Monthly Archives: October 2015

Trick or Treat #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing

Trick or Treat. Those who refuse to aid you will regret it. When you make a Diplomacy check to request aid of a creature that is at least indifferent toward you, and the check fails, you may warn the target failure to aid you may come at a cost. This allows you to make another check for aid at -5, receiving aid if successful but afterward the creature’s attitude toward you worsens by one step. If this check fails, the target suffers a -2 penalty to all saving throws against your abilities and all opposed skill checks against you.
Until you have forced the target to make an opposed check or saving throw in circumstances where the target cannot take 10, you do not gain the benefits of this feat. You can only have this bonus against one creature at a time. If you fail to force a creature to make an opposed skill check or save by the time the next full moon rises, the feat resets, the bonuses end, and you can use Trick or Treat again. #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing

Witch’s Ward #Spelltweets

Witch’s Ward (shmn/wtch 5) As hex glyph (ACG), except when it is discharged you automatically receive a vision of the area around the glyph as if you can cast scrying on the area. #Spelltweets

Skin Suit #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing

Skin Suit. You can benefit from wearing the skin of another. Prereq: Craft (armor, clothing, or leather). You can wear suits made from the skin of other creatures. If the creature is your size or larger, you can make a suit out of the skin of just one such creature, the the number required doubling for every size category smaller than you the donor creature is. With the suit, you can disguise yourself as the creature’s type and gender using the Disguise skill without penalty (though you still appear to be your own size category), and absorb enough power from wearing such a suit to grate creatures of the same the and subtype as your suit’s donors as favored enemies with a +2 bonus (as the ranger class feature, or increasing your bonus by +2 if you already have favored enemy). Even mindless creatures, such as undead, can be fooled by such a suit if you are not exposed to close scrutiny.

You can create a skin suit as a full-roudn action if a dead donor is available, but such hastily-crafted suits last only 1 round per rank of the appropriate Craft you possess. A DC 30 Craft check allows such suits to last 1 minute per rank, instead. Otherwise treat skin suits as padded or leather armor, or an explorer’s outfit, to determine the time and cost to create one that can be used indefinitely., You can only wear on skin suit at a time. #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing

Destined Refrain #Spelltweets

Destined Refrain (Brd 5) As heightened reflexes (ACG), but bonus applies to any category of saving throw and duration is 1 hour/2 caster levels. #Spelltweets

Phantom Facade #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing

Phantom Façade. You can turn into a foe’s worst nightmare. Prereq: ability to cast a 1st level or higher illusion spell. As a standard action you can expend a prepared illusion spell (or for spontaneous spellcasters, expend a spell slot of a level at which you have an illusion spell known) while focused on a creature you can see. You become an image of whatever that creature fears most. It takes a penalty to attack rolls and opposed skill checks against you equal to the expended spell or spell slot’s level, for 1 minute per level. When the creature first sees you it may make a Will save (DC 10 +1/2 your character level + the level of the expended spell or spell slot) to cut these penalties in half. This is a spell-like illusion (phantasm) mind-affecting fear effect. #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing

Dracula. … No, the other one.

Much to my surprise, I ended up celebrating my birthday with a small group of close friends by watching the 1931 Dracula, which I had never seen on the big screen, at a local theater.

I hadn’t really realized how much of that movie is staring contests.

Or how much they lovingly focused on the stupid flappy-bat puppets. I am AWARE of the level of technology available in 1931, but I found myself thinking this looked worse than the same thing would have in person (relevant because Bela Lugosi originated the Dracula role in the stage play the movie is based on), and that it was a bad call to keep focusing on it for stretches of multiple seconds. In short, I strongly felt that even in 1931, they could have done better.

And then, the next part of the evening proved me right.

Because in addition to the Bela Lugosi Dracula, the movie theater was showing as a double-feature the Spanish-language Dracula which was filmed by Universal at the same time, on the same sets, with much the same scripts, but at night. When the English-language crew left at sundown, the Spanish-language crew showed up, and stayed until dawn.

I’ve been aware of the Spanish Dracula movie for years, but have never seen a single scene. Since we’d all just watched (and occasionally laughed at) the English, “classic” version, we agreed we’d give the Spanish version 10-15 minutes to appreciate the experience, then go eat.

Instead, we all sat enrapt for the full, longer running time.

No, it’s not a perfect film. I feel Carlos Villarías (credited as Carlos Villar) smiled way too much, but that might well be a cultural expectation of the time or the audience the film was made for. And while Lugosi has well-illuminated staring scenes, Villarías has the forehead-crinkle- extreme-close-up-cam. And some goofy things from the English language version’s script make it into the Spanish one.

But overall, it’s just a stronger film. Some is the fact it’s lighting is working with the schedule of shooting at night, and some was the director could literally watch the dailies of the English language film and see what did and didn’t work. The longer running time also works better for a bit of backstory (though not TOO much, since it still has an out-of-the-blue “It’s a good thing we killed that vampire, offscreen, without even suggesting we might do so” scene). But it’s also just a better shot, better acted, better directed film.

And the silly, floppy bats are used MUCH better. They are flashed by the screen so fast you don’t have time to notice how stupid they look. Or they create shadows, and we only see that sign they exist. What they DON’T do is hover in screen shot after shot, driving home how undangerous, undramatic they are.

A neat experience I never would have managed back in OK, and that I didn’t plan much in advance. A great birthday outing.

Then, we went to Shari’s and had birthday pie.

Cranial Amplification #Spelltweets

Cranial Amplification (brd/drd/psy/shmn/wtch 2) As heightened awareness (ACG), but range touch and target 1 creature touched. Additionally, the target may dismiss the spell as an immediate action in combat to change his initiative to be just after the last creature to take an action.

Alone in the Dark #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing

Alone in the Dark. You are the thing that goes bump in the night. Prereq: Darkvison, see in darkness, or Blind-Fight. Benefit: Once per round when you attack a target that cannot see any of its allies and cannot see you, and your attack is successful, you deal an additional +1d6 precision damage and may make a free dirty trick combat maneuver against the target. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity. #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing

Alloyed Spirit #Spelltweets

Alloyed Spirit (Drd/Shmn 5) As heart of the metal (APG), except target 1 creature, and that creature gains the benefit of all the possible metals of the spell (at the same time) on all weapons, unarmed, and natural attacks. #Spelltweets

They’ll Die Screaming #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing

They’ll Die Screaming. The fearful and cowardly are easy prey for you. Prerequisite: 1 rank Intimidate. The save DC of any ability or spell you use is higher for creatures suffering fear effects. It is +1 higher for shaken creatures (and creatures suffering a fear effect that does not inflict one of the conditions listed here), +2 higher for frightened creatures, and +3 higher for cowering and panicked creatures. #Microfeats #HalloweenisComing