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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Today, 03:42 AM
    The problem is more than the elf stats, it is the flavor that gets baked into the elf mechanics. For example, rather than a race of powerful mages − bards and wizards − now the elves are mediocre mages and moreso a mundane ‘lissome’ creature, highlighting mundane Dexterity as the defining elf trait. Any residual claims of potent magic, and charm, and songs, and poetry, from previous editions...
    22 replies | 1061 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:28 PM
    Well, prior to Ovinomancer's post, I was going to say the two were probably about even,other than the potential for +d6 giving a chance for results above 20. My gut still says something's a bit off with that graph, but I haven't gone through the math, myself. Basically, advantage is roughly equal to a +5 bonus at a DC 11, tapering to an effective +1 (or marginally less) at either end. The d6...
    39 replies | 698 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:15 PM
    I GM, but I can't remember the last time a concentration check came into play. It does a pretty good job of limiting multi-buff scenarios, but the party is also pretty good about keeping their support well defended.
    21 replies | 820 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 08:52 PM
    To be fair, players lack need to read the DMs Guide. Generally, players read the Players Handbook. The *Players Handbook* needs to 1) consistently refer to the DMs authority to change the setting, and 2) encourage the player to customize their own character concept (with the DMs agreement and integration). Some posters here in Enworld refer to customization as ‘Advanced D&D’. Some suggest...
    55 replies | 1172 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 08:24 PM
    Think with a reptile brain. Eat − sleep. Defend territory − sex. Fight − flight. I dont think I am missing anything. It is all about the appetites.
    25 replies | 791 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 08:09 PM
    Greyhawk. Regarding Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1e, the official setting is the one that the DM invents. Homebrew. Everything else is suggestions and inspiration − and a mess that requires homebrew to make sense of. Greyhawk is something else. Greyhawk is an intellectual challenge to see if it is possible to use every suggestion that TSR ever published, and fit it into a single setting −...
    31 replies | 861 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 03:12 AM
    For example, the 1e Players Handbook left space for the DM to fill, and explicitly and repeatedly appealed to DM worldbuilding. 1e might have other problematics, but what it did right is support creativity and customization.
    55 replies | 1172 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 03:10 AM
    It is problematic when all other rules-as-written explicitly and repeatedly contradict the DM.
    55 replies | 1172 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 02:54 AM
    An other error. None of eladrin have +2 Charisma, or even +2 Intelligence.
    22 replies | 1061 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 02:38 AM
    The problem is, the 5e Players Handbook fails to support DM world-building. If the official rules-as-written support DM world-building, then it will happen. If the official rules-as-written fail to support the DM, then creative worldbuilding will diminish and go extinct.
    55 replies | 1172 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 03:57 PM
    Pets are just that, pets. They have no magical or special connection to the player character, and they do not improve as a result of the character increasing levels. As I run them, animal companions will basically understand any instruction that their human companion gives them, and will act on those instructions to the best of their ability without lengthy training. Pets only understand...
    2 replies | 148 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 03:26 PM
    Yaarel replied to Penguin Powers!
    At this point I can see the Pengoi developing in potentially three directions. Either, a naturalistic creature, as if an intelligent species evolved from reallife penguins. Or, go with the Primordeal and embrace the elemental magic of water and air, with cold and storm. Or, social magic involve charm and cooperation might work too.
    11 replies | 306 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 02:52 PM
    Yaarel replied to Penguin Powers!
    Pengoi − so far the following sounds good to me • Constitution, Charisma • Size: Medium (a reallife prehistoric species of penguin was about the size of a human) • 25 land speed, 40 swim speed • Cold resistance (but can still be in warm climates too) • Stealth advantage underwater • Languages: Common, Primordeal (Auran, Aquan) • Nomadic fish-eaters • Terrain: arctic, coastal, aquatic •...
    11 replies | 306 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 11:49 AM
    In some campaigns, I make the ‘divine force’ and the ‘positive energy plane’, the same thing. In this context, the positivity is a mysterious, transcendent, omnipresent, source of all being. Some clerics are mystics that strive to be ‘in tune’ with the way this energy ripples thru the multiverse. Ultimately, both energy and consciousness derive from ‘there’.
    68 replies | 2761 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 01:48 AM
    So, the game is specifically the experience of play that occurs at the table. It's composed of a bunch of stuff - rules, metarules (how we think about play often unconsciously), procedures of play (how we decide to apply the rules), how we prepare to play, and the individual social characteristics and goals of the player. The author appears to be focusing on the game world as an element of...
    12 replies | 363 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 12:07 PM
    D&D 5e has destroyed the D&D elf traditions.
    111 replies | 4567 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 12:06 PM
    The decision to have *one* multiverse that contains *all* settings, means, there is no escape from unwanted 5e lore. If the mechanics bake in the undesirable flavor into the core rules, then even more problematic.
    111 replies | 4567 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 11:58 AM
    This is great because provokes thoughts and helps the creative process. If your are interested in a critique, maybe correlate the NPC descriptions closer to the ability scores. For example, one NPC has ‘high Constitution and low Charisma’, but then, incongruously, it says they have ‘talent playing music’. If they have low Charisma, then her poor Performance skill checks, their...
    3 replies | 232 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 01:19 AM
    In terms of concept, the cleric describes community leaders of various kinds of spirituality. In terms of mechanics, the cleric is one of the best gishes that D&D has to offer, marrying powerful magic with competent warcraft. Especially when the DM and the player assign relevant domain spells, the cleric can be almost any kind of gish.
    68 replies | 2761 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 01:01 AM
    I appreciate the ‘secularization’ of D&D healing. More options are available for healer archetypes. It is healthier for the game. I appreciate where Xanathars Guide has rules-as-written that allow the *player* to choose to play a nonpolytheistic cleric. The sacred can be an abstract concept (love, ethics) or a cosmic force (energy, consciousness, life). Xanathars Guide still assumes the...
    68 replies | 2761 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 12:26 AM
    If I understand right, there is no Happy Fun Hour this week because Mearls and his kid are sick?
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 11:19 PM
    Totally agree with this. Diggers tend to be less problematic as the majority of really good diggers have not traditionally been tamable or even trainable in D&D. They are also by their nature almost impossible to cage and control, and expensive to feed. Charmed diggers represent fairly high level magic and as such are on the level of 'defenses against teleport'. So the only time you really...
    26 replies | 755 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 08:04 PM
    While it certainly took a trebuchet a long time to reduce a wall, it took less time to reduce a wall with a steady barrage of stones than it took to starve out a castle and in the long run success was basically inevitable unlike other risky approaches like sapping. Trebuchet were used on many occasions to reduce the walls of a city or castle between their introduction in the 11th century and the...
    26 replies | 755 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 07:38 PM
    I am less enthusiastic about negative modifiers. I prefer, Untrained: +0 Trained: +2 Expert: +3 Master: +4 Legendary: +5
    32 replies | 722 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:58 PM
    When does someone have a −1 training?
    32 replies | 722 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:13 PM
    A race is worth approximately 3 feats (some races are slightly stronger, others slightly weaker). The core races have approximately: +2 ability score (worth a feat) +1 ability score (worth a ½-feat) 2 major traits (each worth a ½-feat) 4 minor traits (each worth a proficiency, and four worth a ½-feat)
    32 replies | 990 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 05:29 PM
    For most settings, the default race is human. Characters are assumed to be human. Certain feats associate with certain heritages. For example, if an Eladrin Elf feat grants +1 Charisma along with Misty Step per rest, then selecting this feat means you have elf heritage. You can decide if you are full elf, half elf, or if one of your distant ancestors is an elf, and these traits show up...
    32 replies | 990 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 04:59 PM
    Heh, I think the original post should have led with that.
    224 replies | 3521 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 04:43 PM
    P2 is going to add level (!) to all d20 rolls. For training, your numbers +0, +2, +5 looks appealing to me. What I would like to see is only four skills on the character sheet (and on the monster stat block). Pick four skills that the character is especially known for. Pick which skill gets +5 − the one that most represents the character concept − and which three other skills get +2. All...
    32 replies | 722 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 10:48 AM
    I dont really understand this episode of Survivor. What are we voting for? Why are only some subclasses present, and other subclasses absent?
    224 replies | 3521 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 09:09 AM
    I guess I am going to have to figure out how to use the Magic Set Editor to make these files work?
    2005 replies | 537448 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 05:12 AM
    Well, first, by the late middle ages torsion and gravity based siege weapon technology had advanced to the point that in point of fact if you had enough money you could knock down the walls of pretty much anything with a trebuchet. It was just a matter of time. But for the most part, this was nothing really knew. The whole point of a castle was to delay a large force with a small force until...
    26 replies | 755 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 12:41 AM
    Any chance of doing these cards for 5e spells and features?
    2005 replies | 537448 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 11:12 PM
    Like Power Gamer, like World Builder, like Method Actor, and so on, these are all legitimate styles of playing D&D.
    32 replies | 722 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 05:18 AM
    I hate missing on my turn. In previous editions I often picked feats that improved accuracy. In 5e, improving ability score is pretty much that. I love and need customization. I hate missing. For me, swapping out less desirable features for more desirable features is the ideal way to customize. At the same time, I can invest resources to miss less often.
    59 replies | 1757 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 03:46 AM
    Yeah, only one Fission at a time, for sure. But it seems ok if they move indefinitely away from each other? In this sense, it resembles Astral Projection, but only affects self, not other team members. And this tactic of sending one of the fissions away on a mission loses the benefit of two of you focus-firing against one hostile. Plus, the spell only lasts for 10 minutes. So there is only a...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 03:33 AM
    I am impressed how the preferences for ability improvement versus feat choice are reasonably well distributed. Some finetuning of feats remains necessary. Some feats are too good while most feats are less than equal to an ability score improvement. Even so, the poll suggests that feats versus improvements are reasonably comparable in value. The feats need better design, but the approach of...
    59 replies | 1757 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 03:02 AM
    For the spell level 9 aerokinesis lacuna, I am thinking a Vortex spell, or call it Storm Form. Essentially, the caster becomes a storm. The caster becomes wind, relating to Gaseous Form with its defensive benefits and mobility benefits such as squeezing thru small spaces, but can make attacks dealing cold, thunder, lightning, and/or (windblown) bludgeoning damage. Probably the attack has a...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 02:45 AM
    Since Fission is spell level 8, maybe its as-if long rest refreshes spells that are lower than 8.
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 02:39 AM
    I appreciate the endorsement of the Fission spell. The wording still needs some finetuning. For example, how the long rest relates to regaining spell slots. I want Fission to refresh spells. On the other hand, I dont want an infinite Fission casting loop (as tempting as this actually is). Heh, so some clarification is necessary. I want the spell to be clear by being simple with clear...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 02:33 AM
    I assume − and hope − the simulacrum can cast spells. Some creatures get their power from being a big bag of hit points, other creatures get their power from spellcasting.
    32 replies | 6745 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 01:56 AM
    The lengthy ‘skill list’ is one of those things that makes you think you *cannot* do something because there is an entry for it, and you didnt invest in it. I would rather the skills be to pick four ‘favorite’ skills, and list these four by one that you are best at first, with the next two almost as good, and a fourth one with a bonus that is also notable. Then these four favorite skills...
    32 replies | 722 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 01:45 AM
    I strongly prefer building characters this way.
    32 replies | 722 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 02:40 AM
    Normally, the math matters. I try max any main abilities.
    59 replies | 1757 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 07:09 PM
    I'd also encourage you to search for threads on EnWorld. The topic has been repeatedly discussed at very great length, and the response you may receive to this thread does not necessarily reflect the mania the fanbase has for this topic - just the fact they've done it to death.
    26 replies | 755 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 07:25 AM
    FISSION 8th-level transmutation, body, shapeshifting Casting time: 1 action Range: Self Components: S, M (a bisected seed that has each half sprout its own root) Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes Your body tears in half. Each half exposes organs − writhing, deforming, regenerating − to form two whole yous. The bodies stand within 5 feet of each other. Each emerges as you as if...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 02:16 AM
    In old school 1e and 2e, psionics bypassed magic resistance. But in new school 3e and 4e, the default is, psionics is a style of magic, and magic resistance does defend against it. The 5e UA articles continue the new school approach. In 5e, psionics differs from ‘spells’ because spells have a verbal, somatic, and/or material component. However, psionics is a form of magic. Both spells and...
    6 replies | 251 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 02:00 AM
    I agree. At the same time, what is being telekinesed is air. The thunder is a sonic boom, being a physical wave of air. Similarly, the push is a concussive blast − a shock wave − of air. It is strictly ‘aerokinesis’. Even when telekinesis is the energizer, the air itself is necessarily the target in order to cause these sonic and blast effects.
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 10:21 PM
    Note, Mearls in Happy Fun Hour likes the Thunderwave spell for the psychic warrior class, meaning, in some sense, Aerokinesis is an appropriate trope for psionic characters. Similarly the cold ‘cryokinesis’ aspect of Aerokinesis is a go.
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 09:55 PM
    I like the way you handle the contact, favor, and resource acquisition. Maybe it is possible to reconcile a contact by doing a favor in return?
    17 replies | 485 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 09:50 PM
    I like the spell level 1 spell list that Mearls cobbles together for the psywar. There are different tropes thrown together adhoc into the list. For the psion who has more spells and more spell levels, I prefer to see more specialization, say two tropes. But for the psywar, cherry-picking an assortment according to a certain warrior archetype makes sense.
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 10:31 AM
    Happy Fun Psionic Hour!
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 09:23 AM
    Next episode of Happy Fun Hour. Mearls tackles the Psychic Warrior! https://www.twitch.tv/videos/259184994 (Show starts in about 3:05 after a long title screen.)
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 06:07 AM
    Brainstorming ... For Shapeshifting spell level 8, I think Fission can work. You split into two yous. The duplicate of yourself emerges as if from a full rest and endures for up to 10 minutes, only one of you needs to concentrate on the Fission spell. So two of you can fight with twice the spell power. (Only one Fission on one person at a time. But in addition to yourself, you could use a...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 05:48 AM
    Spell Research Help come up with spells to fill in the empty spell levels of some of the spell lists. • Force spell level 8 • Shapeshifting spell level 6 • Shapeshifting spell level 8 • Aerokinesis spell level 9
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 06:24 AM
    Depending on the cantrip selection available to you, I recommend. • Vicious Mockery − versus evil doers? Totally paladin! • Guidance − inspire others to succeed. • Resistance − save others. • Prestidigitation − less useful for paladin, but flavorful − be clean and shiny, with triumphant music in the background.
    17 replies | 483 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 06:10 AM
    I will try this xp quiz for my adult players!
    9 replies | 299 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 05:55 AM
    Gadget Regarding Create Homunculus. The reason I added this spell to the list is desperation. It is painful to see lacunae at the empty levels. The Shapeshifter needs spells at spell level 6 and 8, and more high level spells generally. But, as you point out, the spell is probably unworthy of spell level 6 anyway, being explicitly boosted two levels higher because of paranoia about it...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 05:47 AM
    DMs think of some spells as ‘spoilers’. Sometimes the DM doesnt want the heroes to know something, because it is a mystery that the heroes need to solve. Similarly, sometimes DMs dont want heroes to access a certain room ... yet. So, spells involving telepathy, esp, scrying, clairvoyance, phasing thru walls, teleportation, etherealness, outofbody mind projection, and so on can be problematic....
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 05:29 AM
    Yeah, exactly. The more focused spell list − two tropes − helps compensate for no material (or other) component. Also there are excellent spells on that list, and the focus helps prevent accessing all of them. But mostly, the focus on two tropes is for flavor. Psychic characters in folkbelief and pop culture seem to specialize in certain themes. Regarding spells that are assigned a...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 04:37 AM
    The psion is personal and direct. On the other hand, it is possible to have a single effect that can affect many minds? For example, Mass Suggestion creates a certain experience, then all targets together (subjectively) experience it. Psionic manipulation of elements can work. I understand the objection to psions wielding elemental magic. In the past, I objected to it. But now I have...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 03:05 AM
    I just watched the next episode of Happy Fun Hour. It goes into more detail about the psion wizard. For the telepath wizard, Mearls puts together a boosted at-will Detect Thoughts as a Wizard level 2 feature. I like it. This time around, Mearls seems more enthusiastic about psionic subclasses. Especially, these subclasses can offer a ‘middle ground’ between ‘no psionics anywhere’ and ‘all...
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 07:49 PM
    Astral Projection is a high level spell because it makes the entire party virtually unkillable. In this context, the projections are fully functioning duplicates, and if a duplicate gets killed, the projector simply returns to the original body. It is a powerful spell. On the other hand, projecting ones mind outofbody, is a low level spell. First, it is an inconvenience to secure the...
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 07:01 PM
    Regarding the approach your Original Post takes to represent Coyote, I thought dealing with an animal spirit as a *spirit* that influences, rather than a creature to combat, was a good way to handle the concept in D&D. I like it. It might work for other animistic figures as well. The OP focuses on how the warlock class interacts with the animal spirit. I am curious about how other kinds of heroes...
    19 replies | 350 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 02:51 PM
    In general, architectural details are unwelcome to me, because climate and geography tends to determine every feature of architecture and if I'm generating a village I generally know the climate and so can guess at the architecture. If you are going to give architectural suggestions, I'd suggest limiting your generator to embellishments like how the buildings are painted, carved, decorated, or...
    10 replies | 396 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 03:10 AM
    :) The web comic, Gunnerkrigg Court, has alot of fun with Coyote. In the context, he personifies the mysteries of nature versus the rationality of science − but both are important and in need of balancing, somewhat like yang and yin.
    19 replies | 350 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 10:56 PM
    Wish is pure psionics. The mind visualizes a desire, focuses, and makes the reality happen. It is the essence of all psionics. Fly is telekinesing ones own body. Levitating, flying, moving by the force of the mind are standard tropes. Psychic healers are standard fare, both today in pop culture, in alternative medicine, and in ancient times, such as certain Norse techniques, such as imbuing...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 06:10 PM
    I started a new thread to explore what the psion spell list might look like. Take a look here ... http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?637963-Psion-Wizard-Spell-List&p=7414253#post7414253
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 05:48 PM
    This third post is for spell research. Certain psionic concepts still need a spell, and a few tropes need more spells to choose from at a certain level.
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 05:39 PM
    PSION SPELL LIST The spells are roughly in order from weaker spells to stronger spells. So occasionally, a weak higher level spell occurs in a lower level list. For example, Water Breathing 3 is officially spell level 3, but your DM may allow you to choose it for a spell level 1 spell. FORCE 0 Dancing Lights 0
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 05:32 PM
    Yaarel started a thread Psion Wizard Spell List
    Happy Fun Hour − Mearls explores a psion archetype for the wizard class. Here is an example of a spell list for this psion. You can use the wizard class, but other caster classes are possible too. The spells divide up into the four themes: Spirit, Mind, Body, and Matter. Then they organize into psionic tropes within a theme. A full caster chooses two tropes, and selects the known spells from...
    24 replies | 640 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 10:05 PM
    I've been toying with wholesale replacing the traits with character Aspects from Fate and using Fate Points through the lens of Inspiration (compels and invokes provide advantage/disadvantage a la Inspiration). One of the reasons I haven't is because I'm afraid that, once I started tacking on Fate bits to D&D, it would be a slow creep towards replacing all the rules. I'm not sure that'd be a...
    42 replies | 1763 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 09:55 PM
    I use the average from the PHB (6 for Fighter, etc.). Seems to work well enough. My caveat is that I've fully embraced the "3rd is the new 1st" mentality and have never really considered anything above 11th level, or so, to be interesting. So, that's a pretty narrow band of "works for me".
    17 replies | 775 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 09:52 PM
    Baldur's Gate 16 Blackmoor 12 City of Brass 13 City State of the Invincible Overlord 11 Free City of Greyhawk 15 Lankhmar 8 Sharn 13 Sigil 12 Stormreach 8
    600 replies | 11519 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 09:49 PM
    My inner voice would not permit me to read your abbreviation correctly. Your boss monsters are harsh, man.
    42 replies | 1763 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 03:38 AM
    So ... for you, something like? hit points = Constitution score + (4 x level)
    17 replies | 775 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 07:44 PM
    I don't think it's fair to try to have this conversation here, but if you wanted to start a new thread on the aesthetics of play (that is, what about a game you or others find to be fun) and how we can match our preparation, rules, and procedures of play to those aesthetics of play I'd find that a very enjoyable conversation. In particular, one of the few things I feel confident I understand...
    119 replies | 2916 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 02:36 PM
    Well, I think the thread is dead. On the 'sock puppet' front, I actually read several score pages of the blog, and my first impression as I was reading had been the 'Carl' was The Tao as well. But then a Carl was mentioned in one article, and though I'm not completely sure, I think our Carl/Simon is the guy mentioned by the blogger as the one that created the wiki for The Tao. In other...
    119 replies | 2916 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 03:07 AM
    I guess, if the base class of the monk was less baked in, and there was more design space for subclasses, it could make a pretty awesome jedi.
    11 replies | 532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 03:00 AM
    I love the jedi as a gish archetype. There is room in D&D for this. A telekinetic psychic warrior-mage. All good. Essentially, this is a dexterous Eldritch Knight with a better selection of spells.
    11 replies | 532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 11:10 PM
    Conversely, people should associate Norse magic with ‘psychic’. To misrepresent Norse magic because of some other method of magic is somewhat problematic.
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 11:06 PM
    It seems to me, the Ethereal Plane comprises the Feywild and the Shadowfell. So, it might be accurate to speak of the ethereal ‘planes’. • The Ethereal Plane is ‘shallow’, juxtaposing the Material Plane. • The Feywild is still shallow but somewhat deeper, toward the Positive Energy Plane. • The Shadowfell is somewhat deeper, toward the Negative Energy Plane. In that sense, all animistic...
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 10:46 PM
    All of the psionic concepts interconnect with eachother. For example, mental projection (Spirit telekinesis) results in clairvoyance (Mind divination). It is impossible to really separate one concept from the other. When clustering the effects into tropes, projecting ones mind outofbody correlates better with the path of Spirit, including the mental ‘force’ to relocate, thus teleport the body. ...
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 09:30 PM
    Actually, teleportation is an aspect of Norse psionics. The texts describe it as ‘traveling at the speed of thought’. So, it exemplifies a concept that exists during the Viking Era, circa 800-1100. The psionic phenomenon of teleportation is essentially an aspect of animism. The psychic presence (of a human, a rock, a sunbeam, a tree, a river, an animal, etcetera) projects outofbody (or...
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 08:10 PM
    It is important to me, the psion be a full caster. There archetypes of psychics who wield high level powers. For example, the level 9 Wish spell − focusing on a desire and making it reality − is the purest form of mental exertion. Wizard mechanics guarantee full casting. I am concerned warlock mechanics lacks at high levels. Similarly, the current design for the mystic class lacks at high...
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 07:00 AM
    Every official spell in D&D can organize into one of the four themes. I have been using these four themes for years now. But it looks like PF2 is considering adopting these four. • Spirit (force, telekinesis, light, void, ether, aster, planar travel, teleportation, space-time) • Mind (charm, fear, suggestion, illusion, domination, divination) • Body (life, healing, nature, beast, plant,...
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 06:15 AM
    Personally, I like the spontaneous wizard as the psion. It puts the finger on what the 3e psion is. Aside from the wizard, I can stomach the bard as a chassis for the psion subclass, better than the sorcerer. Add a suite of telekinetic force spells to the bard list, and the bard makes a fine psion. (The bard also makes a pretty good shaman.)
    88 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
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Saturday, 14th April, 2018

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

Monday, 2nd April, 2018

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

Monday, 26th March, 2018

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

Friday, 23rd March, 2018

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

Saturday, 10th February, 2018

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

Sunday, 27th August, 2017

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

Wednesday, 9th August, 2017

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

Friday, 23rd June, 2017

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

Friday, 9th June, 2017

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

Wednesday, 7th June, 2017

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

Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

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

Thursday, 2nd March, 2017

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

Tuesday, 28th February, 2017

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

Friday, 17th February, 2017

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

Monday, 26th December, 2016

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

Tuesday, 6th December, 2016

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

Monday, 2nd May, 2016

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

Monday, 11th April, 2016


Monday, 21st March, 2016


Wednesday, 30th December, 2015

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


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Sunday, 20th May, 2018

  • 09:02 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Mercule in post Inspiration & Hero Points Math
    Well, prior to Ovinomancer's post, I was going to say the two were probably about even,other than the potential for +d6 giving a chance for results above 20. My gut still says something's a bit off with that graph, but I haven't gone through the math, myself. Basically, advantage is roughly equal to a +5 bonus at a DC 11, tapering to an effective +1 (or marginally less) at either end. The d6 should be a consistent +3.5 across the entire spectrum. I guess the net effect is that, at the low end, advantage has the potential to completely offset a horrible roll, whereas +d6 doesn't -- regardless of "equivalent" bonuses. So, that's probably where the actual math disproves my gut. I guess that means the decision between the two (disadvantage and hero points) comes down to whether you'd rather insulate the PCs from the occasional cursed die (advantage) or give them the opportunity to play outside their weight class if the dice smile (hero points). Personally, I think the hero points sounds a...

Sunday, 6th May, 2018


Monday, 23rd April, 2018

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

Sunday, 22nd April, 2018

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

Friday, 20th April, 2018

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

Friday, 13th April, 2018

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

Thursday, 12th April, 2018

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

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

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

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

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


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