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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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.
    16 replies | 388 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:53 PM
    For a rough comparison of how much advantage is worth. Natural Advantage d20 ≈ Flat Roll Bonus Needed 10 +4 11 +5
    41 replies | 1065 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    41 replies | 1065 view(s)
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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,...
    41 replies | 1065 view(s)
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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.
    41 replies | 1065 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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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 10:13 PM
    I have no real single standard, since it depends very much on the culture of the nation, the type of government, and how I envision this particular PC. In general, they always have a class and levels. There is very little else that they necessarily have in common, but usually... * It's assumed that rulers are reasonably capable, though not necessarily the most capable members of their...
    57 replies | 1925 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 07:30 PM
    I would say the difficulties of a GM finding players pale in comparison to the difficulties of a player trying to find a GM. The lack of GMs is the chief hindrance to the hobby. I have two younger relatives seeking groups closer to their age, but to no real avail. I GM in large part because no one else will, and not because I don't enjoy being a player.
    12 replies | 570 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 07:33 PM
    No. Never. I don't mind them borrowing from MtG for D&D, but I very much don't want it to become MtG: the RPG.
    24 replies | 905 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 01:06 PM
    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.
    423 replies | 20315 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 07:02 PM
    You are almost certainly right that the stars in a High Fantasy world would be different than our own, but there is almost nothing in the world that I'm less interested in than Astrology, so of all the things in the world that I would want to build an intricate novel system for, a unique take on Astrology ranks near the bottom. I am entirely happy to use a straight pastiche of real world...
    5 replies | 351 view(s)
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Saturday, 14th April, 2018

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

Monday, 2nd April, 2018

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

Monday, 26th March, 2018

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

Friday, 23rd March, 2018

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

Saturday, 10th February, 2018

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

Sunday, 27th August, 2017

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

Wednesday, 9th August, 2017

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

Friday, 23rd June, 2017

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

Friday, 9th June, 2017

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

Wednesday, 7th June, 2017

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

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

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

Thursday, 2nd March, 2017

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

Tuesday, 28th February, 2017

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

Friday, 17th February, 2017

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

Monday, 26th December, 2016

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

Tuesday, 6th December, 2016

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

Monday, 2nd May, 2016

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

Monday, 11th April, 2016


Monday, 21st March, 2016


Wednesday, 30th December, 2015

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


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Saturday, 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.
  • 08:30 PM - Reynard 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. Well designed NPCs and factions have real motivations and modes of operation. Filing serial numbers off complex NPCs and organizations should never be that easy, IMO, otherwise your NPC or organization was so generic as to be meanin...

Saturday, 25th August, 2018

  • 12:46 AM - gyor quoted Mercule in post Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and the old splintering the fan base chestnut...
    I'd love it, if this is the case. I'd say I'm whatever the the opposite of "cautiously optimistic" is ("hopefully pessimistic?"), though. I think you could take a generic big city adventure and run it in Waterdeep, Sharn, or Greyhawk City, with reasonable effort. Bringing in specific players (NPCs) and getting into details doesn't always lend itself to clean conversion. If a significant portion of Dragon Heist is Waterdeep setting material and/or they're pulling in marquee factions or NPCs (the Xanathar, Lord's Council, etc.) then the stats and deeper motivations require a lot more effort to replace and you have to do the double effort of first making things generic, then adding the flavor from the other setting. But, with WFGtE and Ravnica being released, this year, maybe they will offer up real conversion guides. If so, I'll happily change my tune. If WotC doesn't I'm betting someone on DMSGUILD does.


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Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
459 0 1 Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM

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