Category Archive: Games: Designs, Expansions, Etc.

Gauntlet (Slayer Edition) Wizard Guide

I’ve had this game since it came out (or thereabouts), but only recently started playing it. Hoo boy is this game fun; they really tapped in to what made the original arcade game exciting and addictive, while incorporating modern actin rpg elements. My favorite character is probably the Elf, but the character I *want* to love the most is the Wizard.

After several frustrating attempts to play the Wizard (solo), I Googled around for a guide to playing Merlin. I can’t say there’s nothing out there, but I can say what’s out there isn’t terribly impressive on the graphical front. And while I certainly appreciate people compiling his button combinations and talking about how to use his spells, I needed something more comprehensive when it comes to actually learning the combos.

Merlin’s Spellbook

The nine spells can be separated into three categories: Offense, Protection, and Utility. Mastering the basic spells allows you to unlock the potential of Merlin’s other weapons.

Offense: Fire Ball or Lightning Chain will be your bread and butter damage spells. Flame Bomb is your best area damage spell, but learning its range can be challenging. Polar Ray does significant damage after a few seconds, but you’re immobile the whole time; this spell is best used in conjunction with Static Sphere.

Protection: Glacial Cascade can give you time to escape, and Static Spheres will protect a small area from most attacks, but your big escape spell is Ember Wave, which teleports you a long distance and ignites any enemies in your path.

Utility: Static Sphere creates a bubble that pushes enemies back; use this to block tight spaces and give yourself some breathing room. Glacial Cascade freezes the  enemies directly in front of you and creates impassable terrain (out of frozen enemies). Thunder Fist has a short recharge and knocks some enemies back, but is mostly useful for breaking props.  Frozen Orb is perhaps the most useful crowd control spell, but it’s difficult to target and has a long casting time.

Sinister Sentience

This book replaces the ice spells with more damage-oriented fire spells. Using Sinister Sentience removes most crowd control options, but adds significant damage output. In addition to damage, every Sinister Sentience spell ignites enemies.

Endritch’s Mystic Sphere

This orb replaces the fire spells with more mobile-friendly spells. Flarebolts is a rapid-fire spell that Merlin can cast while moving and is useful for dealing damage on the run, and Energorbs creates a barrier that protects Merlin and damages enemies that come into contact with an orb.

The Hollow Chapters

This book replaces the lightning spells with spells that offer more utility. Gravity Well pulls enemies in, bunching them up and slowing them, making them vulnerable to area damage. Void Torrent deals little damage, but significantly slows close enemies. Nether Cloak turns Merlin and nearby allies invisible for a short time.

Ivalice Campaign Setting: Races

This is sure, by far, to be the most polarizing chapter of the book. Liberties were taken. Regrets were ignored.

Suffice to say that the source games weren’t written with consistency and world building in mind. That’s how you end up with several races without gender differentiation and overwhelming prejudices and stereotypes. In reconciling these “problems,” I made some stuff up. Beyond that, there are some hints at how I’ve imported other aspects from the video games that will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows.

Download Chapter 2: Races

Well of Wounded Souls

I came across an old entry of mine for the one-page dungeon contest. I believe this was my 2010 entry. If memory serves, I was disqualified for not including a Creative Commons license link. The contest has since fallen off my radar, but I remember it being a fun exercise. Read the rest of this entry >>

Best Monster of All Time: D&D 30-Day Challenge, Day 22

The gelatinous cube. Read the rest of this entry >>

Immortals: D&D 30-Day Challenge

Favorite Outsider/Immortal? Please. The alignment-based outsiders and demi-gods are predictable carbon copies: angels, archons, demons, devils, etc. Fine, fine, modrons are cool and there’s some interesting Immortals in Mystara, but who’s really ever put any thought into a favorite? (I am, of course, disregarding full-fledged deities, since that was an earlier topic, day 6.)

Instead I’m continuing my Twain-Faced line of deities, introduced here. The more I work on this concept, the more I like it for representing “dawn of the world” type deities.

The latest installment is an interesting one: Charm and Liberation.
Read the rest of this entry >>

Vermin: D&D 30-Day Challenge, Day 17

Certain topics in this challenge are disappointing and/or monotonous, so I’m instead using them as prompts to create something to use at the table. Today’s entry: the Plaguelord, a low-level bringer of pestilence for Pathfinder. Read the rest of this entry >>

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Ivalice Campaign Setting: Prestige Classes

MustadioThe bulk of the work in improving the previously existing material so that it is of professional quality is in rewriting the geography and history chapters—and deciding just what to keep and what to toss. But no one turns to those pages first. At least, Pathfinder players don’t! Crunch sells, after all.

Here, then, is the prestige class chapter. The classes here are drawn solely from the Final Fantasy Tactics line. Other games will be represented eventually—I’m thinking a Vagrant class will be fun—but I have to finalize how much of those games is being included.

Ivalice Campaign Setting Chapter Six: Prestige Classes

 

Ivalice Campaign Setting: Backgrounds

AgriasFinal Fantasy Tactics is one of my favorite games. A while back, a campaign setting write up for this universe appeared on the Paizo.com forums (link). The write up was a combination of house rules and fiction (some fan, some ripped from the game itself). Some of the fiction also included lore from other “Ivalice” games: Final Fantasy XII, and Vagrant Story. It was amateur, but it was appealing.

I took what had been created and formed it into something you might see from a 3rd-party publisher. I added lore from all the Ivalice games, including Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and A2 Grimoir of the Rift. The whole package requires a ton of rewriting and editing, but here’s a sample chapter to tide you over.

Ivalice Campaign Setting Chapter 3: Character Backgrounds

Twain-Faced Deities: Keldain and Melisandra

If a deity’s portfolio represents their wordly spheres of influence, both that which they have control over and that which grants them power, and domains represent the manifestations of the deity’s influence and power, the concept is the… concept around which the deity is based. Diana is divinity. Loki is ego, or perhaps pride. Ankou is duty. Yet none of those concepts are found within the worldy portfolio of those deities. Read the rest of this entry >>

Twain-Faced Deities for Pathfinder: Braccome and Yolonus

Domains in Pathfinder represent a deity’s worldly manifestation of their otherworldly portfolio. As a result, few pantheons written for the game feature dichotomous deities, or deities that exhibit opposing characteristics. The real world has Shiva, the dual-aspect god of destruction and benevolence, or Dionysus, the god of wine, frivolous or furious, depending on… things. As a thought experiment I listed each domain and gave it an opposite. I then sat on the list for years, recurrently wondering what I should do with it. The result: the Twain-Faced Read the rest of this entry >>