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About neuronphaser

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About neuronphaser
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neuronphaser is a D&D veteran circa 1985 and RPG enthusiast dedicated to creating the tools and sharing the tips you need to optimize your tabletop roleplaying experience.
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neuronphaser is an editor, eCommerce consultant, web producer, and analyst living in sunny Hollywood, CA. His real name is Tim Bannock.
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Starter Traveller (Classic circa 1980's) is free at DTRPG Monday, 3rd December, 2018 11:25 PM

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Monday, 3rd December, 2018 11:25 PM
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Wednesday, 14th March, 2018

  • 02:59 PM - Morrus mentioned neuronphaser in post Is Spelljammer Coming To D&D 5E?
    Regarding those Twitch stats (9M) -- that sounds totally realistic. A comparatively tiny place like EN World got 645K unique readers last month, and over 5M in the last 12 months. I would expect Twitch to get an order of magnitude or more higher. 9M totally feasible; it's probably more! As neuronphaser said, back in 2004 the BBC said 3M people were playing D&D. Now it's over 8M. In America alone! Also that BBC article has a link to EN World on it, which is awesome!

Tuesday, 13th February, 2018


Wednesday, 9th August, 2017


Tuesday, 30th May, 2017

  • 11:54 PM - oneshot mentioned neuronphaser in post That Upcoming Star Trek RPG Comes In A Special Borg Cube Boxed Set!
    neuronphaser, The system, as of the last playtest, was about medium crunch. While it's tough to make out what everything in the picture is from far away, I think the orange box on the panel we can fully see is the entire list of weapons with the descriptions of the weapons qualities listed below. The small box to its right is, I think, the default stats for supporting crew. But I think at least some of the boxes that are text (like the purple box above the default stats) are just GM advice or some similar list of something that isn't strictly a game mechanic.

Friday, 9th October, 2015


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Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 11:34 PM - dragoner quoted neuronphaser in post Starter Traveller (Classic circa 1980's) is free at DTRPG
    Gotcha. I wasn't really campaigning for some mech stuff, just thought of it as an example that probably *wasn't* in earlier editions but showed up later, RE: compatibility. But good to know. I honestly have no experience with Traveller, so I wasn't sure how much or how little the actual system changed over its many editions. Cool. The biggest changes are in how personal combat is done, but for the most part the format for characters stays the same. I guess the flavor of sci-fi can change, where early Traveller like this set supports a more gritty "average person on the grift" style, and the later versions are more heroic "laser sword and cape" style.
  • 11:13 PM - dragoner quoted neuronphaser in post Starter Traveller (Classic circa 1980's) is free at DTRPG
    How compatible are the different versions? My guess would be that new editions are generally a great way to drum up interest for a game in general, and in this day and age with access to digital copies of every edition of everything (just about), that helps even the older editions. If the editions are compatible to any degree, that's also a plus; maybe new content can be ported back for all the folks not interested in fully buying into a new edition's changes, but who might be interested in a single add-on ruleset (mechs!) or some new adventures or something. /spitballing The versions are compatible enough that having this rules set will tell you most of what you need to know about Traveller, different sets add or subtract mechanics or other greebles like for starships, the basic framework of the game is laid out here. Per mechs, Traveller isn't a mech setting, there are some, usually called walkers, detailed in the other rules sets. I have a feeling that dedicated mech games would prob...

Friday, 14th September, 2018

  • 01:42 AM - ad_hoc quoted neuronphaser in post New Survey
    I nearly stopped taking it because of that. I HATE when they do that, and while I understand why tests like that exist in other mediums, it makes absolutely no sense here. If they get conflicting answers within one survey, then in turn they will get erratic data across many surveys and...how does that help them? Very strange. But the big questions were good, so hopefully...Planescape? ;-P Asking the same thing 5 different ways is a good way to rule out misunderstanding. I may have a specific reaction to the phrasing/situation/word understanding/etc. that is different than expected. Asking the same thing in different ways helps to show that.

Thursday, 13th September, 2018

  • 11:27 PM - dave2008 quoted neuronphaser in post New Survey
    I nearly stopped taking it because of that. I HATE when they do that, and while I understand why tests like that exist in other mediums, it makes absolutely no sense here. If they get conflicting answers within one survey, then in turn they will get erratic data across many surveys and...how does that help them? Very strange. But the big questions were good, so hopefully...Planescape? ;-P It is survey design 101 though. schneeland explained it better than i did in post #36. But it gives them statistically more accurate results. You may not like it, but you can't fight the math man. Sabermetrics of D&D if you will.

Friday, 17th August, 2018

  • 06:32 PM - Rygar quoted neuronphaser in post SJG's The Fantasy Trip Opens To 3rd-Party Creators
    http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/guild-adept-program Chris Lindsay has said in just about every interview how successful it is, how it's grown way bigger than expected, and how they are taking steps to better curate and market the content because of how good it is. The Guild Adept program is one in a long-line of those steps. Isn't that the article where WOTC went on and on about how successful and popular a set of 10 authors were, and then when you looked at their products you found that the majority of them had only a few works, and a fair number of the works they were promoting were rated mediocre? Any time WOTC says *anything* I would argue it's worth a healthy dose of analysis and research. I can't think of any statement from WOTC regarding popularity in years that wasn't easily found to be less than truthful.

Monday, 6th August, 2018

  • 11:13 PM - R_J_K75 quoted neuronphaser in post Here's What's In That $500 Beadle & Grimm Platinum Edition of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist
    For something very much like that, check out Jeff Stevens "Encounters in the..." series: Encounters in the Savage Jungles, ...Savage Cities, etc. He specializes in getting writers to collaborate and offer encounters and maps for those releases (I'm in Encounters in the Savage Jungles), so they have a great range of adventure types, encounter types, inspirations, and locales. Helps make them exceptionally easy to drop in anywhere. Some are a single encounter or even single NPC/monster, some are a small dungeon, a single shop, or (like mine) some are a short adventure unto themselves. That sounds exactly what Im looking for, thanks, Ill definitley check those out. Seems like a good time saver in a pinch.
  • 08:40 PM - R_J_K75 quoted neuronphaser in post Here's What's In That $500 Beadle & Grimm Platinum Edition of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist
    I think they are already doing exactly that, but rather than in survey form, that's the point of DMsGuild existing and (again, finally) having POD options. And to a lesser degree, having items cross-sold on DnDBeyond (Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron) and the various cartographer's own sites (maps for sale from Mike Schley, for instance). Instead of just asking, they are throwing this stuff out there and seeing what sells. ...and IMHO, they probably already have their answer. Production cost-wise, WOTC can publish big campaign books that double as campaign settings and compilations of maps/encounters/new monsters/new items that DMs can and will rip apart for their own use. They know this, and they are cool with it, and it's way better as an investment considering the cost to produce; shorter stuff that doesn't sell as well is going to be a money and time sink for their designers and production chain. Meanwhile, their Adventurers League stuff consistently sells well (whether or not people use AL rule...

Sunday, 24th June, 2018

  • 06:26 AM - Jester David quoted neuronphaser in post News Digest: Critical Role Leaving Geek & Sundry, Origins Award Winners, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    I didn't know about that! Thanks for the info. I'll look into it: I do my best not to support toxic people, but I know some people get labeled unfairly based on an online persona or a misunderstanding. If you have any links to the problems you mention, don't hesitate to share them, but don't feel like you have to spend the time on that either; I can do my own research! He was also particularly active during Gamergate and set-up a separate account for that, and has been known to harass women and members of the LGBT community. I followed him for a while assuming his “angry” style was a persona and some of his rants were satirical or exaggerated. Then I realized that no, that was just who he was and that was what he believed.

Friday, 22nd June, 2018

  • 09:20 PM - Abstruse quoted neuronphaser in post News Digest: Critical Role Leaving Geek & Sundry, Origins Award Winners, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    I didn't know about that! Thanks for the info. I'll look into it: I do my best not to support toxic people, but I know some people get labeled unfairly based on an online persona or a misunderstanding. If you have any links to the problems you mention, don't hesitate to share them, but don't feel like you have to spend the time on that either; I can do my own research! Normally I wouldn't mind finding something to cite my sources, and I wouldn't put it in a column without doing so... But with a few things going on this week on social media, I've hit my quota on "people who act angry as a persona for cheap clicks but claim 'it's just an act' when called on it while doing real harm to people and the community"... Also, it would require unblocking him on Twitter, which is also something I'm not particularly interested in doing. So it's just my opinion and I encourage people to form their own.
  • 09:01 PM - Abstruse quoted neuronphaser in post News Digest: Critical Role Leaving Geek & Sundry, Origins Award Winners, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    Can I ask why? I've enjoyed some of their articles though I don't care for the overly verbose lead-ins. Is there something I should watch out for, as someone who was considering backing it but hasn't hopped off the fence about it? The short version is I don't promote people who are toxic elements of the community, particularly those that promote ideas like One True Way/"You're Playing Wrong", displays discriminatory attitudes, and harass designers on social media. But It's your money and your choice if you want to support it because you enjoy his writing. For me, I can't look past the fact I had to block him on Twitter for being a jerk to other people in the industry.

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018


Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 05:35 PM - Charlaquin quoted neuronphaser in post PF2: Spells!
    "We haven't looked much at XYZ while designing..." and "we never played XYZ ever" are two different things ;-) I think "we haven't looked..." is really kinda just their way of saying "recently." I do love what I'm seeing though, which I didn't expect. Not sure why the spell's range/area has to be listed thrice and then again in each of the different castings...and yet the "target" entry doesn't note how one of the castings is quite different from what that entry says... I think for the same reason Vampiric Exsanguination doesn’t list a target. If a spell has an area instead of a range, it’s implied that it affects everything in the area without targeting them.4 I hope these aren't finalized. But they are definitely headed in the right direction! They’re not finalized yet. The wording on Vampiric Exsanguination has already been changed in response to feedback in the comments of the blog post.

Friday, 16th March, 2018


Wednesday, 14th March, 2018

  • 02:56 PM - Morrus quoted neuronphaser in post Is Spelljammer Coming To D&D 5E?
    Here are some hard numbers. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/3655627.stm So, in 2004 it was about 3 million people playing per month in the US. According to this seminar, "8.6 million Americans have played D&D in the last 12 months" and "9 million users watching D&D on Twitch." I'm sure you won't find harder numbers than this, given how surveys are done and how "users" are measured. There's an awesome website linked in the sidebar there!

Wednesday, 28th February, 2018

  • 10:05 PM - Oofta quoted neuronphaser in post What's The Latest On The D&D Movie?
    Except for a couple anticlimactic scenes, the IDW comics have been stellar. Jim Zub really gets how to make it feel like a game of D&D: ridiculous anachronisms, one of the leads being a joke character modeled after the tick while most of the other characters are played by people who take the game *mostly* seriously, big events that a DM cooks up but the players just kind of run roughshod on...yet there's no element that breaks the wall suggesting there are players. I dunno how he does it so consistently, but it's just a really fun read. (FYI, interspersing that series with the Rat Queens comics is like reading the best campaign world I'd ever want to run/play in.) I assume you're talking about Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster Boo? He's not based on The Tick, he's based on the character in the old Baldur's Gate video games. The lead developer of the game came up with Minsc based on one of his player's character in a home campaign. But be careful about calling Minsc a joke cha...

Thursday, 22nd February, 2018

  • 03:42 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted neuronphaser in post What's The Latest On The D&D Movie?
    Second favorite option would be timing the movie with an Eberron Campaign Setting release and setting the movie in Eberron. Really go hog-wild with Warforged, Shifters, and all that jazz. I'm not a big Eberron fan, but if there's one setting that screams "THIS IS WHAT MAKES D&D DIFFERENT THAN OTHER FANTASY" in the modern era, it's Eberron. Hands down. (Or maybe Planescape, but that's way too high concept to start with.) And then they sell a million movie tickets, maybe, to the people who care enough/know enough about Eberron to go see a movie set there at $12-15 per ticket, grossing maybe a tenth of what the movie will probably cost to make. The more game-focused and niche the film gets, the more of a failure it will be. Nothing about the movie that actually gets made will be niche. They will go with whatever has the broadest appeal to the casual, gaming-playing, movie-going public. If they are smart, they will not even include the words Dungeons and Dragons anywhere in the title, so that it ...
  • 12:08 AM - Morrus quoted neuronphaser in post What's The Latest On The D&D Movie?
    So...I get the feeling that most everything (outside of the Sweetpea legal battle) that has come out up to this point has been people jumping the gun with sharing. In other words, the movie was in the most preliminary of development stages and people were already yelling to the world that they were involved. The projects weren't even technically greenlit beyond the exploratory phase, most likely. Quite possibly. But on the other hand we, here on this little D&D webforum, enjoy discussing and speculating about it. :)

Wednesday, 21st February, 2018

  • 10:52 AM - manuzed78 quoted neuronphaser in post HELP ME with Modrons Please
    Boom! Perfect. The newly seated king in all likelihood is only king because of some technicality of the law that the Modrons support, and thus is likely pretty garbage when it comes to ruling a thing. But any attempt to unseat him goes against the rule of law, and that means rebellion will be met with the full force of the Modrons' power. What this screams to me is looking over their stat blocks to find their weaknesses, and any rebels will employ that. On top of that, the possibility of turning any Modrons rogue is going to be a primary means of weakening their power base, and/or turning the populace against the Modrons. Indeed, the idea is the populace is against the modrons like it was against the king but they have no choice and now, with modron police, turning rogue is VERY difficult (except for PC?) It's no easy way to imagine every day life as commoner, paesant or trader... One another fact: modrons are in the cities, but the world is huge and rogue may easily hide in countryside.

Wednesday, 31st January, 2018

  • 04:52 PM - LordEntrails quoted neuronphaser in post [UPDATED] DM's Guild No Longer Allows Creator Logos On Product Covers
    ... A note: if the logo is THAT big a deal for some people, do they really think folks are buying their products sight unseen? ... Yes it is. And many of the established DMsG authors feel that many of their followers buy their products based upon their branding. Personally I would rather click on the author link to get all of an author's products. But I suspect many believe that when a "follower" of theirs sees the logo on the New items list, they follow the link to the page description and don't follow links for products they don't recognize. Which is probably true. Well I , for one, consider this great news... For EN5inders. A negative for an opponent is a positive for you, right? That's an unfortunate attitude. When your neighbor gets hurt, do you feel better about yourself? We should all be looking for the entire community to thrive and grow. It does not need to be a zero sum game where the loss of a one group/publisher means that benefits a competitor. Instead, thing of competition as...
  • 02:03 AM - FrogReaver quoted neuronphaser in post [UPDATED] DM's Guild No Longer Allows Creator Logos On Product Covers
    Exactly my point. The amount of work OBS has to do in policing all the garbage goes down, which to me is a win. That's a ridiculous extreme. I have the privilege to use their IP, their marketing, and their selling channel to publish the kind of thing I've been doing with my friends for 35 years for free. I'm making 50% off that stuff through no small amount of their hard work; I think I can obey a rule or two about covers and try pretty hard not to put porn in whatever I publish on their site ;-P I just love when I make a point completely opposite of what someone just said and they come back saying they agree with me and what I said agreed with them.


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