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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:34 PM
    1e AD&D's approach was much less harsh. For example, a longsword might have a -5 penalty to hit AC 0 armor. But, since AC was capped and high AC rare, without such penalities a PC was likely to be missing only on a 2 anyway. Besides which, the two-handed sword had such good all-around modifiers and damage, that if you were bothered by the weapon vs. AC modifiers, using a weapon like the...
    9 replies | 148 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:55 PM
    While that sounds intuitive, it practice fighter's in 3e tended to have lower CONs than wizards. The reason is that a fighter typically wants a combination of Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity, while a Wizard can safely dump stat everything but Intelligence and Constitution. In my experience the players of fighters typically don't want to completely neglect intelligence or wisdom,...
    39 replies | 756 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:02 PM
    1e AD&D? The one thing I really miss from 1e AD&D is it had at least a nod toward certain weapons were more effective against lightly armored opponents and others were more specialized in attacking heavily armored opponents. A mace was far worse than a sword against an unarmored foe, but was on at least equal footing if not superior versus a foe in heavy armor. It wasn't unusual in my game...
    9 replies | 148 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:22 PM
    Absolutely, but I wanted to start out by saying that it wasn't inherently bad to go one way or the other. I think it depends on what 'cinematic' quality you are trying to achieve. 'Cinematic' is a word that is used often but vaguely defined in RPGs, but for these purposes by 'cinematic' I mean that the process of play tends to aid in imagining the scene. A game is more 'cinematic' the...
    39 replies | 756 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:48 AM
    I thought about bringing that up a couple of times but I didn't want to appear to be telling you about your own country, which you surely know more about than me. Yes, Japan has a huge way to go on this. I may have the opposite bias. But if in fact our ugly affairs over here in the USA has had some sort of real positive impact outside the USA, then that really does truly hearten me.
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:45 AM
    I'm not sure that's at all clear. I'm not the only one, and probably not the first one, to link Zak S's public outing to the larger social gestalt. And in any event, it is I think much better to talk about the larger problem than to linger over the details of this particular tragedy except to the extent of, "How do we keep this from happening?" Not to me.
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:31 AM
    Now that is a good set of questions. And I really wish that if we were going to have another one of these debacles that it would have started there. I don't know the answer, because I don't have an insiders perspective. I can imagine two possible theories, but I don't know which one is true. a) Umbran's missing stairs theory. This seems to apply to several much bigger industry figures...
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:09 AM
    Oh that? No, that's not changing direction. That's marketing. That's not even something worthy of applause. That's an example of losing the plot along the way. Let's avoid getting into the Pope, as if we didn't have enough to discuss. Let's just say that I'm proudly a member of a community that has been protesting the Catholic church for like 400 years and leave it at that. I...
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:48 AM
    How much leeway do you think I got? I've already mentioned a few things outside of the realm of gaming. The problem is that I can't really explain where I was going with that. It's just going to snowball into a larger political discussion if I start bringing in examples, but I did point at some things that would make interesting reading for the interested student when I was trying to...
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:34 AM
    No, seriously, who is this mysterious someone that I should talk to, and what do you think I should talk about with them?
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:28 AM
    At this point, I'm not even sure what you are going on about. What reason do you think I have? What is the point of the above post? Who is this mysterious someone that I should talk to and what do you think I should talk about with them? Did I not make very clear, twice now, that I wasn't uncomfortable with the topic of sexual harassment, but that I was unhappy about this conversation? ...
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:07 AM
    No, but stating "There's probably a reason Celebrim feels uncomfortable when these issues come up." in the context of a conversation about sexual harassment and rape is, per: "Say how you feel or what you think, but be careful about ascribing motives to the actions of others..." It's a vague rule, but if it doesn't apply to innuendo concerning my sexual past, I'm not sure when it could ever be...
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:34 AM
    Because it's an egregious violation of the forum rules. Not that I ever report anyone, but I appreciate the irony. I've made it perfectly clear that the subject of sexual harassment isn't one that I'm uncomfortable with, or uncomfortable discussing - much less condemning. What I am uncomfortable with, as you put it, is this discussion and not the topic generally. And I have a lot...
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:51 AM
    Just thought I'd quote that before you get a chance to think better of it.
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:43 AM
    Oh please. It's more than obvious that all your assertions have nothing to do with my stance. I have no problem with speaking out against sexual harassment, although, speaking out against sexual harassment hardly takes much bravery in this day and age. As some have pointed out in this thread, there are tons of sexual harassers out there taking a stand against sexual harassment. Harvey...
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 10:17 PM
    There is no right or wrong answer here. It depends on the conventions of the story you are trying to create.
    39 replies | 756 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 09:42 PM
    I've largely just let this thread run it's own course without comment, but since you're making a big show of how you are reporting and blocking people... I don't think that comparison was remotely fair. While his comparison may have been an exaggeration, it certainly wasn't comparing those two things you've claimed at all. He wasn't comparing the actions of women reporting accusations,...
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 08:53 PM
    I'd have to review the spell list for 1e, but the real game breakers tend to be things like Wall of Stone, Harm, Find the Path, Disintegrate, Word of Recall, Feeblemind, Death Spell, Anti-Magic Shell, Hold Monster, Teleport, etc. Add on top of that the problem that damage from spells like magic missile or fireball don't cap, and by 13th level they are starting to become real problems. Very few...
    23 replies | 490 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 04:13 AM
    Are we moving from defending Zak to pointing out the hypocrisy and inconsistency of those that are now so anxious to show they are condemning him? I might be aboard such an argument depending on how it is made or meant, but I don't imagine that it would do any good to make it here. Make it on a blog post if you like on your own forum. Don't borrow someone's soap box to do it. I don't...
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 03:13 AM
    Not all allegations are created equal. Some are more substantial and believable than others.
    165 replies | 5712 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 03:42 PM
    I have played at high levels, but relatively little of my high level play was 'earned' - that is to say began at low levels and worked my way up to high levels as the game was 'intended' to be played. I have played 1e AD&D up to 12th level. I have some higher level play at up to 18th level, but in those occasions characters were created as high level characters as a 'one shot'. Generally...
    23 replies | 490 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 08:27 PM
    While I agree that this is true, it's also true that the reason fighters are tier 4 is that they aren't even very good at dealing out damage in combat, and there are critics of 3.X who have pointed out that the most powerful melee combatants of basically any level are not fighters. Indeed, I've seen arguments that a 3rd level wizard can out perform a fighter even in melee combat. So while...
    17 replies | 517 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 04:22 PM
    Celebrim replied to Rappan Athuk
    There were a few inspired encounters in Rappan Athak, but mostly the adventures creativity was confined to using 3e's monster creation and modification rules (advancement, templates, class levels). As such, it's an excellent resource for the time it was created in how you can use 3e's rules to create truly unique and dangerous monsters, and it does expose a modern player to some old school...
    10 replies | 419 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 03:48 PM
    The issue that concerns the OP is this. What you've described is fairly straightforward and playable in the vast majority of situations. But there is an asymmetry you don't mention, which is namely, higher level spells. The vast majority of spells always require just a standard action to cast. As a spell-caster levels up, he gets more efficient spells that do more with a single standard...
    17 replies | 517 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 06:06 AM
    It's not really that important to me. I can't say that there would often be a situation where it was important to a story what traumatic injuries lead to character death, and in my experience permanent maiming tends to be an even more unsatisfactory end to a character than death. Any system that get fascinated with such things is unlikely to be one where you can have a lot of character...
    39 replies | 756 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 05:54 PM
    Beware the Meth Hound and the Barghast, and shun the fumigatous Banderstash.
    38 replies | 899 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 07:32 PM
    I believe that the root of most creativity is mistakes. You fill out the blank areas in something vaguely seen or remembered, and you've created something new. I also believe the pun to be the highest form of humor. And I could totally see myself having a lynch mop, link dog, animated word, ore mage, ettercrap, gibbering mother, or invisible talker in my game, played completely seriously. ...
    38 replies | 899 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 06:54 PM
    You could argue that bypassing SR and anti-magic fields was important and with some items I'd accept that argument (especially a save or suck item), but to me considering we are talking 4d6 fire damage it's just not a big deal. Anti-magic fields are a rare thing in most campaigns, and fire resistance is not. Mostly, this just isn't a god tier weapon that has all the features a PC would want, so...
    7 replies | 262 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 05:52 PM
    If you look at this in D&D terms, it might be a little more empirical as to what we are talking about. (I'm going to discuss 3e because that's what I'm familiar with, but you can translate this into 5e.) Hitting a stationary man sized target is DC 5. If the range increment of a pistol is say 30 feet, then we'd expect even a novice to hit a paper target fairly reliably. This is especially...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 03:45 PM
    It's a 'Scorching Ray' cast at 7th level of ability, 5 times per day, with a say 20% reduction in cost due to the severe range increment constraint and another 20% reduction in cost for requiring an exotic weapon proficiency. I'd price that at like ~8,400 gp. Compare with a 'Wand of Scorching Ray', 50 charges, with no range increment for 10500 g.p., but requiring having scorching ray on...
    7 replies | 262 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 05:52 PM
    As largely ineffectual as weapons. While there have been plenty of attempts to improve on the rifled slug and buckshot, there are still no loads I'm aware of that are more effective and reliable. Dragon's breath in particular isn't really designed to be a weapon, but rather a pyrotechnics show. You might as well take a Roman Candle and fire it at the target. Damage to unprotected eyes is...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th February, 2019, 04:10 AM
    While I find the setting as a whole too 'grimdark' for my taste, the imagination on display in Golarian (Pathfinder's setting) is second to none, and I'd be happy to liberally steal from the setting. (And, for that matter, for a 'grimdark' setting, it's pleasantly happy to allow itself a primary color palette which is nice.) Forgotten Realms is in fact one of the worst published settings of...
    5 replies | 373 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 08:51 PM
    Pistols: Not currently a military weapon but their origins are in a military weapons, specifically as weapons for cavalry and naval personnel during boarding actions. The pistols designed as military weapons are generally much larger and longer barreled than those that are used for personnel protection (such as which are issued to officers or carried by civilians). Many of the early Naval and...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 05:06 PM
    I think this is kind of the $64K question. For me, "default" assumptions about the D&D mythology is that guns don't fit, ergo, they aren't relevant and this is a pointless conversation. That said, I've realized it actually depends on the game's tone and/or setting. Being a political geek, I'm reminded of polls that show, say, Trump (used for convenience because it's current) winning or...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 01:30 AM
    Are they really though? There isn't a lot of sign that being a wizard is more expensive than being a gunslinger. It took a very long time in real life before armies without melee soldiers dominated battlefields. I keep firearms out because I don't like what they do to low level play where firearms increase the lethality of the game in ways that aren't so great. But once the heroes...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 06:15 PM
    Wait, what? Longbow points go right through anything but double layer mail ('chain') without hardly slowing down. The rise of the longbow and the crossbow was a big reason behind the rapid development of plate armor. The longbow will absolutely penetrate a gambeson ('padded') without much difficulty. While a gambeson will dissipate a lot of the energy of the shaft, you're still going to end...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 03:39 PM
    Seems workable. Rates of fire that high weren't achieved until the mid 19th century. Depending on the ignition technology in use, the rate of fire might vary between 1 per 10 rounds and 1 per 3 rounds. Well, that's not a ban so much as a nerf. Are you suggesting that characters in the setting are prevented from picking up a sword or spear?
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 02:56 AM
    Great, Extra Credits. Even though I'm very familiar with Extra Credits, and it has over the years influenced heavily how I think and talk about gaming, it's always good to spread the word around. But, it still doesn't address where I'm going to with this question, which is your assertion that the mythology of the weapon rather than its physical properties ought to define it's mechanics. ...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 01:35 AM
    Well, yes, but in no way have you explained what that has to do with mythology. A Colt .45 Single Action Army or a Winchester 1873 is a significantly different piece of technology from a 17th century wheellock pistol, and even if I paid absolutely no attention to mythology at all and merely tried to simulate those weapons by "ballistics and/or forensics" the difference between the impacts that...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 10:33 PM
    Just curious, but how would you go about doing that? And which mythology do you have in mind?
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 05:51 PM
    If I was going with real time simulation of movement within a turn, I'd use something like the 'impulse' system in Star Fleet Battles, where your movement was evenly distributed across a turn. You'd have to make a completely new method of determining what drew an attack of opportunity from movement though to apply this to melee combat, otherwise faster creatures could always evade without...
    17 replies | 517 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 06:00 AM
    Enya. Loreena McKennit. Secretly elves. Also the Tolkien ensemble does some elvish music, and it's usually not as alien as I would like, but is probably a close approximation. Look for "Ai! Laurië Lantar".
    13 replies | 414 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 04:46 AM
    Oh that. Yeah, you aren't even going to touch that with this change. You need to make a much bigger set of changes. The most effective one that has worked for me is no longer increasing the DC of the spell's saving throw with the level of the spell. That in and of itself does so much to bring balance to things, because it brings spellcaster's back to the problem they faced in 1e where...
    17 replies | 517 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 10:10 PM
    Glad to hear you are restoring sanity to your game. Yes, often the way to restore sanity is for players to play by the rules they claim that they want. One problem D&D has always had was that offense tends to great excel defense, to the point you can get into situations where the average combat lasts less than one round. As for your experiment, you are going to be trading off good and bad...
    17 replies | 517 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 08:41 PM
    Long Term Campaigns: 80-400+ hours AD&D 1e (three), D&D 3.X (two), Gamma World 3e, Call of Cthulhu 5e Short Campaigns: 30-80 hours WEG Star Wars 1e, Chill 2e. Fizzled Games: 8-30 hours GURPS, VtM, Exalted, SIPS (two) One Shots: < 8 hours
    51 replies | 1492 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Good advice. I dispute the claim that this is a good man. He may be a practical man. He may have something that looks like a good intention and he may not be self-interested, but I have a hard time assigning "good" to the behavior of spreading disease to the poor parts of town. The alignment descriptor I'd associate with that behavior is 'lawful evil', an alignment associated with...
    7 replies | 277 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 04:32 PM
    If you are looking to Star Trek for inspiration, you have one of two choices. Either you can keep the traditional view of the Drow as lawful evil, and go with that - Elven Space Nazi's or some such. In which case, the Romulans as evil space elves are perfectly valid models to operate off of, especially as presented in the original series. (Side note, the original Romulans were presented as...
    13 replies | 414 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 04:40 AM
    The problem I have with answering this question is the Drow as presented are utterly incoherent. They seem to come from the mindset, partly the fault of Gygax, that 'chaotic evil' was more evil than evil, and they seem to have been aligned as 'chaotic evil' purely to represent them as ultimate evil rather than out of any coherent philosophy. I have no conceptual problem with a chaotic evil...
    13 replies | 414 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 12:37 AM
    I don't know that I've overseen a true TPK. The times I've come close, though, it was just the end of the adventure/campaign and we started a new one. That's how Curse of Strahd ended (actually, we liked the characters enough, we reconned/meta-gamed enough that we decided the characters were ejected from Ravenloft, instead, and built a campaign in a brand new world around the characters. Edit:...
    26 replies | 1186 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 10:39 PM
    I haven't had intraparty conflict come up in game I was running in a really long time. What I typically see falls more under 'Loonie' behavior than full out social dysfunction. The player's aesthetics of play lead them to want to start unnecessary trouble, to take wacky actions, and be disruptive without actually having their characters commit crimes against other members of the party. ...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 09:57 PM
    :) I confess I am very opinionated. Yes, I know, but I'm a software developer, and I use 'queue' so often that I generally don't realize I've used the wrong spelling unless I reread what I wrote. Other common mistakes on my part: leaving off a negative such a 'not', exchanging or/our/are for one of the other, misuse of the apostrophe, or exchanging their/there/they're. I know what it...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 04:19 PM
    I have a beef against some so called 'sandbox' DMs. There are some DMs out there that think they run a sandbox, but they don't. The secret to running a sandbox is that you have to be willing to prep vastly more material than you need or intend to use. Indeed, that is my definition of a sandbox. If you aren't prepping material you don't intend to use, you aren't running a sandbox. In a true...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 06:21 AM
    Oh, I agree. But that doesn't make the initial phases of the adventure less on rails. I think his frustration is that he's presented with a puzzle that doesn't have an immediate solution. He tried kicking on the goads only to get slapped down, and that just fed into his sense that this wasn't a fair scenario. Once he got over the shock a bit, and started to deal with, "OK, this just is going...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 03:21 AM
    If any of my players are on this forum, I've already been honest to the point of bluntness, in person. I'm also pretty sure I know when you're ticked at me and what for. Passive aggressive sucks, so just speak plainly. (Yes, I know the OP was being sarcastic, but I figured I'd be pointed.)
    55 replies | 2812 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 03:12 AM
    Well, yes. But, I think it's not stretching the term to any breaking point to say that the transcript of an RPG is a story, or to say that one possible goal of playing an RPG is to produce a worthwhile story. After all, I think if you will reflect, you'll recall that you have over the years produced many a memorable story while playing an RPG, and while hanging out with friends from time to...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 01:58 AM
    I admit that at first glance, most people think I have a somewhat heterodox view of metagaming. I know it is popular to blame metagaming for everything, just as once upon a time it was popular to attribute to 'realism' the solution to everything. But I believe both are based on fundamental misunderstandings. I didn't object originally because your first statement was not as absolute as...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 01:12 AM
    I would very strongly say that it is. Well, for certain values of 'believable'... maybe... we could be playing 'Toon', 'Paranoia', or even 'Star Wars', none of which are particularly believable. But more to the point, an RPG is not supposed to represent a believable place. A "believable place" in and of itself is not an RPG. An RPG is not a setting. The RPG is what transpires in the...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 10:53 PM
    - emphasis added The point of the term is that the player's characters should fit that definition. Protagonizing the PC's is considered normal and good. The DMing crime is normally to deprotagonize the PC's, so that they are no longer the major characters of the story being told in the game. I just started the 'Skull & Shackles' adventure path last night (as a player for a change!) and...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 10:00 PM
    Most of these terms are Forge speak, or at least coined by someone heavily influence by The Forge back in the early '2000s' and who have an interest in formalizing how we talk about games - such as The Alexandrian. I don't know who exactly coined this one, and I really wish someone would publish a dictionary. Of course, the problem with the dictionary is that I'm not sure anyone has the...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 08:54 PM
    As with most semantic arguments, probably not, though I have just tried to explain exactly how I understand the term. I believe the formal definition of the term involves giving players a guarantee that they will have both agency and be central to the story that they create. Well, to begin with, I don't think that's remotely close to the idea behind the RPG jargon "protogonism", so you...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 05:39 PM
    It is a minor but hardly mortal sin for the DM to provide only one interesting thing for the players to do. It is a mortal sin for the DM to provide nothing to do. It is not a sin for a player to be uninterested in the story or opportunities the DM has provided to avail himself of, though perhaps the player and the DM ought to have talked about this a bit more before hand. It is not a sin...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 05:14 PM
    I don't think I understand this one. I think you mean to relate this back to your second point, "enforcing preferred outcomes", but there has never been a time in the history of D&D where the PCs weren't protagonized, and deprotagonizing the PC's as I understand the term is a terrible sin. PC's are protagonized when they are given advantages relative to ordinary persons in the world and...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 12:02 AM
    Hmm... I wonder what percentage of the comments will be inspiration. My first solution to Inspiration not getting used was to go out and buy a handful of just hideous d20s. Something no sane person would buy, so it stood out and caught the eye. Then, I assigned one to each player. No checking the box. If you had the die in hand, you had inspiration. If you used inspiration, you rolled that,...
    29 replies | 1244 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 11:48 PM
    I wouldn't go quite that far, but I've definitely bought into the Savage Worlds idea of trappings. If there's no statistical difference, don't create another entry -- at the least, be OK with the fact that it's just a new name for the same stats. Most times, there's no need for statistical difference. Trying to force the issue is a low ROI.
    72 replies | 2448 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 11:29 PM
    I'm almost always the GM, and a couple of my players have been in my group for over 25 years, so it's really hard to distinguish between personal quirks and table customs, at this point. Here goes: Skill names are malleable. Over the course of 35 years of gaming, I've played 6 editions of D&D and about 20 other systems. I really don't care if you call it "spot", "perception", "notice",...
    55 replies | 2812 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 09:51 PM
    One of the few things that I carried over from 4E was the mental concept of "bloodied" at half hit points. Above half, I narrate any hit as a near miss, slap to the armor, etc. As soon as an attack drops a bad guy to/below half, though, real blood has been drawn and I start to narrate things like you're saying. It's a way of announcing "poop just got real" and even my players have started...
    55 replies | 2812 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 11:14 PM
    "That's what my character would do" isn't actually the root of the problem, but a symptom of it. I mean, isn't everyone just doing what their character would do? The root of the problem is creating a character that doesn't have the personality to be a functional member of a group, which is often a symptom of being the sort of player that doesn't have the personality to be a functional member...
    27 replies | 1194 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 10:45 PM
    There are all sorts of generally anti-social behavior that drive me nuts. Players that get super-aggressive and OOC angry over something that other players do IC or when they don't get there way just drive me to distraction. Probably the number one RPG crime is simply "being a jerk". Specifically, when your actions as a player are motivated by anger, envy, pride or selfishness, you are being...
    82 replies | 3174 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 07:40 PM
    Yeah, I 'fixed' this issue by ruling that wands were arcane only devices. You could not create a wand for divine spells. While some limited range of staffs from the older editions could be used by Clerics, the vast majority were M-U only. Opening up wands to divine casters not only made wand creation easier, it provided options that they'd never had before. In my opinion, given the buffs...
    20 replies | 1347 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 06:25 PM
    I used to run GURPS. GURPS had this idea that everything should be quantified, so that characters could be balanced with each other. Consequently, every one of the characters close relationships was supposed to be classified and quantified according to whether it was an ally, or a mentor, or a dependent or whatever. The relationship adjusted the points the character was theoretically worth. ...
    37 replies | 1183 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 02:03 AM
    As for how I actually handle initiative... I use an app. It rolls the NPCs automatically and individually (go ahead and try to plan around 25 goblins each with their own initiative count) and I ask the players for their number. Just keep hitting "next" to call whose turn it is. I guess that also means no one actually knows the initiative order until the end of the first round. No one has ever...
    144 replies | 4287 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 01:59 AM
    That'd be the start. Really, this is the sort of behavior that keeps lighter systems on my radar -- Fate, especially. I'm currently happy with 5E, but I would go insane with even one player that used metagame knowledge to that extent. Don't get me wrong, I love tactical games, especially board/war games that reward a certain level of system mastery and/or "4D chess". That's just not what I want...
    144 replies | 4287 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 28th January, 2019, 01:06 AM
    Thanks. I did find that, via the Google, but it doesn't really have much meat to it. I still don't "get" the system. Does the "Lead Narrator" rotate by session, scene, some other mechanic? Or is it just a new way of talking about troop-type play from Ars Magicka? Is every die roll d12 v d20? That seems crazy random, which isn't what I'd think of for narrative play. Is there enough of a...
    2 replies | 229 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 08:40 PM
    No, if you look at a time line, they developed at about the same time - they all were introduced into Europe around the 13th-14th century. Cannons, gonnes, plate, and trebuchet all developed nearly simultaneously in the West. The impetus behind plate armor initially was the crossbow and the longbow could easily penetrate mail even at fairly long ranges. Gradually as the "hand gonne" and...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 08:24 PM
    Yeah, they had this theory even back in the 18th century, and the problem with it is statistically it was wrong even then. It was actually more the other way around. Even in wars in the 17th century, wounds from bayonets were actually pretty rare. The musket volleys were doing most of the damage, and commanders that relied on the bayonet charge tended to get their troops cut to pieces. ...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 08:14 PM
    Well, so much of this depends on your assumptions, and that's to not even get into the whole problem of hit points are a narrativist device and not a simulationist device. They exist to provide characters plot armor more than they exist to model real world wounds. For example, let's say we are playing 3.X edition. Commoners have the same 4 h.p. on average, but they don't instantly die until...
    99 replies | 3921 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 03:25 AM
    1) The gods are exceedingly active in my homebrew setting, both in an active role as persons and through the machinations of their respective cults, which collectively have a larger day to day role in the every day affairs of society than say the Catholic Church in medieval society. My inspirations here are decidedly Etruscan or Hindu in origin. This is polytheism to the max, because it's...
    34 replies | 13888 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 09:00 PM
    I was in middle school when I started playing 1E AD&D. After hitting a high enough level, the group encountered Demogorgon and beat him (middle school, remember). One of the books (L&L or DMG, probably) had a line about gods having a 1% chance of hearing their name, if you called it out. The same was true for demon lords, but we interpreted that as a "blind hearing" on their part that might...
    34 replies | 13888 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 08:50 PM
    Or... Just roll two d120 for everything. That way, you can have your d% and eat it, too.
    8 replies | 326 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 08:46 PM
    Not presently playing. Have played within the last 5 years, but only as a one off. Played extensively from the early 80's to the early 90's. Modified versions of the UA tables, both as a balancing factor and for flavor reasons. Hitherto, I would use the UA version as written. However, if I were to ever go back to the game in any serious manner, I'd probably produce a variant...
    26 replies | 1030 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 03:55 PM
    The front page news mentioned Shadowrun Anarchy, which is powered by the CUE system. I couldn't find much, online, about how the CUE system plays, other than it's light-weight and narrative. I saw one mention that said it's GM-less, which makes it sound like it goes even further that Fate in being narrative driven. That seems an extremely odd choice for a game with as much combat potential as...
    2 replies | 229 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 24th January, 2019, 02:21 PM
    I'd say scouting is part of why you're travelling faster -- you're looking for the best routes, etc. It's not a big deal. Overland isn't tactical. You get the bonus overland speed in exchange for the risk that the ranger may end up in combat all by himself. Probably not, since rangers typically have good stealth, but possibly. I'm pretty sure every ranger I've seen has made it clear that they're...
    12 replies | 624 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 24th January, 2019, 02:16 PM
    I didn't realize it until this thread, but I don't think I've ever had anyone try. For example, the current EK in my game is a warforged carrying two versatile weapons (longsword and warhammer). He can always just shift his grip, for free, and have a free hand. It being Eberron, I'm inclined to let him have a "masterwork" longsword that counts as a focus, regardless of rules. Really, with him...
    66 replies | 2855 view(s)
    0 XP
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Saturday, 14th April, 2018

  • 12:57 PM - Afrodyte mentioned Mercule in post I love D&D.....but.
    Mercule Been thinking about this for a couple of days, and I think I should offer some real examples about what I mean when I talk about thinking conceptually. Here's a sample of how you can do the work of "translating" D&D magic to Fate without having to create separate skills or stunts for every spell. ASPECTS To be able to use magic, a PC needs an aspect that describes the nature of that magic. Some examples: Magic in My Blood Sorcerer's Apprentice Chosen by the Sun Goddess The Archfiend Grants Me Power When I Play Music, The World Listens STUNTS Because magic is so potent, it's a good idea to link magic stunts are linked to the appropriate Aspect and require invoking that Aspect to limit how often it gets used. Some examples: Healing Touch. Because you are Chosen by the Sun Goddess, once per scene, you can make an Empathy roll to reduce the severity of a consequence for another character by one level. For each additional level of consequence you wish to reduce du...

Monday, 2nd April, 2018

  • 06:05 PM - Celebrim mentioned Mercule in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Mercule: It's a very good post, so don't think that by my quibbles I think otherwise. Still, I have a lot to quibble with. But it's not 'culture', any more than it's race. Culture implies the social heredity, rather than genetic heredity. That realization is so rare these days. So many people think culture just means music, food, clothing or other superficial cultural artifacts. Even worse, so many people conflate culture and race these days it makes me want to cry - as in, "You are black so you like Rap." or "You are white so you like Heavy Metal." Usually these are the same people who'd never think things like, "You are black so you like watermelon." 'Culture' could certainly include things like the elven knack with a bow, but it can't cover everything currently covered by 'race' -- at least not without bastardizing the word at least as much as 'race' has been. Culture could include the elven knack with the bow but it's not required, and explicitly in my homebrew the elven...

Monday, 26th March, 2018

  • 02:35 AM - Hussar mentioned Mercule in post Do You Use Your RPG Rules as Written?
    ...e the rules change that they were proposing rarely achieved that. Some where the equivalent of Monte Haul GMs that were handing out treasure in the form of broken rules, and others where the equivalent of death dungeon DMs that wanted to change the rules to "keep players in their place". Most of my posts from that era consisted of me trying to explain to some young DM why they probably shouldn't change the rules until they had a bit more experience and a very concrete reason why they wanted to change something and what they hoped to achieve by that change. Now, here is one area where we are in 100% agreement. I've largely come to the same conclusions that you have here. Yes, it's fun to bang out new mechanics, but, watching what people post has made me realize that many people are very bad at it. Like you say, they either set the numbers too high or too low and wind up with mechanics that just aren't all that good. Heh, it's funny Celebrim, while I was writing my answer to Mercule, I did have you in mind when I mentioned 3 inch binders. :p And, I know, from your posts, that you spend incredible amounts of time on your game. Fantastic stuff. But, I also know myself well enough that I would be a very bad fit at your table. I just would. The constant rule changes would bug the heck out of me and I would wind up spending far more time whinging about this or that rule change than actually playing. :D I've gotten very used to playing in groups where RAW is generally the baseline we're all working from. From 3e onwards, the groups I played in and DM'd have generally tried to adhere to RAW. It works better for us. I'm not interested in playing amateur game designer nor am I interested, particularly in indulging anyone else's amateur game designer proclivities. I just want to play the game that we've agreed to sit down and play.

Friday, 23rd March, 2018

  • 12:16 PM - Hussar mentioned Mercule in post Do You Use Your RPG Rules as Written?
    Heh. Mercule - I'd probably chalk it up to differing experiences. I'm pretty vocal about limiting the DM at the table. And, I'm a strong proponent of RAW to do that. If we're following RAW, at least, as close as reasonably possible, then everyone at the table is one the same page. No one is getting blind sided by stuff that someone came up with. And, again, as someone who went through a LOT of very, very bad DM's over the years, I view adherence (again, within reasonable levels of tolerance, I'm not terribly hard nosed about it) to RAW as a sign of a DM that I want to play with because, likely, that DM's views of the game probably line up with my own. If I sit down at the table and the DM pulls out his three inch binder of house rules, I'm very, very likely to recuse myself from the game, simply due to past experiences. Which, really, is probably a shame because I'm possibly missing out on some really great games. OTOH, fool me several times, and I'll finally figure out what I want. ...

Saturday, 10th February, 2018

  • 06:40 PM - monsmord mentioned Mercule in post How much should Human features differ from Humans from Earth?
    Our variation is driven by evolution and environmental influences. A fantasy world will have any number of other extraordinary factors, including magic and the likelihood of interbreeding with non-humans races. Anything goes, really. I do agree with Saelorn to a point - if the features go too far they wouldn't be human per se (wings, scales, extra limbs, etc.). And Mercule's point about baseline abilities is spot on, at least in D&D and similar games. But odd coloration, facial feature sizes/shapes, height/weight - sure, why not? If you do go the extraordinary route with features we'd classify as bizarre or inhuman here, just blame magic. :)

Sunday, 27th August, 2017

  • 11:58 PM - MoonSong mentioned Mercule in post Building a better Sorcerer
    Please don't use bold or custom color when you're not emphasizing select parts of your post. Unless you actually meant to scream at Tonys post, in which case my question instead becomes "wait, what?" Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app I've been using pink letters for almost 4 months now. May 5th was the first time actually. I thought everybody would have gotten used to it by now... But if you have any problem with that, tell Mercule, he told me it was ok. How else was I going to be recognizable without avatar and signature?(the bold part is a concession to those using white background)1

Wednesday, 9th August, 2017

  • 12:35 AM - Leatherhead mentioned Mercule in post [Poll] Cleric Satisfaction Survey
    I voted dissatisfied. The class seems to be a vestigial hodgepodge of ideas. I've gone over how the Priest/Cleric was made as a rules patch for earlier editions in this forum (except for 4e, where it was a legacy name attached to the Divine+Leader part of the power grid) Mercule touched on most of the current problems, but they get bigger when you take a look at them. Firstly, what exactly is the difference between the Cleric and any other (sub)class that receives powers from the gods? We have other divine classes, quasi-divine classes (looking at you, Warlock), and a host of upcoming sublasses that look to take the Cleric's narrative away. Secondly, why do Clerics share powers and spells anyway? Why does a cleric of death, destruction, and/or disease get access to healing spells? For that matter, why does a Cleric of trickery or shadows get them?

Friday, 23rd June, 2017

  • 05:59 AM - Kobold Stew mentioned Mercule in post Do you want psionics in your D&D?
    Mercule -- that's what i'd say to anyone who felt the need to add it. I think we agree: any table can add or take away flavour text; that's my point. It is meaningless at most tables, and I don't get why people care about that aspect to the degree they seem to do when posting on boards.

Friday, 9th June, 2017

  • 05:29 PM - JeffB mentioned Mercule in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    Wait, there's more info on the FR in SCAG than there was Greyhwk info in the LGG? Owning both books, LGG is far more detailed, it's not even close! Sent from my VS987 using EN World mobile app I believe Mercule is talking about the 3e Gazeteer. A 32ish page product that was similar to the original GH folio meant as a primer for the setting of Oerth at 3.0's release. I have it on a shelf around here somewhere. Frankly, I think it is the better product for a DM to start a GH campaign. But my lack of enthusiasm for the LGG is no secret 'round these parts ;)

Wednesday, 7th June, 2017

  • 02:44 PM - MoonSong mentioned Mercule in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    But MechaPilot DOES mind - that's his whole complaint. So my answer doesn't apply to you, but does apply to him. Not sure why you decided to take my answer to his specific complaint as an attack on you when it wasn't directed at you or anything you said. MechaPilot is a she... ( Mercule take note) Except that's exactly the opposite of what I've been saying. I'm saying "don't use the Realms, 5e makes it easier than ever to run your own campaign without using pre-published adventures". I don't know, with 5e's arcane xp budgets I have problems creating an adventure that won't screw with party balance. (I had problems with 4e's one, but at least with that one the whole party was on equal footing and you didn't have to plan so much ahead)

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

  • 06:47 PM - MechaPilot mentioned Mercule in post Why FR Is "Hated"
    ... my personal experience, that's not strictly true. Making minor adaptations to something that's already been made is always going to be easier than creating from whole cloth. The question is, do I have to make only minor adaptations? Or will the adaptions be so significant that I'm better off looking for another adventure. This is part of the reason why I like published adventures that take place on islands. I can drop a relatively small island anywhere in the world without changing the overall world. I can even smite it when the PCs are done having their fun there; the fact that it's an island means it largely won't be missed by the rest of the game world. But MechaPilot DOES mind - that's his whole complaint. So my answer doesn't apply to you, but does apply to him. Not sure why you decided to take my answer to his specific complaint as an attack on you when it wasn't directed at you or anything you said. Actually, no. You're incorrect here. Allow me to quote Mercule for reference, and because his reply is quite pertinent to my situation as well: At this point in my life, I have minimal time, but a strong desire to game and willingness to GM. I don't mind the normal work of tweaking an adventure to "roll with" the PCs and some nominal adjustments. I don't mind doing some work to tweak an adventure. For example, because I don't allow +X magic items in my game, I'm always going to have to do some work to replace them with other treasure (or replacing the +X with a different benefit). I don't mind doing this, because it preserves the kind of game I want to run. I also typically inflate the HPs of the enemies they fight (from average to maximum). I prefer more of the social side of things, but they love combat. So, I make sure they get to enjoy a good fight with either 1) tougher enemies or 2) more enemies. The game is as much for them as it is for me, so I don't mind doing that. It's only when the other required changes go beyond, as...

Thursday, 2nd March, 2017

  • 02:28 AM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Mercule in post Races of Eberron: Goliath?
    I often see them not as ''northen mountain dwellers'' but more like the people of the Andes. I borrowed from the Inca society the idea of many small cities of stone built on the very top of the highest moutains, linked by very long suspended bridges (like, 2 km long) and a very developped road system expertly hidden from the untrained eye. The inca also had a big tradition of long-distance runners, which fits well with the idea of the athletic and the whole ''live for the challenge'' thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inca_road_system I like all of that. I may work some of that into how I treat them, or my complete re-write of how the Shadar-Kai fit into Eberron. Definitely going to use it somewhere, though. iserith thanks! I almost always love how Keith fits races into the world, but this time I just...idk, I like it but it isn't what I want, for some reason. I think I'm going to develop the record keepers idea a bit more, see where it goes. Mercule interesting thought! I'd even suggest that they may be resistant to quori mind control, but that some Kalashtar are descended from them, rather than humans. This dovetails with my general idea that Kalashtar are descended from a mix of races, which lead to them being secluded to start with, before the quori became part of them. I may actually mix a lot of this into my "Watchers" idea. The Gal'Firuth There are 12 Gal Enclaves in the world of Eberron. In ancient times, there were 13, but the 13th and greatest enclave, located in the mountains of Sarlona, has been abandoned since the Quori turned dark The 12 Enclaves each have about 150-200 people, and there is roughly that many at any given time traveling the world, so the whole world population of Gal'Firuth is about 2,000-2,500. Very few people in Knorvaire have ever met one, and most of those who have didn't know they were meeting one (especially since the Firbolg can hide their appearance). Furthermore, most folks who hav...

Tuesday, 28th February, 2017

  • 10:48 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Mercule in post Warlock, Hex, and Short Rests: The Bag of Rats Problem
    ...ine arrangements etc. So yes, the Warlock can wait until the long rest is over, strangle his rat, and then ask the DM if they can start a short rest, while the rest of the party make a start poking around the ruins or scouting the orc camp or whatever. Hmm. You know, technically, the Warlock could actually cast their Hex and throttle the weasel during the Long rest, and then still regain all of their spell slots at the end of the long rest. I agree, actually. Unless your DM decides that the rest ends once you wake up, in which case, the light activity of making everyone breakfast and coffee after having your psuedodragon bring you a rabbit, hexing it, and killing it for said breakfast, should constitute a short rest. Really, either way you just need your warlock to be an early riser, and have companions that are willing to do the other morning chores of breaking camp and setting out while you take care of food and coffee. Long as your warlock takes Last watch, should be easy. @Mercule makes a good point about long rests and races that don't sleep, as well. Any elf wizard could use whatever slots they have left to cast any 24 duration spells they have, as long as only 1 requires concentration, and then do their 4 hour sleep. Welcome to 24/7 charmed animal buddy from level 1. i just asked the sage advice Twitter about elves and sleep, bc my irl friends insist I'm wrong but can't find any relevant rules text that proves their case.

Friday, 17th February, 2017

  • 06:13 PM - Horwath mentioned Mercule in post D&D 5.5e; Your wish for 5.5e update.
    Mercule; agree at magic items: It should be organized as: weapons, armour, body/clothing/jewelry and misc.(non slot items). also add class abbreviations in spell descriptions. Take a look at 3.5 PHB spell sorting. That was very good. And more flavor text in spells.

Monday, 26th December, 2016

  • 07:22 PM - pming mentioned Mercule in post What does "Campaign" mean to you?
    Hiya! Mercule, I'd say that the last "end part" (of your long-standing game) was still part of the original campaign because you didn't start a new time line in the same world, and your "ending" had all the previous games events taken as fact. I've done a bit more thinking on this thread over the past day or two and have come to the realization that there simply is no definitive "line" where on this side...it's a campaign...but on that side, it's not. Far too much overlap and blurring of the lines, so to speak. An AP isn't a "campaign" when looked at as a single series of adventures that have no connection to any other games the DM has run. But an AP can be part of a campaign if it does have direct connections to previous games, or if, after the AP ends, the DM has more games that has direct connections to what went on in that AP. Similarly, if a DM "ends" a campaign, as you did with yours...but then, for example, decides to go back to that campaign and continue it from when it supposedly ended. ...

Tuesday, 6th December, 2016

  • 12:02 AM - pemerton mentioned Mercule in post The importance to "story" of contrivance
    I don't know about that. I think a lot of what we call coincedence in real life is the result of statistical probability (e.g. if we're both in london and we both like jazz and we both like going out, its unlikely but not impossible that we both might end up at Scotties) and/or actual contrivance (e.g. I realise I like someone so I engineer to be at events they're at so I can talk to them).I think dramatic contrivance goes beyond this sort of coincidence, though. What you describe is similar to what Mercule described (which I replied to in post 24 upthread). But the sort of contrivance that I mentioned in the OP goes beyond coincidence. The simultaneous and interconnected resolution of multiple emotional trajectories. Or (say) Frodo and Sam entering Mordor at just the time that Aragorn is able to distract Sauron, thereby making these two prongs of the attempt to defeat Sauron, which extend over weeks and months, coincide to within days and even hours. (And with no common cause, other than "providence", that ensures such an outcome.) Or the sequence of events I mentioned from the opening pages of Queen of the Black Coast.

Monday, 2nd May, 2016

  • 03:57 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Mercule in post Latest D&D Survey Says "More Feats, Please!"; Plus New Survey About DMs Guild, Monster Hunter, Inquisitive, & Revenant
    So, I have an observation and a question stemming from it. By the way, feel free to tell me it's ridiculous if need be, maybe I'm just new.... Looking at this discussion there seems to be quite a bit of negativity towards the idea of more options in general when they're for the player, with some outright stating that this is one of the biggest ways to impact tables in a bad way. Why is that? I'm primarily a player myself, and don't really understand the hostility. I love making characters, mechanically and through narrative, and every time Wizards releases an expansion to character options my field of possible characters and experiences in 5E gets bigger and better. What's wrong with that? Has it always been this way? I'll tackle this as well (although I think that Azzy and Mercule have also covered this, and I agree with what they wrote). The DM should know the rules- which means the rules for the game world (that's all the finicky stuff that the players don't have to worry about) as well as all the rules related to the players (that's all the cool stuff players such as you like). How you view the expansion of player materials depends on a few factors- 1. Increasing complexity (or bloat, if you prefer) is not a good thing. Even within the core rules, unexpected interactions can take place. Part of this is due to the fact that D&D has rules that modify other rules (meta-rules), and working out how these rules impact and refer to each other can be difficult. How does supplement A's spells work with Core Rule B to effect MM3's monster in light of supplement F? 2. Regarding (1), there will be a player (let's call him "That guy," because we all know who he is) who will invariably want to play an Unearthed Arcana Class with a new feat using skills he found o...

Monday, 11th April, 2016


Monday, 21st March, 2016


Wednesday, 30th December, 2015

  • 12:09 AM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Mercule in post How would you make a character who uses a shield like Captain America?
    ...roups game is just as important as anything else. Not every concept can be supported at once without weird and downright silly stuff happening in the setting. For a good example, check out the Spiderman story where Parker makes a deal with the devil to undo his marriage because he can't handle great responsibility. I agree with you that some concepts might not fit a particular gaming group, which is why session 0 is important for any group to create the foundation for the style of play and what kind of game is going to be run/played/enjoyed. But this is seriously getting off target from the OP's question. She did not ask whether she should or shouldn't allow this in her game. She asked how, based on 5e rules, she might fairly implement a character that can use a shield in a manner similar to Captain America. She did not suggest allowing a Captain America stand in for a player, or ask if such a character would be congruent to the theme/play-style of an established game. EDIT: Mercule Sorry, I read that as that druids can control the weather, but not fly like Storm. Not as they can cast control weather, but not use it to fly (a point in which I do agree. A player shouldn't cast that spell and expect to be able to fly). As to the issues with flavor vs. mechanics, I guess my DM style is to let fun concepts to inform rulings, rather that for the mechanics and RAW stand too greatly in the way. As long as it doesn't break the game or unbalance the party, I'm generally ok with it. But I'm a relatively new poster, so I'm not familiar with the Warlord section. While becoming a god has (almost) always been conceptually present in D&D, it was generally viewed as either retirement or a transition to another style of play. It definitely isn't 1st level stuff. Very true, and another point where we agree. But the OP isn't asking for Captain America at first level. She's asking how to get an effect that allows her to have a character use a shield in a similar way as Captain...


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Saturday, 2nd February, 2019

  • 07:16 AM - Mistwell quoted Mercule in post The Fiddly Bits (That Still Get My Newer Players)
    Hmm... I wonder what percentage of the comments will be inspiration. My first solution to Inspiration not getting used was to go out and buy a handful of just hideous d20s. Something no sane person would buy, so it stood out and caught the eye. Then, I assigned one to each player. No checking the box. If you had the die in hand, you had inspiration. If you used inspiration, you rolled that, specific die (they were all fair). I even let you spend inspiration to give disadvantage to an NPC/DM roll and you got to roll your inspiration die, which gave a lot more insight into things that you'd think. It helped, but still wasn't ideal. A few months ago, I switched gears. Talking with the players, there was a dawning realization that, even though it's not exactly hard to get back inspiration, having a cap of one feels like a super-limited resource. So, away went the dice and out came the poker chips. Everyone starts every session with three chips, unless they finished the last one with more. Se...

Friday, 25th January, 2019

  • 09:50 PM - 5ekyu quoted Mercule in post Brief me on the CUE system
    The front page news mentioned Shadowrun Anarchy, which is powered by the CUE system. I couldn't find much, online, about how the CUE system plays, other than it's light-weight and narrative. I saw one mention that said it's GM-less, which makes it sound like it goes even further that Fate in being narrative driven. That seems an extremely odd choice for a game with as much combat potential as (traditional) Shadowrun. Anyone with some knowledge willing to enlighten me on the system? Note: As much as I loved Shadowrun, back in the day, I have way less interest in cyberpunk than I used to. My main interest is in just familiarizing myself with some of the newer systems, especially lightweight ones that could be cross-genre, especially fantasy, or from which I could rip ideas to improve my Fate or D&D games. Which isn't to say I don't care about the application in Shadowrun, just that I'm more curious about the system than the setting.https://rpggeek.com/rpgsystem/25150/cue-system

Tuesday, 18th December, 2018

  • 04:49 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Mercule in post D&D Beyond teams up with Wikia (Fandom)
    Because they make more then than by selling it when it's less valuable? And even more by keeping a profitable company under their umbrella. Probably, this move was something Curse wanted, and twitch/amazon just didn't care as long as the price was reasonable. Well, that's odd. I only got a Twitch account to be able to log into DDB. I wonder how long until the security/admin stuff changes. Won't change your twitch integration, according to the stream linked in the OP. Twitch will remain linked to DDB, and you can still use your twitch login to authenticate your DDB access, or you will be able to use other authentication avenues like google or facebook.
  • 02:15 AM - Morrus quoted Mercule in post D&D Beyond teams up with Wikia (Fandom)
    Well, that's odd. I only got a Twitch account to be able to log into DDB. I wonder how long until the security/admin stuff changes. Here you go: "We're reaching out to let you know that Curse Media will be joining the Fandom team. We are excited for this new opportunity to grow and improve your favorite sites and services. So that you can keep enjoying Curse Media after the transition, we are asking for your consent to transfer your account terms and personal data associated with your account to Fandom to the extent they relate to Curse Media. You will be unable to access your account on Curse Media sites/services after the transition, unless you provide consent. You can provide consent by clicking the link below, or you can learn more by visiting here (or the link below corresponding to your preferred language). Providing consent will not impact your existing relationship with Twitch in connection with other Twitch Services."

Saturday, 15th December, 2018


Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 04:21 PM - billd91 quoted Mercule in post Do We Really Need Half-Elves and Half-Orcs?
    That's a fair statement, in theory, but is questionable in application. In worlds where half-elves are marginalized, they should start with a penalty to social interactions -- something like the 1E racial animosity tables, if you're a sadist. The minimum penalty you could really apply is a -1, which is what the +2 to charisma grants. So, the half-elf becomes a wash disguised as a bonus. If you remove the penalty for normal interactions, you've also removed the rationale for the bonus. Mechanically, you're actually better off hand-waving it and saying, "Half-elves are marginalized, but they've learned to work around it, so normal charisma. Go roleplay." Then give them a real stat bonus. Unless, of course, you're going to pull in Nietzsche and say that half-elves have been tempered by their adversity and done more than just offset, but that's a bit too deep for my tastes in D&D. <snip> Either way, having a normal charisma seems best, to me. Except for the other effects of having developed...
  • 07:39 AM - Henry quoted Mercule in post Do We Really Need Half-Elves and Half-Orcs?
    I'm especially baffled at the current incarnation of half-elves where they're marginalized and semi-outcast by both elven and human society but somehow have a bonus to Charisma because they're what, likable, despite being second-class citizens? Especially good at begging the jocks to stop giving them wedgies? Actually it makes perfect sense to me that on average people who are stigmatized would have developed social skills to compensate for their stigmas - class clowns, over-achievers, people who are considered “hard-nosed” or very imposing because they had to stand up for themselves to avoid getting bullied constantly. Whereas half-elves might have developed the “people-pleasing” mechanisms to survive due to average physiques, half-orcs would rely more on intimidation and physical imposition to ward off bullies.

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 02:00 PM - Mark quoted Mercule in post Everyone, Tell us about your games, please!
    Haha. I didn't even see the OP date. The thread just floated to the top and I jumped into the conversation. Also, just to clarify my grognard status, I'm not 35. I've been playing D&D for 35 years. I'll be somewhat coy about my actual age (more privacy than pride), but I'm roughly the same age as the game itself. So, not older than dirt but younger than Chainmail? :p

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018


Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 03:52 AM - Ratskinner quoted Mercule in post Need a system recommendation
    This is where Fate (among others) appeals to me, as well. 5E D&D has a "sweet spot" of 5th-10th levels (or so). I can deal with the 1-3 "training" levels, but have been starting games at 3rd. I've also made it clear to my players that things will wrap right around the time they get 5th level spells -- and it's really the spells that bug me, though oodles of HP aren't a winner, either. This matches my experience as well, although plenty of things in D&D beyond the spells manage to bug me as well.. It seems like once you get to about 10th, there's just too much to keep track of and the story just drags and drags behind the weight of the combat. Plus all the attendant homework for the DM. I just ran a 5e game up to level 8/9 and was relieved when the party TPK'd on a trap. I'm not totally sold on just how little advancement there is to Fate. I'd like to see the characters grow some. But, I haven't played in a campaign of it, yet, and it's easier to add in rewards than it is to take the...

Friday, 12th October, 2018

  • 09:13 PM - Reynard quoted Mercule in post Need a system recommendation
    I picked it up when it was on sale for something like $12.50. I liked a lot of what it tries to do and would happily play it. Ultimately, it wasn't enough to suck me away from D&D because I wanted something lighter weight and I felt that Genesys is almost exactly as "heavy" as D&D. Yes, it lacks levels and classes are much more suggestions than straight-jackets (which I consider to be a huge plus). But, my players are resistant to changing systems, so not worth the effort -- especially because I had my eye on Fate specifically because I'm tired of having to memorize rules-by-exception and like the idea of "makes sense for your character". Still, I may have to pick up the Terranoth sourcebook, sometime.My decision to pick up and try Genesys was not based on system "heft" so much as it being a nonbinary core mechanic. I am kind of tired of pass/fail. Also, anything without a power and complexity ramp is good for me. I have grown to dislike running even mid level 5E.

Tuesday, 25th September, 2018

  • 08:21 PM - pogre quoted Mercule in post Would you play a D&D campaign without leveling?
    Eh... I don't think I agree. It might be fair to say "D&D has become about zero to hero," but that wasn't always the case and is not baked into it. I meant 5th. I do think XP or progressive levels are a big part of the D&D experience baked into the rules and expectations for the game. Not saying you cannot play with static PCs - it is just that IMO you are rowing upstream against the rules' structure. You could play an all political intrigue game with D&D rules too. I just think there are better rules systems for this.

Friday, 21st September, 2018

  • 09:12 AM - pemerton quoted Mercule in post Burning Questions: What's the Worst Thing a DM Can Do?
    I once had a player ask me to leave the table so the group could plan how to sneak into a castle (or some such) without tipping their hand to me. My response was something along the lines of "Can you use this mini to show me where your last GM touched you?" I was totally floored by the request and found it highly inappropriate.This wouldn't both me except from the practical point of view that if it goes on for very long then I might get bored. But I certainly think nothing of a situation in which two players discuss ideas among themselves while I'm dealing with another player. And I know that sometimes my players come up with plans over email between sessions that I'm not privy to. This isn't a big thing in games without wargaming elements (eg Prince Valiant) but I know they do it for 4e, which does have a significant wargaming element in the context of combat resolution. Just as I don't tell them in advance everything that I'm planning to do with my NPCs and monsters, so I've got no object...

Wednesday, 19th September, 2018

  • 06:39 PM - 77IM quoted Mercule in post Burning Questions: What's the Worst Thing a DM Can Do?
    Of course you can kill/beat the players. You can?!?!?! Yikes!! I'd have to call killing/beating the players the worst behavior on this thread, by far!
  • 01:48 AM - Lanefan quoted Mercule in post Burning Questions: What's the Worst Thing a DM Can Do?
    Runner up: Adversarial GMing. You're running the game. Of course you can kill/beat the players. You haven't proven anything other than you're an abusive SOB. Your job is to run a game that's engaging and fun. Side note: The worst thing a player can do is be adversarial. The GM isn't your enemy. Don't keep secrets from them. Don't try to "play" them.To an extent, I disagree with these. A GM who just flattens the PCs without their having any chance is doing it wrong. But it's part of a GM's job to challenge the PCs (and, by extension, players), sometimes harshly, and to sometimes make it feel like the game world really is out to kill them dead. A completely non-adversarial GM would have, I think, an impossible time trying to make this convincing and-or believable. It's war, not sport, my friend. :) As for the player side it's on the players to do what they need to, within the bounds of good-faith play, to ensure their PCs survive; and sometimes this can include springing surprises on...

Sunday, 16th September, 2018

  • 06:51 PM - RobJN quoted Mercule in post New Survey
    I was disappointed that there wasn't a way to say, "I value really deep stories, but I explicitly don't want a pervasive default setting." It felt like any time I answered "I like deep campaign lore", it could (and would) be interpreted as support for the Realms. I took quite a while in selecting for that answer as well, for all of the same reasons. It would have been nice to have a way to qualify answers.

Friday, 14th September, 2018

  • 10:21 PM - Reynard quoted Mercule in post How Do You Like Your Death in D&D
    So, what is intended by "as a result of PLAYER choice"? Is that the same as "characters only die when the player says it's OK"?Yes. That was my intent, not that the PC only dies because of player choices.

Friday, 7th September, 2018

  • 03:00 PM - HawaiiSteveO quoted Mercule in post Waterdeep: Dragon Heist First Impressions
    How tied to Waterdeep is it, actually? Would it take a ton of effort to convert it to, say, Sharn, or are the NPC and/or faction motivations pretty tightly tied into their identities? Maybe a "scale of 1-10" thing, with 1 being just change the names and the rest is totally generic and 10 being complete rewrite necessary. I'm a recent Eberron convert, and planning on using in Sharn for sure. From what I've read so far seems like it won't be too bad, need to make a few notes as I go. Some Realms factions are prominent, but my thinking is they can be switched over to Dragonmarked Houses / powerful noble family / other Sharn factions - Boromar & Daask seem obvious choices to me at this point early on. EDIT -actually reading little further on might be a lot of work. Thinking AL season coming up might be a better fit for me & my group. WDH is a great Realms adventure from what I've read so far though. http://dndadventurersleague.org/storyline-seasons/embers-of-the-last-war/

Friday, 31st August, 2018

  • 08:26 PM - MNblockhead quoted Mercule in post Acquiring books (but not reading them)?
    Still, I collect. I just have started collecting digital books. I'm slowly getting all the Eberron books from DMs Guild. I have a bunch of Fate stuff, in digital form. I don't really love reading and referencing PDFs, but it seems like the most likely format to be able to keep around, regardless of whether I'm actively using it, or not. I'm really trying to keep my digital-content purchases under control. If I don't have a plan to use it within a week, I don't buy it. When I do need it, it'll still be there. At least with physical impulse purchases, you can add it to a book shelf. It becomes part of your living space and one of the joys of building a library is browsing through it as rediscovering something you bought a year ago and forgot about and start reading on a whim. Buying digital content gives nothing to you unless you consume it.

Wednesday, 29th August, 2018

  • 04:18 PM - SkidAce quoted Mercule in post What races are left for D&D to do?
    You're not wrong -- though, I'd kill the painfully bland halflings and keep gnomes (forest, tinkers can die in a fire). So in my world, part of the historical legend (tm) is that a necromancer cast a 10th level Genocide spell and the race of halflings was gone forever. And I kept gnomes. /thumbs up!


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Mercule's Downloads

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Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
466 0 1 Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM

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