View Profile: jayoungr - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Today, 01:09 AM
    When I look at the thread, it’s only 8 pages long and only contains 160 posts.
    7 replies | 126 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:15 PM
    If that is the problem, then you should be able to view the page once someone else posts. You could also try increasing the number of posts per page to reduce the overall page count.
    7 replies | 126 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:45 PM
    Honestly, my group doesn't usually use downtime abilities much. But I like the idea of the intelligence modifier being good for something. So many characters have intelligence as a dump stat that they'd probably end up spending 11 weeks training anyway!
    11 replies | 343 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd February, 2019, 07:51 PM
    The first thing that comes to mind is that there’s only one post on that page and it’s by a poster that you’ve blocked (or who has blocked you).
    7 replies | 126 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd February, 2019, 10:48 AM
    I haven’t had chance to read it yet but I flicked through it and it looks stunning!
    1 replies | 177 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 06:07 PM
    I know--they keep putting tantalizing elements of Spelljammer in various places, but then they go and say things like "We're working on a new setting, and we won't tell you what it is except to say that it's not Spelljammer." :(
    16 replies | 808 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 04:04 PM
    Thanks, I didn't know about that one! I also considered giving her this resource, but I decided to hold it back until a little later: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/133114/Be-Awesome-At-Dungeon-Design It has lots of great advice for realistic dungeons--you know, "think about how your monsters get food" and that sort of thing. But I feel like age 12 is when she should just be letting...
    25 replies | 662 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 03:54 PM
    I just wish they'd stop going out of their way to crush my dreams of 5E Spelljammer.
    16 replies | 808 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 06:06 PM
    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone, and please keep them coming! I'll just park a few more things I found here, in case someone else is using the thread for ideas: 1. I lent her my copy of Odyssey: The Complete Gamemaster's Guide to Campaign Management. 2. Sly Flourish's series of articles for the new DM, especially the guide to building combat encounters...
    25 replies | 662 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 11:14 AM
    I’ll second this. It’s driving me nuts!
    3 replies | 140 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 09:28 PM
    I've been running D&D for a friend's family lately, and the 12-year-old daughter wants to run some games for her friends. She's got the germ of a campaign idea (assemble three dragon-related artifacts), but wants to know how to design adventures. Of course I've said I'll work with her on this, but I'd like to point her to some good advice on the web as well. Can anyone recommend any blog...
    25 replies | 662 view(s)
    1 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 08:58 PM
    Yes, but I always remind myself that since I'm not making death saves for them, for all I know they might survive the fight and crawl away later, having learned not to tangle with adventurers.
    15 replies | 498 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 08:15 PM
    I think I can see the line of thought: think of resurrection as a "reset button," potentially returning her to her former, mortal self. She's your creation, so she can have that as a vulnerability if you think it will make the game fun. Anyway, what are devils but lawful servants of an evil-aligned deity? Maybe the Frostfell Queen technically became a devil when she officially swore...
    17 replies | 543 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 05:15 PM
    I'm currently playing a Storm Sorcerer and enjoying the class very much. (It's also in SCAG, I believe.) I've also created an Inquisitive Rogue character for a game that's about to start. Others in my group are playing, in various campaigns, a College of Glamour Bard, a Swashbuckler Rogue, and a Celestial Warlock. Everyone seems very happy with the characters they've designed and/or played.
    19 replies | 830 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 11:29 AM
    I’m partial to Lucas’ idea that the dark side is a cancer and that “restoring the balance” means getting rid of it completely. Note how in the OT, it’s “the Force” vs the “dark side of the Force”. No one ever says anything about a “light side”. And in RotJ, Luke says he can sense that there’s still “good” in his father. The “light side” is an EU concept, and sadly it seems Disney has...
    179 replies | 3354 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 05:27 AM
    The galactic status quo as of the start of the new trilogy already more or less did that. Plus, the whole Chosen One prophecy is in itself a retcon, since it only really comes up in the prequel era.
    179 replies | 3354 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Maybe Rey is the real Chosen One, not Anakin. Maybe she's even an embodiment of the Force. The Force made flesh, as it were. That said, Finn had an awakening. R2-D2 had an awakening. Maybe that stable boy in TLJ had an awakening too. I won't argue with that. There's a lot that could have been done better in execution ... in *all* the Star Wars movies, not just the latest ones.
    179 replies | 3354 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 04:25 AM
    Isn’t it obvious? Prior to Episode VII, the Force was asleep. People had to work hard (some harder than others) to tap into it. But now that the Force is awake, people can tap into it without as much training. Personally I like Rey, but then I have three daughters, so I’m undoubtedly biased.
    179 replies | 3354 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 11:10 PM
    Maybe the PCs have to trap her in a certain place (say, a ruined temple of Pelor) before they can have a chance of beating her. Then luring her into the place where they want her to be is part of the challenge.
    17 replies | 543 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 03:22 PM
    If your death is convincing enough, they shouldn't feel the need to investigate. But they might try to get you rezzed. Lava is useful for that, though, since it will mean they can't get the body.
    21 replies | 586 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 07:14 AM
    Did you use the pregen characters? If so, did the rogue ever find out who betrayed him? If yes, how did he find out?
    13 replies | 539 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 04:19 PM
    This is cool, but please tell me it's not replacing the original Starter Set? I mean, the original will still be available?
    63 replies | 2739 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 04:18 PM
    I've been running Lost Mine of Phandelver for a friend's family, including some kids who are new to D&D but seem to be taking to it enthusiastically. They just cleared out the Redbrands' hideout, and I realized that I have overlooked a plot point. My friend's daughter is playing the pregen halfling rogue that comes with the starter set. I admit I didn't look over the character sheets for the...
    13 replies | 539 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 07:02 PM
    That's exciting news! I am currently running a high-level world-hopping 5E campaign for my group, and I was considering sending them to the world of Numenera at some point. I'm going to move that down on the priority list in hopes that there might be an announcement forthcoming.
    56 replies | 2083 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 07:52 PM
    I don't think it necessitates making the BBEG sympathetic. Macbeth starts out as an honorable and loyal soldier trying to benefit his country. This BBEG starts out as a minion of an evil god working to further an evil agenda. A tragedy is supposed to make you mourn the lost potential of the great hero the main character could have been if not for that one little flaw. I don't think anyone...
    9 replies | 377 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 06:41 PM
    That's basically what happened to Macbeth. The only difference is that he had Lady Macbeth egging him on. So, maybe create a "Lady Macbeth" type figure who convinces her to go through with it?
    9 replies | 377 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 04:38 PM
    Thanks! I do subscribe to En5ider, and noticed that article in passing. I'll have to read it in detail. Here's another example of the sort of fey that started me thinking along these lines: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/205276/Mizzerene-the-Black-Rose Good idea. Are Emotion Vampires written up in detail anywhere?
    52 replies | 1971 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 11:29 PM
    I have to say, none of my players have ever tried to coordinate their movement during normal combats, so this issue hasn't ever come up for me in this context. However, where it has reared its ugly head in my games is every single time I've ever tried to do a chase scene. The stop-start nature of turn-based gaming just doesn't work for chases, and I've yet to find a set of rules for running...
    56 replies | 1525 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 11:05 PM
    I'm not even sure myself, yet. Basically, my line of thinking was "So, they like Ravenloft--the gothic trappings, the tragedy, the angst. And they play a lot of druids. Fey could be sort of gothy and nature-y at the same time. And fey don't get used much in adventures, so it would be something out of the ordinary." As I said above these people LOVE Ravenloft. I don't think I want them...
    52 replies | 1971 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 10:47 PM
    Let me start by apologizing to anyone who found my earlier post offensive. It was absolutely not my intention to put down anyone's playstyle, in any way. I was attempting to characterize the approach in neutral language, but I admit that I don't typically design characters this way myself, so I may not have done it justice. For what it's worth, I actually do not believe that designing...
    115 replies | 3572 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 12:24 AM
    The assassin vine is in Tomb of Annihilation. As for the giant insects, I’d just use the giant wasp stats from the MM for the bee and maybe the Giant Centipede (w/o the poison) for the ant.
    9 replies | 327 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 09:11 PM
    None, yet. I'm just in the basic "thinking about it" stage. Like, for example--? :) I thought about that, but even Redcaps and Changelings seem ... petty, somehow. Small-scale. Is there a way to make fey dignified, something that would make your first reaction not be to crack a joke about them? Would be nice if I could pull that off, but I fear my players are too genre-savvy. ...
    52 replies | 1971 view(s)
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  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 08:54 PM
    I debated whether to post this here or in the general forum, but since it's addressing the specific portrayal of fey in D&D, I figured I'd put it here. I'd like to run a fey-themed adventure sometime, but I have players who regard anything lighter than Lord of the Rings as "kid stuff." (And even LOTR probably only gets a pass because of its dense vocabulary.) They're not going to enjoy a...
    52 replies | 1971 view(s)
    2 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 05:29 PM
    I'll preface what I'm about to say with the disclaimer that I don't mean this to sound judgmental or like I'm saying any one way of playing is better than another. I've noticed that some players attach more importance than others to the idea of playstyle reflecting character concept. The line falls in different places for different people as to whether they are happy just roleplaying that...
    115 replies | 3572 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 07:47 AM
    OK. I didn’t realise they were hiring another designer in addition to Kate.
    5 replies | 469 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 07:45 AM
    Yes, it’s definitely not a default benefit. However, since we’re talking magic weapons here, there’s no reason you couldn’t homebrew a magic sword that also lets you add its bonus to your spell attack and spell save DC. It’d be kind of like combining a +1 sword with a +1 wand of the war mage. It’d probably have to be a rare item.
    9 replies | 318 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 04:43 AM
    I’m not aware of any such rule. The only benefit is that the weapon can be used in place of material spell components.
    9 replies | 318 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 04:41 AM
    Kate Welch is WotC’s newest designer. The upcoming aquatic-themed book is reportedly her first product.
    5 replies | 469 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 08:39 AM
    doctorbadwolf: Have you looked at the stone sorcerer from Unearthed Arcana? I seem to recall that it was something of a swordmage in disguise. It had the swordmage's aegis class feature, and it also enabled you to take the paladin's weapon-based smite spells, among other things.
    67 replies | 2678 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 12:21 AM
    I've just gotten this today. I also can't see the comment or clear the notification from it.
    7 replies | 677 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 09:38 AM
    FWIW: lightning lure is one of the SCAG cantrips. Also, aren't all four of those cantrips (the others being green-flame blade, booming blade, and sword burst) based on 4e swordmage powers?
    67 replies | 2678 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 08:20 PM
    One thing to note about druids is that most of their spells require concentration. This severely limits the amount of battlefield control they can do.
    42 replies | 1808 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 04:54 PM
    I think this is a perfectly fine way of treating Inspiration. I hate the "Dance for us, and we'll give you a treat IF we're sufficiently impressed" aspect anyway.
    29 replies | 1274 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 09:26 AM
    Xeviat: The proficiency dice were fun. They’re in the DMG as an optional variant.
    20 replies | 857 view(s)
    3 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 27th January, 2019, 11:06 AM
    I dunno. I'm really just wondering if it's possible.
    29 replies | 1102 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 27th January, 2019, 10:54 AM
    I can see how that might save *some* time, but it's still going to slow the game down a little bit, as the person tracking the initiative will still have to call for everyone's new initiative rolls at the start of each round and then reorganize the list, which is slower than just saying, "OK, new round, back to the top, X is up." And we may be talking seconds here, rather than minutes, but they...
    144 replies | 4342 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 27th January, 2019, 01:21 AM
    LordEntrails: Using software to automate the process would certainly make alternative initiative methods more appealing. Unfortunately for me, I don't use any software when I run my games, so we'd be stuck with stopping the combat at the end of each round, having everyone reroll, having me shuffle the initiative tents I hang on my DM screen around to reflect the new order, then commencing with...
    144 replies | 4342 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 27th January, 2019, 12:37 AM
    Yes. As I said, rerolling every round sounds cool on paper but would just slow things down too much for my taste at the table - not just because of all the extra rolling but also because it would make it harder to keep track of spell / condition durations.
    144 replies | 4342 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 27th January, 2019, 12:34 AM
    I tried using passive initiative, but that got boringly predictable after a while, so I switched back to using the default rule of rolling once and leaving it for the rest of the combat. I do find other methods -- such as rerolling every round and speed factor initiative -- in theory, but they just seem like they would be too much bother and slow things down too much in actual play.
    144 replies | 4342 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 11:53 PM
    It's not clear to me if the "up to" only applies to the length / radius, or if it's meant to apply to the height and width as well. If the latter, it would've been more clear if they'd repeated the "up to". As written, it can be interpreted that the wall must be: a) 0-60 feet long / 0-20 foot radius b) 20 feet high c) 1 foot thick But I wonder if it should be: a) 0-60 feet long / 0-20...
    29 replies | 1102 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 11:45 PM
    Circle or straight line appear to be the only RAW options. Something that's not entirely clear to me is whether only the length / radius are adjustable, or whether the height and width are as well. That is, does the wall always have to be 20' high and 1' thick, or can it be shorter and thinner than that? I've been playing it that you can only adjust the length / radius, but I've never been...
    29 replies | 1102 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th January, 2019, 09:51 AM
    I'm confused as to what the issue is here? When would you ever want to shield bash and then *not* use the Attack action straight after in order to get advantage from the target being prone? And why is that not a sound tactic? It makes more sense to me to knock your opponent over and then hit them while they're down than to "rattle" them a bit and then knock them down after. Are there players...
    46 replies | 1876 view(s)
    0 XP
  • jayoungr's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 08:34 PM
    Maybe try giving yourself a challenge not to multiclass? For example, if you could have held out until level 4 or were willing to make a variant human, you could have used the magic initiate feat to get more spells, without all the baggage that a level in cleric brings to your character.
    23 replies | 1050 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Friday, 25th January, 2019, 05:29 AM
    Being able to read both your plans and how things played out would be nice.
    22 replies | 1574 view(s)
    0 XP
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Running Rise of Tiamat; playing a bit of D&D 5E, FATE, Feng Shui 2, and various indie games.

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Running Rise of Tiamat; playing a bit of D&D 5E, FATE, Feng Shui 2, and various indie games.
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Friday, 7th December, 2018

  • 05:34 PM - Quickleaf mentioned jayoungr in post How to make an encounter with falling great distances interesting and dangerous, but not deadly?
    ...is scenario, falling doesn't represent character death, it represents a serious set-back. IF the character loses all their HPs, they are not dead but unconscious and now they have to carry them or wait for him to wake up, the character has broken a leg and is at 1/2 movement or has broken an arm and some of the challenges require the other PCs to haul the PC up etc...The injured player has mechanical penalties that last days (this is homebrew now, obviously). And having to start over will be even harder because that storm is setting in and the winds are getting high and the rock is getting wet. If you give the players two options, they can choose the easy way and you can hand-wave the journey and dealing with the NPCs will become the harder challenge. If they choose the difficult way, the reap the benefit at the end. The important thing is the players choose whether they want this to a challenge that takes centre stage. Love your user name :) Interesting, yeah you and jayoungr make similar suggestions about the aarakocra disposition toward the PCs being determined by how their climb goes. Off the top of my head, the aarakocra saint is supposed to openly offer a flight ritual to the PCs once she learns of their quest, but perhaps that's reserved for those she finds "worthy", and those who are "less worthy" would need to perform a quest for the aarakocra in exchange for the flight ritual. Thing is, it's important to the narrative that there is no easy way up to the aarakocra settlement from the ground. Otherwise it wouldn't be such a unique sanctuary, and would be dealing with the same dangerous jungle conditions and roaming undead as everyone else down on the ground. A big part of the character of Kir Sabal is that it's above the challenges faced by ground-dwellers. Being hard-to-reach is its only defense (well, and air elemental summoning). An easy longer way up would undermine that.

Tuesday, 27th November, 2018


Friday, 9th November, 2018


Sunday, 28th October, 2018


Saturday, 27th October, 2018

  • 10:40 PM - Quickleaf mentioned jayoungr in post How do you encourage players to interact with the environment?
    jayoungr Sounds like you may have a convergence of 3 issues at your table: 1. A group possibly pre-disposed to cautious play, further entrenched into risk-aversion after being "scarred" by Tomb of Horrors. 2. Imbalanced risk vs. reward ratio when it comes to exploration. 3. Insufficient clues coming from the DM to let players know there's something worth exploring here. I've addressed these very issues in my own gaming groups over the years in a "silver buckshot" approach by: Making it clear to players early on that exploration will be rewarded, either by overtly stating so, by demonstrating it through NPC stories of discovering fortunes/magic, or having a PC discover an un-trapped secret door with treasure early on. Making an effort to design dungeons with beneficial secrets/tricks/treasures in the environment. When running modules, make an effort to insert such things into the module if they are lacking. Giving the players a surplus of actionable clues (even when it seems I'm be...

Wednesday, 25th October, 2017


Monday, 23rd October, 2017

  • 08:21 PM - robus mentioned jayoungr in post Enhancing "Rise of Tiamat" (Practical stuff to try at your table!)
    jayoungr - I'm making the rounds of the Enhancing threads asking that they be made into Wiki threads so the best ideas can be accumulated on the first post. Collected under Chapter name. I'm not saying you need to do it - just that the opportunity is made available :) (your other threads too if you don't mind :) ) Thanks!

Monday, 18th September, 2017

  • 03:38 AM - robus mentioned jayoungr in post [SPOILERS] Enhancing Tomb of Annihilation
    It's like I don't even exist. http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?582133-SPOILERS-Running-Tomb-of-Annihilation-Discussion A hat tip to jayoungr in the OP would have probably helped ;)

Monday, 24th July, 2017

  • 04:09 AM - DM Magic mentioned jayoungr in post A Character Sheet for Beginners
    Added small changes over both sides with input from some intrepid non-gamers who helped me soften/clean up/simplify the language. Also added a blank color and blank B&W version for jayoungr Version 1.6.1: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxTaDcSMIkaaT2NXazdUM2VkSm8

Sunday, 7th May, 2017

  • 11:18 PM - robus mentioned jayoungr in post Enhancing "Curse of Strahd" (and DDAL adventures)
    jayoungr - awesome stuff on the mega index. May I suggest that you update your first post to include it too - so new people (coming from the "best of" thread don't have to read to the end of the thread to find this great index :)

Thursday, 15th December, 2016

  • 10:11 AM - pukunui mentioned jayoungr in post Enhancing "Rise of Tiamat" (Practical stuff to try at your table!)
    I'm having trouble with the Cult Strikes Back setup. I've got four 10th level PCs, with a 6th level NPC druid companion, and I'm looking at the Second Attack options. The text makes it sound like it should be a big force - it talks about multiple nycaloths and mezzoloths and/or multiple cultists dropping down from the black dragon ... but when I do the calculations, I'm getting a deadly encounter with just one dragonsoul, one mezzoloth, and one nycaloth. One dragonsoul and one adult black dragon gets me a deadly encounter as well. (Whereas the black dragon by itself is merely hard.) Anyone got any advice? jayoungr? Eltab? Steven Winter? By the way: I've set this attack up by having the PCs in Everlund just as it comes under attack by the cult. I could potentially have waves of cultists hit them as they try to make it back to Moongleam Tower in order to teleport back to Waterdeep. EDIT: In case it helps, the PCs are as follows: *goliath moon druid 10 *dwarf evoker wizard 10 *human berserker barbarian 10 *halfling swashbuckler rogue 10 *halfling druid NPC (a 6th level caster)

Friday, 18th November, 2016

  • 12:54 AM - pdzoch mentioned jayoungr in post Spell components. Anyone have a DM actually enforce them?
    jayoungr: True: Components are not consumed unless it states they are consumed. But some of the component seem suspect for staying viable for use in a spell, such as a morsel of food, a piece of flesh, drop of blood, all of which would probably rot or dry out (unless the drop was drawn fresh each time from the walking vessel!) and incense (which one would think would be consumed).

Sunday, 9th October, 2016

  • 01:49 AM - pukunui mentioned jayoungr in post A Hoard to Remember: Tyranny of Dragons Campaign Log
    Good news, readers! Thanks to jayoungr, I should be able to restore the missing posts from this thread. It turns out she printed the whole thing out, and she's taken the time to scan it all in and send it to me so I can reconstruct the narrative. I can't thank her enough!

Friday, 6th May, 2016

  • 04:29 PM - hawkeyefan mentioned jayoungr in post CoS: Ireena as a PC?
    jayoungr I wouldn't worry about the two PC thing if it hasn't been an issue before. I think the main thing to focus on is how familiar these players are with Ravenloft, and to set their expectations accordingly. Let them know that some things might be different than what they know and all of that. It's pretty basic advice, but I think that would be my biggest concern in this situation. My players are very familiar with Strahd and the adventure overall, so that's why I took what was in the book and tweaked it a good deal. That may or may not work for everyone, but whatever route you take, I would just talk about it beforehand to make sure any possible issues are known. So let them know that if Ireena is a PC, that could change how the game plays. The last thing you want is the players to get mad when Strahd's minions attack Ireena just as readily as they do the other PCs. If you understand their expectations ahead of time, you can either adjust the adventure to fit those expectations, or tr...

Sunday, 24th April, 2016

  • 09:02 PM - Sadras mentioned jayoungr in post Enhancing "Hoard of the Dragon Queen" (Practical stuff to try at your table!)
    @jayoungr thanks for starting these threads for ToD as a collection of awesome ideas for DMs. Still early days for us as we are somewhere between chapters 3 and 4, except my group decided to travel to Baldur's Gate via a cargo ship, along the coastline, and I'm getting to sneak-in side adventures along the way. Our backstory is very different as the group started HotDQ being level 9 and they are originally from Mystara and in an attempt to escape a scouting party of Githyanki they used an unknown teleportation circle at a Way Point and found themselves in the basement of the Temple of Chauntea during the Cult's assault of Greenest. So they began HotDQ with the Santuary - being with the people trapped inside the Temple. In Greenest I made one of the acolytes an undercover high-level Abjurer assisting the Cult in setting up the attack, ensuring the Bishop of Greenest was away at the time. The Abjurer destroyed the Teleportation Circle under the Temple of Chauntea fearing that more 'strangers' w...

Friday, 8th April, 2016

  • 10:20 AM - pukunui mentioned jayoungr in post Enhancing "Hoard of the Dragon Queen" (Practical stuff to try at your table!)
    New question: How have others been handling Trepsin the four-armed troll's muddy cape? Is it a one-time thing? He can ignore the first 10 points of fire damage he takes and that's it? Or is it like DR, allowing him to reduce any fire damage he takes by 10 each time he takes fire damage? I'm pretty sure it's meant to be a one-time thing, but I just thought I'd check. Interesting point about the trapped suits of armor in the hunting lodge. I didn't even notice that (my group went in through a side door and I don't think they ever even set off the freezing runes). I'd assume that it's a trap for unwary visitors. You could either say that the cultists don't use that door, or else they have a way of passing through without setting off the runes. Maybe if you say "Hail Tiamat" as you pass the armor, the runes don't go off. Or something like that.In case anyone is wondering, I had also made a comment to jayoungr about the trapped elven armor in the hunting lodge entrance hall. It seems a bit odd to have it there. The cultists must either use the kitchen door or else Talis only sets up the trap when she isn't expecting anyone (except that the text implies that she *is* expecting some other cultists soon, so ...). I will go with the assumption that there is a password that can bypass the trap - so it works more like a glyph of warding. EDIT: Something else worth mentioning that I've just noticed is that the helmed horror in the hunting lodge (p. 65) is stated as having a "Spell Storing" trait. The only monster I can find with such a trait is the shield guardian. I wonder if the authors got the two constructs confused when writing that section. As fun as Evard's black tentacles can be, I think I might just leave it out. What do you guys think?

Monday, 14th March, 2016

  • 11:12 AM - pukunui mentioned jayoungr in post My Tyranny of Dragons
    ...ly just a way for a penanggalan to obtain easy victims, as all of her "students" were female). He then said that he wanted them to retrieve a ring (one of the rings of Myrkul, worn by Dralmorrer) from the castle, as well as destroy the farseer of Illusk as retaliation for Rezmir having stolen something from him (the knowledge that he has a twin). Lastly, he informed them that some lizardfolk were heading towards the camp and that one of them was his servant (Snapjaw), then he slid off into the water. During the boat ride from the camp to the castle, I had a giant crocodile attack them. When Snapjaw talked to the lizardfolk on guard duty, I had the PCs makes a group Charisma check to see how well *they* impressed the guards, rather than having Snapjaw make a single check on their behalf. I then had them make another group check to impress the lizardfolk inside the castle when they met with them during their nightly get-together in the room above the forge. On advice from jayoungr, I have made it so the dragonwings all know the portal password, not just Dralmorrer and Rezmir. This enables the cultists to send loot through the portal without it having to be personally escorted by either of the two leaders. Since other people have complained that Dralmorrer is too much of a pushover, I decided to beef him up a little for my game. I gave him the War Caster feat for starters, and also bumped him up to 8 hit dice (so he has 60 hit points). I also gave him Action Surge, Second Wind, and the Dueling Fighting Style. Lastly, I swapped out shocking grasp for green-flame blade from SCAG and gave him a longsword of life stealing. I've also got him wearing a pendant in the shape of the Eldreth Veluuthra's skull-and-sword emblem. I messed around with Pharblex's spell list a bit, giving him spells like Melf's acid arrow and tidal wave, but the PCs killed him in his sleep, so in the end the changes I made didn't really matter. Go figure! When the PCs went into the caverns...

Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

  • 07:41 AM - pemerton mentioned jayoungr in post Inspiration is a PC-on-PC Social Skills Question
    As for taking a feat to be inspirational, bingo. I'm glad you finally see it too. Want to be inspirational (with mechanical benefits to show for it)? There's a feat for that.How is this not subject to the "agency objection" that you, jayoungr and Lord Twig run against the idea of a warlord class? Similarly, if you all think that it is somehow bizarre that only people with a certain class can be truly inspirational, why does the feat not raise exactly the same question? Ask the gods.The question isn't being asked in-fiction. It's a question about game design. Why are all those truly beloved by the gods not also expert warriors or magicians? Whatever in-fiction answer is offered, the game design answer is obvious: it's a class-based game, and being truly beloved by the gods has been silo-ed into a class. (Being somewhat beloved by the gods has been put into a feat.) As I see it (and I think mellored agrees), there is nothing in-principle objectionable about treating the capacity to truly inspire in much the same way as the game system treats the status of being beloved by the gods, and silo-ing it into a class (and a lesser version of it into a feat). Want to be good at punching people? There's a feat for ...

Tuesday, 23rd February, 2016

  • 02:01 AM - pemerton mentioned jayoungr in post Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink
    jayoungr Upthread you were asking about literary examples. Here's a passage from the Iliad (book 5) that seems relevant to thinking about warlords, blessings, inspiration and the like: Now Pallas Athene gave Diomedes, Tydeus’ son, strength and courage to prove himself the finest of the Argives and win glory and renown. She made his helm and shield burn with unwavering flame, like that of Sirius the star of harvest, who when he has bathed in the Ocean depths rises to shine brightest of all. Such was the fire that streamed from his head and shoulders, as she thrust him into the heart of the fight where the enemy were strongest. . . . [W]hen glorious Pandarus, Lycaon’s son, saw Diomedes rage across the plain, routing the army ahead, he swiftly bent his curved bow, and aimed at him, striking him firmly, as he ran, on the right shoulder-plate of his cuirass, so the sharp arrow pierced clean through, and the armour ran with blood. Pandarus cried aloud in triumph: ‘On now, brave Trojans, you...


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Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 11:41 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted jayoungr in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    Well, you said you didn't know why they published it, and my answer is because there was demand. Whether you like the final project is a separate point. The Willie Sutton defense! :) Like all Greatest Hits albums, it's a classic slot filler, whatever else it is.
  • 10:53 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted jayoungr in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    I remember people on this very board were begging for collections of short adventures, rather than a long 1-15 adventure path. Certainly, and quite frankly I'm not a huge fan of level 1-15 APs myself, but just because people were begging for something doesn't mean that TftYP's not particularly imaginative conversions of some classic modules or, in one case a direct republishing of something that had already been released not too long back, fit the bill. It was a lazy release and quite frankly I feel somewhat like a chump for having bought it. I've thought three times since then about buying their books.

Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

  • 09:27 PM - ParanoydStyle quoted jayoungr in post The Forgotten Realms, ironically, are not the Realms which have been Forgotten.
    Oh, absolutely. The first time I saw Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, my brain interpreted the title as it being a adventure revolving around you LITERALLY STEALING A DRAGON and I got stoked (there's a first edition Shadowrun adventure that is pretty much exactly that, but I digress), and I was super disappointed when all that was being heisted was a bunch of gold coins. So now I'm working on "The REAL Dragonheist" (where you do in fact have to STEAL A DRAGON) and yes it's set in Greyhawk and the Free City of Greyhawk and Waterdeep mirror each other quite a bit, and a lot is interchangeable between them. I know--they keep putting tantalizing elements of Spelljammer in various places, but then they go and say things like "We're working on a new setting, and we won't tell you what it is except to say that it's not Spelljammer." :( I suppose you don't want to hear about my other campaign/adventure I'm working on then, which is set in Greyhawk and includes...elements of Spelljammer, lol.
  • 05:53 PM - the Jester quoted jayoungr in post The Forgotten Realms, ironically, are not the Realms which have been Forgotten.
    I just wish they'd stop going out of their way to crush my dreams of 5E Spelljammer. Spoiler for DotMM: There is a spelljamming vessel in that dungeon, along with a write up of Stardock, an orbital station around Toril. There's also a spelljamming helm, complete with detailed magic item stat block.

Monday, 18th February, 2019

  • 10:38 PM - DEFCON 1 quoted jayoungr in post Guides for a New Young DM?
    I've been running D&D for a friend's family lately, and the 12-year-old daughter wants to run some games for her friends. She's got the germ of a campaign idea (assemble three dragon-related artifacts), but wants to know how to design adventures. Of course I've said I'll work with her on this, but I'd like to point her to some good advice on the web as well. Can anyone recommend any blog posts, articles, or videos aimed at helping a brand-new GM design and/or run her first adventure? Matt Colville on YouTube. Videos all about being a dungeon master, including coming up with and running adventures.
  • 02:11 PM - Aldarc quoted jayoungr in post What Are These D&D 5E Notes In Monte Cook Games' Numenera Shipments?
    Although it's interesting to speculate on how the rules of Numenera might be adapted to 5E, I think we can't rule out the possibility that they're just putting together a setting guide. All of the pages in the original post are monster conversion notes, which would fit with that. And that in itself could be very cool!Sure, but I'm not sure how "just a setting a guide" would work with Numenera given that the classes reflect the setting. You can't just plop a standard 5e wizard or fighter into the setting without some heavy tuning. You would almost need Monte Cook Games to design, dare I say, an Arcana Evolved-like book, albeit one that uses 5e instead of 3e as its mechanical basis.

Friday, 15th February, 2019

  • 02:26 AM - blakesha quoted jayoungr in post What Are These D&D 5E Notes In Monte Cook Games' Numenera Shipments?
    I would have said the same about The One Ring, but Adventures in Middle Earth keeps its feel pretty well. The key is that they didn't just roll with the straight D&D 5E rules; they rewrote large parts of them. The classes are almost completely different, for example. A hypothetical Numenera conversion could do the same. I don't think I've actually played Numenera; what specifically are you worried about losing? As ha been stated a couple of times since this post, the GM intrusions, GM diceless (all rolls are made by players), ease of encounter building, ease of creature creation, the stat pools, effort. In regards to AiMe. I am a GM of that version of D&D as a setting. I have found AiMe works best if you limit character advancement to just a narrow band of levels (1-10, with 5-7 being the sweet spot). Trying to get D&D players to understand that AiMe is not about character advancement from a level perspective but advancement as characters is difficult. AiMe is a story telling settin...

Thursday, 14th February, 2019

  • 11:58 PM - Aiden_Keller_ quoted jayoungr in post Lost Mine of Phandelver: The Rogue's Betrayer
    I've been running Lost Mine of Phandelver for a friend's family, including some kids who are new to D&D but seem to be taking to it enthusiastically. They just cleared out the Redbrands' hideout, and I realized that I have overlooked a plot point. My friend's daughter is playing the pregen halfling rogue that comes with the starter set. I admit I didn't look over the character sheets for the pregen characters before running the last session, so I didn't realize that the rogue has a personal quest to find out who betrayed her and led to her leaving the Redbrands. She asked a couple of people in the dungeon about it, but I didn't have an answer ready, so I sidestepped. The problem is that the Redbrands are pretty much out of the story after this point, so I'm not sure how to bring that storyline back into the adventure. They did capture Iarno Albrek alive, and when last seen, he was being hustled off to the "jail" in Phandelver. Maybe I could do something with that--have him offer to g...
  • 11:37 PM - Aldarc quoted jayoungr in post What Are These D&D 5E Notes In Monte Cook Games' Numenera Shipments?
    I think much of that could be kept if they're willing to overhaul the rules to the extent that Adventures in Middle-Earth did. It looks like they're going with a standard-style bestiary, though. Alternatively, maybe it's just going to be a setting book with monsters, something like one of the Plane Shift documents, but book-length?I'm not sure. I'm skeptical. But I don't have much choice other than to wait and see where this is going.
  • 10:27 PM - Aldarc quoted jayoungr in post What Are These D&D 5E Notes In Monte Cook Games' Numenera Shipments?
    I don't think I've actually played Numenera; what specifically are you worried about losing?Namely, GM-less rolling; GM Intrusions (and its tie-in mechanics); its utterly ridiculous ease for creating foes and DCs as a GM; its front-loaded and player-sided task resolution system; the character creation structure; and the fact that it is not yet another 5e-based game.
  • 09:25 PM - LordEntrails quoted jayoungr in post What Are These D&D 5E Notes In Monte Cook Games' Numenera Shipments?
    There are pictures in the first post--are they not visible in your interface for some reason? They're all monster conversion notes, like listing CRs and such. Thanks, I swear they were not there when I read it the first time... I'm getting old!

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019


Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

  • 10:15 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted jayoungr in post What Are These D&D 5E Notes In Monte Cook Games' Numenera Shipments?
    That's exciting news! I am currently running a high-level world-hopping 5E campaign for my group, and I was considering sending them to the world of Numenera at some point. I'm going to move that down on the priority list in hopes that there might be an announcement forthcoming. I've never checked out Numenera due to the really high likelihood of not being able to run it and not needing a lot of new books in my house, but I am a big fan of that kind of Gene Wolfe/Jack Vance style so far future its fantasy. So this would be pretty cool for me.

Monday, 11th February, 2019

  • 08:32 PM - Mike Myler quoted jayoungr in post Mythological Figures: Tarzan (5E)
    I notice he's using a bow in one of those pictures. Could you do something with that? I can fix him up with a better ranged attack than a rock (and should have from the start!) but that doesn't up his damage output. Some feats would need swapped around (probably drop Tavern Brawler) but if he picked up one of the -5/+10 feats (either) he'd be in good shape. I've been waiting for this as Tarzan is my favorite literary character however straight off the bat, I cant accept the Int 9 that you've given him. As a child Tarzan teaches himself to read simply by recognizing the regular patterns made by letters in his alphabet book, he then uses that to construct his own language. Later while contemplating God he creates his own name for it Bulamutumumo. Later he quickly learns to speak French and then English Tarzan was a genius - really I've always though that Tarzan is the kind of character who has 18s in everything. Also I agree making him more agile than athletic makes more sense (he is a grea...
  • 06:53 PM - Kurotowa quoted jayoungr in post BBEG Idea: The Frostfell Queen
    That's basically what happened to Macbeth. The only difference is that he had Lady Macbeth egging him on. So, maybe create a "Lady Macbeth" type figure who convinces her to go through with it? It's been a long time since I read the play, but IIRC the deal with Macbeth is that once the idea is planted in his head his own ambition and ego (and wife) drive him to see it done. Again, it's a story that's explicitly a tragedy. "A great man brought down by his tragic flaw" is the point of the tale. If you're not intending to paint your BBEG as a tragic and sympathetic character, that's not the path you want to go.

Thursday, 7th February, 2019

  • 02:19 AM - Immortal Sun quoted jayoungr in post How to Make the Fey Less Twee
    It's possible that I've never played in a game that used mindflayers up to their full potential. In my experience, they are not treated as social encounters, just "Kill them before they suck your brains out!" monsters. I would say that they are most often presented as "murderous alien monsters" rather than a more horror-inclined "thing that goes bump in the night". In the latter they're quire good, I had one DM capable of running them well. I'm certainly not very good at it.

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

  • 02:26 AM - Immortal Sun quoted jayoungr in post How to Make the Fey Less Twee
    I'm not even sure myself, yet. Basically, my line of thinking was "So, they like Ravenloft--the gothic trappings, the tragedy, the angst. And they play a lot of druids. Fey could be sort of gothy and nature-y at the same time. And fey don't get used much in adventures, so it would be something out of the ordinary." As I said above these people LOVE Ravenloft. I don't think I want them to run screaming from fey. I'd just like to be able to present fey and have them get the same kind of respect my players would give, say, a vampire. Something that could hurt them, that they'd want to be careful around, but also, something that has dignity, so they wouldn't just make a joke out of it. And absolutely not childish or cute. As I grope toward a picture of what I want, I'm thinking maybe ... so, like a psychological vampire? Something that could hurt you mentally/emotionally, in the way a vampire could hurt you physically? But not just a simple suck-your-brains-out threat like a mindf...
  • 02:24 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted jayoungr in post How to Make the Fey Less Twee
    As I grope toward a picture of what I want, I'm thinking maybe ... so, like a psychological vampire? Something that could hurt you mentally/emotionally, in the way a vampire could hurt you physically? But not just a simple suck-your-brains-out threat like a mindflayer. The nicer scary fey of legends did things like ruin families with changelings or keep mortals in Underhill for a night of revelry that actually lasts a century or two, returning them to a world that has utterly forgotten them beyond being a cautionary tale. Everything they had is lost across an abyss of time. Kind of a conceptual precursor to the Weeping Angels of Doctor Who fame. That’s hard to translate into a credible threat against a PC, but it could be the basis for an adventure. More direct threats might be fey that treat humans as mere meat puppets, conscious but unable to control their actions. Consider As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods, They kill us for their sport. King Lear Act 4, scene 1,...
  • 01:30 AM - FrogReaver quoted jayoungr in post Why deciding to round down multiclassing spellcaster levels was stupid
    Let me start by apologizing to anyone who found my earlier post offensive. It was absolutely not my intention to put down anyone's playstyle, in any way. I was attempting to characterize the approach in neutral language, but I admit that I don't typically design characters this way myself, so I may not have done it justice. Thanks, I don't think you were intentionally doing that. I also took your words to the furthest extremes they could have been taken to and I apologize for doing that. For what it's worth, I actually do not believe that designing characters in this way represents a failure to roleplay, or think that it means those players are approaching D&D like a video game. It's just a different approach that some people gravitate toward, and for those people, it's very important. It's their "way in" to a character. I respect that. The reason I contrasted it with roleplaying is because it seems to me, for the people to whom it matters, the thing they want to reflect mechanicall...
  • 12:23 AM - Dausuul quoted jayoungr in post How to Make the Fey Less Twee
    As I said above these people LOVE Ravenloft. I don't think I want them to run screaming from fey. I'd just like to be able to present fey and have them get the same kind of respect my players would give, say, a vampire. Something that could hurt them, that they'd want to be careful around, but also, something that has dignity, so they wouldn't just make a joke out of it. And absolutely not childish or cute. I would start with a simple rule: Nothing smaller than Medium-size. Small monsters get no respect. Beyond that... themes of mind control and illusion are very common in fey legend. Fey can wipe your memories, twist your emotions, make you see things that aren't there and not see things that are, and erase your entire personality to turn you into a simple beast. I could envision an evil fey empire, with brainwashed, adoring humans waiting hand and foot on cruel elvish masters.


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