View Profile: Mercule - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 11:45 PM
    Yes, I know, but that wasn't exactly where I was going with that. Don't get me wrong. I love that English is a beautiful, vibrant, living language, ever fertile, fecund and adapting words from other languages. I love that it has more words and more shades of meaning than any other language in the world, and that it is ever introducing words for ideas it had not previously known. That a...
    81 replies | 1449 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 09:53 PM
    Given the breadth that you've ascribed to politics, this is hardly surprising. You'd be harder pressed to define what isn't politics. Since you've used politics to mean everything, including its opposite, you're at a tautology. By politics you mean, everything, which is why 5a is closest to what you believe: "the total complex of relations between people living in society", despite the fact...
    81 replies | 1449 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:14 PM
    Not one I can make here. I've already made my point I think as sharply as it can be made. Like Umbran, I'm handicapped by the fact that you've veered off from discussing how politics impacts your gaming, into discussing politics period. This is hardly surprising though, since you've made it clear that for you all discussions are political and there is no such thing as apolitical discussion. ...
    81 replies | 1449 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 07:24 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    The æsir are nature spirits, vættir. The æsir are one of the seven ‘clans’ of nature spirits. The other kinds of nature spirits include jǫtnar, alfar, dvergar, vanir, náir, and menn, living humans. All of these kinds of nature spirits are about equally powerful. Some individual members are more powerful, some individual members are less powerful. But as groups, the clans are roughly equal. ...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 03:40 PM
    The single best 'silver bullet' moment in the history of my gaming occurred in a campaign I was in in college. One of the main plot threads of the story had coalesced around this civil revolt against an evil queen and her ruthless minions, eventually culminating in a siege of her fortress like capital city by an alliance of rebel forces lead by the party's Ranger - many of which were forest...
    4 replies | 134 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 02:43 AM
    One thing I enjoy about talking with you is your refreshing earnest honesty. If I had sought to put a strawman of my own devising in your mouth, I could not have conceived of one so thoroughly suited to my purposes. Thank you.
    81 replies | 1449 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 11:23 PM
    To echo this, not only does not have an impact or bearing the policies of governing a polity, but it may not even be about the policies of governing a polity. The vast majority of conflicts that I consider important aren't political conflicts. In my invented setting, the vast majority of invented governments have no bearing on nor are they intended to be comment on real world governments or...
    81 replies | 1449 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 11:10 PM
    No, but the reason that it does not is not something I can go into, because the explanation is political. ;) I think I can hedge around it though by way of analogy. Whether or not one eats pork is not for most people a religious statement. But for certain religious groups, it is. Of course, one would expect a very pious religious person might declare that his every action was in some way a...
    81 replies | 1449 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 08:20 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    During the Viking Period, a Norse family has its own sacred customs. Norse sacred traditions are individualistic. They are a network of overlapping local traditions. Traditions that are happening in one location can be absent in an other location, even a nearby one. The Old Norse term hof, meaning ‘shrine’, literally means a ‘farm’. The Norse have a custom where an individual will set aside a...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 08:10 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Every family has its own sacred customs. Norse animism is a network of overlapping local traditions. Many customs are unique to a specific family or group of farms. Sociologically, Norse animism resembles Native American animism. The same kinds of diversities (by individual, by family, by clan, by locale) happen in the same kinds of ways. The Norse lack organized religion. The Norse...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 05:09 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    It is the other way around. I resent how Greco-Roman polytheism distorts and misrepresents the culture of Norse aborigines. At least as far as the Norse of Norway are concerned, they are strictly animistic. The misrepresentation of Norse culture by imperialistic Continental European Christians and polytheists, is unwelcome. When people like the Norse, learn who they are. They are actual...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 01:12 AM
    It's made worse by the fact that I have a bad habit of losing or adding negatives as I type, often leading me to putting to words exactly the opposite of what I'm thinking in my head.
    81 replies | 1449 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:56 PM
    I would certainly not suggest that my opinions - political or otherwise - do not influence what I think of as a villain or how my villains behave. But I'd like to think that the relationship is subtle and indirect. And whether it is or not, I doubt the average player could tease out what question of particular interest to me is represented by a character. The reason for this - and I consider...
    81 replies | 1449 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:42 PM
    The Insight skill check can discern a lie.
    16 replies | 371 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:32 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    The ax is one the three main Viking Period weapons for one-on-one combat. Roughly a third of Norse warriors seem to use each: ax, sword, and spear. For mass combat and its battle formations, most use the spear, at least initially before throwing it. When switching to one-on-one usually the ax or sword finds use. In the Early and Middle Viking Periods, the Norse ax is typically the...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 01:20 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    I am impressed. That is awesome if you can set up glíma club.
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 05:47 PM
    A couple of times when the party has turned undead which are now cowering, I've just called the fight after a round or two because it's literally just hacking apart zombies until they stop moving at that point. Basically, if there is no chance the party will take further damage or need to spend further resources, it's over but the narration.
    11 replies | 354 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 09:36 PM
    Yeah. This definitely is appealing. I'm kinda wondering whether it requires prior buy-in for the narrative dice to work or if the mechanics would pull narration out of reticent players. 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...
    38 replies | 1078 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 09:07 PM
    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...
    38 replies | 1078 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 06:24 PM
    I don't understand. Basically, I think anything above +1 effective DC per 1 increase in spell level (the way Heighten Spell works) is going to be broken. The 'Christmas' tree refers to a somewhat standard list of ability boosting and protection items that every character of every class wants to obtain in 3.X - amulet of health/belt of health, cloak of protection, gloves of dexterity,...
    3 replies | 218 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 02:51 PM
    This. If you're a podcast person, I can't recommend Manifest Zone enough. It's Keith Baker having topical conversations about Eberron with some knowledgeable, active community members. Kristian Serrano is an incredibly charismatic host, as well, which makes the whole thing sound very professional (to the best of my knowledge, none of the folks involved are media professionals).
    17 replies | 634 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:45 AM
    Breaching spell is probably reasonable, but compare the advantage obtained from Luring Spell with the advantage of a Heightened Spell. Luring spell could easily be used in 3.X to make a spell all but impossible to save against, which is already a huge problem in 3.X in that saving throw DC generally outstrips saving throw bonuses, forcing you to make use of a 'Christmas Tree' and a suite of...
    3 replies | 218 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 10:27 PM
    1) No, in general, you can't use a wand created by a different class to cast arbitrary spells from that class. Wands are spell-trigger items, and to use a spell-trigger item you must have the spell on your own class list. So, unless 'Spell Storing Item' appeared on your own class list, you could not use a 'Wand of Spell Storing Item'. Moreover, even if you could, I don't think a 'Wand of...
    5 replies | 221 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 09:24 AM
    Out of curiosity, how did you rate options (classes etcetera) that seemed like they were good quality, but regarding a concept that you personally had less interest in?
    65 replies | 2697 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 12:21 PM
    There are some spells that are nonbroken yet too powerful for their spell slot, compared to other spells. For example, Bless and Hunters Mark. These should probably become class features for the Cleric and Ranger, respectively, instead of spells, since they dont actually break the game. The problem is they make other spell options less likely, thus discourage a diversity of spells. For some...
    65 replies | 2697 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 11:59 AM
    Yeah, no spells are overpowered. But lots of spells are disappointing (to put it politely). Too many underpowered spells disrupt the game, in that what could be interesting concepts prove to be nonviable compared to other options in the same spell slot. It is a similar problem with feats. Too many feats are noncompetitive with other feats.
    65 replies | 2697 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 06:44 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Viking style wrestling, called glíma, is brutal. It resembles mixed-martial arts today, with take downs, body locks, punches and kicks, and lots of blood, except glíma involves more body throws, and uses improvised weapons, such as throwing stones, wielding an oar, pulling down an opponents pants to distract, throwing sand in eyes, etcetera. During the Viking period, glíma normally...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 06:22 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Yeah, the bow and the spear are primarily hunting weapons. Because hunting is a staple source of food during the long winters, many Norse will have a bow and a spear around anyway, and know how to use it. Similarly, the ax. The same ax that is used to chop wood is often the same ax that is reused for war. Only the sword is unusual, in that its only purpose is combat, which is why it functions...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 04:17 AM
    I suspect the designers are in a ... modality ... that they care more about whether the majority of players are satisfied than whether the game is actually balanced or consistent. If there are some aspects that are off, it seems necessary to inform the larger community about the difficulties, to encourage players to notice and understand the issues, rather than finetune the aspects directly. ...
    65 replies | 2697 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 03:45 PM
    Comeliness +1 Charisma You exhibit extreme goodlooks. While you are within 30 feet and in line of sight, you gain advantage to persuasion checks, and targets suffer disadvantage to saving throws against your charm effects. Hideousness +1 Charisma You exhibit grotesque ugliness. While you are within 30 feet and in line of sight, you gain advantage to intimidation checks, and targets suffer...
    59 replies | 1454 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 11:46 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    During the Viking Period, Norse men have both a right and an obligation to carry weapons. The men of a clan serve as the clan militia to defend fellow clan members. The aboriginal Norse government is the local parliament, the Þing. It is a democracy, where all adults arrive to vote. The main responsibility of the elected leader, the jarl, is to coordinate the clan militias to function as a...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 07:18 AM
    Personally, my interest is more toward making skill checks more like combat − robust, balanced, thoughtful, challenging. When skills use the same math that combat does, then it is easier to adjudicate the difficulty and the appropriate levels when difficult stunts should be more plausible. Consistent math makes it easier to handle skill checks on the fly, as they arise naturally as part of...
    193 replies | 5214 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 06:52 AM
    There are times when Dexterity (Athletics) can be appropriate − slow, small, cautious, sensitive, precise, aim, like an archery trick shot. But ‘Acrobatics’ as a separate skill lacks a reason to exist. Heh, a person who takes the socalled ‘acrobatics’ cant even perform basic acrobatic maneuvers, which require jumping and climbing. By contrast, the Athletics skill covers everything relating...
    74 replies | 1811 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 03:22 AM
    I like the idea by Charlaquin, Dont ‘prepare’ spells, but have a limited number of different kinds of spells that are possible each day. This allows both spontaneity and gaming balance. That said, I prefer thematic spellcasters, for flavor. So even the pool of available spells to choose from during the day would depend on which themes the caster specializes in.
    38 replies | 1957 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 02:46 AM
    Defeating an enemy requires a number of attack rolls to complete a ‘challenge’. D&D specializes in combat mechanics and makes it complex. Similarly, to complete a skill ‘challenge’ can part of a complex encounter that requires numerous skill checks. For example, for us, creating a magic item (or modifying an existing magic item) involves numerous challenges, from acquiring the rare ingredients...
    193 replies | 5214 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 02:26 AM
    One of the reasons the six abilities are so imbalanced (and occasionally nonsensical) is they rely on explanations that almost never happen during gameplay. Personally, I have never had a ‘synchronized swimming’ check, or any kind of dance-off. I have had many gymnastic stunts during combat, but they are almost always Strength (Athletics) because they involve jumping. Even running...
    74 replies | 1811 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:22 AM
    Physical power versus physical agility − is more like Size versus Athletics. Then it is easy to be big and clumsy. Or small and agile. Or big and agile.
    74 replies | 1811 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:17 AM
    The separation between Strength athletics and Dexterity acrobatics implies that people who learn how to jump well never learn how to land well. Or people who climb well never learn how to balance well or fall well. The disconnect is one of the deep failures of the six-ability tradition that I hope some future option or edition eventually fixes.
    74 replies | 1811 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 03:33 AM
    Freerunning is mostly jumping and climbing − by current D&D rules, straightforward Strength (Athletic) checks. That said, a careful consideration of freerunning is what finally convinced me to terminate the discongruent acrobatics skill, and just use athletics for all physical stunts. Athletic Strength necessarily includes agile ‘grace’. Just like wielding a sword includes the ability...
    74 replies | 1811 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 02:51 AM
    I wish combat attacks and skill checks used the same math. Wielding a weapon is like any other kind of skill. Expertise for sharpshooter and expertise for grappling and expertise for persuasion, should all be the same numeric value. It was a mistake to create two different systems.
    193 replies | 5214 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 08:53 PM
    In my campaign, there is only the Athletics skill. It covers any athletic agility checks as well, including tumbling and falling (relating to jumping), and balancing (relating to climbing). Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Athletics), and Constitution (Athletics) are all possible depending on the stunt. Even possible are Charisma (Athletics) is plausible for dance, Intelligence...
    74 replies | 1811 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 02:33 PM
    Based on what you said, I think Savage Worlds is your best bet from the systems with which I'm familiar. If you want something really off the wall, though, pick up the core World of Darkness book and/or Hunter: the Vigil (which is more mundane than The Reckoning). The base Storyteller/ing system is actually light until you start adding the various "race" rules. If you hate dice pools, you're...
    38 replies | 1078 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 03:31 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Spears. Norse warriors prefer the sword for one-on-one combat. However, for mass combat, Norse warriors prefer the spear. The spear attacks beyond a shield formation. The spear keeps an opponent away at a distance. At range, the spear can spy and hit a distant opponent. Viking Period spears comprise a shaft of ash wood, and spearhead of steel. The shaft of a spear ranges between 2 and 3...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 09:06 PM
    Mechanically, nothing. I don't have any serious quibbles with the rules. Fluff-wise, too much Realms. Of course, nothing short of taking it out back, beating it with a shovel, then burning what's left is actually going to please me, so take that with a salt mine.
    1824 replies | 158032 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 01:06 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    I updated the post above on shields. There are more details about how one is created. The wood itself is very thin, about 6 millimeters. The roundshield is very light and maneuverable.
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th September, 2018, 05:10 AM
    I don't recognize the poll as constituting a linear scale. I'm a fairly low gonzo DM. I believe heavily in internal consistency and depth of setting. But there are some weird assumptions being made pertaining to the seriousness and depth of a setting based on genre alone that I don't understand. Eberron and mage-punk do not strike me as inherently more gonzo than a medieval game. A...
    53 replies | 2222 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th September, 2018, 02:49 AM
    Table #: Dragon Attacks and Damage for Exceptionally Large Dragons HD Bite Claw Wing
    84 replies | 3657 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 28th September, 2018, 11:25 PM
    Platinum Dragon (Bahamut) Frequency: Unique No. Appearing: 1 Armor Class: -10 Move: 9”/30” E Hit Dice: 28+168 (392 hp) % in Lair: 90% Treasure Type: H x 4, I x 4, P x 4, Q x 4, R x 4, S x 4, T x 4, Z x 4 No. Of Attacks: 6 Damage/Attack: 7d10, 6d6, 6d6, 2d8, 2d8, 4d8
    84 replies | 3657 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 09:36 PM
    I said 2 & 3. Some attempt at ecology is good, but I don't actually want to think about it hard enough to make it really work. Just get me to suspension of disbelief level. If you have a rat bastard at the table picking things apart, then call him a rat bastard, tell him to go play GURPS or Phoenix Command and move on. I'd default to how I interpret #3: baseline of medieval Europe tech and...
    53 replies | 2222 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 09:29 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    In the case of particular ulfberht swords, they seem to be made locally. The ulfberht steel exists for various types of blades. These blade types are what one expects corresponding to the hilt types. It seems the blades, the guard and the pommel, are all being created around the same time in the same place. That said, mixing and matching blades, guards, and pommels, is common. But the...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 08:57 PM
    Monster/creature rules tend to be very system specific, so I'd kind of have to know what system you are planning on running. If you are talking about D20 rules system, Betabunny's 'Beastiary: The Predators' is the best resource for D20 mundane creatures. You can use that as a starting point for creating mutant monsters.
    3 replies | 316 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 10:36 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Yeah, in addition to the high quality Norse steel of the Viking Period, there is also ... crazy good steel. I actually tried to post about this crazy good steel earlier, but the post ended up asking more questions than providing useful information. Currently, archeologists dispute the origins and techniques for this exceptional steel. Some assume it is steel made by the ‘crucible’...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 09:53 PM
    Now, all of this I can get behind. There is definitely an expectation of improvement and 5E has it to a higher degree than 1E (but lower than 3E). It was the "zero to hero", specifically, that I disagreed with. In the earliest incarnations of the game, a 1st level character was just good enough to warrant a separate figure, rather than a stand, on a battlefield. They weren't "zero", but they...
    80 replies | 2241 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 07:18 PM
    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. When I was playing AD&D, in college, one game ran from 1st level to 4th or 5th level over the course of the school year. The next fall, I ran a "sequel" campaign that took those characters to maybe 8th (depending on class XP table). We gamed pretty...
    80 replies | 2241 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 05:15 PM
    Celebrim replied to OotS 1141
    Part of me really applauds the wonderful world building and the tying together of multiple story threads. Part of me is saying, "When you go that big, you don't make the problem seem more epic; you make it seem less." I have a suspicion though now about where things are going, and I think it is going to make up for my disappointment with shrinking his scale by making the problem bigger.
    4 replies | 301 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 08:12 PM
    There wasn't so much confusion as I was pointing out how at odds this approach was to my stated aesthetics of play, namely that all adjudication of fortune should be based wholly or primarily on factors that occur in the setting (properly in the fictional positioning). As such, I felt if you'd been paying attention you'd know that I wasn't interested in that as an approach. But your answer...
    57 replies | 1142 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 07:32 PM
    Sometimes. If the monster is hard to describe, is something that has changed significantly from a prior edition, or the picture will freak someone out (hello arachnophobes). Everyone has seen pictures of goblins and orcs, so we don't worry about it. Showing the Glabrezu to the new player, though.... that's fun.
    30 replies | 709 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 07:28 PM
    With the Wayfarer's Guide out and the Eberron AL set to start (in earnest), this week, I'm tempted to switch settings and ease back on my adventure prep time. But.... I've never even read through the AL adventures. I'd heard, at one point, they weren't real good for playing in a normal campaign. But, that was quite some time ago. So, are they something you can use like an adventure path? Are...
    9 replies | 344 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 07:18 PM
    Sounds extremely 'gamist' to me. Why three? What is 'round' in game universe? What does each roll represent in the game universe? You can therefore probably imagine at this point how well I receive that as a process of resolution. Yes, it solves a problem but only from a particular point of view as to what the problem is.
    57 replies | 1142 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 06:56 PM
    Well, part of that assumes that "state a goal and approach" was intended as a hard rule-like process of play and not just good guideline for how to encourage good interactive RP. The fact that you've reimagined at least one skill - insight - to make it more active and less passive suggests that what you call "in line with the other skills" is a more ubiquitous problem. For me, it's a...
    57 replies | 1142 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 03:38 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    One feature that distinguishes the arrival of the Early Viking Period is the widespread use of high quality steel. The Norse are typically proficient with metalworking. Most make their own tools from steel bars. It is also common to recycle steel from earlier items. Talented metalworkers are in demand and enjoy high social status. Those who can produce consistently good steel from raw iron ore...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd September, 2018, 10:28 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Scandinavian archeologists lack consensus about how to periodize the Viking Period. A main difficulty is, the time is defined by things that happen in other lands. But when archeologists look in the lands of Scandinavia itself, there is little difference before or after. Some consider the Viking Period to be part of the Iron Age, some consider it to be part of the Medieval Period, and some...
    75 replies | 4197 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd September, 2018, 02:56 AM
    Pretty cool.
    1 replies | 237 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd September, 2018, 02:14 AM
    I'm not sure that I insulted you, and certainly didn't do so on purpose, but if you feel insulted I apologize. You are correct that I made assumptions about your process of play that may not be true, and I know how annoying it is to be misunderstood. It's a particular peeve of mine, so I apologize for any misreading of your statement. Ok, so the way knowledge skills are written in 5e is...
    57 replies | 1142 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 10:24 PM
    Ok, sure. But for me that relies way too much on DM whim, and further it fails a verisimilitude check. Properly speaking, the NPC's notice of the players suspicion shouldn't depend on a contest of the NPC's deceptive skill vs. the PC's perception, but rather on the contest of the NPC's perceptiveness versus the PC's deceptive skill. It's quite possible for a character to be deceitful but...
    57 replies | 1142 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 10:11 PM
    I leave it up to the player to decide their own aesthetic preferences. This only gets to be a problem when players are deeply invested in those preferences and they contradict, such as the "step on up" player complaining that the thespian isn't pulling their weight in the fight versus this werewolf, while the thespian complains that the guy with competitive aesthetics is ruining the story by...
    57 replies | 1142 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 09:45 PM
    Generally speaking, for me the check to recognize the monster and recall facts you've heard about the creature about comes before someone suggest "we need to kill it with fire". Since so many of my monsters are homebrew to one degree or another (a troll is a 12HD fairy in my game, not a 6HD giant) this is pretty darn essential to play. But if a player recognizes a troll (rather than a...
    57 replies | 1142 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 09:00 PM
    The traditional response is to imply that I'm an immoral person who probably needs to psychiatric care and that people like me need to be sterilized and have their children taken away for the collective good, then proactively run to the moderators to tell them how impolite I am so that they can get away with it.
    1366 replies | 34947 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 08:49 PM
    I suppose so. In an 'ideal' system I suppose we'd make a second secret 'wisdom' check after failing any sort of mental social skill check in order to determine how oblivious the character actually is to his own failure - he doesn't realize his joke wasn't funny and went over like a fart and he's the only one laughing, and so forth. But seeing as we are usually testing perceptiveness in the...
    1366 replies | 34947 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 08:12 PM
    OMG. You are now like most honored among all internet posters. I'm not sure I've ever had such a graciously unadorned apology. I should take a screen shot of that. You are like restoring my faith in humanity. So, for my part, I apologize for how aggressive I get in these debates. I once had a friend, a good friend mind you, tell me that arguing with me was like taking a 2x4 to the face. ...
    1366 replies | 34947 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 08:07 PM
    Meta-game knowledge used to bother me a lot as both a DM trying to run a setting and a player trying to be true to my character. After 30 years, I tell my players not to sweat it. The reason is that once you have meta-game knowledge there is no way to 'un-have' it. Even if you try not to react to it, that in itself is still being influenced by it. So I no longer worry about meta-game...
    57 replies | 1142 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 07:55 PM
    Read it again. Read it again. You rolled another 1, and didn't realize it. If you'd read it again you'll find that I offered up "move silently" specifically as an example of something where they character would receive immediate feedback, and therefore it made sense for the player to roll there own dice. I linked "move silently" to things like attack rolls and climbing a wall as...
    1366 replies | 34947 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 06:08 PM
    I think the answer here is make that insight check behind the screen and report the results to the player. The player should not know that they failed an insight check. The character doesn't know that they failed an insight check, so why should the player have that knowledge? With that change, all problems go away.
    57 replies | 1142 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 05:26 PM
    Both. So, one thing I agree with is: "The players deserve to know what to expect." And the reason for that is less "the players need to know the rules" than "one predicate for the claim that you are judging fairly is that your rulings are consistent and ultimately predictable". You can't be a fair judge of the game if your ruling largely on the basis of whim and fiat. But one thing that...
    34 replies | 825 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 04:48 PM
    These days, I could handle it by providing the players character sheets that did item saving throws for them with a button push (all my players use the excel character spread sheets I provided at the start of the campaign anyway). The reason I've never gone hard core on item saving throws even though I conceptually love the idea of that is the design headaches it presents to the DM if they...
    1366 replies | 34947 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 03:55 PM
    Yeah, I might concede that. I haven't done anything from BECMI beyond 'Companion' level, and when I used that material it was with AD&D PC's, but certainly BECMI had spent more time working out the numbers it needed and wasn't afraid of them.
    88 replies | 3539 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 03:36 PM
    That's been basically true for anything above about 12th level since the game came out in the '70's.
    88 replies | 3539 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 03:06 PM
    I'm a pretty hard core simulationist, and I believe that the purpose of game rules is to create a model of the world. For most things that we are modelling there should be a certain verisimilitude to the real world. That is the mechanics should model our own life experiences so that the results are familiar to us. You implicitly understand this when you write: So I think we are in...
    1366 replies | 34947 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 02:34 PM
    I'm totally OK with both choices. In fact, I probably could enjoy playing at a table where both were true provided the DM had no major flaws. I'm just not nearly as picky regarding style, and actually prefer a DM to express more of his artistic personal style when running a game. The best DMs I've had, even when running official content, personalized them and expanded on them and developed...
    1366 replies | 34947 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 02:29 PM
    I can just imagine the conversation with my wife if I decided to leave my job because I wanted to become a pen and paper game designer. My brother has often chided me for not trying to get published, and my response has always been my expected return on initial investment is under $1 an hour. There is no way the writing would be anything other than a labor of love. But I've a few writing...
    1366 replies | 34947 view(s)
    2 XP
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Wednesday, 17th October, 2018


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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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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.

Friday, 24th August, 2018

  • 03:14 PM - Parmandur 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. Just rename the Masked Lord's the Hooded Lord's of Dyvers, and roll a new name for Xanathar from the Beholder section in Volo's. Most "Real...

Thursday, 23rd August, 2018

  • 06:12 PM - Demetrios1453 quoted Mercule in post Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and the old splintering the fan base chestnut...
    I do not plan to even consider Dragon Heist. I can't imagine that it isn't tightly coupled to Waterdeep and/or that trying to Sharn-ify it wouldn't be at least as bad as ToD I would be very surprised if there isn't a fairly substantial section on converting Dragon Heist and Dungeon of the Mad Mage material to both Sharn and Greyhawk City, as both are large cities for their settings with megadungeons below. Sharn especially, given the recent setting guide release...


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Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
456 0 1 Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM

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