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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:45 PM
    FYI: they completed about one-third of the module. And unexpectedly bit into goal-reconciliation part at the end. If they weren't learning a new game, I'd guess they would have completed two-thirds. Thanks for the tips!
    11 replies | 381 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:35 PM
    Marking the turns so that the player knows how many saves to make? This is design elegance, but I'd add one more touch: damage caused during this twilight zone must be used as a penalty to each death save. I can't really critique yours unless I know why you hate death saves. Do you hate death spirals? Hate your PCs? Hate rules? Tell me about your parents. /therapy I use a system...
    96 replies | 2291 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:26 AM
    Since my point was that the character in question shouldn't have been in an immersion-breaking situation to begin with, here are the related replies: As soon as an intelligent enemy sees the guy in the robe walk over to a comrade and bring him back from the dead, that enemy has a good reason to turn fallen opponents into bloody mush, or to turn the robed guy into bloody mush. But yeah,...
    32 replies | 661 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 03:55 AM
    The complaint, if I'm reading it right, is that characters are all but required to act on metagame elements. I think that's a problem shared by every game that uses character sheets to record anything other than character backstory. Since rules are metagame elements, is it really possible to write a rule that fixes the problem?
    395 replies | 8074 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 03:39 AM
    Since all sorts of great solutions have been proposed, I'm taking issue with the premise: - Why didn't the Balor finish you off? - Being unconscious doesn't mean you're hurt. Maybe the Balor accidentally knocked you on the back of the head with its tail, knocking you out. Why wouldn't you be fine the next morning? - Why did the party healer wait until you were unconscious to heal you? -...
    32 replies | 661 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 04:44 PM
    I'd like to tack on a rule from Chase Club: - Chases go on as long as they have to. - Don't bore your players with tedious chase rules. If they're into it, keep going. If they groan at another die roll, wrap it up from there.
    14 replies | 446 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 04:30 PM
    Nope. The problem is finding a hose.
    16 replies | 548 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 04:36 PM
    "So what? Big deal." From its inception, Modos RPG has been inspired by, designed for, and free to the RPG community. Which is, I hope, one (three) reason that it has been nominated for a 2018 ENnie Award! If you'd like to give back, swing by the ENnies voting booth and give it your “1” stamp of approval. ENnie Awards: http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/2018/ballot.php?category_id=10 ...
    6 replies | 881 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 04:09 AM
    Pssssst: Modos RPG community. We've been nominated for an ENnie. I'll break the news to the general public when voting opens up. Remember where you heard it first!
    15 replies
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 03:07 AM
    Head over this way: http://www.enworld.org/forum/rpgdownloads.php Once you click into a category (probably D&D 5th Edition Fan Creations) you can choose to upload.
    4 replies | 220 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 05:16 PM
    Sound advice. I wrote some relationships into the background, but probably undid all that work when designing the pre-gens' flaws. For what it's worth, the BBEG isn't the final encounter. It's when the PCs have to reconcile their disparate goals. Which, and I'm going to call it right now, the players will give up on and call defeating the BBEG a job-well-done. :( Writing in that...
    11 replies | 381 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 05:05 PM
    Excellent work. I was hoping for more fluff, but I should probably go here for that: http://www.dragonkingsproject.com/ Have you added it to the downloads section yet?
    4 replies | 220 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 04:46 PM
    +1 for depravity. It reminds me of the wargs from A Song of Ice and Fire, so you might look there for inspiration. Also, it would be pretty dang cool if the zombie's consciousness took over the caster when the caster took over the zombie...
    16 replies | 548 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 04:25 AM
    Gain nothing? They can tell their story at public houses for tips, get paid as anti-zombie informants/consultants, and make cool zombie-story T-shirts, cereal boxes, and flamethrowers...merchandizing!
    55 replies | 1182 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 04:20 AM
    I'm pretty sure abjurers are pacifists. So they'd lose. Transmuter for the win - he'd just turn into the terrasque and squash his opponent.
    38 replies | 1671 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 09:46 PM
    I can't speak for every group of four women (impressive if I could, huh?), but the last (only) one I ran a game for definitely leaned toward the role-playing side of things. All the numbers I had prepared counted for just about jack and squat. So don't get too excited about that epic dragon fight. I'd say you're much better off with level 1 or 2 PCs - the less that's on their character...
    11 replies | 559 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 05:16 PM
    Yikes. I just lost some expectations for the games I might drop into after running mine! I tend to overplan my sessions, and even when I cut back on the planning to save myself personal time, I still ended up having too much material prepared. So there's that. But you guys reminded me of another GM's maxim: "because, PCs." I can probably adjust for over-achieving PCs by using a Call of...
    11 replies | 381 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th July, 2018, 12:03 AM
    My first convention game is coming up soon, and I have a shiney, new, dungeon crawl drawn up for it (the convention theme is "old school," so there you go), as well as pre-generated characters. But since no plan survives first contact, what contingencies should I be preparing for? How does the convention table differ from the dinner table?
    11 replies | 381 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 05:21 PM
    Don't worry. You're killin' it, O. Since I felt a bit left out, here's our working definition of "gritty" from Oriaxx's blog: I'm glad you brought up "medieval elements" because that's what I'd like to see in a gritty campaign: famine, disease, and war. Oppression, theocracy, no iPhones...gritty. When you mentioned "daily life" nuances, I thought of an entirely new pillar of D&D:...
    51 replies | 1740 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 04:56 PM
    Um, if my buddy were a werewolf... I wouldn't want to piss her off.
    7 replies | 313 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 05:22 PM
    This blurs the lines between attributes. Which isn't inherently bad, but it could amplify min/maxing. Anthony Vu: Yes. You could. If your DM allows it. D&D is pretty thoroughly tinkered though, so you have to be careful when making rules changes that one player doesn't get an advantage that upsets other players.
    12 replies | 345 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 05:03 PM
    Enough said. With the exception of the D&D 5e rules (death saves and max hp), I was using a general RPG perspective. Obviously, I hope, low-level PC death is not completely avoidable in D&D 3x. I mean, if you don't fudge the rolls, you might say that 1 out of every 20 attacks (from anything larger than a goblin) is going to be a lethal critical hit that will probably take out an average...
    79 replies | 1922 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th June, 2018, 05:53 PM
    But protagonists suffer setbacks all the time. Usually at the end of the second act :) The GM always has a choice, whether you know it or not: put the rules first, or put the story/fun first. If you put the rules first, you might be lucky enough to see the player's eyes well up with tears, realizing that his character was not, in the end, THE protagonist. :devil: I think those obvious...
    79 replies | 1922 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DMMike's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 05:23 PM
    This. But if not, then this: Because 1) no one cares about weight. 2) Someone with Dex 18 is going to be harder to hit in heavy armor than someone with Dex 12 in heavy armor. 3) The DM should impose stealth penalties, not the rulebook. (Or better yet, the player.) 4) Dex save penalty compensates for the removal of Dex modifier. 5) It's super simple.
    113 replies | 3598 view(s)
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  • DMMike's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 07:15 PM
    Whoever thought Orthanc was a worthless, old tower didn't look hard enough. Here's a link to the Roll20 Con game, and the optional pre-gen characters. https://app.roll20.net/lfg/listing/119586/raiding-orthanc Name Undolas Half-elven
    6 replies | 881 view(s)
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  • nijineko's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 01:34 AM
    {Clipping from The Daily Crystal} For the woman elegance, poise, and position on the go! This indispensable item is an absolute must for those situations where an entrance simply must be made. As every woman knows, the Descent Upon the Stairs is The Entrance. Behold, this stylish rod (with a wide range of customization choices and styles for the perfect match) provides, with the...
    65 replies | 108812 view(s)
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  • nijineko's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 10:19 PM
    Design a special suit of clothes / armor / steampunk clockwork wearable suit which is designed to twitch-trigger a number of Immovable Rods mounted inside the clothing along various portions of the body. While a mime might be able to make creative use of this outfit, it will really show it's stuff when in the hands (or rather, on the body) of a fantasy pop-and-lock dubstep artist. You can now...
    65 replies | 108812 view(s)
    0 XP
  • nijineko's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 02:30 PM
    Create a mini construct that has the sole purpose in existence of clinging to the rod and pushing that button. The construct responds to a key word, specific user, or mental command for the psionic types. Connect a rope, or if you really insist, a whip to the rod. You can now throw out the rod and perform the Swashbuckler Swing™ at will. Suggested keywords: "Tally ho!", "Have at...
    65 replies | 108812 view(s)
    1 XP
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About DMMike

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40
About DMMike
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Writing rules and character concepts.
About Me:
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.

Drop me a line if you're a creator or have a table at which I should be sitting, thanks.
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Phoenix, AZ
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I like games with stories. And role-playing.
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Modular, open source, free role-playing rules: Modos RPG
modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com
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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'.

Saturday, 14th March, 2015

  • 12:19 AM - Desh-Rae-Halra mentioned DMMike in post Discussion of the Cypher System
    DMMike, The problem with assigning 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 is that generally you are placing thins in Easy, Moderate or Hard. As someone still playing Numenera, that means the die roll( number needed for success on a d20) would be 6 (easy) 12 (harder than average) 18 (very hard) 24 (really unlikely!) and 30 (You would need to be Tier 6 (the highest, essentially Level 20), spend 6 points of effort, and still only have a less than average chance of success, not considering training, specializaitions, or assets. I think an average difficulty is 3, and you expect that players who have Skill training or Specialization will reduce the difficulty to actually make it easy. Of course this all depends on context: the variables are your skills, assets, and amount of effort you are willing to expend. So a highly skilled party might find a Difficulty 3 swimming task actually daunting, because without skill or effort ( or assets), that makes your chance just better than a coin toss to succeed.

Thursday, 26th February, 2015

  • 04:15 PM - Jester David mentioned DMMike in post New position advertised by WotC: Associate Game Producer
    I think I saw this advertised on ENWorld a little while back. The fact we're seeing another push either means they're nearing the end of the fixed-date hiring period or they're having trouble finding someone to take the job. As DMMike says, this is pretty much a temporary position. So it might not be a surprise people are reluctant to interview. It's a good job for people who live in the area, but certainly not a good job to move to take. It does look like a very minor office type job that just happens to concern D&D. Manage licences, do paperwork and filing, and generally be the personal assistant to the entire department.

Thursday, 11th December, 2014

  • 06:15 AM - Orich Starkhart mentioned DMMike in post Armor as DR
    Not quite, DMMike. Yes, AC and the DEX save reflect defense, but in different situations according to the game. With respect to combat, the notion of advancing defense skill in D&D is reflected in increasing hit points, not "armor points", except in an indirect way, in that with experience and advancement, characters generally acquire magic that might afford protective bonuses, as well as wealth and maybe prestige and favor which can be parlayed into increasingly effective armor, for those who have access to the required armor proficiency. One of Sadrik's proposals Parry class = 8 + Prof + DEX + Parry Which is a hybrid between AC and Dex save. A hybrid and redefinition (as armor is removed) I endorse, in general. Perhaps defense in combat ultimately becomes a dex save, and then armor protects from some of the resulting damage. An interesting question given HP's new role. There are three game-rule outcomes: The wall deals no damage. The wall deals some damage, but you don't drop to zero HP. The...


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Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 10:45 PM - Lanefan quoted DMMike in post Convention Game Survival Tips
    FYI: they completed about one-third of the module. And unexpectedly bit into goal-reconciliation part at the end. If they weren't learning a new game, I'd guess they would have completed two-thirds. Thanks for the tips!Glad it went well! :)
  • 09:06 PM - Tony Vargas quoted DMMike in post I hate death saves. Propose your solution.
    I use a system that tries to keep all parties happy: Mostly Dead. At 0 HP, a character is disabled and can no longer take significant actions. The character can't be healed until the GM and player establish what exactly happened (heart wound, hurt feelings, frozen solid) and what should come of it. Princess Bride reference wins the thread. ;)
  • 07:44 AM - Shiroiken quoted DMMike in post Crit and death saves mean automatic ability score damage - Too gritty?
    Edit: nevermind. I'm tired, and I would rather post after I collect my thoughts better.

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

  • 10:54 PM - Emerikol quoted DMMike in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    The complaint, if I'm reading it right, is that characters are all but required to act on metagame elements. I think that's a problem shared by every game that uses character sheets to record anything other than character backstory. Since rules are metagame elements, is it really possible to write a rule that fixes the problem? Try thinking about it some more. I'm obviously not talking about character sheets. That is just information the player knows that the character also knows. We aren't talking about something that helps the player do a better job of being the character.
  • 07:34 AM - Shiroiken quoted DMMike in post Crit and death saves mean automatic ability score damage - Too gritty?
    Not the OP, but I take issue with your disagreement - Why didn't the Balor finish you off? - Being unconscious doesn't mean you're hurt. Maybe the Balor accidentally knocked you on the back of the head with its tail, knocking you out. Why wouldn't you be fine the next morning? - Why did the party healer wait until you were unconscious to heal you? - If you get in a long rest, it means you're not in danger anymore. Why wouldn't you have full HP if you're eliminated the danger? 1) Most DMs don't have monsters spend attacks killing downed characters, unless there is a good reason to do so. Not only does it feel mean, but it often doesn't help the monster survive the combat. 2) If you are making death saving throws, you are dying, thus you are hurt. Also, you've obviously never had a concussion before, as the effects of head trauma (or any kind of trauma, really) can linger for a very long time. This is the effect the OP takes issue with. 3) This is an optimal strategy, because you d...

Friday, 13th July, 2018

  • 04:03 AM - JacktheRabbit quoted DMMike in post Crit and death saves mean automatic ability score damage - Too gritty?
    Since all sorts of great solutions have been proposed, I'm taking issue with the premise: - Why didn't the Balor finish you off? - Being unconscious doesn't mean you're hurt. Maybe the Balor accidentally knocked you on the back of the head with its tail, knocking you out. Why wouldn't you be fine the next morning? - Why did the party healer wait until you were unconscious to heal you? - If you get in a long rest, it means you're not in danger anymore. Why wouldn't you have full HP if you're eliminated the danger? He was fighting the rest of the party. I was fighting a balor, I went unconscious because he reduced me to zero hitpoints. Because he was fighting a Balor? We got a long rest in a Magnificent Mansion, which in no way suggests we were no longer in danger the next day.

Thursday, 12th July, 2018

  • 07:35 PM - Satyrn quoted DMMike in post Chase Rules and Suggestions
    I'd like to tack on a rule from Chase Club: - Chases go on as long as they have to. - Don't bore your players with tedious chase rules. If they're into it, keep going. If they groan at another die roll, wrap it up from there. If the players get bored of the chase, they should just drop out. Might not work out so well if they're the quarry, of course. Faced with that choice, the rules themselves might still be tedious but the players will hopefully be engaged enough to care about the results.

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018


Tuesday, 10th July, 2018


Monday, 9th July, 2018

  • 07:52 PM - Jer quoted DMMike in post An Army in the Dungeon
    Why, over time, do D&D players slowly ditch their entourage, if they're becoming less interested in running away? Why not have more followers then? I strongly suspect it's because the expectations of the players in 2018 are different from the expectations of the players in 1975. In 1975 the game you were playing was a game of resource management. All of the players had a wargaming background and brought that to the table - the way you "beat" a dungeon was to take it on via wargaming tactics. And wargaming tactics say that you bring overwhelming force to bear where you can and tactically retreat when you are losing. Fast forward just a little bit and you find a game where that has all fallen by the wayside. Roleplaying even by the 1980s was a lot more about characters and stories than it was about tactics and "beating" the game. You started to see narratives and plotlines and a focus on thinking of your character as a character and not as a commander of hirelings. As the playerb...
  • 07:28 PM - Alzrius quoted DMMike in post An Army in the Dungeon
    Here's what I don't understand: when you're in close quarters, it's dark, and you're hauling lots of gear/treasure, it's virtually impossible to run away from anything (or make a reflex save) when you have eight hirelings also hauling stuff behind you. Yet today's players, as proffered by Matt Colville and witnessed by myself, don't want to run away or even face overwhelming odds. Why, over time, do D&D players slowly ditch their entourage, if they're becoming less interested in running away? Why not have more followers then? My guess: because managing that many characters is a burden on keeping the game moving, even when you try to shunt them to out-of-combat support roles.
  • 07:18 PM - ninjayeti quoted DMMike in post An Army in the Dungeon
    when you're in close quarters, it's dark, and you're hauling lots of gear/treasure, it's virtually impossible to run away from anything (or make a reflex save) when you have eight hirelings also hauling stuff behind you. Not really. Bear in mind that the PCs don't need to outrun the owlbear, they just need to outrun the henchman lugging 90 pounds of cp in his backpack...
  • 06:28 PM - jasper quoted DMMike in post An Army in the Dungeon
    Funeral expenses are no joke, huh? Here's what I don't understand: when you're in close quarters, it's dark, and you're hauling lots of gear/treasure, it's virtually impossible to run away from anything (or make a reflex save) when you have eight hirelings also hauling stuff behind you. Yet today's players, as proffered by Matt Colville and witnessed by myself, don't want to run away or even face overwhelming odds. Why, over time, do D&D players slowly ditch their entourage, if they're becoming less interested in running away? Why not have more followers then? Snark, Today's Players. Gee thanks. I forgot Halloween is in a week and it is 1980. The one thing that maybe and again maybe is bags of holding and portable holes were easy to come by, which could be used to replace henchmen/hirelings. As to pc's not running away, I solve that by having the monsters willing to kill the pcs. You kill two pcs inside 4 sessions, and the players learn they can run away.
  • 04:23 AM - CTurbo quoted DMMike in post A level 20 Wizard of each school vs each other in combat
    Were I a betting man, I'd put my money with the Bladesinger. As the most martial and least magic dependent of the wizard subclasses, it should have a decisive advantage over the others should they choose to cast antimagic field on themselves as their concentration spell prior to initiative. "No magic allowed" is probably the absolute hardest of hard counters available to any wizard in this fight, after all. I thought about this too, but I'm not sure how Antimagic field interacts with ALL of the other features that the other wizards have. I'm pretty sure abjurers are pacifists. So they'd lose. Transmuter for the win - he'd just turn into the terrasque and squash his opponent. The Abjurer is a pacifist only if you rp it that way.

Friday, 29th June, 2018

  • 06:00 PM - Annie Bulloch quoted DMMike in post Graph Paper Romance: When D&D Characters Date
    Does that mean there was a chance for critical fails? In making out? No braces were involved, so I don't know what would have happened in case of a critical fail. Maybe somebody's magic malfunctions, or somebody accidentally falls on a sword! Probably something nonfatal yet embarrassing.
  • 05:58 PM - Umbran quoted DMMike in post Graph Paper Romance: When D&D Characters Date
    It would be weird not to include it...unless your players are all murderhobos. There are other cases. In my 5e game, two of the players are 14 year old girls, and I am a grown man. I am *NOT* going to do romance plots with them. Period. I could be similarly awkward if your game is in, say, your work environment.

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

  • 06:01 PM - the Jester quoted DMMike in post Death and Storytelling
    But protagonists suffer setbacks all the time. Usually at the end of the second act :) The GM always has a choice, whether you know it or not: put the rules first, or put the story/fun first. I object to your equating the story and fun. Putting the rules first can enhance fun far more than putting the story first- for some playstyles.

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 09:39 AM - Jhaelen quoted DMMike in post Death and Storytelling
    No fudging or nerfing necessary. Unless your definition of nerfing is "modifying encounters to be something other than suicide-death-pacts." Allow me to first remind you of the original statement I've been responding to: During the early levels, all encounters are fairly balanced, so that deaths are just not going to happen. Also, please note that Imaculata is playing D&D 3.5. Now, to address your points: PCs can choose to run away from fights.Yep, they can do that. As a DM I may even suggest it. But it's not under my control whether they actually do try to flee or not. If a fight is unavoidable, PCs can throw down their weapons and beg for mercy.See above! PCs can enlist help to attain overwhelming odds.See above! GMs can provide level-appropriate encounters.There's a very clear definition how difficult encounters should be in the 3.5 DMG (page 48, I think). Unfortunately, I'm away from my books and failed to find the exact text. I only found the Encounter Calculator t...
  • 04:35 AM - 5ekyu quoted DMMike in post Death and Storytelling
    But protagonists suffer setbacks all the time. Usually at the end of the second act :) The GM always has a choice, whether you know it or not: put the rules first, or put the story/fun first. If you put the rules first, you might be lucky enough to see the player's eyes well up with tears, realizing that his character was not, in the end, THE protagonist. [emoji317] I think those obvious efforts are called Death Saves. Soooo avoidable (at first level): PCs can choose to run away from fights. If a fight is unavoidable, PCs can throw down their weapons and beg for mercy. PCs can enlist help to attain overwhelming odds. GMs can provide level-appropriate encounters. GMs can play opponents intelligently, to include using realistic morale. GMs can provide non-combat encounters. (Yes, they exist.) PS maximum 1st-level hit points. And death saves. No fudging or nerfing necessary. Unless your definition of nerfing is "modifying encounters to be something other than suicide-death-pac...

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 06:29 PM - mrpopstar quoted DMMike in post Super Simple Armor
    1) no one cares about weight.I do! 2) Someone with Dex 18 is going to be harder to hit in heavy armor than someone with Dex 12 in heavy armor.I don't like the idea of Dex 18 affording a heavily armored rogue AC 22 before he picks up a shield. That would further emphasize Dex as a super stat and I'm looking to go the opposite direction. 3) The DM should impose stealth penalties, not the rulebook. (Or better yet, the player.)Stealth penalties for bulky movement make sense to me. 4) Dex save penalty compensates for the removal of Dex modifier.If you remove the Dex modifier, how is someone with Dex 18 going to be harder to hit in heavy armor than someone with Dex 12 in heavy armor? 5) It's super simple.A little too simple as much is lost.


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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...
65 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.

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.obsidianportal.com)

I can only show you...
259 0 1 Tuesday, 7th November, 2017, 05:36 AM Tuesday, 7th November, 2017, 05:36 AM
Modos 2 Fast Play Rules
Happy Free RPG Day! If you're already up to your neck in free adventure modules, new dice, and cool supplements from your FLGS, you'll be happy to see this freebie: a two-page primer on how to play Modos 2.

As a rules-light, modular, universal game...
80 0 1 Saturday, 17th June, 2017, 10:19 PM Saturday, 17th June, 2017, 10:19 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...
42 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...
77 0 1 Saturday, 2nd August, 2014, 03:50 PM Saturday, 2nd August, 2014, 03:50 PM

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