View Profile: Jester David - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Today, 04:22 AM
    You'd have to give a pretty darn big buff to most of the other classes (and the warlock) to balance this. Since even at level 1 a wizard or cleric is getting a 1st level spell every short rest. It's a huge increase to power.
    26 replies | 610 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:55 PM
    Mearls has a fun story about meeting a player of 4e, who picked up “Players Handbook 3” figuring it was the newest and most revised version of the rules, not realizing it was an expansion. I doubt very much they’ll do a PHB2. A big book of variant class features is a good idea for a 3PP, but I doubt it’s planned. Subclasses seem to be the customization method, not variant features. Because...
    15 replies | 492 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:36 PM
    I think the problem is that content is coming in addition the all their regular work. Thye’re given a choice between writing content for a book that will be published and writing content to give away and test, and the former wins out every time. Especially for the ranger, which won’t ever end up in a book. It’s always at the bottom of the to-do pile.
    15 replies | 492 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:04 AM
    On page 95. "The githyanki, however, find it in their best interest to keep their citadels safe from discovery." Should be "githzerai".
    43 replies | 2596 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 11:34 PM
    For D&D’s 5th Edition, Wizards of the Coast committed not to releasing books that players might have purchased before. They didn’t want to just do the same book they’d done two or three times previously but with new rules. Instead, they’re experimenting with format a little. And in this case, the experiment didn’t work. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is somewhat of a mess. It tries to be...
    3 replies | 373 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 04:29 PM
    Again, the key word is mechanical. Does the skill choice have an impact on the mechanics of the game system and not just the plot? Because breaking a narrative and breaking a game system are two entirely different things.
    67 replies | 1865 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 01:58 PM
    It's a cool monster and a touching story.
    3 replies | 3196 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 01:18 PM
    Correction: options with meaningful mechanical differences. Having infinitive flavorful options means little. True. Because options. The more choices you have, there better chance for a combination. And the greater your power with every subsequent choice. Doubly so if the options can synergies. The three aspects you cite are less causes and more symnptoms. They’re places the game can...
    67 replies | 1865 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 03:44 AM
    Can't say I'm familiar enough with those systems to make a judgement. But would you say you're able to meaninfully powergame/ optimise in those systems? Because if you can't significantly powergame them, no, powergaming won't break them. Because the point was that powergaming, by its nature, breaks RPGs. The main break in this instance is options. When you have an options, one will...
    67 replies | 1865 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 11:11 PM
    Magic items and generic feats. Pretty good on the rest now.
    53 replies | 1619 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 03:41 PM
    The encounter guidelines work better than the ones for 1e and 2e which didn't exist. Or for ones in 90% of other RPGs on the market where they also don't exist. They work better than the ones for 3e, which were funky. And about as well as the ones for 4e. The thing is, those rules exist only because they were expected and for writing the published adventures, so they can be done "by the...
    67 replies | 1865 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 02:32 PM
    I think all D&D products suffer from diminishing returns. You only need so many adventures, but you also only need so many new subclasses and races. They sell better at first, but I think crunch dropoff is steeper than adventures, as they're good for multiple campaigns and you can re-use subclasses (as different people play them) and even late in an edition a really cool adventure might sell...
    127 replies | 4636 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 02:12 AM
    ... To be utterly and brutally frank: well, duh. Those two break every game. Pathfinder? Optional rules and/or powergaming break it. 4th Edition D&D. Also broken by house rules and some decent min-maxing. FFG's Star Wars? Same thing. The baseline is not based around optimised play. It is deliberately and purposely based two steps below. Because not everyone is an optimiser and basing...
    67 replies | 1865 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 03:24 PM
    In terms of roleplaying games? There are 3rd Party books for Pathfinder, Vampire, and several others. Plus fan sites. For games in generally, you can buy 3rd Party video gaming accessories. Like different console controllers and the like. And I've seen unofficial board game expansions. Just like you can customise your car, iPad, iPhone, action figure, assault rifle, bike, etc with optional...
    127 replies | 4636 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 04:46 PM
    I think second party is when a company gets hired by the first party to do official stuff. Like when WotC outsourced the two first adventure paths.
    127 replies | 4636 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 04:26 PM
    Grand History of the Realms Volo's Guide to Waterdeep Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast They have quote a few books expanding on subsections of the setting: The Drow of the Underdark The Seven Sisters Giantcraft Elves of Evermeet The Code of the Harpers
    10 replies | 431 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 04:19 PM
    Which solves the problem at tables, but doesn't fix it for anyone wanting to use gnomes but not telling the story, or anyone playing a gnome whose DM didn't tell that story. They had two options: 1) Have the female gnome gods found, possibly by unnamed adventurers a generation ago, and invent all new goddesses. Who would feel tacked-on, and would likely would be forgotten the next edition...
    52 replies | 2434 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 03:50 PM
    Funny thing... I've never met anyone in the real world who has ever been to Heaven or Hell. Someone who has journeyed to the afterlife and back. And unlike a D&D world, we have no idea if those places are even real. And yet we still know a lot about the layout of heaven and hell, with lots of depictions in art and lore. Even if you never plan on having a campaign set in the planes, it can...
    68 replies | 1752 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 12:01 AM
    The mythology of my campaign setting describes the planes as a massive skeleton of the first primordial, which is floating the in great void of the Astral Plane. In this great void, the starlike light of the Positive Energy Plane radiations onto the remains of the titan, bringing new souls, life, and magic. The prime material plane and known worlds are contained within the skull of the...
    68 replies | 1752 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 12:08 AM
    What about a 1% chance of failing something when you have advantage? If you only miss on double 1s do you auto-succees? Storytelling is pretty much what every new RPG published in the last 10 years has focused on...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 10:28 PM
    I have tripped walking down the stairs before. Who hasn't stumbled on a staircase? So, by definition, someone's odds of successfully walking up a staircase are uncertain. Should that be a check? As a DM, I view the primary job as managing the flow of the story and pacing of the adventure. Keep things moving, prevent people from being bored, help things flow organically. The rules are on part...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 08:14 PM
    Unless you’re running AL, I think it’s expected that GMs make the game their own and bring their own style to the game. When you ask someone to GM, you’re asking them to GM. That’s part of the experience. No one asks someone to GM in the style of someone else. As a DM you make checks automatic all the time. Mounting a horse, opening a stiff door, starting a camp fire, getting dressed, etc. By...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 03:48 PM
    I agree. I think the “adventures are money losers” argument was clearly shown as false by Paizo and the huge success of the AP line. I think that idea that adventures don’t sell came out of someone looking at poor adventure sales from 2e and forgetting most were campaign specific. Or someone assuming everyone at the table buys equal numbers of books, when it’s usually one person who spends...
    127 replies | 4636 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 03:19 PM
    Tome of Beasts is the first. It gets used almost every session at my table. Heroes Handbook is the big feast of crunch everyone wanted befire we got the appetizer know as Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
    127 replies | 4636 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 03:17 PM
    True. But neither does a skill gained from your class. In either case, you still need to tie it to an appropriate ability score. The difference is you’re not worrying about cross class skills or having half the number of ranks. Backgrounds just let you get a different skill not normal on your list. Then don’t ask for a check. As the DM, you don’t have to ask for a roll. You can easily...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 04:25 AM
    True. But your argument assumes the cleric and wizard have a low Dex. A trickster domain cleric might have a Dex that's their second or third highest Stat, rocking a total bonus of +4 vs the rogue's +5. (As the math of the game doesn't assume a 20 or an optimised rogue. A 16 is usually the highest you're assumed to have, as you can't get higher than 15 with point buy.) So the difference...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 09:24 PM
    I think the OP answers their own question: Emphasis on the word "forums". That right there is a sample bias, as forums, by their very nature as an older internet medium, are going to favour older and established players. Forum goers are going to often fall into a couple different camps, with the largest being older fans who remember the 3PP glut of the early 2000s and feel burned by that...
    127 replies | 4636 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 01:49 AM
    Okay, putting my flavour where my mouth is. My world is a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Basically, I mushed together as many post-apocalypse tropes with fantasy. The world was a magical place that was more Eberron than the Realms, until the world got all effed up by backstory. The globe became tidally locked, so one side always faces the sun and the other side faces away. Elves My...
    42 replies | 1498 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 09:42 PM
    What unique and weird things have you done with the default options from the Player's Handbook? In your homebrew fantasy world do your dwarves have beards, Scottish accents, and a predilection for mining? Or are they ferocious sea-raiders wearing bear hides? re your dwarves honorbound and divided into familial clans, or do they have a caste system based around their occupation? Do they hate...
    42 replies | 1498 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 09:13 PM
    Neat stuff. Good thoughts put in there. From the perspective of a DM, I’d like to see more character hooks and potential NPCs. School friends and rivals. People she might have known, such as the Madame of her mother’s brothel. The character’s goals are also nice. Why are they adventuring rather than taking a quiet job at a library? What do they want to spend their treasure on? What are...
    8 replies | 226 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 03:10 PM
    Mechanically, short of adding a whole bunch of new feats, there's no way. It pretty much has to be done in the flavour and roleplaying field. There's a few ways to really make a D&D race matter. The first is how the people are perceived by others. What stereotypes people have of elves and dwarves. How humans are viewed. This affects how NPCs might interact with the various non-human...
    32 replies | 1005 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 03:48 AM
    I picked "Give me all the feats, 16 is fine with me", but that is in a way far from the truth. You see, I don't care about getting any pluses to the primary score to begin with. If it didn't shut down multiclassing, I'd even play PCs with a penalty to it. (Actually scratch that, sometimes I do it anyway).
    59 replies | 1785 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 08:42 PM
    Except... it's not really a DPR feat. It doesn't compare remotely with Great Weapon Mastery as two of the three bulletpoints are about defence while the third is about controlling an enemy (moving them into position or knocking them down). It serves a very different purpose.
    343 replies | 10919 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 06:09 PM
    As has been pointed out, Pathfinder is about to launch it's second edition in three-ish months. If you can wait until then, you can playtest the new game and give pretty valuable feedback on the system as a brand new Pathfinder player unfamiliar with the previous edition. Alternatively, when the new edition launches, some game stores might be trying to unload old Pathfinder books, and you...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 11:38 PM
    It's almost like there's a difference between a competitive game played between two players and a cooperative game played with a judge at every table...
    343 replies | 10919 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 02:43 PM
    It pretty much negates the usefulness of Cunning Action for rogues, since you can do anything with your action rather than just Dash, Disengage, and Hide. Or bonus action attack, and Ready to attack again when the enemy acts, doubling your attacks each round with both being granted Sneak Attack. And the Tank fighter/ Paladin has a much better tactic. Move forward and offhand attack with his...
    343 replies | 10919 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 02:56 AM
    It's a quirk of the phrasing but is hardly the most glaring example of weird logic that arises from the rules. But, if it's just a bonus action, can't you then attack with the off-hand weapon or shove with a shield and choose an action other than Attack? Such as Dodge. Or Ready?
    343 replies | 10919 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 12:21 AM
    This has always been the case. Sage Advice has always been the designer’s advice and personal rulings.
    343 replies | 10919 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 12:14 AM
    The tweet is how I would rule it. That’s the natural language. If X then Y, means X comes first. If you take the Attack action, you can do something as a bonus action. That means the action comes first.
    343 replies | 10919 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 03:06 PM
    Something becomes railroading if there's no choice. A linear story is a railroad because they characters have no options but to follow the path and their decisions are largely made for them. They have to go from A-to-B-D, even if it makes much more sense to C. (Theoretically, it would be possible to railroad a non-linear story. By having small, set choices but still no room for variation or...
    29 replies | 864 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 02:43 PM
    I have the illustrated editions of DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. Lovely books for all the art and sculptures, and an excuse to get that little history lesson. But, yeah, generic thriller trash. Still... it's nice to have generic thriller trash based around art and history rather than spies and espionage. Gangs of New York... I remember that as a thing I watched once. Didn't stand out...
    12 replies | 604 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 05:41 AM
    Knockoffs are generally the way to go for monsters: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Building-Blocks-21pcs-lot-WM1018-Mordor-Orc-Army-Group-Mouth-of-Sauron-Lord-of-the-Rings/32838208006.html
    14 replies | 471 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 01:24 AM
    Hasbro did a D&D themed line for their Kre-O line. It didn't do too well, sadly. Because competing with Lego in the block based build-able toy department is super hard. So you just have to hunt down fantasy, knights, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter sets. Or go with knock-off Lego. Chinese sites like aliexpress.com are a great source for that.
    14 replies | 471 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 02:32 PM
    My point was it wasn't the book that's a dream. It's the idea that WotC will publish it that's a dream. This book could very, very easily be done. Step One: Work on the Classes. Design a way to make each class more complex and add options and choices into more levels. This can be done on a class-by-class basis with each made into their own document and released separately on the...
    101 replies | 3596 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 11:33 AM
    I honestly wouldn't go with this or any similar houserule. Wizards are meant to get their versatility out of rituals and prepared spells. And that versatility is huge. Allowing them to change their cantrips with a short rest or worse letting them scribe cantrips on their spell book and cat them at-will is stepping on the sorcerer and tome-warlock. Which by the way wouldn't benefit from the house...
    24 replies | 798 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 12:32 AM
    You just spent a whole post attacking the designers for not completely hitting all their (overly aspirational) design goals! Try reading my first post. I liked your idea for books. And I think a lot of people would pay good money for them. What I didn’t care for was your unrealistic mandating that the book has to be released by WotC. As the saying goes, “there’s no point in dreaming, if you...
    101 replies | 3596 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 10:37 PM
    Plus Threads are great when you have a question and would like it answered without debates or want to do some design and don’t want people derailing the thread. It’s a request to keep things on topic. This is neither. This is just you sharing your idea. You can’t just declare “plus thread” and silence criticism. What other response do you really want? Other people sharing their ideal...
    101 replies | 3596 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 08:03 PM
    I'm not. I said I supported it. I’m just not supporting the delusion that this will remotely be a product that WotC will make or one that supports their audience. Look, if you want to DISCUSS things, then a message board is a great place. But then you’re going to have to accept the fact people will disagree with you. If you just want to share ideas, make a blog. Seriously, what’s the...
    101 replies | 3596 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 06:50 PM
    Okay, but that's never going to happen. Sorry. Only a minority of players like spending their time designing characters. Heck, even if we round up to 51% and say "small majority" it's still not every player. By its very nature, a book such as the one you're requesting would not appeal to all fans. And while not all players will buy their books, WotC wants their books to *potentially* appeal...
    101 replies | 3596 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 01:38 AM
    I'm always stunned they don't. It'd be a low cost project (as they could reprint art and reuse art assets) that would likely sell better than their Core Rulebook.
    101 replies | 3596 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 12:32 AM
    Yes. Lesser restoration and greater restoration have replaced cure disease, neutralise poison, stone to flesh, and the like.
    13 replies | 761 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 12:07 AM
    Sounds like a solid idea for a 3rd Party Product. Work on a design, get some writers, find some artists, and go to Kickstarter! Get that baby made.
    101 replies | 3596 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 02:16 PM
    Your spell list? No. (Unless they're a new cantrip in a book or a homebrew one being added.) Your spells known/prepared? Also "no". Only what you gain by level, unless you have a DM that will grant you one as a bonus, or one from a magic item. Except for the aforementioned feat or taking a level in another spellcasting class. There are a lot of Cantrips in the game, and if you're a...
    24 replies | 798 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 02:58 PM
    “The past century”. Also known as 0.05% of the lifespan of humanity. Permanent settlements, aka cities, have only existed for maybe 8% of humanity’s time on Earth. Humanity survives, the culture does not. We’re spread out enough now that no one disaster will doom all of humanity, but our foolishness has killed numerous civilizations in the past. The Anasazi, the Indus Valley civilization,...
    128 replies | 3552 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 04:54 PM
    Look up the history of Easter Island. That’s the big one. Otherwise, humans just tend to move on and abandon lands where we’ve depleted all the resources. They adapt by leaving rather than innovating.
    128 replies | 3552 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 03:13 PM
    Abeir is interesting because it's mostly unexplored and full of potential. But setting an adventure there would be hard as the author wouldn't just be creating the adventure but creating the world almost from scratch. It's pretty much an entirely new campaign setting. And they're not doing enough with their existing settings to warrant a brand new one.
    22 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 03:25 AM
    Starlord had fallen pretty hard for Gamora in Guardians 2. Their relationship was a big part of that film. I accepted his anger without hesitation. Her having feelings for him less so. I'm uncertain if she really loved him or was just telling him what he wanted to hear. Human history is quite full of examples of civilisations that exhausted their resources and collapsed.
    128 replies | 3552 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th April, 2018, 08:21 PM
    Which is a temporary complaint. Because it's a year until the next one. Eighteen months from now, this complaint is moot. And season finale cliffhangers are often very popular. If it works for them, why not here?
    128 replies | 3552 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 11:12 PM
    In the comic, Nebula gets ahold of the gauntlet and wishes everything back the way it was a day prior. In the film this could translate to a year prior. Or everyone killed by Thanos. Or it could be Tony remaking the universe. Perhaps with Cap. The two of them sacrificing themselves to fix the universe while balancing each other's impulses.
    128 replies | 3552 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 10:55 PM
    As I said in another thread, I was saddened we don't get to see Starlord reach Earth. Or get a moment where Tony and Steve have to interact and deal with what went down in Civil War. Having read the comic I saw the ending coming. But still surprised they had the balls to go that route, even if the deaths will be undone. After all, we know Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange are...
    128 replies | 3552 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 06:45 PM
    General Desires I'd also like the presence of dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings to allow more NPC statblocks of those various races. Wants I'd like to actually have Mordenkainen's thoughts on the subjects rather than just confined to post-it-notes scattered throughout the book. It'd be nice if the introductory paragraphs of each section written by Mordy with his thoughts on the...
    18 replies | 711 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 01:19 PM
    Someone needs to edit in a SPOILERS tag to the thread name... This is really how the Infinity Gauntlet comic begins. Thanos starts Infinity Gauntlet with all six stones and is deciding what to do. That's the conflict in the first of the six issues, with the real story occurring after. It gets worse after. In issue 3 they assemble a team of all the surviving heroes. Who then make a...
    7 replies | 460 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 02:52 AM
    ... Which page is that rule on? Page 269 of the DMG even offers up a suggestion for player narrative manipulation as a way to encourage that.
    168 replies | 6498 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 02:45 AM
    Spoilers seem to be creeping into this thread. S P O I
    7 replies | 460 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 06:52 PM
    Ghostbusters is my go-to example of that. Watched it a dozen times as a kid and loved the cartoon. Never realized it was 75% comedy.
    79 replies | 3297 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 07:08 AM
    There are two types of kids. 1) Those who know what an orgy is and will just get that comment and likely squirm 2) Those that don’t where it will go right over their head Kids hear all kinds of adult stuff and as long as you give them a half assed explanation, they will roll with it and move on. They’ll ask “what’s an orgy” and a quick parent will shrug, look bored, and reply “a kind of...
    79 replies | 3297 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Thursday, 26th April, 2018, 01:16 AM
    They’re related. But the extra poison or damage is a separate effect. There is a hit that triggers a secondary effect that carries additional damage. If you hit a barrel of black powder or oil with a flaming arrow, the resulting explosion is directly the result of the first attack. Nothing happens if it misses. But it’s not the same attack. They are causally related, but not the same thing. ...
    49 replies | 1768 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 25th April, 2018, 09:18 PM
    Not really. It's there. Just subtle. From the Basic Rules: When you score a critical hit, you get to roll extra dice for the attack’s damage against the target. Emphasis added.
    49 replies | 1768 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 25th April, 2018, 06:40 PM
    I think I get your question. Specifically, are secondary effects of attacks also doubled on a critical. Such as the basilisk that does 10 piercing damage plus 7 poison damage on a hit versus a quasit whose tail does piercing damage and forces a save causing additional poison damage. Most examples do seem to either be status effects or poison. But I can imagine an undead creature hitting...
    49 replies | 1768 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 25th April, 2018, 03:28 PM
    It would help if you could also say where you are getting the idea that poison is not doubled.
    49 replies | 1768 view(s)
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  • Jester David's Avatar
    Wednesday, 25th April, 2018, 04:11 AM
    Starter Set and extra dice are good if you *think* they’d like the game but are uncertain. If you *know* they will like the game, the Players Handbook, Monster Manual, and an adventure would do them just as well. If they have an iPad, they can opt for the digital DM Basic rules in place of the MM for running an adventure.
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About Jester David

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About Jester David
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I've been gaming for over half my life, since junior high.
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Long-time gamer and geek, been around since the start of 2e.

I'm known A "Jester David" over bits of the internet, and run a D&D blog and webcomic called 5 Minute Workday.
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Friday, 25th May, 2018


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Thursday, 24th May, 2018

  • 03:02 PM - Coroc mentioned Jester David in post Opening Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
    Jester David and others Oh my oh my, what did i start here. please do not imply that there are some IRL race Religion, sex, sexual orientation, or political agenda which i would like to downvalue in this forum. E.g. I, for my part love bisexual women, for several reasons, i will not go into detail further. And yes Jester David might have a point in #64 that when the game reflects several aspects of modern human society it might really help kids in puberty who are unsure about who they are. But let us rather discuss the game related aspects and possibilities of this, since i fear my old fashioned language might get me in trouble with the mods else. In other words they printed it in this book, now lets find out what to do with it. I think i like vincegetorix idea in #61 on this.

Thursday, 17th May, 2018

  • 06:08 AM - Coroc mentioned Jester David in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    Saelorn Jester David #31 #32 #33 As far as i do it when i DM as well as the DM when i Play does is taking that skilled / unskilled into account via context. Example: A magical scroll is found, the wizard gets an arcana check as would some other arcane caster but surely not the idiot fighter. Another Situation: Something magic is inscribed on the wall, it seems to be elvish. The wizard would again get an arcana check, but the idiot fighter being a half elf can take his chances also, eventually with disadvantage. Would he be a dwarf not speaking elvish then no way.

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 08:03 PM - Greg K mentioned Jester David in post D&D Has the Biggest Playerbase, So Why is it the Hardest for 3rd Party to Market Too?
    Given my prior post, I am more of a third party (including fan material) person. If I run 5e, I have material posted on this site from @I Am A Banana, Khaalis, and others. I also have material from the website and DM Guild account of Jester David. Then there are material from Kobold Press and others. However, while there are several products on DM's Guild, many of the big non-WOTC products and much of the material doesn't interest me. I would rather pay for 5e versions of some 3e 3pp material including the following: From Stone to Steel (Monkey God/ High Moon Media) Insults and Injuries (Skirmisher Press) The Psychic's Handbook (Green Ronin) The Shaman's Handbook (Green Ronin) The Witch's Handbook (Green Ronin)

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

  • 09:34 AM - Hussar mentioned Jester David in post Lets design a Warlord for 5th edition
    Jester David, I already did make a warlord. Although, to me, I'd rather bolt it on a rogue chasis as a subclass of rogue. Trade sneak attack damage dice for effects. Done. You are making it WAY too complicated. A warlord, as a class, should grant actions, grant some sort of damage mitigation (either by healing or temp HP or some combination of both) and, well, that's pretty much it. It's not rocket science. It doesn't require all this other stuff. Now, to be fair, I'm not a believer in the "lazy lord" That's just a build, not an actual concept. And, frankly, it's just a warlord that focuses on action granting. Not caring in the slightest if it makes an appearance or not. And, frankly, it's easier to do as a playstyle than as an actual class AFAIC, same as your clerics who never heal.
  • 04:25 AM - Hussar mentioned Jester David in post Lets design a Warlord for 5th edition
    Look at it this way. A 10th level Battlemaster can grant 15 off turn attacks. Presume 66% hit rates, meaning that the Battlemaster granted 10 sneak attacks. But, wait, there's more. The BM also granted 10d8 damage on those 10 attacks, because he gets bonus damage for his commander's strike. AND the battle master attacked 15 more times (for 10 hits) over the course of granting this 15 attacks. Going with your presumptions of a fighter dealing d8+5 damage. So, in addition to the 10 sneak attacks, our BM has dealt 20d8+50 points of damage over the course of 15 rounds (Commander's Strike is only usable 1/round) or about 150 points of damage. Jester David's warlord has only dealt 10 sneak attacks in 15 rounds since he had to give up all attacks. Now, it's going to take about 10 more rounds (6 sneak attacks) to catch up to the battle master. Not do better mind you, just catch up. It takes TWENTY FIVE ROUNDS for JD's warlord to do what a Battlemaster can do right now in 15 rounds. Never minding that our Battlemaster has been able to grant attacks, or grant movement or grant bonus Temp HP, SINCE THIRD LEVEL. Why on earth would I play this class? It's not even as good at being a warlord as a Battlemaster is, and BM's aren't very good warlords. Why are we "reenvisioning" the class? Granting actions and inspirational healing are THE iconic warlord elements. I'm not saying the class has to be as good of a healer as a cleric, fair enough. But, it should heal and it should do so without spells. And, it should be better at granting actions than a Battlemaster. And, lastly, why is a warlord in heavy armor? They weren't bef...

Monday, 2nd April, 2018

  • 09:53 AM - Hussar mentioned Jester David in post Lets design a Warlord for 5th edition
    Continuing my design. I'll probably avoid uploading another batch until it's closer to done. Likely using up my "space" with uploads. /snip Not much here. Just a skeleton of future content. Sorry, snipped the images, just to save space. And, since I fell behind in the thread, I might be retreading stuff. Again sorry. But, Jester David - this is not a warlord. The only action granting is by one subclass and at 10th level when he gives up an entire action to grant one attack? Are you kidding me? Good grief, this is worse than a Battlemaster.

Saturday, 31st March, 2018

  • 05:57 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Jester David in post Lets design a Warlord for 5th edition
    Jester David Thank you for turning the conversation back in the direction it needed to be. I'll respond to your post in more detail soon. I do want to say that I think sometimes what you intend as criticism may come across more as being outright dismissive and it's hard to have a conversation instead of a shouting match when that's what's perceived. I'm not trying to blame you, just giving you some advice to watch out for posts and comments that can overly come across that way.
  • 01:20 AM - FrogReaver mentioned Jester David in post Lets design a Warlord for 5th edition
    Jester David I finally dug up my earlier posts regarding my Warlord Design. Hopefully this explains it better than my hastily put together attempt. Warlord's Aid - Aid takes many forms. Sometimes it comes from an inspiring shout and an ally is urged to fight on after being hit. Sometimes it's sharing tactical brilliance that helps an ally knock an enemy prone. Sometimes it's your own bravery and fighting that inspires allies instead of your words. Other times it comes from an insightful understanding of your foes that enables you to alert your allies out of dangers way just in time. Whatever the sources for your ability to aid other's it's frequency and power is renowned amongst your friends. Abilities granted by Warlord's Aid can be used once per round in combat. Aid abilities generally require a trigger and grant an effect. These abilities do not require any kind of action on your part. Warlord's Aid abilities improve at 5th and 11th level granting improved effectiveness to you...

Friday, 30th March, 2018

  • 04:40 AM - Hussar mentioned Jester David in post Lets design a Warlord for 5th edition
    Jester David - I really believe your definition of iconic is not the same as mine. To me, iconic means that this is what you think of when you envisage some concept. So, fireball and magic missile are iconic to wizards in D&D, despite the fact that you certainly don't need to have them on your casting list. The notion that you could remove those spells from the game is pretty much a non-starter. While wizards may be doing all sorts of other things, the thing that people associate most strongly with wizards is magic missile and fire ball. Same with healing and clerics. After all, you cannot actually play a cleric that absolutely cannot heal. Cure light is on every cleric's spell list, even if this or that individual cleric hasn't prepared it that day. You claimed that only paladins have healing baked in. That's actually not true. Both clerics and druids have healing baked right into the class. They can opt out of healing by not prepping that spell, but, it's ALWAYS available. Iconi...

Thursday, 29th March, 2018

  • 11:46 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Jester David in post Lets design a Warlord for 5th edition
    @Jester David Thanks for the actual attempt at a Warlord class design. It's very much appreciated. First of all let's remember some basic design criteria we are going to have to use for a successful warlord. 1. It must be accepted by most 4e fans. This will likely involve having it at least give the options for inspiring style abilities etc. 2. It must be something that 5e fans won't reject outright. We have to be careful with granting mechanics and hard-coded flavor that may be easy to reject. Is your warlord going to be accepted by 4e fans or are you cutting to much out a warlord for it to meet a 4e fans expectations? I know the answer for me on that question would be that it doesn't meet my expectations for what all a Warlord should be able to do. Other design issues with the class are: 1. It doesn't allow for any lazylord/princess builds (this may not be a realistic possibility) 2. It doesn't grant any attacks (we should definietely give the warlord it's most iconic ability in some...

Saturday, 24th March, 2018


Thursday, 22nd March, 2018

  • 08:48 AM - Kinematics mentioned Jester David in post Lets design a Warlord for 5th edition
    ...same general concept (be a focus, inspire to heal, temp hp), which I call Icon. Protector might also fall in here. His Tactical/Commander, Combat Veteran, and Artillerist all fall under what I have as Commander, though I like the extra flavor he added about the cynical world view. His Resourceful and Skirmisher both roughly map to my Defender. His Insightful/Watcher is my Strategist. Marshal stands as separate from the other concepts, but also difficult to make stand on its own without breaking things. I do like the concept, but it's definitely something that needs its own specific focus time. * Caveat: I approach this as a class that splits at level 3 to each take unique approaches, but with some common fundamentals. Tony Vargas approaches it as a class that specializes immediately at level 1, and all subclasses draw from the same base mechanics. Thus we will have very different views on what constitutes a subclass. While I agree with pretty much all of what Jester David said about role and healing, the Warlord doesn't have to be a "healer", per se. Since the HP pool is an abstract concept, it can as easily be considered a mental thing as a physical thing. If the Cleric is healing cuts and bruises, the Warlord can be boosting determination and willpower. The Cleric's side is, "How long can your body keep functioning?" The Warlord's side is, "How long can you keep fighting without giving up?" So I think it's fine to make it a class that helps restore HP as a baseline, even if I agree it shouldn't be a "healer" class. The description of its abilities should be more along the lines of Second Wind than Inspirational Healing. Anyway, here's what I would put together. Usual caveat that balance and level-appropriateness is nowhere near guaranteed, and I likely went a bit overboard. Too much combat stuff, and not enough general subclass stuff. Proficiency in Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields, Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons. 1st Level...

Wednesday, 14th March, 2018

  • 10:55 AM - TheCosmicKid mentioned Jester David in post Are we overthinking the warlord?
    Weird, it's almost like you picked a bunch of obscure, rare status effects that are explicitly magical in nature to prop up your argument, instead of the much more common stun/charm/frightened conditions that a warlord should be able to address. Funny, that.Those were all named explicitly on the list of status effects that Jester David posted to which you responded, "ideally a warlord would be able to do these competently as well". If you don't actually think that a warlord should be able to cure someone of petrification by shouting at them, then good! I agree! But can you reslly blame any of us for reading the words you wrote in that context and going, "Wait, what?" (I'm also raising my eyebrows at your now calling lost limbs "explicitly magical in nature". But that may qualify as overthinking.) First off, even if that was the case, there would be nothing wrong with that mechanically. We have a short rest arcane caster (the warlock), and it works just fine, and even the wizard gets spells back on short rest, so it's not like there isn't already precedent for that design paradigm.Now I'm legitimately confused. You just got done telling me why short rest resources for class abilities suck.

Wednesday, 14th February, 2018

  • 02:32 AM - VikingLegion mentioned Jester David in post Lair and Legendary actions for high-level humanoid "Boss" encounters.
    Wow, this got feisty. Some good points by both sides, but in an effort to bring this back to the OP's point: All I know is if I play it straight up in NPC design, my players - good strategists all - will utterly melt the big boss in 1 round and make for a terribly disappointing session. One way I've found to make these major encounters more exciting is to give the boss some kind of damage mitigating factor that needs to be "solved" by the players before they can really pour on the pain. Sure they can injure the NPC, but they will be able to tell (based on my verbal descriptions as damage is being rolled) that they aren't inflicting the full amount that they feel they should be doing. Often there will be some kind of environmental clue to help them figure out after a round or two. Is that a bit video-gamey? Sure. Is it preferable over the terribly anti-climactic fight with Veriakas that @Jester David described a few posts above? I feel it is. Here's an example: My players were on the Negative Energy plane trying to recover an item of pivotal importance from an undead master-bard. He was a unique NPC in the storyline, something like the bardish equivalent of a lich. I gave him several offensive-based powers based on the infusion of Death magic into Song. But I knew they would be all for nothing if he was dispatched within a round. So to beef up his defense I encased him in a suit of bone armour that absorbed 80% of all incoming damage. When the PCs first entered his chamber, a sinister pipe organ (made of skulls and femur-pipes and the requisite gothy effects) started blaring out a cacophonous dirge. This caused some debuffing effects on the players, but they since they all made their saves they figured the best route would be to burn down the bardlich as fast as possible and then worry about the organ. The bone armour on the bard had its own pool of hitpoints and was almo...

Tuesday, 13th February, 2018

  • 04:47 AM - Hussar mentioned Jester David in post Discovery Trailer
    Good grief. Culber's death is a HUGE character building moment for pretty much every character. It reverberates throughout the series. What? Because the character is gay we're not allowed to have anything bad happen to them now? No, that's crap. The character was killed, not because he was gay, but, because it was a major dramatic event for the show. I mean, I'm suprised Jester David isn't more concerned with the earlier death of the tactical officer. After all, they killed off the first female tactical officer in Star Trek. Isn't that a big deal too? And they certainly killed her off with a lot less fanfare than Culber's death. Why is killing off a love interest in a drama a bad thing? It happens pretty darn often and it's pretty much par for the course and has been in drama for centuries. Spinning this as an automatic negative and trying to imply that the character was killed because he was gay is a complete misreading of the work and deliberately misleading. I mean, you're not even using the trope right. The trope that you link to states that f the said character was killed by a villain, this guarantees to become a motivation for a Revenge plot or an immediate Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Yet, there's no revenge plot. None. Stamets isn't consumed by revenge or even anger really. Sure, he doesn't like Voq/Ash, but, he doesn't actually do m...

Sunday, 11th February, 2018

  • 11:02 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Jester David in post Lair and Legendary actions for high-level humanoid "Boss" encounters.
    The main point is just that the NPC versions are still clearly just streamlined versions of PC classes. There's never a case where you look at a 14 hit-die mage NPC and it's clearly capable of doing things that a level 14 Wizard could not. That's where Legendary Actions enter the equation: They are very clearly something that the PCs cannot do, and the only reason the NPC is allowed such a powerful ability is the meta-game reason that it's an NPC rather than a PC. That's simply not logic that's permitted in a role-playing game. Fans of 3E are not going to buy into that. Well, even if what you're saying isn't totally accurate – see Jester David's reply regarding abilities of NPCs in the MM without direct PC parallels – I think you're speaking of the degree to which a NPC feature makes players take notice that "this breaks the rules of what I thought NPCs could do." Of course, that threshold is going to depend on the players at your table and, likely, experience with 3e. I think the best response is: Look to the narrative of what "legendary" means first, and incorporate that into play. I've been asserting this for a while, and would agree that the official books do a poor job of answering that question. 77IM gives some fair examples of how to foreshadow Legendary Actions to your players that are unique to a particular individual NPC, such as the "ancient forbidden art of Weave-Splicing." And I'd argue this should be done for legendary monsters (e.g. beholder) equally as it should be done for legendary NPCs (e.g. warlord). It's fixating on the mechanics that causes designers to lose sight of this & IMO leads to the sort ...
  • 02:10 PM - pemerton mentioned Jester David in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...of a failure. In Burning Wheel, for instance, it is open to the GM to narrate the failure as resulting from the absence of a secret door in the wall. But that is not the only permitted narration of failure. on the establishment in the fiction of a secret door, what's beyond it? And who gets to determine that?That's a system question. You ask the question as if it's rhetorical - but given that, in fact, game systems which work this way are out there, you just need to consult them to get your answers. Only a rotten metagamer would be spending time outside the PC perspective to worry about the process whereby the shared fiction is established!But isn't that exactly what you're doing every time you worry about whether something is coming from the DM's notes or not?Well, as I've posted repeatedly, mostly I'm a GM. So I'm talking about my preference for how to GM a game. And as a player, as I've said, I want to play a game where my character, and my character's choices, matter. Jester David thinks that I can't tell whether or not this is happening in a game; I know from esxperience that he is wrong. I've been part of GM sackings, and have quit games, because GMs don't want to run that sort of game. A 12-0 success run means they've hired the best and most loyal operative they could ever hope to find. Still doesn't at all speak to whether said operative is going to be able to pull it off or not, though it might influence the odds somewhat. I guess in short I see the players dealing with what's in their PCs' range to be involved with (in this case the hiring and equipping of an assassin) and then not being involved in what their PCs are not involved in (here, the actual infiltration and assassination attempt). I don't do this very often [roll dice between one NPC and another], but in a case like this I think I'd have to - there's just too many variables. It'd end up working more like a flowchart; in that both successes and failures could be mitigated or overcome ...
  • 03:48 AM - Demetrios1453 mentioned Jester David in post Lair and Legendary actions for high-level humanoid "Boss" encounters.
    ... even for PCs to earn.) So, yeah, the Evil Warlord isn't just a high-level fighter who happens to have legendary actions "just because" -- he's trained with the Marilith Commandos of Orcus in the Abyss, and returned to the material plane with knowledge of how to perfectly anticipate his enemy's movements! The Arch-Archmage isn't just casting bonus cantrips because "well a lich can do it and we wanted this guy to be hard," he's unlocked the ancient forbidden art of Weave-Splicing! The Assassin Queen isn't sliding around the battlefield stabbing people when it's not her turn because "well otherwise the fight would be over before she could act," she's subconsciously channeling ki into her nervous system, a technique she developed after meditating in a pit of vipers for 10 years! Stuff like that can bridge the gap between the game-mechanical requirements of a legendary creature and the in-game reality that people just can't do that kind of thing.I really like this viewpoint; both you and Jester David below make some very good rationales. Most high level foes, like the PCs themselves, should have some interesting training backstoriea that could easily explain any odd actions. Granted, now that we know the subject matter for MToF, and that it will have a focus on higher level foes, I'm going to hold back and see what we get there. I wouldn't be surprised at all if we see, say, a High Priestess of Lolth statted in that book. If MToF gives us some of this type of foe, then all's good; if not, like how Volo's and STK only gave us a few giant variants propelled me to create (and share) a bunch of giant elites, I'll be looking to create some of my own. Sent from my [device_name] using EN World mobile app

Saturday, 10th February, 2018

  • 10:44 AM - pemerton mentioned Jester David in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Because your pre-authored NPC will surely influence the story going forward. And that you recognize the value of preparation by the GM prior to play. Which would indicate that you know the value of worldbuilding.But that murderous mage could have been introduced in any number of ways. Likewise the dark elf from the same campaign. As it happens, the murderous mage was the vendor of the angel feather, and was also sheltering in Jabal's tower. But given that the angel feather and the tower were both authored in the course of play, this particular mode in which the murderous mage was introduced couldn't be established until the game was actually underway. That's the contrast between having an idea, and pre-authoring setting elements. EDIT: Jester David, the above also answers the questions you ask in your post: the difference between preparation and establishing a setting. But you have provided another answer to the question: a reason for worldbuilding is so that group A can play through the same story as group B and compare notes about it.

Wednesday, 24th January, 2018

  • 04:31 AM - pemerton mentioned Jester David in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Jester David, again I'm responding only to the bits where I think we have a difference of opinion that is worth exploring in the context of this thread. That sort of "puzzle" can happen in a localized and confined room of a dungeon or in a giant player sandbox as they encounter an ambassador to a neighbouring kingdom or meet the Queen's royal advisory or even just bump into a pie merchant with curiously large and cheap pies.I'm going to stick to the ambassador/queen example, not because the pie merchant one is irrelevant but I have no idea at this stage how to think about it or where to go with it. In G3, crucial to the whole rationale and playability of the Queen Frupy episode is that the players have a relatively clear pathway to congitive access to what is going on. Some of this is metagame and independent of the actual episode of play - they know that this is a D&D dungeon, that it's inhabitants are probably hostile to the PCs, etc; but also that dungeons often have quirky inhabitants, t...


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Thursday, 24th May, 2018

  • 08:59 PM - Parmandur quoted Jester David in post Do we still expect the Revised Ranger and Artificer this year?
    I think the problem is that content is coming in addition the all their regular work. Thye’re given a choice between writing content for a book that will be published and writing content to give away and test, and the former wins out every time. Especially for the ranger, which won’t ever end up in a book. It’s always at the bottom of the to-do pile.That holds true for the muddled Ranger experiments, but the Artificer they seem to want to feature as a major event release, hence all of the careful playtesting.
  • 08:44 PM - jgsugden quoted Jester David in post Do we still expect the Revised Ranger and Artificer this year?
    ...Especially for the ranger, which won’t ever end up in a book. It’s always at the bottom of the to-do pile.I am not so sure. I would not be surprised to see a PHB 2 with variant class features for all existing classes, some new classes, etc.... Hopefully it would be treated as Core for Core +1 if it does happen.

Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018

  • 11:29 PM - Prakriti quoted Jester David in post Opening Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
    I have my own review here: http://www.5mwd.com/archives/4815 The book doesn’t seem to be available for a review yet on the site. It's there, it's just hard to find. Go to Reviews and click "Coming Soon" (the big yellow button). Tome of Foes shows up in the list below.
  • 03:43 PM - pemerton quoted Jester David in post Game Theory. CR and 5E Encounter System.
    Correction: options with meaningful mechanical differences. Having infinitive flavorful options means little. I wouldn't agree that skill choices are meaningless. They make for pretty significant difference between characters.
  • 09:49 AM - pemerton quoted Jester David in post Game Theory. CR and 5E Encounter System.
    The main break in this instance is options. When you have an options, one will always be the strongest. And when you have multiple options, it becomes possible to pick all the strongest options. The more options, the more variance between the new power level and the baseline. That's an inherent problem with multiple choices. The only way around that is cosmetic options, which would be unappealing.I don't think options is, in itself, the right framework for the analysis. Eg having a list of 200 skills (I'm looking at Rolemaster and its derivatives, or Burning Wheel; RQ doesn't have quite so long a skill list, but it's still longer than D&D's) gives lots of options, but won't break the game. It's the cumulative interaction of choices from multiple lists that is distinctive to D&D and generates many of the game breakage problems - one well-known combination (which may not break all games but has been said to break some) is choosing Great Weapon Master from one list, and then Bless from another, t...
  • 02:11 AM - pemerton quoted Jester David in post Game Theory. CR and 5E Encounter System.
    Optional rules and excessive powergaming break 5E and the encounter rules are aimed at speed of play and the lower powered game. To be utterly and brutally frank: well, duh. Those two break every game. I don't think this is true. There are quite a few RPGs that I've never heard of breaking due to optional rules or powergaming: DungeonWorld, or Ditv, or HeroWars/Quest; even older games like RuneQuest and CoC. If this thread is meant to have some RPG theory in it, then it seems worthwhile identifying what features of D&D (and in particular 5e) produce the game breakage. I'd start with (i) the action economy, (ii) the resource economy (which is different for different builds eg rogue mostly at-will vs fighter with short rest recharge vs wizard with long rest recharge, and (iii) PC build based on selecting from many lists (including spells as a significant source of short-term PC build elements) that produce many combinations of modifiers to mechanical effectiveness and action economy. Once y...

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018

  • 04:17 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Jester David in post Game Theory. CR and 5E Encounter System.
    Or feel the need to defend it against attack (especially from non-positive criticism where no solutions are presented). . I think this is probably the most common. Sort of like a person would react when someone starts trashing their country, or favorite band, or something. If I'm on a message board and people keep going off about how RUSH is horrible, and they suck, and they can't do anything right, etc, I might respond with, "By certain objective measures, they are one of the best bands of all time. Whenever there is a "greatest guitarist of all time" survey, Alex Lifeson is always in the top 5. Whenever there is a "greatest basist of all time", Geddy Lee is always top 5. Whenever there is "greatest drummer of all time", Peart is top 3, often #1. What other band has three members all in the top 5 in their position, let alone every member of the band in the top 5?" And that response would probably be met with people calling me a RUSH fanboi who thinks they can do no wrong, just l...

Monday, 21st May, 2018

  • 02:52 AM - Mouseferatu quoted Jester David in post Planar Configurations; How Do You Design The Multiverse?
    I've never met anyone in the real world who has ever been to Heaven or Hell. Someone who has journeyed to the afterlife and back. And unlike a D&D world, we have no idea if those places are even real. And yet we still know a lot about the layout of heaven and hell, with lots of depictions in art and lore. All of which are entirely guesses or artist's representation. Dante's Hell--which is, perhaps, the most common image--is pulled from his own imagination and the current events of his time (made metaphoric), and bears little resemblance to anything from religious texts, let alone a provable reality. Ditto popular representations of Heaven. And that's just drawing on one the world's many religions. In D&D, mortals being able to travel the planes might mean that a human can go to Hell and back, but it still doesn't mean he'll have any idea "where" Hell is in relation to, say, the world of the fey. And frankly, the number of people capable of doing that--the casters who are of sufficiently high ...

Friday, 18th May, 2018

  • 08:41 AM - Mighten quoted Jester David in post Avenger's Infinity War *Spoiler* Discussion
    In the comic, Nebula gets ahold of the gauntlet and wishes everything back the way it was a day prior. In the film this could translate to a year prior. Or everyone killed by Thanos. Or it could be Tony remaking the universe. Perhaps with Cap. The two of them sacrificing themselves to fix the universe while balancing each other's impulses. Interesting, thanks for sharing!
  • 12:53 AM - Saelorn quoted Jester David in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    What about a 1% chance of failing something when you have advantage? If you only miss on double 1s do you auto-succees?If the outcome is uncertain, then that's why we have dice. The likelihood that someone would be rolling with a +11 bonus against DC 13 (or equivalent), with Advantage, is pretty small; but if that was the case, then I would ask for a roll. Likewise, if they were rolling with a +5 bonus against DC 25, and had Disadvantage, I would still allow them to roll instead of auto-fiat making them fail. Storytelling is pretty much what every new RPG published in the last 10 years has focused on...It's a fad. For a while, random tables were all the rage, but that has also largely passed. In the meantime, there are still plenty of games which haven't bought into that stuff. (D&D among them.)

Thursday, 17th May, 2018

  • 11:18 PM - Saelorn quoted Jester David in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    I have tripped walking down the stairs before. Who hasn't stumbled on a staircase? So, by definition, someone's odds of successfully walking up a staircase are uncertain. Should that be a check?If it's not something that happens at least 5% of the time, then it's not worth modeling. I'm happy with a world where you can't trip on stairs except under extreme circumstances. As a DM, I view the primary job as managing the flow of the story and pacing of the adventure. Keep things moving, prevent people from being bored, help things flow organically. The rules are on part of that. As the DM, I only interact with the rules for a percentage of the game. The rest relies on storytelling and narrative control. I'm not down with storytelling or narrative control. That's not what role-playing is about, IMO. YMMV.
  • 08:42 PM - Saelorn quoted Jester David in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    Unless you’re running AL, I think it’s expected that GMs make the game their own and bring their own style to the game. When you ask someone to GM, you’re asking them to GM. That’s part of the experience. No one asks someone to GM in the style of someone else. When I GM, I want to make sure that I'm staying within the spirit of the rules, at the very least. As a player, I can't stand when the GM makes a ruling which I could not have predicted in advance, based on the known-unknowns and unknown-unknowns. As a GM, I strive to be the type of GM that I would want to play under. (Some games leave a lot of room for interpretation, so the GM is expected to make rulings, and as I player I can expect that there's going to be some variance. I only object to arbitrarily changing things that are otherwise very straight-forward, in such a manner that there's no way I could predict it. House rules are fine, as long as they're declared up front, but I need to know what the rules of the game are if I'm going to tr...
  • 08:23 PM - Satyrn quoted Jester David in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    No one gets upset when their character kicks ass. Well, there was this one time at bandcamp I was playing a character like Wormtongue. Not at all the ass kicking type.
  • 08:08 PM - Zardnaar quoted Jester David in post D&D Has the Biggest Playerbase, So Why is it the Hardest for 3rd Party to Market Too?
    I agree. I think the “adventures are money losers” argument was clearly shown as false by Paizo and the huge success of the AP line. I think that idea that adventures don’t sell came out of someone looking at poor adventure sales from 2e and forgetting most were campaign specific. Or someone assuming everyone at the table buys equal numbers of books, when it’s usually one person who spends money on the hobby and three to five others who just play. Splatbooks might sell better... for a time. But that’s a finite revenue stream. You only need so many options. I think you are right about the adventures don't sell thing. Quality ones do and several of them are biggest selling D&D items of all time. Most of them were Gygax ones though. Adventures are probably diminishing returns though I suspect that once you have a few you don't need more.
  • 07:56 PM - Saelorn quoted Jester David in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    Then don’t ask for a check. As the DM, you don’t have to ask for a roll. You can easily say training is an automatic minimum success and give the option of rolling for even better results.That's not really my prerogative. When I volunteer to run a game, I'm signing up to deliver a certain experience. Even if I have house rules, there are certain core system mechanics that I'm not going to change, because they're too fundamental to what the game is. The rules for determining DC and making ability checks are of that variety. If I'm not willing to respect the core mechanical premise of the game, then I shouldn't be playing that game. It's not like the entire system falls apart when you use the actual rules. It's still just some occasional weirdness, and every codified system is going to have some weirdness. Arbitrarily saying that a particular fighter can't even attempt a DC 12 check, because their bonus is only +1 instead of +3, feels like it's crossing a line into the realm of pure DM fiat.
  • 05:45 AM - Saelorn quoted Jester David in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    True. But your argument assumes the cleric and wizard have a low Dex. No, my argument is that if the cleric or wizard has a high Dex, then they succeed because of their Dex rather than because of their background. The background doesn't turn anyone from incompetent into competent; it's not that powerful. It's arguably better than 3e or 4e where you either have a climb DC that challenges the fighter but the rest of the party cannot succeed or you have a climb DC that the wizard might be able to make but the fighter doesn't even have to roll for. Ditto sneaking where either half the party is auto-detected or the rogue rolls a 1 and still succeeds. Where all the numbers increased pretty much for the sake of higher numbers, and you always had to keep dumping skill ranks into a skill to stay competitive.YMMV. I don't see anything wrong with a low-level specialist or high-level non-specialist always succeeding on easy tasks. If something is especially difficult for a particular level, then I would ra...
  • 04:31 AM - Ancalagon quoted Jester David in post D&D Has the Biggest Playerbase, So Why is it the Hardest for 3rd Party to Market Too?
    Kobold Press is doing very well with a couple must-have books. What are those, out of curiosity?

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 12:54 AM - Parmandur quoted Jester David in post Unearthed Arcana May 2018: Centaurs and Minotaurs
    Medium sized centaurs make some sense. Greek centaurs weren't portrayed as that large: 97542 Indeed, Perkins points out that the Pony in the core rules is Medium (and capable of carrying Medium creatures, IIRC, sort of an equine Goliath). The Greek Centaurs were Euhemerized Scythians, and Scythians rode petite ponys, not giant draft horses.

Tuesday, 15th May, 2018

  • 11:53 PM - Mistwell quoted Jester David in post Lost Tales of Myth Drannor: DDAL's "Secret" D&D Book For Gen Con 50
    Which is great... except that other Adventurer's League modules and the published modules are the majority of content played at Adventurer's League games, and easily purchased. The honour system is already in place. And is still assumes the players weren't at one of the other cons or purchased it from secondary vendors. And this assumes there aren't fan scans of the module available. Which there are. Delaying publication in NO way prevents people from cheating. All it does is keep the content from people who want to use it but cannot afford to get to a convention—or attended the convention but were not one of the lucky few to get a copy, as it was not available for anyone who asked—including many Adventurer's League players. And away from collectors. The only people who really benefit from a long term collectable are people on the secondary market who can turn an amazing profit selling the books. If I had gotten it at the first convention they gave it out, you can be darn sure it woul...
  • 08:48 AM - Li Shenron quoted Jester David in post How Are Your Elves/ Dwarves/ Orcs Different?
    What unique and weird things have you done with the default options from the Player's Handbook? Nothing really. In the past I've changed half-orcs to be a separate species from humans and orcs, so that I could feature both Tolkien-style orcs using regular orcs and Warcraft-style orcs using half-orcs. They haven't come up yet in 5e, so I am not sure whether I'd go the same route again or just use the PHB default.


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Jester David's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated
Jester David's remixed character sheets
Tweaked versions of the official sheets.

I made the sheets landscape, with some other changes inspired by the circular design from the playtest.
There are regular character sheets, spell sheets, and an alternate spell sheet with fewer spell levels ...
25446 0 7 Tuesday, 22nd December, 2015, 04:23 AM Saturday, 9th January, 2016, 04:12 AM

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