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Monday, October 16th, 2006
12:36p - Star Wars role play?
Does anyone know of any good Star Wars message board RP's, preferably taking place after Return of the Jedi, before the New Jedi Order? Even one that ignores the New Jedi Order would be awesome.

I ask because I'm helping to start a Star Wars RP but it won't be up for a few more months, and I came up with a cool idea for a Jedi character that I'd love to play. I'll be using her in my Revival game, but I'd love to find another game to play her in while I wait for the chance to play her in my game. I did join one game a few days ago, but the problem is that they're being really RAWR about Jedi characters because they've seen them get power played so many times. Since I didn't want to use the idea on my one Jedi character I could play, I really want to find another place where I can play it.

My preference would be message board, General Journal, or Livejournal (if anyone has any active Star Wars games on Lj that isn't crack I'd be shocked because I haven't found them), with para/multi-para (more than one paragraph for posts), taking place after Return of the Jedi. Any help would be greatly appreciated. ^_^


current mood: hopeful

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2:40p - I need oWoD Rules Lawyers!
I'm designing a new Thaumaturgical Path for an Elders Vampire Chronicle, and I need willing folks to take a look at it, poke it, prod it, see if there are any glaring loopholes I've overlooked, ask questions about applications, and generally give me opinions. Too powerful? Too weak? Do some levels seem much more useful than others? Would you switch any of them around (say, the second Intermediate with the the first Advanced or something like that)? Were there directions I should have gone but didn't? Does it all make sense? Can you think of better names for the levels (becuase mine generally suck)?

Note: although there are Ascedent and Methuselah levels, there are no PCs that are high enough gen to able to learn them. They would be for NPC use only (and sparingly even then).

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2:44p - D20 Supplements Worth Owning
One of the dealers at Dragoncon had a table full of D20 supplements and was selling 10 for 10 bucks. I found some by Atlas Games so I picked up all of those, then filled in the holes with some Fast Forward stuff and a couple of Sovereign Stone books.

Once I started reading them, I got really, REALLY inspired. The Atlas Games Penumbra materials were wonderfully written and rich. I just kept finding more and more ways to expand The Great Campaign In My Head(TM) and couldn't wait to read more. The other stuff I got wasn't so hot. I tried to read the terribly disjointed and poorly fleshed-out Dungeonworld book and a Living Arcanis city guide... but they sapped me and made me ill equipped to delve into the Soverign Stone stuff. In the end, I got the feeling that I was just lucky to grab the Atlas Games stuff... and so I started shopping for stuff on Ebay.

But once I got there, I found lots of odd lots running for less than a few dollars per product. It got me wondering if anyone out there is a fan of the third party D20 materials and which brands they respected. I can't stop raving about the quality of the Penumbra line.... so which did you care for?

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4:18p - Character creation tools
It was pointed out to me by one of my players that the new Google Spread-sheet/document-editor programs could be really useful tools for character creation. (I'm a bit notorious for being involved in my player's character creation due to using HERO as a game system.) If every player and the GM has an account the players could create their characters online and give the GM either collaborator or viewer access so that the GM can easily see the sheet, potential problems, and XP expendature or print out forgotten (or destroyed...) character sheets where needed. I'm told that there is some sort of IM option built into the program too but I haven't tried it yet.

In the past I've worked with my players via email, IM, and group character building sessions. I think I may give this route a try for the next round of character creation. What do you folks think?


** Note... we have discovered that it doesn't work with Safari but does work with Firefox.

*** http://spreadsheet.google.com

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6:03p - Intrigue! Espionage! World Travel!
So I'm starting up a new game, set in the Iron Kingdoms and using Savage Worlds. Here's a bit of set up:
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So yeah, any ideas or suggestions? I want to make the diplomat NPC a sort of charming asshole, and make it clear that he's not the enemy of the PC's. (They'll probably end up hating him anyway, but my players tend to do that.)

Any suggestions for intrigues/romances/plots that I should work in in this sort of game? It will be a fairly long running monstrosity, where eventually the players will be embroiled in global intrigues and war efforts and vast conspiracies and all that cool stuff. (And of course travelling the world, seeing exotic locales and killing monsters and taking their stuff.)

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7:05p - d&d logic - sorry, rant
While exploring the mountainside, the party comes across a cavern and decides to explore it. Within the cavern, the party finds a typical d&D type dungeon, and soon becomes trapped, as a door shuts behind them and does not reopen. In the course of exploring, the party comes across some rather ornery Quaggoth and Drow, and battle ensues. After two or three days and a few more such encounters, the party finds an exit to the dungeon.
Now, my character, an alchemist, was in search of a specific herb for a certain formula he was concocting. This search leads him to a mountain where the herb supposedly grows. I don't know the rest of the party's motives.

The party then discusses the next course of action. Almost unanimously, the party decides to go back and explore the last two tunnels in the dungeon left. That's where my alchemist disagreed.

This isn't verbatum, but it was something like this:
Me: "Wait, why do we want to go back in the cave?"
Ranger: "We didn't finish exploring those two tunnels."
Me: "So?"
Ranger: "So we could go see what's in there."
Me: [pretty much out of character] "Were we in the same cave? We were trapped in there. We were running low on food and really low on water with no idea when - or if - we would make it back out. What if we get trapped again? What about those Drow that attacked us? Are we thinking about this like rational human beings?"
Ranger: "Well, that's true, I did want to find a village or something to unload some of this stuff I picked up."
Me: "I don't think we'll find a village in the cave."

It occurs to me that the party has literally no logical reason for going back into the cave. The original motive was curiosity, but in the end it proved to be a life-threatening scrape. Unless the cleric was planning on converting the Drow, going into the cave doesn't further his ethos, it's not the preferred environment for the woodland-type ranger, and the halfling whose only passion seems to be getting drunk? Not one drop of ale. Yet, I was the only one who thought that these characters probably would not re-enter a cave that they just escaped full of ornery Drow (some of which escaped our encounters and were on the lookout for the party) who are out to kill us, with limited stock of food and water (something that they didn't even think about), and no guarantee that the characters will ever see day again - except the DM's mercy. There's bound to be some treasure, sure. But there's a whole lot of treasure in Fort knox, too - and I'm not about to try to break into the place, guns blazing, killing everything in sight.
It seems that the typical D&D mindset is to take the path towards treasure and XP, even when such a decision doesn't really make realistic sense. Am I the only one who thinks this? Do you find this present in your games?
This is one of the reasons why my XP awards are divied out solely for RP and good ideas, and why combat in my games tends to be more life-threatening. I want players to make sensible decisions - not decisions based on the murder-and-robbery mentality that seems ubiquitous in D&D.

end rant.

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9:15p - Shameless Ebay Plug! (AKA I Am Broke!)
A freaking ton of D&D minis,.

Sorry for the shameless plug, but I'm freaking broke, and if anyone is running a game that uses minis, this is pretty much a steal right now.

I'm also clearing out a collection of Wraith the Oblivion books. Hell, by the end of the day I'll have more stuff up, but it'll probably be Games Workshop stuff so I won't post about it here.

To make up for the shameless plug, a post with some substance coming right up.

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10:50p - Atmosphere
We're playing Ptolus, City by the Spire (No link, cause Monte Cook's page was Slashdotted). It's the festival of Godsday, which means games, street food, and competitions. We get approached by a woman, who asks our druid, Grak, for help. She lives in the Necropolis (the city's graveyard, and home to countless undead and demons), on an island with her Druid master. Every Godsday the protections on it weaken, and they fight undead. We are asked for help in stemming the tide of small time undead.. skeletons, zombies, ghouls. They are sent to overwhelm the other forces as they fight much worse. We, stupidly, say that we will back Grak up, as he feels religiously obligated to help.

Dusk comes, and we go with them to the Necropolis.

So, we turn all the lights off, light candles and place them on the table around the battle map. We draw the bridge on it, put our minis there, and then some undead minis. We don't have enough to represent the tidal wave of undead coming across the bridge, so we put dice behind them. We put the music from Dracula on. The music is creepy and vibrant. It calls to mind things that gather together. Eric (the GM) stands, and describes the scene.

We move to the centre of the bridge, and wait. At first it's quiet, but then we see the diseased rats leading the skeletons who are marching towards us, followed by Zombies, followed by ghouls. The sky is clotted with vampire bats. The Keepers of the Veil stand firm at the entrance to the bridge, letting the lesser undead by and clashing with the vampires and demons there. Then above us flies a great Balor demon weilding a firey sword. He lands behind us on the bridge, and the heroes that stand there lock in battle with it. Together we stood and waited to engage the forces of hell.

The music crescendos as the great demon flies over head. I look around the table, and see the woman who plays our ranger clinging to her husband, and then realize that everyone else feels the same way. It was powerful, and the whole combat was like that.

My question is, what sorts of things do you do for atmosphere? I want to help the group to make more moments like that (we game at our house), and I'm looking for ideas.

Edit: Ptolus link:
http://www.montecook.com/cgi-bin/page.cgi?ptolus


current mood: excited

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