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    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 05:55 PM
    Except what would you put into that subclass? For any non-caster bard I can think of it feels more like a background mixed with how you assign your skill choices than a full subclass. That's actually probably how I'd handle the Athasian bard - make it a background that you can slap onto any class. Then the question becomes of what to do with the bard class itself on Athas. It could be...
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    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 07:07 PM
    That's what TSR did, though. They pumped out supplements without really paying much attention to whether things were selling or not. The existence of a ton of supplements for Birthright tells us nearly nothing about how well it sold given TSR's practices at the time. Especially since the entire line - 5 boxed sets, something like a dozen nation books for players, 5 adventures, 5 novels and a...
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Thursday, 19th April, 2018


Friday, 13th April, 2018


Thursday, 5th April, 2018


Tuesday, 27th March, 2018


Monday, 12th February, 2018

  • 05:07 AM - Nevvur mentioned Jer in post How long til you modified 5e?
    ...mizability of 5e to earlier editions, assuming you have experience with any of them? (open question if anyone else wants to respond) @Satyrn: You mentioned inventing new monsters doesn't count as modifying. I respectfully disagree, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn I'm in the minority in defining homebrew content as such. The distinction for me is whether the thing implies consideration of mechanical impact on game play. Something to do with the mystical developer's "stamp of approval" some GMs prefer or require before giving a thing serious consideration for inclusion in their own games. Not that anyone needs WotC's approval to modify the game and have fun doing it, and anyway, custom monsters are some of the lowest-impact form of house rules (again, as I define it). Even so, I'd like to avoid derailing the thread with a debate about semantics. However you and others approach the question and select an answer is fine by me. Clarifications in written responses are appreciated. @Jer: I hope my explanation to Satyrn explains the difference between the thread title and poll question - that is, there's no difference as far as I'm concerned. I did state that rulings on nebulous systems ("situations... that aren't explicit in the rules" in your words) should be excluded. If you feel otherwise, that's fine. I'm not going to try to police the thread, so again, people can answer the question/poll as they see fit. Also again, clarifications like yours are appreciated. @ad_hoc: You wrote that it's impossible not to house rule. Adventurer's League players, in theory, should all be operating under the exact same set of rules. A person who has only ever DMd AL would have a "Never" response if they're abiding by AL guidelines. That's not always the case, of course. However, as defined in the OP, rulings are not house rules (see response to Jer). @redrick: You identified an interesting grey area - codification of a ruling. I feel there's a difference between codification of ...

Wednesday, 25th January, 2017

  • 04:19 PM - SkidAce mentioned Jer in post Cosmological Layout
    ...er planes in the middle band connected - are Shadow and The Bright and the Inner Planes "just" other material planes or are they special? (And is The Bright your own take on the Feywild or something else?) Are the Astral Dominions where the gods live? Does your cosmology have Devils? If so, where are they - astral or in the Abyss. And what's Limbo in your cosmology? And are the Spirelands the entirety of the Great Wheel cosmology from 1e/2e or is it just the outlands? Or is it something different and you chose that image to be more evocative of an idea than a way to incorporate Planescape material into your cosmology? So many interesting questions raised by an image - thanks for posting it! Thanks everyone for all the input. This cosmos had a lot of rough edges that have slowly morphed into the final state you see here over the years. I wanted it to be similar to the layout we started with in 1e, but incorporate the ideas and thoughts from other literature and sources. To Jer 's questions. Material Planes: Think Spelljammer Spheres without a solid boundary floating in the Void (custom plane) like our universe or solar system would be. So there could be one or several planets to a sphere. Shadow/Bright: Reflections of a material sphere created by the ringing of the Carillon of Stars, not every sphere has both or either of them, although many do. Influenced by Positive Energy and Negative Energy. Bright is Feywild based. Side note: the gods rang the carillon once trying to create more worlds and said "oops" and since it cracked when it was rung, have never fixed it. Connections: The Ethereal Plane flows and ebbs in varying densities across the cosmos. Low Ethereal = low magic. Ethereal only leads to other material spheres along special established paths. Shadow and The Bright are reached from their connected world via the Ethereal. Each Bright is a mostly self contained reflection (or is it?), while Shadow seems to lead eventually to all manner o...

Monday, 9th January, 2017

  • 08:45 AM - pemerton mentioned Jer in post Tales From The Yawning Portal - 7 Classic Dungeons Updated To 5E!
    If mad house dungeon was what they were going for, X2 is the way to go. Someone linked to an RPG.net play through with 3.0 rules from 2004 and it's hysterical.That was me. I plan on running X2 in about two months when my party is the right level. After four serious adventures I think a loony one is a good break. But White Plume Mountain, for whatever reason, doesn't quite meet my threshold for acceptably crazy.I think that S2 is just crazy. But it has nothing else going on. Whereas (as Jer and lowkey13 pointed out) X2, while (in my view at least) also crazy, has a sometimes sinister creepiness also going on. That is, the two modules aren't just different in degree but I think in kind also.

Friday, 2nd December, 2016

  • 07:01 AM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Jer in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    ...omain, so I've blurred the distinction between the two in my 4e campaign, leaving it a matter of moot philosphical debate whether it's just an extension of the Feywild into the Astral Sea and rather the immortals/exalted there are actually/also fey or not - whatever, the case, neither fey nor immortals consider themselves 'mortal' in the sense that natural creatures are.... Oh, and the one time a played an Eladrin, he insisted on calling himself a 'High Elf,' and, on a point of religious/philosophical/family dogma, refused to acknowledge the elf/eladrin/drow trichotomy. Great explanation. My half elf bard was half eladrin, and the eladrin Feylock I played later viewed "High Elf" as a lady human term used by people who can't be bothered to learn the proper Elven term for an Elf whose blood still carries the old Fey magic. But yeah, other than some reorganizing of how the planes are understood, and statistical representation....I'm still not sure what actually changed. also what @Jer said. Especially about Arborea and the Feywild. Of course, I also have the feywild and the Shadowfell as kinda the same plane, with different regions and domains, and honestly I prefer my planes to be a lot less distinct and rigidly demarcated. Basically I have an Otherworld, which includes bits of both, and some other stuff. And the elf gods live there, as does the Raven Queen, and Mask (who isn't quite FR mask. More chaotic neutral god of trickery, and not giving a damn about your cosmic balance malarkey) and even some of the more wild demon lords, like that one Minotaur demon. about gnolls. That is a huge change. It is a change that takes them from being "savage" antagonists that can be fought or bargained with, or PLAYED, and making them only capable of being one thing, because they literally can't NOT rampage. It's a complete contradiction of past lore, and wildly changes the niche they fill in the world. If gnolls were just hyena-orcs before, they aren't anymore. They can'...

Monday, 25th January, 2016

  • 10:49 PM - Xethreau mentioned Jer in post DM's Guild Five-Star Freebies
    Jer and kyalan - I am in the midst of reviewing a set of additional products--mostly adventures! Hopefully I will be done with them sometime tonight. In the mean time if you guys or anybody else wants to contribute reviews, please do so!

Wednesday, 19th August, 2015

  • 08:48 PM - Talmek mentioned Jer in post Help! Any 5e adventures I can hand to kids?
    Jer It's funny that you mention Glitterdoom as that is what the kids will be playing next. I really ran FSF as an experiment (that I'm totally stoked about with the kids actually wanting to play) but now that they are hooked I think that we will be doing that one soon. Based on a review of the material Glitterdoom is a bit shorter (17-20 pages cover to cover) whereas Fey Sisters' Fate was somewhere closer to 30. Additionally, it appears that based on content and adventure setup Glitterdoom will play similarly to FSF. Hope this helps!
  • 08:29 PM - Talmek mentioned Jer in post Help! Any 5e adventures I can hand to kids?
    Hi Jer, I would recommend "The Fey Sisters' Fate" by Goodman Games. I ran it for my kids (11, 9 & 7) in a couple of sessions (8 hours total) and they had a blast with it. It's a pretty linear quest path (good for kids) and the plot is also straightforward with minimal NPC involvement. I would recommend it to any new GM regardless of age as long as their audience isn't looking for an open-world/sandbox experience. Good luck!

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Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 07:48 PM - tardigrade quoted Jer in post Mechanics of Revived Settings; your thoughts?
    That's what TSR did, though. Very true (for the supplements and novels, at least - apart from the SSI games I don't recall any other PC adaptations until Baldur's Gate, and I can only think of ones from DL and FR. It's entirely possible I missed some, though). It doesn't prove the opposite either, though, and awareness of the setting on this thread seems pretty high. I saw the request for a setting summary upthread; some of this has been said already, but basically: - Bloodlines. Regents (mostly kings, not always) derive actual magical power from their heritage, which gives them extra abilities including realm actions (IIRC non-blooded regents were technically possible but massively hobbled). Bloodlines derived from specific dead gods, giving related powers, and blood power could be stolen by slaying other blooded characters or creatures. Non-blooded characters could become blooded by killing blooded characters; it wasn't 100% about heritage. - Nature of magic. There was a very C...

Wednesday, 21st March, 2018

  • 05:32 PM - Kobold Avenger quoted Jer in post Marathon, Broadway, and Catacomb: Upcoming D&D Products?
    So by that logic I can now state that Broadway is absolutely going to be Bigby's Book of Bombastic Battles. It's so obvious now that you point it out :) (After Volo's, Xanathar's and Mordenkainnen's various books, if they leave "Bigby's Book" just sitting there, I'll be disappointed.) Bigby is the hand guy, I'm surprised there isn't a cantrip that does force damage from a hand of force slapping the targets face, a Bigby's Bitch-slap.

Sunday, 18th March, 2018

  • 02:04 AM - Parmandur quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    That's what I assume is going on here too. And you're right about PF being a pain to DM - it's basically like DMing 3.5 D&D - neither of which I will go back to again. I'll happily DM BECMI or 4e or 5e games, but I just can't sit down and DM a Pathfinder game. Even though I spent years running 3e D&D I just don't enjoy doing it anymore. I think this might be true, but I think they need to be careful. What they're proposing for PF2 looks to be as big a shift in that game engine as the shift from AD&D 2e to 3e (or for those who think the shift from 3e to 4e was bigger, that one - I personally think 2e to 3e was the bigger shift but mileage varies on that question). They're the experts and they can do what they want but to me that seems a bit wrongheaded - it seems like it would have to alienate the existing player base that you need to evangelize for you. This has played out badly at least twice in the history of RPGs that I can think of - first when White Wolf shifted from their o...

Friday, 16th March, 2018

  • 06:10 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    That's what I assume is going on here too. And you're right about PF being a pain to DM - it's basically like DMing 3.5 D&D - neither of which I will go back to again. I'll happily DM BECMI or 4e or 5e games, but I just can't sit down and DM a Pathfinder game. Even though I spent years running 3e D&D I just don't enjoy doing it anymore. I think this might be true, but I think they need to be careful. What they're proposing for PF2 looks to be as big a shift in that game engine as the shift from AD&D 2e to 3e (or for those who think the shift from 3e to 4e was bigger, that one - I personally think 2e to 3e was the bigger shift but mileage varies on that question). They're the experts and they can do what they want but to me that seems a bit wrongheaded - it seems like it would have to alienate the existing player base that you need to evangelize for you. This has played out badly at least twice in the history of RPGs that I can think of - first when White Wolf shifted from the...
  • 06:02 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    That's what I assume is going on here too. And you're right about PF being a pain to DM - it's basically like DMing 3.5 D&D - neither of which I will go back to again. I'll happily DM BECMI or 4e or 5e games, but I just can't sit down and DM a Pathfinder game. Even though I spent years running 3e D&D I just don't enjoy doing it anymore. I think this might be true, but I think they need to be careful. What they're proposing for PF2 looks to be as big a shift in that game engine as the shift from AD&D 2e to 3e (or for those who think the shift from 3e to 4e was bigger, that one - I personally think 2e to 3e was the bigger shift but mileage varies on that question). They're the experts and they can do what they want but to me that seems a bit wrongheaded - it seems like it would have to alienate the existing player base that you need to evangelize for you. This has played out badly at least twice in the history of RPGs that I can think of - first when White Wolf shifted from the...
  • 04:44 PM - dave2008 quoted Jer in post Pathfinder 2 - More on Dying, Resonance, & Much Math!
    CON is already a good stat to pump up. Tying magic item usage to it would likely make it too good. I was just interested in what made more sense, less concerned about ability score balance. I do see an argument for force of Will, i.e. Charisma though as @ MechaTarrasque pointed out in post #9
  • 01:14 AM - SkidAce quoted Jer in post How do you handle loot from enemies with mighty or evil weapons?
    If you decide you'd like to make something more out of it, keep in mind that it can always show up again because they didn't destroy it. They're fighting a group of orcs and one of them has a familiar looking flail - is it really the same one? And if so, why did it come back to them? If they get rid of it again or just leave it behind it can show up in the hands of an even more dangerous opponent. Until they actually decide to do something to "unmake" the item it'll keep showing up in the hands of foes who are trying to kill them. That kind of curse can make for a nice running subplot, or even plot if one of the players feels like picking up the ball and doing something with it. I would give double xp for this post if I could.

Thursday, 15th March, 2018

  • 06:05 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    This is absolutely right IMO - Paizo will be fracturing their player base with this move. I don't say that out of malice - every edition change leaves a portion of the players of the old edition behind. 1e to 2e had holdouts. 2e to 3e had holdouts. 3e to 4e had enough holdouts that Paizo was able to create Pathfinder and capture enough of those 3e holdouts to fund an entire game line for multiple years, but there are still groups that play 3e. PF1 to PF2 will have holdouts. Hell even 3.0 to 3.5 had its share of holdouts, and that wasn't even a full edition change. The big threat that Paizo has is making a game that causes their own entrenched player base to decide that it's time to jump off - much like during the 3e to 4e change for D&D. And in the short term there doesn't even really need to be an alternative for them to jump to - with the amount of Pathfinder 1e material available currently and the ability to buy old edition material digitally, you could run campaigns for years...
  • 04:48 PM - kenmarable quoted Jer in post Pathfinder 2E's New Death & Dying Rules; More on Resonance
    I have a question here, because I have been wondering if this is actually a problem in Pathfinder or not. Are people actually complaining about the Christmas Tree effect in Pathfinder? Or is this a perceived problem that is being carried over from other d20 games and there's an assumption that there's a problem? I ask because I can't believe that gamers are uniform in their hatred of the 3e Magical Item Christmas Tree effect. There have to be a portion of gamers who actually like it because there isn't anything in D&D that gets 100% uniformity of opinion. Maybe they're a tiny group, but I expect them to exist. And if they exist I'd expect that they might have migrated to Pathfinder. Because that's the system that supports that style of play. So I'd be curious to know if it's actually perceived as a problem at the table for Pathfinder groups, or if it's a feature, or if it's not something anyone thinks about because it's just "how the game is played" and they work around it. ...
  • 03:51 PM - delericho quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    This is absolutely right IMO - Paizo will be fracturing their player base with this move. I don't say that out of malice - every edition change leaves a portion of the players of the old edition behind. Certainly, that seems to be the case here - most of the gamers in my circle are big PF fans (me, not so much), and their reaction to the news has been strongly negative. For the moment, the consensus seems to be to skip it.
  • 03:23 PM - Jester David quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    This is absolutely right IMO - Paizo will be fracturing their player base with this move. I don't say that out of malice - every edition change leaves a portion of the players of the old edition behind. 1e to 2e had holdouts. 2e to 3e had holdouts. 3e to 4e had enough holdouts that Paizo was able to create Pathfinder and capture enough of those 3e holdouts to fund an entire game line for multiple years, but there are still groups that play 3e. PF1 to PF2 will have holdouts. Hell even 3.0 to 3.5 had its share of holdouts, and that wasn't even a full edition change. The big threat that Paizo has is making a game that causes their own entrenched player base to decide that it's time to jump off - much like during the 3e to 4e change for D&D. And in the short term there doesn't even really need to be an alternative for them to jump to - with the amount of Pathfinder 1e material available currently and the ability to buy old edition material digitally, you could run campaigns for years...
  • 02:57 PM - Blue quoted Jer in post Pathfinder 2E's New Death & Dying Rules; More on Resonance
    I have a question here, because I have been wondering if this is actually a problem in Pathfinder or not. Are people actually complaining about the Christmas Tree effect in Pathfinder? Or is this a perceived problem that is being carried over from other d20 games and there's an assumption that there's a problem? I ask because I can't believe that gamers are uniform in their hatred of the 3e Magical Item Christmas Tree effect. There have to be a portion of gamers who actually like it because there isn't anything in D&D that gets 100% uniformity of opinion. Maybe they're a tiny group, but I expect them to exist. And if they exist I'd expect that they might have migrated to Pathfinder. Because that's the system that supports that style of play. So I'd be curious to know if it's actually perceived as a problem at the table for Pathfinder groups, or if it's a feature, or if it's not something anyone thinks about because it's just "how the game is played" and they work around it. ...
  • 02:53 PM - Morrus quoted Jer in post Pathfinder 2E's New Death & Dying Rules; More on Resonance
    I have a question here, because I have been wondering if this is actually a problem in Pathfinder or not. Are people actually complaining about the Christmas Tree effect in Pathfinder? Or is this a perceived problem that is being carried over from other d20 games and there's an assumption that there's a problem? I ask because I can't believe that gamers are uniform in their hatred of the 3e Magical Item Christmas Tree effect. There have to be a portion of gamers who actually like it because there isn't anything in D&D that gets 100% uniformity of opinion. Maybe they're a tiny group, but I expect them to exist. And if they exist I'd expect that they might have migrated to Pathfinder. Because that's the system that supports that style of play. So I'd be curious to know if it's actually perceived as a problem at the table for Pathfinder groups, or if it's a feature, or if it's not something anyone thinks about because it's just "how the game is played" and they work around it. I've a...

Tuesday, 13th March, 2018

  • 09:19 PM - Azzy quoted Jer in post A Look at the Duerger: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes Preview
    Mostly I suspect because there isn't a "classic" adventure centered on the duergar. The Drow early on had Lareth the Beautiful show up in Hommlet, as well as the D and Q series of modules, making them mysterious and horrible foes that kept getting cycled into products until Salvatore spun out Drizzt and cemented their place in D&D forever. The duergar have never really had that - they've always played second (or third, or fourth) fiddle to the drow when it comes to underdark threats. Just a nitpick, but Lareth the Beautiful was a human.
  • 07:57 PM - Ancalagon quoted Jer in post A Look at the Duerger: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes Preview
    Mostly I suspect because there isn't a "classic" adventure centered on the duergar. The Drow early on had Lareth the Beautiful show up in Hommlet, as well as the D and Q series of modules, making them mysterious and horrible foes that kept getting cycled into products until Salvatore spun out Drizzt and cemented their place in D&D forever. The duergar have never really had that - they've always played second (or third, or fourth) fiddle to the drow when it comes to underdark threats.Gates of firestorm peak featured duergar heavily. I don't know if that is classic or not but...
  • 07:07 PM - Prakriti quoted Jer in post A Look at the Duerger: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes Preview
    Mostly I suspect because there isn't a "classic" adventure centered on the duergar. It's a chicken-or-egg thing. Are the Duergar less popular because there are fewer adventures centered on them, or are fewer adventures centered on the Duergar because they're less popular? Personally, I think it's the latter. Drow, like vampires, are more popular because they have something dwarves don't: sex appeal. Just look at the fantasy genre in general. Can you imagine a Twilight where Bella falls in love with a hot dwarf boy? What about Anne Rice's Interview with a Dwarven Miner? Or Buffy the Dwarf Slayer? Again, it's all about sex appeal. Drow have it, Duergar don't.
  • 06:39 PM - The Thrasson quoted Jer in post A Look at the Duerger: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes Preview
    Mostly I suspect because there isn't a "classic" adventure centered on the duergar. The Drow early on had Lareth the Beautiful show up in Hommlet, as well as the D and Q series of modules, making them mysterious and horrible foes that kept getting cycled into products until Salvatore spun out Drizzt and cemented their place in D&D forever. The duergar have never really had that - they've always played second (or third, or fourth) fiddle to the drow when it comes to underdark threats. They mainly occupy the middle and lowerdark. Their interaction with the surface world is less frequent than other underdark races. I would like them to have a little more "surface world" affecting scenario. Maybe an uneasy alliance with the Githyanki for an underdark cleansing crusade against the hated Illithid. Some PCs being dragged along for the ride, could be quite epic.
  • 06:13 PM - Kobold Avenger quoted Jer in post A Look at the Duerger: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes Preview
    The duergar have never really had that - they've always played second (or third, or fourth) fiddle to the drow when it comes to underdark threats. They're 4th, the Illithids and Beholders as underdark threats certainly rate above Duergar.

Sunday, 11th March, 2018

  • 06:01 AM - Parmandur quoted Jer in post D&D Beyond: Raven Queen
    Honestly I thought I had read somewhere that The Raven Queen was basically Wee Jas put through the "Ultimate Marvel"-type filter that the rest of D&D was put through for 4e. I can't find the source now, but I was sure there was an interview or something where someone copped to Wee Jas as at least a major influence on the Raven Queen for 4e.Pretty sure this is stated explicitly in the 5E DMG, where the Nentir Vale pantheon is used as an example for Homebrewing a pantheon.

Saturday, 10th March, 2018

  • 09:08 AM - Lanefan quoted Jer in post What makes a D&D game have a 1E feel?
    What that term means for me is "survivalist". You're in a world where everything is trying to kill you and your goal is to kill them first - generally by accumulating power and wealth. Because that's how the AD&D 1e players played the game around me in the early 80s. It was often fun at the time, but I drifted away from that style with my own B/X D&D games where the players tended to want to be more "heroic" - more "save the princess" less "grub in a hole in the ground and hope we find a magic sword". Of course, you could always grub in a hole in the ground and hope you find a princess... :)


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