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Two New Settings For D&D This Year Monday, 11th June, 2018 04:42 PM

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Friday, 15th June, 2018


Sunday, 27th May, 2018


Friday, 25th May, 2018


Monday, 14th December, 2015

  • 12:28 PM - Connorsrpg mentioned Von Ether in post Why Aren't Designers Using The GUMSHOE System?
    Von Ether. Oh cheers, now worries. Misunderstanding now understood. ;) I certainly was not flaming either. I thought you meant 4E had easy creature stats and Cypher did not. I haven't seen an easier system, especially on the fly. But thanks for clarification. Yes, the 2 have taken some very different approaches.

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Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 09:40 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Von Ether in post Jon Peterson posts Mordenkainen in 1974
    Huh. In a weird way, that makes Savage Worlds use of NPC allies very old school. You are even guided to split the NPC per player, not PC in a fight so every one has something to do if a PC is down. As I recall, SW was very much rooted in war-games. By the bye, I played in a long-running 2E game where there were many henchmen and hirelings. The main PCs were higher level (around 10th - 12th) mostly wizards, but there was a rotating cast of somewhat lower, say 5th - 7th, level NPCs. They were often a lot of fun to play, too. Some were characters that wouldn't necessarily be suitable for an entire game but were fun to explore for a while. The other fun thing was that if your main PC was out for some reason the game continued. This worked because the number of players was small (2-3, with a DM). In retrospect this is what the old Lake Geneva crowd did but we didn't know that at the time.

Saturday, 2nd June, 2018


Sunday, 27th May, 2018


Thursday, 24th May, 2018


Saturday, 12th May, 2018

  • 05:35 AM - Xavian Starsider quoted Von Ether in post Mythological Figures: Aladdin (5E)
    Seeing as how every kid in the 70s and 80s "knew" that phrase "Open Sesame" was what Aladdin said to open his cave of 40 thieves. Quite a few of us probably knew that from other cartoons (Looney Toons), I'll agree to disagree that he was much less known Sinbad. On that note, I think they were pretty close tie back then. Since Open Sesame comes from Ali Baba, not Aladdin, you may have unwittingly helped prove my point.

Wednesday, 28th March, 2018

  • 07:48 PM - delericho quoted Von Ether in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    If you are world building for sake of world building, yes. And it's a classic trap many novice game designers and genre writers fall into, letting the world get away from them as they get lost in the weeds creating detail after detail. Many designers and authors do worlds in iteration, reigning things in and refocusing as they keep in mind that future mechanics or plot have an impact. It's one of the reasons I think that genre writer don't get the credit they deserve. They have to make a fun plot, engaging characters, great prose AND a new world. Yep. Agreed on all points.
  • 08:27 AM - delericho quoted Von Ether in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    We can agree to disagree. For me, "mechanics should flow from the setting" imply exactly that. Design the setting first, narrow down what you want players to experience in that setting and how you want to them to experience it and figure how your rules accomplish that goal. That would be a bad idea - as bad as focusing purely on the mechanics. Any fundamentalist position will lead to a bad experience: if you work purely from mechanics first you'll get something that will probably work but that will be no fun to actually use; if you work purely from setting first you'll get something that may look nice but is unfocused and useless. It's a thermostat, not a light-switch. What's more, it's a thermostat with a fairly wide range of acceptable answers. My experience has been that it should be set over towards the setting-first end of the scale, but not to the exclusion of the other. You absolutely need both. The air currents around said "bastions" were dangerous high up and you had to find a...
  • 05:05 AM - Christopher Helton quoted Von Ether in post Bring Wonder Back To The Magic Of Your Fantasy Games With Wonder & Wickedness
    Silent Legions, I'd be curious on your take of sandbox Lovecraft. I backed the KS, oh so many years ago now, but I've never had a group that was interested in playing it.

Tuesday, 27th March, 2018

  • 06:50 PM - delericho quoted Von Ether in post How Would You Design For Spelljammer?
    If you embrace that philosophy, odds are though, you probably won't get a 1e running 2e AD&D spelljammer game. Why would you think that? There's nothing in Spelljammer that doesn't work with AD&D - which shouldn't be a surprise, given that it is an AD&D setting. "The mechanics should flow from the setting" shouldn't be taken to imply simply throwing everything out - cut your cloth according to your desires. an "All Planets Accord" that forbids dropping rocks on huts. D&D has a long and glorious history of ignoring inconvenient things that PCs might do - such as striding into the throne room and killing the king. And, indeed, it has a long history of ignoring the implications of flying fortresses - in addition to the aforementioned airships in Mystara and Eberron, Dragonlance has floating citadels and the Realms (and probably Greyhawk) has flying Storm Giant castles. Spelljammers in the atmosphere would just use the same systems as those game elements. :) Alternatively, if you want ...

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

  • 08:37 PM - aramis erak quoted Von Ether in post What's In The Cards? Looking At Some Card-Based Tools For Your Game
    But I'm surprised we didn't touch on the SAGA system from TSR. While both decks were used for resolution, both had essays on how to use the decks for inspiration. Both really play well when players are open to them; it's been hit-or-miss for me with players. The system makes excellent use of multiple features of the cards: Action success/failure side initiative damage resistance of PCs Yes/no answers Yes/no/maybe answers The inspirational use is documented, but not of great use for me due to not knowing all the iconics, in both games. Great fun to run. Love the "draw 12 and arrange them" character gen. Great way to do it. The trump suit mechanic tends to shape player actions, it's like having your next 5 dice rolls to pick from. One of my favorite uses custom cards was in Torg/Shatterzone/Masterbook. Unfortunately my player group at the time didn't like any of the settings and/or the rest of the mechanics. They don't replace the dice; they serve as a form of fate poin...

Tuesday, 20th March, 2018


Sunday, 18th March, 2018

  • 03:50 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Von Ether in post The Difficulties Of Running Low Magic Campaigns
    Once you separate out game mechanics, it seems to be a lot more confusion on what a "low-magic" setting is based on a person's sense of disbelief. Most modern games are "low magic," but cell phones and Google can blow most D&D spells about communication and divination out of the water. Yeah, that's why I suggest that people think about it, particularly in the sense that magic is often a substitute for technology. The real question is whether there are things like rapid communication, fast travel, area effect control, etc., is possible. If it is, how common is it? If it's super rare and mostly out of reach, that will ensure a more pre-modern feel.

Friday, 16th March, 2018

  • 08:25 AM - J.L. Duncan quoted Von Ether in post Getting Lost In Mazes and Perils Deluxe
    I'm surprised that you didn't throw in Adventurer, Conqueror, King in there for the economy or the custom classes. Honestly, I've looked at ACKS and reviewed it for KoDT. It's pretty interesting. I have a number of the supplements. So I need to take a closer look and find one of their products "not usually reviewed," and review that. It's in mind.

Tuesday, 13th March, 2018

  • 05:41 PM - Morrus quoted Von Ether in post Self Publishing: What's An Artist Worth?
    Not only does good art take time, freelancers have to be like squirrels and save up for the lean months. That means taking on as much work As you possibly can when it's offered. To put it plainly, it's almost arrogant to assume but the artist is just waiting around for your particular piece to work on immediately. Always assume you are is going into a queue and plan accordingly. One shouldn't need to assume anything. Both parties should be clear about their expectations and agree upon a deadline. That's what contracts are for; they take away the assumption part.
  • 06:29 AM - Adnan Hassan quoted Von Ether in post Deleted Posts

Monday, 12th March, 2018

  • 04:33 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Von Ether in post The Difficulties Of Running Low Magic Campaigns
    Well, that and other thrown stuff use other attributes than Intelligence. There also a reason that 5e finesse weapons "carry" a 3e feat that many said was mandatory for Rogues. And why High Strength/Mediocre Dex Fighters who like swords and axes get pouty if they have to use a bow. Many players want to capitalize on the attribute they invested their concept in. I'm sort of surprised that someone didn't come up with a masterwork "Wind of Mind" bow that you could buy at the shop and used a wielder's intelligence bonus for ranged attacks. In 3e, you could have just made a new material to do the job. Either way, it's a bit ironic for some GMs who don't like Primes now. If they had only made up a "Wind of Mind" bow house rule after hearing their players complained about using their +1 or +0 Dex mods to fire bows after using up spell slots. Arguably, something like that should have been the core of the Arcane Archer.

Saturday, 3rd March, 2018

  • 06:52 PM - SigmaOne quoted Von Ether in post EN World's Critical Role Roundup 002: The Story So Far
    With a show that has 4 hour episodes, a recap column is not a bad idea. I almost wish we had time stamps for any cool bits so we could get the best of both worlds. A recap to save time if we can't watch, but then we see clips of the highlights. Check the comments of the youtube postings of the show. I'm pretty sure someone always posts the timestamps for each little thing.

Tuesday, 20th February, 2018

  • 09:04 AM - Lanefan quoted Von Ether in post Heroes In Shades Of Grey
    The simpler truth of it is that it's much easier to create a world where the neon sign points "Here be adventure!" when you have a black and while morality set up. You don't need to figure out where your loyalties lie or who is telling the truth. If you hit an orc, or a goblin or a undead, you are hitting the right targets. Worlds with gray morality maybe be more "realistic" but it's harder to just set out and adventure. Is that a dagger or a pipe that the orc is pulling out of his vest? Until you find out, your adventure to kick butt is on hold.Not if you're playing PC murderhobos, it isn't. :) More seriously, our games have nearly always been shades-of-gray but that's never proven much of a hindrance to finding reasons to adventure. I mean, really, all you need to be is greedy. :)

Monday, 19th February, 2018

  • 11:34 AM - Jhaelen quoted Von Ether in post Looking At Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated
    I found that using these as "quick build" rooms on top of a wet-erase mat for quickly drawing out corridors is a happy medium especially since trying to find the right sized and angled hallways is the biggest time sink.Yup. I've bought a ton of dungeon tiles in the past, but with the exception of the Wilderness ones, they were waaay too fiddly to be of any use. My preferred method became quickly to use a few of them on top of one of the poster maps that came with D&D minis and the 4e adventure modules. That way I could create a variety of interesting layouts really quick.


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