Saturday, August 23, 2008

4e Crab Patrol

I have picked out the power choices for the two fighters (twin Hida Bushi), rogue (Hiruma Scout), and warlord (Kaiu Bushi taisa). Both fighters and the warlord are dwarves while the rogue is an elf (for the extra movement). Since the warlord does not have a quote to show off his build purpose, let me just say that "he heals people" (although I gave him several other tricks to play with too).

Fighter/Pit Fighter 12: "A Hida bushi shows no mercy, striking with overwhelming force the instant opportunity presents itself."
At will - Cleave, Reaping Strike
Encounter - Spinning Sweep, Crushing Blow, Reckless Strike, All Bets are Off
Daily - Brute Strike, Crack the Shell, Victorious Surge
Utility - Get Over Here, Battle Awareness, Into the Fray, Deadly Payback

Fighter/Iron Vanguard 12: "Standard Crab withdrawal procedure in the face of an insurmountable foe: one man holds off the advance while his comrades go for reinforcements."
At will - Cleave, Tide of Iron
Encounter - Steel Serpent Strike, Sweeping Blow, Come And Get It, Frontline Surge
Daily - Comeback Strike, Rain of Steel, Thicket of Blades
Utility - Boundless Endurance, Unbreakable, Stalwart Guard, Inexorable Shift

Rogue/Cat Burglar 12: "The Hida stand with the stubbornness of a mountain; the Hiruma skulk with the swiftness of the wind around that mountain."
At Will - Piercing Strike, Deft Strike
Encounter - Torturous Strike, Bait and Switch, Cloud of Steel, Cat Burglar's Gambit
Daily - Easy Target, Deep Cut, Knockout
Utility - Fleeting Ghost, Chameleon, Shadow Stride, Instant Escape

Warlord/Knight Commander 12: "(Insert fancy quote here)."
At Will - Viper's Strike, Wolf Pack Tactics
Encounter - Warlord's Favor, Hold the Line, Surprise Attack, Slash and Press
Daily - Lead the Attack, Stand the Fallen, Knock them Down
Utility - Knight's Move, Stand Tough, Defensive Rally, Break their Nerve

The Kuni Shugenja will take a bit more time because I have to go through both the Warlock and the Wizard powers.


Wizard/Blood Mage 12: "More Kuni have become practitioners of maho, or blood magic, than all the other shugenja families in the Empire combined."
At Will - Ray of Frost, Scorching Burst
Encounter - Icy Terrain, Icy Rays, Winter's Wrath, Blood Pulse
Daily - Freezing Grasp/Sleep, Bigby's Icy Grasp/Web, Ice Storm/Wall of Fire
Utility - Expeditious Retreat/Shield, Disguise Self/Wall of Fog, Blur/Resistance, Soul Burn


Feats and skills are done for everyone but the warlord. I have no idea what to give him for feats; skills are Athletics, Endurance, Diplomacy, Heal.

The Pit Fighter needed to be resilient, powerful, and well protected: Toughness, Fleet-Footed*, Hammer Rhythm, Power Attack, Potent Challenge, Dwarven Weapon Training, Armor Training (Plate), Armor Specialization (Plate).
*Fleet-Footed was to offset the dwarven 5 speed. I may change it if I give him Battlestrider Greaves.
Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Intimidate

The Iron Vanguard needed to be tough, sticky, and deadly: Armor Training (Plate), Armor Specialization (Plate, Toughness, Dwarven Durability, Combat Reflexes, Back to the Wall, Blood Thirst, Dwarven Weapon Training.
Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Heal

The Rogue needed to be stealthy, mobile, and damaging: Alertness, Secret Stride*, Light Step, Defensive Mobility, Running Shot, Sieze the Moment, Backstabber, Elven Precision.
*I need to see if this invalidates Fleeting Ghost.
Skills: Stealth, Thievery, Acrobatics, Athletics, Perception, Nature (switched Nature for Dungeoneering because the Hiruma are above-ground scouts)

The Wizard needed to be a quick, decisive artillery platform: Alertness, Danger Sense, Improved Initiative, Feywild Protection, Burning Blizzard, Wintertouched, Lasting Frost, Spell Focus*.
*Spell Focus pretty much only applies to his non-cold daily spells but it gives the player something for switching them into the line-up.
Skills: Arcana, Diplomacy, History, Religion


I still have not chosen the warlord's feats but I know his focus. He will spend two feats on Skill Training (Dungeoneering) and Skill Emphasis/Focus/Whatever (Dungeoneering) to get his Kaiu bearings. The rest of his feats will focus on the bastard sword (proficiency, weapon focus, heavy blade opportunist, etc).

Monday, August 18, 2008

RIP - Hurley

Well, my new memory card is too small to hold a Superstar save file and my old memory card, which worked last night, is now saying it is corrupt again.

So Hurley is pretty much dead.

Hurley Masterton - NFL Running Back

I have always wanted to document my progress through a season of Madden. I fell maddeningly short in trying to keep track of my fantasy draft team but I am going to give it a go with my second Superstar.

My first superstar was named after myself. He was a quarterback, signed with the Chargers, displaced Rivers, and grew into an excellent Field General. Having Ladanian Tomlinson in the backfield was always a pleasure as it eased the pressure on my rookie QB in the first season and offered an excellent running game to keep the defense guessing against my field general.

This time we have Hurley Masterton. His father was a Pro Bowl halfback who, in today's press, is often called the Larry Johnson of his time. He enjoyed traveling and usually spent the off-season globetrotting with the family.

Hurley's mother was a genius, sporting a IQ of 150. She joined the FBI before meeting Hurley's father and, on their frequent summer vacations, steered her husband to destinations with good hiking.

Hurley stands 6'1" tall and weighs 228 lbs. He attended his hometown school Texas on a football scholarship and hopes to wear #25 going into the NFL.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Pikeman's Hallway Trap

Also known as the Forest of Stakes.

This trap requires a delineated walkway and a floor with seams (or other "roughage"). It could work in a dense forest with narrow paths, an interior hallway with hardwood floors, or a tiled walkway through a garden. The example will use a hardwood floor.

For the intended effect, the planks that make up the floor travel lengthwise down the hallway, not across. Through a hidden trigger, the planks swivel at some point along their length to raise 6-10 sharpened stakes into the air. The angle and length of the stakes put all the points in a solid vertical column facing one way or the other down the hall. Since every other plank across the width swivels open, they form an effective wall of sharp points. Because they angle up from the floor, chopping at the points just makes the wall shorter at each swipe.

This trap works well when someone is fleeing around blind corners. Activate the trap and they duck right into a self-made shish kebab. Activating several in a row (three or four such 'walls' in a single hallway) effectively halts any fast progress without necessarily killing the interloper. On the other hand, adding a trip wire (or allowing a few of the boards directly before the trap to raise just a couple inches as a trip aid) would increase the change of a damaging or lethal encounter.

I view the trap as operating via a counterweight mechanism. Usually the weight (suspended by the far end of the plank) is supported, leaving the floor in the normal, flat, down position. Activating the trap releases the weight, causing the floorboards to swivel violently up, trailing the suspended bamboo stakes beneath them. The stakes could be rigidly fixed in their vertical pattern (requiring a lot of room beneath the floor to house them) or they could be collapsible while stowed underneath the floor and locking into place as the floor rises up. I much prefer the latter as it prevents the hollow sounds and space requirements of the former.

Also, as I mentioned above, only every other plank rises. Why? So the remaining planks can have the same trap facing the opposite direction.

Monday, August 4, 2008

L5R -> 4e Integration Ideas

I have already decided that if I do this, it will start with a converted Keep on the Shadowfell. As I have not read further than a few pages into the Keep, all of the following is conjecture:

The Keep is Shiro Hiruma/a fallen Crab outpost/a Shadowlands outpost that the players are sent to investigate. Patrols are a normal duty of those along the wall so even a fresh batch of recruits is expected to take part in the forays.

All of the kobolds and other creatures will be changed to oni and ogres and bakemono. The characters are Crabs and maybe a few samurai from other clans with obvious ties to the Crab. A Hida Bushi (dwarf fighter) is an automatic include no matter what. I could make all the characters Crab with ease, utilizing two Hida Bushi (dwarf fighter and dwarf warlord), a Kaiu Engineer (tactical warlord or artificer), a Hiruma Scout (rogue), and a Kuni Shugenja (wizard with cleric multiclass). Or I can go whole-hog with the clans and use the characters I have already created (Hida Bushi, Mirumoto Bushi, Isawa Shugenja, Togashi Ise Zumi, Shosuro Shinobi, Moto Bushi, Kakita Kenshinzen, etc).

Further adventures call for an encounter with Spider Clan samurai (before they were the Spider Clan). These Lost would call themselves by the name Daigotsu, such as Daigotsu Tsuno. They would be analogous to the Dark Warlords from Ronin Warriors.

Also, all of the armor special attacks from Ronin Warriors can and will be written up as powers. I just need to find something appropriate to model them on (i.e. choose a good level to house the effect).