Friday, January 27, 2012

Preview of Pathfinder Battles: Rise of the Runelords Minis

Check out Paizo's Blog for the latest preview of the upcoming Pathfinder Battles minis set. There is no official release date yet.

Also mentioned in the same article is a pre-packaged non-random set of 6 minis called Champions of Evil. This is similar to the Pathfinder Beginners Box Heroes set that came out earlier which had 4 of the Iconic characters for Pathfinder. This new set has an Evil Cleric, A Succubus, Scarlet Gargoyle and 3 Zombies.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I'm now on Google+. I've been thinking about either playing in or running a game using the G+ Hangouts. I'm still reading up on what I need to do to get up and running.

My name there is Greg Johnston (pic of me sitting somewhere outside wearing a cap & sunglasses, goatee, black backpack on with a water bottle in hand.). This was on a hiking trip I took years ago in Sequoia National Park.

Also can email me at brothershinrin at GEE MAYLE dot com. Brother Shinrin was the name of a monk character I played in a 3.5 edition game years ago. He was pretty awesome and was the first monk character I ever played and had fun with. I got him up to 12th Level before the mini-campaign ended.

Feel free to add me to your circles, hopefully I will be playing in a game or hosting one soon.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

[Video] Archery Rate of Fire

This rocks! Certainly makes that the elf archer in Hawk the Slayer look lame.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cthulhu Through the Editions

I was reading Realms of Crawling Chaos last night and thought the stats for Cthulhu were somewhat weak. That prompted me to go dig out my Dieties & Demigods book (yes, the one with the Cthulhu and Melnibonean Mythos inside) and compare the stats.

Note: I haven't replicated the stat blocks in their entirety. I wanted to focus on comparing overall power)

AD&D Cthulhu (from Dieties & Demigods)

AC: 2
MOVE: 18"/36"
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-10 (x30)
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Immune to Magical Control, +2 or better weapon to hit, regeneration.
FIGHTER: As 16+ HD monster
MAGIC-USER: 20th level magic-user
STR: 25, INT: 20, WIS: 23, DEX: 20, CON: 25, CHA: -7

Cthulhu usually attacks both physically and psionically. He can regenerate 10hp/round. He teleports up to one-half mile at will and is totally immune to the effects of water, cold and vacuum. He can call up from the sea 10-100 Deep Ones. He will retreat into his lair id confronted by an intact Elder Sign, another of the Old Ones (suchas Hastur) or some natural catastrophe, such as the re-sinking of the city of R'lyeh into the sea.

D&D 3.0 Edition Cthulhu (from d20 Call of Cthulhu)

Hit Dice: 42d12+378 (882hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: 140ft, swim 140ft, fly 360ft (poor)
AC: 47
Attacks: 6 tentacles +56 melee, 2 claws +50 melee, stamp +50 melee
Damage: Tentacle 4d6+16, claw 2d8+8, stamp 4d6+8
Special Attacks: Improved grab, horrid constriction 4d6+12, spells
Special Qualities: Divine qualities, damage reduction 40/+4, divine fast healing 50/round, Spell Resistance 37, darkvision 60ft, fire resistance 25, sonic resistance 25, alter size, alter form.
Saves: Fort +39, Ref +31, Will +37
Abilities: STR: 42, DEX: 12, CON: 29, INT: 33, WIS: 27, CHA: 29
Feats: Alertness, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (tentacle), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Sunder, Weapon Focus (tentacle)
4th Edition Cthulhu (from Goodman Games' Critter Cache Lovecraftian Bestiary)

Initiative +29

Nightmarish Presence (Fear, Psychic) aura 10; enemies with
fewer levels than Cthulhu in the aura take a -5 penalty to attack
rolls and saving throws. Enemies that enter or start their turns in
the aura take 25 psychic damage.

HP 1,288; Bloodied 644
AC 51; Fortitude 49, Reflex 48, Will 49
Immune to attacks from creatures under level 25, poison, sleep;
Resist 15 all
Saving Throws +5
Speed 10, swim 10, fly 12 (hover), overland flight 15
Action Points 2

m Flabby Claws (standard; at-will)
Reach 4; +42 vs. AC; 4d10+13 damage, and the target is
grabbed (until escape).

M Wing Slam (standard; at-will)
Reach 4; +42 vs. AC; 4d8+13 damage, and the target is
pushed 2 squares and knocked prone.

M Horrific Tentacles (minor; at-will) ✦ Healing, Necrotic
Grabbed target only; +40 vs. Fortitude; 3d10 + 13 necrotic
damage, and the target loses 3 healing surges. If the target
is reduced to 0 healing surges with this power, it is slain,
and Cthulhu regains 322 hit points. The target cannot be
raised from the dead until Cthulhu is destroyed or it chooses
to release the target’s soul.

R Soul-Shattering Gaze (minor 1/round; at-will) ✦ Gaze,
Ranged 10; +40 vs. Will, 3d6 + 13 psychic damage, and
the target is dazed, slowed, and weakened (save ends all).

c A Mountain Walked (when Cthulhu ends its move action on
the ground; at-will)
Close burst 4; +38 vs. Reflex; 2d6 + 13 damage, and Large
or smaller targets are knocked prone.

c Ensnaring Madness (standard; recharge 56) ✦ Charm,
Fear, Psychic
Close burst 10; +38 vs. Will; 4d10 + 13 psychic damage,
and the target is pulled 5 squares and stunned (save ends).
If the target is pulled within 4 squares of Cthulhu, Cthulhu
can make a melee basic attack against the target as a free
action. Aftereffect: The target is dominated (save ends).

Whisperer in Darkness (whenever a sentient creature takes an
extended rest within 1 mile of Cthulhu; at-will) ✦ Psychic
+40 vs. Will; 3d10 + 13 psychic damage, the target
regains no healing surges and suffers a -2 penalty to attack
rolls and saving throws until it can take an uninterrupted
extended rest.

Threatening Reach
Cthulhu can make opportunity attack against enemies within
4 squares of it.
Alignment Chaotic evil

Str 36 (+30) Dex 30 (+27) Wis 36 (+30)
Con 34 (+29) Int 32 (+28) Cha 34 (+29)

Labyrinth Lord D&D Cthulhu (from Realms of Crawling Chaos)

Movement: 180’/360’
Armor Class: 0
Hit Dice: 350 hp (50)
Attacks: 2 (claws) or 10 (tentacles)
Damage: 1d10+15 or 1d6+special
Save: F20
Morale: 9
Psionic Strength: 22

Cthulhu prefers to attack psionically, however, if he must attack physically, he will do so with his two claws. If his head is close to his opponents, he will attack with his 10 tentacles. Each tentacle is 10ft long and may attack separately each round. They flail about doing 1d6 damage and an opponent struck must Save vs. Death or lose 1pt of INT. Each 1pt of INT lost restores 10hp to Cthulhu.

Cthulhu has the abilities of a 20th level magic-user. He also has the following psionic powers clairaudience, clairvoyance, dimension projection, dimension travel, ego whip, ESP, Id Insinuation, intellect fortress, mental barrier, mind thrust, neural telepathy, psionic blast, psychic crush and suspend life

The AD&D and Labyrinth Lord Hit Points are within 50 HP of each other. In 3rd edition and 4th edition, the Hit Points are inflated to double and four-times as much.

Armor Class for AD&D and Labyrinth Lord are equivalent to plate armor or plate and shield, and it is plausible that even a low level fighter could hit Cthulhu, whereas the 3rd and 4th Edition versions requires an Epic-level character to hit him.

Damage varies between all versions, some more than others.

All versions except 3rd edition have Psionic powers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Any Clue?

It seems recently when I go to read a blog post, Blogger immediately sends me to the bottom of the blog page where the comments are. I have to scroll up to the top of the page to read the blog post. Anyone know if this is a fixable thing or is Blogger up to it's usual buggy self?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Looking over my Xhuul notes, I found that I never made a system for poison. I don't like the C&C poison rules in the Monster & Treasure book and I want something that scales on a 1 to 10 like the Cyggugothic Emanations Intensity Table.

So here goes:

When determining the Intensity of a poison from a venomous creature's bite, poisonous gas, toxic plants, or from alchemical poison, roll 1d100 an consult the table below. Poison can be purchased from unscrupulous sources and the cost can vary.

When exposed to poison, the victim must make a CON Save. The CL is the Intensity of the poison. As per normal C&C rules, if CON is Primary, the base save is 12. If secondary, it is 18. Add the Poison Intensity to this base to arrive at the number to roll. Add character level and Attribute bonuses to the roll.

Poison Intensity Table

1d100    INT     Successful Save     Failed Save
--------     -----     -----------------------     ------------------
01-15      1       None                      1d4 damage
16-30      2       None                      1d6 damage
31-40      3       None                      1d8 damage
41-50      4       None                      1d10 damage
51-65      5      1d4 damage              2d6 damage
66-75      6      2d4 damage              3d6 damage
76-84      7      3d4 damage              4d6 damage
85-90      8      4d6 damage              Death
91-96      9      5d6 damage              Death
97-00      10    6d6 damage              Death

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Adding to the Collection - Pathfinder Battles Minis

I purchased 10 small and 3 large boosters Pathfinder Battles miniatures today at our monthly Hobby Day in Anaheim. A game store from Long Beach named The War House showed up and brought product to sell. Talk about bringing the Mountain to Moses. :)

Below are images of the minis I got.

2 Goblins came in the same Booster, since they are both Small-sized minis.

The Dire Rat and Goblin Warrior came in the same Booster, since they are both Small sized minis.

The Zombie and the Lich. Each in their own Booster as they are Medium-sized.

Orc Warrior and Half-Orc Barbarian.

The most sexiest Medusa ever. And the Half-Elf (female?)Cleric. This mini could double as a Paladin as she is wearing plate armor.

Venomous Snake and Wolf.

Manticore. This being a large mini comes in the Large-size Booster. He looks like he is roaring "Get Off My Lawn!".

Minotaur. Another Large-size mini.

This is an awesome Ettin. Obviously a Large-size mini.

Well, that's it. I'm pretty pleased with the quality of the minis and I got quite a decent mix.

Friday, January 13, 2012

So...5th Edition

Well, I'll chime in with my thoughts about the announcement this week from WoTC about the 5th Edition of D&D. It will be interesting to see how they are going to make a game that is going to be compatible with all editions of the game. I don't see how they are going to pull it off since 4th Edition "went off the reservation" with it's game design (Powers, many spells changed to Rituals, Hit Point inflation) which hardly bears any resemblance to anything before 3.5 edition.

I became disenchanted with WoTC's constant fiddling of their 4th Edition rules with numerous errata. To me that screamed poor design and poor play-testing of the character Powers. Sorry, I want a stable rules system that I only need to buy once, not be some WoTC-Zombie that will spend endlessly my hard-earned cash for every rule-book and revised rulebook. I'm not going down that road again.

I'm not really interested in the 5th edition if it is so complex that you need an online character builder software (which you have to pay for monthly) just to fill out a character sheet. I'm not interested in D&D created by Accountants.

If the new Edition supports minis in play, that's okay. But if such tactical combat takes an hour or more to complete an encounter, no thanks. There is much more to D&D than just combat. There is exploration and role-play. The 4th Edition Skill Challenges system was completely lost on me. Why systemize something that should come naturally through role-playing?

The beauty of the older editions is that it is very customizable and allows a DM to make up their own stuff easily. With 3.0, 3.5, it became a time consuming nightmare to prep NPC and Monster stat-blocks. 4th Edition it was a little easier with "XP budgets", but all this was combat-oriented. You still couldn't make your own classes or spells with 4E.

It's interesting that they are doing a public playtest with the community. I guess they are taking a page out of Paizo's playbook. But, didn't they do play-testing before 4th Edition? Probably not as large a play-test as this next outing, but still, look at the monster that was created.

Anyway, I most likely will not buy 5th Edition. I'm happy enough with what I have already.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The "Ultimate" Fantasy World Map

I found this cool map today. It's missing Cimmeria and Melnibone, but hey, at least it has Lidsville, so that's cool.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

[SWTOR] Corellian Defender-class Light Corvette

My Jedi Knight in Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO finally got her own ship. It's a Corellian Defender-Class Light Corvette, the layout is a little funky, but I like it. I outfitted the ship with some upgrades, so I have a better chance of surviving the various space combat missions you can go on. Suprisingly, my first mission was to escort a ship with escaping prisoners from the Sith Empire from being killed and I succeeded on my first attempt. The Force must have been with me, as many of my online friends who did the mission failed multiple times.

You can find a few in-game walkthroughs of the various ship interiors on Youtube. It's kind of inspiring for imagining what ship interiors would look like in a sci-fi table-top rpg.