CMG DMing Chat session archival thread

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the Jester

tonight! one night only (not really)

mark makes a rare appearance(well, he is acyually around a lot)

to answer all you questions(well, those involving

for only $39.95!(it's actually free )

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Fast Learner

First Post
Ah, so it's tonight at 7pm Central, eh? That would be:

5pm Pacific
6pm Mountain
7pm Central
8pm Eastern
1am GMT

(A public service, not a bump!)


First Post
the above post by jester is actually be me, for some reason, ever since he visited my computer prefers to log in as him occasionally :mad:

This chat session was much more of a round table event. Lots of interesting conversation regarding DMing and adding new material beyond the Core Rules. I'll have a transcript added to this thread sometime in the near future, of course. Thanks to everyone who attended and the next session will be Monday November 18th at 7pm central. Feel free to add some topic suggestions to this thread. :)
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First Post
this one was a lot less structured, but definetely as useful.

i am hoping the trend continues towards treating each subject more in depth....makes it all easier to absorb don't you know

it was nice to know my gaming group and i aren't alone in a lot of our habits, and to se how we were different :)

thanks again to mark :)


First Post
Okay, I'm zero for two on these things. One of these days I'm going to remember or En World will be operational and I'll be able to read the thread and remind myself. So, when't the next on?

Depending on the topics that need to be covered, and the size of the turnout for the particular chat, we'll continue to oscilate between formally moderated chat sessions, informal question and answer periods and full-fledged round-table events. I think they will all serve to help us as DMs. :)
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I haven't heard anything just yet. I'm sure if the dates and times I've suggested just won't mesh with their schedules, something can be arranged through EN World to facilitate a chat session with Dave Arneson and Zeitgeist Games. We'll wait and see. :)
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First Post
maybe next time you could give us all a little input on npc's? maybe a little help from the your system of determining npc personality and traits?

alsih2o said:
maybe next time you could give us all a little input on npc's? maybe a little help from the your system of determining npc personality and traits?

That may be possible. Let's see how the offer to Zeitgeist goes. I'm hoping to have a firm answer decently before the session they choose (if Monday night even fits their schedule) so that we can get the word out properly. Nonetheless, that topic you suggest will absolutely be the focus of an entire session at some point. :)
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First Post
well, if monday night doesn't work for them i am sure you could move it somewhat....there seems to be a growing audience..

i would also appreciate a session or part of one on "the hook" :)

alsih2o said:
well, if monday night doesn't work for them i am sure you could move it somewhat....there seems to be a growing audience..

I'd like to keep it on the Monday night track. I think that the Wednesday night EN World chats might start up again before too long and, of course, the Mortality Radio shows are every other Friday. Weekends are out, I believe. With Monday, we never have to worry that it would be a two nights in a row thing (even if it needs to skip a week due to some scheduling conflict.)

alsih2o said:
i would also appreciate a session or part of one on "the hook" :)

That's a damned good topic and one that we will definitely have to explore. :)
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First Post
for you folks seperated from the net all is this monday, come one come all, it has been a real barrell of monkeys so far :)


First Post
alsih2o said:
for you folks seperated from the net all is this monday, come one come all, it has been a real barrell of monkeys so far :)

So far I'm 0 for 2 in remembering. So, I'm writing myself a note this time.

Proffesion Potter 11 ranks, funny stuff. :D

Mon Nov 04 21:09:07 2002
(#CMG) Creative Mountain Games - Visit the CMG Site at
CMG DMing Chat sessions are held every other Monday night!

(Edited somewhat for brevity and clarity)



Mark_CMG Howdy all! Let's get started. Tonight's topic - How to introduce new (homespun/third-party) material to your game. How many people here use additional material beyond the Core Rules?

Piratecat I do.

Hildulf I use plenty.

alsih2o I do.

Wolf72 Not much, haven't had many chances to, other than WotC supplements.

CMG_Nichar Me, too.

Painfully I've got new players with only core rules, but I use other stuff to DM.

thalmin I play my own game based on 3E.

Mark_CMG Let's go around the group, here, and talk about any problems that may have arisen from adding that new material. (to alsih2o) How about if you go first?

deBhaal I'm thinking about using Oathbound.

alsih2o Well, the normal balance arguments come out when anything new is brought into the game.

Mark_CMG (to alsih2o) What material have you added?

alsih2o Tome and Blood, Defenders of the Faith, Masters of the Wild, mostly WotC stuff. But whatever it is, the balance argument comes in.

Asmo I´m DMing for the first time, using core books only.

Wolf72 I've used the monster books, mostly players kept trying to second guess the monster with meta-game thinking.

Mark_CMG (to alsih2o) Why not all five class books?

alsih2o That's all we have purchased (so far).

Mark_CMG We'll get to everyone else in a bit.

CMG_Nichar I have tons of d20 books.

Mark_CMG (to alsih2o) Do you find that the other classes have as many options still?

alsih2o Well, we vote as a group what to accept. We rotate DMing, which makes material acceptance an issue.

Mark_CMG That's a good policy (voting). If you are comfortable with the group and do not wish it to remain purely a DM decision.

alsih2o We have been together for 17 years. (smiles)

Mark_CMG ...or rotating as you do (smiles)

alsih2o We're pretty comfortable.

Mark_CMG OK, let's check in with someone else. How about CMG_Nichar?

CMG_Nichar Don't have a group (currently). I wish I did.

Mark_CMG Let's ask Piratecat then... (smiles)

Piratecat I pick and choose from most WotC and 3rd party splatbooks and hardbounds, taking the balanced and the best. The biggest problem is eliminating unbalanced material from otherwise decent works like Relics & Rituals. Adding monsters is no problem. Feats, spells & PrCs are. I generally add material only when a player asks, or when I need it for DMing.

Mark_CMG What are your parameters for determining balance?

Piratecat "Would I want to take this ("X"), or is it a hard choice?"

Mark_CMG Perhaps give us an example of each (balanced and not)? (smiles)

Piratecat I'm not near my books. All of the core PHB feats are balanced, and only a few spells bother me. But if you look at other supplements, you need to use a discerming eye. Example:...

Wolf72 IE: Some of the feats from the Rokugan source book (armor feats).

Piratecat ...from R&R1, a 1st lvl spell named "Salamar's Quiet Contemplation."

Mark_CMG We'll get to you soon, Wolf72. (smiles)

Piratecat A cool spell that makes someone non-violent... but it is 1st level, and the effect is PERMANENT. Yikes! You get the idea. Adjusting material to the "feel" of your game is another issue.

Mark_CMG Okie doke. (to ascendence) What's your take on determining what you will add to your game or not? (I'm going right down the list, so please be ready when I get to you. (smiles) )

ascendence I add to the game things that I like. I add things that seem like good game design that fit.

Mark_CMG Any other parameters? What is your determination of "good"?

ascendence I know good game design when I see it. Its like art, or music.

Mark_CMG Give me an example, then, please.

ascendence It has to be parsimonious and simple (easy to implement), yet capture the spirit of whatever its trying to convey. Whirlwind Attack, for example.

Mark_CMG OK. How about you, Asmo?

Asmo I´m DMing for the first time (long time player though), using core books only and the WotC splatbooks. I´m adding some stuff from R&R 1 though. I´m running Sunless Citadel and it´s working out pretty well, I guess. It´s fun and I want to improve as a DM.

Mark_CMG Did you find any difficulties in adding R&R stuff?

Asmo I don´t know if it´s going to be unbalancing. I´m adding a bloodstone.

Mark_CMG Anything in particular that you think might be suspect?

Piratecat Yes. It's not always easy to eyeball.

ascendence And I don't like having too many books.

Wolf72 I don't want too many books. (Agreed)

Asmo ...but I felt that I wanted to give the players something (additional) for the good work (they've done).

ascendence I do have sort of a checklist... or a rubric (chuckles) for grading character classes, though.

Piratecat You've seen Ken Hood's material?

Mark_CMG okie doke. How about you, Cold_Beer?

Cold_Beer uh....

Piratecat We're talking about adding 3rd party material into a campaign.

Mark_CMG We'll get back to you. (smiles) (to deBhaal) You have some thoughts, I'm sure. (smiles)

deBhaal I just put things in that I happen to like and can't see anything wrong with when I put it in.

Mark_CMG Like what in particular?

deBhaal Well, I'm thinking about adding Oathbound. It's not quite implementing but it is a change. Normally I put anything in from the books I have, unless I see something about it I just don't like.

Mark_CMG What is it that you might have not put in, then?

deBhaal I'm trying to think... I'm pretty easy about things that get in but there does seem to be a lack of monks in any of my games.

Mark_CMG Okie doke. (to Hildulf) Any thoughts on this?

Hildulf I add most anything I see that's not obviously overpowering but a great many things are added from multiple sources.

Mark_CMG What do you feel is "obviously overpowering"?

Hildulf For instance, DragonLords of Melnibone...

Wolf72 Oooh! I have that one. (smiles)

ascendence Dragonlords is just badly designed.

Cold_Beer Believe it or not, I actually play in a trimmed down setting with less than the core rules in place...

ascendence "Obviously overpowering" is kinda relative.

Wolf72 When it requires some editing/tweaking.

Mark_CMG Let's let Hildulf have the floor, folks. (smiles)

Hildulf I bought this book with the idea of adding it in... After reading, however, there was just no way. I am, on the other hand, adding "Aerial Adventures" by Goodman Games. This one is probably the easiest I've seen to implement with no major changes (aside from DragonStar.)

Mark_CMG What is it about Aerial Adventures that caught your eye?

Hildulf I love the flying cities and the capacity to have solid clouds on which certain critters nest.

Mark_CMG Cool. (to Nightfall) How about you?

Nightfall Do you mind if I wait for P-Kitty to answer?

Mark_CMG Piratecat has answered. We'll get back to you, Nightfall. (smiles) (to Painfully) How about you?

Painfully Well I got a relatively new group that has played 1st and 2nd editions.

Mark_CMG So all of 3E is new, eh?

Painfully They are about 5th level now and I am showing them the splat books from WotC. They are about right for prestige classes now.

Mark_CMG Are you setting any guidelines on what can be used from the class books?

Painfully I am going to allow them to modify characters a bit to fit any PrC they might want.

Mark_CMG Retro-fit?

Painfully Yesterday we were discussing mercurial weapons. I think they're just filler for the books more than a practical weapon.

Mark_CMG Many would agree.

Painfully We haven't had too many arguments but I am allowing most anything.

Mark_CMG OK. (to thalmin) How about you?

thalmin I don't want to add anything that will be too difficult for me to challenge my players. I try to not add anything that is more powerful than the core stuff. Big problem is even I (as a game store owner) can't keep up with all the stuff coming out to evaluate it.

Mark_CMG Do you have a guide of your own to determine if something is more powerful than Core stuff?

thalmin I just wing it, really.

Mark_CMG OK.

thalmin So far I've really only added Badaxe's stuff, plus a few home growns. (Or is that home groans?)

Mark_CMG (chuckles) Wolf72 must be champing at the bit to answer. (to Wolf72) What do you say? (smiles)

Wolf72 Umm... (smiles)

Mark_CMG Any thoughts from your perspective?

Wolf72 Actually, my rule of thumb is if it's to hard to use/implement, I don't use it.

Mark_CMG How do you know before trying?

Piratecat Good rule.

Wolf72 If I read it twice and am still confused, it's to much. (smiles)

Mark_CMG Ok, that works. (smiles)

alsih2o No AoO's (attack of opportunities)? (smiles)

Wolf72 There's lots I like but just don't use. If they are too wordy or use too many rules.

Mark_CMG Has anyone not added in their initial thoughts on the subject?

CMG_Nichar If I could I'd use everything, and then roll with any problems that cropped up. Provided I wasn't too confused on if it'd work together in the first place... I have yet to figure out how to mix 3E and Star Wars

Hildulf 3e And Star Wars were some of the simplest...

Nightfall I like my present campaign online, even though it's not convetional.

Wolf72 My last DM used the vp/wp... It was a lot of fun.

Piratecat Nightfall, how do you handle unbalanced Scarred Lands material?

Nightfall If you mean Salamar's Quiet Comtemplation, I don't. Meaning I don't use it.

Piratecat Do you add other 3rd party stuff into your SL game?

Nightfall Sometimes. I have used WotC substitution stuff but not their handbooks. I didn't care for them.

Piratecat Substitution stuff?

Nightfall Manual of the Planes, Deities and Demi-gods, and most recently, the Book of Vile Darkness. That stuff.

deBhaal Epic Level Handbook?

Nightfall No, I don't have that.

Piratecat Right. Thanks!

Mark_CMG Let's open up the floor to talk openly about various specific cases where new material was introduced easily or with difficulty.

deBhaal I dont know I'm pretty sure my players will like Oathbound though.

alsih2o Well, my group thinks only two of the three core books are necessary, so it is always a struggle.

Cold_Beer Believe it or not, I actually play in a trimmed down setting with less than the core rules in place...

Mark_CMG How so?

Cold_Beer ...few new rules have been introduced but more have been taken away. Less classes, spells, etc...

thalmin What did you take away?

Cold_Beer Bard, Mage, Monk, Cleric...

Piratecat No wizard?

Mark_CMG No clerics?

Cold_Beer Yup.


Wolf72 No religion?

Cold_Beer No religion.

Mark_CMG Perhaps, for us to get a better handle on your methods, Cold_Beer, you could give us a run down of your setting and ideas?

Cold_Beer Well, like I said, it's not my game, I just play in it...

thalmin I was thinking about something similar, maybe I'll try Swashbucklers. (ARRRR)

Mark_CMG As a player (who also DMs), how do you feel about it?

Cold_Beer The game takes place in a prehistoric continent...

thalmin He is at a disadvantage without magic...

Painfully My players don't have any clerics or wizards and at 5th level they are starting to feel it.

Mark_CMG (to Painfully) What is the make up of your group?

Painfully Dwarf ranger, dwarf barb/rogue, and halfling thief, plus an NPC dwarf cleric.

Cold_Beer (continuing) Ah, not exactly prehistoric, either... It's a nonstandard world like Empire of the Petal Throne... As for 3rd party products, I usually get what I need for a situation...

Mark_CMG How does everyone, in general, deal with bringing in new monsters to their games?

Painfully (chuckles) That's easy. You see a _____ staring at you from the dark.

CMG_Nichar I just toss one in and watch the PC's scramble for cover.

Hildulf "You see -description-.... Now what?"

deBhaal I just bring them in since nobody knows every monster in the world.

Painfully I must say I don't like meta-gaming, though I hate it when the players second guess the monsters stats or abilities. It happens in one of my other games.

Wolf72 After it bites a PC they usually realize it's a monster. (smiles)

Hildulf A certain amount of Meta-game thinking is to be expected...

Cold_Beer That depends...

Wolf72 ...but it seems that it takes up half the encounter. "Let's play guess the monster!"

Asmo How long have you people DMed?

thalmin I tell them what they know from the Monster Manual is only rumor.

Hildulf It's rather difficult to completely divorce your personal knowledge from Character Knowledge. (to Asmo) 23 years.

Wolf72 (to thalmin) I like that.

Cold_Beer I've been DMing for 15 years off and on...

Wolf72 Off and on, about 15 years as well.

thalmin I've been DMing 24 years.

deBhaal A couple of months...

Hildulf Unfortunately, for me, it's almost exclusively "ON".

Asmo I've been doing this stuff since August. (smiles)

Piratecat I've been DMing since... hmm... 1982 or so.

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) How do you deal with bringing in new monsters to your games?

Piratecat Piece of cake. If there is no need for an established ecosystem, then I just plop 'em in. Otherwise, I build up rumors of such things, or hints about them. I also make sure they won't screw up an ecosystem. But the world is big, and mysterious, and many odd things live in the dark places.

Hildulf A lot of times I'll add them in by putting them into the local arena.

Piratecat I have a sneaky method of avoiding meta-gaming.

Mark_CMG Yes?

Piratecat I take a monster, use the exact same stats (with maybe minor changes), and totally change the appearance.

Mark_CMG Such as...?

Painfully ...a sheep in wolf's clothing...

Piratecat Last game I had coin golems, made from old gold pieces.

alsih2o I like that.

Painfully Coin golems... Yummy.

Mark_CMG Using an Iron golem?

Piratecat They were just iron golems with cosmetic changes, but they freaked out the PCs.

Mark_CMG Very nice.

thalmin ALL monsters have to fit where they are, not just new ones. No wild things right next to cities.

Piratecat Swapped the poison gas for a wounding breath weapon of sharpened coins, if I recall correctly.

Mark_CMG How many people use the DMG and MM to make new monsters (or even the PH and DMG to make new races)?

Hildulf Coin golem.... XP and GP in one sweet little package.

Piratecat Well, I bought that 3rd party races book.

CMG_Nichar I've made some new monsters.

Asmo I don´t.

Piratecat Haven't used it.

alsih2o I have tnkered with it.

Piratecat I make new monsters all the time. Mostly, I just do it in my head and don't stat them out.

Painfully I like the Monsternomicon and have wanted to add some gunpowder to my game. I was considering a gun-using-golem for a while but it just didnt fit in my campaign.

Piratecat For instance, the necropede in my story hour was originally an undead purple worm with some last minute special effects. "Faking" monsters is easy, because the players never see the stats.

alsih2o We tend to have what we sarcstically refer to as "finch monsters"

Piratecat What are those?

alsih2o Like finches, the traits change every 60 miles.

deBhaal I just throw relevent things on a piece of paper, I'm the only one that can make sense of it.

alsih2o Lots of "subspecies"

Asmo It was great to introduce the Twig Blight from Sunless Citadel for veteran players. They hate when they don´t know what they are up aginst.

alsih2o ...slightly different abilities, or alignments...

deBhaal Asmo, yeah, those were cool. (grins)

thalmin Most of my monsters are either new or have been modified.

deBhaal I'm the only one (in my group) with a 3E Monster Manual.

Piratecat Handy.

deBhaal One player just knows the monsters from 2E.

Mark_CMG (to thalmin) Do you have an example?

Hildulf I'm a huge fan of tacking templates onto existing critters.

CMG_Nichar That works.

Asmo "What? A fortitude save? We are only lvl 1?!?!" (smiles)

Piratecat My players are mostly experienced, so it's tricky to avoid meta-gaming. I try to avoid too many templates, though; they can get silly.

deBhaal Well, one of my players has been playing since 6 years old and the other is new to the game.

Hildulf I don't mean multiple templates on the same critter. (smiles)

Piratecat Oh, right! I think new monsters are the easiest thing to introduce.

alsih2o I agree.

Shadeus I know the DMG and PH like the back of my hand but I have never even read the MM.

Painfully Shame on you, Shadeus.

Shadeus I find as a player it ruins the disbelief.

Painfully But the MM is a core book. (smiles)

thalmin I just tweak anything so it isn't exactly as in the MM.

Piratecat Not for players it isn't.

deBhaal So is the DMG but players aren't supposed to read it.

Shadeus I own it of course (smiles) but I think about what was great for me about 1st-edition and it was not knowing that shrieker did no damage or that skeletons take half damage from edged weapons.

ascendence I know the PH and DMG pretty well, too.

Piratecat (to Shadeus) Indeed.

Shadeus (to thalmin) That works for groups who know the MM inside and out but it can lead to problems.

Mark_CMG Does anyone have questions for the room about adding new material, generally or specifically?

Shadeus Well, prestige classes specifically. They are very campaign specific in my opinion...

Piratecat Trying to create new PrCs or judge new ones is really tough for me.

ascendence I don't think PrCs have to be necessarily campaign specific.

ascendence I find it's hard to create new PrCs, but I find its really easy to judge new ones. I have a number criteria.

Shadeus (to Piratecat) Especially since I feel some of the published material isn't all that balanced.

ascendence The number one being, "Would I ever care to play it?"

Shadeus (to ascendence) Exactly.

ascendence "If I want to play it, is it just because its unbalanced, or does it genuinely add something to my character?"

Piratecat Oh, I can judge weenie ones; judging whether or not they're too powerful is tougher.

ascendence And "How does it compare to any other classes that are like it?" I mean, there's a zillion archer and cavalry classes.

deBhaal That's how I do it... "Can I imagine a character that would take it because it made sense, not for the benifits?"

Piratecat 4 archers, at least.

ascendence Since the vast majority of people play dungeon games, cavalry characters are a waste.

Shadeus (to Piratecat) Do you add any new PrCs to your campaigns ever?

ascendence Though I'd consider playing a halfling cavalryman now. (smiles)

Piratecat (to Shadeus) Sure, all the time.

Shadeus How does it fit into the continuity of the story?

Piratecat We have a diviner/alienist/planeshifter, as a matter of fast.

ascendence I tend to think short-term rather than long.

deBhaal I think long term.

Shadeus Suddenly there is a force of dwarven fighters that are icons of law and defense...

Piratecat I try to create new PRCs that fit the feel of the campaign, and I disallow any that run against the feel.

ascendence My character is leaning towards Fighter/Bbn because I don't think the campaign will last long enough for me to make use of my PrC.

deBhaal I dont like Dwarven Defenders ... I play chaotic dwarves.

Shadeus I'm playing one now...they are great. (smiles)

Piratecat I have Dwarven Defenders playing a key campaign role.

thalmin PrC's should add color, not power.

deBhaal I'm sure they are ... but I don't play lawful well.

Painfully I agree with thalmin.

Piratecat Agreed; but they exist to let you do things that you couldn't do with multi-classing and feats.

Shadeus See? That's just it, Piratecat. How can a new PrC hold such a pivotal role in the campaign world? That's the problem I see.

Piratecat Simple. Plot is defined by the people and their positions, not by their classes.

Painfully I think the separation is whether you would allow those PrCs class benefits as feats or not... If it is really exclusive then it should be a PrC, otherwise let anybody take it as a feat.

Shadeus So basically if you have an NPC that fits the bill...

Piratecat Who knows whether that odd noble is a classed or unclassed or a Prestige classed NPC? No one! And no one will know if I add a new PrC to him.

Shadeus You just have then have levels of that PrC? I see...

Piratecat I feel no guilt about changing NPC abilities around, as long as the PCs don't know much about them and haven't fought them before. For instance, a bad guy in my game just became an elemental savant, because I finally read the PrC and said 'that fits!' All the PCs know is that he's a 'fire mage'.

Shadeus Mark, will you put implementing any PrCs in your upcoming material?

Mark_CMG I believe that there are plenty of them available as is, but you never know.

Piratecat So true.

Mark_CMG What do you think isn't yet covered?

ascendence What's not covered?

Piratecat I haven't read most of the Mongoose books, but I want more psionic PrC's.

Mark_CMG If the class books are handled in the SRD, I may use some of that.

ascendence Good Bbn and Bard PrCs.

Piratecat Yes. We need more bard PrC's.

Shadeus FFG's Path of Magic is fairly good for bards.

Piratecat I hear someone wrote a module that uses it. (smiles)

deBhaal We need some more really good rogue PrCs.

ascendence I should write up a mad piper PrC. The Song and Silence PrCs were mostly a write off.

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) I have a signed copy of that module that I bought from Talon comics. (smiles)

deBhaal (to ascendence) Most of them, and I really like rogues.

ascendence The Path of Magic didn't have many PrCs that appealed to me.

Shadeus The alternate bard singing abilities, I thought, were brilliant.

Piratecat In Paths of Magic?

Shadeus Yes.

Piratecat I'll have to check it out.

Shadeus Basically, instead of singing, you could get chanting, dancing, or playing an instrument.

Painfully You'd would think bard powers would become stronger in groups... It makes sense to me anyway.

Piratecat With Monte's alt.bard, they do. (then to everyone) One last question from me: anyone use alt.classes, such as a alt.ranger?

ascendence No.

Mark_CMG Good question

deBhaal I dont have any ... so not unless I make the alt.

Shadeus Yes. We use Monte's ranger and have dabbled with his bard.

Piratecat Shadeus, too powerful or about right?

alsih2o ...and what about the netbook of classes?

Painfully I like the WoT forester, but my player uses the PHB ranger.

Shadeus (to Piratecat) Well, I think the feat progression is a bit too much. I would say 1/4 levels. Instead I like the additional spells and he offers a feat called 'favored enemy strike' which adds the d6 to damage and makes favored enemy not suck so much.

ascendence Rangers really are very beneficial for their two-weapon fighting abilities.

Shadeus (to ascendence) Which I hate...

ascendence Which, by the way, I think are most beneficial to rogues or other people with sneak attacks.

Shadeus ...all the rogues who take 1 level of ranger.

thalmin I like the Woodsman from Wheel of Time.

Painfully I agree.

deBhaal I've never played a rogue that took a level of ranger...

Shadeus (to thalmin) No spells for woodsman?

thalmin Correct.

Shadeus See? I really think the spells make the ranger useful. Somehow being able to cast 1 entangle is cool to me. (smiles)

ascendence Ranger/Rogue is the quintessential bounty hunter.

thalmin I've played a rogue who passed himself off a ranger

ascendence Especially if you allow urban rangers. In which case it becomes even MORE of a no-brainer for Rogues to take a level of ranger.

Piratecat Too darn front-loaded.

Shadeus (to Piratecat) I agree... Even with Monte's ranger.

deBhaal That's why I dont play rangers... They get nothing later on.

Shadeus ...the spells...

deBhaal ...or next to nothing.

Shadeus ...polymorph self... level 16, is granted. (smiles)

deBhaal Yeah, but by that time you just get it cast on you, or have an item of it.

Shadeus Yeah, you are right. I have no argument there.

Piratecat I was actually gaming with Monte when they had the discussion about how to make high lvl barbarians not suck.

Shadeus ...and?

CMG_Nichar (to Piratecat) That had to be cool.

Piratecat I had been visiting friends at WotC for the day, and they were thrashing it out.

deBhaal ...but I'm not going to play somethign that only get spells at high levels unless your going to be able to cast effectively.

ascendence (to Piratecat) What did he say? I like Barbarians, but my current Bbn is going to end up as a Bbn 2/Ftr N.

deBhaal somethign else I don't like is 'favored class'. I understand it but that doesn't change the fact that I don't like it.

Piratecat What I remember most was when someone cast 'Identify'. "That's not how it works," Monte said. "Yes. As of this morning," someone answered. "Well, that isn't how it's going to work tomorrow!" he answered. (grins)

Shadeus (laughs)

Piratecat Pretty funny.

ascendence Seriously though, what Bbn fixes did he propose? New magic items are the most easy to insert.

Piratecat Don't remember - it was years ago.

Mark_CMG Let's talk about adding in new magic items? Who has something they introduced and wished thay hadn't?

ascendence New magic items are the most easy to insert.

deBhaal Items are pretty easy ...

alsih2o We had a crystal ball problem.

Mark_CMG Or just a particularly useful new magic item either made up or gotten from a new source?

Painfully I got a cloud giant in my game...i didnt think he was tall enough so I made him 60' tall. (chuckles)

Mark_CMG (to alsih2o) Do tell...

alsih2o Well, one person, while DMing, introduced a crystal ball and it got severly overused.

Piratecat I wonder if my PCs have too many or not enough items for their level. I should check it.

deBhaal I like the whip in Bastion of Broken Souls...

CMG_Nichar (to alsih2o) Started to use it as a phone?

thalmin I like to add magic items with no obvious combat use to see how imaginative my players can be.

ascendence Your villains should start taking countermeasures against crystal balls.

alsih2o he eventually had the overuse attract its original owner.

Painfully I don't believe in random items...ever. It needs to make sense for the NPC or monster where it is found.

alsih2o ...the original owner let us know he wanted it back, and was too much to argue with.

Shadeus We had an intelligent sword once that was deluded into believing it was the Sword of Kas. (smiles) It was a short sword I believe... (sword: "But I _AM_ the Sword of Kas...")

Piratecat (to Shadeus) That's really funny.

Mark_CMG (to Piratecat) Any new items you have introduced to your game lately?

Piratecat I'm about to introduce a whole bunch.

Mark_CMG Such as...?

Piratecat The PCs have been shorted for loot recently, so they'll get a haul from where they are right now.

Mark_CMG Anything you can discuss that will be in the transcript without creating a problem for your game?

Piratecat Nope. (smiles)

Mark_CMG (chuckles) How about from days gone by?

Piratecat Let's see. A sword with minor spell turning when drawn - very fun.

Mark_CMG How did that go over?

deBhaal I wouldnt mind having one of them but it could be almost abused.

Piratecat A cursed girdle of giant strength that makes you taller and dumber. A crystal hypnosis ball that suckered the PCs into freeing an archdemon.

Painfully I like items that make you pay a price for their benefits. (smiles)

Piratecat I agree, Painfully. The paladin's sword is intelligent and has a forceful personality. I like that idea. Once, an undead-slaying sword would force nearly unconscious PCs into combat against mummies.

Mark_CMG How about items and their histories?

Piratecat History is essential, especially when a PC is a bard. I make stuff up, then tie it into plot later.

Mark_CMG Origins of items, like who made them and for whom they were made?

Piratecat More like who has used them, or where they're from. You never know who might come looking for it later...

Shadeus I actually had a 2nd-edition intelligent flametongue in one of my games once. It had a different personality for each "plus"

Piratecat And recognizeable items with unique features make for more interesting play. (then to Shadeus) Cool idea!

Shadeus (if you remember it was +1/+2 for avians/+3 reptiles, etc. TSR didn't like the advneture though. (smiles) I can't remember its name...maybe splinter. Anyway, each personality had a different alignment The base was neutral. The most powerful (the +4) was neutral evil and that was against undead. It caused some grief in the party especially when the sword tried to convince them that the lich was their friend.

Piratecat Beautiful. I once had an intelligent sword fall in love with a PC.

Mark_CMG Those are great ideas. (smiles)

Piratecat It got jealous of her other weapons.

Painfully I could see some inconsistency problems with that sword though. Nobody would want to own it and contend with a multiple personality like that. They might eventually "figure it out" though.

Shadeus Exactly right. It did cause lots of internal problems in the party.

Painfully Once they figure it out it should be much better though.

Piratecat I also made a "magical" staff that was psionic. Very effective at confounding the player. It was imperious, and demanded it be polished before its powers would be used. They knew it could do lots of cool things, but it would usually refuse.

Mark_CMG It's tough to resist the temptation of the power sometimes. (smiles)

alsih2o ...always... (smiles)

Shadeus I really think intelligent items are a great addition to a game, but they can really ruin a game as well.

Piratecat How so?

Shadeus If you look at Vault of the Drow, the PCs that came with it, their characters had several intelligent items. Well, there always seems to be jealousy issues, at least in my group, with the one with the intelligent weapon getting all the attention (both good and bad, of course.) I never claimed to be a great DM. (smiles)

Piratecat I never had that problem.

Piratecat On that note, I'm off! Night, all, and thank you so much. These chats are great, Mark.

Mark_CMG Thanks for participating, Piratecat. This is probably a good place to wind it down for all of us. (smiles)

alsih2o Well, thanks lots, Mark.

Shadeus Yeah, thanks, Mark,

CMG_Nichar This was fun listening to everything.

alsih2o Cool.

thalmin Thanks, Mark, see you Saturday.

Mark_CMG Thanks to everyone for participating.

Shadeus Bye.

CMG_Nichar Bye.

alsih2o Peace, Shadeus.

Mark_CMG See some of you at the Gameday! (grins)

alsih2o Peace, Mark. (smiles)

thalmin G'night all.

Painfully I'll see you there, then. (smiles) Cheers!

Mark_CMG I hope to see all of you in two weeks at the next CMG DMing Chat Session! (smiles) Good night!

End of #CMG buffer Mon Nov 04 21:09:07 2002

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