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1  Campaign Creation / Meta / Re: Freelance Designer "Tryouts" for Green Ronin on: July 28, 2014, 05:11:03 PM

Steerpike

I can see why they went with monster design.  It involves most of the major skills they'd be looking for: familiarity with the system in question, writing ability, and overall creativity.
Not to mention following a fairly complex template with lots of specific instructions. I can see why some would be turned off by the nature of the test submission, but if you can get past it, they'll you won't be a headache for the editor (which is probably about 90% of the point, anyway).
2  Campaign Creation / Meta / Re: Freelance Designer "Tryouts" for Green Ronin on: July 27, 2014, 08:12:38 PM
All of the tryouts look to be based on a monster submission.  My guess is that they are testing your ability to write and follow a house style more than anything.  I wouldn't be put off by the tryout criteria. Heck, it's freelance. If they pick you, you don't have to do anything if they don't want what you have to offer.

Xeviat, that's really funny.  You should totally do it! >8|
3  Campaign Creation / Meta / Freelance Designer "Tryouts" for Green Ronin on: July 26, 2014, 03:19:53 PM
I saw this posted by another freelance writer and thought it worth sharing here.  Green Ronin is looking for new freelance writing talent for their various lines.  Check it out at this link.

Anyone else here intrigued by this?
4  Campaign Creation / Meta / Re: Xev20 Countdown - Class Uniqueness on: July 24, 2014, 08:45:19 PM
The way I roll with divine magic is extremely freeform. In d20 terms, it boils down to a heavily GM-adjudicated system of asking for miracles combined with a bunch of class features chosen based on how often your god listens to you (not necessarily how often he grants them). I provide lots of benchmarks for miracles to help guide how things will be adjudicated.
5  The Works / The Dragon's Den / Re: Books n' Stuff on: July 22, 2014, 08:57:36 PM
ADENDUM!
I should be hit.  I forgot some.
Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep by Philip K. Dick
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
1984 by George Orwell
A Brave New World by Audrey Huxley

Also, check out the planetary tour books from Ben Bova (Mars, Jupiter, Titan, Mercury, Venus, etc. Yes those are the titles...). They do a great job of describing just how different other worlds are, even in those tiny, easily forgotten ways. Frex, on Mars, the horizon is a third as far away as it is on earth. It would look like the world drops off a giant cliff, probably, because we aren't use to that at all. The sunrises are blue and noon is red - the opposite of Earth! He's great at picking up on that sort of thing we take for granted.

More Fantasy-ish-ness
Illiad
Odyssey
Beowulf
Ivanhoe
6  The Works / The Dragon's Den / Re: Books n' Stuff on: July 22, 2014, 08:36:04 PM
I'll admit my fantasy reading is relatively limited, so my list there is pretty short.  On the scifi front, I can give you a nice reading list for sure.

Fantasy
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tokein
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tokein
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tokein
Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tokein
A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A __ of __s, etc.) by G.R.R. Martin
Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher
Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein

Science Fiction
Barsoom novels (Warlord of Mars, Gods of Mars, Thuvia Maid of Mars, etc.) by Edgar Rice Borroughs
Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
The Past Through Tomorrow by Robert A. Heinlein
Okay, anything by Robert A. Heinlein, to be honest.  I've read all of his books and can't say I disliked any of them.
Foundation series by Isaac Asimov (All seven of them!)
Empire trilogy by Isaac Asimov
I, Robot series by Isaac Asimov
The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
Again, most scifi works by Asimov are awesome. He wrote 600+ books, from textbooks to novels to dictionaries, so you'll need to sift through his works for the fiction ones.
Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clark
Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clark
Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clark
Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C. Clark
The last of the Three Greats of scifi, Arthur C Clark is my least favorite. I find his writing a bit dry and have omitted some of his most famous works because I really didn't enjoy them that much.  My mother LOVES him, though.  So he's worth checking out.
Dune Trilogy by Frank Herbert
Helstrom's Hive by Frank Herbert

And Steerpike will kick me if I don't mention this next guy. He is definitely in the realm of scifi, especially considering the time when he wrote and that he innovated a lot of very standard and well-worn traditions in use today. His works are also broadly applicable across nearly all genres. So go read everything ever written by H. P. Lovecraft.

Honorable Mentions
Ray Bradbury
Harlen Allison
Poul Anderson

And another suggestion: Go look up the nominees and winners of the Hugo Award. It is specifically given for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy in a wide variety of categories. Check that out and then research authors from there.  That's what I'm starting to do.
7  Campaign Creation / Meta / Re: Xev20 Countdown - Class Uniqueness on: July 20, 2014, 10:22:55 AM

Xeviat

What about the Cleric? That's the current problem I'm having. I can't figure out a play style influencing feature for the Cleric. Traditionally, they are like the wizard; a primary spellcaster. Their difference with the wizard came down to their spells. Their spells were less focused on outright offense and more focused on buffs and debuffs; the trouble is the cleric has plenty of direct damage spells and the wizard has plenty of buffs and debuffs. Having different spells doesn't seem to influence their play style.

Now, as primary casters, if the Wizard and Cleric were to access their spells differently (like how a Psion plays differently because they use power points instead of spell slots), then they'd definitely play differently. This is a distinct possibility, but I've been too close to the material to see it objectively. The cleric is granted their magic from a deity, while the wizard wields their own powers. How this can be translated into a difference in the mechanics they use, I don't know. The traditional "clerics have access to all of their spells, and wizards have to learn them" doesn't seem like a difference so much as an outright benefit for the cleric.

So, what are your thoughts on differentiating clerics from wizards? How have you seen similar classes differentiated in other games?
Firstly, welcome back!

Secondly, what I've seen toyed around with is giving free access to cleric spells (for their level, of course) without daily limits with the caveat that the cleric must uphold certain values espoused by their god, partake in various rituals sacred to their god, and not abuse their god's favor in any way. It basically amounted to a pact between the player and the GM that the player would act like a cleric and not run amok in the game world. With the groups that used this rule, it worked. It wouldn't if the players were more unruly and less interested in roleplaying, just as it wouldn't if the GM didn't keep hold of the reigns and enforce the "if you don't do these things, God will hose you" end of the deal.  I'd call this approach highly optional, but perhaps you can squeeze something out of it. It definitely creates a different feel for clerics. They tend to be much more restrained in game because they have to consider their vows, their god, and if using a spell in that situation is suitable.
8  Campaign Creation / Meta / Re: New Monster Titles on: July 02, 2014, 05:25:20 PM
"Yethin'....What the Yethin' Yeth! Who the Yeth Yethed this Yethin'... How did you two Yethin' Yeths....YETH!"
9  The Works / Contests / Re: May Miscreants Discussion on: June 02, 2014, 07:59:29 PM
It's astounding...time is fleeting!  I'm always up for some time warp.
10  The Works / The Dragon's Den / Re: Long time no see on: June 02, 2014, 07:57:31 PM
Welcome back, old friend!
11  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / Re: What's Your Favorite Monster? on: May 16, 2014, 03:48:29 PM
Wow, this is a wide spectrum, except for the recurring "Undead" mention.  I didn't give my reasoning for what i profered.  I like Otyughs because they are so bizarre and terrifying, but also because they are so useable.  You can always justify working in a walking, thinking garbage disposal.  And their mental image is beautifully Lovecraftian, even if their motivation is more animalistic (which itself can tap into some fun fears).  As for ettins, they don't pretend to be anything that they're not.  They are massive cruel two-headed giants. No pretenses of misunderstood cultures or shallow allegories or allusions to RL cultures.  Just hulking mean, evil brutish thugs.  And they do it well.
12  Campaign Creation / Campaign Elements and Design / What's Your Favorite Monster? on: May 15, 2014, 05:56:08 PM
What the title asks: What is your favorite monster? As a GM, as a player, as a worldbuilder.  Name them, discuss them!

I love otyughs and ettins, myself.
13  The Works / Contests / Re: [Monthly Contest] May Miscreants on: May 06, 2014, 06:36:12 PM
The Baneful Bandits


Setting: The Realm of Camulus!

Lurking in the shadows, waiting to catch their victims unawares, the members of the Baneful Bandits skulk about ancient crypts and forgotten ruins in small, elite teams. They target the weak in order to plunder their personal treasures, be it gold, gems, or even just a nice sword or helmet, and they think little of brutally murdering entire peoples just to collect a few coins per ear. Roaming from village to village, they drift about the frontiers of humanity where the laws are less present and victims plentiful. There they make their living by preying on the unsuspecting.

While the true origins of this band of deadly drifters has been lost to the mists of time, the popular legend holds that they were once brigands who, after one too many close calls with authorities, struck on a novel way to predate on the weak. They would stop targeting civilized peoples and begin killing those society labeled "monsters" for their wealth. Very quickly, they found that not only could they easily slay families of goblins and gnolls in their sleep, but cities and towns would even pay them for such deeds! In time, their exploits attracted new members who, though greater manpower, were able to target more powerful or prominent threats to society.

Today, they are a widespread organization of loosely affiliated ruffians, bandits, burglars, and mercenaries who take on the dirty jobs respectable soldiers and guardsman shun. Hunting large, man-eating game to extinction, slaughtering entire tribes of orcs – women, children, and all –, etc. They are rumored to prey on the occasional hero, as well, but such opinions are rarely voiced. Most focus on the good they do society. They keep civilized lands civil (as much by staying out of them as by keeping monsters out), they tame borderlands, and they explore and conquer new lands on behalf of humanity.

Despite their contributions to civilization, they have always retained a darker aspect. While no one would dare voice such an idea, it is widely known that the Bandits use their talents to extort smaller towns for free room and board, help themselves to whatever women they fancy, and generally ignore the rule of law. Ostensibly, they suggest that they deserve such rights because they provide such a vital service, but between the lines, everyone understands that to deny the Bandits even once will mean they will stand aside while monsters destroy a village. No one suggests they are directly in league with the enemies of humanity, but they have been known to loudly leave a village shortly before it was overrun and destroyed.
14  Campaign Creation / Roleplaying / Legend of the Sea Wraith [IRC] on: April 13, 2014, 10:39:01 AM
Legend of the Sea Wraith
Legend holds that the crew of the Sea Wraith were once brigands and raiders who discovered that by turning their sights on the enemies of civilization, they could reap even greater rewards than any amount of pillaging could yield from peasant towns. Driven by their own lust for wealth and power, these raiders-turned-antiheroes became explorers and, most importantly, protectors of humanity.

At its core, hack and slash gaming is all about killing monsters, taking their stuff, and growing more powerful.  While role playing certainly has its place and greatly enhances such games, at the end of the day, it's all about the loot.
This game centers around the group of raiders – be they pirates, highwaymen, reavers, or otherwise – who founded the legend of the Sea Wraith.  Their tale begins after they have become capable adventurers thanks to years of hooliganism, and having recently struck on the notion of attacking monsters instead of people, decide to begin looking for an inhuman target to raid.

Note

System: GURPS 4e.
Location: #thecbg_rp
When: Sundays, exact time TBA.
The Cast
Players should choose one of the following pregenerated characters below.  I don't mind some tweaking, but this should be done in a timely manner prior to the game's commencement via Personal Message or contacting me directly via Google Talk.

Berserker
Large, strong, and unpredictable – these define you.  Where others rely on skill at arms, you muster brute strength through your profound connection with the chaotic emotions roiling beneath your thick hide.  They let you shrug off blows that would otherwise fell a man while cleaving warriors from brow to groin with your long axe.

Bladestorm Warrior
Where the weapon master specializes in a single weapon and the veteran is a jack-of-all-weapons, you have mastered the art of fighting with two weapons simultaneously – specifically, the sword, the axe, and the thrown spear.

Hunter
At home in the wilderness, you are the go-to person for traveling by foot.  You can get any party from point A to point B safely.  While other combatants could best you in close combat, you make optimal use of your speed and significant skill at archery to pepper them before they can ever reach you.

Man-at-Arms
The opposite of the weapon master, you are a generalist – any weapon he picks up is deadly in your hands!  Able to stow impossible amounts of weaponry on your person, you are a veritable Swiss army knife of the pointy, stabby, and slashy.

Priest
You are a holy man dedicated to a chaotic and powerful sea god.  Your prayers protect ships from storms, calm seas, and heal the injured.  Where the sorceress is limited by her own personal power, you are capable of tremendous miracles, if you can bend the ear of your deity.

Reaver
Raider, pillager, pirate, reaver – these names all strike fear into the hearts of your victims. Captain of your own ship, you are an able tactician, leader, and sailor.  Comfortable on any boat or ship, you good with a spear, but even better at the helm. When the party needs to get somewhere, you are the man for the job.

Sorceress
Where others rely on physical combat, you rely on magic to defeat your foes, but unlike the sea priest, your magic is your own. Your spells are limited in scope, but great in power, and you can improvise minor cantrips with little difficulty.  Your tradition follows that of the warrior goddess of love, fertility, and warriors slain in combat.

Thief - Llum
Light, nimble, and shifty, you dance through the shadows largely avoiding direct confrontation.  You really shine when it comes to getting the party into and out of locked rooms and past deadly traps.  You're none too bad at social manipulation and navigating the underworld back in town, either.

Weapon Master
You really know how to use a two-handed sword! What you forfeit in versatility, you make up for with sheer skill. You make maximum use of your mobility and agility in combat to avoid and deflect attacks while cleaving through skulls like a keel through water.

Note that all characters include Sense of Duty (Adventuring Companions) or a similar SoD that includes your fellow party members.  This is to induce some cohesiveness in the party.  Similarly, the pervasive Code of Honor (Pirate's) amounts to not taking flak from anyone, always backing your mates except in a declared and open duel.  This gives you some points for having at least some scruples.
15  Campaign Creation / Homebrews / Re: Fractal Galaxy: Dark Orbit (Discussion Thread) on: April 05, 2014, 12:19:42 PM
Oooh! More Fractal Galaxy!
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