View Profile: Li Shenron - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Today, 10:45 AM
    Never. The main reason however is the mere fact that in our current family game we're not using traits/ideals/bonds/flaws, and in turn the reason for that is not wanting to introduce all parts of the game system at once to the children, so that they can learn one aspect of the game at a time. In addition, I wanted them to roleplay freely and then figure out how to represent their PC's...
    56 replies | 998 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Today, 09:43 AM
    Speaking generically (not necessarily wrt. the current case), I am OK as a consumer. Bad behaviour is one thing, criminal behaviour is another thing. The justice system takes care of criminal behaviours, and people in a community takes care of bad behaviours. I don't like to hear people calling for the justice system to punish someone who hasn't broken the law, but it's not necessary to break...
    80 replies | 1712 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Today, 09:29 AM
    Unseen = not visible Hidden = location unknown Being hidden means you cannot be targeted directly. You can still be targeted indirectly, for example someone might be allowed to swing a sword or shoot an arrow against a chosen spot and guess your location correctly by chance, or you can be caught in an area spell. Hidden is also commonly beneficial for attackers. There are a few...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:38 PM
    And that is exactly the sort of thing I want to see gone from the game: that someone without magical flight or featherfall or whatever can jump off a 200' cliff (assuming earth-like gravity) in pretty much full knowledge that he's going to survive. I disagree, in that I'd - perhaps naively - like to think that the contributions to the white room discussions are based on what actually happens...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:30 PM
    I didn't read what he wrote as saying either of these. Instead I saw it as putting a point I made earlier into different words: coincidence (the 1-in-10000 occurrence) is fine once in a while and can make for a better story but when it happens too often it breaks plausibility, believability, realism, and-or whatever other term one wants to put to it. Of course it has potholes. :) All I try...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:18 PM
    Or worse, Lich Mop. Someone else can write that one up... :)
    38 replies | 865 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:15 PM
    Looks like there's two different definitions of "calling fights" going in here. One is to have the foes disengage and flee. That's not calling a fight, that's just having those creatures do something that seems reasonable given the circumstances. I do this whenever it makes sense. The other is to just declare "OK, you guys win, no need to play out the rest of the fight." in order to skip...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 08:23 AM
    I'm going against the grain and say that you'll be fine :) First of all, at 3rd level you have only 4 slots of 1st level + 2 slots of 2nd level... it is impossible to have wasted slot at the end of the day. With your selection of spells, all your 2nd level known spells are Concentration, but you still cast only 2 of them per day. If you're lucky, you can cover 2 combats, but let's not...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 04:19 AM
    I've had several characters lose parts to #1-type effects over the years, once or twice even by friendly fire (hint: waving a vorpal weapon around when you and your allies have just been plunged into magical darkness is not a good idea!). But otherwise, this is about spot-on. For effects, no. We have a scaling crit system but it's all just numeric damage.
    18 replies | 421 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 09:52 AM
    This is what I meant in my previous post... When you mention dumping Strength I immediately think of Rogues and spellcasters, none of which gains Extra Attacks and thus never care for the loading property. Maybe Rangers are the ones most subject to this penalty, but really how many dump strength completely? And are Rangers overpowered enough to wanting to pick on them? You might also...
    31 replies | 798 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 09:40 AM
    At first it sounded an interesting house rule but then I thought: - the LOADING property really only negates extra attacks as far as I know - characters who gain extra attacks are Fighter, Barbarian, Paladin, Ranger, Monk and Bard (Valor) - Monks are not proficient with any of those weapons So essentially your house rule punishes the SMALL minority of Rangers and Valor Bards who don't...
    31 replies | 798 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 08:40 PM
    Context matters. If the PCs in the fiction have already found or suspected a connection between the sect and the teahouse the expectation of finding sect members there would (or should!) quite reasonably be somewhat higher than if the teahouse visit was purely speculative. It's when a disproportionate number of purely speculative actions pay off - i.e. coincidence gets stretched too far -...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 08:39 AM
    I would actually talk with all the others about the plan, so that they are on board and can actually help with ideas, but I can understand how this wouldn't be as fun as you wish :) The problem here is that you are trying to outsmart a group of people who are presumably as smart as you AND will normally assume you don't want to die thus they will go to great lengths to save you... Edit: you...
    21 replies | 568 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 12:25 AM
    I think I'd have added in a paragraph or two about weather (frequency of storms and-or calms, prevailing wind direction, etc.), climate (tropical? sub-tropical? north atlantic?) and astronomy (give names to a few key stars or constellations; also how many moons? phases? etc., which would then by extension give rise to a calendar). All of these things would be very important to sailors and, in...
    24 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 08:40 PM
    This is great, but you're giving yourself a considerable advantage by using a known culture from a known period of real-world history as a foundation: much of the background and pre-history is already filled in for you. For example it wouldn't be out of place for the PCs to at some point stumble across a cache of Roman treasure, and if they do the players will already know the general history...
    24 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 08:40 PM
    Ah, but I somehow don't think attention to realism was the reason for those particular combats taking longer. :)
    354 replies | 9405 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 08:39 PM
    That's an invisible dog outlined by the most pathetic Faerie Fire ever cast. :)
    38 replies | 865 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 08:36 PM
    This is cool - you'll allow them to throw curveballs at you and be ready and willing to hit them if-when they do. Nice. :) I don't know how in-depth your table gets when it comes to such things, but my response to this would probably be something like: "You bet there is! We need to set ourselves up a safe house of some sort, as a place to meet and - if necessary - hide. I'd also like to...
    239 replies | 6405 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 10:01 AM
    Yeah, OK, I can get behind that as its means of administering coup-de-grace to downed or immobilized foes. :)
    38 replies | 865 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 09:48 AM
    There's a strong argument to be made that the extra time taken would be worth it. And even if one can't model it all perfectly there's some easy steps to take that'll at least get you closer: - use a much smaller die for initiatives (I suggest unmodified d6) and allow simultaneous rolls to all resolve at once - reroll initiatives every round for every participant - add in a body-fatigue...
    354 replies | 9405 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 09:27 AM
    I make sure they have access to the following: - a reasonably good map of the immediate area e.g. the kingdom they're in plus a few neighbours, and a less-good map of a broader area i.e. stuff an educated character might have heard of - a good sense of the geography and climate in the immediate area along with their vague latitude (so they know what to expect the seasonal changes to be like)...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 09:03 PM
    A what?
    38 replies | 865 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 08:57 PM
    This typo in a recent thread got me thinking... Lynch Mop - the evil in the closet, next to the Flying Broom. LYNCH MOP Evil Construct HD 3 AC 18 (or 2 in AD&D), natural, dexterity 17
    38 replies | 865 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 08:30 PM
    Or C), and far more common IME, because they perceive some in-fiction advantage in it for them. Well, as any action declaration is really only a statement of intent then it naturally follows that anything can be interrupted or throw off-course by external in-fiction events (e.g. you just get started searching for the comb and a guard walks in). Also... In my case, assuming the comb has any...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 10:55 AM
    I want to share that finally also our cards are in play :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 12:40 AM
    I guess it's a question of whether a GM is allowed to - or should be encouraged to - shove the system guidelines out of the way if that's what it takes to produce the game she and her players want using the system she happens to have available at the time. Not everybody is going to go out and buy and-or learn a new system every time they want to change up their game, and nor should anyone be...
    239 replies | 6405 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 02:03 AM
    OK, this all makes sense... ...so what's wrong with this? If we're engineered to compete, as you posit above, then why should competition automatically lead to dysfunctional RPGing? And the answer, of course, is that it doesn't always. It can and does sometimes, to be sure, but that can be said of many things. Guardian-parent no, but overseer yes; as part of the referee function. And...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 03:44 PM
    I am sure you had a good time doing your research but let me make a bold statement here: we do NOT need this. IMXP in 3e the Run action was rarely used, and when it was used it was always for microtactics. 5e eschews most of the microtactics of 3e, it just follows a different game philosophy. If you want to bring back more micromanagement to 5e, there are many areas of the game that IMHO...
    15 replies | 601 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 11:56 AM
    I get it, you don't care about the difference between declaring action or intent or result. Even though examples in this thread have already shown why the difference matters I'll say it again: the difference lies in how the declaration is perceived (and received) by others at the table, including the GM. If you don't see this, then fine...but that doesn't mean it's not there to see.
    239 replies | 6405 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 11:48 AM
    Was it you or someone else who used the Platinum Dragon - a rather epic creature - as the comparison point? I honestly forget. But either way, taking an epic-level creature and comparing it to a non-epic-level character in a system that scales as steeply as 3e or 4e is kind of unfair to the character, hm?. Particularly when level is a direct factor, as it is in 4e. And in 3e doesn't the...
    354 replies | 9405 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 11:41 AM
    At first glance that's not a bad little system for thems as likes their Cthulhu. I guess most of the "outside human capabilities" stuff (the spells, dream work, etc.) wouldn't always match reality. Then again, Lovecraft - of whom I'm not a huge fan - lived in his own rather unique version of reality anyway, I think. :)
    354 replies | 9405 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 11:30 AM
    What is it exactly that you need it to do? A place to write up game logs? A character and-or treasury database? Price and equipment lists? Design and-or draw maps? Random tables and charts? Xp calculator? There's freeware versions of Word-like and Excel-like programs out there, though they may or may not produce files that are compatible with the real thing.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 11:21 AM
    Dancing Sword 8 Defender 19 Dragon Slayer 23 Flame Tongue 27 Frost Brand 20 Holy Avenger 16 - holy avenger, Batman! Check out that ugly sword! Luck Blade 14 - this punk feels lucky today Nine Lives Stealer 4 Sun Blade 21 Sword of Sharpness 21
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 02:17 AM
    Not so fast there, bucko. :) "I swing at it with my mace" declares intent (to swing) and action (the swing itself) while implying a desired result (to hurt or kill the target). This is great, and the game (in this case via its mechanics) goes on to determine whether or not the desired result occurs, or does not, or is replaced with something else. If there's any controversy here I can't see...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 09:02 PM
    Well, in fact the player is only announcing intent here too, in this case to cast spell 'a' to achieve effect 'x'; and yes technically it does get mediated (the spell could get interrupted, the caster has to have the ability/slot/components/resources/mana/whatever available for use, the caster has to be conscious and not being punched in the face at the time, etc.) but most of the time this...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 08:44 PM
    If a player's writing stuff on her treasure list that's different from what the fiction says she should have then we're either into poor record-keeping (if done unintentionally or without malice; or at a loss to the PC) or outright cheating (if intentionally done for PC enhancement or gain). Either way, on discovery the game does grind to a halt* while the bookkeeping gets cleared up. * -...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 08:21 PM
    There's always going to be some things in the game (any system) that flat-out don't or can't match reality, and I think almost everyone accepts this. Examples: hit points; fireballs. But there's also going to be lots of places in any system where there's a more or less even-up choice between a more realistic or less realistic option, and for these I'll nearly always advocate for the more...
    354 replies | 9405 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 01:21 PM
    I agree with many others here... If I wanted to reduce (1) I would just require that you can only take a feat but not an ASI at those levels. And if I wanted to completely remove them, then I would also disallow feats that have a +1 ability bonus. If you only allow PHB feats, here are the max ASI you can get from feats: Str +8 Dex +5
    38 replies | 954 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 10:27 AM
    I should probably throw more puzzles and-or riddles into my game - I've got players who are good at (and seem to enjoy) solving them, and who also happen to be playing a fairly intelligent crew of PCs at the moment. As a player I like solving puzzles and word games, which means I almost always try to create PCs who have reasonable Intelligence. Wisdom, on the other hand... :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 10:20 AM
    All this slicey yummy goodness.... :) Dancing Sword 14 Defender 19 - there's many good things to be said for staying upright through the battle... Dragon Slayer 21 Flame Tongue 25 Frost Brand 19 Holy Avenger 18 Luck Blade 18 - because a) I have to downvote something and b) I've never had one Nine Lives Stealer 13
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 09:55 AM
    Not specifically a dungeon, but as a DM I have myself often stolen stuff from very old video games... One of my first homewbrew adventures (3.0 edition) featured the "Pyramid of the Forbidden Lies", a pun on my own misunderstanding of a level's name in a Commander Keen DOS game. The current adventure I am running, which is an adaptation/conversion of the old "Horror on the Hill" module, is...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 06:49 AM
    IME the GM's way or the highway is the only way it's ever been, though tempered with reasonability in most cases (and those cases where it wasn't thus tempered are no longer DMing - good ol' cause and effect in action :) ). Players can offer suggestions and give input, but the final decision on anything rules-related and-or setting-related rests with the GM - who is free to accept or ignore...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 09:28 PM
    You don't tell us why they're making the trip, or what degree of urgency is involved, or whether you've any pre-set plot ideas; but my first thought would be that if they completely blow the travel SC you could have them stumble into a different adventure entirely than whatever it was they expected....something they're perhaps not as prepared for. Example: if they were geared up for an urban...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 12:08 PM
    Yeah but is a Wizard? What is a Sorcerer? What are cows? From an individual player's perspective, to help the player understand what is a Druid, I would suggest to look at her spells. Sure the wildshape is a unique and defining ability, but unless you go the Circle of the Moon route and routinely wildshape for combat, wildshaping for scouting/disguise won't feel fundamentally different from...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 09:59 AM
    Among other things, sort-of yes. They're games out of which one or more narratives may arise over time, said narratives sometimes only really becoming clear after the fact in hindsight. As long as these remain internally consistent within themselves when they interact with the players, why does it matter? Which, by the way, is still a narrative. The only real difference is that it comes...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 09:43 AM
    To me "long-term" doesn't start until well after two years... As DM or player I've been in five campaigns of ten+ years in D&D modified-1e (the longest of these hits 12 years next month), another that went for about 7 or 8 years, and a 3e/3.5e campaign that ended up going for almost 11 years. I was also briefly in a couple of other 1e-based campaigns that went for multi-years though I don't...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 09:35 AM
    That's not what the thread is asking though. Accidental attacks are what it's after, where the PCs never realize their target is a potential ally and-or just plain doesn't deserve to be attacked. An example I DMed about 20-odd years ago: PC party is in the mountains and down some toughness so I decided to lob in an NPC Ranger for a while. Party had been travelling by night and sleeping by...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 09:12 AM
    I'd probably be that player; and though out of courtesy I'd likely not mention it (unless it was really crazy-blatant) I'd still notice it, and it'd still bug me. So the players are in effect building in the continuity themselves? Or are you introducing connecting elements for them to maybe latch on to? Or... ? I wonder...maybe it depends on how much you skip over in between scenes. If...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 02:19 AM
    While this would be nice, the result would also quickly become a complete morass of rules, counter-rules, and picky systems that very few (including me) would want to use. 1e D&D tried for some of this with weapon-v-armour-type and assorted other rules, most of which fell to the wayside at most tables. Not just exploration, but the setting we're trying to explore: yes. Fine - it's a...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 11:01 PM
    Fair enough, but not all players know how to put terms to describing said play experience, and so they couch it in terms they can understand: more realistic or less, more magical or less, more heroic or less, etc.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 10:57 PM
    Oh, I dunno - there's a few where it takes a rather distant back seat... :) Maybe not so much "conducive of skilled play", as that's not really the point in this case. I'd like to think, perhaps naively, that internal logic helps players make decisions and take actions consistent with what the setting expects and its internal physics can handle, while at the same time helping me-as-DM...
    354 replies | 9405 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 10:25 PM
    Though I'm not the person to whom this was directed, a few thoughts anyway: Let's hope not. :) You're on to something, but I'll jump it one step further: the friction comes from how (or even if) we try to import or overlay or integrate those components with the baselines we already have in place; and whether people agree both on the approach being used and on the results thus obtained. For...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 01:31 PM
    I think this might be techinically true. An action chosen by Ready occurs when triggered (and you use your reaction for it). In the vast majority of cases this will probably be on someone else's turn*. This means that Dash and Disengage are pointless to use with Ready. And while the technical details are a bit nuts, I think it is the RAI after all: Ready is an action like others, so you can...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 11:07 PM
    Substitute the phrase "internal logic" for "realism" and you're probably gold. Magic isn't realistic in the earth-based sense but we still kind of expect it and its effects to have a consistent internal logic wthin that setting or game world. Every time I cast a fireball, for example, it's going to take me x-amount of time to cast and have y-series of effects when it resolves - incuding among...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 10:56 PM
    I'm not sure all that many here (other than some hard-core story-now types) would say that it is - you're on solid ground here. The flaw comes when the GM also tries to be or remain in charge of everything that happens to that content after introduction.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 10:13 PM
    Er...what I do is at best a rather vague approximation of real life; with a fine approximation of course being the goal. :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 10:07 PM
    Side note: while typing that last post I typoed (then fixed) "declaration" as "declaraction" - did I just invent a new term? :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 10:03 PM
    Interesting - you see this sequence as a (or the) definition of mother-may-I where I just see it as close to how play normally occurs. I'd throw in a few other clauses however, so it'd end up something like: 2a. and 2b. - as above; also lob in a relevance and-or possibility factor to summarily deal with "I jump to the moon"-style stuff. 2c. Does the action declaration fit in with the...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 11:19 PM
    Seriously though, it's complicated... On one hand we have hit points which are essentially linear for everyone. We then have the Proficiency bonus, affecting attacks and spells, skills and saves. It is also linear but it's SLOW. See bounded accuracy. Spellcasters daily slots also more or less linear, just a bit tumbling around the line. They start with 2, end up with over 20. But...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 10:55 PM
    Well I suppose that if it bugs you, it's a bug :D
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 07:52 PM
    This is, of course, quite right: no DM is ever going to think* of everything, and any expectation that she will is doomed to failure. * - be it during prep or on the fly. As long as a DM can think of enough things, however, to keep the game going and provide within the setting some interesting and reasonable options, choices, consistency, and consequences then all is probably good.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 07:39 PM
    To that level of granularity, perhaps not; but having as a low-but-not-zero percentage option on a table "You bump into someone you know" makes sense. Put another way, were you a PC in a game your action is to go to the library; the DM then rolls to determine if anything interesting happens there - and in this case, it did. Were the table much more granular - say, using a d-10000 instead of...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 08:27 AM
    Well, not quite: it has to have the potential to produce these sort of events. That's where dice come in.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 09:24 PM
    "I look for sect members in the tea house" is pretty much the same as "I search the tea house" or "I investigate the tea house", if one assumes there's other things to potentially discover there beyond evidence of the sect. (some simple examples might be: gaining a useful ally or informant, or the realization that the tea house is a front for some group that isn't the sect, or that the whole...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 10:45 AM
    And already here's the first error: it should read "our PCs TRY TO find some sect members at the teahouse". If the players have already determined out-of-game that there will be sect members at the teahouse then what's the point - much of the mystery is gone, and mystery is why the exploration pillar of the game exists. Yes. But it is the same - or close to the same - as imagining myself...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 10:32 AM
    Well, no - sometimes it takes the form of "Dice, tell me how this turns out"....and it could be the player or GM or both who are saying/thinking this depending on the situation. The teahouse example (assuming little or no DM prep): The player might ask her dice how good or successful her investigations are. The GM might ask her dice what's possible to be found there (if anything) and then...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 10:24 AM
    In your eyes, perhaps. To me it says "GM, I'm trying to find out about what goes on in the teahouse, please tell me what I learn". The player/PC might (rightly or wrongly) have connected the teahouse with a particular sect in his-her own mind, and might be hoping for this connection to be validated. But the GM is - or certainly should be - free to come up with whatever answer suits the...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 09:44 PM
    This is why all rolling is done on the table in front of other people. Show up with a pre-rolled character? Fine. Put that away and haul out yer dice, 'cause you're gonna need 'em. That said, I've seen 18.00 strength honestly rolled in my current campaign, along with some ridiculous psionic scores* in previous campaigns which led me to drop psionics completely asd a PC thing for this...
    26 replies | 1007 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 09:32 PM
    Far too many - and at the same time, never enough.
    53 replies | 1728 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 09:25 PM
    Please don't take this the wrong way, but sometimes it seems you have a beef with a lot of things. :) To some extent I disagree. What needs to be fully prepped, at least to a solid framework level, is the setting: the cultures, the maps, the history, the pantheons, some key people both past and present, and so on. Having a stack of adventures handy, be they canned modules or homebrew...
    82 replies | 3165 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 08:43 PM
    BEfore going further, are you running these modules as one-offs or hard APs, or as something integrated into a bigger campaign? It makes a difference: saying "Hey guys, I'd like to run Princes of the Apocalpyse as an AP, is that cool?" is not the same as saying "Hey guys, the next module in this campaign is going to be B10 Night's Dark Terror, is that cool?". I'd say the former, as a full AP...
    82 replies | 3165 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 09:40 AM
    Reverence? Nah. It's just another edition, with good points and bad just like all the others. :)
    140 replies | 8061 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 09:34 AM
    Looking at the answers thus far I'm quite surprised how many groups gave automatic max h.p. at 1st level. We never have - never even considered it - and it seems we're an outlier.
    26 replies | 1007 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 08:37 AM
    I used to, many years ago, but now I have an "official" TSR AD&D double screen*, in a custom holder made by my better half. * - signed by Dave Arneson, no less. :) That, and modern modules don't have those detached cardstock covers any more - dammit - and most of the canned modules I use these days are something modern that I convert for my game.
    82 replies | 3165 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 08:25 AM
    Which seems strange, in that the most reasonable outcome would be for the player - who has it seems found good reason to roleplay the previous character out of the party - to roll up a replacement. If the character suddenly turns around and rejoins the party it's probably not being played true to its characterization (if it was, why would it be leaving in the first place?). You may be the...
    82 replies | 3165 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 08:15 AM
    Er...not quite. It's a mortal sin if the players go and proactively look for something to do in the fiction and the DM doesn't give them anything to find. But if the players/PCs don't go looking the DM's under no real obligation to shove an adventure into their faces, particularly in any sort of sandbox-style campaign. I do. I'm that guy, though perhaps not as extreme as you show here;...
    82 replies | 3165 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 07:50 AM
    I actually don't see this as a crime at all. All that happens is "this guy" has just role-played himself out of the party...and maybe out of the game until and unless either a) he rolls up a replacement PC and the party finds it, or b) the party follows his original PC if only to loot its corpse. More of a problem, though not enough to be called a crime, is the DM who can't hit the curveball...
    82 replies | 3165 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 07:40 AM
    First off, I'm going to assume that all - and I do mean all - possible outcomes are on the table in your example, and that you don't have anything preconceived in mind. If yes (and from what you've said I believe it is yes) then what the PCs do will lead, eventually, to whatever outcome some combination of they-you-the dice determine. Put another way, the end result might be one of logical...
    239 replies | 6405 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 07:17 AM
    I think that the sage advice "might undermine the story and the world being created in your campaign" is seriously bad advice and a very nasty threat. It's basically saying that if you don’t follow their fluff you may have badwrongfun. This advice sounds very much off the usual tone of actually encouraging people to be free in their fluff and world-building... It would have been acceptable if...
    99 replies | 3875 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 10:30 AM
    Not convinced by the "balance" topic... so here's my provocative question: Is there a balance reason why Druids should have limited AC even when multiclassing or taking feats? Think about it: even Wizards and Sorcerers can wear heavy armor eventually (technically they can even wear it on day 1, if they accept the penalties) by taking feats or a level in another class, or just by being of an...
    99 replies | 3875 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, 09:17 PM
    Have we ever attacked a goodly monster (or NPC) by mistake? Hells yeah. What did we do when we realized our mistake? Situationally dependent. Sometimes we'd try to revive it (assuming we could), sometimes we'd shrug and loot it and move on, sometimes we'd never know what we'd done until-unless the DM told us later out-of-character.
    10 replies | 362 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, 09:12 PM
    A few off-the-cuff thoughts: First, there's nothing inherently wrong with what some (often dismissively) call "mother-may-I" play. No player is ever going to know everything that's possible or not within any given setting and so is going to have to quite reasonably ask. As long as you-as-GM give consistent answers that are true to your setting, you're gold. Second, I think you might be...
    239 replies | 6405 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, 08:58 PM
    Biggest RPG crimes: 1. Cheating. 2. Metagaming. 3. Failing to distinguish in-character from out-of-character when it comes to disputes and arguments - and romances! 3a. Breaking with your PC's established characterization in order to further some out-of-character agenda 4. No-showing without warning (especially if you're the GM!) 5. Telling other people how to play their characters 6....
    82 replies | 3165 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, 08:27 PM
    Social hit points - now that's a concept I've never even considered before. The possibilities are endless...as is the potential for disaster. :)
    105 replies | 4975 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, 10:15 AM
    I am not sure if I'd say that "pets" are a way to make the game easier. I mean, obviously they do, but it's a bit like saying that having 8 players instead of 4 makes the game easier, assuming of course the DM isn't increasing the adventure difficulty for that (which she could do also for pets)... Well I could say that in general I am deliberately not optimized and not paranoid about...
    55 replies | 2802 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, 09:56 AM
    I think it helps to generally think first in terms of Ability and only then in terms of which proficiency might help the character. So for example anything that requires a prolonged effort (physical or mental) could be a constitution check, and anything that is about influencing other people is a charisma check. Then consider which skill proficiency is most relevant to the situation and can...
    29 replies | 1228 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, 09:50 AM
    In our family game, I keep it simple and don't really look at the spells components (except expensive ingredients). I would enforce them only in extreme circumstances such as being tied up prisoners (somatic) or under a Silence spell (verbal). Anything less I don't bother to make it an obstacle. In more general terms, I think it's nice to keep track of "free hands" as an interesting tactical...
    66 replies | 2827 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, 09:40 AM
    Story is very important for me too, but it has to make full sense: - no metal armor, but metal weapons are ok - metal armor manufacturing requires trees, anything made of wood doesn't? - "metal armor is too high technology", how about crossbows or an apparatus of Kwalish? - "metal armor is not natural", how about necromancy spells? (multiclassed druids have no spell restrictions, but still...
    99 replies | 3875 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 08:21 PM
    Constitution has enough other uses and functions that removing it entirely (from any edition) would probably create lots more headaches than it solves. If h.p. bonus were to be eliminated then I'd absolutely insist that h.p. be rolled, as the last thing I want to see is every class-x/level-y character having the same h.p. - which would otherwise be the result. The willpower split is an...
    105 replies | 4975 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 09:13 AM
    I handle it strictly literally by the RAW: - "druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal" - will not is future tense - hence, in the present time, druids can wear anything
    99 replies | 3875 view(s)
    1 XP
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Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 09:06 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    Click Clack brings both hands up to the side of his head. "Oh no! That should not have happened. I seem to have broken your Modron. Unless it always acts like this. I will leave before I do more harm." Click Clack Turns and starts out into the street. As he is leaving. "Try to find me if he starts acting... More Strange, or starts reporting errors from Primus." Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Friday, 9th November, 2018


Monday, 8th October, 2018

  • 12:30 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    Click Clack stands in the doorway, looking around at the party, focusing on Lex last and trying to copy his winning smile. The result is something fairly unsettling. For all intents and purposes he seems to be analyzing the other Modron in the room. Click Clack is odd for a Modron. Marked by damage and with a greenish almost tarnished tint to his body and wearing a faded stamp imprinted in the upper right front corner of the side of his "head" that looks like the emblem of the Society of Sensation. Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina Most in the party have heard of the society of Sensation (Often called Sensates). Their mission is to experience all there is to experience, in order that one might learn more of the multiverse. A Modron being connected to them in any way other than as a tool would seem odd. In general the Harmonium distrust them, and the feelings are somewhat mutual. The Harmonium doesn't like the members of the Sensates that have a tendency to roar around drunk on whatever sort of liquor and ale and cause all sorts of trouble. But secretly, some members of the Harmonium see the political power of the Sensates and worry... they're accomplishing more through song and dance than the Harmonium has in all their years in Sigil.

Tuesday, 14th August, 2018

  • 11:27 PM - Radaceus mentioned Li Shenron in post EB's KotB: (Group 2) Soul of the Lions
    Ungar strains to keep a visual on the melee ahead. Signalling his spiritual weapon onward to its mark as he forces his stumpy legs to propel his stout frame to the action. I'm not sure how far the edge of the Plant Growth is yet (set 30' behind giant on round 1, 100' radius, perimeter approx 70' ahead of giant...perhaps less if it careened off its course), but the Swamp giant was restricted to 1/4 movement, is the creature moving faster than the Spear and Ungar? previous round Spear moved up 20' from 70' and starting this round it is losing ground at 80'? Also Ungar dashed 50' to close from 90' but is only 10' closer this round at 80'...asking for a friend :) note: War Caster feat allowing cast in combat with weapon and shield in hand Dashing, round 2 Active spells: ~Spiritual weapon (6/10 rounds) ~Bless (concentration) (7/10 rounds; @Li Shenron, @KahlessNestor @JustinCase Saves: Move: 50' towards the swamp giant (dash action) Action: Dash Bonus Action: Move the Spiritual spear 20' towards the swamp giant Free Object Interaction: Reaction: Concentration: Bless (targets: Sahrax, Lorelei, Tassarion; add 1d4 to attacks and saves Conditions: Inspiration: Movement: 25 AC: 18 (chain 16, Shield+2) Main hand: Hand Axe ( Spear thrown) Off Hand: Shield HP: 38/51 HD: 5/5 1d8+3 Channel Divinity (1/LR) Spellcasting: Spell Attack Modifier= +6 Spell Save DC= 14 Spell Slots (1st level(3/4), 2nd level (2/3), 3rd level (1/2) Character Sheet

Wednesday, 1st August, 2018

  • 02:42 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    "Yeah that one sounds familiar. Yesterday I think." If people are feeling that this is dragging on too long tell me what information you want to get out of him and do a roll to get it. I'll try to speed the dialog up. @Fradak @mike peabody @Li Shenron @Deus Machina

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018


Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 12:24 AM - mike peabody mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    [ooc Li Shenron Persuasion check please![/ooc] *Barrages Shadowknave with statistics and outcome probabilities which, despite their density, allow him to see how futile it is to hold out against us/grants Li Shenron a d6 Bardic Inspiration die*

Friday, 13th July, 2018

  • 12:37 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    "I wouldn't expect a Box to understand. I'm not that important, just a loose end as soon as she finds what or who she needs. I should have known better." "Modrigaarz... Is that the Basher everyone is talking about? Roughing up hivers and asking questions? As for the other one, Eliath you say? I've heard of him. But how do I know you aren't going to just pen me in the deadbook soon as I give you your answers. I'll tell you what. This one doesn't look crooked." He motions to Sir Reginald. "I recognize that emblem. Give me your word, no make a vow. That you will personally make sure that I leave here safely," He looks at his naked body with a bit of shame and frustration. "With my things. Then I'll answer your questions." Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Thursday, 12th July, 2018

  • 12:28 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Interigating Shadowknave
    Shadowknave looks confused. "I... I don't know. I was told they had raised it." He thinks for a moment then anger flashes across his face. "This is a setup isn't it. Who sent you to kill me? Give me that much before you pen me in the deadbook, it was that thing of no bowels Toranna wasn't it!?" (Those from Sigil or who have been here long enough recognize the term thing of no bowels as a pretty strong insult) Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Friday, 29th June, 2018

  • 11:38 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    "If that will be all... You can untie me and I will be on my way. Unless of course you good people would like to untie me and continue this conversation. I could use a drink..." Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 10:56 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Morning Day 2
    "Hey, everyone, our guest is awake." Are the words that you hear from Leau as you open your eyes and see a bruised and defeated looking Half Elf sitting on the floor of the abandoned building Lazaka calls his Kip. A cool breeze blows a smoke through a broken window, the smell of molten metal fills your nostrils and reminds you of a blacksmiths forge. The "guest" is still tied up and gagged, his head slowly moving around seemingly looking for a way out. Lazaka is no where to be seen at this moment. The only other living thing in the room, a single rat peering out of a hole in the base of a wall. Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina
  • 08:33 PM - EarlyBird mentioned Li Shenron in post EB's KotB: (Group 2) Soul of the Lions
    98624 Welcome to the second IC thread for the Keep on the Borderlands game. Should be an interested group of like minded characters here which led to me drawing out something very special for the inaugural game. As I said in the first groups IC, this will have different adventures, and sometimes different players as we change out and people get reassigned. Not sure how all this will work, but we will crash through and change, tweak, and upgrade as we go. So hang on for what I hope is a fun ride. Party at the moment: @Li Shenron @KahlessNestor @Radaceus @JustinCase @jonathonhawke LINKS: General OOC The Lion's Den - IC And the RG And we are off....

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 12:16 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    Unless anyone has more they want to do beforehand will move forward to the end of the long rest tomorrow. Shadowknave will be awake. Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 08:40 AM - Tormyr mentioned Li Shenron in post Common Houserules?
    I am with Li Shenron: try vanilla 5e for a while first, get used to it, make changes or add optional books like Xanathar's as appropriate. Also as mentioned before, 5e is fairly well balanced out of the box. So different DMs have different things that they don't like (certain feats, gnomes, paladins, gnomish paladins, etc.), but there is not really a universal "apply this list of fixes" which has made me pretty happy. As for house rules in my game: A chance of failure when bringing back the dead. Once a party reaches level 5 and gets access to revivify, death is likely not permanent. In my 3-year 5e Age of Worms campaign, I really only had 1 permanent death, and that required having a large creature swallow the unconscious PC and talk his body away into the darkness to return as a favored spawn of Kyuss. I have adopted Matt Mercer's resurrection rules. https://geekandsundry.com/use-critical-roles-resurrection-rules-in-your-own-campaign/ They add a chance of failure, allow other party members to contribu...

Tuesday, 12th June, 2018

  • 11:32 AM - Coroc mentioned Li Shenron in post UA: Giant Soul Sorcerer
    Ahm can any one give a hint where the idea of this is from? Is this some Eberron Thing? What is this Ostrerria world and how does this fit into the multiverse? as Li Shenron correctly states normally in D&D only Storm and Cloud giants got a Little sorcery. Tbh a hill giant being some Kind of mage to me Looks even more stupid than a dwarven wizard. A hill giant can compete with Trolls and Ogres for being dumb and stupid, what innate spellcasting or arcane bloodline should evolve out of them? At least the (eastern originated) Ogre Magus makes sense but it still does not make Standard ogres look more intelligent.

Monday, 28th May, 2018

  • 12:52 PM - Coroc mentioned Li Shenron in post Tuesday May 29 Happy Fun Hour with Mike Mearls - more psionics!
    Li Shenron Maybe they were unsure if it did balance well or saw Balance Problems on higher Levels? 2nd ed psionics was interesting because it did have "attack" attributes of the psionic rather than saving throws of the target, but it was a complex additional mechanic to learn, maybe they just wanted to keep it simple this time.

Friday, 25th May, 2018

  • 04:52 AM - Harzel mentioned Li Shenron in post SURVIVOR Supplement Edition--Volo's Guide Wins!
    Corrections for Li Shenron's votes being lost. Shady Dragon Inn (B/X)--13 Rogue's Gallery (1e)--16 Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (1e)--13 The Magic Encyclopedia (2e)--17 Creative Campaigning (2e)--18 Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide (2e)--15 Arms and Equipment Guide (2e)--15 Complete Guide to Villains (2e)--15 Arms and Equipment Guide (3e)--16 Spell Compendium (3e)--17 Magic Item Compendium (3e)--18 Tome of Battle (3e)--11 Tome of Magic (3e)--15 Dungeon Delve (4e)--16 Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook (4e)--16 Player's Strategy Guide (4e)--1 Volo's Guide to Monsters (5e)--17 Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (5e)--16

Sunday, 13th May, 2018

  • 07:01 AM - Harzel mentioned Li Shenron in post I am not ready to ready the ready action...
    The circumstances in which I see the Ready action used are some that others have already mentioned: mainly when opponents make themselves otherwise unattackable by moving in and out of cover, incorporeal movement, or moving back and forth from the ethereal plane. Li Shenron, do your players ever encounter such situations? The rest of this is a bit of a rant; take it with a grain of salt (or the seasoning of your choice). I think not telling beginners about Ready is an understandable (trying to keep it simple) but ultimately unfortunate choice. D&D bills itself as a team-oriented game in which you can attempt anything. Yet the structure of what for many groups is the most significant part of play - combat - features each PC acting individually while everyone else is frozen in space and time. The Ready action is the system's sole concession to enabling joint efforts, and the sort of reactions to other combatants that "attempt anything" ought to include. (Of course, the system penalizes anyone who uses this workaround, but that's a different part of the conversation.) Leaving out the Ready action further emphasizes the individual-turn-taking nature of the combat system. As to the observation that the only time the OP's players attempt to use a "ready" mec...

Tuesday, 24th April, 2018

  • 12:59 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post (OOC) Greenmtn's Planescape game
    Sure thing! We can figure out how to plug you in somehow real quick (Maybe one of the guards in the current scene that wants in on the money?) or we can just hand wave it and say you are there with the group and have been. We seem to have lost the characters Ashir and Ezra. I'm waiting to hear back from the player that plays Leau. I'll make a post that hopefully will clear things up a bit and get things running smoother. Li Shenron

Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

  • 11:59 AM - Coroc mentioned Li Shenron in post The Case for Inspiration
    Li Shenron #48 Of course you do not grant Inspiration for every time some combat delighted PC enters a combat. The most common reason to grant inspiration is when a player finds some unexpected genius or comical solution to an obstacle (which might be combat, riddle, social encounter whatever). In my games a Player can have only one inspiration at a time. To spend it in anything else than a life or death Situation is a total waste! It is for those situations when e.g. you or a nother PC failed his 3rd death save, or the examples i gave above in#45 and for that it is a very nice tool and it is one of the things i love about 5E (along with BA). It certainly is not intended that you get Advantage for a single unimportant attack in an unimportant combat Encounter. The good Thing about it is that you can influence any d20 roll (not just to hit rolls). It is liek a divine Intervention powerwise, so do not give it to often to the Players or it loses ist Magic.


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Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

  • 11:14 AM - sim-h quoted Li Shenron in post How often do you use the Inspiration rules?
    Certainly, one thing I don't like is how typically Inspiration is gained once and used later, it's just too gamist for me. If we eventually use Inspiration, I will require that it is used soon, by which I don't mean immediately but at least I want it used in the same scene. I don't want someone to gain inspiration in a social situation in the morning and use it for saving against a trap in the evening. I want instead to keep a clear narrative connection between gaining and using it: if you get inspired while negotiating with the local lord, you earn the benefit for the negotiation itself. [Note: I don't think it is clear at all how long you can wait until using inspiration... the rules don't set any limit, but the examples make it sound like it makes sense to use it immediately, but then again the bits about not stacking multiple inspirations kind of implies you can wait] It's not gamist - haven't you, yourself, ever thought back to an incident in the past and used it as motivation to achiev...

Saturday, 9th February, 2019

  • 11:59 AM - Arial Black quoted Li Shenron in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    That's true. Also, there is no 'general rule' that actions are divisible. So pick one and use it. But there IS a general rule that you can take your bonus action whenever you like, as soon as you actually have a bonus action. That, combined with complete silence on whether or not actions are divisible, leaves us only with 'take the bonus action when you like' rule. Neither. Not a valid answer. It cannot be that you have not 'taken the Attack action' so you haven't generated the bonus action shield shove, but you have 'taken the Attack action' so you can't take a different action. It's a game rule, not an unresolved quantum probability. We are looking in the box! We can see if the cat is dead or alive! It is one or the other! But if you care so much about the RAW, I would note that you can still say that "Dash" as an action happens (and is completed) when you take it, and this still doesn't mean in any way that you have to move 30ft immediately, because the action itself expli...

Friday, 8th February, 2019

  • 05:03 PM - Kupursk quoted Li Shenron in post House-ruling 5e: Alternatives to Ability Increases and Healing
    In general we have the option of changing the required lengths of short and long rests. However this does not only affect healing, but every ability that recharges by resting. Well, I could always change the healing abilities to a long rest, but leave everything else in short rests, as is. As I said I think tuning the amount of healing itself to my taste shouldn't be too hard. My only concern is if damage won't be too high, meaning almost every encounter ending up with players near zero HP, without the expected healing to recover from that a lot more easily.
  • 01:55 PM - Arial Black quoted Li Shenron in post Sage Advice Compendium Update 1/30/2019
    I have always been aware of the fact that those 3 are defined as "Actions" for the sake of making it clear what is their cost. In a most basic turn (i.e. without considering bonus actions or Action Surge or similar) you simply have to give up your main activity (attacking or casting) if you want to move double distance, avoid OA, or get a defensive bonus. Had they designed Dash to immediately grant an extra move, you'd have to use it immediately, or maybe it would have required a bunch more boring wordy explanations, because "move" isn't an action per se in 5e. Instead with the current design, everything that is already explained about moving is still valid (including splitting up the movement distance), you just increase the maximum distance for this turn. What is good about this design, is that players can choose to Dash/Disengage/Dodge at any time during their turn, if they still have an Action to use. So the PC might have already done something else, and then realize they need some extr...

Thursday, 31st January, 2019

  • 04:50 PM - ad_hoc quoted Li Shenron in post Druid Armor Restrictions
    I think that the sage advice "might undermine the story and the world being created in your campaign" is seriously bad advice and a very nasty threat. It's basically saying that if you don’t follow their fluff you may have badwrongfun. This advice sounds very much off the usual tone of actually encouraging people to be free in their fluff and world-building... It would have been acceptable if they threatened about balance "if you don't follow our rule, you will have this mechanical problem", but here the tone is different, it's really like "your fantasy WORLD may suck". Because instead allowing chaotic evil Paladins or Wizards in heavy armor doesn't undermine anything? You know what this tone reminds me of? A politician typical tactic when they screwed up big time and issue doomsday threats to call for others to back them up :D The game is written story first. WotC hasn't written a combat strategy game. They've written D&D. All throughout the game are story choices they have made. From the ...
  • 07:37 AM - cbwjm quoted Li Shenron in post Druid Armor Restrictions
    I think that the sage advice "might undermine the story and the world being created in your campaign" is seriously bad advice and a very nasty threat. It's basically saying that if you don’t follow their fluff you may have badwrongfun. This advice sounds very much off the usual tone of actually encouraging people to be free in their fluff and world-building... It would have been acceptable if they threatened about balance "if you don't follow our rule, you will have this mechanical problem", but here the tone is different, it's really like "your fantasy WORLD may suck". Because instead allowing chaotic evil Paladins or Wizards in heavy armor doesn't undermine anything? You know what this tone reminds me of? A politician typical tactic when they screwed up big time and issue doomsday threats to call for others to back them up :D Sounds to me like you're reading too much into the statement. They are encouraging players to check with their DM because the DM might have a story or world buildi...

Tuesday, 29th January, 2019

  • 06:59 PM - CleverNickName quoted Li Shenron in post Druid Armor Restrictions
    Story is very important for me too, but it has to make full sense: - no metal armor, but metal weapons are ok - metal armor manufacturing requires trees, anything made of wood doesn't? - "metal armor is too high technology", how about crossbows or an apparatus of Kwalish? - "metal armor is not natural", how about necromancy spells? (multiclassed druids have no spell restrictions, but still aren't supposed to wear metal armor) - "metal armor hurts nature", killing beats to harvest their hides and carapaces is lovely? Sorry, none of these make enough sense to me. The specific issue with metal armor is that it makes Druids sound like Vegans who "we shall never eat chicken", but then guzzle down pork sausages and lamb chops just because they're not in the manual :/ The overall resulting feel is that it's just incomplete, dorky ethics.Agree, whole-heartedly. I'm willing to make little changes to the specifics of the game but only if it will (a) tell a great story, (b) not keep others fro...
  • 06:11 PM - OverlordOcelot quoted Li Shenron in post Druid Armor Restrictions
    Story is very important for me too, but it has to make full sense: Yeah, I think the 'ethical' idea stuff doesn't work and brings an inconsistent set of ethics to the forefront. My house rule for it is that being encased in metal disrupts a druid's connection to the natural world, so prevents spellcasting, wild shape, and most spell like abilities. Metal weapons, fasteners, and even bits of metal (like studded leather) don't cause the problem, it's the big areas of metal that cause a problem.
  • 04:36 PM - snickersnax quoted Li Shenron in post Druid Armor Restrictions
    Story is very important for me too, but it has to make full sense: - no metal armor, but metal weapons are ok - metal armor manufacturing requires trees, anything made of wood doesn't? - "metal armor is too high technology", how about crossbows or an apparatus of Kwalish? - "metal armor is not natural", how about necromancy spells? (multiclassed druids have no spell restrictions, but still aren't supposed to wear metal armor) - "metal armor hurts nature", killing beats to harvest their hides and carapaces is lovely? Sorry, none of these make enough sense to me. The specific issue with metal armor is that it makes Druids sound like Vegans who "we shall never eat chicken", but then guzzle down pork sausages and lamb chops just because they're not in the manual :/ The overall resulting feel is that it's just incomplete, dorky ethics. It could be a matter of scale and balance. Iron production is forest ending. There are plenty of ways to get animal and plant parts in small quantities that are e...

Saturday, 26th January, 2019

  • 09:11 AM - Charlaquin quoted Li Shenron in post Skill Checks (non time sensitive) homebrew fixes
    typical out-of-combat challenges where in most cases there is a single yes/no outcome All rolls in D&D have a single yes/no outcome, in-combat or out of it.
  • 09:07 AM - Sacrosanct quoted Li Shenron in post Skill Checks (non time sensitive) homebrew fixes
    It is not the default/only way to handle out-of-combat challenges but it is the way which the rules support out of the box. Otherwise we would not have frequent threads like this about house rules required to support the other way! :) You’re confusing two things. You’re confusing “If the DM wants and there is no time rush, just allow the PC to succeed” (what the rules suggest) with “one die roll represents a whole pool of attempts of an action” (what you are claiming). Which is also untrue with the lone exception of melee attacks in a turn. You’ll note my request for a house rule was not to have the PC make rolls for each attempt (because that wouldn’t be a house rule since that’s how the rules handle missile attack rolls and things like picking locks, sleight of hand, medicine, etc), but instead to look for alternative ways to handle skill checks outside of an auto success when there are little time limitations
  • 08:04 AM - Charlaquin quoted Li Shenron in post Skill Checks (non time sensitive) homebrew fixes
    If you don’t think there’s a consequence for missing a free throw, then you haven’t ever watched a basketball game 😉 I mean, the rules of basketball don’t allow unlimited free throw attempts, so your finite number of throws is the cost. My comment was meant to be in response to this part of Li Shenron’s post: . What defines "success" in keep throwing infinitely until you score? Eventually you score, there is no chance of failure. If that's the case with a skill in D&D, there is NO point in the DM asking the player to roll in the first place.
  • 01:34 AM - Charlaquin quoted Li Shenron in post Skill Checks (non time sensitive) homebrew fixes
    Truth is, the basketball free throws are not an example of trying the same thing over and over until you succeed (once) and then you're done. What defines "success" in keep throwing infinitely until you score? Eventually you score, there is no chance of failure. If that's the case with a skill in D&D, there is NO point in the DM asking the player to roll in the first place. This is literally the point of the basketball example. It is meant to be an example of a situation where there is no power my in rolling. There is a chance of success, a chance of failure, and no cost or consequence for failure, therefore you eventually succeed and no roll is necessary to determine that. If the amount of time it takes matters, then there is a cost for failure - namely time - so a roll is used to resolve the action. At most, in some cases it might be interesting to consider, if someone has a small chance of success but can keep trying indefinitely, how long it takes before succeeding. So instead of re-roll...

Friday, 25th January, 2019

  • 11:31 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Li Shenron in post Skill Checks (non time sensitive) homebrew fixes
    I was totally expecting EXACTLY the example of a free throw in basketball. It is the worst possible example to mess up the understanding of how the rules of checks in D&D are conceived across editions. Truth is, the basketball free throws are not an example of trying the same thing over and over until you succeed (once) and then you're done. What defines "success" in keep throwing infinitely until you score? Eventually you score, there is no chance of failure. If that's the case with a skill in D&D, there is NO point in the DM asking the player to roll in the first place. (Note that instead, throwing the ball in the context of a match is akin to rolling attacks, with each throw/attack being a challenge of its own with a separate outcome) At most, in some cases it might be interesting to consider, if someone has a small chance of success but can keep trying indefinitely, how long it takes before succeeding. So instead of re-rolling the DM could just roll once for the time required. Or if mu...
  • 04:07 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Li Shenron in post Skill Checks (non time sensitive) homebrew fixes
    If you try IRL to pick a lock or climb a tree, it's not really random whether you succeed or not... if you fail your first attempt is because you do something wrong, and when you retry, you simply have learned something from your previous failure, and that can either (a) make you succeed or (b) make you realize you cannot succeed. No, this is not true at all. You're doing the same thing as iserith did. You're taking a polarizing approach of only an either/or of two extremes. People don't always learn what they did wrong in a previous attempt, and that doesn't mean they realize they cannot succeed if they didn't learn. Many times people do the exact same process they did before and might succeed because of something else that may have happened. Or they keep failing over and over again when they have the capability to succeed. There's a limitless middle ground you're not taking into account. Like shooting a free throw. You can fail 10 times in a row and do the exact same thing every ti...
  • 12:56 PM - Warpiglet quoted Li Shenron in post Wrecking characters
    Warpiglet I don't think you're doing anything wrong, if you enjoy the game. But if you think you're not, then if I were in your situation I'd probably just try the following: - promise yourself not to multiclass or take feats that dabble in another class feature, at all - trust your ability to play well without worrying for optimizing, or realize that unoptimized means harder means more fun - write down a short list of "must-keep" conceptual traits for your PC, and check against them each time you level up so that you don't deviate too much It ends up....OK when I tinker. But you are right---if I so much as remind myself to stay on target---at each decisionnpoint, I will do fine. I think for me, it's less the feats and more the multiclassing that can miss the mark

Thursday, 17th January, 2019

  • 02:50 PM - FrogReaver quoted Li Shenron in post I want faster character creation. Also, I’m a monster.
    I think 5e character creation can be fairly fast (at 1st level) if you use standard array and default equipment. Personally I believe that the most time consuming parts are (a) min-maxing ability scores and (b) carefully planning the known & prepared spells lists. However I believe that the importance of both is overrated. IMHO way too many players are concerned too much with their characters to be "effective" and fail to understand that playing NON-optimized characters i.e. less "effective" only leads to less predictable outcomes of the in-game challenges, which eventually means more "effective" in fun. And here I don't just mean "fun" in a dumb way as in "oh how fun it is to die", but in the fact that real, serious "fun" comes from dealing with unexpected challenges, and overcoming them. Other than using standard array and default equipment, unfortunately it's not that easy to make it faster... the choices themselves can be reduced to class+race+background, but for most classes that's...

Tuesday, 15th January, 2019

  • 07:25 AM - Mistwell quoted Li Shenron in post Choose One Cantrip You'd Like In Real Life
    I might also look at Friends which has enormous potential IRL (I'd immediately think about getting a raise...), but somewhat feels too much like cheating on other people, and I am not that kind of person. Your boss would become outright hostile to you one minute later!

Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 04:00 PM - Immortal Sun quoted Li Shenron in post Thought experiment: human and variant stats as expressions of culture
    The two will have identical Int averages. I don't understand how these questions are important, but anyway the racial stats apply only to player characters i.e. adventurers, while commoners are another matter completely (and they aren't usually even statted). Because it's being suggested that entire civilizations are based on what those numbers represent. But players are typically the exceptions rather than the norms. Which would imply that characters from CivA and CivB would trend towards having stats opposite of their civilization.
  • 12:28 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Li Shenron in post Thought experiment: human and variant stats as expressions of culture
    The two will have identical Int averages. They, um, won't. Have the same average INT, that is. Or STR, or WIS, or CHA. CivA always has +1 to these, CivB sometimes does. If CivB spreads their +s out evenly, INT will be lower by one point 2/3s of the time. Assuming a large enough population to have an average of 11 INT in CivA, CivB will have an average INT of 10.3, maybe slightly higher due to INT boosting half-feats.


Li Shenron's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated
Light Character Classes for Monsters
Just for fun, I mocked up some rules for "light" versions of PHB classes to be used as templates for monsters.
128 0 1 Monday, 16th July, 2018, 02:53 PM Monday, 16th July, 2018, 02:53 PM
Quickstart 5e character sheet (beginner friendly)
This is my first attempt at a simplified 5e main character sheet (derived from the official WotC 5e character sheet), that is aimed at being the least intimidating to beginners as possible, by minimizing the amount of information included, and offeri...
7993 +3 5 Monday, 3rd July, 2017, 12:28 PM Wednesday, 27th December, 2017, 03:56 PM

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