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Dungeons and/or Dragons

aturtledoesbite

earthquake ace
(any/all)
although I can't remember how high of level you need to get to get those 8th and 9th level spells, it might be higher than 15
Wizards and other full caster classes, if I recall, gain their first 8th level slots at 15
so that's *just* high enough to start playing with the big toys
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Yeah, I think I might just do my original idea and stick with the Bladesinger. There are some sick spells up there, like Tenser's Transformation, which should be amazing in combination with Bladesinger (It's a little bit redundant, but also has some bonuses that undeniably kick butt). Steel Wind Strike isn't technically reliant on any melee power, it's a pure spell, but it's still definitely in flavor (also very good). Et cetera.

I discovered with my group that I don't really enjoy one-shots. We used to play them every so often when our DM needed a break from our main campaign, but they were hard for us to get into since they never felt like they mattered. Now we have a second on-and-off campaign that a different player runs during main campaign hiatuses, and we all like that approach much more.
Yeah, we just started doing that with the campaign I DM too - my girlfriend has been wanting to DM, and sometimes I need a break or just have a shit day, so now we have a secondary set of characters that she gets to practice DMing with. It's technically a series of one-shot adventures we'll be stringing together rather than a full secondary campaign, but the characters will be consistent. That's the one where I rolled a Bugbear monk, Way of the Ascendant Dragon. We're doing Sunless Citadel out of the Tales from the Yawning Portal book to start off, and it's already started tying into two of our characters' backstories in a big way, which is a bonus.
 

Destil

DestilG
(he/him)
Staff member
Bladesinger looks fine to me, power-wise? Still a full wizard, after all. Attack + Cast a Cantrip is nice, Int bonus to Con Saves is good, trading low level spell slots for HP is honestly great at high level.

I mean like Shield + innate +5 AC is going to make you absurdly hard to hit, and all your 2nd and 3rd level spell slots are worth another 80ish HP?

And if that doesn’t work or once you’re out of bladesongs you’re still a god damn level 15 wizard.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
I'm getting ready to host a Starfinder game later this season. Has anyone played this game before (or even Pathfinder 2E) and have any hot tips for me? I'm used to D&D 5E, so I'm getting myself ready for a crunchier, more number-y system.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
My Starfinder experience is Significant. Random things of note:
- Stat increases work so much better where basically everything rises a ton except 2 dump stats.
- Classes feel, and frankly are, very weak compared to Pathfinder but equipment gets really rad, so it balances out generally.
- Combat tends to be all ranged and is easy to get same-y so set piece weirdness really helps.
- Ship combat/customization blows and you should just not bother honestly.
- If you're doing APs, err on the side of really chatty NPCs because they're much shorter and more straightforward all around.
- 5' step is a move action and that will trip you up a ton.
- Mentally brace yourself for actually shockingly great rogues.
- Stamina is a really good mechanic and you should keep in mind that mystics heal HP but envoys heal stamina.
 
Bladesinger looks fine to me, power-wise? Still a full wizard, after all. Attack + Cast a Cantrip is nice, Int bonus to Con Saves is good, trading low level spell slots for HP is honestly great at high level.
Esp if you go the frostcheese route (winter touched/lasting frost + frost weapon) which an old player friend did. And frost cheese would even if your Dex mod is +1 which frees up points for other ways to build up as well as boosting your Fort or Will Def. Like points into Con to get extra HP/Surges and also Str to qualify for Hide armor.

Not to mention at lv3 you can use a basic attack with a minor action after a daily power for lots of stabby action.
I mean like Shield + innate +5 AC is going to make you absurdly hard to hit, and all your 2nd and 3rd level spell slots are worth another 80ish HP?

And if that doesn’t work or once you’re out of bladesongs you’re still a god damn level 15 wizard.
Add in a Torq of power preservation and you can use Bladesong a second time once a day, or more if someone can recharge that. Or just carry a bunch of lower level Torqs as Bladesong also gives you a +2 to defenses. Cunning stalker feat and Armor of Dark Deed also gives you permanent CA and +2 Def.

Yet somehow this character is classified as a controller...
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
My Starfinder experience is Significant. Random things of note:
- Stat increases work so much better where basically everything rises a ton except 2 dump stats.
- Classes feel, and frankly are, very weak compared to Pathfinder but equipment gets really rad, so it balances out generally.
- Combat tends to be all ranged and is easy to get same-y so set piece weirdness really helps.
- Ship combat/customization blows and you should just not bother honestly.
- If you're doing APs, err on the side of really chatty NPCs because they're much shorter and more straightforward all around.
- 5' step is a move action and that will trip you up a ton.
- Mentally brace yourself for actually shockingly great rogues.
- Stamina is a really good mechanic and you should keep in mind that mystics heal HP but envoys heal stamina.

Thank you!

I often hear negative thoughts regarding the ship building and combat in this game. But I really like the idea of it, so I'm gonna do my best to see if I can make it more dynamic and fun for the players. The Starship Operations Manual seems to have some good thoughts on how to do that.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
I just need to come up with a long list of backstory stuff for my character now. Three epic feats they did, a phobia, and some other basic stuff. Phew...

I get that some people come up with a character and build class and levels around it, but I almost always start with a mechanical idea (certain subclass/build/etc.) and build a character around it. Sometimes that's pretty easy! Sometimes...less so. Right now I'm a Satyr bladesinger, and my barebones backstory is I was one of Dionysus's personal guard (I pulled my name from an epic poem about Dionysus going to war with India??) but I haven't been able to build up much from there. (Or know if I need to find a different god to substitute for Dionysus, what with his being from the Greek pantheon and all...)

Esp if you go the frostcheese route (winter touched/lasting frost + frost weapon) which an old player friend did. And frost cheese would even if your Dex mod is +1 which frees up points for other ways to build up as well as boosting your Fort or Will Def. Like points into Con to get extra HP/Surges and also Str to qualify for Hide armor.

Not to mention at lv3 you can use a basic attack with a minor action after a daily power for lots of stabby action.

Add in a Torq of power preservation and you can use Bladesong a second time once a day, or more if someone can recharge that. Or just carry a bunch of lower level Torqs as Bladesong also gives you a +2 to defenses. Cunning stalker feat and Armor of Dark Deed also gives you permanent CA and +2 Def.

Yet somehow this character is classified as a controller...
I'm playing 5e; you appear to be talking about a completely different game. (Well, no, you appear to be talking about 4e, but that might as well be a completely different game anyway.)
 
Last edited:

Purple

(She/Her)
Thank you!

I often hear negative thoughts regarding the ship building and combat in this game. But I really like the idea of it, so I'm gonna do my best to see if I can make it more dynamic and fun for the players. The Starship Operations Manual seems to have some good thoughts on how to do that.
I should really find the time to sit down with the SOM and see what it does. The core rules ship stuff though, yeesh. I've seen it speculated that they were an outright act of sabotage by a particularly bad apple at the company, and that fully tracks with a sizable amount of available data.

It's not that they aren't playable at least. It is VERY easy to design a ship where you can just practically one-shot everything, and the actual mechanics seem really complex but after a round or two it's just going around the table and everyone rolling a skill check every round.

The problem is that there's just nothing there once you decode what you're doing, and it's inherently always going to just be this speed bump between real adventures that's worth skipping just to avoid all the bookkeeping.
 
I'm playing 5e; you appear to be talking about a completely different game. (Well, no, you appear to be talking about 4e, but that might as well be a completely different game anyway.)
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
Very proud of my players @Dr. Nerd , @Bulgakov , @JBear , and @Lokii for defeating Baba Lysaga in Curse of Strahd, well below the levels that the module intends for players to visit Berez. If anyone's played this adventure before, you know Berez is a common TPK site. I tried to warn them off of going into the marsh, but they were determined to do it. I didn't pull any punches, and the group (with a little help from Ezmerelda) managed to defeat the witch and her hut through a combination of good strategic choices and a bit of luck.
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
Very proud of my players @Dr. Nerd , @Bulgakov , @JBear , and @Lokii for defeating Baba Lysaga in Curse of Strahd, well below the levels that the module intends for players to visit Berez. If anyone's played this adventure before, you know Berez is a common TPK site. I tried to warn them off of going into the marsh, but they were determined to do it. I didn't pull any punches, and the group (with a little help from Ezmerelda) managed to defeat the witch and her hut through a combination of good strategic choices and a bit of luck.

The real MVP of this gaming group is our DM, who puts up with our 15-minute bad joke digressions and endless needling of his NPCs as if that's how we're supposed to play the game.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
Is that not how you're supposed to play the game? (congrats, it sounds like it was a fun session)
 

nosimpleway

(he/him)
Having finished school and figuring I can branch out into doing things that are actually fun sometimes, I thought "Hey, maybe I'll write another D&D game or something."

lol nah

might try to play in one though
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Unrelated but I'm undecuded, which character do I play for the campaign where my girlfriend introduces her friends to D&D? We're starting at level 1.

Artificer (subclass undecided)
Druid - Circle of Stars
Wizard - Fart Evoker
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Unrelated but I'm undecuded, which character do I play for the campaign where my girlfriend introduces her friends to D&D? We're starting at level 1.

Artificer (subclass undecided)
Druid - Circle of Stars
Wizard - Fart Evoker
How many other players will be in the campaign? I think you might want to wait and decide after you see what classes they pick.

Also, dare I even ask what a Fart Evoker is?
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
How many other players will be in the campaign? I think you might want to wait and decide after you see what classes they pick.

Also, dare I even ask what a Fart Evoker is?
That's what I did, and we're playing tonight so it's time to choose! But I don't knooooow!

Also a fart evoker is an evoker wizard whose spell list, is, well,
  • Cantrips: Gust, Poison Spray, Thunderclap
  • Level 1: Fog cloud, Thunderwave, Tasha's hideous laughter, earth tremor
  • Level 2: Gust of Wind, Shatter, Warding Wind, Misty Step (Dragon's Breath?)
  • Level 3: Stinking Cloud, gaseous form, fear, erupting earth
  • Level 4: Blight, Conjure Minor Elementals (wind only)
  • Level 5: Cloudkill, obviously. Control winds, destructive wave.
  • Level 6: Investiture of Wind, Wind Walk
  • Level 7: Whirlwind
  • Level 8: Abi-Dalzim's Horrid Wilting, Earthquake, Incendiary Cloud
  • Level 9: Storm of Vengeance
farts.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I’ve been having a blast with my Artificer. Artillerist is really nice, and I’ve heard good things about Battle Smiths too.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
That fart evoker spell list is making me chortle uncontrollably. I know what I'm playing next time I have a chance to be a PC...
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
That fart evoker spell list is making me chortle uncontrollably. I know what I'm playing next time I have a chance to be a PC...
Bless you for appreciating my creative genius, a rare thing among the philistines that surround me
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
But how would you fuel such spells? I think it would require some kind of magical fruit...
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
In the end I went with the Artificer. So far we're just level 1 so I'm just a weak caster with some tools, but that should start changing soon. (One of the few times I'm alright playing from level 1 anymore is with a class I've never played as and only rarely played alongside). Right now I'm undecided between whether to eventually go with Artillerist or Armorer. This is a very once-in-a-while campaign, though (I think once a month) so I'm not particularly worried about it yet.

Honestly, Armorer normally seems kinda like, yeah OK you get to play Iron Man, I get it, whatever. Except I'm a Warforged, so any and all of my armor is already integrated into my body anyway, and tinkering around with various gadgets that attach to or pop out of my body and such seems like a cool idea that suits the race that I want to focus on for this character. That said, I'd do the same with artillerist too, flavoring my cannon as a module I mount on my shoulder that I can also detach and let scurry around on legs, and all my spells and non-subclass features to boot. I guess in the end it's do I want to go slightly more casty or slightly more fighty. Thinking about our party makeup, I'll probably end up focusing on casting, so artillerist seems more likely right now. But again, I won't have to make that call for like, 2-3 months.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
The Artillerist cannon is really neat. Protector lets your whole party punch above their weight, and the Flame Thrower is a really dependable source of damage. And since they only use bonus actions to fire, you can use your actions to do all sorts of fun things. I didn’t appreciate how flexible it makes you until I tried it out.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Yeah, seeing I could do all that with my bonus action made me sit up and go "whoa." The more I think about it the more I'm leaning toward that.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Anyone looking for a character idea? Here's one free* to use:
a male Oracle from Final Fantasy Tactics. But this Oracle can't actually use magic but claims that he can. He casts all of his spells by hitting enemy with his staff.
"I cast Don't Move!" *Cracks enemy's kneecap*
(The character does not have to be male but does need to be able to wield a staff.)

*but only for non-commercial uses
 
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