Monday, June 20, 2011

Labyrinth Lord Cover to Cover: Part 5, page 10, The Dwarf

For this series of posts I will be using the free PDF of the 
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games
This is the fifth part of a series, here are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th parts

The Dwarf

   My favorite fantasy race barring dragons. It also has the honor though of being the first of the races as a class that a number of people don't like about the older D&D editions. Lets get that out of the way right now. It is the generic dwarf and not every single dwarf out there. The included classes are just your starting point and if you want a dwarf who is a cleric talk it over with your DM, its his world and he can put whatever he wants in it. Ok, now onto whats actually in the book.
   To play a dwarf you need at least a constitution of 9. Dwarves are tough and if you want to be one then you better be tough as well. Of course since it is like a fighter the prime requisite is for strength. Yeah nothing has really changed with melee fighters at all since the beginning if you discount the book of weeaboo fightan magic nine swords.
   The dwarf being a race other then human of course has another controversial thing going for it.They have a level limit. If you are a dwarf you will never ever (barring act of DM) be a single level higher then 12. Some people don't like this as it limits them. I personally have no problem with it as it is generally agreed that the levels from ~3 to ~9 are the funnest to play. I would personally rather just settle my dwarf in his shiny new underground stronghold and start a new dwarf at level 1 who comes from there. Then again I also like consistent worlds that grow with play and that my characters can truly affect so the founding of that stronghold would actually mean something.

   Umm, yeah I like dwarves and think they rock and this post turned into more of a rant then I was planning but at the least I got all those thing out of the way.

This is the fifth part of a series, here are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th parts

Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games

Masterwork Frenzy

   We did not quite clear the fort that we needed to attack this session but amazing things happened. First off the fort was taken over by some odd creatures that disguised themselves as the guards so we wasted most of the time arguing out of character about how to get in diplomatically. Of course unlike the last time we tried diplomacy it was not possible this time. That's right, we actually tried to talk to the people and not just go away. Probably because out of game we knew this was where the text one of our players needed for his next level so he could take a prestige class. Anyway we killed some really tough monsters with a lot of HP then found some nice loot. One of the first rooms we searched was an armory and basically we where just going to find some random masterwork gear so I half jokingly suggested to the DM that we should just masterwork all of our current gear. He said yes so now everything we have that was either a weapon of armor is now masterwork. I had like five different random weapons so I could cover a number of damage types and ranges.
   Now that was nice but the biggest find was in the library. Of course we did find the text we wanted but all the treasure in the room was scrolls or similar so when we rolled for treasure if it came up as something that was not that the DM upgraded the treasure level and we rolled again. We managed to get a twentieth level treasure, a Manual of Gainful Exercise +3. Soon as we get to town our Melee guy is going to go from 18 strength right up to 21 strength. Sadly we are not allowed to sell anything we have so we can't instead use the book to fund a major gear upgrade instead. We probably could have outfitted the whole party in above level gear with the money from it.
   Of course we still have to clear the rest of the area and the monsters while few and far between are tough with hit points well in excess of a 100 each and we know there are at the least three more to go. My character is doing good so far but I definitely want to invest in some more stuff to raise my AC and DR.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What could you program in a month?

   I don't know what I can do but apparently Shamus over at Twenty Sided can do this:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Labyrinth Lord Cover to Cover: Part 4, pages 8 and 9, The Cleric

For this series of posts I will be using the free PDF of the 
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games
This is the fourth part of a series, here are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd parts

   For the next couple of parts I will be doing things a little different. Instead of going strictly by the pages I will be doing the classes. The first class will be the cleric which by a coincident is actually exactly two pages long. I think its because it not only has spells but the turning undead table.

The Cleric

   The first class is actually one of my favorite to play. Thats right, I like to be the cleric. I blame it on video games, my love of exploring makes it so I tend to get in over my head and being a cleric lets me do so even more so.
   Anyway to be a cleric all you have to do is choose it. No requirements to be a holy man except the whole being a human thing. Overall it sticks close to the original and comes across quite well. Labyrinth Lord does keep the no edged weapons rule which I would agree with. Sure it doesn't exactly make sense all the time but its nice flavor.
   A thing I like is that it leaves what happens to them if they break the church's rules up to the DM. It does suggest a couple of things including reducing the number of spells they get but there is no actual limit or boundary on it. Many possibilities for adventure here if you do it right. Just remember that you want to give the players a lot of room here. Its always more fun when you give them enough rope and they hang themselves with it instead of you just hanging their characters. Its also not your fault then which is always a benefit.
   Now for the turning ability. Despite liking Clerics I have never been that knowledgeable on the turning mechanics. Here not only do they have a great graph but an excellent example. Quite helpful if you don't understand just from reading the rules text.
   To wrap up I will say that the Cleric presented in the book is a good show. The class shown here is quite close to the source. Also I like how they put all the graphs for the cleric on one page. That is helpful and does not break up the text allowing fluid reading of the rules.

This is the fourth part of a series, here are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd parts
Once again you can find the rules Here at Goblinoid Games

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cool wizards and conquering the world one city at a time

   We managed to conquer another city in which the magical macguffin that will unlock a prestige class for one of our party members resided. We still have to actually go dungeon crawling to find the thing but whatever.
   The way we did the combat for army versus army was not at all in-depth but was quite fun. We "found" a bunch of gold on the battle field which we promptly dumped most of into repairing the defenses there. Overall it was fun and we did actually meet the enemy general and beat him. It was about as fair a fight as any three on one fight can be where they are all the same level.
   An interesting thing we have is that the wizard from the tower from before now makes magic stuff for us. 1000gp of magic junk a turn. The first stuff we had him make was a couple lesser Iron Ward Diamond augment crystals. At 500 a pop we got two so that was nice. To be able to use them I also upgraded to Masterwork Full Plate. The crystal gives a DR of 1/- and absorbs 10 points of damage before it becomes inert till the following day. Once I get some magical pluses on my Plate I plan to upgrade my crystal. Least versions cost 2k and provide DR3/- for up to 30 damage and Greater does DR5/- for up to 50 damage. The DR also stacks with other sources of DR so when I upgrade to Adamantine the DR3/-  will stack on.
   I plan to make a new character to fool around with. He is going to be a soulknife going onto soulbow at 5th level. Of course because it will be going for ranged combat the first few levels the guy will suck. At first unless he buys a ranged weapon he will be going off of 12 strength. Second level soulknives can throw their blade so he gets to use the 14 dexterity and finally at third level I take the feat Zen Archery which will finally let him use his 18 wisdom. Why wisdom? A soulbow does extra damage using wisdom so by making him also aim with it then its the only stat that needs to be improved and seeing as the DM lets us get +2 to a stat every four levels instead of just +1 this is quite a powerful thing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Comics to Movies = Books to Movies

   Its true, when they take a comic book and make a movie out of it they tend to do the same thing they do when they turn a book into a movie. The story gets changed and warped. Its generally better to just hope they do something good with it instead of hoping for a movie that is true to the book/comic.
   This is partly because of how they have to do it. Sometimes they don't have the freedom to do a true conversion from one format to another but there is a bigger problem. When ever you read in a book that someone thought something or felt something, that will not transfer to a movie correctly unless exaggerated.
   A book, even if its a comic book can easily tell you what the characters feel and think. This is quite the boon for the format as it lets you have incredibly deep characters that you can get across to the reader without to much effort. On the other hand books have a hard time with action scenes. Even comics which have a more visual format can not truly impart actions with out exaggeration. Movies though are the exact opposite of this as they can easily with no effort at all show motion and action, even the small things like having a character quirk his eyebrow at something someone said.
   Basically what this means is that the two formats are dynamically opposed in what they can tell the viewer. If you want a person shown who is deep in thought a book would be better for this because in a movie unless they do the cheesy inner monologue thing you basically just have a guy sitting quietly by himself. Now an action packed fight is the movies forte. While a book could take pages and pages trying to describe a short fight the movie just shows you it.
   Comic books are more of a middle ground as you can show and tell but overall they are closer to books then movies. This means that they should technically transfer over to movies easier then just a book but there is one thing that stops the smooth transition.
   Comic book fans are into canon. Now you may wounder about this as comic books get quite a number of rewrites and such. Trying to find out what is truly canon in a popular comic book series is quite hard. This is doubly true if the story is written by several people over its years. My personal opinion is that this is why the fans care so much. They love the story but the authors keep trying to change it on them. If you say love the story to Lord of the Rings and some author came along and completely rewrote it and said his story was now the real story and the old one never happened you would definitely care. This is something comic book fans have to actually deal with.
   From what I have seen of the movies done from comics they tend to get a number of things right, more so then a good number of movies based off books ever did. The problem is that the fans of comic books have been sensitized to this kind of thing over the years and are quite willing to complain about it. Even worse because the comics actually showed you what the people looked like anything that's changed at all about the character will easily be noted and despised. In a book you say a person has blond hair and so long as the movie uses someone with blondish hair your fine, in a comic if the character is drawn with blindingly blond hair if you even just have a regular blond play the role people will notice.
   Overall the movies tend to be okay but because of the general inability of Hollywood to make something into a movie without perverting it and the semi visual format of comic books combines with a fan's love of their personal view of how canon should go to cause quite a bit of complaining and arguing to go on. I will admit though as the Spider-man's movies have shown, the more sequels they do the worse it gets or as emo-spidey would say, "why wont the pain stop".

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

X-men: First Class 2011

   Besides the canon warping the movies is amazing. I enjoyed it a lot more then I had Thor. To note though if you go to the movie expecting action because of the previews with things like Magneto lifting a submarine out of the water you will be disappointed. That is at the end of the movie though it is somewhat to be expected as its an origin story type movie.
   Now if you want character growth and a brilliant story its quite amazing what they have done with it. While as mentioned they did change the canon quite a bit the story they replaced it with was top quality. Quite amazing what they have done with it.
   A good movie and you should see it if you like stuff like it and don't mind that they changed the story. The only thing I feel sad about is that they had to compress all of the origin into one movie. A good number of parts would have been fun to see as movies if expanded upon.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Labyrinth Lord Cover to Cover: Part 3, pages 6 and 7

For this series of posts I will be using the free PDF of the 
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games
This is the third part of a series, here is the 1st and 2nd parts

   Now for the start of Section 2: Characters, which as the name may suggest is about the creation of a Character for the Labyrinth Lord rule set.

Page 6

   The page starts off with an overview of basic character generation. I like that it gives the 3d6 in order as the default way of doing attributes though it only makes since as it is a retro clone. It does give another two ways of doing it but they are only optional and thus I plan to opt-out of them.
   Underneath that they have a small picture of the character sheet. Its nice and gives a slight idea of what they mean but in the pdf its not really legible. Now there is nothing wrong with that necessarily and maybe in the printed book you can read what it says but unless you have a full size sheet with you already, defeating the purpose of the small one, its not really doing anything for it. Also it has all the information filled in including stuff not even covered on that page. I think that it would provide a clearer example if instead it only had the attribute stats filled in and a box inside the image had a close up view of the stats.
   After the picture it goes on to talk about how to choose a class including things like how some classes have requirements. It then tells you all kinds of things you need for the basic character.
   It now has all the basic covered so it starts going into more detail starting with the attributes. This continues onto the next page so...

Page 7

   It continues with the more indepth review of what each attribute means. This includes not only what it represents but also what it actually does. The tables for this are all lined up correctly and look nice so once again I can compliment the aesthetics and layout of it.
   If follows all that talk about the attributes with a bit on how a prime requisite affects you. One thing to note here is that unlike with the attributes themselves where an 18 or a 3 had its own special category the experience lumps the extremes in with the closest group.
   Now it talks about how to choose your class. It includes what the prime requisites actually means so I would have put the table after this part but not really much of a problem and probably has a reason.
   It then talks about how you can sacrifice two points from one attribute to raise another by one. It also mentions some restrictions on that such as not allowing a stat to be lowered below nine, not being able to lower you prime requisite, that dexterity can only be raised, and constitution and charisma can not be changed. Wait a second...
That means only strength, intelligence, and  wisdom can be freely changed and only if your a thief because all the rest of the classes have one of the three as a prime requisite and elves are really stuck out in the cold. They can only lower wisdom. I understand they wanted a way for people to play what they wanted to play with stats that are sorta good but there are better ways to do it. Just putting a limit on how many times you could use it would be enough though the charisma restriction makes sense as it is one of the most popular dump stats especially in older editions like what this is based off of. Maybe there is a good reason for this convoluted rule, I don't know.
   Finally the page finishes up with hit points and how reaching zero kills you. It gives the basic method to generate your starting health and an optional one. The optional one is just re-rolling if you happen to get a result of one or two. Now for fighters and such this means something but a magic user it basically means they get flip a coin, on tails they have three hp and on head they have four. At that point I would just say let them have max at first level. Not that I would use the rule, I totally expect to eventually fill a few landfills with the sheet's of dead characters.

This is the third part of a series, here is the 1st and 2nd parts
Once again you can find the rules Here at Goblinoid Games

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Apparently I am bad at this "schedule" thing

   I tried but apparently unless I have something very concrete like the A to Z thing I am no good at keeping a blogging schedule. From now on I will blog on Mondays about whatever series I am doing, such as the Cover to Cover on LL but other wise nothing is planned. I will probably end up blogging whatever is on my mind at least once a week or possibly do more of the planned series but sadly that is all.