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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:49 AM
    Wait, the game that presents 12 classes, 12 of which explicitly use magic is somehow "pushing the players to always play magic using characters?" That's a bit of a stretch, isn't it? Sub-classes. There are 5 non-magical sub-classes (Berserker, Champion, BM, Thief, Assassin). Out of 40. "Low Magic" has such a fuzzy meaning (less powerful magic? less common magic items? fewer...
    62 replies | 2160 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:35 AM
    That's just the d20, and he's 1st level, an 'Apprentice' thief. That's BA. We've already had the fun of the other extreme, in 3e, when you could have tripple-digit bonuses to your d20 check. So, again, artifact of the d20. Using 2d10 or 3d6 could even that out for you, a bit, if it's that annoying... You are, indeed, supposed to narrate success or failure quite a bit. Don't call...
    139 replies | 3715 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:24 AM
    Reasonable enough. As you add more decisions points and complications and opportunities to affect that final die roll, you're also, presumably, making it less uncertain, and, you're adding drama & suspense to the intervening time, because what's going on bears on the final result and how that final result is coming about is unfolding. So, if loading stuff like that in between a declaration...
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 01:06 AM
    Yeah, I just found it amusing that an off-the-rack 5e Action happend to 'Create' an 'Advantage.' There's a whole thread about that last bit. I honestly didn't even remember "Create an Advantage" from the times I've played FATE. But, then I barely remembered there were 'actions' at all, and, looking them up, it's probably because they're all pretty improvisational in nature, anyway, and...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:23 AM
    Like 5e did with Advantage and the Help action that, well, 'creates Advantage' for a buddy? ;)
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:16 AM
    But if your source of suspense is just the uncertainty of the die roll, 'eventually' comes pretty quick... In the James Bond movie stuff happens as they play the hand. You can 'RP' that stuff to stretch out the moment, but you're just stalling, nothing is going to make a difference, the die will fall where it will. Now, if the game is more than a die roll, if there's a series of decisions or...
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:02 AM
    Problem is that brand of suspense lasts until the die stops.
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:53 PM
    It runs aground on relative difficulty. Are you opening a stuck door, lifting a portculis, bending an iron bar, a bronze bar, an adamantine bar? Roll under with a bonus? Roll under by X, so rolling 1 is your best effort? I settled on roll high w/o going over, so that a higher roll was a greater success, as long as it was w/in your abilities. But, fun as it was to practically make up the...
    31 replies | 585 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:48 PM
    3.5 Soul Bind, Level 9, Cleric, Sorc/Wiz. Necromancy, of course.
    4 replies | 53 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:41 PM
    Well, sure, if it were a hypothetical old-school-D&D movie instead of an old war movie, the Veteran might have died and been resurected, but it'd seem unlikely, as he's only a 1st-level Fighter. ;) ...oh, he could have been level drained.
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:38 PM
    Ah, I see you've met Saelorn. I'd say the design of D&D does not assume frequent character death, outside of the lowest levels (especially in the older eds when low-level was kind of a prooving ground), but, has Raise Dead &c 'just in case.' You just kludge/retcon it together like you're writing for a soap opera and one of the stars suddenly got sent to rehab, or wanted too much money and...
    12 replies | 173 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:52 PM
    I'm going to actually go off on a tangent with this, which is the D&D-significant availability of coming back from death. D&D makes it easy. A mid-high level spell, *poof*, you're back. From a play perspective, it makes sense, the game does try to model plot armor with hps & saves and so forth, but it's challenges aren't so consistently balanced that things don't go south now & then, so it's a...
    12 replies | 173 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:23 PM
    That's really the point: you absolutely can have suspense, even if you know the ultimate outcome. Heck, re-watching a Hitchcock movie can still be suspenseful. ;) In an RPG, the player often knows more about the probabilities and mechanisms of what's going on, not only than their character, but than a hypothetical reader/viewer being told their story, which can get pretty close to 'knowing...
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:57 PM
    This happened to a player in one of my groups recently. He forgot about having a magic item that could have kept him from going to zero HP. To add insult to injury, it was a magic item that he wagered his very soul to earn in the first place! I think this happens to us all the time, whether weíre in a near-to-at-death situation or not. We just happen to remember those forgetful moments that...
    2 replies | 99 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:47 PM
    Depending on the genre and the mode of storytelling, you can absolutely know. For instance, if the first scene of the war movie is the old veteran telling a group of people about his experiences before they screen ripples & fades to his younger self, you /know/ he didn't die. He might very well have fallen off some cliffs and gotten shot, burned, blown up or whatever, but he didn't die. ;) ...
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:33 PM
    I agree, itís a great take on the devils. LE is one of my favorite alignments to play (really, any lawful alignment is). Rampant evil and chaos doesnít appeal to me, but give me a code of honor with those darker motivations, and Iím all kinds of happy to craft a character around that.
    4 replies | 262 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:26 PM
    The Night Watch subseries of Discworld is my favorite, with the Fifth Elephant being tops in my book. There's something about the cast of characters and how they interact with each other and the rest of the city that hits the spot. Though, the Tiffany Aching subseries comes close, and at times is far deeper.
    15 replies | 349 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:22 PM
    Meh. You prettymuch do know the protagonist will /survive/ in some sense. You don't know if he'll extricate himself from predicament, or if he'll miraculously survive the fall, or get rescued, or fall presumably to his death, only to show up later with some improable story ("From the lowest dungeon to the highest peak I fought with the Balrog of Morgoth... Until at last I threw down my enemy and...
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:04 PM
    Core defining trait of 4e. Hrrm. How's this: Characters are archetypes defined sharply by role and power source to populate a standardized array (AEDU) of primarily combat abilities centered around dynamic and highly tactical group combat system. It attempted detailed mechanical resolution of non-combat processes as well (skill challenges), and was willing to rewrite rules and subsystems...
    15 replies | 385 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:00 PM
    No idea what "The Magic faraway Tree" is. If it's a M:tG reference I haven't played that for a pair of decades. Hmm, research, research, research. Ah, it's a set of kids books where there's a tree that the top goes to another land, but the land changes and they can't stay too long. Yes, that it close to part of what I had. Missed the whole refugees, the ruined worlds, the big secrets about...
    29 replies | 732 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:27 PM
    At first glance I read that last word as 'insanity.' Heh. Can't even stick D&D, itself, in the box once that wilely 4e comes into it. ;P D&D had been slowly inching toward players having more input into "the fiction" In, 2e they started getting some 'build' options, 3e more options & they got to re-skin their characters' appearnce & gear, 4e more options & could re-skin just about...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:44 AM
    I get being accustomed to one paradigm, and having trouble acknowledging the things another does better or that yours doesn't do at all, while being hyper-aware of the things the other doesn't do. That'd make you perceive the other as 'narrower.' Similarly, if you're used to expecting DM + system to deliver/define the experience, and the system half of that is very limited and...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:17 AM
    Lindrel comes downstairs in the morning. She has left her expensive lute in her room along with a few odds and ends. She is sure to have a hearty breakfast before they set out.
    8 replies | 190 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:15 AM
    Lindrel performs a few more songs before grabbing one last ale before bed.
    55 replies | 936 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:22 AM
    One additional thought: I despise when people open up a thread for a long time ago where rules have been errata'd or clarified since and call the original poster all sorts of unpleasant named because "that's not how it works". Sorry, even in a contemporary thread calling someone names is ungood and just to make yourself feel superior. When it's also because you are ignorant of what the...
    25 replies | 657 view(s)
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  • bid's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:57 AM
    Asmodeus 21 Baalzebul 24 Baphomet 20 Demogorgon 22 Dispater 11 Fierna 14 Geryon 20 Glasya 21 Graz'zt 18 Juiblex 2
    113 replies | 1685 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:44 AM
    Sure, like the Knightly Order of the Eye of Jet. I'm sure you've seen 'em around. Love casting Suggestion? Make their own Brilliant Energy katanas?
    244 replies | 9177 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:31 AM
    They were even cooler (arguably less broken, no CoDzillas) in 1e! :) Warp wood was always a goofy spell - really /only/ good for 'getting creative' with. The on-label uses - springinig doors and ruining spears & arrows? Really? Newfangled stuff, anyway. ;) At least you've got 8th & 9th level spells. But, yeah, compared to 3.5, everything's dialed down a bit. One thing to...
    23 replies | 901 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 10:21 PM
    I'm not trying to brow-beat you into changing your choice of wording, but I'm going to have to work may way through this, every time, because I can't imagine I'll ever be comfortable calling RPGs 'mainstream,' in any sense or context. What you're talking about is D&D, and I suppose d20, and related/similar games, when they are Played A Certain Way, that being some variation on the ways that...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 10:04 PM
    "I'm guessing there should be more rope over there," Shavara says.
    1061 replies | 30158 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 08:59 PM
    Most solo encounters are much weaker in 5e then they seem on paper because of the disparity in the number of actions a single creature gets vs. a full party. I wouldn't use your hatchling - it's a bag of HPs that if it hits does minor scratches, to be attacked by everyone else in the party and worn down quickly. Unless it stays far up, in which case the ranged characters will be the only ones...
    21 replies | 479 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 08:04 PM
    Blue replied to D&D CRPGS & You!
    BTW, in the same ida as the two Balder's Gate's games was Icewind Dale. Same basic idea, you know what you are getting into. Oh, and if you haven't played them yet, the old Dragon Age games and Mass Effect games. Which as first-person and not turn-based. It's three person teams and you only have full control over yourself in terms of both build and actions - you level up the others and...
    5 replies | 164 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 07:39 PM
    Can you post the map showing the area between the keep and the church to the RG so we can easily find it? EDIT or I could find it 7421770 "When you get through the fence, tell someone there I said to start leading you back to the keep along the stream. Stay close to the bushes for cover." Tina says regretfully. She doesn't know what a telephone is but still a sense of dread regarding one...
    264 replies | 4619 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 07:31 PM
    So it's me. Okay. I'll get the initiative wrangled in a post later today/tonight.
    204 replies | 5233 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 07:28 PM
    Just finished Night Watch by Sir Terry Pratchett. I've always liked Vimes, how can you go wrong with Fifth Elephant or any of the other stories highlighting him and the Night Watch? This one I especially enjoyed. Just who is Sam Vimes when he's free of any external expectations about who he is. (Well, perhaps except from some external pressures from himself, which is a sentence that will...
    15 replies | 349 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 05:57 PM
    Yeah, that's not buying victory, it's bartering for victory. That's, like, totally different. ;) Somewhat seriously, though, there is a line between a price paid that's modeled in the system (you have so many slots/points/whatever, when do you use them?), and a price paid that's part of emerging story-line (this is the current situation, it could change/might not be what it seems, what...
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 05:23 PM
    Just remembered a bit of time travel in a less than serious game with rotating DMs. The party was in an inter-dimensional bazaar where anything was for sale, and they needed to be able to time travel (I don't remember why). So they tracked down a lead where to go and are heading there, when across a busy street they see themselves. The other set of them wave and yell out over the traffic...
    42 replies | 902 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 03:59 PM
    As she hears the combat begin, Terry casts shillelagh on her staff. Seeing the injuries on the jester zombie, she moves to J8 and attacks it. Somehow, she just barely misses hitting it. Attack Damage
    350 replies | 6733 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 03:54 PM
    Ana already fired her bow, was that this round or last round? initiative:
    1585 replies | 34277 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 03:48 PM
    Roll call. Who's around? Who's MIA? I know Z is away till the 26th. But we seem to be waiting on Everett's initiative. TallIan Thateous EarlyBird ArwensDaughter Zadolix
    204 replies | 5233 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 02:44 PM
    Blue replied to Suspense in RPGs
    Just to add to your list, players buy victory with a lot of non-mechanical currency as well. Trading in that favor they are owed. Accepting loss of face to the court to beg the king to intervene. Promising an open-ended favor to an honorable villain for him to withdraw his support from the irredeemably evil big bad. Sacrificing themselves to allow the ritual to be stopped and the world saved.
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 01:44 PM
    I think it would work balance-wise. Something I don't know if you intended, but is a big feature for me, is that if you replace the equipment section with this it gives a lot more flexibility in describing the appropriate armor for your character without the potential to mechanically penalize yourself. Your street rat could be wearing leather jacket and chaps, your barbarian is wearing...
    72 replies | 1712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 06:31 AM
    I tossed in the 2e S&P reference, just in case, since I barely glanced at it, having given up on 2e bloat by then. 3.0 was the main point.
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 06:08 AM
    It is a remarkably tiny 'area,' smaller than the area w/in reach of a medium creature, and oddly defined. But, overall the draft does a /lot/ for the limited design space of a fighter subclass. I've run for HotFw Skalds, whose leader tricks are restricted to an aura 5 (25' radius/55' cube) and they ran aground on that limited an area, frequently. Of course, even Essentials was more dynamic...
    5 replies | 266 view(s)
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  • bid's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 03:49 AM
    Asmodeus 23 Baalzebul 23 Baphomet 20 Demogorgon 19 Dispater 12 Fierna 15 Geryon 20 Glasya 23 Graz'zt 20 Juiblex 19
    113 replies | 1685 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 01:22 AM
    I may be thinking more of Traveler as in the 'Characters & Combat' booklet, back in the day, vs /some/ d20 game. But, no, I'm not impressed by long or open-ended lists of skills, quite the opposite: I think they can undermine play by 'creating incompetence.' (and, for the record, the 3e/PF skill list is too long) Remove "out-of-combat" and I'd agree with that sentence. ;P Seriously,...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 12:50 AM
    OK, I feel bad about that, I'm going to /try/ to be serious, now... Incremental ones, I suppose. One giant drama-suck in many games is a skill system that goes no further than single-check pass/fail. Similarly, for a combat challenge, 'Nova's or death-spirals can blow or drain your encounter's suspense... ...sorry, I slipped there for a moment... I know those have some game-theory...
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 11:45 PM
    I suppose you could just put price tags on victory conditions, take it or leave it. Or you could put certain conditions that /could/ lead to victory on sale, for a limited time, or offer two victories for the price of one. Or you could auction off victory, like ebay, or take sealed bids... ...puns, pemerton, puns were what I had in mind. Sorry. edit: oh, and if you can't afford to...
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 11:31 PM
    Like don't have a 3rd level Discipline, Pyrokinetic Sphere, that does 8d6 fire damage to everything in a 20' radius. Oh, the 're-inventing' argument is obvious and even compelling, it just doubles as an argument not to have psionics, at all. So, IDK, have them work nothing like spells. Instead of discrete effects, construct effects up from disciplines, like supernatural Legos, using power...
    244 replies | 9177 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 09:55 PM
    initiative +15 = 23
    166 replies | 2418 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 09:54 PM
    Lol Ana fires an arrow at it. attack damage
    1585 replies | 34277 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 09:52 PM
    Plenty of love for following the direction the players put out. With the "super NPC" analogy, there's a writing big about "Kill your darlings" - in other words anything that you've fallen so in love with that it will warp the rest of your story needs to go. That doesn't mean you can't have cool campaign ideas (or cool NPCs), it means that you can't let them take the spotlight or the choices...
    29 replies | 732 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 08:46 PM
    Foul! The description only said that you /could/ draw on your inspiration in those thematically appropriate way. You could instead draw on the compassion you RP'd when negotiating with the beggar king to assassinate him later that evening, sure, but that doesn't make you dissociative (mechanically)... You know if there were some players'd just horde it until they drowned in one. ...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 07:20 PM
    I got the impression there was a stark dividing line between 1-5th & 6-9th level spells (magic-user spells, obviously, others it seemed like 1-4 vs 5-7)), c1984, if not earlier. In my campaign world (& variant rules) there was thus a distinction between 'Low Order' and 'High Order' spells. Aside from the tenor of the spell just shifting dramatically, there were other indicators. The 1e...
    244 replies | 9177 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 06:09 PM
    Any given system can 'withstand' modding, if the modding is done skillfully - or be wrecked by it, if not. ;) Ironically, the closer a system is to broken, the more amenable it is to modding - in fact, if a system is broken to begin with, you might as well mod it to suit, while you're fixing it! I suspect you don't mean in the sense of INT starting at 3 and Computer not being a skill? ...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:39 PM
    Not the way I'm used to 'flexibility' being used around here, which tends to be about the range of capabilities of the character, no. I mean in terms of options presented to the player. A game like Hero, for instance, is super-flexible, in part because it presents a finite set of options that are mixed & re-skinned as a matter of course to model virtually anything, it wouldn't get credit...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:38 PM
    Blue replied to D&D CRPGS & You!
    A spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment is out with Cypher system (Monte Cook) rules, called Torment: Tides of Numenera. While not D&D rules, I strongly recommend Pillars of Eternity. (Yes, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire just came out. The first one is really good and worth playing first, then try the second one. I'm still playing the second one and found the first plot more...
    5 replies | 164 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:06 PM
    I have not played such, but I expect it would make it much more difficult to protect the squishies. In particular, it would devalue the sword and board fighter (the classic tank) since it can neither kill quickly nor grapple.
    23 replies | 812 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 03:44 PM
    That is definitely one of the charms of 1e and 2e. The last time I played 1e, it was with a player that claimed he ďrolled high.Ē Except, when we did ability checks, he suddenly would always ďrollĒ low. Cheating didnít stop his character from getting shredded by a Slaad. As much as I have a soft-spot for OSR mechanics, when 3e came out, I really dug the unified mechanics. But I also switched...
    31 replies | 585 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 03:38 PM
    There are plenty of books I could recommend, but let me start with a question: what kind of books do you normally enjoy? Any particular subgenres you dig, or are looking to get into?
    15 replies | 349 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 03:37 PM
    I really enjoyed the first in that series, and need to get to the second. The magic system and worldbuilding are glorious. But yes, it isnít quite as jaw-dropping awesome as the Inheritance Trilogy.
    15 replies | 349 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 02:44 PM
    Obviously, the PCs buy victory with the currency of limited resources: in D&D, spell slots; in FATE, FATE points; in Storyteller pools/tracks (BP, Willpower, Humanity)...
    45 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 01:58 PM
    still want to know how many people are in the church "Sir," Tina says to the farmer. "They didn't get us. They won't get you." To the priest she says, "You can help by getting everyone in here to follow that rope through the hole in the fence and follow my friends outside to the keep. We only have a short amount of time to get this done. That door --" she point at the splintering front door...
    264 replies | 4619 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:57 AM
    "My homeland?" Lindrel laughed. "I think you may know this tune as well." She plucked a spritely tune and began to sing a tale of a lazy nobleman and his shrew of a wife and how they managed to fall back in love after a harrowing time spent together on an unsettled island when their ship went aground near the lands of Sennt, known for their dangerous reefs. The Calowell Islands are said to be...
    55 replies | 936 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:53 AM
    TallIan, I kinda decided it didn't really work timewise. I was considering making Rorik's parents courtiers to the lord whom Sennt was vassal. So Lindrel would know Rorik only if he also attended court when Sennt was there. So it seemed slim for that to be. But there's no reason why it couldn't. Sure. Just have her song jog Rorik's memory of her and Lord Sennt.
    201 replies | 3922 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:29 AM
    Backgrounds are actually in the basic pdf, they're about as optional as race & class - a significant change from their introduction in 4e. Taken together, that is a great deal more complexity, and, considering the structure of classes, a great deal less flexibility, than FATE Aspects. There's a lot to Fate that is about Playing A Certain Way, it's clearly spelled out and consistently...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 04:48 AM
    Obviously, GURPS was going for universal, thus the U, but it didn't make it. In the final analysis you needed a worldbook before you could play in another setting or genre, even though it didn't constitute a new game Thus SJG finally went with the multi-genre label. BRP, OTOH, was the core of a system, built up into other games. IDK, having watched MM share his design process, I'm dubious...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 04:05 AM
    Traveller's just basic pass/fail skill checks, apart from the technological gulf changing the names and emphasis of skills, and D&Ds pronounced discomfort with acknowledging leadership or tactical acumen as character, rather than player traits, I see no major impediments... of course, it'd really be d20, not D&D... Well, if you want 4e, forcing bloodied enemies to surrender via intimidation....
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 03:41 AM
    Considered. It has no bearing at all on the connotations of 'principled' or 'disciplined,' that I can see. It carries different information, fiat implies arbitrary and without regard to anyone or anything. Judgement implies consideration of other factors - not excepting principles, though also implying some flexibility, perhaps more so than discipline. But I'd consider it as an...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 02:36 AM
    Plus, qualifying it that way implies that it would otherwise be unprincipled & undisciplined. How about 'judgement' rather than 'fiat.'
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 02:33 AM
    I look for something that is particularly different and compelling, and then hang from there. I like coming up with what's unique about the setting and crafting a story around that, which couldn't happen in a "standard" faux-european-medeival-wtih-magic world. Let me give an example of a D&D campaign I've got "on-deck" to show what I mean that the setting leads the story and the story the...
    29 replies | 732 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 01:28 AM
    Hilarious: 4e! ;P I mean, if anyone still needed proof-positive that 4e was NOT D&D, just try running a 'low-' or even NO- magic game with it. 1) tell everyone to play one of the 4 martial classes. 2) turn on 'Inherent Bonuses.' 3) don't place too many magic items or magical-seeming enemies (though some, because there is a second S in S&S, and it's usually the bad guy). See, if...
    62 replies | 2160 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 01:03 AM
    It sounds like skills are part of the issue. If casters actually try to preserve their spells, won't they at least try skills, first? ... and if those start succeeding, perhaps habits will change...? Actually, setting DC's low is fantastic IF you want to let the players use skills. Honestly, I think it's the other way that causes the problems and trains players to always rely on spells. If...
    62 replies | 2160 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 12:57 AM
    "Rule 1 is not getting eaten by the monster," Lindrel laughs. She takes her lute from her pack and performs a bit of tuning. "Anybody want to hear a tune?"
    55 replies | 936 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 12:35 AM
    It's not like casters don't have skills, either. To be fair, 5e adventures set pretty low DCs, for the most part (to the point they draw complaints from certain critics... OK, critic... OK, CapnZapp), so maybe that's an attempt to address the issue?
    62 replies | 2160 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 12:29 AM
    Call me cynical (it's unnecessary, we all know I am, but go ahead if you feel like it), but D&D-style DM Empowerment is not about just empowering the DM, but also assiduously avoiding 'player entitlement' (ie, empowering players) as a polar opposite. It's a pendulum thing. 3.x/PF/4e were very player-empowering (albeit in different ways), and 5e has been a reaction to that, a return to the...
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 12:11 AM
    That's true of everything in 5e down to the illos and use of white space. :) (that was just an exaggeration for rhetorical effect, I know the illos are nicer this time around; and I've made no comparison in the use of white space, point is just, even trivial stuff could get the classic treatment) But, really, optional rules, in quixotically-named supplements, don't have to concern themselves...
    244 replies | 9177 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 11:40 PM
    It's just that it's redundant, because psionics was only ever magic re-skinned for use in sci-fi, so when D&D 'mashed up' fantasy & sci-fi (because it was the 70s, and that was just the tenor of the times, I guess) by including both, they were really just including magic, twice, but with different mechanics. If MM keeps trying to design psionics 'efficiently,' by re-using existing sub-systems...
    244 replies | 9177 view(s)
    0 XP
  • bid's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 11:25 PM
    That too.
    11 replies | 365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 11:21 PM
    Modern? I thought we were talking about D&D? Fair 'nuff. BitD & Fate seem to give a lot of latitude to players, as well, though.
    2824 replies | 77753 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 08:53 PM
    How many people does she see? In a low growl, Tina looks the nearest civilian right in the face and points at the door. "Get up and get moving. NOW!" She manages to say without actually raising her voice too loudly. "All of you, up! now!"
    264 replies | 4619 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 08:48 PM
    Darian rushes up to the spot just before between 7 and 2 and swings at goblin 7 first and goblin 2 second. "You, mr goblin, are awfully lucky." Attack #1 damage vs goblin 7 Attack #2 damage vs goblin 2
    390 replies | 5869 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 07:18 PM
    An obvious, 'low-hanging-fruit,' sort of improvement. Yes, if each dice mechanic delivers a flat uniform distribution with some % chance of success, there's no reason not to consolidate on just one such mechanic. Yes, needless complexity is needlessly complex! ;) Meh, 'style' has been overblown in the community for years now: dice mechanics are just mechanics, they do what they do in a way...
    31 replies | 585 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 06:59 PM
    Really, which of the many systems out there did you switch to? Did you have to switch players, as well? ;)
    81 replies | 2794 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 06:57 PM
    Well, cantrips aren't really the problem, systematic daily spell casting is, so what about removing slots rather than removing classes? Casters with just cantrips and rituals would display abilities much more in keeping with genre! ;D
    62 replies | 2160 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 06:01 PM
    I just assume they are different. Ammunition just lists arrows, crossbow bolt, sling stones, and blowgun needles. So I suppose arrows work in all manner of bow.
    272 replies | 5153 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 05:54 PM
    For better or worse, that's the definition of balance I'll be using when I discuss it... Since it's a solved game, we can know exactly how (im)balanced Tic-tac-toe is. It presents X with 9 initial choices, obviously. However, 6 of them are meaningless: it doesn't matter which corner or side you place your X in, the game's potential results set will be the same, regardless (there's nothing...
    405 replies | 16187 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 05:23 PM
    Thia sighs. "Yeah, if we don't they could pick off our stragglers."
    335 replies | 6892 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 05:20 PM
    Lee says, "I suspect that creature is the source of the petrification. But that's just my gut instinct." Initiative Arcana?? determine what sort of creature it is
    219 replies | 3166 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 05:17 PM
    Bubbles reels from the blow and instinctively flies straight up about half a mile hoping he can't immediately follow her.
    166 replies | 2418 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Blue

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Date of Birth
September 7
About Blue
Introduction:
I like heavy RP, shades of gray campaigns, both to run and play in.
About Me:
I was an orphan that was raised by wolves in the sentient forest primeval. Later I found out that my father was a god. I only roll 20s. Fnord. I write award winning arias to be sung in languages I have designed. I DO NOT sparkle in the sunlight. I have climbed K2. Uphills, both ways, in the snow. I don't always drink beer, but when I do, it's --- URK.

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Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

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Game Details:
Currently running 13th Age. The younger dragons move with inscrutable purpose, and savage ritual breed a hybrid for unknown reasons. Chains capable of holding the soul of a dragon now find themselves around an urchin, while a sliver of the soul of a dragon incapable of being chained lies in hidden in a young man. The Koru - mountains animated by their Kami - walk the lands, while the Kami twisted by the poisons of the underdark swim to the surface as Living Dungeons. The once dead find new life without regaining it, and the never living find life but not their own. The Orc Lord breeds new orcs with the gifts of elves; the dwarves with their mastery of clockwork and the Victorian/Roman Republic Dragon Empire resist. The High Druid seeks heartwood from the trees holding up the sky - last time a High Druid did a ritual of this magnitude, vampires became slay-able with but a stake of wood. Dark secrets of Ages past surface, but whom will they favor? Who will control them?

Zeppel
My Character:
Currently playing in a homebrew 4e game called Ascendancy of Darkness. Civilization is falling, has mostly fallen - will a misfit band thrown together by magic they don't understand be able to help. I run Smoke, the aging longtooth shifter Runepriest. Run by Dragon magazine author KS.

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My Game Details
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Country:
USA
Game Details:
Currently running 13th Age. The younger dragons move with inscrutable purpose, and savage ritual breed a hybrid for unknown reasons. Chains capable of holding the soul of a dragon now find themselves around an urchin, while a sliver of the soul of a dragon incapable of being chained lies in hidden in a young man. The Koru - mountains animated by their Kami - walk the lands, while the Kami twisted by the poisons of the underdark swim to the surface as Living Dungeons. The once dead find new life without regaining it, and the never living find life but not their own. The Orc Lord breeds new orcs with the gifts of elves; the dwarves with their mastery of clockwork and the Victorian/Roman Republic Dragon Empire resist. The High Druid seeks heartwood from the trees holding up the sky - last time a High Druid did a ritual of this magnitude, vampires became slay-able with but a stake of wood. Dark secrets of Ages past surface, but whom will they favor? Who will control them?

Zeppel
My Character:
Currently playing in a homebrew 4e game called Ascendancy of Darkness. Civilization is falling, has mostly fallen - will a misfit band thrown together by magic they don't understand be able to help. I run Smoke, the aging longtooth shifter Runepriest. Run by Dragon magazine author KS.
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Wednesday, 13th June, 2018

  • 09:11 PM - OB1 mentioned Blue in post Dropping to 0 HP - Alternate Rule
    Blue - just curious as to how often you see players drop to 0HP in combat? In my games itís once every 2-3 sessions. I can only see this rule making things unfun if your group uses wack a mole as a regular tactic. This rule is meant to encourage play and tactics to keep PCs from getting that low in the first place. And I already use milestones, though I also role treasure completely randomly.
  • 04:05 PM - OB1 mentioned Blue in post Dropping to 0 HP - Alternate Rule
    Appreciate everyoneís thoughts even if I am beginning to understand a little better why CapnZapp gets frustrated sometimes. I get that this rule may not be for everyone or every campaign Blue but Iíd still like feedback on how this would work. Are there hidden interactions that I havenít accounted for? But looking back I realize I didnít clearly articulate my goals with this system, so let me go back a step. First off, please note that I donít have a problem with the rules as they are. They are fun, and encourage a heroic play style. That said, for the next campaign Iím running, Iím looking for a slightly grittier style, with the heroes constantly pushed to their limits and having to constantly compromise their goals just to stay alive. To this end, Iím looking for rules that encourage finding other solutions to encounters than combat. Retreat from combat that isnít going overwhelmingly well except when the stakes are worth the risk. And when they do engage? Go hard and fast to minimize the chance of anyone dropping to zero. And make getting into the next combat all the more risky. I want to make combat feel risky and dangerous. At the same time, I hate the mec...
  • 12:28 AM - Oofta mentioned Blue in post Dropping to 0 HP - Alternate Rule
    I'm not sure I'd be quite as ... adamant ... as Blue but this doesn't appeal to me either. You could discuss it with your players, try a play test, etc but while I don't think the current rules are fantastic, they're still better than the alternatives from previous editions. I would keep unconscious and potentially dying. If I wanted more "realism" (not sure I do) I'd probably add some kind of injured state, perhaps using the same options as exhaustion that kicks in once you get to 25% of your total hit points. You could even have a staggering option where you drop below 0 (to say 10% of your total HP) and can continue to take actions but it causes you to fail death saves and have a chance of spell failure. So I'd go back to the drawing board. What are you trying to accomplish? What issue do you have with the current rules? Want to make death riskier? More realistic with people being negatively affected by being badly injured? Chance to heroically risk death by pushing beyond normal limits?

Monday, 11th June, 2018

  • 02:32 AM - Cyber-Dave mentioned Blue in post Please PEACH these 17th century related house-rules (related to firearms)...
    @Blue So, based on your feedback, there were some elements I wanted to change: 1) I added a misfire quality to buttstrokes and pistol whips. (Your next range attack with the weapon will have a +1 misfire score). 2) I changed the wording of gunslinger so that it should now work with the existing loading rules (but still achieve my desired effect): Gunslinger Prerequisite: Trained in Slight of Hand Thanks to extensive training with firearms, you gain the following benefits: ē When using an action to Attack with a firearm in which you are proficient, you may draw and fire a pre-loaded palm pistol, pistol, or dragon with any attacks you can make as part of that action. So long as you have a free hand, you are considered to be armed and wielding any loaded palm pistol, pistol, or dragon stowed on your person. ē As long as you are proficient in the firearm and it does not misfire, you may automatically stow a palm pistol, pistol, or dragon after you have fired it. A firearm stowed in th...

Monday, 4th June, 2018

  • 04:43 AM - Yaarel mentioned Blue in post XP for Non-Combat Tasks
    Blue This link is the analysis that I use as a reference for the official 5e encounters per level. It looks plausible to me, albeit I havent gone thru the math myself. But my own setting emphasizes tiers (1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20), so the sweet spot is 5-8 (with approximately 16 encounters per level), the apprentice tier 1-4 is a rush (I make level 1 need 4 challenging encounters to get to level 2, then the level requirements increase steeply), and 13 on up is currently as-is (with about 8 per level).

Monday, 28th May, 2018

  • 10:18 PM - pming mentioned Blue in post How would you balance this modification to spellcasters?
    Hiya! Blue, ahhh...got it. If my players were someone else I'd probably find something for the non/semi casters to exchange HD healing for. But...I have my players, and my players wouldn't care. Only on rare occasion do they want to see some particular class, skill, spell, or whatever "balanced to everything else". As long as it's not completely overshadowing (e.g., "A normal D&D campaign, but if you are an elf you can't die normally; if an elf is killed by anything, they recreate their body on the sun rise of the next day at the closest standing stone ring or toadstool ring"). As we play a variety of games, settings and genre's, they quickly got over the "need" for everything in any particular game to be 'perfectly balanced' (or at least "decently enough balanced"). Hell, we still play Synnibarr (the original) about two or three sessions per year! ^_^ Paul L. Ming

Monday, 30th April, 2018

  • 02:59 PM - SkidAce mentioned Blue in post Thoughts on wands being overpowered in 5E
    Blue , attunement tells how many charges. Charges Some magic items have charges that must be expended to activate their properties. The number of charges an item has remaining is revealed when an identify spell is cast on it, as well as when a creature attunes to it. Additionally, when an item regains charges, the creature attuned to it learns how many charges it regained.

Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

  • 09:27 AM - Harzel mentioned Blue in post Advice: A less hectic workday for my D&D characters
    Blue I generally find your posts insightful and interesting; I hope you will not be offended by the directness of my comments below. Unfortunately, that's a commonly spread misconception. The DMG suggest 6-8 encounters with 2 short rests, about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through the day. (DMG pg 84.) Actually, that is the commonly spread misconception. Here is the actual quote from the DMG. Assuming typical adventuring conditions and average luck, most adventuring parties can handle about six to eight medium or hard encounters in a day. If the adventure has more easy encounters, the adventurers can get through more. If it has more deadly encounters, they can handle fewer. So, first, the 6-8 number is associated with encounters of a particular difficulty, and the text explicitly mentions more and fewer encounters as equally viable alternatives. Per this section in the DMG, there is nothing special about 6-8 encounters. Second, this section in the DMG is not, per se, making a recom...

Sunday, 15th April, 2018

  • 04:14 AM - Harzel mentioned Blue in post Need help balance checking a homebrew race
    Based on what you have written about their lore and physicality, the proficiencies with pole arms seem quite odd; seems like it would be more natural (and easier to remember) to go with "simple weapons, longbow and longsword". I agree with Blue that you should remove halving magic damage. If you want them to be good at swimming and climbing, then just say "advantage on ability checks for swimming or climbing". Saying that all STR checks are to be done with DEX is kind of hard to wrap my head around. STR is just not a universal substitute for DEX. If you wanted to constrain it to climbing, that would be absolutely fine, and swimming would be ok, I guess, but still makes me raise a skeptical eyebrow. I suggest rewording "climb, crawl, and swim with no penalties" to something more like "climb, crawl, and swim at their current walking speed". Otherwise, someone will interpret it as meaning that, for instance, a slow spell would have no effect on their swimming speed.

Friday, 23rd March, 2018

  • 09:26 AM - pemerton mentioned Blue in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    ...result on a Diplomacy roll is X, we can't work out its effect on any given PC, any more than we can work out what effect a DC 20, 30 hp explosion will have. In both cases we need to look at the PC's abilities. (Which is how all RPGs that actually have player-side social mechanics handle it.) In the game I GMed on the weekend (Cortex+ Heroic), one PC tried to explain to some frightened villagers how they could escape a difficult situation (stuck in the cold and snow being pursued by giants) but found himself reaching the conclusion that there was no solution to the problem of how to escape! (Mechanically, the PC was stressed out by mental stress.) Later on, another PC took mental stress as a result of an argument with another PC about how (if at all) they should go about trying to save the villagers from the giants. LIke Campbell said upthread, if the player doesn't want to be hindered by the penalty then actions can be declared that don't rely upon being clear-headed. And like Blue said, being stressed out from mental stress has no greater effect on player participation in the game than does being stressed out from physical stress.

Monday, 19th March, 2018

  • 04:05 PM - delericho mentioned Blue in post Your ideal class orgainization
    I am interested in what sort of class organization you think is ideal. If you were organizing classes for a new edition of our favorite game, how would you do it? For D&D, I would stick with essentially the same class structure as we currently have. I would add three classes: the Assassin, Mageblade, and Warlord, purely so that every class that has been in the (first) PHB of any edition exists as a full class here (where Mageblade is the BECMI Elf). And add the Artificer and one or more Psionic classes in appropriate setting support supplements. Also, I would remove multiclassing. For a new D&D-like game, I would instead do something similar to Blue's approach - combine the Fighter, Rogue, and Barbarian into a single Hero class; turn all the half-casters into subclasses of Hero (much as Fighter has Eldritch Knight in 5e), and then divide up the casters by party role rather than magic source.

Saturday, 17th March, 2018

  • 06:35 PM - Kinematics mentioned Blue in post How do we fix the Sorcerer?
    +1 to all of that stuff that Quickleaf said. When I chose to play a Sorcerer, it was because of the flavor text. That's the character I wanted to play. I then went digging into the mechanics as I built the character, and found that I was constantly struggling to wrestle what was provided into something even remotely like what I wanted. The typical solutions were considered ó bonus spells (which I got the DM to allow), changes to how metamagic was gained, some extra ribbon flavor (again, allowed by DM), etc ó but I'll admit that I've gotten trapped in the web of trying to 'fix' the current sorcerer, rather than rethinking the class as a whole, to build something that actually matches the intent as described (partly because building a class from scratch is hard to do). I got interested in the Mystic implementation because it moves in the direction I was considering, in how spells are grouped and handled, similar to the spell chains idea Blue had. I'd join (or maybe make) a thread for brainstorming a completely from-scratch build of the sorcerer class.

Wednesday, 14th March, 2018

  • 10:20 PM - The Yellow Sign mentioned Blue in post Crit-fishing Paladin build post-Xanathar's
    Blue Elven accuracy gives +1 Cha so with a starting 17 from half-elf it would get 20 by level 9 as hexblade 1/Paladin 8.
  • 01:13 AM - aramis erak mentioned Blue in post Rules Light/Rules Heavy Graph
    ...ow long one serves, with certain (sometimes unmeetable) prerequisite skill purchases from Career. In play, each skill has it's special rule for determining what percentage to roll. (But, hey, to protect PC's, it's 10% harder to hit a PC.) Again, however, I must raise issue with describing games that front-load all the complexity into Char Gen as "Heavy" systems. Most notable amongst these is Hero. All its complexity is in Character generation; the mechanics of play are under 50 pages, but the powers list is 200+. Most of them work in very straightforward ways, and the expansions and limitations clearly modify the purchase of in-game effects, not of story mode.... so my 3d6 RKA Volcano Gun and your 3d6 RKA Radiation Gun work the same in the mechanics, unless you or I have added some side effects. My volcano gun adds a cumulative transform (as the power), while yours adds a radiation burst (line area effect 1 pip drain body)... It's daunting until one actually starts to use it. As Blue notes, at-table, DM Prep, and Character Gen are three different areas, and GURPS and Hero are high only on Character Gen, moderate on DM Prep, and low in at-table. Phoenix Command is high in All three areas, and in Character Gen, worse than GURPS by far.

Tuesday, 20th February, 2018

  • 10:54 PM - 77IM mentioned Blue in post Adept class
    OK, I made a bunch of subtle revisions based on Blue's feedback and my own dissatisfaction with the class. First, I finally found a flavor angle that I like, although I'm not sure I've articulated it well in the class write-up. I took one of the headers, "Master Your Own Destiny," and interpreted it literally. Role-wise, if a paladin is a "holy warrior with divine power," then we mostly think of an anti-paladin as "unholy warrior with demonic power." But the adept is sort of an a-paladin: "atheist warrior with scientific power." (In 5e, magic is often treated like a science, especially the wizard's approach with textbooks and formulae. This explains why the adept is an Int-caster like the wizard, and not a Cha-caster like the sorcerer.) So unlike the paladin, who follows an external power (even if it's not a god, it's a cosmic force like Justice), or the ranger, who has all this stuff about nature and balance and harmony, the adept is internally driven and wants to impose their own will on the world around them. At a metafictional ...

Tuesday, 13th February, 2018

  • 01:48 AM - steeldragons mentioned Blue in post Sorcerer spell chains
    This may help your guys' efforts: List of Spells by Damage Type (not including Xanathar's Guide spells). Sweet! Thank you. Bouncing from the 5e SRD -scrolling from Cleric (all the way at the beginning) to Wizard (all the way at the end), with period stops at Druid and Warlock, and to the Elemental Evil pdf was getting old REAL fast! I'm not making any promises and it is entirely likely that what I'm envisioning will be too much to fully flesh out, but maybe I can get something thrown together before 8e releases. :D PS: Thanks so much Blue for the thread, placing this bee in my class-creation bonnet...I really needed to be obsessing over/spending tons of time on this. ;P

Monday, 12th February, 2018

  • 06:52 PM - steeldragons mentioned Blue in post Sorcerer spell chains
    So, here, Blue , FrogReaver , Quickleaf , et al ...this is how I'm envisioning/thinking/dreaming this up as I run through it -in play- in my head... The Sorcerer HD, Proficiencies, Equipment all that crap is all the same (for now, though I'd seriously consider adding light armors and simple weapons, but warlocks already get that, don't they? So maybe not. ANYwho, for this/now, let's say it's all the same). Proficiency Bonus is the same (as every other class). Level . . Spell Points . . . . . . Features . . . . . . . . Spells Known . MM Known . Cantrips . 1st - 2nd - 3rd - 4th - 5th - 6th -7th .8th .9th 1st . . . . . . 2 . . . . Spellcasting, Sorcerous Chain . . . 2 . . . . . . . - . . . . . . . . 3 . . . . 2 2nd . . . . . .3 . . . . . . . . . Metamagic . . . . . . . . . . . .2 . . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . 3 . . . . 2 3rd . . . . . . 4 . . . . . . . . Arcane Sense . . . . . . . . . . 4 . . . . . . . .1. . . . . . . . . 3 . . . . 2 -- 2 4th . . . . . . 5 . . . . . . . ASI, Metamagi...
  • 07:22 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Blue in post Sorcerer spell chains
    Blue I think the further you go down this path the more you realize that what you're really aiming for is (a) more tightly themed sorcerers, and (b) a more adaptive magic system for sorcerers. For me personally, that would looks like something quite unlike the current spell system; for example, I'd imagine sorcerers having unique "cantrips" they could perform at-will or expend a resource to "power up" in various ways (kind of reflecting your spell chain ideas, where the more you power up, say, "Illusory Guise", the more it becomes similar to a disguise self, or alter self, or seeming. The challenge of fitting existing spells to that sort of template is that you invariably end up with square pegs in round holes... Transmogrify: Disguise Self, Alter Self, Polymorph Adapt: Enlarge/Reduce, Protection from Energy, Stoneskin Enhance: Jump, Enhance Ability, Water Breathing Does water breathing belong in Adapt or Enhance? I don't know. In fact, were I a player making a choice between "A...

Saturday, 27th January, 2018

  • 02:54 AM - TheCosmicKid mentioned Blue in post Proficiency die as a class feature
    ...'t roll anything, nobody else is rolling anything against you, there is no discrete point to say "You should roll a proficiency die here". I don't think there's any real choice but to use a constant value here. I suppose it's possible to say you roll for it once per day, or whenever you finish a short rest, or whatever, but that feels forced. For that constant value, the obvious option is to go with the standard proficiency bonus for a character of your level. But, like I said, that feels kind of disappointing to me: you still have a proficiency bonus, it's just hiding. So I'm currently playing with the idea of instead using the minimum value of your proficiency die (i.e., normally, 1). This doesn't seem too punishing to me because, unless I'm forgetting about something big, these effects are really rare. And it much better sells the flavor that, as a fool, you really are just bad at things whenever chance isn't involved. As for defining when to use the proficiency die, I like @Blue's thinking a lot. I hadn't quite considered the problem in terms of actions vs. passive effects. The problem is passive ability scores. Technically they're, well, passive, in that you don't use an action to activate them, and so would use the static bonus. But conceptually, a lot of the time passive scores do seem to represent repeated or abstracted activity, as has been discussed on the numerous other threads about them. And if I go with my static-bonus-is-1 idea, then applying that to all your passive scores would be rather punishing. So my current draft looks more like a generalized version of what @Charlaquin suggested: the defining quality is whether or not somebody is rolling a die. Roll of the Dice As a fool, you live by the maxim "Better lucky than good" -- even if you don't realize it yourself. You do not have a normal proficiency bonus. Whenever you would add your proficiency bonus to a roll, instead you roll your proficiency die, a d4, and add the result. If you woul...

Friday, 26th January, 2018

  • 07:19 AM - pemerton mentioned Blue in post Should time spent on system mechanics be based in interest or importance/risk?
    I've seen games that offer two or more resolution systems for similar tasks, one for a heavy detailed resolution and others for lightweight situations. The biggest problem with them is usually making the result of the lightweight system appropriate and plausible in the more detailed system ie. given the same starting parameters, both systems should present similar expected results at similar cost.I think this is hard to do in mathematical terms! (I'm thinking your probably agree with that.) To make it work, I think there need to be other paramaters in place that "buffer" or modulate the differences in outcome. "Fail forward" would be one, but not the only one. Blue's idea is another way of handling it - granularity tracks stakes, for some pre-set ranking of stakes. Blue, you seem to be giving up on this - but how does DitV handle it?


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Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 06:26 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Blue in post What are you Reading? June 2018 edition
    The Night Watch subseries of Discworld is my favorite, with the Fifth Elephant being tops in my book. There's something about the cast of characters and how they interact with each other and the rest of the city that hits the spot. Though, the Tiffany Aching subseries comes close, and at times is far deeper. Just finished Night Watch by Sir Terry Pratchett. I've always liked Vimes, how can you go wrong with Fifth Elephant or any of the other stories highlighting him and the Night Watch? This one I especially enjoyed.
  • 02:05 PM - BLC1975 quoted Blue in post Where have your favorite campaign ideas come from?
    I look for something that is particularly different and compelling, and then hang from there. I like coming up with what's unique about the setting and crafting a story around that, which couldn't happen in a "standard" faux-european-medeival-wtih-magic world. Let me give an example of a D&D campaign I've got "on-deck" to show what I mean that the setting leads the story and the story the setting. Refuges to Nowhere You have grown up in the Tower. The tower is vast and long, and the angles are all wrong. Square rooms with perfect corners have five sides, and those who travel too far up or down sometimes come back not right in the head. Windows open in the tower occasionally, looking out on what you are told are other planes. Some planes open on a regular cycle, and planting has been done to harvest when it comes back around. Others are less predicable. None are good places to stay. You've been told that your world was ending. Maybe it was overrun by undead. Or the sun was going ...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 10:07 PM - UngeheuerLich quoted Blue in post Help me plan my adventure! Dragons are too powerful!
    Most solo encounters are much weaker in 5e then they seem on paper because of the disparity in the number of actions a single creature gets vs. a full party. I wouldn't use your hatchling - it's a bag of HPs that if it hits does minor scratches, to be attacked by everyone else in the party and worn down quickly. Unless it stays far up, in which case the ranged characters will be the only ones having fun and every coupe of rounds it can breathe. What level is your party? The hatchling is not bad actually. Has movement options. 4d6 damage is not bad at all. 14 average damage. And hp are only 47 if you take the average. So I don't think the bag of hp and boring fight is justified here. A level 1 party does not stand a chance if not very lucky. A level 2 party should win the fight if they have most of their resources available. A level 3 party should win easily but depending on initiative and party composition might still have to spend a dew resources.
  • 05:57 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Blue in post Suspense in RPGs
    Just to add to your list, players buy victory with a lot of non-mechanical currency as well. Trading in that favor they are owed. Accepting loss of face to the court to beg the king to intervene. Promising an open-ended favor to an honorable villain for him to withdraw his support from the irredeemably evil big bad. Sacrificing themselves to allow the ritual to be stopped and the world saved. Yeah, that's not buying victory, it's bartering for victory. That's, like, totally different. ;) Somewhat seriously, though, there is a line between a price paid that's modeled in the system (you have so many slots/points/whatever, when do you use them?), and a price paid that's part of emerging story-line (this is the current situation, it could change/might not be what it seems, what do you do?). The former is part of the game, the latter is system-independent, so probably more relevant/helpful in a generic RPG discussion, now that I think of it.
  • 04:27 PM - mrpopstar quoted Blue in post Super Simple Armor
    I've thought about doing this my entire D&D life but have never had the guts. As a player it always annoys me when I SHOULD take an armor mathematically that doesn't match the aesthetic I am going for haha.I'm the same! Definitely interests me to just fold them all together and open up descriptive design space. I like it. But I would add that light armor is 13+dex(max 4) as for price: light armor 50gp medium 200gp heavy 1000gpIn my proposal max base AC with +5 Dex is 15, light armor nets a max base AC of 16, medium 17 and heavy 18. If we make light armor 13 + Dex (max 4) then light armor nets a max base of AC 17. I would like medium armor to be a meaningful differentiator for those who focus on Strength. It's ok, but why not just pick one PHB armor from each category, and say that everything else is not available on the market?I'm looking to offer more creative freedom instead of looking to minimize options. You could do +1 AC for 1000gp across the board, b...

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 03:37 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Blue in post What are you Reading? June 2018 edition
    I really enjoyed the first in that series, and need to get to the second. The magic system and worldbuilding are glorious. But yes, it isnít quite as jaw-dropping awesome as the Inheritance Trilogy. I'm reading the Dreamblood Duology by NK. Jemisin. Hard to tell, I feel I'm nearing the end of the first book (The Killing Moon). I am enjoying the book, and I am definitely enjoying non-faux-European fantasy. It's quite good, but it isn't hitting the threshold of fantastic that The Fifth Season instilled. I think it may be the more traditional storyteller's voice she's using -- it's good, but not as groundbreaking. (Heh, a Fifth Season joke if you've read it, that the narrator is groundbreaking.)

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 06:47 PM - Flexor the Mighty! quoted Blue in post Balancing D&D
    While he doesn't describe my table, I have seen plenty of it, especially at the AL games at my FLGS. We shouldn't try to be gatekeepers, dismissing other's style or games as not part of regular play. Yep. I like reading Cap's attempts to make the game work for his table. I don't get why people who are apparently bored or upset by this come in to say they are tired of this or upset. Just stay out of his threads would be easier I think. I was to a lesser degree trying to make 5e work and I didn't find a way and just switched to a different system. Hopefully Cap has better luck and maxes the fun at his table.
  • 01:07 PM - TwoSix quoted Blue in post Balancing D&D
    While he doesn't describe my table, I have seen plenty of it, especially at the AL games at my FLGS. We shouldn't try to be gatekeepers, dismissing other's style or games as not part of regular play. <nod> Plus, reading CZ's other thread about running an encounter based on Tomb of Annihilation, I don't see anything there that's some degenerate D&D situation. It looks like he's running a WotC published module mostly straight, with some tuning up of difficulty based on the number of PCs and their overall capability, and an acknowledgement that a capable party needs the screws really tightened in order to challenge them.

Sunday, 17th June, 2018

  • 11:24 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Blue in post Balancing D&D
    Simplest doesn't always mean best though. The MC removal in particular sounds like using a shotgun to kill flies. Not as overwhelming as nuking ti from orbit, but still massive overkill. "It's the only way to be sure..."

Saturday, 16th June, 2018

  • 01:38 PM - Li Shenron quoted Blue in post Dropping to 0 HP - Alternate Rule
    You had a longer, nuanced post, but I needed to comment on this specific part. Because it implies that you never do anything outside of combat that requires a roll. Because every, every, EVERY one of those ability/skill rolls made outside combat has disadvantage with even a single level of exhaustion. And with how slow exhaustion goes away, it can last for the entire adventure. Yes, I was talking only about combat. It's quite an oddity that the default exhaustion rules bestow disadvantage on ability checks first, considering how they include social and knowledge skills. One would assume that being tired would first hinder the most strenuous activities such as fighting. OTOH it could also be said that in combat the adrenaline pump makes you overcome mild tiredness better. I just think that with the exhaustion rules they went for a design which supposedly hit you first on what is considered less valuable in a gamist point of view (being uneffective in combat maybe feels worse t...
  • 03:43 AM - mrpopstar quoted Blue in post Does anyone still do mapping?
    AH, I've been playing that long as well, started back with Red Box Basic. I've just had my tastes in what I look for in a game mature over time. :)Are you calling our tastes immature? :p
  • 02:40 AM - DonT quoted Blue in post Does anyone still do mapping?
    I do mapping! Oh wait, I'm the DM. In reality, I make sure my players never have to do mapping. If I throw something like a maze at them, it's a skill challenge type-of-thing to work through it, not "you go 20 feet and can turn left or continue straight". I don't see the value in introducing meaningless points of decision. By meaningless, I mean that the players have no information to make a call so the choice has no meaning to them. Of course, my group isn't big on things like classic dungeon delves, I effectively use the Five Room Dungeon technique a lot. I've been playing long enough that seeing the corridor ahead and having to decide whether to turn or go straight seems part of the very essence of Dungeons and Dragons.

Thursday, 14th June, 2018

  • 12:49 AM - gyor quoted Blue in post 5e: Is it really lower magic/less gonzo than 3e?
    Let me give an incomplete answer. 5e has cut down on the need and availability of "magic item christmas trees", where magic item pluses are part of character advancement math. Magic items are rarer, and pluses are not needed. It's much lower magic item then 3.x and 4e. 5e has cut down on the number of spells available to high level casters, especially reducing the number of most of the highest level slots to just one per day even at 20th level. An 18th level caster, for example, only has one spell slot of 6th through 9th level. The buff-until-god of D&D 3.x is gone because most ongoing spells require Concentration. A caster can only Concentrate on one spell at a time. Bounded accuracy and it's unnamed skill/ability check cousin have expanded the range where foes are viable to play against. This means a 5th level party could go against something much tougher and still have a chance, and that a horde of goblins can still be a challenge for higher level parties (assuming they ...
  • 12:43 AM - OB1 quoted Blue in post Dropping to 0 HP - Alternate Rule
    It really varies. While over the course of the campaign it might be in the same neighborhood as your once per 2-3 sessions, these things usually don't occur evenly distributed. I played Storm King's Thunder at my local FLGS and with the giants high damage, to hit, and multiple melee attacks we'd have drops every other combat. And it was usually the same front-liners. Yeah to that end I wouldnít use this rule in any of the current WoTC APs and probably not for anything set in Forgotten Realms. Doesnít fit the flavor of that setting IMO. Iím considering pitching it to my group for an upcoming homebrew ďEvil EmpireĒ setting where the bad guys have previously won control of the world and the PCs are either rebels or scoundrels (or both) just trying to not get crushed.

Wednesday, 13th June, 2018

  • 09:36 PM - OB1 quoted Blue in post Houserule: 2 subclasses at once.
    Really good point. Channel divinity can join Ki as another example. And it could also be contention for other resources - for example if both subclasses grant special abilities that need a bonus action to activate, then it's either/or vs. other classes that could get all of their advantages at the same time. I donít understand how that makes the option weaker than having just one subclass. Yes they compete for the same resource, but you have more options on what to do with that resource, which in turn likely leads to using the resource more often. Canít tell you how many times I see players with leftover Chanel divinities at the end of an adventuring day.
  • 09:35 PM - TwoSix quoted Blue in post Houserule: 2 subclasses at once.
    Wouldn't this be the opposite? Two of the same class are more likely to have overlap if they are picking two subclasses instead of one. That's not against the idea, just that that partial goal I don't think it addresses. That's a valid point. I was thinking of it more from the standpoint of "If class A has 6 subclasses, picking two of the six gives you fifteen options, instead of just six". My own group tends to avoid class repeats, so I'm not overly concerned with possible subclass overlap. Still, something to think about, thanks!
  • 07:52 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Blue in post Players with multiple characters
    Back in my teens/20s, I had one DM I played D&D and Champions with, and he ran multiple groups in the same world. Some of those groups had overlap, so we'd have multiple characters in the world. We'd also have things like our 12+ hour Saturday games (ah, college) with 6 players, and we had different campaigns based on which players would be able to make it - all within the same world. ... Once a year he'd have a big crossover session that was hella fun to RP across all the groups, would end up a bit like Avengers: Infinity War in that we'd break up into smaller groups (though not the normal hero teams, so new dynamics) for much of it to allow us to get thigns done, and then end with a huge crossover combat-with-plot - or several simultaneous combats where we each had to do their part of stopping the major villain plans (team A disable the earthquake generators while team B dealt with the subterranean menace...). In that same Champions world, we eventually started a UN team where each ...
  • 04:33 PM - Li Shenron quoted Blue in post Dropping to 0 HP - Alternate Rule
    Pardon me if the following reaction seems a bit extreme. NO! Okay, now onto a slightly more nuanced evaluation. Shadowrun had a Death Spiral, where taking damage made you less able to resist damage, which made you take more damage, which made you ineffective and unfun to play, and then it killed you. Exhaustion does the same. At the first it starts to make you less fun to play. Like violently less fun to play. Almost every single roll in every pillar of play outside combat is an ability check. (All skill checks are ability checks.) So the first thing you have is that you take disadvantage on every single thing you do except combat. So combat makes you suck at non-combat. The people who will take the most hits (on purpose) are the front line combatants. The second level of exhaustion, halving speed, will harm them them most. So now they suck out of combat and are greatly harmed within it. The third is the start of the death spiral in teams of making it harder to r...
  • 02:36 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Blue in post Multiclass: Paladin/Bard
    I worry about how long it takes to all come together. <...> Later on it comes together nicely - as paladin + full CHR caster does. But in an actual campaign starting from 1st I personally wouldn't start multiclassing until I had a solid foundation in one class or the other - at least 5th. With paladin auras that might be 6th or 7th, which would make me want to grab the ASI at 8th. With bard (lore) I might want magical secrets at 6th. That can definitely be an issue, although I do think 5E is more tolerant of a few points here and there, especially if the player is savvy. Still, some character builds are fine at a particular level but if you're playing from level 1 up they'd be pretty rough trade. The flip side is one of the reasons I'm usually not too concerned about things like the 20th level power... so what? The vast majority or all of the character's career will not be spent at 20th level. That said, many of the lower to mid level class features are very nice and on par or even be...

Sunday, 10th June, 2018

  • 10:41 PM - Riley37 quoted Blue in post Optimization potential: Builds you would play if they weren't so suboptimal
    We need to figure out a way for a character and all of their summons not to take up more time on their turn then any other character. What's worked for me: give control of the summoned creatures, to other players. The summoner PC can still give orders, as per each spell, but the player at the table who moves the counters, rolls the dice, and tells the GM what came up on the dice, is any willing player *other* than the summoner.


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