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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:12 PM
    Besides making sense, a motive for making Constitution represent size is, it makes Constitution less passive. Size enables reach, heavy weapons, heavy armor, carrying capacity, benefit to wrestling − and most importantly a bonus to melee damage! Thus there is a reason to invest in very high Constitution beyond a bag of hit points.
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:55 PM
    I am also inclined to separate physical toughness from immune system (like longevity). But it turns out, disease checks are so infrequent, it doesnt really matter where the game design puts it. Might as well bundle it with Constitution. But I would keep Constitution to mainly represent physical toughness, including size. Big and tough is an important trope in narratives. Currently,...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:33 PM
    I like this! If I recall the rules correctly, feet correlates to miles, and a slow character reduces the distance that a party can travel on a days journey. Exactly! Marathons − and speed − work more realistically as an Athletics check. (Not Constitution.)
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:16 PM
    How to impose a characteristic ‘flaw’ of a heritage is a good question. I am still thinking about it. At least my initial feeling is, dont. Make such flaws part of the flaw system in the personality traits, alongside quirks and ideals. Certain heritages can recommend certain quirks, ideals, and flaws. A character flaw can easily be, ‘I tend to walk at a slower pace than most humans’. ...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:45 PM
    In reallife, one of my players is blind (somewhat recently). I am glad my preference for mind style makes the game fun and accessible for him. In the past, there are times when I would do a sketch to show the shape of a room and maybe significant positioning. Other times I might go grid style with minis for a boss fight. Sometimes, I show a picture of a particular monster. Now, I focus on...
    57 replies | 1402 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:30 PM
    Yaarel replied to Volcano stats?
    One school of thought is, if someone touches lava, then that one dies, no save. So, it is better to think in terms of an aura of fire damage.
    16 replies | 314 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:40 PM
    In Norse traditions, any nature spirit can adopt or marry any other nature spirit, including humans. So it makes sense to me if a player wants a character that combines two (or more) heritages. Individuals exist who combine various two nature spirits: wilderness spirits (jǫtnar, risar, þursar, troll), elf sunlight spirits (alfar), dwarf land spirits (dvergar), civilization-sky spirits (æsir),...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:14 PM
    I feel the player − as part of the character concept − needs to decide how much of a heritage the character expresses. The default race (in most settings) is human. So a feat that attributes an ability to ‘elf heritage’, allows the player to choose whether the character is fully elf or partly elf, including the possibility of a full human raised among elves or an elf raised among humans, as...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 01:29 PM
    I wonder what the math of this actually is. Like, what is actually the odds that a 2d6 will beat a 3d6 or a 4d6? What is the odds 3d6 will roll higher than 4d6? So is it the case that 18d6 will roll higher than 8d6 at least 999 times out of 1000? And by comparison, what are the odds that 1d20+8 rolls higher than 1d20+18? AD&D definitely supports bringing low level characters...
    10 replies | 276 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 05:13 AM
    It occurs to me. • Eliminate race from character creation. • Level 1 allows choice of a feat. • Some feats have flavor saying that the ability results from ‘Sun Elf heritage’, and so on. • The feat might well have a minimum ability score prerequisite.
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 11:42 PM
    The thing about the *mechanic* of this feat is, its flavor is ambiguous. It might suggest stone-like toughness, hence an elemental giant heritage. Alternatively, it could mean witchy regeneration, and have no relation to the feeling of a giant. The stats are the most palpable way of describing a creature.
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 11:37 PM
    If removing stats from race, then eliminate race from the character creation process. For example, you can choose a feat at level 1 that says, ’Goliaths Stone Endurance’, the fluff says you have ‘Goliath heritage’. Done. No need for a race mechanic. Even in standard 5e, race is less meaningful a choice. Make human the default (or whatever is appropriate for a particular setting). If a...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 05:51 PM
    A bottom-up analysis helps ensure stats balance with each other. First, list all of the mechanics in order of frequency in play. Then, make sure the most frequent ones divide up evenly among the number of stats. The problem with D&D Dexterity mechanically is, attack rolls, damage, armor class, Reflex save, and to some degree initiative and stealth, are all frequent and decisive mechanics. They...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 04:58 PM
    Heh, how many gods is too many? Two. More important for religious traditions is the spell domains. A compelling thematic concept for a domain inspires a distinctive kind of religious tradition, whether an abstract force (like Daoism), or philosophy (like Buddhism), or so on. Think about why certain symbols are sacred, and how the symbols come into use.
    49 replies | 1098 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 04:14 PM
    13th Age has stats do something like that. Each race and class gives a choice of stat boosts. For example. High Elf ( ≈ Eladrin Elf, Sun Elf) • Charisma +2 or Intelligence +2 Wizard • Intelligence +2 or Wisdom +2 So, when you create a high elf wizard, you coordinate both race and class, thus build Intelligence +2 plus either Charisma +2 or Wisdom +2.
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 03:57 PM
    For example. Remove race from D&D entirely. Instead. Let level 1 pick any feat. Some (but not all) feats come with flavor such as ‘Elf ancestry’ or ‘Dragon bloodline’ to explain the ability.
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 03:52 PM
    For me the race minimums are important. An Orc should feel tough and brutish, and be naturally good at tough brutish classes. If an Orc was fragile, it would feel abnormal, atypical. If the races fail to feel different from each other. Then I would prefer to remove race from D&D. In that case, I would make it more like superhero games where race is an afterthought that a player may...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 03:44 PM
    Note the four stat system emphasizes salient tropes. Eladrin Elf • Empathic minimum 13 (charisma for bard) • Perceptive minimum 13 (intelligence for wizard, manual dexterity for craftsmanship) High Elf • Perceptive minimum 13 (intelligence for wizardry, manual dexterity for archery) • Athletic minimum 13 (melee attacks for swords, reflexes for light armor for physical stunts)
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 03:18 PM
    With regard to ‘races’, the easiest solution is to eliminate ability score improvements, and instead require minimum ability scores. Human • Any Eladrin Elf • Charisma score minimum 13 • Intelligence score minimum 13 High Elf
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 02:32 PM
    I agree, the Sorcerer works better as a Wizard archetype. Heh, the 5e Sorcerer is a case where the class survived because of a good story − despite the fact that its mechanics are mostly redundant or trivial.
    63 replies | 1917 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 01:08 PM
    Shape Later − compels target to keep on postponing the dieting and working out.
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 01:04 PM
    Psychic Scram − when asked an embarrassing question, target cannot come up with a good lie.
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 01:03 PM
    Create Bone Ire − achy arthritis imposes disadvantage to Dexterity checks
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 12:15 PM
    @5ekyu Heh, when I think of your system as ‘nine’, it seems alien. But when I think of your system as ‘three’ it is actually similar to mine. You have the three: Brawn, Brains and Social. This is quite similar to mine. Social ≈ Empathy Brains ≈ Perceptiveness
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 11:49 AM
    @5ekyu I have to say, my foursome in particular, works especially well. And because they correlate with narrative tropes, each of the four happens alot, and dumping any of the four is painful for any character. If find, four is a solid compromise between the benefits of splitting and the benefits of lumping. That said, I am curious about your 3-per-3 approach. You say there are three...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 10:45 AM
    Regarding the Elemental/Material theme. I ended up going with the Magic: The Gathering split that often shows up in D&D. • Air-Water • Fire-Earth Pairing the elements this way ends up more useful. Fire makes inert Earth more dynamic, and using Fire to ‘melt’ and ‘reshape’ or ‘animate’ Earth makes thematic sense. Clustering Earth with Fire also makes the emphasis on fire less of a...
    36 replies | 1026 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 10:19 AM
    The four spell themes that PF2 is implementing is extremely powerful. I have been using it myself for a number of years now, for 4e and 5e. It is doable, useful, flexible, and flavorful. I developed these four when organizing all the official spells by theme, and found that *every* spell organizes into one of these four themes. • Psionic/Charm/Divination/Telekinesis/Force/Mental •...
    36 replies | 1026 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 10:07 AM
    In the foursome − Empathy, Perceptiveness, Athleticism, Toughness − I want all spellcasters to use Empathy as the casting stat for accuracy, but use Perceptiveness for spell damage and higher effect, and longer range. So there can be some mages who are naturally good at casting spells (Empathy), and other mages who have more potent spells (Perceptiveness). Because of the way spells are...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 09:54 AM
    I find, the more stats, then the more impossible it is to balance the stats with each other. My minimalist four stats balance well and correspond well to narrative tropes.
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 09:31 AM
    It seems to me, the problem is the ability scores themselves. They are in need of rethinking. A four ability system is more helpful: • Empathy (social skills, willpower, people reading, charm, intimidation, esthetics) • Perceptiveness (senses, memory, reasoning, deception, manual dexterity, stealth, shooting attack rolls) • Athleticism (reflex, gymnastics, speed, jump, climb, tumble,...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 02:27 AM
    I'm pretty mixed on this proposition. On the one hand, I can't disagree that a Paladin could be done as a MC Fighter/Cleric (or the Eldritch Knight as a Fighter/Wizard). On the other, certain concepts seem like they shouldn't warrant a MC. Many of those are the ones with a D&D tradition (I find myself objecting to making Paladin MC, but couldn't care less about the Eldritch Knight -- if Paladin...
    287 replies | 11648 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 02:13 AM
    Or... Just a "berserker" sub-class for Fighter. I never said having a rager was silly, just coupling being angry with summoning animal spirits -- unless you're going for Captain Planet or Werewolf: the Apocalypse, which could both be considered "silly", as well.
    287 replies | 11648 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 03:34 PM
    The Jedi Knight is the best ‘gish’, a warrior-mage wielding a magic blade with range attacks, and has a story that expresses a compelling archetype. One of my favorite warrior-mage concepts is a pure mage who studies melee-range magic. The magical effects somewhat resemble superheroes. This warrior-mage trains to be a supersoldier to defend a wizard realm, but does so by means of magic, rather...
    63 replies | 1917 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 02:56 PM
    The *purpose* of the Astral Projection spell is to create avatars − that can then go on a dangerous mission − and that can be killed without oneself actually being killed. These projections are sorta like drones. To be remotely present. Treasure gained doesnt return with you when the spell ends. But you can visit your body, such as via Planeshift, and drop off the treasure before ending the...
    32 replies | 8798 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 02:39 AM
    There is a movie that is fun, called ‘Beyond Reality’, or it seems called ‘Beyond the Edge’. Essentially, it is about individuals using psychic powers to win in gambling casinos. It also involves spiritual worlds and mundane gangsters. I just saw the movie online within the last few weeks. The movie is staying with me because of the oddness of its source. As far as I can tell, it is a...
    15 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 12:44 AM
    Heh, I dont care about devils and demons − but the cleric thing is a sore point. The Players Handbook explicitly requires polytheistic worship. The possibilities of other kinds of religions must be explicitly part of the cleric class itself − for the player to read and decide. The only exception to heavy handed polytheism is obscure, in a splatbook, in the book Xanathars Guide to Everything....
    107 replies | 3769 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 12:27 AM
    Heh, to be fair, many of the characters that players play are warlocks who sold to their soul to a devil. (There is no requirement for warlock characters to sell their souls to a devil, but the flavor is there and it often happens at player tables.) (However there is now a requirement for cleric characters to worship polytheistic gods.) The fears of the socalled ‘satanic panic’ had a point. ...
    107 replies | 3769 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 08:46 PM
    That's some serious squinting you are doing there. Square peg into a round hole. Although neither side necessarily sold the war on these terms, the American Civil War was fought over slavery. And by "fought over slavery" I mean specifically that it was fought over the ethical and normative value of slavery, which happened precisely because the national cultural value was supposed to be "all...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 08:29 PM
    Heh, tieflings and devil warlocks kinda prove them right.
    107 replies | 3769 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 07:43 PM
    This theory reminds me of the 'all wars are religious' theory, in that you can sort of sustain it by providing a couple of examples if you don't squint too closely, but as soon as you list out every war and start checking it off and looking closely at the causes, the theory starts looking absurd. The Civil War wasn't fought over population pressure. The American Revolution wasn't fought over...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 07:01 PM
    I didn't think you would, and I was reluctant to ascribe to you any motives you had not yourself announced. But I did think you were bothered.
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 05:10 PM
    Since pemerton and I stopped talking over this very point, I don't feel its fair to him to continue to debate it. But after like the fifth thread where he described drawing a dungeon and stocking it and backgrounding it, and then described his play as some sort of revolutionary 'no myth' because in the course of play he invented one new element he hadn't fully detailed before, I decided I'd had...
    1530 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 04:56 PM
    At this point, you are just making yourself look bad, especially since you are engaged in erratic uncontrolled blue on blue fire. But fine, if you want to get into a who knows more about WWII than the other one debate, I'm game. Almost all great wars are fought over ideology, and WWII is no different. First, as you would well know, WW2 was not a single war. It was a series of colonial...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 03:15 PM
    Yes, I do as a matter of fact. It may be possible that the 'Story Now, No Myth' gaming can produce believability, consistency, and coherence, but the poster in question does not in fact actually practice 'Story Now, No Myth' gaming but does a ton of world building and then claims that it is 'Story Now, No Myth' gaming. That's the most infuriating thing about these ongoing threads. What...
    1530 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 12:51 PM
    With the 5E backgrounds, I think you could easily just roll Ranger into a woodsy background + Fighter class. I'd miss some of the "spec ops" bits, but not so much I'd have an internet rage quit over it. The Paladin could really just be a divine flavored Eldritch Knight knock-off. I see no reason why we need a bunch of variants for Paladin, anyway. The PHB sub-classes are mostly fine, but I...
    287 replies | 11648 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 10:09 AM
    The drow are fun. Their ‘evil’ gave them alot of creative space to explore sexual themes in a game that is otherwise too ... vanilla. Their high magic was a breath of fresh air from boring oppressively mundane medieval themes. That said. I am over Lolth. The religion annoys me and is too cartoonish. I personally have never witnessed a player creating a Drizzt-like character. So this isnt a...
    58 replies | 1760 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 09:55 AM
    Surveillance also makes magic difficult to implement. It is difficult to use without drawing public attention and interference.
    15 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 09:45 AM
    In modern (and especially near future) settings, I find the biggest challenge is surveillance. Everyone can capture videos on phones, security cameras are ubiquitous, especially in urban settings, journalism and especially internet make all information accessible, law enforcement and other government agencies can pretty much know the identity and the locations of any people of interest. ...
    15 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 09:29 AM
    Because of the gene splicing, humanoid animals are the most plausible fantasy lifeform. But they quickly become too many and overwhelming − and unappealing. It is surprising, because almost all fantasy creatures involve a mix of animal blends. Werewolves involve wolf. Vampire involves bat. Christian angels have eagle wings. A dragon is simply a snake, but it is made monstrous by blending...
    17 replies | 451 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 02:40 AM
    I still just call it "bloodied". There aren't any in-game effects, but it's a handy term.
    143 replies | 4262 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 02:36 AM
    I voted for Artificer, Alchemist, and Mystic. Pretty much everything else I think is, at best, a sub-class of something else. Many of them don't even need that much and are already fully covered. Honestly, I think Alchemist should be one of the sub-classes of Artificer, but it was listed and isn't currently covered, so I clicked it.
    287 replies | 11648 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 02:22 AM
    Voted "Hate", but he's really only marginally worse than anything else the Realms have introduced. Really, I do not understand how anyone can make it through any of the novels.
    58 replies | 1760 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 08:39 PM
    Not really. I think I could explain it to you in a way you'd agree to, although, I do agree that anything as complex as the inaptly named 'Second World War' trying to sum up the causes in a single sentence is always going to come up short. Can't say that I disagree with you, but now is not the time for hashing out American politics. I totally agree that this would be the best way...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 07:18 PM
    Wheaton's Law broken. This is going downhill fast. :( You don't actually know how much political science he knows. I don't know how much political science he knows. Don't try to pull an argument from authority, especially when you might not be the authority in the argument. The 'or' is new. Not that long ago, it used to be an 'and'. Nations shared a history, religion, language,...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 06:57 PM
    Desdichado: 1) I know you know, I'm just making sure you understand I agree with the strength of your point even if we might quibble over the details. 2) Yes, so let's not go there. 3) I'm not. It is my nation, your nation, that first decided to transcend the old definition and do something the world had never really seen before. It was and is a fragile and beautiful experiment, and to a...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 06:28 PM
    Desdichado 1) You're right about the definition of nation. 2) Let's not get derailed over this. 3) e pluribus unum 4) I don't know that the lies go back that long, but I do think we've forgotten what a great experiment is at the heart of who we are as a nation. We've lost the plot. I can't discuss that further, because see #2. 5) Speaking of using language that might disguise your point,...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 04:02 PM
    Although we can't really get deep into it here because it's politics external to gaming, the irony of right at this moment in history treating "Turkish" as a nationality and an nationality alone boggles my mind. There are people dying at this moment over the definition of "Turkish", and whether it is a nationality, an ideology, or an ethnicity and how those different constructed communities...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 02:54 PM
    I wasn't able to detect the difference based on the content alone. Granted, I'd have to buy it to make a full and fair review, but since he is doing deliberate pastiche (Ga'el for Gaelic, for example) then in my opinion the level of respect he is showing the cultures in question doesn't rise up to what would be my own minimum standards. I was only able to read his website, watch his video, read...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 06:16 AM
    I am mulling a new near-future setting. Your setting has awesome stuff that I intend to borrow from.
    15 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 05:42 PM
    UPDATE: I knew this seemed familiar. The OP is a complete word for word copy of a prior post by a different poster. Is this SPAM? You asked for a lot more help than I have time to give, but I'll try to give some pointers to the main question - how to make a linear campaign not feel like they are being led around by the nose. 1) Adopt a broad-narrow-broad structure. A linear campaign...
    2 replies | 168 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 02:42 AM
    It actually depends on the target number. It's been a while since I ran the numbers, so I may be a bit off but the gist is that advantage gets better as the target number approaches 11 and worse as it approaches either end of the spectrum. Why? Just because of the way odds multiply. At a target of 11, you're essentially at a coin flip. That means that you've got a 50% chance of even caring...
    28 replies | 1126 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 12:49 AM
    By the way, mentioning how Scandinavians themselves use the term ‘Nordic’ to describe the socalled ‘Germanic’ languages, is a thoughtful cultural accuracy. The term Nordic that Scandinavians themselves use, is also more neutral. It refers to the ‘northern’ branch of the Indoeuropean languages. Heh, moreover, the academic term ‘Germanic’ is wrong, the result of a scholarly fiction. Early...
    15 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 12:13 AM
    Nice setting. As DM, do you tend to use it for sandbox style, or specific story arcs?
    15 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 11:53 PM
    I very much disagree, but I find I lack the spirit to hit this trail again. Suffice to say that I feel that when you put out something for public consumption, it very much ought to be with the expectation that you can get honest and nonjudgmental feedback, that people will view your work charitably and with good will, and that they will fall to negative views of you only with the greatest...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 08:13 PM
    Yes, I am. Or, more specifically, I'm emphasizing the intersection of our otherwise disparate beliefs. Seems a better thing to do than keep harping on the differences.
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 06:28 PM
    That feels ironic coming from you. Since when has this ever mattered? Show me one case where someone who did research 'got a pass'. Show me one case where someone was offended and then was mollified by the big stack of index cards and footnotes that the author produced. There is not, and never really has been, such a thing as a monolithic definition of human. This is particularly...
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 05:52 PM
    You have chosen well. And yet, for all of that, I can't imagine Mr. Rogers saying that he wanted to be a god, nor can I imagine so said, "I want to be a god." acting like Mr. Rogers. This power he sought after seems hardly like power at all to an untrained eye. Not only did he know what all power was for, but what he sought did not look like power to those that covet it.
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 04:44 PM
    If it is necessary to remove the highest level spells, then instead only allow semi-casters: ranger, paladin, eldritch knight, or arcane trickster. An elemental monk might even make sense if able to cast rituals.
    34 replies | 884 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 02:57 PM
    And so to the contempt of the weak in the mind's of the powerful they in doing so now add also fear, and they are subject to twice the persecution that they faced before. For although humanity has never shown any proclivity to being subjugated by fear, nonetheless humanity never seems to question the logic of attempting it. As two siblings will seek to assert their authority over each other by...
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:58 PM
    No, that's an observation by me about those that normally seek after or attain power. In other words, I'm condemning the powerful and the pursuit of power. You could almost say that I'm stating a rule which suggests that those that seek after power are inherently less worthy of respect, and those that forgo and eschew power are the ones that one ought to emulate and admire. I'm suggesting...
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:40 PM
    This stuff sounds awesome for a setting. I was wondering about defining ‘positive energy’ as a physical manifestation of the ‘divine infinite light’. Thus the D&D plane of positivity would be infinite, thus impossible to enter, but possible to access to ‘illuminate’ the finite planes, thus making them more ideal. All things that exist would be created out of this small steady flow of energy...
    27 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:00 PM
    True enough. If good actions are a manifestation of divine light, then refusing to do good actions for whatever reason is a kind of darkness. The descriptions of good are complex because there are different ways to do good. (There are also different ways to do bad.) The definition of ‘bad’ has more to do with refusing to do good for others. Thus a person who refuses to help others...
    27 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 04:14 AM
    No, that's not the problem in this case. He really does have a plan to share the power. He's really serious about it. In a sense, he's a very selfless person. The problems in this case are not something I want to specify, since my players haven't yet fully figured it out. But one problem that they have encountered repeatedly is that if you think, "At some point in the future, I'm going...
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:17 AM
    He'd actually get along really well with the BBEG of my current campaign. I always wonder that the people who want to become gods and make other people into gods don't take a good hard look around at what the likely consequences of that would be. It's amazing how many otherwise truly intelligent people think that making themselves into a god would be a good idea.
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:08 AM
    Most ordinary humans in my campaign are neutral. They are uninterested in philosophical questions and are simply struggling to survive. They treat philosophy something like a buffet, taking what they like from it, primarily from the standpoint of, "How does this benefit me?" Most of them are fairly cynical concerning the gods and philosophy and the like. The common complaint is that the...
    30 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 03:28 AM
    If the setting only features one race, then I want it to be human. I like humans. I also like magic-incarnate elves, but would go with humans if forced to choose. If there is only one class, then I am torn between wizard and bard. I only play because of magic. I really like the 5e wizard and the 5e bard, and would be happy with either. I guess, this means a Harry Potter setting.
    48 replies | 1218 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 03:12 AM
    Yeah, originally, I simply counted encounters, relying on mostly level-appropriate encounters. I went with the suggestion of weighing encounters. I now assess encounters afterthefact as 1 ‘substantial’ (challenging), ½ ‘something’ (easy), and 2 ‘an amazing example of heroism’ (hard). I uses dashes ‘−’ to tally an easy encounter, and several of them influence the decision to level. Usually the...
    17 replies | 523 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 02:56 AM
    Here, there seems some miscommunication. Personally, I like it when players think outside of the box. If they come up with an ingenious way to defeat the challenge, I want to reward it. In this case, the ‘difficulty’ wasnt the hit point slog, but the coming up with a good tactic. So I do consider it a ‘substantial’ encounter that feels right to count toward the eight to advance. The fact that...
    17 replies | 523 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 02:39 AM
    Compassion somewhat correlates with Chaotic Good. Justice with Lawful Good. And Mercy with Neutral Good. ‘Evil’ is essentially predation, that harms others to help oneself only.
    27 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 02:28 AM
    :) As I read the thread, I am not the only one who saw this setting as more inherently monotheistic. The fact that the ‘divine’ is infinite and abstract, means, all finite creatures are unable to fully grasp the divine. So, there would normally be different opinions about how to best implement the divine will. Thus different angels and so on with different schools of thought.
    27 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 02:10 AM
    The purgatory-reincarnation setting is interesting. I think it works better as a monotheistic setting. Since even the negative spirits have a relatively useful ‘job’ to do, thus are part of a more unified benevolent worldview. This monotheistic divinity is moreso an abstract force, like ‘light’ or spiritual gravity pulling humans and spirits upward toward good. Describing various creatures as...
    27 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 01:51 AM
    Heh. Great cubes of fire! Fortunately mind-style easily visualizes circles, so its a nonissue. If I was ever using a grid, I would either explicitly convert everything into squares, or else use a piece of string to pull around for the circle.
    69 replies | 2036 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 08:52 PM
    I always thought it a beautifully written unplayable game. But then again, that could just be because it is about the concept of humor, and I have none.
    10 replies | 350 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 01:10 PM
    Loving the advancement by number of encounters. Simple encounter. Monster poses a meaningful challenge, and players end up beating the snot out of it. Reasonably, monster realizes it is outmatched. Monster flees. But players still get credit for the encounter, for overcoming a solid challenge. Counting the encounter rather than the ‘xp’, allows me to make more realistic outcomes for sandbox...
    17 replies | 523 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 10:52 PM
    Theres goodness in this thread.
    484 replies | 9611 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 09:48 PM
    Great advice. I went back with the idea that a sorcerer (favored soul) is infused with magic and really shouldn't have a dedicated skill. I like it. As long as you're handing out advice, care to proof my conversion notes? It's a conversion of a 5th level Aasimar Favored Soul. Since the excuse for class choice is just an outgrowth of the celestial blood, I just threw the whole class/race into a...
    51 replies | 2799 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 03:54 AM
    5e scarcifies high level spells. Not only by requiring higher slots to boost low level spells (thus curbing the ‘quadratic’ problem) but also make high tier slots painfully few.
    129 replies | 4398 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 02:17 AM
    Here's where I'm afraid I'm doing things "wrong". I don't want to just recreate D&D in Fate. If I do that, I may as well just keep playing D&D. I definitely want to keep using D&D for inspiration. I just don't want to be saddled by it. Maybe I just need to accept that D&D casters are crazy and that Fate might mean narrower focus, but better meat on the bones.
    51 replies | 2799 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 01:51 AM
    I haven't read the original Dresden Files rules, but my understanding is that it was practically impossible to play wizards and straights in the same group. I have DFA, though, and it seems playable. I think Fate Accelerated is easier to do magic in than Core because Accelerated is considerably better suited to hand waving than Core. By the time you get to "I'm being Forceful" it really doesn't...
    51 replies | 2799 view(s)
    0 XP
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Saturday, 14th April, 2018

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

Monday, 2nd April, 2018

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

Monday, 26th March, 2018

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

Friday, 23rd March, 2018

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

Saturday, 10th February, 2018

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

Sunday, 27th August, 2017

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

Wednesday, 9th August, 2017

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

Friday, 23rd June, 2017

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

Friday, 9th June, 2017

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

Wednesday, 7th June, 2017

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

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

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

Thursday, 2nd March, 2017

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

Tuesday, 28th February, 2017

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

Friday, 17th February, 2017

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

Monday, 26th December, 2016

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

Tuesday, 6th December, 2016

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

Monday, 2nd May, 2016

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

Monday, 11th April, 2016


Monday, 21st March, 2016


Wednesday, 30th December, 2015

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


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Monday, 23rd April, 2018

  • 02:42 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Mercule in post Which classes would you like to see added to D&D 5e, if any? (check all that apply)
    I -- if Paladin spent an edition as an EK-like subclass of Fighter, I might be softened about removing it, entirely). The Paladin was a sub-class of the fighter, who cast cleric spells, from the cleric list, in 0D&D and AD&D, both. Though 'sub-class' as 5e implements it is much closer to the Essesntials take than to 1e. 1) get excited about coming back to D&D, 2) run a campaign or two to kick the tires, 3) get comfortable with the system and start to focus on character concept before mechanics, 4) get fed up with the large grain nature and inability to handle certain concepts, 5) move to something else or take a break from gaming until the next edition. I only ever hit stage 5 with 2e. ;)

Sunday, 22nd April, 2018

  • 09:45 PM - CapnZapp quoted Mercule in post What Aspects of 4E Made It into 5E?
    I still just call it "bloodied". There aren't any in-game effects, but it's a handy term.Me too. Few if any monsters change when bloodied in 5E, but I have a table rule where you never call out current hp explicitly. Instead a monster (or your buddy) is either undamaged, damaged, bloody, downed or dead. Nobody wants things like "since you have 17 hp left but Sue only 15, she gets the heal" - at least, not without a Medicine check.

Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 07:16 PM - Saelorn quoted Mercule in post What Aspects of 4E Made It into 5E?
    I still just call it "bloodied". There aren't any in-game effects, but it's a handy term.It's useful if you stick to that one way of describing hit point damage. It's less useful when you're fighting sharks.
  • 05:24 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Mercule in post Which classes would you like to see added to D&D 5e, if any? (check all that apply)
    With the 5E backgrounds, I think you could easily just roll Ranger into a woodsy background + Fighter class. I'd miss some of the "spec ops" bits, but not so much I'd have an internet rage quit over it. The Paladin could really just be a divine flavored Eldritch Knight knock-off. I see no reason why we need a bunch of variants for Paladin, anyway. The PHB sub-classes are mostly fine, but I don't think there have been any expanded options that don't seem pointless, to me. Since I've only seen two paladins played since 1983, I can't say I'd really miss it. Regardless, I'd happily give up both of those to put a stake in the heart of the Barbarian. If there was ever a class that should be a sub class of another, it's Barbarian. Just make an "angry Fighter" subclass and call it a day. Totem warrior stuff could be a sub-class of Druid or, if inclined to keep the Ranger, a subclass of that -- just without the "I'm angry" bit, which is silly, anyway. And, if MCing were assumed, there'd be no mea...
  • 02:54 PM - SkidAce quoted Mercule in post Which classes would you like to see added to D&D 5e, if any? (check all that apply)
    ... -- just without the "I'm angry" bit, which is silly, anyway. Angry berserkers have a historical and mythological origin, so I think there is a place for the "angry barbarian".
  • 03:38 AM - Caliban quoted Mercule in post What Aspects of 4E Made It into 5E?
    I still just call it "bloodied". There aren't any in-game effects, but it's a handy term. Yeah, same here.

Friday, 13th April, 2018

  • 05:26 AM - Afrodyte quoted Mercule in post I love D&D.....but.
    Great advice. I went back with the idea that a sorcerer (favored soul) is infused with magic and really shouldn't have a dedicated skill. I like it. As long as you're handing out advice, care to proof my conversion notes? It's a conversion of a 5th level Aasimar Favored Soul. Since the excuse for class choice is just an outgrowth of the celestial blood, I just threw the whole class/race into a blender. I played with a few different combinations of spells, but I generally ended up coming back to the power level being about right for the cost of one refresh, so I left those alone. The baseline for the bloodline, though, I was comfortable doing an extended bullet list. The character would have an aspect relating to having a destiny, so I'm actually not so sure I even need the "Favored by the Gods" ability associated with the bloodline. It almost seems redundant with how I expect him to use the aspect. In that case, I'd probably reduce the cost of the bloodline to just 1 refresh, since the main...

Thursday, 12th April, 2018

  • 02:52 AM - Afrodyte quoted Mercule in post I love D&D.....but.
    Personally, I'm partial to skill-based systems or to costs for magic -- or both. I think it's necessary for Eberron to have "reliable magic", since it's part of the foundation of the setting, and all. But, by saying wizards (etc.) have the option of throwing a fate/mana point for any given spell to skip the die roll and assume a +0 serves the setting quite well. After all, no one cares whether you succeeded with style for a continual flame spell, which is the sort of thing that actually powers the economy. (snip) No. Where I struggle is how do you let a wizard have more than three spells when that's all the more stunts they start with (Fate characters start as "competent" not first level)? You could go the route of Mage: the Whatever or Ars Magicka and have several broad skills, but that strays too far from D&D tropes to make Eberron work, IMO. It also runs into the trouble of having a ridiculously long skill list. (snip) Typing that out, it all sounds pretty solid, until I realize...
  • 02:04 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Mercule in post I love D&D.....but.
    Accelerated is considerably better suited to hand waving than Core. By the time you get to "I'm being Forceful" it really doesn't matter whether the force is coming from a gun, a sword, or a spell... ...Personally, I'm partial to skill-based systems or to costs for magic -- or both. I think it's necessary for Eberron to have "reliable magic", since it's part of the foundation of the setting, and all...Where I struggle is how do you let a wizard have more than three spells when that's all the more stunts they start with That's the issue I was seeing. You could go the route of Mage: the Whatever or Ars Magicka and have several broad skills, but that strays too far from D&D tropes to make Eberron work, IMO. It also runs into the trouble of having a ridiculously long skill list. Mage had 9 spheres and Ars Magicka, IIRC, had sets of verbs and objects (something like that?) - they both let you cast magick more or less extemporaneously. Another similar mechanic would be the Variable Power P...
  • 01:37 AM - Afrodyte quoted Mercule in post I love D&D.....but.
    So... I absolutely love the look of Fate. I ran a FAE one-shot and enjoyed it, even as I look back and see where I botched somethings. I'd love, love, love to switch to Fate Core. Here's my biggest problem: Magic. It's a big system and I've yet to see anything for Fate that really floats my boat. I want the variety of D&D, without the Vancian slots. All the examples seem to be either very subtle, fluffy magic (Zird from the core book) or just clunky (Fate Freeport -- super ick). To put a pretty fine point on it, what I'd like to do is run Eberron using Fate. The Dragonmarks are actually pretty easy -- just crib liberally from the Six Viziers in the toolkit. Any suggestions for the rest of the world? There are different ways to do magic. The FATE Toolkit has different ways of doing it. It's extremely customizable, so you're pretty much limited only by your imagination. I'm not familiar enough with Eberron to come up with something on the fly, but if I get the info and have a few days, ...
  • 12:39 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Mercule in post I love D&D.....but.
    Here's my biggest problem: Magic. It's a big system and I've yet to see anything for Fate that really floats my boat. Nod. I did not care for the magic system in Dresden Files. Fate seems lovely for doing characters, but when a character in fiction gets a supernatural power it tends to overwhelm the character in the story sense, they become all about the power and, maybe, coping with it, so, I'm guessing Fate games either try to avoid that, end up with 'meh' magic, or try to maintain the level of character-centrism in the magic system, making it fiddly. It's that much worse if there are going to be both magic-using and non-magic-using characters. I want the variety of D&D, without the Vancian slots. Then how do you 'balance' or 'pay-for' that variety - or at least create an appearance of having done so?

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 02:55 PM - Obryn quoted Mercule in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    I absolutely love Eberron. It's the only published setting that I'm actively interested in running. Greyhawk made a great "fallback" for one-shots or when I didn't want baggage from my own home brew. Ravenloft was wonderful for looting, because I've always loved Gothic horror elements and undead. But Eberron is cool as just Eberron and I'd run it just as eagerly as a home brew setting. That said, there are some elements that I'd prefer to leave in Eberron. I definitely don't want Warforged anywhere else (they're my least-favorite aspect of the setting). And, I'm not sure how I'd do either Dragonmarks or true-breeding half-elves without it feeling derivative in my own head. (Not knocking, just giving my own concerns in looting.) Despite my own skepticism, I brought Warforged into my 4e Dark Sun game - animate constructions of bone, sinew, and obsidian, created by the sorcerer-kings from the souls of fallen heroes. Perfect troops who needed neither food nor water and who cared nothing for...
  • 04:35 AM - Yaarel quoted Mercule in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Dude, I'm just here for the popcorn and to debate the mechanical implications of removing racial packages from the game. Exactly. That is my interest too. The original article reminded me, Basic D&D had no distinction between between class and race. You could choose to be either a magic-user or an elf. The same design space was used for both. There are implications for contemporary D&D. For example, say there is no ‘race’. Characters instead have a choice of three or feats. Some feats might be ‘origin feats’. So for example, if you choose a feat that grants you Misty Step per rest, it means you are fully or partly an elf. But an other character might use this feat to be a more mobile Rogue. Or whatever.

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

  • 08:10 PM - Aldarc quoted Mercule in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    This, I could agree with. The one I thought about was the Khoravar of Eberron, who form a distinct race -- though humans and elves will occasionally still get down to making first-gen half-elves. The setting is significantly more cosmopolitan, and it would make sense that true-breeding half-elves would have overcome the "bastard" prejudice of other settings. But, the core D&D "implied setting" is, and always has been, that half-elves are somewhat rare (at least uncommon) and somewhat outcast by both sides of the family tree. While that could make a good justification for a particular PC to be fast-talking, diplomatic, and smooth, it's a pretty poor rationale for the entire race to be that way.I cannot understate how influential Eberron has been to me as a setting. The Khoravar as a self-breeding population with its own distinct set of cultures as opposed to the usual individualized human-elf tragic backstories was a HUGE step forward in my appreciation of half-elves in D&D. In many of my ho...
  • 07:33 PM - iserith quoted Mercule in post Why I dislike Milestone XP
    It's punitive to withhold XP from the player whose wife is at home vomiting or who got sucked into mandatory overtime, this week. There's no fun in being forced to miss your recreational activity and to then be penalized by your friends for missing it, as well. If you've got players that don't show up for your game because they've decided to go see the latest movie or because their WoW guild decided to do a raid (true story) or otherwise treat showing up to the game as something other than a commitment to the others at the table, then, by all means, feel free to withhold the XP. Better yet, give them the boot. As a general rule, I don't play with flakes. Otherwise, you treat the others at the table with respect and accept that life sometimes happens. Is giving XP for choosing not to play for one reason or another a sign of respect? Or is it a sign of disrespect to not give XP when they don't attend for a reason I don't like? Or is it possible I can respect my friends and still hav...
  • 01:53 PM - Aldarc quoted Mercule in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    As near as I can tell, it was an attempt to give the race a "niche" in 3.5 (IIRC). The vague justification is that the half elf generally takes the more appealing features of both parents. Considering the in game fluff is, and always has been, that half-elves are subject to prejudice from both sides, I find it somewhat incongruous. It could also be taken as a bit offensive: "That half-elf girl better learn to shake her thang before the dandelion eaters or square faces decide to have themselves an old-fashioned lynchin'." A couple real world examples came to mind, but that one turned my stomach enough.I do think that the +2 Charisma fits with their Tolkien-source inspiration better, though there I would argue that they are less of the Elrond the Half-Elven sort and more of the Aragorn (i.e., Numenorean) sort, where they are an ancestry of humans with elven blood.
  • 02:52 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted Mercule in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Dude, I'm just here for the popcorn and to debate the mechanical implications of removing racial packages from the game. Now you are just being sexist. Females do not have racial packages. ;) :)
  • 12:52 AM - Andor quoted Mercule in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    They only make sense in a Tolkien-verse that holds the elves are magical enough to make it work and orcs are... well, actually, I'm not sure why orcs work. In Tolkien orcs are corrupted elves. Morgoth had the power to corrupt, but not create. (Don't ask me what he bred Trolls and Dragons from though.) It's also worth noting that all the half-orcs we see in the books are the work of (and servants of) Saruman, so magic may well be involved in their procreation as well.

Monday, 2nd April, 2018

  • 09:54 PM - TrippyHippy quoted Mercule in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    But it's not 'culture', any more than it's race. To be sure, the acuity of the language is not as much an issue as the offensiveness of using the term 'Race' being used in this sort of context. They've used 'Culture' in other games - The One Ring/Adventures in Middle Earth and also RuneQuest 6/Mythras. It worked OK for them. If you want a more acute word then maybe 'Heredity'.
  • 06:05 PM - Celebrim quoted 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...


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Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
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