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Date of Birth
January 5, 1969 (50)
About twofalls
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I'd be interested in participating in a SR 4e or 3.0/5 game no more than once a week.
About Me:
Seminarian attending Concorida Theological Seminary, Indiana. I have a family, and am very busy during the school year, but gaming is how I kick back and let off the stress from my studies.
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Portland, Oregon, United States
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JamesEBeadle
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Italy
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My first love is running rpgs, however my time being limited during the school year I have had to let that go. I'd really enjoy playing in a Shadworun 4e or a D&D 3/3.5 game that is attended by folks my age. Currently I am in a Warhammer Fantasy RPG, which will be ending in a couple of months.

I am a miniatures gamer, playing Warmachine/Hordes, 40K, WHFB, and Dystopian Wars, and I also play WoW and a little MtG.

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Please Help: I need a good sourcebook or two on fantasy dwarves Tolkien style Thursday, 18th April, 2019 12:05 PM

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My Game Details
Town:
Portland
State:
Indiana
Country:
Italy
Game Details:
My first love is running rpgs, however my time being limited during the school year I have had to let that go. I'd really enjoy playing in a Shadworun 4e or a D&D 3/3.5 game that is attended by folks my age. Currently I am in a Warhammer Fantasy RPG, which will be ending in a couple of months.

I am a miniatures gamer, playing Warmachine/Hordes, 40K, WHFB, and Dystopian Wars, and I also play WoW and a little MtG.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019


Friday, 3rd May, 2019


Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 11:01 AM - Harzel mentioned twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    If the core issue is "players have no idea what to do with their skills if they are not specific", then I wouldn't change the rules at all and instead simply give them a handout that lists each official D&D 5e skill with a list of things you can do with that skill. This. And perhaps to do that in a way that leverages / integrates with how the OP has been thinking about the problem: go ahead and create and/or steal a more detailed list of skills. Then just figure out which 5e skill subsumes each one and use that (along with abilities/skills info from the PHB) to construct the list that @Rya.Reisender suggests. Seems like that would produce a set of ideas for the players that is as specific and suggestive as an expanded skill list would be without the trouble of having to muck about with rules changes. I have another point to make, but I want to preface it by saying I intend no disrespect to @twofalls or your players - please don't take this comment in a way that is as extreme or dismissive as it may at first sound. Anyway, here's the thing: 5e skills are not meant as buttons to be pushed. The basic outlook for the player should be that the PC "can attempt anything". In the main, ideas for PC actions should arise from their circumstances, not from a preexisting list of things they can do.* Of course, it is reasonable that that should be tempered by knowing what each PC is good at, but in 5e that description by design comprises very general categories, not specific actions. The advantage of this is adaptability to varying circumstances. (The PHB section Chapter 7 Using Ability Scores >> Skills >> Variant: Skills with Different Abilities suggests one facet of this flexibility.) Now, really, I expect that you understand this pretty well already and so it is possible that I am just a noisy intrusion. But several of your comments indicate, to me at least, that your players are lea...
  • 02:12 AM - 77IM mentioned twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    Here's another way to look at this whole issue. During game play, some skills see a LOT more use than others. I rarely see Animal Handling checks in play. They happen, sure, but not that often. Ditto for Performance, Medicine, maybe Nature. Conversely, :):):):)ing PERCEPTION is rolled like every 5 minutes. Skills like Athletics and Arcana and Persuasion fall somewhere in the middle. Then there are oddballs like Stealth, which can be tremendously useful for certain characters and seldom used by others. Obviously, this varies somewhat by table and DMing style. Some DMs put a lot of effort into finding uses for all skills. But I don't think it's a stretch to say that in general the current skills are not really balanced. I'm not saying that this is a problem -- I personally find the skill list "balanced enough" that it's not worth house-ruling. But, twofalls, if you are going to expand the skill list in some way, this is something you should keep in mind. Splitting up a skill like Acrobatics into Climbing, Swimming, Running and Jumping sounds good, but now each of those skills is much less attractive than the consolidated Athletics. And even though I rag on Perception as overpowered, I agree with billd91 that you shouldn't split it up, because it becomes too confusing which one to use. (The fact that it is rolled frequently makes simplicity really important.) One potential solution here is to have skills cost different amount of "points." So maybe you have Nature proficiency cost 1 point, Climbing costs 2 points, Acrobatics costs 4 points, and Perception costs 8 points, or something like that. Give everybody 4 points per skill they used to have -- so 8 points for backgrounds, 8 points for most classes but 12 for bards/rangers and 16 for rogues, 8 bonus points for half-elves, etc. This way players who pick a really great skill like Perc...

Wednesday, 27th March, 2019

  • 08:09 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    ...appens. . It's funny because this how I play every system that has skills, 3e included. "I want to do this, do I need to roll anything?" "Yes, skill x is most appropriate." I think you are describing an rp style. Maybe 5e encourages that style more than others, I don't know. And sometimes rolling a skill is appropriate even when success is guaranteed because: a) my player has invested heavily in a skill and 'wants' to roll a dice and show off how cool his character is at doing skill (x). Who am I do deny a player a chance to throw a die if it brings them joy? Players tend to approach problems using the tools they are best at and, often, like to show those things off. b) Sometimes I use degrees of success which doesn't usually affect anything other than narrative. So it lets a player or GM narrate a cooler description or outcome if they succeed with style. Usually 'b' comes as a result of 'a'. I'm happy to narrate a cool success without the use of dice too. twofalls The skill list in 5e is good. Expand the use of Investigation a bit and make Perception less of a catch-all Use Medicine more If you were looking for a way to incorporate point-buy skills in 5e, then I'd probably have suggestions but it doesn't look that way. 5ekyu had lots of good suggestions. - As suggested, Definitely separate stats from skills. Use the skill/stat combinations that best suit the situation/action. - I've done away with 'tools as skill proficiency' and just made each tool a 'profession' skill. A lack of tools either makes it impossible to do that skill or gives you disadvantage. It hasn't changed much - it's really mostly a change in semantics (using Burglary instead of 'Thieve's Tools', for instance) but I like the change.

Monday, 8th April, 2013


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Wednesday, 17th April, 2019


Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 02:09 PM - Voadam quoted twofalls in post Please Help: I need a good sourcebook or two on fantasy dwarves Tolkien style
    Voadam, thank you for reminding me of this, I own all the Scarred Lands material. That society was Lawful Evil if I recall correctly, and very atypical of most dwarven fantasy settings. I will take a look at it again. I liked them enough as a concept to throw their fallen cross-continent empire into my Golarion/Ptolus/Other homebrew setting's history to be part of the past when dwarves and elves ruled most everything.

Saturday, 30th March, 2019

  • 12:15 AM - 5ekyu quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    No, you are not catching what I am trying to say, and that may be my not saying it well. Randomness in and of itself is not bad, but to my way of playing, story is everything. I'm first and foremost telling a story with my players. Story that out of necessity involves system because we are playing a game, but with regards to how I present the world I want the system to be as innocuous as possible. I want the focus to be the setting, the immediate surroundings, and the story that flows through both of those. So when my players are rooting around in the cellar of a tower and one of them pours water onto the floor (to borrow our earlier example) I don't want it in the players minds that if they score the needed 15 suddenly treasure "appears". I want them to be excited that they discovered something that might possibly have a treasure hidden in a poorly sealed floorboard with a space beneath it. I don't often use random wandering monsters. I do when having one will add to the story I'm telling, but...

Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 11:58 PM - 5ekyu quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    I think you took this harder than I intended it. There wasn't any acrimony in me when I wrote it. If you felt there was I apologize.Well asking someone why anyone would even show up to their games seems a bit dismissive of their gaming style. I have z feeling had I said it folks would be lining up to tell me I am being rude. But then it's a thing rounds here anyway.
  • 10:10 PM - 5ekyu quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    That's creative, I've heard of systems that do similar things, typically with fate pointconcepts were the players get to influence the world during the game.So, in a recent session, characters were heading up a rise to get yo the necromancer top the hills. They knew there were undead sll over the place and scouting had spotted a couple particular badbones. On the way up, the druid use Pass without Trace twice at key points of vulnerability. In both cases, I flipped a face card club, described one of the bigger threats either heading thrir way or crossing the path behind them and just keeping going because of the PWoT. Each turn of card got an "oh crap" as they saw BIG FIGHT and then a hoot of "Hell yeah" as they saw concrete PWOT payoff. The druid was ecstatic - not just hearing "they walked by" but seeing me "burn" a card. Later on, they saw a number of the strays heading west - out of their way. They realized the dead were going after bug bears the scouts had spotted and that this reall...
  • 09:59 PM - 5ekyu quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    I wasn't pretending to not understand, I really don't get it. However you cannot argue with success, and if your players love your games then you are to be congratulated (really, seriously congratulated, being a good DM isn't easy). How you describe it and I understand it wouldn't ever work for me, but then I'm only hearing you describe it, and that isn't the same thing as experiencing your running it. Much is lost in that transition.Let me ask you to perhaps indulge me with a follow-up question. If the results from the character deciding to search a room led to a wandering monster encounter and on that monster they found treasure, would that also be something you dont understand? That's an unplanned monster and treasure find. If not, if that's ok and hey how things are done sometimes (like since earliest dnd) why then is the result being unplanned treasure find without the monster so beyond understanding?
  • 09:39 PM - 5ekyu quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    I wasn't pretending to not understand, I really don't get it. However you cannot argue with success, and if your players love your games then you are to be congratulated (really, seriously congratulated, being a good DM isn't easy). How you describe it and I understand it wouldn't ever work for me, but then I'm only hearing you describe it, and that isn't the same thing as experiencing your running it. Much is lost in that transition.Perhaps. Folks have different preferences and for some a gm changing anything is like some form of din because for thrir gameplay a gm is supposed to be a referee of sorts. Me, nah, not my style. For the players I tend to attract and who stay, the idea that things are more driven by them, their characters and their choices, actions, aptitudes than my pre-set, pre-fab, pre-run plan and numbered map spots seems to make them happy. Go figure. But again, I find that works best when it's not hidden. I tell them straight up about my dirty dozen- list of stuff to p...
  • 09:18 PM - 5ekyu quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    Are you saying that your players know that treasure found is generated by their search tests, that it exists or doesn't exist based on what they roll? Is this really how you play? It's one thing for this to be a true yet hidden aspect of the game, but another thing to be an open fact. I want to think I'm misunderstanding you because if this is how you run these things, then why do your players bother coming to game? If adventure treasures are simply generated by their own dice rolls, then were is the sense of a real world existing behind their adventuring? It would be like playing games of Bethesda's Daggerfalls where all dungeons and awards are randomly generated. I must be misunderstanding you. Edit: Unless, perhaps, these little rewards are so ancillary and unimportant to your players that it's just not that big a deal. That would be an unusual circumstance, but within the realm of possibility I suppose. 2nd edit: I actually found the liquid on the floor idea to be very creative, and I als...
  • 03:29 PM - iserith quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    I am very sandbox and don't run many dungeons/linear stories, that may also be a problem. This group may need more of that rather than less. Yeah, man, get them into a dungeon. There is no better place for players to gain confidence in decision-making. Plus, going into the underworld, facing your fears, and coming away with knowledge and gold to bring back to the community is part of the hero's journey. It will resonate and they may not even know why. Save the faction-based politicking for later, I say!
  • 02:01 PM - TaranTheWanderer quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    Thank you. I understood this, but it was still well worth pointing out. I was actually convinced early on by 5ekyu's short essay on the topic of skills, and have decided to do this. I am uncoupling all skills from both stats and class/backgrounds and simply allowing the PC's to gain slots which they will freely choose their skills (most characters will thus have 4). Then I will be tying in game skill use to backgrounds. If the PC can make a logical case why their background will allow them to skillfully preform an action I will allow it dependent on the circumstances. The four extra skills represent things the PC's have picked up that are atypical or complimentary of their backgrounds, thus hopefully preventing cookie cutter similarities (ie. all farmers are not the same, all nobles are not the same, etc). The problem my group is having with getting stuck on what to do has a lot to do with the makeup of the party. Everyone is bright, that isn't the problem, however they overthink absolutely ...
  • 01:52 PM - DMMike quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    If the PC can make a logical case why their background will allow them to skillfully preform an action I will allow it dependent on the circumstances. . . however they overthink absolutely everything to the point of paralysis. There are a great deal of politics and NP interaction in the game, and combats tend to be very dangerous most of the time. Everyone is very attached to their PCs (because I have designed things to encourage this attachment) and no one wants to die. Allow me to open up my D&D Emergency Kit...paralysis can be remedied with a few band-aids: Forget about succeed/fail. If your PCs think in these terms, they'll overthink anything (roll) that could result in a Fail. Add some gray area in between. Remove death as a possibility. Ever heard of a "fate worse than death?" This could help PCs spring into combat, if that's what you're wanting them to do. If your PCs are stuck on "I can't do it if it's not in the skill list," give them this list, and a LOT more skill prof...
  • 01:29 PM - Ovinomancer quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    Thank you. I understood this, but it was still well worth pointing out. I was actually convinced early on by 5ekyu's short essay on the topic of skills, and have decided to do this. I am uncoupling all skills from both stats and class/backgrounds and simply allowing the PC's to gain slots which they will freely choose their skills (most characters will thus have 4). Then I will be tying in game skill use to backgrounds. If the PC can make a logical case why their background will allow them to skillfully preform an action I will allow it dependent on the circumstances. The four extra skills represent things the PC's have picked up that are atypical or complimentary of their backgrounds, thus hopefully preventing cookie cutter similarities (ie. all farmers are not the same, all nobles are not the same, etc). The problem my group is having with getting stuck on what to do has a lot to do with the makeup of the party. Everyone is bright, that isn't the problem, however they overthink absolutely ...
  • 10:36 AM - Sadras quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    That said, crunch is still necessary, we are playing a game after all, and my players are all telling me what great fun they are having, but are often stuck without ideas on how to handle difficult situations (part of it is that there is no natural leader right now in the player mix). I was hoping that a more robust skill system would encourage new ideas and help guide them a bit with regards to understanding what their characters can do. I'm not convinced that expanding the skill system would help players who are often stuck without ideas. I believe writing down Balancing, Climbing, Jump, Might, Running, Swimming, Tumbling...etc on a character sheet won't fix the issue. IMO, expanding the skill system will serve to create greater character differentiation between two fighters of the same level with the same stat score proficient in say Athletics. One might be a better swimmer the other a better long distance runner. Or two clerics both proficient in Religion, one might be a better theologia...

Thursday, 28th March, 2019

  • 06:22 PM - Oofta quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    I'm certainly guilty of that. I'm 50, and I've run D&D games since I was 9. I have a horrible time mixing rules up between editions, and I generally think that 5e is the most elegant and well formed version of D&D ever created. I'm very story oriented and always have been, so the crunch is less important to me than the ability to spin the story and have interesting NPC interactions. That said, crunch is still necessary, we are playing a game after all, and my players are all telling me what great fun they are having, but are often stuck without ideas on how to handle difficult situations (part of it is that there is no natural leader right now in the player mix). I was hoping that a more robust skill system would encourage new ideas and help guide them a bit with regards to understanding what their characters can do. This works well in Shadowrun (my fav rpg setting), but that is a very system heavy game and the skill system doesn't translate to D&D at all. If people seem to be stuck I will on ...
  • 02:37 PM - iserith quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    I'm certainly guilty of that. I'm 50, and I've run D&D games since I was 9. I have a horrible time mixing rules up between editions, and I generally think that 5e is the most elegant and well formed version of D&D ever created. I'm very story oriented and always have been, so the crunch is less important to me than the ability to spin the story and have interesting NPC interactions. That said, crunch is still necessary, we are playing a game after all, and my players are all telling me what great fun they are having, but are often stuck without ideas on how to handle difficult situations (part of it is that there is no natural leader right now in the player mix). I was hoping that a more robust skill system would encourage new ideas and help guide them a bit with regards to understanding what their characters can do. This works well in Shadowrun (my fav rpg setting), but that is a very system heavy game and the skill system doesn't translate to D&D at all. Can you share any examples of the s...

Wednesday, 27th March, 2019

  • 07:02 PM - 5ekyu quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    First thank you for these comprehensive responses, they are so far more than I expected. I will respond first to the questions that 5ekyu posed as they are more in depth than I had even really thought of myself, and I think they cover what everyone else has asked. My general dislike for the 5e system stems from my feeling that it is too limited in scope, that the skills are so broad that I'm often being left with uncertainty about how to apply them. Also, I have found that more comprehensive systems give players ideas on how to use skills themselves they may not have thought of. Can you name two things that the 5e skills system *currently does* that you like and want to keep? I do like that the current system is simple, and it meshes well with the manner in which D&D is played in that it uses a D20 and is tied to both the proficency bonus and the attribute bonus. I like this and would like to keep it. Can you name two things that the 5e skills system *currently does* that y...
  • 05:34 PM - 5ekyu quoted twofalls in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    I will be starting a new game in a few months, and find that I am very dissatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system, and would like something more comprehensive, but not terribly more complex. I could just import the system from 3.0 into 5e, however I can well imagine that this is a topic that has been addressed here before, and thought that someone might be able to point me in the direction of some good ideas or information, at least I hope as much. before i could even begin, i would need to know more about what you want and what you do not like? I mean you could be unhappy because there are too many skills or way too few. you could be unhappy with proficiency vs tools or fixed ability score to skills or not advancing skill ranks or number of skills as you level, or that they advance too much and make tasks too easy when combined with class features and options. So i would ask the following: Can you name two things that the 5e skills system *currently does* that you like and want to keep? Can ...

Tuesday, 16th April, 2013

  • 06:41 PM - Janx quoted twofalls in post In need of advice: laptop vs ipad for tabletop gaming!
    I've played with my mothers iPad and I own a large very powerful gaming laptop as well, which is just to heavy to lug about for rpg games. I decided to invest in a Nexus 10, and opted for the 16gig version simply because for a $4 app and a $3 adapter I can use any flash drive I wish as backup storage. There are tons of apps availible, and I find I am now using my tablet more than my laptop (for surfing, short email, etc). For gaming and research papers/composition I use my laptop or desktop. I would suggest the tablet myself, but not being an apple fan I'd go with a nexus. Good solution. I like my iPad, but there are plenty of other tablet products out there that solve the problem just as well. It's also worth noting, text data does not take up space in any significant way. My 16GB iPad1 is holding up just fine. You don't need more storage to run a spreadsheet app or other char sheet tool and hold some characters. Now movies, music and lots of apps will chew up your space. But 16GB is ...

Monday, 8th April, 2013

  • 07:24 PM - darjr quoted twofalls in post How do you set up a game group these days?
    I did find a link off the pen & paper's web site that you provided to a campaign that is posted on Obsidian's site, and I just sent a message to that DM. Its not Shadowrun, but beggars cannot be choosers. :) I appreciate your help and kindness. James That's awesome! don't forget local gaming conventions, and Pathfinder Society and Encounters. They have their pitfalls but may be a point of contact for many great gamers.
  • 01:24 PM - Blue quoted twofalls in post How do you set up a game group these days?
    These are all good ideas, and I will follow up on them. What I'd really love would be to find a 4th end shadow run game, but it seems not many play here in Portland. Most folks my age (43) have too many responsibilities or time constraints or other interests. Computer games are easier it seems. If you can't find enough people to start a game of your Shadowrun, perhaps finding a group that plays something you enjoy even if it's not your absolute first pick, and when that campaign runs down you can try to convince them to take up SR as the next. Also, stay realistic in what you are planning when trying to get a game together. An every-other-week after-work game is much more likely to happen than a "all day every Saturday" at our age. Kids, spouse, work, house and other responsibilities take up a lot of time.

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