Belated Happy

A belated Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad/Freuliche Weinachtsfest/Your Preferred Holiday Greeting Here.

Except Porcelain Gnome Day. I simply won’t abide that holiday or any of its celebrants.

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18 Responses to “Belated Happy”

  1. devolve_absolve Says:

    The gnomes! The gnomes are coming! Flee, ye who be unbelievers! Flee before their garden wrath!

  2. uhlrik Says:

    I defy the coming of the gnomes with great courage and peace of soul, for they that be with me be mightier than they that be against me. My sledgehammer and my wood-chipper, they comfort me.

  3. creativedv8tion Says:

    I dunno about just, but Trips seems to share your appreciation for smashing gnomes….

  4. uhlrik Says:

    I know nothing else about him, but by this alone I know that he is a goodly man.

  5. creativedv8tion Says:

    He likes to smite the deserving with his sledgehammer. His enemies run in fear from the might of his hammer, yea and verily.

    Yanno, Trips might be a good casting for Thor. o.O

  6. creativedv8tion Says:

    And he’s really smart, b/c he married the boss’ daughter. Job security, yo.

  7. uhlrik Says:

    Indeed, here is wisdom.

  8. bosantibe Says:

    I’m going to just put down some ideas here. They concern D&D and not porcelain gnomes.

    First, I’d like to say that I’m sorry, but I’ve completely forgotten my warmage-esque structured sorcerors. However, I had determined that they should be something along the lines of a school taught by a small cabal of powerful (by way of court reputation) wizards and perhaps warmages, having a steadily decreasing spell list as they reach higher levels. Yes, this makes them underpowered and makes other spellcasters overshadow them, but to hell with play balance in this case; at least they aren’t persecuted openly. Each should be particularly useful for certain matters of court such as cleaning/maintenance, fortifications (i.e. blocking spells, open/close/lock spells, expedious retreat, countermagic and such), building/smithing, with warmages being considered an elite of their order. Since they’d get none of the benefits of armor or a warmage edge, I’d give them a set list of metamagic feats given at level intervals, perhaps also an allowance of a bonus to spells of their craft (int-mod bonus to spell-based craft checks or somesuch). Even if you do both, they still won’t be the peer of warmages. Also, a level cap would be in order if you so chose. I think Charisma, as per the warmage, would be the appropriate casting ability, considering that they are court officials and essentially part of a state-sponsored magic cult of the upper eschelon moreso than, say, wise or brilliant seekers of mystery.

    I’ll get back to you with suggested spell-lists, maybe even before I finish writing this.

    The monk, well, that’s been fun and tricky. First, a disclaimer. Switching their weapon’s list out completely depowers their combat capability as all of the blatantly Asiatic-themed weapons have special maneuvers applicable to them, such as disarming (most notably the sai, which with a bit of research might be replaced more effectively in name, perhaps by the Spanish duelling dagger or something) and tripping bonuses. Rather than augmenting existing weapons, I recommend you give them the school bonuses without incurring any additional penalties.

    That said, I’d remove the kama, nunchaku, sai, shuriken and siangham and replace them with the bola, punch dagger, dart (treated as ammunition for the purposes of drawing), the sap (which they could have the option of applying lethal damage to and possibly the ranseur or some other form of halberd.

    As to the aforementioned schools, I envision two major and one minor. The majors are the scholars and the archers, who deviate mostly in their available bonus feats and starting features.

    The archers should have automatic proficiency with regular and composite shortbows. At first level, they would have the additional options in bonus feats of Zen Archery (let’s call it Stoic Archery) and Longbow Proficiency (you may want to include with it composite longbow proficiency, but really they should be the only ones in the land with any access to composite longbows, if anyone does). At second level they have the option of Far Shot or Defensive Archery (after all, they’re freaking monks, they should have some increased proficiency beyond the ken of rangers and some protection against melee combatants). At sixth level, well, I’m not sure… there are so many options. So many! I’ve narrowed it down to Shot on the Run, Snatch Arrows (with the added bonus of being able to return fire with caught arrows as an immediate action or bolts with a move action), Ranged Pin and Ranged Disarm. The former are the ones that strike me as the most applicable and interesting with the other powers, but the latter seem the most monk/zen-like.

    I picture the monk archers as being the loyal elite of the kingdom’s archers, the peer of any ranger, though their styles be different; disciplined and wise, they are the gem of any bowman unit they serve.

  9. bosantibe Says:

    The scholars are another ball of wax. I picture them as being skilled founts of knowledge, gifted researchers and defenders of codified wisdom and lightning-fast, indefatigable messengers. Starting scholarly monks would receive the option of selecting two knowledges which would forevermore be considered in-class or a +2 bonus to all rolls pertaining to any two knowledge skills, or a combination of these features. Additionally, at every third level (or fourth, si vous pr&#233ferez) they receive an additional knowledge or +2 bonus to a knowledge (these bonuses can be applied once per knowledge, so you could have a third level scholar with crazy-good +2 bonuses to know-religion and know-history or that same scholar could simply have in-class proficiency with three knowledges beyond religion, but either way the bonuses should be compatible and stackable with feats, keep reading). At first level the scholars receive their option of the feats Diligent and Investigation (which grant +2 bonuses to researchy checks, natch). At second level they receive the options of Run (considering their increasingly insane base land speed, this makes them perfect sprinter-messengers) and Endurance (Dayum! That would put them on peer with third-level rangers! Also, it would give them good long-distance travel capability in harsh elements whilst carrying important messages). At sixth level (the options are getting kind of thin) I’d say Research and Sprinter would make good choices.

    Notice if you will that for both variations on the class I’ve set them up as direct opposition to the ranger class for usefulness, which can be further accentuated by their grand reputation for loyalty and reliability in and out of urban areas. Both should have ready access to the Monastic training feat, which allows for multi-classers and is particularly suitable to a realm where the monks are kept on hand and funded not necessarily for appearances so much as for their usefulness in practice and in politics. It’s especially good for the secretly maintained third class that I have very little information for: the spy/assassin monks.

    Ninja? Faugh! Yet another spell-caster class that one could easily do without. However, considering that the monks are so close to the upper crust of the kingdom, including the revered vizier, it makes perfect sense to have monks filling the role with their various propensities. I don’t know the best way to do it, but I’d give them Disguise, Hide and Move Silently as in-class skills, along with a couple of the deadlier weapons that come from the original monk weapon proficiency list (definitely the sai). Possible feats could include Able Sniper, Concealed Ambush, Crowd Tactics, Stealthy, Spring Attack, Improved or Greater Combat Reflexes, Karmic Strike and any number of crazy ambush feats. I’d also consider giving them access to some rarer poisons that any intelligent royal investigator–upon discovering–would take as a sign to back off and shelve any inquiries posthaste. Obviously, they should be a well-maintained secret and not necessarily known to their brethren on any level. Rogue (and possibly ranger) cross-classing is the way to go. You could take the idea of the warmage-based subclasses and create a ninja group that uses their spells, though I’d add that not only are they all answering to the vizier but maybe only monks can cross-class in that group and their numbers would be kept artificially limited.

    Spell lists maybe later, then.

  10. bosantibe Says:

    The scholars are another ball of wax. I picture them as being skilled founts of knowledge, gifted researchers and defenders of codified wisdom and lightning-fast, indefatigable messengers. Starting scholarly monks would receive the option of selecting two knowledges which would forevermore be considered in-class or a +2 bonus to all rolls pertaining to any two knowledge skills, or a combination of these features. Additionally, at every third level (or fourth, si vous pr&#233ferez) they receive an additional knowledge or +2 bonus to a knowledge (these bonuses can be applied once per knowledge, so you could have a third level scholar with crazy-good +2 bonuses to know-religion and know-history or that same scholar could simply have in-class proficiency with three knowledges beyond religion, but either way the bonuses should be compatible and stackable with feats, keep reading). At first level the scholars receive their option of the feats Diligent and Investigation (which grant +2 bonuses to researchy checks, natch). At second level they receive the options of Run (considering their increasingly insane base land speed, this makes them perfect sprinter-messengers) and Endurance (Dayum! That would put them on peer with third-level rangers! Also, it would give them good long-distance travel capability in harsh elements whilst carrying important messages). At sixth level (the options are getting kind of thin) I’d say Research and Sprinter would make good choices.

    Notice if you will that for both variations on the class I’ve set them up as direct opposition to the ranger class for usefulness, which can be further accentuated by their grand reputation for loyalty and reliability in and out of urban areas. Both should have ready access to the Monastic training feat, which allows for multi-classers and is particularly suitable to a realm where the monks are kept on hand and funded not necessarily for appearances so much as for their usefulness in practice and in politics. It’s especially good for the secretly maintained third class that I have very little information for: the spy/assassin monks.

    Ninja? Faugh! Yet another spell-caster class that one could easily do without. However, considering that the monks are so close to the upper crust of the kingdom, including the revered vizier, it makes perfect sense to have monks filling the role with their various propensities. I don’t know the best way to do it, but I’d give them Disguise, Hide and Move Silently as in-class skills, along with a couple of the deadlier weapons that come from the original monk weapon proficiency list (definitely the sai). Possible feats could include Able Sniper, Concealed Ambush, Crowd Tactics, Stealthy, Spring Attack, Improved or Greater Combat Reflexes, Karmic Strike and any number of crazy ambush feats. I’d also consider giving them access to some rarer poisons that any intelligent royal investigator–upon discovering–would take as a sign to back off and shelve any inquiries posthaste. Obviously, they should be a well-maintained secret and not necessarily known to their brethren on any level. Rogue (and possibly ranger) cross-classing is the way to go. You could take the idea of the warmage-based subclasses and create a ninja group that uses their spells, though I’d add that not only are they all answering to the vizier but maybe only monks can cross-class in that group and their numbers would be kept artificially limited.

    Spell lists maybe later, then.

  11. uhlrik Says:

    Oooh… I am reading and rereading these goodies. Meditate on them and run some numbers in a bit, I shall.

    Where you went with the scholar-monks was particularly cool.

    I shall comment more in a bit.

  12. uhlrik Says:

    Oooh… I am reading and rereading these goodies. Meditate on them and run some numbers in a bit, I shall.

    Where you went with the scholar-monks was particularly cool.

    I shall comment more in a bit.

  13. bosantibe Says:

    Glad you like. I think de-Buddhifying them made everything else easier. Once I get the books back I’ll see what I can’t do with the spell lists. For some reason the Spanish style parrying dagger is called the main gauche (left hand, French for left hand, that is).

  14. bosantibe Says:

    Glad you like. I think de-Buddhifying them made everything else easier. Once I get the books back I’ll see what I can’t do with the spell lists. For some reason the Spanish style parrying dagger is called the main gauche (left hand, French for left hand, that is).

  15. uhlrik Says:

    They call it that because they are very silly people that can’t tell a spanish parrying dagger from an entirely different french parrying dagger… though the latter is very cool as well, even if it is french.

    As for killing the Buddha when you found him and letting monks continue on their merry way… it does make changing them around much easier.

  16. uhlrik Says:

    They call it that because they are very silly people that can’t tell a spanish parrying dagger from an entirely different french parrying dagger… though the latter is very cool as well, even if it is french.

    As for killing the Buddha when you found him and letting monks continue on their merry way… it does make changing them around much easier.

  17. bosantibe Says:

    Holy, dispassionate smiting has long been the purview of those who would be wise across worlds of fantasy. Changing the flavor from East to West could have been a lot harder. Still, I like the idea of being able to play a master bowman, a librarian, a spy, an assassin or a running messenger with very few tweaks to the established pattern. My biggest liberty, I think, was assuming that every group in your setting had a natural point of opposition, so I chose rangers and other scholars for the monks. Wouldn’t you know it I still haven’t gotten my hands on the books to make those accursed spell lists.

  18. bosantibe Says:

    Holy, dispassionate smiting has long been the purview of those who would be wise across worlds of fantasy. Changing the flavor from East to West could have been a lot harder. Still, I like the idea of being able to play a master bowman, a librarian, a spy, an assassin or a running messenger with very few tweaks to the established pattern. My biggest liberty, I think, was assuming that every group in your setting had a natural point of opposition, so I chose rangers and other scholars for the monks. Wouldn’t you know it I still haven’t gotten my hands on the books to make those accursed spell lists.

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