Friday, October 26, 2012, 7:41 PM
If you live in the Vancouver area, and can go out this Tuesday night, I'd highly recommend going to the Rio Theatre on Broadway and Commercial. They have a monthly D&D-themed improv show, which is pretty darn funny.
Check it out ahead of time on their website (www.criticalhitshow.com/) and show up at 7PM. Costumes are always encouraged, especially since it's Halloween season. It's 19+, but you get to buy beer at the concession!
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Sunday, August 12, 2012, 11:17 PM
I just came back from Seattle and, after spending 3 days gaming at Dragonflight 33, I must say I had a great time.
My absolute favourite game system is 4ed D&D, but I'm trying to branch out and become familiar with RPGs outside of the D&D continuum. I played Star Wars D6, DC Heroes, Risus, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, and 1ed 7th Seas: all game systems I've never played before. There was a huge hall devoted to Pathfinder, but there was also a wide variety of older/obscure games available, so many that I could have played double that!
All of my GMs were really cool. They were all focused on creating an interesting story with us, and weren't prejudiced against any system. They freely stole the best ideas from their favourite games, and plugged it into other systems.
So, if you like either Pathfinder, playing OOP RPGs, or being surrounded by a group of great role-players, I'd suggest coming to Dragonflight 2013. There was also a lot of boardgaming, wargaming, and 50 hours of sci-fi/fantasy movies.
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Saturday, March 24, 2012, 9:56 PM
DIVINE (Any class that is blessed by a Deity in order to spread the faith)
Priest: Controller. Think a Biblical prophet. Divine blessing grants it a decent AC, and it drops plagues, hail, and other status effects. Think the Invoker but without Heavy Armour.
Paladin: Defender. Heavy Armour and Big Weapons, with a sprinkling of holy intervention and radiant glow.
Avenger: Striker. I see it as a holy rogue, but I'm willing to see it as a Dervish as well. As long as it walks lightly and carries a big stick for its Deity, I think it would fit.
Cleric: Leader. I'd like the Cleric to be better differentiated from the Paladin and Priest, so I'd split its basic attacks evenly between melee and ranged attacks. Each Cleric could choose a different domain or deity to focus its powers around, be it light, order, or thievery. A distinctive theme would help it feel different.
PRIMAL (Any class that receives its powers from nature/primal spirits)
Barbarian: Striker. This class is synonymous for raging out and attacking. Fans of the 4ed Berserker aside, I think that doing anything other than dealing megadamage isn't fitting for this class.
Shaman: Leader. I've always thought the concept of a Shaman distinct from a Druid (in-tune with the Spirit World, as opposed being in-tune with nature) to be an interesting perspective on nature casters. I'd steal the Essentials Druid's animal companion for it and allow it as an option alongside the 4ed Shaman's spirit companion. Some Shamans might live alongside an obviously incorporeal companion, while others commune with spirits who appear alive.
Druid: Controller. I like how 4ed made Druids the class for shapechanging into wolverines and raking into dozens of people, and then summoning lightning and wind as a humanoid.
Ranger: Defender. In some points of D&D's history, Rangers were Martial fighters familiar with the wild, not unlike a Navy S.E.A.L. was with the ocean. Today, Rangers are usually warriors of the wild, not just in it. I have nothing against the Martial Ranger, but I think that in a world where nature is demonstrably active in the affairs of the world, having Rangers be attuned to that makes more sense.
I would keep the Archery and 2-weapon paths as means of defending. Like a Paladin's challenge, a Ranger's arrow can draw a foe's attention to it, making foes worry about them more than they should. A 2-weapon Ranger can use both weapons to block attacks to allies, and trip up escaping foes with quick flicks of steel to their limbs.
ARCANE (Any class that receives its power from manipulating elemental energy)
***I'm a big fan of both Psionics and Arcane, and Heroes of the Elemental Chaos finally clued me in on how to give each power source a distinct flavour. Psionics intrude on Wizards by poaching mental powers, but they rarely use stuff like Fireball and Lightning Bolt. So, why not give Psionic classes all the mental stuff, and let Arcane classes focus on elemental energy?***
Sorcerer: Striker. The epitome of my arcane worldview. They wield arcane power unwittingly and often unwillingly. Their powers should have a degree of uncontrollability: blasts and bursts should hit all creatures, not just enemies.
Wizard: Controller. Like a nuclear engineer, the Wizard uses years of training to harness elemental energy safely. He still studies and uses a spellbook, but his power is explicitly coming from a big roiling plane of elemental energy.
Artificer: Leader. The technical counterpart to the Wizard. He builds and repairs with magic from the same place the Primordials built the world with. He need not be as destructive as them, but he has the capability to unleash elemental energy in ways that follow a schema, much like an architect builds a tower.
Swordmage: Defender. It takes the clinical detachment of the Wizard and applies it to fighting. The Swordmage uses elemental power as both a weapon and a steroid to stimulate fighting ability. A swordmage could hack and hew, but his training has encouraged him to use his weapons as tools: sometimes those tools shoot ice rays, and sometimes they superheat to cut through plate armour like cheese.
PSIONIC (Any class that uses his mind and will as his power source)
Cavalier: Defender. Instead of worshipping a Deity, Cavaliers apply themselves to ideals to live and die for. Whether it be Valour or Domination, the power of their convinction combines with their Psionic power to give them abilites to serve this ideal, and have the world bend to its will. They protect their allies in order to further their ideal.
Bard: Leader. This arcane class is really best suited for Psionics. Its powers of persuasion and enrapturing fits mental powers to a tee. Their singing and memory is the key to their power. Their psionic potential is harnessed by their devotion to stories and song, and can move the world as they do in their mind.
Monk: Striker. This one was very hard to place. Some monks are just bare-knuckle brawlers, others are devoted to a religious calling, and other generate fire in their punches. As a Psionic class, I can say that they can pursue any of these paths because they choose to. They hone and train their physical body in the belief that they can do so without weapons or magic. Psionic potential allows them to make themselves weapons in very diverse ways.
Psion: Controller. Stereotypical psionic. Sometimes, Psions are known as telekinetics, but I would like to minimize this. I think force energy is a legitmate kind of elemental energy (and not just because Magic Missile is a Wizard Sacred Cow). I would prefer the Wizard became known as the manipulator of energies, and Psion be the catchall for enchantments, illusions, and divinations. Any kind of mental power that is typically associated with Wizards should (IMHO) be the purview of the Psion.
SHADOW (Any class that makes a bargain with a greater power for power)
*** The difference between Divine and Shadow in cases such as Asmodeus is how the deal is made. Divine PCs are given the power and can choose to refuse it; if they accept, they are expected to fulfill the Deity's will without constant oversight. Shadow PCs ask for the power and make bargains to do vile things in order to use the greater power's might as they see fit***
Assassin: Striker. Assassins use the shadows to assist in murder. Possible patrons include the Raven Queen, Zehir, Lolth, and certain Primal Spirits. Some souls go to their masters, and the organizations they work for often do the will of their shadow patrons, but the power they use is theirs.
Blackguard: Defender. True believers whose faith turns inverse into hatred can call upon their former master's enemies to give them power. Because they were never called by those dark forces before their fall, they do not represent their faith, and instead work as operative who work as the inverse of their enemy, and not paragons of their dark master's beliefs. Both evil Deities and Demon Lords can have blackguards.
Necromancer: Leader. Like the Shaman, it would be a class with constant access to servitors. It can have a skelton it can constantly re-assemble not unlike an Essential Druid's animal companion, and summon incorporeal undead for attacks (maybe have a Mage Hand variant that involves dead ghosts moving things?). Healing would involve stealing energy from elsewhere, like defiling in Dark Sun. It might be cool if Necromancer "healing" spells actually did some damage to foes and healed allies with that life energy (the transfer need not be a 1:1 ratio, perhaps 1 damage for every 3 HP healed).
Warlock: Controller. This class is so shadow. Whether it is Fey, Devils, Far Realm, or Sorcerer-Kings, this class is a calculated bargain for power that is unlike Wizards and Sorcerers. The bargain they make allows them to make spells like a Wizard.
MARTIAL (Classes that gain power from physical training)
Rogue: Striker. With all the magical means of stealth in D&D, I think that the Rogue's powers need to come from his natural talents. He can convince you to give up your gold with a lie that's 100% magic free. He can hide in plain sight because his physcial posture and understanding of perception is without peer. A Rogue shouldn't be a physical brute, but a master of precision strikes.
Warlord: Leader. I'm not against Martial healing, but I think that its healing could stand to be more different from magical means. Perhaps it could heal a bit and give out a lot of temporary HP: the Warlord's temp HP and healing would be larger than a Cleric's healing, but the Cleric would be able to heal more after a scrap. The Warlord's best strategy would be to pre-emptively "inspire" to create a buffer for his allies' HP.
Knight: Defender. This is the archetypical fighter, sword and board and heavy armour. He's here to be hit and not be hurt.
Weaponmaster: Controller. This is the fighter who is a master of several weapons. He can use a Bastard Sword, a Longbow, and twin scimitars all in the same encounter for different reasons. Like a pro golfer, he has moves that work best with certain weapons, and keeps a variety of them on hand to react to each situation with the proper tools. Sometimes it's a hail of arrows on a mob, other times it's a rapier through a sprinter's hamstring. Shields are rare for this class, but if it does have one, it's using it to fight with, and can probably use its bare hands when necessary.
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Sunday, January 29, 2012, 4:34 PM
- looks like every skill will have a Passive setting: if a roll of 10 would let you pass it, you automatically pass it. Not sure if other PCs can try for things like searching for secret doors, but it seems implied.
- Every stat will be used as a modifer for a different kind of saving throw. So, back to 3ed's no-way-to-avoid-sucking-at-one-third-of-saves.
Rob: "However, if you describe it well, you can use a different attribute." So, anyone can talk their way into a +5 bonus on a saving throw? Maybe this mechanic works well for a bunch of novel writers, but I don't see it working well for the public.
So, instead of a race giving a +2, race gives +1 and class gives +1. Nothing big here.
Rolling ability scores - instead of being an option secondary to point buy, it's now the primary. Maybe someone could tell these guys why rolling stats isn't the best option for OP?
The skill list is gone, but there are lots of ways that skills can be modified. More complexity, less clarity.
Lots of 'little skills' (code for Profession and Crafting skills, no doubt). Also, skills can be removed.
Something called "Advantage" will be handed out to people who RP well. Perhaps like Combat Advantage?
Apparently, there's no room for the Avenger class in 5ed, and Paladins (not Rogues) would assimilate them.
The electrum coin and the Great Wheel is coming back. WHY GOD, WHY? *Weeps uncontrollably*
Stat boosting magic items are coming back. Yes, the 6 items that everyone took in 3ed and led designers to make the 4ed magic item system.
Both positive and negative modifers for race. Wheeeeeeeeeee!
Bruce: "By giving power to the DM and a very robust rule set we can make it easier for the DM to make a calling and not feel like he's lost at sea." Instead of a simple ruleset that everyone can understand, the DM is supposed to do the designer's work for them and then dictate that to their players.
XP can be different for each table. Not sure how you can write an adventure when each table will level up differently.
The game is more dangerous, death is more common.
Skill challenges will apparently die in a fire.
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Saturday, January 28, 2012, 12:42 AM
I can`t believe how disengaging this interview is.
It feels like a distilled collection of things and attitudes I don`t want behind D&D.
Bruce likes Warlock `cause they`re cool, Monte likes Wizards because they`re OP, and Rob likes Assassins `cause they kill people. Throw in Shelly Mazanoble, and I think I could match everyone with a character from Knights of the Dinner Table. It feels like a bunch of pals building their homebrew system instead of something meant to be sold in bookstores and Wal-Mart.
In order for Fighters to get complex options, they have to give up attack bonuses and damage. Thing is, my 4ed Fighter can take Weapon Expertise AND do cool things in combat.
Bruce: If all classes are putting out the same damage, there's no difference.
Why am I not surprised that the Warlock fan doesn`t care about equalizing damage output. Good-bye Pg. 42. And (apparently) deliberate amnesia on why you synchronized damage outputs in the first place.
Lots of talk about damage output vs. non-combat things. Fighter gets used as the baseline for all-combat, no tricks. Whopee.
Monte wants to label the different classes as Common, Uncommon, and Rare. Presumably, Spelljammer will be a Mythic Rare Foil.
Monte: Also something like the D&D wizard and we have a clear view or set of examples for what that wizard could look like. With the fighter, there's not that clear example.
Yeah, probably because, in the past, the difference between Sword&Board, Monkey Grip Bastard Sword, and Spike Chain hasn`t been as significant as the difference between Evoker, Diviner, and Necromancer.
It`s a pretty poor reflection on your imagination that you can better envision a person that exists only in fiction than an archetype that has existed IRL for millenia and in as many fictional stores as the Wizard.
Apparently, if I want to be a Wizard with at-will powers, I have to take a feat for that. For heaven`s sake, even pathfinder gives you free at-wills! Why can`t the basic assumption for Wizardy be that I learn at-will spell.
How do you solve the 15 minute workday:
Monte: Take a feat, or don`t go supernova
Rob: Take a feat.
Rituals... actually sounds fun.
Bruce seems hung-up on making the classes feel as differently as possible. With no mention on why they were so similar in 4ed. There were good reasons for that, but instead of building on that, we seem to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Again with the Aragorn Ranger. What is the Aragon Ranger! Sounds like code for Ranger-who-looks-cool-but-is-not. And I speak from experience as a long-time Ranger fan that they used to look much cooler, but have never been actually cooler than they are now.
Inclusion of Priests separate from Clerics... also sounds good.
Bruce apparently forgets that DMs in 4ed can make PCs search for those magic items they want. Just like every edition.
Rob suggests that we are going back to 3ed style of multi-classing. Given that Pathfinder has made their system more appealing to not multi-class willy-nilly, it saddens me to say that PF is going to be more like 4ed than 5ed.
Apparently, power sources are gone. They were too jarring for some people. Exact quote: Arcane power source is jarring, arcane spell is not. Glad to see you are marketing to a very open-minded audience.
Sounds like status effects are going to be built into spells and not open for non spellcasters. Thanks guys, that being useful thing was so annoying when I played my Martial character.
How will Fighters and Wizards balance: Fighters will make Wizards look bad for a while, then the Wizard will end the encounter, making the Fighter look bad. Thank God we do not have them perform different roles in combat, or we could make them both look great AT. THE. SAME. TIME.
And the Coup de Grace
Q: What about a simple, tactical game?
Rob: With D&D Next, you should be able to play the same kind of 4e-type game that you're playing now.
Not from what you have told me, buddy.
You want my money, you make a Cleric sub-class called the Priest for 4ed, and make a fancy Ritual rules supplement for 4ed. Because those are the only good things I came away with from this presentation of your new system.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011, 8:42 PM
1) Fog Patch . I'm not sure how a patch of fog can work so differently than regular Fog . Apparently, Fog wil stop all damage from being dealt, but just patches of Fog will just prevent creatures without trample from dealing damage to players (if they are also blocked by creatures, damage will be shared).
I've always thought that Fog works by making it impossible to safely navigate. Even if you're defending your home turf, you can't remember where each stone and hole stands. What's more, a stumbling warrior could blindside you. I think that Fog makes it very hard (but not impossible) to continue the battle, so it is called off by the planeswalker.
A fog patch spell assumes that it is an aimed phenomena. The caster aims the fog into certain patches that 'stick' to the creatures. They are surrounded by a fog patch that follows them around. A battlefield with several units on it would look like several clouds wandering like stars in the sky. The difference here is that the creatures can still deal damage if they stumble into each other.
One could imagine that a trampling wurm could do a lot of 'stumbling' and be able to hit something worthwhile despite being surrounded with fog. Likewise, you could place a 3/3 to intercept an attacking a 1/1. Planeswalkers can sense who is where, but the creatures themselves cannot attack properly with their sight blurred.
I might allow creatures that are affected by Fog and similar cards to make a stunt check to naviagte the bad weather. The DC would be high, with penalties ranging from -1/-1 counters to death (or even exiling, assuming that they wander into a Faerie realm).
2) Mana Cache . Without mana burn, this card is worthless, and that's being generous. Heck, with mana burn, it was a wacky rare. Now, it's only worthwhile if you're playing against Draw-Go. The average player will simply tap any excess lands to prevent you from getting free mana.
I could make the Cache try and compel your opponents to leave lands untapped, but I'd rather just make it an effective hoser for Draw-Go. I think that upping the mana accessible from the Cache larger. Maybe make it 3 mana. Perhaps the Cache amplifies mana stored inside it. Its chaotic growth is what makes it so easy to have it stolen from you. Mana Flare doubles your mana for the same price; Mana Cache should be better for being niche. I don't want to make it too much larger: Scars of Mirrodin has a lot of charge counter helpers, especially Proliferate.
3) Reverent Silence . This set's theme of giving life away instead of paying for the mana was an interesting concept. In decks, I've only ever seen it used as a tool with False Cure . Flavourfully, the deep silence allows the planeswalker to gain some cosmic insight and clear the battlefield of enchantments and other artificial magics.
Describing the life given as flavour is a little tricky. I think it is still some kind of impartment of wisdom given to every opponent. I don't think it could be a Resource: if temples are built around whatever cosmic truth imparted to you, this life is not those temples. I think the life should be added to a pre-existing NPC or Planeswalker, as wisdom granted to your enemies that they might share your enlightenment. It could be divided amongst up to 6 NPCs and/or planeswalkers. The wisdom makes them hardier. D&D Monks and Paladins grow stronger from the faith, and whatever wisdom you impart to them makes them stronger.
4) Stronghold Gambit . I get the balance reasoning for why the smallest creature is the one that enters the battlefield. It reduces the brokenness of the card. It creates some interesting tensions when Emrakul, the Aeons Torn comes into play with Autochthon Wurm . It combos well with discard.
Flavourwise, I'm not sure how the gambit works. The art doesn't help out, as both groups of creatures in the art are on the same side, and wouldn't be directly competing with each other. Using my imagination, I guess that raiders on the Stronghold use their bigger creatures to create a diversion for the smaller forces to enter play. The guards focus on the Wurm, and allow the Warriors in.
So how can your opponent, whom you're running the gambit against, benefit from this? Perhaps, like in any gambit, it can go completly sidewises. Your foe can gain knowledge of it and use it as a trap. If your goblin warriors are attempting to tunnel inside the Stronghold, you can intercept their handlers and force them to aid your kobolds.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 9:48 PM
1) AEther Barrier . This barrier creates a zone of disruption when a creature teleports into the battlefield, or becomes AEther bonded on the battlefield. When one AEther bond enters the barrier, it creates a ripple of disruption that its caster must fix, either pay 1 mana or allowing the ripple to disrupt your connection to a permanent. Said ripple might destroy it, or just sever your ability to summon it again.
2) Murderous Betrayal . For 3 mana and half your life, I think you should be able to kill creatures as well, huh?
The flavour of this enchantment revolves around not just killing a creature, but also betraying them. This card makes an ally of the creature kill it. The loss of life might be some kind of bribe to get them to turn sides. If so, then the life lost would have to be Resource life points, or perhaps NPC life points (either sold to slavery to the betrayer, or killed as a reward for their actions). The 'half of the life' is determined from the total of all kinds, but is taken from the non-planeswalker life totals.
This card's controller and the GM can roleplay the bargaining of what they ask for, but this card assumes that you can find at least one rat to turn on any creature. I'm assuming that the betrayer would be a NPC, but I guess it shouldn't be impossible for a summoned creature to perform it.
So, why does the going price for betrayal go down when your life points go down? Perhaps the planeswalker takes some risks and tries buying off someone whose treachery is not assured, or is not completely qualified for the task. Or, instead of paying Resource or NPC lifepoints, the planeswalker is paying some of his or her own life points, performing some dangerous task only a planeswalker can do (steal a ruby from the plane of Efreets) in exchange for the murder.
3) Pale Moon . This card ain't great. Could have been just or let you draw a card as well. But how does it do what it does (so poorly)? Is the moon affecting the land, or is the surprise of the new moon shocking specialized lands into colourless production?
Looking at other moon cards, I see a pattern. Moonlace , Blood Moon , Chaos Moon , Bad Moon , and Moonhold all appear to be supernatural effects. It's only in Moonlace and Pale Moon that people's reactions to them are noted. To be sure, being under a Bad Moon will make you consider the benefits of going . However, they are initiated by lunar powers, and are not initiated by people's reactions to it. Thought the Pale Moon is rare to Rath, I think that its effect would be the same if it came out every night.
4) Stronghold Discipline . "The whippings will continue until morale improves." In the Stronghold, I don't think this phrase is ironic. It's a very outlook to hurt your allies in only slightly-less vicious ways than your enemies. While rebels dedicated to the Evincar's death get tortured in one room, life-long workers of the Stronghold are interrogated by their taskmasters for any sign of disloyalty. Your opponent loses NPC life points through the execution of important leaders, while you lose Resource life points due to lowered production due to fear and paranoia.
5) Submerge . This card makes more sense on the plane of Rath rather than other planes. The Skyshroud forest is grown over the sea, and the waters flow freely beneath it. This spell would draw humanoids under the forest floor and throw them deep into the water. On other worlds, this spell could create an underground flow of river underneath the forest (or other lands, if this spell is not played for free) and pulls them down there.
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Sunday, November 13, 2011, 9:33 PM
1) Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero . This legend works wonders with the library, pulling a creature from the library to the battlefield, and putting creatures from the graveyard into the library. This fits into my concept that the library is a part of the world that's friendly to you, but isn't ready for deployment.
Its recruiting ability really fits well into the conception of a rebellion growing from the grassroots. One summoned rebel can rabble-rouse the common people into a standing army. Lin Sivvi's unique graveyard-to-library ability is a form of combat surgery. She can save the life of a mortally-wounded rebel, but it will require a great deal of convalesence to get back to full health.
Unless Lin decides to recruit it again. In that case, she goes Colonel Hapablap on it and yells/convinces them to get back on the battlefield, broken leg or not. She channels 4ed's Warlord healing powers by using natural charisma to do what clerics and shamans channel from divine sources.
2) Noble Stand . When you gain the life from blocking, your faction is gaining life points in the form of both saved innocents and their rescued resources. The nobility of their defense of the innocent drives them to join the war cause. Noble Stand assumes that the blocking creature stops an attacking creature from trampling/randomly killing a non-life point NPC on its way to attacking your life points.
1 of the two life points is a NPC life point. The community leader who is rallying his friends to donate their goods to your cause in the form of 1 Resource life point.
3) Parallax Wave . I'll talk more about fading in the artifact installment. For now, I want to point out that many cards from this set allow you to remove fading counters for special effects. This card is an enchantment whose short existence can be shortened to increase the range of its effect.
It's an interesting conception for a non-creature, but it's down-right suicidal for a creature like Defender en-Vec . There are a lot of creatures who will sacrifice themselves for an ability, but this creature seems so much more odd. Perhaps it's because straight-out sacrifice is so common, that the severity of it is lost to us by familiarity. In contrast, a creature who slowly kills itself, whether through putting -1/-1 counters on itself or removing fading counters, seems far worse, because it's so rarely seen.
What does this card do? The Wave is exiling creatures temporarily by creating an unstable artificial plane within Rath. Part of the planar overlap allows planeswalkers to make 'folds' in the plane, catching creatures in small tucked pockets for a short time. The flavour works very well for , who is very keen on creating new worlds and banishing those they disagree with. The instability of the plane means that the more beings are store in it, the quicker it will 'unfold'. While within, the creatures can commune spiritually, but won't be able to fight each other (unless an appopriate stunt check succeeds).
4) Sivvi's Valour . This card's alternate cost makes me think that it is falling on its knees and begging for assistance. Given 's communal nature, it makes sense that one white creature could communicate a need for help to another, or give its own actions to pay for things that they can't afford to pay mana for.
This particular spell allows you to redirect damage dealt to your creature to you, the planeswalker. The art suggests that the planeswalker/leader of your faction (in this case, Lin Sivvi) is fighting alongside the creature. If I were to visualize it, the planeswalker would fight face-to-face with the creature, while the targeted creature stays in combat, striking at the enemy while the leader is taking the brunt of the attacks.
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Friday, November 11, 2011, 8:09 PM
1) Deepwood Tantiv . When this creature is blocked, you gains 2 life. That life gain can either be extra health to your Planeswalker, empowering a NPC or giving you new NPCs as life points, or giving you new resources. So which is it?
Well, you can see the Tantiv excreting a gas as it enters combat. Perhaps that gas is a valuable product. It may be harnessed as a poison/drug, or it can be used as an agent on other materials. It could be a valuable Resource collection of life points. A tantiv's gland cannot be harvested in a stable, it has to feel threatened by someone it is not familiar with. Whatever it does, it has no actual effect on combat. It could smell as bad as a skunk, but not bad enough to affect stats.
2) Megatherium . Yes, the Megatherium was a prehistoric beast. Why it's in Mercadia, I have no idea. Why it's cheaper to play with less card in hand, I haven't the foggiest.
My best guess is that this creature is a hard beast to tame. It requires exclusive attention and care to get it to submit to an AEther binding. With a full hand, you're thinking of other allies to appease, lands to cultivate, and artifacts to restore. The emptier your hand is, the more attention you can give to the big sloth.
3) Rishadan Port . This port of pirates can be tapped to tap another land. Tapping another land represents a fleet of non-combat pirates blockading that land. Obviously, land-locked manasource lands have to be accessed by means other than pirate ships. However, I think the flavour is clear that Rishada harasses other lands, to the point of making them unapproachable for mana.
I imagine that this clean, simple act of tapping the Port to tap another land involves hundreds of extras going out on your beck and whim. They might loot and plunder, but not to the point of destroying permanents. Given that this game is focused on a group of god-like planeswalkers, I would be happy to describe said plundering, but would also be okay with glossing over it. The MTG RPG focuses on struggles that span entire worlds, and the upheaval of a single land won't mean much to said struggle.
A benevolent planeswalker can care about it, and try to help a single mortal or city, but it somewhat diminishes the potential of the MTG multiverse. If that planeswalker wants to be a part of the campaign with other people, a small town on one plane isn't going to be enough room for several planeswalker. Moreso than other RPGs, I think that MTG (if it ties capability growth with gaining new cards) could work okay if a planeswalker sits out a few sessions, and then jumps back into the action. While Ajani Goldmane heals a pack of leonin, his player could play as a neophtyte planeswalker or a group of mages who could act as an antagonist for a few sessions.
4) Spontaneous Generation . I'm not sure where they're getting this 'ruin of others' things when these Saprolings are clearly feeding off of you having a lot of cards. If anything, they seem to grow based on abundance.
Ignoring the flavour text (which is clearly a Fallen Empires reference that has no meaning here), it does make sense for this plane. The Mercadians do control a great deal of wealth and goods in this world, and as such, would have a lot of cards in their reserves. Abundance often breeds wastefulness, which might explain what the Saprolings are feeding off of. These creature tokens have been nurtured off the excess of each resource you have in your hand.
5) Tower of the Magistrate . One interesting use for the Tower is to target an equipped creature and make the equipment fall off. That feels like a Magistrate has ordered you to surrender your weapon to the authorities (which you can summon back to your side when you pay to equip it again). That has a nice feel for the flavour.
Perhaps one role of the Magistrate is to control weapons, mechanical constructs, and other artifacts. The Magistrate has a squad of soldiers and/or mages capable of containing a rampaging golem, or dispel the healing magic of a rebel's Panacea .
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Thursday, November 10, 2011, 10:24 PM
1) Blood Oath . I don't think I can salvage this card. It's flavour is supposed to be about two people who share their blood and live in unity. Its crunch deals damage based on whichever card type you choose. Very little connection. However, two changes could make this work.
First, have each player choose a card type. Second, have this instant deal damage to each player who has those cards in their hand. If one player chooses `artifact`and another player chooses `creature`, anyone who has an artifact creature in their hand will take 6 damage. It makes for a more dangerous card, with both the potential for higher spikes and the chance to finish you off. It fits the flavour of both and this card`s flavour.
2) Cave-In . This card is a difficult conception for combat not taking place near or in caves. If all the battles are taking place on plains under clear skies, how do the rocks fall? Perhaps the sorcery originates a cave-in somewhere on the plane, and uses AEther to transport the falling rocks down on the creatures affected by them. If some creatures are within a cave, some extra effects happen.
3) Flailing Ogre . My concept for how the stunt mechanics for MTG RPG would work is pretty much like how this creature works. Pay 1 mana to boost one of your cards, or pay 1 mana to decrease one of your opponent's cards. To keep it within the boundaries of Planechase, the cost of mana would go up by 1 each time you try it between the each of your turns, as well as 1 free stunt.
The important thing is that, at least once a round, you can do something the rules can't account for. I think it's a really important thing in a RPG to allow actions that the GM and the players have to adjudicate for, because no system can equally accomodate all possible actions. It would be up to the GM to allow or disallow what is possible as a stunt.
Obviously, most players will attempt to pull off as much damage and/or destruction as possible. This should be limited by high DCs to roll, as well as a limit on which cards can be allowed to try this.
4) Hired Giant . Why would hiring a Giant mean your opponents get more lands? Perhaps the giant`s presence in the surrounding area has kept people away from accessing their manasources. When you hire him, he doesn`t have the time to keep those lands isolated, and your opponents rush into claim them.
5) Lunge . This spell works sort of like D&D's Cleave: you hit one guy, and then swing through towards another. Cards like Arc Lightning give you lots of options for targets, but this one is slightly hobbled by its flavour. Unlike the lightning, where you can spread it anywhere, lunging is fixated on one person's immediate vicinity. The fact that you must spread it amongst a creature and life points means that it can only be used when a Planeswalker/NPC with life points/Resource.
We can rule out Resources, since only a few kinds of resources can be destroyed with a clean strike. So, how close does a Planeswalker/NPC have to be to be able to lunge? How do you determine that in a game without a grid? I'm thinking that an essential part of this RPG is for players to assign where Planeswalker and NPCs are.
Using lands as general areas of occupation would be useful. If Jace Beleren is being attacked by 3 goblins, it could be said that they are in the same area, sort of a "close range". At close range, creatures can block, and, in the case of Lunge, a legal target.
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