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Category Archives: Resources

Shopping Suggestions for Parents, Part 4

(Previous installments in this series were focused on Pathfinder 1st Edition, which has now been replaced by 2nd Edition as of Fall 2019. If you are interested you can see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.)

Note that nearly all these things can be found at Games of Berkeley and at Eudemonia in Berkeley. 

Dice!

Firefly Dice Orange RedNothing quite makes a kid prouder at the gaming table than a shiny set of his or her own dice. Games of Berkeley has a wide selection that you and your child can browse. Do not choose a set for them — let them adopt their own aesthetic! ūüėÄ A complete set of 7 polyhedral dice costs between $5 and $15.

Dungeons & Dragons (the predominant game on Mondays)

BOXED SETS

These are great if your kid wants to run their own D&D adventures with family and friends right away! They are inexpensive and they come with all the essentials: dice, basic rules, and a starting adventure that goes from Levels 1 to 5.

The D&D Starter Set (with pregenerated characters and an excellent starter adventure) and the D&D Essentials Set (with character generation rules) are excellent. The Stranger Things D&D Game Starter Set is great if your child and their friends like the hit television show.

PLAYER’S HANDBOOK

The Player’s Handbook is where your child should start if they want the complete rules for D&D. It includes 9 races, 12 character classes, and hundreds of magic spells!

MONSTER MANUAL

There is little that excites RPG kids more than monsters, monsters, and monsters! The Monster Manual has monsters great and small, from the lowly caterpillar up to dragons and the invincible tarrasque.

Pathfinder RPG 2nd Edition (the predominant game on Wednesdays)

CORE RULEBOOK

Pathfinder RPG 2nd Edition Core Rulebook brings the options and customization that Pathfinder fans love and brings some of the innovations from D&D 5e to create an advanced, rich, tactical experience. The Core Rulebook has all the main rules of the game, including rules for game masters (including magic items). It comes with 6 ancestries (each of them has 3-5 options), 12 character classes (each of them has 3 options, with dozens and dozens of custom feats!), and the ability to make every single character utterly unique!

BESTIARY

No game is complete without monsters, kids love these books! This is the Bestiary for Pathfinder 2nd Edition.

Starfinder RPG

The makers of Pathfinder RPG brought their talent and imagination to science fantasy, where elves and dwarves commingle with alien races in fantastical realms that span the stars. Spaceships duel, laser guns fire. Think Star Wars meets D&D.

Sixth graders are not learning Starfinder RPG by default this year (Fall 2019), but kids who are interested can tell me if they want to try the game and I will make it happen!

STARFINDER RPG BEGINNER BOX

Although your child might not be able to play Starfinder RPG right away, if what I said sounds interesting to them then by all means buy them the excellent Starfinder RPG Beginner Box. It comes with dice, a full color map, thick full-color “pawns” to represent characters and monsters, a player book, a GM book, a starter adventure, and a basic version of the rules for players (with alien races and 6 classes).

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Posted by on September 16, 2019 in Announcements, For Parents, Resources

 

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More Character Options in the Guild!

Returning students should know that there will be a few changes this year that will increase character options:

Dungeons & Dragons

  • You can use races from outside the Player’s Handbook! The races from Volo’s Guide to Monsters are allowed, with the exception the yuan-ti. Races from other books will only be allowed on a case-by-case basis (the Grandmaster must give permission). You cannot choose a races that allows flight, unless you are 7th level or higher .
  • You can now buy magic items! We will be adopting the prices from the Discerning Merchant’s Price Guide, which is a free downloadable PDF at the DMs’ Guild website. You can also view the spreadsheet of prices (refer to prices under the column “DMPG Price”)

Pathfinder 2nd Edition

  • The WHOLE EDITION is a big step forward in giving you plenty of options while being easy to use and borrowing ideas from D&D!

Starfinder

  • You can use the playable races from the Alien Archives 1, 2, and 3 as playable characters! There’s a lot of them, and some of them are really weird! There’s the giant floating brains. There’s the alien that levitates by inflating silk balloons they extrude from their bodies. There are skittermanders. And much, much more! (See some of them here)

-The Grandmaster

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2019 in Announcements, Resources

 

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Crafting Magic Items in D&D in the Guild

Here are our working rules for crafting magic items for D&D characters in The Guild:

  • Only spellcasters can craft magic items. (This is as per the Dungeon Master’s Guide p. 128.) However, you can recruit the assistance of another active D&D character.
  • CRAFTING DURING CHARACTER CREATION: Your character¬†could have crafted magic items¬†before joining The Guild. Your character must have sufficient gold and sufficient levels to craft the item of sufficient rarity. From the DMG p. 129: Common – 3rd level + 100gp, Uncommon – 3rd level + 500gp, Rare – 6th level + 5,000gp, Very rare – 11th level + 50,000gp, Legendary – 17th level + 500,000gp. These items can only brought into adventures by this character (i.e., they¬†cannot craft for other characters). You must finish choosing your class levels, feats, etc. before crafting.
  • CRAFTING AFTER CHARACTER CREATION: This takes real-world time! The number of real-world days that must pass after completing the first Challenge¬†equals ONE-TENTH the number of days the item required to¬†craft the item under the official rules. Refer to values above — each item takes X / 25gp days to craft under the D&D rules. So for a Common and Uncommon item each take 1 real-world day. An uncommon item takes 2 real-world days. A rare item takes 20 real-world days. And a very rare item takes 200 real-world days. You can combine the labor of more than one current active spell-casting character. There is no limit on the value of crafting magic items after your character has been created.

They are being added to the Guild Charter.

-Grandmaster

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2019 in Announcements, Resources

 

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Converting Pathfinder monsters for use in Starfinder

We’re in a funny place right now, having a full base system for Starfinder but hardly any creatures for characters to fight against before the Alien Archive comes out this month. Hence, the chapter in the rulebook for converting things from Pathfinder for use in Starfinder.

From my quick read, here is a list of the (main) things you need to know when using a creature from a Pathfinder Bestiary versus Starfinder characters:

  • About AC it says: When converting a Pathfinder RPG monster to Starfinder, treat its normal AC as its KAC (if the monster functions in a combat role as defined on page 323 of the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, add 1 to its KAC) and subtract 1 from its normal AC to obtain its EAC. You can ignore the flatfooted AC, because in Starfinder, flat–footed is simply a condition that applies a ‚Äď2 penalty to both EAC and KAC regardless of the affected monster‚Äôs Dexterity bonus.
  • Increase its hit points by 25%
  • If you need to know its Hit Dice for purposes of a spell or other effect, use its CR
  • If it has more than one attack:
    Option #1: use them as written (full attacks cannot be combined with a guarded step)
    Option #2: You may want to give some creatures with weapons a Level-appropriate TECH weapon from the Starfinder Equipment chapter…
    then if it has more than 1 attack but rarely can use it (e.g. it is melee with multiple attacks) and so just makes single attacks, add 3 or 4 to its attack bonus
  • If it has a larger crit range than 20, then natural rolls within that range that are NOT 20 need confirmation rolls
  • Use Starfinder equivalents to spells, spell-like abilities, feats, etc. when possible
  • If it has multiple skills, that are now consolidated in Starfinder, use the skill bonus that is highest
  • Use Starfinder rules for curses, diseases, poisons (Starfinder Core Rulebook p. 417)

-Your Thoughtful and Helpful Grandmaster

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2017 in Resources

 

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Introducing Starfinder RPG in the Guild!

Sorry for the lack of updates about the afterschool class… there has been soooo much to do on this end, including prepping for the first week!!!

Here is the official announcement of what many of you already know, which is that Starfinder RPG is now one of the games people can play in The Guild.

HOWEVER, since we are all learning the system, it is best to gradually learn the game starting with low-level characters. This also ensures that people playing it are at a similar power level.

Oh, I hear all you high-level people groaning. *doesn’t cover ears because I don’t care* If you want to be and feel high-level, you can always play a Pathfinder or D&D game at your current Guild level. In the meantime, ALL STARFINDER CHARACTERS ARE CAPPED AT LEVEL 1.

On the following dates, a higher level is “unlocked” and you are free to level-up or substitute your Starfinder character, IF your Guild level is high enough to let you do so.

(Note that XP penalties and bonuses are tracked by me, and all penalties and bonuses starting this school year will apply to your Starfinder characters.)

Oct. 4 – Level 2
Oct. 25 – Level 3 Due to some class rescheduling, these dates will need to be adjusted frequently. Every level is unlocked with every three actual meet-ups of Tabletop RPG. Update dated 10/23
Oct. 30 – Level 4
Nov. 8 – Level 5
Nov. 20 – Level 6
Dec. 4 – Level 7
Dec. 13 – Level 8
Jan. 10 – Level 9
Jan. 24 – Level 10
Feb. 7 – Level 11
Feb. 21 – Level 12
Mar. 5 – Level 13
Mar. 14 – Level 14
Mar. 26 – Level 15
Apr. 11 – Level 16
Apr. 23 – Level 17
May 2 – Level 18
May 14 – Level 19
May 30 – Level 20

ALSO – Level 1 characters start with 1,000 credits. HOWEVER, higher-level characters who are being made to “level down” when making a Starfinder character may have MORE than this amount, depending on a complex mathematical formula that currently only exists in the Grandmaster’s head.

Also, some of you may be curious about the subject of STARSHIPS. Well… not everyone gets a starship in the Guild. HOWEVER, if you GM (a.k.a. run) an adventure (in any game system) in the Guild, you earn Space BucksTM which you can use to build a starship. The Space BucksTM system is still under construction, however — more details will be posted later.

-The Grandmaster

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2017 in Announcements, Resources

 

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A Primer on 5th Edition D&D for Pathfinder RPG Players

5e-coverSome Pathfinder players in the Guild will be trying D&D for the first time to join the D&D Battle Royale. This is primarily aimed toward them; but people brand new to D&D will also be helped by this post, too. This also gives the basics for Pathfinder GMs to run a D&D game.

As a whole, imho, 5th Edition D&D is simpler to run at the table and is more balanced, while Pathfinder RPG allows for more unique (and more powerful) characters.

What you can do on your turn

In D&D, you can Move up to your speed and do one Action. You can take your Action in the MIDDLE of your Move! (This is quite different from Pathfinder!)

These are the Actions you can take:

  • Attack with your weapon
  • Cast a spell
  • Dash – you gain extra movement equal to your speed (in Pathfinder this is called “double move”)
  • Disengage — you don’t trigger opportunity attacks due to movement
  • Dodge – until your next turn, any attack roll against you has disadvantage (see below) and you make Dexterity saving throws with advantage (see below)
  • Help – help an ally with an ability check or (if the target is within 5 feet of you), distract an enemy so that your ally gets advantage on the roll
  • Hide – make a Dexterity (Stealth) check to attempt to hide (you must have the opportunity to hide)
  • Ready – use your reaction to do something after something occurs (e.g., pull a trap lever if an enemy steps on trap door, etc.). (Unlike Pathfinder, this does NOT change your initiative order.)

In addition to your Move and one Action, you can:

  • interact with the environment once (e.g., open a door, ready a shield, take out an item from your backpack, etc.).
  • take one Bonus Action IF you have an ability that lets you do so (for example, any character can fight with 2 weapons, so long as they are both light weapons, with their action and bonus action)
  • take one Reaction during another creature’s turn. Some special class abilities let you use a Reaction. And everyone with a melee weapon readied can do an opportunity attack (explained below)

You can always delay your turn, and jump in later.

Every square of movement is 5 feet

This includes diagonal movement. (In Pathfinder, every other diagonal square counts as 10 feet.)

Only moving out of an opponent’s REACH triggers opportunity attacks.

(In Pathfinder, these are called Attacks of Opportunity.) If you move out of an opponent’s reach, they can use their Reaction to make a melee attack against you. This means you can walk around a creature without triggering an opportunity attack, so long as you stay within its reach. There are no “five foot steps” in D&D.

Virtually nothing else provokes an opportunity attack:

Casting spells doesn’t provoke an opportunity attack.

Ranged attacks (such as with a bow or with a ranged spell) do not provoke opportunity attacks — instead, they get disadvantage on an attack roll. (See below.)

Standing up does not provoke an opportunity attack — it does cost half your speed of movement, however.

Advantage and Disadvantage

A lot of effects in D&D are translated into advantage or disadvantage. Advantage means you roll the die twice and take the higher roll. Disadvantage means you roll the die twice and take the lower roll.

Attacking someone while they’re prone, using Stealth to sneak up on someone, and other situations give you Advantage against the target. Shooting a ranged weapon beyond the first listed distance, making a ranged attack while within a creature’s reach, and a number of other conditions and special abilities give you Disadvantage against the target.

Each of your ability scores is a Saving Throw now also

This means you have 6 different saving throw bonuses. You might be asked to make a “Dexterity” save or a “Constitution” save against some danger. (In Pathfinder, you have 3 types of saving throws: Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.)

Spellcasters have “spell slots”

No spellcaster “fires and forgets”; instead, you have a certain amount of power for each spell level that you use up every day; these are called “slots.” Every spellcasting class has a number of “slots” for each spell level. Every time the spellcaster casts a spell from his or her prepared spells (or known spells) of 1st level or higher, he or she expends one of those slots.

You can also “power up” some spells using a higher-level spell slot to increase their effect; for example, you can use a higher-level spell slot to cast the 1st-level spell magic missile, to shoot additional magic missiles.

There are limits to stacking buffs, summoned creatures, and other spells

Some spells (and virtually all buffing spells) require that a spellcaster “concentrate” to maintain it. Concentration does not require any action or bonus action; this essentially places a limit of one on the number of concentration spells a spellcaster can maintain at once.

Resting is a bit more effective

Every character has a number of “hit dice” equal to their level. For example, a 6th-level fighter has 6d10 hit dice. When you take a short rest (1 hour or more), you can choose to spend some or all of your hit dice to get hit points back. For each hit die expended, you add your Constitution modifier also. A long rest (8+ hours, can only be done once per day), restores your health to full and gives you spent Hit Dice back (up to one-half your max total, rounded down).

D&D has Feats also — they’re just more powerful and rarer

At 4th level (and certain other levels), D&D characters can choose to add +2 to an ability score, +1 to two ability scores, or gain a Feat.

Magic Items are rarer and more “special”

You cannot buy magic items in D&D. (Also, gold is much more scarce.) Also, some magic items require that use a Short Rest to “attune” to them, and you are limited to 3 magic items that you can “attune” to at once.

How to die

You don’t go to negative hit points; instead, you go to 0 hit points and start dying. On your turn, you do one death saving throw: on a d20, you must roll 10 or higher. When you get THREE successes, you stabilize at 0 hit points. When you get THREE failures, you die. A natural 20 means you automatically stabilize. A natural 1 means you get two failures. If you take damage while dying, that is a failure. If you take a critical hit while dying, that is 2 failures. Another player can do a DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check on you to stabilize you.

If the blow that takes you down to 0 hit points also would send you to negative HP equal to or greater than your max HP, you die immediately. (For example, a 1st level wizard who has a maximum HP of 6 hit points and currently has only 3 hit points. An ogre hits her for 9 damage. Because this would take her down to -6 or less, she dies immediately.)

Some miscellaneous differences

For every weapon, your ability modifier that improves your accuracy also  increases your damage by the same amount. (In Pathfinder, usually only Strength increases your damage on a weapon.)

With rare exceptions, a character’s ability scores cannot go above 20.

Instead of “Base Attack Bonus,” all classes have a Proficiency Bonus that applies to everything they are proficient with (such as weapons, some saving throws, some skills, spells, etc.). This Proficiency Bonus is +2 at 1st level and goes up to +6 at 6th level.

One’s AC is the same against all attacks. One’s AC is used against weapon attacks and spell attacks. (In Pathfinder, one can have lower AC if they are surprised or against special touch attacks.)

“Finesse” weapons, such as shortswords and rapiers, allow you to use your Strength or Dexterity modifier, whichever is higher. (One doesn’t need to take the “Weapon Finesse” feat like in Pathfinder).

Half cover (from another creature or a low wall): +2 AC
Three-quarters cover (portcullis, thick tree trunk): +5 AC

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2016 in Resources

 

XCOM the Tabletop RPG

chryssalidI know, I know, there’s a board game out already. But it focuses only has the strategy (base building, satellite-launching) side of the game, when the real fun part of XCOM is the squad missions.

Some of you already know that some of us have been converting XCOM to the Pathfinder RPG system. While that has the advantage of letting you pit your Guild characters against aliens, there are difficulties to the conversion.

I have also been working on just straight converting XCOM into its own pencil-and-paper system.

So here are the Google Docs for people to peruse and enjoy. Of course, they are both works in progress:

XCOM for Pathfinder RPG

XCOM RPG

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Resources

 

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