Updates in Brief: Clarity

I haven’t written in awhile, and I don’t want to be “that guy,” who goes on hiatus and then blogs about why he hasn’t been blogging. It’s boring, and I don’t care for it. Instead, it’s update time!

Also, as long as I’m being completely shameless, here’s a picture of a hot vampire chick.

Seriously, This is What I'm Reduced To.

I like this image. I wanted an excuse to use it. Then I realized that I don't need an excuse. Also because my highest traffic page is from searches for tiefling women. Go figure.

So a few weeks ago was our 2nd game of Kingmaker 4th Edition, and we were running without our paladin (which we’ll likely be doing for the rest of the summer, unless we find someone else who wants to play defender in the meantime). We ran into some nasty cultists, some shadow creatures, and Devon, my vampire (and future king, maybe?), got himself a kickass shadow blade by killing off one of the shades in one final shot. Fluffed as a replacement for the blade of my broken sword hilt (my chosen ki focus and tied directly to my origin story), and mechanically futzed with to make it work with my vampire powers. Not a game changer, but it looks cool and I’m good with that.

Regrettably, it was pretty much the last really cool thing he got to do that game, thanks to a series of REALLY awful dice rolls on my part as well as some first rate BONEHEADEDNESS on the part of the player (me). To paraphrase the IT department, it was a PLBCSC – or, “Problem Lies between Character Sheet and Chair.”

So that soured me for a bit. A few rounds stuck out of combat at the bottom of a hole (I should have KNOWN this DM likes to use pit traps after that last game session …) in one fight, and a few more rounds trapped on the back rank in the last fight worked together to just make things terribly, terribly bad for me. On the plus side, though, our ranger and druid were really kicking ass.

I’ve come a bit dry on my Wuxia series for the moment, but I do have plans to return to it in some form or another, to be sure. More immediately, though, my next game is this Saturday, and it’s the first time I’ve legitimately made it to second level in the same campaign. So, kind of a milestone, really.

In the interest of figuring out better what my character should be aiming for, I picked up a copy of The Batman vs. Dracula from the discount DVD bin at the local Walmart (my money is on The Batman). And, in the process, discovered that the iPad doesn’t like auto-correcting “Walmart.” Go figure. Maybe Walmart isn’t an expensive enough brand for Apple? 😀

Anyway, it has some good fight scenes, as one would expect from a film featuring The Batman vs. just about anyone tough enough to give Batman trouble. And it got me thinking about where I’m headed in about 5-8 more levels.

Yeah. It’s kind of like that.

Oddly enough, it also redeemed a few of those unpleasant moments from the last game for me. I realized something.

When a vampire misses you, it’s still impressive. Often enough he hits something behind you, and that something, whatever it is, tends to end up broken. Rock, wood, doesn’t much matter. Odds are good that I can work that into descriptive flavor during any future fights. I have to remind myself that by picking vampire, I’ve essentially pulled in a little bit of that “comic-book” level combat on the D&D sized stage. I’m pretty sure I can make that work.

Further, when a vampire gets hit, he’s almost ALWAYS going for intimidation afterward (“Is that all you’ve got? I can do this all night.” Followed up by demonstrating the rapid regenerative abilities. Or, worse, “Heh. That tickled.” Add malevolent grin from player for extra bonus points.)

Every decision I make for my character, mechanically speaking, has to be targeted toward one of the following directions:

  • Hit harder/more accurately: because I’m still a striker, even with the other elements. Because of this it’s very tempting to make my next feat choice the obvious Implement Focus – I know I need it eventually, I’m just not sure it should be now. I’m more interested in accuracy than damage, given the choice.
  • Improved defenses: because I’m running without armor. My AC is already about as high as it can get at this level (I think I’m up to 19 at second level thanks to Unarmored Agility. Considering that I have free THP generation and regen on bloodied, I think that’s fairly respectable.) Fortitude and Reflex stand at 13 and 15, respectively – my highest secondary defense is actually Will. I’m tempted to raise it even higher, rather than shore up the other two – Tim Ferris says to play to your strengths instead of trying to correct weaknesses. It’s not bad advice. I may put at least one feat into this before I hit Paragon tier.
  • Speed/Mobility. Anything that gets me free shifting and or teleportation is on my items wishlist. Feats that might help are also being looked for. Thankfully I have a DM who’s willing to houserule if necessary … This is one of the categories that might convince me to multiclass.
  • Stealth. For obvious reasons.
  • Skills. If only for Roleplaying purposes.
This list is mainly for my own benefit, of course. Any thoughts from the community are more than welcome, and are in fact greatly appreciated.
Just as long as they don’t include the negativity found in CharOp. So far my two favorite classes have been the ones CharOp thought were terrible, which indicates to me that CharOp is not the best place to go to find out where the awesome is. 😛
Play nice, people. I have trained owlbears on guard.
SOMEBODY better give a hoot!

Truth be told, I'm actually quite fond of Owlbears... even if they are a little odd.



2 responses to “Updates in Brief: Clarity

  • Ayanami

    Vampire? You are kidding. That pic is from Legend of the Five Rings, a rpg in an oriental background, and that girl is just one of the evil magicians.

    • Jonathan

      Hooboy. Someone missed the part about the trained owlbears… ^_^

      Tbsnks for clarifying that for me. Haven’t played L5R, but always thought it sounded interesting. Honest mistake, and frankly one I don’t care hugely about having made given that this is my personal blog and all. But thanks.

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