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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 10:22 AM
    Manganiello is probably more famous for the Magic Mike movie. But Tru Blood, yeah. The fact that this scifi geek is also a sex symbol, is kinda awesome.
    8 replies | 324 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:09 PM
    1e attack progression is vastly more fine grained than it is in later editions - 4e and 5e in particular. The Fighter's first bump in attacks per round is 5/4, meaning that the get 1 extra attack every four rounds of combat. This is no advantage at all in combats that only last 3 rounds, and you could end up fighting for seven rounds and get only 1 extra attack. Fighters were reasonably...
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:03 PM
    I don't know that I would go that far. Advancement rates is in theory a legitimate way of achieving balance that might otherwise be difficult because advancement rate is highly granular. It's very clear that the 1e classes are widely imbalanced and its less clear how to make them balanced and retain the 1e feels and simplistic mechanics. The biggest problem with the 1e advancement rates is...
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:44 PM
    Remove the design space of ‘race’, entirely. So it is more like creating a superhero character, where the ‘race’ is only one of many explanations for where the power comes from. Build your character by selecting ability score improvements, feats, and traits. The default is human, but you and the DM decide whatever it is.
    106 replies | 2439 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 06:35 AM
    I don't think you've left me much of substance to reply to. Clearly I've opened up some old wound that still hurts, and as you even admit much of the reply doesn't pertain to my post, I'm going to just let it pass for the most part. But I do want to protest that however you read me, I did not and never claimed to encapsulate all of what Dragon contained in the early to mid 80s. Certainly I...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 08:32 PM
    When I'm doing this sort of thing, I generally plan out a series of complications which the PC's are expected to handle. In other words, I hand wave away most of the ascent and skip to the exciting moments of it. The generic skill check thing is fine, but it's too generic. I'd tend to do things more like: 1) A footbridge on the trail collapses. This provokes one of the three checks to...
    51 replies | 841 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 03:58 PM
    Let's not derail the thread with this little bit of explosive controversy. In 1e AD&D fighters could have exceptional strength. The only gender restrictions the game has ever had was the maximum exceptional strength of starting fighter class character was limited by race and gender. Thus, female gnome fighters maximum strength was lower than male half-orcs fighters (but actually higher than...
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 03:37 PM
    The fighter being heavily front loaded was not a flaw of 3e multiclassing, but a flaw of the fighter. It's the reason the fighter is a great class at low levels but is considered by many to be a tier 5 class - that is to say, an excessively narrow class which does not even perform well at it's stated party roll (in this case fighting). You have to fix the front loading of the fighter and give...
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 07:15 AM
    I was around then and I read the Dragon articles, and if you go back and read those early debates it is very clear that no one has a clear idea of how to describe what they are talking about. One word that you would have heard a lot in 1980 is 'realism'. Fans and designers tended to debate games in terms of how 'realistic' they they were, with the implication that mature and sophisticated...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 06:53 AM
    I was a huge fan of the Mass Effect series before it went downhill. Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 are notable in that they use very different combat mechanics. Mass Effect 2 is a tightly defined cover based shooter. Combat has to take place in special combat arenas where suitable waist high obstacles are found to make use of its cover mechanics. Mass Effect 1 on the other hand has no...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 01:25 AM
    Not even remotely. The only thing that kept dual classing in check was it was almost impossible to have a character that could qualify to do it without cheating.
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 01:15 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Toward a translation of Norse magic into D&D mechanics 1. Norse magic: the shamanic traditions of mindpowers Norse animism is a spiritual tradition that is rugged, individualistic, and self-reliant. The Norse worldview perceives every ‘living being’, vættr, to be a ‘mind’, hugr. Like the mind of a human body, the diverse features of nature are also living beings, who exhibit a...
    79 replies | 5020 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 01:12 AM
    3E multiclassing was nearly perfect, and would have worked just fine if they hadn't have added PrCs and made just a few small tweaks.
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 10:20 PM
    I'm completely OK with adopting that definition, since only that definition can make "System Matters" true in the sense that you want to mean it - albeit I'm not sure that the way "System Matters" was originally defined was as broad as all that. However, the problem with adopting that definition is the bulk of those "not the rules" things can't actually be evaluated in the case of traditional...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 10:11 PM
    Let me try to make a thesis out of this. In the late 90's and early 00's people began to try to think systematically about RPG design and develop a framework for describing RPGs. They contributed a lot of potentially useful terminology to the game and the exercise was itself really worthwhile, even if I'm not convinced any of their conclusions necessarily hold true. One idea that they hit...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 09:48 PM
    Ok. That is a procedure of play, not a rule of the system. It has to do with how you prepare to play the game and think about playing the game, but it's not an inherent aspect of the game. You still could be playing traditional D&D and not have any of those things. I know, I was in a game that was largely without them as early as 1990. There could be vastly different procedures...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 07:42 PM
    Classes using different advancement tables is probably something I would have tried to get rid of in any combined rules set. To the extent that I couldn't get rid of it in a rules system intended to invoke 1e AD&D nostalgia, I would definitely do some adjustments to the old tables to create better balance than they did.
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 07:25 PM
    For me, this is "back in the day". It's how I used the 1e AD&D reaction check (at least in part). I'd have go back and reread the 1e AD&D rules to see if that was the intention of the RAW, but the idea that you shouldn't let players get away with treating Charisma as a dump stat by having Charisma regularly and tangibly impact how the game proceeded is nothing new for me. If we are going to...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 06:02 PM
    I considered this for a while as a project. There are a ton of things I've learned about rulesmithing since I ran 1e AD&D, and I've since read numerous old articles in Dragon magazine that I'd either never before encountered or didn't understand at the time which I'd want to incorporate into a rebuilt 1e AD&D. I think I could make rules that if I sent back to my past self would utterly wow me...
    100 replies | 1482 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 05:32 PM
    I notorious for house ruling the heck out of any game that I run, and the longer I run it the more I want to house rule it to smooth over any friction I've encountered in running a system. So every single system I run ends up borrowing liberally from original ideas, supplemental rules, or ideas I stole from other systems. I won't even begin to describe the rules I was using at my 1e table. ...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 04:41 PM
    I can sympathize with the work issue. Personally, I'm a fan of having an Old Fashioned before bed. I don't have an issue. For the record, I am the original 'edition warrior'. I unapologetically advocated against the design choices in 4e from the very start. Based on WotC's hints about where they were going, the lack of transparency, the revocation of the OGL, and their disparaging...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 05:44 AM
    I think that's all true. But the problem with that approach is not one I think a game from 1980 would have particularly concerned itself with - balance. Imagine we have a simple system, and we give the player an option of two classes - warrior and mage. The warrior is 50% more potent than the mage, but the mage has a power where he can be twice as potent as the warrior only there is a 1 in 6...
    31 replies | 752 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 05:17 AM
    None of that deserves a reply or seems in the slightest to be a reply. Are you posting drunk, or is the problem you are sober?
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 05:14 AM
    I don't have a clue what you mean, but I guess that makes us even because you don't seem to have a clue what I mean either. Have you ever taken a typical D&D player's handbook, flipped it to the start of the spells table, and really considered how much of the rules of D&D are in the spells? Without spells and spell-like effects, D&D borders on being a rules light engine. The fact that D&D...
    31 replies | 752 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 02:02 AM
    The vast majority of LA comes from having net positive attributes. Anything, whether an awakened animal or not, with net positive attribute adjustments needs to have some sort of +LA. Eventually, attributes exceed HD. That is to say, for some HD 'n', there is a HD 'n-m' where you'd rather play the character that forgoes 'm' HD if you have unbalanced stats. Pretty much everything that HD...
    7 replies | 278 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 01:46 AM
    So you are suggesting that everything you plan for is tightly scripted? Do you never plan encounters where you intend to leave things up to chance and player direction? Like, "Here is an NPC here. He has this personality, and this motivation, and is initially has a friendly attitude toward strangers, as modified by a reaction check based on player appearance..." Planned personality is...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 04:55 PM
    I can't tell. I mean, I really can't tell. The closest I can get is that the implications of the scene is that the PC's are fairly high level, and the wizard's comparative impotence suggests that magic is a weaker source of narrative power in 4e than in other D&D systems. I'm mostly quoting this post as a useful jumping off point for what has been bugging me this entire thread, because the...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 04:39 PM
    It's less a matter of deciding what NPC is important than it is a matter of deciding what part of the story you want to be scripted, and what parts you want to be unscripted. You can't however know whether the scripted or the unscripted scenes are going to have more impact or going to be treated as being more important by the players, and if you are doing your job right you won't be signaling to...
    141 replies | 4485 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 12:17 AM
    Not every HD is worth having. Your bear character would be a lot more powerful if you traded every HD of animal for a HD of barbarian. The more animal HD you forego, the more you are powering up the character. That said, I was assuming from what you'd said earlier that you'd brought this character into an 9th level game, not a 16th level one. Against 16 CR foes, yes, this is definitely...
    7 replies | 278 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 02:47 PM
    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...
    191 replies | 6291 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd December, 2018, 11:40 PM
    I have somewhat mixed feelings, but mostly come down on the side of half-things suck. No need for half-orcs or half-elves. 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...
    191 replies | 6291 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd December, 2018, 11:19 PM
    Large Size, massively unbalanced stats, scent special ability, that more than makes up for the limitations. I'd consider it LA +2 or so. So an awakened Brown Bear is in the range of 10 ECL. By dumping the relatively useless 2 extra animal HD, you are definitely power gaming. Trading animal HD for barbarian levels is definitely min/maxing. Your equivalent to an 11th level character IMO. ...
    7 replies | 278 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd December, 2018, 02:44 AM
    He keeps insisting on saying things like AC 5 is higher than AC 0 even after I quoted the DMG showing it using the normal, natural, correct way of talking about 1e AC. And he keeps correcting people for using the terminology that AC 5 is below AC 0 that is right there in the DMG even after I showed him its in the DMG. It's not that he's confused about AC 5 being better than AC 0 - he...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 11:40 PM
    We are discussing the history of THAC0 prior to its formalization in 2e.
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 02:49 AM
    I have theoretical rules for allowing a wizard to use Spellcraft to cast a spell of any level, but they are tuned so to make it obvious why no one tries this - low chances of success, considerable hassle, and high penalities for near failures. There is this thing called 'Spell Burn' where you cast the spell without powering it, and so it powers itself with your soul. And if it kills you, then...
    31 replies | 752 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 02:34 AM
    Once and for all, the THAC0 of a 1st level thief or wizard is 21 - not 20. I don't know where or why you assumed I couldn't calculate THAC0 since your whole argument depends on incorrectly assigning it. Calculated correctly, you need a 20 to hit a 1, a 19 to hit a 2, an 18 to hit a 3, and so forth. Viola, no +1 bonus against bad AC. But, you might protest, a 1st level thief or wizard only...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 03:49 PM
    Making magic feel dangerous involves making it mysterious and unpredictable. Conceptually, I've wanted to do that for nearly thirty years, and I've experimented with a wide variety of mechanics. What I've discovered is that mysterious and unpredictable magic is not really suitable for table top play unless you also are going to make magic super rare, because it imposes too many burdens on the...
    31 replies | 752 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 03:45 AM
    I ran 1e AD&D tables for like 20 years, and I can't remember a single time I was consulting that part of the table. First, a quote from the DMG. Bottom of page 73: "Armor class below 10 is not possible except through cursed items. Armor class above 2 is easily possible due to magical bonuses and dexterity bonuses." - Gary Gygax So for all you claiming that I've gotten the terminology...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 09:08 PM
    Err, Celebrim grabs his DM screen and makes one row for each weapon Jasper wields. Then he grabs the Weapon vs. AC table from the Unearthed Arcana, modified the rows accordingly, factors in any magic item bonuses and adjustments for STR or DEX and now I know exactly what Jasper needs to hit anything without looking it up. I do this for each PC, then I binder clip the new sheet of tables to the...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 05:47 PM
    No, you don't, and no it isn't, and my aren't you tedious. This is silly. The fact that a 1st level thief or MU requires 20 to hit AC1 in 1e AD&D is something I accounted for already. The fact is that AD&D AC works opposite what you'd expect by having lower numbers represent higher ACs is not my fault but an artifact of the system, but if it makes you feel better I will simply use...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 03:36 PM
    You did. But you either didn't understand what I wrote, or you are hung up on terms of art regarding how we describe AD&D's counterintuitive AC. No, I understand perfectly how AC in 1st AD&D works. I played the game for nearly 20 years. I think the problem is that you are used to using one terminology for describing AC getting better, and I'm using a different one, but it is perfectly...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 03:20 PM
    In a very simple stripped down form, FATE probably is a rules light game. The reason that I don't think it is in practice a rules light game is precisely the way you say it bucks that trend. And all those extensions to the rules are exactly why it doesn't fit the definition I gave. Those extensions add complexity, increase the scope of the game, try to simulate something specific (the...
    22 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 06:11 AM
    Yay. I'm a successful RPG publisher. Who knew it was that easy?!?!?
    22 replies | 860 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 04:26 AM
    I think 'Over the Edge' is more admired than played, and it's recent kickstarter while decently successful garnered like 2000 supporters. That's a tiny tiny slice of what is overall a tiny industry. How you think about play, and how you prepare to play, and what procedures of play you adopt are almost entirely divorced from mechanics. I knew 1e groups that where build focused. ...
    22 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 02:50 AM
    Oh really? Then why the heck did you just repeat back to me everything I just wrote? It doesn't BY YOUR OWN EXPLANATION, WHICH IS REALLY JUST MY EXPLANATION REWORDED. The only time you'd get incorrect results would be against AC 0 or higher, which is like Red Dragon territory in 1e AD&D and unlikely to happen. AC's and defenses in general are miserably low in AD&D most of the time, even...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 01:30 AM
    The best mechanics for having a ‘pet’, is simply to play one as a player character. Take a mundane animal as-is, from the Players Handbook appendix, or create one according player and DM preferences, and simply add a player class to it, such as Fighter, Rogue, or a spellcaster class if the pet is more magical. Normal character, normal rules, determine encounter level as appropriate. It is...
    120 replies | 4440 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 11:34 PM
    FATE Accelerated to me feels like a stretch of the term 'rules light'. I agree with the 'rules medium' description. Rules light games tend to: 1) Have a complete game in a single supplement. 2) Use a single simple resolution mechanic for all purposes. 3) Avoid simulation of any sort. That is to say, at no point does the game attempt to model the particulars of a challenge, such as the...
    22 replies | 860 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 10:59 PM
    Just how often are 1st level characters going up against monsters with AC1 or better? If you calculate THAC0 correctly and intend to use it in place of the tables, the problem happens only for thieves or MU at AC 0 or higher when a THAC0 calculation implies you need 21 to hit, yet you could in theory still hit on a modified 20 using the table's repeated 20s rule. But your low level...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 05:41 PM
    In practice, the repeated 20's then 21's rule never came up in play anyway. Monsters which had AC's which were in that range were rare and pretty much never came into play at a time when the PC's would have been forced to use those rules. Conversely, even if PC's managed to get AC's that would have forced monsters into that part of the table, monsters very rarely had any bonuses to hit (much...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 28th November, 2018, 05:25 PM
    I've hit the sobering realization that there is vastly more gaming that I would like to do than could be completed in a lifetime.
    157 replies | 4879 view(s)
    8 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 10:05 PM
    I generally also concur with the overarching description of the history of the game. Early on, almost no two tables were using the same rules. Not only did different tables ignore wide swaths of the rules or use variant resolution systems knowingly or unknowingly, but many systems borrowed from BECMI knowingly or unknowingly as well. Almost every table had a list of Dragon articles with...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 09:55 PM
    A lot of people have already hit on what I think is the problem. It's fashionable now to produce systems that have a single pervasive resolution mechanic that pervades the entire system. This produces a tightly coupled system where it is difficult to make modifications or to move subsystems in or out of the game. Personally, I think this is a huge mistake. No one resolution mechanic...
    61 replies | 1916 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 26th November, 2018, 09:43 PM
    Starvision. If any dim or bright light is in your line of sight, you become able to see in any direction as if in bright daylight. For the convenience of the DM, this version purposely avoids worrying about tracking light radiuses. Moreorless only darkvision and torches need to force the DM to pay attention to distances. I am similarly tempted to make ‘superior darkvision’...
    167 replies | 4286 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 10:39 PM
    DMs need monster and encounter building tools to estimate how challenging an encounter will be. At the same time, the game works better when mixing in overpowered and underpowered encounters. Sometimes the encounter is a cakewalk where players can show off. Sometimes the way to ‘win’ an encounter is to run away and hide. The problem only happens when players have become accustomed to the...
    41 replies | 1203 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 10:26 PM
    It seems possible to make ‘darkvision’ and ‘dimvision’ identical statistically, except that the dimvision requires at least some lightsource, no matter how small − even a single star would suffice.
    167 replies | 4286 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 10:21 PM
    I think of the D&D Wood Elf as a nocturnal land spirit, in the tradition of the English fairyfolk. As dwellers of darkness, they benefit from darkvision. But any elf of Norse tradition there is no darkvision, and I remove it and instead grant the Light cantrip atwill, to represent their affinity with shineshine. Also for the Norse elf, +2 Charisma and +1 Any replaces the ability improvement.
    167 replies | 4286 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 25th November, 2018, 03:51 AM
    Faeries.
    11 replies | 466 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 23rd November, 2018, 05:00 AM
    The Euriga setting seems mainly animistic with the presence of ubiquitous nature spirits. In such worldviews, humans too are often themselves understood to be ‘nature spirits’ as well, with their own personal magical power. This is the case among the Norse, the Australian Aborigines, various Native American tribes, various African Animisms, and so on. Personally, I am waiting for 5e...
    23 replies | 943 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 23rd November, 2018, 04:59 AM
    In this world it would have to. The problem that I was trying to elucidate (see it there), was that I'm not sure that this association is as tenuous as all that. I'm not sure you can remove the association. Even if you try to start with a world reversed, it doesn't feel like it can last. Vampires are good aligned? Surely they'd have to stop feasting, stop polluting, stop dominating. And...
    14 replies | 420 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 04:56 PM
    ‘Support’ also implies (and requires) followup adventures. Maybe at least one campaign from level 1 to 20.
    34 replies | 914 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 02:48 PM
    I don't have a weird idea of angels. I have a correct idea of humans. Also, I can quote verses if you like. However, as you note, none of the official creatures actually are called or look like seraphims, cherubims, and so forth. We're talking about the D&D creatures here.
    14 replies | 420 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 04:35 AM
    Angels in hell. Demons in heaven. But aesthetic choices are not arbitrary. The angels, incarnate evil now, would soon find that their bodies constructed for gentleness and healing were too thin and frail for their new purposes. Thickness of limb, stoutness of form would be the new order of the day. Fingers composed for graceful art would be repurposed as weapons, becoming long talons. ...
    14 replies | 420 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 21st November, 2018, 09:59 PM
    I found the alignment description for the Ravnica Vampire, spot on. Also, the Blood Thirst description uses available gaming mechanics well, where a vampire must drink blood from a living creature each day, or else suffer a level of exhaustion. The bite itself functions as a kind of attack cantrip whose necrotic damage increases by tier. It presents the highlights of the Ravnica setting...
    6 replies | 257 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 21st November, 2018, 09:49 PM
    Finally had a chance to check out this Ravnica race. This is great!
    6 replies | 257 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 08:26 PM
    It looks like the DMs Guild will include Ravnica. Your own creations tend to be high quality, so intend to look out for your Ravnica setting content. At least for the moment, ENWorld is experimenting with listing 5e products here in this forum. So, a description, discussion and link to any DMs Guild products should be ok to mention here in this forum.
    16 replies | 678 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 18th November, 2018, 07:16 PM
    Heh, on the other hand, the death of my first character was honestly traumatic − and also happened during a solo. I am glad 5e is more forgiving about death. It gives the DM more room to maneuver the story, and helps shore up the centrality of a character. At some point, I plan to recontinue my first dead character. He was an Elf fighter wizard, and a werewolf killed him. It would be...
    19 replies | 747 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 18th November, 2018, 07:09 PM
    One-on-one is how I learned how to play D&D. So for me, fond memories are also part of the charm of solo adventures.
    19 replies | 747 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 18th November, 2018, 05:53 PM
    For a rough comparison of how much advantage is worth. Natural Advantage d20 ≈ Flat Roll Bonus Needed 10 +4 11 +5
    43 replies | 1416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 18th November, 2018, 05:28 PM
    It is less about the frequency of needing a natural 18 or higher, it is about when these situations come up, the advantage vanishes. Oppositely, advantage is only strong when the result of the roll has less consequence. Advantage is a great mechanic to represent being reliable at average things. However, it is of diminishing value to achieve anything difficult. Our campaign style...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 08:05 PM
    We can all agree, the usefulness of advantage depends on how often a player needs to roll a natural 18 or higher. In my games, this is often enough. Magic bonuses from weapons and such, are rare. Higher than expected level encounters are common. (Sometimes 1 out of 4 encounters. Lower than expected level is also common, but not relevant here.) I am unsure why the arguments ignore the...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 06:54 PM
    In my experience, what you are saying is true enough for the lowest levels of the ‘apprentice tier’ when the DM tends to coddle the players. But at higher levels − for more ‘verisimilitudinous’ play styles − heroes are likely to come across creatures whose levels diverge significantly from their own. The AC can vary significantly. Often enough, the advantage proves unhelpful. Yes,...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 05:58 PM
    The benefits of advantage were heavily discusses when 5e playtests first announced the concept. The problem is, the straightforward math fails to take into account the following consideration. Advantage is beneficial when you dont need it − when the AC is already low. Advantage is unhelpful when you really need it − when the AC is too high.
    43 replies | 1416 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 15th November, 2018, 10:17 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Norse texts describe how the Norse culture interacts with æsir as well as with other clans of nature spirits. For example, Þórr is the lifeforce of summer electrical storms. Some farmers ask this nature spirit for protection from the winter weather that kills crops. Some fishers ask Þórr for protection from arctic sea storms that sink ships. These requests are for certain nature spirits to...
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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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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).
  • 01:02 AM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and the old splintering the fan base chestnut...
    I agree that should be the goal, and will accept that's probably their target. I just don't think they hit it very well or often. They err more towards the generic side, which is probably for the best overall.
  • 01:02 AM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and the old splintering the fan base chestnut...
    If I didn't care about flavor, I'd just play in the Realms. Seems fair...which is what most do.

Sunday, 26th August, 2018

  • 09:41 PM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and the old splintering the fan base chestnut...
    Yeah. That's pretty much exactly the sort of non-conversion I was talking about as sucking. You can just change the names for some band of thugs, but major players aren't as easily interchangeable. That's not to say that there aren't ways of doing the conversion, but it isn't a 1-to-1 thing. Neither the Emerald Claw nor the Aurum actually have the same motivations as the Zhentarim, so those groups aren't simply interchangeable, for example. The Daask might have a beholder that's running some things, but they probably have some obligations to Droam, so the monologue is going to be a bit different. It doesn't have to be a complete rewrite, but it will take a paragraph or two for many of the named NPCs and groups. Just doing a find-and-replace doesn't cut it. Eh, mileage may vary there.


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Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
461 0 1 Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM

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