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Everything posted by Sammael

  1. I'll try to tackle this question. First off, the easiest issue, which is whether TU works in dead magic areas: they work like antimagic fields, but generally affect only Weave users or only Shadow Weave users (the second type being a lot more rare than the first type). The antimagic field creates the following effect: Thus, only (Ex) abilities function within the dead magic area. Note that constructs and undead function normally within such areas (as per the rules), but their abilities may not work. Personally, I think wild magic is a much better option than dead magic - it allows you to be a lot more creative, allowing some effects and disallowing (or warping) others. I had a lot of fun with wild magic areas and Far Realm cysts (which work similar, but even more twisted) in my Rebirth campaign. Now for the undead. Unlike the general D&D 3.5 approach which states that undead = evil, this has never really been the case in the Realms. In my opinion (which is supported by previous editions), non-sentient undead (normal skeletons, zombies, and such) are neutral, just like constructs, because they lack the capacity to make moral/ethical decisions. Intelligent undead may be of any alignment, although I would hold that most are neutral or evil because spontaneously occuring undead are generally cursed into that state because of some crime they committed during their lifetimes. I cannot envisage a good ghoul, for instance. Ghosts can certainly be of any alignment. I'd say the same applies to revenants, although their single-mindedness implies neutrality on the good/evil axis. Liches can be good (and there are several good liches in the Realms). While they probably can't be good, I'd say that vampires can certainly be neutral (I had a N vampire working as Khelben Blackstaff's agent in Skullport... a very tragic character). In Ravenloft 2: Stone Prophet (which is linked to the Realms, since the PCs are supposed to be FR characters), one of the joinable NPCs was an undead paladin (LG) who could not be put to rest until she completed her quest. Now for the issue of religion vs undead. The divine power over these beings is assumed to come from the link between priests and positive and negative energy (which supposedly animates undead, except for mummies in previous editions, which are animated with positive energy). Basically, turn undead allows the priest to channel positive energy and thus disrupt the negative energy which animates undead. Likewise, rebuke undead allows the priest to take over the negative energy which animates undead and thus grants the priest a measure of control over such beings. In the Realms, each church has its own rules regarding undead. This was detailed in the 2nd edition trilogy (Faiths & Avatars, Powers & Pantheons, Demihuman Deities), and these materials remain to this day, IMO, the reference manuals on religion in the Forgotten Realms. According to those books, some churches have the power to turn undead, some to rebuke them, and some (generally neutral ones) have both powers. Others have no specific powers over undead. If you need information on any specific church, I'd be glad to provide it, but it'd be too cumbersome for me to write a list of 120+ deities and the way their church handles undead. In general, I'd rule that clerics of Chauntea and Lathander are justified by their religion to turn undead on sight, no questions asked. Members of other non-evil churches should probably first check whether the undead being in question is sentient or not (if not being attacked by the said undead being, of course). Evil clerics have it easy, as always - turn or rebuke, whatever is the most convenient at the time. That's the way I'd play it, anyway.
  2. Hm, I didn't have any trouble finishing Bloodlines three times so far (and let's face it, you can't finish it without combat), and I generally suck at real-time combat. I thought Morrowind was much worse. Dark Messiah combat was fun to begin with, but got repetitive real fast. Gothic 2 combat relied entirely too much on player skill, but I found it pretty immersive.
  3. Great Asmodeus, same people... same subject... same exact words. It feels like December 1999 again. Of course, it doesn't help that this thread happens at least once per year, on average. HA! Good Fun! P.S. Where is Volourn?
  4. I am almost done with my replay of KotOR1. I hope to be able to replay KotOR2 with TSLRP changes implemented by the end of the year. That is all.
  5. 1. Planescape: Torment 2. Fallout 3. Fallout 2 4. Heroes of Might & Magic II 5. Master of Magic 6. Baldur's Gate II (without Throne of Bhaal) 7. Jagged Alliance 2 8. Diablo 9. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans 10. Civilization 2
  6. Guys, Make sure to avoid combat disasters like the Hook Horror caves or the final battle in IWD2. Chapter 1 of IWD2 is how it should be done: tough, but doable with good strategy and tactics. And for the love of all that is unholy, avoid monster respawning from thin air and unavoidable ambushes every five minutes.
  7. I am not a fan of weighted point buy myself, and I hope they will use a non-weighted system as the default. I very much doubt that rolling for stats will be the default, particularly with the need to balance the characters used for Digital Initiative online play and RPGA games (it appears to me that they will try to bribe the DMs, via the reward system, to register all games as RPGA games; I always wanted to do that, but the "must schedule the game two weeks in advance" thing was retarded, as my work schedule and that of my players is way too hectic for us to know what we'll be doing in two weeks' time.
  8. IMO, it's not craptastic. It may not be the best system in the world, but it's certainly more falovrful than the generic mana/spell point systems. BTW, they are not getting rid of it. They are just making it more flexible. It appears that a wizard will have a fixed number of spells to memorize which will remain more or less constant during his career. However, as he progresses, he will be able to use his lower-level spells more freely without having to re-memorize them. Example: A 1st level wizard will have 3 slots, which he will use to memorize magic missile, shield, and mage armor. Once he casts them, they are gone. He will also be able to use a number of cantrips once per encounter, and some sort of weak attack spell which he will be able to use at will (this is pretty much confirmed). By the time he is level 9, he will still have those 3 slots (maybe 1 more?), and will be using them to memorize cloudkill, teleport, and the like. At the same time, he will be able to cast stuff like flaming arrow once per encounter, and stuff like magic missile at will. And so on...
  9. I just noticed a small error (but I don't see the EDIT button): the second sentence should read "1/2 times the character level.
  10. This is incorrect. The base modifier for every skill will be 1/2 times the class level. This means that every character of the same level will have the same base modifier, but that's hardly "everyone." If you choose to be trained in a skill, you get a +5 bonus. This also opens up new trained-only skill uses to you. There are three ways to become trained in a skill: at a character creation, you receive a number of "slots" for trained skills (+Int modifier, +1 for humans); later one, you can take a feat (multiple times) which lets you select another trained skill. You do not gain additional trained skills if you multiclass; also, if your Int increases, you gain a new trained skill. Skill focus adds another +5. Other than ability modifiers, that's it. There will be no other way to increase the skill modifiers, which is GOOD. DC 25 checks will still be meaningful at 10th level (even if you're trained and focused, the max bonus you will be able to have is +15 +ability modifier, which is not an auto-success). I am sick and tired of characters with +30 to skills at 10th level (because of equipment, racial and synergy bonuses. Rather than skill bonuses, your race will give you an option to use a skill in a way unavailable to other races, or give you re-rolls on failed checks for certain skills. To summarize: In 3.x, you had skill points. It was possible to spend those skill points in any skill, but you had to pay double for "cross-class" skills. Unless you invested in certain skills, their modifier never went up (e.g. a wizard could ride on horseback across the world, but his Ride skill would still be +0 unless he chose to put some ranks in the skill). You also had to deal with the somewhat bizarre (X+Int) x4 formula at first level, which created a HUGE gap between the classes. There were numerous issues and exceptions related to multiclassing and skills. Finally, creating a high-level NPC was a nightmare if he was multiclassed and/or his Int changed at some point in his life. Add to that the bazillion possibilities to increase the skills and break the system (half-elf with +36 to Diplomacy at 3rd character level), and what you have is a colossal mess. In the end, most PCs ended up with one or two skills which were "maxed out" and then several ranks in most other skills in which they dabbled. Pro: Greater granularity, more ability to customize and differentiate characters. Con: Bookkeeping nightmare, more exceptions than rules, easy to break the system. In 4E, it is assumed that everyone gets a little better (+1 per two levels) in all skills over time. However, only those who are trained can use the skills to their full potential. The "trained" and "focused" degrees of skill mastery add some granularity, but it's not so fine as before. However, bookkeeping is minimal. Skill modifier is extremely easy to calculate - at any level. There are fewer ways to break the system (for now). Pro: Harder to abuse the system, much easier bookkeeping, fewer exceptions, automatic skill advance makes sense for adventurers Con: Less granularity, less ability to customize and differentiate between characters In the end, what I think I'll do is this: I'll give the PCs more ability to customize, while keeping the default method for NPCs. Instead of picking N trained skills at +5 to begin with, I'll give them N x 5 skill points to spend on class skills (with a maximum of 5 ranks). However, they won't be considered trained until they put 5 ranks in a skill. Similarly, I'll change the feat which grants another trained skill to give 5 additional ranks instead. I strongly suspect that my idea above (or something similar to it) will be present as an option in the DMG.
  11. You didn't give any example as to why the D&D system is meaningful. The only thing you stated (and I agree with your point) is that it's "more meaningful" than stat systems used in some JPRGs (which I don't play, so I can only judge them from what you've written). Incidentally, there seem to be some people who agree with me on ENWorld.
  12. I think MC was referring to your statement that your group's current DM doesn't fudge rolls. Even if he is not fudging the rolls, I am pretty damn sure he is "fudging" something. If you are not making a lot of rolls, then it means he is not using a lot of traps, or a lot of creatures with abilities that require saves, or something. Plus, he may be intentionally avoiding using "archers," or, if he is using them, he may be avoiding to target your wizard on purpose. I fudge rolls very rarely, but I've introduced a "Fate Point" mechanic in my games (q.v. Warhammer FRP) which pretty much allows the players to have a limited ability to "cheat death" (it's not as simple as that, but it helps). If they forget to use Fate Points, so be it. It's their own fault, after all. But I'd like to point out one thing. If the low levels aren't deadly, then why are you giving all PCs max HP per HD for the first three levels, instead of just at level one? You are contradicting yourself there.
  13. Most of those points are based on my 1) long-term FR campaign (which is currently at session #164) 2) time spent introducing new players (ages 9-35) to the game at my FLGS 3) discussions with numerous other DMs You, of course, are free to disagree. Really? This is very interesting. I've introduced several dozen people of various ages to the game over the past two-three years, and, INVARIABLY, the one thing none of them could get to begin with is the difference between ability scores and ability modifiers. Because, you see, it's meaningless. Why have an arbitrary number just so you can derive another number from it? Why is -1 more stupid than -4 (the current limitation)? Why not -5? Or -10? Care to elaborate? I can tell you that I chose -1 because I have never seen a player character with an ability score lower than 8 in any ability other than Charisma. Visceris, you have at least 10 (if not 15? 20?) years of experience with the game. I can tell you with 100% certainty that new players (with 2 years of experience or less), unless they are MENSA-level geniuses, get REALLY confused with the fact that their wizard can kill two kobolds and is then pretty much useless for the rest of the day, while the party fighter can drink a potion or get healing from the party cleric and just keep going... maybe you are advocating a restriction that only experienced players should be able to make wizard PCs? IMO, warlock was a step in the right direction, even if its execution (and certainly its flavor) were flawed. So were the Reserve feats from Complete Mage (if slightly overpowered).
  14. Long, long time ago, I wrote an article on changes I'd like to see in a potential 4th edition of D&D. If I recall correctly, these were some of my main points: Replace the 3-18 ability score range with the current ability modifier values (e.g. Str +1, Dex +2, Con -1, Int 0, Wis +1, Cha -1). Get rid of rolling for stats and make the non-weighed point buy the default rule (with -1 being the default value). Make races more meaningful and diverse. Make classes better at what they do; allow them to focus on their core abilities from level 1 (e.g. druid wild shape). Make each class unique (with as little overlapping as possible). Kill the paladin class. Make sure the cleric can do fun stuff rather than just buff/heal. Make sure a 1st level wizard doesn't have to rest after a single encounter. Streamline the skills (merge similar skills, etc). Streamline the feats (no more boring +2/+2 feats, etc). Make each weapon and armor unique, with special advantages/disadvantages. Armor as DR. Get rid of the ridiculous number of named (and unnamed) bonuses and penalties. While we're at it, get rid of the ridiculous number of buffs, and make all buffs last only for the duration of an encounter. Change the turn undead rule. Reduce the number of spells and make them "modifiable" (as per 3.5 psionics). Change metamagic rules (to go along with the previous point). Change grapple. Make characters less dependent on loot and magic items. Make magic items more meaningful. CUT DOWN ON FREAKING DM PREP TIME ALREADY. I think that pretty much covers it. From what we've heard of the 4E so far, it seems that many of my wishes may be granted by the rule changes. Then again, they may screw something else up, so it's hard to say if the overall game will be better or not. We shall see.
  15. Hi Visceris. Says you. I like most of the changes (including the consolidation of skills, removal of skill points, getting rid of AC, changing the system so it's always the attacker who rolls, etc). As a DM with a fairly extensive experience, I welcome the streamlining process... even if it's not perfect, it's a step in the right direction (without being too much - q.v. Castles & Crusades) Just think of squares as an abstraction. It's not as if the d20 games which used the metric system were consistent, anyway - some stated that 1 square = 1.5 meters, others had 1 square = 1 meter, and I've seen 1 square = 2 meters as well. As a person who uses the metric system IRL, British units are as much of an abstraction to me as squares. They leave a whole lot of stuff undefined. It's called "abstraction." Overall, I am cautiously NEUTRAL towards 4E. As always, I'll take what I like from the game and dump the rest.
  16. I saw The Simpsons Movie on Saturday. Pure gold. And the Spider-Pig theme is hypnotizing.
  17. Sammael


    animate thread I just saw the movie. The scene where Winters... transcends... is almost identical to a certain ending of Torment. This cannot be a coincidence. All in all, TMNT is one of the better movies I've seen this year.
  18. This is why I absolutely hate widescreen monitors. For most of my usual computer work, I simply have no use for the extra couple of inches on the side. I'd much rather have 2 non-wide monitors than 1 wide one.
  19. Hardly. It was UNPLAYABLE on my computer (which was close to recommended specs) upon release. It was BUGGY AS HELL. And finally, it didn't make me skip school, work, food, water, and other basic needs for days and nights - which Civ II did in its time. I got bored with Civ IV after two weeks and haven't played it since.
  20. Civilization IV? Wha? The only one deserving to enter such a list is II.
  21. Isn't that a bit too anal-retentive, even for you?
  22. I tried to use it to play Torment in high-res and failed. Half the sounds don't work, interface doesn't appear, I can't enter or exit buildings, right-click doesn't work...
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