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@Goose Looks good. I agree that Powerload Ogre's gotta go - after that, you can drop them in the character's tab.

I've never really explained it on the forums before so our main two benchmarks for balance are:

1. Set normal monster > pass on turn 1 (usually) won't immediately lose you the game (though it's not necessarily a good play) - mainly just something to measure a deck's immediate swarm against. A lot of the decks in the RP rely on slow starts when they can't draw their combo pieces, and while they're expected to draw them quickly/put up some kind of defense or lose, being able to stall a little helps.

2. Nothing is super difficult to remove; if it's unaffected by card effects, for example, then its attack should be moderately low, and the deck shouldn't be capable of buffing it. Crooked Cook and Libromancer Firestarter are about the upper limit for this, and cards like Left-Hand Shark or I:P Masquerena would require you to limit the contents of your extra deck accordingly. Once-per-turn negates aren't as bad, unless they are also omninegates, in which case they may need the same restrictions. Naturally, other aspects of the deck can easily push them off the table entirely. For example, Libromancer Firestarter, Libromancer Bonded and Libromancer Fireburst aren't allowed in the same deck, since Fireburst would be able to achieve immunity to destruction by battle or card effect, as well as immunity to banishment. I don't want everyone to be forced to run Lava Golem/Kaijus/Effect Veiler/etc. to deal with particularly ornery monsters.

The rest is mostly balancing guesswork.

Nobody has submitted an anti-fun deck (e.g. burn/mill/exodia) yet but we'd probably be harsher with them, such as Fonda Fontaine's nurse burn deck that doesn't actually have a lot of burn or control cards.

Jon in the NPCs is a temporary exception to these rules mainly because it ties into his character arc, his deck is a (very inflexible) gimmick I really like, and because I thought it'd be cool if there was an unreasonably strong NPC available to duel against. Nobody has dueled against him yet though, so maybe I thought wrong.
It was such a relief to be out of the line of fire that Donte didn't even notice the girl sitting at her desk until she spoke up. "Oh. Hey."

What was she doing here?

Well, obviously, it's gotta be her room, but he and his father didn't waste much time coming here. It took some time to ditch him, but the bottom line is that if she's here alone, her parents were probably no-shows, which meant he was in the clear. Not as lucky as finding an empty room, but he could work with this.

He stood up, dusting himself off. "-And naw, this is right where I'm tryin' to be right now." He casually took a few steps into the room and started leaning against the foot of the bunkbeds. "You don't need to mind me, though if you do, make sure it's scandalous." Despite sounding like he was coming on to her, his tone was matter-of-fact, and his body language was disinterested. He had said it without even looking in her direction, pulling his PDA out of his pocket and fiddling with it as if hanging around uninvited was a perfectly natural thing to do.
"I want you to expel me."

"Excuse me?"

He had burst into Ms. Hibiki's room, which doubled as her office, and announced it out of nowhere. "You heard me."

The woman shook her head. "I didn't hear a 'why'."

Donte crossed his arms. "Because I don't want to be here anymore."

Ms. Hibiki raised an eyebrow. "Why would your father send you here if you didn't like dueling? Isn't he a tech magnate?"

"Yeah, yeah, 'hOw CoUlD mR. pErFeCt MaKe A mIsTaKe?' Well, I'm telling you, he did."

"I was just going to ask why he'd go out of his way to send you here if you hated dueling. Don't most successful businessmen like him want their children to 'inherit the empire' or something?"

"Hell no. Maybe when I was a baby and he didn't think of me as a such a fuck-up."

"Donte. Look at me. You're not a fuck-up."

Donte frowned. "Damn STRAIGHT I'm not, so you gonna expel me or do I need to damage school property first?"

A voice rang out from upstairs, interrupting their conversation. It wasn't hard to hear through the walls at all. "DONTAVIUS LORENZO!"

Donte grit his teeth, visibly going into fight or flight mode. "Fuck. Hide me."

Ms. Hibiki shrugged. "You can hide, but I'm not going to lie to your father's face."

"You're useless, then." Donte didn't waste any more time here, bolting out the door as quickly as he could without making a ruckus.

He needed to hide and fast. He was bound to be found in no time in the mess hall, but hey, none of the Slifer Red Dorms actually have locks. He ran into the nearest one, Room 102, shutting the door quickly and quietly behind him before pressing his back to the door and sliding down it.

@Darkmoon Angel

Name: Akio

Setting(s): D&D


Alignment: Chaotic Good

Race: Human

Background: Runaway Noble (Noble with Charlatan's False Identity Feat)

Class: Druid

Subclass: Circle of the Moon

Personality: Despite his noble upbringing, Akio is easygoing and hates standing on ceremony. Although he's capable of showing the manners of a member of high society, there's nothing he hates more than pretentious snobs. He's a bit reckless, and has a penchant for getting involved where he doesn't need to, though he's surprisingly cool-headed and not as much of an idiot as his devil-may-care attitude might suggest.

History: Akio ran away from his life as a noble, abandoning his family name and forging a new identity for himself. He found he much preferred the company of commoners and a traveler's lifestyle. He mostly worked as a courier, delivering goods and messages between towns. He was camping in the woods one night when he stumbled upon a large mansion, just sitting there in the middle of the woods, far from any towns. Although curious, he wasn't going to intrude until a pack of wolves cornered him and forced him inside - the doors were unlocked, luckily.

Although he hadn't planned on staying for long, he was soon greeted by a short girl with long, curly white hair. Akio asked to meet with her parents, though she insisted she was the lord of the manor, and also a fully grown adult in her mid twenties. Akio, barely an adult at the time, was about a foot taller than her, though he didn't want to be rude when he was already intruding on her home, so he didn't comment on it further. He explained his situation, and a look of realization swept over the girl, before she moved past him and opened the door. The wolves immediately tackled her, and after a brief moment of Akio's panic, the girl started laughing as the wolves licked her face affectionately. "They're my precious children", she said. He didn't lower his guard as one of them growled at him.

The girl invited him to stay in her mansion, and against his better judgement, he accepted, if only because he was still curious about the strange girl and her empty mansion in the middle of nowhere. The girl said she already ate, but volunteered to make him dinner, and sat at the table with him, asking for his opinion on her cooking. The food was pretty good, if a bit salty, and he gave her his compliments. As he was finishing up and she was reading a book, he asked her why she had a mansion built in the middle of some woods, and also how she tamed a bunch of wolves. She simply responded that it was magic, to which Akio immediately asked her to teach him.

In the following days, Akio learned the basics of druidcraft. The girl started off trying to teach him wizardry, but it proved too boring for him to handle. Although they weren't doing anything special, learning the ways of a Druid proved exhausting. There also seemed to be a mosquito problem in his room, because he had irritating bite marks on his neck.

It all made sense when he announced he was ready to leave, returning to his travels. The girl didn't want him to leave, and had more than enough pure physical strength and speed to stop him. Turns out, she was a vampire, and apparently a very lonely one, because she refused to let him leave. In the end, he had to hold a knife to one of her wolves to get her to let him go, cringing as it sank its teeth into him all the while. She said she regret not turning him into a spawn, and swore she would find him again one day.

He managed to drag himself out of her castle and back to the nearest town, wrestling with the wolf as he did so, though even after managing to release it without tearing him to shreds, getting his wounds treated and coming to rest at a local inn, her vow to find him weighed on his mind.

Years passed by as he managed to avoid being found by both his family and the vampire girl. As dangerous as it was, he still felt he owed a lot to her as his mentor, but when he tried to visit the girl again, he found that her mansion was completely gone.

What kind of Vampire becomes a Druid, anyway? They don't exactly scream "communer with nature". In any case, he's continued on, learning more and more as a Druid. He's heard they can even change into animals, something he never once saw the girl do, which is ironic since Vampires are known to change into bats. Using his newfound magical abilities, he took on more work as an adventurer, though, perhaps even more ironic than the girl, he found he preferred close combat over sitting in the back, tossing around spells.
I recommend leaving before you get too invested.

If you ask too much questions, he'll assume you're arguing with him and demand you shut up or leave.

I asked him if this combativeness was due to something irl because I wanted to be understanding and he removed me without answering.

Well, bridge burned, so be it.
After double checking to see if I could find out the details of the conflict, I think I messed up.

So, the population was 25k, rather than 250k

Second, every single resident died, but it wasn't from the Orcs, instead being because a Dwarven high priest summoned Aurgloroasa, a shadow wyrm, in the middle of the city who proceeded to turn every dwarven resident into undead. It was then taken control of by 3000 human troops before it was captured by the orcs until the Dwarves recaptured it from them.

I know next to nothing about Forgotten Realms, but the events within evidently abide by D&D 5e lore if it's mentioned in official material, and the wiki for it had this to say on their relationship:

the entire (Dwarven) race had more or less declared war on goblins and orcs as a whole

Given the racial enmity between dwarves and orcs and the importance dwarves placed on lineage, it was easy to understand their temptation to hold distrust and resent half-orcs. Half-orcs meanwhile thought dwarves would be funny if not so dangerous, for despite their capacity for drinking and raucousness they were serious, judgmental, task-oriented, and strict. However, half-orcs held respect for the strength and martial prowess, and further admired dwarven skill with stone and honesty while sharing an appreciation for simple pleasures. Dwarves were predisposed to letting those so inclined prove themselves, and the two could be surprisingly staunch companions, to the point that less traditional clans would adopt particularly worthy half-orcs, demonstrating the possibility for even the oldest grudges to be wiped clean.

It's an optimistic spin on their relationship, though I'm not surprised it ends at the first sentence of this quote for the barmaid kicker IC.
Page 18 5E PHB

....And a "BURNING HATRED" for Goblins & Orcs......

True, I kind of glossed over that since it didn't explain how or why beyond the obvious.

Citadel Felbarr had a population of a quarter million Dwarves so even if it was just that, being able to point to a Dwarven equivalent of 9/11 or something felt more explanatory.
since when is racism supposed to be a natural thing lol

I was actually curious about this too, since I've never heard of Dwarves and Half-Orcs being opposed to each other in 5e, though the PHB makes it clear from the onset that Half-Orc discrimination is commonplace since they are typically associated with Orcs and have some of their predispositions. (explicitly stating that they "tend to be short-tempered" along with some interesting stuff about how they "feel emotions powerfully")

Orcs themselves are chaotic evil. D&D Lore (Page 123 of the PhB) states that evil dieties (Gruumsh in this case, the chaotic-evil creator of Orcs) will make creatures with inborn tendencies matching those of their creator, and that even half-orcs feel "the lingering pull of the orc god's influence." So it's not really a big mystery why there's prejudice, but why it's Dwarves in particular.

Dwarves are already characterized as "distrustful" and "slow to forget wrongs they have suffered", so the many paragraphs of how Orcs pillage and slaughter from the monster manual aren't necessary to put 2 and 2 together, but was there a specific event that caused it?

The best I could find in official 5e material was an excerpt from the monster manual referencing "King Obould Many-Arrows", which took up residence in a mountain range called "The Spine of the World" and attacked nearby dwarven, elven and human settlements. After looking into it a bit more, apparently they settled in "Citadel Felbarr", which was a Dwarven Citadel before the Orcs attacked it, renaming it "The Citadel of Many Arrows" until the Orcs were later defeated and the Citadel reclaimed.

Heavy Metal is, as I understand it, more familiar with older editions of D&D, so there might be more about it in older editions. Carrying over legacy lore at the DM's whim is nothing new.

I was more irked by the seemingly arbitrary restrictions to word choice, and I maintain my opinion that, where they're accurate, they shouldn't be restricted, but I also understand wanting to get away from the negativity seen so often on social media and other places. If someone joined a game I was running and wanted to offhandedly mention a band of Druids wild shaped into foxes running disinformation campaigns to trick people into avoiding healers when they're afflicted with poison for financial gain, I wouldn't like it either, even though I fucking hate the real-life equivalent. I don't want to dwell on it in a D&D game; it doesn't matter if my players are in agreement of the real life matter or not. I may have made a smaller deal about it, but I'd ask them to drop it going forward.

I think what I edited it to arguably calls more attention to the fact that it's racially motivated, since a hate crime is a verb that can be mentioned casually rather than spelling it out. (i.e. "ATTACK THEIR HEALER BASED ON HIS RACE") I was just trying to say my character interprets the situation as beyond practical resolution through amiable conversation so he'd have a excuse to prepare for combat before it actually started.

Fantasy racism need not correlate to real racism and I don't really care where Heavy Metal's perception on what reminds him of current events lies so long as it doesn't get in the way of the writing and characterization. Despite invoking the Streisand effect and his rude response, jumping to a soft ad hominem by implying he's, in your own words, a "2010s /pol/ anti-sjw" based on his attempts to keep up his own immersion is disingenuous.
Akio considered himself a rational person.

He had a habit of taking drastic measures, consequences be damned, but those decisions were never made out of passion. He wasn't about to stop the manure harvester and his hairy goblin companion from walking out of the tavern without a fight. This had been part of his original plan, after all, before their sorcerer had managed to embarrass herself enough to end the whole conflict early. That being said, the man's words - "no harm no foul" couldn't be further from the truth. Harming the barmaid is what started the conflict. Very convenient of him to forget that, and they hadn't actually apologized either.

Akio extended a hand to Fay wordlessly, offering to help her up. He didn't ask her if she was okay; she had proclaimed herself a Spellsword. It'd just add to her embarrassment by indirectly calling her competency as one into question, or at least that's what Akio thought. Once she was up, he left, moving over to the barmaid to help her, picking up the pieces of the shattered mugs.

Quietly, he extended the barmaid his offer. "As the aggrieved party, I feel I should ask you, first." He examined the barmaid's expression, though she obviously didn't know what he was talking about. He was just taking a dramatic pause to make sure he had her attention anyway. "Do you feel the Dwarf's coins make up for his actions?" He held out the Dwarf's two silver coins, wet from the spilled ale, within one open palm, offering it to her like a devil's bargain. "Or, would you prefer hiring my adventuring party to teach that Dwarf a lesson?"

She shook her head, reaching for the silver coins with a self-deprecating smile. "Thank you for the offer, but I must decline."

Akio couldn't help but let his concern show on his face. "If it's about the money, I don't actually-"

"It's not."


He had missed his chance to help her when she needed it and now it was too late. The situation was nostalgic in all the wrong ways. He went back to picking up the rest of the glass shards before returning to his party, bidding them farewell for the night.
@HEAVY METAL It's part of the narration; not something Akio actually said or explicitly thought.
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