Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
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Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/12/2020 01:55 AM EST

Over the last few years, I've really gotten deep into Dungeons & Dragons. I've participated in a handful of different campaigns and one shot games now, and I'm hoping that there are others like me who enjoy the hobby. I'd actually like to run a campaign with people from here if there's enough interest, but for now I'd like to share a story with you from a campaign that I play in. This is how my character became "The Snowkeeper".

For reference, the party consists of:

  • Kaldr, eladrin (high elf) druid and my character
  • Herteit Drotinn, human cleric of Bane
  • Grommer Bugblood, goblin bard
  • Kassen Tunnelmaze, deep gnome avenger of The Traveler
  • Torq, half-orc former paladin of Ilneval (absent during this session and recently lost his powers)

The party began this session midway through an ascent up a tall and cold mountain near the port city of Akthar. We had been trying to find a suitable place to break ground on our new fortress that we had designed in conjunction with the city's architect, Pobis. Herteit, Torq, and Kaldr had invested well over a million gold pieces, designing the fortress to our exact specifications. It's going to be full of magic elements and devices that carry a wide range of powers, from scrying, to containing the soul of the BBEG (big bad evil guy) of about the midway point of the campaign, to places where our characters can meditate, train, and commune with our gods, primal spirits, or otherwise.

After dealing with some drow who decided to mess with our travels a few weeks prior, we continued to climb towards our destination. A driving snowstorm came out of nowhere, seemingly one that was convenient rather than natural. All the PCs except Torq forged ahead to investigate the storm, and we discovered that the source was an ancient blizzard dragon named Zandathar, who is actually an old acquaintance of my character's from years prior. Zandathar was displeased that we would try to build our castle on his mountain, but after providing him with lore and news of our deeds in dispatching Ronan (the aforementioned BBEG), another friend of his, he issued a challenge. We were to fight him in nonlethal combat. If we win, Kaldr would take up the mantle and duties of The Snowkeeper, a title that Zandathar had held since before the Raven Queen ascended to godhood, and we would be permitted to use the mountain for our construction. If we lose, we would have to descend and then find another mountain to build into.

We quickly realized that we were probably in over our heads, as Zandathar severely outleveled and outdamaged us, on paper. However, we had two things on our side - action economy, and more importantly, dice luck. Kaldr summoned two of his creatures, an eagle and a toad, on the first turn, with the eagle scoring an early critical hit for over 60 points of damage. His crocodile came out on the next turn, and managed to score a few hits of his own. Kassen got a lot of her damage off in the first few turns as well, and it seemed like we were doing better than we had any right to be.

... then the bard and cleric tried to get cute. Herteit decided that, in a somewhat friendly battle, it would be a good idea to banish Zandathar. He missed the attack, but that still bought us one round with Zandathar gone to ready attacks and/or buff ourselves. The problem, however, is that Zandathar came back supremely pissed off at us. He unleashed an attack that stunned everyone, followed by his pretty nasty breath weapon after we dropped him under half HP. Grommer, not to be outdone, also banished Zandathar a bit later on, which as you might guess only made him more irate.

It became clear that he was done playing around when he scooped up Herteit in his mouth and tried to fly away with him. Herteit managed to score a critical from inside the dragon's mouth, knocking him prone and sending him crashing to the ground, nearly killing our crew and Torq who had been setting up camp while waiting for our return. Herteit barely survived the fall himself, but he essentially destroyed his shoulder in the process and was effectively removed from the fight. Zandathar soon returned, and dropped both Grommer and Kassen within a few turns.

Kaldr, however, had an ace in the hole: he has significant resistance to cold damage. The attacks that would fell his friends would merely register as scratches and bruises to him. Kassen began failing death saves as the dragon's health was dwindling from Kaldr's strikes and summoned creatures. Kassen picked up her third failure, which usually means death, but Zandathar was true to his word as he froze and magically preserved her body from further harm. Grommer was more lucky, succeeding on all but one of his death saves. With the dragon below 10% of his maximum health, and Kaldr's summons gone, the dragon managed to drop him with a claw strike.

However, all was not lost, as there was still the chance to recover with a lucky death saving throw. Kaldr has a magic item on him called the Shroud of Revival. It provides a +2 bonus to these throws, extending the range for an instant revive from 20 to 18-20. It also provides resistance to all damage while unconscious, but that wouldn't be relevant in this fight. Actually, neither would the +2 bonus. Kaldr got to make his first death saving throw on his turn...

Natural 20.

Kaldr stood up after recovering about 1/4 of his HP and used an immediate reaction to teleport a short distance away. He still had to survive the dragon's turn, as in this game, all saving throws occur at the end of your turn. The dragon's freezing aura, which targets the weakest defense on all targets, went off first and missed. Next, a bite attack missed. Two more claw strikes after that - miss and miss. Kaldr took his turn to retreat from Zandathar's melee range and place the Shroud of Revival on Grommer to prevent him from dying. As he moved, he turned around and launched a fiery hawk at the weakened dragon.

Natural 20.

The hawk flew towards its target, striking true for 46 points of fire damage, ending the fight. Kaldr sprinted up to Zandathar and gave him a bit of energy to prevent him from dying. Just as Zandathar pledged not to kill us, Kaldr wished to provide the same courtesy. After stabilizing Grommer and waking Kassen, Kaldr turned to Zandathar to receive his prize. For defeating the mighty dragon in combat, Kaldr would become the new Snowkeeper of the mountain. He would gain the ability to control the weather while present on the mountain. He also would see his natural resistance to cold damage become an immunity to cold damage. Zandathar even bestowed one of his own combat powers as a gift. After taking a few moments to heal himself, Zandathar took off, heading back towards the Elemental Chaos to inform his kin that he had finally passed on the mantle to a worthy mortal.

Next session, we have to find out what happened to Herteit, as the others don't know where he went after he fell from the mountain while in the clutches of Zandathar, or even that he survived the ordeal. I might have to bring in one of my backup characters as well, because Kaldr will have to oversee the construction of our fortress (which will take months) and our party has some more pressing matters to attend to.

Can't wait to see the stories of others, and share more of mine here.

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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/12/2020 09:53 PM EST

I don't have any stories to add to this, but I'd probably be down to be part of a campaign if that did happen.

Did you have any specific game/campaign/setting in mind?


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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/12/2020 10:39 PM EST

I want to run Pathfinder 1st Edition, which is sort of a spinoff game based on D&D 3.5 Edition. Many purists jokingly refer to PF as the real D&D 4th Edition, because 4th changed the game mechanics so drastically that rather than feeling like a TRPG, the game feels more like a pen & paper MMO. I think that 4th is a really fun game, but I want to branch out a bit and the PF system most resembles what I want out of a TRPG right now.

PF 1st Edition is probably the last of the D&D family of games to be especially dangerous for player characters. There are deadly enemies even at lower levels, "save or die" spells and effects, and the combat is designed to be over relatively quickly; players and monsters both deal a lot of damage at most points in the game. 4th Edition curbed a lot of this stuff, and 5th Edition actually makes it difficult to die, so much so that you almost have to try to get yourself killed. Personally, I find that if the game is too easy, it breaks immersion. If you're going to roleplay heroes who will accomplish incredible feats of strength and intelligence and save the world from catastrophic threats, it stands to reason that you'll be in grave danger at least some of the time. There is a 2nd Edition for Pathfinder and from what I've read it stays relatively true to its predecessor, but 1st appeals to me more because of the sheer amount of content. There are something like 70 character classes between 1st and 3rd party books, as well as roughly 70 races. The level of customization is staggering.

The campaign/setting I have in mind is pretty standard fare, probably a bit higher magic than average. The various schools of magic are heavily involved in the plot, at least. It's based around the nation of Varisia, which covers a decent range of landscapes including port towns, valleys, mountains, and cities perched far above sea level. Without revealing too many plot details, some of the key chapters include defending a town, investigating grisly murders, reclaiming a key mountain fortification, withstanding a large raiding party, exploring the lair of an ancient evil, and assaulting a fortress that seemingly touches the heavens.

If there's enough interest here, I would happily run it. I'd be willing to agree upon a time that we could all meet up, or we could even try running the game here in the thread. Not sure what the logistics would be, but I think I could figure something out.

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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/13/2020 02:53 PM EST

I’m short on time now, but my friends and I have been in a long running 5E campaign based around the anime Berserk. I’m a red Dragonborn barbarian, my wife is an Elf who disguised herself as a human, and we also have another Dragonborn who is a paladin, a Kenku, and a home brewed golem. We’re all beastly beings in a lore dominantly filled with humans, and that occasionally puts up obstacles in our plot. We mainly face demons and brainwashed armies in our sessions. We haven’t ran a session in a while thanks to COVID, but looking forward to getting back at it.

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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/13/2020 08:14 PM EST
@m0s3pH

If there's enough interest here, I would happily run it. I'd be willing to agree upon a time that we could all meet up, or we could even try running the game here in the thread. Not sure what the logistics would be, but I think I could figure something out.

There are a few virtual tabletop software options out there that could be pretty good to use. I don't have the experience to speak for or against any personally, but a couple that I know that have free options are Roll20 and Astral. Roll20 has a marketplace to buy extra cosmetic stuff and modules, while Astral uses a subscription model for extra stuff.


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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/13/2020 08:58 PM EST
@Jironobou
@m0s3pH

If there's enough interest here, I would happily run it. I'd be willing to agree upon a time that we could all meet up, or we could even try running the game here in the thread. Not sure what the logistics would be, but I think I could figure something out.

There are a few virtual tabletop software options out there that could be pretty good to use. I don't have the experience to speak for or against any personally, but a couple that I know that have free options are Roll20 and Astral. Roll20 has a marketplace to buy extra cosmetic stuff and modules, while Astral uses a subscription model for extra stuff.

The two games I'm in right now use Roll20, and I've briefly messed around with Astral. I also ran a Pathfinder one shot on Roll20 fairly recently and it seemed fine, but their character builder for Pathfinder is pretty weak. I know my way around Roll20 pretty well from both the player and DM side, but this conversation might just inspire me to play around with Astral more so I can form a better opinion of it.

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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/15/2020 05:41 PM EST

So on a semi-related note, I've been looking into general tabletop RPG stuff lately because of this thread and found out about Starfinder. I know I'm kinda out of the loop and it's not exactly new stuff, but I think a sci-fi setting would be pretty neat and I'd be down to do something with that too.


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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/15/2020 09:03 PM EST
@Jironobou

So on a semi-related note, I've been looking into general tabletop RPG stuff lately because of this thread and found out about Starfinder. I know I'm kinda out of the loop and it's not exactly new stuff, but I think a sci-fi setting would be pretty neat and I'd be down to do something with that too.

Starfinder is essentially Pathfinder in space. A spinoff of a spinoff, if you will. I tried to read the rules once and had a hard time wrapping my head around it, but I'd be willing to give it a go sometime.

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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/30/2020 01:31 AM EST

So one of the current humble bundles is a pretty big Star Trek tabletop book set. It looks good but I'm a bit torn on whether to get it or not. On one hand, I'm a big Trek fan, and I don't hate the system it uses. But on the other hand I don't know if/when I'm going to do anything with it other than flipping through the pdfs.


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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
07/30/2020 02:46 PM EST
@Jironobou

So one of the current humble bundles is a pretty big Star Trek tabletop book set. It looks good but I'm a bit torn on whether to get it or not. On one hand, I'm a big Trek fan, and I don't hate the system it uses. But on the other hand I don't know if/when I'm going to do anything with it other than flipping through the pdfs.

I've been seeing a bunch of tabletop stuff come up on Humble Bundle. Pathfinder and 40K have both been featured recently. I'm not too into Star Trek so I'll probably pass, but it's cool that such a system even exists.

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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
08/07/2020 04:43 PM EST

Last night my players fought a splinter of the big bad inside of a magical pyramid that they're trapped in. Two of them were dropped, with one failing two death saves before being healed and revived. Most of their troubles were a result of them ignoring a magical hazard with an expanding AoE attack, causing damage every around and limiting their action economy. Afterwards, the shaman rolled a natural 20 to loot a bedroom and found a set of magic leather armor and face down card. The card's magic activated when he flipped it over, granting him a one time use power to compel any creature to provide a truthful answer to a question, provided that creature knows the answer.

We left off there, but I anticipate that next session will start with a well deserved rest and then more exploration. I love sessions where players just barely scrape by, regardless of which side of the screen I'm on.

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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
08/17/2020 10:39 PM EST

Click here for an excellent resource that I found that helps with creating taverns for your game world!

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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
10/19/2020 12:56 AM EST

Something just popped into my head - would there be enough users here to run a play by post game? I have a few ideas for campaigns that I would want to run, and if I could get 4-6 people who would keep up with a game, I'll set it up.

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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
10/21/2020 01:00 PM EST

I might be interested. Could be fun with enough interest


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RE: Tabletop RPGs Thread (D&D, Pathfinder, etc)
10/21/2020 05:38 PM EST
@Jironobou

I might be interested. Could be fun with enough interest

Good to hear. Was talking to dibula off-site about it last night and he sounded interested as well.

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