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Surefire Speculative Fiction Show Ideas

  1. “SPOOKED” When the randomly-selected patsy of a deep cover spy mission turns out to have an honest-to-magic necromancer as a sister, spies and ghosts face off in a world that runs from honeypots to ceramic urns and pits undercover against undead.
  2. “BLACK SPOT” For centuries the Order of the Black Spot have been hunting and killing pirates, working outside of government and outside the law. Now the King, Queen, and Jack of Spades, the royal family ruling the order, have mysteriously turned to the FBI to give information about bringing down both the remaining pirate organizations of the world, and their own Order.
  3. “CRIME AND CHAOS” When the government becomes the problem, who can the people turn to? A mastermind thief, greedy con, addicted stage magician, reformed pacifist ex-assassin, gray hat hacker, and disillusioned counterfeiter form the ultimate crime league, with their only targets the corrupted forces who now control law and order.
  4. “PLAN Z” Dozens of corporations and more than a few terrorist groups have access to a weaponized virus that creates undead, and the governments of the world are endlessly dealing with breakouts and pandemics in a desperate bid to prevent the zombie apocalypse. When a zone is too hot for any human to be sent in, the trained, international, experimental squad of soldiers who are immune carries to the zombie virus are sent in as Plan Z.
  5. “GOTHIC JUSTICE” When Lady Penanggalan went to sleep in 1800, she expected her monstrous partners to wake her in a century, as agreed. Now it’s 2017, and she’s discovered not only did the other Gothic Scions betray her, most have turned to run organized crime. She is pissed, and ready to work with human law if that’s what it takes to gain her revenge. But the most powerful of those scions, the dreaded Akephaloi or “Headless Man” knows more about Lady Pen’s sleep and why her allies betrayed her than she could ever guess.

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The Persistent Places in my Dreams

I have, since I was a child, had a few persistent places that show up repeatedly in my dreams.

So, I name them. To give me power over them.

Sadly several are where I have my worst nightmares. The Bad House. The Field of Discarded Things. Sometimes when I realize I am in one of these places in a dream, the name lets me identify it as unreal, and I can wake up. Some I have eliminated entirely, at least I think. I haven’t had a dream on the Storm Road in years.

Others are places where I have dreams that are more disturbing than frightening–rarely pleasant but not true nightmares. The Park Under the Moon. The Walking Garden.

But sometimes, and almost always only just before an alarm wakes me, I get to go to the Springlands.

And that makes the rest of it all worthwhile.

 

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Dystopian Factions: The Prags

These aren’t “for” anything yet, though I might incorporate them into some kind of Starfinder product at some point.

Prags

The Prags, or Pragmatics, believe that whatever produces the best end result, as defined by the self, is morally good. They consider ethics, philosophy, and religion to be flawed, though not useless, methods to measure how a given action will be viewed by individuals other than the self, which can be useful when determining if an otherwise-useful act carries too great a risk of backlash by those it does not benefit, reducing its value to the self.

Prags often support public governments and policies that support the poor and disabled, on the theory that it is impossible to know if the self will suffer some loss, and creating a safety net gives the Prags the opportunities to take greater risks to improve their own situation, knowing that failure will be mitigates by social programs. They rarely support anything designed only to benefit a specific ethnic group or class, because that either doesn’t apply to them if they are not part of the group, or it risks resentment to the entire class if the Prags are part of the group.

In personal interactions Prags strive to develop loyal friends and trustworthy reputations, as these things have proven long-term benefits. However Prags also openly admit they have an eye out for the U-B, or Ultimate Benefit, a thing that grants the self such an advantage that betrayal of ally and reputation is an acceptable cost to pay for it.

While it is clear that Prag belief in the potential of a U-B makes their allies slightly nervous, Prags see this as a benefit as well. An ally you are entirely loyal to is of more value if that ally is also aware that if the alliance proves to have much less value than expected, it may be suddenly and mercilessly jettisoned. This encourages allies to also keep a watchful eye on how much they consider a Prag’s benefits and needs. Many Prags also claim the the U-B is a theoretical construct — since it is impossible to know the total benefit gained by a complete betrayal until the betrayal is irreversible, some Prags claim no U-B could ever be so obviously worthwhile as to justify such a betrayal as pragmatic.

Such Prags often then wink.

Prags near the end of their lifespan, or stricken with an incurable disease, often arrange for a single final enjoyable event, which culminates in their suicide, to ensure their quality of life does not decline any further.

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More than 175 Pathfinder pdfs for $39.95!

From now on, Rogue Genius Games will be maintaining the Purple Duck Games store on Paizo.com. To celebrate, we have a HUGE bundle of their entire Pathfinder backstock compiled into one bundle you can pick up for $39.95 for a limited time! More than 175 products, with a retail value of over $600! Just so you can get caught up on this great line! But the offer only lasts until the end of the month!
 
I know it’s April 1st, but this is happening! PDG will still do their thing, making the same great content as always, and we’ll make sure it’s available to you on Paizo.com.
 
If you are already a fan of PDG, nothing really changes! You’ll just be buying things from the Purple Duck section of the Rogue Genius store on Paizo.com.
 
If you aren’t already a fan, this is a great chance to get caught up! 
 
So check out the bundle, check out their awesome selection of products, and join me in a big, hearty quack!
 

Simplified High-Level Pathfinder

Simplified High-Level Pathfinder

Rather than gain a new character level from 11th or higher, you simply gain the ability to potential overcome any one obstacle foe or challenge you are directly facing. Your chance is 45% +5% per level above 10th, , and each time per game session you do this your chance of it succeeding when used again that game session goes down by 10%.
Describe how you used your areas of specialty to succeed. You can use this ability no more than once per encounter. or twice per encounter if you are 15th level or higher.
Also, gain +10 hp and +.5 to all saving throws for each level above 10th.

Simplified Mythic Pathfinder

Rather than gain a new character abilities with each mythic tier, you simply gain the ability to potential overcome any one obstacle foe or challenge you are directly facing. Your chance is 50% +5% per tier, and each time per game session you do this your chance of it succeeding when used again that game session goes down by 10%. If you are only facing creatures with no mythic tiers,. or mythic tiers no greater than half your own, you gain a +25% bonus to this roll to succeed.
Describe how you used your mythic role to succeed.
You can use this ability no more often per encounter than half your mythic tier (minimum 1).
Also, gain +10 hp and +.5 to all saving throws for each mythic tier.

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Encounter Environment: The Gravity Chamber

This week I saved all my creative energies for one big post, and TGIF!

(Seriously, I’ve sold pdfs shorter than this… )

The Gravity Chamber

The Gravity Chamber is an encounter environment idea. It’s a room in which gravity swaps one a round, every round, randomly and often with little warning. Down becomes up, and then the next round becomes down again. PCs must deal with being constantly slammed up and down, hopefully while you also add another encounter (like driders with boxes of caltrops and a cyclops alchemist) to keep thigns fresh and terrifying.

The Set Up

Have this be a big room, with a ceiling that’s 20 feet high, plus 10 feet per 5 full levels of the PCs. Also, describe the weird bloodstains, scattered gear, and broken crockery everywhere…

Once the PCs are all inside, something triggers the room. Maybe it’s an ancient eldritch trap that goesn;t go off until everyone is inside. Maybe it’s a malfunctioning antigrav drive with an AI that waits for all passengers to be aboard. Maybe it’s just bad timing. Maybe a super-powerful psychic child is sitting in the middle of the room waiting for her powers to kill her, and she throws a tantrum. Maybe there’s a big shiny button, and the fun starts when someone presses it. Your game, your call. This is just a tool in your toolbox.

Once it’s going, the Big Swap rolls initiative every round. Keep this secret. When it’s number comes up, down and up switch places.

If there’s an off switch, the PCs can try to reach it. If not, the effect likely lasts 10 rounds.

The Difficulty of Reverse Gravity

The difficulty of anything you attempt in the Gravity Chamber is modified by how much warning there is before gravity takes hold, and how suddenly it happens once the switch occurs. Those aren’t things that exist in real-world terms, so there can be as much or as little warning as you, the GM, want.
To keep things interesting, I recommend you make the Difficulty Value 1.5x the Average party Level of your group. When a calculation of a DC calls for a value of X + DV, this should keep things interesting for characters of any level. For example, if a wizard who is part of a 5th level group is flying in the gravity chamber, his Fly check have a DC of 22 (15 + a DV of 7.5, rounded down to 7).

You could of course decide that the gravity chamber is the most dangerous, most sudden, most unpredictable version possible, and make all the DV’s 30. But that’s not going to be much fun for 8th level characters.

If you want to use the gravity chamber more than once, you can actually vary the DV and give the players careful explanations. If they run into a gravity chamber at 5th level with a DV of 7, explain that there is some warning, a sense of tilting or a brief moment of weightlessness, before each gravity switch. If they run into another one at 8th level, rather than a DV of 12 (as the formula would suggest), perhaps it has a DV of only 5. Explain that there is a groan and a series of clicks before the gravity switch, and that gravity fades in and out, quickly but not with no warning. It’s actually easier than the first one they encountered (which also allows you to put a more dangerous complementary encounter in the chamber).

This, of course, sets them up for the extremely violent, no-warning gravity chamber they encounter at 10th level, with a DV of 20. One hopes by then the players have made some preparations for these types of encounters.

The Details

What happens when gravity reverses itself depends on what you were doing at the time.

Standing: If you are standing when gravity reverses itself, you are going to fall. The only question is, can you reduce the damage by “jumping” toward the new ground, flip midair, and land on your feet? That’s a DC 10 + DV check, rather than a flat DC 15. Also, since otherwise people are standing from prone every round, you may wish to give people a choice of reducing the damage by 10 feet 9and falling prone if they take any damage), or landing in a heroic 3-point stance, which means they take full damage but *aren’t* considered prone.

Deadpool would approve.

Flying: Flying characters don’t get a pass just because they aren’t touching the ground. Flying means you are pushing against “down” with some force to counteract gravity. Since you don’t know when gravity will reverse itself, there’s a definite risk that the force used to push against “down” will slam you into the new down when gravity flips. After all if it’s just 40 feet from one side to the other, at 1g it only takes about 1.5 seconds to fall that distance (ignoring things like wind drag), and if you are flying at the midpoint it’s less than 1 second.

When gravity reverses, anyone flying must make a Fly check with a DC of 15 + DV. The exception to this is flight with perfect maneuverability, which only needs to make a DC of 0 + DV. On a failed check you move a number of feet toward the new “down” equal to double the amount you missed the check by. If you move so far you hit the current “down,” you take following damage and are prone.

Climbing: Climbing the walls or trying to use the Climb skill to stick to the floor when it becomes the ceiling is tricky… but not impossible. Usually an “overhand with handholds and footholds only” is DC 30, which is pretty epic. But you could, of course, add actual rungs, loops, gnarly roots, or even netting strung across every surface. To make a Climb effort a viable option you may want to go with a DC of 20+ DV, and be liberal with bonuses for doing things like hammering in pitons or getting clever with an immovable rod.

If a character has a climb speed and can stick to a surface gecko-like, it’s MUCH easier to stay stuck to a surface when gravity reverses itself… but like flight it’s not automatic. DC 5 + DV.
If you fail a check by 1-4, you may choose to be staggered and immobile, but stay in your space (representing a death-grip to stay put), If you fail by 5 or more, or aren’t willing to be staggered, you fall and hit the new floor.

Landing: Things like wind drag, randomly pushing off other objects by accident, and gravity eddies mean you don’t land exactly above or below your starting point. If you succeed at an Acrobatics check as described above, pick a square either directly under you or adjacent to the one directly under you, and you land there. For any other result, roll 1d8 and 1d20. The 1d8 determines your direction of scatter, if any. If it and the d20 result in the same number, you land directly under your starting space. If the d8 result is smaller than the d20 result, you drift 5 feet in the direction indicated by the d8. If the d8 result is bigger than the d20 result, you drift ten feet in the direction indicated by the d8.

If two or more creatures end up in the same space, they all make grapple checks. The creature with the highest result is standing (and may shift one space if necessary). All others are prone. No one is actually grappling, that just represents the mad scrabble to end up on top as they are flung together.

Hazards

Remember I mentioned the driders you could add might have boxes of caltrops? This thing is a giant washing machine, and everything is being banged about. Each round, everyone must make a Reflex save with a DC of 5 + DV. On a success, you dodged all the debris. On a failure, you take damage equal to falling half the distance to the ground, as pebbles, old gear, and even small rodents slam into you.

You can also have small fields of caltrops, alchemists bombs, and angry hornet’s nests bouncing around, with people trying to avoid landing on them. Move these the same way you move creatures, but if they end up sharing a space, the creatures automatically slam into them.

Ouch.

Rewards

If you follow the guidelines given here, the Gravity Chamber is an encounter roughly the same CR as the party’s average level. If you add another encounter to it, boost that encounter’s CR by +2.

Of course being a higher CR encounter means more treasure… but what if everyone gains some special ability as a result to exposure to the strange gravatoinic radiation of the chamber? Perhaps everyone can feather fall once per day as a spell-like ability? And if they encounter a second chamber, maybe double exposure means they can each levitate once per day… and so on…

Or maybe they just get to gather up adamantine caltrops!

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Flumph Noir

Aberrant Report

It was a humid night, as Mhuoomphies forced air out his cloaca to hover pensively by the office window. It was the kind of night where a tentacle might be slick with something other than condensation.

His office was cluttered with images, each a fuzzy impression of a scene, projected from crystals floating apparently at random about the room. He reached out with a 7-tentacle, the scarred one, and spun one of the crystals. The out-fo-focus image spun with it, the psychic impression of a witness, able to be seen from any angle.

The witnesses all thought they knew what they had seen, but both the out-of-focus perfect psionic impressions and long experience told Mhuoomphies otherwise. Creatures thought their memories were perfect images, ingrained forever like stone carvings. But the mind of a sentient didn’t work that way. Emotions, distractions, preconceived notions, and bigotry flavored every thing every thinking creature remembered. In the flumph’s experience, many evils could be traced to different memories of the same events.

But there were hints of the truth in the memory-crystal’s images as well. Certainly SOMETHING had happened. The image of the adolescent iron-eater, rolled on her back, antennae straight in fear and shock, were similar in most of the images. Some showed her as larger or more aggressive, but metal-users usually despised and misunderstood iron-eaters. And even those who remembered the even as the adolescent’s fault remembered the position of her body, on it’s back, wing-tail raised in defense. They might think they remembered her being the attacker, but they were fooling themselves.

The true attacker was shown in fewer memories, and the image was much more indistinct. A red cloak was featured in more than half, but Mhuoomphies was suspicious of that. There had been a great deal of blood. Sentients often added red to a scene where blood has splashed like cheap ale.

The creature had been tall… maybe. Hunched… maybe. Neither detail was shown in monroe than a quarter of the memory images. And one, just one, showed an arm made of a swarm of roaches jutting out from a crimson robe, rather than a cloak.

That memory was alone in that detail, but it was otherwise so crisp. And it made Mhouoomphies port outages nozzle whistle a low, sad sound. He has never hoped so strongly for a witness to be unreliable.

Because the young iron-eater had been killed, and he hoped it was a simple hate crime, or a political gambit to convince the iron-eaters to continue to mine for a smaller share of the ferrous metals they unearthed. Those were terrible reasons to kill, but there weren’t any good reasons. The young iron-eater was dead, and the clumpy couldn’t change that. If the reason for her death was simple, he could gain justice quickly. He would have no living help.

When an aberrant race died, none of the breathing Lamplighters took it seriously. Aboleth crime lords and cloaked gangs had eroded any goodwill bipedal vertebrates felt for all his kind. And even those who wanted to care had too many other crimes on their plate. Only Mhuoomphies had the time, and only he was trusted by anyone in the Aberrant communities.

And with iron-eaters on strike, and the dark naga pressing for full voting rights, this needed to get handled fast. Even the Metalhearts might decide…

The flumph’s office door burst opened, the brief scream of its metal lock bending and shattering the only warning before it gave way. A lurking metallic humanoid stood in the doorway, a bullseye lantern in its chest leaking light through the cracks, despite being shuttered.

“You are the Aberrant Lamplighter, Muffles?”

Two of the flumph’s starboard vents honked quietly in annoyance. He pursed his feedhole, and forced air through it to emulate the annoying, imperfect language of the bipeds. He also pooled caustics into his adamantine-tipped primespike, in case the creature was hostile, rather than just dangerously bumbling.

“Mhuoomphies. ArchLantern, Mhuoomphies.”

The metallic creature nodded once.

“I am Malakrut. I am a fresh forged Spark. The LawKeepers have assigned me to assist and monitor your efforts to enforce the laws of DarkStar Station, in the matter of a slain iron-eater in the abnormals district.”

Mhuoomphies felt himself relax, and sucked his caustics back into their reservoir. Of course he would be saddled with a rookie to report his every misstep.

It was Inevitable.

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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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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 blockers, 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.

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. You cannot have your forward also be your 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 tough, 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.

Spell Guard: Only 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. A spell guard may also be the team’s center, but that puts two limited roles in a single character.

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 AP:(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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New Year. Good Luck.

There are two things I have done every Dec 31st in recent years — a retrospective about the year from my point of view, and a war-report-style description of all the fireworks I am hearing from wherever I am.
This year, I am doing neither.
My voice gets heard. A lot. Way out of proportion with its value, I suspect. And somehow, describing loud celebrations as if they were actual conflict just doesn’t seem funny or clever this year.
Instead, I open up this space for other folks. Comment about your year, if you wish.
But the universal rules of my wall remain. Keep it friendly. No insulting other people’s thoughts, no snarking about anyone who might read this. True public officials are fair game, if relevant to your whole year, but no going after other people on this thread, through either aggression of passive-aggression.
I hope you all have a better 2017 than 2016. Some of you, I hope have a MUCH better year, even while I fear it won’t be so.
Peace.