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Serf
May 5, 2011




Shadow the Demon Lord Part 7: The Novice Paths

Once you finish your Starting adventure, you level up and gain your Novice Path. The four Paths map pretty well to the classic D&D retroclone standbys. Youíve got the Magician, the Priest, the Rogue and the Warrior. Each time you level up in your Novice Path, you gain some specified bonuses. These can include increases to your Attributes or Characteristics, more languages/professions, more magic or new talents.

There are optional rules includes for a Group Identity. This is a shared background that ties your group together and gives them a reason to remain a party. You can pick an Identity or roll a d6 if you want to see how your group can come together.



Without further ado, letís get into the Novice Paths themselves.



Magician
This is Shadow of the Demon Lordís take on the magic-user. They are very barebones, offering the widest spell variety and choice of any of the Paths in the game, the Magician allows you to fill in the blanks of the class however you like. No two Magicians will ever be the same, just because of the sheer number of magical traditions and spells you can choose from.

One thing to note is that in Shadow of the Demon Lord there is no divide between arcane and divine magic. Magicians can learn the Life tradition and cast healing spells just like Priests, and Priests are likewise not barred from taking destructive spells exclusively.

Level 1 Magician
Attributes: +1 to two
Characteristics: Health +2 and Power +1
Languages/Professions: You become literate in all the languages you know and add one academic profession of your choice.
Magic: You get four choices, and with each choice you can either discover a magical tradition or learn 1 spell from a tradition you already know.
Cantrip: When you discover a new tradition you get an extra level 0 spell from it (all traditions have 2 level 0 spells, and you get one when you discover it, so this talent means a Magician always knows all the level 0 spells for any tradition they learn).
Sense Magic: A spell all Magicians get for free, does that youíd think

Level 2 Magician
Characteristics: Health +2
Magic: You get two choices, discovering a tradition or learning a spell with each.
Spell Recovery: You can use an action to heal damage equal to your Healing Rate and regain one casting of a spell youíve learned. You can do this once per rest.

Level 5 Expert Magician
Characteristics: Health +2 and Power +1
Magic: Discover a tradition or learn one spell
Counterspell: You can counter spells you see other magic users casting with a triggered action, causing them to take 1 bane to the attack roll and you get 1 boon when resisting it.

Level 8 Master Magician
Characteristics: Health +2
Magic: Discover a tradition or learn one spell
Improved Spell Recovery: You get back two castings of a spell per use of Spell Recovery now.



Priest
These guys arenít clerics, thereís a path for that later on. Theyíre hardier than Magicians but have less spell variety in return. Theyíre more like junior clerics, but when we get into the Expert Paths youíll see that they have tons of ways they could develop and branch out, so if you want to start working your way up to a druid, paladin or a spiritual berserker, Priest is where you want to start.

Priests in SotDL donít derive their power from the gods, who are distant from the world. Their power comes from within, but the faith they follow shapes their thinking and magical practices, and therefore the traditions they can learn. Each god/pantheon has a few choices to make on that front:



Youíll notice that every religion has Life as a tradition. This is to make sure all Priests have access to healing magic, which almost exclusively comes from the Life tradition.

Level 1 Priest
Attributes: +1 to two
Characteristics: Health +4 and Power +1
Languages/Professions: You can become literate in one language you speak or add a new language. You get one religious profession.
Magic: You discover one tradition associated with your faith. Then you make two choices, discovering one tradition from your faith of learning one spell any tradition you know.
Shared Recovery: You can use an action to heal damage equal to your Healing Rate, and then allow a target within short range to do the same. You can do this once per rest.

Level 2 Priest
Characteristics: Health +4
Magic: You make two choices, either discovering a tradition from your faith or learning a spell.
Prayer: You can use a triggered action when a creature within short range makes an attack or challenge roll to grant them 1 boon on the roll.

Level 5 Expert Priest
Characteristics: Health +4, Power +1
Magic: Learn one spell from your traditions.
Divine Strike: When you use Prayer to grant 1 boon to an attack roll, the attacker also deals 1d6 extra damage.

Level 8 Master Priest
Characteristics: Health +4
Magic: Learn one spell from your traditions
Inspriring Prayer: When you use Prayer on someone other than yourself, you make attack and challenge rolls with 1 boon for 1 round.
Improved Shared Recovery: you can use Shared Recovery twice per rest.



Rogue
Probably my favorite Novice Path from a design perspective, the Rogue is geared towards letting you go in any direction you want later on. You can get better at killing enemies, becoming a skill monkey, becoming the ultimate thief, or even branching out into a magic Path. Rogues also have a strong core design focused around making them better at attacking, making your attacks both more reliable and harder-hitting. Rogues are the glass cannons of lower level characters.

Level 1 Rogue
Attributes: +1 to two
Characteristics: Health +3
Languages/Professions: You can either speak a new language or add a new common, criminal or wilderness profession.
Nimble Recovery: You can use an action to heal damage equal to your Healing Rate and them move up to half your Speed without triggering free attacks. You can do this once per rest.
Trickery: Once per round, you can make an attack or challenge roll with 1 boon. If you use this to do an attack roll, you get 1d6 extra damage.

Level 2 Rogue
Characteristics: Health +3
Exploit Opportunity: Once per round, when you roll above a 20 on an attack roll and get 5 more than the target number, you can take another turn before the end of the round.
Roguery Talent: You can choose a Roguery Talent (see below)

Level 5 Expert Rogue
Characteristics: Health +3
Dirty Tricks: Whenever you make an attack roll with 1 boon, you deal 1d6 extra damage.
Rogue Cunning: You can use Trickery twice per round.

Level 8 Master Rogue
Characteristics: Health +3
Roguery Talent: You get another Roguery Talent (see below)

Roguery Talents

  • Backstab: Once per round, when you make an attack with a basic or simple weapon with at least 1 boon, you deal 1d6 extra damage. You can take this twice to deal 2d6 extra damage.
  • Magic: You increase your Power by 1 and discover one tradition. Then you can make two choices, discovering a tradition or learning a spell with each. If you take this again, increase your Power by 1 and discover another tradition or spell.
  • Skirmish: You can move up to half your Speed, without triggering free attacks, and make an attack with 1 bane that deals 1d6 extra damage. Take this again to move your full Speed.
  • Subterfuge: you can use an action to make an Intellect attack roll against a creatureís Intellect. If you succeed, they are charmed for 1 round. Take this again to get 1 boon to the roll and affect creatures who canít understand you.
  • Threats: You can use an action to make an Intellect attack roll against a creatureís Will. If you succeed they are frightened for 1 round. If you take this again, your attacks against that creature deal 1d6 extra damage.


Warrior
We all know and love the Warrior. This Novice Path is all about one thing: dishing out damage while taking punishment and remaining on their feet. There isnít a lot to the Warriorís design, but there doesnít have to be, as the Expert and Master Paths later on give you tons of variety and flavor, while the Warrior makes sure that no matter what direction you choose to go, youíll always be a reliable source of damage and a sturdy tank.

Level 1 Warrior
Attributes: +1 to two
Characteristics: Health +5
Languages/Professions: You can add one common, martial or wilderness profession.
Catch Your Breath: You can use an action or triggered action to heal damage equal to your Healing Rate. You can do this once per rest.
Weapon Training: When you attack with a weapon, you get 1 boon.

Level 2 Warrior

Characteristics: Health +5
Combat Prowess: Weapon attacks deal 1d6 extra damage.
Forceful Strike: When you roll above a 20 and exceed the target number by 5 on an attack roll, you deal 1d6 extra damage.

Level 5 Expert Warrior
Characteristics: Defense +1, Health +5
Combat Expertise: when you attack with a weapon, you either deal 1d6 extra damage or you can make another attack against a different target before the end of the turn.

Level 8 Master Warrior
Characteristics: Health +5
Grit: You can use Catch Your Breath twice per rest
Combat Mastery: When you attack with a weapon, you either deal 1d6 extra damage or you can make another attack against a different target before the end of the turn. This is cumulative with Combat Expertise, but each attack must have a different target.

And thatís it for the Novice Paths! Now that weíve been over them all, Letís talk about which Path Spradley would likely head into. Spradley knows theyíre big and slow and not that good with people, so when they are thrust headlong into a life of adventure and excitement, they do what comes naturally: they pick up a weapon and start smacking people with it. Before long, they find that they have a knack for this, and take it up as a way to defend themselves.

Spradley is following the path of the Warrior, and to represent this, we make the following changes: +1 to Strength and Intellect, + 5 to Health, theyíll get the Mercenary profession, and get the Catch Your Breath and Weapon Training talents. Additionally, they get a battleaxe and a large shield.

Spradley Sprocket
Strength 12, Agility 8, Intellect 11, Will 8
Perception 9
Defense 15
Health 17
Healing Rate 4
Size 1, Speed 8, Power 0
Damage 0, Insanity 0, Corruption 0
Languages: Common (Literate)
Professions: Folklore, Religion, Mercenary
Immune to disease, poison, asleep and fatigued
Key
Mechanical Body
Repairing Damage
Catch Your Breath
Weapon Training
Gear: Battleaxe, large shield, basic clothing, backpack, 1 week of rations, waterskin, tinderbox, 2 torches and a pouch with 2 copper pennies.

Spradley has a few more miles on them. During their quest to decipher the message written inside their arm, they fell in with a band of mercenaries who made good use of their mechanical muscle. Spradley learned the way of the axe and shield, and fought well among the humans and orcs they traveled with. They blew their pay on books, learning more about the history of the clockworks and their heritage, and studied up even more on folklore, especially that of the golems. Spradley believes they are close to finding out the truth, traveling to more and more cosmopolitan cities in search of a scholar who can help them understand whatever secret is etched into their own body.

Audience Participation

Weíve been over the Novice Paths, so itís time to decide on what Queegol will become. Sheís traveling around, working in various cities and towns, which just makes it easier for her to get sucked into a world of adventure along the way. Take a look at the Novice Paths and let me know which one you would like to see Queegol enter into.

The choices:
Magician
Priest
Rogue
Warrior

Also, I want to leave you all with a teaser for Chapter 4: Expert Paths. Shadow of the Demon Lordís character advancement system is one of my favorite things about it, and Expert is where things really start to open up in terms of character diversity and build choices. So here are the Expert Paths in the core book, to give you an idea of whatís coming up.



Next time: The Expert Paths!

Serf fucked around with this message at 17:42 on Jan 8, 2017

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Serf
May 5, 2011




unseenlibrarian posted:

Kinda gives me an FF Tactics vibe, with basic jobs, then slightly better ones, and then even better later.

This is an apt comparison. The Expert Paths give more powerful abilities while remaining kinda broad, and then the Master Paths are more specialized, with fewer abilities but those abilities are pretty drat sweet. Schwalb said one goal while making the game was that it would be simple to learn, with characters becoming more complex over time, and that players should get something new added to their toolkit with every level. I think SotDL hits that pretty well.

Also the Master Paths can get pretty insane. I don't want to spoil too much, but if you're into giant robots, this game has something for you on that front :ssh:

Serf
May 5, 2011




Shadow of the Demon Lord Part 8: The Paths of Faith and Power

Upon reaching level 3, you get to pick your Expert Path. These are grouped into four groups of four that are themed around the four Novice Paths. The book makes very clear that while you can follow your grouping and take up an Expert Path suggested by your Novice Path, you are not locked into this. Expert Paths have no prerequisites, and you can move into any of them that you want, so long as you can work it into the story.

A big part of being an Expert level character is your Objective. This is something youíd like to accomplish in your time as an Expert character, a goal to work towards while leveling up. The book provides a table for you to randomly roll on if you like, you can pick one of your own choice or make up something that suits your character. You share your objective with the GM, and they use it to guide the campaign, pushing you to accomplish your objective. I think this is a really useful tool for indicating what the player is interested in, and helping the GM tailor the game to their desires. A few example objectives are:

ďA castle, tower, ship or some other kind of property.Ē
ďTo be remembered after I have left this world.Ē
ďTo make a friend from an enemy.Ē
ďTo prove to everyone that I am, in fact, a badass.Ē

The GM can use objectives to tie your group together, giving your objectives overlapping goals and creating adventures that help your group accomplish them together. Your friends help you accomplish your objective, and you in turn help them with theirs.

The game also provides rules for choosing a second Expert Path at level 7 instead of taking a Master Path.

Iím going to go over the Paths by the sections theyíre broken down by. In the book theyíre presented in alphabetical order, but I like presenting them in themes. Iím also not going to go over them in as much detail as I did in the Novice Path section. Wait until you see how many Master Paths there are to cover.

Paths of Faith



Cleric
The cleric is all about their holy symbol and things they can do with it. A symbol usually looks like the divine iconography of the clericís god, and they often decorate their armor with them but rely on a single symbol that they channel their magic through and also use to power a lot of their talents.

Level 3 Cleric
All level 3 characters get to add +1 to two Attributes. Clerics get more Health and Power, and they get another language or a religious profession. They discover more traditions or spells that are associated with their religion, and get Conviction, which allows them to make Will challenge rolls to resist frightening and horrifying effects with 1 boon. They also get Icon of Faith, which lets you choose one tradition you know, and all spells you cast with a holy symbol of your god give you 1 boon to cast them and the targets take 1 bane to resist.

Level 6 Cleric
A little more Health and magic, and you get Empowered Symbol, which means that any spell cast using Icon of Faith that heals or does damage heals or damages 1d6 more healing or damage.

Level 9 Master Cleric
Even more Health, Power and magic, and you get Divine Power, giving the benefits of Icon of Faith to any attack spell cast from any tradition associated with your religion.



Druid
You know them, you love them, the druid is the tree-hugging spellcaster of SotDL, but a little hardier and more outdoorsy than most casters. They have tons of flavor, with a first tier of powers that make the druids stand out from other Paths. While their spell selection is pretty limited, they make up for it with a few special powers that no one else can get.

Level 3 Druid
A little extra Health and Power and either another language or a religious or wilderness profession. You get to discover the Life, Nature or Primal traditions, or learn one spell from one of those traditions. You also get Druid Mysteries, which allows you to do all of the following:

  • Identify any animal or plant you see.
  • Know if water and food you see are safe to consume.
  • Accurately predict the weather up to 24 hours in advance if youíre outside and can see the sky.
  • Move at full Speed across difficult terrain created by natural features.
  • Leave tracks when moving across natural terrain only when you choose.
Level 6 Druid
A bump in Health and some more magic, and Tree Walker, allows you to teleport between trees within medium range of each other.

Level 9 Master Druid
Another jump in Health and Power, another spell, and Resist Elements, which means you take half damage from cold, lighting, thunder and fire.



Oracle
One of my favorite Paths in the game, the oracle is best described as a divine barbarian. By allowing supernatural entities to enter their bodies, the oracle gets enhanced combat prowess and access to divine wisdom and minor bits of prophecy. Doing this puts a strain on them though in the form of Insanity, which builds up each time they allow themselves to be possessed.

Level 3 Oracle
You get more Health and Power, plus another language or profession and you can either discover another tradition or learn a spell from one of your traditions. You also get Divine Ecstasy, which allows you to enter a state of possession for 1 minute, granting all the following bonuses:
  • Health +10.
  • You canít be charmed, compelled or frightened.
  • You canít gain Insanity.
  • You make all Intellect, Will, and Perception attack and challenge rolls with 1 boon.
When the effect ends you make a Will challenge roll and succeed or you gain 1 Insanity.

Level 6 Oracle
More Health and another spell, and you get Commune with the Gods, which lets you use Divine Ecstasy to ask up to three questions with yes or no answers and then make a Will roll with 1 bane. On a success the GM answers truthfully. If you fail, you gain 1 Insanity.

Level 9 Master Oracle
More Health and Power and you earn one more spell. Divine Ecstasy gets boosted by Avatar, which gives you the following additional effects:
  • Defense +1
  • You make all Defense and Agility attack and challenge rolls with 1 boon.
  • Your attacks deal 1d6 extra damage.


Paladin
Now weíre back in familiar territory. Paladins are holy warrior, crusaders for the gods, and they learn to channel magical energy through themselves to destroy their enemies, heal their allies and gain supernatural powers. Paladins can serve any of the gods, but lend themselves towards the more zealous faiths. The paladin is a very strong Expert Path with a wide range of powers that make them strong melee combatants and lets them keep their friends on their feet.

Level 3 Paladin
More Health and 1 point of Power, and you can either discover a tradition associated with your religion or learn a spell from a tradition you already know. You also get Divine Smite, which allows you to, on a successful attack with a weapon, expend a casting of a spell to deal an extra 1d6 damage per rank of the spell you expended. If the enemy is undead, demon, devil, spirit or fae you get another 1d6 on top of that. And you get Faith Healing, a support talent that lets you expend a casting of a spell while touching a creature to allow them to heal damage equal to half their Healing Rate or remove a poison or disease affliction.

Level 6 Paladin
A bit of Health and a new spell, and you get Divine Vigor, meaning you cannot be diseased or poisoned. You also get Sense Enemies, which allows you to spend an action to innately know the location of all enemies within medium range for 1 minute.

Level 9 Master Paladin
Some more Health and Power, another spell, and the Holy Radiance talent, which gives you the ability to summon a divine light that empowers your allies and weakens various kinds of supernatural foes.

Paths of Power



Artificer
Combining magic and engineering, the artificer is a versatile Path that can provide all kinds of useful gear to your party. Later on they can imbue items they create with spells and even create mechanical minions to help out.

Level 3 Artificer
You get the standard Attribute increase, as well as some Health and Power. You can either speak a new language or get a new academic profession, and either discover a new tradition or learn a spell. You get your core ability, Artificerís Bag, which contains loose parts with a value equal to twice your party level in gold. You can spend an action, 1 minute, and use a toolkit to assemble those parts into any piece of gear in the game, with a value equal to or less than the amount of gold in the bag. You can make any number of these items so long as their total value isnít more than your bag can have. Once you complete a rest, these items fall apart and their value is returned to the bag.

Level 6 Artificer
More Health and either another tradition or spell, and you get the Store Spell ability, which allows you to imbue a spell into any item created from your Artificerís Bag. The spell is stored until expended or you rest, and anyone can use the spell without needing to meet the Power requirements.

Level 9 Master Artificer
You start off with Health, Power and either a tradition or a spell. You then get Mechanical Servants, a really cool talent that lets you make small constructs (statted in the bestiary). 1 gold gets you a servant, and you can spend another gold to make it fly. You can make as many servants as you have gold in your bag to support them, and they fall apart when you complete a rest.



Sorcerer
These guys arenít like your standard D&D sorcerer. They are standard magic users who push themselves to their limits and drain energy from the environment itself to fuel their magic. They can accomplish amazing things, but that energy builds up inside them, and if they fail to contain it they explode, wreaking havoc on anyone nearby but leaving them unscathed.

Level 3 Sorcerer
Increase two Attributes by 1, gain a little Health and a point of Power, and discover a new tradition or learn a spell. You get Sorcery, which allows you to empower an attack spell, giving you 1 boon to the attack roll and the target 1 bane to resist. When you do this, you gain a point of strain. Sorcerous Strain is the other thing. You build up strain, and at the end of each round in which you gained strain, you make a Will challenge roll with a number of banes equal to your strain. If you fail, you explode with power, dealing 1d6 damage per point of your Power to everything within range. When this happens your strain is set to 0.

Level 6 Sorcerer
You get more Health, and either a new tradition or a spell, and access to Greater Sorcery. When you cast a spell you can take 1 strain to apply one of the following effects to the spell:
  • If the spell requires an attack roll you get 2 boons.
  • Creatures resisting the spell roll with 2 banes.
  • Increase the range of the spell by one step.
  • Double the spellís area of effect.
  • If it deals damage, you deal 2d6 extra damage.
  • If it heals damage, you heal 2d6 extra damage.
Level 9 Master Sorcerer
A little more Health and a point of Power, and either a new tradition or a spell. And you get Sorcerous Blast, which lets you aim at a creature in medium range, reduce your strain by 1, and then make an Intellect or Will roll against their Agility. On a success, they take 2d6 damage.



Witch
The witch is an interesting Path that has very thematic powers with a dash of magic to expand their capabilities. They are magic users who learned their practices from the Fair Folk long ago, and witchcraft is handed down on an individual basis. Witches can be found anywhere, but typically live in secluded areas on the fringes of civilization and society, working as spirit healers and soothsayers for small villages.

Level 3 Witch
You get the standard Attribute increase, with some Health and Power. You can speak another language, add an academic profession of add a common/wilderness profession. You discover one tradition or learn a spell. You get the Witch Fire spell, which allows you to create a damaging ball of green fire that you can move around the battlefield and teleport to. The final talent at this level is Guidance, which lets you use a triggered action to give a creature that can see an understand you 2 boons on a challenge roll.

Level 6 Witch
At this level you get a Health increase, another tradition or spell, and the Flying Broom spell, which of course lets you expend a casting of a spell to make a broom into a flying vehicle. You can even take a passenger with you!

Level 9 Master Witch
Health and Power increases, and another tradition or spell. Additionally you get Lasting Bond, a talent gives you and a willing creature bonuses when youíre close to each other, and allows you to communicate across any distance with mirrors.


NWS for nudity and general grossitude

Wizard
A pretty close analogue to the D&D equivalent, the wizard has a little more flavor out of the box. They are versatile spellcasters who use big spellbooks called grimoires to expand their spellcasting capability even more than normal. With even more expanded magical powers later on, wizards are the most reliable and flexible spellcasters in the game.

Level 3 Wizard
You get your Attribute increases, as well as some Health and Power. You can speak another language or get an academic profession, and you discover a tradition or learn a spell. You also get your Grimoire, which is a book with any three spells of a rank you can cast inside it. While holding it, you can expend a casting of a spell to instead cast any spell from your grimoire with an equal or lower rank. When you learn a spell that is in your grimoire you can replace it with a new spell that you have the rank to cast.

Level 6 Wizard
More Health, and either a new tradition or a spell. You also get Spell Expertise, which gives you an extra casting of all rank 0 and 1 spells you know.

Level 9 Master Wizard
A little more Health and some Power, another tradition or one spell, and the Spell Mastery talent, which gives you 6 spell points. When you cast a spell, you can expend 1 + the spellís rank in spell points to cast it without expending the casting. You regain all spell points when you complete a rest.

We're in a three way tie between Magician, Rogue and Priest on Queegol. Gimme some more votes and I'll get her statted out for the next post.

Next time: The Paths of Trickery and War!

Serf
May 5, 2011




Shadow of the Demon Lord Part 9: The Paths of Trickery and War

The Paths of Trickery



Assassin
This Path provides pretty much what youíd expect. If you want to be a sneaky killer or a spy with a license to kill, you canít go wrong with the Assassin. They get their core ability early on, and when combined with the talents of a Rogue alone they become formidable fighters, and some Master Paths offer even more abilities that enhance the assassinís skill at quickly eliminating enemies.

Level 3 Assassin
You get your two Attribute increases, some Health and an extra point of Perception. You then get either another spoken language or a common or criminal profession. Assassinate is your defining talent, allowing you to make an attack against a surprised creature or one you are hidden from, forcing them to make a Strength challenge roll. If they fail, they take damage equal to their Health, which remember means instant death in Shadow of the Demon Lord. You also get Disguise Expertise, allowing you to spend an action and use a disguise kit to disguise yourself, and Quick Reflexes, which gives you the ability to spend an action to hide or retreat.

Level 6 Assassin
More health and the ability to Manufacture Poison. This lets you spend a little time and money to create doses of poison, which weíll go over in a later chapter.

Level 9 Master Assassin
A bonus to Health and Killerís Eye, which lets you study a creature that is unaware of you. On a successful Perception challenge roll you make all attacks against that creature with 1 boon and you get 2d6 extra damage.



Scout
A pretty close analogue to rangers, scouts are the stealthy vanguard of any party. They can use melee or ranged weapons in equal measure, but are focused around a support role in that their observations make their party more effective. A scout in the right place at the right time can melt an enemy with support from their party members.

Level 3 Scout
Attribute increases, more Health, +1 to Perception and +2 to Speed, which is rare in this game. You can speak another language or get a wilderness profession. You gain Alertness, which gives you a boon to all Perception rolls and you canít be surprised unless youíre unconscious. Forward Observer gives you a boon to sneaking and hiding when youíre not close to your party, Quick Reflexes allows to to use an action to hide or retreat, and Trackless means you donít leave tracks on solid ground unless you choose to.

Level 6 Scout
More Health and Reveal Weakness, which allows you to spend an action to target 1 creature within reach. For one round, all allies get 1 boon to attack that creature.

Level 9 Master Scout
Another boost to Health and Low Blow. This talent means that when the target of Reveal Weakness takes damage, you can use a triggered action to attack them.



Thief
Ah the thief. This is a straight continuation of the rogue, with a set of talents to pick from that customize your thief however you like. They have a narrower focus than the rogue, as your choice of thief means you want to really get deep into theivery and subterfuge.

Level 3 Thief
Attribute increase, +1 Perception and more Health, plus either another spoken language or a criminal profession. Quick Reflexes is one youíll remember, allowing you to take an action to hide or retreat, and you get two choices from the Thievery Talent list (see below).

Level 6 Thief
Another +1 to Perception and a bit of Health, plus Dodge, which allows you to take an action or triggered action and choose one creature you can see. For 1 round, they take 1 bane to hit you and you get 1 boon to resist their attacks. You also get another Thievery Talent.

Level 9 Master Thief
A bump in Health and Opportunist, which allows you to use a triggered action to attack any creature within reach that takes damage. And you get your final Thievery Talent

Thievery Talents

  • Escape Artist: automatically escape from grabs and escape from other bones with an Agility challenge roll
  • Hide in Shadows: you can hide even while being watched.
  • Keen Senses: 1 boon to Perception rolls.
  • Move Silently: you get 2 boons to move stealthily.
  • Open Locks: if you have lockpicks, you can pick most locks automatically. If the GM calls for a roll, you get 1 boon.
  • Pick Pockets: you can use a triggered action to steal things from nearby creatures without them noticing.
  • Scale Walls: you ignore difficult terrain while climbing and you make climbing challenge rolls with 1 boon.
  • Trap Sense: when you search for traps or roll to resist their effects, you make the roll with 1 boon.


Warlock
If youíre familiar with the Blue Mages of Final Fantasy, youíve pretty much grasped what the warlock does. While they do know a little magic of their own, they focus themselves around snatching spells from the minds of their enemies and using their own magic against them. Warlocks generally either didnít begin as spellcasters, or they never finished their training, instead preferring the quick and easy way to power.

Level 3 Warlock
You get your Attribute increases, more Health and a point of Power, either another spoken language or a spell and then a choice of a tradition or a spell. Steal Spell is your bread and butter ability, allowing you to make an Intellect attack roll against an enemyís Intellect when they try to cast a spell. On a success, they fail to cast the spell and if your Power is high enough you gain a casting of the spell that lasts until you expend it or until you complete a rest. You can use this talent once per rest. Additionally, Vanish lets you turn invisible for one round after you take damage, but if you expend the casting of your stolen spell you can extend the duration to one minute.

Level 6 Warlock
The customary increase in Health and either another tradition or spell. Elude Divination is a talent that makes Divination spells used against you fail. Expert Spell Thief gives you two uses of Spell Steal per rest.

Level 9 Master Warlock
At this level, the warlock gets a bump in Health and another point of Power, as well as a choice between a tradition and a spell. Your abilities grow and you get Spell Thief Mastery, which lets you Steal Spell three time, and it now always succeeds and you can cast the spell regardless of your Power. And you get Vanishing Escape, allowing you to teleport a short distance when using Vanish.

Paths of War



Berserker
Whatever youíre picturing, youíre right on the money. Berserkers are warriors who lose themselves in their lust for battle, hacking and chopping away until their collapse in exhaustion. Once they start fighting they canít stop, and this obsession with the fight frays their sanity and makes them susceptible to losing control and attacking anything and everything in sight.

Level 3 Berserker
Starting out, the berserker gets +1 to two Attributes and a big Health boost. They gain the Berserk talent, which allows them to enter a state of bloodlust for 1 minute. When they come out of it they have to make a successful Will challenge roll or gain 1 Insanity. Berserk grants the following:
  • Health +10
  • Immunity to charmed, compelled and frightened
  • You take 1 bane to attack rolls
  • Your attacks with weapons deal 1d6 extra damage
  • You have to attack each round, using charge if necessary
Fury Unleashed replaces the Madness system for you. When you go mad, you become berserked even if youíre fatigued. While in this state, the GM controls your character until you roll above a 5 on a d6, ending the state. You take some damage if you were fatigued when you went mad. Your last starting talent is Iron Hide, which gives you +1 Defense if youíre not wearing medium or heavy armor.

Level 6 Berserker
Now you get another big boost to Health as well as Ferocious Wrath, which gives you +2 Speed while berserking and gives you 1 boon when attacking frightened creatures. For synergy, you get Frightful Wrath, which frightens creatures who are close by when you start berserking.

Level 9 Master Berserker
A final big Health increase and Reckless Strike, which lets you make attack rolls with 2 banes but deal 2d6 extra damage on a hit.



Fighter
That old standby, the fighter. In Shadow of the Demon Lord, fighters are the undisputed masters of what they do. This is a very solid Path that gives you reliable abilities, good tankiness, and ensures that youíre the toughest threat on the battlefield. If ignored, a fighter is devastating.

Level 3 Fighter
Increase two Attributes by 1, then take a bump in Health and either learn another language or get a profession. You also get a Fighter Talent (see below).

Level 6 Fighter
Even more Health and Durable, which means your Healing Rate is now equal to your Health divided by 3.

Level 9 Master Fighter
Another jump in Health, and Weapon Mastery, a talent that makes it so that when you roll a weapon attack and the roll is 9 or less you get to reroll it, but you must use the second result.

Fighter Talents
  • Defense Expertise: a flat +1 to Defense.
  • Fight with Anything: lets you deal 1d6 with any improvised weapon and gives you 1 boon to attack rolls with improvised weapons.
  • Powerful Attack: you can take a bane on an attack roll with a heavy weapon to deal 1d6 extra damage.
  • Precise Attack: when using a swift weapon you can attack Agility instead of Defense.
  • Shield Bash: when you succeed on an attack with a shield, your next attack against that target gets 2 boons.
  • Swift Reload: you can reload with a triggered action, but take 1 bane to reload and shoot in the same round.
  • Swift Shot: you can attack twice with a ranged weapon without the reload property, but take 2 banes to the second shot.
  • Fight with Two Weapons: when you attack with 2 weapons you make the attack roll with 2 boons.


Ranger
Relentless hunters and trackers, rangers are another familiar Path, but unlike their D&D equivalents they get no magic spells and no animal companion. Those come later on. What rangers excel at is picking one enemy and hounding them to the ends of Urth without fail. They hunt down enemies and eliminate them, or track them over long distances.

Level 3 Ranger
You get your Attribute boosts, and a +8 to Health, which is the biggest in game, rivaled only by a Master Path later on. You add tracker to your professions, and you get Alertness, which means you canít be surprised and get 1 boon to Perception rolls. You also get Hunt Prey, which lets you use an action to designate one enemy you can see as your prey. When you roll to track, find, or attack your prey you get 1 boon.

Level 6 Ranger
A smaller boost to Health, a +1 to Perception, and two new talents. Expert Guide gives you the ability to always know which way is north, and you can flawlessly retrace your steps. When traveling, everyone shares your Speed. Expert Tracker lets you make an Intellect challenge roll when you study animal tracks, and on a success you learn one true thing about the animal.

Level 9 Master Ranger
In addition to more Health you get Master Hunter, which prevents your prey from hiding from you and gives you an extra 1d6 damage when attacking them. Relentless Pursuit allows you to move up to half your speed when your prey moves.



Spellbinder
Another great Path, the spellbinder is all about focusing magical power into a weapon, making it more reliable and invincible. Later on they can invest greater power into it and deal more damage with it. The practice was invented by the fae to deal with superior iron weapons, but the traditions of the spellbinder have carried on.

Level 3 Spellbinder
Attribute increase, more Health and a point of Power, and you can either discover a tradition or learn a spell. You also get Spellbound Weapon, a rank-0 spell that gives you 1 boon on attack rolls with the weapon, lets you cast spells through it, gives you the ability to teleport it to your hand from up to 1 mile away and you can instantly repair it, even if you only have a single fragment.

Level 6 Spellbinder
Health boost and either a new tradition or a spell. Your Spellbound Weapon can now be affected by Invest Power, which causes it to light up with eldritch fire and deal 1d6 extra damage for 1 minute, all for the cost of expending a rank-1 spell.

Level 9 Master Spellbinder
The customary Health and Power boost, another tradition or spell, and access to Magic Weapon, a straight buff to Spellbound Weapon that gives you another boon when attacking with it and makes it alway deal 1d6 extra damage.

And thatís it for the Expert Paths! I have a little criticism for the Warlock and Fighter, as the former doesnít let you do enough with Spell Steal, and Fighter needs access to one more Fighter Talent. Other than that, the Expert Paths are really cool, and give you lots of directions to branch off in. But if you thought the Expert Paths had a lot of variety, just wait until you see the Master Paths!

...but letís have a preview, shall we?



Also, this is the last call for votes on Queegol's Novice Path, and we need to get her an Expert Path too!

Next time: Spradley and Queegol Become Experts!

Serf
May 5, 2011




bewilderment posted:

Fun thing with Shadow of the Demon Lord is that while Warrior 'naturally' leads into fighter, nobody's stopping you from going something like Magician->Fighter->Zealot. And stuff like that can work! As long as you don't pick a weird combination that spreads your stats every which way and focus in just one or two things, you can do pretty well.

Hell yeah. One thing I love is a subtle aspect of the boon/bane system where a class like the warrior gets so many boons and bonuses to their attacks, that once you start building into fighter or berserker or spellbinder, you start getting more than enough boons and can trade them for the banes that come with special attacks. Also the warrior's multi-attack system is fantastic. Just one enemy? No need to roll multiple attacks per round, you just chunk all the damage into one blow, or you can spread it around for crowds.

I still maintain that the fighter should get at least one more talent. Hell, the thief gets four!

Serf
May 5, 2011




Shadow of the Demon Lord Part 9: Spradley and Queegol level up!

Spradley has changed a little bit since we last saw them. They found an old sage who helped them understand the writing on the inside of their arm, which turned out to be an incantation for an ancient form of magic, one that could imbue Spradleyís weapon with arcane power. The discovery awakened a latent power in Spradley, one that seemed to have almost been waiting for this particular moment. Reciting the incantation filled Spradley with power, giving them the ability to use magic.

But that is not all there is to the writing. The incantation is just one portion of the message, which appears to have been left by Spradleyís creator. Filled with determination, Spradley decides to seek out their maker and discover why this power was sealed within them, and why the cryptic message implores them to seek out the reclusive engineer.

At level 2, Spradley picks up the normal Warrior kit, including +5 Health, Combat Prowess and Forceful Strike.

At level 3, Spradleyís magical potential is unlocked, and they pick up the Spellbinder Expert Path. Spradley gets an Attribute increase, putting +1 into Strength and Intellect, +3 Health, and 1 point of Power. Spradley discovers the Battle tradition, which replaces their normal Madness with Battle Madness and gives them access to a variety of spells. When discovering a tradition, you learn one rank-0 cantrip, and Spradley chooses Celerity, which allows them to move up to twice their Speed without triggering free attacks. They also get Spellbound Weapon, the core spell of the Spellbinder Path. Since their Power is 1, they get 2 castings of each rank-0 spell, and 1 casting of any rank-1 spells, but they donít know any yet!

Spradley makes all attacks with their battleaxe with 1 boon thanks to Weapon Training, and they deal an extra 1d6 damage because of Combat Prowess. If they roll over a 20, they get another 1d6 damage on top of that with Forceful Strike. By casting Spellbound Weapon, which has a 4-hour duration, they get another boon to all attacks, the ability to teleport the weapon to their hand, and they can repair all damage to it. So assuming theyíre rolling with Spellbound Weapon up, they roll attacks with 2 boons and deal at least 2d6 + 2 damage, with the possibility of doing another 1d6 on that, which becomes more likely due to rolling with 2 boons. They can sacrifice that capability to use special maneuvers to better control the battlefield, and give themself better odds by canceling out the boons with banes.

With a suit of scale armor, Spradley has a Defense of 16, with a +2 from their large shield, making them pretty hard to hit, and with 26 and a Healing Rate of 6, Spradley is beefy for a hybrid type character. They can hold their own on the front line of a fight, and will be able to acquire even more spellcasting capability later, focusing on the Battle tradition.

Spradley Sprocket, Level 3 Warrior/Spellbinder
Strength 13, Agility 8, Intellect 12, Will 8
Perception 9
Defense 18
Health 26
Healing Rate 6
Size 1, Speed 8, Power 1
Damage 0, Insanity 0, Corruption 0
Languages: Common (Literate)
Professions: Folklore, Religion, Mercenary
Immune to disease, poison, asleep and fatigued
Key
Mechanical Body
Repairing Damage
Catch Your Breath: use an action to heal Damage equal to Healing Rate 1/per rest.
Weapon Training: when attacking w/ weapon, take 1 boon.
Combat Prowess: weapon attacks deal 1d6 extra damage.
Forceful Strike: on attack roll of 20+, deal 1d6 extra damage
Spells: Spellbound Weapon (2), Celerity (2)
Gear: Battleaxe, large shield, basic clothing, backpack, 1 week of rations, waterskin, tinderbox, 2 torches and a pouch with 2 copper pennies.




Our old friend Queegol has undergone a life change since we last saw her. Sheís fallen into a life of adventure and roguery after encountering a cult devoted the Demon Lord. Realizing that mere words will not be enough to help people, she has bent her wealth and skill towards that noble goal, and discovered skills that she didnít even know she had. Knowing that sheíll never make a great fighter, and lacking faith in the gods, sheís turned to the crafty sorts her work brought her into contact with in order to develop her talents. Sheís made friends with thieves and assassins and rogue mages of all stripes, learning how they ply their craft and incorporating their lessons into her own repertoire.

Now she works against the Demon Lordís cultists from both sides of the law, pursuing them with words and reason where she can, but stalking them with blade and pistol in the night.

Queegol has taken up the Path of the Rogue, learning their particular mixture of luck and talent, and she has chosen to augment her capabilities with magic as well. As a level 1 Rogue, she gets to increase two Attributes by 1, and she chooses Agility and Intellect, focusing on her strengths. She gets +3 Health and chooses to learn High Archaic as a result of her conversations with magicians. She then gets Nimble Recovery, giving her a boost of healing and some mobility in fights, and Trickery, granting 1 boon on a single attack or challenge roll per round.

At level 2, Queegol gets Health +3, Exploit Opportunity, which gives her an extra turn when rolling over a 20, and a Roguery Talent. She chooses Magic, which increases her Power by 1, and lets her discover the Enchantment tradition and the spells Bewitch and Question. Bewitch lets her keep enemies off her back in combat and Question allows her to extract information from unwilling sources.

Queegol the Fang, Level 2 Rogue
Strength 8, Agility 13, Intellect 12, Will 8
Perception 11
Defense 14
Health 14
Healing Rate 2
Size Ĺ, Speed 10, Power 1
Damage 0, Insanity 0, Corruption 0
Languages: Common (literate), Elvish and High Archaic
Professions: merchant, law
Immune to disease and charmed
Iron Vulnerability
Shadowsight
Sneaky
Nimble Recovery: spend an action to heal damage equal to Healing Rate and move up to half speed without triggering free attacks. 1/rest.
Trickery: one per round, make an attack or challenge roll w/ 1 boon. If using for an attack, the attack deals 1d6 extra damage.
Exploit Opportunity: if attack roll is above 20, take another turn before end of round. 1/round.
Roguery Talent: Magic (increase Power by 1 and make two choices: discover a tradition or learn a spell w/ each)
Spells: Bewitch (2), Question (1)
Equipment: rapier, pistol, soft leather armor, nobleís clothing, cloak, 1 week of rations, a waterskin, a healing potion, a pouch containing 11 silver shillings, a personal servant, a guard and a three horses with saddles.

Now that weíve also covered the Expert Paths, :siren: what would you like to see Queegol take up for her next Path? :siren:

Serf fucked around with this message at 21:26 on Jan 15, 2017

Serf
May 5, 2011




wdarkk posted:

Oh wow Goblin Rogue Daredevil.

Um, well, until you said that I didn't realize what I was making, but yeah, that is pretty much exactly what Queegol is. If you were to use the Demon Lord's Companion, you could take the Mystic Expert Path for some kung fu badassness, and then at Master just take Martial Artist and you would have it all.


Tasoth posted:

So is it actually possible to have 'Fremen Fedaykin' or 'Titan Pilot' as end game builds in SotDL? Because that's kind of fantastic if it is.

I'll go ahead and say: this is absolutely possible, and the crazy things you can do with regards to character building in SotDL is one of the major reasons I love it.

As we get further along and Spradley gets more spells from the Battle tradition we'll start to see that Schwalb is obviously a fan of anime and the Book of Nine Swords.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Urban Arcana was far better than d20 Modern deserved.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Hey folks, sorry for the long delay. Life has been hectic for a while, but I'm gonna be doing my best to get this review done because I really do love this game a lot.

Shadow of the Demon Lord Part 10: The Master Paths A - C

At level 7 you get to either pick a Master Path or a second Expert Path. Master Paths gain benefits at levels 7 and 10, and represent a deeper evolution or branching of your characterís talents and skills. You can again pick any Master Path you like, and there are no prerequisites for them.

Part of having a Master Path is picking a Quest. Your Quest is another story beat that youíd like to hit. It can be personal or it can be larger in scope, but it should be something very difficult to achieve and represent your characterís biggest step in taking control over the game world. The party as a whole might achieve bigger things, but this is how you will make your mark. Like with Objectives, youíre encouraged to think about Quests as a group and work together to complete your Quests and help each other achieve the pinnacle of achievement.

Iím not going to divide the Master Paths up into any themes this time around. Instead, Iíll be going over them in alphabetical order, as the book itself presents them.



Abjurer
Specializing in Protection magic, the abjurer is a master of wards and shielding spells.

Level 7 Abjurer
All level 7 characters get +1 to three Attributes. The abjurer gets an increase in Health and another point of Power, they can speak another language or pick up another profession, and they either discover the Protection tradition or learn one Protection spell. When you cast a Protection spell, your Guarded Casting talent grants you a bonus to Defense equal to 1 + the rank of the spell you cast for 1 minute or until you use the talent again.

Level 10 Abjurer
A little more Health and an additional spell. You gain Warded, which means that all creatures attacking you take 1 bane, and you make challenge rolls to resist attacks with 1 boon.

quote:

Acrobat
This is the class to take if you gotta go fast. You become capable of wild stunts and superhuman feats of mobility and agility that no one else can match.

Level 7 Acrobat
Attribute increase, more Health a +2 to Speed, along with another language or profession. You gain Acrobatics, which grants you all the following bonuses.

You can move through spaces occupied by other creatures.
You move at full Speed across all forms of difficult terrain, including climbing and swimming.
You can stand up without using your move.
When you take damage after landing from a fall, you can use a triggered action to make an Agility challenge roll. On a success, you reduce the damage by the total of your roll, and if that reduces the damage to 0 you land on your feet.

Level 10 Acrobat
More Health and Mobility, which lets you move and take an action on a fast turn, and your movement in any turn never triggers free attacks.
Aeromancer
Masters of the Air tradition, aeromancers are capable of casting powerful air spells that aid their allies and scourge their enemies.

Level 7 Aeromancer
Attribute increase, more Health, +2 Speed and +1 Power. You can speak another language or add a profession, and you either discover the Air tradition or learn another Air spell. You become capable of Air Walk, letting you fly after casting an Air spell for a number of yards equal to 1 + the rank of the spell.

Level 10 Aeromancer
A little more Health, another spell, and you just straight up become capable of Flight, all the time.

quote:

Apocalyptist
This Path is for those who pursue the Forbidden tradition of magic, dealing in magic that flows from the Void and the Demon Lord. They are usually evil as all hell, and their powers reflect the fear and destruction they can unleash.

Level 7 Apocalyptist
In addition to your Attribute increase you also get more Health and Corruption, as well as a point of Power. You can speak another language or get a profession, and you either discover the Forbidden tradition or learn one Forbidden spell. Fearsome Casting gives you the ability to, when casting a Forbidden spell, select one enemy and force them to pass a Will challenge roll or be frightened.

Level 10 Apocalyptist
Even more Health and Corruption, another spell and Hasten the Apocalypse, which is similar to the Sorcererís strain consequences, only it happens every time you cast a Forbidden spell and causes the world around you to sicken and die, dealing damage to people and objects.


Arcanist
Deeper understanding of the Arcana tradition leads to deeper mastery over magic itself, and this Path allows greater versatility and flexibility in spellcasting.

Level 7 Arcanist
Attribute bump, a little Health and a point of Power. You get another language or another profession, and you either discover the Arcana tradition or learn one Arcana spell. Your flexibility comes from Arcana Mastery, which lets you expend the casting of an Arcana spell to instead cast any other spell you know of the same rank.

Level 10 Arcanist
More Health and another spell. You also get Reclaim Arcana, which allows you to roll a d6 when you cast an Arcana spell, getting the spell back on a 6, and Swift Arcana which lets you use triggered actions on your turn to cast Arcana spells.



Astromancer
Mastering the Celestial tradition lets you call upon the light of the stars themselves, and astromancers learn to harness the power of light in all its forms.

Level 7 Astromancer
Standard Attribute increase, more Health and a Power bump, along with either a language or profession and you either discover the Celestial tradition or learn one Celestial spell. You can summon points of light when casting Celestial spells via the Inner Radiance talent, and Intense Light means your Celestial spells do 1d6 extra damage.

Level 10 Astromancer
More Health and another spell. Blinding Corona, which causes the point of light created by Inner Radiance to blind nearby enemies, and Power of the Sun, which gives you 1 boon to attack rolls on Celestial spells and imposes 1 bane on enemies resisting them.

Avenger
The Avenger is all about, you guessed it, taking vengeance. When someone is giving a friend of theirs a hard time, theyíre capable of making life hell for that enemy, becoming scary combatants that are deadly efficient at focusing on one enemy at a time.

Level 7 Avenger
The standard +1 to three Attributes, along with a good chunk of Health and another language or profession. You then get your core ability, Vow of Vengeance, which allows you to mark an enemy who hurts you or another creature. This vow gives you 1 boon to all attacks against the marked target, as well as keeping them frightened when youíre around and allowing you to chase them down.

Level 10 Avenger
More Health and Avengerís Wrath, which gives you a flat 1d6 extra damage when attacking your marked target.



Bard
Far from being the basic class they are in most games, Bards are masters of the Song tradition, and their abilities augment their Song spells, allowing them to further enrapture those affected by their magic, while also growing their abilities as factotums.

Level 7 Bard
Attribute increase, more Health and a point of Power, plus you can speak another language or add the entertainer or musician profession. You either learn the Song tradition or learn a Song spell, and you get Esoteric Knowledge, which gives you a boon on all Intellect challenge rolls to recall useful information.

Level 10 Bard
Another spell and some Health, as well as Disarming Charm, which impairs people you have charmed. Additionally you learn Swift Song, which allows you to use triggered actions to cast Song spells.

Beastmaster
These guys use Primal magic to form permanent bonds with animals, using them as companions in all aspects of play. This is where youíd want to look if you want to play a classic D&D ranger or maybe a druid with a focus on animal friends.

Level 7 Beastmaster
With the Attribute increase your also get a little Health and +1 to Power, as well as either the Primal tradition or a Primal spell, and another language or a wilderness profession. You get Primal Beast, which enhances the Beast Within spell, and Primal Bond, which allows you to use the Befriend Animal spell to create permanent companion animals that get several bonuses. These include: allowing you to share spell effects with them, giving you a boon to Perception rolls when theyíre near, and allowing you to communicate with them telepathically.

Level 10 Beastmaster
More Health and a spell, and Primal Power, which gives any animal you have charmed a boon to all attack rolls and flat 1d6 more damage with attacks.



Blade
The equivalent of a bleed-focused build, the Blade revolves around cutting people with knives and making their blood come out. They do this better than other people with bladed weapons somehow, they donít really go into specifics.

Level 7 Blade
You get your Attribute increase, more Health, and either another language or a profession. You also get Bleed, which is your core ability. When you roll over a 20 on an attack roll, the target starts to bleed, dealing 1d6 damage to them at the end of every round that they donít use an action to stop the flow.

Level 10 Blade
A little Health and Swift Blade, allowing you to use triggered actions with your daggers or knives.

quote:

Brute
This is probably the simplest Path in the game. The Brute does two things, and it does them well: MEAT and SMASH. Take this Path if you want to basically be the Hulk.

Level 7 Brute
In addition to the standard Attribute boost, you get a huge increase in Health, +8, which is the largest in the game I believe. Also remember how you are probably making a lot of Strength attack and challenge rolls? Well Brawn means you now get a boon on all of them forever.

Level 10 Brute
Another +8 to Health, and Mighty Thews, which lets you add your Strength bonus to all Strength attack and challenge rolls. When you can get to a +5 Strength with some finagling, this is nothing to sneeze at.
Cavalier
For the person who loves mounts, the cavalier revolves around fighting from horseback. Or really the back of anything that can be ridden. Want to be a rhino rider or a chocobo knight? Go for it.

Level 7 Cavalier
Standard Attribute increase, a chunk of Health, and another language or a common, military or wilderness profession. You also get Combat Riding, which gives you a boon to attacks made while mounted.

Level 10 Cavalier
A little more Health and two abilities: Devastating Charge, which gives you 1d6 extra damage on attacks made as part of a charge, or 2d6 extra damage if that attack was made while mounted, and Master Rider, which gives you +2 to Defense and Speed while mounted.

quote:

Champion
This Path is about standing in one spot and loving up anyone who comes close to you while resisting being hosed up in turn. There are several tanking Master Paths, and this one turns you into a badass turret of death.

Level 7 Champion
Attribute increase, a good bit of Health, and another language or profession. Battle Stance lets you use an action to plant yourself in place. As long as you donít move or go unconscious, you get 1 boon to all attacks and creatures attacking you take 1 bane.

Level 10 Champion
Another Health boost, and you get Championís Resolve. This means that whenever you would be incapacitated you can make a Strength challenge roll. If you succeed, you heal Damage equal to your Healing Rate and for 1 round you get an extra 1d6 damage to all attacks.
Chaplain
This is your battle-priest. They sing, chant, scream or shout things to their allies that bolster them in combat, allowing you to boost the combat abilities of your friends in pretty significant ways.

Level 7 Chaplain
Attribute boost, a nice Health boost, and either a military or religious profession. You also get Battle Chant, which you can maintain on your turns, and gives your nearby allies a boon to all weapon attacks. You can use this three times per rest.

Level 10 Chaplain
More Health and Emboldening Chant, which gives your allies affected by Battle Chant an extra 1d6 damage, and Succor, a minor healing ability that expends Battle Chant uses.



Chronomancer
Your standard time mage, all about using spells from the Time tradition and messing with the linear flow of time.

Level 7 Chronomancer
You get your Attribute increase, a little Health and a boost to Power, and either another language or a profession. You either discover the Time tradition or learn one Time spell, and get Quickening, which lets you move up to your Power when you cast a Time spell without triggering free attacks.

Level 10 Chronomancer
More Health and a new spell, and Precognition, which lets you use a triggered action when you cast a Time spell to gain an insight. You can spend the insight when you fail a roll to try again.


NWS for some nudity

Conjurer
If you like summoning monsters to help you out, this is the Path for you. It lets you get bonus monsters and makes your monsters deadlier.

Level 7 Conjurer
Besides your Attribute increase, bit of Health and Power and language/profession, you also get to discover the Conjuration tradition or learn one Conjuration spell. You get Conjure Tiny Monster, which lets you conjure a free tiny monster when you cast a rank 0 Conjuration spell. And you get Frightening Monsters, which gives all your conjured monsters the frightening trait.

Level 10 Conjurer
Another smidge of Health, and another spell, and Powerful Monsters, which gives all your conjured monsters a boon to all attacks and an extra 1d6 damage.

quote:

Conqueror
A stealthy way to get the 4E-style Warlord into the game, the conqueror centers around helping their allies to more damage and just overall be more effective in combat. Combine this with the Priest Novice Path and you have a good replacement for the warlord.

Level 7 Conqueror
You get your standard Attribute increase, a good chunk of Health, and either another language or a military profession. You get the talent Attack Command, which lets you grant an attack to a nearby ally, and Direct the Troops, which lets you give an ally the ability to move up to half their Speed.

Level 10 Conqueror
Health boost, and Battlefield Leadership. This means that when you get a success on an attack roll, you can give a nearby ally 1 boon on their next attack. Additionally, people affected by your Attack Command talent now deal an extra 1d6 damage on the granted attack.
Next time: More Master Paths!

Serf
May 5, 2011




Cyberpsychosis always struck me as a really dumb idea, but I understand that it has to exist as a game balance mechanic. At least Shadowrun has a good in-universe reason for why you can't get too cybered up.

Serf
May 5, 2011




I still play off and on and I last ran Elementalism/Pistols, which was pretty fun. Man a Secret World RPG would be dope. The closest thing I can think of that replicates the combat would be like Feng Shui.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Kurieg posted:

One of the shotgun powers is calling down a mortar strike while one of the elementalist powers is bashing someone's face in with Thor's hammer.

There's also a questline where you help save the students of Miskatonic University, and the headmaster is voiced by Weyoun from DS9.

I really wish the game was easier to play because it ticks almost every box of things I like.

I would have gone with Herbert West, but that works too.

The fact that TSW is inexplicably an MMO and not a single-player RPG is mind-blowing. It would have been 1000x better.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Wasn't there a twist at the end of season 1 of TNG where Starfleet was being controlled by aliens that looked like piles of spaghetti or am I losing my mind?

Serf
May 5, 2011




Aliens producing offspring is in itself incredibly dumb. Of course the same goes for half-elves and half-orcs and all that.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Alien Rope Burn posted:

Been a really rough week all the time in the TG world.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Hey folks, I know it's been a little while since our last update. Forgive me for that, I was having some technical difficulties. Anyways it's time for more...

Shadow of the Demon Lord Part 11: Master Paths D-E



Death Dealer
When I read this Pathís description, I think of ultra greatsword characters from Dark Souls. You use heavy weapons, and you use them well. Big drat swords and axes, anything that uses two hands is in your wheelhouse.

Level 7 Death Dealer
Attribute increase and a big chunk of Health as well as Brutal Swing, which is the classic D&D cleave. When you incapacitate an enemy, you can make an attack against another enemy.

Level 10 Death Dealer
Besides another nice Health boost, you also get the awesomely-named Make Mountains of the Dead, which allows you to attack any number of creatures within reach. You donít have to roll or anything, and if any of the enemies have less than 20 Health, they just straight up die.

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Defender
Another tanking Path, the Defender is much more traditional than most of the others. Stand near your allies and protect them from the attacks of incoming enemies.

Level 7 Defender
Attribute increase and a big chunk of Health, as well as Defend, which lets you spend an action to protect people within reach. So long as they remain in reach, anyone attacking them takes 1 bane.

Level 10 Defender
One last Health boost, and Containing Strike, which lets you immobilize enemies that you hit, and Retributive Strike, which lets you hit enemies that hit your allies.

Dervish
If you want to wield two weapons and look cool while doing it, you want to be a dervish. The penalties to dual-wielding in SotDL are pretty steep, but if you take this Path you basically become the magic bullet of fighters.

Level 7 Dervish
You get the standard Attribute increase, a solid chunk of Health, and either another language or a profession. You get Ambidexterity, which lets you wield one-handed weapons as off-handed weapons, and Off-Hand Parry, which gives you a +1 to Defense for using a non-shield weapon in one of your hands.

Level 10 Dervish
More Health, and Two Weapon Mastery, allowing you to get 1 boon when attacking with two weapons. If you attack one target with both weapons you also deal 1d6 extra damage.

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Destroyer
Take this Path if you want to use Destruction magic, which is all about blowing poo poo up and mangling people, to blow poo poo up even harder and utterly annihilate people.

Level 7 Destroyer
Attribute increase, a little more Health and +1 Power, and you either learn the Destruction tradition or learn a new Destruction spell. You get Destruction Unleashed, which turns you into a minor Sorcerer, allowing you to offload the self-damage from Destruction spells into localized blasts that damage friend and foe alike.

Level 10 Destroyer
A little bit of Health, another spell and Utter Destruction, which allows you to treat any 1s you roll on damage dice as 6s.
Diplomat
Every group has one player who wants to try and talk their way out of anything. The diplomat lets you do just that. They get bonuses to social combat rolls and can turn foes into friends.

Level 7 Diplomat
You start off with your standard Attribute increase, a little bit of Health, and either a profession or a language. Then, you get Master of Diplomacy, which gives you a boon in social settings to all Intellect and Will attack rolls. Stay the Hand is your other core ability, which lets you make a Will attack roll against an enemyís will after they hit you. On a success you can either cause their attack to miss you or charm them for 1 minute.

Level 10 Diplomat
A little Health, and Soothing Words, which lets you clear status effects from nearby creatures, and Unexpected Alliances, which upgrades the charm from Stay the Hand to compelled.

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Diviner
This is the class for people who want to be prepared for anything and mess with their enemies through foresight and preparation. It is the RPG equivalent of playing a blue deck in Magic.

Level 7 Diviner
Standard Attribute increase, a boost to Defense (!!!), Health and Power, another language or profession and you either discover the Divination tradition or learn one Divination Spell. Omens is your basic ability, and it allows you to expend a Divination spell when making an attack or challenge roll to get a number of boons on the roll equal to the rank of the spell expended.

Level 10 Diviner
A sliver of Health and a new spell. You then get Premonitions, which gives you three rolls after every rest. You record the results of these d20 rolls. When a creature makes an attack or challenge roll within sight, you can replace their roll with one of the rolls you made, and then cross that number off the list. So long as you have at least one unspent premonition, you canít be surprised, enemies attacking you take 1 bane, and you get 1 boon to all challenge rolls to resist attacks.



Dreadnaught
Do you want to be invincible? Well, you canít, but being a dreadnaught is as close to that as you can get in SotDL. They wear the heaviest armor and absorb nasty hits like it was nothing while never giving an inch.

Level 7 Dreadnaught
Increase your three Attributes and gain a solid chunk of Health. You get either a language or a military profession. Iron Clad lets you ignore the requirements for heavy armor and gives you a +1 to Defense while wearing heavy armor. Immovable means that while youíre awake the only way you can be moved is if you want to be moved.

Level 10 Dreadnaught
Another chunk of Health and Weapon Resistance, which means that while youíre wearing heavy armor you take half damage from weapons. Essentially, if youíre fighting humanoid enemies with swords, axes, guns etc. you have an absolutely massive advantage.

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Duelist
This Path is all about fighting enemies one on one. If you enjoyed the Avenger from D&D 4th Edition, then this will let you do a lot of the same things. Your focus is on locking down one enemy, getting its attention on you and then destroying it.

Level 7 Duelist
Standard Attribute increase, some Health, and either another language or profession. You get Challenge, which lets you make an Intellect attack roll against the enemyís Will. If you succeed, that creature takes 1 bane to all attacks that donít include you. Riposte is a reactive ability that forces a challenged target to take 1 bane when attacking you. If they fail, you can immediately counterattack them,

Level 10 Duelist
More Health and Duel Mastery, which gives you an extra 1d6 damage to all attacks to your challenged target.
Enchanter
If you like to charm enemies and protect your allies from charms and other mental status effects, the enchanter is the way to go.

Level 7 Enchanter
Attribute increase, a bit of Health and +1 Power along with a language or profession. You either discover the Enchantment tradition or learn an Enchantment spell. You get Enchantment Defense, which lets you remove mental status effects from yourself with an Intellect challenge roll and Subtle Charm, which prevents enemies you have charmed from remembering that you charmed them.

Level 10 Enchanter
A little more Health and a spell. Countercharm lets you make an Intellect challenge roll when a creature within sight becomes charmed, and on a success the effect is removed. Persistent Enchantment doubles the duration of all your Enchantment spells.

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Engineer
Okay, this is my favorite Path purely for how bugfuck crazy it is compared to all the others. The Engineer is about having a robot buddy who does all the heavy lifting for youÖ and it goes a little deeper than that.

Level 7 Engineer
You get your standard Attribute increase, a little Health, and either another language or an academic profession. Eidolon is your core trait, which gives you a personal construct, 12 feet tall and 2000 pounds. You can only have one eidolon and have to build a new one if it is destroyed. There is a statblock attached, and the eidolon is no joke.

Level 10 Engineer
You get a little more Health and Mighty Eidolon, which increases your eidolonís Health by 25 and its Defense by 2. And Cockpit, which lets you install a cockpit in your eidolon and pilot it around as a literal goddamn mecha. Fans of Mechwarrior and Gundam rejoice, Robert Schwalb has your back.



Executioner
The name for this Path is pretty apt, as it does exactly what it says. If youíre looking for ways to instantly kill or severely damage your foes and end fights quickly, then the executioner will give you what you need.

Level 7 Executioner
Standard Attribute increase, a little Health, and either another language or profession. You get Execute, which means that once per round, you can make an attack with 1 boon that deals 1d6 extra damage. If the attack injures the target (brings them up to damage equal to half their Health), they have to make a Strength challenge roll. If they fail, they are insta-killed.

Level 10 Executioner
A bit more Health and the Exacting Strike ability, which lets you use a triggered action on a successful attack to deal maximum damage.

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Exorcist
Do you hate those filthy xenosmonsters? Then the exorcist might be for you. This Path has a few tools for dealing with supernatural creatures and becomes hardier against their tricks.

Level 7 Exorcist
You get the Attribute increase, a good bit of Health and a point of Power along with either a language or a religious profession. You also learn the exorcism spell, which is a rank 1 attack spell that lets you end a few mental status effects and cast out possessing spirits and daze them.

Level 10 Exorcist
More Health and Purge the Unclean, which gives you 1 boon against certain types of supernatural monsters and imposes 1 bane on their challenge rolls to resist your attacks. Also you get Will of Iron, which makes you immune to charmed, compelled and frightened, and gives you 1 boon to rolls to resist gaining insanity.
Explorer
Do you want to boldly go where no one has gone before? Push yourself the limit and discover hidden secrets? Expand your senses and surprise people with your perserverence? Look no further than the exorcist for all that.

Level 7 Explorer
Besides the traditional Attribute increase you also get more Health, +1 to Perception and +2 to Speed. You also get another language or a wilderness profession. Preternatural Senses gives you 1 boon to all Perception rolls, while Perseverance lets you make a Strength challenge roll to remove a few different status effects from yourself. Respite lets you take a 1 hour rest with your allies, and at the end of it, everyone heals damage equal to your Healing Rate.

Level 10 Explorer
More Health and Driven, which means that any time you roll a 5 or less, you can roll another d20 and add that to the result. Still pretty swingy and youíve only got a 20% chance of it triggering, but when it does thereís a good chance it will turn things around.


Next time: more Master Paths!

Serf
May 5, 2011




marshmallow creep posted:

I looked at building a few sample characters myself (with my admittedly cursory knowledge of the book), and one thing that I found I like about Shadow of the Demon Lord, at least that I've noticed, is that you can't make a spellcaster with a basically bottomless toolbag with instant "gently caress-you"s for everything. I made a full caster Priest set up and think he caps out at...seven or eight spells known.

I also like that spellcasting is kind of...open. A character that dips into casting even once can have at least two or three spells, and won't automatically be worse at casting them than a full caster, and even a full "martial" classed Death Dealer could spend their level 4 on a Destruction cantrip if they are so inclined. It also seems like the game has something of a sanity check on caster powers; I didn't see any roll or dies when I was scanning for spells (though to be fair, there are a lot of spells so I may have overlooked some). I think the strongest single spell I saw in the game, damage-wise, was 9d6, and it was spell you'd get to cast once at max level. A dedicated weapon based character might be able do 5d6 or even 7d6 a turn if they had a lucky streak. Casters can be still be invaluable, but they aren't equipped to obviate or replace the other half of the party entirely.

Speaking of Make Mountains of the Dead: Agreed that it's great name, but how often is a level 10 going to be running into crowds of guys with 20HP or less? Seems great if your antagonist is the zombie-horde kind of necromancer, I guess.

SotDL has an interesting system where magic-users get comparatively fewer spells than an equivalent character in another system, but gets more uses of them. Spells can't solve every problem, and due to the restrictions placed on how many spells you'll even learn, you end up limited in a good way. You have to choose your spells carefully, and they can be pretty potent under the right circumstances. That 9d6 spell can only be cast once, too, whereas most mundane characters will be hitting with 5d6 or 7d6 attacks much more frequently. I feel that this encourages spell casters to choose their moments carefully but also explore spells that might be less about damage and more about buffing and altering the playing field.

As for Make Mountains of the Dead, I think that depends entirely on the GM's encounter design. If a player picks the Death Dealer, that's a signal that they want to make use of their toolkit. There are tons of sub-20 Health enemies with a Difficulty Rating of around 10 or so. An average encounter for Master characters is 51-125 and the maximum recommended difficulty per day is 500. It would be pretty easy to throw in a few groups of humanoid enemies or medium monsters/animals into a few of those fights to give the Death Dealer something to use their ability on. I just think you need to budget for what the characters want to do.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Cassa posted:

Shadow of the Demon Lord review has a mistake, I can't find the bit where you talk more about Eidolons



By level 10, when your eidolon becomes a mecha, it would have 75 Health and 13 Defense. It isn't very hard to hit but it is beefy and it can heal itself. If you have the Technomancy tradition, you can use the rank-0 spell Jury-Rig to heal 1d6 damage to it as well, and you can use that at least 2 times a day. The eidolon kicks rear end.

Serf
May 5, 2011




What about Cadillacs and Dinosaurs?

Serf
May 5, 2011




Halloween Jack posted:

13th Age is cool, but I was pretty impressed with Shadow of the Demon Lord. About how do the two stack up with each other vis a vis tactical options?

Yeah, I'm one of those guys whose first question for any D&Dalike is "How does the Fighter play?"

Fighters in SotDL mostly provide the basic framework for how martial-type characters play. And even then, when you start picking up Expert and Master Paths you aren't locked in to martial stuff. The Warrior is solid, and provides bonuses in the form of boons, which you can trade in (essentially) for lots of special maneuvers. This isn't specifically called out, but most players can put it together in a way that I think Schwalb intended. The actual Fighter Expert Path is a little lackluster. It makes you drat good at fighting, but doesn't offer enough customization for me, and doesn't measure up to the flexibility of similar Paths like the Thief. But since you can pick other Paths and build however you like, the issue isn't as pronounced as it is in 13th Age, where you have lots of tricks but no control over when you can use them.

Serf
May 5, 2011




To this day I have no idea how you'd even run D&D combat without a grid. It would be madness.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Charts like that have always been an embarrassment to the hobby.

Serf
May 5, 2011




LeSquide posted:

I'm now on a huge Demon Lord kick and I think I want to run a game soon; what supplements besides the Companion are good? Is the Hell/Devil boom decent? I'm aware of the shocking setting twist.

Forbidden Rules is very good, as it has a lot of alternate rules that I really like. Tales is also great because it has a lot of interesting adventures that can be dropped into a campaign and also used as examples and frameworks for your own adventures. I would also recommend taking a look at the Poison Pages and finding any that look like stuff you'd want to use. I've picked up most of them since they're cheap and interesting, and so far they've all had cool things in them.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Marking is just a mechanical way of being such a giant rear end in a top hat that the enemy can't help but hit you. A bard can hurt people by singing, why can't a fighter be such a dick to a wolf that the wolf has to go after them?

Serf
May 5, 2011




Let me pitch y'all this idea: how about we don't strap bombs to dogs.

Serf
May 5, 2011




slap me and kiss me posted:

If I ever see a 1940s soviet military planner, I will pass along your suggestion.

Please do.

Serf
May 5, 2011




PurpleXVI posted:

Who is Gareth Michael Skarka?

For twelve years, you have been asking: Who is Gareth Michael Skarka?

Serf
May 5, 2011




Dareon posted:

Dogs can pet other dogs? :shittypop:

Dogs Going Their Own Way

Serf
May 5, 2011





Shadow of the Demon Lord Part 12: Master Paths G - Po

Geomancer
This Path is all about the use and manipulation of the earth. It provides you with some toughness that magic-users are generally lacking, and gives access to a few other tricks that involve the natural world.

Level 7 Geomancer
You get your standard Attribute increase, a decent amount of Health and a point of Power. You discover the Earth tradition or learn an Earth spell. You get Earthen Defense, which lets you spend an Earth spell of Rank 1 or higher, and for each Rank the spell has, you roll a d6. This total becomes your Earthen Defense pool, which is a buffer of extra hit points that takes damage before you do.

Level 10 Geomancer
You get another chunk of Health, another spell, and Earth Walker, letting you ignore difficult terrain on natural surfaces and letting you move through solid stone and dirt.

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Gladiator
If you want to fight dirty and trust your fate to luck, the gladiator is the Path for you.

Level 7 Gladiator
Standard Attribute increase, a chunk of Health and either another language or a martial profession. Dirty Fighting lets you make an Agility attack against an enemyís Perception. If you succeed they become Impaired for 1 round. Win at Any Cost means Impaired enemies take 1d6 extra damage from your attacks.

Level 10 Gladiator
Another bit of Health and you get Finishing Blow, a very useful ability that gives you 1 boon against an enemy suffering any affliction, and gives you 1d6 extra damage against those targets. Overall when all your talents line up youíre getting 2d6 damage and 1 boon against enemies you afflict with Impaired, and if you have a party member who can also dole out afflictions the gladiator becomes a nasty and deadly combatant.


Gunslinger
This Path lets you inject a little western into your dark fantasy. You can make your own guns and use them like no one else can. The book does say that it makes more sense for technically-minded characters to pursue the art of gunslinging, but anyone can get into it.

Level 7 Gunslinger
You have your Attribute increase, a little Health and either another language or a profession. You also get Six-Shooter, letting you transform a pistol into a revolver. You can fire a six-shooter six times before needing to reload it, and anyone besides you attempting to use it takes 3 banes to the attack.

Level 10 Gunslinger
Another bit of Health and two abilities: Deadeye Shot, which gives you 1 boon and an extra 1d6 damage on attacks with pistols or six-shooters, and Speed Loader, which lets you reload a gun as a minor action rather than an action.

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Healer
It may not sound interesting or glamorous, but what they donít tell you about the healer Path is that not only does it make you drat good at healing, it also turns you into a nigh-unstoppable Terminator. Read on to find out how.

Level 7 Healer
Here you get your Attribute increase, some Health and +1 to Power, as well as either the Life tradition or a Life spell. Far Healing lets you extend the range of a Life spell with a range of Reach to a range of Short.

Level 10 Healer
More Health and another spell. Empowered Healing means that anyone you cast a Life spell on heals extra damage equal to their Healing Rate while Unassailable Vitality means that you cannot take damage from a disease or poison, you canít become diseased or poisoned and you heal all damage when you complete a rest. Thatís right, so long as you donít take damage equal to your Health and can take a nap, you wake up good as new. For you, the old saying ďany fight you walk away from is a fight you wonĒ is true.


Hexer
The Curse tradition is the Hexerís stock in trade. Curse spells are very good at debilitating your foes, and the Hexer just enhances that. The abilities of this Path combine nicely with Curse magic, and allows you to make life hell for your enemies.

Level 7 Hexer
Standard Attribute increase, as well as a little bit of Health and +1 to Power. You get another language or a profession, and you either discover the Curse tradition or learn one new Curse spell. Evil Eye is you core ability, which lets you use a triggered action when hitting an enemy with a Curse spell to apply one of three effects. Desire charms the enemy, Lethargy slows them, and Pain deals 2d6 damage to them.

Level 10 Hexer
Another bit of Health and a spell, and Exacting Curse, which makes targets cursed by you take 1d6 extra damage from your attacks.

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Hydromancer
The Hydromancerís deal should be pretty obvious. Theyíre all about the Water tradition, and their abilities make them harder to deal with for most enemies, while at the same time empowering them with the ability to be like their chosen element in some interesting ways.

Level 7 Hydromancer
You get your standard Attribute increase, as well as some Health and a point of Power. You discover the Water tradition or learn one Water spell. You gain the Flow ability, which lets you cover yourself in water after casting a Water spell. While this is active, you cannot be grabbed or immobilized, and you can move through spaces occupied by creatures, and it lasts for as many rounds as the spellís rank. You also get Swimmer, meaning you ignore the effects of difficult terrain while you are swimming.

Level 10 Hydromancer
A little bit of Health and another Spell, as well as your showstopper ability: Watery Form. This lets you expend the casting of a Water spell to take on a liquid form, which lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Power plus the rank of the spell. While in this form you get the following benefits:
  • You get 1 boon to all Agility rolls
  • You can squeeze through any space that will allow water through
  • You take half damage from weapons
  • You cannot be grabbed, immobilized, knocked prone or slowed
  • You are invisible while submerged in water


Illusionist
If you think this Path is all about illusionsÖ well, youíre not wrong. It does what it says on the box, and perhaps not in the way youíd expect. I find this to be one of the more niche Paths, even though it has a nice mix of abilities.

Level 7 Illusionist
You get your Attribute bump, a smidge of Health and a point of Power along with another language or profession and you can discover the Illusion tradition or learn one Illusion spell. Convincing Illusions imposes a penalty of 2 banes on anyone trying to discern your illusions, and gives you 1 boon when attacking with illusion spells.

Level 10 Illusionist
A little bit of Health, another spell, and Illusory Duplicates. When are damaged by an attack you can roll a d6. On a roll of 6, reduce the damage to 0 and teleport to a nearby open space. This is an ability that I like a lot, as it gives you that feeling of being always prepared from time to time.

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Infiltrator
Do you want to be the best spy that ever lived? Want to be able to hide in plain sight, and then leap into the fray and destroy your enemies lightning-fast? Then this is the Path for you.

Level 7 Infiltrator
You get your standard Attribute increase, along with a +1 to Perception and a minor boost to Health, and either another language or a criminal profession. You core ability is the incredibly powerful Faceless, which gives you a whole host of benefits. Firstly, you can hide anywhere, anytime. Even if youíre in plain sight and being observed, you can hide. Once you use an action to break this stealth, you canít activate it again for 1 minute. While hidden, people you talk to canít remember details about you after 1 minute, and after an hour they will forget the conversation entirely. During the first round of any combat you begin hidden, you get 1 boon to all rolls, and if you take a fast turn you can both use an action and move. This is probably one of the coolest abilities in the game and makes the Infiltrator seriously badass.

Level 10 Infiltrator
You get a little more Health, as well as Treacherous Strike, which gives you 1d6 extra damage to surprised targets and targets from which you are hidden. You also get Vanish, letting you trigger Faceless any time you become obscured in any way, letting you reactivate it fast if you have a way to hide for a moment.


Inquisitor
One of the more meaty and flavorful Paths, the Inquisitor is all about being scary and mean, and it is very effective at doing those two things. It has some of the better debuffs outside of magic, and has one veryÖ unique ability that Iím not sure I like.

Level 7 Inquisitor
You get your Attribute boost and some Health, as well as another language or profession. You get Dreadful Threat, which lets you make an Intellect attack against a creatureís Will, and if you succeed they become frightened while they can see you until either they damage you or they complete a rest. Master Torturer does just what you think it does. While torturing people, you can make an Intellect vs. Will attack roll, and if you succeed the creature will have to answer 1d6 questions truthfully. Finally Scrutiny is your core ability, and lets you make a Perception vs. Intellect roll to make a creature the subject of your Scrutiny, meaning that you can tell when it deliberately tells a lie and your attack rolls against them receive 1 boon.

Level 10 Inquisitor
You get more Health and Inquisitorís Judgment, giving your weapon attacks against the target of your scrutiny an extra 1d6 damage.

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Jack-of-All-Trades
A Path meant for people who want to do a little bit of everything. Itís a real master of none situation too where youíre not explicitly good at anything but you are versatile and capable of rapidly adapting to situations. Youíve also got ways to come through in tight situations when it really counts. I wouldnít recommend taking this Path unless youíve taken as least one magic-oriented Path before, as one of its core abilities needs you to have a little Power.

Level 7 Jack-of-All-Trades
You get your standard Attribute increase, a little bit of Health, and you can speak another language and add another profession. Your core ability is Aptitude, which gives you a pool of Aptitude points equal to your group level. When you make an attack or challenge roll, you can spend 1 point of Aptitude to make the attack with 2 boons. When you roll two 6s on one roll of the boon dice you regain a point of Aptitude and you refresh your entire pool when you complete a rest. Flexible Profession lets you make an Intellect challenge roll to act as though you had a profession you donít already have. Magical Epiphany lets you copy rank 0 spells that you see cast, but these copies only last until you complete a rest and you only get a number equal to your Power, so youíll need a little bit of that to make this talent fully functional.

Level 10 Jack-of-All-Trades
Another little bit of Health, as well as Prodigy, which allows you to increase one of your Attributes by 1 when you complete a rest (it ends when you use it again) and Uncommon Ability, which lets you treat 1s on boon rolls as 3s and 6s on bane rolls as 3s.



Mage Knight
This the the Path of the Battle tradition. It is a simple and straightforward path that emphasizes using attack spells, buffs, and regular attacks in tandem. This is actually a great Path to dip into at the tail end of a fighterís progression, as even the low-level Battle spells can add a lot to a high-level character.

Level 7 Mage Knight
Standard Attribute increase, more Health and a point of Power, and either another language or a military profession. You either discover the Battle tradition or learn one Battle spell, and Escalating Violence gives you 1 boon to attack rolls with a weapon after you cast a spell. This lasts for 1 round.

Level 10 Mage Knight
A little Health, another spell, and Mage Knight Tactics, which lets you use a triggered action to attack with a weapon at any point in a round after you cast an attack spell.

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Magus
Whatís the iconic wizard weapon? Did you answer wands? Get that Harry Potter poo poo out of here, Shadow of the Demon Lord knows whatís up. This Path is all about the staff and how it rules. For a magus, the staff isnít just a weapon or an implement, it is a personal effect that grants them a straight-up set of advantages that help them overcome their enemies.

Level 7 Magus
Here you get your Attribute increase, as well as more Health and a point of Power. You also get either another language or an academic profession. You discover a tradition or learn another spell, and you get your Staff of Magic. This item is special to you and gives all attack spells cast through it 1 boon and grants them 1d6 extra damage.

Level 10 Magus
More Health, another tradition or spell, and now you get Staff of Power, which grants you the following boosts: you get +1 to Defense, and attack spells cast through it are cast with 1 boon and impose 1 bane on any attempts to resist them.


Marauder
Another flavor of barbarian or berserker, the marauder focuses on mobility through charging. You get bonuses to charging and extra opportunities to charge. Take this Path if you want to dash around the battlefield like a ping-pong ball of murder.

Level 7 Marauder
You get you Attribute increase, as well as a nice bonus to Health and +2 to Speed. Powerful Charge means you no longer trigger free attacks when charging and you deal 1d6 extra damage on an attack made while Charging.

Level 10 Marauder
Another boost to Health. Bloodthirst lets you use a triggered action to charge anytime a creature becomes incapacitated from one of your attacks. Strength from Pain allows you to take 1 boon when making Strength attack and challenge rolls while injured.

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Miracle Worker
More than a cleric or a paladin, the Miracle Worker embodies their god as a living representation. They can invoke their divine power to take on their godís appearance and strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. This is another Path that doesnít offer any Power but works better if you already have a little going in.

Level 7 Miracle Worker
You get your standard Attribute increase as well as a big chunk of Health. Stigmata is your core ability, and it allows you to take on the appearance of your god by taking 1 Insanity and a -5 penalty to Health for the duration, which is a number of minutes equal to 1 + your Power. While in this form, creatures who are not on your side that see you have to pass a Will challenge roll or be frightened until you end the effect. Also while this effect is active you make attack and challenge rolls with 1 boon and your heal 1d6 damage at the end of every round. Tongues is your other ability, and it allows you to communicate with any creatures who understand language. And when you choose to speak in a booming voice you can be heard up to 1 mile away.

Level 10 Miracle Worker
Another big chunk of Health, and the Worker of Miracles ability. When you use this, you can touch a creature and take a -5 penalty to Health until they complete a rest. That creature can then choose from a list of effects, which let it heal damage, cure afflictions, remove curses, or even remove insanity.


Myrmidon
I would like to say this Path allows you to be Captain America, but that would be misleading. This Path does make you pretty badass with a shield, but youíre not gonna be throwing it at Nazis and bouncing it off of walls any time soon. Still, if you want to be a tank and protect yourself from damage, the Myrmidon is an excellent Path for that.

Level 7 Myrmidon
Attribute increase and a boost to your Health and either a language or a military profession. Forceful Shield lets you move targets back when you hit them with your shield and Shield Block lets you use a triggered action to impose 1 bane on an enemy trying to hit you while you have a shield.

Level 10 Myrmidon
Another chunk of Health and Shield Mastery, which gives you +1 to Defense while you have a shield and when attacking with a shield you get 1 boon, 1d6 extra damage, and you do not lose the shieldís defensive property.

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Necromancer
Not exactly the most heroic Path, the Necromancer isnít overpowered and doesnít grant you armies of undead creatures. Depending on how undead-heavy the campaign it this Path varies in strength and usefulness but it is always a strong choice based on how good some of its talents are even without a lot of undead to command.

Level 7 Necromancer
You get your Attribute increase, a smidge of Health and +1 to Power. You can speak another language or add an academic profession. You either discover the Necromancy tradition or learn a Necromancy spell. Inured to Death means that you no longer take damage from disease or poison and you can no longer become diseased or poisoned. And when making fate rolls while incapacitated you roll twice and use the result you prefer. You gain the Command Undead spell, which lets you make an Intellect vs. Will attack to control a single undead target for 1 minute.

Level 10 Necromancer
A bit of Health, a spell, and Master of Undeath, which doubles the amount of creatures you can effect with Command Undead (to 2) and any undead creatures you create get 1 boon to attack rolls and deal 1d6 extra damage.



Poisoner
Do I really need to explain what this Path does? You poison people. Pretty cut and dry honestly.

Level 7 Poisoner
You get the standard Attribute increase along with a little Health and either another language or a profession. Poison Mastery lets you use an alchemistís kit and 5cp worth of ingredients to make a dose of poison. When creatures are poisoned by you, they make Strength challenge rolls to resist with 3 banes and take 3d6 extra damage from them.

Level 10 Poisoner
You get a little bit of Health and the ability Poisonous Touch. This allows you to use an action or triggered action to attack a creature with a needle hidden in a ring or in your finger. You can make a Strength/Agility roll vs. Agility, and if you succeed they take 1 damage plus 2d6 extra damage from the poison. They then make a Strength challenge roll to resist, and if they fail they are poisoned for 1 minute, which makes them dazed and slowed. If theyíre already poisoned, they take 3d6 extra damage At the end of each round a poisoned creature must make a Strength challenge roll, and on a failure they take 1d6 damage.

Serf
May 5, 2011




you definitely, definitely do die when you use the transporter but it's not like that's stopping you so it's not a big deal

Serf
May 5, 2011





Shadow of the Demon Lord Part 13: Master Paths Completed!

I'm back and here to finish off the Master Paths in Shadow of the Demon Lord. Without any further ado, let's jump right in:

Pyromancer
This is the Path to take if youíre really into the Fire tradition, and just want to burn poo poo up. It can make you into a low-rent version of The Fury, and really what more do you want?

Level 7 Pyromancer
Standard Attribute increase, as well as a little bit of Health and +1 Power. You also get either another language or a profession, and you either discover the Fire tradition or learn 1 Fire spell. Flame Blessing just makes it so that you flat take half damage from fire across the board.

Level 10 Pyromancer
More Health and another spell, and Immolating Flames, which forces any creature that is hit by one of your Fire spells to make an Agility challenge roll. If they fail, they catch on fire, which is 1d6 damage per turn.

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Runesmith
This one is a little barebones. It enables you to buff yourself while using Rune magic, butÖ thatís all it does. I canít say I would recommend it, and it could use a little love in a future Paths of supplement.

Level 7 Runesmith
You get your Attribute bump, as well as a little Health and a point of Power and either another language or a profession. You discover the Rune tradition or learn one Rune spell. You get Sigils of Power, which lets you buff weapons/armor for 1 minute, giving you 1d6 extra damage with weapons and +1d3 Defense with armor after casting a Rune spell.

Level 10 Runesmith
More Health and another spell, and Sigils of Power just bumps up from 1 minute to 1 hour in duration. Thatís it. Like I said, the Path is a little barebones.


Savant
If youíve been reading along and thinking ďspellcasters donít get that many spellsĒ, then this is the Path for you. The Savant trades off raw magical power for a deeper understanding of spells, getting more spells than any other Path. If you donít mind being restricted to lower-tier spells and having fewer castings, but you want a bigger magical toolbox, the Savant is worth a look.

Level 7 Savant
Attribute increase, as well as a little Health and either another language or a profession. You then get 2 picks, and you can use them to either discover a new tradition or learn another spell. You also get Tradition Focus, which lets you pick two Traditions youíve already discovered; when you attack with spells from those Traditions, you get 1 boon, and creatures roll to resist them with 1 bane.

Level 10 Savant
You get a little boost to Health and you learn 2 more spells from the Traditions you picked with Tradition Focus.

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Sentinel
This is a bit of an oddball Path. It focuses on edge case abilities, like not being surprised and defeating invisibility, and the capstone talent is all about creating a zone that makes you better at fighting (sort of). Itís a Path that I think could use to reworking to give it a stronger focus or at least buff its abilities to make you want to take it.

Level 7 Sentinel
Standard Attribute increase, along with +1 to Perception and a good chunk of Health. Perfect Awareness is your big talent, which prevents you from ever being stunned or surprised, gives you 1 boon to all Perception rolls, and lets you faintly see invisible creatures, letting you treat them as if they were only partially obscured.

Level 10 Sentinel
More Health, and Stand Guard. This is a big talent that lets you create a 5-yard zone centered on you that lasts until you use the talent again or you become unconscious. While in the zone, you get all of the following:

  • 1 boon to attack rolls
  • You know the location of all creatures in the zone and they cannot be hidden from you
  • You cannot be charmed, compelled, frightened, surprised or put to sleep by magic
  • You cannot be moved out of the area


Shapeshifter
This Path specializes in Transformation magic, and is focused around the idea of letting you transform into other forms with more benefits and transform faster and more often. Also, this was a huge missed opportunity to call the Path the Transformer.

Level 7 Shapeshifter
You get your standard Attribute increase, along with a little more Health and a point of Power. You can learn another language or a profession and you either discover the Transformation tradition or learn 1 Transformation spell. You gain Superior Transformation, which grants you one of the following bonuses when you transform yourself:

  • +1 to Defense
  • +2 to Speed
  • +4 to Perception
  • +5 to Health
Level 10 Shapeshifter
You get a smidge of Health and another spell, along with Swift Transformation, which lets you spend triggered actions to cast Transformation spells.

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Sharpshooter
Remember how the Pyromancer lets you be The Fury? Well the Sharpshooter allows you to play a passable version of The End. This Path lets you be the baddest of asses with ranged weapons, whether that is a bow or a gun, and before long youíll be pulling off Hawkeye-esque poo poo where you never miss. Ever.

Level 7 Sharpshooter
Attribute increase, +1 to Perception and some Health plus the choice between another language or a profession. Deadly Aim lets you take an action to make a Perception attack against a creatureís Agility. If you hit, for the next round, when you attack that creature with a ranged weapon you do so with 3 boons and if you hit you deal 3d6 extra damage. So every other turn you get a very powerful attack, provided that you can hit that Perception attack.

Level 10 Sharpshooter
More Health and Perfect Shot, which allows you to spend a triggered action when you miss with a ranged weapon to turn that miss into a hit.


Stormbringer
This Path is all about bringing the pain with Storm magic and loving people up by feeding off of electricity. It gives you boosts to mobility and your defenses as well. Overall, if you want to zip around the battlefield throwing lightning bolts and eating electricity, this Path is great.

Level 7 Stormbringer
You get you Attribute increase, more Health, a point of Power and +2 to Speed, as well as another language or profession. You either discover the Storm tradition or learn 1 Storm spell, and you get Ride the Lightning, which grants you the ability to, after casting a Storm spell, spend a triggered action to fly your Speed.

Level 10 Stormbringer
More Health and another spell, as well as Powered by the Storm, which means that whenever you would take damage from lightning or thunder, you reduce that damage to 0 and gain a +5 bonus to Health for 1 minute (which is cumulative). Also, while affected by the talent, you get 1 boon when attacking with Storm spells, and creatures resisting you take 1 bane.

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Technomancer
For as cool as the Technomancy tradition is, the Technomancer is a little underwhelming. It doesnít do anything particularly well and lacks the synergy of some other Master Paths, but it has flavorful abilities that fit with the theme and scope of Technomancy.

Level 7 Technomancer
You get your Attribute increase, as well as a little bit of Health and a point of Power. You choose between another language or a profession and you either discover the Technomancy tradition or learn one Technomancy spell. When you cast a Technomancy spell, your Inventionability lets you generate a small technomagical device in one hand that lasts until you expend it or until you complete a rest. When making an attack or challenge roll you can expend the device to make the roll with 1 boon.

Level 10 Technomancer
You get more Health, another spell, and you learn the rank-1 spell animate object, which does just what you think it does. Overall, not a great mix of abilities, but if you really want to play a techno-mage, this is the way to go.



Templar
This reminds me of the Sentinel, as it is another Path focused around creating a zone to kick rear end in. I think that it needs a little more to finish it out, as the abilities are nice and flavorful, but it just needs a little more bang to really get peopleís attention.

Level 7 Templar
Standard Attribute bump, +1 to Perception and a nice chunk of Health supplemented by either a language or a religious profession and you get Temple of Faith, which teaches you the temple of faith spell. When you lay down the temple of faith, it affects a radius 5 yards around you and lasting for 1 minute. While the zone persists, any creature that moves into it allows you to spend a triggered action to move towards it and attack it. If you succeed, they are also immobilized for 1 round.

Level 10 Templar
More Health and your Temple of Faith now grants you 1d6 extra damage to targets inside it. I think in the end the Templar is a little half-baked. You could have plenty of fun with it, but the main talent needs a little love. A boon to the attack, or giving your Defense a boost inside the zone, anything would really add a lot to it.


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Tenebrist
The ultimate expression of the Shadow tradition, the Tenebrist is a good choice for casters who want to sneak more easily and for sneaky characters who want to increase their sneaking powers. Also, you can turn into a shadow monster!

Level 7 Tenebrist
Attribute bump, more Health and a point of Power. You can speak another language or add a profession, and you either discover the Shadow tradition or learn 1 Shadow spell. You get Cloak of Shadows, which means that while you are in a lit area, you are treated as if you were actually in an area of shadows (this is incorrect in the book, but Iím using the errata here).

Level 10 Tenebrist
You get a little Health and another spell, and Shadow Form gives you the shadow form spell. This is a rank-1 Shadow spell that lasts for 1 minute and gives you the following benefits:

  • Creatures attacking your Defense or Agility do so with 1 bane, and if they miss you can spend a triggered action to move up to your speed without triggering free attacks
  • You are invisible when you are in areas obscured by shadows or darkness
  • You can move through other creatures




Thaumaturge
Do you like chaos? Well this is the Path for the Chaos tradition, and it allows you to be pretty drat chaotic, both to your benefit and detriment.

Level 7 Thaumaturge
Attribute bump and a little Health and 1 point of Power. You either learn another language or a profession and you either discover the Chaos tradition or learn 1 Chaos spell. You gain the talent Seize Chaos, meaning that when you make an attack or challenge roll and dislike the result, you can spend a triggered action to roll 2d20. You must replace the original roll with one of the numbers and take Damage equal to the other number.

Level 10 Thaumaturge
You get a little more Health and another Spell. Have you ever wanted to cast a spell but youíre out of castings of it? Well Fluid Magic makes that a thing of the past, as now you can expend a casting of another spell of equal or higher rank to cast a spell that you have no more castings of.


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Theurge
If what you want to do is be a cleric, then this Path is right up your alley. It has all the things you want as a cleric: healing, holy magic and the ability to scare the poo poo out of the infidels and nonbelievers who stand against you.

Level 7 Theurge
You get your Attribute increase plus some Health and +1 Power. You speak another language or learn a religious profession and you either discover the Theurgy tradition or learn 1 Theurgy spell. Pious Restoration lets you use an action to expend the casting of a rank 1 or higher Theurgy spell to heal damage equal to 1d6 per rank of the expended spell.

Level 10 Theurge
More Health and another spell and Invocation, which lets you use a triggered action after casting a Theurgy spell to pulse out energy around you in a radius of yards equal to 1 + the spellís rank. Each creature in that area that you choose has to make a Will challenge roll, and if they fail they become frightened until the end of the round. If they were already frightened, they are stunned until the end of the round instead.


Transmuter
Transmuters are the ultimate users of the Alteration tradition. To them all things can be altered and ultimately everything is fluid, capable of changing for the better or worse at any moment. This is a very simple Path that has a tight focus, but it might not be on what you think.

Level 7 Transmuter
You got your standard Attribute bump, some Health and +1 to Power, as well as either another language or profession and you either discover the Alteration tradition or learn an Alteration spell. Optimization lets you, after completing a rest, reduce one of your Attributes by 2 to raise another by 2. This lasts until you complete a rest.

Level 10 Transmuter
You increase all your Attributes by 1. Yep, thatís exactly as awesome as it sounds. Transmuters just get an across-the-board Attribute increase to make themselves even better. In return, the only other things you get at this level are some Health and another spell.

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Traveler
If you were wondering if the Teleportation tradition would get its moment in the sun, well wonder no longer. This is a Path that is obviously all about mobility and blinking around the place, staying ahead of your foes.

Level 7 Traveler
You get the Attribute bump, as well as some Health and +1 Power, as well as +2 Speed. You either discover the Teleportation tradition or learn 1 Teleportation spell. You get Hasty Escape, which allows you to spend a triggered action when attacked by a creature to expend a rank-1 or higher Teleportation spell to teleport to an open space a number of yards away equal to 1d6 per rank of the spell expended. If the creature that was attacking you could no longer do so from your new position, their attack is wasted.

Level 10 Traveler
More Health and another spell. Far Traveler increases the range on all of your Teleportation spells by 1 increment and Spatial Disturbance means that when you cast a Teleportation spell, all creatures treat you as if you were partially obscured for 1 minute.


Weapon Master
Sort of a cross between the zen master and the crusty old soldier, the Weapon Master is about picking a weapon and being the absolute best with it. But because Shadow of the Demon Lord is such a cool game, youíre not locked in to just one weapon. And in fact, you get a lot more flexibility than you might imagine.

Level 7 Weapon Master
Standard Attribute increase, and a good bit of Health, as well as another language or profession. Favored Weapon is your core ability, and it comes up after completing a rest. When you do so, you choose a weapon, and that weapon becomes your favored weapon until you use this talent again. When wielding your favored weapon, you get +1 Defense and you make all attack rolls with 1 boon.

Level 10 Weapon Master
Another nice chunk of Health and Weapon Specialization, which adds 1d6 damage to your attacks with your favored weapon.

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Woodwose
Our last Tradition-focused Path, this is all about the Nature tradition, and it has a hefty amount of abilities and care put into its design that makes it one of the more meaty and satisfying Paths to mess around with.

Level 7 Woodwose
Attribute increase, a little Health and +1 Power. You get either another language or a wilderness profession, and you either discover the Nature tradition or learn 1 Nature spell. In a first for a Path, the Power of Nature spell has specific interactions with two Nature spells: oak hide now makes you take half damage from fire, and now when you attack with a weapon imbued by the magic acorns spell, your attack deals 1d6 extra damage. When you are in an area obscured by foliage, you can expend the casting of a Nature spell and use Forest Hide, which renders you invisible for a number of rounds equal to 1+ the rank of the expended spell.

Level 10 Woodwose
More Health and you can discover a tradition or learn one spell. Nature Bond lets you transform into a tree or bush or other plant that suits the environment you are in. In this form you can still perceive the world as normal, and if you complete a rest in this form you heal all Damage. Natureís Resilience is a strong talent that gives you a bonus to Health equal to your Power for 1 minute after you cast a Nature spell. This talent is cumulative.


Zealot
This is the Path to take if you want to be the most extreme sort of crusader or soldier of the faithful. Zealots are people willing to drive themselves mad for their devotion to the gods, and quite happily do so in order to destroy their enemies.

Level 7 Zealot
Attribute increase and a big boost to Health. You get another language or a religious profession. Zeal is your core talent, and it allows you to, when you fail an attack or challenge roll, to gain 1d3 insanity and reroll. You have to use the second result, and when you use this talent, you canít be charmed, compelled, or frightened until the end of the round. Violent Madness removes uncertainty from your Insanity, meaning that when you go mad, you always get the violence result.

Level 10 Zealot
Another big chunk of Health and Divine Might, a talent that lets you make a second roll with 1 boon after using Zeal. If you use this for an attack, it deals 1d6 extra damage.

And thatís it for the Paths! As you can probably see by now, not all of them are balanced or have the same amount of attention devoted to them, probably because there are a shitload of them. Iím not a fan of all of them, and I think there are definite improvements that could be made, but overall the variety and choice present in the game means that youíre always gonna end up with an interesting character who is very different from anyone else in the party.

Serf fucked around with this message at 19:04 on Jun 26, 2017

Serf
May 5, 2011




imagine stanning this hard for hard for Zak S lol

Serf
May 5, 2011




Terratina posted:

Metaplot, ew. When has metaplot been good for a gameline? Aside from tempting people to buy more books to find out when happens next?

That aside, I do have to ask: anyone around here heard of Fireborn? Yet another RPG about suddenly realising you're a glorious supernatural being, only this time you are reincarnated dragons. Uses a weird system called Dynamic D6, and mostly curious if anyone has actually had any experience with it. Otherwise, I offer to write it up after a bit of real life gubbins is sorted.

There's a really good episode of System Mastery about it.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Dark Continent? Ebonians?

Serf
May 5, 2011




I've been reading through the Abandon All Hope write-up (great job, btw) and at the same time I've been going through my Shadow of the Demon Lord stuff and I came across this in a supplement about the Void (which is basically spacehell)

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The Ark

A vessel eight miles long and covered in blinking lights, the Ark cuts through the gloom, propelled by the combined will of its crew. Strange, mechanical beings (as constructs of various sizes) crawl all over its surface, making repairs to cracks in its hull and fighting off anyone that tries to climb inside. The vessel entered the Void eons ago, and what remains of its crew are degenerate humans who live as prisoners of the ship, willing to fling themselves into the dark and receive the killing embrace of the being they believe is their god, but prevented from doing so by the shipís safeguards.

The ship has space enough for one thousand peopleódozens of decks divided into living quarters, hydroponic gardens, entertainment rooms, and more. Much of the shipís interior stands in ruins, thanks to the crazed survivors (as demon spawn ghouls; see chapter 1) and the numberless demons that have slipped inside. Blood paints the walls, rotting carcasses litter the floors, and various factions among the survivors fight against one another, slaughtering their enemies with abandon and dragging off the dead to be eaten.

The Ark does not exhibit gravity from the outside, and thus creatures arenít at risk of falling toward it when they draw too close. Inside the Ark, the environment has breathable atmosphere and gravity equivalent to that found on Urth.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Loxbourne posted:

Isn't Shadow of the Demon Lord set in not-Diablo European fantasyland? Which supplement is this and how did they work in space and spaceships?

There's lots of small nods to sci-fi stuff in the supplements. The core book does include a for-sure robot alien creature. But for this supplement (The Hunger in the Void), the titular Void is a hell dimension where the Demon Lord lives. It is mostly empty, but bits of old worlds destroyed by the Demon Lord drift around, and those worlds could contain literally anything. So you occasionally come across cool sci-fi stuff like this.

Serf
May 5, 2011




Shadow of the Demon Lord Part 14: Equipment


Equipment in Shadow of the Demon Lord is tracked in a system that I personally find a little too fiddly for my tastes. But before I start injecting my own biases into the game, letís jump right in.

The game has four tiers of currency, with an exchange rate that any WoW player will understand easily: 10 pieces of the lower tier of currency equal 1 piece of the next highest tier.

Bits
Copper pennies
Silver shillings
Golden crowns

So if you have 10 cp, you can exchange that for 1 ss. I like how this part of the system works. It feels like the lower tiers of currency will remain useful in higher level play because most people in the world deal in bits or coppers, and all that normally-useless lower value currency can still take you far depending on where you are in the world.

Similarly, the game has a four-tiered system to describe how hard it is to find certain things. The rarity is determined by how likely you are to find the item in a settlement of a certain size.

Common - these items can be found anywhere for sale.
Uncommon - specialized production chains are needed, so these are for sale in communities of 1,000 people or more.
Rare - this stuff requires exceptionally skilled labor and extensive facilities, and can be found in areas with a population of 5,000 or more.
Exotic - usually magical in nature or requires unusual materials. These advanced items are only found in cities with a population of 10,000 or more.

Carrying limits are where things start to get a little silly for more. As a rule, you can only carry a number of discrete items equal to your Strength score. If you think about the amount of random poo poo a typical adventuring party accumulates in the course of an expedition and beyond, this becomes weird real fast. You clothing counts as one item, every 10 loose coins or 5 loose gems count as 1 item, but any container you have like a backpack or satchel, counts as 1 item no matter how much you put in there. A 1-foot cube of space can apparently hold 500 coins and reduce them to 1 item. Each 1-foot cube of space can hold the equivalent of 500 coins, so a 4-foot cube can reduce 5000 coins to 1 item. Except that when loaded up in this manner, containers become heavy and count as 3 items.

This is a little too fiddly and weird for me, but I can see what the game is trying to do. Though coins are the only example item it gives on fitting into that 1-foot cube of space. It could do with a few more examples of how much can fit into what area and whether they will count as 1 item or more.

Next up are living expenses. When you finish an adventure, you get to pick what level of lifestyle you want to live for the next adventure. You pay the listed amount of money and you get a small detriment/benefit for your choice. This abstracts all the bookkeeping of buy incidental stuff and lets you just skip right to what is most important to your character.

Destitute - no upkeep, and when you start an adventure you have a chance of losing some small valuables. If you canít lose anymore, you become diseased.
Poor - 2cp upkeep, same as Destitute except the roll you have to make to avoid losing something is a little easier.
Getting By - 1ss and no detriment or benefit.
Comfortable - 2ss and at the start of the adventure you have a chance to save some of your investment.
Wealthy - 1 gc upkeep and you have a chance to save even more.
Rich - 2gc+ and you have a good chance to save a lot of money.

Armor and Clothing

Armor is pretty simple in SotDL, but it works a little differently than you might expect. You of course have penalties to certain things like swimming and climbing and youíre slower while wearing heavier armor. Armor also has required Strength scores to use it, and if you donít meet that, you take a penalty to Speed and make all Strength and Agility challenge and attack rolls with 1 bane. When wearing armor, the Defense of the armor is not a bonus to you existing Defense unless it says exactly that. Instead, and this is true for all armor heavier than light armor, you replace your Defense with that of the armor.

I like how this works because it makes sense that you donít get the benefit of your speediness while wearing armor. The armor acts like armor is supposed to: it absorbs blows that would otherwise hit you. Letís get into the armor and what it gives you
  • Clothing - no bonus to Defense, costs little and is available everywhere.
  • Soft Leather - +1 to Defense and it costs 2ss, also available anywhere.
Light Armor (Strength 11)
  • Hard Leather - +2 to Defense, costs 5ss and common availability.
  • Brigandine - 13 Defense, 5ss cost and again common.
Medium Armor (Strength 13)
  • Mail - 15 Defense, 1 gc cost and uncommon availability.
  • Scale - 16 Defense, costs 2gc and is uncommonly available.
Heavy Armor (Strength 15)
  • Plate and Mail - 17 Defense, costs 5gc and is rare.
  • Full Plate - 18 Defense, 25gc cost and is exotic.
That jump in cost between Plate and Mail and Plate is realistic, if I remember my medieval history, and definitely worth the cost. 18 Defense is nothing to sneeze at, and makes you immune to a lot of extra effects provided the enemy doesnít roll more than a 23. Also the requirements mean that these armors are off-limits to anyone who doesnít build for them, but as far as your tanking need go, this stuff will do what you want.

Weapons

If you were expecting a chart of weapons like good old D&D, well youíre going to get exactly that. SotDL doesnít exactly do anything new with weapons. Youíve got the types youíre accustomed to: melee, ranged, simple, military, heavy etc. Some of them have Strength requirements and give you 1 bane if you donít meet it. Some weapons are two-handed, others are one, and a few are ďoffĒ, which means you can wield them in your off-hand.

Some weapons have special properties. Big weapons are generally Cumbersome, giving you a bane to all attacks with them, some are Finesse, which means you can attack with either Strength or Agility when using them, others, like the guns and crossbows, need to be reloaded after every shot. Guns in SotDL also have the Misfire property, meaning that when you attack with it, if you get a 0 or less, the gun has a chance of being just jammed or it can explode in your hand. Defensive is a property applied to shields, giving you a bonus to Defense.

All weapons in SotDL deal either 1 damage, 1d3 or a number of d6s and possibly a little extra. The most common amount of damage is 1d6. Your standard spear does 1d6, and a sword/axe does 1d6 + 1. Guns are particularly powerful, with pistols dealing 2d6 and rifles doing 3d6. The damage for weapons tops out an an innate 3d6 for the rifle and the great weapons, which require a Strength of 13 to use. More damage comes from specific talents. Iíve seen damage as high as an 8d6 with a great weapon and it can get up to 10d6. Fighters in SotDL are the damage kings, as spells generally donít do that much damage, and a ton of monsters take half damage from spells. A few take half damage from weapons, but generally speaking the guy with the weapon is going to be doing the most damage.

You can either track ammo manually or use the abstract system: if you roll a 0 or lower on your ranged attack, you are out of ammo and canít use the weapon until you recover more.

Adventuring Gear

This is your standard list of stuff an adventurer might need. Your universal adventurerís kit has the classics: backpack, bedroll, cutlery (actually, huh?), tinderbox, torches, 20 yards of robe, a grapnel, a week of rations and a waterskin. Most of that is pretty familiar. Youíve then got your sources of illumination, from matches up to spotlight lanterns.

After that is a wide variety of stuff. Things like a crowbar, which gives 1 boon on Strength challenge rolls to open closed things or an implement of magic for casting your spells for most Traditions. There are knuckledusters, listed here and not under weapons because they act as an enhancement for your unarmed strikes, adding a whopping 1 damage to them! Enjoy punching goatmen to death 2 damage at a time. Nets are listed here, and they do what you think they would do, while there are also torturerís tools.

The torturerís tools are a problem for me. They allow you to spend time torturing a creature (though the game never says this directly. This description is all mechanics), you can deal damage to the creature after attacking their Will with yours. So essentially tortture is a contest of personalities that can hurt the tortured target. At the end of this, if you succeed, you can ask the target a question that they must answer truthfully, or make up something if they donít know. As a person who is anti-torture and knows the evidence backs me up on that view, this tacit endorsement of torture as an effective tactic is really off-putting. But in the end, it serves to underline the kind of world SotDL takes place in: one where evil methods get results.

The chapter ends with the prices for common foods, drinks, services and the cost of various retainers, OD&D style. There are potions, among which are your standards like healing potions, resistance potions and antitoxins. But a few stand out to me.
  • The fleeting youth potion lets you heal damage and appear to be in the prime of your life for a few days.
  • The growth potion is a Hulk serum that increases your Size to 2 and gives you all the attendant bonuses to Health and damage.
  • The seeing potion lets you see stuff in the dark.
Finally we have Incantations, which are scrolls by another name. They let you make copies of your spells if youíre a spellcaster, or cast spells through them if youíre not. When casting a spell through a scroll that requires more Power than you have, you make the roll with 1 bane for each rank of Power over yours.

And thatís it for the equipment chapter! It oscillates between good stuff like the abstract ammo tracking system to weird, fiddly crap like the carrying limits rules. Equipment in SotDL is meant to be simple and easy to get your head around and for the most part I think it accomplishes that. If youíre an old D&D player most of this is second nature, aside from how armor works. And for folks not inured to d20 stuff, it is easy enough to understand. The simplification of weapon damage in particular is nice, as it makes the math easier to get and cuts down on the number of dice you need (even if I do like all my pretty d8s and d10s).

Thatís it for this Shadow of the Demon Lord update. Next time weíll get started on covering the magic traditions!

Serf
May 5, 2011




Kurieg posted:

I still remember the 5e preview stream where Mearls personally DMed a game for the PA/PVP crew, and Kurtz's hopes being dashed against the rocks once he discovered he could no longer be a 4e style cleric and spending the rest of the game despondently doodling on a notepad.

Lemme tell you, that really didn't instill a lot of hope in the game for me from the beginning.

Serf
May 5, 2011





This is what I always thought a paladin should be. Too bad its wasted on 5e.

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Serf
May 5, 2011




wiegieman posted:

What is with these people, though? Are they all just houseruling everything, or playing all caster parties, or do they really like only half the party being important?

D&D brain damage.

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