View Profile: timbannock - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 07:42 PM
    Out now at Dungeon Masters Guild: Old School Hacks Vol. 3: Megadungeon Mayhem – A Toolbox for Better Megadungeons! This 34-page guide features four chapters of material covering: What makes a megadungeon tick? Tons of tools and advice for varying the environment, monsters, hazards, and challenges in the dungeon. Variant and optional rules to help make megadungeon campaigns feel different...
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    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 07:01 PM
    Link to a Google Doc in which I'm hoping to create a complete index for the Paranoia: Red Clearance Edition rule books, complete card listings, and where I've also dumped some optional and variant rules for using the Action/Reaction and other cards for folks that don't like the cards, like them but play online, or just want different ways to use them. Here it is: Paranoia: Red Clearance...
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    Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, 12:39 AM
    As the title says. These stands (and the other sizes, as they have 2", 3" and 4" for all of your differently sized monsters!). I'm thinking of getting rid of the minis collection (or most of it, at any rate) as I never had a large one and I have less and less room to store things, and less and less strength to heft minis around when I play at my FLGS. I've got a bead on plenty of paper...
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About timbannock

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About timbannock
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Tim 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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Tim is an editor, eCommerce consultant, web producer, and analyst living in sunny Hollywood, CA. His real name is Tim Bannock.
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RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour Tuesday, 12th February, 2019 01:14 AM

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Tuesday, 19th February, 2019


Thursday, 14th February, 2019


Wednesday, 13th February, 2019


Tuesday, 12th February, 2019


Monday, 11th February, 2019


Wednesday, 6th February, 2019


Wednesday, 14th March, 2018

  • 02:59 PM - Morrus mentioned timbannock 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 timbannock 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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Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

  • 01:36 AM - Alexander Kalinowski quoted timbannock in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    What is the level of evidence you require for this not to be rumor-mongering? That is actually a fair question. The bar is pretty high at this point, for, due to my lack of personal stakes in the case, my interest level is fairly low. (I do take some interest in public reaction to such cases though, which is largely why I am here.) So the requirements would be pretty high. Something that makes this an open-shut case. Or, even better yet, a conviction or acquittal. Because, here's the thing - both Smith as well as these women are more or less random strangers to me. There are verifiable accounts of many of the things Zak has been accused of in the past. There are credible allegations by many credible people that can be found with a 2-minute stretch on Google of things he's done leading up to these allegations that would suggest these allegations are not out of character for him. As mentioned I have had a brief run-in with him and was promptly banned from his board. That didn't leave...
  • 01:17 AM - Steve Conan Trustrum quoted timbannock in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    What is the level of evidence you require for this not to be rumor-mongering?Apparrently it's got a lot to do with how much it personally imapcts him.

Monday, 11th February, 2019

  • 08:44 PM - quoted timbannock in post RPG Writer Zak S Accused Of Abusive Behaviour
    The only thing I've supported of his (that I know of) is Vornheim, and I added the pertinent pages that I used often in my urbancrawl games to my personal GM's Binder. I will definitely remove them, stop using anything related to them and develop my own tools or find other ones to use. I will also be removing anything I can find that I've ever posted anywhere that promotes or recommends them. My reasoning is much as the Gauntlet's (above): he might have put out neat stuff. He might have said useful things. But there's so many others who have done the same and aren't garbage people. I can spend 10 minutes of my time removing his crap from my toolbox and another 15-20 finding substitutions. That's my stance, at least. Thanks for your detailed and well thought out answer.

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

  • 09:44 PM - dave2008 quoted timbannock in post RPG Kickstarter Zine Quest News – The Initial Seven Zines
    I can't 100% verify this but my understanding based on a few posts and conversations I've had in comments sections is he contacted Wizards and made a deal with them to move his stuff around (possibly ending future sales on DMsGuild after a certain time period, but I don't know that for sure). He's very active on Facebook and Instagram if you want to contact him directly. He's been very forthcoming about the situation, I just don't recall all the details. Good to know! I have some of his stuff on my Dms Guild "wishlist" so I was worried they might shut down his kickstarter, which would be unfortunate.

Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 11:34 PM - dragoner quoted timbannock 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 timbannock 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 pr...

Friday, 14th September, 2018

  • 01:42 AM - ad_hoc quoted timbannock 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 timbannock 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 timbannock 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 timbannock 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 timbannock 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 ru...

Sunday, 24th June, 2018

  • 06:26 AM - Jester David quoted timbannock 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 timbannock 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 timbannock 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 timbannock 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 timbannock 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 timbannock 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 c...

Thursday, 22nd February, 2018

  • 03:42 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted timbannock 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 i...


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