His new girlfriend, who I may have mentioned wants to play with us, has decided to make a Razorclaw Shifter Archery Ranger. Virgil's player says he might work on her a bit, and see if she'll want to switch to an Elf, but Razorclaw Shifter's solid, in my opinion. It'll certainly help us in the range department, which is something we sorely need.
Anyway, pretty exciting. More news when I have some.
Tell him to lay off! The Elf might be more 'optimized' in terms of Racial powers and stuff, but if she gets down by playing a were-snow-leopard, remind him that the only thing that really matters is the Dex, and she has it!
The Ranger has plenty of feat support, so the minor stuff she may lose by not being an Elf will be easily covered in the class.
As to the other stuff... I can understand the frustration, truthfully. I have DM'd every edition of D&D from AD&D on, and I still have to remind myself that the monsters don't always know the tricks the PCs use. I try to play my bad guys with a brain, unless they don't have one. If a Hobgoblin watches someone do the 'draw the attack' trick (we had an Invoker who excelled at this that pinballed off the Paladin in a group I ran) once, he would be very cautious about attacking. My zombies, however, never move to avoid AOs or pay attention to marks... they just move in a straight line to the nearest target (or the one that hit them last) and swing away.
Something you might look at... remember the retraining rule in 4e. Maybe look for some feats that punish the stuff he DOES do, and then when he adjusts to the new normal, swap back.
Hey, guys! Just a little update, since we haven't been playing much lately. It's really just been a matter of scheduling: last week my wife and I had another baby, and I had my finals for this semester; this week, we're closing on our home, and moving in. So yeah, super busy. Virgil's player also moved to another town to start a new job, so he's been away, as well. We're still planning on playing again soon, but it may have to be after the first of the year. I don't see any other way we can really swing it.
Like I said before, Virgil's swapping out his character, and he'll be playing a Dwarven Warden when we pick up next. I know he's planning on using a craghammer and a shield, and basically making a mini-game out of seeing how many times the game's going to legitimately allow him to add his Constitution modifier to damage (Crippling Crush, Crushing Earthstrength, various Warden powers, etc). Seems pretty nasty, but we'll see how that goes. He asked me to sit down with his girlfriend and help her develop her character last weekend. I think she's going to work out really well. We like her a lot, actually. She DID end up going with Elf instead of Razorclaw shifter. She said wasn't attached to Shifter at all, but thought the rest of us might think Elf Ranger was cliche. I explained that we didn't. I mean, we're all basically playing cliche roles, lol. I'm a Half-Orc Barbarian, after all.
Well, I'm a Nauring, but whatever. We don't get to roleplay as much when Akarrin's DM'ing, so sometimes even I feel like he's just a Half-Orc. Actually, that leads me to something else I wanted to talk about: now that my semester is over, and everything's starting to calm down around here (as much as it can, anyway, with a new baby in the house), I've been writing stuff up again. I'm really anxious to get back behind the DM screen. Akarrin wants to finish up the story he's telling, and that's cool, but I'm going to work on stuff in the meantime. I'm actually planning on writing up an entirely new campaign setting, with all new races and deities and stuff. Really excited about it.
The first race I'm writing up is the Naurung, actually. Mogr's race. In the game we're playing now, the Naurung are essentially just Half-Orc re-skins. I've built them from the ground up, though. I have a thread up on the Homebrew section of the site, but maybe I'll just go ahead and post it here, for you guys to critique? You've always been really helpful in the past whenever I've been designing stuff, and the Naurung ARE tied to the Strasan campaign through Mogr.
RP and racial background stuff behind the spoiler. Spoiler:Show
In the North, beyond the furthest reaches of human civilization, lies Mjörgard; howling and frozen. It is a desolate and inhospitable land, called "home" by only one people -- the Naurung. They had once been Men, the stories say, who laid with the giants in the Time-Beyond-Remembering. They are a hale and hearty people, half-again as large as men, and well-suited to the natural conditions of the North. Scholars speculate that the mingling of Giant and Mannish blood complicates their biology to a certain degree, as one in every ten Naurings are born sterile. The North claims the weakest and youngest amongst them each season, but the Naurung continue to endure, together. Few civilizations can boast of communities with bonds as strong as the Naurung's. The are a fierce and independent people, however; naturally suspicious of the Southron races. Mjörgard is a hard and frigid land, incapable of sustaining crop growth, so the Naurung are raiders by necessity. In the lands of the Reach, their clan banners are well-known and well-feared. Naurings rarely take more than their communities require, however, and almost never cut down those with enough sense to stand aside when they come. In truth, most of the villages gave up resisting the attacks generations ago, and now simply pay tribute to the Naurung on every moon-turn. The Naurung pay tributes of their own, however. In the highest Mjörgardian peaks, amongst the tall stone spires of Rassal, the abandoned City of Bells, lives an old white wyrm called Boreandr, who commands both respect and admiration ... and demands sacrifices of wealth and blood. The Naurung are not an especially intelligent people (though many are cunning); most cannot read or write, so the vast majority of their traditions and history are passed down through the generations by song and story. Boreandr, like most great wyrms, measures his vast lifetime in centuries, and has warped the stories of the Naurung over the course of many long generations -- many now believe that he is an avatar of Talos, the god of storms, destruction and savagery, and so happily pay tribute in return for his favor. In return, Boreandr (and his consort, the wicked she-dragon, Shiver) watches over the Naurung, and bring their terrifying wrath upon any who would dare strike back at them. Their interest in the Naurung could easily be compared to the affection a master shows for his favorite pet. The Naurung are a nomadic people, with only one permanent settlement: Hollowhome. In the Time-Beyond-Remembering, scholars say that Hollowhome was a dwarven fortress-city, but the dwarves have long since fled; driven aback by the giants of old, most like, through the deep roads their ancestors carved from stone and fire. Now it is home to the Naurung. The cavernous entrances to the city sprout up all around the base of Rassal, the fabled City of Bells that rises from the tallest and oldest peaks, and now serves as Boreandr's roost and throne. The Naurung are forbidden to ascend the mountain, or step foot in Rassal, but when the wind howls (and it often howls in Mjörgard), they can hear the massive, ancient bells ringing down in Hollowhome.
Additional information on favored classes: Spoiler:Show
References to Auril, Talos, etc are because the race was originally just a re-skin of Half-Orcs that I did for a game I was DM'ing. In that world, I was using a lot of the old Forgotten Realms deities, so that's why they're references in the write-up. I'll likely change that stuff around when I'm totally finished. Anyway, I'm working on my own Homebrew world now, and this is my first attempt at writing up the Naurung as their own, independent and original race. This is actually the first time I've ever tried to Homebrew a race, so I'd appreciate any input you could give me. Oh, and for what it's worth? I'd say the Naurung heavily favor Primal classes, and Martial as well. I can see some Divine classes, like the Rune-Priest, specifically, but their culture really isn't one that supports Paladins, Clerics, and the like. Their racial bonuses don't lead them toward the Arcane, either, which is good, because I can't imagine a Naurung Wizard, or Bard. Rune-Priests aside, I'd say their spiritual leaders are Shamans and Druids. Fighters, Wardens, Barbarians, Rangers, Rogues, Warlords, etc, are all right up their alley.
An ancient and powerful mingling of Man and Giant, Firstborn of the Northern wind.
Average Height: 7'2" - 7'8" Average Weight: 280-340 lb
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution; +2 Strength or Wisdom Size: Medium Speed: 6 Vision: Low-Light
Blood of Auril: You have resistance to cold damage equal to 5 + one-half your level. Nauring Resilience: When you're bloodied, you gain a +1 racial bonus to all defenses. Naturally Suspicious: Add Insight to your list of class skills. Also, when you make an Insight check to sense motives of attitudes, roll twice and use either result. Blessing of Rassal: Your normal load is determined by multiplying your Strength score by 15, rather than 10. In addition, your heavy load is determined by multiplying your Strength score by 30, rather than 20, and your maximum drag load is determined by multiplying your Strength score by 75, rather than 50.
Naurung Battle Shout: You have the Naurung battle shoutpower.
Naurung Battle Shout
Nauring Racial Power
You let loose a mighty shout that shakens those nearby.
Encounter ♦ Thunder
Minor Action - Close burst 1
Target: Each creature in burst
Attack: Strength +2 vs. Fortitude, Constitution +2 vs. Fortitude, or Wisdom +2 vs. Fortitude
Hit: Constitution modifier damage, and you push the target 1 square.
Special: When you create your character, choose Strength, Constitution, or Wisdom as the ability score you use when making attack rolls with this power. In addition, increase to +4 bonus and 5 + Constitution modifier damage at 11th level, and +6 bonus and 10 + Constitution modifier damage at 21st level.