacon in these dark times.
  The Church's militant agents are known as cathars and are lead by Guardian-Captain Thalia.

Paths: Angels, Good, Heroism, Knowledge, Protection,
Alignment Skills: Athletics, Ride, Search, Tactics
Ritual Weapon: Longsword (marked with the collar of Avacyn)
Avatar: Moon Heron
Opposed Alignments: Crimson Courts, Cult of Whispers

The Wood-Ways
  “Living wood is the bane of many evils...”
  With the faltering of the protection offered by the Church of Avacyn, many have turned to Innistrad’s older practices, known as the Wood-Ways. These practices were never truly abandoned in the province of Kessig and as a result that region has faired better than many in these dark days.
  Many Werewolves also practice the Wood-ways and humans and werewolves sometimes reach momentary accord through these rites. This has led to some conflicts between human Wood-worshipers and slayers dispatched by the Church, but usually the warriors of Avacyn will turn a blind eye to these pagan practices, putting the survival of race ahead of questions of dogma.

Paths: Nature, Protection, Travel, War, Wilderness
Alignment Skills: Blend, Ride, Search, Survival
Ritual Weapon: Shortbow
Avatar: Wood Elemental
Opposed Alignments: Cult of Whispers, Stitchers

Stitchers
  “Igor? Bring me the brain!”
  Many forms of dark science and necro-alchemy lurk in the mansions and cellars of Inistrad, and have taken root particularly in Nephalia. Stichers are best known for their reanimated creations, alchemical zombies known as skaabs, but they have created numerous other devices and creatures through their experimentation at the edge of sanity.

Paths: Air, Curses, Knowledge, Skaabs, Treachery
Alignment Skills: Bluff, Crafting, Haggle, Investigate
Ritual Weapon: Scalpel
Avatar: Skaab Decimator (enhanced flesh golem)
Opposed Alignments: Crimson Courts, The Wood-Ways

The Crimson Courts
  “It was not fate that brought you into my clutches. No, that was all my doing”
  Prior to the Coming of Avacyn, Innistrad was ruled by vampires. Their four great bloodlines (Falkenrath, Markov, Stromkirk, Voldaren) still hold sway in Stensia Province, and their power is spreading rapidly in Avacyn’s absence.

Paths: Beauty, Blood, Darkness, Strength, War
Alignment Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Sneak, Tactics
Ritual Weapon: Bite
Avatar: The Lord of Lineages (master vampire)
Opposed Alignments: Church of Avacyn, Stitchers

Cult of Whispers
  “Every soul has its price”
  The Cult of Whispers counts the both the necromantic Ghoulcallers and those who traffic with demons amongst their ranks. While different branches serve different demon lords, they exercise remarkable ‘professional courtesy towards each other. Rumors about that the cults have infiltrated all levels of the provincial governments and even the highest levels of the Church itself.

Paths: Contracts, Death, Evil, Strength, Treachery
Alignment Skills: Blend, Bluff, Disguise, Sneak
Ritual Weapon: Dagger
Avatar: Reaper from the Abyss (demon)
Opposed Alignments: Church of Avacyn, The Wood-Ways
26  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Base Class: The Inspector on: October 16, 2014, 06:01:06 PM
The basic concept/mechanic you had - get a clue (by whatever means), kick in a +15 to the roll after the fact was really tasty without being all that ridiculously powerful. I just keep seeing characters from Elementary or NCIS sitting up all night with a pile of document/photos and then having something new to share with the team the next morning without ever leaving the house/office. Letting the Inspector review other people's clues is equal parts useful synergy and potentially smarmy Wink.
27  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Base Class: The Inspector on: October 16, 2014, 05:37:46 PM
That's disappointing; understandable though. You were the person I figured would be able to polish Sudden Insight the best. I'll have to wait and hope for some advice from some of the other LoI regulars.

Having just watched all of season 2 of Elementary over the last week, I'm feeling pretty steeped in consulting detective motifs at the moment Smiley. I'm also feeling pretty good about the number 1 enemy of the investigator being the clock...

Just tinkering I get something like...

  Deductions I: At level 1, your Wisdom rises by 1 and whenever you or a teammate gain a clue you may spend 6 hours reviewing the clue to improve its quality by one step (eg. Fruitful to illuminating).
  Deductions II: At level 10, your Wisdom rises by 1 and you may perform your review in 1 hour.
  Deductions III: At level 20, your Wisdom rises by 1 and you may perform your review in 1 minute.

Alternatively if you wanted to go back to having a flawless pair in A, these could go into B quite neatly. There is good precedent for time reduction effects in B with both the Explorer and Sage.
28  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Base Class: The Inspector on: October 16, 2014, 04:37:03 PM
  Very glad I sat down and banged out more of mine before reading through this as there are a lot of interesting ideas at work here. Now I have only a couple slots left to fill before facing the temptation to replicate goodies found here Smiley. The sharp senses ability was definitely an "oof, missed that one" for me Smiley.

  Personally I would avoid having both a flawless ability at level 1 and a skill cap booster in 2/11/19 in the same class. Keep in mind also they serve different purposes - one allows spectacular successes along with semi-frequent failures, while the other doesn't drive up the peak performance at all but is constantly warding off the whoopses. The two have very different feel in play - genius vs. meticulousness. If you need the class to cover a lot of potential ground go with the skill cap but allow choices. Having it pop at 2/11/19 but letting players pick the order the skills are boosted (or which three out of a list of more than 3) lets the class cover very different concepts even at it's earliest levels.

  I admit I plan to cheat and cheat vigorously - since I'm basically reinstituting some of the old dramatic conflicts as very stripped down mini-games I've also allowed myself the luxury of assuming the existence of a "Detective Feat Tree". Again, this is with an eye towards one class supporting a multitude of mechanics with greater player control over how the see themselves in the role. It also means that after giving over the spine (C slot) to feats I have to concentrate on the absolutely essential in all other slots.

 Though in some respects I don't see myself finalizing my solver classes without having a look at my Thief and Con-Artist, as the two sides of the coin should definitely play off each other a bit. Holmes is made vastly better by having a Moriarity. You might do the same here with less labor by re-reading the Burglar and Assassin classes and asking 'how can this class better pit itself against those?'
29  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] The Champion on: October 16, 2014, 04:02:25 PM
  Personally I prefer that it be spelled out right there rather than forcing a page flip Smiley. Doubly so after people arguing "frenzy must only apply to NPCs because it says 'this NPC' in the text..." Still, it would be best to use unified terminology. Good catch. Will tinker.
  On the bright side its one less class ability I have to come up with an NPC XP value for Grin.

  ...and yeah, I'd forgotten free attacks had the 'final' restriction folded directly into them Tongue.

 
30  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Notebook] The Champion on: October 15, 2014, 11:14:52 PM
Its a good suggestion. I recently realized that one of the role-models for this class is a relatively low power version of Captain America (shield with +3 reach *giggle*). My current thinking is the 10/20 slot will need to provide some protection against crits (coupled with the level 1 ability) to lay the ground work for the gamebreaker's steady regeneration. It may prove as simple as "You gain 3/6 grades of Tough."

(This class is also intended to support the typical Jedi Knight - there's all kinds of humor in putting Force feats in the species tree.)

EDIT: Went with reduced threat range on incoming attacks. You can still headshot a Champion 20 but damn do you have to really mean it.
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