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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:29 AM
    Sounds like someone needs to learn how to share the spotlight. I'm all for silly concepts, but it's all in the execution.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:01 PM
    Modern
    24 replies | 787 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:17 PM
    I've been in or observed a number of games like this where this seems to be the case. Someone in the group starts lone-wolfing around. Whatever they're doing is more interesting to other players than whatever it is they're doing (or not doing, as is frequently the case in aimless style games). So they start trying to effectively ask the dice for permission to get involved. Sometimes they just...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:40 AM
    iserith replied to Rotating DMs?
    Sometimes you can find yourself in a situation where someone rotates in and is running a game whose play experience you don't particularly enjoy. If you're not in a sufficiently large group and absenteeism matters to whether there's a session or not, it can be harder to dip and wait for the next DM. But if everyone's who will be in the rotation has been tested and found true, then this isn't so...
    19 replies | 369 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:07 AM
    What I mean by "Basic Rules" is the free PDF which only includes the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard classes. Monk isn't in the Basic Rules.
    17 replies | 354 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 11:53 PM
    I do a lot of this sort of stuff and one thing I've come to realize is that it's better in my view to think about the concept as D&D+Mario (or D&D plus whatever) than trying to strictly simulate the concept with D&D mechanics. So it's Mario with a layer of D&D on top. This is a lot easier to accomplish. I also tend to use just the Basic Rules when posting things so that limits what character...
    17 replies | 354 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 11:29 PM
    I created Mario for my one-shot Mario Does D&D. You can check it out there and please feel free to use the scenario to entertain your players.
    17 replies | 354 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 10:56 PM
    I guess my answer depends on whether we’re talking about justice in the sense of civil, societal, English Common Law type deal or if we mean Divine Justice. Is there a separation of Church and State? Maybe atonement could take a myriad of forms including fines, quests, curses, geas, deeds, etc. Probably don’t even need incarceration.
    22 replies | 437 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 09:44 PM
    Every class is a caster. Used to be a criticism of 4E I hear often enough but now it’s literally true - you have to go out of your way to NOT cast spells.
    107 replies | 3309 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 06:56 PM
    D&D has a couple of status conditions that are worth considering. Fear and Charm come to mind. You might, as a DM, decide to permit skill checks to impose those conditions. That might be very interesting. But if you were to do that, I think it would be better to stay within the confines of the condition rather than blanket constraints on how the player feels, thinks, and acts. I...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 03:56 PM
    In my games, players can get Inspiration up to 4 times per session, once each per category of the personal characteristics. I discuss it here in the Case for Inspiration. The result of this method is that the group of five players are earning Inspiration about once every 10 minutes which means up to 20 times per session the characters are being portrayed in a fun way according to their...
    16 replies | 354 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 07:21 AM
    I would say that the PHB and the DMG work together here which is why you will almost always see me quote both. And the methods described in the previous section are simply a matter of difference for the respective DMs as to what is uncertain and what is meaningful. Only one of those methods, however, is without potential drawbacks at least according to the DMG.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 06:37 AM
    See DMG, page 237: "Only call for a roll if there is a meaningful consequence of failure."
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 06:05 AM
    How about if you don’t even use skills? Ability checks only doesn’t quite cover every approach without further clarification. Use of thieves’ tools might, as you suggest, indicate a particular approach. Does a dex check? Int check?
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 02:02 AM
    There needs to be a meaningful consequence of failure in order for there to be an ability check because that's one of the two criteria by which the DM calls for a roll. It's up to the DM to decide what that means in context though, so reasonable people can disagree on what is or isn't meaningful in the abstract.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 11:26 PM
    They're welcome to perform a task to ascertain the NPC's sincerity, agenda, ideal, bond, or flaw as much as they want. But there's a meaningful consequence of failure if the DM calls for an ability check though. Sometimes the cost of failure might be high enough to make it a risky task to undertake. There might also be an opportunity cost for performing this task and not some other. Do you...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 11:20 PM
    I don’t find that easier. And in practice it isn’t pixelbitching. It’s just clarifying their intent and approach. What they want to do and how they go about making that happen. I’m not demanding perfect knowledge of all possible medieval and magical traps.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 11:17 PM
    I don’t have this problem anymore. “I’m just looking” wasn’t implied. And they were more than happy to take a result of “No traps” on the roll - just didn’t want “you set off a trap” as result of a failed roll.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 10:40 PM
    That's how I would have done it in D&D 4e. I think from a D&D 5e game perspective, at least how I view it, one wants to have these things as trade-offs against other tasks so that there's a meaningful choice to be made by the player. You can either try to engage in an attempt to persuade the NPC or suss out its agenda right now, for example, not both. This emphasizes teamwork in the challenge as...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 10:33 PM
    Nah man I’m not offended. Just definitely me and not him. Like his work a lot, though.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 10:19 PM
    Yeah man, I'm constantly tinkering and testing. It's only way to be sure it works. Luckily I get to test this stuff on multiple groups of different players! On top of that, my regular players are all DMs, so they'll often test it in their own games and give great feedback. I use the passive scores if the social interaction is more than an hour and the PC is performing the task repeatedly....
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 10:12 PM
    I don't like the players asking to make an Insight check (and neither do they once they realize that making ability checks is BAD), but I do agree that when this is played out, the best way in my view is to keep the action declaration on the player's side. I have the NPC lie or whatever, then the players can declare an action to confirm their suspicions. I don't make a Deception check for the...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 10:04 PM
    Another thing you can do is stop having all of your NPCs lie to the characters so that you can avoid this: In other words, make better social interaction challenges. In my games, Wisdom (Insight) comes up when an NPC is trying to keep its agenda or ideal, bond, or flaw hidden and the players, during the interaction, are trading off their part in the conversation to observe the NPC and try...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 09:40 PM
    Because of take-backsies. “Is the door trapped?” “Make a Perception check.” (Roll, low result) “As you examine the door, your hand brushes the handle and an electric jolt...” “Hang on I never said I touched the door. I was just searching for traps.” That used to be a routine occurrence in games I ran and played in. I now ask for action and intent and set a DC based on what the PC is...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 09:32 PM
    Trying to think of a situation in which I might roll deception for an NPC. What springs to mind is: I know my NPC is lying to the PCs. One PC decides to scrutinize the lying NPC for signs of deception. This NPC has like +6 to deception. Now it’s my job to figure out what DC to set for the PC’s action. Here I might roll to see how well the deception comes off and use that roll as the DC....
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 09:27 PM
    ...No.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 07:01 PM
    Two real life stories about factions. 1.) Back when we lived somewhere else. There was a pretty gnarly pothole right by our place. I called city hall and some other city government folks about it. Repeatedly, they told me to get in touch with (local party official) who was in charge of that. What’s a pothole got to do with (party)? I asked. And I kept getting referred to (local party...
    17 replies | 423 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 05:53 PM
    I suppose it depends on what you mean exactly by "rules." My read on D&D 5e is that since the DM is tasked with deciding whether or not there's some kind of roll to resolve your proposed action, then the best strategy (if more success than failure is the goal) is to work to remove uncertainty from the situation and/or the meaningful consequence of failure, if you're able to. Those two things need...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 04:55 PM
    I do like the "ratification" idea. That makes a lot of sense. "It's not real until the dice say so." When really, players should be avoiding that d20 like the fickle, unreliable piece of plastic that it is.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 04:32 PM
    Sorry - wasn’t arguing your/a post - just thinking out loud about why players reach for dice and Charlaquin’s post drew me down that path.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 04:25 PM
    To be fair, I don't think anyone objects to "using rolls to decide what your character will do, or using stats as a guide to how your character will act." Some might not choose to do it, but it's reasonable in my view to use those things to inform your decisions as a player. Where the objection sits is when the DM, or perhaps another player in some cases, asking for that check and then expecting...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 07:55 AM
    I think there’s something to the act of rolling dice that serves as a sort of ceremonial observance. As though maybe an action is more “official” or legit if a die is also cast. After all, the most consequential actions, the most dramatic circumstances, all involve dice. It’s only natural to reach for the dice when something is important to us. Some games even push the drama such that...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 10:10 PM
    In D&D 5e, a character's faults are largely defined by his or her personal characteristics though which are a far better marker in my experience than "whatever an 8 means." The rules give only cursory advice that amounts to "it could mean this or it could mean that..." and "a score of 10 or 11 is the normal human average." A personality trait, ideal, bond, or flaw is specific and also tied to an...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 09:05 PM
    I'd be curious if GameOgre would feel the "roleplaying" is improved at his table if the players subscribed to this approach. But I was also struck by his longer post in which he seemed to indicate that "roleplaying" isn't so much a player determining how the character thinks and acts, and what it says (which is what the rules define it as). Rather it seems the character's thoughts and...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 08:31 PM
    So far as I can tell, the rules are mute on the matter of PvP. I even looked in the DMG earlier today to see if there was anything in the "Table Rules" section. It seems like if it was going to go anywhere, it should have been mentioned in that part, given as common as players wanting to mess with other players' characters is. A table rule gets people on the same page with regard to whether this...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 08:11 PM
    Curse of Strahd simply screams out for red and black. Hoard of the Dragon Queen: Yellow and white. Yellow for the gold that is central to the storyline, and white for the finale--the cloud castle and the first dragon you can actually defeat. I'll have to think about the others! By the way, what colo(u)rs do you have available?
    6 replies | 346 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 08:04 PM
    Is this in character or out of character? If it's out of character, have you tried telling the others to knock it off? Oof. I wouldn't assume that. By then, he'll be invested in his decision and will not want to admit he was wrong. I think I agree with those who say if his character joins Rezmir, he'll have to become an NPC. That might even be for the best; let him roll up a barbarian...
    16 replies | 466 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:34 PM
    Side comment: There seems to be an argument, directly or indirectly by multiple posters, that a player needs to "pay" in some way for having a character with a dump stat and part of paying for it is, for example, folding in an argument between characters, acting stupid or playing dumb, not sussing out a lie, etc. Or abiding by the result of an ability check by another player's character. I...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:24 PM
    Bump! I hope I can run this sometime...
    53 replies | 5938 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:11 PM
    This map gallery by MichaelArkAngel has several digital maps for Storm King's Thunder: https://www.deviantart.com/michaelarkangel/gallery/
    480 replies | 110480 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:07 PM
    Let's say you refuse to adopt the approach that some of us use to handle PvP. Let's also say that nobody ever engages in PvP at the table. It just never comes up. Is Alice gaining some kind of benefit in this situation? If the answer is "no" (and that would be my response), then I don't see the need to account for Alice's character low Charisma as a good argument against such an approach. If...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:57 PM
    For what it's worth, I've run D&D for a party including two 11- and 10-year-old girls, and they did just fine as long as I told them what to roll and what to add. Your daughters might be able to handle more rules than you think. But of course, you know them, and I don't! That said, here are some images I found of one DM's simplified character sheet. I can't find the blank version online,...
    27 replies | 748 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:47 PM
    A task performed by a PC or NPC to influence a PC's thoughts does not have an uncertain outcome because the player of that character determines how the character thinks. There's no check here. When we get into other tasks that are essentially PC vs. PC, some of us let the players resolve that among themselves through negotiation to avoid the many problems that can arise from having the DM...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:18 PM
    Parking a quote from another thread with a useful link: The gallery has maps for HotDQ and RoT, as well as several other adventures.
    260 replies | 78247 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:15 PM
    A related thread with a dilemma from the table: Bard wants to Join Rezmir! Also linked on that thread, be sure to check out these maps by MichaelArkAngel! He has maps for both HotDQ and RoT, as well as several other adventures, in this gallery: https://www.deviantart.com/michaelarkangel/gallery/
    366 replies | 87700 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:10 PM
    Has the player said anything about why he wants his character to join Rezmir and the cult? Is it just because he's attracted to her, or are there other reasons? Knowing this would help us figure out the best suggestion to make everyone happy. Also, MichaelArkAngel, those are amazing maps! I wish I'd had them when I was running these adventures on Roll20 for my group. I'm going to put a...
    16 replies | 466 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:12 PM
    I will refer you back to the post you're referencing with some additional emphasis: I was very careful with my language here. "Adjudicate and narrate as normal" means to follow the D&D 5e rules for adjudicating a proposed task which does not necessarily mean there is an ability check. I go on to clarify that there may or may not be an ability check.
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    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:06 PM
    One thing I've noticed is that when you implement these sorts of approaches, all the PVP stuff by and large seems to evaporate.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:57 AM
    Consistency in this regard is something players can count on in my games. It's one of my principles. Except I'm not leaving the box blank. I'm copying off the person next to me whose answer is always right.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:13 AM
    Which rules are you referring to? Players don't get to decide they're making a Wisdom (Insight) check or any other kind of ability check. They might succeed or fail outright with no roll. All they get to do is describe a task they want to perform. What the character sees can be negotiated by the players involved. You can call it a "house rule." It doesn't bother me. But it's not...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 05:40 AM
    Which mechanic do you mean - "Insight?" Because that sounds awfully close to "using skills" again which is strictly inferior to deciding the result anyway. No, there is no such case. The player always determines what the character thinks. It is therefore always certain. The whole scenario is rife with trouble. It's better in my view that the players work this out between them to...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 05:17 AM
    If a player describes the character as trying to determine an NPC's true intentions by observing its body language, speech habits, and changes in mannerisms, then I'll adjudicate and narrate as normal. I would have telegraphed a tell while describing the environment anyway. In almost all cases, if there is an ability check at all, this would be a Wisdom (Insight) check though; passive Insight...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:42 AM
    Narrating the results is distinct from describing the environment and is differentiated in the play loop described in the rules. It seems like you want them to be the same thing to prove something about how you choose to play. You don't have to justify yourself.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:36 AM
    "I don't know - is he?" Player B is sitting at the table, so he knows that Player A's character is lying. He or she can just say his or her character believes or disbelieves Player A's character for whatever reason Player B chooses to establish.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:27 AM
    I describe the environment, then assess if there is to be surprise, taking into account and reminding the players of the ongoing tasks they previously established ("staying alert to danger," "navigating," "drawing a map," etc.), then narrate the result of those actions.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:09 AM
    The DM doesn't need to ask for checks to describe the environment.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 01:26 AM
    I honestly couldn't make much sense of the scenario, so I'll defer to Ovinomancer on the response as it sounds appropriate to what I could take away from your example. Also, it would be great if you'd stop accusing me of sidestepping or trolling or any of the other things you've rather rudely accused me of in this thread. It makes me want to stop responding to you at all. I've answered your...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:54 PM
    "Use skill" is reminiscent of D&D 3.Xe and D&D 4e where players asked or decided to make "skill checks." This is not supported in the D&D 5e rules. There should be no expectation that a player can "use a skill" in D&D 5e. You know, I've posted that same post at least a half dozen times in this thread including my very first post in the discussion. The situation under discussion is...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:26 PM
    Here's how that might play out at my table: DM: Alice, your rogue recognizes the Zhentish tattoos on the gang leader as they flee. Alice: Oh, I need to make sure they get away. My rogue says "We shouldn't follow then, they're probably just hired thugs." DM: Alice, with the tattoos you're sure that's not true. Can you make a deception check for your rogue? Alice: 9, plus 2 for CHR and...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:22 PM
    Blue: In D&D 5e, one does not "use skills" on NPCs or PCs. They perform tasks. The outcomes of those tasks may be uncertain and carry with it a meaningful consequence of failure. If they do, then the DM calls for an ability check to resolve it. If the task does not have an uncertain outcome and/or a meaningful consequence of failure, the DM does not call for an ability check. These are not house...
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    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 09:00 PM
    Thank you.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 08:26 PM
    I wrote the Barrow of the Evensong specifically for my niece and nephew (pre-teens at the time). I ran it for some adults at a game store in about 3 hours and it was fun for adults, too. I recommend giving it a look for your purposes, plus it's free and you can read it right now!
    14 replies | 411 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 07:17 PM
    I don’t personally feel bound to play the character according to the ability scores. From time to time I do, but if for example my character’s ideal is Justice or whatever then I use that versus the scores. My justice-focused character likely pursues the just course of action without respect to the ability modifier. Maybe I have a low charisma score character that (by luck of the roll) hasn’t...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 07:14 PM
    Why does this bother you? As a DM or player, I couldn't give a dusty flumph what someone else's ability scores are and how he or she chooses to use them to inform how they portray the character. It's really just none of my business as I see it. As long as the player is pursuing the goals of play in good faith, that is, making choices that are fun for everyone and that contribute to an...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 07:05 PM
    Not that I have an issue calling it a "house rule," but just for funsies, if you really think about it, it might not be: If the DM is the one who makes the call as to whether there's an ability check and the one who narrates the results of an adventurer's action, then all we're really doing is giving the player input on what is ultimately the DM's call. "What do you think happens here, Player?...
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    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:36 PM
    What do you mean by "skill usage?"
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:35 PM
    That is incorrect. My position is that a player decides how their character thinks and acts and what it says, which is straight from the rules almost verbatim. I have made no claim as to the role of ability scores in making that determination. A player might do that, or might not. I take no position on that. Please cite the rules that instruct players how to play their characters according...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:00 PM
    A player determining how the character thinks and acts is the definition of roleplaying provided by the rules themselves. We didn't just make that up. There are also no rules that require a player to act any particular way given their ability scores. The character creation guidelines do suggest that ability scores can inform the PC's appearance and personality, but there are no hard rules on how...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:41 PM
    My opinion is informed by the rules of the game which I paraphrased in my response. You don't have to follow the rules, of course, but those of us who share my opinion are following the rules.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:25 PM
    The DM can only call for an ability check when there's uncertainty as to the outcome of a task. The task here is "Convince barbarian to go along with rogue's plan." Players can't call for or decide to make ability checks. The question is whether there is uncertainty as to the outcome of the task. And the answer is: There isn't. A player determines how the character thinks and acts - thus the...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:19 PM
    Interesting that the DMG sells better than the Monster Manual. I would have expected the MM to be the second-highest seller.
    45 replies | 1650 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:33 PM
    He is subject to the negatives though. If he has a low Intelligence, he will on average do poorly on Intelligence ability checks (such as when determining if he can recall lore or make a deduction) and Intelligence saving throws. If he has a low Wisdom, he'll perform badly on average on a number of tasks including Insight, Perception, and Survival, when asked to make a roll to resolve those...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:22 PM
    In reading the posts of people who are using mechanics to influence decisions players make for their own characters, there seems to be an undercurrent of player issues at the table for which this method was deemed a solution. As has been stated, using mechanics to solve player issues is not ideal and, in fact, often leads to the sorts of problem that kicked off this thread.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 10:22 AM
    Manganiello is probably more famous for the Magic Mike movie. But Tru Blood, yeah. The fact that this scifi geek is also a sex symbol, is kinda awesome.
    11 replies | 708 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:44 PM
    Remove the design space of ‘race’, entirely. So it is more like creating a superhero character, where the ‘race’ is only one of many explanations for where the power comes from. Build your character by selecting ability score improvements, feats, and traits. The default is human, but you and the DM decide whatever it is.
    113 replies | 2826 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:09 PM
    Right. The best definition in my opinion for agency is simply being able to make reasonably informed decisions for your character that have an actual impact on the game world. That's all there is to it, really. "Reasonably informed decisions" come from the DM providing an adequate description of the environment and being consistent with rulings. Having an "actual impact on the game world" comes...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 06:41 PM
    How is it not adding to the discussion to show how to play in a way that avoids the problem entirely?
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:24 PM
    Oh, did my post stop there? I'm pretty sure I added a whole other part that explained further how I handle it at my table.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:18 PM
    I wouldn't do this. With a failed check, I would just say the true intentions of the creature are no clearer than they were before. The player can then decide what to do with that. A Wisdom (Insight) check isn't about whether you believe someone or not. It's about whether you can detect changes in body language, speech habits, or mannerisms that provide you information appropriate to your goal....
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:13 PM
    I remember playing final fantasy 15, with something similar to OP’s suggestion. When the main character or a party member dropped to zero HP, they were effectively disabled. They’d crawl to cover, but couldn’t stand or fight, and if you could get over to them, you could administer some healing. It was both dramatic and effective. I think I’d refine the original suggestion here to include a...
    30 replies | 499 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:00 PM
    Yeah, the "Use Skill" thing is definitely an artifact of other games. You can hear it in the way certain posters talk about their games. Not surprisingly, if there is some kind of problem seeking an answer posted on the forums, it's often due at least in part to handling ability checks this way. Which is not to say the method always produces problems. Rather, if there is a problem, you can be...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 04:56 PM
    I run my regular campaign which is about 10 players, 7 of whom are the most active, and 3 who show up for the odd cameo. There are 5 seats per session and the quorum is 4 players. So here I'm very familiar with these players, but the roster does change almost every session. They have two PCs each as well, though they do favor their primary ones chiefly. I also run scenarios in a West Marches...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Cyber-Dave's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 04:50 PM
    I agree with almost everyone else: this critique is misplaced. The “problem” is actually a feature. I like how they balanced magical vs. martial characters. They finally got it right.
    211 replies | 5143 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 04:47 PM
    I require the player to adequately perform their role in the game. They have one thing to do - describe what they want to do and how they want to do it. They require me to adequately perform my role in the game as well - describing the environment, laying out the basic scope of options that present themselves, and narrating the result of the adventurers' actions. (And staying functional after 6...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:38 AM
    It's not about precise phrasing though. If I'm not going to tell you what your character thinks, then it's only consistent in my view for me to also not assume or establish what your character is doing. To that end it's on the player to describe a goal and approach that I can adjudicate.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 06:09 AM
    Yeah man, there's a whole world of villains and monsters out there to lie to, steal from, and murder. Ain't got time for people who want to instead flip coins trying to mess with each other. I would say it's not about allowing or not allowing it really. I just can't do anything with that question - there's nothing there for me to adjudicate into a result because the player didn't tell me...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:57 AM
    Ovinomancer has it. It's just worked out by the players involved in a way that they believe will be fun for everyone and that contributes to an exciting, memorable story. I see no need for mechanics here.
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 03:18 AM
    Jarlaxle's Master Attuner trait lets him attune to five magic items. However, he has *seven* magic items on his person that require attunement: bracer of flying daggers, cloak of invisibility, feather of diatryma summoning, hat of diguise, knave's eye patch, ring of truth telling, wand of web. Would you allow him to cheat and attune to all of them at once, or would you actually bother to...
    93 replies | 11581 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 02:20 AM
    My response to these sorts of questions is "Only you can say what your character thinks." The way this plays out at our table is that the character tells a lie, both players know it since presumably nobody's really in the dark about this as we're all there at the table, and then the player whose character is being lied to decides whether it would be more fun to play along with it, to be...
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 02:03 AM
    It seems reasonable to me that some adventurers might weigh two options and go with the one that will provide him or her with the most benefit. And oddly enough in this case, for reasons that probably amount to a lucky guess, that choice ended up being the right one (to the extent I understand GameOgre's description).
    522 replies | 10532 view(s)
    0 XP
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Tuesday, 27th November, 2018

  • 10:08 AM - Sadras mentioned pukunui in post Has WotC saturated the published adventure market or are the two latest adventures not very popular?
    ...yone else noticed an apparent lack of interest in discussing the content in the latest pair of adventures? In my memory the latest adventures get a flurry of threads and posts as people read through and find things to talk about, especially when it comes to running the adventure. Dragon Heist had some of that but it tapered off quickly, but Mad Mage has very little. (Perhaps I’m jumping the gun with this observation? :) ) My pet theory is that we’re all quite busy running any one of the other published adventures (or home brew) so there’s little attention remaining for these. But a close runner up is that a bunch of people are just not excited by them. What do you think? I think you're definitely jumping the gun. I'm playing a massive campaign which includes a mashup of MiBG (Done), LofCS (1 session left), SKT (Chapter 3) with the backdrop of ToD (currently RoT) - so I'm years behind. :.-( I still intend to run CoS, ToA, Dragon Heist and Mad Mage someday. I'm always scouring pukunui's enhancing threads years later. ;)

Monday, 29th October, 2018

  • 02:44 PM - robus mentioned pukunui in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    In my opinion the biggest missed opportunity is the presentation of published adventures. Echoing CapnZapp's thoughts above, almost every one is oriented toward some cataclysmic event which forces the adventure on a treadmill until the threat is ended. That combined with really quite sloppy implementations (I've been suffering through the "hot mess", as pukunui calls it, of Dragon Heist) means that almost every time it's a disappointment of missed opportunities (I still hold out hope for Curse of Strahd, if/when I run it :) ) Instead I wish that they would change their approach to adventure structure and break them into discrete parts for each heroic tier. (SKT sort of did this but the epic threat loomed throughout.) This would allow for some downtime between adventures and provide more tier appropriate challenges. As far as the mechanics are concerned - those are running quite fine for me. The players are still having fun (even at level 17), now that I'm adjusting the encounters to their style (and bringing in reinforcements if they cake walk something I thought would be tougher :) )

Friday, 21st September, 2018

  • 05:00 PM - robus mentioned pukunui in post Out of the Abyss - Second Half
    pukunui: In my high level reboot I kicked it off with the quest from the Dwarven King (name escapes me at the mo :) ). I didn't bother cluttering the party up with an army (and they were 15th level when we started). The quest is - clean out the Underdark of Demon Lords before they find a way through to the surface. My rough outline is: Head to Gravenhollow to gain more intelligence on the threat (a guide leads the way). There they meet a drow wizard (Vizeran) who tells them of a amulet locked in the maze engine that will guide them to the Demon Lords (kind of like a compass). They then head off to the Labyrinth, stumble upon Yeenoghu by chance (deal with him and his gnoll hoard - a fun encounter it turned out with an epic finale conjured by one of the players!), then find the Maze Engine and recover the amulet. That gets them to Level 16 The amulet has lead them to Neverlight Grove where they've stopped the Fetid Wedding and banished Zuggtmoy back to the Abyss. They're currently dealing wi...

Saturday, 15th September, 2018

  • 12:50 PM - Quickleaf mentioned pukunui in post [SPOILERS] Enhancing Tomb of Annihilation
    pukunui Sounds like you ran him pretty true to form. I’ve read a few other reports describe him as a challenge but not living up to the hype. Also from the DM’s perspective. I’m pretty sure he can cast animate dead as a Legendary Action (an exception circumventing usual 1 minute casting). And I believe a spellcaster can upcast a spell they know “at-will” by expending the appropriate slot. And the tomb is described as being a sort of ossuary with skeletons in the walls (concept art confirms that). So...you see what I’m thinking...Acererak could upcast Animate Dead as a Legendary Action, giving the party a few skeletons to get through before being able to engage Acererak in melee...or skeletons popping out of walls to grapple PCs or to attack concentrating spellcasters... I also think that he might actually be able to use arcane lock or some other “non-combat” spells during combat, but I’ll need to study the map and descriptions more closely. My sense is Acererak is meant to use nonlinear ...

Monday, 4th June, 2018

  • 01:01 AM - Yaarel mentioned pukunui in post ‘Advanced’ Dungeons & Dragons
    ...zation options. So, some players are less happy with the status quo. The proposal in this thread, allows WotC to keep ‘D&D’ as a ‘Setting’ for brand recognition. At the same time, ‘AD&D’ strives to meet the needs of other players. @flametitan. Regarding 2e, I never used a 2e official setting. Players who are more familiar will need to add their insights here. My impression is. 2e has ‘Setting D&D’ with a choice of independent settings. But then 2e lacks ‘Advanced D&D’ in the sense of a systematized unifying rule set. The early editions of D&D were an ad-hoc patchwork of conflictive rules. Each setting had its own workable rule set, and evolved to the point of becoming less *mechanically* compatible with rules of other settings. For 5e, ‘AD&D’ would be a unifying rule set that would include and systematize all mechanical options from all official settings. So it is easier to import a mechanical feature from one setting into an other setting, by consulting the AD&D core rules. @pukunui. As an aside. I see AIME as an ideal for what ‘Setting D&D’ can look like. (Adventures in Middle Earth, for 5e, by Cubical 7.) AIME repurposes the 5e mechanics to craft a specific setting for a specific playstyle. It has its own cosmology, unrelated to Forgotten Realms/Planescape. It has its own limited assemblage of races (cultures), classes, backgrounds, and feats (cultural virtues), that are crafted for the flavor of the AIME setting. It continues to add accessory books that carefully expand the AIME setting. It adds some new options, but only if working well for the setting, and the new books never cancel out previous options. If AIME was a WotC setting product, then the AD&D core rules would update with any new *mechanical* options that an AIME book made available, but without its setting flavor. So options in one setting become doable for an other setting.

Saturday, 31st March, 2018

  • 07:10 AM - Quickleaf mentioned pukunui in post [SPOILERS] Enhancing Tomb of Annihilation
    Great play report pukunui! My dilemma after one session is the PCs took Captain Laskilar captive (after routing a pirate attack on the ship they traveled aboard) and presented him to Wakanga O'tamu as a "gift." We left the session with PCs spending night as Wakanga's guests, while Wakanga has a private conversation with his captive/guest Captain Laskilar. What is the result of that meeting? ToA loosely gives Wakanga motives (working with the Harpers, and...not much else) & mentions that Captain Laskilar is in contact with wealthy patrons in Port Nyanzaru. And that's about it. To be fair, I knew from the outset that ToA paints with some pretty broad strokes anything that's not associated with a dungeon...so I knew that I'd have to generate lots of details... I ended up doing a complete write-up for Wakanga O'tamu (and I'm working on similar write-ups for other merchant princes) using ToA, my own ideas mixed with AD&D Jungles of Chult & other books, Twenty Sides to Every Story blog & The Many and Fabulou...
  • 12:48 AM - Quickleaf mentioned pukunui in post [SPOILERS] Enhancing Tomb of Annihilation
    ... facing relatively low-level adventurers. This isn't the high level thread, but a simpler and much more straight-forward approach is to... ignore the restrictions. Like any Lich, its biggest weakness is its lack of actions. Even though Acecerak has twice the hp of a regular Lich, that's still very little for a CR 20+ creature supposed to go up solo against the party. (My adventurers are only level 9, but they're already capable of 60+ damage nova bursts each) What does Acecerak do against a quick dispel magic (to remove any enchantments on his body) and then getting wailed upon by the melee bruisers. I think the easiest solution is to keep him as-is, but instead dial down (or outright remove) all the buffs the module is giving the heroes. As for my other suggestions, I'll take them in the high level thread. Yeah, sounds like for your party of combat machines altering Acererak's spell list & generally souping up the final showdown is the way to go. I think it was pukunui who caught a few errors in Acererak's stat block too... Paralyzing Touch should be +15 to hit... and Disrupt Life legendary action shouldn't affect all "creatures", it should only affect "living creatures" (as per MM lich)... which reinforces my thinking that Acererak is meant to be constantly conjuring skeletons from the ossuary-type walls. In your case, you could certainly upgrade these skeletons to minotaur skeletons or something homebrew/3rd party, and have them use dirty tactics like Helping one another's Grapple attempts against key PCs. :devil: Omu is turning out to be especially deadly for my group. No PCs died while exploring Chult but since arriving in the lost city, the death toll now stands at five! The King of Feathers got two (it ate one and then its wasp swarm stung another to death). The giant crocodile mama at Papazotl’s shrine ate another. Two more died in Shagambi’s gladiator pit. (One of them had only been an active PC for 90 minutes.) I would just like ...

Wednesday, 29th November, 2017

  • 05:58 PM - MoonSong mentioned pukunui in post Survivor XGTE New Subclasses - SHADOW MAGIC WINS!
    DOWNVOTES ARE THREE. PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS. Ancestral Guardians 20 Storm Herald 17 Zealot 15 College of Swords 11 Don't see how this is different from Battle College of Glamour 15 College of Whispers 22 Forge Domain 22 Grave Domain 23 Circle of Shepherds 21 Cavalier 20 Samurai 21 Kensei 19 Drunken Master 13 Sun Soul 8 (downvoted) Oath of Conquest 5 Gloom Stalker 20 Horizon Walker 22 Monster Slayer 21 Scout 23 Inquisitive 15 Swashbuckler 22 Mastermind 18 Divine Soul 24 ( pukunui made a mistake when bumping this, he wanted to vote but shifted it from 24 to 21, it should have been 25, then downvoted to 22 and with two more votes form @gyor and I back to 24) Shadow Magic 22 Storm Sorcerer 20 Hexblade 15 Celestial 24 War Magic 14

Tuesday, 28th November, 2017

  • 07:52 PM - cooperjer mentioned pukunui in post Monk Jump Distance
    I'm not sure I would allow the strength 6 and super fast character to increase their jump distance in my game. In this particular case the monk has several features that increase their mobility and thus several features available to address terrain challenges. I would put it back to the monk player to find a creative way to cross a 15-ft or 20-ft pit. As pukunui already mentioned a strength (athletics) check can be used to increase the base jump distance. Maybe the monk has a decanter of endless water to fill the pit up and then runs across it. Maybe there is a way to put a beam across the pit. Maybe there is a way to secure a rope to the ceiling near the center of the pit. Maybe the monk can run along the wall next to the pit. Maybe the strong character readies an action to launch the strength 6 Tabaxi and give them advantage on the strength (athletics) jump roll.

Friday, 3rd November, 2017

  • 12:39 AM - robus mentioned pukunui in post Running NPC allies
    pukunui - at least they’re not combat allies. I think most of the ones you describe easily could become “helpers” or hiders (or just nonentities) during combat and not cause too much headache then at least.

Thursday, 26th October, 2017

  • 12:23 AM - Saeviomagy mentioned pukunui in post Xanathar's Guide to Everything: Gloom Stalker Subclass
    pukunui The vibe I've always gotten from the ranger is that of Longstrider... some group based stuff, some general utility, some self and group-sufficiency. And the mechanics kind of support that, but they're just really poorly done. The terrain and favoured foe requirements for class features are pretty odious, and the class features themselves tend to take the form of "here's some things a ranger would be good at... so now you can ignore them completely". Rangers don't get spotlight time for doing ranger things, so the class ends up feeling pointless. They don't actually have any mechanics that support the 'loner' archetype with the sole exception of their 'fast stealthy overland travel' perk. But a whole subclass that only works in the dark? Yay. Sounds like a ton of fun for the rest of the group.

Saturday, 21st October, 2017

  • 09:52 AM - Staffan mentioned pukunui in post Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated
    I have a bunch of the 4e tiles (not that they're system-specific or anything) as well as some Paizo map tiles, and I really haven't used them much. As pukunui said, you really have to tailor the encounter to the tiles - it's usually not very easy to use the tiles to match dungeon maps from published adventures. For one thing, they're usually too small for most areas, and they're hard to do irregular shapes with. I was trying to figure out which ones to use for the Scarlet Stone Monastery in Princes of the Apocalypse, and after a while I just gave up. I wouldn't even consider using them for the actual elemental temples. I have gotten some use out of the decorations and "effects" that came with some of the tile packages, so the investment wasn't all wasted though.

Tuesday, 17th October, 2017

  • 07:41 PM - Dax Doomslayer mentioned pukunui in post TftYP - Forge of Fury Debrief
    pukunui - Thanks so much for the recount! It's appreciated. So they didn't fight the orcs by going through the front door or the dragon - darn it! I was curious to see how those two parts played especially from 3E to 5E. The orcs were a pushover is good information (provided the group avoids the mountain door anyway). It was wise of them to go to the smoke and go in through that entrance. I'll have to check out the recaps. I really liked this adventure on my read through it . I thought it was the best of the bunch (though the Giant series will always have a special place in my heart)

Monday, 9th October, 2017

  • 03:01 AM - Satyrn mentioned pukunui in post Telegraph This
    I gotta say, guys, posting in @pukunui's threads is a great way to grind XP! :lol:

Tuesday, 12th September, 2017

  • 02:45 AM - Blue mentioned pukunui in post UA: New Race Options, Eladrin and Gith
    It feels to me that the Eladrin were meant to have subraces (perhaps aligned with the seasons) that would have an ability score modifier, like the Gith and most of the PHB races. A total +1 is light, even with a useful feature like a static 2nd level spells once per rest. I have a quibble with the Githzerai, but it's not a flaw in the race exactly. They are the only +2 Wisdom race. With Wisdom as your primary ability score for any clerics, I expect I'll see a large upswing in Githzerai clerics at my local gaming store where UA is accepted simply because they are the only race that highly synergizes with it. (Well, variant humans could if you took a half-feat that boosted Wis, but usually variant humans aren't going to half-feats that I see.) EDIT: pukunui corrected me that Firbolg also have +2 WIS.

Sunday, 25th June, 2017


Sunday, 11th June, 2017

  • 05:28 AM - SkidAce mentioned pukunui in post Anyone used the chase rules in the DMG yet?
    pukunui how would you handle a chase with something perhaps faster or slower than your goat example? Raise or lower the str DC to emulate how hard it would be to catch said creature? I.e. DC 15, supreme effort needed to catch creature before "its outta here"?

Saturday, 10th June, 2017

  • 11:55 PM - robus mentioned pukunui in post New DM Hoard of the Dragon Queen
    Hello all! Been doing RPG for a few months now and have decided to try my hand at being a DM, starting with the Hoard of the Dragon Queen for 5th Edition. Aside from general tips for DMing, can anyone give any advice on running this adventure specifically? (I also plan to do a test run with fellow DM's so they can give me advice on the way I run.) I agree with pukunui, though less so on how much help LMoP gives a DM :) Also check out the "best threads" thread as it has links to many useful things.
  • 11:53 PM - JeffB mentioned pukunui in post Anyone used the chase rules in the DMG yet?
    pukunui Sure, if it's no trouble. Whenever you get time! Thanks :) I was thinking of adapting some sort of range band thing (abstract, ala 13A/FFG SW) but then remembered the 5e DMG had its own version in the back

Friday, 9th June, 2017



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Saturday, 8th December, 2018


Friday, 7th December, 2018

  • 06:31 PM - vecna00 quoted pukunui in post Information on 2019 releases?
    Nevertheless I do not think we are due another one any time soon. Not for another four years at least! We shall see! I listened to an older Dragon Talk yesterday with an interview with RA Salvatore were the hosts pretty much confirmed that there is a Pirate themed product in the offing. Add that to the Wizkids ship, the last UA and lots of other things and it points pretty firmly to a 2019 piratey book. Piratey? Mayhaps...space piratey? Spelljammer nowhere near confirmed? :-D
  • 10:42 AM - vecna00 quoted pukunui in post Information on 2019 releases?
    Oh, I sincerely hope not! One was more than enough! I respect your opinion, but one is never enough! :-)

Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 02:05 AM - brehobit quoted pukunui in post Rate my Aspect of Tiamat
    brehobit: Have you looked at the Tiamat stats in The Rise of Tiamat? She’s CR 30, but the book includes a number of options to weaken her enough that a party of 14th or 15th level PCs can beat her. I did base her off the CR 30 one but didn't see how to reduce her...

Saturday, 1st December, 2018

  • 03:36 PM - Imaro quoted pukunui in post Using Star Wars SAGA Skill Challenges in 5e
    Yeah, the GoI skill challenge rules were a refinement of the 4e rules (which were technically in the DMG, not the PHB). That said, I remember trying to run a skill challenge in my SWSE game using the GoI rules. It didn’t work out so well in my opinion. Still felt too artificial. Have avoided skill challenges ever since. This is all just theory at this point, since I haven't playtested using these rules in my 5e game... but would you care to elaborate what the issues were you ran into? Maybe it's something we can look to avoid here.

Thursday, 29th November, 2018

  • 08:04 AM - MechaPilot quoted pukunui in post DMsGuild: D&D Style-Guides give a unique insight into the game
    To be fair, making sure you get the page numbers right is a pain in the ass... Just did that for a project I was working on a couple days ago. And if the content somehow ends up on a different page, it's even more of a pain to have to go through all the other products that now refer to the incorrect page. Granted, to both of you. I have a couple of homebrew setting documents that use page references. They're nothing that's been published, and I don't have any pages of both art and text in either work (just full page maps, with easy to manage page breaks). So, I know that making sure page references are correct takes a considerable amount of effort. Also, before the inevitable piling-on by people who misread or misconstrue what I said (it wouldn't be the internet without the ever-present threat of that) I never said they were bad people, or that they were lazy, for choosing not to use page references. Just that it was frustrating not to have them when the books have poor indices.

Wednesday, 28th November, 2018

  • 05:41 AM - Parmandur quoted pukunui in post DMsGuild: D&D Style-Guides give a unique insight into the game
    There's some great stuff in the FR style guide. It's a real shame WotC doesn't bother to make sure their hardcovers follow the guidelines (e.g. The style guide says "week" is banned and one should use "tenday" instead, but "week" shows up in FR products all the time!) Could be these are new internal guidelines made for just that reason, that they decided to share.

Tuesday, 27th November, 2018

  • 03:30 PM - robus quoted pukunui in post Has WotC saturated the published adventure market or are the two latest adventures not very popular?
    It’s also a poorly written adventure outline more than anything else. I thought part of the reason for the slower release schedule was so WotC could focus on quality, but I’m beginning to think that’s corporate spin, cos the quality of the last few releases has been a pretty mixed bag. 5e is a fantastic game, but WotC’s support of it leaves a lot to be desired. This is the bit that's puzzling me also. I really expected these adventures to be master classes of design with tons of clever techniques that would reveal insights in how to make an adventure exciting and memorable. Instead they seem quite random and illogical and barely follow the adventure design approaches outlined in the DMG (the adventures vary in this regard but I don't think any of them come close to nailing it, even Curse of Strahd). Dragon Heist is one of the worst in that regard. I'm starting to think that adventure writing is actually very hard and no one knows how to do it...
  • 10:21 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted pukunui in post Has WotC saturated the published adventure market or are the two latest adventures not very popular?
    FWIW Dragon Heist is currently polling at 58.5% here on EN World. Of all the official 5e hardcover adventures, only Hoard of the Dragon Queen has a lower score and not by much (52.5%). Granted DH is still one review short of being certified; nevertheless, I think it is fairly telling that it is currently the second least-popular hardcover adventure. But is that score because there is not much actual adventure in the book or because it is a bad adventure? It is basically the same shortish adventure that can be played in each of the four seasons and with a choice from four different BBEGs at the end. And from what I hear, you do not actually fight any of the BBEGs because your group is level 5 at the most when you get to the end. Just that alone could get a lot of people to give it a poorer score than it deserves because they cannot just go in and kill everything that gets in their way. Which is also true about Waterdeep in general. That must frustrate a lot of gamers out there who are not us...
  • 06:44 AM - Elfcrusher quoted pukunui in post What Does the Game Need Now?
    LMoP isn't exactly a "railroad" either. However, it is fairly straightforward and doesn't require a lot of tinkering or filling in the blanks. I was able to run it for a group of newbies with very little preparation at all. Yeah that's why I put it in quotes. So many people slap that label on any adventure that is even somewhat linear, but most people I play with have zero problem with that structure. It's fun. I think WotC is making a mistake catering to the anti-railroad crowd with their attempts at sandboxes. I'm also starting to run WDH and it's annoying how much work I have to do in between sessions to prepare. And the end result is going to be something that some folks here would call "railroad". And then I'll most likely never run it again. Which means all the unused options are wasted paper. And if I *do* run it again it will be for an entirely different set of players, which means I'll run it the way I already know. You hear over and over again that one of the biggest ...
  • 06:24 AM - flametitan quoted pukunui in post What Does the Game Need Now?
    As a time-poor DM, I would really appreciate some more adventures like LMoP that don’t require loads of prep to run. More LMoP like adventures would be great. While the low prep part is useful, for me the bigger part of the LMoP style was the jumping off points. It might just be because it's the Starter Set adventure, but it felt more like LMoP was a foundation for a campaign, rather than a campaign in and of itself. You could take the unresolved threads of LMoP, and weave a larger story with it. The hardbacks, by virtue of trying to tell a complete story, don't really have that room to branch out. There's certainly dangling hooks for the DM to grab on to, but they don't really fill the same purpose as in LMoP. They expand the story, but don't often give you a way to continue the story forward, per se.

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 10:56 PM - Elfcrusher quoted pukunui in post What Does the Game Need Now?
    As a time-poor DM, I would really appreciate some more adventures like LMoP that don’t require loads of prep to run. This in spades. Lots of us love the sorts of adventures that others call "railroad". Follow the breadcrumbs, explore a mine/ruin/castle/tomb, talk to a few NPCs without making a whole mini-game out of it, kill some monsters and take their stuff. I could do that every week forever. And one thing I can't stand are these APs where by design you're only supposed to a sub-set of the content. E.g., "Pick one of the following four chapters and use that, discarding the other three." NO THANK YOU.

Tuesday, 20th November, 2018

  • 10:56 PM - mrpopstar quoted pukunui in post Official D&D Errata Updated (Nov 2018)
    Found some instances where the errata needs errata: 1) The Bard's Magical Secrets errata points to page 50, but the text (in my book at least) is on page 54. 2) The original errata for the find steed spell ("Appearing in an unoccupied space within range, the steed takes on a form that you choose ...") has (accidentally?) been removed.Send a message to the powers that be!

Friday, 16th November, 2018

  • 09:57 PM - Parmandur quoted pukunui in post Official D&D Errata Updated (Nov 2018)
    Paladins can now smite with their 5th level spell slots! No, the bit in question specifies that the bonus against Fiends et al is on top of the existing damage up to 6d8. The full updated text from Beyond: "Starting at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one spell slot to deal radiant damage to the target, in addition to the weapon’s damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8. The damage increases by 1d8 if the target is an undead or a fiend, to a maximum of 6d8."

Wednesday, 14th November, 2018


Tuesday, 13th November, 2018


Sunday, 11th November, 2018



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