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barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
2/2/23 6:45 p.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

Chariots or sidecars are a must if the vehicles are quasi-military and more than just basic transport. I'm thinking very mad max. Even if they weren't originally built or designed that way, what would the raiders do to refurb or customize for their purposes? 

As for the airship, some atmospheric version of Serenity or the Ghost, I think propeller driven. Maybe propeller lift too? Maybe not props at all since it's from the bugs. Crew quarters would make for a risk/reward. Maybe there's cool loot, maybe taking the time to explore causes more danger. Probably extremely foreign controls, I'd likely have any writing or labels done in bug script. Think magic runes but more alien. You mentioned an sentient AI controlling it, would that entity be hostile?

Outer shape. I like the grasshopper image. 
Pardon the crudeness of the model.

flight deck in the head, highlighted in blue. I'd have probably three different levels, also in blue. Chop all the legs at the knee (in red) the front sets act as landing gear, the rear knees act as propulsion modules. Central loading hatch in the belly also in blue. Stylize to taste and serve with a side of dangerous anxiety/ impending doom. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
2/2/23 8:14 p.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

I'm thinking like the ornithopters from Dune. The wings are lift and propulsion. Then it has a chemical reactor in the butt to act as an afterburner for extra thrust.

The AI is an old piece of Empire tech that wanted to escape the bug cult. It telepathically directed the escapees to use it to affect their escape and is trying to get back to the Old City. It had them basically jam it into the brainstem of the ship, and it then took control. It would view the PC's as servants to direct. One PC is a member of the slave race the Empire harnessed the magic of.

Whether or not PC's could figure out how to control the ship, it's too badly damaged to fly anytime soon. The Raiders will show up and haul it away.

I've realized my baddies are totally like the Zerg from Starcraft. With a bit of Thulsa Doom mixed in.

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
2/2/23 9:43 p.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

Wish I was close enough to join that game. Sounds like a lot of fun. And makes me realize just how much standard fantasy/sci-fi stuff I don't know much about. Time to study. 

unrelated. I'm going out in a bit with one player from my away team to see if we can spot the comet. Gotta talk to him about another player in that party. Not to air his dirty laundry, but he's not in a good place. I may need to rethink that group/campaign entirely. I don't want to cut the guy out, but he may have forced my hand. It sucks because he's one of my oldest friends, but I don't know if I can do anything to help. In fact I know I can't. Tonight friend is the hardest to schedule, but the sessions are always fun and the other two members are quite invested in both characters and story. It's a tough spot. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
2/3/23 7:19 a.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

Ornithopter is an aircraft that uses flapping wings for propulsion. They're usually modeled off of birds and are totally the sort of thing that Leonardo DaVinci would have sketched. In the latest Dune movie, they're designed to look a lot like dragonflies.

Would You Fly a 'Dune' Ornithopter?

Zerg are a faction from the game Starcraft. Sci-Fi invading bug species. Probably inspired by the bugs from Heinleins 'Starship Troopers' and the xenomorphs from Aliens.

Zerg Hydralisk From Starcraft Metal Miniature - EtsyThulsa Doom is... well he's totally different in the novels and comics, but I've not read those, so I'm just going with the James Earl Jones character from Conan the Barbarian who's a charismatic cult leader that can turn himself into a giant snake.

Thulsa Doom | Tragicocomedia

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
2/3/23 7:21 a.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

Good luck working things out with your friend.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
2/5/23 1:51 p.m.

Okay... lore building feedback on what will be cooler for introducing a conflict.

One PC is a mystical race. [Player and I talked paragraphs of lore.] When they are young, they do a ritual granting them a mystical True Name that directs them into a particular form and set of abilities.

In the first adventure, I've decided the people fleeing the Sinister Cult because the leader is trying to hijack this to control the shape they grow into to turn them into a form that fits his evil schemes. They're carrying their children to safety where he can't interrupt the ritual.

The ritual has to be performed on full blooded people of this race, otherwise they grow sick and die.

So how old should these children be when the ritual is performed? How old should the kids these people are escaping with be?

Infants? A few days to a year old?

Or preteens about to enter adolescence?

Or are there actually two ritual naming days?

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
2/5/23 2:19 p.m.

Oh cool. I don't hate the idea of two separate rituals. One for initiates and another for those coming of age so to speak. Most cultures I know of seem to have these sorts of things around the onset of puberty, and I'd probably have the second four years later. Maybe something along the lines of initiates get access to a spectrum of possible abilities/traits, and the final ritual locks in a specialty and gives access to higher abilities. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
2/5/23 2:30 p.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

The early ritual would be as infants.

The later would be at adolescence and they'd grow into the specific abilities.

Maybe infancy shapes their form, and adolescence shapes their abilities which they grow into throughout puberty.

This gets around something I was thinking that I wanted NPC's to have known the PC without having his... kinda scary looking abilities

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
2/13/23 2:03 a.m.

Had to disband the away team. Personal issues and it sucks, but there is enough going on in that story line to keep the world evolving. Maybe I drop another group in that spot at some point. Basically they left off teaming up with a legendary NPC attempting to rebuild the old empire and restore some of the glory of old. 

Home game has been great. Level 7, and on their way to the dwarven cities in the southern mountains. But winter is setting hard, and they are crossing the WindsWept Plains. They missed the capitol too. They've been traveling south with a young scholar companion. Pip is going to the Dwarven city of Hiddenstone to learn about anything he can in the oldest known settlement. Along the way he's a good tour guide and a decent way for me to fill the players in on some of the things they haven't picked up on yet.

They like Pip, I do to. I tried to kill him. And them. stuck in a blizzard just short of their stopping point, they were swarmed by Ice Mephits. A LOT of them. 120, being the number I pulled out of my ass. Clerics are important. As they learned. The monk was KOd twice, the rogue once, Pip went down in blood, and the wizard used almost all spells available. They managed to kill nearly all of the mephits and scramble for shelter in the ruins of an old tower, while hearing the bellows of what they thought were yeti. Pip was saved in rather heroic fashion, and will be forever loyal I think. 

Now, I generally look at cheap TPKs as lame flexing by the GM. But there is a time and place. I gave them a long rest in the ruins, before a frost giant collapsed the remaining structure in on them. That is where we stopped. Unconscious, and not knowing what happened. 
When they wake, they will be captive and stripped of armor and possessions, and at the mercy of a large tribe of kobolds who happen to be hunting the giant that keeps ravaging their settlement in the mountains west. My players have history with this group so that should be fun. I think they'll likely offer to help hunt the giant with the kobolds. It'll give me an opportunity to give my players a bit more political information, and allow them to start to build a reputation as a formidable group. So far they've been mostly keeping a low profile, but I want that to change. I want them to have influence and clout. They'll need it before the end. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
2/13/23 11:20 a.m.

Fun times.

We had our first session yesterday. I think it went pretty well. Everyone enjoyed themselves. I've kicked off with more action in the opening sessions of previous campaigns. My gut says this felt slower, but I think it was just more exploration and problem solving than previous sessions of, "Blow something up and everyone starts running."

Summary - things went well. I didn't start with a BANG, but action and tension progressively ramped up throughout the session with successively bizarre and interesting scenarios - first my unique take on undead, and then the bugship - to a climax where they got to bring the pain against a small group of raider outriders. I think I did a good job making this world seem strange, wondrous, and hostile.

Session rundown:

Opened with earthquake in town. Demolished the pub with a boulder. NPC's they care about injured. Lucky 20 and use of an item minimized the damage.

Really this was groundwork for a fetch quest with more player buy-in. "You need to go to the nearby scavenger town to barter for a drive-spar for the windmill to replace one that snapped in the earthquake."

They come upon a weird, blighted area. The bridge is out because of the earthquake. The short way is down through The Scar.

Encounter with a horde of effectively undead. I was proud of this. Made the undead surprising, real, distinctive, and scary. Group 'noped!' out of there as fast as they could.

Get to bug airship crash that we discussed. They are madly trying to protect the cart which was already damaged.

That ended up being a really fun, alien environment. The "engineering room" was dangerously hot, and the crew room the other direction was dangerously cold. This thing is still alive. One character who "Employs Magnetism" caused it to twitch and buck, which through another character off the wall he was climbing into the spilled coolant.

Later they freak out the family in the control room who is afraid they've been tracked. Daughter slaps controls and the thing twitches it's wings and flips over 90*, throwing everyone against the wall... again...

Got the injured escapees out of there just before Raiders show up.

PC who is the same mystical race as the escapees is like, "They're threatening my people, and I am going to murder these raiders to death!" and leaps at them Wolverine style before they can bring a minigun to bare. Scrap ensues and they dispatch 3/4 of the outriders with prejudice just as the main raider force shows up. Turn the minigun on the group and just spray-and-pray to halt their advance and let the cart escape. Then they rode away with one of the raider trikes.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
2/16/23 10:23 a.m.

Minor frustration with one of my players not getting what I'm asking for with character creation:

Give me your concept for the character first, and then we'll figure the right mechanics to realize that.

We're using Cypher, which is a universal system, so a lot of abilities are generic and meant to be usable to model a wide range of effects.

For example, the "Onslaught" ability would cover pretty much every single-target direct-damage magic spell in D&D. I specifically called that out as an ability that I need to know what you are using it to represent. It can be anything from a magic missile, a super-science ray gun, a psychic blast, force lightning, Iron Man's repulsor beams, etc...

He decided to change up his character from the initial concept. Sent a character sheet with abilities filled in, just descriptions cut and pasted from the book.

Tell me who this character is supposed to be and what you want them to do.

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
2/27/23 1:56 a.m.

Last session my players handily took out a cr13 frost giant with the help of some kobolds. That got them to level 8, more hp and spell slots. Fun stuff. That session was rough for me. Wasn't really feeling it and really flubbed up some rp, just couldn't keep my head in it. But tonight was better. They went into the mountains looking to find the aforementioned giant's lair to make sure it was alone and see if there was any loot. Over the evening the fought three trolls and got what I believe is the first actual treasure of the campaign. I was generous, bulk gold and gems and a few good potions. Something near 40k all told. One of my players is real old-school so he really enjoyed that. 
Next stop is an ancient dwarven city called Hiddenstone. I'm quite excited to spend some time there. I need to spend some time fleshing it out a bit. Any thoughts for features or whatever are appreciated. What I have so far is a huge underground city, very wealthy, and a bit on the political sphere. A few NPCs. 

The reason for their visit was a bit of an old manuscript they found indicating that an ancient dragon is or was hiding beneath the city. In this mythos, dragons and dwarves do not get along. Dwarves spend their lives mining and building, and dragons generally just come in and take what isn't theirs... not a complicated situation. Millennia ago there was an event now called Dragonfall where all the dragons disappeared and the world was thrown into chaos. The remaining immortals and a few dragons went into hiding and now it has been so long that the world has mostly forgotten them. 
In the end, if we make it that far, the players will discover what happened and have a choice to either return the world to the old ways or attempt to finish the work of our main antagonist and rise to ultimate power. I'm excited. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
3/11/23 8:20 a.m.

I have Session 2 today. I'm not sure if I'm prepared or not. I've got fodder to introduce things in the town their in, but I don't have a major conflict or baddies going after them to force a plot. I'm kind of going on faith that players will go into a hazardous area and get themselves into trouble.

I have several things up my sleeve that can create tension/chaos:

  • They came to this town to get supplies. Much of the food they brought to trade got knocked off the cart or shot to E36 M3. This town needs that food.
  • The Tech Cult is starting to infiltrate this town. They have a preacher there whipping up prejudice against the mystic race on the PC's is a part of.
  • The head of this town is secretly in cahoots with the leader of the Tech Cult and considering joining forces to get food from neighboring villages.
  • They have a pregnant woman with them who could go into labor at any time
  • I want to introduce some recurring antagonist NPC's from the tech raiders to harass the PC's. But I don't know what they want, yet.

I have an Inciting Incident planned: the Spike they found that controlled the bug ship is going to start turning on dormant technology when they show it to one character. A player is changing characters, and his new one has the focus "Fuses Mind and Machine" - he was "experimented" on* and much of his brain is the same crystal that holds the Intelligence in the Spike. It's going to try to "talk" to him, and just cause horrible feedback instead.

I think if I send them into the ruined city, problems will naturally arise. I need a good quest or task to send them in.

Simple answer: the food they brought isn't enough. Village leader needs them to do *something*.


  • Turning on dormant equipment causes a "mine" in the ruins to collapse, trapping workers underground. PC's need to find an alternate entrance to recover them.
  • Hulking robot snags an important person on its rampage, and goes storming into town. PC's have to recover them.


barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
3/11/23 7:06 p.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

I had to call off tonight's game. Head cold has taken the wind out of my sails. Seems to be on the far end, maybe another day or two. 

My party is going to start their next session at the gates of a large ancient dwarf city. I have a few NPCs mostly figured out as well as the local political scene. Excited to see where that goes. 

I've actually been playing in a campaign for the last little bit. It's been a while and I've never played as a sorcerer before. I keep setting things on fire and causing collateral damage. It's a good time. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
3/12/23 8:38 a.m.

Session 2 went pretty well. Went with my option of the hulking robot snagging an NPC who is a friend of one PC and son of the town leader - slapping his lifting exoskeleton onto its shoulder to act as an arm, and taking him for a ride with it. They ran on to recover him.

Actually surprised myself when I took a random encounter, a thread of a previous idea, and added them together into what turned into MAJOR world building and character moment. They got attacked by some incorporeal alien spirits, one of them grabbed the mystic character who "Dances with Dark Matter", and managed to suck him temporarily into an alternate dimension and hijack his powers to mess with the rest of the party. This also turned the spirit more corporeal. Establishing a strange link between this character's abilities, and the weirdness of the ruined city.

They circumvented a raider stronghold that the robot Gorilla (as it got dubbed) ran through, and caught up to it outside some fancy building, fighting with some elite raiders.

In the course of that, they discovered the NPC friend was no longer in the exoskeleton. They surmised he'd been snagged up inside the Raider camp.

They decided they were more interested in following the Gorilla though, and are descending into the building.

Now to plan for session 3:

I'm not great running dungeon crawls. Designing installations takes time. I might give it a go though. I want *something* to apply pressure that forces PC's to move forward desperately. Something after them that they need to escape.

I have a solid idea of what's at the heart of this installation. Have you read/watched "The Expanse"? On an alien world, they find a "bullet" of negative space that was fired against the beings that built the ring gates. There's going to be one of those down here. Just a roiling mass of nether-energy. I have no idea what, if anything, the PC's need or should do about it yet. I'm leaning towards finding it just being a discovery they need to figure out later.

So what is after or hunting them? The raider elites retreated after getting hit HARD by a poison gas cannister the PC's fired at them. They could alert the raider camp, that is going to be on their heels quickly.

I need a moving battle... subway cars. And/or elevators.

Some other ideas of crazy things after them.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
3/19/23 9:04 p.m.

Had a really good session today. It felt like we didn't cover that much ground, but the time flew past, which I think was a sign of how exciting and tense it was. At the end, players were *desperate* for their characters to have a chance to rest and recover.

Highlight - a PC lost their hand to a portal.

...and I *just* figured out what happened to it.


Enter the big old building after the "gorilla" - a 15' tall automaton. Bit of looking around and they figure out it's an old center of learning, and that it has been completely undisturbed for decades. They follow the robot to a massive freight elevator shaft. Climb down access to next level down (the archives).

Exploring, they find a massive blue glowing experiment with a gravitational anomaly surrounding it pulling things off shelves and into orbit around it. One PC goes to investigate, gets sucked up in and starts floating around. No big deal. I had planned this to just be an odd distraction/puzzle, figure out how to get someone down. Then things went off the rails...

PC2 throws a rope to him and misses. It gets diverted by the gravitational field and goes into orbit. Other end gets tied off to a set of shelves. They realize it's going to play out and wrap into the spinning rings surrounding the glow. Tries to quickly pull it back before it gets tangled. Fail roll badly. It doesn't wrap around, but straightens out as he pulls it taught, and the end connects with the glow. Rope IMMEDIATELY gets jerked into the blue glow. He lets go. Other end is tied to a shelf right behind him. It snaps off one side. Roll to dodge. Fails, and gets hit in the back of the head. Roll to stay on your feet. Fails, gets pulled along into the sphere of influence around the glow and getting sucked in. Tries to push away. Roll to extricate yourself. Fail....

I knew the blue glow was an unstable teleportation experiment. I had no idea where it led to. Didn't have time to figure it out, and he'd biffed too many times...

He pushed off the plank too late, too wildly. He didn't get sucked in completely. Just his arm. Instantly taken off. Not torn. Just... gone. Blood everywhere. Everyone freaking out.

The cleverly shut down the rings temporarily enough to disrupt the gravity anomaly and everyone fell. Pulled him to safety.

PC3 attempts to tourniquet and perform first aid. Fails. Pays XP to re-roll. Gets a 1. E36 M3. So he passes out from shock.

...and they hear the alarm they strapped to the front doors crash to the ground, and know they have company. Made escape down the rest of the elevator shaft.

Random and sundry craziness. Snapping elevator cables. Ghost trains.

Good fight against a bunch of raiders. I'd planned for it to be a running parallel fight on moving cars. They throw a wrench in that plan. Set a pitched battle in a subway tunnel. Climaxes with the character who Employs Magnetism getting a stupidly good roll bending the tracks to derail the car. Spears it on the loose ends of a switch and flips the whole train. Mop up with a nasty, desperate fight. One PC gets stabbed through the leg.

We end desperately setting up camp. Just before calling it quits. A weird dog thing tries to steal some of their cheese.

Here is where I figured out the hand!

It got teleported somewhere. I want it to turn up again and for them to go "WTF?" I have no idea where to place it. So next session, I'm going to have the dog sniff his arm, run away for 30 minutes, and come back holding his hand! That's going to be a fun start to next session.

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
3/19/23 10:55 p.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

I love it when solution appear to help resolve "a thing that happened"

my game last night was fun. Mostly down time, various ways of making money and exploring. Learning the city. My wizard found a shop dealing in magic supplies and scrolls. He offered to supply them with scrolls in exchange for store credit. First thing he offered was scrolls of stone shape "as a means to help get to anyone trapped in the mines." Very noble, very much in character. Well, I figured out the shop keeper prizes anonymity, so my wizard is kept from view while at work. What he doesn't realize is that his scrolls have become a favorite for local thieves and such. Once he figures that out I expect him to be quite upset. 
Then we had a scene in a pub after a week of downtime. The party was approached with three job offers. The first was a group of human thieves looking for help with a high profile heist. The second was a group of elves looking to break one of their group out of jail. The third was a local drunk with a scheme to take jobs in the mines and steal. 
The decided to have a follow up meeting with the humans to hear more about the job. It devolved into an alley brawl. Just as they were clearing up the corpses their loyal NPC walked around the corner just in time to see the worst of it. Which was purely an attempt by me to throw a wrench in the works, but ended up as a very important step forward. They took Pip more into their confidences and asked for his help looking for history on the city. 
The large goal in this town is to find anything they can concerning an ancient dragon that was supposedly hiding deep in the mines. An ancient red dragon that I haven't quite figured out yet. They want to confirm his presence at a minimum, or get some lost historical info if possible. At level 8, I don't know if any of them would survive any kind of hostility, so I'm curious to see how that plays. What I do know is the dragon is in control of most of the power/wealth through enchantments. The second in line to the throne serves as the Mineboss, and oversees all the mining operations and city finances, and happens to be in the dragons control. I think I'll have one of the players be telepathically contacted by the beast once they get close. Sort of a "who are YOU to be looking for ME, and how do you know what you know?" I'm not sure I want the players to come face to face, as I don't really see anything other than a TPK as the outcome..

The other thing I'm working on is more of the world lore. The larger picture is there are 4 draconic "deity" and serving them are 10 characters granted immortality for various reasons/feats. One of the 10 hatched a scheme to overthrow the 4 and in doing so trapped himself with them, and attempted to rid the world of all dragons. The other immortals and few surviving dragons have been in hiding since. Now, my players have encountered 2 of the 10, though they only recognized one. These exposures left them marked. They know this, but don't really understand it. The dragon will recognize it. 
Back to their loyal scholarly friend, Pip. He is in the employ of a library run by a possibly insane gnome. I've considered having the gnome be one of the immortals, but I'm not sure. He will see the mark though, and I'm fairly sure I'll have the reaction come from a random table. Maybe he tries to sell that info, maybe he runs in fear, maybe he falls in to help them... 

I have a lot of prep to do.

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
3/27/23 2:04 a.m.

Tonight was mostly roll play. Two of my players took a job helping to break a fellow out of jail. That went mostly well, with the cleric being caught before even getting in, but some decent rp pretending to be drunk and just going in to offer blessings to prisoners worked well as cover. The rogue was able to help and get out before the group was discovered, but he got away easily enough. The fighter and wizard did some scheming and attempted to decipher some of the clues I've given them. Then they met an NPC I've been having fun putting together. An old librarian gnome who's a bit mental. There was a bit of gambling and the rogue isn't a huge pickpocket but the setting was good so there was a bit of theft. 
Aside from all that, I gave them a bunch more lore, and revealed a character they've met as being an important person to the larger story. 

We have at least one more session in this city. They've learned a lot but haven't completed their goal yet, but have a good clue as to where to look and who to watch. I still don't know exactly what to do once they take that next step. The wizard has discovered that the second most powerful person in the city is under an enchantment and being controlled by the character they're looking for. Trouble is, it's an ancient red dragon and they're level 8. If they confront the enchantee it'll likely be seen as a direct assault, and if they get to the dragon another way, the enchanter is in a prime position to make sure the characters are apprehended and never see daylight again. The dragon I've decided is one of the ten immortals, and has been in hiding for millennia. He sees this very wealthy and prosperous city as his and would prefer his very existence go on unknown. On the flip side, being hidden has become extremely uncomfortable, and what good to have all this wealth and power if nobody knows? Wheres the pride? 
These players constantly surprise me, but I don't see a direct interaction with either the dragon or the dwarf under his control going well. We shall see. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
4/2/23 3:52 p.m.

At the end of the session, the players just... walked into the raiders' compound. No fight. No surrender. Nothing.

They were just in the street with a small group of raiders and one turned to the PC with amnesia and said, "Joren?!? You're alive! You have to come with us."

So they followed. Now they're captives.

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
4/2/23 4:41 p.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

That's hilarious. In the somewhat near future I plan to take my players captive. They just set out on a journey with a new npc who has a few spells. The plan is to take them, then have Nesfiz offer a way out, without telling them it's a portal spell onto a hostile plane. I'm not sure how/who will take them, but it may coincide with a needed mortal threat. 

Nesfiz is a recently retired librarian gnome. He smells bad and has little respect for personal space or property. He has some knowledge of the larger lore. I also need to make up my mind concerning a few other characters in the world. I have about half a dozen that could be double agents. I also told them about their tower from the first session. I turned it into a floating tower in retaliation to some intended extortion. Since then it's been just aimlessly floating around, demolishing anything it hits. It was a lighthouse, and its disappearance caused a large number of sailors to die, returning as ghosts and causing a big problem in the city. If they figure out how to restore the tower they can save the town from the ghosts, so that may be a thing we work on.
Other than that, they realized the hidden dragon they were looking for is too dangerous. There isn't a way they could see to confirm it's presence without making themselves very traceable targets. Don't know what they'll do with that going forward. 
The big thing I need to figure out is where to set a character they found records of/from. He's they key to finding the bbeg, should they choose to follow that path. But that's a way off. 

BB, eager to see how your players address their capture. Should be entertaining. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
4/2/23 4:59 p.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

In their defense, they were pretty seriously messed up. One of them was about 1 hit away from dropping - not dead, but helpless.

I think the plan is to spend a day or two resting and recovering (which can recover a lot, but doesn't reset everything to full like D&D), and then mount an escape.

Cypher system mechanics are interesting. PC's don't have HP. They have three Ability Pools - Might, Speed, and Intellect. These get used to activate abilities or apply extra effort to actions. These also get degraded if they take damage. So... combat is rough because it eats away at ability pools FAST. If one pool drops to 0, you're hindered and all tasks are harder. Two pools, and you fall and can't do anything beyond crawl. Drop all 3 pools, and you're dead.

One PC was down to 2 points of Might and 1 point of Speed left. These raiders do at least 3 damage.

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
4/2/23 6:07 p.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

That is an interesting system. I still haven't looked into it, I'll need to fix that. 

I need to give my players a real challenge, likely at the next session. They're due to level, and haven't had any real challenges for the last few sessions. 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
4/2/23 9:11 p.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

Cypher is fun. Soooo much fun. It is hands down, the best system to GM that I've found.

It's like... the gonzo making E36 M3 up on the fly that my friends and I did back in the 90's with D&D 2e, but with a clean, modern, streamlined rules system. I throw encounters at my players and don't worry about balance or anything like that. Going from a train car full of brigands to a giant 5-limbed robot gorilla that would be like young-adult dragon, stone golem, or earth elemental level. They're still Tier 1. About the equivalent of level 2-3 D&D characters.

Here's my favorite primer on the Cypher system: https://youtu.be/aJC67M_AtsI

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
4/6/23 12:14 p.m.


Summary: Reddit is a cesspool. Some subreddits may be less scum infested than other, but given time and an increase in population... they become increasingly muck filled.

With all the turmoil created by WOTC, lots of people have been jumping systems. This means an increasing number of people who have only ever played 5e trying Cypher.

The Cypher System subreddit used to be fairly respectful and positive. With an increase in people who have only ever experienced 5e culture, it's becoming the same sort of cesspool as the rest of reddit.

Most of the things are people asking, "How do I translate this [rule/ability/subclass/etc.] to Cypher?" Well... you don't. They're different systems. Also people not understanding that 5e has much more of a "right" way to play, and Cypher is very oldschool in terms of expecting people to figure out what works for them.

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
4/6/23 1:34 p.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

There's a reason I avoid Reddit altogether. 
As for 5e, the rules as written are one thing. I run my game loosely based on those rules, overridden where I feel like or where my players make reasonable requests. I play in one regular campaign where the GM is hardline, and another where the GM is looser than me. Both have been playing and driving since first edition. I also find the players themselves really set the feel for the game. So it depends. I greatly prefer running home brew and playing modules. So I don't know. 

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