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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Today, 05:45 AM
    I can only see it being an issue if your follow-up campaign (be it Dungeon of the Mad Mage or something else) featured a lot of fiends or undead. Otherwise it’s not a big deal at all.
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:14 PM
    Yeah, but why are you crowing about it now, when JC made that clarification months ago? Is this just you being extremely late to the party, or have the rest of us missed something that JC said more recently?
    66 replies | 1742 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:09 AM
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do like the idea of a masked ball in Castle Waterdeep. Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to do much homebrewing of this adventure. I'm going to have to run it more or less straight, at least this first time through. I have warned my players that it's not actually a heist adventure, despite the name, and that it's more about stopping the bad...
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 09:22 PM
    That’s fair. I took them as examples because IMO they are the popular choice of 3rd level spells. But even as I think about it, if you look at how the DMG builds monsters, you find that a certain DPR progression coincides with certain CR and therefore also with XP. And additional abilities like flight or invisibility also come with CR adjustments. So I suppose there is more than one avenue...
    52 replies | 1676 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 07:36 PM
    Here is a cost chart I handwaved above Marshal Troops Flexible Cost Chart Make a history check to determine the resolution of the troops activity 31 or more 1/50 the cost of a magic item at the level of the challenge you are facing 21 to 30 1/40th the cost of a magic item. 11 to 20 or more its 1/30 the cost of a magic item
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 12:25 PM
    In Mythological Figures today we’re going after Droṇa, guru of princes and wielder of the world’s first, greatest weapon! This one is a bit of a doozy so strap in. Droṇa’s name means “vessel made of leaf” because that’s what he was born from! An overexcited sage named Bharadwaja saw a beautiful apsara (female spirit of the clouds and waters) in the Ganga River, catching his...
    0 replies | 447 view(s)
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 07:47 AM
    I was gonna suggest this. My son started d&d club in H.S. and he’s running this scenario.
    14 replies | 414 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 08:30 AM
    On a different note, I have chosen to run the adventure in the autumn. The Day of Wonders is on the 3rd of Marpenoth. I'm having trouble deciding how far ahead of that date to start the adventure. A tenday? Two tendays? I feel like I ought to have the Day of Wonders occur *before* the fireball, as there's not much time for it to happen afterwards. Basically, how much time should I allow for...
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 12:44 AM
    Sean's steadily working through it on his website. In other news, the Xanathar Guild claimed its first scalp last night. The monk tried going toe-to-toe with an enlarged (and enraged) duergar and was given a new ventilation hole in his skull for his troubles. The surviving PCs + Renaer went on to defeat the half-orc wizard and intellect devourer and rescue Floon, however. They want to...
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 12:26 AM
    Yes
    18 replies | 521 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 12:13 AM
    Practical Arts as distinguished from Fine Arts or Magical/Mystical Arts If I am going to generate an OGL compatible presentation might as well think about things like this.
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 12:09 AM
    Yeah, I suppose I assumed players would use their spells effectively and not cast fly underwater or fireball their own codpiece. But let’s leave that complete waffle aside for a second. I didn’t argue for or against assigning a point value - I merely illustrated it was possible to do so, if you were inclined. So as to your points 1 and 2, I respectfully decline to debate positions I...
    52 replies | 1676 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 11:36 PM
    Since you’re aware of the players’ MO, look for opportunities your baddies might have to complicate their go-to plans. Multiple goals is a very good idea. Additional obstacles or complications that are in the way of their MO is also good. I can’t remember the last video game I played where gaining Access to the BBEG didn’t come with 3 or 5 prerequisite goals. Good gravy. 5 keys to 5...
    45 replies | 1098 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 11:21 PM
    Here’s a proof of concept: The ability to pick a lock of some kind is about equivalent to the 2nd level spell Knock. The 2nd level DPR spells are Cloud of Daggers (4d4 persisting in an area) and Scorching Ray (3 rays that each do 2d6 fire damage). This is roughly 21-22 DPR. So I conclude Knock is worth about 21 DPR and therefore so is picking a lock. What has 21 HP? Well, a zombie...
    52 replies | 1676 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 11:10 PM
    You do have a metric. It’s DPR - and HP. Let’s make a quick comparison. Consider the 3rd level spell Fireball. It does 8d6 damage to an area at range. Assuming that spell hits three enemies, it’s 24d6 worth of damage dealt. Now consider the 3rd level spell Fly. For 10 minutes, the target gains a fly speed of 60’. And the 3rd level spell Lightning Bolt also comes in at 8d6 (or 24d6 if you hit...
    52 replies | 1676 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 09:36 PM
    Yeah. This definitely is appealing. I'm kinda wondering whether it requires prior buy-in for the narrative dice to work or if the mechanics would pull narration out of reticent players. This is where Fate (among others) appeals to me, as well. 5E D&D has a "sweet spot" of 5th-10th levels (or so). I can deal with the 1-3 "training" levels, but have been starting games at 3rd. I've also made...
    38 replies | 1027 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 09:07 PM
    I picked it up when it was on sale for something like $12.50. I liked a lot of what it tries to do and would happily play it. Ultimately, it wasn't enough to suck me away from D&D because I wanted something lighter weight and I felt that Genesys is almost exactly as "heavy" as D&D. Yes, it lacks levels and classes are much more suggestions than straight-jackets (which I consider to be a huge...
    38 replies | 1027 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 02:51 PM
    This. If you're a podcast person, I can't recommend Manifest Zone enough. It's Keith Baker having topical conversations about Eberron with some knowledgeable, active community members. Kristian Serrano is an incredibly charismatic host, as well, which makes the whole thing sound very professional (to the best of my knowledge, none of the folks involved are media professionals).
    17 replies | 622 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 02:33 PM
    What might be a good alternative term for practices? So far arts are the only thing popping to mind. Changing the feat name to Martial Artistry and the Warlords class feature to Art of War. And given that access to Martial Techniques could be via The art of the Sensei and we have Library Arts in there. It looks like I have been moving that direction for a while.
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 04:47 AM
    According to Volo's, a gazer "resembles the beholder who dreamed it into existence." I had a go at recoloring the gazer to look like the Xanathar had spawned it:
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 07:27 PM
    What’s wrong with it?
    41 replies | 2193 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 04:24 AM
    I do prefer the term bloodied but honestly why I consider it significant is having the status and having things trigger off of it generally are what is important mechanically I would say it is part of the 4e pacing system I think which should have been made more intense, But zee flavor mon she is mahn to lever as I wilt.
    12 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 07:36 PM
    There is a power it is based on... (allowing the attack to inspire someone other than the attacks direct target is a new ingredient) I might want to introduce a Charisma benefit in there... like the manipulator feature allowing you to do CHA mod damage to the secondary target.
    19 replies | 2127 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 09:24 AM
    Out of curiosity, how did you rate options (classes etcetera) that seemed like they were good quality, but regarding a concept that you personally had less interest in?
    65 replies | 2649 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 04:39 AM
    I am unfamiliar... I am being weirded out right now by recharge rolls. ;) and more weirded out by inconsistent rules about something so core. Now I am reading about class balance from some more math oriented souls bless their hearts.
    12 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 04:31 AM
    A badass Warlord is on my list of requirements for a fully fleshed game is to be considered a 4e Descendent ... (I am thinking the now available Commander from 13th age qualifies)
    12 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 02:40 AM
    The Hector build Warlord passes up on some of the limelight of regular inspiring of allies in favor of battlefield control, which goes even beyond that of the Tactical Lord. They gain the Gifted Manipulator feature in place of Inspiring Word. Gifted manipulator grants extra move distance (not as much as the Mage Enchanter) and extra damage when you induce an enemy to harm their ally. (Friendly...
    19 replies | 2127 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 02:31 AM
    That small thing is bigger for me than it might seem.
    12 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 10:51 PM
    or 5e for that matter... Might really take effort
    12 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 10:35 PM
    Can someone convince me to include 13th Age?
    12 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 02:28 PM
    Included most of that in the original post now - had my own link that was dead on the original to 4e Magic Sword.
    12 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 12:21 PM
    There are some spells that are nonbroken yet too powerful for their spell slot, compared to other spells. For example, Bless and Hunters Mark. These should probably become class features for the Cleric and Ranger, respectively, instead of spells, since they dont actually break the game. The problem is they make other spell options less likely, thus discourage a diversity of spells. For some...
    65 replies | 2649 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 11:59 AM
    Yeah, no spells are overpowered. But lots of spells are disappointing (to put it politely). Too many underpowered spells disrupt the game, in that what could be interesting concepts prove to be nonviable compared to other options in the same spell slot. It is a similar problem with feats. Too many feats are noncompetitive with other feats.
    65 replies | 2649 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 06:44 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Viking style wrestling, called glíma, is brutal. It resembles mixed-martial arts today, with take downs, body locks, punches and kicks, and lots of blood, except glíma involves more body throws, and uses improvised weapons, such as throwing stones, wielding an oar, pulling down an opponents pants to distract, throwing sand in eyes, etcetera. During the Viking period, glíma normally...
    63 replies | 3816 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 06:22 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Yeah, the bow and the spear are primarily hunting weapons. Because hunting is a staple source of food during the long winters, many Norse will have a bow and a spear around anyway, and know how to use it. Similarly, the ax. The same ax that is used to chop wood is often the same ax that is reused for war. Only the sword is unusual, in that its only purpose is combat, which is why it functions...
    63 replies | 3816 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 04:17 AM
    I suspect the designers are in a ... modality ... that they care more about whether the majority of players are satisfied than whether the game is actually balanced or consistent. If there are some aspects that are off, it seems necessary to inform the larger community about the difficulties, to encourage players to notice and understand the issues, rather than finetune the aspects directly. ...
    65 replies | 2649 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 03:56 AM
    They're all too busy making videos and hobnobbing with minor celebrities to bother with any QA these days.
    65 replies | 2649 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 12:00 AM
    That's what I had hoped. Glad to see it confirmed.
    65 replies | 2649 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 08:18 PM
    I would have liked a chance to talk about the classes / subclasses instead of just rating them.
    65 replies | 2649 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 11:22 AM
    More Mythological Figures! Slithering scales and serpentine forms, make sure to keep your game table warm for today’s Epic Monster: Yig, Father of Serpents! As far as I can tell--Lovecraft experts I SUMMON THEE!--this is one of the gods in the Cthulu mythos created by somebody else (Zealia Bishop) in a story that got a lot of rewriting from H.P. before publication (The Curse of Yig)....
    9 replies | 848 view(s)
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 03:12 AM

    19 replies | 2127 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 06:30 PM
    I just looked at this again since skill challenges are fairly front and center for this practice https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5k1Bo0pV5ilWFQ2dVZhb0dUdUE/edit?pli=1 And I am not seeing anything much like protect a village from monsters or invading soldiers, unless I missed something.
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 06:24 PM
    Open4e actually looks more interesting than when I first took a gander. Open 4e http://open4e.wikia.com/wiki/Open_4E 13th Age http://site.pelgranepress.com/index.php/category/products/13th-age/ Forerunner https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?834919-Forerunner-A-Game-Construction-Framework-Inspired-by-4E
    12 replies | 553 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 04:08 PM
    we could look at real world deaths by war but I am not sure they correlate too well no body in the civil war had anything like a cleric to turn wounded and dying or afflicted reliably into going home to their family instead of dying of disease after the fact ofcourse IRL the american civil war had 1 in 4 never making it home. Of course that was on average with 85 percent or so being lost...
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 03:45 PM
    Comeliness +1 Charisma You exhibit extreme goodlooks. While you are within 30 feet and in line of sight, you gain advantage to persuasion checks, and targets suffer disadvantage to saving throws against your charm effects. Hideousness +1 Charisma You exhibit grotesque ugliness. While you are within 30 feet and in line of sight, you gain advantage to intimidation checks, and targets suffer...
    59 replies | 1433 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 11:46 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    During the Viking Period, Norse men have both a right and an obligation to carry weapons. The men of a clan serve as the clan militia to defend fellow clan members. The aboriginal Norse government is the local parliament, the Ţing. It is a democracy, where all adults arrive to vote. The main responsibility of the elected leader, the jarl, is to coordinate the clan militias to function as a...
    63 replies | 3816 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 07:47 AM
    I am currently thinkig of actually writing this as a Warlord specific practice. Just as a Bard gets their specific rituals.
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 07:04 AM
    I think you might be targeting more than 1 success on your skill challenge ;) and actually that is possible to do ie to spend more. The prices I am setting up are assuming a single SC success and flavor wise I assume most of the time there is a SANE call for a retreat and avoiding the slaughter thing (remember the word decimated meant lost 1 in 10) . In some sense it is a part of the deal of...
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 05:53 PM
    At low level you spent ten gold to have 10 minions to watch the borders of the township, in story maybe 1 total died and the majority of the money went to the family of that individual and the others who only got silvers also got part of the glory of defending the village and will be telling their sons and daughters. The family knows you care and will produce more sons also interested in...
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 05:45 PM
    Sure that result could also be after holding the demonlord off for an hour the legion was routed in disarray and needing money to heal with and the death prices for some to assure you maintain karma and can call on them or even others like them again... A good roll means they gained lots of glory and trust your leadership even more and it costs less karma and fewer died. You could even use...
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 05:33 AM
    Parmandur: You do realize that now I have no choice but to go back and rewatch that part of the Dragon+ episode to see what exactly it was JC actually said ... sigh ... EDIT: OK, here's the episode: Dragon+ July 31st episode Around the 25-minute mark, Greg reads a question someone has posted about whether they will be putting out another UA on alternative class features. Jeremy replies that...
    41 replies | 2193 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 02:20 AM
    I've ignored that bit of sage advice. Players in my games roll one d4 for each missile. The 5e DMs I play with do the same. I also ignore the "you only get to add your bonus to one part of a spell" errata. I find it too fiddly for a game that prides itself on being straightforward and simple. Just let the modifier apply to all the scorching rays, not just one, and so on. Easier. Simpler. More...
    73 replies | 2117 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 12:03 AM
    Yes, he was talking about how they were introducing errata to the ranger that would render publishing alternate class features unnecessary. I asked on Twitter if that meant they were moving away from errata being just for errors and opening it up to rules changes as well. Jeremy replied, "We haven't changed our approach to errata." I remain skeptical. Will have to wait and see what the new...
    41 replies | 2193 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 06:42 PM
    I think in this instance many things come together to make this work fairly elegantly - skill challenges, minions, practices and this time I am even liking how the economics work out. To me doing 1e things in a 4e way is kind of badass and demonstrates how robust and flexible 4e is.
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 04:23 PM
    Could you elaborate a little... (pretty sure I get monster equivalents though)
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 03:53 PM
    Added in Patrol and Squadron military units also note how the levelling works with the cost system at a 5x rate per 5 levels. fireteam(4 or 5) at level but 2 hit minions squad (10) at level normal minions patrol of 20 to 25 2 hit minions 5 levels lower platoon (40 or 50) 5 levels lower normal minions company or centurion 100 10 levels lower 2 hit minions squadron of (200 or 250) 10...
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 07:18 AM
    Personally, my interest is more toward making skill checks more like combat − robust, balanced, thoughtful, challenging. When skills use the same math that combat does, then it is easier to adjudicate the difficulty and the appropriate levels when difficult stunts should be more plausible. Consistent math makes it easier to handle skill checks on the fly, as they arise naturally as part of...
    164 replies | 4509 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 06:52 AM
    There are times when Dexterity (Athletics) can be appropriate − slow, small, cautious, sensitive, precise, aim, like an archery trick shot. But ‘Acrobatics’ as a separate skill lacks a reason to exist. Heh, a person who takes the socalled ‘acrobatics’ cant even perform basic acrobatic maneuvers, which require jumping and climbing. By contrast, the Athletics skill covers everything relating...
    74 replies | 1771 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 03:22 AM
    I like the idea by Charlaquin, Dont ‘prepare’ spells, but have a limited number of different kinds of spells that are possible each day. This allows both spontaneity and gaming balance. That said, I prefer thematic spellcasters, for flavor. So even the pool of available spells to choose from during the day would depend on which themes the caster specializes in.
    38 replies | 1945 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 02:46 AM
    Defeating an enemy requires a number of attack rolls to complete a ‘challenge’. D&D specializes in combat mechanics and makes it complex. Similarly, to complete a skill ‘challenge’ can part of a complex encounter that requires numerous skill checks. For example, for us, creating a magic item (or modifying an existing magic item) involves numerous challenges, from acquiring the rare ingredients...
    164 replies | 4509 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 02:26 AM
    One of the reasons the six abilities are so imbalanced (and occasionally nonsensical) is they rely on explanations that almost never happen during gameplay. Personally, I have never had a ‘synchronized swimming’ check, or any kind of dance-off. I have had many gymnastic stunts during combat, but they are almost always Strength (Athletics) because they involve jumping. Even running...
    74 replies | 1771 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 05:13 AM
    A bit better perhaps
    19 replies | 2127 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:54 AM
    Maybe? I'd be hesitant to do that with Laeral specifically, but it could potentially work with somebody else.
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:22 AM
    Physical power versus physical agility − is more like Size versus Athletics. Then it is easy to be big and clumsy. Or small and agile. Or big and agile.
    74 replies | 1771 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:22 AM
    What if the PCs have a powerful ally like Laeral with them when they go to the vault?
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:17 AM
    The separation between Strength athletics and Dexterity acrobatics implies that people who learn how to jump well never learn how to land well. Or people who climb well never learn how to balance well or fall well. The disconnect is one of the deep failures of the six-ability tradition that I hope some future option or edition eventually fixes.
    74 replies | 1771 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 03:53 AM

    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 03:33 AM
    Freerunning is mostly jumping and climbing − by current D&D rules, straightforward Strength (Athletic) checks. That said, a careful consideration of freerunning is what finally convinced me to terminate the discongruent acrobatics skill, and just use athletics for all physical stunts. Athletic Strength necessarily includes agile ‘grace’. Just like wielding a sword includes the ability...
    74 replies | 1771 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 03:14 AM
    I have ulterior motives in thinking about this ... ie maybe this can give me those flavor numbers for my Marshalling Troop / Oath of Fealty (Warlord Practice) Old school Knight is a level 1 4e fighter of course but it wasnt a landed one. I estimate the roundtable knights a bit higher (aside from wierdos like other PCs) in 1e terms most Roundtable knights I believe had their own estates...
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 02:51 AM
    I wish combat attacks and skill checks used the same math. Wielding a weapon is like any other kind of skill. Expertise for sharpshooter and expertise for grappling and expertise for persuasion, should all be the same numeric value. It was a mistake to create two different systems.
    164 replies | 4509 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 02:17 AM
    How do you pull this off in a way that doesn't upset the players? In my experience, players hate having their agency taken away like this. (Mine grumbled when I read the bit at the beginning of the book about handwaving their PCs getting arrested.)
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 09:42 PM
    Rereading the autumn quest chain and a few things have popped out: 1) When the PCs first meet Jarlaxle masquerading as Laeral, the book says that if they see through the disguise, the drow tells them honestly that he will be giving the money back to Waterdeep. While that's not the whole truth, he isn't lying either, so what if the PCs take him at his word and decide to help him? That kind of...
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 08:53 PM
    In my campaign, there is only the Athletics skill. It covers any athletic agility checks as well, including tumbling and falling (relating to jumping), and balancing (relating to climbing). Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Athletics), and Constitution (Athletics) are all possible depending on the stunt. Even possible are Charisma (Athletics) is plausible for dance, Intelligence...
    74 replies | 1771 view(s)
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  • Mercule's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 02:33 PM
    Based on what you said, I think Savage Worlds is your best bet from the systems with which I'm familiar. If you want something really off the wall, though, pick up the core World of Darkness book and/or Hunter: the Vigil (which is more mundane than The Reckoning). The base Storyteller/ing system is actually light until you start adding the various "race" rules. If you hate dice pools, you're...
    38 replies | 1027 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 03:33 AM
    1) Reminder to self REWRITE that flavor in my own words -- challenging. 2) Formalize the ideas of Delayed Warlording
    19 replies | 2127 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 04:26 PM
    King Arthur of legend had approximately 100 named roundtable knights even 4 of these were not a match for an unarmed and unarmored Lancelot. ie in game terms they were minion class characters and maybe even significantly lower level than his hero Class Knights (Arguably other PCs) .
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 03:31 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Spears. Norse warriors prefer the sword for one-on-one combat. However, for mass combat, Norse warriors prefer the spear. The spear attacks beyond a shield formation. The spear keeps an opponent away at a distance. At range, the spear can spy and hit a distant opponent. Viking Period spears comprise a shaft of ash wood, and spearhead of steel. The shaft of a spear ranges between 2 and 3...
    63 replies | 3816 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 09:06 PM
    Mechanically, nothing. I don't have any serious quibbles with the rules. Fluff-wise, too much Realms. Of course, nothing short of taking it out back, beating it with a shovel, then burning what's left is actually going to please me, so take that with a salt mine.
    1818 replies | 157475 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 10:17 AM
    On a different note, in the back of the book, it says the Waterdeep City Guard is composed of guards and veterans, while the City Watch is composed of veterans and knights. I feel like that should be the other way around, especially since the City Guard captain pictured in the book is wearing full plate. It also makes more sense to me to encounter a knight in an army than in a police force....
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mike Myler's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 10:14 AM
    We’re back in Britain for this week’s Mythological Figure although this time we’re going way, way back to just a few decades after Year 0 with Lady Boudica! As a product of the American education system I had no idea who Queen Boudica was and wow was I missing out! When her husband (King Pasutagus) passed away he left the kingdom to both the Roman emperor and his daughters but the...
    20 replies | 1032 view(s)
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 06:00 AM
    Well, yes, but I’m not sure how I would combine all the bits I like best, especially when I like more than one of the final quest chain options. I can't have the street urchins take the Stone of Golorr into the sewers *and* have the drow gunslingers drop it in the harbor! Not unless I contrive some way for the stone to be snatched away from the kids before the PCs get to it ... I suppose I...
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 01:06 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    I updated the post above on shields. There are more details about how one is created. The wood itself is very thin, about 6 millimeters. The roundshield is very light and maneuverable.
    63 replies | 3816 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 12:35 AM
    I’ve finally finished reading through this adventure. Lots to love. In fact, I’m really struggling to decide on which season to use. I wish I could combine them all. I originally went with spring, but I think that season’s quest chain is the least interesting. Summer’s is potentially the most fun, especially the finale with the kids and the “rocking chair” in the sewers, as well as the PCs...
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th September, 2018, 03:00 AM
    Marshalling Troops aka Oath of Fealty In pure abstracted form this allow you to efficiently expend resources to bring troops to bear against a problem situation (aka skill challenge) This requires you to be in a situation which allows you to acquire troops so it like most practices and rituals quite situational. Generally the effect is expenditure of Karma / Gold after making a skill...
    327 replies | 33348 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 09:36 PM
    I said 2 & 3. Some attempt at ecology is good, but I don't actually want to think about it hard enough to make it really work. Just get me to suspension of disbelief level. If you have a rat bastard at the table picking things apart, then call him a rat bastard, tell him to go play GURPS or Phoenix Command and move on. I'd default to how I interpret #3: baseline of medieval Europe tech and...
    53 replies | 2198 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 09:29 PM
    Great stuff. Some more thoughts of mine: 1) Istrid Horn: The book says she's a shield dwarf, but her picture makes her look more like a gold dwarf. 2) House Phylund: The brief write-up in the intro says they are of Tashlutar ethnicity. I had to look that up. The Tashlutar are natives of Tashala, a nation on the isthmus connecting Chult to the mainland. Also, with respect to House Phylund,...
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 09:59 AM
    I'm a bit confused about the Zhentarim Hideout in Chapter 1. The description doesn't seem to jive with the map. First of all, the description states that it is a "ramshackle two-story warehouse" that "stands at the back of an outer yard behind a high fence". The warehouse is stated to have *three* entry points: a front door, a large warehouse door, and a painted-over window. However, the...
    64 replies | 3860 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 09:29 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    In the case of particular ulfberht swords, they seem to be made locally. The ulfberht steel exists for various types of blades. These blade types are what one expects corresponding to the hilt types. It seems the blades, the guard and the pommel, are all being created around the same time in the same place. That said, mixing and matching blades, guards, and pommels, is common. But the...
    63 replies | 3816 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 10:36 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Yeah, in addition to the high quality Norse steel of the Viking Period, there is also ... crazy good steel. I actually tried to post about this crazy good steel earlier, but the post ended up asking more questions than providing useful information. Currently, archeologists dispute the origins and techniques for this exceptional steel. Some assume it is steel made by the ‘crucible’...
    63 replies | 3816 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Mercule's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 09:53 PM
    Now, all of this I can get behind. There is definitely an expectation of improvement and 5E has it to a higher degree than 1E (but lower than 3E). It was the "zero to hero", specifically, that I disagreed with. In the earliest incarnations of the game, a 1st level character was just good enough to warrant a separate figure, rather than a stand, on a battlefield. They weren't "zero", but they...
    80 replies | 2219 view(s)
    1 XP
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Thursday, 2nd August, 2018


Monday, 25th June, 2018

  • 08:35 PM - mrpopstar mentioned Yaarel in post Super Simple Weapons
    I think that Yaarel is really onto something with the medium weapon being 1d8 versatile. I like how middling and vanilla that sounds for the standard longsword.

Friday, 15th June, 2018


Monday, 11th June, 2018

  • 09:30 PM - 77IM mentioned Yaarel in post Psychic Class
    I have just uploaded Psychic Class to the downloads area. Yaarel made me do it! Story-wise, I called it the "Psychic" because it's kind of part-way between the classic D&D psionicist and the modern pop-culture depiction of a person with psychic powers. I wanted to cover character concepts like Eleven, Firestarter, Jean Grey, Professor X, and the Shadow. The subclasses are meant to represent these story archetypes rather than being tied to particular abilities. Mechanics-wise, the class is a full spellcaster because that's just easiest to balance and it seems to work. It uses spells-known but with a sharply limited spell list, built up from "disciplines" -- each psychic picks what disciplines they know, which in turn determines their spell list. The psychic can enhance their spells by spending extra spell slots when casting. You can find the file here in the downloads section. Please use this thread for comments.
  • 03:38 AM - Kobold Boots mentioned Yaarel in post Skill Feats In Pathfinder 2
    Yaarel Thanks for the lesson - Funny thing is we're on the same side insofar as Paizo is concerned. If I don't like what they've done after I read the rules I'm just going to not allow things at my table. However, I'll remind myself never to say anything norse again, other than aetterstup, on these forums for fear of being taught something interesting at the risk of it being inaccurate. I do appreciate it though.
  • 03:04 AM - doctorhook mentioned Yaarel in post Skill Feats In Pathfinder 2
    Yaarel, are you the same person who used to post detailed essays on the WotC forums a decade ago about how Barbarians should be a psionic class, because vikings used "mindforce" all the time?

Thursday, 7th June, 2018

  • 06:54 AM - MonsterEnvy mentioned Yaarel in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    @Yaarel, it seems you are offended by polytheism in particular, yes? Or at least dislike WotC using it as the default theological assumption, and feel that it overly flavors the rulebook for you? In that regard, you are a very small minority (afaik), and from a publishing perspective I think the benefits of "hard-baking" flavor--which I see less as hard-baking and more as offering examples as possible defaults--as far out-weighing the cons. The main benefit is that it brings the rules to life and provides those folks who don't want to or have the time to flesh out a new setting and flavor for their game with something pre-made; the only con that I can think of is for the 1 in 100 (or less) such as yourself that finds it distasteful for personal, perhaps religious, reasons. If that is the case, I don't understand why you are so bummed out that WotC is not serving your particular and rather rare proclivities. Also @Yaarel is overly obsessed with Elves and won't be happy with them if they are ...
  • 06:42 AM - Mercurius mentioned Yaarel in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    Yaarel, it seems you are offended by polytheism in particular, yes? Or at least dislike WotC using it as the default theological assumption, and feel that it overly flavors the rulebook for you? In that regard, you are a very small minority (afaik), and from a publishing perspective I think the benefits of "hard-baking" flavor--which I see less as hard-baking and more as offering examples as possible defaults--as far out-weighing the cons. The main benefit is that it brings the rules to life and provides those folks who don't want to or have the time to flesh out a new setting and flavor for their game with something pre-made; the only con that I can think of is for the 1 in 100 (or less) such as yourself that finds it distasteful for personal, perhaps religious, reasons. If that is the case, I don't understand why you are so bummed out that WotC is not serving your particular and rather rare proclivities.

Wednesday, 6th June, 2018

  • 03:13 PM - TwoSix mentioned Yaarel in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    That's the thing. Generic medieval. That's what is stale and boring: Pseudo-medieval and pseudo-European. It doesn't matter how you try to make the elves mysterious or add more blood and mud, it's all been done to death. It's always been recognised that D&D doesn't need to be pseudo-medieval or pseudo-European, even before Dark Sun was first published we had adventures set in Hyperboria, Atlantis, Wonderland and Blackmoor (post apocalypse with remains of advanced tech). But in the last few years we have been served and endless diet of pseudo-medievalism. That's fine, but being in the same general genre doesn't make two things the same. I understanding you're being intentionally hyperbolic, but you're watering down your point by doing so, in the same way that Yaarel is by saying every polytheistic setting is Forgotten Realms.
  • 10:41 AM - CapnZapp mentioned Yaarel in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    As someone who is rather familiar with FR (2e and 3.x) as well as Planescape, your comment completely baffles me. It seems likely we are all misinterpreting good Mr Yaarel Either that or he's retracting his wildly hyperbolic claims?

Monday, 4th June, 2018


Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

  • 10:51 PM - pukunui mentioned Yaarel in post ‘Advanced’ Dungeons & Dragons
    Yaarel: Perhaps, but 4e did have a "one and done" setting book model of sorts. FR and Eberron each got a player's guide and a campaign guide and that was it. Dark Sun got a campaign guide and a monster manual and that was it. Adventures not included.

Tuesday, 29th May, 2018

  • 11:21 AM - Hussar mentioned Yaarel in post MTOF: Elves are gender-swapping reincarnates and I am on board with it
    I'm coming in rather late into this debate and I have not read the entire thread - but @Hussar to be fair to @Yaarel don't you argue along similar lines when it comes to D&D cosmology as presented in the books? How do you differentiate between yours and his argument? Heh, I never said I was consistent. :) But, be that as it may, my complaint is that Planescape is a specific setting in the game that has largely taken over every part of the cosmology. So, yeah, I don't like it very much. OTOH, I'm not the one saying that D&D is destroyed because of it, nor am I making up facts in order to support my rant. Complaining that elves aren't mechanically the best wizards in D&D is a bit misleading considering that elves have NEVER been the best wizards in D&D. Complaining that clerics are tied to deities in the PHB is pretty misleading considering that that's been the baseline presumption of the game since day 1. The difference here is that Planescape has been added to baseline D&D over the years to the point where we cannot actually separate out the two and, since I loathe Planescape, that ha...
  • 10:41 AM - Sadras mentioned Yaarel in post MTOF: Elves are gender-swapping reincarnates and I am on board with it
    I really don't get these arguments. I guess I'm too selfish. I look at it like this: Does this new lore cost me anything? Is it going to make me do any more work or impact my game? No, it isn't. A player who wants to use these rules is free to do so and it's his or her character. They can fill their boots and good on them. Which brings me to the second question - does it make other people happy? Yup, apparently it does. So, since it costs me nothing and makes other folks happy, what's the problem here? The mechanics are such that any world builder can easily ignore it - it is a rare trait after all. It doesn't cost you a single thing to add this to the game. And it makes other folks happy. What's in it for me to oppose that? What am I gaining? Or, better yet, what are you gaining by opposing this? @Yaarel talks quite extensively about the change in elven lore. Thing is, it's not really a change. 1e limited elves to 12th level magic users. Until 3e, elves were NEVER the greatest wizards in the game. In 3e, baseline elves didn't gain an Int or Cha bonus at all, so, nope, other than some campaign specific variants, elves were not the greatest wizards in the game. It wasn't until 4e with Eladrin that the lore and the mechanics actually matched - eladrin wizards were among the best in the game. But, we don't HAVE eladrin in 5e. Not in core anyway. Core 5e elves fit best with 1e to 3e elves. So, his entire complaint ignores what's actually written in the game. So, I'll ask again, what is the cost to you to have this in the game? I'm coming in rather late into this debate and I have not read the entire thread - but @Hussar to be fair to @Yaarel don't you argue along similar lines when it comes to D&D cosmology as presented in the books? How do you differentiate between yours and his...
  • 03:34 AM - Mistwell mentioned Yaarel in post Core+1
    Yes, you have to pick an AL-approved deity before you can play a cleric. Yes, it's the Yaarel rule. :)

Monday, 28th May, 2018

  • 03:56 AM - Enevhar Aldarion mentioned Yaarel in post Core+1
    Heresy you say? So this monotheistic deity would employ say, a fanatical legion of all-female Vengeance paladins? I am starting to think that some people, Yaarel included, do not know what the definition of monotheism is. It is not that a person follows and worships only one god, it is that a person not only worships only one god, but also believes on their god is real. In a fantasy setting, like the Realms or other standard fantasy settings, where multiple gods exist and their powers are manifest in the world, a monotheistic person would have to be mentally ill or completely delusional to believe their chosen god is the only god that exists. For a monotheistic character to work, and be believable, the setting would have to be made specifically for it.
  • 02:34 AM - Hussar mentioned Yaarel in post MTOF: Elves are gender-swapping reincarnates and I am on board with it
    I really don't get these arguments. I guess I'm too selfish. I look at it like this: Does this new lore cost me anything? Is it going to make me do any more work or impact my game? No, it isn't. A player who wants to use these rules is free to do so and it's his or her character. They can fill their boots and good on them. Which brings me to the second question - does it make other people happy? Yup, apparently it does. So, since it costs me nothing and makes other folks happy, what's the problem here? The mechanics are such that any world builder can easily ignore it - it is a rare trait after all. It doesn't cost you a single thing to add this to the game. And it makes other folks happy. What's in it for me to oppose that? What am I gaining? Or, better yet, what are you gaining by opposing this? Yaarel talks quite extensively about the change in elven lore. Thing is, it's not really a change. 1e limited elves to 12th level magic users. Until 3e, elves were NEVER the greatest wizards in the game. In 3e, baseline elves didn't gain an Int or Cha bonus at all, so, nope, other than some campaign specific variants, elves were not the greatest wizards in the game. It wasn't until 4e with Eladrin that the lore and the mechanics actually matched - eladrin wizards were among the best in the game. But, we don't HAVE eladrin in 5e. Not in core anyway. Core 5e elves fit best with 1e to 3e elves. So, his entire complaint ignores what's actually written in the game. So, I'll ask again, what is the cost to you to have this in the game?

Thursday, 24th May, 2018

  • 10:18 PM - Parmandur mentioned Yaarel in post Looking At The Pathfinder 2 Wizard Class
    [QUOTE=zztong;7427830]I don't know about 5E. Sorry, I must have missed some part of the conversation. I've not played it since the playtest.[/QUOTE Yaarel had stated that it was impossible to remove polytheism from 5E. Now, 5E hardly requires a tool to track stats, so it is fairly easy to reflavor, no harm, no goul.

Thursday, 17th May, 2018


Wednesday, 9th May, 2018

  • 10:04 PM - Gadget mentioned Yaarel in post Psion Wizard Spell List
    Yaarel I seem to have misinterpreted; not having watched the video in the link, I assumed that the proposed spell lists listed above were put forth by MM as potential ways of doing a wizard psion subclass. I did not realize that these were your own proposals based upon the ideas in the video and made my comments accordingly. The first step is noticing that a spell seems much weaker than other spells in the same spell level. The second step is being honest. If a spell works better at a lower level, which level should it be in. Sometimes a spell works better in the next lower level. (High level Druid damage spells tend to be off by a level.) But other spells only becoming appealing choices if they are several spell levels lower. The spell level that a spell deserves depends entirely on what that spell can do, and how frequently useful that deed is. For example, Programmed Illusion is ‘officially’ spell level 6. But this high spell level is absurd. It does about the same thing ...


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Tuesday, 16th October, 2018


Wednesday, 10th October, 2018

  • 10:45 PM - guachi quoted Yaarel in post Official Class/Race Satisfaction Survey
    Out of curiosity, how did you rate options (classes etcetera) that seemed like they were good quality, but regarding a concept that you personally had less interest in? I rated them either neutral or disappointed. Example: Warlocks. I love the mix and match of the Warlock class with patrons and Invocations. Love it. But there's something about the class I just don't find appealing. I don't think I'd ever play one. Ever. So I think every Warlock subclass was rated neutral or lower (mostly neutral, IIRC). Mostly, it boils down to however you define "satisfied" and I settled on "would enjoy playing/want to play that class or subclass".
  • 02:40 PM - Blue quoted Yaarel in post Official Class/Race Satisfaction Survey
    Since the team is biting the bullet, and publishing core books with errata, I hope they use the opportunity to make some meaningful updates that can help the longterm usefulness of the core rules. Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't every single reprinting since Wizards acquired the brand included any official errata? Mind you not all books had official errata nor reprintings, especially in the book-a-month 3.x and 4e days, but the core books and many of the others certainly did. I wouldn't really call "continuing to do things as we have always done them" biting the bullet. Now, this is a lot different then 4e, where they would rewrite whole sections to improve them and issue that as errata. They don't seem to be doing any of that.

Tuesday, 9th October, 2018

  • 06:23 PM - BookBarbarian quoted Yaarel in post Norse World
    Yeah, the bow and the spear are primarily hunting weapons. Because hunting is a staple source of food during the long winters, many Norse will have a bow and a spear around anyway, and know how to use it. Similarly, the ax. The same ax that is used to chop wood is often the same ax that is reused for war. Only the sword is unusual, in that its only purpose is combat, which is why it functions as a status symbol. I find the evolution of tool to weapon fascinating. Fighting spears not having tines like boar spears, and narrower points meant to force mail rings open, the latter also similar to arrowheads and knives meant for combat. I find it somewhat humorous, the Norse sense of honor can extend to taunt and humiliate the combat opponent − to force the opponent socially to have no choice but to fight to the death. Indeed. Reputation seems to be especially important. Which makes sense when a leader can't really command people to battle for him. Given a choice of you who wa...
  • 02:31 PM - Jester David quoted Yaarel in post Official Class/Race Satisfaction Survey
    Yeah, no spells are overpowered. But lots of spells are disappointing (to put it politely). Too many underpowered spells disrupt the game, in that what could be interesting concepts prove to be nonviable compared to other options in the same spell slot. It is a similar problem with feats. Too many feats are noncompetitive with other feats. I think I only considered polymorph in there, but a few of the conjure spells are close. A CR 7 or 8 monsters is sooo much better than a level 7 or 8 character, especially one near death and only in the fight for a round or two.
  • 02:25 PM - UngeheuerLich quoted Yaarel in post Official Class/Race Satisfaction Survey
    Yeah, no spells are overpowered. But lots of spells are disappointing (to put it politely). Too many underpowered spells disrupt the game, in that what could be interesting concepts prove to be nonviable compared to other options in the same spell slot. It is a similar problem with feats. Too many feats are noncompetitive with other feats. Some feats I agree with. Some feats are much more powerful at our table than common knowledge of optimizers would suggest.
  • 02:23 PM - UngeheuerLich quoted Yaarel in post Official Class/Race Satisfaction Survey
    There are some spells that are nonbroken yet too powerful for their spell slot, compared to other spells. For example, Bless and Hunters Mark. These should probably become class features for the Cleric and Ranger, respectively, instead of spells, since they dont actually break the game. The problem is they make other spell options less likely, thus discourage a diversity of spells. For some players the pressure to take Bless or Hunters Mark becomes a boring monotony. The 5e designers worked hard to remove broken spells from the 5e spell list. At the same time, there seems to have been less attention to spells that are subpar. The problem is especially painful at higher spell slots, where viable spell choices are truly disappointing after striving to attain such a high level. In the future, I want to see a finetuning of the spell list. Often this finetuning is simply changing the level of the spell to a lower level, where it becomes a more competitive choice. Some spells need...
  • 07:17 AM - ad_hoc quoted Yaarel in post Official Class/Race Satisfaction Survey
    I listed healing spirit as broken as well. I houserule that the caster needs to use their reaction to trigger the healing. It’s an easy resolution to an incredibly poorly written spell. How did that wording make it past QA??? It uses the same wording as the other spells that operate this way. The difference is that this one heals rather than doing damage so creatures want to run through it. I suspect the designers are in a ... modality ... that they care more about whether the majority of players are satisfied than whether the game is actually balanced or consistent. I think it is more that they don't worry so much about rules abuse. When a player at the table took the spell I told her that we should do it 1/round rather than have it so every character can run through it like a sprinkler. The whole table were surprised that anyone would suggest such a thing since it feels off. Now, there are some balance problems in XGtE. Hexblade is the worst offender. It is both grossly overpowere...
  • 06:10 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted Yaarel in post Official Class/Race Satisfaction Survey
    I suspect the designers are in a ... modality ... that they care more about whether the majority of players are satisfied than whether the game is actually balanced or consistent. If there are some aspects that are off, it seems necessary to inform the larger community about the difficulties, to encourage players to notice and understand the issues, rather than finetune the aspects directly. I was surprised when WotC announced that the upcoming printing of the core books would even have errata at all. Since the team is biting the bullet, and publishing core books with errata, I hope they use the opportunity to make some meaningful updates that can help the longterm usefulness of the core rules. Well, you sure have not been paying attention, since there has been errata in every printing of the PHB up to the sixth printing two years ago. No clue if the new PHB printing is the seventh or higher, but it will be the sixth time now that text in the PHB will have been changed. The DMG an...
  • 05:10 AM - Jester David quoted Yaarel in post Official Class/Race Satisfaction Survey
    I was surprised when WotC announced that the upcoming printing of the core books would even have errata at all. Why? They’ve done it twice before with reprints of the PHB. They’re just doing it again, since they’re doing a new print run. Since the team is biting the bullet, and publishing core books with errata, I hope they use the opportunity to make some meaningful updates that can help the longterm usefulness of the core rules. I can’t think of many changes that won’t cause more problems and disagreements as people confuse contradictory rules.
  • 04:50 AM - The-Magic-Sword quoted Yaarel in post Official Class/Race Satisfaction Survey
    I suspect the designers are in a ... modality ... that they care more about whether the majority of players are satisfied than whether the game is actually balanced or consistent. If there are some aspects that are off, it seems necessary to inform the larger community about the difficulties, to encourage players to notice and understand the issues, rather than finetune the aspects directly. I was surprised when WotC announced that the upcoming printing of the core books would even have errata at all. Since the team is biting the bullet, and publishing core books with errata, I hope they use the opportunity to make some meaningful updates that can help the longterm usefulness of the core rules. Yeah, and honestly I'm kind of happy they feel that way? Perception of balance is much more important than balance itself, for one thing it'll get you pretty close, but for another it's a lot less neurotic in terms of trying to even identify what perfect parity would look like. This is easi...

Monday, 8th October, 2018

  • 08:25 PM - BookBarbarian quoted Yaarel in post Norse World
    In result, roughly equal numbers of Norse warriors fight with a sword, ax, or spear, as Viking Period burials evidence. • shield • spear • sword • ax • longbow I did not know longbows were that widely used. It always made sense to me that someone who spends time on an oar would make use of a bow since they both require strong back muscles. #crossFit800AD.

Sunday, 7th October, 2018

  • 04:29 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Yaarel in post Let's invent some +1 Feats
    Comeliness +1 Charisma You exhibit extreme goodlooks. While you are within 30 feet and in line of sight, you gain advantage to persuasion checks, and targets suffer disadvantage to saving throws against your charm effects. Hideousness +1 Charisma You exhibit grotesque ugliness. While you are within 30 feet and in line of sight, you gain advantage to intimidation checks, and targets suffer disadvantage to saving throws against your fear effects. I wonder if those feats are too powerful? Maybe mitigate them (slightly...maybe not at all in practice) and give them some flavor by giving each the inverse of the other? That is, "Enemies suffer disadvantage on saving throws versus your charm spells, but have advantage on saving throws versus your fear spells." Etc.

Friday, 5th October, 2018

  • 03:06 PM - billd91 quoted Yaarel in post Do you allow Acrobatics and Athletics to be used interchangeably?
    There are times when Dexterity (Athletics) can be appropriate − slow, small, cautious, sensitive, precise, aim, like an archery trick shot. But ‘Acrobatics’ as a separate skill lacks a reason to exist. Heh, a person who takes the socalled ‘acrobatics’ cant even perform basic acrobatic maneuvers, which require jumping and climbing. By contrast, the Athletics skill covers everything relating to gymnastics, jumping, pull ups, climbing rope, carrying another acrobat, and so on. Of course they can provide basic acrobatic maneuvers. You don't need to make a strength (athletics) check to do a backflip, you don't need to do a strength (athletics) check to roll up onto a table to see a target over the bar fight, and you don't need to do a strength (athletics) check to keep your balance as you run along a precarious rooftop. Those are all better handled by a dexterity (acrobatics) check. If we're going to get into gymnastics, the obvious little secret here is you can expect a competen...
  • 03:05 PM - Jester David quoted Yaarel in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Personally, my interest is more toward making skill checks more like combat − robust, balanced, thoughtful, challenging. When skills use the same math that combat does, then it is easier to adjudicate the difficulty and the appropriate levels when difficult stunts should be more plausible. Consistent math makes it easier to handle skill checks on the fly, as they arise naturally as part of narrative decisions by players. Also, when skills use the same math as combat, it is easier and more balanced to integrate skill checks as *part* of innovative or situational attack maneuvers. The difference is in play, you want combat to have a moderate miss chance. And unless you die, you can repeat the check again during your next turn with little or no penalty due to having missed. Missing once in combat doesn't majorly alter the narrative. Meanwhile, for skills, a single missed check can change the story. And you may not get a second chance. So while there should be a chance of failur...
  • 02:08 PM - DEFCON 1 quoted Yaarel in post Do you allow Acrobatics and Athletics to be used interchangeably?
    There are times when Dexterity (Athletics) can be appropriate − slow, small, cautious, sensitive, precise, aim, like an archery trick shot. But ‘Acrobatics’ as a separate skill lacks a reason to exist. Heh, a person who takes the socalled ‘acrobatics’ cant even perform basic acrobatic maneuvers, which require jumping and climbing. By contrast, the Athletics skill covers everything relating to gymnastics, jumping, pull ups, climbing rope, carrying another acrobat, and so on. Sure it has a reason to exist. The base rules assign skill to ability score, so in order to be a physically gifted DEX person you need Acrobatics as an available skill for that person to select. Your suggestion of Dexterity (Athletics) above doesn't come up in the basic rules, that's an Variant rule choice. And then at that point, whether something is a Strength (Athletics) check or a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check comes down to how any individual DM decides actions get split up. Now I agree with you tha...
  • 06:53 AM - Dausuul quoted Yaarel in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Defeating an enemy requires a number of attack rolls to complete a ‘challenge’. D&D specializes in combat mechanics and makes it complex. Similarly, to complete a skill ‘challenge’ can part of a complex encounter that requires numerous skill checks. For example, for us, creating a magic item (or modifying an existing magic item) involves numerous challenges, from acquiring the rare ingredients to performing the proper magical rituals. In this sense, the skill challenge involves a number of skill checks. Where combat results in finding random loot, skill results in creating or otherwise obtaining your own loot. Also, I enjoy nonlethal combat encounters, where the opponent flees, is captured, bargained with, or stealthed past. I find this more realistic, and diverse skill checks often determine the outcome. Also note, if combat requires many attack rolls, one would expect a single skill check to be more challenging, opposite an expertise auto-win bonus that effectively removes the possibilit...
  • 06:20 AM - Jester David quoted Yaarel in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    I wish combat attacks and skill checks used the same math. Wielding a weapon is like any other kind of skill. Expertise for sharpshooter and expertise for grappling and expertise for persuasion, should all be the same numeric value. It was a mistake to create two different systems. There's no shortage of other RPGs that have weapon use as a variety of skill check. Where you train in "Swords" or "Bows". But it's not very D&D. And 5e really tried to hit on the key elements of D&D rather than remaking the game.
  • 05:00 AM - billd91 quoted Yaarel in post Do you allow Acrobatics and Athletics to be used interchangeably?
    Even running across branches thru trees, I would call it a Strength (Athletics climbing) check. Strength (Athletics) includes body agility − even swordfighting and sports stunts. Of course the stats are going to seem particularly imbalanced if you redefine them to encroach on each other. You're perfectly free to call for a Dex (acrobatics) check to run across branches through trees by considering it a balance check, particularly if they're not really gaining height (and thus not really climbing) and not jumping to span significant distances.
  • 04:53 AM - Ristamar quoted Yaarel in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    I wish combat attacks and skill checks used the same math. Wielding a weapon is like any other kind of skill. Expertise for sharpshooter and expertise for grappling and expertise for persuasion, should all be the same numeric value. It was a mistake to create two different systems. If I had to venture a guess at designer intent, it's likely due to the fact that combat often becomes a boring slog for the less martially skilled when there's too much variance (akin to 3.x). The same slog would likely occur with a string of very long, overly complex skill challenges. Characters are able to shine in different ways in combat through their class features, but the basic roll-to-hit mechanic is fairly tight and homogeneous and notably weighted toward success. Since most skill checks are one-and-done, though, a little more variance helps highlight and differentiate the PCs in the areas outside of combat without grinding away the momentum of the game. Symmetry simply for the sake of symme...


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