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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:30 PM
    To be fair, Nott's plan was not completely unreasonable - lower the party's numbers for one round, to then increase them by the number of caged prisoners the next. He didn't expect the multiple small cages, and again, the dice luck was terrible, foiling his attempts to free them.
    94 replies | 2472 view(s)
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    Yesterday, 12:09 AM
    It was definitely jarring. I get that the intertwined concepts made the story resonate more, but they did need a better sense of separation.
    4 replies | 150 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th July, 2018, 09:12 PM
    Yeah, group monster initiative is intended to be just a convenience short-hand - having it result in unusual displays of coordination is an unintended side-effect. This is just a particularly visible example of that effect. On the other hand, it's not particularly out of line with players' tactics. If multiple characters are down and dying, the groups I've played with would totally take into...
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 06:52 PM
    Yes, she asked. She specifically asked whether a player deciding that their character would have disadvantage in a particular situation was something that CR did at their table, and Matt answered that yes, players had done just that on previous occasions, Sam in particular. So, this was not a player 'fiat' declaration, it was something the player thought would be appropriate for their...
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 09:17 PM
    True enough. I guess the compromise is to make it work both ways. Yes, in combat encounters featuring the PCs, anyone aside from them falls down dead at 0 hp unless the blow was deliberately non-lethal - but in combats in general, out in the wide world, things don't work out that tidily. Soldiers are left injured or dying on the battlefield, and people with healing abilities can get them back on...
    35 replies | 1097 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 08:03 PM
    A reasonable idea. Would also allow for the occasional "Oh, I have a healing potion in my pack you can use on me" without it being too metagamey.
    35 replies | 1097 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 06:11 PM
    That's very campaign-dependent. Strictly speaking, it's extremely rare for a cleric to be able to accomplish this, because any character aside from the PCs dies immediately upon hitting zero hitpoints, and the material component for Revivify is expensive enough to not be commonly available.
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 03:08 PM
    Bheur Hag 23 It's not "Beurre" as in "butter", it's "Bheur" as in "Bheeuurr, isn't it cold in here suddenly?" Blink Dog 22 Boggle 23 Dryad 29 Eladrin (Spring) 2 Can we make it four seasons in one day? Eladrin (Summer) 7 Eladrin (Winter) 6 Green Hag 22 Korred 20 Meenlock 20
    257 replies | 4313 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 01:07 AM
    There's also the Desmond storyline, which is the best of the 'framing' stories for the series. And, while that story does start in AC1, it's best developed through the Ezio trilogy starting with AC2.
    9 replies | 235 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 09:08 PM
    Toy sections at Pound Stores are good for this. Big bags of off-brand Army Men provide endless mook figures. I also used them as FATE tokens in a military-themed game. It's not uncommon to find bags of dinosaurs or farm animals at scales reasonably applicable to a battlemat.
    17 replies | 607 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 10:16 PM
    What would be the point of having it if he didn't, given that he's having to give up three weapon attacks to use it?
    14 replies | 625 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 01:41 PM
    To a large extent, it reads like the caster is using a zombie as his familiar. Sufficiently so that I'd be more inclined to build it off Find Familiar as either a specialised or higher-level version than making it a separate spell.
    16 replies | 568 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 01:32 PM
    Annis Hag 17 Bheur Hag 21 Blink Dog 21 Boggle 21 Darkling 3 Dryad 29 Eladrin (Autumn) 14 Eladrin (Spring) 14 Eladrin (Summer) 14 Eladrin (Winter) 14
    257 replies | 4313 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 02:20 AM
    If you can, run it with friends before you take it out on the road. Observe the pacing, see what ideas they come up with, get some feedback on how they feel about it. Have a couple of extra pre-gens to spare, both for variety and as backups if someone manages to be particularly creative at getting their character into trouble in the first encounter. Have some visual aids to hand, maybe...
    12 replies | 440 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 07:23 PM
    Right, because the most effective way to rein in an overpowered class is to saddle it with tedious bookkeeping.
    21 replies | 1104 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 04:55 PM
    So, after seven days is there a very hasty divorce, reconciliation and remarriage?
    61 replies | 2328 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 12:01 PM
    I've seen it happen without derailing a campaign, but there was a degree of player turnover. Back in the day when we were playing 3.5e, I bought and ran Red Hand of Doom shortly after it was published. Our players were experienced, but not exactly power gamers, and I wasn't pulling many punches as a DM. It was a tough campaign with a lot of tough encounters, and although they didn't hit TPK...
    12 replies | 511 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Monday, 25th June, 2018, 07:20 PM
    The worse one than that is when everyone realises that retreat is necessary, it's also clear that retreat will be difficult, and so each member of the party independently decides to be the one who stays behind to hold off the enemy while the others flee.
    294 replies | 7032 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th June, 2018, 11:01 PM
    "...in about a couple of weeks, when I come back at a higher level. For now, please excuse me while I flee for my life."
    294 replies | 7032 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th June, 2018, 08:30 PM
    Sometimes the reason for not running away can be that they simply don't believe it's possible. If the enemy is faster, or if there's rough terrain they have to retreat across, or if they know that spellcasters will be pounding them with fireballs as they retreat, etc. Other times, they may simply have taken their current quest too much to heart. Sure, if they take on this fight they may well...
    294 replies | 7032 view(s)
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  • MarkB's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th June, 2018, 11:48 AM
    It's not essential, but it's very possible to make complementary builds that synergise very well and can massively improve a party's performance. It's some time since I last played 4e, but I played through a campaign from 1st to 30th level, and a lot of our level-up decisions were about which powers would best let the characters support each other. My bravura warlord and the dragonborn barbarian...
    171 replies | 5851 view(s)
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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.

Saturday, 24th February, 2018

  • 01:24 AM - Sunseeker mentioned MarkB in post Musings on the "Lawful Jerk" Paladin
    ...o know it's a game, right? Not reality? Are you saying that it's wrong to say that, for example, Asmodeus is irrevocably evil? I think it is reasonable to say Asmodeus is currently incredibly evil. That's not to say there's not like, an epic quest line and a DC 9000 you could attempt in order to redeem him. That's also not to say that just because he is evil, doesn't mean he isn't sometimes on the right side of things. It's important to keep in mind that in Asmodeus' case (and by extension all Devils) they are by nature LAWFUL Evil and understand such concepts of honor, loyalty, comradeship, and the value of a well-written contract. While their ideas of these things may be twisted and their endgame may be their own advancement, devils may do good things because at some future point it will be to their gain. LE, unlike LG, does not have a problem with doing things outside of their alignment, provided it serves their interests in some manner. I also have to generally agree with MarkB on this, I've seen some of the posts by people who favor "A jolly good game of 'Kill the Orc'." and frankly it's a little disturbing. I think games set a dangerous precedent when they start running around saying X race is intrinsically evil. It's not terribly difficult to make a game that always sets up Orcs as the "bad guys" but at the same time never says "they're evil". It doesn't even need to be a "shades of grey" campaign to do this.

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, itís 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 donít see those as unsolvable, but then I donít 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 ó 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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Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 09:34 PM - iserith quoted MarkB in post Sleep Spell and Chain Awakening
    Another system artifact that enabled the effect you saw was the treatment of movements & actions in 5e: getting up is just some of your movement, and you can use the rest to reach an ally, action slap them, and move through a door (object interaction to close it) - goblins in 5e get to Disengage as a bonus action, too, otherwise the first one moving away from the cleric to wake it's buddy would have provoked. In 3e or 4e, the newly-woken goblin would have used it's move to stand up, and, maybe, 5' step & it's standard to wake an ally w/in reach (in 4e, give the ally a save) - they couldn't all have woken eachother, /and/ all fled, because the move action was discreet and Opportunity attacks a little harder to avoid. The 5e method of movement (and only one reaction &c) is intuitive and makes the action seem less 'jerky,' but it's still going on in a turn-based system, and that jerkiness is there for a reason. ;) It would have been for sure harder in 4e. Goblin tactics might have sque...

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 07:08 PM - robus quoted MarkB in post Critical Role Episode #26 - spoilers!
    Yes, she asked. She specifically asked whether a player deciding that their character would have disadvantage in a particular situation was something that CR did at their table, and Matt answered that yes, players had done just that on previous occasions, Sam in particular. So, this was not a player 'fiat' declaration, it was something the player thought would be appropriate for their character, and then went ahead and checked with the DM and the group in general for permission, both for the concept in principal, and for this specific instance. You're right - I just rewatched that bit and she does ask if it's weird to give yourself disadvantage and the answer from the table was no. So she then declares that she'll have disadvantage on everything and Matt says OK. So I guess my question is asked and answered for their table, but it still felt off to me and not something I would encourage at my table for the reasons iserith has noted above.

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 07:58 PM - Ancalagon quoted MarkB in post Glue-spitting velvet worms
    I've thought giant versions of velvet worms would make a great D&D monster ever since I saw them on BBC's Life in the Undergrowth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbVDYSiH-Vw aha! Now I know what inspired all the velvet worm monsters in Yoon-Suin! One of the most dangerous one sprays a glue that is ni-unremovable, dooming whoever is glued to a slow death ....

Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 08:53 PM - Blue quoted MarkB in post How has your DM handled death before and after the party getting the spell Revivify?
    That's very campaign-dependent. Strictly speaking, it's extremely rare for a cleric to be able to accomplish this, because any character aside from the PCs dies immediately upon hitting zero hitpoints, and the material component for Revivify is expensive enough to not be commonly available. Eh ... you are correct, but in a way that makes me cringe. D&D sidesteps the idea of having to deal with unintentionally captured enemies by making foes die at zero. But if the in-game narrative holds true, it makes a weird case for every single inhabitant except the PCs. In that everythign they have ever experienced is that if you intend the last blow to be a killing blow IT IS - except for this one batch of PCs. Which means that every single game that ever has foes that survive should have all of these rumors about how they can't be killed (because bringing to zero DEFINITELY KILLS every time with mechanical precision, and there is NO WAY to knock someone out unintentionally) - in other words just ...

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 06:39 PM - ad_hoc quoted MarkB in post How has your DM handled death before and after the party getting the spell Revivify?
    That's very campaign-dependent. Strictly speaking, it's extremely rare for a cleric to be able to accomplish this, because any character aside from the PCs dies immediately upon hitting zero hitpoints, and the material component for Revivify is expensive enough to not be commonly available. This is a side note but one of the things I think 5e got very wrong was the rules concerning what happens to a character at 0hp. I think they should be conscious but unable to do anything. It's a common trope in action/fantasy movies for characters to be down but watching the action and perhaps saying a word or two. It would keep a player more engaged. Make healing from 0 less jarring as the character wasn't actually fully unconscious and then suddenly back into things. It would also allow for more design space like the Purple Dragon Knight's Rallying Cry getting the PC back onto their feet.

Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

  • 03:13 PM - Gwarok quoted MarkB in post Do cantrips level with Magic Initiate?
    What would be the point of having it if he didn't, given that he's having to give up three weapon attacks to use it? Well that is a bit meta game thinking, and there are lots of reasons. One, it's magic. Buck naked he's still got something to fight say, an Earth Elemental with. Not much, but a damn sight better than his fists. There are many times in a campaign when you don't want to be walking around in full battle harness or sporting a weapon. Also, good to set things on fire with. Or even use Chill Touch to prevent something from healing. You get the idea. Just seems odd that a newbie to a profession would be blasting like a Grand Master in terms of firepower. But I'll take it.

Monday, 25th June, 2018

  • 06:43 PM - ehren37 quoted MarkB in post "Run away! Run away!" ... what if they don't?
    Sometimes the reason for not running away can be that they simply don't believe it's possible. If the enemy is faster, or if there's rough terrain they have to retreat across, or if they know that spellcasters will be pounding them with fireballs as they retreat, etc. Other times, they may simply have taken their current quest too much to heart. Sure, if they take on this fight they may well die - but if they back down, other peoples' lives are on the line. The only choice is to push through! Pretty much this. In most parties I have seen, there's someone in heavy armor, or a small character, moving at 25', at which point escape is kind of futile per the rules. You're stuck eating an opportunity attack each round unless you disengage, at which point the monster walks up and hits you again or dashes themselves and you're repeating the process next round. Caltrops take an action to toss, so you're not gaining ground that way either. Either way you're getting poked to death once you're eng...

Monday, 18th June, 2018


Sunday, 17th June, 2018


Sunday, 10th June, 2018


Monday, 4th June, 2018

  • 05:41 PM - Kramodlog quoted MarkB in post Solo: Star Wars A Flop?
    Rogue One had barely a Sith cameo, and it was excellent. It certainly wouldn't have failed as a story if they'd dropped Vader entirely. It was a bad film. Lame story full of plot holes and cardboard cute out characters. And unnecessary. Like Solo's backstory.
  • 05:44 AM - Zardnaar quoted MarkB in post Solo: Star Wars A Flop?
    Rogue One had barely a Sith cameo, and it was excellent. It certainly wouldn't have failed as a story if they'd dropped Vader entirely. Rogue One performed better than expected. Expectations were lower and it exceeded them. It also did a lot better in its opening weekend. Numbers are also low for Solos second weekend and it's projected to get less than 450 million which is actually a loss. That 450 expectation might be optimistic numbers are very low weekend 2.

Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

  • 07:44 PM - Umbran quoted MarkB in post Pet Shenanigans
    And then she simply did a six-foot vertical leap, and came down with the bat in her jaws. Impressive and tragic all at the same time. And, here I must note to our US readers - in North America, rabies is endemic in bats. If your pet has been exposed (like, say, by biting a bat) take them to a veterinarian *immediately*. Better yet, do not let your animal come in contact with bats.

Saturday, 2nd June, 2018


Thursday, 31st May, 2018

  • 07:43 PM - Istbor quoted MarkB in post Solo: A Star Wars Story (seen it!) (spoilers)
    Yeah, but that takes place literally days or weeks before Episode IV. They're not going to go that up-to-date in a "young Han Solo" movie series - the kid looks sort-of like he could grow up to be Harrison Ford, but he's not going to pull off being Han as we see him in the original trilogy. Do we know that though? That is not something I have ever assumed, I am not saying that time frame is wrong, but I can't take it as gospel either. All I am supposing, is that Han goes to work for Jabba, and perhaps he works for the Hutt for a while, becoming a known smuggler. Presumably he works for others too, but maybe he starts the Han and Chewy show out with someone on Tatooine. Where, my guess would be Jabba, or even Jabba's father or something.

Wednesday, 30th May, 2018

  • 02:02 AM - MechaPilot quoted MarkB in post Optional Facing Rule: do you use it?
    I've been considering the facing rule in my game because my setting has centuars who can spend a reaction to kick a foe that passes behind them. Maturally, you'd need to know where the centuar PC's equine behindus was facing to make this realistic. After a bit of thought I came to the conclusion that combatants are constantly jockeying about in the combat space they've been given, and that facing in D&D is really more effor than it's worth. I've recently been playing a lot of Battletech (the recent videogame version), which is turn-based and features facing heavily as a tactical component. It works really well in that game, but that's mainly because it emphasises the nature of the combatants as massive, cumbersome walking tanks. It doesn't feel so appropriate when applied to an agile monk or rogue. I agree. Facing in Battletech makes an immense amount of sense, and it plays right into the flavor of a giant walking tank game.

Saturday, 26th May, 2018

  • 05:15 PM - rczarnec quoted MarkB in post Dice Rankings - The Poll
    8-sided d4s are a similarly practical solution to the caltrops of doom. I prefer the 12 sided d4s. 97889
  • 04:52 PM - Chaosmancer quoted MarkB in post Fey in 5e DnD
    The way I envision the Fey is that they are often fascinated by the lives of mortals, but never concerned about them. Essentially, within the Feywild there's this pervasive life force that flows through everything - the plants, the animals, even the land itself has a level of consciousness. And any true Fey can sense this, and to them it's what defines a creature as being truly alive. If something or someone lacks that, as all denizens of the material plane do, then they're just a fascinatingly intricate kind of pseudo-life. As a result, they view mortals as the equivalent of soap opera characters or videogame NPCs. A Fey might become immensely obsessed with the fortunes of a particularly fascinating mortal, might be highly invested in their success or failure - but ultimately they 'know' that this isn't a 'real' person, and the idea of having to be concerned for their well-being of treat them with kindness simply wouldn't occur to them. OMG... Faerie's treating us like Waifus......


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