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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 12:54 AM
    Yes, that's perfectly within the rules. The reason it lists Wish as being able to cure Feeblemind, is because Wish can duplicate Heal. That isn't a stressful use of Wish.
    3 replies | 183 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 12:20 AM
    Most of my experience with combat comes from watching movies, so that's what seems realistic to me. If you hit someone with a bat, then they can keep fighting back until they're unconscious. Pain, shock, and fractures don't seem to matter much during the fight. From what I've seen of professional boxing, they do become a bit less precise over the course of a match, but not necessarily to the...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:41 PM
    I dunno, they seem pretty realistic to me. If you hit someone with a baseball bat, then they're going to be pretty messed up, and if you keep hitting them then eventually they will die.
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:13 PM
    It could have been a side-effect of the NPC equality movement, from 3E. If the DM is expected to role-play NPCs in the same way that players role-play their own characters, then you wouldn't want to take away that free will by replacing it with a die roll. Any rule that treats NPCs differently from PCs is a bad rule, from a certain perspective. My honest guess is just that it was too much...
    39 replies | 769 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:49 PM
    That depends entirely on the encounter rate. As long as you have the same number of encounters between long rests, it won't change things much for them. It does make things a bit easier for the warlock, though, since you get seven short rests per long rests. But as long as you have some days where there are no encounters, and some days where there are three encounters, then that should also...
    39 replies | 854 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:14 PM
    Abstracted does not mean meta. Simplified does not mean meta. It's not meta to describe HP loss as a physical injury, but not apply penalties to ability checks or track blood loss; it's just an abstract simplification. Nothing in D&D gameplay is necessarily meta. The closest thing to meta-gaming in D&D is the suggestion that DMs contrive encounters toward what the party is capable of handling....
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:28 AM
    Describing damage is a job for the DM, and different DMs describe damage differently. If the players don't understand how badly their characters are hurt, then the DM isn't describing the injury very well (or they are describing it as distinctly non-physical). For contrast, though, I'm currently playing in a game with a DM who has never played or run before. Every single attack that beats...
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:18 AM
    Armor is already super crazy unreliable in this edition, so limiting the number of defenses allowed would strongly encourage berserker play. Focused fire would be even more important than it already is, because nobody would have any ability to tank hits.
    4 replies | 204 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:10 AM
    I would allow it, mostly because Sanctuary is such a weak spell. In a best-case scenario, it means the orc decides to javelin someone else instead of you, which it might very well have decided to do anyway. The net effect is that it slightly redistributes how incoming attacks are directed at your party. At the expense of a spell slot, it's hardly a game-breaker.
    25 replies | 889 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 11:46 PM
    At sufficiently low resolution, dramatic physical injury is indistinguishable from Disney Damage. There's nothing meta-game about it. The character can observe the physical injury; they simply observe that it's not immediately fatal, in and of itself. They might very well have a limp! All that the mechanics say on the matter is that any limp isn't so incredibly extreme as to warrant modeling...
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:38 PM
    Practically speaking, based purely on my own experience, I would say that the opposite is true. Splitting attacks is a corner-case scenario that rarely comes up, because monsters in this edition have grossly inflated HP totals, so you're much more likely to make all of your attacks against the same target regardless. Most of the time, regardless of your level, a basic orc won't even die from a...
    22 replies | 667 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 01:57 AM
    Yeah, that's the trade-off for reduced complexity. If there's one major downside, it's that it is a little too similar to just swinging a greatsword. I'm mostly banking on the fact that you're wearing light armor rather than heavy, to differentiate the character concepts. They differentiate further if you include feats, though. You can't power attack with this, and you would instead gain the...
    22 replies | 667 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 10:23 PM
    Your proposed solution is very complicated, given your stated goals. I haven't run the numbers for expected damage output, given the complexity, because of the way in which your bonus attacks would scale by level and ability modifier. My counter-proposal: When dual-wielding, add the damage from both weapons together and treat them as one weapon. "Two shortswords" is a two-handed finesse...
    22 replies | 667 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:46 AM
    Alright, I'll take your word for it, that I'm just not getting what you're saying. In any case, I've hit my limit on the number of conversations I can follow within this thread, and I think that this is more an issue of semantics than principle. Of course, given that I'm not sure what you're trying to say, I could be wrong about that.
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:26 AM
    It can. It's just slightly more cosmetic than you might expect. If you paint someone's left hand red, then they can see that their left hand is red, even if it doesn't affect their performance in any way. It's the same thing, just applied to physical injury. If you give someone a small cut on their arm, then you wouldn't necessarily expect that to affect their combat performance at all, but...
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 07:49 AM
    Both scenarios are fine, and neither requires meta-gaming. They just assume different things about how the world works. If the world doesn't actually work as described, and the character doesn't know those things, then the player would be meta-gaming by acting on that knowledge. Hit Points are observable to the character. He knows how tough he is, and can approximate how hard he'll hit the...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 04:08 AM
    There are wizards within the game world who can cast spells that we (out of game) would label as first level, but cannot cast spells that we would call second level. There are wizards in the game world who can cast spells that we would call first level or second level, but cannot cast spells that we could call third level. And so on, all the way up to wizards who can cast spells that we would...
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 03:50 AM
    What 'matters' in a game is very much an issue of preference and perception. A lot of people seem to want the narrative of injury to matter elsewhere within the mechanics, to make it harder for someone to jump or swing a sword or whatever. Personally, I see the narration as the goal, rather than the process. Basically, the whole point of game mechanics (to me) is to translate a world into a...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 11:46 AM
    Except you don't have to metagame at all, in order to play. You have actions that are entirely out-of-character, like making a character. You have actions that are entirely in-character, like preparing spells and drinking heal potions. There's no point where you're required to make an in-character decision, based on out-of-game factors, or vice versa.
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 11:41 AM
    Spellcasters are a case where they would very definitely recognize individual skill plateaus, because (at least in The Forgotten Realms) spell slots are a real thing. Whether a given person can or cannot cast Fireball is a thing that they talk about. For wizards, in particular, they have to physically perform the action of preparing the spell ahead of time, which is a process that they discuss...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 01:36 AM
    The Forgotten Realms does seem to operate on the notion that Adventurer is a well-established and well-understood profession. It's a pretty weird place, and based on the novels I've read, I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone had actually performed such tests. More generally, though, the basic premise of a class-and-level system is that you're doing all sorts of things all the time. A...
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 11:28 PM
    The numbers are arbitrary, but the ideas they represent exist wholly within the game world. You could replace every number on the sheet with a paragraph describing how it looks to the character, if you really wanted to. It's a true fact of their reality that a particular wizard may need to slay fifteen more goblins before he is capable of casting fireball, and there's no reason why the wizard...
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:49 PM
    Even experience points and levels are representative of in-game reality which the characters can observe. They know as well as we do that the path to greatness lies in adventure and overcoming challenges. The only thing on the character sheet that doesn't correspond to in-game reality that the character can understand is "Player Name".
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:47 PM
    It doesn't necessarily mean that, as long as you alter the encounter rate to compensate. If I cared enough about this game to bother modifying the death rules, I would do one of these two things: 1) Death at zero. Average damage all around. Nix critical hits. 2) Death at negative maxHP. Negative damage doesn't go away until healed (it doesn't automatically reset to zero). While at...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:33 PM
    Most fantasy movies and fictions do not take place in a world that can be accurately described using a D&D ruleset. For those which do, character powers can always be mapped directly onto a game class. Remember, D&D isn't some sort of generic fantasy engine that lets you describe any fantasy world. Each edition of D&D presents an extremely codified ruleset where wizards work one specific way,...
    175 replies | 4168 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:11 AM
    It's not that it's objectively too rough. Healing rules only make sense in the context of how the world works, and how much combat is expected. You could have a rule where hitting zero meant instant death, and that would still be fine if most combats were avoidable. I still don't like this rule, though, for a couple of reasons: 1) Crits are too random. You could be perfectly fine, with full HP...
    39 replies | 854 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 09:40 AM
    Assuming such a thing is available, of course. In the last game I ran, there were no clerics in the world above level 9, and those ones were currently too busy with running the major world governments. Even if you could convince a level 3 cleric to follow your level 15 party around, it probably wouldn't work out well.
    39 replies | 854 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:23 AM
    Why does that cause dissonance for you? Why do you see the HP total as being at odds with the narrative description, rather than reinforcing it? They're supposed to be two different languages for conveying the exact same information. If you have 40hp, and the giant drives its maul into your chest and you can hear ribs cracking, then why does it hurt for the DM to tell you that it was 36...
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 02:08 AM
    Close enough. I'd prefer if the DM handled the campaign elements, and the player only worried about how their character fits into that world; but the bigger point was that I prefer playing during the game, such that world creation be relegated to the pre-game (or otherwise away from the table). When you try to create setting elements during the game, it's hard to avoid meta-gaming (creating...
    199 replies | 6747 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 09:11 PM
    Back in my AD&D days, my DM disallowed multiclassing for clerics. The argument was that clerics were so incredibly rare because you had to have a lot of faith in your deity, and if you had that much faith - if you believed so hard that your deity actually gave you magic powers out of it - then you wouldn't be able to (or even want to) pursue some other path to power, because doing so would...
    175 replies | 4168 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 08:22 AM
    If it helps, you only need to be accurate in your math to within the fraction that you're rounding. So if you're only attacking with eight enemies, you only need to intuit their accuracy to within 12.5 percent. If you think their accuracy is closer to three-eighths than to two-eighths or four-eighths, then you can say that three of the eight hit. It's the exact same strategy as is used to speed...
    6 replies | 158 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 01:17 AM
    That is a matter of perspective, but I've always felt that at-will abilities were more definitive than dailies. You can certainly disagree on that point, but it's still the origin of the argument, for why some people think that the Barbarian is a tank and the Ranger is not. I mean, the Rage does also contribute to the tank argument, but there would be very little incentive for an enemy to...
    69 replies | 1692 view(s)
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    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 12:56 AM
    The Ranger's primary class feature is not to grant enemies Advantage on attacks made against them.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 11:32 PM
    That doesn't actually go against what I said. I said that, under the previous rulesets, you could run Hit Points in a consistent manner at any given table. There might be a difference in that interpretation between different tables, and individual DMs might not agree on what the best interpretation was, but any one of them could run Hit Points in a way that made sense to them. It's only since...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 10:13 PM
    Why not scale the fraction based on relative accuracy? If There are ten goblins, and they would hit on a 17, then deal full damage from two of the goblins.
    6 replies | 158 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 09:54 PM
    That doesn't necessarily mean that the Hit Points are inconsistent; it could just means that the spells are inaccurately named. (It doesn't necessarily mean that, either, though.) Suffice it to say, at any given table, it was entirely possible to play the game while treating HP damage in a consistent fashion and describing the effect as it happens. I could name three such internally-consistent...
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    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 09:32 PM
    It doesn't mean you shouldn't try, though. In any case, that's tangential to the point at hand, which is that I think you're losing out on a lot by not standing around in melee and getting hit. It's better if nobody is getting hit, of course, but there are likely to be enough situations where you would want to stay in melee, that there are better alternatives to this feat. Based on my history...
    69 replies | 1692 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 08:22 PM
    I'm not going to apologize for assuming that you would want to role-play in a role-playing game. If you're working from a different premise, then you need to declare that from the start. In my experience, the Paladin is far more than two points ahead in terms of AC. Maybe it's closer to 70/15, but even a five-point AC disparity would go a long way after you factor in advantage and disadvantage,...
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    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 08:11 PM
    Experience explains how they gained the ability to do what they're doing, but it doesn't explain what they're actually doing.
    34 replies | 912 view(s)
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    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 07:23 AM
    I can only report based on what I've seen. If a barbarian has good Strength and Con, then they don't have much room left over for Dexterity, so their AC isn't going to break 20 anytime soon. Subpar AC, combined with advantage on all incoming attacks, and that's the formula for being targeted. As far as the enemies are concerned, the barbarian might not be immortal. At least you're actually...
    69 replies | 1692 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 05:58 AM
    It's a role-playing game, so the enemies are sentient. They make decisions based on their own observations and internal logic, as the DM interprets it. If your DM is meta-gaming, and having the enemies attack whoever the DM wants rather than whoever they think the enemy would want, then you have far worse problems than choosing which feat to take. I don't know about you, but I'd rather take...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 02:54 AM
    I'm sure that perspective varies based on experience. In my experience, though, an enemy who has a choice between a high-AC paladin and a low-AC barbarian will target the barbarian nine times out of ten; and even if every attack goes against the barbarian, they will still survive, because barbarians are effectively invincible. Doubly so if it's a high-level barbarian, who imposes disadvantage on...
    69 replies | 1692 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 01:54 AM
    That's certainly how it seems to me. The barbarian's main job is to get hit, because you're invincible, and it's better for the enemies to attack you rather than anyone else. Their secondary ability is to make it seem like a good idea for enemies to attack you, by giving them advantage when they do it. Contrast that with an offensive-based class, like the paladin, which discourages enemies...
    69 replies | 1692 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 12:24 AM
    The term Schrodinger's Wounds is specifically a criticism of how 4E and 5E fail to represent HP in a consistent manner. It has little to do with the historic abstraction of HP in D&D, and everything to do with how that abstraction doesn't hold up in the face of Healing Surges and Hit Dice. Once you get rid of rapid natural healing, Schrodinger's Wounds would no longer apply as a criticism,...
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    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 12:19 AM
    Are you using squares which are less than five feet across? One of the reasons why D&D settled on the five-foot square is so that everyone would have room to maneuver, and you wouldn't have to deal with trying to model interference by allies. If someone is surrounded by eight enemies, then each of those enemies still have five feet between themself and the nearest ally (give or take). I...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 08:36 PM
    Changing your AC formula while surprised is not really something that happens in 5E. It is additional complexity beyond what the game is intended to support. Other than that, it mostly seems fine. It might be hard to describe what a low-Dexterity fighter is doing to maintain their superior Armor Class in light armor. If your goal was to support a fighter wearing light armor, you could already...
    34 replies | 912 view(s)
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    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 07:56 PM
    The thing is, even if you get all of the dice, you're still not as good as someone who does that as their main thing. The wizard is very likely going to have a better attack roll, and many classes that rely on cantrips have a class-specific ability that lets them add their stat modifier to the damage roll, not to mention magic items.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 07:48 PM
    No, you're improving constantly over the period between gaining levels. Gaining a level simply marks the breakpoint where your improvement is significant, relative to the previous breakpoint. If you could quantify the lute skill of a person in the real world, that value would improve constantly as long as they play or study, but the difference between 100 hours of practice and 102 hours of...
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    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 09:10 AM
    That would be fairly realistic, with any skill. Most people don't improve significantly - to the point where you might notice it - on a day-to-day basis. You only really notice improvements when you consider a longer time scale. That the game mechanics only reflect significant improvements is a testament to efficiency in design. Modeling insignificant improvements would be a waste of...
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    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 11:39 PM
    The biggest single monster I've run from a book was The Tarrasque, so CR 30. Before that, there was a boss that used Contingency to change forms multiple times in succession (upon reaching 0hp, change into a new form). I don't know what the CR would have been if it had been statted out as a single monster, so I just awarded XP for each of the component parts (archmage, lich, ancient black...
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    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 11:29 PM
    It's more like saying that a purple or a green is a blue. You could get quite a following of people who agree that a certain purple is a blue, or that a certain green is a blue, even if most artists disagreed on those points. The opinion at hand, which forms the basis of this thread, is not an unusual one. It is a common perspective. Many people drew the line at martial dailies.
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    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 10:14 PM
    Yes.
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    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 09:44 PM
    It does not matter how much you insist that Action Surge and Second Wind are representative of in-character decisions, when the arbiter has disagreed with that evaluation. If you can't understand why it's a problem, then you're in no position to offer a solution to that problem. It would be like matching paint samples with someone who has different color perception. It doesn't even really...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 08:29 PM
    If anyone at the table is eating eggs, then it's going to make me nauseous, and I'm going to excuse myself. I'm not having fun anymore. RPGs are a communal effort that is both produced and consumed by everyone at the table. If someone at the table is actively cheating (as an example, not saying that meta-gaming is necessarily cheating), then it's the equivalent of them adding eggs to the stew....
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    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 08:09 PM
    Maybe I missed your specific definition, but when I use the term, it refers to the decisions you make as your character and how those decisions are influenced by things that the character doesn't know. Free-form world creation as-you-go wouldn't be meta-game, as I understand the term, because it has nothing to do with your character; it takes place entirely outside of the character's influence....
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    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 07:54 PM
    When your level primarily measures how good you are at fighting, getting better at fighting by surviving fights is a pretty realistic mechanic.
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    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 08:18 AM
    I'm pretty sure that, if you choose to go that route, the DM is supposed to design the dungeon like it was an old video game where the players are going for the high score. It's your job to make sure that GP/XP awards are appropriate for how hard they are to reach. The best treasure is found above a pit of spikes, and if you botch the jump then you die. If you want to run a game where...
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    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 07:14 AM
    Saelorn replied to 6e? Why?
    I'm certainly not going to keep playing fifth edition forever. Its flaws become more glaring over time. The quality of the game is very scatter-shot. The basic mechanics work well enough, but there are issues with save scaling and tool proficiencies and many other mechanics which simply don't work, and the magnitude of those changes would necessitate a new edition.
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    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 09:07 AM
    Shadowrun is a lot like World of Darkness, in terms of mechanics. If any of your players have experience with that, then they should be able to pick things up pretty quickly. Since both Rifts and Savage Worlds have come up, it's probably worth mentioning that Savage Rifts is an actual thing. By all accounts, the mechanics are much more player-friendly than the Palladium version, though you...
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    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 11:12 PM
    That's mostly what I was getting at, yeah. The feature you get from your subclass at level 3, and even an ability score increase or feat, is not significantly more powerful than better armor proficiencies or a fighting style. Some feats are extremely comparable to what you could get from multi-classing for one level, anyway. Compare the durability added by the barbarian's bear totem (relative to...
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    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 09:00 PM
    That's a significant constraint. User-friendly games rarely do well enough to support published adventures.
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    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 07:31 PM
    I strongly disagree. Second level spells aren't significantly better than first level spells, and +1 to hit/damage does not matter much during those few levels which are designed to pass quickly. The initial benefit of a subclass is rarely overwhelming. Most of the minor class features gained during those levels are comparable to what you would gain from taking one level in a new class. I...
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    Thursday, 5th July, 2018, 07:50 PM
    I have long suggested that a Long Rest be defined as "between adventures" in order to prevent cheesing of the system. It also makes sense that you could recover from almost any wound, if you took it easy for a year. I would recommend not advancing two levels at a time, but that's just me.
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    Thursday, 5th July, 2018, 01:18 AM
    At levels 2-4, a multi-class character is as powerful as a single-class one, but with greater flexibility. The main thing that you get out of those levels is Hit Points, and multi-classing sacrifices none of that. At level 5, a multi-class character is missing out on the major power boost that everyone else gets. At higher levels, a multi-class character with at least five levels in one...
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    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 07:28 AM
    I am aware, and yet the damage inflicted is proportional to the severity of the wound. Somehow, a puny goblin is able to inflict as grievous an injury with its shortsword as a gnoll twice its size (and eight times its mass) can inflict with its spear. The game mechanics do a poor job of reflecting the inherent power of a much larger and stronger attacker. That's the issue at hand.
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    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 02:22 AM
    Everything that Gygax has ever stated on the topic is in agreement that hit points do include a physical component. The question at hand is simply whether there are two distinct pools, or just one: Is it that the top 90% of your HP are meta-physical, and you are only scratched when you get into the bottom 10%? Or is each individual point 90% meta-physical and 10% physical, such that a 7-point...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 02:11 AM
    I'm not saying that he's role-playing incorrectly, when he's role-playing. I'm saying that, to refer to both the role-playing and the other thing as role-playing is to confuse the term. He's doing two distinct things: role-playing, and something else. He's making decisions as his character would make them (which is role-playing), and he's inventing details about the setting beyond the purview of...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 01:39 AM
    Alternatively, hit point damage measures the degree to which you are beaten up, and the mechanical ramifications of such are not worth applying to such a simplistic model within the expected context.
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 01:35 AM
    I'll take your word for it, but it's at odds with everything I've read from him prior to that, so maybe he just changed his mind at some point. That does make it hard to use him as a reference for anything, though, since he's said enough conflicting things that he can support any position.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 12:52 AM
    I've always felt that, if a legendary swordsmith crafts a masterwork katana, then it should be considered sharp enough that it can cut a ghost. The bonus to hit and damage is just a numerically expression of its sharpness, after all. As for large creatures not hitting hard enough, I kind of agree, but I find small creatures to be a worse offender here. When a goblin hits as hard as a gnoll...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 12:33 AM
    That doesn't mean he discovered role-playing, though. From what I can tell, his discoveries were much more in line with discovering a new type of board game, to which he applied a storytelling layer. Consider the Tomb of Horrors, which he wrote in order to challenge his players, after they thought themselves to have mastered the game. Consider how he described a fighter chained to a rock, with a...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 11:14 PM
    Gygax was a war-gamer, and he never pretended otherwise. Actual role-playing - making decisions as though the character was a real person in a living world, rather than a game piece or a narrative construct - didn't come to the fore-front of the hobby until 2E. That shift in tone is a much greater difference between 1E and 2E than the minor changes in the rules. I apologize for confusing...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 09:58 PM
    That's a surprisingly deep and multi-faceted question. If we step back from the game for a moment, and consider the people sitting at the table, then there's a general expectation that they'll be playing through an interesting or note-worthy scenario. The fact that the outcome of the game matters to the over-all narrative of the world, is why the players are playing these characters rather...
    122 replies | 4293 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 08:00 PM
    No, because even if you take it as a general term for playing certain types of games, "role-playing" is still etymologically rooted in the other definition. By using such a term, you would be very likely to confuse people, which was my point. Especially on these boards, where half of the threads are about the topic of meta-gaming, it's important to use the more-specific terms.
    199 replies | 6747 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 05:59 AM
    That's not a very impartial way of adjudicating uncertainty in action resolution. It's a highly biased method, for promoting certain outcomes above others, by encouraging the player to meta-game. It basically violates every tenet of traditional role-playing games. :-(
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 02:06 AM
    As you say, you cannot see the world as well as your character does. We really should be giving the benefit of the doubt to these characters, far more often than some people like to portray. The character knows a lot more about the world than what the DM can convey. No, the character cannot see their own character sheet, but they don't need to. They can see the actual reality, of which those...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 11:24 PM
    Players rarely make perfectly optimal choices, because they don't have all of the information, and there are inherent limits to the rationality of their intellect. Often, they won't realize their mistakes until it's too late to do anything about them, if they ever end up realizing them at all. FATE uses meta-game mechanics to try and align player goals with character flaws (e.g. your character...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 09:52 PM
    It's the optimal choice for the player, but it's not necessarily the optimal choice for the character. But it's a role-playing game, so I should be doing what the character wants, rather than what the player wants. Although, honestly, I'm not keen on any mechanic that puts the goals of the character and the goals of the player at odds with each other. I know that the correct choice in that...
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 08:05 PM
    FATE is pretty explicit with its goals. There are points in the rulebook where it actually tells you to do what will make for a better story, because the mechanics will reward you with points that you can use to contrive coincidences later on. That's not me trying to connect the dots with the reward mechanic, either. It literally says to take certain actions because you will get points for it.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 07:28 PM
    I was unaware that definition 2 had been added to a dictionary at any point, and I would further suggest that it could be confusing in the context of the thread at hand (or probably anywhere else on these boards). As another analogy, you can say that you're playing Nintendo while you're actually playing XBone (such as if you're talking to an elderly relative, who might not know what an XBone...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 07:45 AM
    I'm not using jargon, here. These are just normal words. "Role-playing" is the name which is given to the act of imagining yourself to be someone else, just like "dice-rolling" is the name which is given to the act of rolling dice. If a game uses a card-draw mechanic as a randomizer instead of rolling dice, then you aren't dice-rolling when you draw a card. If you use some other mechanic to...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 07:33 AM
    Yes, I am familiar with the distinction. I enjoy role-playing. I do not enjoy collaborative story-telling. I would not have fun, by playing FFG Star Wars.
    199 replies | 6747 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 10:18 AM
    Sorry, but I don't follow. Role-playing is about the process by which you make decisions for the character. If you make decisions by pretending to be the character and evaluating the information from their perspective, then that's role-playing. Whether you narrate it in the first-person or third-person is irrelevant to that. When you invent details that the character has no control over,...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 10:04 AM
    I don't mean that they should find a game that isn't D&D. I mean that they should find a game that's run by someone other than myself, because I'm not going to run it in the style that they like, so they probably won't be having much fun.
    199 replies | 6747 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 09:59 AM
    It's like the difference between Street Fighter and Smash Bros. There is a lot of hidden depth and complexity that you need to learn if you really want to make the most of Samus (most of it involving frame data), but at a more basic level, everyone still utilizes the same inputs. If every class in AD&D used the same mechanics as the wizard and priest, then you would still need to learn the...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 09:50 AM
    I was referring to the optional rules, by which the duration of rests could be altered. In a case of the designers going out of their way to miss the point, they explicitly acknowledged that different DMs like to describe HP loss in different ways, and then produced a number of optional rules for slowing down the natural recovery rate... where the absolute slowest possible combination of...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 08:07 AM
    Anything that explains how the world actually works, aside from just the PCs and their immediate vicinity, is useful information.
    2 replies | 156 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 07:45 AM
    In an earlier thread, I got one of the developers to confirm that every hit on an attack roll corresponds definitionally to some sort of physical impact, so Hit Points should be less abstract in PF2 than they are in D&D 4E or 5E. I know that it's tangential to the topic at hand, but it gives some indication as to their stance on overtly gamist mechanics.
    471 replies | 10107 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 07:27 AM
    Sometimes I roll dice. Sometimes the DM rolls for me. (Sometimes I let a player roll the dice, when I'm the DM, if they happen to have them ready or my hands are otherwise full.) If there was some way to automate the dice-rolling, then that would also be great. In any case, dice are just part of the game interface, like a pencil and paper. Dice aren't part of the actual game, anymore than a...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 06:55 AM
    My ulterior motive is that I'm trying to figure out whether I would enjoy Pathfinder 2, based on what I know about other games it may be drawing from, such as 4E. So far, this thread is making PF2 sound good to me, because it seems to be drawing from the parts of 4E that I liked and not from the parts that I didn't.
    171 replies | 5812 view(s)
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Thursday, 19th July, 2018


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Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 12:39 AM - Satyrn mentioned Saelorn in post Sanctuary plus Spirit Guardians?
    Would you end sanctuary then if the caster insults and nonmagically goads an opponent? If you would, would you require a save if a character tried to verbally goad a creature protected by sanctuary? Yes, because an insult is an attack on emotions. And yes, obviously. Man, Saelorn's right. Sanctuary is so weak.

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 12:23 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Saelorn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I'm not sure but at low levels probably not a lot but at higher levels it would keep you more cautious. I'm guessing. Assuming various powers that attack Harm 3 or Harm 4 come into play more at high levels, and the boxes don't change, then of course the threat of death would be high at any level. Perhaps unmanageably high but again I'd have to see an entire system to know for sure. I am happy enough with a moderately unrealistic system like hit points for a high fantasy super heroic game. I might also enjoy a less super heroic game. In such cases maybe WOIN or GURPS or even RQ would work. This is a totally different axis from metagame. I wouldn't want a metagame mechanic in any of those games if I had a choice. I think I could enjoy any of those games otherwise but I'd still favor the high fantasy game of D&D style the most. Emerikol (and Lanefan and perhaps Saelorn ), you (and Lanefan) answered my question with a response about the implications on the gameplay paradigm; eg “it would make it more lethal.” This thread is about “metagame mechanics” and players making decisions based exclusively on (what you perceive as) observable phenomenon (biological, physical) from the character’s perspective. I’m looking for your response in relation to that. So let me go a bit further and perhaps you can comment on this. A 10th level Fighter is challenging a trio of Stone Giants on the edge of their plateau which sits 70 feet above the ground. Situation 1: a) He has 100 HPs and the only chance the fall has to kill him is if he’s been significantly worn down in combat by interaction with the Stone Giants and their clubs (that are as big and weighty as him) and thrown boulders. b) As he waded in he sees a show of strength by the Stone Giant Cheieftan; the impact of one of these clubs and/or thrown boulders utterly ruins a rock formation of ap...

Friday, 6th July, 2018

  • 10:40 PM - TwoSix mentioned Saelorn in post Multi-classing: as good as it seems?
    ...That and +1 DC is a common ASI at 4th - both affecting more and doing more damage when you do. The other choice being a feat. If you'd like to say that a feat and no feat are about the same in power, I will have to disagree. Initial benefit of a subclass varies, but some are quite overwhelming. Do you feel like these are of no import? Bear Totem barbarian's expansion of Resistance to all damage but psychic? Moon druid's Combat Form? Battlemaster's Superiority dice? Paladin's oath with oath spells and channel divinity Warlock pact? Wizard's arcane traditions, like Arcane Ward from Abjuration or Portent for Divination? And that leaves off all the other features I listed that were not addressed: # of rages, spell points, action surge, ki, divine smite, sneak attack damage, and invocations. I can respect that you stand by your original statement. I'll leave my numeration of the benefits of levels 2-4 here so that others can make up their own minds. I feel Saelorn is somewhat understanding the importance of the 2-4 features, and you're somewhat overstating it. Level 2-4 features are quite useful, but so are plenty of level 1 features! Better armor, Con save proficiency for a caster, fighting style, more cantrips and low level spells known are all good things to have. And really, even in the worst case the delta between an optimized character and an unoptimized character at level 4 just isn't that large. The real pain point for a multiclass character is usually 5th-8th, when you're down a feat/ASI and missing the Extra Attack/3rd level spell boost. And even that can be mitigated if you're doing a part rogue build or cantrip build.

Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018

  • 01:37 PM - Maxperson mentioned Saelorn in post Would you allow this?
    Heh, if you google the definition of role-playing, both meanings are right there: Saelorn was using definition 1 and saying that's what he prefers. But that doesn't mean definition 2 is invalid, and I don't think anyone ever meant to imply differently. Saelorn already acknowledged that someone adding details is using the first definition as I argued, but that he didn't care for the additions and it wasn't this thing. I've never argued that the second definition is what I am using, as I wasn't using it.
  • 12:28 PM - TwoSix mentioned Saelorn in post What is the essence of 4E?
    And frankly give me Smash over Street Fighter any day - and I can't wait for Smash Ultimate to come out. I'm also a strong 4e fan. I wonder if the two are linked :) Or Young Linked, or Toon Linked. :) I bought a Switch the day after I saw the Smash Ultimate trailer. And I'm also a 4e fan, so I think Saelorn's original comparison is dead on.

Monday, 2nd July, 2018

  • 02:18 PM - Maxperson mentioned Saelorn in post Would you allow this?
    I can see both sides of this. On the one hand, it is pretty reasonable to define role playing specifically as "playing a role" in the normal sense. Saelorn's definition is probably what a non-gamer would expect the term to mean. On the other hand, the term has broadened in meaning to encompass all sorts of things you do when you play a role-playing game. There are many different but perfectly legitimate styles of play that fit into that category. But given the community we're all in, it's probably safer to assume people here will interpret the term broadly, so be careful how you use it. The meaning has broadened for sure, but even with his limited definition, the person narrating additional details is still roleplaying. Saelorn finally acknowledged that himself and stated that he prefers his way over the other, which is fine. We all have our preferences and I also prefer games without player narration of details as in the scarf example up thread.

Saturday, 23rd June, 2018

  • 02:40 AM - mrpopstar mentioned Saelorn in post Super Simple Armor
    jaelis this gives back to the rogue (because I don't truly harbor Dex any ill will), captures everything a boil down needs to capture for me, takes most everything offered for consideration in the thread into account, and gets buy-in from Saelorn, so, I'm feeling pretty good about it. :) I'll update the first post to reflect my thinking. Most burning question: Should things be listed as "light masterwork armor" or "masterwork light armor" ? Armor Armor Class (AC) Strength Stealth Light Armor 11 + Dex modifier -- Disadvantage Light Masterwork Armor 12 + Dex modifier -- -- Medium Armor 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) -- Disadvantage Medium Masterwork Armor 15 + Dex modifier (max 2) -- -- Heavy Armor 16 Str 13 Disadvantage Heavy Masterwork Armor 18 Str 15 Disadvantage Shield +2 -- --

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 09:11 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Saelorn in post What is the essence of 4E?
    Saelorn The very first game I ran TPKed the very first fight. This was a game with 1 player who has played since the 70s, one that has played since the 80s and another noob to TTRPGs (but a Chemist and extremely good at puzzle solving and proficient at tactical and strategy games). They built a group that had absolutely 0 force multiplication and 0 synergy, virtually no control, no ability to Minion Sweep, and limited ability to dig into Healing Surges and rally. The didn’t interact with the environment/stunt for control (which is the primary impetus for Terrain Stunts) either. It was only a level + 2 combat, but it was a massacre. They learned pretty quickly after that!

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018


Monday, 18th June, 2018

  • 07:08 AM - Shasarak mentioned Saelorn in post Flipping the Table: Did Removing Miniatures Save D&D?
    ...you're fine and dandy at 1 hp in AD&D, so that every injury in AD&D is one that causes death unless tended to in which case it lays you out for a week, causes no issues? I'm not the one who raised the AD&D zero hp rules as a marker of realism, precisely because the above is not very realistic! That is true, being almost dead and then being brought back to life and only having to rest for a week is not very realistic. But in any case it is simply not true that having 1 hp left in ADnD means that you are "just fine and dandy". It would mean that any injury is going to be the one that potentially kills you. As you yourself say, descrbing your 1hp character as "just fine and Dandy" is simply nonsense narration. Frankly Gary Gygax himself does a much better job of describing such a character in his explanation of hps. (Whereas death saves, for instance, are easily treated as a metagame mechanic rather than a marker of ingame status.) Which is exactly the Schrodinger approach that @Saelorn described, it does not make sense narratively in the moment. Only after you have resolved the scenario can you actually describe what happened.

Wednesday, 13th June, 2018

  • 04:05 PM - OB1 mentioned Saelorn in post Dropping to 0 HP - Alternate Rule
    ...ous. At the same time, I hate the mechanic of unconsciousness, as the only lever I have to make that dangerous is to hit PCs when they are down. Which means not a death spiral, but pretty much instant death. I want this rule to allow players to take risks to be heroic when they want to or retreat when they need to. I want to give them increased agency over the zero HP condition. Laurefindel same rate of exhaustion recovery, though I was considering allowing a player to spend half their level in hit dice after a long rest to recover an additional level of exhaustion. Also, strongly thinking about making level 6 exhaustion unconsciousness, and if at 0HP requiring a death save every round and if above 0 a death save every hour to mimic the action trope of clinging to life with grievous injury. I probably won’t turn this into a Con save, to keep those proficient at a max of 75% success rate. I do like the idea that a barbarian or fighter can risk continuing to fight while at 0 HP. Saelorn - what do you see as the complicated part of this? Seems straightforward to me but perhaps I’m missing something or not articulating the rule correctly. Again, appreciate the feedback everyone! I know this isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I think/hope it encourages a style of play and change in tactics that can be interesting for certain types of campaigns.

Monday, 11th June, 2018

  • 08:06 AM - Coroc mentioned Saelorn in post What makes Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter so good?
    Saelorn "Not necessarily true, since it's possible to have a Con save bonus high enough that most concentration checks are automatic." And now your GWM not only requires his cleric Buddy to cast bless for him, but also that the cleric has taken warcaster and invested in Con

Thursday, 7th June, 2018

  • 11:55 AM - Coroc mentioned Saelorn in post What makes Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter so good?
    Saelorn CapnZapp I think you both exagerate a bit, Saelorn, when you state that in your campaign the GWM got a good Magic greatsword, making him theoretically even better at what he should do best, but otoh stating that now the more a shield wearer would be more use of the Party, why is that so? Do you Count Magic weaponry as a + on secret intimmidation rolls? And Capn no one denounces the context! - related value of These feats. Still a +2 to your main Attribute is valuable also and it is of use in many more situations. Unless the Party always survives or has infinite methods of resurrection the GWM out dpr the rest of the gang but dying every Encounter is no gain for the Group. Otoh FrogReaver s table a few Posts up clearly Show the trend: GWM (and SS) the active -5/+10 part, it is best versus low AC. And that is relatively independant of mob Level because of BA (ok it will get shifted a bit with higher Levels) At Level 1 doing +10 vs a goblin who instantly perishes is impressiv...

Wednesday, 30th May, 2018

  • 09:01 AM - Coroc mentioned Saelorn in post No ASIs, only feats
    Saelorn well of corse there is truth to what you say, so let's just for simplicity agree we talk about characters optimized to some degree. Means not necessarily minmax, but also not a Pally with all ASI in Int.

Thursday, 17th May, 2018

  • 07:37 AM - pming mentioned Saelorn in post Thoughts on Proficiency and AC
    Hiya! Saelorn hmmm...I can see what you're saying and I'll take your word for it. In my campaign of 5e, nobody has managed to get a character past level 7, so I don't have first-hand experience with "high level" 5e play. That said, from what I see in the books, high-CR creatures tend to be solitary or at least not in groups of more than two or three. But again...no direct experience. I guess I'll deal with it all when/if anyone gets to 10th or more... ...and I'm not holding my breath. ;) ^_^ Paul L. Ming
  • 06:08 AM - Coroc mentioned Saelorn in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    Saelorn Jester David #31 #32 #33 As far as i do it when i DM as well as the DM when i Play does is taking that skilled / unskilled into account via context. Example: A magical scroll is found, the wizard gets an arcana check as would some other arcane caster but surely not the idiot fighter. Another Situation: Something magic is inscribed on the wall, it seems to be elvish. The wizard would again get an arcana check, but the idiot fighter being a half elf can take his chances also, eventually with disadvantage. Would he be a dwarf not speaking elvish then no way.

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 11:05 AM - Coroc mentioned Saelorn in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    Saelorn principally what TheSword also posted: As far as i can remember you cannot even try to use lockpicks or trap disarm without rogue or other class Levels in 3.5 style Systems . In 5e you can even try this unskilled. And if you look at #26 TheSword seems to have overseen that Backgrounds are more than pure flavor. My own PC is a Wood elf Archer ranger with 16 dex 16 wis. Atm. Level 5 he got prof in Deception +2, insight +6, nature +3, Perception +6, Stealth +6, Survival +6, thieves Tools +6, gaming dice +6, with sleight of Hand still being +3 due to dex. Ok he does not have sneak attack or cunning Action, but he got SS and can heal himself with cure wounds spells. Compared to a pure rogue he loses some on thieving skills but he is far more versatile and durable. So he opens locks and detects / disarms traps with +6 each. And that is purely due to Background (and race for perception).
  • 06:46 AM - Coroc mentioned Saelorn in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    Saelorn #22 I disagree: 1. Your examples of cleric and wizard which normally have poor dex are obviously not the best choices for the replacement rogue in the Party Use a Ranger or a dex fighter and it is not much difference to a full fledged rogue. Perception is also needed for detecting of traps of course. 2. If you multiclass in a 3.5 like System you also have to distribute your skill ranks and attributes so you 3. will not be as skillful as a single class rogue in any of the two cases which is absolute fair game

Friday, 11th May, 2018

  • 10:00 AM - TheSword mentioned Saelorn in post Disadvantages of Advantage
    @Saelorn The block and tackle equipment allows you to lift four times your weight rather than give advantage on rolls. I get your point though. [Edit: We could easily replace the analogy with two people trying to break down a door though] What I like about advantage/disadvantage is that unlike +/- stacking it reduces the chances of autosuccess. Many builds in PF and 3rd ed were about stacking modifiers to skills, CMD, Saves, save DCs and attack rolls dramatically higher than the DCs expected. Pathfinder in particular allowed this to be taken to crazy degrees. The advantage mechanic is like a breath of fresh air after all this. People call it granularity but it wasn’t used to reflect choice and realism it was used to build powerhouses.
  • 04:12 AM - MoonSong mentioned Saelorn in post Pathfinder 2's Armor & A Preview of the Paladin!
    Gammadoodler maybe I'm extreme-picky in my likings, actually that is quite likely the case, but I don't think I'm alone. The paladin archetype predates RPGs and extends beyond gamers. There is nothing there about being the zealous puppet of a deity. It is all about justice, hope and capital good. And speaking of GOOD, I held it to be an objective force, independent of the wills of the so-called deities, I don't see it as a personification with its own will. And definitely not a god -unless you go pantheist on it-. In my view, paladins tap into it, and they manage to do it out of their own virtue and conviction. Why is their path harder than that of a cleric? because there are no shortcuts. If they falter, if they let evil taint their hearts, then they cannot tap into GOOD anymore. Anybody could tap into it if they had the purity of heart and strong desire to do good and fight for justice. Saelorn Exactly! I cannot buy any of the "good" gods being actually good in the Realms. The mere existence of the wall shows it. Any actual good god would have opposed it from the beginning. "Kelemvor, if you want to rebuild the wall, you'd rather start by killing and putting us on it. Cause we won't let you cause any harm to souls just for the sake of MOAR power to the gods". In my contributions to this thread I am not trying to argue for how Paizo should present their PF2 paladin class; nor for what is "the best" presentation of such a class in a RPG. Those are questions that have to be answered using knowledge about player preferences, market trends, etc, and I don't have that knowledge. I am talking about the archetype of the paladin. D&D didn't invent this archetype; nor did Poul Anderson. (Though clearly he was influential on the particular way D&D first operationalised it.) Sure he didn't. Applying this to the idea of alignment and code in the D&D context, the paladin should be ...


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Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 03:46 AM - mellored quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    The only real plot-hole here is why the magical charge used for Resonance is distinct from the magical charge going into your Sorcerer spell slots.I can agree with this. Not that the current way is bad, but it would make more sense from an in-world perspective if everyone had a store of magical energy, then let them spend it on spells or items. Though with something to reduce spamming.
  • 03:01 AM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    The issue is that you were loaded down with magical items as though your were some sort of holiday tree, and zapping wands like they were going out of style. It's an issue, whether or not you see it as a problematic one. Wands weren't intended to be used in such a capacity, which is why they're introducing this rule to change that. It wasn't balanced around easy healing. That's just how everyone ended up playing, because the magic item rules were at odds with the encounter balance, and there was no use attempting to convince players not to exploit that. Pathfinder players are (generally speaking) unwilling to accept house rules, and if you don't like that, then the alternative is to not play. I think we have a pretty genial relationship on these forums, we agree on some stuff and disagree on other stuff but in general its all good. So in respect of that relationship I think that I will just have to agree to disagree at this point. I dont want to come off in a harsher tone then you deserv...
  • 02:16 AM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    Ah, I see! So you did experience the issue, but you experienced it as a feature rather than a bug. And now they're patching out the whole issue, which may adversely affect your play experience. No I did not experience "the issue". There was no issue. My character has magic items and he uses his magic items the way that magic items are supposed to be used. If there was an issue then I am sure there must be some evidence of it somewhere? Anywhere? Hello? Yeah, thats what I thought. That's very similar to how I felt, after playing Pathfinder for a little while, back in the day. I was always a big fan of the healing-resource-management game, and I enjoyed giving every character a little bit of healing so that they could be back to full within a few days, but then the Cure wands showed up and ruined my fun. There was no way to house rule the wands out of the community zeitgeist, so I was just left playing a game that wasn't as much fun as it could have been. I eventually came to th...
  • 01:07 AM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    Great! If you didn't have that problem under the old system, and you definitely won't have that problem under the new system, then why would you object? The new solution which works for everyone should be better than the old solution which only worked for some people. I mean, aside from the failures in implementation (like extra bookkeeping in tracking both charges and Resonance), of course. The idea shouldn't be controversial at all, though. Ok, so Resonance allows me to use 20 charges from my wand as well as 10 potions and then still be able to use my Elven cloak? No? So then I do have a problem under the new system that I did not before.
  • 12:40 AM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    Okay, so I guess the underlying question is, why don't you like the user-as-battery model of magic-item-design? It makes sense to me. There are plenty of examples of magic items working that way, elsewhere in games and fiction. There is a logic to it. It's internally consistent to itself, from what we've seen. Is it just that it's different? I have gone over and over my problems with this new magical item limitation system. If I was going to summarise the problem in a nut shell it is: Resonance is a solution to a problem I dont have.
  • 12:26 AM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    It's magic. It can work however the designer wants it to work. My explanation is exactly as realistic as your explanation (i.e. zero percent). I agree of course it can work how ever the designer wants it to work. It does not have to be logical at all. It does not have to be internally consistent. It does not even have to make narrative sense. The only possible issue is if it was first established within canon that it worked one way, and then later on in the same continuity it works differently. If you have a story that starts in Pathfinder 1, and the same story is continued in Pathfinder 2, then you would need to address why the functionality is changed. It isn't something that Golarion has had to deal with before, as far as I know, but they always come up with a sufficient explanation when it happens in Faerun. They did say that there were not going to be any "Realms Shaking Events" for Golarion but could be just PR spin. It would be like wanting to write a novel in English...

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 11:42 PM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    The effect is external, but the power source is internal. You are a living magical battery, your Charisma score is a measure of the magical charge you hold, and magic items are like gadgets which are plugged into you. Well no, the power source is external. It literally is enchanted into the item. It would be like my car stopped working because I was using my Ipad too much then blaming it on my internal device charging battery running out. The only real plot-hole here is why the magical charge used for Resonance is distinct from the magical charge going into your Sorcerer spell slots. Thats the plot hole? I don't know anyone who plays GURPS. I know several people who use it as reference material. (GURPS is kind of like the Esperanto of games systems, in that a lot of people can understand it, even if they would never want to use it.) So I guess it would be like wanting to make a new word in English but having to check what the rules of Esperanto say first.
  • 11:22 PM - chaochou quoted Saelorn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I dunno, they seem pretty realistic to me. If you hit someone with a baseball bat, then they're going to be pretty messed up. And how does being 'messed up' translate into D&Ds hit points? Well, let's see now: No pain, no shock, no keeling over winded, no fractures or breaks or sprains, punctures, no internal bleeding, no external bleeding, no concussion, no muscles tears or ligament damage, no fatigue, or loss of strength or balance, no change in perception. Get someone to smash you around with a baseball bat for a bit and see if none of those thing happen to you - then get back to me on the claims of 'realism'. It's an utterly anodyne representation of combat as a mathematical exercise in reducing a the enemy to zero HP before yours reach zero. A total fail to describe any possible realities of combat attrition. DYD HP couldn't be less realistic.
  • 10:22 PM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    Only if those classes worked through internal magical strength, rather than channeling energy from the inner or outer planes. Granted, that explanation is a shaky post-hoc rationalization, but that doesn't make it less true. As ridiculous as it may be, the designers worked themselves into a corner in their attempt to make Charisma into less of a dump stat, but they have been pretty consistent about it since then. As it stands, Charisma is your internal magical strength. If you think that's dumb, then you may be right, but correcting it would involve drastic changes to the Sorcerer, Bard, and Paladin; and the end result is that Charisma would be even more of a dump stat than it already is. Tread carefully. Even if your idea that Charisma is some kind of internal magical strength was correct the question remains, why would that affect say Magical Armour? By definition that is external. And the Elven Cloak again external magic. They already have given Weapons a free pass well except...
  • 03:30 PM - Arilyn quoted Saelorn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Describing damage is a job for the DM, and different DMs describe damage differently. If the players don't understand how badly their characters are hurt, then the DM isn't describing the injury very well (or they are describing it as distinctly non-physical). For contrast, though, I'm currently playing in a game with a DM who has never played or run before. Every single attack that beats armor class, he has described as the blade getting past armor and striking flesh. Every single time someone has failed a save against Fireball, he describes the intense pain of how their skin is burning. Because that's the obvious interpretation of damage, if you read the rule book, and nobody on the internet has tried to convince him otherwise. And is this having a mechanical effect? While experiencing the searing pain of a fireball are the characters getting any disadvantages? After the sword slices through flesh, is there bleeding, which will continue to weaken the character until treated? Probably n...
  • 01:31 PM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    No, they run off of your internal magical strength, which is what Charisma has meant for nearly twenty years. If internal magical strength was important then the two most magical classes in the game would use it. And there is plenty of literature where wands are tools for shaping the internal magical energy of whoever is wielding it. It's also how items work in the default magic system for GURPS (although you can also build a wand with its own power source, it's just a lot more complicated). So now GURPS is the basis of magic use? o_O
  • 02:50 AM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    Is your position that PF2 shouldn't include Resonance as a feature, because Resonance means someone has to play a healer, and that would be boring? No, my position is that Resonance: 1) does not meet the goals set out by the designers and b) is an arbitrary meta-gamist construct that does not map to any type of fiction (including all DnD and Pathfinder fiction). It is like how you can only "attune" three items in 5e except that many items dont even need attunement. Myt impression is that it is solving a problem that no one has. I mean has anyone really come out and said "Man I wish that I could only use my Vorpal sword a few times a day because it just seems overpowered?" or "Hey I have used my Ring of Invisibility quite often today so logically my Healing Potion should have stopped working".
  • 02:20 AM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    It is possible that failure means the end of the world. If you're playing a hero, and a princess dies because you failed, then the guilt might make you wish you were dead. You're not necessarily just plundering some tomb because you're bored. I am pretty sure that you would have figured out if it was an "end of the world" mission or not. Or is it Goblins are attacking Sandpoint, if we dont stop them it will be the "end of the world" situation? Besides I am just playing my character, he is no Hero just an adventurer looking to make a sweet score. Fifth Edition is (nominally) based on the idea that a high-level party can fight low-level enemies, even if they're ten levels lower than you, and it should still be interesting. Pathfinder was (theoretically) based around a party encountering enemies within a few levels above or below their own; if you face a level-2 encounter, then it might still do some significant damage to you, and you'll need to spend valuable resources to recover fro...
  • 01:25 AM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    The game doesn't become unplayable, but it is fundamentally changed. The resource management game breaks, as play shifts toward overcoming individual encounters. It's just a matter of preference. Even 4E had its fans. I would break it down to a difference between Combat as War or Combat as Sport. You either play the resource game and learn to manage your resources more efficiently - avoid unnecessary combat, fight conservatively, etc - or you give up. If you get halfway through the dungeon, then you can usually leave to heal, but doing so means that you fail - the loot gets plundered before you can get there, the bad guy gets away, or whatever other goal you had becomes unreachable. (Usually the second one.) Personally I have no problem with failing a mission and living to fight again another day. There are plenty of Princesses to rescue, Orcs to kill and Gold to loot for another day. Pathfinder doesn't automatically assume that you'll be at full HP before every fight, the wa...

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 11:02 PM - Ratskinner quoted Saelorn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    The strawman exaggeration is that you could be impaled with a spear going through your head, and it wouldn't affect your performance enough to model. Nobody who actually uses the physical model for HP is going to describe damage in such a way - it's all just mild scratches and bruises, or maybe deeper cuts and broken bones - but either way it's physical (and thus observable to the characters). Which is precisely what I pointed out several posts back*, its all "Disney damage" to coin a phrase. Even worse, no critical wounds, no dramatically interesting injuries whatsoever (even Disney occasionally has the occasional limping character in need of help)....no damage, just cosmetics....oh and that pesky totally metagame doom clock. Certainly nothing about "how bad a shape you're in", but maybe a "how bad does your makeup look". The characters might be observing it, but they must also be observing that (unlike IRL) these injuries have no impact on their performance. So...if you want to call co...
  • 10:38 PM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    It is widely considered to break the game, yes. Look up "five-minute workday" and "quadratic wizard" for the full details. The game does not break because the party is at full hp. But it does bring up an interesting question. In your party if you can not use wands to heal and you can not go away to heal then do you just keep going until either death or victory?
  • 10:11 PM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    When I played AD&D, we didn't play in high magic settings where you were likely to find those kinds of items. Magic items were rare, and powerful. (The AD&D experience was also expected to vary widely between tables, of course.) Cure Light Wounds, in wand form, is an exploit because it trivializes all of the other healing mechanics. Hit Points are supposed to be a finite resource which you conserve and manage over time, and any class features which you can devote to countering that is supposed to be a meaningful choice. The wand changes that into a trivial GP cost, which restores you to full HP between every encounter. The game is more far more interesting if that wand doesn't exist, just as it was not available in earlier editions. Eh, it is really not an exploit to be able to heal. The only real difference between being able to heal easily and not is how long you can spend adventuring before retreating back to a safe area to heal. So really it is just a choice to either spend money...
  • 08:40 PM - houser2112 quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    When I played AD&D, we didn't play in high magic settings where you were likely to find those kinds of items. Magic items were rare, and powerful. (The AD&D experience was also expected to vary widely between tables, of course.) Most of my AD&D experience was homebrew, high danger, and high magic Monty Haul, but strangely didn't include much cure spells on a stick. That DM liked handing out custom healing items in potion form, potions of super healing (heals to max for imbibing character) and ultra healing (heals to max all party members). Cure Light Wounds, in wand form, is an exploit because it trivializes all of the other healing mechanics. Sounds like niche protection. Do you feel the same way about the Staff Of Healing? Hit Points are supposed to be a finite resource which you conserve and manage over time, and any class features which you can devote to countering that is supposed to be a meaningful choice. The wand changes that into a trivial GP cost, which restores you to ...
  • 08:01 PM - houser2112 quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    It's a question of how hard you need to reach for it, though. Maybe it's from my background with Shadowrun, or maybe it's from some video game that I can't even remember, but Resonance (or Attunement) makes a lot of sense to me. The idea of a charged wand, that has a finite number of shots and then breaks, seems way less intuitive (as far as magic items go). Granted, the vast majority of my experience with charged wands is with Cure Light Wounds spam in Pathfinder, and I distinctly remember thinking at the time that it was ridiculous. Any rule to get rid of that exploit is welcome in my book. Really? Spells-on-a-stick-with-limited-charges have been around IIRC since at least 2E. Wands of lightning bolt, fireball, and magic missile in particular. Why would wands of cure light wounds be an exploit? Is it niche protection for the cleric?
  • 01:55 PM - houser2112 quoted Saelorn in post Resonance, Potency, & Potions: A Look At Magic Items in Pathfinder 2
    Charges make sense, if you draw a parallel to a gun or a battery-powered radio. Of course, when the battery dies in your radio, you usually don't throw out the whole device as worthless. You don't throw away the gun, when you're out of bullets (unless you're fighting Superman). Charges would make more sense, intuitively, if wands could also be re-charged (as in 5E). Resonance makes sense if you think of the wand as something like a lense, for shaping your own internal energies. Wands are a re-usable lense, and potions or scrolls are a one-time use lense, but you still have a finite amount of internal energy either way. I can't really think of a good real-world analogy, unless you wanted to go with what Charlaquin said about food, but it still makes just as much sense as a potential way that magic could work. The degree by which I'm tempted to replace Cure potions with enchanted apples hidden behind candlesticks, and magic roasted turkey in chandeliers, is significant. I'm sure that no m...


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