View Profile: Jacob Lewis - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 10:25 PM
    Sure, but a lot of us have been here since it was Eric Noah's and all about the 'new' 3rd edition, and have just adopted each new edition, 4e, then 5e, in turn. What's your favorite alternate to the current ed is often a close call. I nearly voted 4e, but went with 1e, because that's still where the magic lies, for me, emotionally. I could have as easily gone for 4e (pre-E), on the basis of...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 10:14 PM
    Yeah, don't make the mistake the "tactical module" did and create something for the 4e fans, based on how the game's detractors painted it. Skill Challenges are a plenty robust sub-system, what they lacked was da flavah. The best SCs I ran or played in where the ones that had been added to, creating a sort of game-within-a-game, that had the success and failure map to something more...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 09:27 PM
    It'd be a platform to produce modules and supplements compatible with 4e, and to continue to add to and develop it in the directions it was originally heading (before all the hadwringing and backsliding).
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 09:22 PM
    Paladins are rarely being played as knights of Charlemagne, nor or Sorcerers as gaining their powers from spirits, nor Clerics as issueing fatwas. Commander is much narrower, and more strongly implies just barking orders (one of the more controversial visualizations), rather than inspiration, leading by example, executing cooperative maneuvers or giving tactical advice.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 07:03 PM
    Would bumping them with the note "Please move to the D&D forum" help? Is there any way to add a tag to an old thread you, yourself, started?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:32 PM
    The issue with the 4e version was the wording, which was eventually cleaned up. A 5e translation (at will, give up /action/ to grant /attack/) struggles to be worthwhile, in the hands of the Tanky fighter, because it's virtually always better to just attack, himself.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:16 PM
    ( I prefer "block of tofu" ) But, no, it's not, and I'm a little surprised that 5e got away with keeping everyone proficient exactly as good with their d20 checks as they leveled. I suppose Expertise helps. Correct. Your fighter might just graduate from being smashed to paste in one round by an ogre, to being pasted by a Giant, but you hit the giant on natural iterative rolls...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:34 PM
    Yes! but my phone, in its silicon wisdom, had deduced - probably from my participation in way too many DEX is das Uberstat threads - that when it type CHA, I mean DEX. - technology: making our lives easier! Oh, there's still a tradeoff, it's just in choice of class, and even concept. Want or play a charismatic warrior? Too bad you CHA is 5 and your STR 9 - Maybe with that 16 INT you...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 05:19 PM
    PrCs would open up quite a lot. They'd be a powerful setting tool for the DM, since a player who takes a setting-tie-in PrC has bought into the setting in a big way. The DM could also use them to gate status - like the old 1e Lord - behind preqs, rather than just class/level or, as it currently stands in 5e, Background. The PDK-pretty nearly every sub-class on SCAG really - and the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:55 PM
    I wonder if it isn't also something WotC just saw the wisdom in letting slide? The OSR movement has arguably been good for 5e, building buzz around D&D and it's status in the history of hobby games.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:40 PM
    You don't, but, unless your opus is the best RPG designed to date at the moment it's released, it will vanish into a void of abject indifference, along with all the money you invested in self-publishing it. ( If it actually is the best RPG designed to date at the moment it's released, it will win some obscure awards for "best new game of the year" before being forgotten.)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 04:26 PM
    Oh, that's an idea! It might also work for *ahem* 'solo' play ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:27 PM
    They don't random-roll them, either. They don't have numeric stats, at all. It's numeric stats (and classes &c) in the game that are /trying/ (often unsuccessfully) to model them. When you're trying to model an archetype with a character class, though, everything that class choice touches comes up. What benefits you get from which stat, and the trade-offs that creates becomes very...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:21 PM
    Has the virtue of simplicity. What about 'good' saves? Those could get pretty high if you added proficiency - and, if you don't, there's no progression, at all (rather than just none with bad saves).
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:43 PM
    Ignoring the rules (that didn't suit you) /was/ how 1e was played, and is, IMHO, how best to play 5e, sure. ;) It's definitely not how 3.x (RaW! RaW!) and 4e (updates! DDI!) were played. For you, sure. For me, it's more nostalgia. I played 1e from 1980 through to 2e, and my 2e campaign was really more a hybrid between the two. After a 5 year break I came back to D&D with 3.0. I played...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:03 PM
    I think he said something more like, /one/ player of each ed, rather than an odd-man-out scenario, but my recall isn't perfect. They took down the old L&Ls, or I'd link it for you. It was played pretty differently at each table, as I recall! When I say 'run 5e like 1e' I mean get the same feel, use an old module just converting on the fly, stuff like that. Not translate all the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:26 PM
    Mearls came right out and said it, in a pre-playtest L&L. Not just groups will be able to play 5e (Next) like it was their past-fave ed, but that /different players at the same table/ would be able to play their characters like they were still in their favorite respective past eds! It was total pie-in-the-sky idealism, and the effort wasn't ever really undertaken to deliver it. But, /a/...
    60 replies | 1569 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:16 PM
    It's not unusual to not stick with a game that doesn't work - unless the game that doesn't work is D&D, then you don't just stick with it, you defend it zealously and re-define what a game is even supposed to be so that the way it doesn't work is exactly the way everything /should/ work, and it's all other games that have problems! Well, I've played exactly none of those, and only heard of...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:36 PM
    Nothing escalates a thread to edition war defcon1 like the prospect of someone, somewhere, someday possibly being allowed to play an official 5e D&D Warlord, even if there's only a remote hypothetical possibility that it might not suck. Heck, Warlord discussion needed their own hazardous thread containment forum, here, for a while, so virulent was the reaction against even discussing...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:28 PM
    I'd never complain about a class being 'only' Tier 2. ;) The 3.x Sorcerer, for instance, Tier 2, but a better class design with more potential for engaging play and covering more potential character concepts than the Wizard, IMHO. I can't agree. The point of psionics is that it is magic scrubbed of fantasy, religious, mystical or superstitious trappings, and draped with scientific ones,...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:10 PM
    Yeah, I spun off on a couple of tangents, there, I think. Sure, but that's nothing unique. Really, /levels/, foundational to all forms of D&D and many of it's imitators, do that - the numbers just give level some mechanical teeth. Hit points, damage, and number/complexity/power/versatility of powers & feats would still support that arc, though. That's what 5e BA did, relative to 4e. ...
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:59 PM
    Well that just seems like a missed opportunity due to misplaced expectations, which is surprising since you suggest having some familiarity with "Descent". The two games play nearly the same, but I felt the Star Wars version had improved on a number of things, and not just thematically. The campaign structure is far more flexible allowing for more variety and greater repeatability. And while...
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:10 PM
    A complete collection of your least favorite edition. Pictures of your exes enthusiastically enjoying activites and experiences he/she swore they would never do with you. Donald Trump as a lounge singer. A vorpal weapon in which the hilt or handle is the "vorpal" part. Gilbert Godfrey and Bobcat Goldthwait singing Endless Love repeatedly on open mic karaoke night.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:21 AM
    Well, we couldn't let the little buggers invade D&D, with their battlemagic and power crystals and percentile skills and level-less progression! I don't care if you just came looking for a better life, /go home to Glorantha!/ you stunted excuse for a troll! Do you even regenerate?!
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:32 AM
    Charismatic Warrior Hero is a pretty broad archetype. There are /many/ examples. You're presuming a conclusion. Archetypes and characters from fiction don't have D&D CHA, and aren't a D&D class - they are what they are - D&D can be used to try to model them by choosing stats, race, class and so forth. And it can often model them poorly, or inefficiently. Which means those universal...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:44 AM
    While I in no way begrudge folks who want them their psionic classes, for me it always seemed the problem with psionics - and the reason game designers kept resorting to novel mechanics for it - is that it's not really that different, in fluff, from magic. A lot of what people who believed in magic would have called magic, is what we'd today call a 'psychic power' (or a temporal lobe seizure, as...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:10 AM
    Almost. In order to call back psionic power points, they made the encounter powers into power points that enhanced at-wills, the results were not terrible, but the exercises struck me as unnecessary - mechanical difference for the sole sake of being /mechanically/ different. The GOO Warlock even gets telepathy! So only Tier 2, then?
    88 replies | 2693 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:57 PM
    Wow. Had WotC over a barrel and Hackmaster is what the went for? Heh. OK, looking at what they have to say, they went to the effort of teasing out "just the mechanics, ma'am" - I'm a little surprised, at time's I've looked up something in OSRIC and it seemed word-for-word identical. While mechanics vs 'fluff' are presented more clearly in 4e, a lot of the wording that holds them together -...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:33 PM
    As I recall Hackmaster and the first OSR (OSRIC?) actually got some sort of permission? :|
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 09:18 PM
    I've done both over the years. The former seems like the standard assumption. It leaves each player free to create his character and give it backstory independent of the others. I find the latter quite intriguing, but you need to have players into the idea of having history with eachother in the characters' backstories. I like it for starting campaigns with that right kind of player - or...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 09:14 PM
    Yeah, that's due to past organization. This used to be PF & Older Editions, the 4e threads were started then and haven't all petered out yet. Now it's just PF. (Dunno why those other threads haven't just been moved.) Rightly, you should put this thread in the D&D forum, with the 4e tag. Until they change it again, anyway. PRD? 13th Age is often called out as similar to 4e, and...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 07:17 PM
    Not a 4e a clone, but an OGL that's like 5e D&D but better? But we already have 13th Age. ;P I kid, but 13A did hit several of 5e's supposed goals more squarely than 5e did, supporting TotM, for instance, balancing classes with radically different resource mixes, for another, oh, and limiting the Xmass Tree effect, and mooks, and, well, more than a few, I guess. Well sure, it was...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:47 PM
    Roll under runs into some numerical issues, like a stat of 20 being problematic, and modeling varying difficulties being a bit fraught. Open-ended bonuses and DCs leave a lot more room to work with, mechanically. A simpler, more honest solution to the 'odd stat out problem,' is just to toss them. Replaces stats with their bonuses: PC stats range from -1 to +5, end of story. I certainly...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:02 AM
    It resonates with me, a bit. I feel like I run better 4e games, after running 5e for a while. I've reconnected with DMing techniques I'd had less need for in 4e. Oh yeah, what I love about 3e. I'll still play 3.5 if I get a chance to finally trot out some build-to-concept I never got a chance to play. Last time it was the mad kobold sorcerer with "imaginary friends" - and spells, from...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 04:24 AM
    Want to play Orpheus? Have a 3.0 Commoner with a kazoo. (You've got a funny hat, too, y'might just pull it off.) I think it's fair to say the system does that - both have very significant return on CHA, a Bard would conventionally be CHA-primary, a Paladin at worst, CHA secondary. To be fair, they are both explicitly optional, and not every table may opt in. Ironically, turning...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:37 AM
    Heal? or True Polymorph? Yeah, a thing called a Lawyer. That kinda shout'n can True Polymorph all sorts of legal entities... ...but... ...certainly not after those legal bills.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 12:04 AM
    It's not an idea, it's the GSL. You can't clone 4e, it's not open source. It's not a limitation of the 5e (or other d20) mechanics - you can work from any open source engine, and replace most of the parts, if you want - it's a limitation of the license. You could create a 4e-ish game using a d20 OGL (any of 'em really), like 13A did, heck, you could take the Pelgrane Press Archmage Engine...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 10:09 PM
    Oh, the classes are very different, even within the same source or role (or in a few cases, Bard v Artificer, frex both) - nothing much to do with the big numbers floating around everyone. The one thing big numbers do, though, is provide an often-credible illusion of advancement.. The GSL seriously complicates actually publishing (even e-publishing) any of it, though.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Sam sure seemed like he had a high Loyalty Base. A protagonist in fantasy/myth/legend, that is a) a warrior, and b) not exclusively on a solo quest the whole time, is probably a Charismatic Fighting Hero. He may grow into the charismatic part, especially in more modern fantasy offerings which often have coming-of-age elements, or he may have only occasional, temporary allies rather than a band...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 09:17 PM
    Or Psionics or Artificer fans. Some of us want an Artificer who's basically just a wizard who specializes in making magic items, others want a steampunk engineer, or Johnny Sokko, or to be Q to their party's James Bond. Psionics? Magic or not? Points or slots? Should it even be a class - it wasn't in 1e! In any group of n on-line fans of x feature in y game, you probably have x^n + n^Y +...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:48 PM
    Sorry if I mostly riff off your post for humor purposes.... Any stat or skill could conceivably be rendered moot by the DM's style or choice of setting & challenges, I suppose. I don't see why not knowing anything isn't a meaningful consequence. I mean, recalling something useful certainly is. Is the idea that you start off not knowing anything, so you might as well try? ...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:19 PM
    Options like that go way back. I mean, 3e had 'fighting defensively,' sure, but back in the day DMs would assign all sorts of modifiers. Before there even was a barbarian, one DM I played with would let you 'rage' (I don't think he called it that) getting an attack bonus & taking an AC penalty - something my Druid in his game did on a number of occasions, because Celtic warriors, though not the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 06:32 PM
    Y'know, some groups have kinda done that, just organically, and it can be fun. Started in one edition and migrated to the next, with or without some in-campaign event (or time passage) marking the rev roll. My old AD&D campaign spanned 1e & 2e, but as 2e started out so much like 1e I didn't mark it in any way (though I did annoy one player by whip-sawing his exp table around, and kept an...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:53 AM
    I converted B1: In Search of the Unknown, it's about as classic a dungeon crawl as it gets. Though more weird than brutal, and it's low-level, but classic with all the crazy D&Disms you could want. OK, 'converted' is giving me way too much credit, I didn't convert anything up-front, just ran with the 5e versions of what was there... sometimes even just used the old stats, mentally inverting...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:48 AM
    For my money it's the Circle of Oak in the playtest, I got to play one and it really brought me right back to the 1e Druid, real nostalgic fun - or the "Land" Druid in the 5e PH. The Moon Druid harkens more to the 3.5/WoW/4e shape-shifting-centric druid. While shape-shifting was a legendary Druid thing, and the 1e Druid did it, it wasn't with quite the same emphasis, not mainly about hulking...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:36 AM
    I suppose you could make some arguments about leverage and so forth... Ö but, nah "just dumb" sounds 'bout right. If you're gonna cut the gnome some slack 'because fantasy,' you might as well cut the amazon some slack 'because fantasy.' If you're not, well, "realism kills," as my BBS tagline used to say. ;)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 10:43 PM
    FWIW 1e halflings had a lower max STR than other races. Though, that's for the benefit if the younger generation out there - I obviously don't need to tell you that, since, as I understand it, you still run 1e by preference?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:32 PM
    More like the fallout, the collateral damage - and what made forums blaze in the flames of hell, and gave mods all over the internet ulcers, of course. Not to mention the undiagnosed tragedy of Post Traumatic Edition War Syndrome. Sure, you do see continuations of the edition war in those threads, it's inevitable when you think about it. The Warlord was introduced in 4e, and it's a valid...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:29 AM
    Not a fan of TotM, but, since I don't see how it actually has any bearing, went ahead and voted for da Flavah. Bland bonuses are bland. Of course, in the olden days you didn't have to choose: your +1 sword most likely glowed (thanks, Tolkien), and your +1 armor was feather-light and needed no maintenance. 5e, likewise, has some cool options for adding extra seasoning to otherwise bland...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 07:22 AM
    Superior? Different. Willing to adopt the new can be seen as positive or negative, depending on your PoV, but it's certainly different from defending the old. Edit: But, hey, if thinking of yourself as superior matters so to you, you can always spin it hard in the negative direction, something like: former 4e fans must be a bunch of uncritical WotC apologists who automatically adopt the...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:58 AM
    They're very closely linked topics. The 5MWD is all about timing encounters vs rest for maximum advantage to full casters, and, thus, the PC side of those encounters. It was a very potent strategy in 3.x, when players would plot an attack, execute it, and retire to recover all-important spells. In 1e, it was vital to rest & recover spells frequently, just to survive 1st level. I've been...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:36 AM
    There's always griping, of course, merely not adopting is a live-and-let-live 'rejection' of a new ed, if that's as far as it goes.. But, CoC notwithstanding, there was lots of edition warring here - and it's not exactly entirely gone, either. Look at how quickly 4e leading in even a trivial little poll like this drew the attacks.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Yes, and your argument is proven wrong by the conspicuous lack of an edition war raging against 5e. I understand that you want to establish an equivalency between the more extreme demands of the playtest, and the extremes of the edition war, but they were fundamentally different: all the demands, posturing and vitriol if the playtest was fans wanting to get what they wanted into the coming...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 01:42 AM
    It's really just peeling another onion-layer off action declaration. Implicit in many action declarations is a reason for the choice of method that goes with the goal. If that reason is predicated on knowledge and the PC having or recalling that knowledge is in doubt, then in calling for the check the DM is just breaking down a declared action into necessary smaller actions. DMs have been...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 01:14 AM
    To be fair, I only credit 1e with those qualities. I'd quibble with 2e, since it did pour on a /lot/ of er stuff. ;) But 1e and 5e both have something going on that isn't quantified in the rules or just the sum of the sub-systems or anything quite objective or tangible, it's the DM's freedom to explore way from the system that's a big part of it. 1e had that going for it more or less by...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:07 PM
    Edition warring, in the brief 4e era, during the playtest, and right now, in this thread, has generally been initiated /against/ 4e. This is no exception. 4e is dead, you got to help kill it, you got to dance and spit all over it's grave. But, now, with 4e taking a /slight/ lead, in a trivial little 2nd-favorite-edition-after-5e poll, you're at it again. Why? What possible threat could...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Yes. 5e is both easy and hard. It's hard to DM, requiring a lot of skill/talent/experience/gall/whatever to just take up that imaginary absolute power and run with it - but, if you /have/ meet that preq somehow (or you just don't care), it's also /easy/ to just wield that power and have fun with it. I'm not sure if it's 'conversely' or 'by the same token,' or both, but from the players'...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 06:48 PM
    Not to mention liking 4e and some prior editions (I was a straight-up 4venger, but I'm also one of those old guys for whom nothing will ever match what I had with 1e, for instance - and more on that below, since you bring it up...). THE biggest reason for preferring one older edition is that it's the edition you started with. It's just a powerful emotional connection, I guess. The 1e...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:07 PM
    Well, there is a PF forum. I suspect if you put this poll up there you might see the result you'd expect. BTW, I'm curious why you play 5e rather than 3.5 or PF?
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 04:01 AM
    Selective memory of the present? There is no edition war being waged against 5e.
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 01:51 AM
    Fans of 4e were necessarily drawn from the segment of the fan base most willing to give a new ed a fair shot. You had to be, to look past the rocky introduction and the vitriol of the edition war, and form an honest impression of the new ed. 5e's introduction was a lot more considerate and measured, there may not have been a lot of enthusiasm for Next, but when season 19 rolled around, we...
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 11:33 PM
    Consider that this is being asked in 5e forum. The most effusive praise I've heard of 5e has come from 2e fans. 0e/1e/OSR and 3.x/PF fans have their things, so may not drop by here. 4e fans, by definition, were those most willing to give a new ed a chance. So what you're seeing isn't absolute popularity of editions, but a prevalence of 2e & 4e fans within the 5e community.
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Whatever helps you sleep at night. ;)
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 02:07 PM
    Fourth edition is still my favorite. But in truth, there is something appealing about every edition to me. Whether it is a particular mechanic, support for a setting, or an experience I had during a particular time, each has given me something I remember fondly over the 3 decades I had been involved. All, that is, except 5e. Which is a shame because it is the edition I wanted 1e or 2e to be,...
    190 replies | 5952 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:34 AM
    One set in the alternate universe of Je ne suis pas un homme facile, for instance. Or, for us older fellas who may not have netflix, any of those 70s battle of the sexes spoofs, like Queen Kong or Star Maidens.
    104 replies | 2634 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:03 AM
    1e AD&D. Every edition since has been better in many ways, but can't compete with those early experiences.
    190 replies | 5952 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 08:41 PM
    You could slip in something of the kind in one of two ways that *might* not go over too badly: 1) Have SIZe and BuiLD stats chosen by the player, together they determine your characters weight, and put limits (min & max) on STRength and DEXterity. They're independent of the player's choice of assigned sex, but will probably result in gender-stereotype-conforming PCs. 2) Setting. If a...
    104 replies | 2634 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 08:18 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to Firearms
    I've heard all sides in such debates way too much to get into it, there's political issues fueling different sides, and it involves autopsy-level detail that'll never be modeled with a hp system. The takeaway is that lots of things can kill you, where guns stand out is in how easy they make it, regardless of size/strength/skill of either party involved. 'cept for 4e, iff, by 'people' you...
    160 replies | 4900 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 03:18 PM
    Minions with one hit point may not have been the best idea, but at least it was a new idea. 4e was full of new ideas. Some carried over or evolved into 5e (and other systems). What will 5e pass on to other games? There are very few innovations offered from this edition. Just refinements from older ones. Well done, I might add. But I suspect D&D has peaked in terms of system design and...
    186 replies | 15233 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 02:24 PM
    There are plenty of things I miss from old editions. Most have been mentioned already in this thread. But in all honesty, I would not change a thing. 5e serves its purpose well getting new people and interest into the hobby. This edition is for the new generation of gamers who are not burdened by the wants and wishes of editions past. I have plenty of old material and options to fulfill my...
    71 replies | 3662 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:45 PM
    Or what's appealing, sure (I recall harboring some hearty skepticism in the playtest when Mearls started going on about reaching back to early experiences with AD&D to get insight into what would make 5e appeal to new players - being a new player in the 80s or 90s has gotta be very different from being one today!). And the dynamics at the table can have a big impact. But, while 39 years (yeah...
    46 replies | 1792 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 07:18 PM
    While a 4e approach might have been as or more accessible to new players as 5e's, and might've become more so in the long run, it's failure with established fans and 5e's reversion to type means that a new generation of fans are being indoctrinated into the same expectations as the old generation. D&D as it was in the 80s, and is again today, is how it will remain for the foreseeable future. If...
    46 replies | 1792 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:51 AM
    I recall issues when I used to play similar Chaosium systems like CoC and Stormbringer. There was a lot of bookkeeping to update incremental changes multiple times during a game session. Not to mention wear and tear on paper sheets and erasers. I would suggest something structured around the actual game session. During play, just keep a list of any failed skill used during the game. You only...
    20 replies | 617 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Obviously, the guy that made the potion has to concentrate. That's dedication. Ö or, no, wait if the potion requires concentration do you have to run it through a high-vacuum evaporator before use? Store it in a freezer?
    67 replies | 9430 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 07:20 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to Firearms
    I suppose it doesn't have to be conventional black powder (in my 4e pirate game, 'thunderfire rods' used 'alchemical reagents'), and could have different characteristics, like merely smoldering when touched off outside of a gun rather than being a functional low explosive.
    160 replies | 4900 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 07:08 PM
    Tony Vargas replied to Firearms
    I'm not even so sure it's that big a deal. Why do firearms have to be particularly lethal? They just punch holes in people down range. Spears punch holes in people, arrows & quarrels punch holes in people - a dagger can certainly kill, but only does a d4. Historically what made firearms so revolutionary wasn't that they were deadlier or longer-ranged than bows but that they required less...
    160 replies | 4900 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:08 PM
    In a D&D world, the bolded, above, could include: Kings, Emperors, Vassals thereof, Tyrants, humanoid chieftains, Theocracies, Magocracies, Mad Liches*, Demi-gods, Diabolic powers, and, well, Dragons if they really felt like it. I'm guessing the average attitude of governing bodies is not one disinclined to accept rampant poverty among the general populace.
    137 replies | 5712 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 05:47 PM
    It's funny how the subject has turned to hps. The second-earliest, second-most-vicious, second-best-justified criticism of primordial D&D was that characters gaining hps through 'experience' made no sense. (Obviously that's second after 'forgetting' spells upon casting being ridiculous.) EGGs exhaustive defense of the system was a useable rationalization if you were willing to suspend...
    186 replies | 15233 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 12:42 AM
    I'd think, if you're working back from the kind of world you want, you would be considering which spells &c to include that would support that vision, and cut those that don't fit. Otherwise you're really back to the same exercise.
    137 replies | 5712 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 12:37 AM
    My usual advice for new DMs is play a lot first, if at all play possible with a series of experienced DMs. Playing develops familiarity with the rules, and the informal process of play (and how much both can vary from DM to DM). It lets you see what DMs do that works and doesn't work for you and for other players. And, of course, it sparks ideas, though it sounds like you already have those. ...
    12 replies | 466 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 11:41 PM
    He'll be fine. Ö and often to not so good effect and/or for not so good reasons Ö really, most of the time, said tradition is unexamined. OK, you deserved XP already, but you're getting it for that reference. Honestly, back in the day, I recall what we'd now call 'sharing director stance' /just happening/ as part of the GM* & player trying to get through the...
    580 replies | 20938 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 08:47 PM
    What? Like Solipsism? There's a lot of that still goin' around, even though you'd think in the 5e era there'd be less. Ideally, DMs should just feel free to run their games in their style, using the rules as a toolset & starting point to do so, and leave it to other DMs to do so in their ways, too. (With the obvious exception of organized play, like AL, were some consistency from...
    580 replies | 20938 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 07:18 PM
    Nod, that's all part of 1e's concept of TN, but so's the whole 'maintain the balance' thing.
    68 replies | 2243 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 06:58 PM
    The key thing 4e minions had that 5e very-low-level monsters lack is the ability to survive /making/ a save. ;) But for that 5e BA delivers: a much-lower-level monster can still hit occasional, the damage it does may be trivial, and your minimum damage may well kill it when you do hit - so easy to deal with, but its inclusion isn't meaningless. In 4e, minions had a specific rule: a missed...
    186 replies | 15233 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:13 PM
    Sure - not an attack with intent to render extinct, though, just shaving off some of the privileges of the DM role. 3.5 presented many more rules that applied across the board - to PCs, NPC, & Monster (& objects and IDK what else) - 'equalizing' the DM & player roles and making Player v DM and PvP modes of play more tenable. And, 3.x did leave wealth/level and magic items in the DMG. 4e...
    46 replies | 1792 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:57 PM
    Allowed to attribute without resorting to the rubric of delusion, anyway. That does not sound unreasonable.
    580 replies | 20938 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:50 PM
    He'd at least've been trying. Or, y'know Bel.
    68 replies | 2243 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:42 PM
    That was one of the things in the back of my mind, yes. Magic is often presented as 'dangerous' or 'exhausting' or otherwise something you wouldn't want to do systematically just because you can - alternately, magic is often presented as something that /can't/ be used any time you want (only at certain times under certain conditions, with the aid/approval of some entity, etc). Vancian, in an...
    35 replies | 1277 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:29 AM
    Vancian, spell points, spontaneous casting - they're all metagame constructs that poorly model magic as seen in fantasy fiction(& myth, etc). heh. The value of this factor is IM, as in imbalanced. ;P ::sigh:: not as funny as it sounded in my head. So to help that work you could use some sort of casting-stress system. The more spell points you spend in a short period, the greater the...
    35 replies | 1277 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 11:55 PM
    It's really not that the wiz can 'only' cast fabricate once/day, it's that he can do so /every day/, so he can approach it systematically. So, he takes orders for things that are customized, to fit, and also offers a more expensive 'on demand' option. On days when no one ponies up for 'on demand,' he reduces his backlog of orders by 1. When his backlog's caught up, and he's closing up shop...
    137 replies | 5712 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Jacob Lewis

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Monday, 22nd April, 2019


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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Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 09:59 PM - Retreater quoted Jacob Lewis in post Systems You Left after One Bad Experience
    Well that just seems like a missed opportunity due to misplaced expectations, which is surprising since you suggest having some familiarity with "Descent". The two games play nearly the same, but I felt the Star Wars version had improved on a number of things, and not just thematically. The campaign structure is far more flexible allowing for more variety and greater repeatability. And while every expansion provides a new campaign or mini-campaign, each miniature expansion also offers a new mission that could be used in any of them. Personally, I don't want anyone to dismiss this game based only on your comments about a limited perspective/experience (no offense), so I'm just going to offer another perspective for balance. :) One thing to keep in mind is that the Imperial player is not a GM. He/she is, in fact, another player who is actively opposing the others who are playing together as a team. And since they're not challenging a programmed or static environment, the experience can vary depen...

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 02:46 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Jacob Lewis in post What the Hell?
    The only time when a company can get away with telling its customers "Go to Hell". I dunno...Verizon and Facebook both seem to do ok with that, too.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 11:36 AM - Telvin quoted Jacob Lewis in post Greyhawk Elevator Pitch?
    I have tossed it down the elevator shaft many times. But it still keeps finding its way out. (I think Vecna might have a Hand in this.) Eye, I am sure he did!

Friday, 10th May, 2019


Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 02:30 PM - Bacon Bits quoted Jacob Lewis in post Greyhawk is the official setting for Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    What about Dark Sun?! Why can't I play this in Dark... Oh! Guess that actually won't work without great bodies of water or ships. Hang on... There's the Silt Sea which is partially navigable with silt skimmers, which usually look like massive ship/wagon hybrids that work well in the shallows, or else silt ships that are levitated telekinetically via psionics. You just have to beware of all the giants. If you want a marsh there's the Salt Meres of Bodach. It's Athasian silt rather than water, but it's the same result.
  • 01:46 PM - Ash Mantle quoted Jacob Lewis in post Greyhawk is the official setting for Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    106317 You mean sailed past :D Anyway, my liberal use of :D should've clued in you.
  • 01:17 PM - Ash Mantle quoted Jacob Lewis in post Greyhawk is the official setting for Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    What about Dark Sun?! Why can't I play this in Dark... Oh! Guess that actually won't work without great bodies of water or ships. Hang on... Sure you can! Just replace any reference to sea or water with desert or sand :D ie, Isle of the Abbey. With hostility toward the Desert Princess running high, Eliander sponsors an expedition to clear Abbey Dune and establish a base there. Its location makes it an ideal lookout point for any desert-based threats. On a more applicable matter though, I recall a someone's re-imagined map of our world where all of the world's oceans and seas suffered from desertification, turning all the countries in the world into a great landlocked mass, it was glorious. Spelljammer! Why can't I play this with Spelljammer?! Sure you can! Just replace any reference to water with space :D Smuggler. Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (space).

Friday, 3rd May, 2019

  • 02:53 PM - Jer quoted Jacob Lewis in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    What happens if the 5e supplement outsells the PF2 product? If it's good, it's pretty much guaranteed to outsell the PF2 product. Because there are a lot more 5e players than PF players to start with, and not all of them will transition to PF2. I admit I'm surprised - this is Paizo signalling that they're willing to give up on having their own game line and go back to being a D&D 3rd party publisher. If they're going to do that why bother with a major revision for second edition PF at all? Why not just clean up Pathfinder into a 1.5 edition and dual-stat their books for Pathfinder and 5e?

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019


Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 02:24 AM - Mistwell quoted Jacob Lewis in post New WotC Game Studio Headed By Bioware's James Ohlen
    Let me get this straight. Famous D&D video game designer of a legendary D&D video game franchise is hired by the publishers of the most popular edition of D&D as the head of a new video game studio for the company that owns D&D... but is NOT working on a D&D game??! Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: "Absolutely nothing happened in Sector 83 by 9 by 12 today. I repeat, nothing happened in Sector 83 by 9 by 12."

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 03:46 PM - CapnZapp quoted Jacob Lewis in post What Would You Want from PF2?
    PF2 needs to innovate new ideas, cater to a differenf style(s) of play, offer a new narrative, or some combination of these. Otherwise its just another third-party clone. Yes - when they abandoned compatibility (with either Pathfinder or 5E) that's where they're headed. Obviously they're betting on reaching what no third-party D&D clone has ever achieved: mainstream success.

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 11:06 PM - Mistwell quoted Jacob Lewis in post Hobby Games Down 3% But RPGs Up 18%
    Or what? You're going to knock down my bike? Call me "chicken"? I hear "indian burns" are still making the rounds, but we can't call them that anymore. Sorry, I don't know the politically correct term because I stopped using these schoolyard tactics a long time ago. But challenge accepted! :) You admit you got the joke, which is what I was going for. The category was "Useless Numbers at MY Table". They never meant anything to me, and I have said as much every time it comes up. It wasn't a challenge or a slight, but there's always a "bunch of people" eager to find offense wherever they can. I've not taken those numbers or their value away from anyone else's table, did I? If I had, then you might have reason to complain. But at least I tried to make it amusing. Some people here did get it. So if you took offense, I did mean not mean to give it. But I don't know if that matters to you, or if you're just looking to make an issue of something you imagined buried under a pretty darn good joke....
  • 10:41 PM - jmucchiello quoted Jacob Lewis in post Hobby Games Down 3% But RPGs Up 18%
    I'll take Useless Numbers at My Table for $1000, Alex. I'm guessing Mr Lewis believes that his gaming table and play habits are unaffected by these numbers. Sorry, but you must phrase that in the form of a question. No, no, no. You picked a category. I gave an answer. You are supposed to supply the question. :)
  • 09:56 PM - Mistwell quoted Jacob Lewis in post Hobby Games Down 3% But RPGs Up 18%
    I'll take Useless Numbers at My Table for $1000, Alex. I thought it looked like the board from Jeopardy. I didn't expect anyone getting so uppity about it. What's your issue? Balooney, in part. You said it looked like "useless numbers" to you. That's more than the joke about Jeopardy (though the Jeopardy joke is funny), you just look like you're backing off now on that part since bunch of people called you on it. If you call challenging your opinion as "uppity" that's fine, mark me down as uppidity. Now, can you elaborate on why you think these numbers are "useless"?
  • 09:14 PM - lowkey13 quoted Jacob Lewis in post Hobby Games Down 3% But RPGs Up 18%
    I thought it looked like the board from Jeopardy. I didn't expect anyone getting so uppity about it. What's your issue? I'll be honest, I was confused at first by your comments. But now ... I can't unsee it. Well played! :)
  • 08:47 PM - MNblockhead quoted Jacob Lewis in post Hobby Games Down 3% But RPGs Up 18%
    It looks like Jeopardy. You know, the game show? Whoosh... :-) Got it.
  • 08:05 PM - Mistwell quoted Jacob Lewis in post Hobby Games Down 3% But RPGs Up 18%
    I'll take Useless Numbers at My Table for $1000, Alex. It looks like Jeopardy. You know, the game show? Sorry, but you must phrase that in the form of a question. I'll take Useless Replies at My Message Board for $1000, Alex. What is your issue with this, Jacob? Or did you just think your snark was witty enough to share?
  • 04:23 PM - MNblockhead quoted Jacob Lewis in post Hobby Games Down 3% But RPGs Up 18%
    I'll take Useless Numbers at My Table for $1000, Alex. Huh?

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 05:20 AM - Jester David quoted Jacob Lewis in post Has Paizo ever talked about releasing their adventures in 5E format?
    There is a line between recognizing good long-term business decisions for a company and deciding what you want companies to make for you because you just really want it so bad. On the internet, that line is damn near invisible at times. True. But.... if enough of the fans want something, then that's probably something the companies should make. That the question of conversion comes up even on non-Paizo focused forums every six months should be a gauge of interest. Conversion is easy for anybody to do for themselves. For a company, however, that is an investment of time, resources, and production that could be used towards their own products rather than feeding someone else's. Right. That is true. But.... I'm arguing that the investment is particularly low for a conversion. Production costs are virtually nil for a PDF. The resources are also low, as the art and page assets are done. The InDesign page masters are finished. And the time in regards to the company is best measured in hours rather...

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 11:06 PM - Whizbang Dustyboots quoted Jacob Lewis in post It's Not A Cartoon, But What Is It?
    Geeze! Why does everything to do with D&D need to be treated like the biggest surprise ever? https://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Owl_488f3f_634242.jpg Because marketing like that extends the conversation, meaning more people are likely to come across it and get hyped.


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