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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 08:57 AM
    Not exactly. What did you loosen? Your goal is to bust out of the manacles, and I'm not sure that you've described making progress toward that goal. If you've "loosened" the manacles to the tune of reducing the DC by 1 on subsequent checks, but injured yourself to the point of Disadvantage on that check, then you're definitely not making progress. Besides, being bound in manacles is normally a...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 04:14 AM
    If manacles don't work unless the DM has a particularly clever idea about how to adjudicate failure in such a way that they would work, then manacles don't work. The same goes for every other check in the game. The ability of the DM to change the outcome does not excuse rules that give a nonsensical outcome to begin with. Besides, you aren't describing a progress with setback. A progress with...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 03:59 AM
    Not really. Take 10 is about modeling an in-game reality. It tells us how the world works. If nobody is shooting you, then you can perform certain feats reliably. The in-game reality is that a moderately-trained individual can perform with a moderate degree of competence. No consequences is just about managing game time. The in-game reality is that your performance is all over the place....
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Today, 03:29 AM
    I'm less concerned with people who know how, and more concerned with any random chump walking down the street. If 40% of the population can break free from standard manacles within two minutes, just based on random talent without accounting needing to know any specific tricks, then those manacles are not worth the cost to produce. Nobody would buy them.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:22 AM
    In 3.5, the rule about Taking 10 is that you couldn't be threatened or distracted. It wasn't a matter of time spent, so much as whether you're actively dodging arrows right now. If 5E had the same rule, then you could reasonably have a professional locksmith with +5 to the check, and they would be able to pick easy (DC 15) locks 100% of the time, even though they would only be able to pick a...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 10:25 PM
    Whether or not the passage of time counts as a meaningful consequence is something that would vary wildly depending on the circumstances. If the minotaur will get to you within three rounds, then needing to spend an extra round would be a major inconvenience that's worth rolling for. If nobody is chasing you, then the DM can handwave it as you eventually succeeding. At least, that's my...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 07:43 PM
    If you get rid of the circumstantial prerequisites, and also make it a declared action on your turn (rather than a rider on other attacks), that should simplify the ability while retaining some semblance of balance and also curtailing off-turn shenanigans. (Or rather, for new players, it will avoid distracting them by setting up unreasonable expectations for off-turn exploits.) The only reason...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 08:30 PM
    Basic doesn't have a skill system, so if you want to do something, the player just has to convince the DM that their plan makes sense. In essence, the character inherits their skills from the player, so the character isn't good at finding clues unless the player is good at guessing where to look; and the character isn't good at talking their way past a guard, unless the player is good at thinking...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 07:20 PM
    That's another issue entirely. If the skill of the player supersedes the skill of the character, then it doesn't matter which character has the higher bonus. You might as well be playing Basic, at that point.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 07:16 PM
    Does 5E have a "taking 10" rule? Because if so, then that would solve it. If not, then it depends entirely on how the DM interprets the concepts of "uncertainty" and "consequences for failure".
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 09:24 PM
    Unless the wizard's head is invisible, anyone looking through the door will see him before he has line of sight. If he sticks a mirror around the corner, and tries to aim with that, then they'll be alerted as soon as the mirror comes into their view. If he can see them, then they can see him, unless he's invisible or they are not looking in that direction.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 08:41 PM
    It's against the spirit of Fourth Edition, because Fourth Edition was all about mutable fluff and mathematically-balanced crunch. In Fifth Edition, the fluff and the crunch are just two ways of talking about the same reality. You're free to make up new fluff, of course; but you're equally free to make up new crunch, to go along with the new fluff. (Subject to DM discretion, of course.) That is...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 08:23 PM
    Which is the fundamental flaw of Bounded Accuracy, and there's no good way of resolving it within a d20 resolution system. The Advantage mechanic, which can help here, only does so by temporarily shifting the game from d20-resolution to dice-pool resolution. That gives me an idea for a system hack, where everything was just down to an ability check, but proficiency and expertise each added...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 08:03 PM
    There's some debate on it. To the best of my interpretation, it should be impossible to sneak past someone who is looking at the open space you are trying to pass through. If the BBEG is in a room that only has one entrance, and someone is looking at that entrance, then surprise is ruined when anyone tries to enter the room. Out of combat, the rules for surprise are supposed to model sneaking...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 05:00 PM
    If I had to pick one real problem in the 5E skill system, this would be it. For all the noble goals of Bounded Accuracy, and a fighter actually having a chance to succeed on a skill check if they simply had proficiency, they're still so far behind anyone with a high stat that they'll never get to roll. For much of the game, the un-trained wizard has a higher bonus to Investigate than the trained...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:53 AM
    It's still "less likely to fail easy checks, and more likely to succeed on hard checks"; they both do that, so it's just a matter of degree and consistency. By setting your argument around level 9, it takes Reliable Talent out of the equation, which has been consistently cited in this thread as part of the big problem. Without Reliable Talent, a level 20 rogue would still be able to fail DC 20...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 01:56 AM
    That's no different than having a +2 bonus, or a +6 or whatever - you're unlikely to fail easy checks, and more likely to succeed at hard ones. And since being an expert is a persistent condition, it doesn't make sense to lump it in with the same mechanic used to model temporary circumstantial variables. Except that it (arguably) messes up the math. As we've seen in this thread, some people...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 09:36 PM
    Advantage and Disadvantage are the primary tools by which the DM applies temporary circumstantial adjustments. If you're trying to climb a DC 15 wall, and it's raining right now, then it's DC 15 with Disadvantage. If you have exactly the right tool for the job (like a crowbar), then you might get Advantage on a check. That's why persistent Advantage is otherwise rare in the system - it...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 02:48 AM
    I'm not sure whether expertise and bonuses are the culprit, here, so much as Bounded Accuracy. Due to Bounded Accuracy, hard checks are supposed to be attainable by any random chump walking down the street, and that doesn't leave a lot of room for specialists to specialize before they fall off the end of the table. In my own variant ruleset, I've baked expertise into the initial proficiency,...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 02:38 AM
    That's definitely something to think about. I think there are games out there which work on that premise, like... I wanna say Genesys?... but I've never read anything about D&D working in that way. It's possible that they included the option somewhere, and I just ignored it as being too complicated. Kind of like that "using skills with different attributes" option.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 11:51 PM
    I don't interpret the rules in such a way. The listed DC is for pass/failure, with progress and setbacks being adjudicated by the DM as situations permit. If there's something that says the DM should set different DCs for progress and setbacks, I must have missed it.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 11:44 PM
    For a d20-based game, the absolute minimum degree of granularity is 5%. I really don't know how you could possibly hit a target range between 60% and 70%, unless you went back to Basic and removed Dexterity from the equation. It's a serious problem in d20 game design. You either have to remove the ability for characters to specialize at all, or else you have to accept that anyone who...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 01:39 AM
    Is the ability "I have an 80% chance to succeed, and my only interaction is to roll one die" a much more exciting ability? I guess there's a chance of failure, so that's something, but it doesn't change your level of engagement any. There's no choice or decision involved, either way. At that point, you're getting to the conceptual limitations of a binary-success skill system. You could try to...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 11:43 PM
    But you are using your special abilities. You chose the ability "automatically bypass most traps and locks", which you use every time the DM compares your minimum check result to the DC and determines that no roll is necessary. It's like choosing to speak Giant, which lets you automatically understand ogres when they talk to each other. You should feel good that the ability you chose allows you...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 07:14 PM
    You might be surprised. The player isn't actively doing anything in the real world, but the character is equally impressive within the narrative whether or not the player picks up dice for it. The only thing that dice add, in this scenario, is a chance to fail. If my concept for the character is that they can breeze through traps because they're so amazing, then I'm not going to be terribly happy...
    188 replies | 4979 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 04:57 PM
    The other solution here is to give NPCs access to skill proficiencies, and possibly even expertise, where it makes sense. Much of the certainty in opposed checks is a result of the game rules treating NPCs like second-class citizens, when we really want them to (at least) pose a challenge where it makes sense. Are you sure about that? (Do you know your player?) When I take expertise with...
    188 replies | 4979 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 08:11 PM
    Again, I agree with you, but there's a history of bad DMs taking this too far. There was one small sidebar in Second Edition that talked about a god denying spells to a priest who wasn't acting in good faith, with a suggestion that you might pray for spells and wind up with only Cure spells in every slot, and some DMs took that as a suggestion to second-guess everything the character did. ...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 07:48 PM
    D&D is (nominally) a game of resource-management, so the obvious metric for utility abilities is in how many resources they conserve. If you can conserve two low-level spell slots and 30hp by talking your way past a fight, then you can compare that to the 15hp that the barbarian's power attack saves by ending the fight one round earlier, and it's obvious that the first ability is better in that...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 11:37 PM
    If the point of the survey is to find out which options are considered inferior, for the purpose of putting out new content that will bring those options back into line, then the public perception is probably more important than the reality. If everyone believes that valor bard is the weakest option in the book, and nobody has any direct experience because nobody wanted to play a valor bard...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 07:59 PM
    In my experience, most bad GMs are honest and well-intentioned, but they missed the memo somewhere that I'm supposed to be playing a character who lives within the world. Instead, they treat PCs like the protagonists of cheap novels, where nobody is allowed to have any character detail without it being relevant to the plot. If you say that your character has a sister, then some GMs feels...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 02:18 AM
    There's a limit to how much Acrobatics and Intimidation can help you, though. If you're unbeatable at Acrobatics, then you can escape from a grapple, but that's only useful the few times when someone tries to grapple you. If you never fail to Intimidate someone, or if you see through every lie that someone tells, then that's not really going to change anything. Perception is in a unique place,...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 07:45 PM
    Does anyone have a problem with Expertise, outside of Perception and Athletics?
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 03:24 AM
    To be fair, a turn is only six seconds long. If you can kill a dude every three seconds for an entire minute, then that's easily on par with anything Conan does. It only seems like you aren't as effective, because Conan is acting in real time, and we're slowing things down in order to roll dice. Besides, in most circumstances, everyone in your party will be killing 2-3 dudes every turn; so you...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 11:36 PM
    They could have tried harder to get that across, if that was their goal. You could sell HP as skill-at-avoiding-damage, if the rest of the system was built around it. It does rely on the fundamental assumption that one good hit is all it takes to kill something, though. And to be fair, that's a reasonable-enough assumption for human-sized (or smaller) enemies. To be honest, the whole minion...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 06:47 PM
    Just make them level 1 or level 2, as best represents their ability. It worked for every edition prior to 4E, and the only reason they needed to change it was because the 4E math didn't permit you to fight things that were ten levels lower than you. Well, that, and the fact that non-minion monsters in 4E were much tougher and more complex to run than they had been in any prior edition. (I'm...
    96 replies | 1808 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 07:21 PM
    That's the major difference between a traditional role-player, who wants to stay in character, because they're in it for the role-playing; and a radical new-age story-teller, who wants to co-author a narrative construct. As expected, a radical new-age story-teller is going to be disappointed when they show up to a role-playing game, and everyone else just wants them to role-play.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 07:06 PM
    I would classify that as an advanced technique, and I'm fine with it technically being a house rule, if the alternative might serve to confuse people who are new to the hobby. If anything, it's the sort of thing that could show up in the DMG, where players are unlikely to ever see it.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 08:28 AM
    It says that the DM will call for a roll when the outcome is uncertain. That could mean that it's possible for a die roll to have a certain outcome, if the DM doesn't call for it. The idea that someone might roll a die, without the DM calling for it, is beyond the scope of what the rules were designed to cover. Any policy that the DM adopts to address such a situation is necessarily going to...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 05:12 AM
    Honestly, the best thing that you can tell them is to just bear with it for now, because you're trying to give the system a fair shake and you can go back to a more traditional system if this sort of thing really bothers everyone that much. Fourth edition works well within the venue it was designed for, which is a much smaller venue than other editions.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 02:38 AM
    In game terms, the shocking power is an intrinsic ability of the hobgoblin+staff combination entity. You're not supposed to think about what the staff can do when it's held by someone other than the hobgoblin, because that's outside of the purview of the game mechanics, in much the same way that you aren't supposed to wonder how your 1hp minion allies managed to survive all the way to adulthood...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 10:10 PM
    The typical house in 2018 contains far more junk, and many more objects of value, than a typical dungeon in D&D. Whether or not it is realistic for you to write down everything valuable during your prep phase is going to vary wildly depending on the amount of time you devote to it, your definition of value, and how much clutter you like to include in your dungeons. Just for me, personally,...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 09:36 PM
    The area outside of a dungeon is too large for me to map out, even if I wanted to. That's sufficient reason for a difference between indoors and outdoors. Inside of a dungeon, I can reasonably be expected to place everything of value. Outside of a dungeon, it would be impossible for me to place every rabbit and berry, so I use an algorithm which objectively simulates what the likely outcome of...
    96 replies | 1808 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 09:27 PM
    You're thinking of Chekhov's Gun, which is an extension of the Law of Conservation of Detail. Basically, when you're telling a story, you shouldn't include details that are irrelevant to the story, because they'll distract the audience from what's important. Which, of course, has nothing at all to do with running an RPG, because RPGs take place in immersive worlds rather than within narrative...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 09:10 PM
    A lot of skills are competitive. Your Perception is contested against their Stealth. Your Athletics is contested against their Athletics. Between the Expertise mechanic and the Reliable Talent mechanic, a rogue can practically guarantee success in contests where they would otherwise have an even chance of losing. If by "utterly trivialize saving throws" you mean "actually give you a 20% chance...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 07:18 PM
    Attack and damage rolls are things that you make a dozen times every combat. Any given skill check is something that you'll make maybe one or twice per session. If Expertise (or Proficiency) was much smaller, then it would be negligible compared to other factors. A bonus needs to be large enough that it will actually make a difference, over the course of typical usage, in order to justify that...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 05:02 PM
    I mean, you say they're precise, but they aren't really. D&D miniatures rules don't allow for precise positioning. They only allow for positioning within 5 feet, which is a huge range. If you look at fireball placement, for example, some people find it unrealistic that you can line up a fireball so that it hurts the area next to your fighter ally but doesn't hurt that ally at all. (And then...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 08:40 AM
    The thing about D&D, at least since 3E, is that grid play isn't really any more precise than TotM. As far as the rules are concerned, the only thing that a grid does is narrow your position down to a 25 square foot area. You probably used greater precision than that to describe their positions when the players first walked into the room. I guess that explains your perspective, but it does mean...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 01:45 AM
    The idea behind starting at level 1 is that the new characters you bring in can team up with the level 3-4 secondary characters of the other players, until the level 1 characters reach level 3-4 and those secondary characters reach 5-6. I'm guessing that you didn't take the precaution of establishing those secondary characters, though. In that case, I would recommend asking everyone to create...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 10:22 PM
    Okay, but how do you objectively determine whether or not something would be an issue, if you aren't perfectly visualizing the entire grid in your head? Do you just wing it? When I've played through these kinds of combats on a grid, I've noticed that moving to flank will often provoke an opportunity attack from one of the other enemies. Are you accounting for that? One of the big dangers of...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 07:57 PM
    There are issues with that approach, where you may end up with details that over-constrain the reality on the ground. If the wizard hits three enemies with their burning hands, and then the sorcerer ends up fireballing the whole group (including the wizard) but misses one of the enemies and hits another enemy that's further away, then it can be hard for someone following along to figure out where...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 07:43 PM
    For me, I think it's the other way around. I use TotM because I expect everyone to act simply and directly, such that opportunity attacks will be rare. If I anticipate a complicated fight, with lots of people running back and forth, then I would be more inclined to draw the situation out on a grid. The 3E-era rules for opportunity attacks, as well as the flanking rules, increase the likelihood...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 04:07 PM
    Opportunity attacks only occur when you leave someone's reach, which is an obscure condition that is unlikely to show up in most combats. If both melee groups just run at each other, and the ranged people hang back, then nobody will be in a position where they would provoke an opportunity attack anyway. It's somewhat more difficult than not using the rule, since now you need to describe those...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 08:13 AM
    The important thing to remember is that, regardless of whether or not you actually put down a map with miniatures on it, all of the rules of the game behave as though you are going to. If your dwarf can move 25' in a round, then it's the same distance whether you can see it easily on a map, or whether the DM is tracking everything in their head. In that way, the map actually makes things easier...
    55 replies | 1373 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 01:44 AM
    Have you considered only giving your spellcasters access to spells if you already know how they work? Instead of inventing new monster abilities out of whole cloth, you just need to remember how fire bolt and burning hands work. You don't even really need to track spell slots, unless you expect combat to last more than three rounds.
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:26 AM
    There's some room for interpretation there. Checking for anything hidden in a particular pillar that you pass by is something that you would only do once. Checking for anything hidden on the outskirts of camp, while you're on watch, is something that you do repeatedly. Honestly, I'm not confident in my own ability to find one consistent interpretation for the rules. They really are written...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:04 AM
    Sometimes people over-think things, and can't see the forest for the trees.In practice, I would probably not use Passive Perception at all for the purposes of what you see when you're walking around. I would probably say that spotting the weird pillar at all would require a DC 17 active Perception check, which you make whenever you get close enough that you might see it. Passive Perception...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 01:59 AM
    Yes, that's the previously-stated alternative. Passive Perception is either "always on"; or it's "only on when you're perceiving passively", and turns off when you're perceiving actively. Both methods seem equally supported under the definition of Passive Perception, so it's down to the individual DM for which method works best for them. That could be where you're losing me, is that I've never...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 01:19 AM
    That's one interpretation of the rules. Another interpretation is that your passive score is used when you aren't actively looking for something, but you have to roll whenever you want to actively look. (It does mean that you might sometimes be better off choosing to not actively look, but it's far from the only weird thing in the ruleset, and handing out the rogue's level 11 ability for every...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th September, 2018, 09:41 PM
    DMing is based around reasonable assumptions. It would be unreasonable to assume that someone enters a room without looking around, in much the same way that it would be unreasonable to assume that they leave a room without opening the door first. If the DM isn't free to make reasonable assumptions, then the entire game grinds to a halt. If a player says that they leave a room, and the DM...
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    Sunday, 30th September, 2018, 06:12 PM
    What if it's painfully clear to anyone who recognizes it, but someone who didn't recognize it would have no clue? Because that explains half of what I've seen on the internet. You either get it immediately, or you don't; but if you don't get it, then you don't know whether or not you're missing out on something obvious. And if you don't get it immediately, then you might be able to figure it out...
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    Sunday, 30th September, 2018, 03:14 AM
    No. If you don't have a book, and someone tells you about a thing from that book, then you can probably remember that one thing well enough over the course of a session. Since each supplement contains a broad sweep of character options that don't necessarily synergize together, it's unlikely that any given character will have more than one or two weird things that you'll need to remember. If a...
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    Friday, 28th September, 2018, 05:15 PM
    It's all relative. In AD&D, a fighter could one-shot an ogre, and even an adult dragon would take no more than a few rounds (as long as you survived). In subsequent editions, fighter stats have not increased nearly to the same degree that monster stats have. They are much weaker than they used to be, relative to what they were supposed to be fighting.
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    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 10:40 PM
    The size of the impact also depends on the length of the journey. At least in 2E, there was an assumption that great periods of time might pass between adventures, which was the only time you could train and level up. It's less damaging to suspension of disbelief if someone is an unstoppable juggernaut after having gone on thirty adventures and saved the world half-a-dozen times, than if they...
    64 replies | 2716 view(s)
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    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 09:39 PM
    Sure, but all of it was optional. Having high stats opened up different classes and different races. High stats were necessary for a high-level spellcaster to cast their best spells. You needed high stats to dual-class. But if you rolled all 10s, then your human fighter was pretty much as good as the next human fighter, who rolled significantly better but fell one point short of the Charisma...
    64 replies | 2716 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 08:01 AM
    The action is... whatever caused the statue to enter their sight. If they walk into a room with a statue, then the outcome of that action is uncertain, based on whether they recognize the statue. Do they walk into the room and recognize the statue? Or do they walk into the room and not recognize the statue? You should probably roll, unless the answer is certain. Likewise, if they just stand...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 07:59 PM
    A lot of it comes down to expectations. Without any way to increase your stats over time, nobody could assume that your fighter would end up with 18/00 Strength; so it was great if you were lucky enough to roll it, but you weren't missing out on anything if you didn't. There was nothing you could do about it, so it would be unreasonable for anyone to expect it of you. With the ability to...
    64 replies | 2716 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 06:51 PM
    They actually did solve that problem, which had been exacerbated in third edition, by capping everyone out at 20. A stat of 20 isn't like a demigod at all. A stat of 20 just means you're in the top half a percentile for your race. If your half-orc has Strength 20, then he's 1-in-216 in terms of Strength. If you walk into a city that has 2160 half-orcs in it, then there are ten more just like...
    64 replies | 2716 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 01:44 AM
    It's not that you can't know how they work. It's just that there's no formal system for using skills to figure things out. It's supposed to be up to the DM, whether they think you should be able to make a check. The DM isn't supposed to throw an invincible monster at you, if there's no way you could possibly guess how you're supposed to deal with it.There are fewer decision points, since there...
    36 replies | 1095 view(s)
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    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 09:44 PM
    If you base encounter guidelines on things like DPR and AC, rather than level, then optimization becomes counter-productive. You get to a situation where the fighter has to seriously consider throwing away their equipment, because fighting N+3 enemies is far more dangerous than fighting N-2 enemies. You get the situation from Final Fantasy VIII, where a random encounter will kick your butt if you...
    88 replies | 3509 view(s)
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    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 08:50 PM
    In my experience, the sense of constant is advancement is one of the things that keep players coming back to a D&D game. I've played through two Pathfinder campaigns that lasted 40+ sessions each, and I ran a D&D 5E campaign of similar length, but I've never seen anything like a Shadowrun or GURPS campaign that lasted anywhere near that. Players tend to make a character, play through 2-6...
    80 replies | 2226 view(s)
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    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 06:45 PM
    Ever since 3E or so, it seems like they've been accelerating the rate of level gain with each edition, in order to fit the whole progression into the length of a typical campaign. It really makes the levels seem like something that's just expected, as a byproduct of playing, rather than the rare reward for accepting moderate levels of risk over an extended period of time. Back in AD&D, we...
    80 replies | 2226 view(s)
    4 XP
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    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 03:47 PM
    I don't play with the sorts of people who would want to drink while doing so. Also, I play at a local coffee shop, so bringing in alcohol would be infeasible anyway.
    78 replies | 2026 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 11:44 PM
    I guess they might have done it for bards, since some bards can get Extra Attack. Neither warlocks nor nature clerics get more than one attack, though, so they wouldn't be a concern; and feats are not assumed in much the same way that multi-classing isn't assumed by default.
    66 replies | 2572 view(s)
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    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 10:53 PM
    The really weird thing is that this druid cantrip was designed to account for multi-classing at all, when multi-classing isn't even assumed in the basic game. Unless you add in that option, the only point of the cantrip is that it lets your druid use a (thematically-appropriate) club or staff for their rare melee attacks, rather than the (technically-allowed) scimitar. If you're playing in a...
    66 replies | 2572 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 08:06 PM
    The real cost is that you can't turn Strength into a dump stat. Normally, a halfling with high Dex would sink their Strength as low as they could, and instead prioritize Wisdom or Con. With this feat, it gives you the option of pumping your Strength for almost half of the benefit that you get from Dexterity, but you still have to pay the stat cost to actually do that. If there's more than one...
    13 replies | 495 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd September, 2018, 08:56 PM
    As a general rule, I would avoid conditions that negate Disadvantage, because Disadvantage is extremely rare to begin with. The ability to negate Disadvantage is something that might come up only once during an entire campaign. I'm also not a huge fan of the multi-faceted feats that 5E presents, because they are difficult to design and balance. Most feats are either too complicated, or just...
    32 replies | 758 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd September, 2018, 06:33 PM
    Everyone in the world can dual-wield. The only thing that the fighting style gives is your Dexterity bonus to damage on your off-hand attack. Since you don't have anything else to do with your bonus action when you're in melee, you might as well make an attack for 1d6 damage. (It's way more useful to rogues, since it gives them more chances to land their sneak attack, but it's not bad for anyone...
    13 replies | 407 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 07:09 PM
    In my experience, the major difference between a big professional company and an amateur working in their basement is that the amateur is more concerned with making the best product they can while the big company cares primarily about profit. Any halfway competent designer can write a game that's significantly better than the current edition of D&D, but it might not appeal to as broad of an...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 11:16 PM
    Honestly, I would just cut out the restrictions and auto-scaling, and have it blind the target for one round.
    7 replies | 230 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 07:35 PM
    Alright, well that's certainly a preference that you can have. Personally, I think it's a pretty unreasonable line for you to draw; but some might see my own preferences as unreasonable, and there's nothing wrong with choosing to not play, rather than subjecting yourself to a game that isn't to your tastes.
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 04:27 PM
    Okay, as long as you remember that 5E isn't written so tightly that only one interpretation can be correct. The whole Life domain + goodberry thing is a good example of something that isn't clear in the rules, where reasonable people may come to different interpretations, all of which are equally correct under the rules. Likewise with hiding in combat. Hoping that any given DM would follow...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 08:01 PM
    Assuming your post is meant seriously, this is quite an interesting position, considering that 5E was deliberately written such that DM adjudication in such situations would be required. As for myself, the only time I've quit a game due to bad DMing was with an adversarial DM who contrived enemies to specifically challenge my character, regardless of what made sense for the world or how any of...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 02:58 AM
    It's supposed to be common courtesy, but if you want to contribute to a discussion about a game, you should first acknowledge which rules you are changing before you try and impress your opinion on anyone. Nobody cares about the bizarre rulings you apply to your bizarre homebrew game, when they only follow from a nonsensical premise that nobody else has bought into.
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    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 02:17 AM
    I just meant that it was definitely the case for GURPS, which otherwise passed every test with flying colors.
    23 replies | 803 view(s)
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Thursday, 18th October, 2018


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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 -- --

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


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Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 09:33 AM - 5ekyu quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Not exactly. What did you loosen? Your goal is to bust out of the manacles, and I'm not sure that you've described making progress toward that goal. If you've "loosened" the manacles to the tune of reducing the DC by 1 on subsequent checks, but injured yourself to the point of Disadvantage on that check, then you're definitely not making progress. Besides, being bound in manacles is normally a binary state. Breaking out is not something that the system typically measures in degrees.If your realm of dragons and magic is mostly binary states, I suggest a game where the result are treated as such. In mine, trying to break free, failing to do so but seeing them loosened noticeably at one of the joints, but needing to recover from the strain before trying again, shows a path that might take a few days to work them enough that that weakened joint will break or perhaps less if the character then focuses on anything that might help focus on that joint. Thec5evsystem is not defined so that ability c...
  • 05:44 AM - 5ekyu quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    If manacles don't work unless the DM has a particularly clever idea about how to adjudicate failure in such a way that they would work, then manacles don't work. The same goes for every other check in the game. The ability of the DM to change the outcome does not excuse rules that give a nonsensical outcome to begin with. Besides, you aren't describing a progress with setback. A progress with setback would be if you escape, but bruise your arm such that you have Disadvantage on Dexterity checks for a while. You're describing a failure with extra consequences, which isn't a rule in the book. You're saying that they obviously failed, and didn't make any progress, so you make them take damage for having the audacity to keep trying since there's no rule telling them to stop. "loosened but you sprain/strain... " PHB " If the total equals or exceeds the DC, the ability check is a success — the creature overcomes the challenge at hand. Otherwise, it's a failure, which means the character or monste...

Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 04:55 PM - 5ekyu quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    In 3.5, the rule about Taking 10 is that you couldn't be threatened or distracted. It wasn't a matter of time spent, so much as whether you're actively dodging arrows right now. If 5E had the same rule, then you could reasonably have a professional locksmith with +5 to the check, and they would be able to pick easy (DC 15) locks 100% of the time, even though they would only be able to pick a master (DC 25) lock 5% of the time. The Take 10 rule lets you bypass the inherent issue with Bounded Accuracy, where being able to perform easy tasks reliably means you have an unreasonably good chance at performing incredibly difficult tasks. With Take 10, a professional locksmith could definitely get you back into your car, but wouldn't be particularly likely to break into Fort Knox. To contrast, simply letting someone re-try forever only exacerbates the problem with Bounded Accuracy. Anyone who stands a reasonable chance at getting you back into your car (+5 on the check, vs DC 15) would definitely be...
  • 04:32 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    In 3.5, the rule about Taking 10 is that you couldn't be threatened or distracted. It wasn't a matter of time spent, so much as whether you're actively dodging arrows right now. If 5E had the same rule, then you could reasonably have a professional locksmith with +5 to the check, and they would be able to pick easy (DC 15) locks 100% of the time, even though they would only be able to pick a master (DC 25) lock 5% of the time. The Take 10 rule lets you bypass the inherent issue with Bounded Accuracy, where being able to perform easy tasks reliably means you have an unreasonably good chance at performing incredibly difficult tasks. With Take 10, a professional locksmith could definitely get you back into your car, but wouldn't be particularly likely to break into Fort Knox. To contrast, simply letting someone re-try forever only exacerbates the problem with Bounded Accuracy. Anyone who stands a reasonable chance at getting you back into your car (+5 on the check, vs DC 15) would definitely be...
  • 05:49 AM - GreyLord quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    If the break DC for a set of manacles is less than 23, then anyone with moderately-decent Strength will be out within two minutes. But then, if you design around that, then it means any average person will have zero chance whatsoever. In summary, Bounded Accuracy works well in conjunction with Take 10, but it does not work well with unlimited re-tries. If you know how (aka...trained)...why not...anyone might be able to get out of them... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY1cI6shatc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P4QNIt5WfI
  • 02:12 AM - Chaosmancer quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    This is my ignorance here, where do you find the prodigy feat? Xanathar's Guide pg 75 I've never liked that Prodigy was only available to Human and Half-Human races. You've changed my mind. I'm glad In 3.5, the rule about Taking 10 is that you couldn't be threatened or distracted. It wasn't a matter of time spent, so much as whether you're actively dodging arrows right now. If 5E had the same rule, then you could reasonably have a professional locksmith with +5 to the check, and they would be able to pick easy (DC 15) locks 100% of the time, even though they would only be able to pick a master (DC 25) lock 5% of the time. The Take 10 rule lets you bypass the inherent issue with Bounded Accuracy, where being able to perform easy tasks reliably means you have an unreasonably good chance at performing incredibly difficult tasks. With Take 10, a professional locksmith could definitely get you back into your car, but wouldn't be particularly likely to break into Fort Knox. ...
  • 12:39 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Whether or not the passage of time counts as a meaningful consequence is something that would vary wildly depending on the circumstances. If the minotaur will get to you within three rounds, then needing to spend an extra round would be a major inconvenience that's worth rolling for. If nobody is chasing you, then the DM can handwave it as you eventually succeeding. At least, that's my interpretation. If you can just keep trying over and over again, then a standard lock should be DC 25, and a professional locksmith is just someone with a +5 bonus who will eventually succeed on that check.You asked if there was an analogue to take 10 and then provide situations where take 10 wouldn't apply. I'm confused as to what your requirements are.

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 10:38 PM - 5ekyu quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Whether or not the passage of time counts as a meaningful consequence is something that would vary wildly depending on the circumstances. If the minotaur will get to you within three rounds, then needing to spend an extra round would be a major inconvenience that's worth rolling for. If nobody is chasing you, then the DM can handwave it as you eventually succeeding. At least, that's my interpretation. If you can just keep trying over and over again, then a standard lock should be DC 25, and a professional locksmith is just someone with a +5 bonus who will eventually succeed on that check.Note in 5e every ability check failure to meet the DC can have that failure to meet the DC be ruled making progress but with a setback determining by the GM. That's the basic PHB definition of what the failure of a skill check is - no progress or progress with setback. Imx if a GM makes that clear, the "frequency" of "just keep trying" and "me too" or "everybody rolls" etc etc etc goes way way down.
  • 10:09 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Does 5E have a "taking 10" rule? Because if so, then that would solve it. If not, then it depends entirely on how the DM interprets the concepts of "uncertainty" and "consequences for failure".Yes, in that it recommends not asking for checks for tasks that can be retried and have no cost for failure. I mean, you could just keep rolling until a success occurs, if you want. I'd be bored by that, though.

Tuesday, 16th October, 2018

  • 08:47 PM - 5ekyu quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Does 5E have a "taking 10" rule? Because if so, then that would solve it. If not, then it depends entirely on how the DM interprets the concepts of "uncertainty" and "consequences for failure".5e does not explicitly have the take 10 but it does have passive checks for tasks being done over and over.
  • 08:41 PM - BookBarbarian quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Basic doesn't have a skill system, so if you want to do something, the player just has to convince the DM that their plan makes sense. In essence, the character inherits their skills from the player, so the character isn't good at finding clues unless the player is good at guessing where to look; and the character isn't good at talking their way past a guard, unless the player is good at thinking of what to say. Those are things where the well-trained character would be able to analyze the situation and thing of the best approach, but you're leaving the approach up to the player instead. That seems similar to the "Ignore the dice approach in the 5e DMG chapter 8. I've never tried it as I prefer "The middle Path" approach from the same chapter. When a game has rules for the character to possess skills in that sort of thing, they're often supposed to supplant the player needing to be good at those things. Too often, the GM will let skills stand on their own for some things (such as Athlet...
  • 08:33 PM - Satyrn quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    That's another issue entirely. If the skill of the player supersedes the skill of the character, then it doesn't matter which character has the higher bonus. You might as well be playing Basic, at that point. I'm intrigued by the idea that the game where player skill is more important is Basic. I'm joking here - of course - but now I want to play D&D branded Monopoly and brag about being the most advanced roleplayer ever.
  • 08:12 PM - BookBarbarian quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    That's another issue entirely. If the skill of the player supersedes the skill of the character, then it doesn't matter which character has the higher bonus. You might as well be playing Basic, at that point. You see, I don't see it as "skill" of the player at all. Perhaps that's why I don't see it as a separate issue. Declaring an approach to a goal and the DM deciding for a check is not dependent on player skill at all. Now I've never played basic, but if that is its design too, I guess I could play that. I haven't looked into it.
  • 11:53 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Which is the fundamental flaw of Bounded Accuracy, and there's no good way of resolving it within a d20 resolution system. The Advantage mechanic, which can help here, only does so by temporarily shifting the game from d20-resolution to dice-pool resolution. That gives me an idea for a system hack, where everything was just down to an ability check, but proficiency and expertise each added additional dice to roll. So like, picking a hard lock would be a DC 20 Dexterity check, but you got to roll two dice if you were proficient, or three dice with expertise. You would never need a DC above 25.Depends on how you're adjudicating it. When you call a locksmith for your car, your car isn't in a dungeon, there isn't the possibility of a trap or monster lurking in/behind the lock, and the locksmith knows where he's sleeping tonight. For most locks, the locksmith can take his time in a generally relaxed atmosphere and has as many retries as needed. Done deal. And, yet, locksmiths do occasionally m...
  • 06:23 AM - 5ekyu quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    If I had to pick one real problem in the 5E skill system, this would be it. For all the noble goals of Bounded Accuracy, and a fighter actually having a chance to succeed on a skill check if they simply had proficiency, they're still so far behind anyone with a high stat that they'll never get to roll. For much of the game, the un-trained wizard has a higher bonus to Investigate than the trained fighter does, so simple proficiency still ends up being meaningless. I mean, it's literally not meta-gaming, because skill bonuses and rogue special abilities are all in-character info. The rogue knows for a fact that they can't fail to pick any lock that isn't of cosmic complexity, so it's not meta-gaming for them to tell anyone that, regardless of the words the player uses to convey it."For much of the game, the un-trained wizard has a higher bonus to Investigate than the trained fighter does, so simple proficiency still ends up being meaningless." In my experience, the fighter characters built with...
  • 04:25 AM - Chaosmancer quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Which is the fundamental flaw of Bounded Accuracy, and there's no good way of resolving it within a d20 resolution system. The Advantage mechanic, which can help here, only does so by temporarily shifting the game from d20-resolution to dice-pool resolution. That gives me an idea for a system hack, where everything was just down to an ability check, but proficiency and expertise each added additional dice to roll. So like, picking a hard lock would be a DC 20 Dexterity check, but you got to roll two dice if you were proficient, or three dice with expertise. You would never need a DC above 25. Could work, though losing out on the "you get better at skills over time" aspect of proficiency would be sad.
  • 04:24 AM - Chaosmancer quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    If I had to pick one real problem in the 5E skill system, this would be it. For all the noble goals of Bounded Accuracy, and a fighter actually having a chance to succeed on a skill check if they simply had proficiency, they're still so far behind anyone with a high stat that they'll never get to roll. For much of the game, the un-trained wizard has a higher bonus to Investigate than the trained fighter does, so simple proficiency still ends up being meaningless. Sort of. I mean, yeah the Wizard has a higher bonus for a while, but by level 5 if the wizard has a 20 INT they have a +5, while the fighter with a 12 INT and prof has a +4 A 1 point difference is enough a lot of players will still likely defer, but also small enough that one player could feel confident in pushing for it if it was important to their concept. I also feel rolling stats helps here, since you are more likely to end up with higher numbers. I mean, it's literally not meta-gaming, because skill bonuses and rogu...

Monday, 15th October, 2018

  • 09:07 PM - biktin quoted Saelorn in post DM advice needed - my party one-round BBEG's
    There's some debate on it. To the best of my interpretation, it should be impossible to sneak past someone who is looking at the open space you are trying to pass through. If the BBEG is in a room that only has one entrance, and someone is looking at that entrance, then surprise is ruined when anyone tries to enter the room. The wizard would argue that he would incant his spell before coming into view and then immediately cast it once he moved and had LOS, surprising them. Mind you, he has argued that the number 0 is an even number before, so I generally take him with a pinch of salt ;)
  • 06:20 AM - Chaosmancer quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    Sorry for the long delay and multiple responses. Been a busy weekend. ...11 to a skill is sufficient to contribute most times.... given that most DCs are 15-20. Yeah. Non-issue. And any DM who can’t handle their players succeeding at the thing they’ve been building towards THE ENTIRE TIME THEY’VE BEEN PLAYING THAT CHARACTER... well... Not a system issue. As usual. And at level 10 which we were talking about that is a +9, on athletics unless talking a dex based fighter. Let's look at Investigation (finding traps, clues, ect), neither rouge nor Fighter use Intelligence as their prime, so let's say they both have a +2 which may be rather high for both of them. Prof, expertise and reliable talent means the Rogue has a +10 and a minimum result of 20 Prof means the fighter has a +6 Party enter the room with the secret passage. Who investigates? Techinically they both do, because they use the help action, but the roll? The roll goes to the Rogue because he has a +4 over the f...
  • 02:34 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Saelorn in post What if Expertise were a simple +2?
    That's no different than having a +2 bonus, or a +6 or whatever - you're unlikely to fail easy checks, and more likely to succeed at hard ones. And since being an expert is a persistent condition, it doesn't make sense to lump it in with the same mechanic used to model temporary circumstantial variables. Except that it (arguably) messes up the math. As we've seen in this thread, some people consider the infallible rogue who trivializes certain challenges to be a feature rather than a bug. So, while they could have decided to use Advantage as the expertise mechanic, if they wanted to "solve" that bug, there would have been just as many people complaining about it either way. So they erred on the side of consistency, and letting rogues have something nice for once. It is a pretty large difference. A straight + doesn't quite have the same effect as advantage, and also increase the top DC that can be reached. It also interacts with reliable talent to increase the floor for the roll. Advan...


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