Tag Archives: character

Waiting to play Shadowrun

Short post today as I’m just sitting around waiting to play Shadowrun. I’m supposed to find out what the GM has done with my 90 plus Karma to upgrade my character, which will be interesting. My last upgrade was to increase my firearms group from 5 to 6, which I spent a few Karma points and Nuyen on, not to mention several weeks of in-game downtime on. This is considerably more Karma than what I spent for that, so the upgrade will probably be more epic than that. I need to get some of my other combat skills in the same range as my firearms skills, so that my character is useful in situations that don’t require a grenade launcher or assault rifle.

It’s after the time we had planned on playing but we had 2 players with digestive issues who couldn’t play, one of which was the person doing my character upgrade. No details were given, but apparently there is still some Karma points left and my new skills are not OP but more “Daaaaang!” and I have some Karma left over.

Long time no blog.

I know I haven’t written anything in a while. There are reasons for that. First of all there has been a slow-motion train wreck going on in my Twitter feed because of the fuzzy Jack-o’-Lantern pretending to run for President. Second I got a bit behind in my e-mail and even doing more than 300 a day I’m still looking at nearly 1000 unread messages. Do you know how long it takes to get through 300 new emails in one day? And to compound that I have to stop and leave the house for a couple of hours every day so that I can maximize my returns on my phone game that pays me money, because it’s a lot more work now than it used to be. I’m still making the same amount of money every week, but I have to get out every day and max my checkins to do it.

Also on the “leave the house” list was grocery shopping, twice. Once was our regular day and again yesterday as one of my side gigs paid off $100 for several months’ of “a few seconds a day” work. The kicker on this one is I have to get paid in the form of a gift card that can only be used in a few places, otherwise it becomes taxable income that I would lose a major chunk of in the form of SS taxes. So there is only one store that sells food on the approved list…

And today I spent some time away from the house playing someone else’s character in a Shadowrun game. This time I was playing a 5’2″ 90 lb. Chinese girl decker and the character sheet said she was abrasive and cold with a chip on her shoulder. We were on a Zombie hunt, and also had to kill a vampire and rescue a werewolf from the corporate lab that created the zombies in an effort to have slaves that did not need to be paid because they were legally dead. Unfortunately zombies are unable to follow even simple directions so the project was in the process of getting shut down when the zombies and the vampire they were using to create them escaped into the lab. They managed to get the doors to the outside locked, but only had until sundown to clean things up before the vampire could let himself and the zombies out. Our Street Samurai took out most of the zombies, my decker took out a few, and the technomancer managed to get into the weapons side of the security system and take out the vampire and the rest of the zombies. We rescued the scientist/werewolf we were also supposed to rescue. My character disdained the males in the party to make a pass on the lady werewolf…

It was a good thing I have a Shadowrun dice roller on my phone because I would have needed a bucket to bring the d6 I would have had to have to make some of my attack and saving rolls. My dice app goes to 99 d6.

Last week we went on a 5 day camping trip in Southeastern TX, near Flatonia. This was memorable for two reasons: Mrs. the Poet went camping with me, and we both tripped and fell down a lot in the dark. I dislocated the other collarbone and bruised my other hip from the previous fall off the bicycle, and Mrs. the Poet skinned her knees and hands again. We also had about 9 times as much meat at meals as we are used to eating as “p'” people (too impoverished to buy a vowel). One of the big problems we both had was getting off the ground after getting out of “bed”. Another bed-related problem was Mrs. the Poet did not believe me when I told her to pack lots of blankets for sleeping and just packed the one that did not even cover us completely that we use to keep our feet warm in the winter. We still had a great time anyway.

Off on another tangent, my full-scale T-bucket project just took a major change in direction. I had the engine and transmission from a running Chrysler minivan practically dumped in my lap for barely over scrap value. Plusses: we are talking really cheap engine and transmission for less than the core charge for a transmission on the previous version, this will take almost 200 pounds off the total weight of the car, moving engine behind passenger compartment leaves a flat floor with plenty of foot room, computer controlled transmission simplifies setting up mechanical portions of the controls; just a floor lever with 4 detents and two paddle switches on the steering wheel. Minuses: Engine makes 160 HP in stock form, both the engine and transmission are on the far side of 200K miles, both are computer controlled and need aftermarket computers to make them work in the T-bucket, most of the car needs to be redesigned to make a FWD engine and transaxle work driving the rear wheels behind the passenger compartment, FWD brakes don’t have e-brakes so e-brakes need to be adapted to one end or the other, almost all of the car weight will be on back wheels making sorting braking and handling dicey.

The prospect of going mid-engine on my T-bucket has really got me inspired again, ditto the prospect of getting the project moving towards completion some time before I die. The Mini Sprint-T project has all the parts I can’t make on my own and will continue as it was before with the SBC and the LS7 engines.

And that kinda gets you somewhat caught up on activities at Casa de El Poeta.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet.

Play me as a race in D&D 3.5

I was thinking about it after a late night discussion of what real-life me would be like in D&D 3.5. One of the things we talked about was serious levels of natural armor and damage reduction, along with quick healing, and some other things. So, I present Opus as a D&D race.

Race Opuses

Opuses are a peaceful race distantly related to trolls and halflings but with skin tones that suggest human as well. They are less hairy than halflings, but males are known to have monobrows that extend to the tips of their noses. Hair color for an Opus is much like an anime character, almost any color in the spectrum (including infrared and ultraviolet) can be a natural hair color, and beards and eyebrows are not restricted to the same or even similar colors as hair anywhere else on the head or body. It is not common but even beards and moustaches can be colored differently on a male Opus. Male body hair can even have patterns like a cat, but that is unusual. There is a strong sexual dimorphism about body and facial hair for Opuses, with males getting furrier as they age while females have little to no body hair and barely have eyebrows.

Body appearance for an Opus is like a miniature troll, rounded head with a strong eyebrow ridge and long arms and torso with short legs. The legs are usually muscular with large calves because Opuses spend so much time walking or using strider horses, wheeled contraptions that allow them to move as fast as a horse on level ground, and much faster going downhill. We would call them hobby horses or balance bikes. They are common items in Opus villages.

The Opus’ deity has one commandment: “Make something awesome.” Some interpret this as “every day” while some interpret it as “before you die” with varying degrees of what constitutes “awesome”. But everyone tries to follow this commandment. This makes crafting a religious imperative, with one skill point per level assigned to crafting. Because of their deity Opuses are craftspersons of many things, with some specializing in one kind of thing and making that as well as Opusly possible. Opus tools are highly prized as objects of art as well as things to make other things, with ornate carved handles and etched and engraved blades. Similarly Opus clothing is either highly ornate or highly functional or sometimes both with the decorative touches meant to add another layer of functionality. It is not uncommon for Opus cloaks to be reversible, with one side meant to conceal and the other to attract attention, like a hunter’s vest that had a woodland pattern on one side and was bright orange on the other. There is also the skill “craft everything” that when taken allows an Opus to make nearly any non-magical item from whatever is available and have it be serviceable. It probably won’t be pretty, but it will work and will hold up to repeated use. As an example an Opus with this skill could mine the local dirt for meteorite dust that he could then forge into a knife or sword using a stick as the hilt. This is a valuable skill for an adventuring party. Warlock Opuses level 10 or higher can also use Eldritch Blast to forge metal without a fire or hammer. Opus are also very good cooks, partially because they need to eat 3 times as much as a human because of the natural armor and DR.

Almost all Opuses are magical to some extent, with 3 out of 4 being Warlocks with natural magic, half of those not a Warlock being a Wizard, and the final one in eight having no effective magic. The rare Opuses without magick are not all that crippled as they don’t share the -3 Cha penalty the rest of the race gets. As a race Opuses are the only Warlocks with healing spells, having “reversed engineered” Sickening Blast invocation to Healing Touch, with d8+level HP restored up to 20 times a day. This magical ability is stacked on whatever class the Opus player selects at startup.

In battle Warlock and Wizard Opuses use ranged spells and invocations to cover as much of the battlefield as possible while retaining as many options as possible. Those with Healing Touch will try to stay within a one-step distance of “squishies” for a quick healing if needed during battle.

Character creation. An Opus has +3 bonuses to Int and Wis, and a -3 penalty to Cha, unless the Opus has no magic. An Opus has no AC bonus for Dex (effectively always flat-footed) but gets a d6 bonus to base AC for Natural Armor (not bypassed by Touch attacks) at character creation and gets a d20 DR at character creation that stacks with any DR from class progression. Opuses have a ranged deduction on spot checks of -2 per 5 feet increment, but a natural +1 per level on listen checks. An Opus gets 1 extra skill point per level for crafting that can’t be used for any other skills, including at character creation. Opuses also get bonuses in any skill that can also be used to create things like rope skills and others of that nature at one point per level. To get Healing Touch the character has to have Sickening Blast and used it at least once. This is normally done during formal Opus education at the primary level so that as many Opuses as possible know how to use this invocation, but some Opuses don’t get Sickening Blast until they reach higher levels, and one in 4 is not a Warlock.

An Opus is a Medium size creature with a movement of 20 on foot, 15 swimming and climbing, and 100 on the strider horse on flat terrain, with normal 20 uphill and as much as 300 downhill. In addition a strider horse can carry 5 times the character’s carry on back limits of cargo with a half speed reduction going uphill. These are so common in Opus villages they almost seem like they are grafted to the villagers. All Opuses are ChG alignment and can play as any class that can be ChG. Any Warlock or Wizard Opus would have to multi-class to play as any other class, those are permanent parts of the race.

Opuses speak and read Common and Elvish plus Opus, which is a variation of Troll not understood by any other race. The written language for Opus uses the glyphs used by Elvish but pronounced differently (like Japanese uses Chinese characters), so someone who reads Elvish would read Opus as gibberish in Elvish.

Opus get whatever HP they get as a class or d10+Con per level, whichever is higher.

PSA, Opus (not the D&D race).

OMG the DM is killing us!

That headline deserves an explanation, and I’m the only guy that can provide one

The new RPG group met today with two sessions, one early, then a second after a dinner break. The first session was Not Good for the party, as our Ranger player was unable to attend leaving the Rogue, my Warlock, and the NPC Bard who is still a level one character. After the second encounter we had a TPK, again. The monsters the DM keeps throwing at us don’t attack our HP, they deplete or damage attributes, which means that additional encounters are at significant disadvantage to the party, leading to frequent Total Party Killed results. These are interesting encounters, and fun to play, but the party is just so weak that we can’t handle attribute damaging monsters. It doesn’t help that under this gaming universe every other encounter is like a hentai video with all the monsters wanting to rape us.

The first encounter of the day was with flowers that depleted our Wisdom stats, which caused serious problems with the next encounter with spot and listen checks, which in turn caused our Rogue to botch Find Trap checks. This is something you don’t want, because the squishies can really get hurt when the trap is set to trigger on the second person to pass. Fortunately our squishy was third to pass that particular trap and the second character had a lot of hit points.

The next encounter was with a Giant Spider, which my character took out because he is arachnophobic and went into panic mode and fired shot after shot of Eldritch Blast combined with Orgasmic Blast, an attack that causes the victim to have an immediate full-body orgasm and be paralyzed for one round and reduced attack and defend for caster level rounds or 5 rounds for my character at this time. This is the most devastating attack my character can use at this level, and it was used over and over. This lead to a quick and decisive kill and overkill as not only did my character repeatedly blast the spider it blasted every last one of the eggs it discharged as it died until they were nothing but ash.

The next encounter was only a few feet away from the spider as we ran into a Mimic pretending to be a door. As our Rogue was checking it for traps it captured her with adhesive skin. This meant that everyone with any kind of ranged attack needed to use the Precise Shot feat to prevent hitting the Rogue. Eventually the Warlock was able to kill the Mimic and then we used her Everflowing Mug to dispense enough pure alcohol to dissolve the adhesive which remained active after the monster died. This was accompanied with yelps of pain from the Rogue as every cut and scratch she got in this encounter was flushed repeatedly with a mixture of the corrosive adhesive from the monster and the alcohol.

The next problem was trying to get through the hidden ceiling hatch over the wall area where the Mimic attacked us, as none of us were tall enough to reach it. We ended up cutting the spider apart and stacking the bits up high enough that the Rogue could find the trap door, only to have to blast the lock off the door to get it open. Doing this was Not Quiet, but the repeated blasting noises alerted monsters that there was a BAMF or two on the way that had enough power to blast through doors or walls and not worry about it.

After getting in the chamber we found on the other side of the door we encountered a slug like creature with tentacles that also turned out to be pretty vulnerable to the Eldritch/Orgasmic Blast combination but not before doing significant damage to the Rogue. After doing some minor repairs to the Rogue we found another creature locked in one of a wall full of prison cells, which ended up with all of the party PCs unconscious and the NPC flagging down another character to rescue us.

All in all, a fun afternoon/evening, if somewhat dangerous to our characters.

PSA, Opus the Poet

Recovering from that thing with my jaw, and my Warlock is kicking some serious butt on Wreck-Free Sunday

We had another game session with the RPG group yesterday, and we kicked some serious butt, serious as in troll and hell cat butts. My Warlock is developing some serious HP and leveling up very fast. I keep adding skill ranks to things that are currently not useful and some to things that are useful and help keep my character alive (that is my definition of “useful” in the D&D world). The ones that are not currently useful are using magical device and spellcraft, because those will be useful when my character gets to 12th level and I can start creating magical items for the party. Since my character does not have spells of his own but rather has spell-like abilities the way he creates magical items is to pass a use magical device check. My character does not lose XP like a regular magic-user does when creating a magical item, but still has to pay for the physical components of the spell and it takes twice as long as for a regular magic-user. So as part of my planning ahead I’m dropping a skill point into use magic device every time I level up to make making magical items easier in the future and a point in spellcraft to make deciding which magical device to make easier. Now all I need are the Feats that will let me build these items… which means I need to find those feats.

Right at the moment I’m trying to refine my character for combat with a mix of short and long ranged attacks to keep him alive long enough to be able to use his abilities to settle down and make a living and support a family, like his father did. In the back story this character is the progeny of my previous character and someone the party saved from some awful fate that has yet to be made explicit, and that character made a living making potions for adventurers and townsfolk as well as clearing out the local monsters so that the people could go about their business relatively unmolested. This he did as the local lord and the people would pay tribute so that he could maintain his fighting abilities and do that. Nothing was established about what happened to the previous local lord, but it was assumed that the local monsters had either killed him or driven he and his forces away. Since killing monsters was considered a good to the community it was accepted and the tributes were paid and the new character had a nice place to grow up. He temporarily took over the monster eradicating part of the business as training for being an adventurer and establishing a keep and protectorate of his own before being called away by the king on the quest he is currently engaged in.

As was stated in the headline, my jaw is recovering from whatever I did to it last week that caused it to dislocate. Chewing is only intermittently uncomfortable now, unlike earlier in the weekend when just closing my mouth was tear-to-the-eye painful. I had pizza for dinner tonight and a salad and managed to enjoy every bite.

One of the reason this post is so late compared to other Sunday posts is we went to North Texas Irish Fest today. We listened to some good music, looked at some nice artwork, and shopped some. We left the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell via DART light rail to Fair Park, where we had zero parking problems as the train station was directly in front of the main gate to the complex making getting to the Festival as easy as getting off the train. We had a bread bowl of Irish stew and a soft drink for lunch after walking over most of the festival area, and I had my annual over-priced pint of Guinness.

What wasn’t fun at all was the drastic change in the weather, as we went from a high of 84°F Saturday to Temperatures in the mid-20s and falling like the mixed snow and sleet to a projected 17 15 12°F tomorrow morning. I’m just glad that we didn’t plan the “sheep shearing ritual” for today or else I would have been venturing out minus my winter fur. I would have shaved off all my hair and beard and then gone out into the freezing cold with no insulation to keep my ears and face warm.

And now I’m going to find something to pre-warm my bed so I don’t freeze tonight

PSA, Opus