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  1. I just erase them completely, dwarves are basically biological golems, and "elves" are just humans who were twisted by the fey in the womb, and are more akin to 1/2 elves I suppose.
  2. I'm going to ignore your snide little jab because its ... well, silly as no one has said anything even remotely close to DMs being slaves to the Players. Players making "Murder Hobos" and "Drizzts" that don't fit into the campaign has nothing to do with backstories as quite frankly, your Ork Shaman wouldn't fit whether the player came in with a 100 pages of backstory or simply a character sheet with a scribbled name so that isn't really a valid point for your argument. Now with that said, I tend to agree with the process you described, start with a broad backstory with enough wiggle room to fit in the campaign as opposed to simply inventing stuff that doesn't fit into the world. (Although quite frankly, when I run a campaign, I'll gladly steal a player's idea -IF- it fits into my world, although I'll probably tweak it so just because you created a NPC in your backstory, it doesn't mean you know everything about that person.)
  3. The problem in your scenario has nothing to do with a "16 page backstory" or even the lack of one, but is instead an issue of a player deciding to pull a Drizzt.
  4. Some people are just "bland" though, but one of my pet peeves is characters that don't have any family or friends.
  5. MLMII

    Excommunication and Disavowal

    Well, if the gods at the top of the pyramid are feeding off of the energies being produced by the offerings and ritual worship of the cult members below them (whether they "need" the worship to survive or if it simply makes them more powerful), they aren't going to accept abuses that drive the flock away enmass.
  6. MLMII

    Why are you wearing that?

    As a character? I wouldn't want to make my weapon any harder to ready than I had to, but its my understanding that "peace knots" were a historical fact (although there is some debate over what exactly they were) and that the fact that the guard isn't all that concerned by anything other than breaches of peace means making it harder to draw your weapon was a good thing in their eyes. For what its worth though, I personally envision them in the way they were used in Wheel of Time, a simple ribbon/cord with a knot that had to be undone/broken before you could draw your sword.
  7. Doesn't that run afoul of the "if a limitation isn't limiting, it isn't worth points"? Or did I completely misunderstand something? (quite possible)
  8. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, when I mentioned dumbo feathers, what I meant was that if a witch "needs" them its because her player decided that take it as a limitation in order to get more points, kind of like how Shadowrun mages can place a geas on their magic that requires them to do the trappings. One witch may have to gesture, another may have to incant, but the third may simply be able to curse you with an angry glare and a thought. Still, the idea that its all ritual and the binding aspect is the important part is interesting.
  9. In the campaign that I'm building, magic is basically the witch forcing her will upon the universe and trappings such as incanatations, gestures, ect are merely Dumbo's feather. So with that said the idea of a rendering a witch helpless via a "mage collar" of some sort just appeals to me. Now I know that I could simply make something up, but I was wondering what ideas people had for a mundane material that could be worked into collars or hand cuffs by mundanes who needed to hold mystical prisoners. I suppose some sort of herbal remedy would work as well. (Given that the smart alternative would be to simply kill defeated witches...) The old standby of "cold iron" (which for my purposes would just be wrought iron, not steel) is possible and I'll probably settle on it unless a better idea comes up, but its just boring and I'm not sure I want to tie magic that strongly to the fae. Lead as a "base metal" is supposedly a mystical barrier, and according a new age site that I stumbled on is believed to be helpful for "black space meditations" and mystical silence, which could tie into stilling a witch's mystical abilities I suppose. (Bullets may be made of lead, but I imagine that suppression requires more quantity than most wizards would carry as well as forming a circuit, maybe between their neck and left hand?) On the other end of the spectrum, perhaps it works because the metal to "too mystically conductive" ... Platinum is supposedly related to secret soul wisdom, and magic is tied to a witch's very soul, so I can see being able to use it to short out a sorcerer's aura, plus it would have the effect of making "mage cuffs" special in that as opposed to a cheap metal such as lead, it'll take some effort to obtain one and people won't simply use "mage cuffs" to retrain everyone because of the price. Thoughts? Suggestions?
  10. MLMII

    Mana Transference

    Mostly because I want to avoid the feeling that magic can be worked with raw endurance or the scenario where viewing your fellow party members as walking "powerstones" is "ok" by making converting endurance both costly and hurt. On the other hand, I like the image of ritual sacrifice being based on a grain of truth, so killing mundanes for mystical power is a vibe that I want to keep. (Sorcerers aren't viewed favorably in my world and the fear that they have to wrestle with the temptation of being able to shred one's very soul for power seems like a good reason for that.) ... On the other hand, I want to try to maintain balance where the damage is low enough that it'll never become a preferred combat option.
  11. I think the issue with 'Hands' is in part because people are trying to approach his abilities through classes only; although hardly perfect I think a better starting point would be make him a doppleganger to handle the basic shape shifting and then try to get a hand on the partial shifting abilities. As a disclaimer, its been awhile since I played DnD so I could be misremembering what dopplegangers can actually do. };op
  12. I don't mind "mostly blank slates" provided that the character more or less fits into the campaign world (and I LOVE your Shadowrun example), but I don't usually run genric campaigns with the standard unmodified races so I try to make sure everyone has at least a basic understanding of the world and how each race "fits" into it.
  13. MLMII

    Why are you wearing that?

    That's why I personally tend to have magic items be extremely rare, and for the most part the only bonus is that that they get to ignore the "real weapon" limitations. As for acceptable weapons/armor in town, I personally tend to rule that "peace knotted" side swords (and pistols) are common enough that people don't tend to raise an alarm, but heavy weapons, rifles, and noticeable armor will draw unwanted attention whether its "illegal" or not. ... But then again, I suspect that even a fantasy world with firearms is probably going to phase out heavy armor.
  14. MLMII

    Mana Transference

    For a campaign that I'm designing, magic (bought as a VPP) always uses "mana", which witches typically provide from their own personal mana reserves, or if forced, regular endurace (at a poor exchange rate plus body damage). However if they don't wish to wait for their own mana to recover they also have the ability to draw mana/endurance from other targets, whether that is another living creature, a foci, or a rare manaspring. The way that I envision it working in play is that if a witch is using it on a willing target, she simply touches the target and drains as much mana/endurance she wishes up to her max mana reserve ( mana 1:1 endurance 2:1 -body damage is 1 body per 2 endurance). If she's using it against an unwilling target she first has to touch them and then make a contested Sorcery skill roll vs Sorcery/Ego. Any damage that results from being siphoned can not be healed via magic. Example: Melody has Sorcery-14 and is attempting to drain a prisoner who is currently restrained, so laying hands is automatic. Melody rolls an 11, succeeding by three. The prisoner, who is mundane and thus doesn't have access to Sorcery instead rolls against Ego-11, rolling a 10 he has succeeded his roll by one, so Melody can drain two points worth of Mana from his soul, he loses 4 Endurance and 2 Body from the ordeal. Melody can continue attempting to siphon his endurance reserves until he runs out, he dies, or her own mana reserve is full. If he wasn't restrained, Melody would have to succeed in first touching him and he would be free to continue to act on his turn. ... Is there a "cleaner" method to represent this ability and/or there any glaring balance issues that I've missed seeing?