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  #1  
Old Feb 5th, 2014, 12:26 PM
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Discussions and Drinks at the Dog and Duck

Welcome to the traditional OOC thread, where players can ask questions, express their adoration for the GM, and plot to derail the Plot.

I hope that we all manage to have fun.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 12:40 PM
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First up, I have a proposal to put to you....

Combat

Fight-scenes can be among the very coolest and most enjoyable elements of a game... but in a play-by-post, they can be excruciatingly slow and nightmarishly awkward to supervise.

I'd like to try out a system I've seen used elsewhere:

1) I describe the situation, as the PCs can see and understand it.
2) Players give me a three-round "action plan" for their characters, in broad terms.
3) I implement that, pausing the narrative (and allowing for new action plans to be posted) if something dramatic changes.
4) Return to 1, repeating the cycle until the fight is finished.

The hope would be that this would allow for somewhat "cinematic" combats, where we're able to have dramatic and interesting things happen without needing to rigidly focus on each slot in the initiative order in turn; one of the most frustrating elements of PbP combat can be waiting days for your turn in the order to come around.

Naturally, there'll be some situations where the process pauses after just 1 round - or even part-way through that first round - in order to let people respond, but on the whole this should offer a way to make fights proceed a little more rapidly. It might also provide a slight "buffer" against people being distracted by RL, helping to keep the game moving.

There're a few questions, however.
  • What would it take for you to be happy with this?
  • Should I pose all actions and results for each block of combat, or feed you information on what your character does in terms of the mechanics ("Over two rounds, you hit him twice - hard - but he still manages to counter and hit you with his axe for 7hp damage at the end of the second") and then let you pose your heroic deeds (or hilarious misadventures) yourselves?
  • Would you prefer to roll the dice, or have me do so? It's easy enough for a player to (for example) roll d20 five times and provide three damage rolls at the start of a block of actions: I can then use those d20 results for attacks, saves, Perception checks, etc.
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Last edited by Outcast; Feb 7th, 2014 at 04:48 PM.
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 01:13 PM
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I think this could work well. A couple of suggestions:
  • Essential items might be "plan", "what happens if injured", "if attacked in melee", "if an ally is injured" etc.
  • Allow some part-flexibility. Villem might be happily shooting enemies full of arrows, while the melee guys are having a tougher time of it. You may want to ask the melee guys to revise their plan but don't wait for me if I don't respond.
  • Start off at three rounds but be prepared to adjust (most likely to two) if it doesn't work out.
  • You might make it very difficult for yourself if you continually have to look up our attack modifiers, saves etc. (e.g. the difference between a single arrow, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, etc.)
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Old Feb 5th, 2014, 01:41 PM
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*nods*

I've wondered about asking for a few 'standard options' to be written up: they'll probably emerge in the course of play, but it might be useful to have something in reserve to start with. Say, an 'active', a 'defensive', and a 'run away!' option. That way, even if a player is absent and his character is taking a pasting (or is winning a fight he thought he'd lose), we have some sort of guidelines to work with.

The plans could also be treated as being at least somewhat IC, if the characters were willing to do some group training: they won't be perfect, but they'd represent the kinds of things that PCs could expect each other to do in combat. And, naturally, characters might not default to the same options: a cleric (for example) might generally assume a defensive stance, focusing on not dying while keeping others upright, leaving others to focus upon taking down opponents as fast as possible.

As for stats and bonuses... it'd certainly be helpful if people posted their modifiers for their planned actions, especially for complex ones. Hopefully, we can all fill in gaps in our knowledge of the system, gaining experience alongside our characters.

On length of time covered by a plan: I first came across this idea with a suggestion of a time-span of five rounds; I'm certainly happier with three, but am very open to seeing how things go with that. It could be adjusted down or up as suits.
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  #5  
Old Feb 6th, 2014, 11:37 AM
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Players & Characters: I've now heard back from Megiddo, who has confirmed that he is indeed too busy to responsibly sign up for another game at present; and now also from MundayKnight, who has confirmed his interest.

That would give us a current draft list of:

* Human cleric (Hanspur) - semi-NPC
* Human ranger (archery focus) - HenryLockwood
* Elven ranger (moving towards Arcane Archer) or Human bard/rogue - Ogamodyna
* Grippli swashbuckler (but willing to adapt if needed) - Whocabojo
* Halfling bard - Mundayknight's initial idea

The Path's written for four players and four characters... four players and five characters at any given time might be a reasonable compromise.

Query: Does anyone have any preferences on whether we go for the official default of 15 points, or opt for 20 for building characters?

Second query: Should we pay for races? The Advanced Races Guide introduces points values for races, supposedly representing their utility in some detail. One option is to let people gain a few extra stat points for taking a weaker race, or take an 'upgrade' in race by sacrificing some points. I'd be happy not to bother with this if the players don't want to, but I thought I should mention it.
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Last edited by Outcast; Feb 6th, 2014 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Adding MundayKnight's character idea
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  #6  
Old Feb 6th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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Query 1: I can build either. I believe the current character sheet I have for Villem is a 20-point build, so I have a mild preference there.
Query 2: I don't have the ARG, but if the rules are available online (legally) I'll have a read.

Additional: These house rules (from RonarsCorruption) seem to work well, especially the Initiative rule.
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  #7  
Old Feb 6th, 2014, 05:40 PM
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Query 1: I'm somewhat inclined towards a 20-point build by default, too. It's an appreciable step up from the intended default, but if things prove to be overly easy it's probably far more sensible to adjust opposition upwards than revise characters once they've entered play.
Query 2: Paizo's official PRD has the racial points assessments buried here. Humans are rated at 9 points, dwarfs at 11, etc. I've not studied them in detail, but I've seen a proposal of giving people (say) 29 points, to cover a "human or halfling base, 20-point build" set-up. People who wanted to go for more or less advantageous races could then do so, using whatever remains to buy stats.

I'm not wholly sold on the idea, but thought I should mention it.

RonarsCorruption's rules: The initiative one looks interesting. I'll have to have a think about that, and at least some of the others....
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  #8  
Old Feb 6th, 2014, 10:32 PM
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Trying to decide if I want to stick with Colb, or move to my spy/face-man scoundrel, orrrr go out of the box with something completely different. I have a barb/druid that might be a good add. A sorc/wiz arcane powerhouse type, and a cleric/bard to the god of song. All of them would fill a somewhat under used niche in our party....maybe not the tune servant as much. Got any input?
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  #9  
Old Feb 7th, 2014, 08:07 AM
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At the moment, our "tanks" would be a Grippli swashbuckler (who'll probably have rather a good AC, in all honesty) and a cleric. Our magical attacks would come from the cleric and bard. Damage output would chiefly come from the two archers, I think.

Healing, I think it's safe to say that we have well-covered: spells and channeling (and, on present build, Sacred Touch as an emergency back-up to stabilise dying characters just by touching them) from the cleric, with the option for further magical healing from the bard.

With added levels, things would start to change a bit; the more abilities the swashbuckler gets, the less being Small will noticably impede his damage. The would-be arcane archer would start to add more low-level magic to our pool of resources. The 'pure' ranger will only get more dangerous with each level. The bard would become more magically versatile...

Dropping the arcane archer in favour of something else would change those dynamics: it would certainly be viable if you wanted to, Ogamodyna, but I don't think it's required. An option could be to see how things look once others have posted their draft characters.

On which note, here is a link to the original version of "Vole". I believe that Henry has a version of Villem who'd be ready to go, too.

Naturally, we can all adapt - but seeing what people have in mind might help.

The other thing to consider as a group might be the Campaign Traits. It can be really quite useful to have a spread of those
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  #10  
Old Feb 7th, 2014, 02:48 PM
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Query 1: I would prefer 20 point buy with being a bard but I can make do with fifteen.
Query 2: I like the idea but while human have lower arg point buy the flexible feat and flexible stats really make them one of the best already so it is kind of a toss up for me.

I will make a character sheet for my little halfling bard idea, I still have to finish the backstory that justifies him but ehh.
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  #11  
Old Feb 7th, 2014, 04:55 PM
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Whocabojo has previously (via PM) expressed a preference for 20-point buy (or an equivalent-probability roll mechanic), so I think it's safe to say that we'll go for 20 points - and I can power-up opponents a bit if you seem to be cruising through things rather too easily.

On races... I'm content to just treat PC races as approximately equivalent and let people choose from whatever's sensible.

Oh: I'll allow drawbacks, but only if they fit your character. Expect me to make use of anything you do choose. One drawback = one extra trait; you can only have one drawback.
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Last edited by Outcast; Feb 7th, 2014 at 05:46 PM.
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  #12  
Old Feb 7th, 2014, 08:22 PM
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Need to check campaign area. Really think I may go barb/druid. but the fellow I'm thinking of is a pretty germanic celto-vikingesque figure. gotta figure out ere he'd come from and how he'd get there.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 12:02 AM
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Hey everyone. I'm here. Had some mild rl stuff go on the past few days but I'm ready and willing. I have to adjust Reginald for a 20 point build. But I can shift characters pretty easily. I use hero lab so switching concepts really doesn't slow me down. Regie will have good ac but crap HP. Let me know if the group would rather a more traditional tank.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 12:24 AM
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Pretty sure I am switchimg to something with some tankish potential
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 12:33 AM
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Awesome I'll make up reggie tonight then. At least on herolab.
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