Author Archives: DanielOCrowe

The start of a long road of gaming…

I can remember my first experience of Dungeons and Dragons. It was a Sunday afternoon, in June of 1991, not long after my eleventh birthday. My brother had finished his mock exams, and was sat in his bedroom, door closed, with his 3 best friends playing the Isle of Dread adventure from the Expert box. And I wanted to be in that room…

I didn’t even want to be playing D&D. I wanted to be in that room because that’s where our Sega Megadrive was, and I wanted to play Sonic the Hedgehog. I knocked, I screamed, I pleaded, and eventually I was so much of an annoyance that I was allowed in order to shut me up.

I sat there, bored out of my brain as my brother described along with his friends, how they we’re cutting through the jungle vines with their short swords, in order to find out where the hideous smell was coming from. Eventually they stumbled upon a cave opening and came face to face with a bunch of spiny two legged creatures whose skin was oily and blended into the stone of the cave.

When they broke to have a drink of coke, a rare treat in my parents household, I looked over the bright orange booklet, admiring it’s T-Rex on the cover, and then getting really confused by the mass of black text inside the book. Where was all the cool stuff about my brother having to pick his way past slimy stalagmites while spears whizzed overhead? It was only after the game was finished that my brother explained that it was all made up based on what they described.

I sat in other games, and started to offer suggestion, and that annoyed them just as much as my original pestering to join them. As such, my brother convinced my parents to get me the Basic D&D starter set: Escape from Zanzer Tem’s Dungeon, and once I got the hang of it, the Rules Cyclopedia.

The rest, as they say, is history… :)

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Filed under Gamer Memories

Because sometimes, talking it through IS the best option…

The following is a Dungeons & DragonsTM 4th Edition theme.

Negotiator

The negotiator is a master of words, capable of talking in multiple languages and with the necessary etiquette and reverence to adequately handle the various races of Nerath. The negotiator is sometimes called a diplomat, or ambassador, and is sent by towns, and royal courts to arrange deals that can help civilizations grow through trade, or survive by stopping the outbreak of war.

Creating a Negotiator

Adventuring negotiators are often royal ambassador’s, travelling with other adventurers for safety, and backup should the negotiations fail, and they have to fight their way out of the meeting place. Negotiators are strong willed, and charismatic people, but often have other hidden talents, such as incredible stealth to infiltrate foreign libraries to conduct research on existing trade agreements, or the ability to wield a fine sword – a sign of wealth and upbringing, or they could be masters of arcane lore, with years of dedications spent reading historical texts.

Starting Feature
The main qualities that make a good negotiator are an extensive knowledge of languages and a strong ability to act diplomatically.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks, and you learn one new language (other than Supernal).

Level 5 Feature:
Sometimes negotiations don’t go smoothly, and you must lie to, or threaten those you are dealing with people.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to either your Bluff or Intimidate skills checks.

Level 10 Feature:
After so long on the road, and after so many negotiations, you have an uncanny ability to understand people’s intentions by the way the stand, act, and move.
Benefit: Once per encounter, when you are granting Combat Advantage to another creature, you can cancel the Combat Advantage as a Free Action.

Optional Powers

As you travel around the wilderness and towns of Nerath, you learn new ways to interact with creatures, humanoid or monster alike. The sheer force of your personality allows you to exert your influence on beings, and bend them to do your bidding.

Level 2 Utility Power
In order to negotiate successfully, you need to have the best information that is available, and while you might not actively have the knowledge, those around you might.

Helpful Knowledge
“You rely on your allies for the information you need at a critical moment.”
Daily * Charm
Free Action * Personal
Trigger: You fail a skill check
Effect: You re-roll the skill check, and use the modifier of an ally within close burst 5 instead of your own modifier.

Level 6 Utility Power
Despite your best efforts, sometimes negotiations fall apart and the only recourse is to resort to violence. Unfortunately for you, when things go sour, your in the thick of it, surrounded by tribal leaders and their brutish entourage. In times like this, the right parting words can give you time to escape.

Soothing Words
“Sometimes, the power of words can calm a savage heart, giving you time to prepare your defences”
Encounter * Charm
Standard Action * Close Burst 3
Target: 1 creature in burst
Effect: The target cannot attack you until the end of your next turn. If you are adjacent to the target, you can shift up to half your speed as long as you end your movement adjacent to an ally.

Level 10 Utility Power
When the tide of battle begins to turn in your favour, it’s time to use your most authoritive voice, to call on your enemies to surrender. While it never really works, it definitely weakens their will to carry on fighting.

An End To Hostilities
“With your leader dead, don’t you think it’s time to hand over your weapons?”
Daily * Charm
Free Action * Personal
Trigger: You reduce a creature with the Controller or Leader keyword to 0 HP
Effect: You can make a Hard DC Diplomacy check, with a penalty equal to the number of remaining enemies on the battlefield. If you succeed, all enemies in close burst 5 take a -2 penalty to attack rolls, damage rolls and defences.

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Filed under D&D 4E, Player Tools

I’m not just D&D…

“Hi… I’m Daniel O’Crowe, street reporter for Third Eye News, SLA Industries premier news channel, bringing you all the latest from the World of Progress…”

Some of you might know me by other names, and for other deeds… I’ve been called a blind geek, angelic, the first man on earth, paper in a book, and other such misnomers, and while in recent years (and for the foreseeable future) I’ll be using Gamer Assembly to bring some of my other interests such as cyberpunk and bioware, nanotechnology, and 2e conversions to the masses…

To begin with, have a look at this: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11072793/CyberPunk%20Weapon%20Modifications.pdf, and old document from when I was developing my own cyberpunk game. For the most part, they should be adaptable to any other system.

Some notes:
WA = Weapon Accuracy (a to hit bonus)
PEN = Armour Penetration (it wasn’t enough to hit, you had to penetrate the armour)
DMG = Damage (to the body)
AD = Armour Damage (any hit weakened armour, weaker armour is easier to penetrate)
SD = Subdual Damage (each character had a limit of how much ‘less than lethal’ damage they could take before falling unconscious)
SR = Shock Rating (a property of tazers, used to determine side effects)

 

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