View Profile: Jan van Leyden - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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About Jan van Leyden

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June 22, 1961 (57)
About Jan van Leyden
Experience game master wants to play - and may run one more campaign.
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Over 40
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Wednesday, 3rd December, 2014

  • 08:12 AM - Lindeloef mentioned Jan van Leyden in post Session Report: End of an Story Arc
    ...rvant from a quarantine zone. A local crimeboss supposedly knew where the servant was so the group sought him out. The crimeboss also had some weird blueprints for a device that is screwed onto the spine of a living being to mind control it which the jesters were after. The new addition was a Jester that had a Jack o lantern for his head while swinging a flail around and throwing sharks that exploded into acid. The patches of fire and acid endangered the life of the crimeboss too so the group had to play around those zones keeping themselves and the boss save. 3rd time the group broke into a vault of a noble family as they (unbeknownst to the family) had an art piece that had an ancient spell in it to mindcontrol a large group of people. The newest addition to the Jesters was a Hellequin. A Bruiser that punched the group good and threw orca whales that exploded into ice. This fight the group only survived by the skin of their teeth. 3 crits in a row from the downed Avenger (played by Jan van Leyden) ended the fight in the players favor and avoiding a TPK. (Crit on his death saving throw, and then 2 crits on attacks killing the last 2 Jesters standing) ############# # Actual Report # ########### After some (more or less) glorious gathering of components for a self-made bomb, dwarven ruins on the way and some minor hindrances the group arrived at the jester base. They were then greeted by some portals that would teleport you to a different room at random. After some trial and error (and fighting some foes on the way) the groups mage figured out that it is possible to select where those portals will bring you to and she was able to guide the rest of the group to the heart of the jester base. While scouting around, the Jesters arrived and again another member among their midst. A dolphin with a monocle wearing a pope hat and a minigun on its shoulder. One player of course started protesting that this is ridiculous. "Where does he get the ammunition for it?" (I am proud of my play...

Wednesday, 12th February, 2014

  • 04:55 PM - Cadence mentioned Jan van Leyden in post 2014: The End of Character Classes?
    A metagame note: I see D&D classes as having, among others, the function of providing power balance between characters by dictating what features your character can and cannot have. I like the (vague) power balancing and how they provide what @Hyper-Man described as 'some type of party "schtick" preservation'. I also like having a common language like @Dungeoneer and @Jan van Leyden. On the other hand I also like how some D&D versions have had advice on customizing the classes (like the 2e DMG), and I'm hoping the Advanced Class Guide for PF will have something similar. That gives the experienced players and DM the option without overturning the whole apple-cart. So, for example, a min-maxer can't take all attack bonus and then add several attack bonus-boosting spells to his character. Well, 1) Is it so wrong if I want my character to be good at only one thing (attacking)? 2) Do I need an invisible hand to guide me away from making an unbalanced/useless character? 3) Shouldn't the GM be taking responsibility for these things? 1) Yes if boring munchkin = wrong? ;) No if everyone at the table likes hyper-optimized death dealers. 2) You might not, but I think lots of players do. Lot of useless class-guides out there otherwise. 3) Doesn't the GM have enough on their plate already to have to do that for every single character?

Monday, 27th January, 2014

  • 04:36 PM - Ratskinner mentioned Jan van Leyden in post Legends & Lore: A Few Rules Updates
    My general thought is...meh. The one thing that I truly think is important and beneficial is the changes in the action rules. Multiple actions in D&D is, I think, a place ripe for generating both massive inequities and long laborious turns. Keeping that contained is a very good idea, IMO. IME with Fate, things like multiple attacks/weapons/actions are very effectively handled with simple flavor adjustments and perhaps a small mechanical adjustment/feature. As Jan van Leyden noted upthread: "don't simulate, subsume".

Sunday, 26th January, 2014

  • 09:43 AM - Lindeloef mentioned Jan van Leyden in post It's D&D's 40th anniversary. Tell me your D&D history, and what it means to you!
    Compared to many folks around here, I'm kinda new to D&D (and all RPGs) since I didn't actually play the game till sometime in 2000. Can beat you there ^^ I started buying D&D(4e) stuff in September 2010 (easy to remember thanks to EnWorld). I watched a group streaming their Sessions online and was hooked. So I bought some Books and ran a face-to-face campaign for some friends once a month on a sunday with 8-10 hour sessions. Man I was horrible as the DM, relying on published Adventures and Dungeon Magazines. Sure we had fun, but it took a long time to get the rules right (though the monthly gaming didn't really help). I also did a lot of "Bad DMing" mistakes including Deus-Ex machina save for the party. But we had fun until half of the group couldn't make it anymore and the group fizzled out after a year. After dipping in playing like 3 Sessions of "the Dark Eye" in a face-to-face group, I started to recruit people for an online game in 2012 (including yours truly Jan van Leyden). And that group is still going (66% of founding members are still in it).

Friday, 17th January, 2014

  • 12:09 PM - Lindeloef mentioned Jan van Leyden in post Campaign Journals
    As a DM I am also often bummed out, when my players don't remember stuff. And most of them don't keep notes. I tried to make them do notes but that didn't work out. So I make them do a recap at the beginning of each session, of what happened last time. Thank god for our newest member in my current group, who takes some detailed notes. So atleast one of the players know their stuff and thereby the group. I like to plant upcoming stuff early on in the campaign. So lots of hints, that players can view back and in hindsight, it all makes sense. Of course my players don't connect these ever... but to be fair, who remembers stuff that some crazy DM mentioned on the side a year ago. So I only do it for me nowadays cause I have a blast with that. On the next Campaign, where we try out sharing DM duties (with Jan van Leyden and one other Person), we wanna have a Campaign wiki. There players could add information to characters they meet or put up other notes. Though I am very pessimistic that most of them will use it...

Saturday, 4th January, 2014

  • 10:34 PM - Lindeloef mentioned Jan van Leyden in post What are your D&D plans for 2014?
    Down the line my current 4e campaign should wrap up mid-paragon. To be honest I am really looking forward to it ending.... ...because Jan van Leyden and me are planning for the next 4e Campaign that will play in Ptolus. We try out taking turns DMing so that I can finally play in a D&D Campaign as a (part-time) player :)

Tuesday, 17th December, 2013

  • 09:22 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Jan van Leyden in post How about this for 5E Campaign Settings: "Classic Worlds of D&D"
    Jan van Leyden Yes, that's the sort of approach I was thinking. They could have a section in each adventure about how to adopt it for their main campaign settings. So, like with the cleric in the 5e playtest they use generic god titles, the same could be done with place names and then the setting appendix would explain how to customize those names and the adventure to suit each setting. I agree, however, that this might be a tall order. And it yet remains to be seen whether WOTC can return to adventures of the Red Hand of Doom's quality.

Monday, 16th December, 2013

  • 02:39 PM - Mercurius mentioned Jan van Leyden in post How about this for 5E Campaign Settings: "Classic Worlds of D&D"
    Dragonlance is an example of a setting that was "ruined" by the metaplot in novels. I didn't read past Legends, but didn't the timeline go another few hundred years with a couple more cycles of cataclysmic events? But the point here--and this is also in response to @Jan van Leyden --would be to present the setting in its most classic form, as a kind of platonic archetype that can be used by DMs as they desire, or simply enjoyed as a beautiful book and enjoyable read. So yeah, @trancejeremy , the key would be to bring in Bruce Heard for Mystara, or Hickman and Weis for Dragonlance, or use divinatory magic to consult with the spirit of E Gary to get the vintage Greyhawk vibe (or just steal liberally from the classic AD&D box set). @Hussar , if I was in charge of developing this product line, I would have the writers create a later chapter, even an extended appendix, that provides an overview of later developments in metaplot, which could be offered as a possible future to explore. But the Greyhawk book itself would be dialed back to before the wars, Dragonlance to the Chronicles period, or at least after Legends, and FR to the graybox period. @Yora , it is similar to 4E, but the key difference is that it wouldn't be updating the setting to 4E, but returni...

Thursday, 21st November, 2013

  • 11:11 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Jan van Leyden in post D&D Rules Compendium: How useful would it be to me?
    Jan van Leyden I can't speak to the quality of the PDF but the book itself is good. What I did is compressed the most commonly used information from there (and other sources) into a really sweet DM cheat sheet: I'm a big fan of less is more when it comes to managing book/papers while I'm DMing. I want only three things in front of me: 1) DM Screen: I print the first three pages of that cheat sheet in landscape format and insert them in my savage worlds customizable three panel landscape GM screen. It's awesome. 2) Adventure: Usually this is a tablet with uploaded PDF / Evernote of current adventure, along with any random encounter tables and list of NPCS names. Sometimes it's a printout, depending on my needs and time. 3) PC/Monster Cards: When I am prepared, I follow the suggestion of Sly Flourish to organize initiative with cards across the top of DM screen. These cards include the name & picture of each PC/monster and defense...
  • 09:08 AM - Lindeloef mentioned Jan van Leyden in post D&D Rules Compendium: How useful would it be to me?
    Yeah I am eyeballing that pdf too, btw. Full-text search is possible, right? Jan van Leyden The book is the only thing I bother to use, if I need to look sth up. (or i ask Roy look it up)

Friday, 30th August, 2013

  • 02:49 PM - Lindeloef mentioned Jan van Leyden in post Which 4E adventures did you play?
    Well, amongst those that have responded so far, Keep on the Shadowfell is by far the most played adventure. I can't say I'm surprised - it came out, for a lot of people, before the main rules came out and was the first real glimpse of what 4E was. Also it is free for download since *insert correct date in here* ;) Jan van Leyden You have participated in an modified version of Cairn of the Winterking (the part where you guys found the Warfare Mallet Army and Game Table)

Tuesday, 11th June, 2013

Friday, 7th June, 2013

  • 05:57 PM - Lindeloef mentioned Jan van Leyden in post Show us your Rat Bastardry!
    I am a bit foggy on details, but basically @Jan van Leyden 's characters oncle was in prison, where he went from quirky to a tad crazy. The group rescued him from a prison transport, which made them outlaws. I played the uncle so annoying, belittling the other characters, being a know-it-all and sometimes kicking the others shins. The plan was to bring him back home, which took the party months (in real time). At the end everyone hated the uncle and was sooooo glad to get rid of him. Sadly the party wiped before I could bring him back to annoy them more. Oh and at one point, a ghost tied the uncle to his nephew's head in their sleep. Now my players avoid putting their family into their background stories ^^

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Monday, 18th January, 2016

  • 05:52 PM - EzekielRaiden quoted Jan van Leyden in post How Murder Hobo is Your Party
    A solid 6 for my group. They have no compunctions at all about killing all their enemies or residents of the places they invade. On the other hand they at least try to talk with the enemies. And they don't torture at all. We must be using very different scales. For me, that sounds no higher than a 4. I would say a 5 is "neither especially pro-talk nor especially pro-harm." Your group sounds like it prefers to talk, whenever that's an option, won't ever use more violence than needed for defense (but maybe including "preemptive strikes" in that category), but also won't muck around and try to appease someone that turns down their diplomacy, and probably won't go out of their way not to kill opponents. That seems slightly on the "there's always a non-violent solution" side of things, rather than the other way around. Edit: somehow I missed the word "invade." Does that mean they are driving legitimate, peaceful occupants from their homes or lands? If the group is highly aggressive in that way, I su...

Thursday, 7th January, 2016

  • 04:58 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Jan van Leyden in post "The Shannara Chronicles" and "Colony"
    Ooh, I wonder if that's true stateside. I'll have to check when I get home. I noticed today that "The Shannara Chronicles" is offered for Amazon Prime Instant Video in Germany. Too bad our free test drive for that service ended four days ago; I might actually have been able to watch it.

Monday, 4th January, 2016

  • 04:55 PM - CapnZapp quoted Jan van Leyden in post Finally switching my campaign from 4th to 5th Edition.
    Setting a time limit up-front is one way to start an adventure, but by no means the only one, and one which I wouldn't want to repeat regularly. Nothing wrong with this adventure start, except one thing: That it substitutes for a rules-coded tool to enforce the encounter pacing expectations set forth by the rules.
  • 11:43 AM - Flamestrike quoted Jan van Leyden in post Finally switching my campaign from 4th to 5th Edition.
    Setting a time limit up-front is one way to start an adventure, but by no means the only one, and one which I wouldn't want to repeat regularly. You're not expected to. Keep time pressure (either via timed quests or hostile environments/ 'random' monsters) on the party for around 50 percent of the time. They'll self regulate much of the rest, and the odd nova strike is actually pretty good to let them get away with. There is nothing wrong with a single encounter adventuring day (of increased difficulty) if its used sparingly. Still the question remains: how do you make your design work without limiting the players' freedom? The whole system an adventuring day, encounter budgets and different refresh-speeds of powers/abilities seems to be akin with 4e's system, which is good for some types of adventures and a problem for others. The players are free to do what they want. You lay the hook out and they follow it; or they dont. See the quick off the cuff adventure I posted in this thread ...
  • 09:03 AM - Saelorn quoted Jan van Leyden in post Finally switching my campaign from 4th to 5th Edition.
    And that's where my problem originates from. Harassing the characters just to avoid a one hour long Short Rest sounds very meta-gamey to me. the classical (OSR) dungeon sports many empty stretches. Clever players should be able to find these spots and set up camp there. If they do so, declining the rest possibilities seems like punishing clever play.I was under the impression that classic dungeon design included wandering monsters for explicitly this reason. They didn't even care about ecology or what else in the dungeon is already dead - just roll on the chart and something is bound to turn up before they could get their eight hours. Is that not the case? Of course, the oldest editions solved that problem by not allowing recovery within the dungeon at all. That's also an alternative. If you used the eight-hour overnight short rest, with the week-in-town long rest, you wouldn't need to meta-game in order to have a real chance of disrupting the party.

Saturday, 2nd January, 2016

  • 05:18 AM - Flamestrike quoted Jan van Leyden in post Finally switching my campaign from 4th to 5th Edition.
    6-8 encounters per long rest? Does anyone actually do this? In the games I run and participate in it almost never goes more than 4 encounters, and typically is about 2 per long rest, depending on the stage of the adventure. With only 2 encounters per long rest, full casters can reliably drop their highest level spell slot round after round after round, barbarians are perma-raging and paladins smiting on every single attack. Over the same period of time, your fighter gets the one action surge. Perhaps thats OK with the groups you play in, but it would necessitate far harder encounters, (which makes that paltry 1 action surge even less remarkable and further lengthens the gap between class balance). It also makes the game one of rocket tag, and increases the chance of a TPK (expecially for the fighter!). I cant imagine a typical dungeon where you bump just the two encounters and then fall back for a full nights rest. Not everyone plays in dungeons of course; but that is the default place where a...

Friday, 1st January, 2016

  • 11:15 PM - Saelorn quoted Jan van Leyden in post Finally switching my campaign from 4th to 5th Edition.
    While I haven't run 5e yet, I'm really interested in this. How do you actually design an adventuring day, say in a dungeon? If the party decides on it's own way through the dungeon, tell me how can you Limit or allow short rests?How do you design a dungeon so that the wanted selection of encounters takes place?There's a reason why it takes an entire hour to complete a short rest. If there's anything alive in the dungeon, then there's a non-negligible chance that it will come across the party if they spend an entire hour in a single spot. At least, that's the idea.

Tuesday, 15th December, 2015

  • 03:38 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Jan van Leyden in post 4E WotC Tools dead?
    Seems to be browser-dependent, too. It didn't work on a private Computer running SRWare Iron (un-Googled Chrome), but did so with IE on the same machine, at the same time. Curious error message, which refers to DNS Errors. Hmmh. Yeah, I'm a Linux guy, so all I use is FireFox with Pipelight. I'm not sure CB will even work on Windows Chrome anymore, didn't Google remove all those plugins? I don't tend to use Chrome THAT much.

Friday, 11th December, 2015

  • 01:21 PM - Nagol quoted Jan van Leyden in post 4E WotC Tools dead?
    So the tools have moved again. I use, by the way, which correctly refers to the current address. The note on the login page is interesting, though: "The D&D Insider digital tools are now located here for current subscribers. The tools are not available to new subscribers at this time, but existing subscribers can continue to renew the service." How... odd. I can see turning off new subscriptions and renewals if you are contemplating turning off the service in a year or so. I don't see a situation where allowing renewals, but not allowing new subscriptions offers value to the company. Deliberately not accepting new money for an in-place fully-realised service presumably you expect to last at least another year seems weird.

Monday, 7th December, 2015

  • 02:42 PM - delericho quoted Jan van Leyden in post Finland to pay all its citizens 800 euros a month to fight unemployment
    Depends. When stopping all manners of welfare plans and subventions, folding all into the National Basic Income, you remove the hight costs incurred by managing and administering these programs. That works today. In a decade, with the population having grown and the cost of living gone up, it's less true. Companies would be able to pay their employees less than now without these employees receiving less money. The problem with that is that now those employees have the option to just walk away, and still have enough money to live. That means that employers will need to compensate them for the opportunity cost of using that time for more enjoyable exploits, which will apply an upward pressure on wages.

Friday, 27th November, 2015

  • 01:39 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Jan van Leyden in post Of cheese sammiches
    Gues the English Wikipedia entry makes it pretty clear what I'm talking about. B-) German bakers rule! The Jewish Bakery I worked had a number of German breads, including the ones listed there, and the bagels were old world style. These things are not unknown in the US, particularly in places where came over. My point is the Wonder Bread stereotype of isn't uniform throughout the country.
  • 01:03 AM - Scott DeWar quoted Jan van Leyden in post Of cheese sammiches
    You mean Bavarian barbarians or barbarian Bavarians? ummmmm, YES!

Thursday, 26th November, 2015

  • 08:08 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Jan van Leyden in post Of cheese sammiches
    Oh you uncivilised people, trying to save what ridiculous dough products you call "bread" from their deserved fate by toasting or baking it! : We have bakeries here as well. I used to work in one. Sliced bread in a bag is more a matter of convenience. But I have an Italian Bakery down the street, a Kosher Bakery nearby, etc. I will say though, for something like a grilled cheese, sliced packaged bread isn't such a bad fit.
  • 03:45 PM - Scott DeWar quoted Jan van Leyden in post Of cheese sammiches
    I usually prefer ham to bacon on my grilled cheese sandwiches, especially when partnered with a serving of tomato soup. That is a comfort food combo that goes back to 2nd grade (and a laminated placemat decorated with seashells) for me. This also partly explains my undying love affair with the Breakfast Jack. I don't know. Krogers sells thick cut bacon, double smoked. This is getting me really hungry . . . I need breakfaast. Oh you uncivilised people, trying to save what ridiculous dough products you call "bread" from their deserved fate by toasting or baking it! Just take a slice of good German bread from the next baker's, apply some fresh butter and any sort of tasty quality cooked/smoked/fresh/dry sausage or cheese and there you go! No need to use some fancy appliances. Ah, good to live in Germany! :cool: Yes, we colonists are a barbaric lot, aren't w . . . . . wait . . . . .didn't the barbarians come from Bavaria?

Monday, 16th November, 2015

  • 07:39 PM - DMMike quoted Jan van Leyden in post Reconciling Damage
    I actually don't understand your idea of a goal. You say "often decaptiating you", but are there different goals and you (or the enemy) may selct one? What influence would the goal have on your damage mechanic? That was just a nod to reality. The point is that damage isn't a hit, or cut, or bleeding, or what-have-you. It's progress. Just a measuring stick. Now, since you have to be progressing toward something, I mentioned just one of the many endpoints that combat progress, damage, can reach. So no, there's no goal-table. Like most other things in the game, why to fight is up to the player. What is the design goal behind having bigger weapons deal greater damage? I'm not saying it's a bad idea - if your goals align with the feeling (and mechanical incentives) it produces. This kind of rule strongly suggests that the real warriors are wield greatswords and huge axes. Rapiers and daggers are for weaklings. The design goals were to help differentiate weapons and include the excitemen...

Thursday, 12th November, 2015

  • 04:06 PM - Neyd quoted Jan van Leyden in post Remember RAPPAN ATHUK? Own The Campaign Setting!
    And is the information all 100% accurate? ;) Well I have yet to see any Ankhegs around here, but the rest seems close enough :P But in which version? S&W, PF or 5e? Since the Germans love thair fair share of rules and adding modifiers I would tend to say this is probably the PF version of Aachen

Sunday, 18th October, 2015

  • 12:50 PM - CaptainGemini quoted Jan van Leyden in post What's The Deal With D&D Translations?
    So, the name "Dungeons & ÄDragons" has been translated for other foreign editions than German? I always assumed that TSR/WotC/Hasbro wouldn't allow that. All the German versions since 1983 retained the original name. Possibly. I do know it's not a very good idea. Take a look at the Harvest Moon series and the split it suffered for why.

Saturday, 17th October, 2015

  • 11:35 PM - MoonSong quoted Jan van Leyden in post What's The Deal With D&D Translations?
    I don't get this "still in use" discussion: all these trademarks are still in use as long as the trademark owner publishes stuff using it. And Hasbro/WotC still publishes "Dungeons&Dragons". Whether it's in your native language or not doesn't have any effect on the trademark, or does it? It has an effect under the translated forms of the Trademark, "Dungeons and Dragons" is and will always remain in use, it is the localized trademarks -the translated names, the ones players who buy translations are actually familiar with- that are out of use and could be available.

Thursday, 15th October, 2015

  • 06:21 PM - Umbran quoted Jan van Leyden in post Ending Viral Disease
    This would mean that his work's prospects aren't as good as they read in the Indiegogo campaign. Not necessarily. That would depend on *why* there have only been three successful tests. Was it an actual failure in his drug? Was there a general lack of funding, so he couldn't perform more tests? Did his other duties or commitments preclude a more aggressive testing plan? Consider the expected funding source - drug companies. Assume, for the moment, that this drug can literally cure the common cold and flu. How much revenue do those drug companies stand to lose in the form of lost symptomatic remedy sales? NyQuil? A thing of the past! They could make that up by making it expensive, but then they have a PR nightmare - "Drug companies could cure the common cold, flu, and HIV cheaply, but *won't*!!!1!" Plus, consider that $100K is small, in funding grant terms. Maybe this is less about getting funds, and is more about using internet media to foster awareness, to overcome drug company ...

Tuesday, 13th October, 2015

  • 10:45 PM - Mirtek quoted Jan van Leyden in post What's The Deal With D&D Translations?
    The translation itself is the smallest part; handling it in a professional way is where the problems arise. Even before you can send your text to a translator, you have to work on the terminology. A lot of terms in rulebooks have to be defined in the target language beforehand. You don't want to have a translator, on whose experience with D&D you never can be sure, to translate a game-term like Armor Class. He might select a term he's satisfied with and you're stuck with it. Hence you take pains to extract a list of game terms, translate them or have them translated with care, discussing until you're sure it fits. This list is handed to the actual translator who has to use it. Of course you have to check that as well. You need a translation manager inhouse, who knows the texts very well - i.e. knows D&D - and can at least read and understand the target language to check the results. And you wouldn't want to publish a translation which you couldn't check beforehand.That's why you need experience...

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