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    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 05:08 PM
    What we used to do at my table back in the day (when this problem was more common - back before 3e) was to design adventures around the average party level instead of the max or min party level. From what you're describing you've got an average party level of a little over 3, so I'd probably throw them into a 3rd-4th level adventure together. You've got the right mix to make that work too - if...
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Wednesday, 17th October, 2018


Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018


Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 09:36 PM - Mercurius mentioned Jer in post Speculating on the Future of D&D
    Really nicely characterized Jer. The only place where we might differ is in our understanding and usage of ďkitchen sink.Ē I see it as a term for a setting that is not tightly thematic ala Dark Sun, but offers a wide range of cultures and themes and emphasizes diversity of play options over specific thematic flavor. So while I agree with (and really like) your take on Greyhawk and FR, I consider both to be kitchen sink settings that offer a wide range of cultures and themes to choose from, even if the Realms might be a more ďextreme kitchen sinkĒ and Greyhawk a bit more specific in thematic flavor.

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, 17th October, 2018

  • 03:55 PM - Egg Embry quoted Jer in post Storytellers Vault Roundup: Savannah by Night Storytellerís & Playerís Guide; Humble Bundle
    Can anyone explain what the subscription here means? I looked around for a review of what a subscription on WorldOfDarkness.com gives you as far as these eBook titles and I'm not finding much. What kind of format are these books in? Is it some kind of dedicated webreader or some kind of Adobe DRM PDFs (like Overdrive uses) or something else? As a part of the review, I bought the Humble Bundle and signed into the WorldOfDarkness.com store (they also have a direct link that says Redeem Your Bundle) and entered the code that Humble Bundle provided. Under My Subscriptions on WorldOfDarkness.com, you have access to a large number of WoD titles (more than the Humble Bundle I purchased). You can click on any title, it loads in-browser, and, while it scrolled as smoothly as a PDF file, it appears each page is an individual JPEG or PNG. There is no offline option with this subscription. I hope that helps. Thanks, Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer

Friday, 5th October, 2018

  • 04:30 PM - Thomas Bowman quoted Jer in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    I'm a big fan of Pelgrane's Owl Hoot Trail - https://site.pelgranepress.com/index.php/owl-hoot-trail/ It uses a stripped down and reskinned d20 ruleset (3 stats - Draw, Grit and Wits - and a handful of skills) to give you a fantasy/horror version of western tropes. You can cut out the elves, orcs, dwarves and halflings and have something a bit closer to historical, or just go for the "fantasy western" setting whole hog. It's a tight little game for one shots - I've never tried to run a campaign with it. (Deadlands is of course the gorilla on the block when it comes to fantasy/horror western games. My table prefers rolling d20s where they can, and Deadlands is more alt-history instead of pure fantasy, so on both counts my group's preferences lean towards OHT over Deadlands). Billy the Kid versus Dracula, who wins?

Monday, 3rd September, 2018

  • 02:13 PM - Starfox quoted Jer in post PF2 Peeves
    That's what all golden ages are... I could not settle between xp and laugh for this. I often find I want to do both. This one ended up as a laugh, but I think its worth xp too. :o

Saturday, 1st September, 2018

  • 05:18 AM - 77IM quoted Jer in post There's A New Edition of Savage Worlds Coming!
    How much has Savage Worlds changed across those publications? I'm not a huge Savage Worlds guy - I'll play it at cons and I have one of the Explorer's Editions on my shelf (couldn't tell you if it was Deluxe or not without digging it out) along with a smattering of supplements. Are those different editions or just repackaging the rules into new printings? They are more like heavy revisions than new editions; as a point of comparison, in most cases, the changes are less extreme than what D&D saw in the 3.0 -> 3.5 changes, but more extreme than the current accumulation of 5e errata. Examples of some of the biggest changes: In the Explorer's Edition, damage values changed. Ranged damage went from being something like 1d6+3 to just being 2d6, and melee damage went from being Str+3 to Str+1d6 (where "Str" is a polyhedral die, d4 through d12). In the Deluxe Edition, the Guts skill was made a setting variant, and its use was replaced with a Spirit attribute check for the general game....

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 10:31 PM - billd91 quoted Jer in post biggest issue with PF2 playtest
    If so, they can do the New Coke/Coke Classic marketing move and try to go back to supporting PF1 I suppose. Not realistically, no. How much would they have to retread to continue to support PF1? The rules are out there, and a bit bloaty with feats, spell, and character classes. If PF2 ends up being a reach too far (like 4e was for WotC), they'd still be in a position of having to do something to refresh the rules so we'd be well-encouraged to buy again...perhaps dialing in the changes a bit (I still like the 3 action economy, barring anything else being changed) and clarifying as much as they can around the sticky bits in the rules. Sustaining the company on a 10 year old rule set that has probably saturated its likely market isn't going to happen. Some kind of retreading or reissuing will almost certainly have to occur to avoid major layoffs - and they'd still be accused of just making a "cash grab" by obnoxious gamers.

Monday, 20th August, 2018

  • 09:26 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Jer in post D&D = American + European Fantasy
    I think you're missing the impact of the Western on Dungeons and Dragons. I personally think there's a lot of Western influence on the game, and not all of it comes filtered through Robert E Howard's Conan stories (which - IMO at least - are basically Robert E Howard's Western stories but set in a pseudo-historical fantasy world). Westerns are hugely influential on both the American fantasy authors as well as superheroes. The pulps published all sorts of things. Zorro, for instance, directly influenced characters like Batman and the Shadow. REH clearly read a lot of them, and I seem to recall wrote some, too. There are other notable influences, such as Miguel Cervantes (Don Quixote, Rinconete y Cortadillo) and the Kalevala (both directly because EGG was a fan, and indirectly through both JRR Tolkien and Michael Moorcock).
  • 04:27 PM - lyle.spade quoted Jer in post D&D = American + European Fantasy
    I think you're missing the impact of the Western on Dungeons and Dragons. I personally think there's a lot of Western influence on the game, and not all of it comes filtered through Robert E Howard's Conan stories (which - IMO at least - are basically Robert E Howard's Western stories but set in a pseudo-historical fantasy world). That's a really good point.

Friday, 17th August, 2018

  • 07:24 PM - Barantor quoted Jer in post SJG's The Fantasy Trip Opens To 3rd-Party Creators
    If this works for them, I would not be surprised to see them to something similar with GURPS. Dungeon Fantasy (powered by GURPS) just had it's first real adventure module delivered from Kickstarter called "Hall of Judgement" by Douglas H Cole. This did pretty well considering how Dungeon Fantasy evidently didn't do as well as expected and really is a sign that SJG might be opening it's doors more and more to third party writers/creators in the future. My hope is that it happens since GURPS itself is solid, but gets mired in it's own companies books and lack of one focus.

Saturday, 11th August, 2018

  • 05:12 AM - ccs quoted Jer in post Two thoughts on Pathfinder 2e playtest
    (I do think that there's an argument to be made that the playtest rules feel like they are too "game designer" focused rather than for a more 'general audience'. I don't know if that's because it's a playtest document or if they're making the same "mistake" that Wizards did with 4th edition in that respect, but I can see it.) It's a playtest. It damn well better be game designer focused.

Friday, 10th August, 2018

  • 09:51 PM - Abstruse quoted Jer in post News Digest: Starfinder Beginner's Box, The Late Show D&D Segment, Several Big "Miniatures" Announced, and more!
    I recently acquired a copy of the Starfinder Core Rules, but there's no way I'll convince my gaming group to play it based on the core rules - it's just too much for a one-shot and honestly too much game for where they are right now as players (and we're in the middle of a campaign anyway). But if the Starfinder Beginner Box is as good at explaining the minimum you need to start playing for Starfinder as the original Pathfinder Box was for Pathfinder, I might be able to convince them to give it a go. If it's remotely as good as the Pathfinder box, it's a pretty good value even if you are already playing and know the rules. An extra rulebook to pass around the table, dry/wet erase flip maps, and the stand-up cardboard pawns alone make it worthwhile.
  • 09:38 PM - Parmandur quoted Jer in post Two thoughts on Pathfinder 2e playtest
    The trick is that the formula there is almost exactly what it was in 3e, except that they've given names to all of the different kinds of bonuses and penalties. From a game designer perspective it makes sense - you want to be as precise as possible when you're designing the game. From a game learner perspective it looks kind of ridiculous when it's spelled out like that. If the formula were written as: number on the die + ability modifier + proficiency modifier + circumstance/conditional/item bonuses - circumstance/conditional/item penalties it would be less weird. If it were: number on the die + ability modifier + proficiency modifier + bonuses - penalties It would be basically describing D&D since 3e. Though 5e worked to get rid of a lot of bonuses/penalties by introducing the advantage/disadvantage mechanic - though arguments can be made that that mechanic doesn't have enough granularity compared to bonuses and penalties. (I do think that there's an argument to be ...
  • 05:19 PM - robus quoted Jer in post Two thoughts on Pathfinder 2e playtest
    It would be basically describing D&D since 3e. Though 5e worked to get rid of a lot of bonuses/penalties by introducing the advantage/disadvantage mechanic - though arguments can be made that that mechanic doesn't have enough granularity compared to bonuses and penalties. Huh - looks like Pathfinder does include an advantage/disadvantage mechanic also! ROLLING TWICE AND REROLLS Fortune and misfortune effects can alter how you roll your dice. These abilities might allow you to reroll a failed roll, force you to reroll a successful roll, allow you to roll twice and take the higher result, or force you to roll twice and take the lower result. You can never have more than one fortune or misfortune effect come into play on a single roll. For instance, if you roll twice and take the higher roll, you canít use Halfling Luck to reroll if you still fail. If multiple fortune effects would apply, you have to pick which to use. If two misfortune effects apply, the GM decides which is worse...
  • 05:16 PM - robus quoted Jer in post Two thoughts on Pathfinder 2e playtest
    It would be basically describing D&D since 3e. Though 5e worked to get rid of a lot of bonuses/penalties by introducing the advantage/disadvantage mechanic - though arguments can be made that that mechanic doesn't have enough granularity as bonuses and penalties do). Given the imaginary nature of the game I think the advantage/disadvantage gives just the right amount of granularity. (I do think that there's an argument to be made that the playtest rules feel like they are too "game designer" focused rather than for a more 'general audience'. I don't know if that's because it's a playtest document or if they're making the same "mistake" that Wizards did with 4th edition in that respect, but I can see it.) Well said. It's a sign of who these books are marketed to that the "Playing the Game" chapter doesn't appear until page 290! :D

Thursday, 9th August, 2018

  • 03:22 PM - zztong quoted Jer in post Itís LAUNCH DAY For The Pathfinder 2 Playtest!
    Thanks for the play report - but you missed one question that I'd like to know which is "was it fun for you or not?" Hanging out with friends is always fun. The game? I would say I was just as happy throwing dice and moving pieces as I would have been with any other RPG. I would have been equally happy with D&D 1e, 2e, 3/3.5e, or PF1e. I've only played D&D 5e once, but it would probably fine too. Oh - so like my experiences with most editions of D&D then :) Hehe. Normally my go-to character for a first game is a Ranger. I couldn't make a Ranger concept work well enough in PF2e, plus we needed a Wizard for a balanced party. The PF2e Universalist Wizard seemed close to the PF1e Universalist Wizard. yeah - just reading through the rules I wondered how much different it would feel at the table vs. during character creation at low levels. I don't have any of the books handy - did you cast any spells that required multiple actions to cast? And if so did that trip things up at all? I onl...

Tuesday, 7th August, 2018

  • 06:41 PM - Parmandur quoted Jer in post The playtest is here!!
    Why would you want to play Pathfinder if you didn't want crunch minutiae? In my mind that's what the PF brand is - it's the version of the game that is for players who like massive amounts of crunchy options in their games. The folks for whom 5e is too streamlined and doesn't provide enough options. Streaming would be difficult with that kind of brand, I think. You'd need to find listeners who are interested as much in the crunchy rules tabletalk as the narrative. I don't know, but I suspect that's a much smaller audience than the audience for streaming overall. (Although I will admit that I always enjoyed the "leveling up" episodes of The Adventure Zone when they were in their 5th edition campaign and hearing them make choices and adjust their character sheets. I'm probably the weird one there tho.). (I also think looking over the playtest document that they might be misunderstanding their audience a bit - the playtest rules are way too "cleanly" laid out and that, combined ...
  • 05:45 PM - Reynard quoted Jer in post Itís LAUNCH DAY For The Pathfinder 2 Playtest!
    There's a reason why this is the "Pathfinder 2 Playtest" and not the "Pathfinder 2nd edition". There are a lot of things like this that are minor in the grand scheme of things but very important for certain audiences that you will only catch in a mass playtest looking at the whole game rather than in small playtests that are focused on mechanics. This ^^^ is super important. It is a PLAYtest. People should probably restrain themselves from tweaking rules and theory theorycrafting and actually play. At least build a couple dozen PCs of various levels and class/ancestry combinations. Learn the game. Use it. Test it. Report it.

Saturday, 28th July, 2018

  • 01:45 AM - devincutler quoted Jer in post Sage Advice: Plane and world hopping (includes how Eberron and Ravnica fit in D&D cosmology)
    Now that is interesting. But I assume that you don't travel via a Spelljammer but rather via some kind of gate or plane shift spell? I don't object to a multiverse. I object to the Crystal Sphere model as being "the model" of how space works for all worlds. It's an overly restrictive solution to solve the problem of "why does the way the stars work in Dragonlance not impact other settings" when connecting the worlds together via fantasy space travel - and that's really the only reason it exists. Without Krynn and its problem of stars that move in the sky based on the actions of the gods, you don't need crystal spheres and you can just have fantasy space travel. SPOILERS FOR DDO: You essentially use the gates between the worlds Lolth opened, navigating the Demonweb with Elminster's help (fun adventure tromping along the Demonweb!). Once in Faerun, you are able to traverse back and forth via a planar gate or a magic key.
  • 01:03 AM - Charlaquin quoted Jer in post Multiclassing unveiled... through archetypes.
    How many feats do characters get in PF2? Has there been a preview discussing that yet? Remember, there are multiple categories of Feats now. So, since you get some kind of Feat once every level and two different kinds of feats on even levels, you total 30 Feats overall at 20th level (40 for rogues). But that's not exactly useful information, because you can only take certain types of Feats at certain levels. What's more useful to know is that you get 10 Class Feats, 10 Skill Feats (20 for rogues), 5 General Feats (which can be used to take additional Skill Feats if you want) and 5 Ancestry Feats. Class Feats are the ones you swap for Archetypes, including Prestige Archetypes and Multiclass Archetypes.
  • 12:52 AM - Demetrios1453 quoted Jer in post Sage Advice: Plane and world hopping (includes how Eberron and Ravnica fit in D&D cosmology)
    Now that is interesting. But I assume that you don't travel via a Spelljammer but rather via some kind of gate or plane shift spell? I don't object to a multiverse. I object to the Crystal Sphere model as being "the model" of how space works for all worlds. It's an overly restrictive solution to solve the problem of "why does the way the stars work in Dragonlance not impact other settings" when connecting the worlds together via fantasy space travel - and that's really the only reason it exists. Without Krynn and its problem of stars that move in the sky based on the actions of the gods, you don't need crystal spheres and you can just have fantasy space travel.Actually, Dragonlance's stars that moved were explained in Spelljammer, as it was stated that what exactly the stars were varied from sphere to sphere. In some spheres (like Realmspace) they were gateways to the Quasi-elemental Plane of Radiance (presumably that would be changed to the Positive Energy Plane today), but in others...

Friday, 27th July, 2018



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