Navelgazing for fun and profit

I’m taking a page from +Peter V. Dell’Orto‘s book today, and just throwing down some random thoughts.

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy: Jade Regent

As much as I occasionally take gentle shots at the Adventure Path and its theme, I have a fantastic time playing in that game. It gives me my only real outlet for actually experiencing the game for which I write, and +Nathan Joy does a fine job in turning the AP into GURPS.

Two things I do wish were that there was a faster way to play than the chat-based interface we use. It’s just simply slower than the Google Hangouts/Roll20 games I’ve played, in GUMSHOE, Pathfinder, and yes, even in GURPS. While I actually prefer MapTool’s interface thanks to the handy macros largely created, I think, by +Emily Smirle, I cannot deny that +Jeromy French and that group goes through more actual plot motion in two hours than we often do in four.

From a purely gameplay standpoint, Cadmus, my Warrior Saint is fun to play. He’s a decent fighter, occasionally literally pulls off miracles, and is mostly capable of turning nearly any confrontation with undead into a nonissue. Mostly – Nate fixed some of the more egregious problems with his abilities (like Turning Undead) with a few rules mods – a Zone of Pure Evil or something that countered the +10 Cadmus gets to Will for this power. I was totally down with that. He finally got his axe silvered a few sessions ago, fixing a glaring “newbie to DF” oversight that won’t happen again. He desperately needs some appropriately-priced (meaning “can be used with Divine Favor 8”) Learned Prayers for use on diffuse or homogeneous foes, as well as some sort of ranged attack. Either that or a bunch of buff-type powers, because with +Theodore Briggs‘ Knight Thumvar and +Mark Langsdorf‘s Mystic Knight, Cadmus is back on second-ranker duty. His inability to simultaneously use Righteous Fury and any other Holy Power (invoking something else turns off RF) significantly limits his utility. Since RF lasts 3d seconds and is only usable once per day, I’m not sure if it would break anything to allow me to do both. Or maybe I can do both, but it costs me 1 FP per other power instead of for free.

Hmmm . . .

The Queue

I have a spectacular number of projects on my GURPS whiteboard. Something like twelve ideas between e23, Pyramid, and future topics to explore at length for this blog. Work and real life – plus a new-found and long-delayed addition to Angry Birds Star Wars  (curse you, +Rovio ) have conspired to prevent me from sitting down and actually writing.

I really need to grind out my pending article on weapon breakage and edge quality. +Christopher Rice has actually run it through an honest-to-God playtest, and reports that it works very well in play. There are some tweaks that Peter helped me think about that will make that part of it even stronger. I suspect rather strongly that I’m going to wind up taking it apart again – I’d originally written it as one big piece, then split it into three, and now it’s back to One Big Article (only 6,500 words, so not Deadly Spring big). The parts I don’t like are holding up the parts that I do like, though, so it might just be time to do a crap-ectomy and get +Steven Marsh something he can use.

Speaking of Christopher Rice, he and I are eyeballing a few joint projects. One of which would be really, really fun to bring forward again.


I had a lot of fun doing that first interview with +Sean Punch and I want to do more, but I need to get cranking on the invite list (know who I want in my mind) and look at some structure and content ideas on how to do it. I got enough practice on that interview that I know how to get ’em done, edited, and transcribed in good order. Might need to contemplate donations though if I start to do a ton of these, just to defer the cost of transcription.

Technical Grappling

Well, it’s out, it’s sold over 200 copies, which is about halfway, honestly, to what I hope it will sell. I think as people use it in play, rather than read-and-theorize, the feedback will come more frequently. I have a few interesting ideas that I’m not sure would be best as a blog entry, a Pyramid article, or even a separate supplement. Probably not a full-on supplement, but a Pyramid article would be fun. I wonder if +Rob Kamm remembers what we discussed many moons ago.

7 thoughts on “Navelgazing for fun and profit

  1. Amusingly, silver weapons aren't that important in my game. It doesn't do much to undead, really, and I don't use a lot of were creatures. Some, but not many. So no one has any silver weapons aside from a few silver arrows, and they quickly went for magic weapons as soon as they could.

    1. I'd need to ask Nate, but I wonder if this is a Pathfinder "who's killed by silver" thing. Or just it happened that the wraiths we fought were vulnerable. But they died real, real fast.

    2. Silvering is cheap enough – especially for axes, maces, and pole-arms – that every experienced adventurer should have it just in case. The silver vulnerability of the wraiths is something that Nate came up with, but it's a good use. (Saying this, Shiba is due to have his sword and shield silvered at the next opportunity. Ah, well.)

      I'd be opposed to letting Cadmus use Righteous Fury and another prayer at the same time – if he wants to do that, he can pay the additional ~21 points to have RF as a full ability, instead of an Alternate Ability of his Divine Power. But I do think letting his invoke it, switch to another prayer, and then switch back to it (either with the countdown continuing while he's on the other prayer or suspended) is fair, as long as he doesn't use it in more than one "scene" per day.

    3. There are not a lot of critters in the DF books that are especially vulnerable to silver. "Just in case" is a good idea, but in my game, it's been largely a waste of money. It wasn't handy when it was the best thing for the price, and magic weapons fill the niche well enough for most things (and magic for the rest). I'm not disputing its value in your game, but the lack of its use in my games hasn't really hurt anyone yet.

  2. The Saintly Power Ups article in Pyramid 3/50 had two solutions to the multiple prayer problem. One was combined prayers, where if you had enough Divine Favor to cover multiple prayers then you could use them together like a single big prayer. The other was Dual Prayers [20], based off of Compartmentalized Mind, to allow two prayers each up to your Divine Favor.

    1. Yeah, I helped Antoni with that part, actually, being one of the few he knew of actually playing a Warrior Saint. I'll definitely talk to Nate about the other thing, but Dual Prayers and Combined Prayers are both "pay a lot up front, but do it for free after" solutions. What I think would be fun would be to be able to do more than one thing, but maybe with a FP and either a petition roll or will roll. So you get one freebie, but you have to actually petition (and get tired) to fire off two LPs at once.

      This is really a limited outcome based off the fact that Righteous Fury lasts for 3-18 seconds, though it would also apply to Guide My Hand or other "lasts a bit without having to concentrate" prayers. It's only usable once per game session or per day, which can get weird when a combat lasts multiple sessions.

      Paying 21 points for this specific prayer to be always available is an option (though unfavorable compared to the 20-point CM that would let me have ANY two prayers up) but I think there could easily be an intermediate step between "available all the time for free" and "no fracking way."

  3. Yeah, I put it through 3 combats and one noncombat situation. The breakage rules are downright BRILLIANT and are better (and easier) than the RAW rules in my opinion. As for that other thing – I've got a few ideas I've written down. This stupid cold won't go away. Looking forward to our little joint ventures. 🙂

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