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Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

here's a good place for FRIENDLY, ENJOYABLE, and otherwise very GENERAL discussion!
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Kleetus
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Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

Something that I finally have an excuse to do; a general thread about tabletop role playing games because those are the rage these days. We'll throw wargames in here for now because it's a related topic; if lots of people have Warhammer 40k minis they'd like to show off we can split wargames into a sperate thread later down the line.

People usually show of their maps and characters in the Discord so I thought it would be appropriate to have a place for that in the forum.

Post related things here, if that be homebrew you're working on, character art, semi coherent rambling about stat blocks and lore, questions about various systems, or just some entertaining stories from your last session. Basically anything I can steal for my next campaign.

I promise I won't get mad if all you talk about is DnD 5e, I like it too.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by horsecicle »

I don't know what exactly the best way to start in this thread is, so I'm going to start with my history with tabletop games, and encourage others to do the same
I started with D&D 3.5 back about 12 years ago. It was fun, but it got cut short because I was in the military and got stationed overseas. A few years after I got back and out of the military, I wound up in another D&D campaign that didn't go anywhere, and right after that I was talked into joining a Dark Heresy campaign, which would eventually play a role in starting 40k some years after that. After that and another D&D campaign, an old friend from my high school days got me to join in a campaign he was starting, that we eventually called Super Sword Bros, using a game called Dungeon World. It was a lot of fun, and lead to the friend slowly adding elements from and eventually getting us to play a campaign of a game called Blades in the Dark. Most of what I did from that point on involved Blades, and honestly that's what I think in terms of in RPG stuff any more.
While I was getting involved in the Blades shenanigans, I was also getting pulled into Warhammer 40000. I have a number of armies, all of them chaos. Lately I have been getting more into my Thousand Sons, since them having a new codex has been very good to them. These days 40k makes up pretty much all of my tabletop life, though I'll always be open to do another RPG if the circumstances are right.
I hope I'm not hijacking this thread when I say that it might be fun for people to give their own background and what they're currently into.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

I started in university residence, I saw a poster on the wall stating that someone was starting a Dungeons and Dragons (5e) campaign. I decided it would be a good excuse to socialize, so I sent an e-mail saying I was interested and that's how I met my first group. The campaign we played was Curse of Strahd, and yes, my first character was a human fighter. We played in a study room that was never really in use and we were the coolest people in rez, people were always stopping by to see what we were doing.

I met up with other people and groups through the connections I made with the initial one. I haven't been gaming too much recently because people's schedules just haven't been lining up.

I'm still in contact with the original group; on the off chance we're able to get together, we play the Descent into Avernus module, because the DM was really excited about the vehicle combat rules in it. Sometimes we experiment with other systems; our Monster of the Week game went over really well.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by horsecicle »

My first D&D character was a dwarf fighter who was an idiot. I role played him as an idiot, too.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

I should have mentioned this before, but in Monster of the Week I played a "class" called The Mundane. Some of the abilities you can choose for the class give you experience for acting in foolish but genre appropriate ways.
"Huh, I'm going to go investigate that mysterious sound all by myself. I sure hope no monsters come out a grab me."
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

One of my favorite recent additions to DnD is the Wildmount setting dragonborn variant, the draconblood.
They're pretty much written in such a way as to make in hard not to play one as a stuck up intellectual type with reactionary opinions; they're horrible and I love them.
They crash landed on Exandria, befriended the native dragonborn, the ravenites, and got them to help build a flying city. Then they enslaved the ravenites and made them go work in the mines while they lounge around in their flying city.
Ultimately the city was destroyed during a dragon attack and the ravenites struck at the draconbloods forcing them to flee. But the ravenites believe that the draconbloods have infiltrated institutions in other lands and are enacting a secret anti-ravenite agenda.
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Draconbloods are one of the few races that get both their bonuses in mental stats (+1 CHA +2 INT). They have a racial ability that let's them get a bonus on either persuasion or intimidation checks. So you can play a face character that instead of being charming, bullies and harasses people into doing what they want. I like to flavour it as my character overwhelming someone with a mini version of the fear aura true dragons have.

In the campaign I'm playing, I've fleshed out their culture by translating some of the forgotten realms dragonborn stuff from "hammy soldier guy" to "snobby intellectual guy". At first I mistook the jewelry on the official draconblood artwork as tattoos, so one of my changes is that draconbloods are covered in elaborate full body tattoos that identify what house/clan they belong to.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by horsecicle »

That does sound pretty cool, both about the draconblood and especially about a class having abilities that allow them experience for being dumb but genre appropriate. I would definitely enjoy playing something like that, and I would actually reccomend Blades in the Dark. It gives players experience if they make desperate action rolls, encouraging players to take more risks, and gives experience for characters expressing their beliefs and drive and if complications from their vices affect the game, thus incentivizing players to take more risks and do more with the roleplay aspect of the game.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Doc Sophie »

Regarding my own history with tabletop, I mostly play (and only run, so far) 5e, but I've also dabbled a bit with Shadowrun and Monster of the Week.

I really want to get into Call of Cthulhu sometime after my schedule opens up! Currently running 3 games, though, so...

Also agreed completely with Exandria being a pretty neat setting; it and Ravnica getting a book gave me some serious inspiration for my own homebrew setting!
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

I think a lot of the appeal of Exandria is that it's a pretty standard DnD setting without any big gimmicks, but also contained in scope so that you don't have to go through 4 decades worth of gamebooks with 80 authors who can't agree on anything to figure out the tenets 500 cults and geopolitics of 60 nations.

It also has the benefit of being made for 5e. For instance, tieflings and dragonborn didn't become a core part of the game until 4e, so most older settings don't really have a place for them, despite them being a default option. This isn't the case with Exandria, where the new races on the block are an established part of the world.

One thing I personally like about Exandria is the way deities work in it. The evil gods put aside their differences, assumed material form, established an earthly kingdom, and created hell on earth. The good and neutral gods beat them up, and put Exandria under metaphysical lockdown so gods can no longer walk upon it, but they can still do godly stuff through their worshipers. It puts a restriction of the way gods work in the world that has a reason to exist and doesn't feel arbitrary. I will contrast this with Forgotten Realms, where the overgod Ao puts out a bunch of rules for all the other deities to follow that only make sense to him. Everyone complains, and then Tiamat finds a work around and gets off scot free because the letter of the law is more important than the spirit.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Doc Sophie »

I think that first point is my biggest pro about Exandria. Like, honestly, a lot of stuff in the Forgotten Realms is neat, but I also don't want to go trawling through 40+ years of lore for said neat stuff. And I can 1000% appreciate the fact that the newer races like tieflings or dragonborn are just straight up baked into the setting instead of having to be shuffled in after the fact.

I actually haven't done a ton of reading on the pantheon of Exandria, though! That is a super neat take on the concept of gods and helps answer a lot of the 'well if the world is going to end, why don't the gods intervene' kind of questions and - like you said - keeps it from being this nonsensical mess where dragon satan is coming back every few hundred years to muck things up (which could probably also tie back to 'well why don't the gods fix it').

I'll have to go on a lore dive through some Exandria stuff next time I get into the mood for a deep tabletop binge!
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by horsecicle »

I don't know Exandria myself because I haven't really played 5e yet. I would like to at some point though, and that history behind the gods sounds interesting. Pretty much all of my D&D deity knowledge is from 3.5e though, and most of that from a campaign where I was playing a dwarf paladin who worshipped Heironeus.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

It looks like Dungeons and Dragons is getting rid or racial ability increases scores. Personally, I like ASIs, I think they add a bit of extra flavour to the races. I will admit that I'm biased, pretty much all of the games I'm in role for stats so ASIs don't really make or break a character.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by EllenHouraisan »

Oh, I like TTRPGs a lot! My experience is mostly relegated to homebrew campaigns with looser rules, since that's what the group I used to play with prefered. I do feel that learning a system tends to be rather cumbersome, and rule books don't do a great job at easing you in most of the time. It's why I've been working on my own system for a while, currently named Dreamscape, in which I try to make something simpler but still more akin to a proper system rather than an experimental indie thing. Been using it for a campaign I'm DMing to two of my friends and it's been pretty fun, though we don't get to play often. I kinda miss being a player since I have a lot of fun character ideas, but I split up from my old group, so I currently don't have anyone who can DM for me. :(

As far as official stuff goes, I've played DnD once, but the guy DMing wasn't doing a great job so we dropped that campaign. I have tried to learn Vampire since I love its focus on more creative solutions and roleplay instead of straight-up combat, and that went okay, but it is hard to internalize some of the rules (plus I feel it has way too many stats). I think I'd get a better hang of it if I saw someone who actually knows what they are doing DM it. Never really tried anything else other than that. I'd like to maybe take a look at Shadowrun, since the video games were pretty fun, though I heard it's kind of complex.

For characters, my first one was a cowardly human ranger with pretty good stats, but who mostly ran away from battles as soon as things got dire. Was a fun one, until he died of scurvy in the middle of the sea with nowhere to run. My favorite character has got to be from a superhero-themed campaign, where I played an evil ice wizard who was just the biggest jerk and everyone hated. More than once I had newcomers to the group worriedly ask me whether I was like that out-of-character too, which I took to mean I was doing a good job. : P
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Doc Sophie »

Oh I love those characters, especially the coward. Poor dude, finally ran into something he couldn't get away from.

Regarding other systems you may be interested in, have you heard of any of the Powered by the Apocalypse systems? Stuff like Dungeon World, Masks, and Monster of the Week? I've only dabbled a bit in that last one, but it was *super* fun and pretty rules-light.

And good luck on making your own system! I mainly play D&D 5e at this point, but I hardly even trust myself to homebrew up basic stuff, let alone a whole system.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by EllenHouraisan »

Thanks! There's a lot of throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks, but it's been coming together nicely over the years. Maybe one day it will be good enough to publish, who knows.

And I had never heard of those systems, will definitely look into it. Appreciate the recommendation!
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

EllenHouraisan wrote: 1 month ago As far as official stuff goes, I've played DnD once, but the guy DMing wasn't doing a great job so we dropped that campaign. I have tried to learn Vampire since I love its focus on more creative solutions and roleplay instead of straight-up combat, and that went okay, but it is hard to internalize some of the rules (plus I feel it has way too many stats). I think I'd get a better hang of it if I saw someone who actually knows what they are doing DM it. Never really tried anything else other than that. I'd like to maybe take a look at Shadowrun, since the video games were pretty fun, though I heard it's kind of complex.
My recommendation for a lighter system is Ironsworn. It only has 5 core stats and not too much to keep track of. The system can be played on a in such a way that a virtual tabletop can provide prompts, so it is possible to play without a DM. One of my DMs really likes the game, and plays it with another group he's in. He tried it with us, but the game didn't really click for our specific group.

I'm in a similar boat regarding Shadowrun, but my hesitancy is because I don't think I've heard anyone say anything nice about Catalyst Games Labs, their business practices, or how they treat the Shadowrun property.
I've skimmed through some of the FanPro era lore books and I'm impressed by the research they evidently did. For instance, at no point is the phrase 'Middle East' used, they use 'Mashreq and Middle East', which is a slightly more correct way of referring to the geopolitical zone commonly called the 'Middle East' by Western media. In another point there is a blurb on Sikh garb. It includes a quick mention of kara, metal bracelets, which media tends to ignore in favour of the more obvious turbans, or more legally troublesome ceremonial daggers. Keep in mind this was in the early and mid 2000s.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by EllenHouraisan »

Oh, that sounds pretty interesting. Will check it out for sure!

Hmm, I don't really know anything about the company, but that's a shame. Well, not that it's much of a problem for me, since I'm too poor to actually buy the books anyways. : P That is some neat info for them to add, though. I generally go pretty light on description when I narrate, but I can see how the extra details could be helpful.

Hmm, wondering if we could get a Talkhaus RPG group going. Probably would require someone with more organizational skills than me. nyoro~n
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Doc Sophie »

EllenHouraisan wrote: 1 month ago Hmm, wondering if we could get a Talkhaus RPG group going. Probably would require someone with more organizational skills than me. nyoro~n
God, if I wasn't already running too many D&D 5e games, I'd be down to run some games for y'all. I'll keep it in mind for when some of my other ones begin to wrap up, though!
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

EllenHouraisan wrote: 1 month ago Hmm, wondering if we could get a Talkhaus RPG group going. Probably would require someone with more organizational skills than me. nyoro~n
There was an attempt at something like this years ago. It fell through pretty quickly, but I think that was because there were too many people, and it was organized mostly through the forum, which makes back and forth communication a bit cumbersome (this was way before discordhaus). If you want to try something like this, I recommend gauging interest on the discord, and if there is interest, to limit the number of players so things don't get unmanageable.
As for myself, I have a bit too much that's up in the air with my life at the moment.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by EllenHouraisan »

I can imagine that being a mess. Big groups are not ideal for me, in general.

Well, I'm not in the Discord, so I'll just be here in case anyone wants to do something. n~yoron
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

So I was flipping through some articles about one of the upcoming DnD books and came across this; I couldn't have put it better myself.
EdGreenwood.PNG
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Sardior probably gets it from his sister/mother, Tiamat.
The article itself is just a run down on the previous editions' lore for the gem dragon god, Sardior, if anyone is interested.
https://www.belloflostsouls.net/2021/10 ... agons.html
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by horsecicle »

So with my Blades group, we did use discord to organize and then used roll20 to play. I would also be interested in playing a TTRPG at some point if something could be put together, but most of my experience is with the Blades in the Dark system, which has a bit of ab idiosyncratic and fiction first way of resolving things.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

A silly story from a recent session.
The rogue had determined that the party was being scryed on, and used the message cantrip to subtly alert the bard, who also knew message. The plan was to use the message cantrip to communicate our next step and prevent the scrying party from knowing that we know about the scrying. Suddenly the paladin thinks at all of us that her telepathy can make this easier.
Conversation switches above game when every other player expresses confusion at the paladin's telepathy.
"When did you become telepathic?"
"I've always been."
Our DM confirms. "She took the telepathic feat at character creation."
As it turns out, despite the campaign being on and off for several months, (mostly off the past two) various ability possessed by the party rendered the paladin's telepathy mostly redundant up until now, so there was this semi significant ability that she had that no one else knew about, even though it wasn't supposed to be a secret or anything.
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Re: Tabletop Role Play/Wargame General Discussion Thread

Post by Kleetus »

While rummaging through some roll20 stuff, I found a character sheet that I never got around to using. It's supposed to be for a high level 5e one-shot that's been delayed indefinitely. I thought it was clever so I decided to share.
A dragonborn barbarian, he is cursed/blessed with a closer connection to dragons, which results in arcane power flowing through him. His strange powers are a threat to both himself and people around him, so he lives in exile. His pained mind has focuses on one being, Tiamat, the goddess of the chromatic dragons, who he blames for his suffering. He has made it his grim duty to wreak havoc upon the followers of Tiamat slaughtering and torturing them to punish the goddess for her supposed trespasses.
I wanted to represent this using official materials, so I used the storm soul barbarian and reflavoured it. The sea variant has gets lightning powers, which were changed from being from the sea to coming from blue dragon ancestry.
The best part about a high level martial, is that during magic item selection, while the other players are weighing various spell casting items and how they work with their concept, you can just choose a +3 maul and call it a day.
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