Stephen Glicker, Author at Roll For Combat: Paizo's Official Pathfinder & Starfinder Actual Play Podcasts - Page 2 of 25

Dead Suns 127: Dancing On The Ceiling

The penultimate episode! Ships destroyed! Enemies defeated! Gravity inverted! Will the heroes get off the ship in time? Or will they try one last time to take over the Stellar Degenerator?

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Plaguestone 33: Kill It With Fire!

After months of tracking, endless alchemical potions, and too many turnips, our heroes have finally tracked down Vilree once and for all. But will the heroes confront her … or join her side?

Also with just one episode left, GM Stephen discusses what is next for the RFC Plaguestone Crew!

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Talking Combat 126: The Rogue Goes Rogue

Jason recaps the events from Roll For Combat, Episode 126: Ramming Speed!

OK, so it turns out the secret to making ship combat in Starfinder entertaining is to just give your players command of a Level 20 capital ship and just let them leave smoking wreckage where their enemies used to be. WHO KNEW?

Seriously, I didn’t know while we were fighting, but I went back and looked at the stats of those ships (or similar) after the combat was over, and those two escort cruisers pretty much had NO chance. (Even before Seth decided to just go ahead and ram them.) We had something like 1000 hull points and they were just plinking away, 40 or 50 points at a time. Meanwhile, our main gun was putting out anywhere up to 400, 500 points if we got good rolls, and seemed to be settling in the 300s on average. And once the boss left, we could afford to put 2 or 3 people on guns at the same time.

There’s a little suspension of disbelief as far as getting the guns to shoot at other Corpse Fleet ships, but I suppose there are two rationalizations there. First, they shot at us first. Kinda easy to justify shooting BACK at somebody that already shot at you. But also, we’re (ironically) so far in the future that it’s probably all computerized – there’s probably no window they looking out to see who they’re firing at; they probably just respond to blips on the screen. The bridge tells them to shoot at the target at bearing 027-mark-351 and they do it. I suppose you could spend an hour in this rabbit-hole if you really wanted to – Do they have transponders on their ships? What’s the chain of command if Gunner’s Mate Third Class Poplinski realizes we’re shooting at friendlies?  But screw it. “Fog of war” it shall be.

Meanwhile, the boss makes a token effort to make a nuisance of himself, but doesn’t ever come out from behind his force wall, and then leaves. I suspect that means he’s getting low on spells, and almost certainly that he can’t go invisible again. On the one hand, it’s a little less than satisfying because I’m a completionist and really want to finish the job. On the other hand, a caster who is pretty much out of spells really might not want to go toe-to-toe with a party of five, even if one of them is teetering on death’s door. I suppose there’s still a chance he’s off getting reinforcements, or possibly that he’ll ambush us as we try to get off the ship, but for now… take the “W”, I guess. (It also sets up the possibility we’ll have an honest-to-God nemesis if he and us both escape. Just like Darth Vader’s TIE fighter flopping away into space at the end of Star Wars!)

And then we get to the heart of this episode, where Seth goes loose cannon on us.

Here’s my dilemma. Keep in mind, this isn’t “anger”… more like “70% amused, with a 30% undercurrent of frustration”.

On one hand, I absolutely respect that it made for a big, fun storytelling moment for Seth to ram the enemy ship and that in general, he’s going all-out for the event horizon to get us there quickly. We’re in the home stretch – swing for the fences! And I can’t really complain about him carrying forward the same plan I started without asking anyone’s permission – it was my idea to start moving the ship to get the boss to focus on me in the first place. On the other hand, the minute the boss left the bridge, the situation was at least temporarily under control – we’d already established that the escort ships weren’t going to be much of a threat – and a little bit of a pause to catch our collective breath would’ve probably been wise. Slow down… do a circle and go back around… whatever.

Instead, Seth goes ahead and rams the ship. It certainly solves the ship combat problem; I’ll give it that. But now we have a running clock to get off the ship, one party member who has to be dragged because he’s ping-ponging back and forth at death’s door, weird shifting gravity effects, and we don’t REALLY know for certain those doors at the “north” end of the bridge get us off the ship… we’re just kind of assuming that to be the case. Don’t get me wrong… it makes GREAT listening. But for someone like me who likes to take time to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, it’s a little bit outside my comfort zone.

I do feel like Steve is the great equalizer here. I think Steve has a pretty good Spider-Sense for that sweet spot where he still indulges players’ choices up to a point, but he also won’t totally let one player take over the game and “ruin” it for everyone else. Let’s say something Seth was going to do would kill us outright. The ship blows up, we lose. That would pretty much flush two years of gaming down the drain, and deep down, I don’t think Steve would let that happen. I don’t feel like he would hard-veto it unless there was no other way: it’s more likely he’d soft-veto it by tweaking the script on the fly and giving the rest of us a chance to mitigate the situation. Don’t get me wrong: Steve is willing to let the group die if we AS A GROUP do something hideously stupid. But if one player goes rogue, I think Steve’s willing to covertly or overtly reel it back in if needed.

Based on his show notes, it doesn’t sound like his response to Seth’s actions was anything that drastic, though. If anything, he just moved up some things that were going to happen later to create some additional drama, and it sounds like we’re still basically in command of our own destinies here; we just have to get the heck off this ship.

Toward the end of the session, we catch a bit of a break as the Rewire Flesh effect on Akiro is set to expire; next time he drops will hopefully be the last time. He’ll still be at risk if we have to deal with more potential falling damage from the gravity shifts, but he has his flight spell to mitigate some most of that. Not gonna lie – I know we do a certain amount of messing with each other, but I was genuinely a little annoyed that Bob and John weren’t giving me a little more help getting Akiro back on his feet. Two main things: a) this would go faster if I stabilized him and a second person poured a healing serum into him and b) unless we get lucky with low or zero-G, there’s pretty much no way I’m going to be dragging him myself. You could argue a little selfishness is in-character for Rusty, but Mo is usually more helpful than that.

And that’s where we leave things for next time… it’s really just a race to get off the ship before big objects go BOOM. Do we make it? I guess you’ll have to tune in next time. Though, I mean, who’s gonna listen to a podcast for two years and then bail at the very final moments? So at the risk of being arrogant, we KNOW you’ll be back here next week… but thanks for listening all this time.

Three Ring Adventure S1|01: The Show Must Go On

Tonight you have front-row seats to the opening night of the Circus of Wayward Wonders! Welcome to the first episode of Roll For Combat, Three Ring Adventure Podcast!

A playthrough of the Pathfinder Adventure Path, Extinction Curse starting with the first book, The Show Must Go On.

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Dead Suns 126: Ramming Speed!

What happens when you take melee combat and mix that with starship combat, and then throw in a touch of environmental hazards? Total chaos!

Also, GM Steve discusses details about the new upcoming podcast, Tales from the Black Lodge!

And don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

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Three Ring Adventure S1|00: Welcome To Three Ring Adventure!

This episode will give you a quick rundown of the Roll For Combat, Three Ring Adventure Podcast (a playthrough of the Extinction Curse Adventure Path), introduce you to the players, their characters, and what to expect on each show.

Whether you are brand new to the show or a long-time listener, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to best experience our podcast and what to expect each week!

And don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

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Plaguestone 32: I Could’ve Had A D8!

The RFC Crew continues their fight from last week against a mass of flesh and limbs. Enter The Amalgam!

Also with just two episodes left, GM Stephen discusses future plans and podcasts at Roll For Combat.

And don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

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Dead Suns 125: Does Akiro Dream of Electric Sheep?

If a PC dies by being turned into a robot and then comes back to life, are they ever truly the same again?

Also, GM Steve decides to take two gaming systems, mix them together, and see what comes out!

And don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/rollforcombat where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

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Darius Varus

Darius Varus was a strong child and a powerful boy, so his father got him involved in training as early as he could. During his training, he learned multiple styles and fighting techniques from local pit fighters and local gladiators who all did side-stints in the circus for extra coin. His main teacher was a dwarven Monk named Durgann Bloodhammer, who taught him the ways of the Unrelenting Avalanche and honed his body into a powerful force of offense and defense.

But it wasn’t all fighting all the time. Darius was also taught how to heal broken bodies and volunteered his help to the local Hospitallers to hone his craft. Of course, there was no shortage of accidents, falls, equipment failures, and misjudged acrobatics while in the circus, so he had the chance to utilize his medical skills quite often.

In his adult life, he is an extremely friendly person, very protective of his sister, and those he calls friends. He always goes the extra mile to help, even if it means taking on burdens that are not really his to bare. Darius is usually the instigator for revelries and nights of raucous post-performance drinking parties and always tries to be the peacemaker among disputes. Many times, he has turned a dour mood into levity with his wit and positivity, which has often changed the course of a show for the better following a failed act or mishap. He’s a mountain of a man, and a mountain of happiness!

Darius is played by Rob Trimarco.

Alhara Varus

Alhara is a child of the circus. Her earliest memories were swinging from a training trapeze with her father, Marcel, standing by to make sure she was safe and her brother, Darius, cheering her on. She even recalls one particularly bad tumble when the rope she was swinging on broke and Alhara went flying twenty feet before hitting the ground and rolling to a stop. As her father and brother rushed over to check on her, Alhara lept to her feet and shouted, “AGAIN!”

On her 6th birthday, she announced to her family that her birthday wish was to “be a girl.” Her father helped her pick out a new name; she choose the elven name, Alhara, meaning light on her feet. Some of the other girls in the circus gave her gifts of clothes, shoes, and ribbons for her hair.

Growing up in the circus was great for Alhara; she got to meet interesting people with a wide variety of talents and she wanted to try them all. Being naturally athletic, she excelled at feats of strength and agility. Over time she would try and duplicate the tricks of other performers, trying to learn them all so that she could be the best. Alhara believes there’s nothing she cannot accomplish if she puts her mind to it.

As a half-elf, she knows that since her father is human, her mother must be elven or half-elven. However, asking Marcel about it is heartbreaking as he always gets that far away look and says he doesn’t want to talk about her. Unsure how her mother died, Alhara decided to choose Gozran 27th, 10 days after her own birthday, to grieve annually for her mother’s passing.

She enjoys risky activities that challenge her abilities; the more danger the more adrenaline! Her circus career started working as a clown doing physical comedy, then doing side-shows to show off her acrobatic talents. Now she has a shot at the big time in the main tent, and she’s not going to let her family down!

Alhara is played by Vanessa Hoskins.