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No updates?

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No updates in quite a while. Why is that?
I’m writing and improving my art skills. With over 14 projects to write and another 2 to illustrate I have to brush up on everything.
Simple 2d6 is simply sitting there attracting a few sales. Have you bought a copy? Drop a comment below.
Rune Paths d20 is also attracting a few sales.
Combined the two products paid for some art supplies. Nothing much but it’s nice to have done them.

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Cursed Dreenai Winterblade

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Fraem’s house was ablaze. He smashed the door in and ran through the smoke trying to shield his face and purple eyes with his arms. He called for his wife, he called for his son, he called for his small daughter, but the only answers were the roar of flames.

cabin_burning

Beaten back by the heat he fell to the ground, sobbing and blistered, “My family. No…”

Fraem knew who had done this. Ever since he took on the role of Sherriff the Bandit King’s harriers had been closing in on his family. Waiting for the time that he would not be there to protect them as dusk’s shadows grew.

“You should have taken the coin,” the gravelly voice said, coolly.

Fraem looked up. It was the Bandit King and with him that spindly spider priest of Zinthar Takima.

“I will see you dead for what you’ve done to my family,” Fraem stood and reached for his ancient yataghan.

“Only if it happens while you live cursed as the king’s Winterblade,” the spindly priest gestured at Fraem.

How he fought that magic but his will was not strong enough that day to throw off the effects of the curse. Fraem drew his blade and lunged towards the priest.

“Do not attack my ally,” commanded the Bandit King.

“Good bodyguard,” cooed the priest sarcastically.

The Bandit King smiled, a weird half-snarl of an expression, “You will never get to live your grief, Winterblade, because the pact has been made, by my force of will and guile.”

Fraem knew he should be mortally stricken with grief but he could feel nothing. The curse had set the Winterblade pact in place. Driven by necromantic magic and his own suppressed emotions Fraem’s future was a living hell he could only realise in an academic sense but never feel.

 

Summary Build

Dreenai are Genlei, elementally linke beings, who have a weakness to cold. For Fraem’s build we need the racial template:

 

Dreenai: +2 Dex (12cp), +1 to Balance, Move Silently and Tumble (3cp), Genlei Weakness: cold (<0 deg. Centigrade) (-9cp), +1 Int (6cp), Occult Sense: Nightvision 120′ (6cp)

 

Fraem is going to be level 9. He had Duties, through his whole life, that were quite binding: family, sherriff, and now this curse to the Bandit King. They’ll be a consistent 3cp/lvl.

Hit Dice; d10 for first two levels, then d8. (2d10+7d8+Con mod, for Fraem we get 91)

BAB: +9

Saves: base, Fort 4, Ref, 5, Will 6 (a Winterblade must be focused).

Fast learner; spec’d for skills, gives 2sp/lvl.

 

Winterblades need to move fast, have a powerful single melee weapon (ancient yataghan) and be able to land devastating blows to keep them from being outnumbered for long (Feint). They have uncanny perception and are very difficult to fool, trick, or bluff. Therefore:

Celerity +20ft, corrupted: light or less armour (6cp)

Aug. Dex to Str for melee hit, corrupted again for light or less armour (8cp)

Specialist: spec defense only, spec+; disarm, sunder, trip, grapple: +8 (12cp)

Fast Learner: skills (6cp)

Imbuement (6cp)

Imbuement: focused (6cp)

Imbuement: improved (6cp)

Imbuement: superior (6cp) – giving 6.5 pluses

Aug. Bonus: add Con to Level for Imbuement pluses (6cp)

Enhanced Strike: Whirlwind (full attack against all in reach) (6cp)

Skill Emphasis: Tumble, +2 (3cp)

Aug. Attack: sneak attack, spec: only feint (add 6d6 damage)(9cp)

Reflex Training: Improved Feint, feint as move-action (6cp)

Split Movement: melee (6cp)

Skill Emphasis: perception, +2 (3cp)

Lunge: +5ft. Threat (total 10ft reach) (6cp)

Aug. Bonus: add Con to Wis, spec: Perception only (physical discipline prevents common lapses in alertness) (6cp)

Block: melee DC 20 (6cp)

Multiple: 2/round, melee (6cp)

Combat Reflexes: +Dex AoO (6cp)

Opportunist: make AoO against anyone wounded within reach (6cp)

Expertise: make feints with Perception, instead of Bluff (3cp)

Expertise: Perception in place of Sense Motive, to resist Feints (spec) (3cp)

 

Total of 294cp, and 24 skill points.

 

Combat abilities.

Let’s be straight-forward, a great deal of RPGs are about combat.

Traem is adding 18 to melee. Iterative attacks are 18/13.

Imbuement is fixed to: Speed (3 pluses), Bane: mannish (1 plus), Keen (1 plus) and +1.

Damage yields are moderate until the feint on a mannish target is successful.

Base: 1d6+3

Crit: 2d6+6

Mannish target: 3d6+5

Feint on mannish target: 9d6+5.

And the ultimate damage Fraem can inflict; a critical strike with feint on mannish target, 10d6+10.

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How to deal with Power Escalation in RPGs?

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Power escalation in RPGs is when the challenges for the group are increased in power to provide genuine risk and the players response is to min-max even harder to deal with those challenges. Power escalation is basically force escalation. It continues until a party submits, or is killed. Therefore in our RPG’s, what do we do about it?

1. Ignore it. (It’ll just grow)

2. Allow it for players, only (the game will no longer be challenging)

3. Only for GM. (will end up slaying all PC’s)

4. Reduce it, over time, to preferential levels.

5. Stop escalating, until it seems normal.

There are likely more options but for me number 5 is the best choice. Problem with this is in part how it all starts. It seems to me that often it is done so that the previous meta-game approach can be maintained.

In my group I upped the challenge to provide genuine danger to the players. They did not change tactics and now two player characters have fallen (died). The new characters are being built for much bigger numbers in an effort to go toe-to-toe with the monsters they’ve been having trouble with.

 

Problem is how it all starts: the numbers begin to represent things and powers that are extremely out of our experience and disassociation sets in.

 

Based on some random notes whilst waiting for a train.

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Maintenance Outage

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The host will be running preventative maintenance on the server. Kharathel.com will be down for about 3 hours. These are the details from the provider.

DATE: May 2nd, 2011 @ 1:00am (EDT)
MAINTENANCE WINDOW: 05/02/2011 @ 1:00am – 4:00am (EDT)
EXPECTED DURATION: 1 – 3 hours

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A Tale of Rum Town – Published

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Stage 1: A Tale of Rum Town has been published on smashwords.com

You can check it out here.

 

Soon to come:

A Tale of Rum Town on Kindle.

Bounty for the Taking: Book 1. On Smashwords and Kindle. (due May).

 

And publishing later in the year:

Bounty for the Taking: Book 2, on Smashwords and Kindle. (due December).

 

What a great journey it’s been, and continues to be, writing these tales and getting them out there for people to read.

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