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mAc Chaos

The Sands of Black Blood

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I'd just returned home from an exhausted high of running a D&D game with my friends. Within a few messages of getting back onto Skype I somehow got involved another game.
[18-06-2015 23:49:10] mAc Chaos: I was also thinking of doing a quick one-shot type game, maybe like 3 hours long, in 5th edition, where I could experiment with having players make characters using rolls instead of point buy, because every game I ever ran always used point buy.
[18-06-2015 23:49:10] mAc Chaos: I'm curious to see how it affects things.
[18-06-2015 23:49:24 | Edited 23:49:27] Siriel: I would be in.
[18-06-2015 23:49:29] Christemo: sure why not
[18-06-2015 23:49:32] mAc Chaos: 3d6 in order~
[18-06-2015 23:49:35] Siriel: I will even play babby's first D&D for it.
[18-06-2015 23:49:39] mAc Chaos: :3
[18-06-2015 23:49:41] mAc Chaos: It really is lol
[18-06-2015 23:49:44] mAc Chaos: It's a good thing though.
[18-06-2015 23:49:45] Christemo: In fact ill roll my dice literally right now
[18-06-2015 23:49:46] Nihilm: ay, I can do it, tho lol, I've only played with rolling
[18-06-2015 23:49:49] Nihilm: never with point buy
[18-06-2015 23:49:53] Siriel: 4d6 drop lowest normally.
[18-06-2015 23:49:55] Nihilm: well except for that vampire game
[18-06-2015 23:50:01] Siriel: 3d6 is like the ultra hardcore mode
[18-06-2015 23:50:06] mAc Chaos: It's made to be modular, so the DM can make it more complicated if he wants. There are a lot of parts that are just like, "I dunno man you're the DM, you figure it out."
[18-06-2015 23:50:13] Nihilm: 3d6 is hardcore oldschool 4d6, drop lowest is the more standard nowadays
[18-06-2015 23:50:19] mAc Chaos: On 6/18/15, at 5:50 PM, Siriel wrote:
> 3d6 is like the ultra hardcore mode

That's why I'm curious how it'll play. : P
[18-06-2015 23:50:31] Siriel: okay so 3d6 roll ability in order no reroll
[18-06-2015 23:50:34] Siriel: let's do this MAN MODE
[18-06-2015 23:50:48] mAc Chaos: I am fascinated by the prospect of someone getting like a 4 in something and how they'd roleplay it. But not if they don't have fun. Ideally though one would have fun playing out inconveniences.
[18-06-2015 23:50:50] Reiu: when is this happening
[18-06-2015 23:50:51] Reiu: right now?
[18-06-2015 23:50:56] Nihilm: I know jack shit about 5th ED
[18-06-2015 23:51:06 | Edited 23:51:12] Siriel: It,s a streamlined 3.5
[18-06-2015 23:51:07] Siriel: basically.
[18-06-2015 23:51:16] mAc Chaos: It's been described as "2E, but without the bloat."
[18-06-2015 23:51:24] Siriel: It's not like 4th when you need to learn whole new rules.
[18-06-2015 23:51:26] mAc Chaos: Basically what you imagine 2E is like. because 2E in practice does have a lot of random rules.
[18-06-2015 23:51:37] mAc Chaos: On 6/18/15, at 5:50 PM, Reiu wrote:
> right now?

lol i COULD since I was going to literally wing it.
[18-06-2015 23:51:45] Siriel: LET'S DO THIS THING
[18-06-2015 23:51:49] Christemo: Lol sure why not
Maybe it was because I was pleased by how well things had gone earlier, but the hype was quickly infectious. I tend to run my online games to test some concept I have in mind.

After schedule issues got sorted out, we were left with a final four roster of: Siriel, Reiu, KT, and Moony. Right away, everybody started rolling up new characters in 5e, 3d6 in order no drop. But the randomfest didn't stop there, everybody randomly rolled race, class, and backgrounds too. (In 5E, you have your character background actually generated during character creation, and you get flaws, personality traits, bonds, ideals, etc.)

The fun part was seeing how everybody interpreted their random results, and as they rolled each new piece, it somehow made sense and fit. Reiu's almost looked like it was made that way on purpose.

Here's the basics of their characters:

Character: Ellie
Player: Siriel
Gender: Female
Race: Human
Class: Warlock
Alignment: Neutral
Background: Sage
Personality Trait: I have read every book, or claim to have.
Ideals: I seek knowledge. ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE!
Bonds: I once asked myself a question, and now seek the answer.
Flaws: I tend to speak without thinking and insult people that way.

Character: Arliden
Player: Moony
Gender: Male
Race: Human
Class: Fighter
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Background: Entertainer
Personality Trait: Wherever I go, I collect rumors and spread gossip.
Ideals: As long as I'm putting smiles on faces, I'm happy.
Bonds: I have a hated rival who I must best at everything.
Flaws: Satirized a noble once who wants my head now. I will probably repeat the mistake.

Character: Saylinn Winds
Player: KT
Gender: Female
Race: Half-Elf
Class: Bard
Alignment: Neutral
Background: Sailor
Personality Trait: I enjoy sailing into new ports and making friends over ale.
Ideals: I'm committed to my crewmates, not ideals.
Bonds: In a harbor town, I have a paramour who nearly stole me from the sea.
Flaws: Once someone questions my courage, I never back down, no matter what!

Character: Urrai
Player: Reiu
Gender: Male
Race: Tiefling
Class: Sorcerer
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Background: Charlatan
Personality Trait: A born gambler who can't resist taking a risk for the payoff.
Ideals: Charity. Distributes money he acquires to those in need.
Bonds: He once swindled and ruined a person who didn't deserve it. He now seeks to atone for his misdeeds, but might never be able to forgive himself.
Flaws: Can't resist a pretty face.

KT rolled a swashbuckling pirate girl, who was an Elvish Bard with more skills than God. Moony basically got Kvothe from The Name of the Wind (great book, btw), a Human Fighter that had a flair for music and showmanship. Reiu ended up with a Chaotic Good Tiefling Sorcerer who was a con artist that ripped people off for the greater good. Siriel ended up displeased by his rolls; he basically ended up with straight 10s across the board so he lamented being an average NPC Villager. Then he realized he could use it to go ANIME and play a little girl Warlock with a Noel Vermillion FC. Also a teddy bear.

But we couldn't just slap together the characters and throw everybody together as strangers. This was going to be a one-shot, a kind of test game. (Putting aside how long it actually ended up taking...) Some of the usual background stuff like how the party met had to be taken care of already so we could get into the actual playing. (This is actually a good thing to do in general, though.) We collaborated to come up with ideas, however simple, to connect everybody together and give the players a structure to work with. That way everybody could jump into RPing right out of the gate and we wouldn't have to deal with any "why would my character even want to be here" problems. And even if you went into it with a completely blank background, deciding to do improv, the ideals, bonds, flaws, and traits gave you some direction.

We decided that the pirate Saylinn met Arliden and Urrai at one of the ports during her trips, and they quickly became best drinking buddies. Thanks to Arliden pissing off a noble with his shenanigans, they often had to fend off assailants sent to teach Arliden a lesson. Their friendship was cemented between them by many a barroom brawl, in between Arliden's troublemaking and Urrai's scams. It also helped that Urrai found himself charmed by Saylinn's beauty.

That left Ellie, the little girl. She attended a magic academy, learning magic to try and find a way to answer the question that plagued her: how to revive her dead parents. In her pursuit of the forbidden knowledge, she turned to a Cthulu-style Old One and became a Warlock. During her days at the academy, she met and befriended Urrai, who was also attending the academy under a fake identity during one of his philanthropic schemes. After being introduced by Urrai to Saylinn and Arliden, they quickly took a liking to her, looking after her like a little sister.

One day, Ellie received a mysterious letter from a former fellow student of the magic academy she attended, and that's where our game began...

Updated September 2nd, 2015 at 10:06 PM by mAc Chaos

Tags: D&D, RPGs


  1. Siriel's Avatar
    My issue with my stats weren't even that they were bad, it's that they were boring. I had decent CON (actually I think I had one of the highest HP totals in the party) and everything else was between 8 and 12.

    Like if I'd rolled low WIS I could have played something funny like a fool who think he's the greatest hero in the world or something, but instead I was basically straight average.
  2. mAc Chaos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Siriel
    but instead I was basically straight average.
    You could have played an anime harem protagonist.
  3. Seika's Avatar
    [18-06-2015 23:51:16] mAc Chaos: It's been described as "2E, but without the bloat."
    [18-06-2015 23:51:24] Siriel: It's not like 4th when you need to learn whole new rules.
    [18-06-2015 23:51:26] mAc Chaos: Basically what you imagine 2E is like. because 2E in practice does have a lot of random rules.
    I have a whole huge rant about the design philosophy of 2e and why it ended up in the over-stuffed place that it did sitting on my desktop. I should finish it some time.
  4. mAc Chaos's Avatar
    You should. I love reading about 2E.

    For later editions it was because of the "splatbook treadmill" where they'd release a never ending stream of new books for player options, classes, races, etc. etc. They're deliberately avoiding that for 5E.

    Actually, this article from a few days ago touches on it:
  5. Froggie's Avatar
    Is this being played over IRC?
  6. mAc Chaos's Avatar
    We were playing over roll20. It's not that different, just a web chat type thing.
  7. Froggie's Avatar
    oh, so it's also text based, then? with some dice application, I guess?
  8. mAc Chaos's Avatar
    Yup! It has built in dice, and it has a section for maps if you want. You can do video too but we don't.