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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 11:21 AM
    The PCs see the actual game world, of which the mechanics of conversing and Charisma are only a pale reflection. They have significantly more information than the players do, about virtually everything which happens in their world. They don't see the +3 and +5, but they see every aspect of their reality which corresponds to those numbers; in the same way that you can see the effects of gravity...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 04:08 AM
    If the rules of the game do not reflect the reality of the game world, then what good are they to us? Why even have a chart for what happens when you fall out of a tree, if someone falls out of a tree, and the DM arbitrarily decides that something happens which isn't even on the chart? Something is seriously wrong if the outcome of an action depends on whether or not you decide to use the...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 03:47 AM
    I take offense at the accusation, as I hope you would. The quoted text clearly describes meta-gaming as using OOC knowledge for IC decisions, and that's not what I'm doing. Our fundamental disagreement is over which specific information is considered in-character information, and which information is out-of-character information. At my table, the actions I describe are considered to be based...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 01:36 AM
    As I said, if you introduce additional rules, then the decisions of the characters would reflect those rules, because everything in their reality supports that. If the enemy henchperson you're about to interrogate is a member of the fighter's fan club, then that would be a relevant factor, which the characters should take into account. This is the sort of thing that's going to vary significantly...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 01:17 AM
    The real world is a more complex domain than the game world is. In the game world, Charisma applies equally to all charisma-based skills, so you can judge how well a warlock persuades someone based on how well they can dance (or more-to-the-point, how strong their spells are); just as you can estimate someone's ability to climb or swim, based on how well they swing an axe. Yes, there is noise,...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:45 PM
    We agree on the definition, at least. Agreed. Their world is complex, and the rules in the book are a simplification of those rules. It is basically like our world, except as noted. They wouldn't know the numbers, based on the rules in the book; but they would understand the more-complex reality, which those rules reflect. Remember, they actually live in this world, and they see a million...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:19 PM
    It's not a matter of characters actively tallying their own successes and failures. The entire world works this way, so the characters would have been passively absorbing that for their entire lives. It should be common sense, for everyone in the world, that skill and training are no match for natural talent. The game world is a different place from the real world, and you're ignoring that...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:48 AM
    If you want the fighter to help the warlock at the task, then that's one thing, if the DM allows it. In real life, two people working together may be more likely to succeed (as long as one isn't grossly incompetent). That's not an argument for why the fighter should be the one doing the thing, instead of the warlock doing it, if only one gets to try. I know that some DMs are more willing to...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:30 AM
    I've seen a couple of less-mainstream games that tried to quantify participation by granting XP based on damage dealt and received, with the idea being that more powerful enemies would give and take more damage in order to defeat. As you might suspect, they tend to not work out well, as fights devolved into players going out of their way to take damage in lieu of finishing anyone off (as per...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:11 AM
    If the party fails in a D&D game, then they're most likely all dead, and incapable of further learning.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 14th January, 2019, 08:45 PM
    In real life, a group making an argument can be more persuasive than an individual. In the game world, it isn't necessarily so. (Or if the DM implements Advantage in that case, then that's how the game world actually works; and the characters would behave accordingly, since they actually live in that world.) Or maybe everyone is arguing a different point, in which case everyone should be...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 11:13 PM
    Eh. If one pillar determines whether you live or die, and another pillar determines how much you pay for bread, then I'm not going to fault anyone for assuming that a generic resource should be spent in combat.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 10:49 PM
    I'm not a huge fan of combining combat resources with non-combat resources. I'd prefer if they just had an entirely distinct feature, which worked like Indomitable for skills, and had its own usage allowance.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 11:49 PM
    All soldiers, mercenaries, and athletes belong to the fighter class (for the sake of argument), but it's a squares and rectangles thing. You can't add "gruff mercenary" mechanics to the fighter core class, because not all fighters are gruff mercenaries.
    236 replies | 7315 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 10:45 PM
    The problem is that, aside from combat, the fighter base class has no identity. It's only defined by its not being a barbarian, paladin, or ranger. Fortunately, the fighter sub-classes each have a strong identity, and they have stuck a couple of ribbons and RP aids into those. Except for the Champion, I mean.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 10:42 PM
    That's an optional rule which adds a great deal of complexity and shifts character balance in unpredictable ways; but even if the DM is willing to consider using that rule, it's not a slam dunk that it would apply in the situation you describe. Even if you demonstrate great strength in your display, it's not necessarily a given that you could get your point across when you utterly lack the body...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 03:03 AM
    Agreed. Nevertheless, as weird as it seems, that's simply not the reality they're living in. Until such time as the DM actually changes the rule, that's just how things work, and they have to deal with it. I wouldn't go that far. There are a lot of factors that go into designing a skill system, and they had other priorities. It was more important for them to implement Bounded Accuracy, so...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 02:17 AM
    Presumably because they want to succeed at the task, and they aren't going to insist on taking the spotlight at the expense of their actual goal, no matter how often they find themself in this situation. And while you could certainly go ahead with it anyway, and the other players would probably understand, that's no excuse for a ruleset that would force someone to make such a choice.
    236 replies | 7315 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 12:47 AM
    One of the issues with 5E is that, for most of the game, your ability modifier is more important than your proficiency bonus. If the fighter wants to intimidate something, and they have a +3 bonus because they're actually trained in it, then they're still better off letting the untrained warlock do it, because the warlock is at +5 from Charisma.
    236 replies | 7315 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 11:57 PM
    It sounds good to me, as long as nobody is actually playing a Champion or a Battle Master. Otherwise, you'd need to work up substitute features, and that could get more complicated.
    236 replies | 7315 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 03:12 AM
    No, because damage interacts in specific ways with other system mechanics, such as healing. A character who is at 30/40 has objectively suffered twice the injury as one who is at 75/80, by at least one metric. As with any game mechanic, it's only as abstract as you absolutely need it to be. Unfortunately, 5E pushes the line even further into unnecessary abstraction, such that now we can't even...
    19 replies | 624 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 01:20 AM
    Not much that I can add, but I agree. Extreme critical hit/fumble charts turn the game into a farce when used in a d20 system, and dramatically swing the game against the players whenever they appear. I was also in a Pathfinder game that was nearly de-railed when the GM introduced the charts - the official deck isn't as bad, because the effects are much less significant - but we adapted by...
    25 replies | 775 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 12:51 AM
    I hadn't thought of it that way. To me, the image of an undying berserker is one who has taken arrows and axe blows beyond the point where they should be dead, but they're still up. And that image says, to me, that those hits are still fully effective. After all, if they were resisting the damage, then they wouldn't actually look like they should be dead yet. If someone of a given power level...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 10:21 PM
    Personally, I'm more familiar with the raging barbarian archetype being represented as a glass-cannon with overwhelming damage at the expense of defense and possibly accuracy. The raging barbarian in 5E is a tank, with mediocre damage and amazing defense, but also incredible accuracy. For contrast, the melee-damage champion is the paladin, who is significantly squishier than the barbarian. ...
    19 replies | 624 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 11:01 PM
    Druids already get better at Nature as their Druid level increases. That's what your Proficiency bonus represents. Why would you think that your capacity to learn and remember details should be irrelevant to how much you know about a topic?
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 10:07 PM
    That's a lot like what I remember, in as much as fire elementals don't have blood, so the players were left scratching their collective head in trying to interpret anything. The example I remember is from a magic item formula that needed "the essence of speed," and the players in that example decided that the heart of a stag should qualify. I don't remember whether the DM was supposed to just...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 05:23 AM
    That's exactly the advice I was going to give. Even for someone with no history of homebrewing, you are the only one who knows what needs to be fixed in order to achieve your own goals, which makes you the one best suited toward fixing it. If you understand the rules well enough to find fault with them, then you understand them well enough to fix them.
    97 replies | 3460 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 05:00 AM
    I've never used DDB. Is it even possible for them to consider homebrew content? Or is all of that data being ignored by default, since there's no way for them to accept it?
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 04:30 AM
    To this end, I would recommend the simplest possible implementation. Instead of rating each spell on a scale from one to five "spell preparation points", I would sort everything into two bins: full spells, and half spells. Half spells only take up half of a preparation slot, so you can take two less-impressive spells in place of each more-impressive one. A more complex implementation would...
    38 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th January, 2019, 11:41 PM
    If I understand you correctly, "the sky" refers to the greatest amount of damage possible, so you judge everything as a percentage of that. One issue with that approach, at least from a usability standpoint, is that we don't really know how high the sky actually is, because the game options are not necessarily set in stone prior to making the evaluation. At a given level, you might get a...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 11:22 PM
    A literal reading of that would imply that casting it on a rope ladder or knotted rope would cause it to glitch out, forever rising as gravity is insufficient to force the rope into a straight line. It's probably best to not over-think this.
    117 replies | 3740 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 10:29 PM
    One hour is the default length of a short rest, but the rest of the book goes out of its way to avoid making that assumption. I don't think that the intent of the spell is for its duration to scale with the length of your short rests.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 09:04 PM
    See the earlier example, regarding gym class. Climbing a vertical rope is hard. Most people can't do it. It shouldn't be taken as a given that everyone would automatically succeed. Maybe that gets into your definition of "cliff", but a shallow enough surface that's covered in foot-holds would be trivially climbable by most people. A vertical rope with no adjacent surface would be substantially...
    117 replies | 3740 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 08:54 PM
    For me, nothing has ever come as close to a fighting game as Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game. If you're taking the concept in a different direction, then I'd be curious to see your approach. It is probably beyond the purview of this thread, though.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 08:45 PM
    It also stops being a "rope trick" in any capacity. At that point, it's just a temporary pocket dimension.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 08:20 PM
    The entry gives examples, which the DM can use as basis for their adjudication. I would definitely say that a free-standing rope with zero support is the equivalent of a steep cliff, since it is purely vertical and there is no wall to lean against, and there are no easy hand-holds. The basic rule of the game is that the DM calls for a check whenever the outcome is uncertain, and failure would...
    117 replies | 3740 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 08:17 AM
    The climb doesn't specifically not call for an ability check, either. Whether or not it requires a check to climb a free-standing rope is one of those things that's left up to DM interpretation. There's certainly nothing in the spell description to indicate that this rope is easier to climb than other ropes.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 03:09 AM
    Yes, exactly. Fighters are better on an at-will basis. They do what anyone else could do, except they're slightly better along each metric. In exchange, they don't get the big flashy powers that can take out a room full of chumps all at once. If they wanted to be a wizard, sure. That's the offer on the table. Give up +2 to hit/damage/AC/HP, in exchange for one big effect in each encounter. ...
    203 replies | 6365 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 02:27 AM
    A difference of +3 to hit is hardly the end of the world. It will turn a hit into a miss on 15% of attacks, or maybe three times over the course of an entire day, for the wizards. And those are the crossbow attacks, which are a smaller damage contribution than your one huge spell, regardless.Back-row combatants receive fewer attacks in the first place, so comparing Mage Armor +1 to splint armor,...
    203 replies | 6365 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 12:22 AM
    I expect the wizard to invest a little bit more into Dexterity, but yes, I think the player of such a character would be happy to have one giant explosive attack that's balanced by smaller at-will attacks and slightly-reduced defenses. That sounds far more appealing and "magical" than everyone doing average damage every round. This was the standard, back when I played AD&D, and it worked...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 10:22 PM
    Another solution is to leave it in the game, but reduce the duration to something like half an hour, so it would still be around for other purposes (like providing a convenient rope to climb, or hiding while a patrol passes by), but the players would obviously know that it's not enough time for a short rest. It's still a super useful spell, even without the healing angle. It's better than...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 09:58 PM
    Not once per day. Once per combat. At level 5 (for example), the fighter gets six attacks every three rounds, for a total of 6d8+24 (barring feats). The wizard gets one spell for 8d6, followed by two attacks for d8+2. That's assuming the fighter has 18 Dexterity, and the wizard has 14 Dexterity. The fighter ends up dealing ~51 damage to one target, while the wizard does ~41 to that target and...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 08:55 PM
    Honestly, I'd start with the lightning bolts and flaming sphere, as the big offenders in this example. If a wizard throws a lightning bolt, or rolls a flaming sphere, then that's about the level I'm looking at. Combat magic doesn't have to scale down all the way from 100% to zero. "Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Fire Bolt" is no different than "Fire Bolt, Fire Bolt, Fire Bolt" from my...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 08:29 PM
    No, it's not, for reasons that extend back decades. Wizards can do anything, because magic isn't real. Fighters can only do what we imagine is plausible for a person to do, because everything a fighter does is based in reality. It may not be true, but that's how the game has been designed since the beginning, and that's what players are willing to accept. It's a major design roadblock, which...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 06:24 AM
    That's pretty much what I was getting at, but the context of this thread is how the forum talks about such topics in general, and it looks like we don't even have a consensus on what the default rules look like. There is no agreed baseline for what good or bad damage looks like, because it depends heavily on context, which we have to hope is provided by the individual thread under which the...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 03:45 AM
    Are you assuming a feat-enabled game, by default? Because that could explain some of the confusion. As a baseline for discussing and comparing whether anything is over-powered or under-powered, I stick with the default rules in the book, which means no feats and no multi-classing and rolled stats.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 02:43 AM
    That's a good point, but I'm not sure that there's significant overlap between the groups of "monsters that are immune to non-magical weapons" and "monsters that show up in large number, and require an AoE solution". Even when I was running a game at level 20, the group very rarely faced more than two Titans at the same time.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 12:03 AM
    What do you consider as your baseline? Where do you draw the line between acceptable damage and "needs improvement"?
    67 replies | 2910 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 11:56 PM
    My experience with AD&D was similar to yours. The benefit of acquiring a new magic item was rarely commensurate with the risk involved with the process, so it was hardly ever done. The only time I ever recall it coming up, it was a campaign built around the idea of going out to acquire the various components, on behalf of an NPC enchanter. I don't think that campaign lasted long enough for the...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 10:43 PM
    Agreed. How so? You've already crossed the line into homebrew territory, so it's not like this would change anything from that perspective. A focused change, on the one class that actually needs it, would have far fewer unintended consequences than introducing a new feat for several different classes to take. Given the general opinion of the Ranger class, you could probably just add this...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 09:37 PM
    Both sides have merit. Would a good compromise be if the wizard could make a less-meaningful (but not irrelevant) contribution each round, but also get one show-stopping Fireball per fight?
    203 replies | 6365 view(s)
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    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 09:07 PM
    I think that the standard baseline is a fighter/champion with a greatsword, making its attacks. It's easy to parse, because it grows pretty linearly at each tier, and its burst ability is a flat double damage for one round. If you do more than that, then your damage is good. If you do less than that, then your damage is not as good (so hopefully you have something else to contribute).
    67 replies | 2910 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 08:11 PM
    It is a good example of how the book isn't written with exacting technical precision, at least. If you assume that it's supposed to let you rest, and RAW says you can't actually use it to rest, then it should give you a better sense of how to interpret things.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 07:18 AM
    It's a good analogy, but the practical difference is that powerful healing potions (the ones you would need to heal within the time allotted) are otherwise limited in availability, while healing surges often regenerate faster than they can be spent. If you don't cast Rope Trick, then you may well be forced to retreat and take a long rest, in which case your healing surges are wasted since you...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 04:32 AM
    Sadly, nobody has chosen to play that class yet, so it remains untested. The idea is that your normal spellcasting works just like it did in 2E, where you can instantly cast by spending slots. Taking an action to Focus is supposed to take the place of throwing a dart, so you would only do it if you weren't going to do anything exciting anyway. Imagine if Wizards in 5E had an ability, "As an...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 01:03 AM
    YMMV, but D&D is a class-based game, and the distinctions between classes is overwhelming. At my table, you can tell who a wizard is by looking at them. And in either case, you still know that you can cast Fireball, which has profound effects on how your entire party acts.
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    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 01:00 AM
    If a wizard is using Intelligence to make attacks with their crossbow, then that raises a whole new category of objection.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st January, 2019, 10:23 AM
    We called it "Second Edition". One ramification of being able to cast a Fireball is that, should circumstances warrant, you can deal a bunch of fire damage in a large area. Another ramification of being able to cast a Fireball is that you know you can cast Fireball, and others may believe that you can, so that changes how everyone acts in your presence. If you walk into a public place and...
    203 replies | 6365 view(s)
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    Tuesday, 1st January, 2019, 06:38 AM
    There's no hard rule that you have to re-apply the rounding rule at each step, instead of doing all relevant calculations and then rounding.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st January, 2019, 04:01 AM
    In my homebrew, I have three alternatives to cantrips; or possibly two, depending on how you count it. Each addresses the issue in a different way. This wizard-equivalent class gets magic-infused weapon strikes. They can mundanely swing their staff, or throw a dart, but it impacts with magical force so as to stay relevant at higher levels. It doesn't feel like at-will magic, because it's...
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    Tuesday, 1st January, 2019, 03:49 AM
    YMMV, obviously, but I strongly disagree on this point. Casting spells is not what makes a spellcaster feel magical to me. In my opinion, the magical thing about a spellcaster is that they can cast spells; and that remains true of them, until such time as they run out. A wizard who can cast Fireball feels at least as magical as a wizard who is casting Fireball. In much the same way, a grenade...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st January, 2019, 03:37 AM
    I always interpreted that the main effect of Rope Trick was to make a rope suspend itself without an anchor. Imagine how many video games would be trivialized, by the ability to set a climbable rope anywhere you wanted.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 12:34 PM
    Rope Trick does not provide the benefits of a short rest, any more than Create Water allows someone to recover a level of Exhaustion by completing a long rest. It allows you to fulfill one of the necessary criteria, with a reasonable degree of assurance, but not necessarily the limiting one.
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    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 08:35 AM
    I think the fundamental weirdness is just a side-effect of odd stats being worthless in the game. A bonus of +3 to Con isn't actually worth more than +2 to Con, unless it's already at an odd number. Your system would make it easier to even out the random odd stat, and while that's definitely a boon to the players, I'm not sure whether it's an un-necessary buff, or whether the original system...
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    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 07:12 AM
    It's true that this part is ambiguous. Personally, I allow a full weapon swap (stowing and drawing) as one interaction, because I don't want to slow the game with the additional tactical considerations of spending an extra turn or in tracking where the dropped weapon is on the battlefield. I would always encourage a DM to rule in such a way that will promote the kind of gameplay they want to see...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 04:17 AM
    In my experience, magnificent mansion is well worth the spell slot. Part of that is down to how badly the other level 7 spells have been nerfed. Mostly it's just that, by the time they have access to it, they have more than enough memorization slots available to them, so it costs very little to leave it prepared in case they don't need forcecage or teleport that day.
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    Sunday, 30th December, 2018, 04:08 AM
    I wouldn't go that far. It enables you to cast certain spells while other spells are still in effect, and have twice as many buffs running, but it would be fairly taxing on the spell slot economy. Even as a cleric, I would choose +2 to Wisdom over a feat that allowed double concentration, because +2 to Wisdom increases the power of my at-will abilities while double concentration just lets me...
    25 replies | 595 view(s)
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    Saturday, 29th December, 2018, 01:56 AM
    That brings back bad memories of the cleric in late 3.5, after they introduced divine meta-magic. By allowing you to convert a tertiary resource into improving a primary resource, it essentially let you punch way above your level, while removing the tertiary resource as a game element. With their power to tap into hit dice, sorcerers would become the over-powered spellcaster that, incidentally,...
    20 replies | 1058 view(s)
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    Saturday, 29th December, 2018, 01:49 AM
    I would be extremely leery of anything like this, based on the role that hit dice currently play in the game. As it stands, hit dice give you a second chance, in case something goes horribly wrong. In the off-chance that you get in over your head, and take massive amounts of damage, your hit dice are there to prevent the game from coming to a screeching halt as the party is forced to call it...
    20 replies | 1058 view(s)
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    Saturday, 29th December, 2018, 01:20 AM
    No, I got that. Even without the +1 to a stat, though, Resilient is still roughly worth +2 to Con. It's one of the few feats that was really worthwhile, before, since it was the only real way to improve one of your saves. (I like to use +2 to Con as the balance point for a feat, because it's a given that everyone will max out their attack stat, and Con is the default alternative if you aren't...
    11 replies | 375 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 11:11 PM
    Is the ASI feat limited to one take? Or can I just keep taking it, every other level? Because that's almost certainly how I would go, if I was playing in this system. Very few of these feats were ever more valuable than +2 to Con, to begin with, but you have many of them set up as more expensive. Unless your version of ASI only gives +1 to a stat (which would push the cost up to four points,...
    11 replies | 375 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 08:47 PM
    Although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, due to issues that I have with narrative causality, the first thing that comes to mind is Feng Shui. Just about everything that you can play in that game is some sort of action movie archetype, or at least wuxia.
    11 replies | 308 view(s)
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    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 02:16 AM
    No, but since you put it that way, that's definitely an option worth considering. There's no reason why you couldn't use resources un-spent as a modifier to XP earned, except that it would require a bit more math on the part of the DM. I may have mis-read the premise, then. I thought 'challenging' was being used to describe the difficulty level (i.e. somewhere between 'moderate' and 'deadly'),...
    99 replies | 4056 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 12:54 AM
    True, it's easier for the wizard to run through their spells than it is for the barbarian to run through their rages, but that's still nothing compared to a paladin. If the wizard does run out of spells, though, then I would still classify that as a preventable mistake that nobody should expect to happen; it's the exception, rather than the rule. While true, it's not necessarily a given that the...
    99 replies | 4056 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th December, 2018, 11:36 PM
    Who's talking about exhaustion? Are you assuming the Barbarian is a Berserker? Because I usually assume Totem, and that one never causes exhaustion. The Barbarian's "limited" rage is similar to the Wizard's "limited" spell slots, in that it practically never comes into effect - in practice, it never comes into effect - because neither class has the ability to nova. Barbarians have as many uses...
    99 replies | 4056 view(s)
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    Thursday, 27th December, 2018, 08:45 PM
    Where did they state that goal? I could buy that they wanted Fighters to fight better than Rangers, since Rangers have the whole exploration schtick, but Barbarians don't have much going on for them aside from fighting. I really wouldn't call "spending one use of rage, of which you have several per day" any sort of nova ability, any more than I would say a Wizard is going nova when they cast...
    99 replies | 4056 view(s)
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    Thursday, 27th December, 2018, 03:27 AM
    I agree that something is off with the game, as evidenced by resources frequently going un-spent. PCs have far too many resources to burn through each day, given the expectations set forth by the XP budget, and barbarian rages are far from the only example of that. The question of how to address the issue of too many resources is probably better left for another thread.
    99 replies | 4056 view(s)
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    Thursday, 27th December, 2018, 03:07 AM
    In practice, it's pretty difficult to run anyone out of resources in a day, unless the DM is intentionally going over-and-beyond or the players are being extremely reckless. By the time a fighter has more attacks than the barbarian, the barbarian has four rages per day, and gains a fifth at the following level. While it's possible to fit six encounters into the daily XP budget, most of them...
    99 replies | 4056 view(s)
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    Thursday, 27th December, 2018, 01:09 AM
    Saelorn replied to Spell balance
    Most spells* are fairly well-balanced for their level, so it shouldn't completely wreck the game if you allow other classes to cast them, aside from the fact that you're granting extra resources to the party. If the rogue can cast Invisibility twice per short rest, then that might save a few spell slots that the wizard can spend on Shield or something. Some spells can dramatically alter the...
    9 replies | 494 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th December, 2018, 09:44 PM
    If the game is specifically challenging for the players, and isn't wholesale slaughtering PCs or doesn't provide ample room for error, then your specific build options are irrelevant because the DM is tailoring the game to that exact difficulty. If a DM is going to increase the numbers and types of enemies to a point that an optimized team will succeed where a less-optimized team fails, then they...
    99 replies | 4056 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th December, 2018, 09:21 PM
    There's a lot that you can do with a d20. For example, you could calculate the distance between the pre-determined value and the actual value, giving specific degree of success or failure based on how far above or below you ended up rolling. Of course, doing so would mean sacrificing the greatest strength of the system, which is that it is fast and easy to determine a result. The part about...
    115 replies | 3581 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th December, 2018, 08:40 PM
    If you need to ask, then I have nothing to say to you, because your expectations are so far askew as to be irrelevant. Yes, you could play a role-playing game without taking it seriously; but if you are, then you've already chosen to forsake immersion, and are thus outside the purview of this thread.
    171 replies | 5498 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th December, 2018, 08:39 AM
    Only if you're talking about normal, flesh-and-blood humans. It's perfectly reasonable and expected, if you're talking about the sort of high-level demi-god who can take a dozen arrow hits without flinching. I doubt that Gilgamesh would flinch from falling 100 feet. Of course, if you narrate those arrows as doing anything other than actually inflicting physical damage, then you might not even...
    171 replies | 5498 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th December, 2018, 11:13 PM
    Okay, but why would such a mundane threat be so potent against such an epic character? Why not use negative-energy vortices, or something else befitting their power level? Going back to the concept of immersion, I can buy that I'm a super-hero with incredible durability who can resist spears or falls, or I can buy that I'm just some guy who needs to be worried about mundane threats. It's weird...
    171 replies | 5498 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th December, 2018, 09:13 AM
    If you have to cheat in order for the game to be fun, then something has gone horribly wrong. Personally, it would ruin the entire campaign for me, if I knew that the DM was casually cheating (either for or against the players). I'm glad that I don't play at your table.
    92 replies | 2788 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th December, 2018, 08:47 AM
    Although it may be getting off-topic, I wonder, why would you want falling to become dangerous for a high-level character? If you're playing a high-level character, like Beowulf, the you can laugh at a dozen warriors with spears pointed at you, because you know with relative certainty that they can't actually do you any real harm (at least, not anytime soon). Why should such a powerful being...
    171 replies | 5498 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th December, 2018, 12:07 AM
    Does a fall from 100 feet cause 10d6 damage, while a fall from 110 feet cause instant death? Do you tell your players what the rule is, so that their characters know how to act? If it was just surviving the fall, then it would be a good example of alternate physics, but it wouldn't be cartoon physics in the sense that I was getting at. I was talking about how he doesn't fall until he looks...
    171 replies | 5498 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th December, 2018, 12:00 AM
    My argument is weak because it should be obvious. Why do I care about taking things seriously? You might as well ask why it's important that nobody cheats. It's an obvious self-truth. You shouldn't need to ask. When you're talking about a story, being serious is not a mandatory requirement. A story has to be compelling, in some way, for it to be considered good; but a good story can either be...
    171 replies | 5498 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 02:07 AM
    Surprisingly or not, it doesn't really come up. By the time someone can trivially survive 20d6 damage, they have easy ways of avoiding it, like flight. At least, that's now it's gone down in my historical experience with running 5E games at high levels. For what it's worth, I do use alternate healing rules, which give me more freedom to describe the traumatic injury associated with taking 70...
    171 replies | 5498 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 01:11 AM
    It's kind of a blanket term, and it means different things in different contexts. As far as stories (novels, cartoons, and movies) are concerned, an important aspect is in portraying the subject matter such that it is both consistent and believable. If the writers are taking a story seriously, then things will resolve according to the internal logic of the world, rather than in a way that's funny...
    171 replies | 5498 view(s)
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Tuesday, 15th January, 2019


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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 ...

Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 05:18 PM - DMMike mentioned Saelorn in post D&D Action Economy - Alternative
    ...something already that costs an action in exchange for boosted defense: Dodge. Adding to OP. I'd be leaving in passive AC (because who doesn't love finding out that their attack was worthless?), but the Defense action would be a choice between Dodging or Saving. Saelorn: so tanking hits would still be possible - just not tanking spells/saves. You might also want to check if you're sure you want the possibility of casting 2 spells of any kind in a round, or if this needs the same restriction as for bonus action spells. I hope that the stigma over this would be lessened, since the free action would give other characters the chance to act twice as well. Maybe characters with a higher initiative score can react, attempting to disrupt the spell? How about lifting a rule from the glorious Dragon Warriors? Shields: don’t add to your AC but if you’re hit, roll a d6. On a 6, no damage. Maybe give different quality of shields different amounts of hits (number of) or HP (worth of damage). Just a thought. Would it bust the game? Pretty harsh that a shield would work, however poorly, regardless of the attacker's skill. But I have to agree with you (DW?) that shields and armor should use separate rules. It would make sense for the shield bonus to ap...

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 -- --


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Wednesday, 16th January, 2019

  • 04:48 PM - WaterRabbit quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    As I said, if you introduce additional rules By additional rules you mean the rules in the DMG on pg. 244? Last I checked they weren't "additional rules". This is the sort of thing that's going to vary significantly based on the setting. Not exactly setting. This would be more related to culture and social class. So unless the setting is a mono culture...Also, fighters are the most common occupation in most D&D cultures. Additionally, as far as 5E is concerned, your place in society is really supposed to depend more on your Background than on your Class. Here we are in agreement and it is here that the most relevant social interactions should have their basis. A warlock with a hermit background should not be better at social interactions than a fighter with a noble background, regardless of the CHA stat. This goes back to my first point about starting attitudes of NPCs. This is why the OP is seeing a problem -- poorly fleshed out culture and poorly fleshed out NPCs. ...
  • 03:08 PM - Quartz quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    One of the issues with 5E is that, for most of the game, your ability modifier is more important than your proficiency bonus. If the fighter wants to intimidate something, and they have a +3 bonus because they're actually trained in it, then they're still better off letting the untrained warlock do it, because the warlock is at +5 from Charisma. I've thought about this some more and I forgot that you only roll when the result is in doubt. So your unskilled warlock might not even get to roll - she auto-fails. Alternatively, remember the scene with Bishop and the dagger and the hand in the mess hall of the Sulaco in Aliens? That's Intimidation using Dex, not Cha. You don't have to use Cha for Intimidation. The fighter can flex her muscles (Str), down a bottle of whisky or refer to the pain of childbirth (Con), display an uncomfortable knowledge of human anatomy (Int), or something else.
  • 02:23 PM - Maxperson quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    The PCs see the actual game world, of which the mechanics of conversing and Charisma are only a pale reflection. They have significantly more information than the players do, about virtually everything which happens in their world. They don't see the +3 and +5, but they see every aspect of their reality which corresponds to those numbers; in the same way that you can see the effects of gravity all around you, even if you never stop to consciously quantify it. Which again is no different from you and I here in the real world. We can't do it here, so absent an explicit rule saying otherwise, there's no reason to think that they are better at it than we are. What you are doing is coming up with a justification for metagaming. Ah, so your amazing epic hero of destiny, who can defeat ancient dragons and balors in melee combat, is just fantastically incompetent at slitting the throat of a restrained human. You're going to stand there and slice for a couple of minutes, before you can get on...
  • 04:13 AM - Maxperson quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    I take offense at the accusation, as I hope you would. The quoted text clearly describes meta-gaming as using OOC knowledge for IC decisions, and that's not what I'm doing. It is, though. The numbers and mechanics of conversing and charisma are pure OOC knowledge. The PCs have no way of seeing those things and passively picking it up. Our fundamental disagreement is over which specific information is considered in-character information, and which information is out-of-character information. At my table, the actions I describe are considered to be based on in-game knowledge, because it's assumed that the rules in the book reflect the rules of the game world; because the alternative would be unplayable. If the rules in the book don't reflect how that reality really works, then we have absolutely no idea how it does work, and we have no idea what our characters might believe. You can't see the numbers of gravity, even though there are rules in our world for it. You can't see the numbers ...
  • 02:59 AM - Maxperson quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    The real world is a more complex domain than the game world is. In the game world, Charisma applies equally to all charisma-based skills, so you can judge how well a warlock persuades someone based on how well they can dance (or more-to-the-point, how strong their spells are); just as you can estimate someone's ability to climb or swim, based on how well they swing an axe. The game world is ALSO more complex than you are giving it credit for. Good ideas will give circumstance bonuses, and bad ones circumstance penalties. The game environment will also affect NPC attitudes, such as those noted with different starting attitudes. It's not as simple charisma vs. a DC.
  • 02:55 AM - cfmcdonald quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    The real world is a more complex domain than the game world is. In the game world, Charisma applies equally to all charisma-based skills, so you can judge how well a warlock persuades someone based on how well they can dance (or more-to-the-point, how strong their spells are); just as you can estimate someone's ability to climb or swim, based on how well they swing an axe. This is the part I disagree with. To my mind, the real world and the imagined game world have the same level of complexity. The players play the game using a very simple model for interacting with the game world. Characters have neither knowledge nor experience of that model, which is an artifice that exists to make a fantasy world simulation playable, not to express the fundamental physical laws of that fantasy world. If we assume the D&D rules are supposed to model the world as experienced by the characters, it raises all sorts of odd questions. Do PCs notice that they follow different physical laws than NPCs? Like...
  • 02:54 AM - Maxperson quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    It's not a matter of characters actively tallying their own successes and failures. The entire world works this way, so the characters would have been passively absorbing that for their entire lives. It should be common sense, for everyone in the world, that skill and training are no match for natural talent. You do know that it's also the way the real world works, right? People are better than other people at speaking, and some are more charismatic than others. And you having experienced the real world with those facts being the same as the game world have not passively absorbed the ability to know who has a slightly better chance of success than someone else. Now, I know you're going to say, "But the game world isn't the real world." You're right, and that's not the point. The point is that a person in the game world, there is no ability for PCs to passively absorb such information. That's just your way of justifying your metagaming so that it doesn't bother you. The game world ...
  • 12:07 AM - WaterRabbit quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    The fighter should know that the warlock is better at this, because it's true, and all evidence supports that truth. Claiming that he's better suited to the task than the warlock is, because he's a renowned warrior, is a weak argument; and everyone knows that it's a weak argument, because evidence doesn't support it. (Unless the DM introduces new rules to support the claim, in which case that would be the truth.) This is just not true in an ingame sense. I think a lot of this discussion forgets the Social Interaction section in the DMG pg. 244. NPCs have a starting attitude of friendly, indifferent, and hostile. That attitude isn't going to be the same for every PC in the group. In many situations, the Warlock will be looking at a hostile reaction compared to a fighter looking at a indifferent or even friendly attitude. In many cases having certain PCs present might sour the social interaction. The reason this topic is even an issue is that the GM isn't doing their job of creating i...

Tuesday, 15th January, 2019

  • 10:55 PM - cfmcdonald quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    We agree on the definition, at least. Agreed. Their world is complex, and the rules in the book are a simplification of those rules. It is basically like our world, except as noted. They wouldn't know the numbers, based on the rules in the book; but they would understand the more-complex reality, which those rules reflect. Remember, they actually live in this world, and they see a million subtle details that emphasize who is better at this sort of thing. You might think that training is more important than talent, but that's only true about our real world, and not the game world. The rules in the book tell us that this is one of those areas where the game world is different, in the same way that it has magic and elves. That's only true if your character cares more about his image than he cares about success, which is an unfair burden to put on a player. Nobody should be forced to act irrationally in order to participate in the game. The fighter should know that the warlock is better ...
  • 10:09 PM - cfmcdonald quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    It's not a matter of characters actively tallying their own successes and failures. The entire world works this way, so the characters would have been passively absorbing that for their entire lives. It should be common sense, for everyone in the world, that skill and training are no match for natural talent. The game world is a different place from the real world, and you're ignoring that fact. There's nothing "realistic" about having your character act based on real-world physics rather than game-world physics. 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 ...
  • 04:55 AM - Maxperson quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    If you want the fighter to help the warlock at the task, then that's one thing, if the DM allows it. In real life, two people working together may be more likely to succeed (as long as one isn't grossly incompetent). That's not an argument for why the fighter should be the one doing the thing, instead of the warlock doing it, if only one gets to try. And the untrained warlock having a higher charisma isn't a very good argument for why the trained fighter shouldn't be the one doing the thing. The fighter is the one who is going to know the tricks, methods, etc. It's both logical and fine for either one to perform the act, being aided by the other. PCs don't sit around tallying how many more times the warlock persuaded people successfully than the fighter, so they aren't going to know much more than both are good at persuasion, and they wouldn't be able to account for the d20 luck factor even if they tried. It really depends on the situation at hand. I was imagining the henchperson bei...
  • 03:51 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Saelorn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    I meant that I didn't have an ulterior motive, in performing the task. I guess you could say that finding information is my goal, but that might prompt an antagonistic GM to interpret it as a failure in my ability to learn, rather than a failure at actually performing the actual action. (I've had to deal with an NS GM bringing NS game ideas into a non-NS game. It did not go well for anyone.) Not quite. My goal is to learn about the world instead of defining it, because the objective nature of the world is important to my immersion. My character is more important to me than the world is, but the important things about my character are 1) This is who I am; and 2) They only live in the world. If I had to worry about accidentally defining reality as a side-effect of exploration, then I'd never get anything done. I can't role-play that. That's simply not a state that humans have evolved to cope with. I guess I could try and ignore the fact that PCs are unconscious reality-warpers, in spite of ...
  • 03:36 AM - Lanefan quoted Saelorn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Just to be clear, you think that Castles & Crusades is over-reaching by calling itself OSR? That it is factually incorrect for someone, burned out on the complexities of late-cycle Pathfinder and 4E, to consider 3.0 as an Old School game?I suppose that would depend on perspective. In the eyes of someone who started with 3.0 and went on from there, 3.0. might now appear to be old school. At the same time, to someone like me who started with 1e 3.0 at the time of its release was seen very much as new school. Hindsight tells us that 3.0 was probably more of an in-between transition point, given how things have gone since.
  • 03:17 AM - Maxperson quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    In real life, a group making an argument can be more persuasive than an individual. In the game world, it isn't necessarily so. (Or if the DM implements Advantage in that case, then that's how the game world actually works; and the characters would behave accordingly, since they actually live in that world.) Everything I said works for individuals, too. I've found out about players who don't persuade as well as I do going to the DM to talk, rather than get me. Or maybe everyone is arguing a different point, in which case everyone should be making an attempt, because nobody else is on their side. One of the assumptions behind the fighter being useless out-of-combat is that everyone is working toward the same goal; although, admittedly, that's a pretty safe assumption for the really important checks. Working towards the same goal is not really relevant as different people will have different arguments that all work towards the same goal. If you stop treating your character like a ...

Monday, 14th January, 2019

  • 10:43 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Saelorn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Half the time I attempt anything in an RPG, I have no idea what my goal is. If I try something, it's because I want to know what happens.Then that's your goal. This isn't rocket science. However, you did just tie into my third OS bullet -- your goal is to learn about the world instead of defining it because the world is paramount over character.
  • 03:06 PM - Maxperson quoted Saelorn in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    One of the issues with 5E is that, for most of the game, your ability modifier is more important than your proficiency bonus. If the fighter wants to intimidate something, and they have a +3 bonus because they're actually trained in it, then they're still better off letting the untrained warlock do it, because the warlock is at +5 from Charisma. In my opinion, the bolded portion is the problem, not fighter class. When we want to convince the DM of something, even though I'm better at persuasion than the rest of the group, we all contribute in the conversation. Why? Because we're people and people want to be heard, even if their bonuses aren't as high as the next guy. If you stop treating your character like a piece in the game, and start treating him more like a person in the game, you will stop having an issue of not being able to participate meaningfully in non-combat as a fighter. 5e is great like that, since most DCs are pretty darn low and even with a penalty to a stat, yo...
  • 05:16 AM - Shasarak quoted Saelorn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Skills and Power is no more representative of 2E than The Book of Nine Swords is representative of 3E. One of the points that tends to get lost in any edition war, is that the 2E one person played is not necessarily the same 2E that anyone else played; and the same is true of 3E or 4E. (With 4E, in particular, a lot of people gave it an honest try for the first year, and never experienced any of the later changes). But still, your point stands, that 2000 is probably not the best dividing line. Personally, I draw the line around 1996. Exactly. If you asked 10 ADnD players about what rules they used then you would probably get 11 different answers. I mean one big example is the people that claim that DnD is actually a miniature war game and yet none of the groups that I gamed with used miniatures and the only guys that did use miniatures played Warhammer. The other problems is that because RPGs are such a new development they have not developed a commonly accepted terminology yet. So...
  • 04:56 AM - Bedrockgames quoted Saelorn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Skills and Power is no more representative of 2E than The Book of Nine Swords is representative of 3E. One of the points that tends to get lost in any edition war, is that the 2E one person played is not necessarily the same 2E that anyone else played; and the same is true of 3E or 4E. (With 4E, in particular, a lot of people gave it an honest try for the first year, and never experienced any of the later changes). But still, your point stands, that 2000 is probably not the best dividing line. Personally, I draw the line around 1996. I remember Skills and Powers being very divisive. Some people loved it but most of the people I played with didn't allow it. I didn't use skills and powers, so when 3E came out, the jump seemed bigger than it might otherwise have. I held out changing to the new edition for about a month or two, then made the shift. I definitely struggled with 3E at first, and found it hard to run for the Ravenloft setting in particular. But I played it regularly until a litt...

Saturday, 12th January, 2019

  • 07:19 PM - Satyrn quoted Saelorn in post Critical Hit Decks/Charts - I don't like 'em
    Not much that I can add, but I agree. Extreme critical hit/fumble charts turn the game into a farce when used in a d20 system, and dramatically swing the game against the players whenever they appear. I was also in a Pathfinder game that was nearly de-railed when the GM introduced the charts - the official deck isn't as bad, because the effects are much less significant - but we adapted by making characters who didn't use attack rolls. We still ended up losing three characters to random decapitations, though. Those charts must be the worst thing ever. I introduced the decks at a session, and pulled them out within an hour. It didn't help (or it helped make it abundantly clear how terrible the idea was) when the wizard rolled 3 ones within that tiny stretch.

Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 11:09 PM - Mistwell quoted Saelorn in post The Fighter: tweaking Indomitable to work in all the Pillars.
    Unfortunately Action Surge proves far too useful in combat to use it elsewhere, as a fighter you already are behind compared to other martials for most of the game without gimping yourself further. They re-charge on a short rest, and you're already out of combat, so the odds are you can re-charge it after use prior to the next combat. I disagree they are behind other martials but regardless in use I don't think Action Surge can't be used out of combat more...it's already used out of combat plenty by some players as it is. I'm not a huge fan of combining combat resources with non-combat resources. I'd prefer if they just had an entirely distinct feature, which worked like Indomitable for skills, and had its own usage allowance. Action Surge is not a combat resource. People USE it in combat, I think because they perceive the Fighter to be about combat, but the ability is not a strictly combat ability, and plenty of players use it for out of combat challenges as well.


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