Lords of the Feywild

In this episode of Critical Hit: Trelle puts her face there… and by there, we mean the mail bag… and by that we mean… well, just listen and hear what happens when math becomes a priority.

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Robot Overlord

Robot Overlord

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16 Comments

  1. Praion
    January 26, 2013 at 5:13 am — Reply

    I think one of the problem here was that there was literally no description of Randus working on the items. Rodrigo explained that later but this should have come up in the game and is really a missed opportunity.

    The same way that we never really had a flavor text of Randus using Magic Weapon…

  2. greyhawke115
    January 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm — Reply

    Regarding magic item wish lists, I think I understand where Matthew is coming from. From a character perspective, he prefers that the items are found and/or upgraded organically as part of the story. For example, when the armor upgraded itself by providing Torq with simulated training opponents. Torq is not the kind of character who is thinking about how to improve his gear.

    However, creating a wish list does not necessarily mean that its a character wish list. It could be a player wish list. Matthew could indicate that he would like his belt/girdle to be less more consistently useful similar to how he consulted with Rodrigo and decided it would be an interesting twist for Torq to take on a clerical role and Rodrigo wove this into the story organically rather than saying ‘poof you’re a cleric.”

    That said, working it into the story organically does not have to always come from the GM. Consider that Brian created Randus to be a gadgeteer. In order to give Brian the opportunity to have Randus be that character, Rodrigo also needs to provide the magic components to let Randus create. From a story perspective, it makes sense that Randus is constantly checking out the party’s equipment and thinking of ways to make improvements. He probably shows great restraint in not adding gears ,elixirs and time/space altering fields to everything they own. Occasionally, he just can’t stand it any longer and just has to tweak something that’s been bugging him for months.

    Overall I don’t think its a big debate, but I do prefer both as a player and a DM that items are gained and upgraded organically. I’ve never been a big fan of magic items shops. I enjoy 4e but I do wish that it had started with the alternate advancement rules that allow magic items to be less of a balance mechanic and more of a story element.

  3. El_Randus_es_awesemo
    January 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm — Reply

    Agreed. That and the technical difficulties made this episode a bit disappointing due to the deviation from the plot. Plus, Matthew missing Rodrigo’s “best speech ever” about magic items made me have a sad. Kudos to you guys for keeping the show rollling, though.

  4. Stan A.
    January 27, 2013 at 1:58 am — Reply

    This is regarding having PCs fight against DMPC enemies in 4e. What I did was create an awesome PC in the character builder, like a Heroic tier Rogue|Ranger that uses a Farbond Kusari-gama (it’s a bola and a dagger in one. It’s great.), and I took the MBA and what not. Picked one at-will as its special standard action and one encounter power. The encounter power recharged when it was bloodied. Its items/race/feats may have given it some special attributes, but you have to keep it simple. I then built it as a monster and tweaked the defenses to closely match the PC version of it.

    I made four of these as elites, and threw them at my party two at a time. Worked out well. My baddies won the fight, but all my PCs survived and the head baddie and a hired goon that was friends with one of the enemies that escaped died. It really developed the story.

    The only time the DM characters healed was when it was pertinent to the story. Once was when the enemy cleric finished a ritual and wanted to leave with her party, and the other was when the half-orc goon tried to encourage his unconscious friend to get up and get out. Both times, my characters just wanted to leave. They were not trying to rejoin the fight. I just used a quarter of their HP, and if they dropped again after that, they were done.

  5. Bronson
    January 27, 2013 at 3:17 am — Reply

    hey guys, thanks for answering my question that i sent in a while ago. ive dmed a couple of games since then and figured out that drawring things that im describing helps alot. it was awsome when my pcs met Orcus and i scared the living daylights out of them :D

  6. January 27, 2013 at 11:09 am — Reply

    Regarding that last question about characters with mental issues, I think my son has built a really neat character that works well along those lines.

    The character is a Changeling Sorcerer (wild magic), who thinks he is a Human Wizard. The way this works is all in his back story. His character grew up in a rural farming village where magic was looked on with more than a little disdain. When his powers started to manifest, he honed them in secret until he felt like he had the kind of control to show the rest of the village that it was nothing to be feared and that it could be of benefit to them all. He was wrong. While giving his demonstration in the middle of town, he went off like a mystical nuke and destroyed the entire village. Horrified at what he had done, he tried to give himself a “magic lobotomy” so that he would forget that he even had any magic power. The end result was that he Swiss-cheesed his brain leaving him with no idea who or what he was.

    His face changed into an approximation of the first person he met (a human) and stayed that way since. He soon discovered his magic powers and assumed that he was a Wizard. Now he spends his time trying to gain more magic knowledge in an effort to become the greatest Wizard that ever lived. His past is mostly unknown to him and whatever part of his mind would have wanted the answers is mostly gone. Things are how they are, and that is enough for him.

    This has led to a ton of fun role-play moments at the table. When he casts spells he almost always declares some other spell as his intention before tossing some chaotic random effect spell out and occasionally shouting “that just what I meant to do!” His changeling trick racial power is almost never used, but does kick in instinctively (without his own knowledge that it is happening) every now and then when he gets cornered and has some monster in his face. The party is just about to hit Paragon tier and thus far, no one else has seen this happen either.

    The rest of the party sees him as some sort of crazy, self-taught Wizard who has a lot of natural talent but almost none of the discipline needed to really master his art. As he goes up in levels he keeps taking the powers that give the most random effects, with the thought that some day, against the end-game boss he just might nuke himself and everything around him again.

  7. Matt R.
    January 28, 2013 at 7:57 am — Reply

    ^^ that sounds like an interesting character :) nice

    • January 28, 2013 at 9:29 am — Reply

      It has been. His philosophy is that no matter how serious a campaign can be, there should always be room for some goofballery fun and he is normally the one to provide it. There have been a few epic slapstick moments between him and the Halfling Rouge who has zero trust or faith in him to do anything he says he will.

  8. Michael P.
    January 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm — Reply

    I completely understand where Matthew is coming from when it comes to magic items. In previous editions of the game, magic items were “Wondrous Items” to be found while adventuring. In fact, one of the reasons to adventure and challenge difficult opponents was for the chance of recovering magic items. Unfortunately, magic items are baked into the math in 4th Ed. If you don’t have magic items of a certain power, you fall behind the math curve. You can imagine how displeased I was when I opened the 4th generation players handbook and found all of the magic items listed there. Even worse they players were encouraged to give the GM a shopping list just like they were milk and eggs at the store! It takes away the fantasy aspect of the character and reduces it to a mathematical formula that you are trying to maximize.

  9. January 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm — Reply

    I totally understand Matthew. I guess it would be OK if the players could ask for generic things like ‘a flaming ax’ or ‘a cape that hides me from sight’, but when it comes to min/maxing it feels like cheating to me, specially in things like D&D where a big part of the fun you can get from the game comes from your immersion in it. I know that people like Rob look to get the best results they can get from what the game offers, but there are other people (like Matthew and me) which are more concerned about how a weapon sounds when wielding it than with whatever magic effect it may have when you’re facing more than 3 opponents on a hill under the rain.

    Having said that, I’m pretty sure Torq would at least get curious about what Randus is doing and he even may wonder if that magicky stuff could make his axe hit those darn golden things harder.

  10. bane
    January 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm — Reply

    I had actually run a multiple personality character, but it was for a story hook. My character was a wild magic sorcerer, which after each extended rest rolls a d10 to decide an elemental resistance. I had assigned each resistance to a seperate “emotional” personality, so one personality was a kind another was egotistical another just didnt care what was going on and another was just rude. So the character was played different based on the elemental reistance but each personality fit with the resistance gained. Like cold resistance made them not care. Acid resistanc made them mean or rude. It fit well and that I feel needs to be the sticking point of any game is the character interaction needs to not be offensive or in the way of the general story. I have shelved this character for the time being for the reason that at times it got in the way plus the game had broken down as nobody could meet up to keep playing. T was fun but be cautious abiut what and how you play characters.

  11. crystal
    January 31, 2013 at 2:24 pm — Reply

    Concerning the disposal unit golden kind: did anyone else think Rodrigo wanted them to investigate it a little more? If I were playing I would have chased it away with the chunk of winter queen and spent a bit of time looking over those golden helmets it was trying to reclaim…

    • January 31, 2013 at 7:04 pm — Reply

      Concerning the disposal unit golden kind: did anyone else think Rodrigo wanted them to investigate it a little more?

      Hard to say. Certainly the option was there, but I don’t know that he gave the indication that we should investigate…

    • February 1, 2013 at 2:22 am — Reply

      i couldn’t think of anything except “no” after he said “daddy long legs” so….

  12. February 12, 2013 at 6:43 am — Reply

    If you’re worried about the math, there is an option to use inherent bonuses. It’s useful if you want to have a low magic item campaign/setting, and also so you don’t have to juggle magic items of different levels but still have useful properties. It doesn’t cover everything (Crits are still tied to item enhancements, I believe), but it should be good enough for a basic fix.

  13. Kevin
    April 10, 2013 at 2:42 am — Reply

    I don’t think Rob is not as tied to the story as Matthew is. But he has a bigger wall between his PC and his real mind, perhaps. I’m sure Rob is nearly as attached to his hell wand as Matthew is to his axe. Regarding the lost story hooks, I too wonder where they would have gone if they didn’t choose as they did. Would Orem be an one handed swordmage? Could they have used the parasite against He who Shatters the Sky in season two? How would that change the story now they are in basalt? Sadly, I expect Rodrigo will decline to tell us what he had planned if they did X during Y, because it doesn’t matter, they deplomacized the horses.

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