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About VonKatzen

  • Rank
    Advanced Member


  • RPG Biography
    I've been playing RPGs on-and-off for around twenty-five years. Most of my experience is with some version of Dungeons & Dragons. More recently (as in, the past ~12 years) I have been getting into GURPs, BRP, Stormbringer!, RuneQuest and Burning Wheel.
  • Current games
    AD&D, OSRs; looking to get into a Mythras or Burning Wheel game.
  • Location
    Avondale, AZ
  • Blurb
    Loc'd out gangster, set trippin' banger.

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  1. As everyone here has said 'what kind of stone?' is the main question. The follow-up is 'how thick?' since a very thick wall will (depending on stone type) actually be able to compress and vibrate to distribute the force of the impact throughout its smoothly integrated mass, rather than breaking. Putting a spike through 1" of concrete is doable in a couple swings, getting a spike 1" into SOLID, 2' thick concrete is a lot more work. The actual distribution of mass and amount of mass are going to have mechanical effects on its durability which are, however, very hard to model in a role-playing ga
  2. In actual game terms, magic is technology. It has repeatable, predictable effects and can be employed by sufficient resources, wealth and intellectual merit. It's basically an imaginary form of technology. And, in fact, I think that's how magic was conceived of by many ancients, i.e. a means-ends relation based on conceptual rather than mechanical relationships. The idea of magic as non-rational is really a modern invention, to distinguish it from science and engineering. Likewise, alchemy was philosophy and fake chemistry, not theosophical mystery religion. Magic was false science, not anti-s
  3. I don't necessarily disagree, but Praxians are far worse at summoning eldritch demons and shooting white hot fire, which is a much bigger advantage in a set-piece battle. Praxian magic is focused on stuff civilized people compensate for with for with organization and technology. The Lunars don't need to - they have organization and technology - so their magic is used for stuff that is impossible without magic. Camouflage and tracking magic is really useful as a barbarian, but in an open battle the Crimson Bat trumps every time. Civilized people have a huge edge IRL, because although they
  4. Magic can of course turn a baby into a battle monster with the right spells. But since everyone uses magic, and civilized people are better at it, it washes out at best, and is more realistically overpowered by the sorcery of the Lunar Empire or even the rather more sophisticated 'barbarians' like the Orlanthi. In the case of someone who is sub-100lbs, v. people who average at least 50% more, a huge difference. It would be like me (6', 190lbs) fighting an 11yo boy. Yeah, he could kill me, but chances are it would go the other way. And if we're fighting in groups of roughly equally skil
  5. That would solve the draw length problem, but not the strength problem. The poundage of normal human bows would be too much for them to fully draw, even a short little Hunnic bow. I would agree with you if we were talking dwarves - who are little bodybuilder tree stumps, and could make excellent use of extremely heavy composite bows to compensate for a short draw. But in the case of a very small human that's just not true. From what I have read and based on the size of their mass we're talking about jockeys here, people who would almost be considered midgets (or whatever the PC term is
  6. Giants would also have better eyesight, because of their large eyes. And it depends on your giants. D&D Fire Giants clearly wear full plate, use missile and heavy melee weapons, in addition to giant scale siege weapons and fight in disciplined regiments. They're martial professionals to a man. They also crush humans like bugs unless they're faced by high sorcery, as they quite properly ought to. Only their preference for living in volcanoes (lack of conflict) and small numbers (lack of need to expand) has prevented them from basically overrunning the human lands and becoming at least
  7. But they would also suck at missile combat. Shorter limbs, less physical strength, less draw length on bows, less leverage for swinging a sling (a sling is a flail that comes apart on command), lighter arrows, shorter arrows, etc. By the same token giant archers and slingers would annihilate humans long before the humans were in range, and do far more damage per shot. Mongols were also an extremely organized and professional fighting force using a wide variety of tactics and troop types, siege equipment, etc. They were not bronze age simple nomads, they were highly sophisticated warriors
  8. Nah, I don't buy it, they would get plastered in melee. Also, smaller mounts may be more nimble but they're also slower and have less power as impact cavalry, compounding the problem of an already weak and tiny rider with tiny, short weapons. In fact, a tiny version of a normal animal could well be slower than a normal human on foot, due to stride length. Humans can easily outrun most small animals traveling in a straight line, and a giant plateau (where these nomads live) is not exactly good terrain for avoiding direct, heavy cavalry/infantry. Mongols had this problem: their horses would
  9. The inspiration for this comes from a post over on Facebook about real ostrich riders, where someone mentioned that the Praxian ostrichriders are in fact very small people. I can see where the idea comes from - jockeys - but this is in fact a terrible idea. In fact, very small people in melee combat is almost always a terrible idea, unless they have superhuman powers to offset their obvious size, reach, mass, leverage and power disadvantages. And, in fact, this would actually be reflected somewhat in the rules: they should have a smaller SIZ and realistically STR, and thus should be ea
  10. I haven't checked out my RD/C&C books in a while so perhaps there is something like this, but what about a quasi-magical clockwork war engine with a pilot riding it, and a handful of guys with crossbows to keep light soldiers from targeting its weaknesses (like the Howdah of an elephant)? Not so much a tank as I imagine it but like a gigantic version of a cuckoo clock soldier, complete with a thrusting pike and trip warhammers. A whole regiment of oversized mechanical men bound together with a tower-chariot behind them. The Swiss Phalanx!
  11. About a year ago a friend of mine was planning to run an Age of Shadows campaign but he ended up having some health problems and hasn't been able to work on it since. I have the game and a couple supplements for it, and it seems pretty straightforward in terms of the rules. I am wondering if anyone out there has much play experience with it? As a rather Alter-Middle-earth setting how does it compare in feel with other games - actual Middle-earth properties like MERP and TOR - or Burning Wheel? Obviously the rules are way different between all of these, but would you say it gets the M
  12. If you think horse archers are effective in warfare they're better in small-group fighting! A man with a bow on a horse can basically annihilate two-legged enemies at will and evade retaliation with ease. A party with an armored archer on a horse would have a big advantage, unless they were underground lol or some similar fantasy setup. Of course this can be done already with the right combat style, but in Mythic Persia you finally have an excuse to have your entire party be nomadic aristocrats with composite bows, lances, sabers and full body mail, who show no respect for authority and loo
  13. Just out of curiosity how much work would it take to create a portable version of this? Not necessarily an independent program, but something like a complete web archive that could be used from a jump drive or something?
  14. Of all the campaigns I have pitched so far my Thennla game seems to be getting the most interest on Roll20. Unfortunately I do not have the Taskan militia campaign arc from Age of Treason, as that could be a perfect excuse, but in the current game I intend to tie in to certain military operations taking place in the north of the Taskan Empire. Assuming the players are the 'adventurer' type, what is a good way to get them at least marginally involved in a battle? Being 'adventurers', though essentially small-time mercenaries, means they're probably not interested in spending the next six m
  15. Interesting. I would love to get those adventures for Mythras when they're released. Summoning would be interesting. As it is Animism is the closest to Stormbringer! magic.
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