View Profile: timbannock - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:44 PM
    I vehemently disagree with this. I realize why the module is presented the way it was, and I both accept and enjoy that presentation. That doesn't mean we have to run it as-is, and in fact, I'd argue the purposely old school sensibility of the module's design takes into account how much DMs can (and notably, will) modify it for their table. There's a wide gulf between "the module has its...
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    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:02 PM
    I use these every session: Companion System Companion System Companion (Updated OP to include links, as well.)
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  • timbannock's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 06:46 PM
    Hi folks! TL;DR - I'm running the Stranger Things starter set adventure Hunt for the Thessalhydra for Int'l Tabletop Day at my local comics & game shop, and I'm wondering what tips, tricks, and mods people employed. Slightly longer version - Here are some slightly more specific things I'm looking to expand, change, or seek advice on: 1. I don't like how the "mysterious...
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    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 06:43 PM
    A timbannock.com review. Summary Twisted Mithral is Mad Max meets Dungeons & Dragons. Expanding mounted and vehicular rules to include hanging off the sides of mounts and vehicles, as well as crashing, this book would be great if it was just that. But it goes way above and beyond! Vehicle building, repairing, and modification rules allow you to create chariots, war wagons, and even more...
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    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 06:41 PM
    timbannock started a thread Twisted Mithral
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    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 06:25 PM
    A timbannock.com review. This review is coming in two parts because this book is worth taking time with! Part one covers all 14 of the Tier 1 adventures (character levels 1-4). Unique among one-shot adventure collections in that Uncaged has a tightly unifying theme gloriously realized through adventure scenarios that often feature tough moral dilemmas, Uncaged Volume I is a triumph. It is...
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    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 06:20 PM
    timbannock started a thread Uncaged Volume I
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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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Experiences & mods running the D&D Stranger Things Hunt for the Thessalhydra Adventure? Thursday, 23rd May, 2019 05:44 PM

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Thursday, 23rd May, 2019


Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019


Tuesday, 7th May, 2019


Monday, 6th May, 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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Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019


Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 06:23 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted timbannock in post Ghosts of Saltmarsh: First Impressions
    Are the Scarlet Brotherhood a faction for players, ala Zhentarim and such? Because they are pretty thoroughly baddies by my reading in 2E. The Scarlet Brotherhood absolutely don't parallel the Harpers, as the review indicated. They're Suel supremacists and are one of the key villain groups in the setting. They're very much akin to the Zhentarim or Thayans in Forgotten Realms. You could use them as a player faction if you were running an evil campaign and, I suppose, you could have a PC be a renegade, but in general they're adversaries, often secret and in the shadows.

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 08:09 PM - Barantor quoted timbannock in post Ghosts of Saltmarsh: First Impressions
    Are the Scarlet Brotherhood a faction for players, ala Zhentarim and such? Because they are pretty thoroughly baddies by my reading in 2E. Yeah they are more like Hydra from Marvel than they are how Zhentarim are now in FR. I suppose you could be a secret agent for them easily enough, just like any other baddie faction. I'm just really hoping that Saltmarsh leads them to open up the DMsGuild to Greyhawk content, lots of stuff there that I would like to build off of and put out.
  • 06:24 PM - Parmandur quoted timbannock in post Ghosts of Saltmarsh: First Impressions
    Are the Scarlet Brotherhood a faction for players, ala Zhentarim and such? Because they are pretty thoroughly baddies by my reading in 2E. The Zhentarim are Mafia/Al-Quada already...

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 09:17 PM - schneeland quoted timbannock in post Things from the Flood: A Review
    To add to the anecdotes, I've had the same perception. I backed the first kickstarter, got my books and gear, read most of it, and was like, "this is really cool! I have no idea how I'd run this with my group." So it took a back seat. Then it got filed well away. And then once I noticed a layer of dust on the book, I sold it off. I've still got the digital stuff, but there's little chance of me running it. I'd play it in a heartbeat though...but I've yet to see anyone running a game of it since around the time of the hardcover's first arrival. Granted, I'm not looking terribly hard, but I am fairly active in a lot of communities, so it *seems* telling. I have seen two games of TftL announced for the semi-annual meeting of a popular German RPG community, but that's basically it. I'm still not willing to sell of my copies and have vague plans to run a game or two for my friends next year, but I would agree that for most people this is just (very good-looking) shelfware.
  • 07:06 PM - lyle.spade quoted timbannock in post Things from the Flood: A Review
    To add to the anecdotes, I've had the same perception. I backed the first kickstarter, got my books and gear, read most of it, and was like, "this is really cool! I have no idea how I'd run this with my group." So it took a back seat. Then it got filed well away. And then once I noticed a layer of dust on the book, I sold it off. I've still got the digital stuff, but there's little chance of me running it. I'd play it in a heartbeat though...but I've yet to see anyone running a game of it since around the time of the hardcover's first arrival. Granted, I'm not looking terribly hard, but I am fairly active in a lot of communities, so it *seems* telling. On the nose! I have seen the digital version, and a buddy picked it up at GenCon in 2017, but we've not played it in our group and I know no one who has.

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.


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