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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:45 AM
    Each 'type' of wizard plays very differently. My deep gnome enchanterplays far differently my human abjurer did. My deep gnome urchin enchanter is a blast. With his limited 'hold monster cantrip', his attack deflection, his large set of rituals (which you underestimate in value.... they're huge) and a wide selection of spells gained via leveling and finding, he has a lot of options.... ...
    65 replies | 1747 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:24 AM
    Look at the three evil alignments in the PHB. Lawful evil (LE) creatures methodically take what they want, within the limits of a code of tradition, loyalty, or order. A druid devoted to restoring the natural order with no regard for the destruction he inflicts on society would be a possible example. So would a druid that uses the power of nature to inflict wrath upon his enemies on behalf of...
    36 replies | 792 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 03:03 AM
    A lot of ideas like these make sense to a DM, and may make sense to players, but suffer from one problem - they limit options. As a DM, I like to say yes to players as much as I reasonably can. It allows them to contribute to the story more. So, if you do it, I'd make it a general rule, but not a firm rule. That will allow players from culture A (which is generally a 'pure' human) choose to...
    16 replies | 424 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 02:43 AM
    In terms of power relative to enemies and allies, the early edition Wizards were more powerful than modern ones, especially at levels 5 and above. In 5E, they do not suck. They are faily balanced, but if you embrace their creative controller aspects, they can be very strong.
    1204 replies | 256872 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 03:02 PM
    It would take 10,000,000 words to create thorough illusion rules. Not. Gonna. Happen. Step 1: Ask your DM. They'll make a ruling. Step 2: Ask about inconsistency with a prior ruling. Accept the response that magic is mysterious.
    73 replies | 1673 view(s)
    4 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 05:08 AM
    I'd say go for it, but tell the players thatthey will need to reuild once new psion rules are released... which I expect to see (probably in another UA) in the next 6 months.
    7 replies | 543 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 04:09 PM
    Don't start with D&D. Start simpler and work up. 1.) Tell stories with them. Go through a story like Goldilocks that they know and ask them what Goldilocks does at each of the pivotal moments in the tale. Then tell it again, but give her some other choices - Does she drink from the giant cup that is too big, too small or just right? Then tell the story with her again, but add in the trip...
    30 replies | 1057 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 04:56 PM
    If the are any Roc nearby, you may travel much faster while on horseback, but only towards the Roc nest.
    41 replies | 1379 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 03:21 AM
    ... but you do not know what class you want the character tohave to start (cleric, fighter?) Go play with yourself. By this, I of course mean you should go roleplay the character's start by yourself. Go tell a good story about how the PC developed his quirks, ideals, blonds, flaws and traits. See where it takes him... and then build the first level PC off of that foundation. It should...
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 02:31 AM
    Start at level 1 with your gnome evoker - and see what happens. There will be a lot of things released in the coming year - and a lot of story that unfolds in your campaign - so worry about the future when you get there. Incidentally, I've been thoroughly enjoying a deep gnome enchanter for a couple years in a slow moving campaign. He is a pleasure to play - and I've never considered...
    41 replies | 1108 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th January, 2019, 11:57 PM
    Suggestion: Always check to see how old a thread is before responding. This is not to say you can't respond to an ancient comment, but it is usually a waste as opinions may change or people may have left. This conversation burned out 10 months ago.
    1204 replies | 256872 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th January, 2019, 11:08 PM
    The end result is the same - more variation in spellcasting.
    38 replies | 862 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th January, 2019, 11:06 PM
    Mercer may have had some inside information that pirates were an emphasis for 2019... but I doubt he cared or changed anything in his plans if he did know. Look at his history - he is not beholden to WotC in any when when it comes to running his game. He runs his game like most DMs do - by crafting the story he wants to lead and watching his players randomize those plans like crazy.
    223 replies | 7640 view(s)
    3 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th January, 2019, 10:04 PM
    You can go old school and just deny your PCs the chance to learn some spells. Some examples of this idea: For example, when a wizard gains a level and gets 2 spells, they have to roll an intelligence check for each with a DCof 15+spell level. if they fail, they can't learn the spell for a number of levels equal to the amount by which they failed the check. They can immediately attempt again...
    38 replies | 862 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th January, 2019, 05:32 PM
    I remember saying that about $2000 of minis ago....
    18 replies | 748 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th January, 2019, 05:16 PM
    They tweak the rules as they see necessary in their errata. See the recent changes to animal companions, for example. However, they don't think the rules need substantial changes. Nor do I. I would have designed a few things a bit differently, but that does not mean the same thing as them needing to change... The game is designed so that efficient, but not optimized, PCs can succeed...
    97 replies | 3474 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th January, 2019, 11:27 PM
    So your thought is that a recent Critical Role adventure magically caused WotC to plan a pirate themed set of products a couple years ago? Uhhh..... Because development on this stuff is a long process.... And there are a few streamed games that are dungeon delves, including a few going through recent WoTC products.
    223 replies | 7640 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th January, 2019, 11:11 PM
    Depending upon the type of dance, it would be ok for her to have a wand, or rod, to use as an implement. They are not inherently magical in 5E.
    19 replies | 568 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th January, 2019, 05:50 PM
    jgsugden started a thread Gargantuan Giants
    I'm looking to add a few Titans to my miniatures collection and thought I'd ask for suggestions. However, there are few options out there and they all seem expensive. Ideally, these Titans would be: 1.) Gargantuan in size (standing about 10 to 12" tall), 2.) Would look good amongst typical giants without massive repainting, and 3.) Would not cost an arm and a leg. The Rune Giant from...
    0 replies | 163 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th January, 2019, 01:15 AM
    The UA article that outlined an approach to psionics is a good start and will likely be the easiest thing to transition into whatever final psionics option WotC adopts.
    8 replies | 340 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 06:33 PM
    I treat it like a magic item. Harder to destroy than than normal materials, but destructible. The underlying surface is infused with the magic.
    12 replies | 528 view(s)
    4 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 02:15 AM
    I do not find this to be a problem at all. The 'magic feel' is something you can alter with more of a magical description. However, if you do find this to be a problem: Increase the number of cantrips a class gains by 2. Give them a recharge (like monster abilities - 1 in 6 chance to recharge each round). Make Eldritch Blast autorecharge so that you do not mess with Warlocks. The...
    203 replies | 6370 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 09:42 PM
    Let me cast calm emotions first as you seem to have a pickle in the haystack, here. There is a fundamental difference in our perspectives. You're talking about saying "No". I, as a DM, will only say No in one circumstance - if the player does not fit in the game, the group will tell them, "No, you can't play with us." And this is something I've only done three times since the 1970s. ...
    45 replies | 911 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 08:19 PM
    You're looking at the destination. I'm looking at the journey. The story, in a role playing game, is the center. The mechanics are just tools to help us provide some random chance and unknowns into the story so that it is not predestined. Justifying a mechanic with a story decision isn't all bad, however. If the mechanics sound fun... GREAT! Come up with a fun story to support it and...
    45 replies | 911 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 08:12 PM
    Hard is not the issue.Players do not play in the DM's world. The players and the DM craft a world together. It is the duty of the player and DM to work together to find a path that works for everyone. If the DM has a storyline that would be violated by a player choice, they need to consider ways around it. That could include asking the player if they are ok with another approach, or it...
    45 replies | 911 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 07:46 PM
    If you ignore the insanely important part of what I said, yes.
    45 replies | 911 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 03:51 PM
    Step 1: Allow players to change their racial ASI if they have a good story reason for it. No further steps nevessary.
    45 replies | 911 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 03:43 PM
    Define a term before applying it and there are fewer questions on whether it applies to a situation. This is really more of a discussion of what we mean by "healing spell" or "heal". I've seen it used to allow healing, to allow movement up and out of a pit, to provide stealth, and to effectively levitate.
    296 replies | 7184 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 10:49 PM
    Your failure was your assumption that there it only works in one way. It is wild, fickle, contradictory and capricious. It can't be controlled - by PCs, at least - and it isn't something that can be made into a sensical model with no contradictions. For my purposes, I deterine 'return schedules' for the PCs when they enter the Feywild. I'll roll as many return schedules as there are PCs,...
    26 replies | 662 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 10:03 PM
    If there are no explicit mechanics, it is an NPC. A pet dog is a lot like a hired hand... it will follow commands - generally, but may not meet all your expectations. I introduced a spell simmilar to "Find Steed" for druids, rangers, and nature clerics. It summons a beast with a CR equal to or less than the spell level used to cast the spell. That beast becomes a loyal ally of the caster...
    18 replies | 694 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th December, 2018, 03:11 PM
    Bah! Healing spells are even more broken! They get to undue the damage *after* you've been hit! You can see how much damage they deal before you decide to undue it! (Sarcasm for those that have not had morning coffee yet). Yes, Shield, like Fireball, Magic Missile, and a few other iconic spells, is INTENTIONALLY strong in a conditional way. However, it is not game breaking. It generally...
    45 replies | 1584 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd December, 2018, 07:00 PM
    Both can be very, very effective. Neither wizard nor sorcerer are best served by focusing in on single target
    82 replies | 3694 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd December, 2018, 11:50 PM
    The first slaad speaks like the Hulk. The second like a Smurf. The third like Chunk from the Goonies. The fourth just barks. The fifth is silent, of course. The sixth restates everything that was just said, but messes it up. The seventh thinks it is a tiger. The eighth knows it is Tigger. The ninth tries to figure out what type of Modron everyone is, but decides everyone is a mono-drone. ...
    40 replies | 1231 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th December, 2018, 04:51 PM
    If your goal is to create something that feels less like a charismatic wizard and more like soething that draws magic from the world and their heritage, I'd change the feature that makes them most like the wizard: Their spell progression table. • No spell progression, just spell points. • Creating a spell slot from a sorcery point requires an action. • A spell slot that is not used in an...
    67 replies | 1717 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th December, 2018, 07:40 AM
    I don't have materials to post, but I've run the following one shots over the last few Decembers: 1.) Inspired by the Big Bang Theory, the PCs rescued Santa and his elves. It was a pretty straight forward session. 2.) The PCs awoke with no memory. A glowing light pleaded with them - a random assortment of PCs (including a dragon and an intelligent owlbear) - to climb the steepes, battle...
    7 replies | 251 view(s)
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About jgsugden

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Wednesday, 9th January, 2019


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Tuesday, 1st January, 2019



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Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

  • 05:36 PM - Sword of Spirit mentioned jgsugden in post Wizard's Spell Book Allocation
    So far, the only wizards we have encountered have been from published adventures (including previous edition adventures). If it makes sense for them to encounter a wizard in a home-brew adventure or other situation, they will.The spellbook's location is usually specified in the adventure. If not, I place it in a place that makes sense. They usually carry a copy on them so they don't risk it being stolen somewhere else. If the PC defeats the wizard, they should usually be able to get access to their spellbook. While 5e doesn't require it, found spellbooks and scrolls has traditionally been the wizards main method of acquiring spells, and should be encouraged. As jgsugden said, finding spells won't mess anything up. One thing to keep in mind is that copying spells into a spellbook a major drain on resources. And if you want to make a backup spellbook that adds even more cost (not too much though in 5e). My wizard is perpetually poor. Sometimes he has to borrow money from other party members. Usually he has spells he can't yet afford to copy sitting around in a captured spellbook. At the same time, the party members who don't spend much money are racking up a nice nest egg. As far as fleshing out the spellbook itself, here is what I do. 1) If there is a published list of spells in the book, or a list of prepared spells, I start there. 2) I figure out how many spells he should know based on the wizard class rules. 3) After they hit that number, I tend to give them a few more spells. NPC wizards expand their spellbook too! I roll a die for this based on what makes sense to me. 4) I figure out which spells they have. a) I don't worry about whi...

Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 09:50 PM - Staffan mentioned jgsugden in post Does immunity to Charm prevent other enchantment spells?
    jgsugden is pretty much right. Many enchantment spells use the format "must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed for the duration. While charmed in this way, ______________". If you're immune to the charmed condition, you would not be affected by such a spell (unless it has multiple effects - for example, I could imagine a spell that charmed you and gave you some form of buff, and in such a case the buff would remain unless it was specifically tied to the charm condition).

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 08:50 PM - akr71 mentioned jgsugden in post Need input on a ship based mini adventure
    Ooh, jgsugden I really like that! I had been trying to figure out who the slavers clients were. I was playing with the idea of an efreeti cuz I didn't really want to get into a whole "stop the slave trade" quest. I mean if they want to travel to the City of Brass and give it a go, I won't stop them, but orcs or goblins are as good as any other strong back to the efreeti. TheSword maybe that's where the juvenile kraken comes into the picture - it could be what the shaman summons. Kraken-Priest/Orc Shaman mashup? Don't mind if I do... Sprinkle a few swampy, sunken ruins around the island and they can explore for a good while.

Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 05:34 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned jgsugden in post Improving the armor proficiency feats
    Ah, so something like add proficiency to heavy armor master, that kind of thing? I mean that's one way to handle it. But once again I think it would be better or more interesting for players to gain active abilities rather than passive ones. jgsugden provides a rather nice example of that.

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018

  • 11:04 PM - Yaarel mentioned jgsugden in post Core+1
    Core+1 is a ‘rule’, only in the sense of Adventure League and so on make it a rule. So, many home games wont follow it. However, Core+1 seems a ‘policy’ that WotC implements for 100% of official D&D products. The implementation seems to relate to quality control and republication of content. In this sense, every home game is affected by it, whether they subscribe to it or not. @jgsugden There might already be a drift toward what you are proposing. In addition to ‘core’, you want to see something like ‘standard’ and ‘exotic’. Apparently, certain options from noncore rulebooks are considered legal even if not using it for the plus-one. For example, someone mentioned the ‘Blessing’ elf trait to change sex per long rest, as legal, even using an other noncore, besides Mordenkains Tome. Various clarifications probably fall into this ‘standard’ category. Certain thematically-related options for race and class, should probably be ‘standard’, even if in separate books. And so on.

Monday, 14th May, 2018


Thursday, 3rd May, 2018

  • 01:20 AM - TheSword mentioned jgsugden in post High AC and encounters
    @jgsugden. You’re making a lot of assumptions about the way the game is ‘meant to be played’ but these opinions are not universally held. There is an old and established tradition of tailoring adventures to the capabilities and interests of your groups. Doing so isn’t metagaming in the common sense of the word - which is characters acting with knowledge they couldn’t have in game. The DM isn’t a character. They are the architect of the adventure. The DMG is full of advice on the subject. It’s worth a good read before stating what d&d is or isn’t. Stratagey and story are not mutually exclusive. By forcing a choice between ROLEPLAYING game and roleplaying GAME you’re making a distinction we don’t need to make. For many people it’s a Roleplaying Game. As simple as that. I can only assume you don’t realise how patronizing it is to tell someone to go and play a board game because they’re playing D&D wrong... as if D&D was ever about one thing.

Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018

  • 02:02 AM - the Jester mentioned jgsugden in post High AC and encounters
    Out of curiosity, if the DM had the monsters give up on attacking him and switch to beating up the less-armored wizard or rogue, would that qualify as "embracing it" to you? ... What if the monsters didn't attack the cleric at all? That adventurer's wearing heavy armor and is dodging. So they opt for another target. Concept realized? Or player robbed? Speaking as another DM on the same page as jgsugden, I think that's fine. However, if every monster always automatically skipped past him to attack softer targets, that would be different. Again, speaking only for myself, I try to choose targets for my monsters that they would choose. I use, or try to use, the targeting methodology that they would use. So, for instance, a kobold is probably going to target the easiest looking enemy. An orc warlord will probably engage the toughest looking warrior, but might lose interest after a couple of rounds of trading zero damage. An ooze will probably attack the closest creature; a wolf is likely to strike at an enemy with its pack mates surrounding it, and a zombie will probably try to hit whatever hit it last. Sometimes there's more to drawing fire than just standing there dodging. The cleric in the OP is more likely to draw fire if he moves into the enemies' formation, if he shows that he's a threat instead of just dodging, if he uses an action to insult his foes. There are lots of ways...
  • 01:29 AM - MechaPilot mentioned jgsugden in post High AC and encounters
    Out of curiosity, if the DM had the monsters give up on attacking him and switch to beating up the less-armored wizard or rogue, would that qualify as "embracing it" to you? I can't speak for jgsugden, and I won't try to. However, his post really sums up my opinion on the OP's question. Therefore, I feel at least partially compelled to answer your question. Perhaps my answer will be similar to that of jgsugden, since his post really resonates with my response to the OP. For me, I feel that the monsters giving up on attacking the PC they can't hit wouldn't infringe on embracing the cleric being good at what he/she's invested their resources in. Let the monsters waste a couple rounds of attacks trying to hit the cleric. These wasted attacks against the forge cleric gives the rest of the party a couple free rounds to whoop on their enemies, helping everyone contribute in their chosen manner. Then, when the monsters realize they can't hit the cleric and switch to other softer targets, the monsters challenge the cleric's ability to support his/her allies (which is a basic function of the cleric class and which the character should be good at, though perhaps not as good as other ...

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 11:07 AM - Coroc mentioned jgsugden in post I know magic items are unnecessary but
    jgsugden #11 Very good post, and good System to spend coin on, i especially like how you exponentially increase cost by scroll Level. I do it quite similar, but i did not offer other Magic items than scrolls or potions to be bought by the Players. I got some other goodies although like compass, clocks, war machines, vessels coaches etc. for my current campaign. A question: Do you always follow this rule, no matter what campaign? (Asuming you do not only run 1 style of campaign which makes this question obsolete)

Friday, 13th April, 2018

  • 10:41 PM - MechaTarrasque mentioned jgsugden in post [5E] Let's Brainstorm a Sumo Class!
    I will go from left field and say a barbarian or paladin would be better chassis than a monk or a fighter. It seems like sumo is more of a single attack nova (albeit that nova might be extra good shoving or grappling rather than damage) than multiple attacks. I think I lean towards barbarian, as everything about rage (except for the name) seems like a good fit for the sumo, although jgsugden's idea about wrestling divine spirits could fit the paladin. [I will admit that a desire for a barbarian and/or paladin subclass really good at unarmed attacks is part of my assessment--if El Santo is not a good paladin, something is wrong with paladins.]

Tuesday, 27th March, 2018

  • 04:09 PM - lowkey13 mentioned jgsugden in post What are the DM's obligations of disclosure for sensitive game material? What is "sensitive" game material?
    You don't really need to reconcile it too much because it's not a binary answer, and because you already have the common-sense approach to it. Many things like disease, insanity, and murder are well tread elements of the genre and often have rules directly associated with them, while sexual situations do not, to the best of my knowledge. As such I don't find your viewpoint to be outside the norm for most RPG communities. Well, I wanted to check in with the community, and perhaps I didn't explain myself very well. That said, I think that the vast majority of the conversations in this thread have been amazing and respectful and have provided some great ideas! I think it was that, when I saw the comment by jgsugden (and I saw your followup in this thread, thank you!), it made me examine some of my prior conceptions about sensitive game material. Not just handling it, and disclosing it, but what the general norms are about sensitive game material, and whether those might have changed over time. One thing I am noticing is that many people refer to keeping games "PG" or "PG-13," which is something I think is a common idea (in principle). But that had me thinking that this idea of "PG-13" in America, for example, is something that is overly friendly to a lot of violence, but not so much sex. That happens to be something I kinda agree with, at least in terms of a game that involves, um, some killing, but I was trying to understand whether my beliefs are universal, whether they have changed, etc. I think I'm trying to understand whether there are certain "norms" baked into a D&D game, what those norms are, and what deviations from those norms require disclosure. Perhaps, on a more meta- level, I ...

Monday, 26th March, 2018

  • 04:17 PM - lowkey13 mentioned jgsugden in post What are the DM's obligations of disclosure for sensitive game material? What is "sensitive" game material?
    Hola! A recent comment in a separate thread got me thinking- "Just to be on the safe side, try to make sure nobody has had any family losses associated with the disease ... It is far rarer these days, but once upon a time it was not too uncommon for a pet to be put down for fear of the disease. A parent or grandparent that lost a pet for fear of the disease may not enjoy overhearing it being used as part of entertainment." jgsugden Now, I have to admit that this thought caught me by surprise. While I am a big advocate of open communication at the table, I never would have thought that something like this would be, or should be, an issue. But is this something that is a blindspot for me? So, here are my thoughts on the issue- A. I do think that there are some issues that require prior warning to a group before the come up in play. For example, I am uncomfortable with running overly sexual situations in my 5e games (or, really, any RPGs), and while I understand that others have more comfort with that, I would expect some type of heads up before entering that type of campaign. Allowing PvP would be something else that falls into that category- to me, these are basic playstyle issues that need to be clearly communicated. B. OTOH, I also feel that life is too diverse and that we all know that we are playing a game. A game that often involves (for lack of a better term) killing. So, there are often ancillary issue...

Thursday, 22nd March, 2018

  • 01:45 PM - akr71 mentioned jgsugden in post Just Finished LMoP--What Next?
    There have been lots of great ideas already posted - I like jgsugden suggestion of a short adventure to get the party to 5th level, whether its of your own design (the found treasure map in Wave Echo Cave perhaps) or a pre-made adventure. Storm Kings Thunder starts nearby in Triboar. Princes of the Apocalypse starts not that far away too. For my LMoP campaign, Glasstaff and the Black Spider escaped and I have been using them as reoccurring villains - which the players love! They also tried to bargain with the green dragon into leaving Thundertree and lair in the ruined castle. They moved its treasure for the dragon, but then it tried to double cross them. They were prepared and had hired crossbow wielding mercenaries to offer support. Enough of them hit in the first couple rounds to make the dragon think twice and it flew off. So they'll have to deal with it at some point too.

Wednesday, 15th November, 2017

  • 11:06 PM - pukunui mentioned jgsugden in post XGTE Errata
    jgsugden: I think the main concern people have is that it stomps all over prayer of healing. EDIT: Out of combat, healing spirit can heal up to 35 (10d6) hit points per PC at its base level. Prayer of healing, however, can only heal 9-14 (2d8 + 1-5) per PC, with a limit of six PCs in total. Both are 2nd level spells.
  • 08:17 PM - pukunui mentioned jgsugden in post XGTE Errata
    jgsugden: I'm not seeing anyone complaining about its use in combat. It's the out-of-combat use that's causing people to cry foul.

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

  • 11:59 AM - Sword of Spirit mentioned jgsugden in post Pitch Ravenloft to new players
    Ravenloft is my friend's favorite setting to run. In my mega-campaign where I encourage guest DMing, he has laid claim to DMing all Ravenloft visits. He runs Ravenloft much like jgsugden describes. The PCs are meant to be heroes, and the world is stacked against them. Success often comes at a cost, you can't trust a lot of things (like some types of beneficial magic) you can in typical D&D, etc. Ravenloft in no way requires (or even encourages) playing less heroic characters. In fact, characters with questionable morals are actually at greatest risk of having their souls claimed...

Friday, 28th April, 2017

  • 07:28 PM - iserith mentioned jgsugden in post Crawford on Stealth
    I think this comes down to differences in terminology, not an actual disagreement. I think that the way 5e uses the term, Passive <skill> doesn't take you an action, Active <skill> does take you an action. Passive Athletics, at least in the sense that I think Jgudsden and Flametitan are using it, would still take your action, you are just using an average roll. That's not "Passive" in the way that the 5e rulebook uses the term 5e doesn't seem to have a mechanic spelled out for "taking 10" the way 3e did. (The closest thing I can think of is "The DM can decide you don't need to roll".) And I think that is what we are talking about - the difference between Taking 10 (still takes your action, you have to choose to do it) and Passive (does not take your action, is always operating by default). Of course "taking an action" only really matters when the action economy matters, such as in combat, right? So in the case of jgsugden's examples, it's more abstract than that. It's stuff the PCs are doing constantly over time and with an uncertain outcome, so a passive check could apply to resolve. It probably wouldn't come up much except perhaps in particular overland travel scenarios or montages of one kind of another.

Monday, 24th April, 2017

  • 03:08 PM - Corwin mentioned jgsugden in post Nerfing Great Weapon Master
    Case in point: myself. If you had asked me about the feat years ago (plural number of years) I would not have had the insight I have today. That is not what jgsugden was getting at. Just because your personal opinion is new, does not mean you brought something new to the topic. Nor does it mean your newly formed opinion is in the majority, while we are at it.

Sunday, 23rd April, 2017

  • 09:41 PM - Quickleaf mentioned jgsugden in post Meaningful traps
    jgsugden You do make some great points about traps, but I think you fell into the "trap" of how traps are usually used in D&D. And it has to do with locating traps & observant PCs. Is noticing a trap with a high roll as satisfying as deducing the presence of a trap? My answer is an emphatic "no." Traps are most interesting when they invite interaction and require thought. They are least interesting when discovered or resolved by rolling a die without any thinking required. Consider the 5e Monster Manual entries for Animated Armor or Mimic or Gargoyle – they all have a trait called False Appearance. That should be the starting point of design for traps. I've previously posted extensively on the topic, but can't find my old post (possibly it was eaten in the database crash). Here's the essence of my idea... At a bare minimum a trap is so well concealed that it effectively appears to be something else - essentially, ALL traps have the False Appearance trait. This works. Let me explain. ...


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Monday, 7th January, 2019

  • 07:18 AM - 5ekyu quoted jgsugden in post A novel way to acheive intra-spell balance
    The end result is the same - more variation in spellcasting.Depends on what you call "more variation." It changes ehici spells are chosen from what it is now, sure, but that's change, not variety. No reason the spells chosen wont just be the best 5 they can afford then as opposed to the best 5 they can afford now. If I let you pick 5 cards for a poker hand from the 52 card deck you likely go royal flush... iirc. If I remove your aces, you likely go king straight. flush. (My poker-fu may be weak) Imo if you want more variety in spells, run a wider variety of challenges, install easier switch rules and have a decent focus/reward on gathering intel. If sorcs, bards etc could swap one known per long rest and thebpreppies could swap one per short rest and they got Intel on different threats strengths and weaknesses, plus non-combat challenges my bet is you would see a lot more variety.
  • 02:53 AM - J Neto quoted jgsugden in post Help me Build this lvl 20 Character
    All of those options are campaign dependent. You should make sure your DM is okay with making clerics no be deity focused in your campaign. As I said, It's not a normal campaign and I will have a lot of different DM's. But in the server I play, refluffs are encouraged. Start at level 1 with your gnome evoker - and see what happens. There will be a lot of things released in the coming year - and a lot of story that unfolds in your campaign - so worry about the future when you get there. Incidentally, I've been thoroughly enjoying a deep gnome enchanter for a couple years in a slow moving campaign. He is a pleasure to play - and I've never considered multiclassing him once. He is just 12th level and has never been a disappointment. The thing is I'm not starting as a Wizard.

Sunday, 6th January, 2019

  • 10:10 PM - FrogReaver quoted jgsugden in post A novel way to acheive intra-spell balance
    You can go old school and just deny your PCs the chance to learn some spells. Some examples of this idea: For example, when a wizard gains a level and gets 2 spells, they have to roll an intelligence check for each with a DCof 15+spell level. if they fail, they can't learn the spell for a number of levels equal to the amount by which they failed the check. They can immediately attempt again with a different spell until they've learned 2. They have to make the same check when trying to learn a spell from a scroll or spellbook, but do not get to try another spell in the place of the original spell. A cleric can pick half of their prepared spells, but the God (DM) picks the other half. Half of the spells a sorcerer knows must be original creations. Interesting variations but they don't really do what I'm after. You're not incentivizing the caster to take inferior spells you are making it impossible to take their first choice spells. In which case they will just try their 2nd choice and 3...
  • 07:12 PM - clearstream quoted jgsugden in post An Unearthed Arcana I would like to see - mechanical fixes
    Also, in my experience, popular opinions about what is overpowered do not match up with the reality. For example, people complain about GWM because of the increased DPR (average damage per round), ignoring that using the feats can increase the chance of PC DEATH *despite increasing DPR*. However, that has been argued a thousand times over and we won't make any progress revisiting the case. I wouldn't make any special argument about power, per se. I'm thinking more about mechanical oversights, lapses or bugs, and about places where some strategies overshadow others or warp the narrative around them. Also about options that while perhaps offering a mild degree of diversity, can represent traps for new players. For me, GWM does a good job of defining one boundary for damage. I mean, something has to deliver the most melee weapon damage! I feel like it is also important to respect what is exciting about it. +10 for -5. One possibly doesn't want to mess around with perhaps more accurately balan...

Monday, 31st December, 2018

  • 10:50 PM - 5ekyu quoted jgsugden in post Racial ASI removal: ASI to Class and Background
    Let me cast calm emotions first as you seem to have a pickle in the haystack, here. There is a fundamental difference in our perspectives. You're talking about saying "No". I, as a DM, will only say No in one circumstance - if the player does not fit in the game, the group will tell them, "No, you can't play with us." And this is something I've only done three times since the 1970s. Whena player comes to me and says, "I want my hafling to get +8 to Strength and +7 to Charisma because it'd be funny", I will not say yes. I'll say, Let's talk. I'll explain why I think that would be bad for the game and ask why they thought their idea was good. I expect that we'll reach an understanding and come up with a gameplan that works for everyone. In the rare instance where the player is unyielding and disruptive, we talk as a group and decide what makes sense together. That could result in the group offering an ultimatum to the player - back down or leave - but that is ridiculousy unlikely. ...
  • 08:44 PM - 5ekyu quoted jgsugden in post Racial ASI removal: ASI to Class and Background
    You're looking at the destination. I'm looking at the journey. The story, in a role playing game, is the center. The mechanics are just tools to help us provide some random chance and unknowns into the story so that it is not predestined. Justifying a mechanic with a story decision isn't all bad, however. If the mechanics sound fun... GREAT! Come up with a fun story to support it and you've got fun mechanics plus fun story. However, finding fun mechanics that support a fun story idea is usually a better path to success as the fun story born of a mechanical objective is often more strained storytelling - and thus harder to maximize as fun. Regardless, it can still work out well either way - the point is to have a PC that mechanically and story-wise is enjoyable for the player, the DM and the other players.You are jumping past the journey tho abd definitely past the crossroads **you** put into play. **if they have a good story for it** only has any meaning at all if it wont always be r...
  • 07:58 PM - James Grover quoted jgsugden in post Racial ASI removal: ASI to Class and Background
    If you ignore the insanely important part of what I said, yes. You might feel that it was "insanely important", but personally I could come up with a good story reason for any race to get any bonus, making it in effect, not insanely important at all IMO. Hence, my comment.
  • 07:55 PM - 5ekyu quoted jgsugden in post Racial ASI removal: ASI to Class and Background
    If you ignore the insanely important part of what I said, yes.Good story is not that hard - as long as you and the GM agree on what good means. Which seems to turn this into "if i like what you said." But what if the player has different tastes - they just get stuck?
  • 04:07 PM - James Grover quoted jgsugden in post Racial ASI removal: ASI to Class and Background
    Step 1: Allow players to change their racial ASI if they have a good story reason for it. No further steps nevessary. Which, in other words, is just allow them to put them where they want anyway. :)
  • 03:55 PM - FrogReaver quoted jgsugden in post Does Rope Trick Heal?
    Define a term before applying it and there are fewer questions on whether it applies to a situation. This is really more of a discussion of what we mean by "healing spell" or "heal". I've seen it used to allow healing, to allow movement up and out of a pit, to provide stealth, and to effectively levitate. You are right to some degree but when the tally is 33-4 I think it probably isn’t on the 33 or nearly 90% of people that mean the same thing to be accommodating to whatever definition is being used by the remaining 4. Especially when they are using their unique definition to argue with us in theads not about this issue that we are wrong for making a point using the apparently generally accepted definition. the original context of this healing questionwas a discussion about wizard abilities. I made a passing comment that 90% of this board agreed with (based on this poll), that wizards don’t have healing, and spent the next chunk of the discussion debating whether wizards can actually heal...

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018

  • 03:01 AM - GlassJaw quoted jgsugden in post How to add more sorcery points?
    If your goal is to create something that feels less like a charismatic wizard and more like soething that draws magic from the world and their heritage, I'd change the feature that makes them most like the wizard: Their spell progression table. • No spell progression, just spell points. • Creating a spell slot from a sorcery point requires an action. • A spell slot that is not used in an hour is lost. • Turn the existing spell slots into spell points at 1st level = 2, 2nd = 3, 3rd = 5, 4th = 6, 5th = 7, 6th = 9, 7th = 11, 8th = 13, 9th = 15. This is also the cost to buy spell slots. • You can know spells of ˝ your sorcerer level rounded up. Your spells known limit is per the PHB. • Spells of 5th level or below are Lower Arcanum. Spells of 6th level and above are Higher Arcanum. You may cast 1 Higher Arcanum at level 11, 2 at 13, 3 at 15, 4 at 17, 5 at 18, 6 at 19 and 7 at 20. There is no restriction on how many Lower Arcanum you can cast other than the spell point limit. • Each...

Friday, 14th December, 2018


Thursday, 13th December, 2018

  • 08:37 PM - dave2008 quoted jgsugden in post Most frustrating quirk of 5E?
    For example: It drives me a bit crazy to not see a bastard sword in the PHB. We don't need it. LS and GS cover what we need... but I have a soft spot for the name 'bastard sword'. I reflavor other swords and call them bastard swords. However, the lack of those words on the page in the weapons table just pulls at my heart strings. I understand it is just quirky pet peeve of yours (i.e i tis not about the mechanics, but the name), but I just wanted to make sure that you realized the term "bastard sword" is a modern term used to describe swords, not a historical one. Obviously the longsword as written is a "bastard" sword.

Friday, 30th November, 2018

  • 02:56 PM - trentonjoe quoted jgsugden in post Wizard Feats
    Being able to paralyze anytime you cast a reasonable damage spell in exchange for 21 (or even just 15) damage is not really balanced. I would *always* do that when casting any single target damage spell of 6 dice or more. You'd also need to specify how the blind/paralyze/etc... ends. I think this would be better handled by not introducing a feat, but instead introducing spells they can prepare that do these things. For example, a 3rd level spell that deals 2d6 damage, and continues to do a d6/ round and paralyzes certain types of creatures on a failed save (save ends both) would be reasonable. Can you give an example? This is the type of situation I am trying to avoid but I don’t know the high level version of the game well enough to anticipate.
  • 08:26 AM - Horwath quoted jgsugden in post Running an actual heist?
    I have done it. The PCs wanted a magic artifact that was held by a Royal Wizard. I designed the defenses - intentionally leaving one vulnerability that could be found. The PCs did stealthy research, uncovered most of the defenses, and crafted a plan. Then, like the heroes they were, they immediatly discarded it, charged in, murdered royal guards, killed the wizard, set off traps that killed more guards and finally committed double regicide by murdering the King, and then murdering his son one round later. They then declared themselves the rulers just long enough to claim the artifact and abandon their peoples. With another group I had a better heist scenario where the PCs were hired to play a role in the heist, not realizing that the person hiring them had other hidden plans... There was more of a heist movie feel for that adventure. So, yeah - it can be done... but only with the right PCs. Biggest problem with working out heist scenario is the "d20" just one fail stealth/dece...

Tuesday, 27th November, 2018

  • 06:34 PM - Dausuul quoted jgsugden in post Does Leomund's Tiny Hut block Scrying?
    You folks can question all you like... if you consider Sage Advice to be part of the game, your RAW Huts have floors. If you want to rule otherwise, you're ruling against Sage Advice. It really is not that complex. If you consider Sage Advice to be part of the game, then when a wraith kills someone and turns them into a specter, and you destroy the specter within 1 minute and cast revivify on the corpse, the specter returns and starts attacking again. Try that one on your players sometime. Jeremy Crawford is not responsible for DMs getting force-fed their own d4s. Sage Advice is advice, and not always good advice. As far as I'm concerned, when discussing how to rule on a question like this, a good answer considers the text of RAW (which is to say, the actual text in the actual book); game balance; consistency with other rulings; the fiction of the game world; and, most importantly, creating a fun play experience for all concerned. Sage Advice is relevant only insofar as it touches on those th...
  • 05:01 PM - dave2008 quoted jgsugden in post Does Leomund's Tiny Hut block Scrying?
    Your understanding seems flawed to me... they discuss the plane as part of the shape. More: http://mathcentral.uregina.ca/QQ/database/QQ.09.07/h/nicholas4.html https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-formula-for-surface-area-of-hemisphere Think about cubes, pyramids, icosahedrons, dodecahedrons, etc.... generally speaking, when you have a shape, you do not randomly cut into it and carve it out on one side. You folks can question all you like... if you consider Sage Advice to be part of the game, your RAW Huts have floors. If you want to rule otherwise, you're ruling against Sage Advice. It really is not that complex. By the way - they likely mentioned "nearly" in the definition as, to date, there are no perfect spheres (manmade or in nature). Putting all that aside, I see this spell used all the time. I have never seen it be overpowered. I've seen it result in a TPK when the party hid in it and the bad guys collected all their allies to attack at once... I've seen PCs use thi...
  • 02:34 PM - dave2008 quoted jgsugden in post Does Leomund's Tiny Hut block Scrying?
    Google the definition of a hemispherical shape. "Hemispheres are all around us. In math, a hemisphere is defined as a three-dimensional shape that's half of a sphere with one flat, circular side. A sphere, on the other hand, is a nearly perfectly round three-dimensional shape.Sep 25, 2017" https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-a-hemisphere-in-math-definition-example.html I also question your definition as they describe a sphere as "...nearly perfectly round..." Mathematically / geometrically it is a perfectly round shape.
  • 02:31 PM - dave2008 quoted jgsugden in post Does Leomund's Tiny Hut block Scrying?
    Google the definition of a hemispherical shape. "Hemispheres are all around us. In math, a hemisphere is defined as a three-dimensional shape that's half of a sphere with one flat, circular side. A sphere, on the other hand, is a nearly perfectly round three-dimensional shape.Sep 25, 2017" https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-a-hemisphere-in-math-definition-example.html I did google the definition, per websters: "one of two half spheres (see SPHERE entry 1 sense 2a) formed by a plane (see PLANE entry 1 sense 2a) through the sphere's center" The plane forms it (in that the result of cutting a sphere with a plane that runs through the center of the sphere results in two hemispheres), but is not part of the hemisphere geometrically speaking. Notice it is defined as a "half sphere." It cannot be a "half sphere" with a bottom, at least that is my understanding. It has been too long since I had a math/geometric class, but my sons are taking linear algebra and calculus 2, I can pick thei...
  • 06:14 AM - dave2008 quoted jgsugden in post Does Leomund's Tiny Hut block Scrying?
    The area of effect is a hemisphere. A hemisphere has a 'floor'. Crawford acknowledged that he blew it with his initial ruling, and that the hemisphere description means that it does have a floor. Geometrically I don't think that is strictly true. A sphere is generally just the surface and thus a hemisphere would just be the surface, excluding the floor (as that would not be half a sphere). "Like a circle in a two-dimensional space, a sphere is defined mathematically as the set of points that are all at the same distance r from a given point, but in a three-dimensional space." The set of points is the surface, not the volume inside. Thus the hemisphere is one-half the surface of the sphere and does not have a floor, as it is not a solid. EDIT: Thus, I would say any spell that doesn't require line of sight / effect can bypass the Tiny Hut.


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