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    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 06:29 PM
    Since others have pointed out half of an answer to your question, I'll try my hand at the other half: As far as a submission based adventure anthology goes - I think the OGL model kind of killed it. Without the D&D branding what do you have? A curated selection of short d20 adventures. Which you could get at the time from a variety of different publishers as standalone products rather...
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 03:29 PM
    Personally I think it varies from group to group and even from game to game with the same group. It depends on how much collaborative storytelling the group wants to do vs. playing avatars in a game world. If they're into collaborative storytelling for the game, it's going to be very much "yes and" all over the place and input about character moments are not just going to be appreciated but...
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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 “kitchen sink.” 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 “extreme kitchen sink” 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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Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 08:30 PM - Prakriti quoted Jer in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    It kind of depends on how they view the purpose of these Start Sets. ... It's like the bazillion themed Monopoly sets that they put out What it is is really smart marketing, and not something I could have predicted even after the Stranger Things Starter Set. No, we don't need a flood of sub-par themed Starter Sets (D&D: Mama's Family -- help wise-crackin' Mama recover her stolen gold from a horde of goblins! / Desperate Housewives: Waterdeep Edition -- navigate the suburbs of Waterdeep to become the perfect Waterdhavian hausfrau!). But 1 or 2 per year? That's genius, and likely to result in a lot of new players.
  • 07:45 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Jer in post The New Dungeons & Dragons Storyline for 2019 Leaked Ahead of Live Stream
    "Go directly to hell, heretic; do not pass go, do not collect $200" (As an aside - I just discovered while looking for a suitably crazy Monopoly example that Warhammer 40K Monopoly exists. I can't decide if that's amazing, stupid, amazingly stupid or stupidly amazing...)

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 08:24 PM - Staffan quoted Jer in post Warhammer 40K Wrath & Glory Now To Be Produced By... Cubicle 7!
    Aysle kickstarter? I'm getting more and more concerned about fulfillment on the Nile kickstarter - which is done except for the printing and shipping of physical products. I was getting a little concerned about this, thinking it's been a long while, particularly with the W&G stuff going on. But then I went and checked the Kickstarter page and saw: The announced delivery date of the physical material was supposed to be May 2019, so it's not behind schedule, and According to posts in the comments section there, they are in the process of packing it. So they appear to be on schedule.

Saturday, 4th May, 2019

  • 09:21 AM - CapnZapp quoted Jer in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    I admit I'm surprised - this is Paizo signalling that they're willing to give up on having their own game line and go back to being a D&D 3rd party publisher. If they're going to do that why bother with a major revision for second edition PF at all? Why not just clean up Pathfinder into a 1.5 edition and dual-stat their books for Pathfinder and 5e? Or alternatively, why aren't they making a Pathfinder 2 that hews closely to 5E while not claiming exact compatibility; offering greater play crunch with only a small hurdle (since the game offers all the great improvements 5E brought to the table: fixed LFQW, easy monster prep, even a version of bounded accuracy that's just not as bounded, true tanks and damage dealers, magic item pricing, deeper tactical experience with high-level monsters built to withstand player abilities and do much more [emoji3]
  • 04:30 AM - MNblockhead quoted Jer in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    I admit I'm surprised - this is Paizo signalling that they're willing to give up on having their own game line and go back to being a D&D 3rd party publisher. If they're going to do that why bother with a major revision for second edition PF at all? Why not just clean up Pathfinder into a 1.5 edition and dual-stat their books for Pathfinder and 5e? Well, I don't think they'll give up on the their own game line just yet, but they do seem to be hedging their bets. Starfinder is their own system so that's another hedge.

Friday, 3rd May, 2019

  • 04:08 PM - kenmarable quoted Jer in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    Why bother with a second edition at all tho if you're just going to make it "Advanced 5e"? Why not just put out an "Advanced Player's Guide" for D&D 5e if you're just going to start from the 5e base? Much lower buy-in that way - you're not asking folks to change to an entirely new game, you're giving them more options for a game they already play. An "Advanced Player's Guide" for 5e would be an interesting book, but it's just that - 1 book. That's not what Paizo is doing. They have always positioned themselves as an entire alternative RPG with multiple product lines that is more complex that D&D for those who want it. They have never been and are not interested in being "D&D plus some options." Considering how many years they have been going strong and how they outclass nearly every other RPG publisher out there other than WotC (and did even better than WotC for a while, too), it seems to be working pretty well for them.
  • 03:07 PM - Parmandur quoted Jer in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    If it's good, it's pretty much guaranteed to outsell the PF2 product. Because there are a lot more 5e players than PF players to start with, and not all of them will transition to PF2. I admit I'm surprised - this is Paizo signalling that they're willing to give up on having their own game line and go back to being a D&D 3rd party publisher. If they're going to do that why bother with a major revision for second edition PF at all? Why not just clean up Pathfinder into a 1.5 edition and dual-stat their books for Pathfinder and 5e? Well, if the major revision doesn't pan out financially, it is good to have something solid to fall back on.

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 05:48 PM - DEFCON 1 quoted Jer in post How far is too far when describing what a PC senses and feels?
    Personally I think it varies from group to group and even from game to game with the same group. It depends on how much collaborative storytelling the group wants to do vs. playing avatars in a game world. If they're into collaborative storytelling for the game, it's going to be very much "yes and" all over the place and input about character moments are not just going to be appreciated but expected (and not just from the GM, but from other players at the table as well). This is precisely how it is at my tables. We are mostly all theater people, some of us are also longtime improvisers. I will make offers on how the PCs might feel about the situations they are in all the time. The players can then choose to accept it and add on additional material, or say "Well, actually..." and make a different offer to what they think (which I will then accept wholeheartedly.) I don't force anyone to take what I give them, but I also don't pretend as though a default emotion or thought for the...
  • 03:35 PM - robus quoted Jer in post How far is too far when describing what a PC senses and feels?
    That's one of the things that is interesting about listening to games like Critical Role or TAZ - they're a group of performers who are doing improvisational theater using RPG rules as a basis for their improv. That's a different dynamic from the type of gaming I grew up doing - where it's much less about collaborative storytelling and much more about the GM dictating the world and the players dictating how their avatars react to the world. I don't know if it's because they're performers building an entertainment for an audience, or if they just come from a different RPG background than I do, but it does mean that not everything that Matt Mercer or Griffin McElroy does at their table would be appreciated or wanted by the players at mine. I think you've nailed it as far as those tables are concerned. There is a tremendous amount of trust among the players and DM and that most likely comes from their improv/acting experience. Trying that with a regular group would probably end quite...

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 11:56 PM - Zardnaar quoted Jer in post Why is the shortest lived edition, still one of the most popular?
    I reject this premise. As an avid player of what is described as both B/X and BECMI D&D from about 1981 through, well, 3rd edition D&D hitting the stands, I never perceived a real difference in the rules of B/X or BECMI - they were the same game for the levels that they shared in common. Metzner's Basic didn't fundamentally change any of the rules of Moldvay's Basic - it presented them in a different way. Any rule changes that were there were minor and nothing like the difference in editions of AD&D. Metzner's Expert vs. the Moldvay/Cook eXpert set was similar in the minuscule nature of difference between them beyond organization. As far as we were concerned they were the same game and someone coming to the table with either sets of rulebooks would be able to make characters and play. (And the Moldvay/Cook Expert set promised a Companion set in the future - and we always took Metzner's Companion set to be the payoff for that promise, because we didn't know any better back in the da...
  • 11:41 PM - Staffan quoted Jer in post What Would You Want from PF2?
    Actually we need Pathfinder 2e to be more like D&D 4e, so those of us who preferred 4e to 5e will have a home :) (Note that this is just a joke. I do not advocate that Pathfinder 2e actually be a D&D 4e replacement. You do not need to give me bullet-points about why this would be a terrible idea.) At least in the playtest, there are several things about PF2 that do remind me of 4e, such as steadily getting better at everything by becoming higher level, class abilities mostly being selectable, and most classes having a similar skeleton but with different things with which to fill it. Of course, this is to be expected, since both are attempts at fixing the flaws in 3e, and it makes sense that some of those flaws would get fixed in similar ways.
  • 10:18 PM - Retreater quoted Jer in post What Would You Want from PF2?
    Actually we need Pathfinder 2e to be more like D&D 4e, so those of us who preferred 4e to 5e will have a home :) (Note that this is just a joke. I do not advocate that Pathfinder 2e actually be a D&D 4e replacement. You do not need to give me bullet-points about why this would be a terrible idea.) I know you're joking, but as a fan of 4e, I would actually appreciate a 5e with a little more tactical depth and more character options - something to bridge the divide between 4e and 5e (or even PF and 5e). 5e has basically turned into "I run up to the monster and swat at the big bag of hit points until it dies" for my groups. I would LOVE a more mechanically interesting 5e, as would most of my players.

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 08:55 AM - S'mon quoted Jer in post Keep On The Borderline
    Another one that I've used more than a few times in that way is actually B3 - Palace of the Silver Princess. Most recently for 4th edition - I took the basic idea but turned it into a battle between two of the Archfey - with the assault and occupation of the palace and the kidnapping of the Princess and her consort as "political" maneuvers between them. It worked out really well, even if I did basically have to scrap the lower level nonsense map and replace it with something more sane, the basic framework was solid enough to use it as a basis for the adventure. I never liked KotB much - the Keep is good except for lack of names, but with a couple hundred soldiers it doesn't make sense as a low level base; it should have cleared out the Caves of Chaos long ago. set it up as on the Borderland of a mid-high level zone, with eg G1 Against the Giants as the threat (at least 2 days' travel away), and it makes a lot more sense. I always found the Caves a bit lame anyway; the endless hordes ...

Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019

  • 10:37 PM - pemerton quoted Jer in post Keep On The Borderline
    Interesting. I've had exactly the opposite experience. I have also used X2 twice in the last 20 years but both times I reworked it similar to how I'm understanding that you reworked B2 - I took the idea of the Chateau, dropped the dungeon crawl aspect (at least on the main floor - the basement dungeon just worked), and use it as a horror-themed adventure with a weird family in a "haunted" house that sits outside of space and time due to their meddling with entities who should not be meddled with. Then the players got dumped out into the parallel world of Averogine which I modified with some inspiration from Ravenloft. To me all of that was already in the module - it just takes some teasing the ideas out of the dungeon crawl framework that Moldvay had to bash it into to make it work with D&D in the early 80s.That's the sort of thing that (as per my post upthread) I've not worked out how to do! Another possible difference, but may be not - with B2 I've always been able to (re)work it ...

Tuesday, 26th March, 2019

  • 06:23 PM - 5ekyu quoted Jer in post 2d10 for Skill Checks
    Well, no. Not in the way the rules work at the table in D&D anyway. The skill system is binary - you either do it or you don't. An encounter that depends on skill checks often depends on the character making a single skill check - so if you get a bad roll you've outright failed. Trying to pick a pocket or negotiate with a noble or whatever and roll a 1? Well, that's an outright failure and now you have to deal with the consequences. Individual attacks are also binary - you either hit or you don't. But a combat encounter is a series of rolls where if you get a bad roll it's going to be okay because you'll be making a lot of rolls and over the entire encounter it'll usually average out. The variation doesn't feel as bad in combat because rolling low on an attack doesn't mean that you've failed, it just means that you missed this round and you'll get another turn soon to make up for it. Saves are similar - as long as the "save or die" effects are removed from the game failing one...

Thursday, 7th March, 2019

  • 12:55 AM - Abstruse quoted Jer in post Fallout Tabletop RPG Announced from Modiphius
    In addition, Fallout is acknowledged to have been heavily inspired by the CRPG Wasteland, which was developed by Michael Stackpole and Ken St. Andre and used a Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes/Tunnels and Trolls derived system. So in some ways this is Fallout coming back to the tabletop. Yeah, Fallout has spent its entire lifetime dancing just beside tabletop RPGs but never quite crossing over until now. Or until this summer, anyway. I don't want to jinx it because we've been this close before. Fun Fact: A while back, EN World did the "RPG a Day" thing where a bunch of us answered different questions about RPGs. One was "What classic RPG would you like to see in print again?" I said West End Games Star Wars and said it would be impossible due to rights. Another was "What licensed property would you want to see made into an RPG?" My answer was Fallout. And now, BOTH have happened!

Friday, 1st March, 2019

  • 04:15 AM - Wik quoted Jer in post The New D&D Book Is Called "Ghosts of Saltmarsh" [UPDATED!]
    It came out of TSR UK, who had a different perspective on the game. One that was actually pretty ahead of its time in a lot of ways. The first Saltmarsh book and Blade of Vengeance where both modules I had as a young nerd running the game for my friends. Later I'd pick up Nights Dark Terror, also out of TSR UK. Any of them are excellent adventures that I'll pull out again and again to either use straight-up or mine for ideas. (I didn't get the rest of the Saltmarsh trilogy until much later in life and haven't really done much with them - but that first one I've run straight up and tweaked to use in a Ravenloft game and strip mined for a more modern setting game - it's a pretty versatile little scenario). Nights Dark Terror is an often missed gem. Several years ago, I played through the last half of it with Lanefan DMing. Was a highlight of his campaign. If I could find a copy of the book for under a hundred bucks, I'd pick it up. WotC will never reprint the thing, though - it...

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

  • 11:36 PM - Jester David quoted Jer in post Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?
    I'm not so surprised. The question that they have in front of them right now is "where is the value for the Pathfinder brand?" If the Pathfinder brand is mainly a tabletop RPG brand, then it would make sense to latch onto D&D and put out 5e supplements of their Adventure Paths and supplemental books to extend the 5e engine into areas that Wizards isn't interested in taking it. But if the Pathfinder brand is a whole product line brand, then giving up their own game engine becomes problematic. How does that tie into other tabletop gaming (like card games and the like)? How does it tie into other media, like video games? How does it impact the rest of their business? From a business model standpoint, reverting back to being a company that supports D&D may not actually make sense in the big picture, even if it looks like the obvious move from the perspective of the tabletop RPG side of things. They don’t need to pick one Edition over the other. They can keep doing what they’re doing now...

Thursday, 24th January, 2019

  • 03:54 PM - Jhaelen quoted Jer in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    But even in its original incarnation, you were expected to play "tougher" characters than average. I don't have my books handy right now, but I seem to recall that in the original 2e version characters started somewhere around 3rd level.Correct. But 2e also introduced 'character trees', i.e. it was recommended that each player create several player characters to be able to quickly replace characters meeting an unexpected early demise. Iirc, whenever the character you were playing actively gained a level-up you were allowed to level-up one of your other characters, as well. In my 2e Dark Sun campaign this was an important feature, especially since there were several low level critters with insanely powerful psionic powers. Also, traveling across the desert areas was really dangerous, both due to environmental hazards and the fauna. 4e Dark Sun felt much less deadly. The system was too well balanced ;-)

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019

  • 10:16 PM - Retreater quoted Jer in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    (Another problem many folks have with 4e that comes from the same root is if they aren't interested in that particular narrative style. If you don't want to play a high heroic fantasy game, 4e requires a lot of tweaking. If you're in the mood for gritty realism it's probably the wrong game for you because the narrative it was built to support isn't gritty realism. You can make it work, but it requires you to make it work - it isn't there out of the box. For the same reason it's also not a good fit for a "zeroes to heroes" campaign which for some people is D&D. So I understand why many folks have issues with the engine, even if I consider it the best version of D&D so far for my table - because my campaigns tend to all be either high heroic or outright gonzo kitchen-sink fantasy, which 4e is able to do very, very well.) I thought Dark Sun in 4e was the best version of it, and it certainly was grittier than the standard 4e game.


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