The Evil DM

The Evil DM
The Evil DM

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tabaxi in Dungeons and Dragons

If you only play Tabaxi characters in Dungeons and Dragons, does that mean you are a crazy cat lady?

The description of Tabaxi in Volo's Guide makes them similar to the Khajiit in Skyrim. They are not warlike Kzinti from Larry Niven's "Known Space" fictional universe. The description in Volo's Guide is vague enough to allow roll play a Tabaxi like either a Khajiit or a Kzinti. That was a tongue twister.

Dark Elf (Drow) and Lightfoot Halfling have the same stat modifiers as the Tabaxi. All three have plus two to dexterity and plus one to charisma.

You could argue the charisma to the Tabaxi it because they are cute.

Both the Drow and Tabaxi have darkvision; although the Drow can see 120' in the dark while the Tabaxi can only see 60'.

The Drow have the Dancing Lights cantrip and at higher levels the Faerie Fire and Darkness spells. Lightfoot Halflings have the advantage of luck. Tabaxi have Feline Agility, Cat's Claws, and Cat's Talent. Feline Agility gives the Tabaxi character the ability to move at double speed. Cat's Talent give the character proficiency in perception and stealth.

The Drow have sunlight sensitivity; Lightfoot Halflings can only move with a speed of 25. The Tabaxi have no documented disadvantages unlike the other two.

The Tabaxi have one significant advantage over any other race in Dungeons and Dragons. They are felines. That means the player can use all the cat videos on the Internet for inspiration on how to roll play their character. If a Tabaxi character likes another player character, does that mean they go out and kill a rodent and leave it beside the other player characters for them to find in the morning?

If the party finds a box or small chest, does the Tabaxi claim it for a sleeping place even though they can barely fit in it, with all their fur sticking out?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Response to Monstrous Tactics: Bullywugs by MikeThepiper

This is a Response to MikeThepiper video titled Monstrous Tactics: Bullywugs

Welcome to my channel. I focus on tabletop role-playing games, video games, and science fiction.

MikeThepiper's introduction is reminiscent of the croaking refrain from Aristophanes' play, The Frogs. That fits well with this entire topic.

TSR released The Fiend Folio In 1981 for first edition of Dungeons and Dragons. The Field Folio introduced the Bullywug. Not much has really changed in the Bullywug from the first edition to the fifth edition.

Right after the release of the Fiend Folio, I was given charge of running the gaming section of a local science fiction convention. I designed an adventure around creatures in the Fiend Folio. The result was Key to Druid's Gate. A friend did artwork for the module. I have a nicely bound copy. I even sold a couple of copies of the module.

Between January and February of 2015, I ran an updated version of Key to Druid's Gate on Google Hangouts. I updated the creatures to their equivalent in fourth edition. It took approximately eleven hours of on-line gaming to finish an adventure that was supposed to be completed in three. Much of the extra time was caused by the extremely slow combat of the fourth edition.

One of the creatures the party fought was the Bullywug. In the Key to Druid's Gate, the Bullywugs defended their territory. Their ability to blend into the background of the swamp was the key to their tactics. Even though the Bullywugs are low level monsters, the ability to do a surprise attack allowed twelve of them to draw a little blood from a vastly superior force of seven sixth level characters. In the end, the adventurers were able to dispatch the Bullywugs without much difficulty.

Bullywugs, by themselves, are not much of a challenge. The idea of having Bullywugs riding giant frogs is an interesting approach to creating a mobile cavalry.

Bullywugs have an advantage when they are defending their lair. Their croaking can be heard over long distances. This means Bullywugs can set up a network of guards that can warn of any party venturing into the Bullywugs' home territory. Bullywugs know the swamp. They know exactly where to set up the best trap. For example, although Bullywugs are not allies with Giant Crocodiles, they know where the Giant Crocodiles live. They can set up an ambush such that any party venturing into the Bullywugs's swamp, will end up alerting the Giant Crocodiles. While the party is fighting the Giant Crocodiles, the Bullywugs can attack from behind, assisting the Giant Crocodiles.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Let's Talk about Pirates and Plunder

Are you ready to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats?

Welcome to my channel. I focus on tabletop role-playing games, video games, and science fiction.

H. L. Mencken said, "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."

In 1982, Yaquinto Publications released Pirates and Plunder. Being a pirate sounds like fun. Unfortunately, Pirates and Plunder is not a very good system. One of the biggest problem is the organization of the books. Pirates and Plunder attempted to create a training system where you learns some rules with each of the initial adventures. This means the rules are scattered all over the books. This makes the game almost unplayable, you end up searching through the rulebooks for almost every little detail. The typography is awful. There are three books. In book 1, they did not use different typography to show section headings. Instead, major section heads had two asterisk, and minor section heads did not.

Another problem with Pirates and Plunder is the combat system. The combat system is quick and brutal. With a single hit, you can lose a limb. You must meticulously keep track of the location and damage of each hit.

Then, after the battle is over, you have roll again for every wound to see how it heals. If the wound does not heal, you can get an infection. They could end up amputating a limb just because you got a scratch. Your character could die from the infection. If your character does survive, they can get a nice scar. There is no magical healing in Pirates and Plunder. You cannot drink a healing potion or cast a healing spell. The medicinal system is a primitive as the setting of the game. Getting medicinal help can make your chances of surviving worse.

Once you have seen how the combat and healing system works, you try to avoid all possible combat situations. This takes away a lot of the fun at being a swashbuckler.

The game does not include any rules sailing or ship combat. Another major disappointment with the game.

I did this video because season 4 of Black Sails starts tonight. Black Sails is as brutal as Pirates and Plunder. The difference is Black Sails is a lot of fun with a good story. Pirates and Plunder was not much fun when I played it.

Thank you for watching my video.

I look forward to learning what you think about this video. Let me know in the comments below. I appreciate all your comments. If you like the video give it a thumb's up. If you don't like the video give me a thumb's down. I appreciate both forms of feedback. If your new here and would like to subscribe you can click on the icon on the left. If you're interested there is more content on the right.

Halfling Hearth Review

I just had dinner at the Halfling Hearth and I am stuffed.

The Halfling Hearth just opened a restaurant in my area. They serve Halfling in a variety of ways. Everything from juicy burgers to succulent baby ribs to deep fried to pit roasted Halfling.

Their juicy Halfling bugers use a ratio of 80% lean and 20% fat. They liberally season the burger with their secret blend of spices then drop the burgers onto a smoking hot griddle. The result is a mouthwatering Halfling burger.

Their baby ribs are hand-rubbed with a secret blend of spices, then pit-smoked for 4 to 6 hours over a smoldering mesquite fire. Then slathered with sauce over an open flame sealing in the flavor with a crispy, caramelized coating.

They soak their cut-up Halfling pieces in buttermilk overnight to tenderize the meat. They remove the pieces and sprinkle salt, pepper, and their secret blend of spices. The pieces are coated with a flour mixture, then an egg mixture, and again back into a seasoned flour mixture. The key to the amazing flavor is they are cooked in rendered Halfling fat. This gives an amazing flavor that is hard to describe. The closest I can come to is fried rabbit.

The pit-roasted Halfling is the star of the show. The meat falls off the bone with a soft, moist consistency. The tasty meat is wonderful with a little of their sweet and spicy sauce.

They say the key to the wonderful taste is they only serve free-ranging Halflings. They don't use cage raised Halflings. All the Halflings are certified organic and antibiotic free.

The Halfling Hearth fills up fast. I recommend making reservations.

I give it five stars.

I hope you appreciate a bit of dark humor.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

D&D Essential Equipment: Chalk Script

A well-equipped party should always be ready to make its mark.

"Kilroy was here" was a piece of graffiti painted around the world during World War II. The origin of Kilroy is debated. What is not debatable is Kilroy went everywhere. Years ago, a character in my campaign walked up to a wall and wrote, "Julian was here". That started my interest in having my dungeons show that someone was here before.

Chalk is lightweight and common. Some of the earliest cave drawing are drawn in chalk. Throughout history, chalk has marked walls with graffiti. Chalk provides an easy way for a character to leave their mark on the dungeon, for example, "Julian kilt an ogre here". Which is a pun on the carving in Washington County, Tennessee which reads, "D. Book Cilled a. Bar on tree in the year 1760".

Chalk is invaluable if you wander into a maze. Chalk allows you to quickly and easily mark the path you took. This makes is much harder to get lost. The disadvantage is this allows other things to follow you.

Weightlifters, gymnasts, and rock climbers chalk their hands. Athletes competing in power field events, such as shot put, discus throw, and javelin throw, use chalk to aid in gripping.

Putting chalk powder on the floor is an easy way to see if anything passed that way, or to reveal an invisible creatures foot prints.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

D&D Essential Equipment Iron Spikes Script

To a well-equipped party, it is simple to make it impossible for monsters to open a door.

Welcome to my channel. I focus on tabletop role-playing games, video games, and science fiction.

In Original Dungeons and Dragons, on page 14 of Men and Magic, the price list includes 12 iron spikes for one gold piece. Inflation has hit Dungeons and Dragons. In the fifth edition, on page 150 of the Player's Handbook, the price list includes 10 iron spikes for one gold piece. It is interesting to note that the fifth edition includes a price for iron spikes, but unlike almost every other piece of equipment, it does not include a description of how to use an iron spike.

Iron spikes are useful. You can jam a spike under a door and use is it as a door jamb to keep the door open. Or you can pound the iron spike through the edges of the door to keep it shut. In order for monsters to follow they have to break down the door, hopefully giving the party the few minutes they need to escape.

David Drake wrote a book titled, "Ranks of Bronze". Wikipedia describes the book as "A defeated Roman legion is sold into slavery to alien traders seeking low tech soldiers to be used in conflicts to secure trading rights on alien planets." There is an interesting passage in the book.

"Now...," said Niger, letting his eyes travel from one crewman to the other, "We're going to give you a demonstration of why you will obey every order which Gaius gives you, without argument or hesitation."

"We call it crucifixion."

"The Commander began to scream. The screaming went on for a long time."

Iron spikes have lots of nefarious uses.

Hill Dwarf vs. Lizardfolk in Dungeons and Dragons

Hill Dwaves and Lizardfolk have the same statistical modifiers in Dungeons and Dragons. Hill Dwarf and Lizardfolk have the same stat bonuses. Both have plus 2 to constitution and plus 1 to wisdom. Hill Dwarves are four to five feet tall. Lizard folk are a little larger than humans meaning they are from five feet to a little over six feet tall.

Hill Dwarves have the advantage of having dark vision. They also have Dwarven resilience which means they have better saves when it comes to poison. They have stone cunning which means they have a better chance to know the origins of stonework. Hill Dwarves have Dwarven toughness giving them plus one to their hit points when they go up each level. Hill Dwarves have the disadvantage their speed is only 25.

Lizardfolk are cunning artisans. This means they can harvest bone and hide from a slain beast and create a shield, club, javelin, darts, or blowgun needles. Lizardfolk can hold their breath for fifteen minutes. They have hunter’s lore. Lizardfolk have natural armor equal to a chain shirt, and they can add their dexterity bonus. Lizardfolk have the ability to have a bonus action attack using their bite.

Which is makes a better character race?

Dark vision is highly over rated. If your party does not all have dark vision, then you need torches. If you want to use Molotov Cocktails, they probably want a torch. The resistance to poison is helpful, but unless your dungeon master uses poison all the time, this is not that meaningful. Stone cunning is interesting, but few dungeon masters make it a key part of their adventures. Speed is a big disadvantage. Hill dwarves slow the party down. The biggest advantage is the increase in hit points. This is a big advantage at lower levels, but as you progress, it is not as important.

Lizardfolk are listed as cold and cunning. This means they could create things from the creatures the party kills, this should include other humans, dwarves, elves, and so on. Unless you are adventuring underwater, holding their breath is not that useful. Hunter’s lore could be useful, particularly the stealth capabilities. Volo’s Guide, mentions that Lizardfolk are reptiles. This probably means they are cold- blooded. Adventuring in cold climates a problem. At lower levels, the natural armor and bonus attack make Lizardfolk the better bang-for-the-buck.

Personally, playing a Lizardfolk sounds like a lot of fun. Think of the possibilities of playing a character who looks at the rest of the party as potential lunch.