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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 01:02 AM
    It really depends on how long the temporary HP last, and what other measures the DM has taken to address healing in that campaign. They're roughly equivalent if they last until the end of your next short rest (when you can spend Hit Dice to heal for free), and if you heal back up to full overnight regardless. Temporary HP are worth substantially less than actual healing if they only last until...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 12:50 AM
    If they're going to take 10 damage, then it doesn't matter whether they lose 10thp or 10hp, but you have no way of knowing whether or not they'll take any damage after you cast your spell. If you give someone 10thp, and they don't get hit after that, then you've wasted a spell slot to no effect. Temporary Hit Points wear off, eventually. The complicating factor is that HP damage also wears...
    24 replies | 420 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:50 PM
    I was expecting this to be a thread about warlords. The big problem with temporary Hit Points is that sometimes they miss. You can put them on the wrong target. If you put 10thp on the wizard, but the rogue is the one who gets attacked, then those 10thp are wasted. With healing, since it's always done after the damage has taken place, you always know the right target to heal. If the rogue...
    24 replies | 420 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:22 PM
    Off the top of my head, I would check out GURPS. I don't remember exactly how they address the issue, but I know they have rules for blunt trauma when a weapon fails to penetrate flexible body armor. You can't really take an approach that's much less complex than GURPS, because it tends to promote weird behavior. For example, when D&D 3.5 introduced the concept of DR that required different...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:57 PM
    You don't actually need to address that, as the DM. If the fighter is really that much tougher than the wizard (for whatever reason), then the party will agree to put the fighter on point, where they'll face the brunt of incoming attacks and end up taking the most damage as a result of their own decisions. Wizards have fewer HP, as a class feature, which is fine because they hang out in the back...
    42 replies | 817 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:44 PM
    I'm not sure that you're really talking about the topic of this thread, then. The OP is talking about any time you take damage. If it's just certain weapons, or certain monster abilities, then that doesn't really reflect on the rest of the game. What game are you talking about? In AD&D, characters stopped rolling hit dice for HP around level 10. By 3E, wizards had access to uncapped Constitution...
    42 replies | 817 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:04 PM
    If it's a strong class system, like AD&D, then the class element provides a convenient label that makes it easier to understand the character concept. A ranger is a well-defined concept, as is a wizard. As you move further away from a strong class system, the class defines less of the character concept. A ranger in 5E, for example, is different from a ranger in 1E. In 5E, you need to take the...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:33 PM
    No, because the rule for how much damage a dagger deals is clearly stated, in ways that the rules for counterspelling (and stealth, and many others) are not. The DM in an AL game is obliged to follow the rules in the book, but where those rules are left up to interpretation, the DM still has the same freedom to interpret as they would at any other table. Fifth Edition is not written to the...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:21 AM
    Imagine a game where driving is important, and you have 30 pages of driving rules to determine how different factors affect your ability to drive. And imagine that you're playing the game, and you need to drive somewhere, under difficult circumstances that would normally call for a check with your driving skills. Now imagine that, before you make your roll, the GM flips a coin; on heads, you move...
    42 replies | 817 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:27 AM
    Officially, as far as the AL is concerned, it's up to DM interpretation and can vary from table to table.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 10:58 PM
    I've never tried it, but I imagine you're right. It's a better fit for a system where initiative and movement are your primary form of defense, rather than AC and Hit Points. (Street Fighter doesn't use an attack roll; you automatically hit, as long as they're in range.) It would also make Dexterity even more valuable than it already is, which is the last thing I'd want for D&D.
    36 replies | 825 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 10:18 PM
    It might take a little bit of work, but you could adapt the method from White Wolf's Street Fighter engine. Basically, you would roll initiative as normal, but then the character with the lowest initiative goes first. At any point in their turn, anyone with a higher initiative can interrupt them; and unless they are interrupted by someone with an even higher initiative, their entire turn...
    36 replies | 825 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 10:01 PM
    I can only speak for myself, but if you have a random chance of decapitation which ignores all of the normal metrics for survivability, then the game feels like more of a slot machine and less like something where my choices matter at all. Why should I care about having a good HEALTH score, or agonize over which potion to save and which one to drink, when there's a not-insignificant chance that...
    42 replies | 817 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 09:11 PM
    In real life, the possibility of decapitation is low enough that I can stay invested in actually doing anything. You can bet that, if there was a 5% chance of losing my head whenever I got into a car, then I would spend a lot of time hiding in my bed. Decapitation in games is a little bit more acceptable, but not by much. If I feel like anything I do has a chance of invalidating all of my...
    42 replies | 817 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 12:53 AM
    If that's the sole concession, but it's also a tiny bit that's easily ignored, then I'd think that says something significant. Namely, that the designers aren't willing to pay more than lip service to that whole design philosophy, because they don't think it's important to this game. I'm sure that many people agree with them. Progress doesn't mean blindly following every trend that comes...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 10:55 PM
    When something is hidden, you have no way of knowing whether it's there or not. For all you can tell, it may have teleported away. It is necessarily also unseen, because if you could see it, then it would no longer be hidden. When something is unseen (but not hidden), everyone still knows exactly where it is, because invisible creatures are constantly emitting a high-pitched ping to everyone...
    15 replies | 406 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 02:24 AM
    There was a wizard (conjuror) who made it to level 20 in the campaign I ran. He used his Wish for a suit of Empyrean armor, which he later used to tank the Tarrasque in the penultimate session. Wizards don't actually have low HP in this edition, because they gain little benefit from feats, so they're free to pump Constitution as high as they need it. (They also have pretty good AC, especially as...
    34 replies | 1166 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 12:51 AM
    The inspiration rules are that you gain an Inspiration Point when the DM tells you that you gain an Inspiration Point. If they never do so, then they are still following the rules-as-written-and-intended. Personally, I tried giving them out for one session, but then we dropped it. It adds complexity, to no real benefit, except that it makes things less predictable for the players.
    63 replies | 1406 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 12:31 AM
    I never feel bad for monsters. That's the virtue of being a monster. That's why killing them is always a good thing, and not equivalent to murder in any way. I sometimes feel bad for people who are turned into monsters, but they're already dead, and nothing I can do will change that. It's entirely possible that killing the monster will finally put their soul to rest (if such a thing exists),...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 12:16 AM
    It's entirely true, in my experience. Disadvantage is an invitation to take a different action, because more often than not, Disadvantage will turn a hit into a miss. Power Attack is high risk, high reward. There's a time and a place for that. Throwing a javelin at long range is barely better than nothing, and rarely better than dodging. This might be one of those things that varies between...
    245 replies | 7296 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 11:36 PM
    I get what you're saying, but I think you're over-estimating the accuracy of a single javelin attack made with Disadvantage. A wizard literally can't hit an enemy that's 100 feet away, but the fighter effectively can't hit an enemy that's 100 feet away. The fighter with a javelin may technically be better off, but that's just a technicality. For all intents and purposes, neither is going to hit...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 08:15 PM
    One difference is that wizard cantrips fire with INT, rather than DEX. Wizards are ensured a reasonable degree of accuracy with their cantrips, where warriors are not guaranteed a reasonable degree of accuracy with a bow, unless they build for it. Personally, I'm of a mind that nobody should get a free pass on things that they aren't good at. Both wizards and warriors should need to invest...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 11:52 PM
    Traditionally speaking, that's a good example of a character who has taken a lot of HP damage. She's clearly injured, in such a way that she won't be fine in the morning. She can still keep fighting (no wound penalties), but she's on the verge of being down for the count (low HP). It doesn't make sense as a description of running through all of your Healing Surges, because Healing Surges recover...
    25 replies | 938 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 09:40 PM
    From a game standpoint, sure. From an RP standpoint, I don't know how my character would know that. When you look around at your fellow party members, and everyone is either untouched or lightly scratched - nobody has sustained an injury that will persist through rest - then it's hard to despair. If you don't know that the encounters for the day are calibrated to test your exact limits, then it...
    25 replies | 938 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 02:02 AM
    That's a start, but I don't think it's really a substitute for having a definitive narration of what HP damage encompasses. If I'm going to take 20 damage for someone, then I want to know what that means, when I commit to taking it. The other thing that stopped me from roleplaying in combat, when I was playing in 4E, was the inclusion of allied minions. I was trying to play a paladin, and I...
    25 replies | 938 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th February, 2019, 01:10 AM
    Fine. I shouldn't have said that the barbarian might use a bow, given how little of an improvement it is over using a javelin. They're both useless, and everyone would have more fun if the barbarian sits out that fight. (Unless the barbarian has already invested heavily in Dex, in which case the bow would be a significant improvement, but we can't make that assumption anymore than we can assume...
    245 replies | 7296 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 11:17 PM
    There are degrees of uselessness. Firing a longbow for ~4 damage, twice, is slightly less useless than throwing a javelin once, at Disadvantage, for ~8 damage. In neither case does the barbarian contribute meaningfully, but in the former case there's a small chance that their cumulative damage might be worth tracking. Barbarians can't fight at range in any meaningful capacity. Full stop. Nothing...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 10:41 PM
    One. The process detailed only applies when you know the situation you're going into, because it requires a round of preparation, and even then it only holds for two rounds. There's not necessarily a "useful action" that you can provide on turn three, and even if there is, it probably takes your free item interaction for the round. If you did know the situation you'd be getting into, and you...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 09:06 PM
    You're throwing one, unless there's a house rule to mitigate that (or you have a feat or class feature). House rules can provide good solutions to systemic problems, but that doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist. Nobody goes into melee with a short sword and nothing to back that up. Everyone who would want to use a short sword will also have some sort of ability which increases that damage....
    245 replies | 7296 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 07:51 PM
    Because making one attack roll, with Disadvantage, where success deals a trivial amount of damage, is not engaging for the player. Even in the unlikely event that you hit, ~8 damage is a tiny sum, compared to the vast HP reserves of a high-level boss and the 20-30 damage that everyone else is dealing. If the boss dies in three rounds, whether or not you take your actions, then your actions were...
    245 replies | 7296 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 07:30 PM
    This is 5E. Failure isn't on the table. The only difference is whether the barbarian gets to participate, or whether they go play Mario Kart for an hour.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 03:54 AM
    Where to stand, and who to protect, has always been a choice for them to make. If the mage is a jerk, you might stand in front of the cleric instead. If someone is down, you can choose to stand over them, same as in 4E. Risk management can be as much a question of personality as it is of player skill. Some wizards are more reckless than others, and some prefer explosions over battlefield...
    25 replies | 938 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 01:58 AM
    I have no experience with 1E, but it's perfectly legal by late 2E rules. I don't recall whether the change was in Humanoids, or in Skills & Powers; both books were pretty wonky in terms of balance. It also works in Baldur's Gate.
    44 replies | 1090 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, 12:42 AM
    It's worth remembering that there were many different methods of stat generation presented, throughout both PHBs and DMGs and supplements. Rolling an 18 is far from an unlikely event, even if you're rolling fairly, and I know at least one method allowed you to point buy your percentile. In my personal experience (with late-edition 2E), percentile Strength only showed up if you found Gauntlets...
    44 replies | 1090 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 11:59 PM
    So, even though there's zero guarantee whatsoever that the rest of the party will have any specific solution available, you're still confident that they'll collectively be able to work something out? I do not share your confidence. While there are countless ways that it could work out, there are just as many where it would not, especially where new players are involved. Creative...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 11:27 PM
    I don't know that it's acceptable to be quadratically terrible at a situation you're going to be forced into on a regular basis. Sitting around and not contributing for an hour is pretty boring. It would be one thing, if everyone was routinely forced into such a situation, and you just had to deal with it. That isn't the case, though, because you could just build a Dexterity fighter instead of...
    245 replies | 7296 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 11:19 PM
    On one end of the room, you have the player party. On the other end of the room, you have the Big Bad. Between them, you have an impassable chasm that is wider than the distance which a javelin can be thrown. I'm not sure where you're finding an interesting alternative.
    245 replies | 7296 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 10:31 PM
    Whether or not the DM should use fiat powers to contrive opportunities for the party is another topic entirely. For now, let it suffice to say that eigen-plots are controversial, and just because a DM can work around a problem does not mean the problem isn't real. Remember, the scenario at-hand is a BBEG who can fly. Role-playing that character to the best of their ability is the primary job...
    245 replies | 7296 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 08:47 PM
    At least as far as D&D is concerned, combat isn't an optional activity. Everyone needs to participate, or else they might as well leave the table for an hour and go play Mario Kart. If your character build options are to either build for Dexterity, in which case you get to play the game; or build for Strength, in which case you get to sit out for an hour because you can't contribute; then...
    245 replies | 7296 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 08:29 PM
    It's not mandatory to keep up with monsters. It's mandatory to keep up with other PCs. The monsters are more-or-less punching bags, since they can take way more than they dish out. Most games don't use feats, and everything works out fine. I ran a game from 1-20, and the math basically worked out. Even when high-level enemies impose impossible saving throws, the PCs have enough HP that they...
    44 replies | 1090 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th February, 2019, 06:22 AM
    That's about right. Short of magical items, there's no good way for a sword-and-board fighter to increase their damage much beyond (1d8+7) per attack. If you pick up a greatsword, though, then there's a feat which will increase the per-attack damage by +10. I know that it sounds kind of overwhelming for one feat to double your damage like that, but it's balanced by giving you -5 on the attack...
    44 replies | 1090 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 11:13 PM
    The issue is always about sustainability. You might get three attacks on the first round, but that was a one-off gimmick that you had prepared for. On a round-by-round basis, you can only draw and throw one weapon on your turn.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 11th February, 2019, 08:04 PM
    Are we still pretending that the game is balanced? If nobody can safely dump Dexterity - not even a high-Strength fighter with heavy armor - then that points to a serious issue with stat balance. After all, plenty of people can get away with dumping Strength, Int, Wisdom, or Charisma. Why should everyone in the world need above-average Dexterity in order to be minimally competent? (And yes,...
    245 replies | 7296 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 08:52 PM
    It's counter-intuitive, but these two points actually work against each other. In a party, the barbarian's job is to be a large, salient threat, which can grab the attention of the enemies. You want them to attack you, instead of your allies, because you're better at taking a hit. (You also have a lot of free healing, every day, in the form of Hit Dice.) Having a high AC makes you less of a...
    55 replies | 2729 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 08:02 PM
    Consider the situation at hand. The Big Bad of the entire campaign is over there, and you have no way to get to them. If you could get to them, you could do amazing* things, because that's what you're good at; but you can't use any of your cool abilities, so you stand back and shoot some arrows, which are probably going to miss. Are you feeling good about your contribution? Are you happy with...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 08:56 AM
    I would classify it as an extreme variant of 5E. I intentionally changed a lot of the names and numbers, so players who were familiar with 5E wouldn't get confused between the games, but most of the underlying mechanics are still similar. Like, I have stats that go from 1-10 (instead of modifiers between -4 and +5), and you have a Training bonus that goes from 6-10 (instead of a Proficiency bonus...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 01:55 AM
    That does sound familiar. I'm glad you've been able to hold out this long! You haven't missed out on anything. Personally, I gave up on running 5E without significant house rules, which eventually codified into Gishes & Goblins (available as .pdf on DrivethruRPG, print-on-demand available soon). Healing was one of the big issues I had to address, but I'm happy with the way it turned out.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 01:35 AM
    I don't remember the 5E playtest forums, but that sounds like me. I use Squirrel Girl on Twitter, and other places.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 01:04 AM
    I don't recall ever finding a cure wand, in either edition, and it wasn't until very late in the 3E cycle that I ever saw a cleric with access to the Heal spell. In AD&D, you either rolled randomly for loot, or the DM placed things according to what made sense for their world; and since homebrew setting creation was usually a given, we never felt pressured by the rules to include such things. In...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 8th February, 2019, 12:12 AM
    Do we have data on that? My understanding is that AD&D varied wildly between tables, and my own experience with 2E was as described - never get into a fair fight, avoid taking damage whenever possible, and natural healing was sufficient for when you failed at that.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 11:06 PM
    That's more workable. Basically, instead of increasing your actual Strength, you learn to use your existing Strength more effectively. You only have a Strength of 16, so you don't look like Arnold, but your experience means that you can apply your Strength to be on-par with an 18 or 20 in most circumstances. Personally, I'm not a fan of it because it adds complexity. I like that Strength 16...
    38 replies | 960 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 09:13 PM
    1) The main benefit of increasing your scores is that it compensates for not cheating at your initial rolls. Back in AD&D, when an 18 made a huge difference and there was no easy way to raise your stats after the initial roll (and race selection), you saw a lot of "natural" 18s. Maybe DMs were less strict, and allowed multiple re-rolls until you got a set that included an 18. The point of...
    38 replies | 960 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 08:16 PM
    It doesn't take a great deal of system mastery to realize that you might need to deal with flying foes. It does require a great deal of system mastery in order to build a character that can attack effectively at range, while not sacrificing their core competencies. A barbarian with 14 Dexterity (as suggested by their armor proficiencies), who picks up a longbow, is not an effective ranged...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 08:18 AM
    If you're talking about level 5, then you're comparing ~11 damage from a scaling cantrip to ~6 damage from a non-scaling cantrip and ~20 damage from a fighter with a longsword (or more, depending on fighting style and other factors). Scaling cantrips are already at half of what the fighter contributes, and you want to halve it again; while ~6 is roughly in the ballpark with ~11, and ~11 is...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th February, 2019, 03:22 AM
    On the one hand, it's easy to criticize players for building an obvious weakness into their character; not having a viable ranged option is a fairly obvious weakness. On the other hand, that doesn't excuse the designers for turning obvious character builds into traps, that require significant amounts of system mastery in order to overcome; a straightforward barbarian or paladin should be a viable...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 11:58 PM
    Currently in 5E, a versatile weapon is a weapon which be used in one hand for 1d8 damage, or two hands for 1d10 damage. With this change, a versatile weapon will be a weapon that can be used in one hand for (1d10-2) damage, or two hands for 1d10 damage. Changing perspective doesn't actually change anything about how it's used; it's just a label. Changing the damage die, however, does change...
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    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 10:09 PM
    To be fair, the OP can say with reasonable certainty whether or not it already feels mandatory at the one table which might implement this change. If it's a problem at that table, then we can accept it as a given, and move on to discussing whether or not this solution would solve that problem. And given that premise, it does seem to follow that more spell slots would address the issue (though I'm...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 08:53 PM
    I suppose that it depends on the individual, and how frequently they cast a cantrip while they still have spell slots remaining, under the current parameters. In my experience, spellcasters cast cantrips with the primary intent of saving their spell slots for later, because they the cantrip provides them with a viable alternative that doesn't cost anything. If they didn't have a cantrip, then...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 03:41 AM
    If you're defining a long campaign as twelve sessions or more, then I've only made it that far with D&D and Pathfinder. One of the under-appreciated aspects of a level-based system is that it encourages sticking with a character for the long term, and discourages making new characters from scratch.
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    Wednesday, 6th February, 2019, 12:18 AM
    That may be your plan, but I highly doubt that it would be the case in actual gameplay. If someone wants to wield a two-handed sword as a matter-of-course, then they'll still prefer the vastly superior greatsword, and just switch to a shortsword or dagger in the unlikely case that they need to hold onto something. Even if they didn't have any other weapon, so they ended up forfeiting a useful...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 11:21 PM
    Oh, okay. So it's just about changing the specific numbers involved? I thought you were looking for weird interactions with Reckless Attack, or GWM, or some ability that was restricted to use with two-handed weapons. If it's just a numbers thing, then I would go out of my way to avoid using a versatile weapon in one hand, because (1d10-2) is significantly more prone to low rolls than 1d8 is. I...
    31 replies | 780 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th February, 2019, 09:25 PM
    I don't exactly follow. Would you mind spelling out the difference? How would this change the way that the weapon is used, in practice?
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 10:27 PM
    Danger is always relative, and fear is a matter of perception. It makes sense that they would be afraid on the first trip, but not on the return, because they are significantly different people than they used to be. Imagine it's raining outside, and I make a miserable trek to visit a friend, whereupon I dry out and they let me borrow an umbrella. The return trip is significantly less...
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    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 09:55 PM
    I sympathize with your players, because I also hate trickster fey. I think they're silly, and that they detract from any setting where they exist. It's not a matter of fear or respect, though. The issue is that they don't make logical sense. If you ask a wizard how they cast spells, then they can give you complex theories about natural laws and interactions between elemental planes. If you...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 09:24 PM
    Personally, I prefer gishes who alternate between swinging a sword and casting spells, rather than casting spells that make them better at swinging swords. In my opinion, magic needs to reach a certain level of commonality before it starts specializing into different ways of augmenting mundane tasks, and I'd generally prefer to not play in those settings. I want magic to be impressive when it...
    28 replies | 769 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 4th February, 2019, 07:45 AM
    Saelorn replied to 4E Redux
    If you're going to incorporate changes at the scale indicated, then it would probably work best if you just wrote an entire new game. Use a Monster Manual of your choice as inspiration, if you want it, but fundamental changes to characters would require fundamental changes to the rest of the system. Honestly, if you spend a couple of hours on it every other day, it shouldn't take you more than...
    34 replies | 1622 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd February, 2019, 09:19 PM
    The thing is, the rate of advancement is entirely up to the DM, in creating the campaign. The default is pretty fast, much like how the default natural healing rate is ridiculously fast, but you can slow that down as much as you need to. If you think characters get too powerful or complex at level 6, then you never have to let them get that far. The big issue is that players have an assumption...
    65 replies | 2286 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 07:51 AM
    Right, and I'll accept that the game probably works better if you buy into that line of thinking. I just don't know how the writers expected anyone with a background in D&D to figure that out.
    140 replies | 8203 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 07:48 AM
    So, making the save means you move from the center of the effect to the edge of the effect, which is as far as you can get without leaving the square? by that logic, if the bolt was aimed such as to only cover the half of your square, then moving to the far edge of the square would allow you to avoid the effect entirely. I'd be fine with a DM ruling that an oblique hit from a lightning bolt...
    69 replies | 2052 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 03:40 AM
    It's been a while since I've read it, but I don't recall the DMG being particularly clear on the concept of re-statting monsters. I know it's a common example in this thread, but I don't think the DMG actually says that you should re-implement a level 8 elite as a level 18 minion (or whatever). Nor is it particularly clear on the idea that stats only exist for the sake of the players, with NPC...
    140 replies | 8203 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd February, 2019, 03:32 AM
    Sure, but the same is true whether you fire the bolt directly at someone, or between two people. Unless the face of the lightning bolt is literally a 5-foot-square cross-section, it should be possible for it to pass directly through the five-foot-cube where you're standing, and possibly not hit you; similar to how you might describe an arrow as sailing over the target's shoulder. If you spend...
    69 replies | 2052 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 03:23 AM
    The world is a character. Every NPC who ever existed is a character. Is the vine going to grow in such a way as to provide a conveniently-plausible travel path for characters that invested in certain skills? It's not allowed to take their relative athletic capabilities into account, when deciding how to grow. The GM should remain impartial in their determination of this. Is the castle architect...
    82 replies | 3245 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 02:14 AM
    For certain definitions of "story", perhaps. If the session transcript is just a bunch of people messing around in town, never getting into any conflict or performing any uncertain actions, then that could very well be a session of an RPG; but many critics would hesitate to call it a story, or even a story fragment. It lacks purposefulness. Everything in a novel or movie happens in order to drive...
    82 replies | 3245 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 12:16 AM
    Well, this is a thread about personal opinions, and my opinion is that any GM who treats the game world as a story rather than a believable world is committing a terrible crime against RPGs. It's fine that you disagree, but it does mean that we would not be able to play at the same table.
    82 replies | 3245 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 1st February, 2019, 12:02 AM
    The question is, "Is an RPG like a drama, movie, novel, or other fictional text"? I would strongly say that it is not. The key distinction is that all of those other things are just stories, while an RPG is supposed to represent a believable place. There is no "plot" in an RPG; there's just a bunch of stuff that happens.
    82 replies | 3245 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 10:57 PM
    Fortunately, we don't have to do that here, or now. I'm not the only one to bring up meta-gaming as an RPG crime, and you didn't object when I mentioned it originally. Let it suffice to say that some people find meta-gaming to be one of the biggest RPG crimes, and just move on for now. This is one definition that I know is well-accepted. When role-playing, meta-gaming is the act of having a...
    82 replies | 3245 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 09:35 PM
    I didn't know there was a formal definition of it. I just hate meta-gaming (as any good role-player should), and I've noticed that some particular GMs are fond of this sort of thing, and think that the rules against meta-gaming don't apply to them. Those GMs are the worst. Eh, it's still meta-gaming, which is objectively bad. Having the GM declare that the Big Bad was secretly your brother all...
    82 replies | 3245 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 08:25 PM
    We're probably not using the term in the same way. If you look at old modules, where everything in the dungeon is written on the map before the PCs are even created, then that's a good example of a protagonism-neutral environment. The challenges exist, as they are, regardless of who faces them. Whether you're level 1 or level 50, those goblins still have 4hp. Whether you're a noble or a...
    82 replies | 3245 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 07:44 PM
    I'm familiar with the class. I tried playing one, at tenth level. I was severely disappointed. (It did have pretty great AC, and decent mobility, but I wasn't able to tank because none of the enemies saw me as a threat.) Any set of game rules will be an imperfect model, but that sounds like you could address it in the way you describe hits. If 15 damage to an enemy with 150hp is like 1 damage to...
    75 replies | 2764 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 12:23 AM
    Generally speaking, if you cast it right down the line, it should effectively hit 10' wide along its entire length. Depending on the situation, I might give one or both creatures Advantage on the saving throw, since it only clips half of them. If you fire it at any angle other than along the grid, there are going to be places where it covers some squares entirely and other squares by less than...
    69 replies | 2052 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st January, 2019, 12:08 AM
    Thanks! I'm actually re-translating that concept back out from my homebrew, 5E-inspired game (Gishes & Goblins, if you want to check it out on DriveThruRPG). That game uses smaller numbers, but in essence, you have a pool of Armor Points for every fight that are based on your Con and your armor. Most hits will split their damage between your AP and your HP, so things start to go downhill very...
    105 replies | 5022 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 10:53 PM
    As I see it, the problems are both with maximum HP, and with healing. As it stands, the difference between a high Con score and a low Con score has more of an effect on HP than whether you're playing a Wizard or a Barbarian. And since you also gain +Con to each Hit Die spent for healing, and you gain all HP back overnight, you get to count each of those HP multiple times. One of the reasons...
    105 replies | 5022 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 09:43 PM
    One of the meta-considerations is that the players know you have instituted this change, so they will base their decisions accordingly. It's not as important, whether a non-scaling cantrip is mathematically superior to firing a crossbow; player perception of the house rule will tell them that cantrips have been nerfed, and there's no point in using them, so they'll be more inclined to find...
    118 replies | 4876 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 08:38 PM
    Were they viable in 3E? You could still hit, if you took a feat for it, but you wouldn't deal enough damage to matter, since you didn't have Sneak Attack. I distinctly remember seeing a lot of level 10 characters that dealt 1d6+2 damage with a rapier, next to the other level 10 fighters that did 2d6+10 with a greatsword (before Power Attack). The Man in Black always struck me as more of a pure...
    75 replies | 2764 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 08:27 PM
    What it's really saying is that light-weight boxers aren't as competitive against heavy-weight boxers, and I'm really okay with that message. All else being equal, the bigger boxer should win, because size is a very important factor in boxing. That's why boxers are organized into weight categories. If you want light armor to be real armor, like a gambeson, then you could also just give them a...
    75 replies | 2764 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 08:10 PM
    I'll be happy to move on now. No need to continue beating that dead horse. But, one of the original questions of this thread was, why can't you roleplay in 4E? And that's a very specific question, to which I had a very specific answer. Moving on, the good things about 4E: Fighters had interesting things to do, the classes were balanced while remaining differentiated within their niches, and...
    140 replies | 8203 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 06:45 AM
    Just because they didn't see a problem, that doesn't mean no problem existed. It just means that they didn't see it. Or maybe they did see it, but didn't care. I don't presume that anyone else actually cares about the game, beyond the minimum investment of showing up and rolling dice. That doesn't excuse the designers introducing such a problem for those who do care, though. And if there was...
    140 replies | 8203 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 06:29 AM
    The difference is that Dexterity already goes toward so many things, while melee is the only real thing that Strength does. If you remove Finesse weapons, then Dexterity is still a very useful stat. If you remove Strength-based melee weapons, then Strength becomes the universal dump stat. I'm in favor of having one stat to govern all melee combat, but I would want to call it "Strength", for the...
    75 replies | 2764 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th January, 2019, 04:41 AM
    I can't hold it against him. I think he was running a module, so he may not have had a say in whether or not they were minions. And in any case, he was being impartial, as decades of D&D experience had taught him. Honestly, that only raises further questions. The whole concept of minions would be weird enough, if it was just the HP thing. Bringing up all of the other exceptions would only...
    140 replies | 8203 view(s)
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Friday, 22nd February, 2019


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Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

  • 10:52 PM - dave2008 mentioned Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    Fluffy is not referred to as "a cerberus" or "the cerberus". He is referred to very specifically as a "three-headed dog." The name "Cerberus" is not used in either the book or the movie. That is what I thought, but @Saelorn seems to disagree with you. Now I have to go and try to find the book.

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019

  • 10:49 PM - Oofta mentioned Saelorn in post Ranged Options for All Classes
    He is correct in the example that is being discussed: of the character with multiple attacks. The character is not throwing a second javelin as a bonus action, they are throwing it as part of their Attack action. No two-weapon fighting required. Ah, I misread. Apologies. But as Saelorn pointed out it assumes you know you're going into a particular type of combat and doesn't make a difference after the second round.

Tuesday, 12th February, 2019

  • 01:00 AM - Oofta mentioned Saelorn in post Ranged Options for All Classes
    True dat. (EDIT: exception for Dual Wielder, I suppose... 3 each round for two rounds, then 2 for 3rd round and beyond... but anyway jeez that's a lot of thrown weapons to carry...) Saelorn beat me to it. I had a character that did that - two weapon fighting, etc. My DM also (house?) ruled that I could attack with my primary multiple times once I got a dwarven thrower. But that was the exception to the rule.

Monday, 11th February, 2019

  • 09:03 PM - Oofta mentioned Saelorn in post Ranged Options for All Classes
    Except for rage damage, and reckless attack, and the bigger weapons... The +2 to damage is nice (for the levels most people actually play), but hardly earth-shattering. I had forgotten about reckless attack since I don't have the PHB memorized yet. Assuming that at least some of your stats are average or below not getting reckless would hardly be the end of the world. As far as bigger weapons, going dual weapon with rapiers does just about as much if not more damage than other options for the levels most people play. In addition none of that addresses anyone that wants to run any number of archetypes that wear heavy armor and that should be perfectly fine with an average dexterity. As Saelorn said: if nobody can dump dexterity, it's a problem.

Saturday, 2nd February, 2019

  • 11:10 PM - Satyrn mentioned Saelorn in post JC Tweets: How Close to official rulings do you consider them to be?
    I see. So then would you agree that in absence of a wotc rule clarification in sage advice on something that what JC tweets about it is the next best clarification we have? No, I don't agree with that. I place no value in what WotC says. I have gotten a far better understanding of how to play 5e "by the rules" from iserith. I have learned how to present encounters better thanks to Saelorn ( I ignore anything he says about metagaming, though!). I have learned the glory that is the gnome paladin from Oofta. I could go on, but my point is that my game is better without listening to WotC.

Friday, 1st February, 2019


Friday, 25th January, 2019

  • 06:50 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned Saelorn in post Skill Checks (non time sensitive) homebrew fixes
    In the example, you've answered your own question - no one should make manacles that can be broken easily or quickly. Think about trying that in RL with handcuffs. Without a manufacturing defect, that shouldn't work the first time or the 20th. So it's the DC that's wrong, not that it's harder in later ones. ..... Maybe manacles need to have a DC so they can't be popped open by 10 STR people regardless if it's their first try. Doesn't the average person have -1 str? So, they shouldn't be able to get free even with a 20. But I don't think it's the DC that's wrong here....see below. Saelorn: I think 1 round (6 seconds)is too short a time span for most out of combat activities. I'd allow an attempt every 10 minutes or, maybe longer. It takes time to wriggle out of stuff. Doing a Strength check over and over will make noise. Given long enough increments, people come back and check on prisoners to make sure their bonds are secure. It shouldn't be that easy to get out of manacles. In short: Out of combat 'turns' are not 6 seconds. 'Turns' take as long as what's reasonable for the activity. I don't know what 5e rules say on this subject but I just go with whatever feels realistic. CleverNickName: Having the players give you a different way of tackling the problem is a great justification for another roll. I like that a lot. But some things just take time and patience. A puzzle, for example, just requires you to work at it until you figure it out.

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019

  • 05:30 PM - dave2008 mentioned Saelorn in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    I never found RP in 4e difficult. I think they key is to ignore the printed adventures or liberally hack them, and to just play how you want. The game is extremely robust. The only problem you’ll run into is slow combat, and we found that we could just halve all monster HP values and it works fine. I agree with you in general, but that is not what Saelorn is talking about. He/she has an issue with what he/she feels the mechanics are telling him/her about the game world. When he/she sees a minion at 1HP it makes no sense to him/her - he/she doesn't know what that means and thus cannot role play it. And there several more mechanics that create the same problem for him/her. These are not issue I or my group had, but they ones for him/her.

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019

  • 02:55 AM - Maxperson mentioned Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    I think this gets metagaming completely backwards. Metagaming is using OOC knowledge for IC decisions. IC the characters due not know the rules of the game they inhabit. The rules of the game are an intentionally hyper-simplified abstraction of their reality. The characters are presumed to live in a 'real' fantasy world that is vastly more complex and 'noisy' than the simulation, and basically like our world, except magic. Saying "I have a +5 and you only have a +3, so I should make the check" is exactly what metagaming is. Saying "I am a renowned warrior, I will deal with this leader, he will not respect a scrawny dealer in dark secrets like yourself", is the opposite of metagaming, i.e. acting like your character, irrespective of what the 'best' result is in the outer game model. Correct. What Saelorn is doing is metagaming.

Saturday, 12th January, 2019

  • 08:19 PM - Satyrn mentioned Saelorn in post The Fighter: tweaking Indomitable to work in all the Pillars.
    Is there anything which would break or work unusually if we simply added some battle master superiority dice options for out of combat functions? Seems like you could add a die to an ability check pretty easily. In fact, adding advantage to someone else's check AND adding the die seems balanced given the other manuevers available. I had the thought that we could tie that into the maneuvers the battle master selects. Like, add a note to Menacing Attack let's the fighter spend a Superiority Die to add it to an Intimation check. Pick appropriate skills for each maneuver. And to address Saelorn's point that limited resources maybe shouldn't compete for combat and noncombat uses, we can give the fighter a few Skill Dice to use for that purpose. This also let's us reduce the skill bonus to 1d6, and not have the Skill Dice get bigger at higher levels if we think that would be too much.

Thursday, 20th December, 2018

  • 08:17 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Saelorn in post 5e Play, 1e Play, and the Immersive Experience
    ...in creating a false history to give us the illusion of making a decision! Our brains our truly amazing. :) But we are also *piss poor* when it comes to statistics. When it comes to abstract probabilities. Even the most basic understandings, and even in our modern age. You can look anywhere at the studies - it is embarrassing; to use the common example, if you flip a coin ten times and it comes up heads 10 times in a row, the majority of people believe it will come up tails on the next flip. Seriously- look at this evidence on this board, alone. If the claim had been, "The people in this made up world are really in tune with the seasons, and are likely to know when to plant their crops" I would have no issue with that. That's the type of lore and knowledge that gets passed down. Same with edible herbs (and efficacious ones- although that was trial and error and death, not statistics, and many of them were just wrong). But it is interesting, as I had assumed that the premises behind Saelorn were idiosyncratic to him (her?). Apparently, I was mistaken! So I have learned something. :)

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 03:15 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Saelorn in post On the Differences Between 1e and 2e (Not all AD&D Is the Same)
    Manbearcat Garthanos Zardnaar Lanefan Saelorn So I was trying to get at a slightly different point that had been bugging me for a while (much more subtle than the continued banes of my existence; e.g, Paladins, Gnomes, and Rapiers). We (and I include myself in this) often treat 1e and 2e interchangeably (I often use the 1e/2e descriptor). In many ways, that is fair- there is a great amount of overlap between them! Certainly more, IMO, than between any two other "numbered" editions. But here's the thing- while most of us normally easily differentiate between the other old compatible editions (OD&D, B/X, BECMI), we don't often think about or see the differences between 1e and 2e. And I think that's a topic worth thinking and talking about. 1e was around from 1977 (PHB) until 1989 (2e).* 2e was around from 1989 until 2000. I mean .... it's kind of insane when you think about it. And both editions had controversial publications that (arguably) created their own separate demi-mondes (1985, UA, leading the way to 2e ... 1995 a...

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 06:32 PM - Laurefindel mentioned Saelorn in post Ranger Beast Master: errata will add new features to your animal companion!
    I must say that I agree with @Saelorn too, I believe in the gaming principle that dice are to be rolled only if the outcome of a challenge is uncertain, and that if a player is allowed/enforced to roll, there should always be a chance, however small that is, to succeed on the task at hand. I was very happy that D&D 5e (at last!) embraced that principle but somewhat disappointed that there wasn't a blanket "1 is always a failure and 20 is always a success" underlying rule. Let one peasant out of twenty resist the full scale of the magical effect, and let the hero have its 5% chance of escaping the bad guy's "gotcha!" button. It's not going to break the game and IMO, it's one instance when simplicity and consistency win over complexity and diversity. I don't see how the game is much better with the possibility to auto-fail on a save, or auto-succeed on a skill check.

Thursday, 8th November, 2018

  • 05:35 AM - OB1 mentioned Saelorn in post Ranger Beast Master: errata will add new features to your animal companion!
    Not on saving throws, which is one of the main reasons why I believe they didn't anticipate the situation. I don't know that there's ever been an edition where saving throws were literally unmake-able, let alone on as-consistent a basis as they are in 5E. Saelorn, let me start by saying that I understand that this is a pet peeve of yours, but it really got me thinking about the reality of the situation and I just wanted to bring some hard data to it. I get the fact that you don't like that a PC can encounter threats that they may not be able to overcome on their own, but for me, it's an incredible feature of 5e, not a bug. But beyond that, the actual issue of impossible saves isn't as large as you seem to imply. First of all, every character, by level 20, can achieve a minimum of +2 in all of their saves via their ASI choices, which means that that any PC can ensure they have a chance to make a saving throw up to DC22. Additionally, any PC may choose to be a fighter, and thereby achieve a minimum of +3 to all of their saves, but for the purposes of this argument, let's use the DC22 baseline, since it doesn't restrict you to a specific class (and since any PC choosing a Paladin can achieve a min of +8 in every save). The rules state tha...

Monday, 5th November, 2018

  • 09:47 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned Saelorn in post What variant rules should I add to my new campaign?
    Yup. It's a big sack of unintended consequences... what's the cheapest lightest weapon a wizard or anyone can carry to blow off crits? Might help TWF as you burn your dagger off-hand to stop the dragon crit then just draw another on your turn. I can imagine how many of their crits being eaten by enemy dagger breaks before my players balked... no wait... they would never approve it in the first place. You know it's a good rule when basic question prompt the "nobody forcing you" evasion. I mean, as a DM I wouldn't make PC crits meaningless by having wizards carry non-focus staves just for the purposes of not taking damage. I like to make my games cinematic and fun for the players. I'd hope that a DM using this rule would do the same. In all likelyhood, I could see an NPC use sacrifice something to avoid certain death but would give the PCs some kind of advantage. Saelorn I think in a more gritty setting, it would be more meaningful.

Thursday, 1st November, 2018

  • 10:49 PM - pukunui mentioned Saelorn in post Dragon+: Q&A with Jeremy Crawford, 10/30/18
    Saelorn: That one's OK. It's the one about adding a class feature that makes beast's attacks magical for the purposes of bypassing resistance. I don't care how JC tries to justify it to himself or spin it to us, that's a rules change. Not errata.

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 01:39 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Saelorn in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    Saelorn and Maxperson: I'm distinguishing between asking the question "What would this character do?", which I think is totally fine, and stating, "Action X is what the character would do," as if it's the one action among all the possibilities which is the most likely. It's the latter that I think is nonsense. People do unexpected, improbable, irrational things all the time.

Monday, 3rd September, 2018

  • 03:53 PM - Sadras mentioned Saelorn in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    What i found odd tho (unclear apparently) was the immediate juxtaposition of disallowing an expressly optional element and disallowing a core element to try and use that juxtaposition to paint the former with the latter. Odd was the ommission of consideration of optional per the rules vs core per the rules. True, but if the DM allows MC but disallows a pallock, then the juxtaposition made by @Arial Black stands. I could be mistaken, but that is what it seemed like in Saelorn's post - he/she was referring to a particular MC being disallowed.

Tuesday, 24th July, 2018

  • 04:23 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Saelorn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    And as it took 15-odd years to get things to this sad point, it'll probably take another 15 to get 'em back. 5e is merely a worthy start in that direction. It's funny how "will appeal to fans of all editions" got interpreted to mean "will meet the strict requirements of the most extreme zealots." Actually, because I'm curious, can you (or @Saelorn or anybody else) provide me with a specific quote from WotC that you think is evidence of a broken promise? (With full acknowledgement that the above quote is not evidence that you are in the camp; all it actually implies is that you are disappointed with 5e, not that you think they broke promises to get there. So apologies if I made incorrect assumptions.)

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

  • 09:38 PM - Kobold Boots mentioned Saelorn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...n general I don't give much credence to the whole "WotC promised me the moon and all I got was this t-shirt" complaint. I know some fans of previous editions (or parts of previous editions) feel like WotC "betrayed" them for various reasons, but it seems to me that people interpret their "promises" with unreasonable expectations, and then feel like promises were broken when those hopeful interpretations turn out to be incorrect. And in cases where they really did say, "We're going to do X" and then failed to do X, I would assume it was more that they realized X was untenable and regretfully changed their minds, as opposed to having intentionally misled people with marketing hyperbole. Product development goes that way sometimes. I mean, just look at the reactions to the Ravnica announcement. You'd think the sky was falling. Personally I'm glad they try to give updates and previews, rather than keep it all secret until launch in order avoid accusations of betrayal. Saelorn - Regarding your betrayal comment due to WoTC focusing on the middle. I'd argue that your lack of acceptance (not the same as understanding - I think you understand very well) of how markets work is probably the cause of your strife and not WoTC. Once you're running a business, you're doing statistics on the market. Once you're doing statistics you're looking at the middle 50 and folks that are one standard deviation away from the middle 50 for whatever you're marketing because that's where you're going to make most of your money. If you're not in that grouping then it's not the company that's the problem. You need to find the product where you're in that middle 50 plus 1 stdev in order to be happy. Of course, from any marketers viewpoint by aiming at what they're aiming at, they're marketing "to everyone". Elfcrusher regarding the Ravnica thing. I just don't get the folks that hate the idea of using M:tG settings as fodder for D&D. While it's not my first choice of ...


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Friday, 22nd February, 2019

  • 11:19 AM - Lanefan quoted Saelorn in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    You don't actually need to address that, as the DM. If the fighter is really that much tougher than the wizard (for whatever reason), then the party will agree to put the fighter on point, where they'll face the brunt of incoming attacks and end up taking the most damage as a result of their own decisions. Wizards have fewer HP, as a class feature, which is fine because they hang out in the back where they won't be attacked as frequently. A bad round is equally capable of instilling fear in either a high-HP fighter or a low-HP wizard. It's just that, a bad round for the fighter involves getting hit twice and then crit, while a bad round for the wizard involves getting crit by the one arrow sent against them.Martial combat is one thing, but a room-filling fireball or cloudkill or dragon breath or other big area effect gets everyone the same (or half-the-same, depending on the random saving throw results) And the martial examples only hold up when the space is restricted enough to allow it...
  • 01:15 AM - Blue quoted Saelorn in post Healing to temp HPs ratio
    I was expecting this to be a thread about warlords. You're not wrong. The catalyst for this question was reading Brandes Stoddard's part 6 of the history of the Warlord, which covers the Commander recently on the DM's Guild. https://www.tribality.com/2019/02/20/the-warlord-class-part-six/ One of the points it makes is that it grants temp HP but has no healing, and I was thinking about that choice from a design perspective. It's one that can be made to feel more martial vs. magical, and how does that actually play in both in-combat and out-of-combat usage.
  • 12:56 AM - FrogReaver quoted Saelorn in post Healing to temp HPs ratio
    If they're going to take 10 damage, then it doesn't matter whether they lose 10thp or 10hp, but you have no way of knowing whether or not they'll take any damage after you cast your spell. If you give someone 10thp, and they don't get hit after that, then you've wasted a spell slot to no effect. Temporary Hit Points wear off, eventually. The complicating factor is that HP damage also wears off, and it does so almost as quickly. Given the inordinate amount of free healing available, you're as likely to waste a spell slot by healing someone who was going to heal anyway, as you are to waste a spell slot by giving temporary HP to someone who doesn't use them. Welp, I'm glad you worked that out. So you agree that when it comes to effectively healing an injured character that temp hp vs healing is pretty much the same level of effectiveness?
  • 12:25 AM - FrogReaver quoted Saelorn in post Healing to temp HPs ratio
    I was expecting this to be a thread about warlords. The big problem with temporary Hit Points is that sometimes they miss. You can put them on the wrong target. If you put 10thp on the wizard, but the rogue is the one who gets attacked, then those 10thp are wasted. With healing, since it's always done after the damage has taken place, you always know the right target to heal. If the rogue takes damage and the wizard does not, then you know to heal the rogue and not the wizard. Temporary Hit Points are worth more than healing if you are reasonably certain that you were going to take enough damage that you would have to spend resources to address it (rather than just using Hit Dice). As a healer, it can be hard to predict who will take damage; and with the ability for Hit Dice to cover incidental healing, it's twice as hard for you to predict which emergencies will be dire enough to warrant spending a spell slot on it. Off the top of my head, I would guess that you need at 50% more temporary H...

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 11:34 PM - Celebrim quoted Saelorn in post Are there any fantasy/medieval RPGs that take into account the effectiveness of different weapons against different armors?
    For example, when D&D 3.5 introduced the concept of DR that required different damage types and materials to overcome, it prompted fighters to walk around with golf bags full of weapons so that they would always have the right tool for the job. A fighter using a greatsword to hack away at plate armor is less weird than a fighter carrying a golf bag onto the battlefield, so you would need further rules in order to keep that sort of thing in check. 1e AD&D's approach was much less harsh. For example, a longsword might have a -5 penalty to hit AC 0 armor. But, since AC was capped and high AC rare, without such penalities a PC was likely to be missing only on a 2 anyway. Besides which, the two-handed sword had such good all-around modifiers and damage, that if you were bothered by the weapon vs. AC modifiers, using a weapon like the two-handed sword was a very good option, as was other good all-around weapons like Morningstar or Halberd. The only hard part was convincing your DM to place...
  • 09:43 PM - Lanefan quoted Saelorn in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    Imagine a game where driving is important, and you have 30 pages of driving rules to determine how different factors affect your ability to drive. And imagine that you're playing the game, and you need to drive somewhere, under difficult circumstances that would normally call for a check with your driving skills. Now imagine that, before you make your roll, the GM flips a coin; on heads, you move forward with your driving check (taking into account all of the many rules for driving), but on tails you crash and no check is allowed. Some days that describes real-world driving in this town... Going back to HP and decapitation, you can have effects which make HP irrelevant, but it shouldn't be something that comes up with every swing of an axe. If every attack has a 5% chance of ignoring HP entirely, then that's a bad mechanic, because it relegates HP damage to pointless bookkeeping - the character will die when you roll decapitation, and HP don't matter. (You saw this a lot, when people tried...
  • 05:04 AM - guachi quoted Saelorn in post So is it official now? Counterspelling
    Officially, as far as the AL is concerned, it's up to DM interpretation and can vary from table to table. This allows any rule to be ignored in AL, then. That seems to go against the spirit of AL. If a DM wants to say daggers do 10d20 damage because of his interpretation, that'd be cool, right?
  • 02:31 AM - Lanefan quoted Saelorn in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    I can only speak for myself, but if you have a random chance of decapitation which ignores all of the normal metrics for survivability, then the game feels like more of a slot machine and less like something where my choices matter at all. Why should I care about having a good HEALTH score, or agonize over which potion to save and which one to drink, when there's a not-insignificant chance that the whole mechanic will be ignored outright? Choices should matter, and mechanics which bypass those choices can make those choices irrelevant. Much of the time those choices would be as relevant as ever. But every now and then a situation might arise where no matter what you do or who you are, someone's gonna live and someone's gonna die. Whether the someone who dies happens to be your PC or someone else's PC or a summoned goober - well, that's what dice are for. :) I don't want the vulnerability factor to be even. I want it to scale with those variables which measure vulnerability. That's why we...

Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

  • 10:46 PM - Shiroiken quoted Saelorn in post Initiative options?
    The only way to really make initiative meaningful will make it more complicated, which may not be worth the trade off. My suggestion would be to have everyone declare their action at the start of each round (in basic terms, such as Attack, Cast a Spell, Dodge, etc.), then roll initiative, resolving each turn in initiative order. Characters can move however they want, and take bonus actions as they see fit, but their Action must be completed if possible (may be aborted if impossible). Characters get 1 reaction each round, regardless of where they are in the turn order, making it possible for 2 reactions between turns. Spell duration becomes tricky, and can either be set to the end of the current or next round (next round makes spells slightly better with high initiative, allowing longer effects, current round makes spells worse with low initiative). An alternate that might be harder, but more accurate, would be to list the initiative number the effect should end on (a spell that ends after the ...
  • 10:42 PM - RangerWickett quoted Saelorn in post Initiative options?
    It might take a little bit of work, but you could adapt the method from White Wolf's Street Fighter engine. Basically, you would roll initiative as normal, but then the character with the lowest initiative goes first. At any point in their turn, anyone with a higher initiative can interrupt them; and unless they are interrupted by someone with an even higher initiative, their entire turn resolves, and then it goes back to the slower character. As an example, consider a combat between a paladin (initiative 7), a wizard (initiative 15), and a monk (initiative 20): First, the paladin moves toward the wizard, and gets ready to smite. The wizard interrupts the paladin, by backing away and casting a spell. Unless the monk interrupts the wizard (such as by running forward and stunning them), the wizard's spell resolves, and then it goes back to what the paladin was doing. Most likely, the wizard is out of range of the paladin, so they would end up swinging at nothing and wasting their action...
  • 09:38 PM - Lanefan quoted Saelorn in post Decapitation and lethality in your game
    Decapitation in games is a little bit more acceptable, but not by much. If I feel like anything I do has a chance of invalidating all of my previous work, then I'm unlikely to want to do anything. If I'm swinging an axe around, the chance of me cutting my own head off is significantly less than one percent. Even if someone is swinging an axe at me, as long as I'm wearing armor, the chance of decapitation is not high. Decapitation in combat is one of those unrealistic things, that happens in movies for dramatic effect. Basically, if you have a game mechanic to address such a thing, then you've already vastly over-estimated how often it should occur. Unless there's elements (traps) or items (sharpness/vorpal weapons) or effects in the game that force it to occur, at which point you do need mechanics: not so much for decapitation, as the results of that are usually both quick and obvious; but for limb loss and so forth. Sadly, no version of D&D has ever really addressed this; I (and probably man...
  • 04:02 AM - dave2008 quoted Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    I was attempting an appeal to authority, since Yudkowsky is so highly regarded as a writer and rationalist. But Yudkowsky is not an authority on greek mythology or harry potter or, most importantly, popular culture. I don't know anything about is work in AI or Rationalism, but that bit of fan fiction was pretty cringe worthy IMO. He has no more authority on the subject than JKR and a lot smaller popular reach then JKR. So which has more cultural influence: 1) the 3-head dog referenced in the 400 million copies of Harry Potter & the Philosophers Stone (+ the movie of course), or... 2) the Cerberus reference in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
  • 12:31 AM - Nathaniel Lee quoted Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    Once is a novelty. Twice is a coincidence. Three instances make a trend. I never knew that all I needed to do was say something is so three times to make it a trend. ROFL. Draculas aside, medusa may be the better reference here, since it shows up in similar contexts to cerberus. That is to say, it's used as the creature name for the countless waves of video game monsters. I would agree with the sentiment at a high level, and I personally wouldn't be bothered one bit by an IP labeling a species of three-headed dogs as cerberi. That said, I think the relative rarity of the creature in popular culture points to not enough people seeing it as a generic term rather than a specific individual's name. Yudkowsky is so highly regarded as a writer and rationalist. He is well regarded in his field, but he is virtually unknown outside of it, which makes him unfit as a reference for popular thinking. (That's why I provided sufficient detail to pinpoint the work, by citing the scene in ...

Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

  • 11:57 PM - Nathaniel Lee quoted Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    I mean, there aren't any in popular culture. There isn't a show or comic or anything about someone who is a medusa. There aren't even any famous medusa side-characters, or love interests. It's just the original story, and then no-name monsters that show up in random encounters. Yeah, that's one problem with a lot of the Greek mythological monsters as they're not very easy to extrapolate to modern day settings that make up the bulk of fiction. Does nobody read comic books anymore? What is the world coming to? I don't anymore, but I imagine that what we're talking about is so limited in scope that 99% of people who do read comic books even encountered it. I'm not a big fan of attaching images in these forums, but here's part of a comic from like five years ago: Deadpool is probably the last character you want as your reference. LOL The comment he made was clearly in jest and aligned with the snarky, "stupid 'cause he wants to be" attitude that he has. LOL
  • 11:25 PM - Oofta quoted Saelorn in post Difference between being hidden and being unseen
    When something is hidden, you have no way of knowing whether it's there or not. For all you can tell, it may have teleported away. It is necessarily also unseen, because if you could see it, then it would no longer be hidden. When something is unseen (but not hidden), everyone still knows exactly where it is, because invisible creatures are constantly emitting a high-pitched ping to everyone around them (unless they spend an action to suppress it, at which point you have an opposed check of Stealth v Perception). I was playing beat saber on my vive over the weekend (e.g. distracted and blind to the outside world). I never really had a hard time knowing when someone else walked across the room since we have a hard floor or roughly where they were. I even knew when the cat followed my wife in because it rubbed up against my leg. I will agree I had no clue about the cat until it rubbed me, but then again cats are naturally stealthy. No "pinging" was necessary, just shoes and a hard floor. ...
  • 11:18 PM - dave2008 quoted Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    And I will continue to do so. Not that I have anywhere near the influence of Squirrel Girl, but I can continue to spread awareness where I can. In time, there will be fewer and fewer people who are unaware of the convention. But it is not really the convention. The convention is "vampire" and there are strong brands outside of Dracula that prevent him becoming the name for vampires. I think it is unlikely to take root with the strength of the term vampire and no good reason to abandon it in favor of draculas. I maintain the language is evolving away from draculas as the know of Dracula himself becomes less and less important. Vampires stand on their own merits without Dracula. Just because a work is derivative, that doesn't make it any lesser. In this case, the quality of both writing and world-building out-strip the original author by light years. It is lesser in terms of the general publics knowledge of it. I can't discuss the other merits of said fan-fiction, because I have n...
  • 11:02 PM - dave2008 quoted Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    I'm not a big fan of attaching images in these forums, but here's part of a comic from like five years ago: Isn't the point that he is wrong / counter-culture here? I really have to agree with @Nathaniel Lee on this one. Popular culture (as well as folk-lore) far and away reinforce the group as Vampires with a particular individual named Dracula. Draculas is not a common usage and unlike to gain ground based on the prevalence an popularity of Vampire. Heck, I would argue you more of chance of referring to vampires as nosferatu than draculas.
  • 10:51 PM - Nathaniel Lee quoted Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    That's just how language evolves. You don't blow your nose on tissue paper; you use a kleenex. You don't use a self-adhesive bandage to cover a minor wound; you use a band-aid. Likewise, you don't fight vampires; you fight draculas. Genericization happens. Also, this "genericization" of Dracula as a reference for vampires as a class of entities won't ever happen because of the fact that the association of the character Dracula as "the" vampire is not nearly strong enough. Band-Aid still has a strong enough brand recognition to be "the" self-adhesive bandage, but when people hear the word "vampire" there are just _WAY_ too many strong characters out there. Most will think of the other properties like Buffy, Anne Rice's characters, True Blood, Underworld, and at this point even a character like Strahd. Nobody is going to watch the Twilight movies and think "good Lord these glittering Draculas are so stupid." ;)
  • 10:49 PM - dave2008 quoted Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    Did you not watch Venture Bros? Do you not read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl? I'm sorry to hear that. I am familiar with Venture Bros., but never really watched it. I am completely unfamiliar with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl - anything like Danger Mouse ;) The thing is, everyone knows who Dracula is, but nobody knows which Bob you're talking about. If I describe someone as looking like a Dracula, then you should know exactly what I mean, right down to their fashion sense. However, I think in these times there are a lot of people who know what a vampire is, but not Dracula. I think they have moved passed that. There are lots of vampire stories in many different media that have little to nothing to do with Dracula and everyone knows what your talking about - Lestat being a good example. People know what vampires are, whether or not they know who Dracula is. It's a very well-written scene. Harry and Professor Quirrell are standing in front of Fluffy, discussing how to get past it, and ...
  • 10:37 PM - Nathaniel Lee quoted Saelorn in post Epic Monsters: Cerberus (5E)
    In time, there will be fewer and fewer people who are unaware of the convention. It's not really a convention, though, if only an extreme minority of the relevant population knows about it and/or cares to use it. This really sounds like you having heard a term being used, having adopted it for yourself, and now hoping you can get it over so it's the "cool" term to use. ;) Just because a work is derivative, that doesn't make it any lesser. In this case, the quality of both writing and world-building out-strip the original author by light years. For the purposes of this particular discussion and how the work was represented in the debate, it actually does make it exponentially lesser, your opinion on the quality of the work notwithstanding. Citing "Harry Potter" as a reference to support your notion of the commonality of using the name Cerberus to refer to a class of beings in pop culture is at best disingenuous if the work that you're referring to is not actually the ubiquitous, wi...


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