View Profile: Jacob Lewis - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:44 AM
    Sure, like the Knightly Order of the Eye of Jet. I'm sure you've seen 'em around. Love casting Suggestion? Make their own Brilliant Energy katanas?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 12:31 AM
    They were even cooler (arguably less broken, no CoDzillas) in 1e! :) Warp wood was always a goofy spell - really /only/ good for 'getting creative' with. The on-label uses - springinig doors and ruining spears & arrows? Really? Newfangled stuff, anyway. ;) At least you've got 8th & 9th level spells. But, yeah, compared to 3.5, everything's dialed down a bit. One thing to...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:21 PM
    I'm not trying to brow-beat you into changing your choice of wording, but I'm going to have to work may way through this, every time, because I can't imagine I'll ever be comfortable calling RPGs 'mainstream,' in any sense or context. What you're talking about is D&D, and I suppose d20, and related/similar games, when they are Played A Certain Way, that being some variation on the ways that...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:57 PM
    Yeah, that's not buying victory, it's bartering for victory. That's, like, totally different. ;) Somewhat seriously, though, there is a line between a price paid that's modeled in the system (you have so many slots/points/whatever, when do you use them?), and a price paid that's part of emerging story-line (this is the current situation, it could change/might not be what it seems, what...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:31 AM
    I tossed in the 2e S&P reference, just in case, since I barely glanced at it, having given up on 2e bloat by then. 3.0 was the main point.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:08 AM
    It is a remarkably tiny 'area,' smaller than the area w/in reach of a medium creature, and oddly defined. But, overall the draft does a /lot/ for the limited design space of a fighter subclass. I've run for HotFw Skalds, whose leader tricks are restricted to an aura 5 (25' radius/55' cube) and they ran aground on that limited an area, frequently. Of course, even Essentials was more dynamic...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:22 AM
    I may be thinking more of Traveler as in the 'Characters & Combat' booklet, back in the day, vs /some/ d20 game. But, no, I'm not impressed by long or open-ended lists of skills, quite the opposite: I think they can undermine play by 'creating incompetence.' (and, for the record, the 3e/PF skill list is too long) Remove "out-of-combat" and I'd agree with that sentence. ;P Seriously,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:50 AM
    OK, I feel bad about that, I'm going to /try/ to be serious, now... Incremental ones, I suppose. One giant drama-suck in many games is a skill system that goes no further than single-check pass/fail. Similarly, for a combat challenge, 'Nova's or death-spirals can blow or drain your encounter's suspense... ...sorry, I slipped there for a moment... I know those have some game-theory...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 11:45 PM
    I suppose you could just put price tags on victory conditions, take it or leave it. Or you could put certain conditions that /could/ lead to victory on sale, for a limited time, or offer two victories for the price of one. Or you could auction off victory, like ebay, or take sealed bids... ...puns, pemerton, puns were what I had in mind. Sorry. edit: oh, and if you can't afford to...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 11:31 PM
    Like don't have a 3rd level Discipline, Pyrokinetic Sphere, that does 8d6 fire damage to everything in a 20' radius. Oh, the 're-inventing' argument is obvious and even compelling, it just doubles as an argument not to have psionics, at all. So, IDK, have them work nothing like spells. Instead of discrete effects, construct effects up from disciplines, like supernatural Legos, using power...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 08:46 PM
    Foul! The description only said that you /could/ draw on your inspiration in those thematically appropriate way. You could instead draw on the compassion you RP'd when negotiating with the beggar king to assassinate him later that evening, sure, but that doesn't make you dissociative (mechanically)... You know if there were some players'd just horde it until they drowned in one. ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 07:20 PM
    I got the impression there was a stark dividing line between 1-5th & 6-9th level spells (magic-user spells, obviously, others it seemed like 1-4 vs 5-7)), c1984, if not earlier. In my campaign world (& variant rules) there was thus a distinction between 'Low Order' and 'High Order' spells. Aside from the tenor of the spell just shifting dramatically, there were other indicators. The 1e...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 06:09 PM
    Any given system can 'withstand' modding, if the modding is done skillfully - or be wrecked by it, if not. ;) Ironically, the closer a system is to broken, the more amenable it is to modding - in fact, if a system is broken to begin with, you might as well mod it to suit, while you're fixing it! I suspect you don't mean in the sense of INT starting at 3 and Computer not being a skill? ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:39 PM
    Not the way I'm used to 'flexibility' being used around here, which tends to be about the range of capabilities of the character, no. I mean in terms of options presented to the player. A game like Hero, for instance, is super-flexible, in part because it presents a finite set of options that are mixed & re-skinned as a matter of course to model virtually anything, it wouldn't get credit...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 02:44 PM
    Obviously, the PCs buy victory with the currency of limited resources: in D&D, spell slots; in FATE, FATE points; in Storyteller pools/tracks (BP, Willpower, Humanity)...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 05:29 AM
    Backgrounds are actually in the basic pdf, they're about as optional as race & class - a significant change from their introduction in 4e. Taken together, that is a great deal more complexity, and, considering the structure of classes, a great deal less flexibility, than FATE Aspects. There's a lot to Fate that is about Playing A Certain Way, it's clearly spelled out and consistently...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 04:48 AM
    Obviously, GURPS was going for universal, thus the U, but it didn't make it. In the final analysis you needed a worldbook before you could play in another setting or genre, even though it didn't constitute a new game Thus SJG finally went with the multi-genre label. BRP, OTOH, was the core of a system, built up into other games. IDK, having watched MM share his design process, I'm dubious...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 04:05 AM
    Traveller's just basic pass/fail skill checks, apart from the technological gulf changing the names and emphasis of skills, and D&Ds pronounced discomfort with acknowledging leadership or tactical acumen as character, rather than player traits, I see no major impediments... of course, it'd really be d20, not D&D... Well, if you want 4e, forcing bloodied enemies to surrender via intimidation....
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 03:41 AM
    Considered. It has no bearing at all on the connotations of 'principled' or 'disciplined,' that I can see. It carries different information, fiat implies arbitrary and without regard to anyone or anything. Judgement implies consideration of other factors - not excepting principles, though also implying some flexibility, perhaps more so than discipline. But I'd consider it as an...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 02:36 AM
    Plus, qualifying it that way implies that it would otherwise be unprincipled & undisciplined. How about 'judgement' rather than 'fiat.'
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 01:28 AM
    Hilarious: 4e! ;P I mean, if anyone still needed proof-positive that 4e was NOT D&D, just try running a 'low-' or even NO- magic game with it. 1) tell everyone to play one of the 4 martial classes. 2) turn on 'Inherent Bonuses.' 3) don't place too many magic items or magical-seeming enemies (though some, because there is a second S in S&S, and it's usually the bad guy). See, if...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 01:03 AM
    It sounds like skills are part of the issue. If casters actually try to preserve their spells, won't they at least try skills, first? ... and if those start succeeding, perhaps habits will change...? Actually, setting DC's low is fantastic IF you want to let the players use skills. Honestly, I think it's the other way that causes the problems and trains players to always rely on spells. If...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 12:35 AM
    It's not like casters don't have skills, either. To be fair, 5e adventures set pretty low DCs, for the most part (to the point they draw complaints from certain critics... OK, critic... OK, CapnZapp), so maybe that's an attempt to address the issue?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 12:29 AM
    Call me cynical (it's unnecessary, we all know I am, but go ahead if you feel like it), but D&D-style DM Empowerment is not about just empowering the DM, but also assiduously avoiding 'player entitlement' (ie, empowering players) as a polar opposite. It's a pendulum thing. 3.x/PF/4e were very player-empowering (albeit in different ways), and 5e has been a reaction to that, a return to the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 12:11 AM
    That's true of everything in 5e down to the illos and use of white space. :) (that was just an exaggeration for rhetorical effect, I know the illos are nicer this time around; and I've made no comparison in the use of white space, point is just, even trivial stuff could get the classic treatment) But, really, optional rules, in quixotically-named supplements, don't have to concern themselves...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 11:40 PM
    It's just that it's redundant, because psionics was only ever magic re-skinned for use in sci-fi, so when D&D 'mashed up' fantasy & sci-fi (because it was the 70s, and that was just the tenor of the times, I guess) by including both, they were really just including magic, twice, but with different mechanics. If MM keeps trying to design psionics 'efficiently,' by re-using existing sub-systems...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 11:21 PM
    Modern? I thought we were talking about D&D? Fair 'nuff. BitD & Fate seem to give a lot of latitude to players, as well, though.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 07:18 PM
    An obvious, 'low-hanging-fruit,' sort of improvement. Yes, if each dice mechanic delivers a flat uniform distribution with some % chance of success, there's no reason not to consolidate on just one such mechanic. Yes, needless complexity is needlessly complex! ;) Meh, 'style' has been overblown in the community for years now: dice mechanics are just mechanics, they do what they do in a way...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 06:59 PM
    Really, which of the many systems out there did you switch to? Did you have to switch players, as well? ;)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 06:57 PM
    Well, cantrips aren't really the problem, systematic daily spell casting is, so what about removing slots rather than removing classes? Casters with just cantrips and rituals would display abilities much more in keeping with genre! ;D
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 05:54 PM
    For better or worse, that's the definition of balance I'll be using when I discuss it... Since it's a solved game, we can know exactly how (im)balanced Tic-tac-toe is. It presents X with 9 initial choices, obviously. However, 6 of them are meaningless: it doesn't matter which corner or side you place your X in, the game's potential results set will be the same, regardless (there's nothing...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 06:41 AM
    The system steps back 10yds and punts to the DM, as part of its core resolution mechanic. Its written in 'natural language,' so is ambiguous enough to require constant interpretation & rulings, from the DM. It simply doesn't exist without one. Is that hogwash? Maybe, but since MM washed the 5e hog, it's been immunized from criticism. I know from another thread that you've moved past...
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 03:34 AM
    Free floating toilet paper dispenser. If you've been camping, you know it's a great idea.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 12:58 AM
    Doesn't eliminate analysis as a useful tool. ... That'd be testing playtesting, obviously, which is also helpful. Testing will find a problem, analysis will isolate the root cause, and point to possible solutions. What we have, here, is a failure to communucate... So, games present players with choices. The more choices at each choice point and the more choice points, the greater the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 11:24 PM
    "It's the only way to be sure..."
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 10:56 PM
    One way to reward your D&D players would be to run something else for them, now & then...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 08:53 PM
    Arguably, in D&D, 5e especially & intentionally, the system us not independent if the DM, so you can't talk about what the system can do without bringing the DM into it... 5e is in no way a universal system. At best, d20 is a core system, like BRP or d6 or Interlock or many others have been since the 80s. GURPS tried to be a Universal System (it's what the 'U' is for), but eventually copped...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 08:39 PM
    Apparently, its an objectionable quality. ;) Seriously, though, balance is a quality that games have, and, while it may be difficult to analyze in more complex games (its closely related to acquiring system mastery, that way), it is not entirely opaque. Balance is the maximizing of player choices, while keeping those choices both meaningful & viable. Impact & output factor into viability,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 07:09 PM
    In 5e, as in the hallowed classic game, The DM /is/ D&D. Like "The King is The Land." It one of the Gygaxian Mysteries. Reward System Mastery?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 06:37 PM
    So, with any game in either position, all you have to do is kitbash the second game into a functional clone of the first. That says litterally nothing about the second game, which is just a placeholder in the exercise. Hold both games to RaW and the comparison might mean something.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 06:25 PM
    Sure, the Sorcerer, the most lack-lustre of the 5e full casters, flirts with strict superiority to the fighter, the premier ('best' at fighting, with weapons) 5e non-caster. Not exactly a shocker, and not exactly strict (strict being a very easy bar to avoid), but still, a terrible defense of the sorcerers specific DPR build and fighters perennial lack if versatility. It's essentially a...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 05:42 PM
    Interestingly, it's those who decry any attempt to improve balance who seem more inclined to bring up 'perfect balance.' "Perfect balance is impossible!" (so stop trying to improve balance) "Perfect balance would be boring!" (So don't worry if you wreck what balance you have, it'll be more fun!) "Of course, we admit that the game isn't perfectly balanced..." (...so we don't have to...
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 03:30 PM
    Wait just a damn minute!! Is that ball really made of animal skin? I am so offended right now!! Shocked and offended, sir!
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 03:25 PM
    You have already done a lot of work just writing up this treatment, and 4 times no less! Creating more work shouldn't be a deterrent to anyone willing to put in this much effort if it makes an improvement. If I had the time, I would rewrite the system from the ground up and tailor it specifically for this setting. And it would play much better for it.
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 01:50 PM
    Would you say it is more common than using a great axe, for example? Statistically speaking, it seems like a superior choice for obtaining maximum benefit over a thematic choice. I'd fault game design for that paricular problem and proceed with changing it to a single d12. House rules. Problem solved.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 02:01 AM
    Spells can compel the DM, after a fashion. I've certainly felt compelled to add teleport barriers, anti-magic fields, magic-resistant monsters, and Mordenkainen's Disjunction casting arch-mages/liches/arcanadaemons to my dungeons back in the day... ;) Its pretty limited in scope compared to Aspects. BTW, I feel I should soften my 'D&D has not evolved' stance... after all, what is the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 12:18 AM
    Our Staff wiz just took leather proficiency. You're INT primary, and can get enhancement bonuses even in cloth, and even that has MW versions, so it doesn't sound hard to tread water. Ours went CON/WIS for secondaries. Yep. I kept doing the 'protect the wizard' thing, until it came out we had the same hps... As far as spell choice she was pretty pragmatic, picking good spells whether...
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 08:50 PM
    I did have an epiphany of sorts, shortly after coming up with the idea. Just now have some time to write and share it with whomever is interested. Inferior and Superior: These qualities can be used for both armor and weapons. They describe the relative durability and strength of materials used to construct a weapon or armor. They can also apply to natural weapons and armor to represent tougher...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 06:12 PM
    I doubt anyone has tried to convince you that you do. It just indicates that it's some other quality - one that hps &c have, or that mechanics you label dissociated have, in addition to being barely as dissociated as hps. For instance, hps have been part of D&D forever - so have qualities of tradition and long familiarity, on top of being as dissociated as can be.
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 03:47 PM
    Alright, I can see that. But that is an extreme case. Remind me again, how many weapons are 2d6 damage? And how many people take that particular feat? Even if it's more than average, I do have a suggestion or two for that. 1) Instead of doubling the number of damage dice rolled, just add one more and discard the lowest. It works for any weapon regardless of how many dice rolled, and doesn't...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 05:59 AM
    PH1 staff wizard seemed pretty awesome at the time. ;)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 05:40 AM
    Until Essentials lobotomized it and started heaping power(s) on the wizard, the fighter was the numerically best-supported class in the game. And, fighter-type archetypes also got more classes to choose from, with the de-magicking of the Ranger and the addition of the Warlord. So, yes, unequivocally so.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 11:01 PM
    Retroactive XP granted.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 10:58 PM
    Because I treat my Animal Companion as an equal: if I'm drinking, he's drinking! What do you play instead of D&D? Or do you replace hps, AC, turn-based initiative, &c, with less disassociated alternatives? " My name's not important. You must come with me..." " How can I come with you if I don't even know who you are?" " Well, um, my name is, um, it's ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 10:51 PM
    Ideally, it should circle around to the central mechanic, again. That is, the helping character declares an action he intends to be helpful, and the DM either narrates success (grants advantage, or just narrates the two characters' success), failure (no advantage, or the whole attempt fails), or calls for a roll from the helper, which, if successful grants advantage... ...and, really, with...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 10:46 PM
    What sort of balance /removes/ possibilities? When you have an imbalance in a game of the sort we're always whingeing about around here - that is, when the game presents choices and one of those choices is a terrible 'trap' choice or one of them is strictly better than all the others - it /removes/ possibilities, because everyone who sees the imbalance takes the best choice, every time. That...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 09:45 PM
    Leap Attack is a tactical feat chain? While I admit I've seen players who resemble the 'wake me when the combat starts' paradigm, I've literally /never/ seen the player who just wants to roll hit & damage. Plenty who will limit themselves to that for various, sometimes passive-aggressive reasons, but none that are just happy as clams doing nothing else. And, again, not everyone who...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 09:38 PM
    Sounds inside out. DPS just seems like it'd be metaphorically hard & shiny, like the candy coating on the M&M. But DPR (not S, we use imaginary Rounds, not RL Seconds, in TTRPG land) Balance does seem to be very much a thing in 5e, anyway. Fairly obvious DPR builds will grind (and/or spike) out comparable overall damage, given the expected 6-8 encounter/2-3 short rest day. (I haven't...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 09:32 PM
    Dismissive edition warring? ;P Seriously, though, the Capn has not been shy about is 3.5/PF pedigree. So you're way off base. Well, try playing it for 10 years and get back to us when you know what you're talking about. That's actually critical to such 'crunchiness,' because if you don't know what you're going to get for sorting through all the chaff & trap choices in your...
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 09:32 PM
    Does it matter if its fake damage?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 08:43 PM
    I know there was a lot of complaining about the wizard getting 'nerfed' in 4e, initially, and there never was a solid definition of what being a controller meant. The way I saw the wizard as controller in early 4e included using targets-creatures AEs as a form of interdiction. Once you've established that you can blow up a bunch of enemies if they're close together, and that you have to be...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 06:40 PM
    Y'know, it's not as true as all that. I mean, I've seen the 'wake me when the fight starts' type, plenty of times, but they aren't always playing fighters, and I've seen plenty of people play fighters who didn't fit the stereotype. For that matter, the player in my old group who was closest to fitting the stereotype thoroughly enjoyed both his 3.5 leap-attack fighter, and his 4e greatweapon...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 06:17 PM
    Thanks for your honesty! :) Some systems require more adjustment to get a different experience or handle a different genre than others, of course. Games like FUDGE/Fate, Fuzion (or Hero), or GURPS are designed to readily be used in multiple genres or for different purposes. GURPS, for instance, has world books that address a property or genre and go to town with it, you don't even have to...
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 05:48 PM
    Balance? You're soaking in it.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 04:34 PM
    That's a stereotype of the guy who always plays the fighter, sure. But it's not every guy who ever plays a fighter. But creating a simple (simply inferior) fighter 'for that guy' is like ... ...well stuff the CoC'd rather threads didn't drift into. And fighter has consistently been the most popular class in the game - when it was hopeless back in the day, when it was OP, when it was...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 03:06 PM
    I'm glad. One thing I noticed about roles was that they did have very different appeal. Some strikers, like the Archer Ranger lent themselves to very simple, but, apparently, still fun, modes of play, while others could get a little more elaborate. Controllers, OTOH were more involved, while Leaders invited you to pay careful attention to what your allies were doing, as well as managing...
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 11:52 AM
    You keep saying that as if it were true. Grab an extra die. Same type as your regular damage die; you don't even need to think about which die to use. Roll them together and compare. No adding, no subtraction, no modifications. Which is lower? Use that one. No one thinks the same mechanic used for advantage and disadvantage is slowing things down. In fact, it is probably one of the best (not that...
    28 replies | 968 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 06:29 AM
    As is virtually any striker, in my book, but that's just personal inclination.
    170 replies | 7473 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 06:28 AM
    The point pen the plaintive cries for a simple fighter was never the option of a simple fighter for those who wanted to actually play one, but the removal of balanced options from the archetype. Note that essentials delivered the simple fighter to absolutely no effect, the edition war continued with extreme prejudice. The fighter has always been the most popular class, because it's the most...
    170 replies | 7473 view(s)
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 10:54 PM
    Not really, but ok.
    28 replies | 968 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 10:36 PM
    It was a rectangle when I used it, but yeah, back in the day. The campaign world, itself, was a flat disk conforming to Aristotelian physics, contained in an iron sphere. I did add a couple of cosmological bits. There was a Dream/Spirit plane that wasn't exactly the Ethereal or Astral in which only mental stats had meaning, and the World was created from 'Chaos' which remained outside the iron...
    86 replies | 2732 view(s)
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 10:00 PM
    Inferior weapon: roll 2 damage dice and discard highest roll. Like disadvantage, right?
    28 replies | 968 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 09:54 PM
    Mapper of the mind! (That's a thing, right?)
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 09:31 PM
    The Quoum are in Plane Above. I'm not sure how similar it is. The Living Gate wasn't a god and the Shardminds are literally physical pieces of it, and they would have to re-assemble themselves into the living gate, something they are not at all unified in wanting to do nor in how to do it. The Quoum's God/Domain, Lakal, was destroyed in the Dawn War, and they are, as one, ruthlessly scouring...
    21 replies | 963 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 09:28 PM
    Nice. I wanted to take MM 'back' a different way, by letting it split up into 2 or more missiles to hit more enemies. So, initially: 1d4+ INT vs two targets, or 2d4+int vs one. At paragon, 3d4, epic 4d4.
    5 replies | 245 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 09:25 PM
    IDK, my 4.0, PH+ArcanePower Eladrin Wizard McFighter > WotST rocked pretty hard while the campaign lasted (broke up low-Paragon), he had to work at making best use of 'all-creatures' AEs and sustain powers and the like (because, not only was I designing him to evoke an old-school elf-fighter/magic-user, I was pedantically avoiding the spells picked by another player's wizard in another campaign -...
    43 replies | 1155 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 09:00 PM
    Is (4) also "without too much 'persuasion' by the DM and/or players?" Or is the first hypothetical game held to RAW, while D&D is let off the leash? I'd describe it as Illusionsim, or committing Freestyle RP under color of authority, or Improvisational GMing, or 'DM Empowerment...' ;P
    2803 replies | 76718 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 08:38 PM
    Agreed. *plonk*
    405 replies | 16094 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 08:20 PM
    Even 4e didn't have quite as much variety among the non-casters, not only in the sense of pairing them down to beatsticks in Essentials, either. The '4.0,' call it, Martial Source never supported the Controller Role, while every other source - all essentially 'casters,' or at least solidly supernatural - did. FWIW. D&D's success is obviously due to it's 1st-RPG past fad (and current...
    47 replies | 1817 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 07:04 PM
    Maybe I read something into it that wasn't there, but the impression I got wasn't that the problem was being missed, but that the reason for going to a single roll, rather than the existing group check, to solve it was the assumption that in a single-success-succeeds situation the best roll is the one that matters, while in a single-failure-fails situation the worst roll is the one that matters. ...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 06:59 PM
    If you're not going to be ridiculous by 20th, you should MC into something else well before then.
    12 replies | 771 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 06:27 PM
    That's someone else's numbers, I'm leary (I expect they're actually closer to parity on a reasonable analysis) but I'll accept them for the sake of argument. Yep. The fighter is a very DPR-focused design, it's best features work best when devoted to delivering DPR, it'll put in it's best showing in such comparisons. When that's not good enough, it's a very bad sign for the fighter. 'Show...
    405 replies | 16094 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 06:07 PM
    It's not like 3e - there's not a lot more than core, this time around, nor is non-core all that toxic, but core-only's certainly fine. Core+1 is a common one, promoted by AL, though, amusingly, my old group had the same policy in 3.0, too. Not opting into feats & MCing is a good idea - feats are few & uneven, there's the EK & AT for the common old Fighter/magic-user & magic-user/thief, and...
    34 replies | 1053 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 05:57 PM
    Meh, not really - my suspension of disbelief must engineered like the Golden Gate Bridge or something. In D&D, the closest anything ever came to doing so was psionics. Though Vancian 'memorization' was pretty awful, at first, too, as were hps & the lengthy one-minute round until I read the relevant treatises in the 1e DMG (I was still impressionable, I guess). Only two? Back in the day...
    68 replies | 2735 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 05:49 PM
    D&D is the same kind of 'mainstream' it's always been: the only TTRPG with significant mainstream name recognition. It's also moving units like it hasn't since the end of the 80s fad (OK, books aren't flying off the shelves as fast as they did then, but it's a different book-publishing world, out there). This isn't a great factoid, but it's pieced together from credible enough glimpses,...
    20 replies | 979 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:05 AM
    I think "far more useful" sums it up. If the Sorc bests the fighter in DPR by wasting far-more-useful-for-other-stuff resources on DPR, then, yeah, when - situationally, not philosophically - DPR grinding is all that matters, he 'wastes' those resources. When it's not, he uses them, well, more usefully - he no longer beats the fighter at now-hypothetical DPR, but, in a situation where DPR is of...
    405 replies | 16094 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 01:54 AM
    I suspect it has something to do with it being a non-decision. There's no 'price,' no qualifiers, it turns into a rubber stamp. The player needn't be there. He could say "I use help on whoever's doing stuff," and leave the table. I don't see why that has to happen, though... Nod, but taking the participation out of helping can also rob the game of that element. Adding limitations or...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 12:42 AM
    So progressively less of a problem starting as low as third, and once you have your full complement of 4 encounters & 4 dailies at 20th, you should hardly use at wills, anyway?
    43 replies | 1155 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 12:33 AM
    When making comparisons /of DPR/, you, of course, compare DPR. It's just Apples to Apples. That doesn't imply DPR is king, it's just making a valid comparison of that one factor. You can then look at other things and make judgements about overall class balance, if you like, but those data points are harder to pin down. But, it's not like there are DPR Tiers. ;P
    405 replies | 16094 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Jacob Lewis

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Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 07:31 AM - Coroc mentioned Jacob Lewis in post Darksun Version 4.0
    Jacob Lewis That would be another idea, but i still like my solution more, unless you would rule that inferior Magic weapons would not have to make two dice rolls. It has to be analysed statistically though. With a 2xd20 someone has found out a number which would reflect disad quite well it was -2 or so if i remember, so i guess 2 die rolls for weapon damage would result in about a -1 which would be desirable. Has to be analysed though.

Monday, 11th December, 2017


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Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 01:43 AM - Zardnaar quoted Jacob Lewis in post Darksun Version 4.0
    You have already done a lot of work just writing up this treatment, and 4 times no less! Creating more work shouldn't be a deterrent to anyone willing to put in this much effort if it makes an improvement. If I had the time, I would rewrite the system from the ground up and tailor it specifically for this setting. And it would play much better for it. I have recycled as much as I can. Rewriting races isn't to hard but 4 archetypes is a lot. It's why I tied some of the PHB domains to the elemental planes.

Sunday, 17th June, 2018

  • 01:52 PM - Zardnaar quoted Jacob Lewis in post Darksun Version 4.0
    Would you say it is more common than using a great axe, for example? Statistically speaking, it seems like a superior choice for obtaining maximum benefit over a thematic choice. I'd fault game design for that paricular problem and proceed with changing it to a single d12. House rules. Problem solved. Or you could apply a simple -1/-1 or whatever the number is and not have to rewrite anything yes? WHy crate more work for yourself if I had the inclination I would rewrite all the PHB races and make 4 new domains. Only 1 person lol.

Saturday, 16th June, 2018

  • 10:03 PM - Zardnaar quoted Jacob Lewis in post Darksun Version 4.0
    I did have an epiphany of sorts, shortly after coming up with the idea. Just now have some time to write and share it with whomever is interested. Inferior and Superior: These qualities can be used for both armor and weapons. They describe the relative durability and strength of materials used to construct a weapon or armor. They can also apply to natural weapons and armor to represent tougher hide, thick scales, and sharp claws (superior), or soft membrane, brittle bones, and weak appendages (inferior). When an inferior weapon targets a superior armor, the damage dice have disadvantage. Roll 1 extra damage die and discard the highest die rolled. Conversely, when a superior weapon targets inferior armor, then the damage dice have advantage. Roll 1 extra damage die and discard the lowest die rolled. Inferior items are not affected by other inferior items. Likewise, superior items are not affected by other superior items. Average weapons and armors have neither trait, and are unaffected agains...
  • 09:58 PM - Zardnaar quoted Jacob Lewis in post Darksun Version 4.0
    Alright, I can see that. But that is an extreme case. Remind me again, how many weapons are 2d6 damage? And how many people take that particular feat? Even if it's more than average, I do have a suggestion or two for that. 1) Instead of doubling the number of damage dice rolled, just add one more and discard the lowest. It works for any weapon regardless of how many dice rolled, and doesn't nerf the expected average too bad. Also, take the results after rerolling 1s if you're keeping that feat in play. 2) Change the damage die to d12. You're going this far with changes, why not make changes that work better for all other changes? That's why I would do, but your game and your group. (Kudos for letting your players vote, btw.) Anyway, we can go back and forth all day with examples and fixes on which way to go. My version of Dark Sun is much different than what most would expect, which is essentially D&D dressed up for the apocalypse. I prefer a version that gets away from the standard D&D t...

Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 10:33 PM - Zardnaar quoted Jacob Lewis in post Darksun Version 4.0
    You keep saying that as if it were true. Grab an extra die. Same type as your regular damage die; you don't even need to think about which die to use. Roll them together and compare. No adding, no subtraction, no modifications. Which is lower? Use that one. No one thinks the same mechanic used for advantage and disadvantage is slowing things down. In fact, it is probably one of the best (not that there are many) innovations of 5e. And I have never played at a table where dice were in small supply, or designated the responsibility of a single person who thought one of each would be sufficient for the whole table. By comparison, your method--which is reminscent of older and outdated ideas--requires more mental conversion and math. It may be simple and minor, but that kind of thinking is what adds up in the bigger picture. Which die is a step down from the normal? Don't forget -1 on your roll, and three other modifiers already in play! All the little things add up. It was just a suggestion. It's no...

Thursday, 14th June, 2018

  • 10:18 PM - Zardnaar quoted Jacob Lewis in post Darksun Version 4.0
    Inferior weapon: roll 2 damage dice and discard highest roll. Like disadvantage, right? Yes but it uses a lot of dice, a simple downsize or -1/-1 is easier/quicker to use. I have thought about disadvantage and advantage on damage rolls mechanics on other stuff just not for inferior weapons.

Tuesday, 12th June, 2018


Monday, 11th June, 2018

  • 03:11 PM - Bagpuss quoted Jacob Lewis in post Why Did "Solo" and "Rogue One" Feel Like RPG Sessions?
    Incidentally, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game (FFG) is a narrative-based game. I wouldn't go that far. It has strong narrative elements, but it is pretty crunchy compared to what I would call a narrative game. It is pretty complex combat wise, at least as much so as say D&D.

Thursday, 7th June, 2018

  • 01:39 PM - Aldarc quoted Jacob Lewis in post 2d10 as Replacement for d20?
    Question for you math geniuses. What is the probability of rolling doubles on 3d6? And what is the probability of rolling doubles within a specific set? (i.e. double 6s, double 5s or 6s, etc)Considering the Fantasy Age system? :confused:

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

  • 06:09 PM - flametitan quoted Jacob Lewis in post ĎAdvancedí Dungeons & Dragons
    If WotC were to support these non-Core settings properly... emphasis, properly... it should require more than one book with great concern for how it will appeal to people who aren't even interested in the setting to begin with. Does that even make sense? If you're going to give any attention to one of these settings, which do not fall under the traditional themes and expectations of the core game, then you should not be worried about making it fit better unless you want to change what makes it so different. If Spelljammer, for example, is merely a means to travel through space to get from one game world to another, then you only need to write a few paragraphs about how to get your FR characters to Mystara, Krynn, and back in time for the next DDAL storyline because you're not really interested in Spelljammer as a viable setting. More like Yellow Cab for D&D. Likewise, you can treat Planescape like D&D's version of Disney World(s). You can get there, but you're only just a tourist. I don't believe ...
  • 04:49 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Jacob Lewis in post 2d10 as Replacement for d20?
    Question for you math geniuses. What is the probability of rolling doubles on 3d6? And what is the probability of rolling doubles within a specific set? (i.e. double 6s, double 5s or 6s, etc) The way to calculate it is actually pretty easy. The chance of rolling a given number on a d6 is obviously 1 in 6 (yeah, duh, I know). So, if you already rolled the first die and got a number (any number, doesn't matter), the chance of the second die coming up the same number is 1 in 6. The chance of the 3rd die coming up the same number is also 1 in 6. So you have 2 chances in 6 of the first number coming up on one or both of the next 2 dice, less the one in 6 of that being a triple. You ALSO have a 1 in 6 chance of BOTH of those 2 dice coming up with the same number, so your chances are now 3 in 6, if you don't need to discount triples. If triples don't count, then you have to remove that probability, which is 1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6 = 1/216. I didn't add this up, but the 96/216 that TwoSix quotes is probably ri...
  • 03:58 AM - TwoSix quoted Jacob Lewis in post 2d10 as Replacement for d20?
    Question for you math geniuses. What is the probability of rolling doubles on 3d6? And what is the probability of rolling doubles within a specific set? (i.e. double 6s, double 5s or 6s, etc) Top of my head, assuming doubles is any 2 of the 3 match, and a triple is also a double, itís 96 out of 216, or 4/9 (44.4%). Doubles of a certain number is 16 out of 216, or 2/27.

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 03:38 PM - Bitbrain quoted Jacob Lewis in post Dark Sun confirmed for 5th edition
    Ok, just had a stupid thought! They will do it just like Ravenloft! Your heroes from FR are transported to an alien desert world where everything is different and they are super strong.... John Carter on Mars, folks! I am calling it now! Change it to where they are unknowingly flung a million or so years into the unrecognizable future; exclude Create or Destroy Water, Create Food and Drink, and Goodberry (maybe Heat Metal too); and have the plotline be King Kalak intending to use his ziggurat to transport his armies of Templars and Defilers back in time to conquer the past, and it honestly doesn't sound like a bad idea for an adventure path. Advertise it as John Carter of Mars meets Planet of the Apes.
  • 12:12 PM - Tormyr quoted Jacob Lewis in post Dark Sun confirmed for 5th edition
    As much as I would love to see Dark Sun return to the table, I don't think it would be a good fit for the current business model. It needs (deserves!) to be it's own product line that stands apart from what WoC has dictated to be the norm for D&D. It is not a place you visit mid-campaign or rules you can just mesh with your current scenario. It is a different world with different rules and different expectations. If they present it any way similar to how they handled Ravenloft-- which worked fine for Ravenloft--I... Ok, just had a stupid thought! They will do it just like Ravenloft! Your heroes from FR are transported to an alien desert world where everything is different and they are super strong.... John Carter on Mars, folks! I am calling it now! "Hey, there is a nice village of halflings up ahead. Maybe they can put us up for the night and have us for dinner while we adjust to this new place..."

Monday, 14th May, 2018

  • 06:54 PM - tmanbeaubien quoted Jacob Lewis in post Is It Worth Printing Your Own Miniatures?
    Board games are popular again, and they're bigger and more complex than ever. Custom inserts are in demand to keep sets organized and neat, especially those with lots of expansions. I think a 3-D printer could be very useful in this considering the low level of detail needed to create custom trays for storing components. I have seen many models which are for exactly this use - organizing the box o stuff which came with that board game. And one selling point is that these printers can make boxes and such with extremely thin walls from fairly tough plastic to maximize fitting into the overall cardboard box. And some are just fun! https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2687193

Wednesday, 9th May, 2018

  • 11:30 PM - Mistwell quoted Jacob Lewis in post Mordenkainens starting to show up in the wild?
    Geeze, people are touchy! Did my smiley face not give comfort and confer my jovial, good-natured ribbing? http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/056/841/eb9.gif I mean, anyone else want to put me in my place? Tell me I don't belong anymore because I don't subscribe to this edition, or lost faith in a company I used to support? You still belong here. Even if you don't like this edition or lost faith in a company you used to support. That said, I suspect your thoughts would be more appreciated if they were more about topics that more people might be interested in regardless of edition. Your thoughts on 5e are not edition neutral (and being posted in a 5e fan thread specifically) but your thoughts on "traps and secret doors" or "railroading vs sandbox" or "sentient magic items" or "how do I deal with this problem player/DM" would be. Not that I am telling you what to post. But...you asked why someone reacted so touchy to your post, as if that was something you didn't par...
  • 09:50 PM - Jester David quoted Jacob Lewis in post Mordenkainens starting to show up in the wild?
    Geeze, people are touchy! Did my smiley face not give comfort and confer my jovial, good-natured ribbing? I mean, anyone else want to put me in my place? Tell me I don't belong anymore because I don't subscribe to this edition, or lost faith in a company I used to support? If you don't want my attention, don't ask for it. And there is an ignore feature if my humor isn't to your taste. It won't hurt my feelings, I promise. ... Then why are you posting in a 5e forum? There are several other forums for generic RPGs and past editions. I donít play Pathfinder much anymore. So I donít go to threads on their newest released, let alone post just to complain. What purpose would that serve?

Monday, 7th May, 2018

  • 07:42 PM - DaishoChikara quoted Jacob Lewis in post Mordenkainens starting to show up in the wild?
    Yes, actually. But I've been here a long time and playing the game even longer. But thanks for asking! Its a priveledge to be quotes on only your first or second post here. Post much? ;) Just because I've never posted before doesn't invalidate what I had to say. You're the one crying about crap that no one else is bothered enough to post about. Then when someone calls you out on it, you try to make yourself sound important by comparing post counts? Talk about childish. But that's okay, because I'll apologize to you. I'm sorry I gave you the attention you crave in the first place. You can reply if you want, I'm done with this thread.
  • 06:54 PM - MonsterEnvy quoted Jacob Lewis in post Mordenkainens starting to show up in the wild?
    Yes, actually. But I've been here a long time and playing the game even longer. But thanks for asking! Its a priveledge to be quotes on only your first or second post here. Post much? ;) Don't make fun of people just for being new.
  • 04:51 AM - DaishoChikara quoted Jacob Lewis in post Mordenkainens starting to show up in the wild?
    Good news, everyone! D&D came out with a new product this year, which can be purchased multiple times in multiple formats! And as always, it's not really D&D unless it skews common perceptions of classic races, displaces iconic characters into a catch-all setting that has become a distant echo of it's former glory, and has been preceeded by more sneak peeks and tantalizing previews than a traveling showgirl troupe performing an outside show in the park. Let's move on already to the next item hinted at for release and begin the 6+ month journey of hype and speculation for another collection of uninspiring and recycled ideas! 5e 4evar!! ;) Dude, if you dislike either the company or the game that much, why are you here? Jaded much?


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