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More Realistic Horses and their care and maintainence
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-08-16 01:53 PM

This is a top of the line submission, but I believe the reason most people don't RP their horses is because the game is about the player characters - not their horses. It's the same logic as why many DMs just assume a spellcaster has all the components they need in their pouch, no one wants to keep track of those details. Gaming is about fun and adventure, not record keeping and minutae and unless you have a serious love of horses the very large equipment list needed is nothing but minutae. I was hoping the article could provide some more insight into how to incorporate those details without it being distracting or droll. 

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'The Speed Limit is ' - about Magic Items
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Game Mastering)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-08-15 12:06 PM

Having spent far too much time in 3.5 I will mention that there are ways of tricking-out baddies without actually giving them items. There could be a misguided Vow of Poverty druid, a cleric or warlock who buffs him/herself a great deal at the start of the day, and my personal favorite Incarnum characters. In fact, there is no reason for an obscenely wealthy noble to not Permenancy a number of buffs on himself instead of walking around with magic items that totally clash with his outfit. None of the aforementioned will drop any magic items when they die either so you can tailor their power without worrying about the characters becoming inflated by magic. If you really want to get your players acting smart give them a bunch of one-use potions or limited-use wands. After all, what average thug can invest in a +4 belt of whatever for the one or two battles he'll have in a year? The players will have to act fast and smart because a prolonged battle will mean less booty when they win. 

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Not Just Rolling Dice: A Fight Scene
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Gaming - In General)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-17 02:25 PM

The idea of cue cards for players is great, I will have to try to remember that. 

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Running Tactical Scenes at Lightning Speeds with Many Players
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Game Mastering)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-17 03:04 PM

I have to disagree that computers slow things down. I am not sure what your programmers are doing wrong, but there are a whole host of tools that help. 

While many of us like rolling actual dice, if you roll 18d6 adding all of them up is a pain. A die roller does that for you. 

RPtools has everything from a virtual map to an intitiative tracker. Tools like that and google docs allow people to share information and sheets. The online SRDs for things like Pathfinder and 3.5 and bookmarked / text PDFs allow us to find and sort out rules quickly (though I agree that sometimes you just need a physical copy).

Having played a Malconvoker (summoning specialist) with over 9 summons on the board at a time I created a spreadsheet in my free time. I had only to input the AC of what was being hit, and it would give me a damage output. Refresh, and it would run the turn of the next summon. If your 'programmers' can't do something like that, well...

Lastly as much as I hate to be a software fangirl, I love Fantasy Grounds. From a DM perspective it is simply amazing. I could wax poetic about it for quite a while, so I'll leave it at that. 

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The Crawl, Doing It the Cinematic Way
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Game Mastering)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-17 03:34 PM

Hmm, I think this idea blends well with the five room dungeon.

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Famous Gaming Laws Axioms and Principles
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Gaming - In General)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-17 01:43 PM

A good list. I think Sandy's law is one I need to remember in particular. 

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Manna Fleas
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Any)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-15 03:22 AM

There is a part of me that likes this idea, then there is the part of me that has experienced a flea infestation. Because of the rapidity of their breading and their general insidiousness you become a little paranoid. I can easily see that being a very strong character trait for an eccentric wizard.

Living in a wizarding town "go fetch X component for a flea-bomb" would make a good low level quest, especially for non-casters. Along that line of thinking there might be entire establishments devoted to cleansing a place of fleas, and the fleas are developing an immunity to whatever the exterminators are using. 

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Lifeforms  (Fauna)   (Any)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2013-03-21 11:36 PM
I would like more from this submission, it brings to mind another submission I read somewhere about a place that lives in harmony with a colony of spiders deep in the swamp. I think the venom is what makes them unique, and should be elaborated on. Go to Comment
Memory Book
Items  (Books and Scrolls)   (Villanous)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-17 03:31 AM

A vanity form of immortality seems awfully hollow for a cultist. While the 'picture' interpretation of the book is better it seems to relegate the book the land of fluff. What axlerowes proposes turns it into a sort of accidental intelligent magic item that tries to impress its own desires on the reader, and the implications of that are stellar. I can only imagine a posessed reader confronting an older version of the author. "Look at you, you're everything I have strived against!" Certainly a way to test one's convictions. 

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An Old Codex
Items  (Books and Scrolls)   (Non-Magical)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-17 03:35 AM

It's a real concept that applies just as well in any RP setting as it does in life. Nothing fancy, just a good solid idea.

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Mask for the Theater of Cruelty
Items  (Clothes)   (Villanous)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-18 12:51 AM

I like that this is a face swap and not a face copy. I feel like it needs a backstory about its use in a theater that eventually became infamous as the theater of cruelty. Perhaps this item has a twin mask, the tragedy one, which when it is combined has a sort of special effect. There could be a constant struggle in the seedy underground of the theater to try and hold both masks. 

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Pet's Collar
Items  (Clothes)   (Villanous)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-18 12:47 AM

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I didn't get any more than that. I somehow feel like this post lacks something. Some sort of story or flair to make it good. The applications are well thought out, however.

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Riding Crop of Command
Items  (Other)   (Villanous)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-08-02 01:08 PM

An interesting form of a practical item, but I too have to wonder why it's masculine oriented. It's perfectly fine that it is, but I'd like some sort of history or explanation. 

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Pillow of Sleep
Items  (Home/ Personal)   (Magical)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-08-02 01:00 PM

I fourth the desire to own one. It's simply so practical I don't feel it needs any real explanation. It's not a 5/5 post that makes you go "Woah... must... use..." but any DM or even a player can come up with a dozen clever uses for it. I especially like that it doesn't have that overwhelming aura of evil so many things have, it just has uses and 'misuses'.

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The Stinking Rose
Locations  (Establishment)   (Other)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2013-03-24 06:54 PM
The submission itself is okay, but other than just dropping it into a game as a little extra flavor (pun intended) I see nothing that makes it special. It would really become unique as MoonHunter already suggested if it played into the dynamics of the town. If there is a nightstalker that is avoided by partaking at the inn and the gentry have pushed out the commoners it could ignite some class strife. Go to Comment
Swords. Why does it always have to be swords?
Articles  (Rules and Advice)   (Game Mastering)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2013-05-18 02:41 PM
The comments on this sub are great; but consider this: why does it have to be a weapon at all? In fairytales people encounter all manner of things.

A golden bird in a cage which sings and begs for freedom.
A silver dress spun of moonlight to barter with the princess.
A pipe which when smoked summons an imp.
An egg to hatch a magical beast.

Most of them wander around without weapons or combat at all, using their wits, luck, and some help from friends. Consider even other universes. How does a pokeball work? What manner of potion device does Jeckyll wear to turn into Hyde? Any item from Warehouse 13? Those might be too obvious and not fit your theme but there are also LINDA items (Looks interesting, never does anything):

A cup which when placed in the sun slowly fills to the brim with water.
A staff which when broken in half can mend itself over the course of a day if the pieces are placed side by side and undisturbed.
A napkin which is always clean. It sheds dirt and grime when shaken out.

The best part about these items is that players tend to imbue them with undue significance, or show great creativity in attempts to *make* them useful. Go to Comment
Watch Out for that... ouch...
Dungeons  (Any)   (Traps)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2013-03-24 11:20 PM
Simple, effective, a stand-alone trap that can be put in front of any door by any NPC worth his trapmaking salt. I can see it being scaled to a certain point when it comes to lethality as well. I don't feel like this one needs a background, as this is the sort of thing every run of the mill trapmaker could construct. Go to Comment
Watch Out for that... ouch...
Dungeons  (Any)   (Traps)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2013-03-24 11:20 PM
Simple, effective, a stand-alone trap that can be put in front of any door by any NPC worth his trapmaking salt. I can see it being scaled to a certain point when it comes to lethality as well. I don't feel like this one needs a background, as this is the sort of thing every run of the mill trapmaker could construct. Go to Comment
BOO!!! Horror effect in a game...
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - Genre)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-15 02:14 PM

I find this far superior to your Boo! article which seemed cheesy. I have to disagree with you on the point of not informing your players it is a horror game. Bait and switch is illegal for a reason. If the players did not want to play a horror game, then they have no choice but to leave or have you entirely change the game. Additionally, if they don't realize it is a horror game they will be far less cooperative in creating the mood because a fair portion of D&D is often in the out of game experience.

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Treasure. It happens
Articles  (Character)   (Game Mastering)
PoisonAlchemist's comment on 2011-07-17 02:21 PM

One idea shared with me was to actually give a picture of the gem to the player. If it's a semi-precious stone you most likely have one or can buy a small bag of them for a couple dollars. Gems are shiny. Really shiny. It's something you don't appreciate when the DM says "you have a 300 GP ruby" until you are looking at a $300 ruby. Beyond rubies, what does an adventurine look like? There are thousands of valuble stones you can use to add flavor. 

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