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  #51  
Unread 17th of April, 2016, 21:32
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Then I salute your dedication!
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  #52  
Unread 18th of April, 2016, 06:12
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I think I'm making real progress on my character. She's definitely a halfling sorcerer. Her great aunt was an adventuring type who helped rescue a young bronze dragon from captivity and was granted draconic bloodline, which she then passed on to me. As part of my training I had to serve two years on board a ship (bronze dragons love the sea), so I picked the Sailor background and didn't even have to do much tweaking. 😃

I think I've got my equipment taken care of, next I'll work on spells.
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  #53  
Unread 18th of April, 2016, 08:20
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I think I'm getting old. Back in the day I used to have this stuff memorised? Use a book? That's for amateurs. Now I look at the tables and numbers and my eyes glaze over.
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  #54  
Unread 18th of April, 2016, 08:22
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Her great aunt was an adventuring type who helped rescue a young bronze dragon from captivity and was granted draconic bloodline
Is that a nice way of going "She was in a relationship with a dragon and had a child out of wedlock, so everyone pretended the child wasn't hers to save the family from shame" ?
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  #55  
Unread 18th of April, 2016, 09:52
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Lol. To answer your question - no. But I like it.

And getting old is not for sissies. I'm always reminding myself that I used to be smart. Now I have to read the same paragraph over three times to make sense of it. Good grief!
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  #56  
Unread 18th of April, 2016, 10:00
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Randomly, I know probably no-one else here watches The Big Bang Theory, but I just feel like sharing one of my favorite Sheldon quotes:

Raj: I don't know if I want to play anymore.

Sheldon: Because you don't have a girlfriend? Good lord, if that becomes a reason to not play Dungeons & Dragons, this game's in serious trouble.
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  #57  
Unread 18th of April, 2016, 15:44
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Oh, I've seen them all - once. I like the early ones much more than the late ones though. But I do remember the D&D episode fondly.

Weekend was great. My old bones are weary now though...
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  #58  
Unread 18th of April, 2016, 21:30
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Tash, I agree about the earlier episodes being better. But I still watch the show. Besides my online friends (and a couple of my children) the guys on the show are the only geeks I know!

Glad you enjoyed your weekend. ��
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  #59  
Unread 18th of April, 2016, 21:54
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I've seen a few episodes and I do like it - sadly, I'm the only one in my family that gets it so it isn't something I watch a whole lot of. Sheldon has some great quotes though .

One of my favorites: "Don't you think if I were wrong I'd know it?"
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  #60  
Unread 21st of April, 2016, 01:41
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Alright, I just skimmed through the PHB to see if there are any major changes that I'll have difficulty with. The rules haven't changed all that much as far as I can see. And as I'm not going to spend too much time on them to start with, that's a good thing. It's still all very intuitive.

So... back to my character. I think I'll stick with the human ranger with a somewhat turbulent past. He was a useless, irresponsible young man. Living in a large village, he never shouldered his share of the daily chores. His family tried to keep him on a short leash, but neither his father nor his mother could really handle him. And they didn't have the heart to simply throw him out either - so he continued to walk all over his parents and the other villagers. Things got worse rapidly when he started pilfering stuff from other people - for no good reason he thought that it was his due. After being found out for the third time with no valid excuse at hand, other villagers did what his parents couldn't bring themselves to do: They threw him out.

He tried to tell himself he was better off this way and that it'd be a grand adventure out in the wilderness. Oh, he soon found out how wrong he was. The weather was almost enough to break him almost by itself. Lack of food and exhaustion had him sneaking back into the village for supplies repeatedly. When he was finally caught and beaten, he was threatened with severe punishment if he'd come back.

... insert some kind of interesting story about how he finally managed to make a living for himself out in the wilderness and without getting killed. I don't see him as the classic ranger depicted in the PHB. He's not out there watching over 'his' people. Instead, he had to learn more or less everything the hard way and he's not happy about it. Which means he's more open and sympathetic to other loners than to standard fare people.

So what are you going to play, itches?

And how to proceed? Gral, you wanted to put up a character sheet for your character, right?
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  #61  
Unread 21st of April, 2016, 04:27
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Yes, I was messing around with some templates a long time back for 5e. Unfortunately the rules changed since back then so I need to update it a bit . . . and while I was starting to do that I started fooling around with making a bbcode tag for it to make it easier for players. All of which is to say I don't quite have it yet :).

Also, for abilities I am thinking we should just use the standard array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8). The only deviation from the norm I'd make is that I think we should get a bonus feat at 1st level - which means as a human you could start with 2 feats.

On the other hand, my bard is coming along:

Silas D'Aan
Half-Elf bard

Description: Silas lounged on a stool near the bar, a lute held carelessly on his lap and a mug of ale at his elbow. He was lean and slender, possessed of an elvish grace in both his features and movements that tended to attract the notice of the female members of the audience. His rich brown hair was medium length, artistically windblown and glinting with golden highlights, and he wore a roguish chin beard along with three days worth of stubble. Beneath that unruly hair, clear green eyes glinted with wit, energy, and an easy confidence. His long, lean fingers bore many rings, the largest of these a signet ring carved of sardonyx, the face an intricate carving featuring a fox with an armored gauntlet clamped in his jaws.

At his waist he bore a slim rapier of medium length, the ornately worked guard bearing stones of red and black with a grip fashioned of worn camel bone. Over a loose linen shirt he worn an intricately stitched brown leather doublet that matched in color and style his supple boots. The buckles and clasps of his various belts and buttons were all polished and shinging, and while his clothing was clean and well mended it was also far from new. However, he wears everything so well that even these less-than-royal garments seem fashionable and stylish.
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  #62  
Unread 22nd of April, 2016, 04:17
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Feats? I must've missed that section...

Gral, that sounds great so far. Tash, yours too. :-)

Itches, have you decided on anything yet?

Last edited by Kelemyn; 22nd of April, 2016 at 04:20.
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  #63  
Unread 22nd of April, 2016, 05:34
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Every character gets 'ability score improvements' as they gain levels - sorcerers, for example, get them at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 19. With your ability score improvement, you can increase any one ability by +2 or you can increase any two abilities by +1 (but you cannot raise an ability score above 20). Feats, on the other hand, are optional in 5e (see chapter 6: Customization Options).

If you choose to play with Feats, then you can use your ability score improvement to raise your abilities as described above OR you can take a Feat instead. Feats are similar to previous editions but much broader and they don't really have "feat trees" anymore like they used to. There are one or two that have pre-requisites but mostly the feats are stand alone. In general, I think it's really a toss up at any given level which you would want more so I like that they feel balanced.

Feat descriptions start on page 165 and I think they are a nice addition to the game, and since you get so few I don't think it's a huge drain to have to pick. Plus, if you really don't want to pick you can go with ability increases instead (well, except for my suggested bonus feat at first level).

I really like them as an option, though, so I think it's worthwhile to use them.
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  #64  
Unread 22nd of April, 2016, 10:21
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Ah, ok. I think I saw that they were optional and skipped right over them. I'll take a closer look at some point.
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  #65  
Unread 22nd of April, 2016, 16:44
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Copy pasted from the gdoc

Itches: I do actually have a character concept for a Monk. Someone who is very much straight and narrow, you do the right thing because it’s the right thing, no fun or occasional petty revenge. But the reason is he used to be the villain of another story, the big bad drug lord who did big bad things until he crossed a group of monks who dismantled his operation and then gave him a second chance - because they are an order of ex-evil giving second chances. So now externally he’s all “Do the right thing! Even if no one is looking!” Because inside he’s all “I could so easily take over this pathetic little town and spend the rest of my life living on a pile of gold and whores.”

Itches: Basically I stole the backstory from The Shadow. But the key is, having someone do the stupid stereotypical Stupid Good Paladin stuff, but give a real reason for why they’re doing it. //
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  #66  
Unread 22nd of April, 2016, 22:19
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Bear with me a little longer on the sheet thing - I had to get PHP working on my PC again and try to remember the ins and outs of coding vBulletin mods. It's been a long while since I've looked at PHP code and the shit really hit the fan at work this week so I've been busier than usual. However, I have the basics of the mod working, I just need to get an html template together for the sheet and do a good bit of finishing work.
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  #67  
Unread 22nd of April, 2016, 23:33
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Bearing with you is a non-issue, Gral. Try to get the shit out of your fan at work first.

@itches: But then I'd want you to post lots of what your character actually thinks. Sounds like an enjoyable read to me. And now I'm curious and have to look what a 5e monk looks like...
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Unread 24th of April, 2016, 09:33
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Monks are still DnD easy mode. No need to mess with spells or equipment, just roll and play.
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  #69  
Unread 27th of April, 2016, 00:49
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I'll be on a one week vacation starting tomorrow. Ultimate (frisbee) beach tournament at Bibione (near Venice) and then a few days at Venice with my gf. I haven't really realized yet that I'll be on the train south this time tomorrow...

... will be back online on the 5th of May.
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Unread 30th of April, 2016, 00:28
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Have a good vacation and good luck at the tournament :). I'm getting close on the character sheet - I'm pretty happy with what I have so far and I think it will make character generation a little easier actually. I'm hoping to be testing it on the board over the weekend but we'll see what my schedule is like. Work has really been busy this week.
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  #71  
Unread 3rd of May, 2016, 12:45
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Words.
History and Half Elves

I never liked the DnD approach to Half Elves, a random collection of individuals who were half breeds. I always felt that the race was meant to invoke Númenóreans or Dúnedain - long lived humans with elven blood somewhere in there. So let's change that so that they're a distinct race of people who somewhere back in the legends of history came about because of the union of human and elf. And while we're at it, let's scratch out a rough world history trying to account for all the different races in the PHB.

Because this is what I do for fun.

Back during a period before history, during half remembered legend and myth, the elven people were powerful and everywhere. Vast empires, great culture, pretty people, bad poetry. No one really knows what was going on, but there are half remembered stories about fighting elves and trading with dwarves who were building up their kingdom.

At some point, roughly when humans started turning up, a Great Evil arrived in the land. Demons invasion or a civil war? The stories aren't clear, but elven empire and dwarven kingdom (humans might have been there, but they're so short lived who could tell?) united to fight back against it and after a long drawn out war the Great Evil was defeated, but the cost on the elven people were great.

The Empire splintered and the elven people withdraw into separate strongholds with little contact with each other - meaning different elven cultures if we want it. It's roughly at this point where we enter the point of oral histories.

I also prefer the Tolkien approach to dwarves, and would like to turn them back so they're closer to their Jewish origins. The Dwarven Kingdom came out of the war better than the elves, and as their former trading partners faded away they were replaced by humans over whom the dwarven folk held great influence. This was the height of the Dwarven Kingdom and they did good things, etc etc etc.

Then they delved too deep and found a Balrog? Or spread too far and found an Empire of Hobgoblins? The point is there was a War, and this time the Dwarven folk lost and were driven from their homeland, fleeing to other places where they would maintain communities of their own folk with their own culture, language etc within a city or nation.

At this point, far to the East?West?North? The Half Elven people came into being, from some mixing of humans and elves. At this point proper - if fragmented history - starts and the Old Kingdom comes into being.

The Half Elves started spreading, taking over and ruling many nearby communities of humans. The Half Elves were the nobles and rulers, the humans were commoners, serfs and other petty folk. The Old Empire came into contact with the different Elven Strongholds, which were welcomes into fold, the Elves due to their nature and age taking on the role of priests and clerics. And the refugee Dwarves were also encountered and taken in, filling the role of craftsmen and other rich folk. Merchants?

The real strength of the Old Empire came from two sources. Early on the Half Elven people allied with a race of Gnomes, who became the Sages and Scribes of the society, helping develop technologies and keep the records that allowed the Old Kingdom to function as it grew. The growth itself came as a result of an alliance with a clan of Dragonborn. The Dragonborn, over generation after generation served as the elite soldiers and guard of the Old Kingdom.

As the Kingdom grew it eventually started to encroach across the Orc Plains, and wars broke out between them. This was at the limit of the Old Kingdoms powers, unable to project the military or economic strength to outright defeat the combined Orcish Tribes, they formed alliances with various ones, keeping them fighting each other so they could maintain domination. Some of these alliances were sealed with marriages, with led to Half-Orcs being born. Others were born just from non-alliance forming bonds. The Half Orcs were good at fighting, so on the fringes of the empire they were recruited to fight for the Old Kingdom.

Eventually the Old Kingdom fell apart. The Half Elves were dropping in population and humans started taking on more and more of the reins, while those that remained became withdraw and self involved. Eventually some Half Elf idiot king broke the terms of the ancient treaty between Half Elf and Dragonborn, and their ancient Draconic allies abandoned them.

The attempts by the kingdom to keep control turned brutal, and after a bloody purge against them their gnomish administrators likewise abandoned them. Some half elf families fled from the chaos and brutality of the central regions to the frontier, and seeing a weakness and chance to free themselves the humans rose up in rebellion.

The Dwarves officially keep neutral, clamping down on their community to defend against all who would threaten it, but many individuals became deeply involved with the human revolution, funding if not fighting, leaving them in a good position post conflict.

The elves officially declared themselves above such things, but there were groups who openly supported one side or another, so attitude towards elves changes from place to place. The Dragonborn refused to get directly involved, save for two ways. They were instrumental in sheltering the Gnomes who fled the purges against them, and the best of the human fighters were soldiers they had personally trained in the previous days.

As the chaos spread the Old Empire attempted to call back troops from the frontiers to aid them, but many of the Half Orc warriors refused, abandoning their posts to defend their home and people.

In the end, the human revolution largely won and they became the dominate race of the land, even as society fell apart. Individual humans tried carving out their own little fiefdoms, many little more than bandits. Trade became more difficult because of the banditry, and the fighting led to few crops being grown and famine spreading and the population as a whole dropping.

There are still some places, far to the south and the centre of the Old Kingdom, a handful of disunited city states where Half Elves still rule., but they are the rare exception. These days most Half Elves are descendent of those who fled from the central region and the deprivations of the rulers there, or those stations on the edges of the Kingdom in minor rules, and sides with the humans they felt more kinship with than some distant throne. These small groups formed nomadic communities, travelling from place to place across the wilderness.

It is only now, hundreds and hundreds of years after the chaos of the revolution that things are starting to calm down. The population is slowly starting to grow, the centres of strength are spreading their influence and civilisation is starting to reclaim the wild places. It's a time of great opportunity, a chance to reclaim and discover the secrets of lost empires, or forge a new fate on the ruins of the old.

So basically. Elves super old, no one really knows. Dwarves not so old, people sorta know. In the old society different races wore different hats - but as with all stereotypes there are as many exceptions as there are truths to it.

Half-Elves: Nobles
Humans: Commoners
Elves: Spiritual Leaders
Dwarves: Merchants
Gnomes: Clerics (scribes, not priests)
Dragonborn: Soldiers/ Preatorian Guard
Half-Orcs: Frontier barbarians

BUT WAIT, WHAT ABOUT HALFLINGS?!

I never know what to do with Halflings, so let's try giving them their own weird hat. Halflings are the great survivors, with a knack of coming through any situation in the best position they can. There are communities of rural halflings, farmers and the like forming their own communities, but for the most part Halflings attach themselves to others. In the halls of the mighty Half Elven Kingdom, there were halflings. The in doomed buildings of the Dwarven homes, there are halflings. Marching alongside battle scarred Dragonborn? Halflings. No matter where or what, they find a niche to fill and always find a way to survive.

BUT WAIT, WHAT ABOUT TEIFLINGS?!

Fuck if I know what to do about them. I don't like them being just random indivuduals, even if they aren't big societies I'd like them to be families with their own identity. I just don't know where r how to slip them in.
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  #72  
Unread 3rd of May, 2016, 12:48
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So yeah, races and vague history. I don't know which race everyone - apart from Kel - wants to place, so if it doesn't fit let's change it all. And all of this should be history, it's stuff that happened long ago, it doesn't have any real impact on the day to day.
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  #73  
Unread 5th of May, 2016, 00:28
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I like it, apart from the bit about tiefling families. I kind of like tieflings being random individuals in whom demon blood surfaces. I see it kind of like a recessive gene that anyone whose ancestors had relations with a demon will carry, but that only manifests itself in a particular descendant once in a great while. But then I also like random / varied appearance for tieflings rather than a set look.

I kind of like the idea of the original dwarves delving deep below the ground but whatever evil they encountered drove them out of there. These days they limit themselves to carving out mountains and the area below ground that is close to the surface. The evil they awoke could be demons / devils / drow but I'm kind of liking the idea of something else. Mind flayers is the first thing that came to me, but something entirely new might be in order as well.
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  #74  
Unread 5th of May, 2016, 12:01
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Darkspawn?

If we make the original Elvish fight against a demon invasion, it gives us a very early date for when Teiflings could first turn up. I'd still like there to be more of a hook for them. Maybe they used to be more common, back at the dawn of history, enough to almost have their own culture, but the Half Elves went to war with them and there stopped being so many demons around, so now they only pop up randomly.
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  #75  
Unread 6th of May, 2016, 02:46
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What if, akin to Tolkien, the original elves weren't really elves but more powerful, more supernatural beings. They split into two lines - the good and the evil which became respectively angels and demons. So the fight between elves and demons was really between elves and elves. Or angels and demons, with the demons being shoved deep beneath the earth and eventually beating up the dwarves (which incidentally makes for good reason why elves and dwarves don't get along). After ages and ages, the spawn of the angels became elves and the angels got sick of the prime material plane and departed for some other place unsullied by mortals. After ages and ages, the spawn of the demons became whatever it is that inhabits the underdark these days.

If we go with your version of half-elves being a distinct race unto themselves, then we could go with tieflings being the evil version of the half elves (descended from human / evil demon elf crossbreeds). Which would mean that tieflings would be a race unto themselves and my random tiefling gets kicked to the curb. So then you win this particular round of "where did my barbed tail come from".
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