February 20, 2015 4:50pm
So Blacktooth, my little 2’10″/32lb 10th level Murder Goblin™ in my main D&D (ok, ok, fine, Pathfinder. Whatever.) game isn’t super combat-oriented. He’s the thief, so his base Stealth is a 32 and his base Disable Device is a 25 (extra mod?). Yeah.
But, he does have a pretty good initiative bonus (+12) and a bunch of daggers. With Sneak Attack, those paltry 1d3 + 2 daggers do an additional +5d6 and +5 bleed, and if it’s the surprise round / before the target has acted, I do an extra +10 in damage. With that, I may actually be able to contribute to a fight, besides hiding behind something/someone, or getting smashed into a fine jam (Blacktooth’s last recently changed to Shatteredshanks after a run-in with a stone giant).
So, I came up with a custom feat to help my little guy (image/card here):
Spineless Bastard (Combat)
You’re not so much a backstabber as you are a backslasher, jumping to the enemy’s shoulders and sliding down along their spine on daggers.
Prerequisites: Trained in Acrobatics, target must be at least 1 size larger than you.
Benefit: Make an acrobatics check to (DC10 + 5/size diff) make a free jump to the top of the creature’s back, a failure ends your round. You’re allowed to make a full-round attack of two attack rolls (one for each dagger), but can hit at most once. Digging into its back, you slide down along the enemy’s spine.
Critical Hit: Creature is paralyzed.
I didn’t want to make it unfairly overpowered (getting a move and a full-round attack), so as an offering up to the Rules Gods™ (Paul and Chris, the DMs), I sacrificed one of my attacks. I still get two chances to hit, but only one can hit. Paul came up with the Critical Hit mechanic, which is pretty neat. Also, the feat itself seems pretty vicious, in keeping with Goblin nature.
I first tried it two sessions ago, and failed. *sad trombone* But, I managed to successfully do it twice last night, and it felt pretty good. Actually, I may change the acrobatics DC to DC20 + 5/size diff, as Blacktooth’s Acrobatics base (when jumping) is a 24. I guess that should vary on the level. We’ll see.
My extended plan is that when we make it to a bigger town, get two special daggers made. Have successfully attacked two hill giants with this attack, and as a group killed them, I plan on removing their partially exposed spines. After cleaning them, I plan on keeping a section of each, and having them magically fused and shrunk to be made into the hilts of my new daggers. These daggers will start out as +1, as that’s the cost to make a keen blade. It’ll cost 2,000 gold for each dagger, but it’ll expand my crit range on them from 19-20 to 17-20 – a 20% chance of critting, multiplying the damage by 2. And since a crit with Spineless Bastard results in paralysis, it’s worth the cost. Plus, they’ll be metal as fuck, my sweet new sleepytime daggers.
January 18, 2015 10:55am
I went to the Marvel Universe Live! show with my sister and my 2 1/2 y/o nephew. In short, it was great. The Arena is a very kid-friendly venue, and we had pretty good seats.
It was also a pretty good test for Sam and crowds, as he’s much more mobile these days. He did fantastically, and for about two hours, he stared wide-eyed at what was happening before him.
If you can go, you should, especially if you have chirren. It was a great production. Also? Sam LOVES popcorn.
Some quick photos:
July 7, 2014 11:21am
So, I was basically challenged to fill out the Proust Questionnaire (with a bonus question I added). Below are my answers, erring on the side of brevity:
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
Spiders. My actual greatest fear is that one day there will be another disaster from which we can’t recover.
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?
Antsy. I currently have a lot on my plate, and can’t wait for it be a bit more clear.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OCCUPATION?(WAY OF SPENDING TIME)
Currently, it’s sitting at a table with friends and beers, and pencil/paper/dice gaming. Engages/distracts my math/logic brain, and wakes up my less active art brain.
WHAT HISTORICAL FIGURE DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
Not any one specifically. It would generally have to be a leader’s Chief of Staff or a similar position – the person who isn’t in the spotlight, but helps keep everything running behind the curtains.
WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
Perhaps Stephen Hawking? I think most people would have given up long ago, but he just keeps mathing on.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL HERO?
I don’t have a single one, but I’d perhaps have to say that the Bagginses are really up there.
WHO ARE YOUR REAL-LIFE HEROES?
I’m not sure I have one, really. This might be my one cop-out answer.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION?
My house, I guess. Technically, the bank still owns most of it, but whatever.
WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU HAPPIEST?
My wedding, perhaps? That was an exceptional day.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST OBVIOUS CHARACTERISTIC?
I’m pretty clever? At least I think I am.
WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE (HATE) IN YOURSELF?
I have this need to know things – sometimes I can’t leave well enough alone.
WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE IN OTHERS?
The need to put themselves above others. It’s natural, and just about everyone and everything is guilty of it, myself included.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
My house, and the work/improvements that I put into it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JOURNEY?
The 4 1/2 minute bike ride from my doorstep to my “coffeeshop” ( a bar on Decatur St. )
WHAT DO YOU MOST DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE?
My hair is starting to thin. Boo.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST OVER-RATED VIRTUE?
This is a bit broad, so I’ll go with one of the 7 classical virtues: Chastity. I get the pure of body/mind thing, but ex isn’t a bad thing, and I think a lot of people are hung up on it / place too much importance on it.
ON WHAT OCCASION DO YOU LIE?
Usually to keep a friend from knowing about an upcoming surprise. It takes too much energy to keep a false story “correct” and in play.
WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVER-USE?
“(oh) for fuck’s sake”
“One would think…”
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I assume this is a mental thing, so I’d say the fact that I tend not so much hold grudges, as create blood feuds. If physical, I’d love to not have my hair be thinning.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Making the lives of those I care about better.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
Exactly where I am, and/or in the woods.
WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A MAN?
It’s a bit traditional gender-role-y, but the strength/resolve to stand up for / protect / call people out on their bullshit / whatever to those that need it. To not just walk by because it’s someone else’s problem.
WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A WOMAN?
Oooh, this one is difficult too. It would have to be strength too, or perhaps grace. Women are often still dealt a shitty hand these days, and I see so many that handle it with grace, composure, and strength.
WHAT IS IT YOU MOST DISLIKE?
Mono-culture, and/or those who cannot or are unwilling to adapt/change.
WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST IN YOUR FRIENDS?
Honesty, communication, and promptness.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIE?
Painlessly, ideally. If it has to hurt, might as well be doing something worthwhile. And while death isn’t something I look forward too, Earth-bound immortality doesn’t sound great either.
IF YOU WERE TO DIE AND COME BACK AS A PERSON OR AN ANIMAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE?
A dog, to a caring and good owner/family.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE AN OBJECT TO COME BACK AS, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Something useful, with a long working life. A tool, or perhaps a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Those things last forever, and who doesn’t love the thing that make cookies and cake?
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO (WORDS YOU LIVE BY OR THAT MEAN A LOT TO YOU)?
“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
– Marcus Aurelius
WHO HAS BEEN THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
I think “parents” is the obvious answer. Them, and/or my ex-wife.
June 25, 2014 1:37pm
So, Down‘s Beneath the Tides came up on shuffle this morning and it sent me down a whirlpool of nostalgia. The song/album isn’t that old – it was released in 2007 – but it’s a misheard lyric that did me in.
Beneath the tides of the washout
Beware the tides of the War Cow
Now, most anybody unfortunate to still be reading will think “Huh? What the shit is a War Cow?”
Well, let me put down my cane, children, and tell you a tale. The year was 1999, or perhaps it was 2000. Either way, I was living in the former LSU Medical Center Kidney Dialysis building with a handful of friends and co-workers. Yes, there was still a dialysis machine there when we moved in. No nobody got drunk and did things with it. I don’t think.
Yes, you read that right. 2000 Tulane, across the street more or less from Rosenberg’s (and if you grew up in NOLA, their jingle is now stuck in your head. I’m not sorry).
I was working for Tech Company Who Shall Not Be Named™ and the pay wasn’t great, but the room/board was free and I did teach myself a lot. Also? I played a shit ton of Unreal Tournament with the fellas. We had a coffeeshop on the first floor, Taco Bell down the street, and much of an empty floor that we could take over and do proper LAN Parties.
Which brings us back to origin of this post. The War Cow. The Nali War Cow was a playable race in Unreal Tournament. It was far from my favorite to play, as it was better suited for melee combat, where I preferred to snipe. I did love playing against them though, as they made a decent target and I think they might’ve made a sort of mooing sound when you killed one. We would stay up ’till dawn, downing Mountain Dew and cappuccinos, eating crappy burritos, fragging, cursing, and listening to thrash metal.
It was wonderful. I still play some non co-op FPS with friends over XBox Live, but there really is something about trying to kill someone in-game, and physically pushing them IRL, hoping it messes them up so you can get an advantage and get the shot. That physical proximity is something I really enjoy about our ongoing D&D campaigns.
Also, enjoy one of the more played albums during those sessions – the first album by The Haunted:
June 18, 2014 10:04am
Not all that long after getting the new car, in a color close enough to “TARDIS Blue”, I decided to go all in and get a custom plate:
Full size/etc here: https://flic.kr/p/nYZR5m
The things I do for a cheap laugh.
March 18, 2014 6:54pm
I had a nightmare last night. Well, not so much a nightmare as a bad dream. It wasn’t scary or anything, it just wasn’t … fun. Or good.
I was at my folks house, helping out with some thing that needed to stay submerged in the pool. It obviously wasn’t an injured animal or anything, just something that needed to stay submerged, and would surface if left unattended for more than a minute or so. My sister and I were taking turns underwater for x-minutes of time, each with our own set of scuba gear (it had to be closer to the bottom, so snorkels were out), and it just so happened that we’d surfaced at the same time – I think we needed to communicate something a little more intricate than standard underwater signals would convey.
We surfaced, removing regulators and masks, and happened to catch her husband and son just as they were going inside, closing the door behind them. Whatever it was, it involved them. So, she took off her gear and joined them inside.
As she closed the door, I could sense fire, in the distance. The scent/taste of far off smoke, then I saw the fire and felt the heat approaching. And it was approaching fast.
By the time I had reached the edge of the pool, it had seemingly covered far too much ground – where it might have been a few blocks away a moment ago, it was now at the front of the house.
All I could do was to yell at them – my sister and her husband and son, my parents, and my grandmother – to get out. Two words, that’s all I had. This wall of fire in that short space of time had advanced all the way to the back of the house.
There was no chance to save them. All I could do was fall back into the pool, replace my mask and regulator, lie at the deepest part, and watch the surface turn orange and just hope there was enough water to protect me.
The fire passed, and I got out of the pool as quickly as I could.
Everything was scorched, barren. Barely any structures still stood, and while I saw the fire continue one way, I could see unimpeded in the other direction. Nothing was left. Just me.
It left me not feeling pained, but numb. Maybe not numb, but more like that tingle that you feel when hungover. It’s not a difficult dream to dissect, by any means, especially considering I signed what are most likely the final papers for the divorce yesterday.
Either way, it’s safe to say my day didn’t start out in the best manner.
February 11, 2014 10:07am
At the time that Paul started up his Shadowrun game using Numenera‘s Cypher System, I knew I wanted to play, but didn’t think I had the time.
Well, that changed.
Paul had done an excellent job updating the world-building that had been previously done w/ Shadowrun – a neat cyberpunk setting where magic and tech co-exist – and updating it with more modern events and having New Orleans be a focal point. We refer to the game as Shadowrun: Neo Orleans and the role-playing heavier Cypher System fits super well with the lore and feel of Shadowrun.
Sarge is a Strong Troll Glaive who Wields Two Weapons at Once, in Numenera-speak. Basically, he’s a tank. He is a former NOPD Sergeant, but also, uh, “freelanced” a bit. And got busted. So after a stint in prison he couldn’t return to the NOPD, and became an as-needed enforcer for the Leonidas Lords – a gang he’d occasionally do business with before.
The existing party needed muscle on a visit to a warehouse, and had hired two guys related to a Vietnamese chemist. One wasn’t available, so Sarge filled in. As it turns out, he recognized a person in this group – Taki (friend of a punk-ass named “H.C.“) – whose sister he used to be involved with. And apparently she was once married to Ebon, one of the other members of the group at one point, too. Neo Orleans is a small town.
Now, he bounces for/lives above/co-owns the Fallen Angel – a bar in Lakeview – and enjoys these little adventures with his new friends. And H.C. He pretty much hates H.C., which makes for some fun roleplaying.
And, this past weekend I found the perfect set of dice for him (I like to co-ordinate my dice with each character) at Comic Con!
Anyways, Sarge keeps a sort of log of these trips over at lmddd.org, if for some reason you’re interested in reading more.