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Gaming 'n' Stuff

I haven't talked much about gaming lately; part of the reason is because we haven't been able to do much gaming lately, but there's more than that going on. The truth of the matter is that the whole 4E thing and particularly the murder of Dragon and Dungeon put me into a real funk about gaming, particularly fantasy gaming. Plus, I just haven't had the time necessary to put any prep work into running a session; I've been making an effort to crank on my art and not only stay ahead with SJ but also clear out my backlog of other projects. (Speaking of which, today is "AC conbook day"!)

Fortunately, sirfox ran his "Furry D&D" last night, which I always enjoy because I get to play Arshan, my 9' tall room-clearing lion barbarian. Unfortunately, due to his "kick open the door" policy, he spent last night being the first one to find anything painful in the dungeon.

Arshan: "Say, what's in this pool?"
The Dungeon: "A huge monster that attacks you."
Arshan: "D'Oh!"

Arshan: "What happens if I jump over to this little island?"
The Dungeon: "You get electrocuted, and then a monster attacks you."
Arshan: "D'Oh!!!"

I was also controlling camstone's fox rogue "Watt," who aside from attempting to nick some ceremonial wine and a few handfuls of silver spent most of the adventure providing moral support. Most of the monsters had DR, and Watt has no magical weapon, so unless he flanked for the sneak attack (which, being a squishy lil' rogue he wasn't inclined to do), he couldn't hurt them.

The problem with this game from a mechanical standpoint, is the same problem I had with jamesbarrett's fighter/barbarian Dragor -- anything tough enough to hurt the fighter, tears the rest of the group to shreds -- only magnified. camstone's, jamesbarrett's, laurie_robey's, and hantamouse's characters are all size small, which means their weapons do d3's and d4s of damage and their movement is lowered. I, on the other hand, am playing a size large barbarian, which means my weapon does 2d6 plus 1d6 fire bonus, and my movement is 50 feet. So I have to be very careful in any fight that Arshan doesn't steal the show. It helps that I suck at rolling dice, so Arshan misses a lot, but even so, some of the encounters we've gone up against, Arshan could almost as easily have done solo.

The main balancing factors for Arshan are his relatively low AC, and his cruddy Reflex save. If Arshan tanked up in full plate, he'd still have a cruddy Reflex save, but he'd be a virtual juggernaut. Which is fun conceptually, but in practice wouldn't make for a great game 'cause he'd just roll over all the monsters and everybody else would wonder why they bothered to come.

Arshan did get to level-up at the end of the session, making him BBN 4, FTR 2, +1 LA, and giving him 70 hit points at EL 7. I thought about giving him Improved Toughness, which would have given him +6 hit points and an additional +1 hp per level from here on, but E-Tools choked on it* and it seemed like overkill anyway. So now I'm vacillating between Great Cleave or Lightning Reflexes, but leaning towards Lightning Reflexes -- which would give him a Ref save of a whole +3!

-The Gneech

*The program is rapidly falling apart without the help of Code Monkey Publishing, sigh!

Arshan of the Desert
CR 7, CN Large Furry (Feline (large)) Bbn4/Ftr2
Init +1 Spd 50
Senses Low-light Vision (Ex) Listen +7, Scent +4, Spot +5
AC 18 (FF 18, Touch 11)
hp 70 (HD 4d12+2d10+18)
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +3, Will +5
Trap Sense +1;
Atk +9/+4 base melee, +6/+1 base ranged; Grapple +14; Face 10'x10';
   +9 Melee (Bite 1d8+4/crit 20/x2) and +4 Melee (Claw 1d4+2/crit 20/x2)
   +10/+5 Melee (+1 Battleaxe 2d6+5+1d6/crit 20/x3)
   +6/+1 Ranged (Longbow, composite ( +1 Str Bonus) 2d6+1/crit 20/x3)
Barbarian Features: Rage (2x/day), Fast Movement, Illiteracy, Uncanny Dodge, Trap Sense +1;
Fighter Features: Bonus Feat (2), Proficiency: Tower Shield;
Abilities: STR 18, DEX 12, CON 17, INT 11, WIS 14, CHA 13
Feats: Armor Proficiency: heavy, Armor Proficiency: light, Armor Proficiency: medium, Cleave, Exotic Weapon Proficiency: bastard sword, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Tower Shield Proficiency.
Skills: Balance +4, Climb +6, Diplomacy -3, Escape Artist -1, Hide -5, Intimidate +10, Jump +18, Listen +7, Move Silently +0, Scent +4, Spot +5, Survival +7, Swim +0, Tumble +2.
Weapons: +1 Battleaxe: Flaming; Arrows (20); Dagger; Longbow, composite ( +1 Str Bonus).
Armor: Chain shirt, Masterwork. Shields: +1 Shield, heavy steel: Arrow Catching. (Arcane Spell Failure 35%).
Goods: Coin: gp (1722).
Magic: Amulet of Natural Armor +1; Bag of Holding, type II; Helm of Comprehend Languages and Read Magic.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
I'm playing in an online Jadeclaw game, where my character Leng Tso is a big honkin' Ox with a 3/4-stone broadsword, Strength +3, and a d8, d12 Sword skill level, so I have an idea of your concern about Arshan and his potential monopolization of combat. While Leng is ultra-slow, with a Dash of only 4 paces, he's never actually been hit in melee combat -- a good thing, because when we've gotten caught in real fights circumstances have conspired to have him outside of his armor -- and so he winds up dispatching a lot of his opponents with one blow. I have a feeling the GM has been holding back on the opponents, a bit, for the sake of the storyline, substituting numbers for power.
Mar. 3rd, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Your game wouldn't a. be on RPOL, b. have an opening and c. mind putting up with another ox. The last 'active' session on RPOL has been dead in the water since the GM hasn't been on in a little under a year. Wan Park wants to beat up on naughty people then apologize to them for having to be unworthy for beating them up.
Mar. 4th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
It is, in fact, on RPOL. As for your other two questions, I can't say for sure. We've had players join when we haven't actively been searching for them, so it wouldn't hurt to ask. The game is Honor and Empire. We do have six PCs, though, so I don't know how much room the GM thinks we have left. He's really good about integrating newcomers into the game, in any event.

This game started in April of 2004, has three surviving players from then (me included), has survived a GM change (wherein one of the original players took over after the starting GM went AWOL), has involved twelve characters (and thirteen players) total, and has outlived the other two *Claw games I joined.

I really liked the female Raccoon pit-fighter I created for a pirate-themed Ironclaw game, mainly because she was so different from me and my personality, but Leng Tso (who has unwillingly acquired the nickname "Deadly Leng") is pretty fun to play, too.
Mar. 2nd, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
Aint It Cool News put up a three-part article about 4E that might interest you. I'm still reading the articles, but the changes sound like they may be good.



Mar. 2nd, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
"size matters not. judge me by my size, do you?"
no spellcasters in this game?

or diplomatic encounters, or information-gathering, or traps, or...?

(i mean, it sounds like you're playing a combat monster, and you totally should dominate hand-to-hand fights, but even d&d doesn't require that to be all there is to adventuring, does it?)
Mar. 2nd, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Re: "size matters not. judge me by my size, do you?"
Well, the adventures are primarily from the Dungeon Crawl Classics line and run largely off-the-cuff, so it does tend to be pretty combat-heavy.

Probably the worst thing that could happen to Arshan would be a sorcerer packed to the gills with ranged touch attacks.

-The Gneech

Edited at 2008-03-02 07:31 pm (UTC)
Mar. 2nd, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
Re: "size matters not. judge me by my size, do you?"
that makes sense. i was thinking a pc sorceror or wizard ought to be able to do decent damage despite being small-sized...
Mar. 2nd, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Re: "size matters not. judge me by my size, do you?"
Ah. :) Our one wizard is a summoning specialist. He's had his moments, tho, particularly with burning hands.

Mar. 3rd, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
Times like this make me regret that I'm not in your neck of the woods. I'd love to play the 'black baron' in this campaign, though it'd be an adjustment bringing him over from Ironclaw. Though, sometimes I'd just love to find a D&D group with an opening and willing to let me try my hand at a NG minotaur ranger I've had rattling around in my melon for a couple of years.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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