View Profile: Frankie1969 - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 01:18 PM
    The character started the job himself, but ended up at 0 HP. Even though the plan required effort from every party member, they can't resist saying that he defeated the colossus . . . . . . . . . single-handedly.
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 05:17 AM
    At Ziggurat of Mavisha, sneak attack the underwater camp, use the air-bubble lanterns to make privateer ship lose buoyancy on one side and capsize. Use Cursed Rod of Negation on Borne 3 times to fill it with magic energy & life blood, then cut off hand, attach it to Borne's head and break rod for retributive strike. During Cantabrilla challenge, stealthily tail Rush & Merton into the...
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 03:19 AM
    Can't believe I forgot to list The Dreaming. Hmm... the Bleak Gate... so many stories about the afterlife have gates in them. Maybe Senkaimon from Bleach?
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 08:46 PM
    IMO, making the patron one of the named entities already in the adventure is a huge boon to both player enjoyment and DM planning. @RangerWickett, is this something that you're working on? If not, I'd like to post my list of suggestions. How they communicate (or why they can't), what instructions they send, why they empowered you, what happens when you meet them, etc. For starters,...
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:46 PM
    Okay, now this is really interesting. If true, it's a solid justifiable source for D&D's metal dragons. Evslin describes a LOT of things as made of brass in his books, but I'm not finding brass scales in any other Greek mythology references. Maybe Evslin is brazenly embellishing rather than translating "ορείχαλκος" from original material. The Gorgon sisters had brass claws....
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:01 PM
    Sometimes the game mechanics are so utterly off from fantasy storytelling that it interferes with my Suspension of Disbelief. For example, Evasion. TV rogue surviving dragon breath completely unscathed by diving behind cover? Awesome! D&D rogue surviving Incendiary Cloud completely unscathed by ... standing inside it on an open field? WTF? I never liked Vancian spell preparation, but the guys...
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 03:21 PM
    Giants: Fire, Frost, Stone (Mountain), and Storm: Norse mythology Cloud: Jack & the Beanstalk Hill: not sure about them, maybe just overgrown Ogres? Cyclops, Titan: Greek mythology Ettin: Narnia Golems:
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 01:23 PM
    I hope RGB (additive) is being taught as the primary colors today, but in the 1970s anyone who didn't work in television or printing definitely thought of RYB (mixing) as the primary colors. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtractive_color#RYB Thanks for bringing up heraldry; surely some of the TSR folks had studied that topic. If the dragons were based on heraldry colors, wouldn't they have...
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 04:40 PM
    Hmm, redoing the core dragons for 7 breaths, 7 colors, 7 metals. Red: Fire Yellow: Lightning Green: Wind (Force) Aqua: Acid (green-blue scales, yellow-orange breath) Blue (indigo): Cold Black: Death (Poison) White: Light (Psychic? Magic? Laser?)
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 01:04 PM
    Very cool. I went the other direction, and decided that the rules of the game represent the underlying physics of the game universe. Each dragon type embodies one of the essential forces of the universe, aka the 10 energy damage types, so I filled in extra colors & metals to match.
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:29 PM
    Read the article you just referenced. The mythological Tiamat was sometimes depicted as a serpent, but she was strictly one-headed. The extra heads only appear in later mash-ups with Temtun/Lotan/Leviathan.
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 05:51 AM
    Warning: rambling discourse ahead. I've been pondering why the founding nerds picked those 5 colors and 6 metals for the core dragons. First, we have damage types. OD&D initially recognized fire, cold, and lightning. Black dragons & trolls bring acid into play, but the word never appears in descriptions of corrosive oozes or other creatures. Dragons had a separate table noting resistances &...
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 01:57 AM
    Thanks for all the ideas. I'm designing the platoons as swarms or mobs. Their actions are area effects (aura for melee, rectangle for ranged) that automatically deal a bunch of damage minus the target's AC, which streamlines combat without negating the value of armor. Quickleaf's idea about complications could work. The battlefield does have some unusual features that ccould pop up to...
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 03:48 AM
    The party is 15th level, and it's time to put them up against a couple hundred soldiers in platoons. What's a good way to make this tactically interesting and take about an hour? We had a previous battle using standard 5E combat with dozens of individual tokens and it was a tedious slog. I've read that the UA Mass Combat system works best for army vs army with PC support, but not for lopsided...
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 06:22 PM
    I created a series of feats for the themes, including this one. My game calls the Technologist's Simulacrum "Drone" instead. Are the options below roughly comparable in value? What _NUMBER_ should I use to make this a solid worthwhile feat (but not broken)? Drone Rigger (prerequisites: Technologist background, level 8) You have designed a variety of upgrades for your drone. You gain...
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  • Frankie1969's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 05:10 PM
    Moved Eberron & Ravnica into splatbook races. Would still appreciate feedback about the newer races & subclasses, which I haven't seen in actual play.
    17 replies | 9111 view(s)
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About Frankie1969

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old school PNPer (1E on up) now enjoying new school games
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Saturday, 18th May, 2019


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Friday, 10th May, 2019



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Thursday, 9th November, 2017

  • 07:02 PM - Mistwell mentioned Frankie1969 in post The State of D&D: Products, Psionics, Settings, & More
    I can think of a unique genre for Greyhawk that would work - Oldschool Adventuring. That would mean much more difficult natural healing rules, xp for gold, a lot more save or die elements to the game, followers, morale and loyalty rules, stronghold rules, a much wider and less balanced range of wandering monsters, etc.. Much like this thread by Frankie1969. They could even make it a lower magic setting. I think the look and feel of that type of setting and associated rules is as much a "genre" as any of the other genres mentioned by Mike Mearls during the panel.

Sunday, 5th November, 2017


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Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 09:32 AM - Tormyr quoted Frankie1969 in post 1001 things PCs are totally allowed to do in Zeitgeist campaign
    At Ziggurat of Mavisha, sneak attack the underwater camp, use the air-bubble lanterns to make privateer ship lose buoyancy on one side and capsize. Use Cursed Rod of Negation on Borne 3 times to fill it with magic energy & life blood, then cut off hand, attach it to Borne's head and break rod for retributive strike. During Cantabrilla challenge, stealthily tail Rush & Merton into the mountains, rescue ghoul clan from their attack. Beran party member befriends various faction leaders, has Melissa write flattering article about "the only dragon-slayer in the world", convinces Shantus & ministers to make him heir to the throne. Vecna approves.

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 09:12 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Frankie1969 in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    I hope RGB (additive) is being taught as the primary colors today, but in the 1970s anyone who didn't work in television or printing definitely thought of RYB (mixing) as the primary colors. I thought about mentioning that. If you were a bit nerdy in the A/V sense back in the day, you'd've definitely been familiar with 'additive' primaries (and maybe felt a little smug superiority over it), and/or if you'd paid attention to the popular-science level explanations of color TV back in the 60s (color TV was a big deal for a while). Thanks for bringing up heraldry; surely some of the TSR folks had studied that topic. If the dragons were based on heraldry colors, wouldn't they have included purpure (purple)? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtractive_color#RYB IDK, I don't recall hearing of purpure (or tunney or anything else but the above, and 'propper' (natural color of the thing, which'd seem highly debateable in the case of dragons), the times I looked up heraldry (card catalog!) in library bo...
  • 04:20 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Frankie1969 in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    Giants: Fire, Frost, Stone (Mountain), and Storm: Norse mythology Cloud: Jack & the Beanstalk Hill: not sure about them, maybe just overgrown Ogres? Cyclops, Titan: Greek mythology Ettin: Narnia Golems: Flesh: Frankenstein's Monster Clay: Jewish mythology Stone: various myths of animated statues Iron: Greek mythology (Talos was actually bronze, but close enough. 1E's Iron Golem drawing is plagiarized from Jason & the Argonauts.) Thank you for bringing this up. Nearly all of D&D's early monsters have known obvious precedents in myth & fiction (except for a select batch that were derived from a weird set of plastic toys), but not most of the core dragons (red is European myth, gold is Chinese myth, the rest are ???). That's exactly what bugs many of us. Oh, maybe I'm misunderstanding your goal. I thought you wanted the specific types to have some kind of symmetry and pattern. Because if I look at "Hill", "Stone", "Cloud", "Fire", "Frost", and "Storm" I'm not really seeing any patter...

Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 05:36 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Frankie1969 in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    why the founding nerds picked those 5 colors and 6 metals for the core dragons. May not mean anything, but: B&W, RGB. They're primary colors. In heraldry you have: argent, gules, sable, azure, vert, and or. With argent pulling double-duty as both white and silver, that covers the cheomatic dragons, with gold as a bonus.

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 07:25 PM - Charlaquin quoted Frankie1969 in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    Hmm, redoing the core dragons for 7 breaths, 7 colors, 7 metals. Red: Fire Yellow: Lightning Green: Wind (Force) Aqua: Acid (green-blue scales, yellow-orange breath) Blue (indigo): Cold Black: Death (Poison) White: Light (Psychic? Magic? Laser?) If you’re going to do 7 varieties of chromatic dragon, why not ROYGBIV? Alternatively, the traditional Red, Green, Blue, Black White works perfectly as the primary colors of additive color theory (swap Red for Magenta, Green for Yellow, and Blue for Cyan if you prefer subtractive), with other colors being cross breeds. Gold: Fire Silver: Cold Copper: Lightning Quicksilver: Light Iron: Force (maybe magnetism) Lead: Poison Tin: Acid (because that's what's left) I’d definitely give Iron Fire. The symbolic association is too strong to ignore. Flint and steel starts fires, fire is used to refine and mold iron into tools, weapons, and armor, iron is associated with mars, who is in turn associated with fire. Iron dragons definitely need to ...
  • 01:23 PM - jasper quoted Frankie1969 in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    ... . .....It's clear that although Arneson, Gygax, and friends cared deeply about historically accurate arms & armor, they cared not at all about historically accurate chemistry. Chlorine and Platinum weren't known until the 1700s. In addition to king of the lawful dragons, Bahamut is king of D&D anachronisms. .Lead, however, gets no respect. The 2nd oldest metal known to man, long before the Bronze Age, but it's never gotten an official dragon. Even though every single one of those other dragons were represented using miniatures made out of lead! LOL HA HA HA ....cared deeply about historically accurate arms & armor...... I glad the coffee is not made. HOLY MOLLY US GAMERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXTINTICTION OF A TOTAL SPECIES. Yes we killed off all the lead dragons so we could play Dungeons and dragons. I shall go through myself out the window. crash

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 05:10 PM - Quartz quoted Frankie1969 in post good rules for PCs vs army units?
    The party is 15th level, and it's time to put them up against a couple hundred soldiers in platoons. What's a good way to make this tactically interesting and take about an hour? Should be fun. If they let the soldiers get to close range, the PCs are toast.
  • 08:52 AM - S'mon quoted Frankie1969 in post good rules for PCs vs army units?
    The party is 15th level, and it's time to put them up against a couple hundred soldiers in platoons. What's a good way to make this tactically interesting and take about an hour? One thought that occurs to me is that the circumstances will be crucial. A 15th level party in a fortified defence with some AoE magic should be easily able to massacre 200 regular enemy soldiers, while in an ambush situation they could be TPK'd with one volley of arrows. I think if I wanted this to be tactically interesting I'd use a large battlemat and be prepared to spend a few hours on it. I'd use card cut-outs for squads of enemy soldiers in formation, eg 10 men in a 4x4 area works ok for skirmishers or troops advancing; a 5x2 area for close formation infantry in line. If this is a group sent to kill the 15th level PCs then they presumably won't be a bunch of 200 11 hp Guards; there should be squads of elite strike units, supporting spell casters and such. Ability to soak AoE damage will be a priority so MM...

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 12:11 AM - Quickleaf quoted Frankie1969 in post good rules for PCs vs army units?
    The party is 15th level, and it's time to put them up against a couple hundred soldiers in platoons. What's a good way to make this tactically interesting and take about an hour? Tactical complexity is at odds with brevity. You can sacrifice one for the other, but you can't have both. The more tactical choices presented to players/DMs, the longer rounds take. That's why you have very abstracted mass combat rules in BD&D – the emphasis there was not on tactics but on troop composition, the objective being arriving at a resolution reasonably quickly. We had a previous battle using standard 5E combat with dozens of individual tokens and it was a tedious slog. I've read that the UA Mass Combat system works best for army vs army with PC support, but not for lopsided PCs vs army. I ran a roughly 3-hour long fight with the PCs (and aarakocra allies) facing off against 21 gargoyles. The PCs had very limited access to magic weapons. It could easily have been a slog. However, despite the len...

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 05:24 AM - dave2008 quoted Frankie1969 in post good rules for PCs vs army units?
    The party is 15th level, and it's time to put them up against a couple hundred soldiers in platoons. What's a good way to make this tactically interesting and take about an hour? We had a previous battle using standard 5E combat with dozens of individual tokens and it was a tedious slog. I've read that the UA Mass Combat system works best for army vs army with PC support, but not for lopsided PCs vs army. I would suggest using swarms. The enemy units are swarms. Something like what I did for a Vargouille Swarm: Vargouille Swarm 106144 I think this works well. You can design different units based on monsters or NPC stat blocks.

Tuesday, 11th September, 2018

  • 06:50 PM - hirou quoted Frankie1969 in post Any issues with rearranging these ZG chapters?
    That's a good point. I'm rearranging things so Borne isn't physically present, which also eliminates the problem of a partially magical construct (witchoil power) in the dead zone. It was my understanding that Borne is specifically partially powered by witch oil and not by usual golem means to be able to operate in the apex of the ritual, where all magic is going haywire, but a sturdly built machine will continue to function. Also I think Borne only properly enters the city (the true dead magic zone) when Arc of Reida starts to partially restore it to its former glory, i.e. to the time of magic functioning properly, but this may be head canon.

Thursday, 16th November, 2017

  • 08:41 AM - FlyingChihuahua quoted Frankie1969 in post High Level Zealot Barbarians Immortal?
    Aw yes, now I know for sure, my next character will be a Half-Elf Zealot. Party face barbarian and manic street preacher. "Hail and well met, new friends! Let us drink ale together and revel in the name of Ishtar. Oh, you haven't heard the good word of Our Lady of Love and War? That's no problem at all, here's some literature about her majestic strength and beauty. No? What did you just say? Oh, dear, that's too bad. If your ears aren't willing to receive Ishtar's blessing, then instead they'll get MY WAR AXE!!!" Consider that idea officially stolen. Thank you very much.

Monday, 13th November, 2017

  • 10:46 PM - BookBarbarian quoted Frankie1969 in post High Level Zealot Barbarians Immortal?
    Aw yes, now I know for sure, my next character will be a Half-Elf Zealot. Before they changed Elven accuracy to not work with Strength, this was my plan. Though his power was going to come from being cursed by a god(s), so he wasn't one to go about proselytizing.
  • 10:46 PM - Yardiff quoted Frankie1969 in post A Proper Ability Score Generation Preference Poll
    You're completely neglecting that stats worked differently in AD&D compared to 3E & later. An old-school 15 stat gave you a +1 modifier, which is what you get from a 12 in this millennium. A character with all 14s for stats would be terrible in AD&D, but in 5E that would be entirely playable, actually well above average after a couple ASIs in the primary stat. The shift in bonuses doesn't make that much of difference, earlier editions had lower overall numbers. HD max's were lower 9-11 HD, while now a days 20 is the usual max for HD. 20 dice of falling damage threatened most character with heavy damage or close to deadly damage, while now 20 dice is just hp tax. etc.. You believe an all 14 stat character is a good while I believe its barely fair and will require several ASI to only become a good character. As I've always said this is my opinion only.
  • 05:30 PM - Mephista quoted Frankie1969 in post High Level Zealot Barbarians Immortal?
    Except that HPs are not the only, or even most common, arbiter of death. Death saves are. So if you hit three failed death saves you're still dead. Immediately. Regardless if you were conscious or not at that time. The ability in question specifically says "However, if you would die due to failing death saving throws, you don’t die until your rage ends, and you die then only if you still have 0 hit points." You can't die until your Rages are used up, or you're knocked unconscious by other means. Wait, wait! This thread is all based on a misunderstanding. Persistent Rage Beginning at 15th level, your rage is so fierce that it ends early only if you fall unconscious or if you choose to end it. Emphasis added. The original 1 minute time limit on Rage still applies. Persistent only removes the "if you don't attack or take damage" part. And this is also true. You have, at most, 10 rounds before you die without healing magic. Strong, yes. Unbeatable? Not usually. The enemy has to t...

Wednesday, 8th November, 2017


Tuesday, 31st October, 2017

  • 10:06 PM - Blue quoted Frankie1969 in post Question about feats in 5e.
    It is not physically possible for a 14 year old to have run D&D games "for a very long time". Which one is true? Frankie, please no personal attacks. He may have been playing D&D longer as a percentage of his life than you or I, or not, but regardless let's focus on the merit of the ideas.
  • 03:03 PM - Li Shenron quoted Frankie1969 in post making 5E more "old school" (updated)
    Ability Scores: roll 4d6k3, max of 18 at 1st level (including racial That one doesn't sound very old school to me... Not sure what specific edition or playstyle you have in mind but I'd rather say "roll 3d6 ability scores, in order". Also no death saving throws, and bring back save-or-die and level drain, or it didn't happen.
  • 07:13 AM - ad_hoc quoted Frankie1969 in post making 5E more "old school" (updated)
    Ability Scores: roll 4d6k3, max of 18 at 1st level (including racial modifiers). You lost me.


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