vital targets

Druid Week: Druids in the Game

As a DM:


Druids already have a huge part in most roles, so they don’t need much in terms of catering. A bard might need to feel more involved in a campaign, but a support druid can also provide utility, tankiness, damage… they can Wild Shape or cast a spell whenever they need anything! They are one of the most versatile classes in the entire game. If they need encouragement, give them a variety of challenges (as you should always be doing, really) to force them to take more creative problem-solving measures.


Make unique landscapes and environments for the druid. You don’t have to do it every time, but every once in a while feel free to go overboard. Floating midair land masses, waterfalls that flow upward, geysers of acid, an insect hive the size of a city… just describe some beauty shot that can really tug at the druid’s magic-strings. They will be interested in the unique plants and animals and magic there, which can influence how you populate such a land. Not to mention the other players will love such a wondrous place, too.


One thing a lot of DMs forget is to give druids a place to excel. Druids fall flat inside an enclosed dungeon. Give them space out in the open; in the wild. Give the druid some non-magical beasts to interact with. DMs always forget that regular threats like lions, tigers, and bears exist and with a druid, these often turn into roleplaying encounters rather than combat ones. Speak with Animals, Animal Friendship, Beast Bond, Beast Sense, Animal Messenger, Dominate Beast, Locate Creature, and Commune with Nature can all interact with beasts in some way. Beasts are everywhere if the druid is looking for them.


Another thing to keep in mind is plant life. I just did a whole two-part post about Herbalism as a more fleshed-out system for 5e. Part 1 is just a pipeline of dice tables to make up new herbs. The herb could play a minor role in a story or adventure, or it could simply be a useful tool that exists in your world. For instance, I once had some herbs with yellow flowers that would act as healing potions, but you could only eat them twice within 24 hours or you would get sick. Ever since then, the players could find those herbs elsewhere and have a unique source of HP instead of a boring old potion. Plus they have the a-ha moment of realizing they found something useful on their own instead of opening a chest and finding it there. Part 2 of the Herbalism Guide was more about how to use the herbs as potion ingredients, as medicine, and as spell components. If you want to go the extra mile or want ideas for what herbs could do, use it!


Just like clerics, druids can have supernatural senses that can add to the mood of an adventure. Imagine if you were a druid PC and the DM says “The druid senses something off about this forest. It makes you feel sick.” or “This jungle is in agony. You empathize with its pain, which feels like insects stinging you all over your body, and you can almost hear the wails of the trees.” Druids could make an Insight check to try and feel how a beast is feeling in the same way. It singles out the druid, identifies the problem as environmental corruption, and enhances the mood. What more could a DM want.

As a Player:

Get the Most Out of the Game:

Ask your DM questions about the flora and fauna and traits of the setting. When you travel to a new area in-game, be sure to cast Commune with Nature and get a lay of the land. This can add to the experience and provide vital information on targets for Locate spells, herbalism, and beast-influencing spells. Don’t be afraid to ask your DM for strange things that might not exist in the standard rules like “Can my druid think of any herbs that could cure paralysis in this environment?” The DM might find that intriguing and make it a plot point (making things a bit easier on the DM and giving you a potential solution to your problems to boot).

Don’t be afraid to request unique creatures to Wild Shape into, even if they aren’t in the book! I don’t see jellyfish in the Monster Manual but if a player asked me for it, I would just turn them into a Poisonous Snake with no land speed and 10 ft. swim speed, but maybe increase the poison damage a tad. And heck, who says there aren’t Giant Jellyfish in the realm of D&D? Use a Giant Poisonous Snake for that! You could easily reskin monsters like that, especially for cosmetic reasons. In the tropics? Turn into a Giant Parrot instead of a Giant Eagle. In the tundra? Turn into a Snow Hare instead of a Badger to better hide in the snow. In the desert? Turn into a Coyote instead of a Wolf. There are so many animals in the world, there is no excuse for creativity on your end as a druid!

Wild Shape:

Optimize the usage of your Wild Shape. Pick the right animals for the right jobs!

  • Mobility/Scout: Giant Elk, Deer, Hyena, Horses, Flying Snake, Giant Owl, Giant Eagle, Giant Badger, Ape, Panther, Giant Toad, and Giant Crab all have either fast movement or unique movement (fly, swim, climb, burrow).
  • Tackle: Lion, Panther, Allosaurus, Giant Octopus, Crocodile, Giant Constrictor, Giant Toad, and Giant Crab can all knock enemies prone or restrain them.
  • Poison Damage: Poisonous Snake, Giant Scorpion, Giant Spider, and Female Steeder (OotA) all have poison that can deal damage to those not resistant.
  • Sustained Damage: Wolf, Giant Crocodile, Tiger, Giant Boar, Ape, and Dire Wolf all deal reliable damage and have adequate tank.
  • Tank: Warhorse, Black Bear, Giant Constrictor, Rhino, Ankylosaurus, Whale, Elephant, Hulking Crab, Triceratops, and Mammoth all have a bunch of HP and AC.
  • Spy: Mule, Horses, Cat, Frog, Crab, Snakes, and Spiders are great at hiding and some have blindsight! Crag Cat (SKT) has Nondetection as well!
  • Thumbs: APES HAVE THUMBS. Which means that they can manipulate things other animals can’t. Also: You can wield your weapons while in Wild Shape!

Other tips: use summoned minions or your allies to help flank enemies while in Wild Shape. Cast buffs before you Wild Shape, make sue they don’t require concentration if you want them to stack, otherwise you can at least concentrate on one thing while in Wild Shape. If you are in a long dungeon with little to no rest,  save Wild Shape for big fights when the tank is worn down or save it for utility when the other casters are low on spells. Also for grappler beasts knock the enemies down before you grapple. Then they can’t move and when they break grapple they can’t get back up as easily!


Buffs: Druids are great for buff spells. Be sure to buff yourself before entering Wild Shape! ex: Enhance Ability, Faerie Fire, Longstrider, Barkskin, Stoneskin, Protection from Energy, Antilife Shell

Zoning: Druids have crowd control spells, but many of them control crowds through zoning. Take advantage of the fact that you are the largest influence on the surrounding environment. You get to change the battlefield to your advantage! These are big, flashy spells that make the druid fun. Use them to put obstacles in front of creatures to slow their advances, make it harder for creatures to dodge, provide cover for your party, or force enemies into a trap. “Oh there’s a Wall of Fire there I better go around it” [gets bottlenecked by ranged PCs instead of taking fire damage] ex: Wind Wall, Wall of Fire, Entangle, Plant Growth, Spike Growth, Flame Sphere, Sleet Storm, Insect Plague, Wall of Stone, Wall of Thorns, Bones of the Earth (such a cool spell)

Minions: In D&D 5e, most ACs are nearly the same thanks to Bounded Accuracy. So more attack rolls equals more damage. Minions help with this, and druids can get plenty using Conjure Elementals, Conjure Fey, Conjure Woodland Beings, and Conjure Animals! Not to mention spells like Awaken and Dominate Beast to get more allies.

Healing: Druids are good at healing. Note that Healing Word is a bonus action and has range, unlike Cure Wounds. Druids also get the Restoration spells and Reincarnate, which is less powerful than Resurrection and such, but hey it’s something!

Damage: Druids can output damage, mostly through their zoning spells, but also with some neat single-target spells. Note that Moonbeam and Blight are rare sources of Radiant and Necrotic damage, respectively.

Utility: Druids have utility. Various divination spells can break the game if you are clever. Several spells help you get where you want to go or get rid of enemy spells. Use them liberally unless you have a Wizard to lighten the necessity for utility spells. ex: Speak with Plants/Animals, Water Breathing, Animal Messenger, Pass Without Trace, Find Traps, Locate Object/Animals/Plants, Gust of Wind, Detect Poison/Disease, Detect Magic, Dispel Magic, Meld into Stone, Scrying, Tree Stride, Commune with Nature

Describe your fighting style with an animal!

I’m really curious to think what the other budoblrs say.

As for me, I’d be a cat. Have you ever seen a cat fight? Even the to the largest of the family like tigers and lions they focus on vital targets and quick kills rather than strength. When ready and on the offense a cat will sink down its weight and prepare to lunge forward 

This reminds me so much of how I sink my weight and go for a single or double leg takedown.  A burst of speed to close the distance effectively to engage in melee and to begin the conflict off on the right foot. 

Remember that time you were petting your friend’s cat and it rolled on is back and bit/clawed the shit out of you? It happens to all of us.

Cats are more than willing to roll over and get on their backs in a “bad position” to use all of their body and tools to fight back. By doing this they can not only use their front claws but their lower ones as well! Plus the added benefit is that by doing this they can protect their back/spine and neck. This reminds me greatly of the Gaurd position from BJJ judo. I prefer to be standing but I’d rather have someone in my guard than having my back turned to them!

I’m not the strongest or toughest animal around so I have to rely on speed, the angle of attack and using all tools at my disposal to get the job done. Cats are also known for their flexibility which is important for most grappling arts. 

A summary of my point:

So reblog and let me know what animal you think fits your fighting style!

Ever wonder what that selection circle says?

I did, frequently. I’m talking about this one - the selection of your selection, which you can see in game if you select ‘show vitals of target’s target’ in options.

If something is attacking you, as Beregost is being attacked here, this shows up around you. At first I thought it might have been in Moon Runes, or Cirth runes. I tried comparing an “alphabet” off of google for Cirth to this screenshot, and didn’t get a match. (I think the one I found was a dwarven variant?)

Technically, the script being used here is Cirth, but more specifically, Angerthas Daeron‘s (a Sindarin elf) runic alphabet, modified by the Noldor, used when writing in Sindarin???? So yes, Cirth. I’m not a master of linguistics, obviously.

So, now that i knew what i was reading, I copied the characters, and then ‘translated’ the runes to their phonetic pronunciations.

So, sounding that out into modern english, its something like “The one that is chosen.” Or, maybe it is “The one that is choosing”?

Neat, huh?

lordeofmars  asked:

Headcanons for batfam fighting styles

I almost forgot I had this ask and it’s so good omg

— Bruce has trained every available martial art, canonically. He’s got fighting prowess and a brick ton of strength, but his style has evolved into a mesh of Krav Maga (brutal, efficient), and military training (calibrated, stamina). Most of the time he’s fighting a gang of people so he has to take them down quickly and with the least amount of moves. Watch him triple kick four muggers mid air.

— Dick still has a little bit of Robin in him. He brought his acrobat background to the game (made it a requirement for the Robin title) and that, of course, means he’s flashy. Dick expends a lot of energy on twisting and dodging, hopping around thugs and playing around. But if there’s one thing Dick has it’s stamina. He can fight for hours, smacking people around with escrima sticks with a Winning Smile™ .

— Barbara’s style has probably changed the most. As Batgirl, she used her surroundings to her advantage, and her gymnastics training became part of her fighting routine. After TKJ events, she worked on her upper body strength and trained with bars, sticks and staffs, becoming as proficient as Batman in his early years. She’s fully capable of knocking out people while remaining in the same spot. If we consider her rehabilitation, there’s another change. But she’s adjusted to compensating for her legs, so she just lets her enemies come to her. Imagine a tiny redhead just side-handing a 6′5″ bodybuilder, and he goes flying. 

— Jason used to be careless about his fights. Not anymore. He’s the most careful in the field now. Sure, he makes himself “look” careless, jumping into the middle of a gun fight. But it’s not for lack of preparation. He’s ridiculously prepared for everything, and is quite creative about his weapons. Bruce would be proud. 

— Tim is a light-weight. It took so long for Bruce to teach him how to fight, mostly because the kid had no strength. He’s weak as shit. It took him a year to actually build up enough muscle to be relevant in the center of the field. Boy worked so hard on mastering the use of his staff, something that can amplify his strength and keep people at a distance. He uses a lot of sweeping strokes and maneuvering around. He has fun pinning thugs down that way, like a game of tag. Besides, who needs brawn when you’re a genius.

— Cass is brutal. She learned all of Bruce’s martial arts, and her personal history as a child assassin has made her a powerful asset in the field. She takes after Bruce with the meticulous carefulness she hits people (it’s really easy to kill someone with the right angle and hit) but she switches her styles up day to day. Cass probably can wear the batsuit and be mistaken for a de-aged Bruce by the damned rogues.

— Steph has a loose MMA style. Girl learned what she needed and trains very little. Sure, it’s majorly undisciplined, but Steph works on her toes, reacting to whatever life decides to throw at her. She’s got a fast reaction rate too. She works best in a duo or a team, mostly because working solo is not a Good Option.

— Damian is quick-fire jabbing motions. He’s been well-trained, but for efficient killing, not brawling. Boy hates fighting. He just wants to end the conflict immediately. He ends up using more force than necessary, hasn’t learned to hold back. Dick has helped channel that to less vital body part targets.


So, last night on, I streamed the creation process of “Hummingbird”, one of the playable characters for Redwood Pixel Games’ upcoming game - Project: Fracture

Joe asked me to create a monk type character capable of high mobility and chain-attacks. I went a step further and devised a character that uses high speed and agility to unleash a rather unconventional attack.

Every strike with Hummingbird’s “flicker jab” attack builds up a resonant vibration within the target, and when the target is struck, the built up force is sent through a vital spot, destroying the target from inside. The sound of the many hits makes a buzzing noise and her arms become a blur, not unlike her avian namesake.

She’s well trained, but inexperienced in battle, giving her a cockiness and swaggering attitude that she uses to falsely display openings in order to lure an enemy into letting their guard down. Once the distance is closed, however, she bursts into action, striking the enemy hundreds of times within a split second, incapacitating the target and building a dangerous resonation inside.

What follows is a strong kick from her heavily-built legs to finish the attack, which are also useful for acrobatic movement when jumping from target to target. She wears little armor, relying instead on her inhuman speed and perception to deflect incoming attacks. That said, she treads a perilous knife edge in combat where few can follow.


Fandom: Hunter x Hunter
Pairing: Gon Freecss/Killua Zoldyck
Rating: T
Length: 2,450
Summary: Killua asks Gon for something important. Ten months and ten days pass before he answers.

(read on AO3)

“I know that no matter what’s said, you’re going to do what you want,” Killua says. “You’re gonna make reckless decisions and think with your heart instead of your head. It’d be pointless if I told you to be calm no matter what, so I’ll tell you this instead. When you fuck up, you’d better do it magnificently, so that I can see the flames and the wreckage clear across continents… and then come back and tell me you’d do it all over again if you had to. Got it, Gon?”

There is no reply. That much is to be expected, though – the only person in the room is Killua, after all.

- - - - -

When Gon decided to go to the Dark Continent, nobody had expected it. Without speaking a word to his friends over the months it must’ve taken for him to make preparations, he’d secured a financial sponsor, readied transportation, purchased equipment, filed a request to the Hunter’s Association, and trained every day for the single purpose of undergoing the journey. He’d waited for the right moment – the day his family and friends had gotten together to plan a surprise party for his eighteenth birthday – and innocuously announced his plans, as if he had merely decided to go on an extended vacation rather than to venture through hell on earth. Under the circumstances of the fact that they had all gathered to celebrate the anniversary of Gon’s birth, it’d been difficult for anybody to raise serious opposition right off the bat.

For most, it was a shock. For Killua, though, all he could see were the traits of a flawless assassination: meticulous preparation, a perfect strike to the vitals when his targets’ guards were down, and a smooth exit strategy, all delivered with a calm and constant demeanor.

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