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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Today, 03:08 AM
    About 20 years out of date. 30% of the players I've played with in the past two years are female. I know dozens of D&D couples.
    5 replies | 250 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:52 PM
    I'm just going to say that a "stereotypical" barbarian can be a lot of fun, even if not original. I've played a few barbarians in 5E, and each felt different. Tyrstern is a dwarf fighter/barbarian. He plods ahead with little concern about his hps. For example, he saw an enemy at the bottom of a 100 foot drop. So he performed a "death from above" by leaping on the enemy and attacking it as...
    32 replies | 654 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 05:19 PM
    Well, just throw 17 Ancient Red at them and you can start over.
    26 replies | 719 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 01:59 AM
    I go for the middle road. PCs find about 6 items per PC and can afford to buy 4 or so more.... but they're not guaranteed to find a single weapon with a plus associated with - much less a +1, then a +2 and finally a +3. Half the items the PCs find are randomly rolled up. Whatever they find, they find. If they can't use it, they can try to find a way to trade it - maybe for an item, or...
    24 replies | 635 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 10:04 PM
    jgsugden replied to XGTE Errata
    It is not 100% worse than Lucky. First, you get to improve an ability score by one. Second, it recharges when you roll initiative (or take a rest), which *potentially* allows more uses per LR than Lucky. I've had 8 encounters between long rests in a game. Also, I'm not sure you want to see people taking a race just to get access to a feat - you should take a feat to enhance your racial...
    97 replies | 16625 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 07:58 PM
    Death saves.
    80 replies | 2282 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 07:56 PM
    There are lots of ways to skin a cat. This is the way they should approach class design: 1.) Come up with a concept. Play with the concept in your mind so that you know the story of the idea before you even consider the mechanics of the idea. 2.) Look to see if the mechanics of any existing class service the idea. If so, make it a subclass of that class. 3.) If there is no single...
    48 replies | 1317 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 06:30 PM
    For stuff like this: Make in response to need, not proactively. You'll waste a lot of time making up stuff that will never be used.
    16 replies | 411 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 10:00 PM
    I'd like an Invoker class. It needs more wrathful spells than a cleric, so I would not build it on the chassis of the cleric.
    287 replies | 11534 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 09:53 PM
    This is way too vague of a concept to give it a thumbs up or down. We'd need more details to provide an informed opinion.
    33 replies | 777 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 05:45 PM
    jgsugden replied to 40 years...
    I first rolled the dice in 1979. I've played in 5 different decades. My best estimate puts me at over 10,000 hours of D&D played, and over 27,500 hours if you include planning and related activities (D&D video games, D&D miniatures games, D&D forum visiting, etc...). There are 8760 hours in a year. That puts me at about 1.25 years of D&D played, and 3 years of D&D activity in general. ...
    20 replies | 687 view(s)
    4 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 11:02 PM
    Finding a 'useless' item is not a bad thing - it creates an opportunity for trade or other interesting story twists. There are certain items that are *much* more useful to a noble or other prominent society member than they would be to an adventurer... and there are other adventuring parties out there that might be willing to trade to get an item that is right for them (but not for you). There...
    29 replies | 856 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 10:13 PM
    D&D is a role playing game. Characters play a role in a story. Tell a good story. That is where I'd begin. There are a lot of ways to have an active patron drive a great story, but there are also ways in which the patron might be burdensome and 'unfun' for the players. Read the room and determine what works and what doesn't for your group, as the best approach will differ amongst player...
    23 replies | 794 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 07:09 PM
    jgsugden replied to MagicWeapons
    There are weapons, like the Sunblade, that combine basic pluses and special abilities as well as weapons that have abilities *or* bonuses. They all work - but 5E was designed to limit the power of magic weapons compared to prior editions - and simultaneously making them rarer and more special. I trust the design, although I think there are a few problems with it. There are not enough...
    12 replies | 330 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 05:46 PM
    What if they're not *in* the book, but located *on* the back cover.... right? Right? Right? Nope. Right?
    5 replies | 305 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 05:22 PM
    It is a guideline rather than a firm rule, but it is a guideline I set up when I start the game, so it tends to go into place and then get tweaked as we go to better suit the story/party. For example: I was playing in a game and we had an effective TPK. The DM wanted a break, so I said I'd DM for a while. The players had just leveled up from 1 to 5 with the (now dead) party, so I said we'd...
    29 replies | 856 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 04:56 PM
    I don't use SCs. Instead, I set objectives in the game that can be met with skills, spells, or just creative role playing and I let the PCs go at it however they choose. As an example, a bandit robbed a merchant near the PCs and they decided to chase him down. In 4E, this would have been an excellent option for a skill challenge. However, PCs might just cast hold person, teleport ahead of...
    73 replies | 2189 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 04:29 PM
    Over the life of the PCs (20 levels of adventuring), per PC in the party, I will place: * 3 attuned items * 3 unattuned items * 6 consumable items (potions, scrolls, etc...) These items are 50% likely to be randomly determined on the tables, and 50% likely to be designed by me to fit the needs of the party. Even when I randomly roll a magic item, I always add a quirk to it to make it...
    29 replies | 856 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 11:26 PM
    You can also isolate them in D&D Beyond....
    15 replies | 321 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 11:16 PM
    It is solid damage for a first level spell, but you'll only care about it for a short while. About 15 to 20% of the damage dealt by this spell will exceed 20 points when cast as a first level spell. That is the range when you start to see it be a solo kill on first level PCs when used against them (negative max HP taken in damage). So it is solid, but not too exciting. Upgraded versions...
    33 replies | 1483 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 10:28 PM
    It essentially does exist. All you need to do are switch up the casting times on some spells, adjust the spell lists (to avoid offensive spells) and add a few new spells to the game. Mechanically speaking, this is very close to the existing system. Wizards essentially get a number of slots equal to their level. They're not all for 1st or second level spells, but the different between...
    34 replies | 856 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 09:19 PM
    As others note, you devalue many types of magic and lengthen combats when you give both sides max HPs. Personally, I think the system works as written and see no reason to change it. (Roughly) average HPs for monsters and PCs works great.
    46 replies | 1191 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 08:14 PM
    1.) Don't equate lethality to drama. A great boss fight doesn't necessarily need to threaten the lives of the PCs - it can threaten other things they care about. For example, I recently ran a campaign that culminated in a battle in which the PCs were trying to take down an army of monsters before they made it to the shelter where the townfolk were hiding. The monsters were more focused on...
    180 replies | 4146 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 05:47 PM
    Alas, it doesn't cover 10 levels. It can be run in a few weeks - I'm looking for those things that take a half year or more to run... (10 levels or more).
    13 replies | 621 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 04:49 PM
    Out of Curiosity, which commercially available 5E adventure path that you've read/played strikes you as 'the best' one? I'm not making this a poll because I don't want to limit it to just WotC products - it could be a 3rd party product. For these purpose, an adventure path is any product that: * Anticipates characters advancing for at least 10 levels during the course of the materials, ...
    13 replies | 621 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 03:58 PM
    From an efficiency standpoint: This is pure math, and the math is going to be heavily influenced by the situation. However, as Expertise increases the range of available results (and also raises the minimum roll), I would give it an edge. Also, the comments about still being able to gain advantage through other means hold true. From a fun perspective: More dice is always fun, so advantage...
    28 replies | 1097 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 05:18 AM
    Human bard. You can build a human bard that feels like a rogue, a fighter, a wizard or a cleric ... it is jut the most versatile option.
    48 replies | 1199 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 06:24 PM
    The much maligned frenzy does not require an adjustment, to be honest. I played one for an entire campaign and it was fine. Think of frenzy as a once, perhaps twice, per LR ability. Regardless, if you feel a need to make this adjustment, it will move the subclass from low in power to higher in power. It should not break anything.
    24 replies | 690 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 06:33 PM
    I'm not an expert, but I think there is more to the history of Sumo than just a sport. I believe there is something about them wrestling divine spirits.
    21 replies | 576 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 11:07 PM
    In economics there is a concept called the "opportunity cost". Essentially, you compare a potential course of action to the course that would have otherwise been taken to determine the true benefit of the course. In other words, you offset the benefits of a course of action with the cost of not taking the next best path of action. So, if we give a wand of lightning bolts to a ranger, we have...
    54 replies | 1958 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 09:40 PM
    In my opinion, no. It will be powerful and defining for the character that wiels it, but not something that breaks the game.
    54 replies | 1958 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 09:31 PM
    Mosters do not ncessarily follow the same rules as PCs. They may have tweaked it to make it a slightly more effective ranged combatant. Or it might be an error.
    9 replies | 467 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 11:51 PM
    No. Fireball as a spell in 5E is different than in 3E, 2E, or AD&D. So are ghosts, fighters, and pretty much everything else. We reuse the names, but the mechanics change. We shouldn't assume that things that have a name that was used in older editions should function just like they did in prior editions. When there was an intentional design change, such as with these wands to make them...
    54 replies | 1958 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 11:48 PM
    Because of how you VIEW your experiences. Note that I'm talking about having a AD&D/2E/3E perspective of a 5E item.No. Because, as I mentioned, they're rare. However, I did have a wand of fireballs in a party in 2016. And it was just as I discussed above - it was an iconic part of the party (it passed through several hands) which was very useful when found, but as we advanced it fell off in...
    54 replies | 1958 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 11:39 PM
    The best advice has already been given - unless it is plot related, replace it with a an appropriate number of randomly generated hordes from the DMG. If it is plot related, keep it, but offset it (if the PC will get to keep it) against the hordes of treasure the PCs should find (replacing or tweaking as necessary). I do miss seeing items with a bit more personality - almost all the items I...
    24 replies | 614 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 11:23 PM
    What a strange thing - the Order Cleric's greatest ally is the rogue. You'll spend all your time spamming the rogue to attack. You might just spam Heroism and bless every turn to turn your slots into those extra reaction attacks for your GWF allies...
    64 replies | 4217 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 08:38 PM
    Folks, you're stuck in the past. 5E wands are INTENDED to be something more than their 3E and earlier equivalents. There are a few wands that do not require attunement. Those wands are meant to be a bit more like their predecessors. They're not going to have a huge impact on the game, they're a nice power up, but they do not matter too much. Attuned wands, like fear, paralysis,...
    54 replies | 1958 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 06:23 PM
    We don't have to assume that time passes at the same rate in each Crystal Sphere... but it does have advantages. Regardless, I'd only want to do this as an optional method. There are certain inconsistencies between the Spheres that make a shared universe problematic as the events had an interplanar impact in ways that should have influenced the events in other Spheres. They've been addressed a...
    13 replies | 501 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 05:41 PM
    Your house rule that all rules are for powergaming is abusive powergaming, and thus we will not use it.
    30 replies | 1252 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 03:01 PM
    There are basic rules out there for a umber of systems. Try them out. GURPs, with low magic and shorter 'rounds' may be more your cup of tea. However, I posit that it may not be the system you need to shake up, but the campaign structure. All of these are RPGs. Role playing games. Our characters are filing roles in a story. The rule system influences the story, but the core of the story is...
    51 replies | 2766 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th April, 2018, 08:26 PM
    Consider the difference between a 3E Wand of Lightning Bolts and a 5E Wand of Lightning Bolts. 3E: The PCs find a wand of lightning bolts. They spam lightning bolts in a few combats and the wand depletes. Then they buy another, or use a fireball wand, or any of the other plethora of items in their 6 bags of holding. 5E: The PCs found THE Wand of Lightning Bolts. Soon after, their wizard...
    54 replies | 1958 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th April, 2018, 06:21 PM
    Do remember that magic items are supposed to be a big deal in 5E. They're supposed to be iconic and really change the character. This may not be true of every uncommon item, but it is meant to be true of every rare, very rare and legendary item you find. They're supposed to be a big deal. I think the lightning bolt wand is right in line with expectations.
    54 replies | 1958 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th April, 2018, 06:17 PM
    My Criminal Background Eldritch Knight begs to differ with your statement. Stealth is not the exclusive domain of the ranger and rogue in 5E. And massive damage is certainly not their exclusive area, either. There is no point in his career, from third level on, where he could not handle the situations you describe above as well, or better, than a pure assassin rogue.
    323 replies | 13288 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th April, 2018, 08:39 AM
    At level 7 it is very strong. By 11 it will be just a magic item. By 15 it will only get use in mopup duty.
    54 replies | 1958 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th April, 2018, 06:23 PM
    Just to remind people of the obvious: If the multi-class system does not work for you personally and you're not in an "official" game bound by the rules as published, you can elect to avoid multi-classes entirely and create new sub-classes or new entire classes that create the character concept you'd like to see. D&D is a creative game. Create.
    89 replies | 2155 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th April, 2018, 05:10 PM
    I don't see the changes you see. In the first FRboxed set there were powerful NPCs, but you didn't have an archmage in every village. It is a huge world and there were powerful beings congregated in some locations, but not everywhere. In 5E, I don't see this changing in the released rule books and adventures. FR is still full of powerful beings. They just have not flooded us with Stat...
    10 replies | 397 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 11:25 PM
    Well, many employers offer benefits related to adoption. Additionally, there is a nice tax credit for adoption. Given their greed, they might just do it for the money.
    28 replies | 838 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 05:54 PM
    I won't assemble a multi-class character that is not efficient, even if it tells a cool story. There is enough combat in the game that I don't want a character that is so inefficient in combat that they're not important to that side of the game, but I also won't put together a multi-class that doesn't tell a good story overall just because it is powerful. So both.
    89 replies | 2155 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 05:44 AM
    I've never feared the complexity, so action economies never scared me. I felt like they've made mistakes in game design, but the basic move/action/bonus/reaction architecture or the full round action versus move/action architecture have worked for me. I've taken it further and moved on to a segmented combat system with no rounds and actions that were meant to approximate real time... swinging a...
    163 replies | 5260 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 05:21 AM
    Whippersnapper, I've been playing for nearly 39 years, and I will confirm the opposite: Combat has always been an essential and substantial part of the game. Balance between the classes was historically far less of an issue, and characters had more ways to shine in their roles, but it always was felt when a character was incapable of competing with their allies on the battlefield. That is...
    323 replies | 13288 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 12:32 AM
    I did something vaguely similar once. We had a group that played weekly, but a couple in the family had a baby and were about t drop out when I suggested that they alternate weeks and share a character. They didn't want to play the same character, so we instead created a character that was possessed at times by a spirit of a long dead hero. When the wife was there, it was the spirit in...
    7 replies | 315 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 12:16 AM
    Enchanter wizard is undervalued. The Hypnotic Gaze is a powerful ability, essentially giving you a limited hold monster as a cantrip. However, it isn't the power level that makes it the choice - it is the RPG options. Diviner has a powerful feature, but it doesn't spawn a lot of great role playing opportunities in my experience... and it has always felt a bit flat to me. I thoroughly...
    52 replies | 1519 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 06:18 PM
    It gives a warlock a lot of additional utility spells due to the rituals ... but it is not going to be a huge benefit for combat. You get 2 or 3 spells per LR which can be nice, but you can't rely upon them for saves or attack bonus spells because of that low intelligence. As such, they usually end up as Shield spells.
    27 replies | 981 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th April, 2018, 03:40 AM
    In the past I've found speed factors in a round by round combat to be a half solution. It tends to work best when removing the rigid structure of the round by round combat and replacing it with swifter 'segmented' combat, where a dagger wielder will get more attacks in than an equally skilled greatsword user.
    30 replies | 1109 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, 10:53 PM
    Crimany. D&D is an RPG. A role playing game. Your characters play a role in a story. If the advacement of your charactr tells a good story, enjoy it and don't worry if it is optimized. Yes, you feel a multiclass when you hit 5th level and the single class characters are throwin garound fireballs, multi-attacks, etc... but so what? You likely felt stronger at an earlier level. Those...
    40 replies | 1294 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018, 05:23 AM
    Our group recently lost a member and we're looking for a potential replacement. We play in Alameda CA on Monday evenings (7 to 10:30 or so). We're 5 players in our 30s and 40s. We are not optimizers. This group has been around for over a decade (with different rosters). We're a fun group looking for a member that fits in with our laid back and fun mentality. We occasionally play board...
    0 replies | 137 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st April, 2018, 06:25 PM
    I stopped calculating experience points to advance PCs in 1985. Ever since then Ieither gave a bulk amount of experience when the PCs reached a milestone, or once they standardized xp over classes - Iadvanced PCs a level at each milestone. Al Iuse CR, EL and exerience points for since 85 are balancing encounters.
    13 replies | 508 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Saturday, 31st March, 2018, 11:45 PM
    Other than you taking out the word Intelligence, your wording seems great.
    19 replies | 460 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 08:21 PM
    I keep coming back to a general rule: If you can use a skill without taking an action (perception, intelligence skills, investigate, charisma skills), treat it as passive and use a result of 10 + skill (+/- 5 for advantage/disadvantage). If you take a moment (aka an action) to use the skill, you get to improve upon the passive score by rolling for the skill check and treating the passive result...
    62 replies | 31079 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 07:32 PM
    If you take the time to determine how often the proposed rule change would actually make any difference in the outcome of a combat, much less a significant one, you'd be less worried.
    141 replies | 3886 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 07:07 PM
    If you're proficient in the relative skill, yes. Few PC foes are proficient in these skills, so it does not steal from the PCs too often. But, yes, it does have realized impacts on the escape mechanic if done as a flat ability as initially discussed.This is addressed above.
    28 replies | 572 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 06:31 PM
    I think the Rogue needs an entire rebuild, honestly. It needs to be the best 'Alpha strike' class, but Heavy Weapon fighters blow them out. I'd rather they had rebuilt it than the ranger... I have a generous house rule for rogues, but even with the house rule it is not a class that people choose to play. The house rule: If you hit a target that does not consider you to be an enemy, you deal...
    323 replies | 13288 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 05:54 PM
    That is part of the goal, but it really addresses a spectrum of issues. Unfortunately, they're those type of issues that spark a lot of debate about whether they're features or bugs / intended or unintended / etc... Obviously, they all are related to action economy, but many of them are focused on the narrative impact of the action economy - requiring a PC to do certain things with their action,...
    28 replies | 572 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th March, 2018, 03:03 PM
    A subsequent suggestion elsewhere seems to be a bit better: Rather than making this a blanket rule, instead create a separate bonus for each skill that you get when you are proficient with the skill. Use it as a bonus would be the ability for some of the skills, but not all. For example, knowledge skills and charisma skills would have other benefits. This could also help rebalance some of the...
    28 replies | 572 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 11:41 PM
    It can work - but it doesn't add much to the game. 1st level adventurers are not terribly strong. Making them all generic commoners makes them all feel a bit similar and flat - although a player gaming the system might choose a race with a relatively strong racial ability like human variant and might end up being too strong for the battles you've balanced for a bunch of commoners. What you...
    20 replies | 438 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 11:26 PM
    There are a variety of threads on this, and other forums, that discuss whether an action is required to use a skill. In the end, it is up to the DM if there is no set and certain rule. Different DMs apply different rulings. There are certain For this specific house rule, if the DM used it: In situations in which that DM determines an action is normally required, a bonus action would suffice...
    28 replies | 572 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 10:41 PM
    *If* both the hider and perceiver are proficient. If not, there is a relative advantage gained by the proficient party. This is incorrect. Being invisible and hidden are two separate things. There are a lot of threads on this topic. Turning invisible does not hide your location from an enemy, and does not give you the benefits of being hidden. A lot of people site the Predator films as an...
    28 replies | 572 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 09:50 PM
    Some people feel that stealthy characters should be able to hide when they become invisible. If you consider this a problem, this solves that problem. Some people think that it is too cumbersome to require an action to make a perception check (rather than rely upon passive perception). This addresses those concerns. When I say 'solve problems', this is what I mean.Good observation. The...
    28 replies | 572 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 09:27 PM
    I heard an interesting house rule recently that solves a number of problems in the game. I'm interested in some help issue spotting what problems it causes. What constitutes a problem? You decide. The house rules: If you are proficient in a skill, any use of the skill that would normally require an action can be performed as an action or a bonus action. Examples: * If proficient in...
    28 replies | 572 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 08:38 PM
    Please don't tell me what I know. I've DMed for multiple moon druids for prolonged periods and played one myself through level 13. I have been playing D&D since the 70s. Don't tell people they don't know what they're saying if you know nothing about them. That is the type of thing that gets you blocked by a decent number of people around here.Unless you lose concentration - and note that you...
    57 replies | 1918 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 07:21 PM
    I describe it not as a physical resistance, but a temporal one. This is what the spell says - you alter time around the targets. Time slows for the targets, but the rest of the world moves at normal speed. From the targets perspective, the world speeds up. From the perspective of those not impacted, the targets slow down.
    9 replies | 304 view(s)
    3 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 07:15 PM
    Recall that this thread is about how awesome (overpowered) the druid is. Not how it is a really great support class. Arguing it is merely a support class once you leave the first tier of play is agreeing with my position in this thread: The moon druid is strong at levels 2 through 4. Once you hit 5th and other classes get their big abilities, they fall back in line. By medium to higher tiers...
    57 replies | 1918 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 06:54 PM
    There are dozens of high quality campaign worlds available for sales, and hundreds more 'amateur' worlds available at little to no costs. If you put in the effort to add artwork, have professional editing, etc... and want to sell it - and you manage to accumulate good reviews for it - you might see some people using it, and even more buy it and cannibalize parts of it. It sounds like your...
    31 replies | 1095 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 05:30 PM
    Yes, I just wouldn't be so proud of it. Comparing these classes to roles they do not fill does not equate to comparing a moon druid to a melee role - they fill a melee role and the argument in general in this thread is that they are powerful at it. The complaint is that they're overpowered, primarily because they're an awesome melee force that can cast spells - except (until high levels)...
    57 replies | 1918 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 02:13 AM
    My notes from running Sunless Citadel most recently: PCs fought wilderness blights rats, rat, 2 mephitis, (met) Meepo, and a rat swarm - and then took their first short rest. They then met the Kobold King, and were afforded the chance to long rest. There was also some traps in there. They advanced to 2nd level at that time. This was atypical as I find - even though level 1 is very short if...
    57 replies | 1918 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 12:43 AM
    You're mistaken. I played one from level 1 to 13 (Moon druid), and have DMed a Land and 2 Moon druids. If you think my observations are off base, you've had different experiences. Different games are different. However, the majority of the discussion in the druid guides, as well as in other threads, is in line with my observations. Also, I've played D&Din the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s. ...
    57 replies | 1918 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th March, 2018, 12:37 AM
    I said a bit. There is a lot you can o with those spell slots while a bear - but there is also a lot you can't do. If you don't think there will be times you wish you could cast in wildshape, you're likely wrong. Druids sometimes have to abandon their wildshapes just to cast one spell.Yes, that is a nice race specific loophole.If you start all combats as a halfling and have a high...
    57 replies | 1918 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 10:50 PM
    Moon druids are known to be strong at lower levels when wildshape is available - but they fall off rapidly. Common counterpoints: 1.) You can't cast spells in wildshape at low levels, so saying you can benefit from the bear form and the spells is a bit off the mark. 2.) Their animal forms have limitations. AC is low (11 without spells - 16 with barkskin if you can maintain concentration)....
    57 replies | 1918 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 08:23 PM
    I have an article in mind that addresses these concepts... I should finish writing it up and put it on the DM's guild.
    142 replies | 4324 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 05:27 PM
    Let me know if this sounds familiar: 1.) Before you begin, *ask* what they like and what they don't like. Plan to try the stuff they like (that you also like) and don't do the stuff they don't like (regardless of how much you like it). 2.) Once you get going, if they add something to the list of stuff they don't like, respect that and don't do it. If you're doing it at the moment, stop it...
    90 replies | 3211 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 12:49 AM
    As the one that made the comment that prompted the thread: 1.) Get to know a player before they join your game. Ask what would bther them in a game to determine if they are a good fit, and what you might want to knowingly avoid when they are in the game. 2.) If you're going to introduce something that comes from the real world and may have caused real pain for someone - double check with...
    90 replies | 3211 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Tuesday, 27th March, 2018, 12:29 AM
    You mean, The Moon Druid always outruns the villains, heroically catchingvvthem before they flee! Or the powerful wizards use their arcane powers to solve even the most complex problems! PCs gain abilities thatvtrivialize certain challenges. They do so over time, and they generally do so in ways that are limited (can the low lever moon druid outrun a flyer) or come at a level where it is time...
    104 replies | 4912 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 26th March, 2018, 09:54 PM
    The PCs are heroes. They're supposed to have abilities that make them heroic and powerful. A DM should not hate it when the PCs have an ability that makes it easy for them to defeat some villains tactics - it is something that should be celebrated. You can't steal from PCs because they have locate object prepared? Cool. They get to cast a spell, track down their stuff and be heroes. A...
    104 replies | 4912 view(s)
    7 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 26th March, 2018, 09:46 PM
    Lucky Magic Initiate (Warlock) for Hex + Minor Image + Mage Hand Mobile (great to be fast when a ranged PC) Ritual Caster (Wizard) - Familiar, some basic magic capabilities... not so bad Drow High-magic/Fey Teleportation/Wood Elf Magic (all fine) Alert (+5 initiative/never surprised is always good - especially when facing enemies that can hit really hard and you want to be at distance)
    19 replies | 502 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 26th March, 2018, 03:32 PM
    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.
    12 replies | 396 view(s)
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  • jgsugden's Avatar
    Monday, 26th March, 2018, 02:04 AM
    Make it more fun. Ask the player casting the spell to state the guidance the spell is providing, and then work it into how the ability check plays out. They might be trying tofind the perfect advice or might say something odd. From a balance perspectivve it is no problem at all.
    142 replies | 4324 view(s)
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Monday, 23rd April, 2018


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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. ...

Thursday, 24th March, 2016

  • 12:47 AM - Relic Dice mentioned jgsugden in post Wizards and bonus actions - not just for bonus action casting cost spells?
    jgsugden First, thank you. I'm a clutz with rules. Second, I apologize. I was simply restating what you had already said. Lastly, here's 3 from the top of my head: Bigby's Hand - The entire spell revolves around using your bonus actions to manipulate the hand to maximum effect. Since you get a bonus action each turn... Expeditious Retreat - Bonus action to run! (Always useful) Arcane Gate - "Use a bonus action to turn the portals to face another direction." Really, no end of wonderful uses here. Block a doorway, change direction when you need. Plop in front of you so arrows and other projectiles pass through instead of hitting you, then change direction when your attacker moves to block further attacks. Use the portal as an escape, then change one portal from a "safe" position (edge of cliff) to an unsafe position (off the edge of the cliff) if they decide to pursue (since you can't see through the portal). All bonus action, except the cast. Hope some of that was useful. Arcane Gate is a sp...

Wednesday, 23rd March, 2016

  • 09:26 PM - Relic Dice mentioned jgsugden in post Wizards and bonus actions - not just for bonus action casting cost spells?
    jgsugden I'm afraid I don't remember why you cannot cast a spell with a bonus action as it's casting time, and then cast a non-cantrip spell (such as Fly). Where does it say you can only cast a cantrip? And usually, wizards don't use their bonus actions unless they multi-class they started out as a Rouge before going into wizard. Even if they did, redirecting spells is probably the best thing they can do with it.

Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 09:13 PM - El Mahdi mentioned jgsugden in post Warlord Name Poll
    ...ybit ; @Dausuul; @Dayte ; @dd.stevenson ; @DEFCON 1 ; @Delazar ; @DersitePhantom ; @Diffan ; @discosoc; @D'karr ; @Doc Klueless ; @doctorbadwolf ; @DonAdam ; @Dragoslav ; @Duganson; @EdL ; @EditorBFG ; @Edwin Suijkerbuijk ; @Eejit ; @ehren37 ; @Elfcrusher ; @El Mahdi ; @epithet; @erf_beto ; @Eric V ; @eryndel ; @Evenglare ; @ExploderWizard ; @EzekielRaiden; @Fedge123 ; @fendak ; @FireLance ; @Fishing_Minigame ; @Flamestrike ; @FLexor the Mighty! ; @Forged Fury ; @Fragsie ; @Fralex ; @FreeTheSlaves ; @froth ; @Gadget; @Galendril ; @GameOgre ; @Garthanos ; @Ghost Matter ; @Giltonio_Santos ; @Gimul; @GMforPowergamers ; @Gnashtooth ; @Green1 ; @GreenKarl ; @Greg K ; @GreyLord; @Grimmjow ; @Grydan ; @GX.Sigma ; @Halivar ; @HEEGZ ; @Hemlock ; @Henry ; @Herobizkit; @Hussar; @IchneumonWasp ; @I'm A Banana ; @Imaro ; @Iosue ; @Irennan ; @JackOfAllTirades; @jacktannery ; @jadrax ; @Jaelommiss ; @JamesTheLion ; @JamesonCourage ; @JasonZZ; @jayoungr ; @JediGamemaster ; @JeffB ; @Jester Canuck ; @jgsugden ; @jodyjohnson; @Joe Liker ; @JohnLynch ; @Johnny3D3D ; @KarinsDad ; @kerbarian ; @kerleth ; @Kinak; @KingsRule77 ; @Kirfalas ; @Kobold Stew ; @koga305 ; @Lanefan ; @Lanliss ; @Leatherhead; @Libramarian ; @Li Shenron ; @LuisCarlos17f ; @lowkey13 ; @Manbearcat ; @MarkB; @MechaPilot ; @Mecheon ; @mellored ; @Mephista ; @Mercule ; @MG.0 ; @MichaelSomething; @Miladoon ; @Minigiant ; @Mishihari Lord ; @Mistwell ; @MoogleEmpMog ; @Mon @MonkeezOnFire ; @MoonSong(Kaiilurker) ; @MostlyDm ; @Mouseferatu ; @MoutonRustique; @Nemesis Destiny ; @neobolts ; @Neonchameleon ; @Nifft ; @nightspaladin ; @nomotog; @n00bdragon ; @Obryn ; @Ohillion ; @oknazevad ; @Olgar Shiverstone ; @Orlax ; @Otterscrubber ; @Pandamonium87 ; @Paraxis ; @PaulO. ; @Pauln6 ; @Pauper ; @payn; @pemerton ; @peterka99 ;@ Pickles III ; @Pickles JG ; @pkt77242 ; @pming ; @pogre; @PopeYodaI ; @Prickly ; @procproc ; @Psikerlord ; @Psikerlord# ; @(Psi)SeveredHead; @Quickleaf ; @Raith5 ; @raleel ; @Ralif Redhammer ; @Raloc ; @Ranes ; ...

Wednesday, 2nd September, 2015

  • 12:07 PM - El Mahdi mentioned jgsugden in post Warlording the fighter
    .... Doing so either allows all members of the group to recover hit points equivalent to the Warlord’s Wisdom or Charisma modifier times ½ the allies level (minimum of 1), or free all members of the group from non-magical fear (the Frightened condition), or reduce any effects due to exhaustion by one level. The group must be within hearing range of the Warlord, and only affects members not at 0 hit points. Command Actions (in-work) Individual tactics or maneuvers - based on Battlemaster maneuvers, 4E Warlord powers, etc. @fuindordm @Tony Vargas @GMforPowergamers @Hussar @cbwjm @epithet @MoonSong(Kaiilurker) @bert1000 EzekielRaiden @Manbearcat @Uchawi @Ashkelon @Eric V @pemerton @Jester Canuck @Bluenose @Minigiant @I'm A Banana @aramis erak @Warbringer @Leatherhead @ehren37 @Winterthorn @TheHobgoblin @Neonchameleon @Obryn @Imaro @nomotog @Ashrym @The_Gneech @Remathilis @Olgar Shiverstone @Sacrosanct @Gimul @Twiggly the Gnome @CapnZapp @MechaPilot @kerbarian @Psikerlord# @jgsugden @DEFCON 1

Wednesday, 20th May, 2015


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Monday, 23rd April, 2018

  • 09:31 AM - DRF quoted jgsugden in post Amazon considers D&D health books
    About 20 years out of date. 30% of the players I've played with in the past two years are female. I know dozens of D&D couples. ??? Are you saying that you somehow get STD-immune when you enter into a relationship? It was a funny joke, lighten up.

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

  • 02:22 AM - Lillika quoted jgsugden in post XGTE Errata
    It is not 100% worse than Lucky. First, you get to improve an ability score by one. Second, it recharges when you roll initiative (or take a rest), which *potentially* allows more uses per LR than Lucky. I've had 8 encounters between long rests in a game. Also, I'm not sure you want to see people taking a race just to get access to a feat - you should take a feat to enhance your racial tendencies. That was the stated goal of the racial feats. If a racial feat is so good that people will play the race just to get the mechanical benefit, I think we're giving too much benefit to the feat. A racial selection should be a role playing choice, not a mechanical choice. That's nice logic and all, but I do see a lot of dps threads that are all about Half-Drow for Elven Accuracy.

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 04:23 PM - Tormyr quoted jgsugden in post Best 5E Adventure Paths?
    Out of Curiosity, which commercially available 5E adventure path that you've read/played strikes you as 'the best' one? I'm not making this a poll because I don't want to limit it to just WotC products - it could be a 3rd party product. For these purpose, an adventure path is any product that: * Anticipates characters advancing for at least 10 levels during the course of the materials, * Is in one product series (one book or a series of books/magazines/etc...), and * Can be played back to back without jumping levels. Something like Yawning Portal meets this criteria. Even though the story is not contiguous, it meets all the requirements. However, Campaign Settings (by themselves) would not as they do not actually include an adventure that spans 10 levels. (Bonus Question - which Adventure Path from a previous edition would you most want to see updated and rebalanced for 5E rules/monsters?) I really enjoyed running Age of Worms in 5e. You can get my conversion guide here...

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 08:45 AM - Sadras quoted jgsugden in post Do you use skill challenges?
    I don't use SCs. Instead, I set objectives in the game that can be met with skills, spells, or just creative role playing and I let the PCs go at it however they choose. As an example, a bandit robbed a merchant near the PCs and they decided to chase him down. In 4E, this would have been an excellent option for a skill challenge. However, PCs might just cast hold person, teleport ahead of the NPC, persuade him to stop with a good threat, etc... Or they might engage in a lengthy chase involving several skill checks. All that makes sense and I use those examples too. :) As I said I'm not locked into the SC, I see it as another tool in the box. SCs were part of a system that generally played best 'above board,' and they share that quality. I'm not necessarily 100% convinced of this as I think it depends on the challenge (and the Rules Compendium allows for both options), but to be honest I know I do not have the experience you have had with the mechanic. A game where the players do ...

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 07:11 PM - Imaro quoted jgsugden in post Do you use skill challenges?
    I don't use SCs. Instead, I set objectives in the game that can be met with skills, spells, or just creative role playing and I let the PCs go at it however they choose. As an example, a bandit robbed a merchant near the PCs and they decided to chase him down. In 4E, this would have been an excellent option for a skill challenge. However, PCs might just cast hold person, teleport ahead of the NPC, persuade him to stop with a good threat, etc... Or they might engage in a lengthy chase involving several skill checks. Yep this is pretty much how I play it as well. It was one of the reasons I cited earlier about not liking the pre-determined number of "necessary" steps for a SC... How do I know that ahead of time unless I know for sure how the PC's will approach it?

Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 10:03 AM - CapnZapp quoted jgsugden in post A tiny offset to the Frenzy Barbarian's neg?
    The much maligned frenzy does not require an adjustment, to be honest. I played one for an entire campaign and it was fine. Think of frenzy as a once, perhaps twice, per LR ability. The only problem with this approach is.... It makes Berserk un-fun. Having this über ability that you always need to hold back on because you only get the one shot... means in practice you seldom use it, because the day ends before you reach that Obvious End-Game Boss-Fight. It doesn't help that... The ability isn't all that über. It's good, sure, but not nearly powerful enough to justify such a draconian restriction. TLDR; Would rather play a Totem or Zealot. Which pretty much negates the value of arguing Berserker is fine. You CAN argue it, but the net effect remains the same: players simply avoid it. In order to actually make the subclass see use, more is needed. Basically, you need to accept the PHB contains mistakes and weaknesses. The much maligned frenzy does require an adjustment, to be honest.

Saturday, 14th April, 2018

  • 09:08 PM - Motorskills quoted jgsugden in post A tiny offset to the Frenzy Barbarian's neg?
    The much maligned frenzy does not require an adjustment, to be honest. I played one for an entire campaign and it was fine. Think of frenzy as a once, perhaps twice, per LR ability. Regardless, if you feel a need to make this adjustment, it will move the subclass from low in power to higher in power. It should not break anything. Exhaustion can result from things other than Frenzy, that needs to be remembered. It just feels unthematic when my guy is Frenzying at half-speed across the board.

Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

  • 09:20 AM - Leatherhead quoted jgsugden in post UA: Order Domain Cleric.
    What a strange thing - the Order Cleric's greatest ally is the rogue. You'll spend all your time spamming the rogue to attack. You might just spam Heroism and bless every turn to turn your slots into those extra reaction attacks for your GWF allies... The high level Order Cleric's best friend is the Shepard Druid. Think of all the summons getting that bonus force damage.
  • 04:23 AM - Ancalagon quoted jgsugden in post Wand of Lightning Bolt - how good is it really?
    Because of how you VIEW your experiences. Note that I'm talking about having a AD&D/2E/3E perspective of a 5E item.No. Because, as I mentioned, they're rare. However, I did have a wand of fireballs in a party in 2016. And it was just as I discussed above - it was an iconic part of the party (it passed through several hands) which was very useful when found, but as we advanced it fell off in utility. We had it from about level 9 to about level 13 - where it was stolen by an NPC when the party made a mistake (almost all our stuff was stolen and sold - we couldn't recover all of it). It was used by the warlock, primarily, because it massively increased the number of spells he could cast. However, it was not overpowered at any point - and by the time we lost it, it wasn't a priority to get it back... but the absence of it was noted from there on (until the TPK at level 15 or so). Thank you for sharing your experience - and I agree with you that it's definitely an iconic item. Your analys...

Monday, 9th April, 2018

  • 09:13 PM - CapnZapp quoted jgsugden in post Wand of Lightning Bolt - how good is it really?
    Folks, you're stuck in the past. 5E wands are INTENDED to be something more than their 3E and earlier equivalents. It is perfectly understandable if a player thinks a wand is a wand. If this piece of short tapered wood is something else than it used to be, maybe it shouldn't be called a wand, amirite?
  • 08:56 PM - Satyrn quoted jgsugden in post Wand of Lightning Bolt - how good is it really?
    Folks, you're stuck in the past. 5E wands are INTENDED to be something more than their 3E and earlier equivalents. How am I stuck in the past when I've been recounting my experience in a 5e game with the wand in question? And whatever the wand is intended to be, I think the OP is better served by examples of what it actually is. Do you have any experience with a wand of lightning bolts in a 5e game?
  • 06:56 PM - Polyhedral Columbia quoted jgsugden in post Coherentizing the Timelines of all the D&D Worlds in 5E (and Ed Greenwood's current year)
    We don't have to assume that time passes at the same rate in each Crystal Sphere... but it does have advantages. Yeah, it would make for a unified D&D Multiverse setting. You said it better than I. My honest preference at this point is for us to see an 'Ultimates' (to borrow from Marvel Comics) approach to merge these worlds: We already are seeing an "Ultimate Ravenloft". A Faternity of Shadows rep just told me that Curse of Strahd is set in a different timeline than the hither-to published 2E/3E timeline. Curse of Strahd is an a mash-up of iconic characters from various times, and placed in a time (735 BC) which conflicts with the established 2E/3E timeline (which extends to 758 BC). Basically Curse of Strahd is revealing a different "Ultimate" Ravenloft than we've seen in other products. And this "Ultimate Ravenloft" was "officially" tied into the Realms via the two Adventurers League segway scenarios which brought the AL PCs from the Toril to Barovia and back. This presumably happened i...

Sunday, 8th April, 2018

  • 09:53 PM - Helldritch quoted jgsugden in post Anyone else tired of the miserly begrudging Rogue design of 5E?
    My Criminal Background Eldritch Knight begs to differ with your statement. Stealth is not the exclusive domain of the ranger and rogue in 5E. And massive damage is certainly not their exclusive area, either. There is no point in his career, from third level on, where he could not handle the situations you describe above as well, or better, than a pure assassin rogue. You are both right and wrong. Yes, stealth is no longer the sole exclusivity of the rogue. He lost it in the second edition when the ranger could do it too. But a single powerful attack is required to do the scenari I talked about. You need to do massive damage with only one attack and not a serie of attacks. A guard is not necessarily a human with 11 hp. It can be an orog (45hp) an ogre (59hp) or even a cambion (82hp). You need to deal that much damage with a single attack to stay in stealth, otherwise, the alarm will be on (unless you have a silence spell cast as a bonus action from some source or whatever...) Yes your e...
  • 09:18 PM - Ancalagon quoted jgsugden in post Wand of Lightning Bolt - how good is it really?
    Consider the difference between a 3E Wand of Lightning Bolts and a 5E Wand of Lightning Bolts. 3E: The PCs find a wand of lightning bolts. They spam lightning bolts in a few combats and the wand depletes. Then they buy another, or use a fireball wand, or any of the other plethora of items in their 6 bags of holding. 5E: The PCs found THE Wand of Lightning Bolts. Soon after, their wizard became known for the eletrical mayhem he threw around in battle after battle. He became known as the Lightning Mage, using his trusty wand untilt the day he fell at the hands of Demogorgon himself. If you follow the guidelines in the DMG, your PCs are likely to find about 6 magic items each during their careers, and 3 of those will require attunement. Due to random chance you may find more or less - and DMs may allow the purchase of items (although I think that anything greater than uncommon would be hard to find for sale) - but the expectation should be that PCs of 7th level will each have 1 or ...
  • 09:14 PM - CapnZapp quoted jgsugden in post Wand of Lightning Bolt - how good is it really?
    At level 7 it is very strong. By 11 it will be just a magic item. By 15 it will only get use in mopup duty.At least it's level 7. Yes, its desirable but not broken so. As mentioned above, the biggest effect is to give it to a support caster, making the Cleric or Circle Druid deal wizard-level damage. It's at level 5 or below it is a game-changer, and probably shouldn't be handed out without modification.

Thursday, 5th April, 2018

  • 09:48 AM - CapnZapp quoted jgsugden in post Mike Mearls and "Action Economy"
    He is concerned with making the game accessible to new players. And his comment, to me, basically boils down to saying that if you can break down the game and make more efficient combinations ... well, it makes the game less accessible to new players that don't enjoy ebing mocked because thy do not know the right moves. Then you should tell him about the Rogue, and the way you need to play it in meta-gimmicky ways optimizing your reaction to gain any mileage out of it...
  • 08:14 AM - CapnZapp quoted jgsugden in post Anyone else tired of the miserly begrudging Rogue design of 5E?
    5E would have been better if the rogue had a little bump in power to make them competitive. There are a lot of ways to get there, and is is far from strictly necessary, but it would be an improvement. Thank you. All of you arguing the Rogue is fine because there's little combat in your games... Since combat is not paramount in your games, your games would not break by giving the Rogue some extra DPR oomph. And since that would unbreak my Rogue, the conclusion is clear: a more generous Rogue design would benefit everybody :) (Again, since I'm talking games with "all options on", the one argument I will concede is that any such bump probably should rely on feats or multiclassing, so it remains unavailable for "options off" games)

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 06:35 PM - Mistwell quoted jgsugden in post Utility of Wizard "dip."
    It gives a warlock a lot of additional utility spells due to the rituals Huh, I had not considered that. How does that work? Do they now get access to rituals at every level that they achieve as a warlock which normally would have been wizard-only ones?
  • 06:26 PM - Warpiglet quoted jgsugden in post Utility of Wizard "dip."
    It gives a warlock a lot of additional utility spells due to the rituals ... but it is not going to be a huge benefit for combat. You get 2 or 3 spells per LR which can be nice, but you can't rely upon them for saves or attack bonus spells because of that low intelligence. As such, they usually end up as Shield spells. Yes. In my case it would actually dilute combat ability per level. I could float a few extra hexes or shield spells I suppose... Damn choices.

Sunday, 1st April, 2018

  • 12:55 AM - LordEntrails quoted jgsugden in post Phrasing a Skill Check that Requires Proficiency
    Thanks all. Other than you taking out the word Intelligence, your wording seems great. I wanted to make clear is was not an intelligence check. To me, intelligence there would contradict the proficiency required part. Thoughts? I'd go with "A character who is proficient in the <skillname> skill may make a <statname> (<skillname>) check to examine the item", then discuss check DCs and results. I was trying to keep as close as I could with official examples. Do you think the extra verbiage of your format add clarity? Or I guess a better question, do you think the format I did was not clear enough?


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