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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:23 AM
    Not really. It's just setting the time requirement to an arbitrarily large value. Replace "between adventures" with "six months" if it would make you happy. They are equivalent values in any situation where a Bad End would happen if the party stopped adventuring for six months, which could cover any variety of scenarios. If you take six months off from chasing the apocalypse cults, then the world...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 AM
    That sounds awfully meta-game-y, to be honest; it's like you're rewarding the player for contributing, rather than awarding the character based on what they experience. Why would the character learn the same amount about fighting from standing on a roof and mowing down zombies with fire bolt, as they would from getting down there and wading through the horde with their longsword? The latter would...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:03 AM
    Saelorn replied to Core+1
    I'm not really sure what to make of that. If you think they've done a good job of keeping everything balanced so far, such that core+1 would be a superfluous restriction, then you and I have vastly different standards for balance.
    80 replies | 1878 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 11:41 PM
    That's simply not how the world works, though. You don't get better at casting fireball by casting fireball. You get better at casting fireball by hitting things with your staff (or casting cantrips, I guess), because you've run out of fireball for the day. If you think that feels artificial, then I don't know what to say. D&D has always been kind of weird about that. If it helps, you can...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 10:07 PM
    Saelorn replied to Core+1
    You could do it. I'm not sure that the added benefit of allowing more non-core options per character would outweigh the significant increase in complexity or the drama that would be associated with maintaining the restricted/banned lists, particularly from the perspective of appealing to new players.
    80 replies | 1878 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 09:56 PM
    What do you think is a meta-game reward, in this scenario? Because I'm positing that experience is an in-game reward, for the characters, which they earn as a result of taking actions which make sense to them. Fighting six encounters in a day is not like pulling an all-nighter in college. It's not about the quantity. It's about the objective difficulty, and how hard you need to overcome that...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 09:40 PM
    Saelorn replied to Core+1
    The way that they handle it with Magic is that anything older than a certain cut-off point is auto-banned unless re-printed, right? And the most recent core set is also legal? Applying that same approach to D&D would be like saying Core +1, and that +1 must always be the most recent supplement. It would be more restrictive than the current method.
    80 replies | 1878 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 09:14 PM
    One of the things I've been considering is that a Long Rest is something which takes place between adventures. It takes an indefinite amount of time, during which you can prepare all of your spells, and all of your injuries heal up, and that's just not something you can do while other events are in motion.
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 08:36 PM
    If your motivation is to stop the cult, and the cult is being led by a beholder, then you need to level up in order to stop that cult.
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 08:32 PM
    I'm fully on-board with motivating the PCs rather than the players. Meta-gaming is bad. Maybe I'm just not getting my point across. Trivial encounters are trivial. A level 1 character learns nothing from stepping on an ant, and a level 17 warlock learns (effectively) nothing by blasting four goblins before any of them get a chance to move. You learn more by challenging someone who has skill...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 07:50 PM
    Unless your trap is that a fireball IX spell goes off on the party, you'd be hard-pressed to have a non-combat encounter make an appreciable dent in party resources; even then, it's always possible that the party will find and remove (or evade) the trap, in which case they spend nothing on the encounter. The biggest resource that you need to work through every day is still Hit Points, and it's...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 10:40 AM
    Saelorn replied to Core+1
    You might be thinking of someone else. I'm the first one to admit that 5E is intrinsically flawed, because they simply didn't care, and the players deserve better from a company that's supposed to be professional. The difference is that I don't actually like 5E. It is... tolerable. It is worth discussing. Actually fixing it would require extensive house rules, and the one thing I'll say in...
    80 replies | 1878 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 09:15 AM
    Saelorn replied to Core+1
    To what end? It's been proven countless times that it is impossible to balance an ever-increasing list of options. Attempting such an impossible task would be a poor use of their limited resources. That's not even going into sheer amount of work it would require. I don't know if you've ever worked in testing, but there's a certain point where it simply becomes infeasible. Given the nature of...
    80 replies | 1878 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 08:13 AM
    Hypothetically, imagine a rule in the book where the first four encounters in a day were only worth a quarter of their listed XP, and all encounters after the first four were worth double the listed XP. On average, if you had seven encounters in a day, then you'd get XP equivalent to the listed XP for seven encounters; if you called out before that point, then you'd get much less, and if you went...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 03:04 AM
    That assumes XP is a meta-game reward which doesn't correspond to anything within the game world. Alternatively, everyone is fully aware that you can only learn and grow by constantly testing your own limits.
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 11:16 PM
    Saelorn replied to Core+1
    To phrase that another way, if you're playing in a situation where you might be using multiple supplements together (such as in a home game), then you are already empowered to house rule things to your liking. The core+1 rule only exists to handle those situations where you wouldn't be able to address those things through house rules.
    80 replies | 1878 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 07:09 PM
    That assumes a certain amount of interaction between the races, which isn't necessarily the case in any given setting. If one in a hundred dwarves find halflings to be attractive rather than annoying, and the reverse was also true, then you'd need ten-thousand interactions before the right people found each other. The fundamental basis of D&D assumes a particular type of setting, where those...
    22 replies | 545 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 10:53 PM
    There's nothing that says we can't. All it says is that we don't. Part of the assumed default setting is that there is not significant mixing between most of the races. That dwarves and halflings have never in their genetic history chosen to mate with a human, could just be a cultural thing.
    22 replies | 545 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 06:35 AM
    Humans and orcs are genetically the same species, so a half-orc is anyone with ancestors and traits of both. They could be the off-spring of two half-orcs, or they could be the cross between a human and an orc. The could even have one parent that is entirely human, or entirely orc, where the other has mixed blood. In game terms, a half-orc is a character to whom the half-orc racial adjustments...
    22 replies | 545 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 05:04 AM
    I have literally no clue what you're talking about. You're the one accusing me of accusing Vampire of plagiarism. I'm only accusing it of being derivative. Which it is, to a significant degree.
    37 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 19th May, 2018, 12:27 AM
    That could work. You probably wouldn't say "charmed", because that's a standard status condition that gives someone Advantage on Charisma checks against you. I'd probably go with "compelled" instead.
    15 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 11:56 PM
    The aura is a lot of damage. You're basically a one-person apocalypse when it comes to cities, which I guess is fair, given the name of the item. For comparison, a balor's aura is less than half as powerful. It's also a lot of saving throws to roll, since it affects everyone all the time. The requirement to seek out dragons everywhere makes it seem like this is for bad guys. Unless the point...
    15 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 09:30 PM
    Finesse thrown weapons can use Dex to hit and damage. It does pretty much limit you to daggers, though. Consider also that, without feats, Dexterity has a lot more going for it than Strength does. If the Strength-supporting feats are more powerful than the Dex-supporting feats, then that should make them more comparable over-all. Instead of comparing how much one feat helps a Strength-based...
    58 replies | 2096 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 09:11 PM
    Are there, though? A +1 bonus to damage and AC is significant. Those are things that come up multiple times per round. Even if it's not as good as +1 to hit and damage and AC, etc; it's probably better than anything else.
    58 replies | 2096 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 08:55 PM
    It's less that Dual Wielder is bad, and more that Polearm Mastery is too good as-written. If you remove the +Str damage from the off-hand attack, and remove the Reach feature while double-weaponing, that would bring it much more into line.
    58 replies | 2096 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 07:32 PM
    Don't confuse content with mechanics. The rules of the game are like the language that the game is written in, and that's why it's so easy for anyone to pick up a d20-derived game if they've already played one. I know how Vampire works, on a mechanical level, because I've played Shadowrun. I'm also not claiming plagiarism. I'm claiming that it's derivative. Maybe you think that's close enough,...
    37 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 09:01 AM
    I wouldn't go that far. At best, it traded out some of the weirdness from Shadowrun for all new weirdness of its own. If I had to choose between the rulesets, agnostic to setting, I would definitely go with Shadowrun for several reasons. (Primarily, because the stats are much less ambiguous.)
    37 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 12:53 AM
    If the outcome is uncertain, then that's why we have dice. The likelihood that someone would be rolling with a +11 bonus against DC 13 (or equivalent), with Advantage, is pretty small; but if that was the case, then I would ask for a roll. Likewise, if they were rolling with a +5 bonus against DC 25, and had Disadvantage, I would still allow them to roll instead of auto-fiat making them fail....
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 12:39 AM
    The basic mechanic of rolling a number of dice equal to attribute+skill, and checking each die individually against a variable target difficulty in order to get a number of successes, was what was copied. The only real innovation is that they switched from d6 to d10, so you could have more variance in the target numbers without having to explode the sixes. No credit for innovation on stat...
    37 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 11:18 PM
    If it's not something that happens at least 5% of the time, then it's not worth modeling. I'm happy with a world where you can't trip on stairs except under extreme circumstances. I'm not down with storytelling or narrative control. That's not what role-playing is about, IMO. YMMV.
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 10:06 PM
    It's a matter of preference. You just have to know what you're getting into, when you intentionally decide to include or not-include cursed items. The same thing can be said of random traps hidden in the middle of random hallways. You can certainly have them, but it means the party is going never going to walk down a hallway without checking for traps at every step along the way. If you don't...
    11 replies | 317 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 09:25 PM
    What a cursed item does is less significant than how a party reasons given the knowledge that cursed items exist. If you know that The Necklace of Strangulation exists, and that it could look like any other necklace, then it means you never try out a magical necklace until it's been checked for curses.
    11 replies | 317 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 08:42 PM
    When I GM, I want to make sure that I'm staying within the spirit of the rules, at the very least. As a player, I can't stand when the GM makes a ruling which I could not have predicted in advance, based on the known-unknowns and unknown-unknowns. As a GM, I strive to be the type of GM that I would want to play under. (Some games leave a lot of room for interpretation, so the GM is expected to...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 08:06 PM
    Animals don't usually gain levels. If you multiclass into ranger or druid, then your DM may say that it's okay for your pet to become an animal companion. Even if the rules don't actually say so (since you didn't specify which edition you're playing), it's well within what the rules were intended to allow. If you look at the novels, Drizzt somehow made an animal companion out of a magical...
    2 replies | 191 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 07:56 PM
    That's not really my prerogative. When I volunteer to run a game, I'm signing up to deliver a certain experience. Even if I have house rules, there are certain core system mechanics that I'm not going to change, because they're too fundamental to what the game is. The rules for determining DC and making ability checks are of that variety. If I'm not willing to respect the core mechanical premise...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 05:45 AM
    No, my argument is that if the cleric or wizard has a high Dex, then they succeed because of their Dex rather than because of their background. The background doesn't turn anyone from incompetent into competent; it's not that powerful. YMMV. I don't see anything wrong with a low-level specialist or high-level non-specialist always succeeding on easy tasks. If something is especially difficult...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 02:50 AM
    Right, which is exactly my point. Training is virtually meaningless, because bounded accuracy is a thing, and anyone can try regardless. The only time when a background proficiency would really matter is when it convinces the DM that you should be allowed to attempt something that an untrained person cannot; which many DMs feel obligated to implement, since it stops the idiot fighter from...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 02:45 AM
    Disadvantage on Perception checks is still way better than being blind, but it does give a reason to carry a light source regardless, which means normal people won't feel quite so left out.
    103 replies | 3065 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 10:42 PM
    The cleric in 5E (or 4E) is a lot like the bard in 3E, in that it amplifies what everyone can already do for themselves. The fighter doesn't need healing from the cleric, but it helps. The fighter doesn't need +2 to hit or saves, but it helps. But the same is true of the bard, transmutation wizard, and every other healer. Magical healing, as a whole, is strictly unnecessary in this edition....
    68 replies | 2815 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 09:01 PM
    Look at it on a more local level. Regardless of whether you're in that dungeon because you stumbled across it, or because the plot demands it, or because the plot demands it; if you're going into a dungeon full of goblins, in order to retrieve a magic necklace, then that's what the game is. There are a lot of game worlds which facilitate going into a dungeon full of goblins in order to find a...
    12 replies | 393 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 07:50 PM
    Monsters already double dip on their offense, because they get more accurate and deal more damage. HP inflation means that high-level characters can soak the extra damage, but that still means they end up getting hit more. If PCs also increased their AC, in addition to HP, then that would just bring it to parity. Of course, given that high-level characters are still way tougher than they...
    43 replies | 1311 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 09:39 AM
    The question is whether there's any mechanical benefit to taking a particular background for most characters, and I would argue not, because that bonus you gain from proficiency is practically inconsequential. A difference of +2 on a d20 roll is something that will only matter one time in ten, which means you would have to try and disarm ten traps (on average) before the fact that you're trained...
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 12:31 AM
    That would only be true in the specific case that you are fighting an enemy that's roughly the same level as you are. If you're fighting a stronger or weaker enemy, then the difference would become much more apparent.
    43 replies | 1311 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 11:38 PM
    It makes sense to me. The only problem is that PCs are already ludicrously durable, and increasing their ACs at high levels would make them more-so. I would prefer to address that by reducing HP to compensate, but there are any number of approaches you could take.
    43 replies | 1311 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 08:19 PM
    Not quite. Due to Bounded Accuracy, the bonus from your ability score is more important than the bonus from proficiency, especially at low levels. A cleric or wizard with a Criminal background will still be garbage at picking locks or disarming traps, even given the +2 proficiency bonus. Compared to the +7 bonus of a level 1 rogue, your +2 or +3 isn't going to make a dent in the d20 roll.
    53 replies | 1823 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 12:35 AM
    It's simpler on the back-end character creation mini-game. There are far fewer decisions before you can just start playing. Also, on a turn-by-turn basis in combat, each character has fewer options to choose between. And what options they do have feature fewer variables and less nuance, so it's easier to make a decision.
    1702 replies | 139508 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 08:42 AM
    I guess that makes sense. Personally, I see 'chaos' as 'evil' by another name; someone who wants to play a 'chaotic good' renegade anti-hero is every bit as disruptive as someone wanting to play a 'lawful evil' honorable killer. If having a paladin means that everyone else is within one degree of LG, then that's less chance for significant party friction.
    33 replies | 1092 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:40 AM
    Yeah, it's the same issue, but I always like to remind everyone that the World of Darkness rules were entirely copied from Shadowrun. (Nothing against World of Darkness, just giving credit where it's due.) On the one hand, yes, it's important to not get too caught up on the specifics so that you lose track of how the rules work as a whole. On the other hand, this is still a game, and you...
    37 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 01:20 AM
    One common scenario is when a ranged attacker keeps retreating behind cover, making use of the overly-generous movement rules to become a non-target whenever they aren't attacking. You can ready an action to fire back when they come out, but you only get one attack and they get all of theirs. If you don't have enemies use that specific tactic, and the players also don't think of it, then...
    52 replies | 1520 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 01:15 AM
    That's actually something to keep in mind, is that it effectively lets you take two turns in a row (if you don't mind pre-committing to the first action). If you're fighting a group of ogres or something, and they're likely to break formation after the first fireball, you can use this to hit them twice before they know any better.
    52 replies | 1520 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 08:05 PM
    That gets more complicated, though. The one big advantage of Advantage is that it's easier to determine at a glance, and you lose that when you have different mechanics covering different types of advantages. (It might even be easier, at that point, to just give flat bonuses for inspiration and focus - since then you're only dealing with the one mechanic.) A big problem with older editions of...
    37 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 07:16 PM
    Seriously, though. What's the deal? I've always had good experiences with paladins in my games. As a player, they help to carry the tanking and healing burden. As a DM, they help to keep the party on track instead of wandering off into random nonsense. What's not to like?
    33 replies | 1092 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 08:41 AM
    The problem is that the game uses Advantage for anything that could possibly help you, such that none of it will let you surpass the limit of what you could have done alone. If you can't lift that boulder with your bare hands, then you won't be able to lift it with any number of levers or pulleys, either. And that's not a good representation of how levers work. I'm fine with it as a...
    37 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 12:19 AM
    What do you have against paladins?
    33 replies | 1092 view(s)
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    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 10:50 PM
    Something seems off in this scenario. Isn't there a massive penalty for trying to hide immediately after making an attack?
    67 replies | 2087 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 09:32 PM
    The Advantage system works well with the d20 mechanic in the context of Fifth Edition. Usually. It's not perfect, and if you change anything else about the game, then it may work even less well. To see where it breaks down, consider a Fighter with Charisma 8 which is required to make a Charisma save against DC 20. It will never happen, regardless of any theoretical Advantage, or the Fighter...
    37 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 11:49 PM
    I respectfully disagree. You shouldn't have to play FATAL before you are allowed to formally review it; you should be able to say everything that you need to say about it, without anyone objecting that your claims are unfounded simply because you didn't take the last step toward playing the thing.
    19 replies | 593 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 07:38 PM
    Saelorn replied to Paladin Smites
    Extra damage from a smite is radiant damage. Creatures with resistance to physical damage will always state that they have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non-magical weapons. Radiant damage is not bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing. My best guess is that some DMs haven't read the paladin ability closely, so they imagine that is just increases the weapon damage,...
    6 replies | 367 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th May, 2018, 12:08 AM
    Saelorn replied to Making a camp
    Whatever the benefit of a good rest is, you probably don't want it to be too great, because every party eventually ends up spending every night in their portable luxury super-mansion.
    17 replies | 502 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Monday, 7th May, 2018, 04:32 AM
    "For instance, studded leather with a +3 armor potency rune (a.k.a. +3 studded leather) would give you +5 AC, +3 TAC, and +3 to your saves. You can also upgrade the potency later, etching a +4 armor potency rune onto that armor to increase its bonus." That would solve this issue. It does mean that there's no reason to further enchant armor if it's already high-quality, but I guess that's fine....
    33 replies | 1029 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 10:19 PM
    That part is balanced, which is great (assuming there's no longer any such thing as a necklace or ring that increases your AC). The worrisome part is, as mentioned upthread, weapon qualities range from -1 to +3 (according to the previous article) while armor potency goes up to at least +4 (according to this article). And we still haven't seen what magic weapons look like; which means either...
    33 replies | 1029 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 09:13 AM
    The enhancement bonus on magical shields was absolutely necessary in order to balance the broken base math. A level 20 attacker gains +20 to hit baseline, even before factoring in their ability score bonus or feats or a magic weapon or anything. In order to get +20 over starting AC to balance that, you need a +5 armor and shield and ring and amulet. It was just nuts, and it ultimately led to AC...
    33 replies | 1029 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th May, 2018, 05:27 AM
    A good number is thirty. That's the number where I no longer fear somebody with an axe just killing me in one round, but it's not so significant that I can take a standard eight-point hit without worrying about it.
    17 replies | 787 view(s)
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    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 08:43 PM
    Ah, right. Okay then. I thought that I was missing something.
    13 replies | 761 view(s)
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    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 08:26 PM
    What healing spell did wizards gain?
    13 replies | 761 view(s)
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    Saturday, 5th May, 2018, 12:12 AM
    That wasn't my experience, but in any case, my point is just that non-Clerics have never had a full claim to the title of Healer. It's not weird if Wizards have access to a healing spell that works on anybody, while Druids and Bards do not, because Druids and Bards have no reasonable expectation to do everything that a Cleric could do when it comes to healing. Although I'm also not sure which...
    13 replies | 761 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 11:39 PM
    Was there ever an edition where Bards or Druids were as good at healing as Clerics were? (Maybe 4E? I seem to recall that they relied on rituals for reversing diseases and petrifications and whatnot, but did Clerics have easier access to those rituals or anything?)
    13 replies | 761 view(s)
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    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 09:53 PM
    I'd have to go back and check, but I seem to recall that Synnibarr (2E, not 3E) has an explicit requirement in the Fate (GM) section that you must use the rules as-written, and the players are encouraged to call you out if they think you've changed anything. (Players are also not allowed to read the rule book during play, though, and they are penalized if they try to call out Fate and they are...
    37 replies | 2290 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 07:33 PM
    I was kind of hoping for a discussion about personal preferences on what the end-goal of RPG evolution should be, but yeah, I don't think that's going to happen eleven pages into a thread that got off to such a rocky start :-/
    119 replies | 2951 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 09:45 AM
    Okay, now I think that I understand. Generic advancement was not something I could grasp, because it's hard to know whether any given game offers progression or regression until I knew what the start point and the end point were supposed to be. But you're leaving the goal up for grabs, for anyone who wants to make the argument. Great. So, my joke answer is that the most advanced game is...
    119 replies | 2951 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 09:29 AM
    Dude. If you're not here to talk role-playing or role-playing games, then I have nothing to say to you. Keep your flame-bait to yourself.
    123 replies | 3556 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 02:16 AM
    This isn't some degenerate story-telling game. This is a role-playing game. You should choose to do what your character would do in that scenario. If your character is a knight wielding a sword, in a battle to the death against another human, and your first thought isn't that you should attack them with your sword, then something has gone very wrong. If swords weren't the most effective answer to...
    123 replies | 3556 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 01:10 AM
    I may have missed part of the discussion, since I apparently have some of the participants as blocked on here (and the blocking feature is currently functional). One important aspect of "No Myth" is that nothing is true within the game world until someone establishes it. (Right?) There's not going to be a point where the DM says, "You can't do that, because of a thing that happened across town...
    119 replies | 2951 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 12:10 AM
    If that's the case, then those articles are exceptionally misleading, because what he's describing sounds a lot like what the relevant articles are describing. I mean, there's probably some significant difference that I'm missing because I've only read the relevant books instead of playing the actual games, but he still sounds basically correct. If it's a case where the definitions that you're...
    119 replies | 2951 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 11:52 PM
    It seems fine from a balance perspective, and not too cheap (since the players presumably are aware of the warlock healing mechanic). I'm not entirely familiar with those rules, myself, but aren't there limits on who a warlock can curse? Like, only the closest enemy, or only one person at a time or something? I remember playing a warlock before, and using a Rod of Reaving to pop minions for some...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 11:05 PM
    Not totally wrong. I mean, even if you only know the surface details, that's often sufficient to determine whether something is or is-not a particular other thing, as long as you know what that other thing looks like. If I just skim those articles (which I've apparently done two or three times in the past, but forgotten about), then that's enough for me to decide that I don't like those...
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 10:29 PM
    Setting aside the concept of DM meta-gaming and whether or not the DM should contrive coincidences in the name of keeping things exciting (because that's been discussed to death recently), there's still the question of whether tailoring encounters to the party would produce encounter difficulties that are more satisfying to the players. From my perspective, tailoring encounters to the party -...
    98 replies | 2853 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 09:17 PM
    One off-shoot of Phoenix Command is called Living Steel. The System Mastery podcast did a review of that one. My takeaway from that review is that, while the game is excessively complex in many ways, it still uses 3d6 for determining characters stats, and the primary complaint from fans of the game is that it is not complex enough.
    119 replies | 2951 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 07:35 PM
    For that matter, I think that potions in 5E can easily be identified by taste, and there's no chance of anything bad happening from it. As with the standard item identification during a short rest, it just works and don't worry about it. At least, that's how I remember it.
    21 replies | 512 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 07:25 PM
    You're over-thinking it. This edition is not so tightly written as to make consistent assumptions about such a minor detail. The DM is expected to wing it, as necessary, based on what makes sense to them at the time.
    28 replies | 1053 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 02:05 AM
    Player: Can I use my free object interaction to kick away his sword, so he can't just grab it again? DM: No, you're standing in grass. It won't go anywhere. I perceive that the spellcaster is already limited in many ways, such that further limitations would be egregious. The primary limitations are that their spells frequently do nothing (because a successful saving throw negates), or they are...
    123 replies | 3556 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 01:19 AM
    Go back and read the rules which you quoted. The Player decides what they want to do; the DM then says whether or not it is possible, and whether or not there's some sort of check required. It is perfectly reasonable and expected for the DM to say "No" to any request.
    123 replies | 3556 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd May, 2018, 12:50 AM
    Supplemental expansions are not a reflection of the base game. Anything that exists in a supplement is irrelevant unless you are specifically talking about that supplement. There are not many useful spells that lack a Verbal component, and of the ones which do, they trend toward not being useful in combat. Both friends and hypnotic pattern are on that list. If your DM rules that kicking a...
    123 replies | 3556 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 08:13 PM
    There are going to be limits to the accuracy of any model which is less complicated than the underlying reality which is being modeled. Just about any sort of probability can be broken down to a percentile value, if you can just figure out reasonable methods of determining those values. I'm not confident in the ability of any human to generate statistical models with greater precision than...
    119 replies | 2951 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 06:56 PM
    That makes a lot of sense to me. In light of the recent thread about attack wands being overpowered, since they give you so many extra powerful spells per day; and the subsequent suggestion of wands that simply add a spell to your prepared/known list, so that you have to power it with your own slots; a wand that lets any wizard or warlock or thief cast fire bolt at-will seems like a good balance.
    24 replies | 798 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018, 03:02 AM
    From what I recall, it's really not that bad. You can use your full allotment of points in every session, and you only lose points from your maximum if you spend over your limit. If you do lose points for going over your limit, then recovery is annoying because you have to go an entire session without spending anything before it starts to heal back, but you shouldn't need that if you don't go...
    18 replies | 537 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 11:54 PM
    There is NightLife, which somehow manages to cram the entire lineup of the World of Darkness (and then some!) into one Palladium-esque book. Reviews are mixed, but it's definitely not World of Darkness.
    18 replies | 537 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 10:22 PM
    Which is to say, more likely than not, the wizard can do nothing; they can waste time and maybe roll some dice, that will not have a meaningful impact on the outcome of the encounter in any way. Wizards don't have the stats necessary to make meaningful use of a dagger, and even if they did, the damage is irrelevant because they aren't a combat-specialized class and they never get Extra Attack....
    123 replies | 3556 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 08:56 PM
    Gagging someone mostly comes up outside of combat, when you've already beaten someone unconscious and you want to keep them alive for some reason. It is important to the rules, specifically for this scenario. If you were meant to do that sort of thing in the middle of combat, then they would have mentioned it somewhere. Sure, and stealing the fighter's greatsword doesn't render them helpless,...
    123 replies | 3556 view(s)
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  • Saelorn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st May, 2018, 07:40 PM
    I'm not arguing on that point. Spellcasting in combat used to be much more difficult. Nowadays, it's much easier, and balanced by the fact that the spells are much less effective baseline - and by the fact that fighting is much more effective for fighters than it used to be; a wizard is expected to throw a cantrip every round that they aren't casting another spell, and their dagger is relatively...
    123 replies | 3556 view(s)
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Thursday, 17th May, 2018

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

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

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

Friday, 11th May, 2018

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

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 01:34 AM - Erechel mentioned Saelorn in post Dealing with spellcasters as a martial
    ... and the Disarm won't be as efficient if the Spell Focus is a shield. The game is already plenty interesting when the fighter has their sword and the wizard has their spells. That is the baseline level of interesting which the game advertises. By taking away the majority of the spells from the wizard, the resulting game is less interesting because of it. If this was still third edition, and spells actually were more useful than swords, then the ability for a fighter to shut off ninety-percent of the wizard's spell list would have made the game more interesting. Or you could go back to AD&D, when fighters really could shut down wizards from casting spells, and that was also fine. It's only fifth edition, with spell DCs and spell damage nerfed into the ground, where giving the fighter an ability to shut down a wizard would be bad design. (Or fourth edition, I suppose. From what I recall, you also didn't see nearly as many anti-magic zones in 4E as you did in earlier editions.) Saelorn, you and I have radically different concepts of "plenty interesting" if you claim that the fighter has his sword and the wizard his spells. As I've said now countless times, if all I can do is "I attack" without anything else I could try having any chance of success, in a game of imagination, cunning and agency, you are reducing a PC to a DPR machine and nothing else. His actions in game have no true meaning, he has not true choice. The only important thing is "the build", that is his actions as a player outside the game: maximizing DPR, and pray that the DM throws a magic weapon, or that his wizard friend grants him the ability to fly on him if the enemies are far above the ground. Yes, when multiple conditions are met (like melee range with non resistant creatures) his melee damage is better than the wizard on a DPR only standpoint. Everywhere else, he is way more limited. It is the old "Quadratic wizard, linear fighter" issue all over again. Heck, someone even claimed that "is alrea...

Thursday, 3rd May, 2018

  • 01:34 AM - Erechel mentioned Saelorn in post Dealing with spellcasters as a martial
    Go back and read the rules which you quoted. The Player decides what they want to do; the DM then says whether or not it is possible, and whether or not there's some sort of check required. It is perfectly reasonable and expected for the DM to say "No" to any request.That's why I explicitly called Disarm maneuvers, Saelorn, and Interact with an Object. And Material and Verbal components. And the fact that the spellcasters have plenty of options to avoid being in melee in the first place. You are triviallizing many rules because you can't conceive that the spellcaster could be limited in any way. Furthermore, you are triviallizing interesting options. You aren't even consider the tactical intricacies that such options allow. That part of "You disarmed the spellcaster. In his turn, he draws another arcane focus" is actually a great thing: you do something, then the caster does something else because of what you did it in the first place. The fighter could insist, or not, and in the meantime, both are alive, both have options. Other spells come into relevance, the wizard has to go away from melee with a Misty Step, or Levitate, or Fly. Ot it has to use a sub-optimal cantrip. The fighter isn't restricted to "I attack", the dynamics fly and you use all the rules in the book, instead of only to hit. How bo...

Tuesday, 1st May, 2018

  • 08:28 PM - Erechel mentioned Saelorn in post Dealing with spellcasters as a martial
    ...ge of magical weather to trap the fighter in an ethereal tornado. It doesn't matter if the fighter could theoretically escape by making an opposed Arcana check. It would invalidate the game that everyone else signed up to play, the same as if you let someone bypass hit points by taking a 'slit throat' action. Any action that is egregiously out of line with existing actions should be impossible. The fact is, there are spells that do something like that, and worse. Hold Person, that paralyzes and imposes a Saving Throw no martial has. Forcecage. Control Water to create a wave to knock a fighter. Tsunami, for a more gruesome way to do the same. And, as I've said earlier, this is in the same order of magnitude than a disarm. It doesn't disable a caster in every possible way, such as an ethereal tornado or a hold person. It just prevents certain spells with verbal components. Furthermore, it isn't impossible: it is a valid approach, using the existing rules. You could rule it otherwise, Saelorn, and increase the difficulty accordingly. I'm not complaining on that. This mechanic, specifically, could be flawed by being too easy, but not by intent. If the rogue would try to use its expertise in Sleight of Hands to steal the material components of a spell, such as a crystal that acts as an arcane focus, you would say the same? That it is an abuse? I'm taking advantage of an already existant ruleset (spells components), and using them in advantage. As for your specific example, Arcana checks aren't used for spellcasting, spellcasting has its own rules. Managing ethereal storms would fall under spellcasting, unless you are in the ethereal plane (in which I would allow an Arcana check to manage the storm against the martial). Even more, I could allow a Very Difficult arcana check, then expend a spell slot, and then renounce to half the movement and both hands to do something like what you said without being in the ethereal plane (I usually allow improvising with existing spells w...

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 10:22 AM - Doug McCrae mentioned Saelorn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    Saelorn A purely "world-centric" approach to rpg-ing where nothing is tailored to the PCs is a perfectly valid way to run a rpg. But it's not the only or even the most common way to do it. D&D has always supported the tailored approach to some degree. The early modules all had recommended levels very clearly displayed on the front cover. All the WotC editions of D&D have provided mechanisms for balancing encounters. 3e is clear that both tailored and status quo encounters are reasonable tools for the DM to use. The relevant section is page 48 of the 3.5 DMG.
  • 08:45 AM - Sadras mentioned Saelorn in post Do you use skill challenges?
    ...ut who says they do not know the rules? I narrate something, the players decide how to overcome it using one of their skills. If there are options available on that specific skill check, I let them know before hand. Yes, I might be hiding the fact that they are in a SC but that is it. Have you ever made a character in a game where you hadn't read the rule book, and the GM wouldn't tell you what anything meant, so you were forced to guess? The situation you describe is a lot like that. If the DM doesn't tell you which resolution mechanic they are using, then any choice you make is meaningless, because you lack the necessary information to make a meaningful decision. Any DM who would engage in such chicanery is inherently untrustworthy. The whole reason for playing a game with codified rules in the first place, is so that everyone can be on the same page about how the world works, so the players can make meaningful decisions. I do not believe this fits the scenario's I'm proposing. @Saelorn imagine you and the rest of the party are investigating a murder scene. I as DM have secretly set up a SC. Should you succeed in the SC you catch the perpetrator before he murders someone else, should you fail the SC you are too late in stopping him perform the 2nd murder. I do not see how the PCs' actions in the murder investigation change whether they know they are part of a SC or not. How has their ability to make meaningful decisions been tampered with? I agree but furthermore I would also say that in order for someone to want to adopt the SC over another method (even just letting it play out) that value has to add to or surpass the value of the method they currently use. Good point! Ok but can I pose this question... why does it have to be either or? Why is it either a single roll or a skill challenge. For your example above I would play it out in an abstracted day by day form, with the PC's determining what they do each day and I resolving their actions as well as what...

Monday, 9th April, 2018

  • 10:52 PM - Blue mentioned Saelorn in post Do you multiclass for raw mechanical power or for character reasons?
    Saelorn, if I was designing the game, I wouldn't use a lot of mechanics even for the existing fluff. Why can a barbarian rage a certain amount of times per day, regardless if they are one right after each other or all spread out? These mechanics start with doing imperfect jobs of modelling the narrative already. But what they have going for them is that they are tested against all of the other rules and balanced. So, Assumption #1 is that using existing rules means a lot less work in generating and balancing rules. So, if we are introducing new fluff, and it's a reasonable match for the existing rules, regardless if there might be a slightly better rule out there somewhere that would need to be designed, tested, and balanced against other options, then Assumption #1 say use the pre-tested rules that were playtested and are used at a scope out of the reach of any individual table. In other words: A) Trying to hold new fluff to a higher threshold than existing fluff is a non-start...
  • 04:25 AM - MoonSong mentioned Saelorn in post Do you multiclass for raw mechanical power or for character reasons?
    Let me try to take you at your word, and put out a few examples that I think will show how crazy saying that book-fluff is the only right way to play. I'm not sure how you keep reading absolutes into my posts. (And if you are aware Saelorn and me are different posters) First, please let me know the definitive fluff for the Fighter. You know, the book-fluff that is the only type of fighter you'll allow. Already said fighter is a generic warrior and not likely an IC construct. I'm playing in an official 5e setting, Forgotten Realms. I have a character from Kara-Tur which is oriental themed. Am I playing the game wrong if I describe my character having a wakizashi instead of a short sword? A short sword could be any sword of such size and overall characteristics. So, no? (now if you wanted to refluff a gladius or a claymore...) Of course, it's lucky I'm playing a character from Kara-Tur because I wanted to play the Samurai fighter subclass from XGtE, and I understand you wouldn't allow it without Japanese fluff. Somehow I'm conditioned to consider plain disregard of flavor as a sign of munchkinism, but whatevs your PC, not mine. In my mind I would still keep considering your character as Japan...

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 08:23 PM - Yaarel mentioned Saelorn in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Saelorn Shadowfell is the realm of the dead. A spirit realm of ghosts. They obviously have no bodies, because the bodies are back in the material decomposing in the ground. The shadowfell is completely devoid of matter. It is spirit only. When your character ‘visits’ the spirit realm of the shadowfell − where physicality is nonexistent − what do you think is happening? No place has matter except the material plane. (And the elemental planes.) The spirit worlds of shadowfell and feywild, the ether, the spirit worlds of the celestial and infernal, the dreaming, and so on, are modes of existence without matter.

Friday, 16th March, 2018

  • 10:29 PM - pming mentioned Saelorn in post How much do your trust the advice of others?
    ... a total of 21 damage. With this system, a weapon that did 4d4 was, overall, superior to a weapon that did 2d10 simply because rolling a 4 is two and a half times as likely as rolling a 10; and you get 4 initial chances over 2. My late wife, Yen Lo Wang bless her soul, had a female half-ogre fighter who was strong (and big) enough to use a Giant Sized Battle Ax did 4d4 damage with it (plus str, which I can't remember). She killed herself. She had a LOT of HP's. She Fumbled (roll of 1 on attack roll), then managed to get the dreaded 'hit self'. She started rolling 4d4 and ended up with multiple dice penetrating multiple times. I can't remember what the total was, but if I had to guess it was well into 60 points! Anyway. Advice is good from experience in time and in variety. Focused experience, I find, is usually a LOT less useful in a RPG context. (and yes, I take the Sage Advice stuff with a grain of salt specifically for these reasons; I trust multiple folks on these boards more, @Saelorn, @Lanefan, @Sacrosanct, to name but a few). ^_^ Paul L. Ming

Saturday, 17th February, 2018

  • 04:22 AM - Harzel mentioned Saelorn in post "I'm no good at that" and Inspiration
    ...ane) Cleric who just can't get the hang of the outdoors and is bad at Survival and Animal Handling, even though they are Wisdom based skills. The bard who's a horrible liar and has disadvantage at Deception. So, what do you think? Would you take advantage of this with your own characters? It's a creative idea and a direction that I think some people would enjoy. However, I'm a little unclear on which choice you are trying to reward. There is the choice to be particularly bad at some skills. Is it enough to make that choice and then only use those skills when forced to? If so, rewarding the use of the skills seems a little bit indirect (not terrible by any means, but just a little bit off). There is the choice to use a skill you are bad at even when you don't have to. In this case, your mechanic doesn't seem entirely necessary, although it does make a disaster more likely than just having a low stat does. This is the one that feels to me unpleasantly gamey in the sense that Saelorn describes. It just reminds me a lot of FATE, and how players are encouraged to make foolish mistakes because it causally benefits them later. Using your example, I don't want anyone to go out of their way to insult the Duke because it will causally help them fight the cult leader. Roleplaying is supposed to be its own reward. You should insult the Duke because that's what your character would do, not because you really want advantage against Circle of Death. But that's just me. No, you have at least some company. :)
  • 02:59 AM - DMMike mentioned Saelorn in post "I'm no good at that" and Inspiration
    But I don't see how your system rewards character growth. . . I see how it rewards doing things your character wouldn't normally attempt...but to what end? They're likely going to fail. And they're likely going to make things worse for the party by trying. It doesn't look like it rewards character growth so much as character exploration. Have you ever met someone who's good at everything? Seems to never fail? Those people suck. This system rewards you for not being one of those people. Failure, then, is exactly the idea! However, "you fail" is a big, fat, dead-end. Something interesting must come from the failure...like making things worse for the party. The tricky part is to change the reward system from "roll a disadvantaged skill check to gain an advantage." Players will gladly roll those left and right. As Saelorn mentioned, it does point to the Fate system of "accept this consequence, and get a reward." I don't like that either, because I don't want the GM and players to haggle with each other over story outcomes. You could try a modified Fate system. The GM picks a failure condition that's worth Inspiration, then the player decides if he wants to attempt it with a (poor) chance of success. Better yet, a player can Lack the Knack at any time, and just know that rolling the Fail is going to be horrible...but worth Inspiration.

Friday, 16th February, 2018

  • 06:20 AM - pemerton mentioned Saelorn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...hin the fiction. A player attempts an action to change the fiction "I try to hit him with my sword" <-- attempting something inside the fiction."I try to hit him with my sword" is a move in the game. It's a move that is declared in the real world, at the table. Declaring the move also establishes something in the fiction (at a minimum, that the PC desires to hit the opponent with his/her sword; at most tables, probably also that the PC is performing physical movements of a sword-fighting nature). Declaring the move also signals a desire as to the future state of the fiction, namely, the defeat of the opponent by the PC by means of swordfighting. Adjudication of that attempt writes the fiction. "Sir Bargle swings and misses, nearly cutting off his own toes in the attempt" <-- the actual fiction that develops.At most tables, Sir Bargle swings became an element of the fiction when the player made the action declaration, and so didn't depend on eg the roll of any dice. (I think Saelorn is an exception to this, but I'm also pretty confident that his is a minority view.) As I posted not too far upthread, the resolution mechanics mediate between the players' expressed desire as to the future state of the fiction -ie that his/her PC defeat the opponent by use of a sword - and the actual formation of a consensus, at the table, as to whether or not that desired fiction actually becomes part of the shared fiction. This is why it is possible to collectively generate a shared fiction without engaging in collaborative storytelling - because the process can be mediated by way of action declarations and resolution. Also, at the current level of description of these processes, there is nothing that makes "I try to hit him with my sword" any different from "I search the study for the map we've been looking for." while the end consumers (the players) have some control over the story they do not have much if any control over the setting or backdrop against which that st...

Wednesday, 14th February, 2018

  • 09:10 PM - prosfilaes mentioned Saelorn in post So what exactly is the root cause of the D&D rules' staying power?
    This all may be....but in most instances, the line connection people would make would be to D&D. Some of these elements may have existed prior to D&D, in wargaming or what have you....but the assembling of these into a game, and then that game serving as a source of inspiration for many games that followed is more my point. It was as much in response to Saelorn as to you, but I think it is being overblown. Do computer games have numeric attributes for things in the game? Yes. Does it come from D&D? No. Hamurabi (1968) and Space Travel (1969) had things in game (in Space Travel a player avatar) with numeric attributes. Even in more direct cases... GURPS has templates. Are these classes derived from D&D? Certainly the influence of D&D can't be missed, but at the same time, if there were a GURPS without D&D, at some point the idea would have come forward to bundle a bunch of stuff together to make it simpler to make characters. Likely earlier and possibly less flexible (and thus more class-like), because there wouldn't be the big specter of D&D and class-based systems hanging over their head.

Saturday, 10th February, 2018

  • 06:40 PM - monsmord mentioned Saelorn in post How much should Human features differ from Humans from Earth?
    Our variation is driven by evolution and environmental influences. A fantasy world will have any number of other extraordinary factors, including magic and the likelihood of interbreeding with non-humans races. Anything goes, really. I do agree with Saelorn to a point - if the features go too far they wouldn't be human per se (wings, scales, extra limbs, etc.). And Mercule's point about baseline abilities is spot on, at least in D&D and similar games. But odd coloration, facial feature sizes/shapes, height/weight - sure, why not? If you do go the extraordinary route with features we'd classify as bizarre or inhuman here, just blame magic. :)


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Thursday, 24th May, 2018

  • 03:24 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Saelorn in post Core+1
    I'm not really sure what to make of that. If you think they've done a good job of keeping everything balanced so far, such that core+1 would be a superfluous restriction, then you and I have vastly different standards for balance. Explain why you think the game is unbalanced. I don't think 5e is perfect, it certainly has problems of its own, but I think that the game is balanced as a whole, with only a few exceptions (namely the weakness of the PHB Ranger and the strength of a few select classes). Other editions were far less balanced than 5e, and I truly believe that it is one of the most (if not the absolute most) balanced edition.
  • 01:15 PM - Oofta quoted Saelorn in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    This thread is all about opinions and preferences. I know I'm a sarcastic SOB so if something I've written insulted you, I apologize. But there's several things in your response that are either meant as insults or simply make no sense. That sounds awfully meta-game-y, to be honest; it's like you're rewarding the player for contributing, rather than awarding the character based on what they experience. Why would the character learn the same amount about fighting from standing on a roof and mowing down zombies with fire bolt, as they would from getting down there and wading through the horde with their longsword? The latter would be a much more intensive workout, where they're forced to get better because their life is on the line. I'm following basic concept of D&D that overcoming obstacles is how our characters grow. That if they overcome 8 encounters/obstacles they get X XP. I don't care how they overcome the obstacles, what order they do them in, how long it takes, anything. How...
  • 08:50 AM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Core+1
    I'm not really sure what to make of that. If you think they've done a good job of keeping everything balanced so far, such that core+1 would be a superfluous restriction, then you and I have vastly different standards for balance.PHB+1 IS a superfluous restriction (in that I am aware of zero OP combinations it would have prevented), even assuming it is a restriction, which it is not (except for the AL)...?
  • 08:46 AM - 5ekyu quoted Saelorn in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    Not really. It's just setting the time requirement to an arbitrarily large value. Replace "between adventures" with "six months" if it would make you happy. They are equivalent values in any situation where a Bad End would happen if the party stopped adventuring for six months, which could cover any variety of scenarios. If you take six months off from chasing the apocalypse cults, then the world ends. The funny thing is, I'm actually pulling this directly from an older edition; I just can't remember which one. The idea that it was tied exactly to a daily cycle came later, probably with 3E. Checking my AD&D PHB, all it says about spell recovery is that the DM will tell you how long you need to rest before recovering spell slots.Really, too many editions blur together after a while but i would have bet body part that in 1e "dawn" or "midnight" or "day" was directly tied to at least cleric recovery, not some indeterminant anytime gm wants to from 5m to six months? Wow. But i gotta say back ...
  • 05:23 AM - Mistwell quoted Saelorn in post Hidden
  • 04:14 AM - 5ekyu quoted Saelorn in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    One of the things I've been considering is that a Long Rest is something which takes place between adventures. It takes an indefinite amount of time, during which you can prepare all of your spells, and all of your injuries heal up, and that's just not something you can do while other events are in motion.That requires a fairly scripted story structure where an adventure is a discrete package with a beginning middle and end, like running a module from start to finish with no off book side trips or side plots. It also seems to just take away character choice in favor of "when the GM wants us to, we get long rest." But it leaces **attempts at** short rests in the players hands (circumstances apply.) At least in 1e it was iurc a neutral fixed determinant, dawn, and not "when we make GM happy" sort of thing. To me the key basic poibts are this... 1 - six encounters between. Long rests is not required, its just a defined baseline they used in playtest. Its spelled out so the gm can have a start...
  • 01:56 AM - Oofta quoted Saelorn in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    That's simply not how the world works, though. You don't get better at casting fireball by casting fireball. You get better at casting fireball by hitting things with your staff (or casting cantrips, I guess), because you've run out of fireball for the day. If you think that feels artificial, then I don't know what to say. D&D has always been kind of weird about that. If it helps, you can think of not casting spells in the same way as a fighter choosing to fight with their off-hand, because it increases the challenge. Back when I gave out XP, it was for overcoming obstacles and achieving goals. How the players did it, what pace they decide to do things was completely up to them. If they decided to take a long rest, the world and other events continued to happen without them but I never punished them for it. Of course if they took a long rest reinforcements might be called, the BBEG might escape, etc. But how much they learn? Why does it matter if they cram or spread the learnin...
  • 01:00 AM - Parmandur quoted Saelorn in post Core+1
    I'm not really sure what to make of that. If you think they've done a good job of keeping everything balanced so far, such that core+1 would be a superfluous restriction, then you and I have vastly different standards for balance. I would say that they have done a good job of keeping everything balanced so far, and that the restriction is still good for design sanity.
  • 12:20 AM - TwoSix quoted Saelorn in post Core+1
    I'm not really sure what to make of that. If you think they've done a good job of keeping everything balanced so far, such that core+1 would be a superfluous restriction, then you and I have vastly different standards for balance. <shrug> 5e barely has a coherent community standard on what actually qualifies as an encounter, or how many of them you're supposed to have, in a game based on resource attrition to defeat those encounters. It's a game where the referee is encouraged to bypass or neutralize encounters if a player creates a logical rationale in the fiction to do so even with minimal or no expenditure of resources. Balance is loose, man. The only really compelling place for balance is intra-niche balance between similar options, and I don't see any PHB+X combinations obviously better than PHB+0 or PHB+1.

Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018

  • 10:58 PM - Aebir-Toril quoted Saelorn in post Core+1
    To what end? It's been proven countless times that it is impossible to balance an ever-increasing list of options. Attempting such an impossible task would be a poor use of their limited resources. That's not even going into sheer amount of work it would require. I don't know if you've ever worked in testing, but there's a certain point where it simply becomes infeasible. Given the nature of the material, even asking every designer to be aware of all other content would be daunting. I disagree, have you read anything on balancing games exponentially?, I have, and I know that it isn't unreasonable to ask WotC to attempt to balance all options available. This point is made even more valid by the fact that few %e books have been produced when compared to the release schedules of other editions. Some of those 5e books, I believe three exactly, have even reprinted options from other books. Some may argue that this shows that the designers are afraid of imbalance, but I believe that it is f...
  • 10:18 PM - Oofta quoted Saelorn in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    What do you think is a meta-game reward, in this scenario? Because I'm positing that experience is an in-game reward, for the characters, which they earn as a result of taking actions which make sense to them. Fighting six encounters in a day is not like pulling an all-nighter in college. It's not about the quantity. It's about the objective difficulty, and how hard you need to overcome that challenge. It's like studying chapter six, specifically, where chapters 1-5 are just a review to bring you up to speed so you can tackle it. The point of the first five encounters is that they get you to a place where you might learn something from the sixth encounter. If I get better at casting fireballs by casting fireballs, why continue to seek out encounters after I've run out of fireballs if I can safely rest until I regain the ability to cast them again? If my PC is in encounters where he's reduced to casting cantrips, why not cast cantrips in camp? Yes, certain PCs are going to be driven and fee...
  • 09:51 PM - jgsugden quoted Saelorn in post Core+1
    The way that they handle it with Magic is that anything older than a certain cut-off point is auto-banned unless re-printed, right? And the most recent core set is also legal? Applying that same approach to D&D would be like saying Core +1, and that +1 must always be the most recent supplement. It would be more restrictive than the current method.They have Standard, Modern, Vintage and Legacy formats in M:tG. Standard is what you describe, Modern is about the last Decade of Cards, and Vintage/Legacy is from any set. Certain cards are restricted or banned in each environment. They could do the exact same thing in D&D if they wanted to do so, although I'm not suggesting that specifically - I am suggesting a similar approach to Modern or Vintage/Legacy: You can use any published WotC materials in character creation or level advancement, generally. However, there would be a list of restricted options where the player could use a specified number of selections from each of the restric...
  • 09:40 PM - Oofta quoted Saelorn in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    If your motivation is to stop the cult, and the cult is being led by a beholder, then you need to level up in order to stop that cult. But if there's no time constraint, then there's no reason to push myself. I only ever pulled an all-nighter in college because I had run out of time, if the option to go to sleep and hit the books fresh in the morning had been available I would have taken that. If I already have a sense of urgency then extra XP is not necessary. In the campaign I'm currently playing in there are a variety of reasons to push beyond 3-4 encounters per day. A sense that if we waste a day or so here and there resting is not one of them because we know of no "ticking clock". At least not yet. Yes, I could potentially stop the bad guys more quickly if we rush but if I die in the process they're going to win anyway. There are plenty of ways to encourage PC behavior outside of meta-game rewards.
  • 08:53 PM - Dalamar quoted Saelorn in post Let's Look At Some Monster Stat Blocks For Pathfinder 2
    Right, but my point on that was there was less barrier in transitioning between player and DM. Spells are objectively more complex that ad hoc monster abilities, but it's work which I already did way back when I was a player, so the added burden was less. See, to me that just isn't the case. I started DnD with 3.0, and did play an assortment of characters over the time (still playing an Incarnate/Ironsoul Forgemaster in a campaign that's been stretching on for years, just hit level 20 last week), but as soon as I stop playing a character, I start losing any rules specific to that character. I can tell what Close, Medium, and Long ranges are for spells, but the only spell I can say for certain has one of those is Fireball with Long. When a monster has a list of spell-like abilities, that for me is harder than an ad hoc ability in its description because in addition to having to assimilate it, I have to get another book to do so. I think part of our different experience might be outright bia...
  • 08:48 PM - jgsugden quoted Saelorn in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    If your motivation is to stop the cult, and the cult is being led by a beholder, then you need to level up in order to stop that cult.Nitpick: A player may be motivated to level up. A character would be motivated to learn more magic, get better with their weapons, get tougher, etc... so that they can handle the beholder in combat. Or they may be motivated to find a non-combat way to deal with the beholder.
  • 06:18 PM - Dalamar quoted Saelorn in post Let's Look At Some Monster Stat Blocks For Pathfinder 2
    If you tell me that a winter wolf has a breath weapon, then I know what that means. Even if I didn't know the damage or the save DC off the top of my head, I already know what a breath weapon is and how it works and how to use it. Likewise, if something has a spell-like ability, then I already know what that is and how to use it. I don't need to learn the monster from scratch in order to run it effectively. It's very user-friendly in that way.It's different strokes, it seems. Since no 4e monster ability is as complex to parse as half the spells are in 3.x, I've had no trouble assimilating monster powers. But give a monster a spell-like ability, and I'll have to go hunting through the books for the effects and what save it allows and if it is affected by SR. Heck, I could probably play any of the 4e characters for my players effectively with a brief refresher, but I will be hard-pressed trying to tell you what the Holy Word spell does in 3.x.
  • 01:06 PM - Oofta quoted Saelorn in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    Hypothetically, imagine a rule in the book where the first four encounters in a day were only worth a quarter of their listed XP, and all encounters after the first four were worth double the listed XP. On average, if you had seven encounters in a day, then you'd get XP equivalent to the listed XP for seven encounters; if you called out before that point, then you'd get much less, and if you went longer then you'd get much more. If the game world actually worked that way, then people living in that world would notice. They would observe that the cautious adventurer, who gives up as soon as things start getting tough, would not advance as quickly as one who kept going as far as they could on a daily basis. Given that the latter would advance at about seven times the rate of the former, anyone could ask them how they did it, and observe that data. In our real world, skill and experience aren't quite as important as they are in the game world. They're still important, but it's balanced by t...
  • 10:13 AM - CapnZapp quoted Saelorn in post Core+1
    To what end? It's been proven countless times that it is impossible to balance an ever-increasing list of options. Attempting such an impossible task would be a poor use of their limited resources. Just stop it. Your persistent attempts to justify whatever WotC is doing with zero admission they could ever be wrong doesn't do your credibility any favors. You clearly have never heard of the concept "an ideal". Just because perfect balance is indeed an impossibility does not mean they shouldn't even try. You're letting them off the hook doing essential balancing work under the guise of being newbie friendly. Why so gullible? Why can't you still love 5E while admitting not everything about it is perfect? I know I can.
  • 09:52 AM - Dalamar quoted Saelorn in post Let's Look At Some Monster Stat Blocks For Pathfinder 2
    Officially, canonically, the numbers in the book are just a suggestion; they describe a hypothetical "typical" specimen, for whatever that's worth. You never actually meet a "typical" specimen, though. The ogres you actually fight tend to be stronger than average, for the exact same reason that the average orc you come across has above-average strength for an orc. I said that I could run the encounter accurately from memory, and I can. I would have given similar numbers if I'd had the book in front of me. That is not how I've seen things go at all in any game group I have been a part of. If you encounter an ogre, it has exactly the stats from the MM, with the exception of the DM maybe rolling the hit points instead of using the average. Not to mention that thanks to all the number increases you gave the ogre, it should probably be at least one CR higher. The only reason an enemy would have anything other than the average scores is if that enemy has levels in a class, in which case it use...
  • 03:15 AM - Oofta quoted Saelorn in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    That assumes XP is a meta-game reward which doesn't correspond to anything within the game world. Alternatively, everyone is fully aware that you can only learn and grow by constantly testing your own limits. But from a character perspective, there's no reason to test your limits and risk your life if you know you could just pick up tomorrow after you're fully rested. At least not for many people. I know there are some people that climb mountains or run marathons just to prove they can do it. They're outnumbered by people who don't have that perspective by a hundred to one. In addition, a marathoner is generally not risking death by pushing the boundaries. There are many ways to set up games to push players. This is one I wouldn't use, and would prefer not to be used at a table I'm playing at.


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