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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:50 PM
    Without a doubt. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to demean Stoker or his rightfully enduring work of horror. I'm just trying to note exactly the ease of confusion that you note here, that historical etymology is a very inexact science and that it's especially easy for an outsider to make mistakes. I grew up in Jamaica and there is a similar confusion in the vernacular 'Petwa' between moth...
    22 replies | 785 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 14th January, 2019, 09:37 PM
    I've said this before, but the world needs another gaming system "like I need another hole in my head" (to paraphrase the song). There is I think at this point excessive interest in writing a rules set or wholesale revising a rules set to the degree that your product is now incompatible with prior rules sets. I think the 5e designers were correct to try to set the expectation that this would...
    18 replies | 781 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 08:51 PM
    All that is probably true and I don't claim to be a scholar of languages, but "unburnt" doesn't sound like "vampire" in any of the languages you just mentioned, and my understanding has always been 'vampire' comes from the Old Slavonic term 'opiri' meaning 'witch' since it was believed that a witch that died would become a vampire. But, I'd be interested in reading any scholarship that indicates...
    22 replies | 785 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 07:55 PM
    Your etymology sounds suspect. I've not wanted to really deal with vampires because the historical vampire is so very different of a creature from the Brom Stoker inspired sexual horror that has come to dominate our imagination. The historical Romanian terror was a disease spirit, and not the creature of rape and lust we've invented as more emblematic of our times. Also, the exact details...
    22 replies | 785 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 06:08 PM
    Well, I think I answered that, but I still insist the problem is that 3.5 has no concept of balance whatsoever. Not only is chargen/advancement utterly broken because charop/system mastery plays an excessive role in character prowess and intuitive builds are under powered, but 3.5 rebalanced the game based on the assumption that parties would use charop and rejiggered monsters to higher CR and...
    6 replies | 323 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 06:17 PM
    Ok, I think the theory crafting in the above is pretty decent. I need to run some math to figure out what the actual results for a typical town of say 3000 persons would be annually, based on expected numbers of deaths and the percent that would be violent or involve suffering, alignment demographics, and so forth. My sense is that the number of undead in a town performing due diligence would...
    22 replies | 785 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 04:05 PM
    That wouldn't be too hard. Undead Test: Roll 3d6. On an 18+, they turn undead. Modifiers -1 Proper Burial -1 Good Aligned -1 Died Without Suffering -1 Died Obtaining their Goals -1 Originally, corpse or ground was Hallowed (see note below)
    22 replies | 785 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 04:14 AM
    I believe the CR's on elementals are wrong, which is a big part of the problem with what you describe. Huge Air Elementals are listed at CR 7, but they have perfect fly speed, DR 5/-, 16 HD, 136 hit points, and two +19 to hit attacks. They don't hit that hard, but they are definitely still relevant against 15th level characters because 16HD, etc. They are probably closer to CR 9 IMO. ...
    6 replies | 323 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 04:09 PM
    On the subject of acquiring magic items, my experiences differ in a lot of ways from the original author. First, my experience is that beginning at around 8th level, it would take about a year of weekly play to gain a level. The original poster asserts that he reached "10th to 15th level" in about a year and managed to do this despite not acquiring many magic items. I find it hard to believe...
    15 replies | 779 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 08:11 AM
    Yes, but if you begin to treat them as mechanics questions, that is to say, if you begin to speculate on the 'physics' of the world that allows it to operate as it is known to do, you can make some really interesting discoveries about how small differences in the mythos creates really big differences in the culture of the world. For example... All of this is true, but since in the game...
    22 replies | 785 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 09:18 PM
    Well, I'll concur with all the concurring voices. In 1e and 2e AD&D, the barriers to making magic items were so high that most groups never made even a single item. The barriers to making potions and scrolls were less high, but they imposed a fairly high burden in preparation and play on the DM to lead the players toward the conclusion that they could make potions, scrolls, and the like. ...
    15 replies | 779 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 03:41 PM
    I guess in theory that could happen, but it would be a truly sacred place indeed, and I've never considered placing anything like that in the world. More likely, with just mortal levels of intervention, you just end up with spontaneously consecrated or hallowed ground. And equivalently level of necromantic taint would just animate bodies as zombies, but would kill living beings that entered...
    22 replies | 785 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 04:14 AM
    The problem is, cantrips are valuable. Cantrips are ‘always on’. Whereas something like Illusory Script is useful once in a blue moon. Instead of competing with cantrips, it might make more sense as a kind of low-level minor ritual, that is cast for free as long as it is known.
    38 replies | 916 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 03:57 AM
    Check out this assessment of 5e spells. What is the Most Powerful Spell? Post any thoughts about specific spells.
    38 replies | 916 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 03:47 AM
    @FrogReaver D&D 5e does a great job at removing broken spells from the spell list. Spells that are too powerful, to the point of interfering with the enjoyment of the game, are absent. D&D 5e removed the spells that are too powerful, but unfortunately has not yet removed the spells that fail to be powerful enough. Spells that suck need to demote to a lower spell...
    38 replies | 916 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 03:14 AM
    I sympathize with the original post. I see it as something like a quasi-official compilation of ‘variant’ rules that are fixes for certain troublesome mechanics. It is a gaming resource. Players might discover a certain mechanic turns out to be problematic for their play style. So they can look up the variant rules and see if there are any fixes for it that they might want to use instead.
    97 replies | 3607 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th January, 2019, 09:29 PM
    We are still waiting for 5e psionics. In the meantime, it is ok to simply put on a ‘psionic’ tag onto any class or class archetype that feels psionic to you. For example, I treat the entire Bard class as a psionic class − with its mental magic of charm, illusion, and divination, its psychometabolic healing and transmutation, and its telekinetic sound and light. Mechanically, the main...
    8 replies | 353 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 03:12 AM
    Pretty low. Proper burial prevents it 100% of the time. If you put a body in properly consecrated ground ('Hallow') and or use the appropriate divine invocation the body ('Lay to Rest') will never become undead spontaneously and cannot be animated by evil magic. In fact, this is one of the major duties of the clergy in most towns. Unfortunately, if you are using invocations to keep...
    22 replies | 785 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 07:29 PM
    I had heard really great things about Masks, so I bought a pdf copy of it intending it to be the basis of my campaign. I was so disappointed with it, that I kept putting off playing it, and never ended up actually using it. It certainly isn't scary, and while I considered running it as a more Pulp action adventure, if you are going to do that then IMO the CoC sanity rules actually get in...
    21 replies | 1167 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 05:49 PM
    Ok, that's seems like a self-evident observation, but to put it plainly like that is clarifying and like many observations that are self-evident when you hear them being able to state them with clarity requires more understanding than one might think. Yes, the reason cosmic horror was deeply effecting to HPL is that discoveries in math and science undermined his faith in things he cared deeply...
    21 replies | 1167 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 03:59 AM
    I think you say a lot that is true and which indicates you are quite experienced with horror themed games. And while I can see merit in the position you outline here, it does also I think speak to the problem I'm addressing, which is, is cosmic horror really something the modern reader can relate to? Your suggestion that cosmic horror and the mythos be abandoned as unfathomable and therefore...
    21 replies | 1167 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 01:51 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Reallife telepathy! Here is a reallife scientific experiment linking the thoughts of three humans together. The experiment is a simple proof of concept. Two ‘senders’ send their thoughts by means of EEGs (electro-encephalo-grams), where the person wears a cap that tracks brain electrical activity. One ‘receiver’ receives these thoughts by means of a TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation),...
    80 replies | 5364 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 06:21 PM
    This is actually a really interesting question. Never having ran an artic campaign, it never came up before for me. The very simple answer is that it happens every 24 hours whether the players can keep track of time or not. Certainly in the case of something like a wizard's spells, the idea seems to be that the wizard needs a certain amount of mental rest. 1e AD&D even experimented...
    23 replies | 809 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 06:10 PM
    Law versus Chaos question. Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one, or do the needs of the few or the one outweigh the needs of the many? Is the big picture just made up of a bunch of small pictures, and those ignoring the small picture is the same as ignoring the big picture, or do you have to look at the big picture and realize that for the sake of the big picture...
    8 replies | 292 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 06:01 PM
    From what I've seen of LotFP adventures, they are basically someone who read 'Tomb of Horrors' and really dug the "if you touch something you die" aspect of the dungeons and so they heavily punish player interaction with the environment. But the assumption that they make that players have particular perverse motivations and that knowing that if they touch something and interact with it,...
    9 replies | 454 view(s)
    1 XP
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Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

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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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!
  • 03:18 PM - lowkey13 quoted Mercule in post What races are left for D&D to do?
    So, go ahead and publish more races, but do it within the context of specific settings. Don't do thri-kreen until Dark Sun comes out, for example. If people want to mix and match for home brew, that's fantastic. A single published setting can't do everything, though. Sometimes, it might be hard to evaluate my proposals. Do I really sound like a guy that knows what I am doing, or am I more like a dog chasing cars? I wouldn't know know what to do with a one if I caught it! I just, you know, throw some stuff out there for discussion. :) On this particular issue, I think that any particular table can, and should, play however the heck they want. So long as that means no gnomes ... erm, anyway, the issue with the plethora of races is that, at a certain point, who cares? There is only so much design space in terms of rules for races, and eventually you are left with an infinite variety of crud just so you can move around your racial stats and/or maybe get some secondary bonus. Unless you ar...

Monday, 27th August, 2018

  • 02:19 AM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and the old splintering the fan base chestnut...
    The Realms is fairly generic, but what little flavor I've gotten from it I find displeasing. Sort of like LaCroix made from oregano -- which isn't something I'd care to sip from. That's an obviously subjective opinion, but taints my bias in obvious ways. Definitely not something I'd want to make Kool-Aid from, if that isn't stretching the metaphor too far. I'd compare the flavor to Sriacha Ketchup: sure, it's a bit Basic, but sometimes one just wants something slathered in the stuff. I'm a firm believer in the value of generic tropes as an aid for role-playing, and I really appreciate Greenwood's dedication to providing endless detail for his fan fiction pastiche (Aslan rules a forest in Faerun, for goodness sake).


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Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
463 0 1 Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM

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