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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Introduction
    Good morning, afternoon, and evening. My name is Ashiel. Traditional D20 RPGs have been my passion for the last 16 years. I used to post on GitP years ago but took a long hiatus and have recently returned with a bunch of new friends. Because I often got into a lot of rule heavy discussions and make a number of homebrew things to share with people from time to time, I started getting lots of questions from people and so an AMA thread was born. This thread is so people can discuss anything they want with me publicly here at GitP.

    To make everyone's life easier, I'll try to update this thread periodically to link to any creations, projects, threads, or specific posts that I've created. Both to serve to help people find them if they are looking for them or have a question about them. I decided to do this since I've had a number of people PM me in the past looking for stuff I made so it ends up as a common question that I can answer beforehand.

    Note: A good friend, Klara Meison, took the initiative to try to create an AMA thread for me before I even got back to GitP. However, due to questions and commentary about a different forum, the thread was (or will be soon) closed. Because of this, if you have any questions or concerns about the circumstances surrounding those things, toss me a PM as I don't think I can answer them in this thread (even in good spirits).

    D20 Legends Project
    If you have a question or discussion concerning my d20 revision, you can find its official D20 Legends Project thread here.

    Links of Interest Concerning Me
    Generally speaking, anything here is probably written with Pathfinder in mind but isn't particularly troublesome to use in a 3.x game.
    • Ashiel's Blog - Alvena Publishing: My very infrequently updated blog which serves mostly as a platform for musings and advice pieces. There's a few encounter, GMing, and world building articles people have said they enjoy here.
    • Ashiel's Adventuring Guidebook: An infrequently updated tips & tricks guide for surviving and thriving as an adventurer.
    • Ashiel's Ascetic Characters Mini-Sourcebook: A ruleset I threw together one afternoon as a gift for my friend Mikaze.
    • Ashiel's Revised Mariliths & Balors: Mariliths and Balors are kind of a joke for their CR in 3.x D&D/Pathfinder. These are the ones I use.
    • Ashiel's Alternate Vampire Template #1: I wasn't fond of the vampire template from core 3.x/Pathfinder. This is the one I wrote as a replacement.
    • Ashiel's Psionic Monk: This is the monk I use in my games and is intended as a replacement of the core monk.
    • In Defense of CR: This is where I explain why I like the CR system and think it's a good thing overall.
    • WoW-style Warlock Proof of Concept: A project I started back when I had more free time. Destined to never be finished (by me anyway) and exists as a sort of proof of concept / academic piece. Even though I haven't worked on developing this in a long time I still get asked about it occasionally (hence why it's here).
    • Ashiel's Practical Optimization - Make the Numbers Fit the Character: A thread I started years ago on the Paizo boards to help players get their mechanics to better reflect what they wanted their characters to do.
    • Ashiel's Tome of Soul Binding: This is an item I used in my games that a few people have asked about in the past.
    • Planar Binding And You: An old pre-Pathfinder guide I did about planar binding and similar spells. It's still relevant in Pathfinder too.
    • Ashiel's Terrible Goblins: An old friend, Ravingdork, asked for help making a goblin warren that challenged his mid level party. This is proof that I'm going to GM hell.
    • Ashiel's Really Unfair Dazing Druids Part 1 and Part 2: Some posts concerning taking a usually under powered form of blasting and making it stupidly good with a metamagic feat or two.


    A special thanks to my friends for encouraging me to do this.

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    What are your favorite types of anime?
    Founding member of the Cult of Ashiel

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    "Dotting," as they say (even though there are no dots here.)

    So, since we are now on this website, how often do you read/re-read OOTS?

    On an unrelated note, what are your general feelings about the scope of "skills" in RPGs? In some games (e.g., GURPS), skills encompass almost everything you can do. In other games (e.g., D&D 3.5), "skills" are ultimately a very minor thing. Do you prefer one of those approaches over the other, or something else? Or does it not matter because what counts as a skill is just a semantics thing?


    Yet another unrelated question: I know almost nothing about anime. I don't know that much about American movies, either (I'm more of a play person). But if I were to look to anime for inspiration for my D&D 3.5 or D20 Legends game, what would you suggest?

    EDIT: Partially swordsaged by Tels
    Last edited by 137ben; 2016-09-17 at 07:09 PM.

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    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Kryzbyn here, checking in.

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Tels View Post
    What are your favorite types of anime?
    Define "types" for me?

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    What if I want to talk about something not Mark II?
    Homebrew Stuff:

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    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    "Dotting," as they say (even though there are no dots here.)

    So, since we are now on this website, how often do you read/re-read OOTS?
    Not as often as I'd like. I'm literally years from being caught up.

    On an unrelated note, what are your general feelings about the scope of "skills" in RPGs? In some games (e.g., GURPS), skills encompass almost everything you can do. In other games (e.g., D&D 3.5), "skills" are ultimately a very minor thing. Do you prefer one of those approaches over the other, or something else? Or does it not matter because what counts as a skill is just a semantics thing?
    I think there's a tenuous balance between too many and too few. Even among my think-tank on Discord, there's sometimes discussion about trimming the number of skills down and consolidate more skills, but (perhaps to the frustration of some of my friends ), I've been fairly resistant to trimming what I think may be too much. We are going to consolidate a number of skills for sure, though I want to retain things like Craft, Profession, and Perform, albeit with some tweaking. I think it's all about finding a nice mixture of enough skills to give variety without needing a skill for everything from flying a plane to tying your shoes.


    Yet another unrelated question: I know almost nothing about anime. I don't know that much about American movies, either (I'm more of a play person). But if I were to look to anime for inspiration for my D&D 3.5 or D20 Legends game, what would you suggest?
    Depends on where you're looking for inspiration. Virtually any medium from anime to video games to comic books can be used to get conceptual ideas for things like adventures, settings, or even tones. For example, I'm a huge fan of the Vampire Hunter D movies (the original 80s film was one of my favorite movies as a child) and it has permanently colored my views on vampires and that reflects in the games that I GM.

    If you mean mechanically, well, similar story. If you see something you like thematically, you can try to capture that in a mechanical sense, though this is notably more difficult since you have to translate those things into a mechanical sense but it's not impossible. In fact, quite frequently, when I'm writing mechanics I think about what thematic elements it is supposed to convey in game and write towards that end.

    If you're looking for anime that have close ties to RPGs, I'd recommend Record of Lodoss War, an old anime that I really enjoyed and was actually based on a D&D campaign by the writer IIRC.

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    What if I want to talk about something not Mark II?
    Then you're a heretic and thus always welcome here.

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    Yay I found it!

    I did take the chance to update my name from TheAlicornSage to TheDerpyAlicorn. Fits better I think. Do you like it better than my old one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDerpyAlicorn View Post
    Yay I found it!

    I did take the chance to update my name from TheAlicornSage to TheDerpyAlicorn. Fits better I think. Do you like it better than my old one?
    It's definitely more humorous. I'd like you the same either way though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiel View Post
    Define "types" for me?
    Well there's the type directed at young teens, like Dragon Ball Z, Fairy Tail, Sailor Moon or Ouran High Host Club, then there's the ones directed at older teens - college age, like Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Paradise Kiss or Velvet kiss. I'll ignore the anime made for young children. I know there are specific names they use for these (like shoujo and seinen) but I have no idea which is which.

    Then, of course, there's the different genres, slice of life, action, comedy, supernatural, sci-fi, horror, romance etc.

    If I had to guess, I would imagine you would prefer the older teen/college age, as you've mentioned your some favorites in the past that were more mature and had darker elements. But you also enjoy your Outlaw Stars from time to time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiel View Post
    Not as often as I'd like. I'm literally years from being caught up.


    I think there's a tenuous balance between too many and too few. Even among my think-tank on Discord, there's sometimes discussion about trimming the number of skills down and consolidate more skills, but (perhaps to the frustration of some of my friends ), I've been fairly resistant to trimming what I think may be too much. We are going to consolidate a number of skills for sure, though I want to retain things like Craft, Profession, and Perform, albeit with some tweaking. I think it's all about finding a nice mixture of enough skills to give variety without needing a skill for everything from flying a plane to tying your shoes.



    Depends on where you're looking for inspiration. Virtually any medium from anime to video games to comic books can be used to get conceptual ideas for things like adventures, settings, or even tones. For example, I'm a huge fan of the Vampire Hunter D movies (the original 80s film was one of my favorite movies as a child) and it has permanently colored my views on vampires and that reflects in the games that I GM.

    If you mean mechanically, well, similar story. If you see something you like thematically, you can try to capture that in a mechanical sense, though this is notably more difficult since you have to translate those things into a mechanical sense but it's not impossible. In fact, quite frequently, when I'm writing mechanics I think about what thematic elements it is supposed to convey in game and write towards that end.

    If you're looking for anime that have close ties to RPGs, I'd recommend Record of Lodoss War, an old anime that I really enjoyed and was actually based on a D&D campaign by the writer IIRC.
    To further expand on this, anime is such a broad term that it covers literally everything you could see on TV, but animated. There are anime focusing on people who just live their life and deal with things as they come (like a sit-com), anime focused on cooking, except with more bewbs (see Food Wars). There are action and adventure anime, coming of age anime, romance anime, anime that is really popular yet also extremely hated (Naruto, Sword Art Online).

    You can find inspiration for RPGs in nearly any anime, because there are so many ideas and stories and plots you can adapt or steal from. But if you're looking for anime that specifically deals with games... There's a genre of anime in which people get trapped in a game, and has shows like .hack, Sword Art Online, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, Log Horizon, and to some extent, No Game No Life. Many of the different action adventure stories have plots or things that can be a good resource for inspiration, like Hunter x Hunter, Fairy Tail, Naruto, One Piece, Outlaw Star, Trigun, Yu Yu Hakusho etc.

    It all comes down to what inspires you, and what you're looking to adapt. I mean, I know that many people hate Sword Art Online as an anime, and they have many good reasons, but there are also some gems as far as inspiration for class mechanics in there (or, at least in the light novels anyway). A show like Grimgar could help you better paint a picture of what it's like to be an adventurer at low levels, while Log Horizon can show examples of how to challenge god-like powerful PCs with other things than simply combat. Attack on Titan is a good show for showing what it's like for humans to deal with giants, while shows like Trigun, Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star are all more space-western adventures.
    Last edited by Tels; 2016-09-17 at 08:22 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tels View Post
    Well there's the type directed at young teens, like Dragon Ball Z, Fairy Tail, Sailor Moon or Ouran High Host Club, then there's the ones directed at older teens - college age, like Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Paradise Kiss or Velvet kiss. I'll ignore the anime made for young children. I know there are specific names they use for these (like shoujo and seinen) but I have no idea which is which.

    Then, of course, there's the different genres, slice of life, action, comedy, supernatural, sci-fi, horror, romance etc.

    If I had to guess, I would imagine you would prefer the older teen/college age, as you've mentioned your some favorites in the past that were more mature and had darker elements. But you also enjoy your Outlaw Stars from time to time.
    That's a pretty good assessment and helps a lot in understanding the question. I like a wide variety of things for different reasons. While on average I'm pretty attracted to mature plot heavy animes, I likewise have no problems enjoying things like DBZ or Panty&Stocking w/Garterbelt, or fun genre-bending things like Outlaw Star. I even enjoy some anime aimed primarily at kids (I'm a big Sailor Moon fan for example). I'm pretty happy that I haven't gotten too rigid in my appreciation of different expressions of ideas and entertainment because I have no problems interfacing into a conversation about the cool setting of Vampire Hunter D, or having a conversation with a teenager about the pros and cons of Tokyo Ghoul (which I think is crap btw, but YMMV :P).

    To further expand on this, anime is such a broad term that it covers literally everything you could see on TV, but animated. There are anime focusing on people who just live their life and deal with things as they come (like a sit-com), anime focused on cooking, except with more bewbs (see Food Wars). There are action and adventure anime, coming of age anime, romance anime, anime that is really popular yet also extremely hated (Naruto, Sword Art Online).
    Honestly, I'm all over the place honestly. Heck, even some animes that are hated I actually like. For example, we recently got Netflix and I was browsing through the anime section and found an anime I had never heard of called "Tweeny Witches" which is rated at like 1/2 a star or something abysmally low. I was so curious as to why it was so bad that I started watching it and amusingly, I like it. It's really different and kind of cute but strangely dark in some ways. I haven't gotten around to finishing it but I'll end up rating it much higher than its general rating I'm sure.

    You can find inspiration for RPGs in nearly any anime, because there are so many ideas and stories and plots you can adapt or steal from. But if you're looking for anime that specifically deals with games... There's a genre of anime in which people get trapped in a game, and has shows like .hack, Sword Art Online, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, Log Horizon, and to some extent, No Game No Life. Many of the different action adventure stories have plots or things that can be a good resource for inspiration, like Hunter x Hunter, Fairy Tail, Naruto, One Piece, Outlaw Star, Trigun, Yu Yu Hakusho etc.
    I think your post is going to have to serve as a list of things to go look up.

    It all comes down to what inspires you, and what you're looking to adapt. I mean, I know that many people hate Sword Art Online as an anime, and they have many good reasons, but there are also some gems as far as inspiration for class mechanics in there (or, at least in the light novels anyway). A show like Grimgar could help you better paint a picture of what it's like to be an adventurer at low levels, while Log Horizon can show examples of how to challenge god-like powerful PCs with other things than simply combat. Attack on Titan is a good show for showing what it's like for humans to deal with giants, while shows like Trigun, Cowboy Bebop and Outlaw Star are all more space-western adventures.
    I sometimes get inspiration from seemingly unrelated things because of messages that carry across genres. I was talking to a friend on Discord about how important the dhampir hatred in Vampire Hunter D was for the story and setting, and explaining that you need NPCs to react poorly towards certain races because it creates the adversity that makes the light all the brighter when you see it. When Doris Laine apologies to D because she spoke harshly about vampires and their honor, only to realize she may have hurt his feelings and his response to her was important. It led up to the intense scene where she grips him later and tells him she doesn't care and is even willing to let him have her as a vampire. It creates the intensity and draws out the real characters within.

    EDIT: Specifically, we were talking about how when you set out to play something out of the ordinary, like a tiefling, or vampire, or whatever, having everyone act like you're a run of the mill human with horns growing out of their face or an eating disorder is pretty immersion breaking and it's disappointing for the player most of the time. In fact, a big part of the fun of playing a vampire character for me is the game of pretending to be a human and socializing with NPCs and feeding on them in secret. Because the need to keep it secret makes it all the more impactful when you have to make the choice between revealing yourself and doing what needs doing.

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    At what point, in your opinion, playing RPGs transcends the mere search for fun/challenge and becomes escapism?
    Have you ever been in a period of your life where you thought Gosh, if only I were my cool/powerful/characteristic/different wizard/rogue/ranger/whatever! because you were in a particularly stressful phase, because you wanted to be more than what you are, or simply because you wanted to be "different"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cicciograna View Post
    Have you ever been in a period of your life where you thought Gosh, if only I were my cool/powerful/characteristic/different wizard/rogue/ranger/whatever! (...)?
    Wait... Are you telling me you don't think that nearly all the freaking time?

    Uh... Because I don't either! Yeah... I sure never think about having the powers of my characters. Nope. Not at all...
    Homebrew Stuff:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Wait... Are you telling me you don't think that nearly all the freaking time?

    Uh... Because I don't either! Yeah... I sure never think about having the powers of my characters. Nope. Not at all...
    I never walk around my house pretending to shoot fireballs, or explode windows. Nor do I ever long to have telekinetic powers so I can float around, move things without touching them or clean my entire house without ever leaving the couch.

    That's totally not what happens!

    *cries inside at the lack of telekinetic powers*
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    Telekinesis is within my top 3 of "Powers I wish I had". It shares space with #1 (shapeshifting. Proper shapeshifting with no particular form or duration limits. boom I have Gills! Tentacles! Abs!) and super speed.

    So what are your top 3 powers you wish you had, Ashiel?

    And since you said you watch TFS stuff, do you follow their gaming channel?

    Have you read the words of my lord and master Wildbow (Worm, Pact, and especially Twig)?
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2016-09-17 at 11:45 PM.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Mine will be Shapeshifting, Super Speed, and Teleportation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiel View Post
    Then you're a heretic and thus always welcome here.
    Which reminds me:
    There are no aliases on this website. In pbps, people typically use colored text for in-character (with a different color for each character depending on the theme you want to set for that character), which fulfills much the same role pbp aliases do on Paizo.com, except that you can have multiple different characters in one post.

    So, uh, what color should we use for Ashiel Cultist posts? I'd prefer if it wasn't Blue, gray, or plum, because I already mentally associate them with other things on this website.
    Blue is totally not sarcastic. And this trend is totally not the most popular color-association on the forum.
    Technically it's not an official forum rule, but a lot of people seem to use grey for nitpicking.
    The meaning of plum text is basically established in the What am I Supposed to do thread, but only an Authyr of superior intelligence can understand what it means.

    But none of those are anywhere near set in stone, and they are overridden frequently by individual users' desires to use them for something else (particularly on the pbp forum.) It's just my personal preference to reserve those three colors. What do the other Ashiel Cultists prefer?
    Last edited by 137ben; 2016-09-18 at 12:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Your link to your old AmA thread links instead to your old profile page. Probably unintentional.

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    "Dotting," as they say (even though there are no dots here.)
    There are, actually. See here. Gray tick is thread you replied to, green dot is threads with new posts, and green tick(not shown) is threads you have replied to with new posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Have you read the words of my lord and master Wildbow (Worm, Pact, and especially Twig)?
    I tried to make her interested in Worm by retelling the story of Miss Riley, but, alas, I don't think I succeeded.
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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Just in case: Ashiel, your AAA link in your signature still points to a single post, not to a thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cicciograna View Post
    At what point, in your opinion, playing RPGs transcends the mere search for fun/challenge and becomes escapism?
    Have you ever been in a period of your life where you thought Gosh, if only I were my cool/powerful/characteristic/different wizard/rogue/ranger/whatever! because you were in a particularly stressful phase, because you wanted to be more than what you are, or simply because you wanted to be "different"?
    I can't say that I've ever leaned that far into being a character, but I've definitely used RPGs to explore concepts or issues that mattered to me in real life. They can be a wonderful learning and perhaps therapeutic tool that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mashallah
    Just in case: Ashiel, your AAA link in your signature still points to a single post, not to a thread.
    Thanks. Fixed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin"
    So what are your top 3 powers you wish you had, Ashiel?
    I think I answered a similar question a while back but it'd probably be...
    • Psychokenesis
    • Mastered Necromancy
    • Telepathy/Mind-Alteration


    And since you said you watch TFS stuff, do you follow their gaming channel?
    They have a gaming channel?

    Have you read the words of my lord and master Wildbow (Worm, Pact, and especially Twig)?
    Nope...I kinda forgot about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiel View Post
    Thanks. Fixed it.
    I deleted my cookies and cache to ensure it's not a problem on my end and it's still not fixed as far as I can see.

    EDIT: now it is. Forum lag or something?
    Last edited by Mashallah; 2016-09-18 at 07:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    *lurches in* Three slot days at cons tend to kill me. Thankfully, everyone here has been super awesome.

    Edit: And now I'm playing with Clinton Boomer running the adventure he wrote.
    Last edited by TOZ; 2016-09-18 at 12:47 PM.
    Players are like water. They go everywhere.
    So you need to cut the channels that direct them where you want them to go.
    If they try to skip the channel, let them. Cut another one ahead of them.
    Eventually, they'll take the channel. They'll even think it was entirely their own idea.
    When you try to build a dam, that's when they resent you.

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    How do you usually go about designing your characters? What do you start with, what considerations do you keep in mind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mashallah View Post
    I deleted my cookies and cache to ensure it's not a problem on my end and it's still not fixed as far as I can see.

    EDIT: now it is. Forum lag or something?
    Nah, I had just fixed the wrong link and fixed the right one just before running out the door for work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klara Meison View Post
    How do you usually go about designing your characters? What do you start with, what considerations do you keep in mind?
    I create my characters like I draw pictures. I begin with a loose conceptual thing and expand from there, adding additional details. Where that initial concept is formed varies from character to character. Sometimes it begins with an idea such as "a creepy witch living in a small hut in the woods" and then I'll find what best represents it mechanically, or it might be born from mechanical inspiration such as "this shapeshifting thing looks really fun, I'll make a character around it" and then end with a creepy witch down the line. The end result is the same either way: A creepy witch living in the woods who shapeshifts.

    When I'm adding details to a character, I tend to ask myself questions like these.
    • What's his/her personality like?
    • Why is his/her personality like that?
    • What family do they have? Also, what relationships do they have with them?
    • What friends or rivals do they have? Also, what relationships do they have with them?
    • What got them into adventuring / what tends to motivate them?
    • What sort of character flaws and weaknesses do they need to grow out of?
    • What's something that's pretty good about them as a person?

    A lot of these are slightly built out of an interest in psychology. For example, when you start thinking about why a character's personality is a certain way, their backstory will begin to build itself in your mind as your brain starts explaining why they have things like insecurities, what inspires them to be brave, etc.

    In the case of family, friends, and rivals, no human exists as an island. Your relationships with things like friends and family shape you. Even if it never comes up in game, it's generally more interesting to talk about sending your brother or sister back home souvenirs or trying to make your parents proud than to talk about how your family was wiped out by orcs and how your life was crap. BUT it has the side benefit of actually making your friends who have the "Bad thing happened and now I'm orphaned" more special since it provides a sense of contrast that makes their situation feel more special than it would in the traditional faceless hobos game.

    Because of this, I'll usually create a few minor NPCs that matter to my character at the beginning of a campaign. I ask my players for these sorts of cliffnotes too. Things like "Do you have mother/father/brothers/sisters? Do you have any friends/rivals?", or they can let me surprise them.

    Of course, very little of this actually has to be completed before playing. Sometimes you haven't quite got the personality of your character locked in until you actually meet them at the table. One of my more deep characters (the shapeshifting witch I mentioned here) began as nothing more than a loose concept and I built on her over the course of a several sessions and between sessions. Before long, she had a deep personality, friends and rivals, a family legacy, long term wishes and obligations, and flaws she was working through as she gained levels (and did in fact work through them. When we began she was nervous and skittish around people and had poor social skills, by the time we stopped playing she was the party's face).

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by TOZ View Post
    *lurches in* Three slot days at cons tend to kill me. Thankfully, everyone here has been super awesome.

    Edit: And now I'm playing with Clinton Boomer running the adventure he wrote.
    That sounds pretty awesome. I've never been to a gaming Con. We don't have many of them nearby.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashiel View Post
    That sounds pretty awesome. I've never been to a gaming Con. We don't have many of them nearby.
    I am blessed to have the means to travel to many of them. After the airline delays back in August, we got vouchers for our next flight, so this trip cost about 5 bucks with reward points. The hotel was thankfully split with another con-goer at about 150 and early reg was 20. So ~180 bucks to come out here, plus the cost of food.
    Players are like water. They go everywhere.
    So you need to cut the channels that direct them where you want them to go.
    If they try to skip the channel, let them. Cut another one ahead of them.
    Eventually, they'll take the channel. They'll even think it was entirely their own idea.
    When you try to build a dam, that's when they resent you.

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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    What is your favorite meal of the day? Mine is breakfast. If I could eat breakfast for every meal of the day, I would die a happier man.
    Founding member of the Cult of Ashiel

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Talk to Ashiel About Anything Mark II

    Here is an interesting game design question that I have been pondering...

    How much should the tactical and strategic framing of a fight affect its outcome?

    What I mean by that is this:

    Consider a group of PCs and a group of hostiles who encounter each other under the following (rather extreme) conditions:

    1. The PCs and hostile blunder into each other, and all of them are totally unprepared beyond common day-to-day precautions and had no idea of each others existence.

    2. The PCs and the hostiles know they are going to be fighting each other and all show up to the battle buffed to the max and with as many "silver bullet" options as they can muster.

    3. Aided by plenty of information, time, planning and powerful equipment, the PCs carefully set up an ambush against the hostiles, who are utterly unaware of the PCs.

    4. As 3., but the PCs are getting ambushed.

    How different should these fights all look?

    In particular, if one side is weaker, how much weaker can they be while still being able to defeat their opposition using advantage that doesn't stem from power-level or wealth. In a similar vein, should a mutual lack of information be a boon to the weaker side, or the stronger one i.e. can an advantage in character power be negated through preparation, or does preparation augment character power beyond an opponent's ability to counteract it given equal opportunity.

    EDIT: I should clarify. This is more of a general question rather than anything relating to d20 legends specifically (hence why it isn't in that thread). It is something I have been wondering about since the homebrew I have been working on swings the pendulum very heavily towards "Great Wyrms can get splattered by an A10 with virtually no opportunity for defense or retaliation". In more directly gameplay relevant terms, a well planned ambush by a shadowrunner-esque PC strike team can kill CR=APL+10 foes before they can respond. I don't really know if this is a problem that I have to fix or not, because I haven't seen any serious discussion on this issue.

    Double EDIT: On the bright side, this sort of thing could explain why high level characters don't just go around and do everything - the slightest screw up has the potential to cost those extremely rare high level characters their lives, and given the value they can provide it is a far better option to send an "inferior" force if that force is sufficient. Especially since those high level characters are so freakishly high value and so relatively easy to kill that they are almost the definition of the term "high value target" and will be gunned for by intelligent opposition whenever the opportunity presents itself.
    Last edited by Snow-blind; 2016-09-18 at 07:07 PM.

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