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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 07:05 PM
    Well, no. Because the OP asked: I don't think that there have been calls for fewer tabletop tools, less customer support, or lower writing quality. While I'm at the mic, maybe the perceived decade-or-more calls for simplicity are tied to the advent of humorless TV comedies, three-word-limit advertising slogans, over-produced and under-artistic music, and substandard public teacher salaries?
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    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 05:17 PM
    The real life experience is too subjective to be worth discussing. That is, unless you have a Hasbro-backed marketing machine that can take 10,000 data sets and crunch them into some usable numbers. (Side note: ENWorld does have a lot of members...) Due to Rule Zero, any game can be a simple one. So if you start throwing out large chunks, you're reducing oranges to apples, and apples to...
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    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 02:53 PM
    All hail the great AI, for the One True RPG shall be its first creation. That was complex. How about this one: simple, complex, or complicated?
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    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 09:43 PM
    Yeah, I didn't pay enough attention during the permutations part of math class. If only my teacher had put it in terms of "damaging orcs," I might have perked up. Fixed it. But I think my earlier version still works with rounding. :)
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    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 08:49 PM
    Since I'm not math-oriented, I'll show you the long version. Average damage is the sum of all possible outcomes, divided by the number of outcomes. No re-roll d4: Roll 1 2 3 4 Sum 10 Avg 2.5 If you re-roll 1s on a d4, you have these outcomes:
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:43 PM
    Concur. Take out the dice, and the game becomes less focused on dice. I leave it as an option for my players, but it's pretty much the rule for me. I'll still roll if it adds dramatic effect, though.
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:38 PM
    I removed hit point inflation from my 3e game. The trick is to balance hit points against their arch-nemesis: damage. But once you fix hit points, you wonder what else can be fixed. For me, it kinda got out of control, and I had to write a completely different role-playing game. Worked out well for the players, though.
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    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 05:29 PM
    This is my experience, unfortunately. It's great that the podcast players were down with getting captured, but Chris, you'd better get an idea of how your players feel about it. Because if you have any My-Character-Is-A-Demigod players, they will probably cause problems if they're forced into a capture. I'd want to role-play it as long as there would be something to gain from it. Like -...
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 04:21 PM
    Does the DMG mention backgrounds, mechanically or in the general sense? I can see the authors ignoring mechanical (flaws, bonds, etc.) background since they're optional, but there should at least be a sidebar or inset for them. Really, if you build an adventure (or tailor an adventure module) and don't include any background items, you've probably done something wrong. I find the list, as a...
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    Sunday, 3rd March, 2019, 07:05 PM
    "Thanks, but we're level 1. Are you trying to get us killed?" According to the rule "Because: Players," that mirror will get smashed before it can reveal another keyhole. You're going to have to throw out a big, glowing bone: "as you approach the mirror to (do whatever), you see something sparkling on the far side of the room, that you couldn't see before you looked in the mirror." ...
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd March, 2019, 06:41 PM
    This, I think, is the exact reason I stopped playing 3e. To be fair, the game's not as hard to manage as I was making it (one doesn't need to dot every I and cross every T), but when you're presented with a wall of rules, it's hard to see through them. When NPCs don't just have stats, they have "blocks" of them, it points toward building walls instead of tearing them down. For its part,...
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 04:50 AM
    Damn. Back to the drawing board... This. Except people often have more than one job. And the competition, VRPGs, are usually rules-light by comparison, so a rules-medium TRPG seems to have a high barrier to entry.
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 04:37 AM
    This is what backgrounds are to me. I don't need tables to come up with a character, but some people do. Or if I'll just play anything, I can roll and find out what that anything is. Backgrounds are pretty easy to ignore too, if you're more of a roll-player. So I actually like them in 5e. They're more interesting and less controversial than alignment. I'd like to see 6e introduce some...
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th February, 2019, 05:13 PM
    How are D&D's expanded role-playing features coming along? Backgrounds, with their suggested Traits, Bonds, Ideals, and Flaws, give a PC more tools beyond Alignment to get into a character's head. But does anyone use them? Does anyone not use them? Will they make their way into 6E? Sound off!
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About DMMike

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About DMMike
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Writing rules and character concepts.
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I'm an equal-opportunity role-player: both tabletop AND video. I like to write rules and bend them, so I should probably be playing Dungeon World, but instead I'm writing my own games and trying to get into games that don't have alignment or armor classes.

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Saturday, 22nd December, 2018

  • 10:34 AM - Lanefan mentioned DMMike in post If you were able to design your own version of D&D, how would you do it?
    Excluding what DMMike wrote just above, there isn't anything here so far I'd have the least interest in even looking at, never mind playing. Were the next D&D up to me I'd strip it down to the very basics - six attributes, 10-15 classes, 4-6 races - and not put all that much back. And what did get put back would be very modular - use the best system for the job at hand even if it's unique to that purpose, rather than trying to shoehorn everything into a unified mechanic - such that changes to one internal system don't affect much if anything else. (e.g. turn undead would probably work differently than anything else in the game...thus tweaking the turn-undead system would have limited if any effect elsewhere) Abilities would be entirely class-based. Want an ability? Play the class that has it. Want two abilities that aren't shared by a class? Tough - pick one. Play the other one next time. Feats? Gone. Multiclassing? Gone or very close to gone. Skills, other than some basics like swimming or...

Monday, 5th November, 2018


Saturday, 6th October, 2018

  • 05:37 PM - Oofta mentioned DMMike in post Help me fill in the blanks, please Next session in 4 days.
    Like DMMike, I try to avoid "when this happens and the players do X" thinking and instead think of setting, personalities, groups and motivations. So we have the brother. He's war-weary, but I'm not sure surviving for several years would qualify him for higher office. Depending on the campaign and society, rising through the ranks may not be possible if you aren't high born. You know he loves his sister, but what does he think of the townsfolk? Does he plead with old friends and neighbors, or are they relatively new to the area (perhaps refuges)? Or have they just always been on the outs because of some other reason? The sister. You've got a little bit of personality there, but why does she live on the island? What happened to her, or has she always been this way? The villagers. Are they just ignorant? Is there a specific accuser or some other outside force influencing them such as the priest? Is there any possibility of changing their minds? The priest. Yeah, you have to fi...

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018


Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 02:21 PM - Blue mentioned DMMike in post Deleted Posts

Friday, 30th March, 2018

  • 04:12 PM - Kobold Boots mentioned DMMike in post AI Creates New D&D Monsters
    It was a matter of time before the ML crowd was going to start doing stuff like this. On the note about game designers by DMMike, Yes, even now it should be entirely possible to code desired "game balance" and prevent designers from doing broken things. Whatever "game balance" is though needs to have some clearly defined rules and the fewer of them, the better. I'm in favor of this as it would completely eliminate fanboy-ism or nostalgia from builds. In my opinion, the root cause of much of what is considered broken. But again, simulationist and math nerd behind this post. Be well KB

Wednesday, 24th January, 2018

  • 07:47 AM - pemerton mentioned DMMike in post Integrating Skill Challenges With Combat
    DMMike, AbdulAlhazred - to me, asking "what happens if one fails but the other succeeds" is like asking "what happens if we beat these 3 people but the other 2 don't get beaten?" From the point of view of the fiction it's a partial win, partial loss; and from the point of view of mechanics you just adjudicate it as the mechanics requre. Eg if monsters keep spawinging until the portal is shut, then they keep spawning. If the world ends if the portal isn't shut, the world ends. If the portal gets shut but then the party is TPKed, well (as AbdulAlhazred says), that was a heroic sacrifice! In other words, I don't see any real difficulties in respect of this. Where I think it can get tricky is in more prosaic aspects of 4e resolution: integrating action economy into the skill challenge, making sure consequences (especially for individual failures as the thing unfolds) are (i) fair and (ii) engaging (just as one hopes is the case in monster design), etc. This is an area where p 42, and wre...

Saturday, 6th January, 2018

  • 10:29 PM - Manbearcat mentioned DMMike in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    ...ard? Rewarding good role-playing makes slightly more sense, but I still dislike the practice because some players _are_ good role-players and don't need (and usually don't care about) the extra xp. They're roleplaying because they consider it fun (i.e. see above). It's the players who struggle with role-playing who'd benefit most from a rule granting them extra xp to encourage them to give their best. But if you want to treat all your players fairly, they'll still always fall behind the players who are already good role-players. In other words: granting xp isn't a good choice if you want to encourage good role-playing. What you really want to achieve is that your 'problem' players realize that role-playing is fun! So, what works better, imho, is to give them more opportunities to be in the spotlight and reward their efforts with mostly immaterial things, like better contacts or allies. I agree with Campbell and (at least in part) with Jhaelen here. The issue I have with DMMike 's position above is that it seems to assume that GM-agnostic systemization of XP gain is either not feasible or undesirable. The GM doesn't need to be in any position to hand out XP. In the Powered By the Apocalypse systems that Campbell is bringing up, XP isn't "awarded" via one person's (likely opaque and cognitive bias-laden) adjudication. Its simply gained via transparent, focused triggers; eg did you fail on a move, did you make Desperate Action Roll, did you overcome a tough obstacle/threat via coercion, did your Vice get you into trouble. The GM's role in these things isn't in the awarding. The GM's role is in following the game's premise and the player cues, in framing the action whereby decision-points related to vice temptation, desperate situations, and dangerous NPCs that can be coerced are the central focus of play (and whatever else might part of the game's PCs' portfolio and xp triggers such as themes of heritage, beliefs, aspirations, relationships). I signif...

Thursday, 16th November, 2017

  • 09:24 AM - scottaroberts mentioned DMMike in post Xanathar's, Wizards, and FLGSes Charging For Playspace
    ...posts in one reply is beyond my knowledge with this forum software. I truly appreciate people who support their FLGS via MSRP buying of products in the store. There just aren't enough of them. In fact, I've bought the arguments I hear from those who *don't* pay MSRP while trying to convince people to do so. I find it akin to accepting charity: you know, and I know, that you could get that product 40% cheaper. In essence you're donating money to me. It feels as if I am ripping people off or depending entirely on their goodwill and, well, businesses don't really succeed if they're relying on people to realize they should *not* take the bargain offered elsewhere. shidaku: I don't really expect people who can host at home to pay for space. The frequency of purchase of D&D accessories, and their price points, does not make enough money to keep a space afloat in and of itself (although in a larger store, cross-gaming customers can buy enough regularly to keep up the space). DMMike: The gaming cafe model is an excellent one--but it's also much more expensive to set up, run, etc...and the best use of such a space's appeal is not to draw an RPG crowd at all; if I were to do it, it'd be pretty much all boardgames and directed towards a dating/youth market looking for something different to do. But that's just me. Dire Bare: I love hearing about successful stores, but I'll point a few things out: first, you're in Idaho; rural areas and the midwest (due to a lack of competition for entertainment dollars) tend to do quite a lot better than places in more urban areas from my knowledge. Second, they make their money from CCGs and minis games primarily. Third, you just said they lost your business because the employees screwed up--a problem that Amazon does not have. Lastly, you *have to* "care whether they're freeloaders", though many FLGS don't. With the exception of the minority who strive to buy MSRP, RPGers essentially have a large contingent of folks who do t...

Tuesday, 14th March, 2017

  • 12:15 PM - akr71 mentioned DMMike in post Lingering Wounds Revamped
    In addition to what DMMike said, on page page 292 of the PHB says an unconscious creature "attack rolls against the creature have advantage" and "any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature." Page 197 states that "if you take any damage while you have 0 hit points, you suffer a death saving throw failure. If the damage is from a critical hit you suffer two failures instead. If the damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum, you suffer instant death." So that big, stinky orc standing over you only needs to hit you twice, with advantage and you are dead. Now your healers only have 1 minute to get over to you safely and cast Revivify.

Tuesday, 28th February, 2017

  • 05:37 AM - Lanefan mentioned DMMike in post Keepiing Current HP from players...
    Sure, you can go shopping for new clothes the whole game if that is more interesting.I think DMMike is trying to remind us there's two other pillars to the game besides combat; neither of which is nearly as subject to a 5-minute workday as combat is. And I agree with him: a DM whose game is all combat all the time with very little (or virtually none at all, I've seen it) exploration or social interaction is doing his players a disservice by only running 1/3 of a game. It maybe gritty and intense but it is not very DnD. Sounds more Rolemastery to me, maybe CoC if you just want players to be more cautious going up against creatures that can insta-kill you given half a chance.Gritty and intense can be very D&D. Just maybe not very this-century-design D&D, more's the pity. Lanefan

Monday, 6th February, 2017

  • 11:18 AM - Quickleaf mentioned DMMike in post First time making a "serious" dungeon! How do you do it?
    DMMike I always forget about OGRE. Thanks for reminding me! And yes, "dungeon" is often D&D's quirky shorthand for "lair." Jhaelen Maybe that was part of my thinking in the past. I saw plenty of examples I felt were sub-par so I kind of avoided it. Only after years of DMing and writing do I finally feel like I have what it takes to design a big dungeon well. One of the first questions posed in 3e Dungeoncraft is What is the function of your dungeon in your campaign setting? Before you set pencil to paper, you need to decide how the dungeon fits into your campaign setting. Take a moment to consider why the dungeon exists, how it interacts with the rest of the world, and what purpose it (and other dungeons) serve in the grand scheme of things. You could just say that dungeons are the ruins of a forgotten civilization, but many other interesting possibilities exist. Death Trap... Near Frontier... Agent of Evil... Legendary Location... The Bizarre... My hunch is Krak al-Mazhar fits ...

Wednesday, 21st December, 2016

  • 07:43 PM - pdzoch mentioned DMMike in post Walock of the Fiend supported by two Enchanters
    DMMike, that's the approach I've decided to take. Typically, I do not want to over plan any encounter, but generally most creatures only have a few actions they can take anyway. Spell casters add numerous more options, and if you include multiple spellcasters, well ... its a lot of action to account for. I've decided that planning the encounter in more detail is not so much planning as it is managing. I recall reading in several published adventures modules guidance to the DM on how to play particular spellcaster enemies. That guidance usually included order of spells to cast and when to cast other spells. For this particular encounter, I have a Warlock of the Fiend and two Enchanters (both from Volo's Guide to Monsters) in an enchanting room performing a ritual the players are supposed to disrupt. The Warlock of the Fiend has the following spells: Alter self, False life, Levitate, Mage armor, Silent image - which he can cast at will as an innate ability. Feeble mind, Finger of...

Friday, 9th December, 2016

  • 08:11 PM - pdzoch mentioned DMMike in post Rules Transparency - How much do players need to know?
    DMMike, Interesting thread, but I think the discussion is drifting into group dynamics and compatibility over DM game management (which is how I understood your post initially). Group dynamics and compatibility (usually with the concepts of gaming styles of the group) is a challenge affecting every group of people who get together for a game, whether it be card game, board game, or RPG game. Sometimes a group completely falls apart because of the differences within a group. (Someone's play style is just too aggressive, or obnoxious, or too serious or not serious enough for the rest of the group) Some groups might even exclude a member for fear of disrupting group stability. (Poker groups refuse to let a bad poker player join/ Bridge players jealously guard their partners). But many groups know there are differences within the group and they accommodate. (over in the board game circles, many player will play a game they do not prefer or play poorly just to be with the group knowing ...

Tuesday, 6th December, 2016

  • 10:56 PM - pemerton mentioned DMMike in post The importance to "story" of contrivance
    the only way to learn how to create event sequences that lead from A to B to C (where C is a fun/interesting outcome) is by playing the game and seeing what works. What I have learned over the last thirty-plus years at the gaming table is to not rely on a preset sequence of events. This does not mean I don't plot my adventures--of course I do that. <snip> The trick is to keep NPCs/intelligent monsters simple. Sure, write up a long and detailed backstory if you must, but follow the advice in the 5E DMG and boil your NPCs down to a few basic motivations, and then stick to them during play no matter what. Linking this to my reply to DMMike upthread: I don't plot adventures. I come up with a few ideas for possilbe NPCs, and perhaps locations - the latter are more important in D&D than other systems. As far as NPCs are concerned, I'll have a basic idea of the NPC's place in the world, but not detailed motivations - those I work out more-or-less as Paul Czege describes here: I frame the character into the middle of conflicts I think will push and pull in ways that are interesting to me and to the player. I keep NPC personalities somewhat unfixed in my mind, allowing me to retroactively justify their behaviors in support of this.

Wednesday, 27th April, 2016

  • 12:29 PM - Li Shenron mentioned DMMike in post Wound Levels -- an alternative way to deal with HP
    I quite like this Wounds system (I take it that your Healing house rules are separate). I wouldn't go with DMMike suggestion about using "HP thresholds" for wounds because in such case everyone would get wounded all the time. At least for my tastes, I'd like to keep wounds fairly uncommon, so that normally there are 0-2 wounded PCs at any time. So I actually like that Springheel system introduces wounds only when reaching 0hp. This is similar to the idea I have been waiting to use (but haven't need so far) i.e. to replace death with a lingering injury, so in my case I'd even wait until the 3rd failed Death ST. I take your point about the unconsciousness. That isn't realistic, but it's a 5e concession I'm willing to live with. Yeah I was actually thinking about this as I read your system... What if you allow the PC to stay conscious? If I were to develop a similar system, I would probably have a small random table for wounds effects instead of your fixed progression, and "unconsciousness" could be just one of the possible effects in the table. Notice that if the player decides the PC stays ...

Thursday, 23rd July, 2015

  • 11:13 PM - pemerton mentioned DMMike in post Critical Hits - why, and why not?
    If a battle axe hits you right between the eyes and you aren't dead there's something wrong with the damage system. As others have pointed out, in D&D there are no hit location tables. If an attack with a battle axe succeeds, and the target's hit points have not been reduced to zero, and the GM nevertheless narrates the result of the attack as hitting right between the eyes, or decapitation, or whatever, the problem is with the GM, not with the hit point system. (As Gygax wrote in his DMG, I think on p 61, because most hit point damage is bruising, scratches, and wearing down luck/resilience, hit locations are not germane to successful attacks in D&D.) On the issue raised by DMMike, as to whether critical hits are an admission of failure: in D&D they're just a way of imposing a non-linear damage curve. Whether or not that's a desirable thing, it doesn't seem to be an admission of failure.

Saturday, 11th April, 2015


Thursday, 2nd April, 2015

  • 05:00 PM - Herobizkit mentioned DMMike in post What does a Martial Artist do?
    @DMMike It gives you a d4 unarmed attack and proficiency in improvised weapons. Also, you can start a grapple as a bonus action if you hit. Improvised weapons do the same damage as a weapon that could best represent it in-game. A broken glass could be a 'dagger', while a mop could be a 'staff', or a chair could be a 'greatclub'.


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Thursday, 21st March, 2019

  • 07:58 PM - Deset Gled quoted DMMike in post Why the hate for complexity?
    Well, no. Because the OP asked: I don't think that there have been calls for fewer tabletop tools, less customer support, or lower writing quality. Well, to start with, I'm well past the first round of questions and deep in to the discussion of exactly what makes something "rules light". I think the answer is highly subjective, which makes the OPs question harder to answer. And, honestly, yes, I can think of calls for all of those things on this very message board. Re: Tools. One thing some people dislike about OD&D is a reliance on tables. For them, adding more tables (tools) is seen as adding complexity. For those that prefer tables, tables are less complex than reliance on complex formulas for everything. For another example, one of the big concerns about 4e was how much it pushed people to rely on the Character Builder, DDI, and other online tools as part of playing. For people who were used to books only and had a "no screens" rule at a game table, these tools were...
  • 06:48 PM - Deset Gled quoted DMMike in post Why the hate for complexity?
    BUT...if you're right, and all we're looking at is the real life experience, not the book contents Why is it a binary thing? Can't we consider both the mechanics of the game and user experience? Can't we consider even more options, like modularity? And tabletop tools? And customer support? And writing quality? Aren't those all factors in complexity?
  • 05:42 PM - dragoner quoted DMMike in post Why the hate for complexity?
    BUT...if you're right, and all we're looking at is the real life experience, not the book contents, then the answer to the question is: Complex games generally weigh more and cost more, making simple games look more appealing by comparison. Time is probably the reason, more time for rules mastery, more time in play if the complexity is on the playing side (combat, tasks, etc.) vs setting building rules.

Sunday, 17th March, 2019

  • 10:01 PM - dnd4vr quoted DMMike in post Playing with the Averages - A simplistic approach
    Yeah, I didn't pay enough attention during the permutations part of math class. If only my teacher had put it in terms of "damaging orcs," I might have perked up. Fixed it. But I think my earlier version still works with rounding. :) You might have paid more attention then, but when I taught math if I had done it most of my students would have looked at me like I was crazy! Luckily the numbers are generally small enough that even in a round-about way you still get about the same results. :)
  • 12:32 AM - Brashnir2 quoted DMMike in post Playing with the Averages - A simplistic approach
    Since I'm not math-oriented, I'll show you the long version. Average damage is the sum of all possible outcomes, divided by the number of outcomes. No re-roll d4: Roll 1 2 3 4 Sum 10 Avg 2.5 If you re-roll 1s on a d4, you have these outcomes: 1st roll 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 Re-roll 1 2 3 4 Result 1 2 3 4 2 3 4 Sum 19 Avg 2.7 Teach a man to fish (by using lengthy tables)... I prefer to think of it like: re-roll ones and twos: no re-roll: 2.5 Re-roll 1s and 2s 2.5+2.5+3+4 = 12 / 4 = 3 So it's + 0.5 D6 = 3.5 average. D6 roll 1 and 2 is 3.5+3.5+3+4+5+6 = 25 / 6 = 4.166~ So +0.66~ D8 roll is 4.5 average D8 reroll 1s and 2s = 4.5+4.5+3+4+5+6+7+8 = 42/8 = 5.25 average, or +0.75 D10 = 5.5 average D10 reroll 1 and 2 is 5.5+5.5+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10 = 63 / 10 = 6.3 average or +0.8 D12 is 6.5 average. D12 reroll 1 and 2 = 6.5+6.5+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11+12 = 88 /12 = ...

Saturday, 16th March, 2019

  • 09:09 PM - dnd4vr quoted DMMike in post Playing with the Averages - A simplistic approach
    Since I'm not math-oriented, I'll show you the long version. Definitely not math-oriented LOL. It is a nice reasoning, but you have to understand the re-rolled 1 results in an average of 2.5, so replace that 1 with 2.5 and re-average 2.5 2 3 4 => 2.875 So, only an increase of 0.375 points. The reason is your version would be better shown like this (1 2 3 4) 2 3 4 The re-rolled 1 can be (1 2 3 4). Each of these has an equal 25% chance of occurring, so you get 0.25*(1+2+3+4)/4 + 0.25*2 + 0.25*3 + 0.25*4 = 0.625 + 0.50 + 0.75 + 1.00 = 2.875. Hope that helps, but it probably just confuses people LOL!
  • 06:38 PM - dnd4vr quoted DMMike in post Playing with the Averages - A simplistic approach
    Wow, thanks for all the feedback and opinions! I'm not sure that this loss of uncertainty is worth the gain in speed? The loss of randomness, oddly, is hardly noticeable IMO. And the speed is much faster, especially since one player in particular has problems even with simple math due to vision issues. I started using average damage for monsters all the time to speed things up last campaign and I'm a convert. Players only have to deal with a single foe and, let's be honest, like rolling dice so I leave them to do so. EDIT: With some feats and fighting styles that allow re-rolls I would definitely not reduce those to just "math adjustments". The success stories of turning lousy rolls into big damage stays a lot more then the small math adjustment when averaged over all rolls. Hmm... that is a point we haven't addressed yet since they haven't come up. Things like Great Weapon Fighting style where you would reroll 1's and 2's becomes irrelevant. We'll have to give those some ...

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 05:14 AM - Whizbang Dustyboots quoted DMMike in post Help wanted: Five-room dungeon for two level 1 5E/RPG beginners
    "Thanks, but we're level 1. Are you trying to get us killed?" The Dungeon under Ptolus ranges from level 1 to 20. It's basically 99 percent of all the dungeons in the world, according to Monte Cook. I've actually loosened that up a bit in my campaign, but it's still a well-traveled and generally safe, even boring area, on the top levels. Everything near the top has been picked over by Delvers, and only the most foolhardy low level humanoids slip back into the well-traveled areas. So this mini-dungeon will be about as difficult to reach as Hot Topic at the mall, but since it's famously "locked," no one's likely to disturb them, other than a giant spider who might otherwise have found a relatively quiet place to make her lair.

Thursday, 7th March, 2019

  • 05:12 PM - 5ekyu quoted DMMike in post Backgrounds: Use 'Em or Lose 'Em?
    Does the DMG mention backgrounds, mechanically or in the general sense? I can see the authors ignoring mechanical (flaws, bonds, etc.) background since they're optional, but there should at least be a sidebar or inset for them. Really, if you build an adventure (or tailor an adventure module) and don't include any background items, you've probably done something wrong. I find the list, as a GM, a little intimidating though. Say you have four players, by six background items (including alignment and the background's name). Can you grab 1 item out of 24 as a hook, without concern that it might be tied to or complicate at least one of the others? Could you use any items, plot-wise, or should you be using some over others?In my games, I dont try and make alignment a plot isdue. So that's not an issue. I expect the character beliefs and outlooks to be reflected in other aspects. But for me, I just keep my dozens list handy, replacing items as needed, then draw and run with it. Tie-ins and...

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 08:09 PM - Morrus quoted DMMike in post Why the hate for complexity?
    Which makes me wonder - can a game be complex on one side of the GM screen, and simple on the other? If the players are character-optimizers, can the game still be simple for the GM I like to think that's what I accomplished with my game.
  • 08:05 PM - Celebrim quoted DMMike in post Why the hate for complexity?
    Which makes me wonder - can a game be complex on one side of the GM screen, and simple on the other? If the players are character-optimizers, can the game still be simple for the GM - or if the GM loves minutiae, can the players still get by with four-line character sheets and one or two dice? A game like that could cut complexity-hate in half. The answer is "Yes." A game can concentrate it's complexity in preparation while having a simple mechanical resolution mechanic. If a game does that, the player's have a one time investment in complexity, but after that their experience of play tends to be fairly smooth. Some proponents of the HERO system will make this claim, that all the complexity is front-loaded in the options and set up for the game, and once play begins (if it ever begins) then the complexity largely goes away. While I'm not an expert in HERO system, I think from my experiences with GURPS this is mostly the case for GURPS as well. The problem is that if you concentr...

Sunday, 3rd March, 2019

  • 06:53 PM - Zardnaar quoted DMMike in post Why the hate for complexity?
    This, I think, is the exact reason I stopped playing 3e. To be fair, the game's not as hard to manage as I was making it (one doesn't need to dot every I and cross every T), but when you're presented with a wall of rules, it's hard to see through them. When NPCs don't just have stats, they have "blocks" of them, it points toward building walls instead of tearing them down. For its part, Numenera boasts that it frees the GM up to do the storytelling, partly by streamlining some rules and partly by making dice-rolling only for the players. Which makes me wonder - can a game be complex on one side of the GM screen, and simple on the other? If the players are character-optimizers, can the game still be simple for the GM - or if the GM loves minutiae, can the players still get by with four-line character sheets and one or two dice? A game like that could cut complexity-hate in half. Something like 5E with micro feats and tighter focus on those feats designs.

Monday, 25th February, 2019

  • 09:47 PM - Blue quoted DMMike in post Backgrounds: Use 'Em or Lose 'Em?
    How are D&D's expanded role-playing features coming along? Backgrounds, with their suggested Traits, Bonds, Ideals, and Flaws, give a PC more tools beyond Alignment to get into a character's head. But does anyone use them? Does anyone not use them? Will they make their way into 6E? Sound off! I run slightly differently so I need to answer this two ways. Basically, Traits, Bonds, etc. can be inspired by backgrounds, but need not have anything to do with them. So the collection of "backgrounds plus TIBF" is almost always - but that's because the TIBF really focus on what makes the characters tick. (I also let them revise them over play as makes sense.) If I was to look at just backgrounds with TIBF, it's occasionally. More when a background and a class are less in sync. For example the criminal con-man bard is more likely to reference their criminal background specifically, while the criminal rogue is just rogue-like, and rarely it's specifically because of background.

Sunday, 24th February, 2019

  • 09:40 PM - Azzy quoted DMMike in post Backgrounds: Use 'Em or Lose 'Em?
    How are D&D's expanded role-playing features coming along? Backgrounds, with their suggested Traits, Bonds, Ideals, and Flaws, give a PC more tools beyond Alignment to get into a character's head. But does anyone use them? Does anyone not use them? Will they make their way into 6E? Sound off! I treat the Traits, bonds, etc. in the books mosy as examples, but yes, my group does use them as a guide to roleplaying characters.

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019

  • 09:32 PM - Alexander Kalinowski quoted DMMike in post Rules Light Games: Examples and Definitions
    We will never be able to agree on what rules-light is, there are too many shades of grey. I like the approach of defining rules-medium, however. For me, D&D 5E is rules-medium. I can cite plenty of games that are significantly easier/more difficult to play. Officially, anything that uses a d100 is rules-heavy. I don't think we can agree on that. Call of Cthulhu is rules-medium, at worst. In fact, I have been considering whether it doesn't straddle the boundaries to rules-light. It's certainly less cumbersome than D&D in gameplay.

Thursday, 10th January, 2019

  • 12:29 PM - Bedrockgames quoted DMMike in post Rules Light Games: Examples and Definitions
    That Roboto is hurting my eyes. But anyway... Just curious: are you trying to decide if you want to market the game as "rules light?" If so, you might compare your game's weight to other games that call themselves such. (Hence the examples request?) I am intending to do so. I thought of this, but because I get such varied responses from individual players, I really wanted to get a sense from the community, rather than from companies putting 'rules light' on the cover, what their thoughts are.

Thursday, 3rd January, 2019

  • 12:55 PM - Li Shenron quoted DMMike in post Solo Campaign: Awkward or Awesome?
    Some of the games I've been wanting to run lately are based on a one-player or solo-protagonist type of story, specifically, Metroid and Skyrim. However, I've never run a solo game/campaign, and the idea just seems awkward to me. Am I being unfair to the solo-campaign? Nah, to me a solo campaign is nearly worthless. The whole point of a RPG for me is cooperative teamplay. No team, no game. CRPG are another matter, in fact I normally don't even consider them RPG in the first place.

Thursday, 13th December, 2018

  • 09:25 PM - CubicsRube quoted DMMike in post Using ideals, bonds, flaws and traits for advantage
    Has D&D not updated Inspiration in an errata yet? I don't see why; advantage is usable in combat... "Once per session" is an improvement over "DM will grant it to you" because it shows that PCs will predictably gain more Inspiration, and also that they will predictably lose the resource if they don't use it. I wouldn't force players to explain why, as it might deter them from using it, but I'd leave the opportunity open. Any reason you left Alignment out of the IBFT family? And from left field...how often do the Critical Role people use their Inspiration? The explanation really I had in mind is just so they have an opportunity to flesh out their character in front of others. But really yes it should be very lenient and granted easily in practice. As for alignment, it doesn't grant inspiration as per phb if I remember rightly, and I don't really use it in my games.

Friday, 7th December, 2018

  • 10:30 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted DMMike in post Ridding D&D of All Races - Multiple Choice Poll
    Counterpoint: we see dumb gnomes because gnomes are, inherently, stupid. I mean, sure, gnomes are vicious little spiteful creatures, like a cross between a badger and your co-workers 5 year old after they've eaten the office candy, but still. Gnomish, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life. Gnome characters got no reason Gnome characters got no reason Gnome characters got no reason To be played They got little hands And little eyes And they walk around Tellin' great big lies They got little noses And tiny little teeth They wear platform shoes On their nasty little feet Well, I don't want no gnome characters Don't want no gnome characters Don't want no gnome characters In D&D. You've confused Gnomes with Dwarves, I fear. Seriously, get rid of dwarfs and harflings and keep gnomes. While things can (and possibly should) vary on a world-by-world basis, I donít think D&D should eliminate any races. That said, killoren/wilden are laaaaame and desperately need to be reimagined and ...
  • 08:50 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted DMMike in post Ridding D&D of All Races - Multiple Choice Poll
    Just don't draw a haphazard line between what you can and can't play: "You can play a warforged, but you can't play a shield guardian. You can play a dragonborn, but you can't play a lizard man. Or a half-dragon. You can play a tiefling, but you can't play a succubus, marilith, glabrezu, balor, dretch..." Dragons, devils, etc, have set alignments,and thus by definition less free will than mortals. You can only play mortals in DnD. It's not haphazard at all. Gnome: the Jar Jar Binks of the D&D Universe Man, I am really sorry that you have such terrible players in your group. That has got to be a trial for you. Anyway, the only race worth removing in DND is humans. If I had to get rid of another race,it would be high elves or halflings, purely because they're redundant with more interesting races. That is, every other type of elf, and gnomes and goblins, respectively.


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DMMike's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated
Dragonborn Light
Dragonborn Light is a rules module for Modos RPG. Plug it in to start adventuring in Skyrim, the icy northern province of Tamriel.

The new rules convert the base rules to add features like: larger pools for Health, Stamina, and Magicka, scalable ge...
75 0 1 Saturday, 17th February, 2018, 07:10 PM Saturday, 17th February, 2018, 07:10 PM
Modos 2 - free demo
Free, easy, ready-to-mod RPG - includes fast-play-rules appendix.

This is the demo edition. The deluxe edition will include more art, powers, helpful sidebars, and appendices.

Unofficial website: modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com (http://modos-rpg.obsi...
365 0 1 Tuesday, 7th November, 2017, 05:36 AM Friday, 12th October, 2018, 05:44 PM
Modular Exoskeleton Trans-Responsive Outfit, In Detail
EDIT: file removed for overdue overhaul. Your thoughts are welcome in the comments.

"The last creature is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace."

Those words were supposed to mean a new era. But here you are, landing on yet another planetoid, sea...
76 0 0 Friday, 23rd September, 2016, 02:00 AM Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 07:37 PM
Return to Volskygge
Update 11/14/17: this adventure module to receive an update after the release of Skyrim Module for Modos.

It has been years since the Dragonborn destroyed the dragon priest Volsung, yet the residents of Haafingar whisper in dark corners:
"So...
45 0 1 Saturday, 14th February, 2015, 06:47 AM Tuesday, 14th November, 2017, 04:10 PM
Modos RPG: First Playtest
Note: the second playtest is now available. Feedback and questions on the first playtest are very welcome!


Modos Roleplaying Game
- First Playtest -


This is a rules-light, multi-genre, open-source roleplaying game. Abstract features (abilities...
79 0 1 Saturday, 2nd August, 2014, 03:50 PM Saturday, 2nd August, 2014, 03:50 PM

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