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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 06:59 PM
    I see the thread is getting way off topic.
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 06:29 PM
    Wait... what? You claim to not be offended by reality, but yet this is your response? In addition to the club teams, they regularly hold practice games against the US Boys U-15 squad and the US Boys U-17 squads. They did this for the longest time because there were few to no women's teams that could really push them, so this was a convenient solution that helped both teams. Yet, as would...
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 05:58 PM
    I'm not making that claim without evidence (although you've slightly altered my claim). You realize that they do play exhibition games against U15 and U17 teams, and that most of the time they do lose? Most of the time these games aren't highly publicized, but I'm sure you'll be able to find the case where they lost to FC Dallas's U15 boys team 5-2, for example. Are you in fact offended by...
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 03:21 PM
    I'm involved in another community where books are regularly rated, and 'normal curve' does not normally happen. Most reviewers have one of two curves: A) Bimodal Distribution: Everything is either good or bad, and good things tend to receive the highest rating and bad things the lowest. Average ratings tend to be rare, as cases where a person has mixed feelings about something unusual. ...
    29 replies | 928 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 02:54 PM
    Because they are the exact same mechanic. It's well known you can trick the monkey brain of the player by turning penalties into "bonuses", but fundamentally the two modifiers have the same result. But as I said, I don't think arguing over the mechanics is a particularly interesting thing to do.
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 02:51 PM
    I don't think the question of stat penalties is particularly interesting. It's a D&D centric approach to mechanics, and one of several systems you could use. I don't really care about the mechanical details, since I think that would end up creating a proxy argument where we acted like we cared a great deal about the mechanical details and spent a lot of time arguing about them, but really we...
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Today, 02:12 AM
    Well, I sort of agree with you here, but that's because you are responding tangentially to the point I raised. Yes, I somewhat agree that in a fantasy game the issue of what is realistic regarding human strength isn't that important - this is afterall the position that I staked out at the beginning of the thread. That said, I really don't think that there is any reason anyone has to be purist...
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:39 PM
    The study cited suggests that chimp muscle fiber strength is 'only' 50% greater than human muscle fiber strength. It didn't in fact do anything to overturn earlier estimates that chimp strength is pound for pound about 3 times that of humans - it just overturned our assumptions about why they had that much strength. Turns out bone structure, tendon strength, and ratio of fast to slow twitch...
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:45 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    Tactics are governed by weapons and terrain. It sounds to me very much like you want tactics to be governed by stylistic and not realistic concerns, which suggests to me that you are going to want to avoid realistic weapon stats and instead balance weapons according to your desire for tactical diversity and racial trope fighting styles. For example, historically the blunderbuss was basically...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:22 PM
    As far as I can tell, you aren't actually disagreeing with me. For example, I said: "Addiction and other things like that should be treated as color unless they are established mechanically by some process of play." For example, if the player in a hypothetical rule set had taken a defect 'Addiction (Alcohol)' on character creation in exchange for getting an extra feat (say 'Power Attack'),...
    13 replies | 381 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:39 AM
    Lack of sleep should incur exhaustion levels.
    51 replies | 1310 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:01 AM
    In my case, a Wizard psionic subclass as long as it is competitively potent, can probably fulfill my need for a 3e Psion.
    38 replies | 1368 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:55 AM
    My problem with the Mystic is, it is a halfcaster who fails to access high level spells. Actually, slightly worse than a halfcaster, since its highest level spells are roughly slot level 4. I need options for full-psionics. For example, the Wish spell can exemplify the power of mind over matter − the psychic wills desire into reality − suitable for any high level full-psionic.
    38 replies | 1368 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:16 AM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    That's at least partially true. By the time you get to the Napoleonic Wars, melee weapons are basically obsolete as weapons of war and Kobold Avenger's vision of how wars in that era played out is actually as you say a century or two too late. The thing is though, it would take a bit over 100 years before everyone would really realize that and adjust tactics accordingly, and many of the...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:58 AM
    I think I get what you are saying. What do you do if a Long Rest is impossible. This scenario extremely harms the players who play daily-resource classes, mainly fullcasters. To some degree, always-on classes, like Fighter and Rogue, still suffer from depleting hit points. Ultimately, it is a game of fear and scarcity. Where Rogues are probably the most capable of surviving. While other...
    51 replies | 1310 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:23 AM
    I get the appeal of 3e having a rule for everything. Wanting to quantify every possibility to simulate reality. Now I probably prefer adjudication on the fly for less common events, so 5e probably strikes the right balance for me, leaning on the DM. But I have to admit the appeal of rules. I care about what is ‘official’, because it helps gamers be on the same page. It also makes future...
    153 replies | 4413 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:48 PM
    I am a 4e fan. I never slandered 5e. I felt ‘betrayed’ by the loss of 4e, especially because 4e failed to provide an OGL. But I pretty much immediately understood that 4e was over, and spent my energy constructively during the 5e playtests. And even now, spend my time constructively with 5e. I have to agree with Tony. Where 3e fans launched a tidal way of negativity against 4e (and now...
    153 replies | 4413 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:42 PM
    Describing the upside of 1e/2e as ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘charming amateurism’, resonate with me too. Also, the fluidity of the system is a plus, where each DM can reappropriate whatever rules were useful for whatever setting was of interest. The 1e/2e really was the edition where it was true, "The only limitation is your imagination". All the other editions require system mastery, often with a...
    153 replies | 4413 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:15 PM
    3. I am unconvinced that 3e describes physical damage. There are no consequences for being ‘severely wounded’. A person with 1 hp can still run a marathon, no difference from an athlete in top shape. Personally, I subscribe to the serious injury happening at 0 hp. I impose a level of exhaustion each time a person reaches 0 hp. To represent the injury that occurred, and describe the nature...
    153 replies | 4413 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:36 PM
    I wonder if it is possible to have keep ones cake and eat it too. Maybe the mechanical consequence of a fumble is disadvantage on the action of ones next turn. Then the player (or DM) can narrate why. This might be enough to avoid slapstick in a moment where players are in more a serious mood.
    38 replies | 976 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:28 PM
    On occasion, players have used Stealth skill checks to hide while resting or sleeping, such as covered in soil, camouflage, or so on. Depending on circumstance, it has worked.
    51 replies | 1310 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:22 PM
    Movement isnt so much a problem. A character with heightened speed can ‘engage’ a target that is ‘far’. (The DM adjudicates plausibility for special circumstances.) The feature, Distant Spell, is easy. If a spell requires ‘engage’, the Sorcerer can instead extend it to ‘near’. If a spell requires ‘near’, the Sorcerer can extend it to ‘far’. I wrote that ‘far’ is upto 100, but I meant...
    46 replies | 1385 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 09:58 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    A lot of terms get tossed around without a clear definition of what they mean, to the point that I've become highly skeptical of jargon that consists of multiple everyday ordinary words which when put together form a new idea that means something special and technical. It seems to be the goal of a great many fields of study to coin one of these phrases, or just repurpose a single ordinary word,...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 09:58 PM
    Tiny Hut is a ritual, so can be cast before a long rest without expending resources. Rope Trick requires a slot, but still is a potent low level spell for a safe rest.
    51 replies | 1310 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 09:06 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    I tend to think I've written a fairly influential essay on railroading, and at no point did I ever argue that the rules of the system themselves were railroading, nor do I see how that can be sustained. Are you defining any game where their are optimal and suboptimal builds as one that is "railroading"? The 1e AD&D Thief class was entirely suboptimal. Are you suggesting that anyone that...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:31 PM
    You'd think that would be easy to explain and without controversy. It's a bizarre form of 'mother may I'. I don't doubt you are right that it's not unusual, but it can't be logically supported IMO by any tortured path. There are plenty of GMs and even some players that seem frustrated by and even offended by the undeniable fact that the player's mind extends into the game universe...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:10 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    None of that is true, and I think you'll find very few DMs agree with any of those claims. Fundamentally, your opinion seems to continually come down to, "You shouldn't do things that way because I wouldn't do things that way." There are always going to be DMs that do things differently than you do and have different priorities than you do. That's OK. The DM does have a referee hat to...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 03:29 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    This is an example of how different persons can have very different perceptions of what makes sense and feels right. For you, owing to the power of firearms, pirates need to leap on to the decks of other ships armed with all manner of firearms, and to treat swords as a backup weapon. For me, I'm perfectly happy to have a band of cutthroats be mostly armed with all manner of stabbing and cutting...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:01 AM
    No, having low wisdom means you have low perception which already covers your inability to concentrate when on the watch. However, once you've established that the perception check is failed, you or the player may be free to color the failure as being explained by the players poor habits. Personally, I'd leave that job to the player, though some groups allow the GM's to narrate failures. ...
    13 replies | 381 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:00 AM
    Maybe the player who rolled the fumble gets to decide what has gone horribly wrong, and leave it as narrative rather than mechanical?
    38 replies | 976 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:56 AM
    Wisdom. Wisdom governs self-control and the ability to apply yourself to tasks. If the story or subject is not something they care about, high intelligence is arguably a negative. Some intelligent people have what is known as inappropriate hyper-focus, but this quirk is only a virtue when applied to something they deeply care about (at which point they become inattentive to everything else)....
    13 replies | 381 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:12 AM
    Also, I love theater of mind style for most encounters. That is something that 1e/2e and 5e are best at. And this matters to me alot.
    153 replies | 4413 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:08 AM
    I would rank ... 1. 4e 2. 5e 3. 3e 4. 1e/2e My frustration with 5e is the unavailability of many things that I love. Psionics. Charisma elf. Magical warrior (swordmage). Nonmagical healer (warlord). Nontheistic cleric. The list goes on and on.
    153 replies | 4413 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 04:23 AM
    I’m curious, what does 3e have for you that 5e lacks?
    153 replies | 4413 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:03 PM
    LeGuin's "Left Hand of Darkness"? Brin's "Glory Season"? I'm struggling to understand just what you are going here or what you think will happen. I'm hesitant to project or imagine how anyone - much less a hypothetical someone - would react to something else, and I wonder equally whether this discussion of the "sheer amount of baggage" itself smacks of denigrating stereotyping.
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:44 AM
    First, because science fiction and fantasy are different. And secondly, because even in fantasy, it helps to have an explanation for why the world has dragons or magic. In fantasy however, that explanation is allowed to be (but does not have to be) mythic as opposed to scientific. For example, we can in fact answer the question, "Why are their dragons?" with respect to Tolkien's Middle Earth.
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:41 AM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    No one is suggesting you have to do anything.
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:41 AM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    No, that's just not true.
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:35 AM
    Seems like a reasonable thing to do for a science fiction novel. You could then speculate on the conditions that caused this state of being to come about, presumably paralleling the conditions that make say females the larger stronger of the sexes in eagles and spiders. I doubt anyone is going to feel threatened by that speculation.
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 06:51 PM
    Kinda relating to the Artificer, I would find it helpful if D&D added a new skill: Alchemy. Alchemy covers the elements − earth (bludgeon, pierce, slash), air (thunder, lightning), fire, and water (cold) − acid, metallurgy, material strength, pouring concrete, geology, (seismic activity, volcanoes), and so on. Basically, proto-chemistry. So far I use the Nature skill for Alchemy. But I feel...
    69 replies | 2644 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:50 PM
    I think that this is an important point. One of the problems I've noticed with cooperative board games is that in practice, they tend to devolve to a single more experienced, more domineering, or more tactical player playing all the roles and directing all the other participants. It's rare that you see one where everyone is getting equal input as to what the teams plan is, or even has full...
    46 replies | 1717 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:30 PM
    I've always liked the CoC system in that it "made sense" that what the player would get better in would be what they practiced doing, and it had built in balance that the better you were the harder it was to advance. Mouse Guard does something similar where to advance you must accumulate a certain number of successes and failures. And that probably makes even more sense. But over the...
    20 replies | 568 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:15 PM
    Meh. I'd never do it in a fantasy setting of any sort. The only setting I can imagine doing it in was a hard realism historical setting where you used some sort of character burner to establish life histories, and out of either slavish or respectful (your pick) adherence to the reality of the setting your characters life path and available choices prior to the start of play depended on their...
    99 replies | 2009 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 02:18 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    So you are saying they shouldn't care whether it is realistic, because you don't care if it is realistic?
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 01:40 PM
    As others have moreorless said, distances need to simplify to: • engaged - in melee • near - ≈30ft - namely within a Move • far - beyond a Move I wish every D&D spell had a range of either engaged (touch), near (upto 30ft), or far (upto 100ft). When thinking about ranges and area-of-effects, just ballpark it as one of these three.
    46 replies | 1385 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:23 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Norse Warrior Magic − Galdr Chanting Yaarel 2019 This essay assesses the Norse warrior magic, called galdr ‘chanting’, that the Ljóđatal poem describes, and translates the concepts into D&D. The result has a Psionic Paladin vibe. For a full spellcaster, the spells here are appropriate for a Psionic Bard. These Norse archetypes for the D&D classes gain the ‘psionics’ tag. The Norse poem...
    87 replies | 7165 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 05:34 AM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    Economics? Demographics and population? Geography? Realistic weather patterns? Feudalism? Army sizes? You've never heard arguments about realism applied to these things? You've not been around that long. No one rants about the fact that studded leather armor shouldn't exist? Or that chain mail should be just called mail? Or that what's called a 'longsword' in D&D is actually an arming...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 04:04 AM
    Yeah. I get that half-casters can be powerful, and it shores up the mundane aspects. At the same time, someone who makes magic items needs to excel at magic, including high-level spellcasting for high-level magic items. At the very least, I want to see a high level feature that can access high level spells, even if like the way a Warlock does.
    69 replies | 2644 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 03:27 AM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    I've never really understood the point of this statement and others like it. What are you trying to demonstrate?
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 03:25 AM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    The best known explosives in my campaign world has the stability of raw nitroglycerin (or less) and the explosive power of black powder. The goblins have on several occasions tried to weaponize it, including inventing firearms. However, in battle the tendency is for one spell or accident to set off one or more soldiers stored powder, which then sets of a chain reaction that decimates the...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:52 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    A drengr is an example of an ideal Norse warrior. Goodhearted, high-quality, idealistic − and extremely courageous. The recklessness exhibits the courage. Courage is a highest good in the Norse male gender identity. In the case of the drengr, the daring and thrill-seeking also demonstrates competence and effectiveness, because somehow the drengr manages to pull the stunt off, despite great odds....
    87 replies | 7165 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 07:56 PM
    I think we're using the same term for two different things. There may be room for both, but I definitely don't think they should overlap. I'm coming from the perspective of an Eberron GM. In that setting, the artificer is explicitly someone who treats magic as a craft/industry. They make golems, bind elementals to power airships, create magic swords, etc. It may not be your thing, but that's...
    69 replies | 2644 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 07:16 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    You are IMO correct in all regards. This is in fact exactly the rules for firearms I have - simple weapons, barely more damage than crossbows, static bonuses to hit, and low rates of fire. They are typically appealing only to low level characters, and are eventually obsoleted by magic and high level martial skills. This is why I'm focusing on what is less obvious - the fact that practical...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:48 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    While I agree with the science, now you are banking on the players in your game not being conversant in these matters and lacking basic demolition skills. The point I'm trying to make is that RPG combats tend to be based on a notion of fairness, and there is a general agreement to avoid dwelling on deaths that would be unfair. Primitive firearms are pretty easy to balance in combat with melee...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:41 PM
    I'm inclined to agree. There are generally two attitudes governing bodies take with respect to their population. The first is, the wealthier the public, the greater my absolute power. The second is, the poorer the public, the greater my relative power. To the second sort, a wealthy public represents as threat in that while their absolute power has increased, their power to control the...
    131 replies | 5064 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 05:42 PM
    I just did a breakdown for one of my players and came up with these thoughts: Taking another look at the current Artificer, I think there's one major issue I have left, but it's a doozey. With the exception of having a "golem master" specialty, the artificer shouldn't have a pet. The alchemist's homonculus is relatively inoffensive and there's some history in D&D of coupling alchemists and...
    69 replies | 2644 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 05:18 PM
    As far as Gygaxian economics goes, the problem that has plagued D&D since the beginning is Gygax created two separate incompatible economic systems. Gygax the simulationist created a system based on historical research that was based on the living wage of roughly 1 silver coin per day. This is the NPC economy and food and other necessities, wages of unskilled labor, and taxes are valued in...
    129 replies | 5109 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 04:23 PM
    Hmm... Using your breakdown, I guess this makes more sense: Sorcerers: Are magic (no disagreement, here) Wizards: Magic as science. I think we're good, here. Artificers: Magic as engineering or magic as craft. It's still magic, though, and should look as much like modern (or even enlightenment) engineering as wizards look like modern science. I think that last is part of the key. I'm...
    69 replies | 2644 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 03:31 PM
    Somewhere between "major changes" and "rebuilt from scratch". Mechanically, I don't think it's unbalanced. Flavor-wise, it's an abomination. Way too much "science" in my magic. What's up with the clockwork turrets? Those are gross. I came up with a basic axiom for the Artificer. If it's the way a Son of Ether (from Mage: the Ascension) would do it, it doesn't belong on the artificer. No...
    69 replies | 2644 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 10:05 PM
    If a player believes he is the only person playing at a table, my solution would be to make this conclusion a fact and leave him to it. As far as the whole, way things are meant to be played thing goes, I'd say there are certainly ways that RPGs are traditionally played, and often they are played in this way for very good reasons. But, I've got no problem with people experimenting beyond the...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 09:43 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    There are tons of bad gun rules out there. My personal pet peeve is when someone models shotguns as area of effect attacks. You can pretty much guess right then and there that they've never fired a weapon, much less have particular expertise that they are bringing to the rules. I suppose if you were trying to model shotguns as they appear in B rate movies where one pull of the trigger and all...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 08:13 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    CoC has always used a similar approach.
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 08:11 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    There are enough incidents in history where there was a "BIG BANG" as a result of stored gun powder, and enough still extent ruins where the damage from the explosion is observable in all or in part, that I think we can establish that for enough weight of dry, well stored, finely ground and well compounded gun powder, there is in indeed a "BIG BANG". It won't look like a Hollywood explosion...
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 07:59 PM
    I agree. The smelly chamberlain example is just the latest example of attempt to assert that the boundaries of the PC extend to encompass all that the PC can observe or think on. One wonders if the person making these claims believes their own person extends to encompass all that they can observe or think on? I really have a hard time taking these arguments seriously, as I think...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 07:40 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Christian families are in Norse lands during all of the Viking Period. In the 800s, they are a few families. In the 900s, they are some of the regional leaders. In the 1000s, the emergence of monarchy comes from foreign Christian influence, from the Holy Roman Empire of Continental Europe. The monarchs who unify the lands of Scandinavia during the 1000s are mainly Christian. For the sake of...
    87 replies | 7165 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Not at all. Or at least, at my tables I certainly don't keep track of the players stuff, and if the player takes something but doesn't write it down on their character sheet, I'm not at all going to overrule and decide that they have it (unless it has a particular sort of curse). All I'm saying is that the DM, in his role as secret keeper, can and usually does have information about the...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
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  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:13 PM
    It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the "no myth" fad or the games created on the idea that an RPG profits from having "no myth" or having what myth it does have created during play. I've never seen any "no myth" play in a webcast where I feel I would have wanted to be a part of that. Most of them have been actually repellent to me, because being a GM with long experience, I have 15 ranks in...
    46 replies | 1717 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 02:45 AM
    Russia seems a bit like this to me. Vast wilderness, dotted here and there with towns. The roads look like a spiderweb linking these farflung towns. Maybe parts of Canada too. Albeit Toronto is practically an ecumenopolis.
    67 replies | 2426 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 02:27 AM
    I agree. At the same time, I am ok with the pets being golem-like, artificial, and even mechanical, to convey the flavor that the Artificer is using artifice to construct things. To me this has a Renaissance vibe, when building ‘automatons’ was popular.
    117 replies | 5723 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 09:02 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    The D&D spell, Magnificent Mansion, is a useful tool for a DM to represent a Norse or Norse-esque setting. There are many examples of ‘extradimensional spaces’ in Norse beliefs (and in Scandinavian folkbelief too). A dvergar might leave the door open on the side of a hill, where inside the hill is a luxurious home. Entering a burial mound might enter a spooky large multi-level crypt,...
    87 replies | 7165 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 08:55 PM
    Celebrim replied to Firearms
    The problem with guns in a campaign world is not the guns. It's the barrels of gunpowder that proves to be the real problem.
    152 replies | 4260 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 08:48 PM
    I think that those are all good ways to put it. I would put it as, "The rules recognize that the problem of poor GMing cannot be fixed by the rules." I think that there is a certain theory in some design circles that poor GMing can be fixed by having the right rules or process in place, but 5e D&D in particular radically departs from that fad.
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 07:56 PM
    I basically agree. But I would qualify. Rather. Gygax could teach a course on secondary sources about weapons and armors, but the reliability of these secondary sources is problematic.
    67 replies | 2426 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 07:41 PM
    I dont Gygax is ‘ignorant’ about history. I think he intentionally mixes history up, to reinvent a fictional fantastical version of history. For example, the Monster Manual. The ‘Cloud Giant’ is actually the same giant in the ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ tale. But rather than present it via mythological accuracy, Gygax intentionally mashes it up, even with a picture portraying East Asia...
    67 replies | 2426 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 05:46 PM
    I can't speak for any one else, but for my part its because I repeat the same things over and over and they just bounce off. I have a hard time believing that you aren't at this point able to answer your own questions. I mean just considering what you've now posted, the answers to your own questions are present if you are willing to see them. I admit I have weird pet peeves and my...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 02:02 AM
    I assume the origin of the 'Chariot of Sustarre'.
    68 replies | 2226 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:44 PM
    I think I agree with all of this. The rope is in the backpack. That has been established in the fiction by some process of play. The player has a reasonable expectation that, "I take the rope out of my backpack..." is something that should automatically succeed, and is probably the preamble to some larger proposition like, "And start tying one end around my waist." The play may expect that...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:23 PM
    Greyhawk Elevator Pitch: What if everything that TSR ever published was all put in one setting?
    67 replies | 2426 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:55 PM
    I will probably leave the Setup section separate because it is more like a ritual, and not really cast on the fly. I when I have time, I will integrate the Eldritch Knight section in with the rest of the list. Probably I will put a short ‘− melee’ tag, meaning any spell that range 15 feet or less. If you have a chance to go thru the Eldritch Knight sections, feel free to recommend which...
    252 replies | 44191 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:27 PM
    Right. So from the perspective of the rules, the DM decides what every rules outcome of an action declaration is. But a social contract might govern who gets to narrate what part of the consequences of that action is, because in D&D the rules themselves are usually silent on who owns the narration in cases where the player character is the focus of the narration or the results. Consider...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:30 PM
    Typically, a social contract exists to cover things that are so basic to the process of play, that the game either forgets to or doesn't bother to call them out. It's the usually unspoken agreements that a table comes to make the game playable for their particular group. It usually has at its basis, "We all cooperate.", and expressions like, "No one plays an evil character unless we all agree...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:13 PM
    I'll be honest Chaosmancer, at this point I consider you to be trolling and not even arguing in good faith. So I see no reason to continue any of the arguments we've been having. However, I will say that I find this new element of the conversation highly ironic, since if you do believe this, then it is not me that you have an argument with but rather yourself and those that have been arguing...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 04:45 PM
    So we've reached the point where this is claimed to be a rational series of steps: a) Player decides to have his PC gas-light an NPC. b) Player declares that the false to facts belief of the PC with respect to the environment is something the PC actually believes. c) Therefore either the PC is correct and the environment retroactively conforms to the PC's belief, or else the GM is playing...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 03:11 PM
    There is one major problem with that; Gygax didn't write the class: Dennis Sustare did. I've seen some attempts to reconstruct what Sustare's sources were, but the truth is that Sustare himself didn't remember exactly what they were and its likely from variety of vague ideas coming from early 20th century fantasy literature, and the intention to make them masters of plants and animals, that he...
    68 replies | 2226 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 12:57 AM
    Well yes, spellcasters are widely distrusted by the non-magical world, because their powers are strange and dangerous. A wizard could make you believe that you've accepted coin from him when he'd only handed you a bit of tin or brass, or he could turn invisible and go about your home, or eves drop on your private affairs with his magic glass, or charm your daughter to make her believe she is in...
    68 replies | 2226 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 02:31 PM
    Do you in any way think that that is unusual or departs from what I or probably the vast majority of groups do? Those sort of comments are beginning to border on disparaging. What we have discovered so far is that at your table you have an unspoken "gentlemen's agreement" regarding the content that is introduced. That's very typical and as long as you have a high trust environment...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 03:10 AM
    If you can agree with your friend to come over to their house, but first you have to check and make sure it's OK with your parents, you don't have authority. Authority is when you are in charge. You have the power and right make decisions, give orders, and enforce your wishes. If you have to ask, "Mother may I?", it's not authority. Ok, yes. So far so good. I'm sorry, but I...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 06:47 PM
    A bit of both. Technically, they are all NPC's and part of the domain of the DM. But they are NPCs which are generally loyal to the PC's, closely connected to them, and willing to take orders from them. Most of the time, it just speeds play to let the player play the NPC in a combat situation, on the assumption that the PC is issuing orders and in their absence the 'dog' or whatever is...
    25 replies | 798 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Celebrim's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 05:12 PM
    I agree. It's more reasonable to site familiars or animal companion as an extension of the PC, in that they are in some sense even within the fiction joined together. That might make for some sort of exception. But when you talk about a line in a background feature that says, "You can get an audience with a noble", it's no more reasonable to assume that on account of that line every noble...
    578 replies | 20416 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 05:05 PM
    Zardnaar, Stalker0 Based on popular demand, Guidance 0 ranks as the best cantrip. So, people would rather have the Guidance cantrip than have the Eldritch Blast cantrip. (Really?)
    252 replies | 44191 view(s)
    0 XP
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Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 03:51 PM - SkidAce mentioned Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    I see your point Mercule , and respect it. For us/my campaigns, WIZARDS fill the role of magic as science (study, learn, have academies, specializations, etc ,etc.) with their learned and studious approach. Sorcerers (adepts) ARE/CHANNEL magic. Artificers? They run the gambit from magic craftsman/creators, to well, scienceny steampunk and new semi tech inventions. (bombs, guns, clockwork, you know the drill) IMHO. /end tangent

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



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Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 12:14 AM - BookBarbarian quoted Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    I was not much intertestedf before, but I do like the idea of a Int based half-caster that can create magic items. I just did a breakdown for one of my players and came up with these thoughts: Taking another look at the current Artificer, I think there's one major issue I have left, but it's a doozey. With the exception of having a "golem master" specialty, the artificer shouldn't have a pet. The alchemist's homonculus is relatively inoffensive and there's some history in D&D of coupling alchemists and homonculi. I'm probably OK with this subclass as written. At the very least, it no longer makes me think of Pop Fizz from Skylanders, which was my problem with the previous draft. The archivist is just weird. The artificial mind seems too much like some sort of magical Alexa. There are some aspects of the subclass that might make a great foundation for the "golem master" -- there's an obvious tie to creating the warforged. On the other hand, the accidental creation of the warforged...

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 10:44 PM - Charlaquin quoted Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    I think we're using the same term for two different things. There may be room for both, but I definitely don't think they should overlap. I'm coming from the perspective of an Eberron GM. In that setting, the artificer is explicitly someone who treats magic as a craft/industry. They make golems, bind elementals to power airships, create magic swords, etc. It may not be your thing, but that's the itch I want scratched and "artificer" is the term WotC decided to use for that role in 3.5, so it carries that weight. It sounds like you're wanting an actual engineer or crafty-scientist. Not something I really care about, but I don't have a problem with it existing. Let's use your term of "tinkerer", just to use a name that isn't already claimed. Now, I really don't care much if WotC decides the term "artificer" would be better for the tinkerer. Just don't try to tie it to Eberron. Tell us what the new name for the Eberron artificer will be and move on. I do think that's a bit silly, conside...
  • 06:22 PM - Charlaquin quoted Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    Hmm... Using your breakdown, I guess this makes more sense: Sorcerers: Are magic (no disagreement, here) Wizards: Magic as science. I think we're good, here. Artificers: Magic as engineering or magic as craft. It's still magic, though, and should look as much like modern (or even enlightenment) engineering as wizards look like modern science. I think that last is part of the key. I'm not looking for camp, steampunk, etc. I'm more than willing to include the logical extension of industrialized/engineered magic. It should still be cut from the same cloth as the rest of the magic in the game, though. This artificer isn't. It tries to add both the role of the magical engineer and the theme of weird science. I only want one of those. My 2cp: Magic shouldn’t be a science. My preferred setting constraint around magic is “magic is common, but mysterious.” Under that directive, I prefer wizards to be more like hermeticists - their study is around making themselves better vessels for magic, r...
  • 03:49 PM - Raunalyn quoted Mercule in post Are you satisfied enough with the Artificer to publish it?
    Somewhere between "major changes" and "rebuilt from scratch". Mechanically, I don't think it's unbalanced. Flavor-wise, it's an abomination. Way too much "science" in my magic. What's up with the clockwork turrets? Those are gross. I came up with a basic axiom for the Artificer. If it's the way a Son of Ether (from Mage: the Ascension) would do it, it doesn't belong on the artificer. No steampunk. No gears. No pets (except for a single "golem master" sub-class). The abilities should feel like the character is enchanting things, not using improbable pseudo-science. Magic as science, not magic with science. This! This is my exact problem with it!

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 10:00 PM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Ghosts of Saltmarsh: First Impressions
    Not to minimize the Mafia, but there's a bit of a gap between them and al Quaeda. Look up some stuff about the crimes of the Camorra or 'Ndrangheta. Not much difference. I really am uncomfortable with the Zhentarim as presented in 5E materials, to be honest. The player friendly Zhents in Dragon Heist are still horrible, even if the not player friendly Zhents are really, really bad (and yeah, comparable to Al-Quada).

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 02:16 AM - Yaarel quoted Mercule in post The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?
    Agree with the basic premise, but I voted valor bard. The charismatic leader is rarely the best straight-up fighter in the group. He usually wins by either having great will/resolve (which favors the paladin), by being creative and cunning (which favors the bard), or by being able to inspire his companions to be better than they thought they could be (which also favors the bard). Either answer could work, but I prefer playing bards. I agree with you sentiments. At the same time, the Bard feels like a full spellcaster to me, and of course is one. I love the fact that there is such thing as a "clean-cut, shining, Charismatic mage hero".
  • 12:01 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Mercule in post The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?
    Agree with the basic premise, but I voted valor bard. The charismatic leader is rarely the best straight-up fighter in the group. He usually wins by either having great will/resolve (which favors the paladin), by being creative and cunning (which favors the bard), or by being able to inspire his companions to be better than they thought they could be (which also favors the bard). If we change requirement 1) in the OP to "capable second-tier combatant" or words to that effect, the Paladin hits two out of three, the Bard three out of three, and the Fighter 0 - though, you could always downplay the Pally or Fighter's combat ability by under-investing in STR/DEX/CON and eschewing combat-related feats.

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 04:23 AM - gyor quoted Mercule in post Obsolete Classes From Previous Editions
    Barbarian. 2E is the only edition that got it right -- it's a kit/PrC/archetype for an angry Fighter. Associating totems with rage makes as much sense as associating backstab with spell slots and would be better put on a ranger or (theoretic) warden class archetype. As it stands, the class is a hot mess of random "big, angry fighter" gears. I guess that's not so much "obsolete" as "pointless", though. So, a more in-line answer: Binder. I loved the concept of this class, in 3.5. In 5E, it could be quite well represented with a Vestige patron for Warlock. No, 4e made that mistake and it was aweful, it had none of the dark creepy flavour of the Binder. Binder and Speciality Priest are my top picks for bringing back a class.
  • 12:41 AM - ParanoydStyle quoted Mercule in post How often is counterspell used in your games?
    I don't remember ever seeing it used in the 3.5 decades I've played. Well I don't think it was actually a thing until that last, most recent .5 of a decade. IIRC Dispel Magic has been around forever but Counterspell as a spell is new to 5E.

Friday, 12th April, 2019


Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 06:32 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Mercule in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    Either "yes" or "remove the skill from the list". It's a bit like asking whether Survival would allow you to tell whether berries are safe to eat. Wow. That's an exceptionally narrow definition of Insight. I mean, use your own comparison: if Survival could not tell you if berries are safe to eat, would you remove it from the list? What about navigation? Tracking? Weather-sense? Building shelters? Spotting hazards? Building traps?

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 09:05 PM - robus quoted Mercule in post Do you Critical Role?
    2) I listen to enough other podcasts that I'd just continue to fall further behind. Then again, I could probably use something else in the rotation to break up all the politics and history. This is the curse of modern life, there's way more content being created than can possibly be kept up with! You have to choose the right mix for you. Critical Role is a big investment, I kind of wish they'd have their staff produce a digest version that's around 1 hour bringing in all the highlights and leaving out some of the filler.

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 11:22 PM - wcpfish quoted Mercule in post it's a thing...regretfully
    Wait... That's a thing? I mean, I've bought adventures that I've never run, and that were still enjoyable to read, but I always read them with my "GM's eye", which means looking for the stat blocks, etc. I can accept that there are folks that buy adventures with no intent of running (or looting) them, but I'd still expect them to care about the game mechanics stuff, at least enough to be able to follow along. Otherwise, my brain kinda hurts. Yep it's a thing and this is (imho) the primary force driving this decision. Bryce at Tenfootpole.org talks about usability as a DM actually running the game VERSUS the joy of reading Tolkienesque descriptions of the history of each leaf in the forest. Apparently, the "I just bought it and read it and sought inspiration" buying forces are tilting to outweigh the "we're actually gonna play this thing" forces. I'd like a balance of the two and Bryce suggests how to do it. Give me bulleted points, handy one-line NPC motivations, and condensed stat bloc...

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 10:58 AM - guachi quoted Mercule in post WotC Considering NPC Stat Format Change
    Wait... That's a thing? I mean, I've bought adventures that I've never run, and that were still enjoyable to read, but I always read them with my "GM's eye", which means looking for the stat blocks, etc. I can accept that there are folks that buy adventures with no intent of running (or looting) them, but I'd still expect them to care about the game mechanics stuff, at least enough to be able to follow along. Otherwise, my brain kinda hurts. I think it has to be a thing in 5e. I mean, "gorgeous" isn't really high on the list of things necessary to run an adventure. And I find 5e adventure books terribly laid out and not at all easy to use. So I assume WOTC's primary purpose with their adventure books isn't for people to actually run them.

Tuesday, 5th March, 2019

  • 12:13 AM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA has been released!
    I really wish I could remember where the detail is. Looking at the PHB, I don't see it called out, either way, in either the Classes or Spellcasting chapters. About the best I've got is to say that it came up during a discussion on whether psions could be done as a subclass of sorcerer and related concepts. My personal feeling is that a really great version of psion could be easily achieved with a sorcerer subclass and spell points by just running with the idea that the psion "casts" firebolt by pointing at the bad guy (S) and saying "Burn, bastard!" (V). But, someone pulled out a "you've gotta use the same components" reference. Regardless, if it's officially open to interpretation, that's awesome. I've got no problem ignoring a straight jacket like that, at my table, but I'm happier if the jacket isn't put on. This subconversation probably qualifies as white noise, though. If I was absolutely correct about the RAW, even I would just say, "OK, that's nice. I'm ignoring it." :) Somebo...

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 08:25 PM - Valetudo quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA has been released!
    I really wish I could remember where the detail is. Looking at the PHB, I don't see it called out, either way, in either the Classes or Spellcasting chapters. About the best I've got is to say that it came up during a discussion on whether psions could be done as a subclass of sorcerer and related concepts. My personal feeling is that a really great version of psion could be easily achieved with a sorcerer subclass and spell points by just running with the idea that the psion "casts" firebolt by pointing at the bad guy (S) and saying "Burn, bastard!" (V). But, someone pulled out a "you've gotta use the same components" reference. Regardless, if it's officially open to interpretation, that's awesome. I've got no problem ignoring a straight jacket like that, at my table, but I'm happier if the jacket isn't put on. This subconversation probably qualifies as white noise, though. If I was absolutely correct about the RAW, even I would just say, "OK, that's nice. I'm ignoring it." :)you could ...
  • 02:36 AM - Parmandur quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Absolutely not lost on me, and I didn't mean to imply otherwise. What I was more angling at is that RAW says (exact location escapes me, but I'm pretty sure it's there) that Sorcerer, Bard, Cleric, and Wizard all use the same words and gestures to cast any given spell (where access overlaps). I've never thought that made sense, especially for the Sorcerer. A sorcerer has magic running in their veins and, while they might use words to help channel it, the specifics don't matter. Where a wizard uses precise syllables, a sorcerer might just say, "Burn, you bastard!" Likewise, a cleric should probably be praying or otherwise calling on their patron. This UA is the first time I've seen it officially suggested that the details of the VSM components can be tweaked for character concept. That's what I like. I'm actually pretty sure the opposite is the case, that RAaw specifically doesn't limit what the VSM looks like for any spells. I'm certain this level of reflavoring has been advocated in the...

Saturday, 2nd March, 2019

  • 06:44 PM - Kobold Avenger quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA has been released!
    Tools required/Magic of Artifice: I like it. The whole VSM straight-jacket needs to be broken. Psionics could be spells that change trappings in a similar way to this -- obviously not with tools. Even though I'm adamantly opposed to the artificer using actual technology, they still work with items, so the trappings make sense. Just picture magic oils, special ingredients, etc., rather than gears and sprockets. They are still in the V,S,M paradigm, while it emphasizes tool use nothing seems to indicate they can drop the V part of spellcasting because they're using tools.

Friday, 22nd February, 2019

  • 05:39 PM - Al2O3 quoted Mercule in post Artificer UA to be released in February
    I snipped the rest of your post, just to save space, but I think what you outlined seems totally reasonable. This is coming from someone who really hates tinker (rock) gnomes, automatic crossbows, and guns in my D&D. I get that some people like them and don't want to scream BADWRONGFUN at anyone. Just have some segregation between the traditional tropes and the newer or "bonus" ones. Eventually, some things will get incorporated into the core, organically. Already, I prefer my D&D with dragonborn, for example. I also wonder if there's a matter of scale or cultural fit to this whole conversation, as well. Take guns. I've warmed to them, somewhat, and could actually see me having fun in a setting that has them. I don't want them to be core, but having a published setting that used them wouldn't bother me in the slightest, and I might even pick it up, depending on other factors. What I'm definitely opposed to, though, are silly, giant thunder cannons -- Final Fantasy VII was fun enough, but I d...

Saturday, 2nd February, 2019

  • 07:16 AM - Mistwell quoted Mercule in post The Fiddly Bits (That Still Get My Newer Players)
    Hmm... I wonder what percentage of the comments will be inspiration. My first solution to Inspiration not getting used was to go out and buy a handful of just hideous d20s. Something no sane person would buy, so it stood out and caught the eye. Then, I assigned one to each player. No checking the box. If you had the die in hand, you had inspiration. If you used inspiration, you rolled that, specific die (they were all fair). I even let you spend inspiration to give disadvantage to an NPC/DM roll and you got to roll your inspiration die, which gave a lot more insight into things that you'd think. It helped, but still wasn't ideal. A few months ago, I switched gears. Talking with the players, there was a dawning realization that, even though it's not exactly hard to get back inspiration, having a cap of one feels like a super-limited resource. So, away went the dice and out came the poker chips. Everyone starts every session with three chips, unless they finished the last one with more. Se...


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Mercule's Eberron Conversion
This is my conversion for running an Eberron campaign in 5E.
473 0 1 Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM Thursday, 6th November, 2014, 02:56 AM

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