Monthly Archives: January 2017

Telekinetic Message

Based on a typo discovered today.
Telekinetic Message (tranmutation, level 0, 1 target, long range).
The target feels a force briefly pressing into his forehead. this can clearly be felt to be in the shape of an upraised middle finger. this spell is considered the psychic equivalent of yelling “Hey Stupid!”
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Genre Feats: Supers Edition

For lots of really good reasons, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is designed to emulate a specific flavor of fantasy. It then branches out from that flavor sometimes with specific options, but they (for good reason) feel like bolt-ons.

But it’s not hard to turn Pathfinder into nearly any flavor of fantasy game. Sometimes you need more extensive rules (ranging from Anachronistic Adventures to comprehensive rules for Spell Points). But sometimes you just need a few tweaks to bring in a new flavor without having to rewrite the whole game.

Enter Genre feats.

Genre feats are specifically designed to reskin the flavor of a game. Characters get 2 free genre feats at 1st level, one additional bonus genre feat at 5th and every 5 levels thereafter, and may use normal (but not class bonus) feat slots to take more.

Genre feats have low prerequisites, often allow a build to work well that doesn’t in standard Pathfinder, and make genre-specific tropes easy. It’s common for a few genre feats to be popular with many players, and that’s fine. It reinforces the genre!

Here are example Supers Genre Feats. For these each feat can be selected more than once increasing the feat by one step (the first time you take the feat you get the basic version. Each additional step moves you up to enhanced, superior, and then supreme). Supers can focus on one power tree for many levels, or build heroes with multiple, more minor powers.

Obviously many more could be created.

BRICK
Basic: You gain an armor bonus to AC equal to 6 +1/3 your character level.
Enhanced: You gain an armor bonus to AC equal to 6 +1/3 your character level, a natural armor bonus equal to 1 + 1/5 your character level. You have DR 1/– and resist energy (all) 5. These increase by +1 DR and +5 resist at 5th character level, and every 5 levels thereafter.
Superior: You gain an armor bonus to AC equal to 7 +1/3 your character level, a natural armor bonus equal to 2 + 1/5 your character level. You have DR 1/– and resist energy (all) 5. These increase by +1 DR and +5 resist at 5th character level, and every 5 levels thereafter. You begin every combat with temporary hit points equal to double your character level.
Supreme: You gain an armor bonus to AC equal to 8 +1/3 your character level, a natural armor bonus equal to 3 + 1/5 your character level. You have DR 1/– and resist energy (all) 5. These increase by +1 DR and +5 resist at 5th character level, and every 5 levels thereafter. You begin every combat with temporary hit points equal to double your character level. You have SR equal to your character level +10, but may choose to forgo it against any spell you are aware of as a free action.

MASTER OF ELDRITCH FORCES
Basic: Select one class spell list. You gain spells known and spells per day from that spell list as a bloodrager of your character level. Select Int, Wis, or Cha to determine your bonus spells, max spell level, and spell save DCs. You suffer ASF, except from armor gained as part of a power.
Enhanced: Select two class spell lists. You gain spells known and spells per day from as a bard of your character level, drawing all spells from the selected spell lists. You suffer ASF in medium or heavy armor, except from armor gained as part of a genre emulation feat.
Superior: Select three class spell lists. You gain spells known and spells per day as a sorcerer of your character level drawing all spells from the selected spell lists. You suffer ASF in heavy armor, except from armor gained as part of a genre emulation feat.
Supreme: Select four class spell lists. You learn and cast spells as an arcanist of your character level +2 (minimum 6 spells known per character level), drawing all spells from the selected spell lists. You do not suffer ASF.

SUPER-MOVEMENT
Basic: You have a fly speed equal to your base move rate, but must end each turn adjacent to an object strong enough to bear your weight.
Enhanced: You have a fly speed equal to your base move rate with good maneuverability.
Superior: You have a fly speed equal to double your base move rate.
Supreme: You can teleport as part of any of your movement, as the same type of action (including teleporting as a 5-foot step).

SUPER-PUNCH
Basic: You deal unarmed damage as a monk of your character level +4
Enhanced: You deal unarmed damage as a monk of your character level +8
Superior: Every unarmed attack you make calculates damage as is you were using a 2-handed weapons and hitting with Vital Strike. This stacks with actual Vital Strike.
Supreme: You are treated as having one of the following sets of feats:  Martial Arts Master – Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Disarm, Improved Grapple, Improved Reposition, Improved Steal, Improved Trip; or Powerhouse – Improved Bull Rush, Improved Drag, Improved Grapple, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Improved Trip. When you make a successful melee attack, as a swift or immediate action you may perform a combat maneuver against that foe.

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Mythic ACG Feats

Just noodling with some ideas.

Aberrant Tumor (Mythic)
Your tumor is as powerful a spellcaster as you are.
Prerequisite: Aberrant tumor, aberrant bloodline.
Benefit: Your tumor familiar is considered a mythic creature with a mythic tier equal to half yours (minimum tier 1). You may choose to have any spell you cast originate and calculate its range from this familiar, rather than from yourself. You must either be able to see your familiar, or have line of effect to it, to cast spells in this way.

 

Amateur Investigator (Mythic)
Your knowledge is more than plain smarts—it’s inspired.
Prerequisites: Int 13, Amateur Investigator, 1 rank in at least one Knowledge skill, no levels in a class that has the inspiration class feature.
Benefit: Add your mythic tier to the size of your pool of inspiration.
Special: If you gain levels in a class that has the inspiration class feature, you can immediately trade this feat for the Extra Inspiration (Mythic) feat.

 

Amateur Swashbuckler (Combat, Mythic)
Though not a swashbuckler, you have and can use panache.
Prerequisite: Amateur Swashbuckler, no levels in a class that has the panache class feature.
Benefit: Choose an additional 1st-level deed from the swashbuckler’s deeds class feature; once chosen, this deed cannot be changed. Add your mythic tier to your starting total of panache points. You can spend these panache points to perform the 1st-level deeds you chose upon taking this feat and Amateur Swashbuckler, as well as any other deeds you have gained through feats or magic items.
Special: If you gain levels in a class that has the panache class feature, you can immediately trade this feat for the Mythic Extra Panache feat.

 

Animal Soul (Mythic)
Your close bond with an animal allows you to use magic that targets animals on yourself.
Prerequisite: Animal Soul, animal companion or mount class feature.
Benefit: You can allow spells and effects that affect animals, animal companions, and special mounts to affect any creature you touch, even if the spells do not normally affect creatures of the touched target’s type. For example, you could touch a creature and allow an ally’s cast animal growth spell to affect it. An opponent could not cast charm animal or dominate animal on a creature you touch unless you chose to allow the spell to affect the creature as if it was an animal.

 

Anticipate Dodge (Combat, Mythic)
Your knowledge of mobility and your attack prowess allow you to thwart elusive opponents.
Prerequisites: Anticipate Dodge, Dodge, Mobility; base attack bonus +7, brawler level 4th, or monk level 4th.
Benefit: Your +2 bonus on attack rolls from Anticipate Dodge applies to attacks against any creature that is not denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.

 

Barroom Brawler (Combat, Mythic)
You have learned how to mimic the combat tricks and forms of others.
Prerequisite: Barroom Brawler, base attack bonus +4.
Benefit: Add your mythic tier to the number of times per day you can gain the benefit of a combat feat that you do not possess for 1 minute.

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How to Colaborate

When you are working on a project that is so big no one person can write, develop, or edit all of it, it is inevitably you will, at some point, accidentally make something created by someone else slightly worse or less clear. You’ll have the best of intentions (or at least I always do), but it’ll happen occasionally.

I have just a few coping mechanisms for this.

First, I try very hard to improve more than I degrade. That sounds obvious, but it’s still a useful guild principle for me.

Two, I try to run anything that seems oddly worded or build to produce weird results past both the original creator and a second opinion. This helps avoid “fixing” things by altering the actual intent, and helps catch places where I have misread or misunderstood something and THAT is why Iw ant to change it.

Third, and the one that applies to the broadest range of situations on such a project, I work very hard not to be precious about anything I write. If I am the publisher and my money is backing the project, I’m okay to decide my vision is paramount. But in any other circumstance, I know I am working with brilliant, experienced, smart people. If I disagree with them on a call, the goal must be finding the solution best for the product, not the one I like best.

Also, sometimes go out with such folks for drinks. 🙂

Genre Emulation Feats – Noir, Fatale

Genre Emulation Feats are an idea I noodled with while running an Anachronistc Advenures campaign called “The Travellers,” where my players bravely agreed to make mundane modern day characters using the AnacrAdv rules knowing I was going to do SOMETHING with the game, but not what.

“What” turned out to be a series of world-hopping adventures that took them to different realities (Alterniverses) where different genres held sway, within which each PCs got a template giving them abilities appropriate to their role within that Alterniverse. Several of those had Genre Emulation Feats, which were designed to enforce specific tropes with that reality. GEF were more powerful than normal feats, but you only got a few, only to fit one role, and only within that Alterniverse.

each character never filled more than one role. If your roll changed, you could swap your old genre feats for new ones. I generally gave out a bonus GEF at 1st level, 3rd level, and every 3rd level after that.

These are examples of the ones the Fatale role could pick up, which certainly were not gender-specific.

A Paramour in Every Port
Prerequisites: Fatale role
Benefits: Each time you enter a settlement, you get a number of followers as if you had taken the Leadership feat (but no cohorts… ever). Your Leadership level for this is equal to your Charisma bonus, plus the bonuses you gain from Bluff or Diplomacy from feats (you add only the bonuses to one of those two skills, whichever are highest), plus the higher of the settlement’s Corruption or Society rating. For Leadership scores of Your effective Leadership has a minimum of 6 to 9, you still receive followers (1 follower for a 6, 2 for a 7, and so on). Your total followers in a given settlement never exceed your character level.
Your followers are Friendly, and their roles within the town are random. Their alignment is also random, but you know their alignment within one step (your GM tells you, and the answer will be correct or within one step). You do not need to pay for these followers gear or upkeep unless you give them full-time (40 hour/week) tasks.
Losing a follower lowers your leadership score in the same settlement by 1 until you gain your next level. each time you gain a level, you can recalculate your total followers (replacing lost ones and gaining new ones if needed).

Bushwack
Prerequisites: Fatale role
Benefits: When you lure a target into a secluded area where the target cannot see or hear any of its allies, any nonlethal damage the takes in a surprise round before the target acts is quadrupled. This only functions if you convince the target to move from the location where you encounter it. If any of these conditions end you cannot use this feat again on the same target until you have gotten an attitude or friendly with the target, or if the target does not realize you are the same person when you next lure it into seclusion.

Quid Pro Quo
Prerequisites: Fatale role
Benefits: You can make a Diplomacy check to ask favors of creatures that are not hostile to you, in return for you doing a favor of the same level of danger and/or cost for them first. The DC for this is 10 + x1.5 the CR of the target. This otherwise functions as a normal Diplomacy check asking for a favor.
Obviously you’d want more feats and different roles…

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More Diesel Pulp

Most of my “Diesel Pulp” figures and models are part of a specific setting I worldbuild purely as a hobby. I work on them in my (limited) spare time as something connected to many of the things I love about my hobby, without being something I plan to actually ever turn into a product. And, of course, a lot of it is left half-done…

47-frei-corps

In the background two Maginot Field Turrets (each topped by an Irregular — Sister Sanguine and Tommy Atkins), in the foreground several more Irregulars including Father Pentacaust, Buring Skill, Mister Mythic, Captain St. Louis, The Haze, Torch Singer, the Marshal , Kilroy, Pirate Jack, and Black Hood. to the far right, three members of the Iron Raptors.

DungeonBall!

The Midvale Murder Hobos are making a run for the scoring zone, with number 12, “Doomed” Dwalvitsky gripping the d-ball in both hands to qualify for the score. An ogre hits Dwalvitsky, but the dwarven halfback is just plowing toward the zone. He’s bleeding, but the Hobos’ morale coordinator, Brother Turpin, shoots out some buffs. There’s just seconds left in the segment, the crowd is on their feet, Dwalvitsky puts his head down and rushes a worg blocker, and…. Score! The Murder Hobos score! They win the Temple of Hill Giant Evil cup!

DungeonBall is a ridiculous way to play the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game to combine sports tropes in the mix of fantasy and adventure tropes. It’s a simple set of add-on rules to simulate sport-dungeon-stomping, presumably in a word where that is televised (or broadcast by crystal ball) for entertainment of the masses.

While all game rules not specifically altered by these rules work normally, no one actually dies. If you die in a game of DungeonBall, you just sit out the game as a penalty. You’re back next week.

Rules

DungeonBall plays just like a normal combat-heavy rpg session. It just has some Requirements, Positions, and Penalties.

Requirements

Your team has to carry the DungeonBall (or “d-ball”).
*A d-ball is a one-foot cube with a handle in the middle of each side. It weighs 20 pounds, has hardness 50 and 10,000 hit points, is immune to anything that doesn’t affect objects, can’t be teleported or taken to another plane or made invisible, can’t be concealed (even in total darkness, everyone can see the d-ball), makes all its own saving throw (and always gets them)
*A stationary d-ball has an AC (touch and full) of 10 – it’s size adjusts perfectly for its immobility.
*It is a simple ranged weapon, with a range increment of 5 feet. It deals 1d6 points of damage. If it is thrown at you and hits your touch AC, you may attempt to catch it as an attack of opportunity (due to its easily-grabbed nature). You must hit a touch AC of 15 + 1 per square it was thrown. If it passes by you or arrives in an adjacent square you may attempt to snatch it out of the air as an attack of opportunity. To do this you must hit an AC of 20 + 1 per square thrown. If two character attempt to grab a thrown d-ball at once, they make competing Reflex saves, with the highest save grabbing it first. If they have the same result they both grab it, and are in a grapple until one of them wins a grapple check to wrest it away from the other.
*A member of your team must have the d-ball held openly in at least one hand if it is possible for any member of your team to do so. If the d-ball is available to your team, and a full round passes without some member carrying it, that’s a penalty (see below).
*If no member of your team has the d-ball held openly in at least one hand, your foes take no damage and suffer no penalties, and make all their saving throws, until your team holds the d-ball. The foes can affect your team normally. Obviously, it is to their advantage to get the d-ball away from you. You can use combat maneuvers to disarm or steal the d-ball normally.

Your team must be in the encounter.
*If the GM maps out the encounter, all characters on the team must be on that map before anyone is allowed to do anything. If a character leaves or doesn’t make it to the map, that’s a penalty (see below). If the GM doesn’t map out the encounter, all members of the team must be close enough the GM agrees they are “part of the encounter.”
*You can be on other planes for long enough to teleport, but otherwise being on a plane other than the one holding the encounter is a penalty (see below).

Each encounter runs a total of 10 rounds maximum.
*If you haven’t ended the encounter within 10 rounds, you get no points (and may lose points, see “scoring”).

To end an encounter, your team must have an active (not helpless or dead) member holding the d-ball in BOTH hands in the scoring zone.
*Every encounter has a 10-foot-square of space, usually far from where the team begins, which is the scoring zone. For the first 6 rounds of an encounter a character must stand there for a full round, holding the ball in both hands the whole time, to end the encounter. In rounds 7-10. The character just has to be in the zone with the d-ball in both hands and not dead or helpless.

Your team must be made of characters that fill the official positions (below).
No exception to this one – no characters that don’t fill a position, no team with too many characters filling limited positions, and no team that doesn’t have all the mandatory positions. A character may fill one and only one position.

Positions

Center: The center is the only character allowed to have a character under their control. Whether it’s a summoner with an eidolon, a druid or ranger with an animal companion, a character casting charm person, a witch with a familiar, or a cleric summoning monsters, only the center may have another character under their control in this way. A team may have at most one center.

Forward: A forward cannot have any spellcasting ability, or any class-granted spell-like abilities. A forward gains a +5 bonus to movement (even in armor) and a bonus equal to half their level (minimum +1) to rolls to throw or catch the d-ball. Every team must have at least one forward.

Halfback: A halfback must have a base attack bonus equal to character level. You can multiclass, but only among full-base-attack bonus classes. Every team must have at least one halfback.

Morale Coordinator: The morale coordinator (some teams use specific cheer- or coaching-based names or this role) cannot attack anyone or anything (using the definition of attack for invisibility), and cannot be attacked by anyone (but suffer traps and hazards normally). They do not threaten, but do take up their space and prevent charging through them by foes. They cannot carry, or even touch, the d-ball. A team may have at most one morale coordinator.

Shield Guard: Any legal character that doesn’t violate the rules of your teams minimums and maximums of other positions is a guard. Subject to filling other required roles, your team can have any number of shield guards.

Spell Guard: Only the center and the spell guard may have more than half their class levels be in classes with access to 9th-level spells. A team may have at most one spell guard.

Penalties

Within the fictional world of DungeonBall, the Dungeon Umpire calls a penalty, stops all activity, explains it, applies it, and then restarts the game. Magic prevents things like durations from continuing during this time and everyone is moved back to their exact position (and momentum – even if you are falling, that action is suspended during a penalty call), so a GM running a DungeonBall game can just call a penalty between player turns, then have the game continue as normal.

Penalties are based on a team’s APL (average party level).
Common penalties that may actually come up during the game include–

*Ignoring the Plot: If the d-ball is available to the team, and the team isn’t openly carrying it for a full round or more, all team members take 1d6 damage per APL.
*Off the Rails: If a character doesn’t make it to the encounter or leaves the encounter, all movement rates of all team members is halved for a number of rounds equal to twice the time the character isn’t in the encounter.
*Different Dungeon: If a character is on another plane for as much as a move action of time, the encounter adds a random monster equal to the group’s APL. This monster can communicate with and works with existing foes of the team.

Scoring

If you complete an encounter, you get a number of points equal to the encounter’s CR minus your team’s APL (this can be negative), plus 1 point for each round remaining in the 1-round timer. If time runs out, you get any negative value of CR – APL, -2 more points. Your total score is the value of all encounters in a dungeon.
*This really only matters if the GM sets a target value, like requiring you to get 10 points in 2 encounters to “win,” or if multiple teams compete by running through the same dungeon as two different DungeonBall teams.

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Occam’s Rangers

An idea for a paramilitary group, perhaps for a Pierce the Veil, Guns of Tarnation, Strangefinder Modern, or No Strings Attached campaign.

Name: Occam’s Rangers
Slogan: Explore, Examine, Explain
Logo: A cavalry rider on a zebra

Purpose: Occam’s Rangers are trained to investigate the unexplained, especially those cases of unusual and mysterious events that seem to pose a hazard. Though able to defend themselves when pressed, they are modern philosopher-warriors, who take the scientific method and critical though seriously, and respect scholars as much as soldiers.

Occam’s Rangers believe extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but are also willing to be pragmatic about public safety.

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