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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Today, 01:41 AM
    Ghosts' Horrifying Visage can seriously reduce a character's life expectancy if they fail their save and are unlucky on the d4 roll. An extra 40 years of age if you're playing a human or half-orc who's already at the 'grizzled veteran' end of the spectrum will put you well into the pensioner bracket - permanently if you're more than 24 hours away from a spellcaster capable of casting greater...
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    Yesterday, 07:32 PM
    I was about to suggest the same thing. Characterise the beholder as being so infused with magic that it spills out randomly through its gaze, causing random effects whenever magic is used. Maybe include any magic, not just spells. Magic-based class features, magic items, the beholder's own eye rays - anything that manifests an active effect within the field triggers a wild magic surge.
    15 replies | 429 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 06:37 PM
    I'm currently running an Eberron campaign focusing on investigation and pursuit of a mad-scientist type villain, a rogue House Cannith industrialist who unexpectedly stole the brand new airship he'd just built for House Lyrandar during its christening ceremony, absconding with it to pursue his own obsessive quest. So far, the PCs have been traversing the continent using commercial travel, but...
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 08:06 PM
    Better still, every time a zone of truth results in a wrongful conviction, wait a few months and then leak evidence that proves their innocence. After a few such cases, you can spark a backlash leading to evidence gathered using zone of truth being considered inadmissible in court.
    38 replies | 814 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 09:45 AM
    For attack bonuses, you could change them to increasing weapons' critical range instead of providing a bonus to attacks. Then leave effects like Bless to operate as they already do.
    70 replies | 1335 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 02:04 AM
    I have to agree that, while it was an enjoyable episode, I'm not keen on the whole "witness of history" theme. It also serves to highlight the often-handwaved question of when is it alright for the Doctor to intervene in events, past or future, on Earth or elsewhere? From the Doctor's viewpoint, isn't it all part of established history?
    174 replies | 4588 view(s)
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    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 11:39 PM
    Was that an autocorrect for Woody? If so, it's remarkably on-point.
    2 replies | 123 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 10:36 PM
    It's not my explanation, it's right there in the episode. They say that their only duties are to keep patients alive and stable until they reach proper medical facilities, not to fully treat them. They're not doctors, they're paramedics with access to highly advanced mostly-automated medical systems.
    174 replies | 4588 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 01:39 PM
    Give away all your possessions. If your party lacks weapons, spell foci, material components and monetary resources, their effectiveness in the demon's service will be much reduced, and it may lose interest. Plus, giving up all personal possessions would be the perfect way to defeat Greed.
    13 replies | 368 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 08:24 AM
    The dialogue in the preview indicates that it's a deliberate journey, visiting Yasmin's grandmother.
    174 replies | 4588 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 02:53 AM
    I actually enjoyed the episode a lot. Nothing fancy, but just a regular perilous situation, some nice guest characters, a monster with misunderstood motivation, and some teamwork and sacrifice required to reach a happy conclusion. Standard Doctor Who fare, delivered reasonably well. An ambulance.
    174 replies | 4588 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 09:37 PM
    I guess it's true, Doctors really are the worst patients.
    174 replies | 4588 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 02:52 PM
    True, but I feel like the Doctor's "no guns" policy was played up in this episode to the point of being just a knee-jerk reaction. Yeah, the hotel guy's actions were clearly not motivated by mercy, but when the poor creature is dying a slow and painful death from suffocation, a bullet to the brain seems a lot more merciful than the Doctor's apparent intention of standing there sympathising with...
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 09:17 PM
    The lady from the spider lab said that they deserved to be killed humanely - and she knew about the one in the flat. It wouldn't have hurt to see her organising that, but it also isn't much of a leap to assume she took care of it.
    174 replies | 4588 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 06:40 PM
    I wonder what colour quiddity Banjo the Clown would have.
    4 replies | 327 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Monday, 22nd October, 2018, 08:53 PM
    It felt like it needed some kind of epilogue to it, showing where/when he ended up, hopefully in some form of ironic-justice context. The fact that we didn't get one suggests that we may see him again.
    174 replies | 4588 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st October, 2018, 01:56 AM
    Generally speaking, a lair action is an action that the owner of the lair has to take, usually in combat. So, is the high priest taking this action? And how often does he need to take it in order to maintain the effect? Also, proficiency bonuses are generally something that only player characters have. NPCs and monsters don't use them. For that matter, NPCs don't particularly need to follow...
    12 replies | 422 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 06:56 PM
    That's not just a psychological difference, it's a utility difference. It lets you only use it when you actually need it. Which isn't a bad thing. Anything that makes it more effective is good.
    253 replies | 10403 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 12:37 PM
    Stolid, careful and methodical. As an expert, he knows that each thunderhead that rolls in, each lightning bolt that lashes down, is specifically and deliberately placed in response to a whole range of complex conditions and circumstances. They only appear random and arbitrary to the uninitiated.
    15 replies | 498 view(s)
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Monday, 17th September, 2018

  • 07:35 PM - iserith mentioned MarkB in post Roleplay opportunities in a mine (level 2)
    A social interaction challenge (because combat and exploration are roleplay!) might be the ghost of a miner who died in a cave-in who isn't aware of it. If the PCs can figure out what happened and explain it to the ghost, he or she can move on to the afterlife. If the PCs are successful, the miner shares with them a tunnel that serves as a useful shortcut around a dangerous area (perhaps a cave filled with odorless, explosive gas) and/or leads to a cave that contains a treasure. Edit: Dang! MarkB upstaged me!

Monday, 26th February, 2018

  • 09:06 PM - lowkey13 mentioned MarkB in post Musings on the "Lawful Jerk" Paladin
    ...r less entirely subjective. Mmmmm..... I give you all the points for "Paladin issues marinated[.]" It's like the worst steak ever. "Why does our kobold fillet taste so bad? It has to be the Paladin marinade!" Anyway, a quick point- OD&D- Paladin lost status by chaotic act; could not regain status. EVER, MAN! See Greyhawk supplement. 1e- If they perform a chaotic act, must confess and do penance. If evil act, cannot regain status. EVER. 2e- Same as 1e. Although it helpfully creates a rule because 1e had "knowingly commit" evil act, so 2e includes the whole, "You got charmed, yo, and now you have to atone!" So ... part of the problem, as it is with most things, is that weird translation from OD&D to 1e. "Chaotic" in OD&D meant, um, evil. Moorcockian. But by dragging out the whole different penalties in 1e/2e, it confused a lot of people, and (IME), most people just conflated the rules and made it, "If Evil, must atone." But contra what you are writing, and what MarkB is positing, these weren't the parts of the code that got people in trouble. There might have been some bad DMs out there, but as a general rule, the DM wasn't looking to strip you of your powers. Instead, and again IME, it was the rules about who the Paladin could party with ... um, who could be in the Paladin's party, that led to the whole "Jerky McJerkface telling the party what to do" reputation. That, and the fact that we all know Paladins suck and need to be excised from the game.

Wednesday, 14th February, 2018

  • 09:31 AM - Hussar mentioned MarkB in post Discovery Trailer
    I came to that conclusion maybe ten pages ago. These peeps need this show to be the best, actual show be damned! Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app Who says it needs to be best? I like it. I am not seeing the issues that you are pointing to, or, rather, the issues that are being pointed to are very much not issues for me. IOW, MarkB hits it square on the head. Like I said earlier, I get that people don't like the show. And that's groovy. There's stuff I haven't liked too. Fair enough. The difference is, I'm not jumping through hoop after hoop in order to justify my feelings. I'm not misinterpreting tropes in order to "prove" how bad Disco is. I'm not playing silly buggers cherry picking games to "prove" that they don't care about canon. I'm not trying to prove anything. I like the show. That's the end of that conversation.

Sunday, 4th February, 2018

  • 02:34 PM - pemerton mentioned MarkB in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...yle mystery scenario, getting the GM to read you bits of his/her notes is the whole point of play: get the clue from here, find the tome there, find the cultists' ritual headquaters, etc. This is all about learning what is in the GM's notes. It's not (or need not be) the GM reading a story: the sequence may not correspond to any particular pre-planned sequence, and there may not be any particular structure of rising action, complication, climax, etc. You also continually use examples of bad GMing to make your point that option 1 is a bad thing.Well, I make do with the examples I have. I don't believe that you've posted any actual play examples. (If you have, and I've missed them, I apologise - can you point me back to them?) The example of the map came (I think) from Lanefan - at least, it has been established in lengthy back-and-forth with him. The example of the plot on the Duke came from Lanefan. The example of the attempt to find bribeable officials came from MarkB. Are you saying that these are all examples of bad GMing? So what does good GMing look like, in this context? What is a good use of secretly-established fictional positioning being used by a GM to establish that a player's action declaration fails, without regard to the action resolution mechanics? A good GM will not send his players on a wild goose chase through the mansion for a map macguffin.So what would the pre-authorship be used for? Even the fiction that I've "pre-authored" can be impacted (or changed entirely if the situation calls for it) at any time by the players' actions - they are the heroes after all.Can you give an example of what you mean? For instance - and I am going to give an example I am familiar with, as I don't have much to go on from your game - I have a PC in my 4e game whose goal is to reconstruct the Rod of Seven Parts. He got the first part at the start of 2nd level. The campaign is now 30th level and he and his friends are in a fight that will de...

Friday, 2nd February, 2018

  • 12:35 PM - pemerton mentioned MarkB in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...shing a story of an orc. If the person asserts (as I think Emerikol does) that "As a player I only want to add those embellishments that correspond to causal powers exercised by my PC in the gameworld, so I will embellish deaths caused by my PC, but not maps discovered by my PC" that's his/her prerogative. It's a type of aesthetic preference. (As well as Emerikol, Lanefan has advocated it strongly in this thread.) My claims about it are two. (1) It is not more "realistic", or less "Schroedinger-y" than embellishing other parts of the fiction. (2) It means that a reasonable amount of your play experience will involve the GM telling you stuff that s/he made up (either in advance in his/her notes, or stuff that s/he makes up as needed but that is to be treated the same by the game participants as if it were part of his/her pre-authored notes). The reason for (2) I take to be obvious given the extensive discussion of it in this thread, and the example provided by Lanefan, MarkB and others. And the more the game involves "exploration" - that is, the players declaring actions which have, as an outcome, their PCs learning about the gameworld (eg opening doors, finding bribeable officials, searching for maps, etc) rather than their PCs changing the gameworld (eg by killing orcs or befriending strangers) - then the more that (2) will obtain. Furthermore, given that a PC's success in changing the gameworld often depends (in the imaginary causal processes) upon unknown but relevant factors (eg the armour of the orc; the temperament of the stranger) then even changing the gameworld through action declarations can become hostage to a resolution process that does not permit the player to embellish other elements of the shared fiction. For instance, if we go from player action declaration through resolution mechanics through embellishment that reflects outcome, then it is possible to have combat systems like D&D (AC, roll to hit, determine outcome from that) and h...

Thursday, 1st February, 2018

  • 12:38 AM - pemerton mentioned MarkB in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...GM, that's not counterindicative at all of having trust issues about the GM being unfair.The last sentence is not something I intend to reply to. I'm not interested in analysing my own conjectured self-doubts in this thread. As I've said, a more prosaic explanation for my preferences is available - my pleasure in RPGing does not come from telling my friends stuff that I wrote in response to them making moves for their PCs that oblige me to engage in such tellings. As for the first bit, you are correct that I "seem to couch [my] arguments from a position where the DM is uses secret knowledge and fiat in ways that benefit the DM's ideas over the players". The reason it seems like that is because it is like that. (I didn't clarify that in my first reply because I assumed it was obvious.) And the reason I couch my arguments (I would prefer to say "analysis", but that's orthogonal) from that position is because that position is correct. Which is what I said was evident in the post from MarkB: inherent in the use of secret backstory as a factor in adjudication is that the GM's ideas are given priority in establishing the content of the shared fiction. I'll respond to the following bit too, though, if you like, though I think it's repetition: a GM may be fair or unfair in saying (on the basis not of action resolution, but of secretly established fictional content) that the map is not in the study where the players have declared that the PCs are searching the study for it. If every other bit of information points to the map being in the study, it's probably unfair. If the PCs have a potion of map detecing with a range that will encompass the whole house (kitchen as well as study) but are not using it, then what the GM is doing is probably fair. I don't care whether it's fair or not. The reason I don't like it is because I find it uninteresting. When I RPG, I don't want to engage in an activity in which my friends are spending most of their time trying to establish - by ...

Monday, 29th January, 2018

  • 02:15 AM - pemerton mentioned MarkB in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...layer agency in a GM setting-driven game, as it was completely orthogonal from the GM's setting. (Eg we had fragments of a prophecy, and we spent a lot of time debating them, imagining how we could read various PCs into various roles outlined in the prophecy, etc. I assume that the GM had some conception, in his mind, of what the prophecy meant and how the events of play related to it, but they were absolutely irrelevant to what we players were talking about. We could have done our stuff just as easily if the GM had simply handed us three random prophecies downloaded from a Google search.) Clearly, you don't trust that players have any form of agency in any game that has substantive GM backstory and adjudication. You're denying that they do all over the place here and in your response to Lanefan. And you don't really seem to trust us when we say that player do have agency in the games we're running in which we do make use of substantial backstory and adjudication. Your response to MarkB here is fairly dripping with it. "you think it is" makes it very clear that you don't believe him or think it's true. It's like you're calling him out but acknowledge he's not technically lying because he seems to believe it's true.We're doing analysis here. Trying to dig down into the processes of play is not "calling someone out". I don't think MarkB is lying. I do think that the suggestion that I don't trust GMs is (i) false, and (ii) irrelevant - as if the only reason someone would play DungeonWorld rather than 2nd ed AD&D is because they don't trust GMs! But anyway, on to the issue of agency: Here is one of my assertions - if the GM is entitled, at any point in the process of resolution to (i) secretly author backstory, or (ii) secrety rewrite backstory, and (iii) to use that secret backstory as if it was part of the fictional positioning so as to (iv) automatically declare an action declaration unsuccessful ("No, the map's not in the study") - then I assert that every acti...

Saturday, 20th January, 2018

  • 05:00 AM - pemerton mentioned MarkB in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    In many ways, they do the same thing, its just the puzzle is a little different, less constrictive, and possibly more complex. Instead of a relatively simple puzzle of doping out the best way to maximize treasure within a single dungeon, they might be working on visiting all of the adventuring sites in the region, foiling the impending invasion of the orcsish legion, stopping the predation of a wicked dragon, or just visiting interesting places.The last of these doesn't sound like a puzzle at all. As for the others, as I posted not far upthread (in response to Sadras and MarkB), I'm curious about how the puzzle-solving works, when there are so many (imaginary) elements in play which can introduce parameters to the puzzle to which the players have no access (in practical terms). I dont see those as unsolvable, but then I dont really buy into describing RPG gaming, even limited to dungeon crawls, as puzzles to solve. Unless the puzzle is figuring out how to have fun pretending to be a halfling Paladin or half-orc summoner.Right. As the OP said, I think puzzle-solving play is not so common in contemporary RPGing. Given that it's not, then, what is worldbuilding for?

Thursday, 18th January, 2018

  • 11:39 PM - Lanefan mentioned MarkB in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...e notes on any of it. Having it pre-designed even if just in broad strokes makes the describing so much easier. Particularly at the start of the campaign when the players in theory know much less about the game world than their PCs do (canon lawyers for pre-fab settings notwithstanding) the DM has a lot of describing to do and as a side effect of that description is going to drop the PCs into a particular setting be it a steamy jungle, a city based on ancient Athens, a snowy Viking camp, or a pleasant sunny farm village. You'd probably call this railroading, but how else can it work? Of course, that's just the start; if the PCs in the Viking camp immediately decide to go someplace warmer then the DM has to react to that. (one hopes she has a broad-strokes regional or continental map showing areas beyond a short radius around the camp!) Are you able to say more about how you see the GM's work on the setting in advance of play feeding through to give the players that sense? MarkB might see it differently, but for my part it's much easier to figure out a character's motivations, beliefs, goals, etc. when there's a culture (or cultures) and common history to fit into. If, say, the setting history shows that our starting town was devastated by a war ten years ago and since rebuilt, that's going to influence my character and what she thinks; and probably influence other characters as well. But if the starting history shows no such war it's not our place as players to just add it in. We have no right to, as world design is not in our purview. And if there's no pre-designed history then what's the point? What happened before our PCs became PCs? What major events shaped their lives? (it should be obvious but I'd better mention: the DM sets the event but the player chooses what influence it had on her character, if any). Lanefan

Thursday, 28th December, 2017

  • 04:08 AM - ArchfiendBobbie mentioned MarkB in post Han Solo movie incoming....
    MarkB I thought Force Awakens: Incredible Cross Sections was canon due to being written and published after Disney acquired Star Wars?
  • 03:31 AM - ArchfiendBobbie mentioned MarkB in post Han Solo movie incoming....
    MarkB Maybe. But if so, that's a retcon of the Falcon's history. It was originally a freight pusher for orbit; that's why it had the cockpit to the side instead of the YT-standard central cockpit.

Saturday, 23rd December, 2017

  • 02:05 AM - Hussar mentioned MarkB in post Tension, Threats And Progression In RPGs
    Yeah, I gotta go with MarkB on this one. What's the point of trying to draw boxes around whether something is a "game" or not. Like any genre discussion, it's ultimately a deep, deep dive down a dark rabbit hole. And, I would also point out that I don't think anyone has advocated completely taking death off the table either. Just making it a bit more rare.

Friday, 8th December, 2017

  • 03:27 PM - redrick mentioned MarkB in post Losing HP as you level up
    I usually forget that one even can roll for hit points on leveling up. I doubt it's something the designers give much thought to as well. Agree with MarkB, incentivizing rolling for hp would be counterproductive average hp should be the preferred option. Easier to keep track of, doesn't lead to pointless power differential between characters, takes nothing away from the RP. If rolling for hp, on average, gave you better results, we'd have players groaning and complaining when I said, "and we'll all just take average hp on level up." With the average being statistically better, nobody even notices that rolling for it is gone after a level or two. (If they ever noticed at all.) Roll dice for PC actions. Live with the consequences. But why randomize the squishiness of a character?

Sunday, 17th April, 2016

  • 11:54 PM - Quickleaf mentioned MarkB in post Hard sci-fi question: rotational artificial gravity space station
    ...the questions I'm trying to determine. How high up do you have to climb a building for there to be noticeable change in gravity. I think it would affect how high-rise type buildings were constructed, since the shearing forces (might be using the wrong term) between regular G and lower-G would require stronger building materials. Plus it might suggest activities happening at the upper levels of high-rise buildings would be substantially different...for example moving construction activities to the lower-G zones for increased efficiency. RangerWickett Really helpful on how to visualize entering at the zero-G "fixed" axis and seeing the entire station spin around you. I suspected some kind of shuttle or elevator would be necessary, but hadn't conceived of exactly why... I plugged a 500 m radius in and got a Tangential Velocity (or "rim speed") of 156 mph, which would be "splat your dead" for anyone moving or falling from the zero-G axis to the ground...in scientific terms :) MarkB That's another one of my questions. I mean, nothing we throw on Earth actually travels straight, technically. But in the rotational artificial G environment I'm wondering if it would be more obvious...or would it basically be a case of "throwing a baseball while in a moving car"? In other words, if everything/everyone is rotating at the same rate in relation to each other, there doesn't appear to be any change from Earth-standard gravity (assuming 1 g centripetal acceleration). But what happens if I punt a football down a field or fire a railgun at the elevator/shuttle tube along the central axis when the station is rotating at 1.3 rpms and the rim is spinning at 156 mph?

Friday, 30th October, 2015

  • 09:13 PM - El Mahdi mentioned MarkB in post Warlord Name Poll
    ...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 ; @RangerWickett; @Ratskinner ; @redrick ; @Rejuvenator ; @Remathilis ; @Ristamar ; @RolenArcher; @Roland55 ; @RPG_Tweaker ; @Rune ; @Rygar ; @Sacrosanct ; @Saelorn ; @Saeviomagy; @sailor-Moon ; @SailorNash ; @Saplatt ; @Satyrn ; @Shades of Eternity ; @shadowmane; @shead...

Wednesday, 15th July, 2015


Saturday, 29th November, 2014

  • 09:03 PM - Stormonu mentioned MarkB in post Star Wars The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer is now live!
    R2 and 3PO are both still in it. They haven't been replaced. That's good to know. MarkB - On the Death Star, they're low in the trench, but not as ridiculously low over the lake. Yeah, you can fly real-life jets ridiculously low, but the over-the-topness bothers me.

Sunday, 9th November, 2014

  • 08:21 AM - Jester David mentioned MarkB in post Doctor Who s8e12: Death in Heaven [spoilers]
    My wife says Danny shot her to save the Doctor getting his hands dirty. I'll have to rewatch. Like MarkB I assumed it was the Cyberman assumed to be the Brigadier keeping the Doctor's hands clean. But the FX did look more like a teleport. They could have just reused the SFX (those are pricey) or deliberately used that one to allow room to bring back the Master. But, while neat, the Brigadier semi-returning felt deux ex machnica. (Heh. A deus ex machina cyberman. Heh.) It was kinda foreshadowed and it makes total sense but it's so abrupt. Still, any excuse to namedrop Lethbridge-Stewart is fine by me. I liked the mutual lying at the end. Such a different way for companions departing. Despite being extra long it felt like there were some bits missing. I felt there was a scene missing between the graveyard and Clara's room where the Doctor explains that someone could come back. Likely cut for time/pacing but awkward from a story purpose. But I liked Danny sacrificing his life to return the boy he killed. That was such a nice bit of his overall character arc. Perhaps that's a...

Saturday, 4th October, 2014

  • 01:22 AM - JEB mentioned MarkB in post Replacing Use Magic Device
    Thanks for the replies, all! I like where this is going, a "jury-rigging" or "MacGyver" ability. MarkB, that's an excellent start, though it'll need to be streamlined and modified to be more 5E-like. (For starters, I'd probably drop the skill check and just require a certain length of time.) I'll try and take a stab at it myself later this weekend (not happening right now), but if anyone else wants to develop this further... As a sidenote, in this situation, I could see Use Magic Device sticking around as a feat. Mainly because feats are supposed to represent an unusual or exceptional talent (as opposed to UMD being something any Thief can do).

Sunday, 13th July, 2014

  • 06:59 PM - gyor mentioned MarkB in post Thaumaturgy Cantrip.
    Its a Cleric/Tiefling spell, not a Wizard spell, although if the wizard is a Tiefling, Multiclass Cleric, or has a feat that allows him to take a Cleric cantrip he can use it. MarkB good list.


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Wednesday, 14th November, 2018

  • 11:58 PM - Azzy quoted MarkB in post First Impressions Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica
    When I first got into D&D, I found Forgotten Realms oppressively off-putting for ages, because there was just so much information out there, so many established characters and stories, that it felt like I'd look like an ignoramus trying to DM or even play in the setting alongside experienced players. I like Eberron's approach. There's plenty of information, but much of the history, intrigue and mysteries are left to the DM to decide, and they don't go continuously advancing the timeline and laying down a bedrock of established events in its wake. Yeah, even though I've been playing D&D since before Eberron, I'm pretty new to the setting. I've got to agree with you, I like the approach they've taken with that.

Tuesday, 13th November, 2018

  • 04:42 PM - billd91 quoted MarkB in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    I have to agree that, while it was an enjoyable episode, I'm not keen on the whole "witness of history" theme. It also serves to highlight the often-handwaved question of when is it alright for the Doctor to intervene in events, past or future, on Earth or elsewhere? From the Doctor's viewpoint, isn't it all part of established history? It's kind of the paradox with all time travel stories, isn't it? Are the events the way they are from the time traveler's perspective because they lacked their intervention or because of their intervention? If the intervention was suitably subtle to the known historical record, the time traveler wouldn't know until they went back and intervened.
  • 11:37 AM - Tonguez quoted MarkB in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    I have to agree that, while it was an enjoyable episode, I'm not keen on the whole "witness of history" theme. It also serves to highlight the often-handwaved question of when is it alright for the Doctor to intervene in events, past or future, on Earth or elsewhere? From the Doctor's viewpoint, isn't it all part of established history? no a common premise on the show is that time isnt linear and doesnt solidify until it is experienced - the Doctor can't change his/her own timeline but the entire rationale of the show is that the Doctor is a rebel who can't help but interfere even when she shouldnt
  • 11:27 AM - Morrus quoted MarkB in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    I have to agree that, while it was an enjoyable episode, I'm not keen on the whole "witness of history" theme. It also serves to highlight the often-handwaved question of when is it alright for the Doctor to intervene in events, past or future, on Earth or elsewhere? From the Doctor's viewpoint, isn't it all part of established history? Yeah. They used to get around that with the "fixed point in time" technobabble but they don't do that any more. But all of it's the past for the Doctor, so every alien stopped is altering history.
  • 11:21 AM - dave2008 quoted MarkB in post Breaking Bounded Accuracy: Proposed Fix
    For attack bonuses, you could change them to increasing weapons' critical range instead of providing a bonus to attacks. Then leave effects like Bless to operate as they already do. Possibly, but Bless is not the only issue. My proposed solution also works for magic items that stack, as noted by S'mon

Monday, 12th November, 2018

  • 12:48 AM - Saelorn quoted MarkB in post Esper Genesis: Sci-Fantasy for 5E
    That is not yet known. Esper Genesis has only released its Core Manual, which is the PHB equivalent. Even D&D does not include the variants you refer to in the PHB. Esper Genesis's Master Technician Guide is due early next year and may well include variants. In that case, I shall wait and see. Like I said, I really like a lot of stuff in the book. Sounds like there really aren't very many players who are interested in such variant rules then, let alone clamouring for them and likely to reject a system which doesn't explicitly endorse them.The number of people who want to play a game with variant rules is necessarily going to be smaller than the number who would play by the base rules, and in this case, Esper Genesis is the limiting factor.

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 10:09 PM - Skywalker quoted MarkB in post Hidden
  • 10:03 PM - Saelorn quoted MarkB in post Esper Genesis: Sci-Fantasy for 5E
    Generally speaking, no it isn't. With Star Trek levels of healing, a wound that doesn't cripple a character's limb can almost certainly be fully treated in sickbay with a few minutes' work - maybe an hour if it's really bad. And even a crippled limb can be repaired or replaced with fully-functional cybernetics.The reason I went with that particular example is because I recently went through to watch the series again, and there's an early episode (season 2 or 3) where Picard catches an arrow to the arm, and the next day he's wearing a sling. In Star Trek, they have advanced sci fi healing, so they don't usually need to wait around for anything to heal naturally; but in the absence of medical treatment, people heal normally. (Likewise in a fantasy setting with magical healing, there's no need to handwave the normal healing rate, because there's convenient magic to let you bypass that.) The only thing that fast healing does, in the presence of healing nanites and medical drones and whatnot, ...
  • 04:36 AM - Saelorn quoted MarkB in post Esper Genesis: Sci-Fantasy for 5E
    Those players, however many there are, have already been turned off of 5e products. They're not going to look at a 5e adaptation billed as science fantasy and think "Aha! This must surely be the grittily-realistic setting I've been waiting for all these years!"You have no idea, how many people really want to give the ruleset another try, if only it stopped presenting itself as a joke. This isn't a question of gritty realism. That's a strawman. It's a question of whether the heroic, non-debilitating injuries that you pick up as a result of being shot, even persist within the narrative beyond taking a nap. When Captain Picard gets shot in the arm, it doesn't really slow him down, but the wound is still there the next day.

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 08:52 PM - MNblockhead quoted MarkB in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    True, but I feel like the Doctor's "no guns" policy was played up in this episode to the point of being just a knee-jerk reaction. Yeah, the hotel guy's actions were clearly not motivated by mercy, but when the poor creature is dying a slow and painful death from suffocation, a bullet to the brain seems a lot more merciful than the Doctor's apparent intention of standing there sympathising with it while it slowly expired. Good point. But it isn't like the Doctor had much time to do anything. Perhaps she would have come up with a kinder way of alleviating its pain.
  • 07:19 PM - dave2008 quoted MarkB in post Esper Genesis: Sci-Fantasy for 5E
    You do realise that the overwhelming majority of the 5e playerbase doesn't use any variant healing or damage rules, right? Most players probably aren't even aware that those variant rules exist. I think you are probably correct, but do you have any data to back that up?
  • 07:18 PM - Saelorn quoted MarkB in post Esper Genesis: Sci-Fantasy for 5E
    You do realise that the overwhelming majority of the 5e playerbase doesn't use any variant healing or damage rules, right? Most players probably aren't even aware that those variant rules exist.That doesn't account for potential players who gave up on playing because they couldn't reconcile basic actions into a narrative that made any sense.

Thursday, 8th November, 2018

  • 12:48 AM - Ryujin quoted MarkB in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    It's not my explanation, it's right there in the episode. They say that their only duties are to keep patients alive and stable until they reach proper medical facilities, not to fully treat them. They're not doctors, they're paramedics with access to highly advanced mostly-automated medical systems. Except that they were explicitly referred to as doctors. The situation was similar to a forward operations military medical unit, as depicted in the movie/TV show M.A.S.H., except that their base was mobile. Or like a hospital ship as HMY Britannia was designed to operate as, in time of war. Stitch people back together well enough that they don't die, so that they can live long enough to receive more advanced care.

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

  • 09:40 PM - Ryujin quoted MarkB in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    The lady from the spider lab said that they deserved to be killed humanely - and she knew about the one in the flat. It wouldn't have hurt to see her organising that, but it also isn't much of a leap to assume she took care of it. It's also not a stretch to assume that specific spider, which got into that apartment somehow, might also have gotten out and been part of the spiderpocalypse.

Sunday, 21st October, 2018

  • 05:13 PM - the Jester quoted MarkB in post Idea for priests in a temple: (un)holy armour
    Also, proficiency bonuses are generally something that only player characters have. NPCs and monsters don't use them. The rest of your post aside- yes they do. Monsters and npcs absolutely get a proficiency bonus based on their CR. It's described extensively in the charts in both the MM and DMG (cf. Monster Manual, pg 8, "Proficiency Bonus by Challenge Rating", or DMG, pg. 274, "Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating").
  • 11:21 AM - Quartz quoted MarkB in post Idea for priests in a temple: (un)holy armour
    If you want to describe the priests in a particular temple as wearing holy robes, but assign them armour class as though they're wearing scale mail, there's no reason not to so long as you give them an appropriate challenge rating. But then you get players asking how they can achieve the same thing for their PCs. I would suggest that having it as a Lair Action that all priests (and possibly acolytes) can take neutralises that. Plus it lends the possibility of the PCs Dispelling it.

Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 02:22 PM - ZenBear quoted MarkB in post Best Personality for Tempest Cleric
    he knows that each thunderhead that rolls in, each lightning bolt that lashes down, is specifically and deliberately placed in response to a whole range of complex conditions and circumstances. They only appear random and arbitrary to the uninitiated. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0201.html

Wednesday, 10th October, 2018

  • 08:14 PM - Satyrn quoted MarkB in post Unearthed Arcana: Magic Items of Eberron
    I always wondered how people could get so passionate in their opinions about certain supplements. I genuinely hadn't considered that they might actually be in an intimate sexual relationship with them. Well, there was a certain book back in 3e . . .

Monday, 8th October, 2018


Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018

  • 09:39 AM - UngeheuerLich quoted MarkB in post Do you allow Acrobatics and Athletics to be used interchangeably?
    I think part of the issue is that Acrobatics tends to sound like a very good skill for dextrous characters, whose players imagine them performing all sorts of acrobatic bounds and tumbles, but in actual play it tends to have far fewer applications than expected. Anything involving climbing or jumping is purely Athletics, and anything which involves maintaining balance in the face of adversity is as likely to be a Dexterity saving throw as an Acrobatics check. I actually really like the idea of dropping Acrobatics entirely, and allowing Athletics to be used as a Strength or Dexterity skill as appropriate. Many people say Str is useless because there is only one skill that depends on it. The opposite is actually true. Athletic ia a powerful feat which cam be applied in many situations. Dex skills are more splitted up. Acrobatics gets you past an opponent and allows to run over the rooftop. It might also get you up if it involves minor jumps or changes of direction. I'd also allow you to...


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