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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:28 PM
    Do you mean the setting, or the story of the campaign? I'm a world-builder at heart, even though I seldom actually use any of my worlds (I stick to Greyhawk). For campaign stories, it's hard to define. When I start up a campaign, I have a concept for it, but that concept may not have a story attacked. My current campaign, for example, is a Grey Marches style game, which has no overarching...
    26 replies | 610 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:19 PM
    It was a powerful utility spell, that would be almost on part with Stone Shape. I could see a homebrew one, exactly like Stone Shape (replacing wood for stone) at one level lower. There are hundreds of spells that didn't make it into 5E from earlier editions, and Shape Wood and Warp Wood are pretty niche spells. I doubt they'll ever receive an official version. A friend of mine got Elminster's...
    15 replies | 529 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:24 AM
    I recall a lack of AoO during part of the playtest, and it didn't go well for the players. In general, mages always stayed at/beyond the edge of the map, since they want to be at EXACTLY the range of their spells. This left the rest of the party playing catch up, since monsters would often be scattered across the map (hunting down weak PCs), causing the "double move" to happen frequently. If...
    21 replies | 682 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:54 AM
    My first thought was how this will look when someone necro's it :D
    24 replies | 593 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:54 AM
    Putting a max Dex on Light makes a level of sense for this level of simplicity. I would suggest that your Str requirement for Medium not cause the same penalty as Heavy armor, but rather grant disadvantage on stealth.
    50 replies | 1088 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:44 AM
    The question becomes "why." WHY do certain being gain power from worshipers, but not others? It's an arbitrary reasoning, one that (as far as I can tell) came about because of the Time of Troubles in the Realms (which only then limited the god's power to be based on worship).
    51 replies | 1014 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 12:32 AM
    I really hate the new system, and ignore it accordingly for world building. Also, the term "god" is relative for these endeavors, since powerful demons, daemons, devils, elementals, and even some fey should have the ability to grant spells to worshipers, making them "gods." I know many people here would argue that they should only have warlocks, but I have never seen any actual difference given...
    51 replies | 1014 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 03:43 AM
    Yea, I'd probably have even the kindest of god obliterate an insolent worshiper who pestered them for such trivial reasons.
    40 replies | 1101 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 08:50 AM
    Your character background should probably be a major focus of your character's activities away from adventuring. Most people have jobs, or at least work they can do to get by. My current PC is a mercenary "transport mage" who uses Tenser's Floating Disk to help transport goods across the harsh jungle environment (horses and other pack animals aren't used due to the dinosaurs and other monsters...
    17 replies | 584 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 08:36 AM
    I normally try to roll HP for most monsters, but often times I'll just make ad-hock adjustments (giving some less and others more, but overall leaving the monsters the same). In general giving monsters more HP just makes the combats take longer, not actually accomplish anything useful. I like to mix up the HP for most monsters to prevent someone from tracking their HP to try and min-max the...
    25 replies | 729 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 04:51 PM
    Evermeet, the Elven bible.
    40 replies | 1101 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 11:24 PM
    We use Roll20 these days, but prior to that I used to make crude maps as a player. The primary purpose of the maps is to make sure you don't get lost, or to be able to remember where other areas exist for exploration. Most of my maps consist entirely of lines of travel with occasional notes. I'll mark other potential travel directions (such as doors/passageways in a dungeon), so we can go back to...
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 11:19 PM
    Probably. The normal elves will draw less hate, and those hate downvotes are always the killer of these survivor threads. Looking back, High Elf and Wood Elf have been the top answers pretty much since the beginning, and they're easily the last two standing IMO.
    186 replies | 3586 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 11:08 PM
    The fact that you have that many players available is what makes many of us jealous. Of course, I'm a bit too selective with my players, which limits my options (I'd rather have a group of 5 friends playing than 5 friends and 1 jackass).
    37 replies | 796 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 04:29 PM
    I love me the elves! Avariel 20 Drow 16 - DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE Eladrin 20 Grugach 20 High Elf 25 - apparently includes gray elves, faerie elves, valley elves, moon elves, and sun elves... they could have their own survivor series :D Sea Elf 20 Shadar-Kai 14 Wood Elf 20
    186 replies | 3586 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 04:11 AM
    I run a West Marches style game, but rather than having a lot of players, I have a lot of characters. Each player builds 2 characters at a time, and can't build any more until both of them have seen play (or all characters but 1 are killed). I give the adventure introduction, and then the players each choose a character. If the party has less than 5 players, the group may allow someone to play...
    37 replies | 796 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 09:34 PM
    They didn't use a formula to design balanced weapons for the PHB, so I'm not really surprised they didn't have one in the DMG to create new ones.
    21 replies | 560 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 09:27 PM
    Perhaps I should have clarified: it's advantage AND +x, not just +x. I will edit my post accordingly.
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 11:36 AM
    I've modified the working together option for my game. If it's something that multiple people could work on together, and each helper could either help or hurt the effort, I use the following system. Group declares a primary character, and everyone else participating makes the check, usually against a DC 10. Subtract the number of failures from successes, then use the following modifier based...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 03:41 AM
    I imagine that if WotC did an updated Greyhawk book, they'd rewrite history to include the Dragonborn and Tieflings (not to mention popular races from VGtM). Otherwise, an edition-less/evergreen setting book based on the original folio and/or boxed would be amazing. Unfortunately, I'm sure they'd probably try to take the events from the 3E Gazetteer and expand them another 5-10 years. Agreed....
    16 replies | 967 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 03:27 AM
    To be fair, I feel that WoTC (mostly) did a decent job with the setting, as opposed to TSR's vindictive smear campaign (pardon the pun). The last 2E setting update wasn't awful (nor was it particularly good, but they had to work within canon), and the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer was a pretty good product (if not MY Greyhawk). The only thing WotC really did to hurt Greyhawk, was to make it the...
    16 replies | 967 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 02:29 AM
    Probably to give an in-universe reason for something that never made any sense. While I don't follow that canon (everything after 1985 is questionable), I do find this attempt to reconcile that story aberration to be done quite well. It shows a level of respect for the characters involved, without directly ret-conning the event. For those that don't know, Rary's treachery (along with most of...
    16 replies | 967 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 09:41 PM
    Acting is like Letting the Players Run the Story, Being a Fair Referee, Player Incorporation, and Prone to Bribes: useful for certain groups, but problematic for others. For example, the "kick in the door" style game has no use for acting, and might irritate some players who just want to get on with the killing. In addition, Communication and Storytelling are similar to Acting, but much more...
    37 replies | 1087 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 02:29 AM
    Cool. I'll PM you the specifics, if you'd like. Die rolls aren't always required for it to be a social encounter. Pretty much any planned social interaction is a social encounter, but not random ones the players setup (otherwise, they'd spend all session just running around talking to random people for xp!). From level 3+, I try to use 3-5 sessions per level, but only 1 session to get...
    33 replies | 877 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 01:59 AM
    I think the best way to do it would be for the character to be a child of another PC (or an NPC that will be with the party the entire time). The parent will feel the child is safer with them than with strangers, especially during a major event. If no one else wants to be the child's parent, add in an NPC to be the parent, and kill them off early. The child will have nowhere else to go, and want...
    68 replies | 2087 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 01:44 AM
    Oof... choosing only 1 is rough. I'm voting based on what the DM excels at, rather than a needed component. Every DM needs SOME level of organization, communication, game knowledge, and reliability, or no one will play. There are many DMs, however, that excel at these, which are a major bonus to the game. I went with World Master, because if the world doesn't interest me, then I just cannot...
    37 replies | 1087 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 11:46 AM
    1) This isn't story driven DMs, this is just bad DMs who take on an adversarial role. In example 1, the DM simply has to allow that PC to avoid surprise for the ambush, which doesn't actually help the rest of the party very much. In example 2, the DM has poorly designed encounters, focusing on a single powerful monster, which will pretty much always fail miserably (unless Legendary) due to the...
    32 replies | 1060 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd June, 2018, 07:16 AM
    Having done several conversions of BECMI adventures, I've found that most Basic adventures are suitable for level 2-4 characters in 5E. Level 1 characters are generally too fragile, and those adventures generally assumed ~8 PCs (with deaths common). If you want to run them with level 1 characters, I'd suggest breaking up the adventure, making the start easier and allowing a point to level up the...
    9 replies | 443 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd June, 2018, 03:39 PM
    The problem is this only works for melee. Shooting someone with an arrow is going to be about the same, no matter what weapon they hold, if any at all. Using this, you'd have a Melee AC and Ranged AC, adding a level of complexity without adding much to the game.
    21 replies | 663 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd June, 2018, 07:09 AM
    Generally happens once every session or two, usually by a player. Players can calculate the risk:reward ratio, and sometimes taking the attack is worth the benefit. Usually it's to get to get into melee with a ranged attacker, but often the withdraw action would work just as well (players tend to hate missing a round of attacks). Occasionally it's done as a defensive measure, to protect the...
    42 replies | 1685 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd June, 2018, 03:31 AM
    Shiroiken replied to Text-play
    I wanted to do something like this, but unfortunately most of my group doesn't use Facebook. We discussed Google+, but myself and another were not fans. We use Google Drive for documents, and keep discussions in Skype.
    8 replies | 275 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 09:34 PM
    I currently halve the XP from combat (MXP), and have added in social xp (SXP), exploration xp (EXP), and quest xp (QXP) to balance out the difference. MXP is just half the normal xp, rounding down after totaled (I try to use even number of monsters if the xp total is odd). SXP is based on completing various tasks that require social interaction with NPCs, with the amount equal to an encounter for...
    33 replies | 877 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 11:48 AM
    Lucky is the equivalent of GWM and Sharpshooter for people that don't use heavy melee weapons or ranged weapons. It can be amazing for a concentrating caster when someone breaks through the line to get in a nasty hit (especially a critical hit). It's awesome for the rogue who fails to notice the trap of endless doom to avoid/mitigate its horrible effect. It's great for any "face" character who...
    50 replies | 1447 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 04:12 AM
    It seems lawyery, but that was how I first thought of it. Next turn would be after the Rogue's current turn, so they would still be able to sneak attack and re-hide. Their next turn will be bad, however, since they'll approach the paladin, probably to receive a full smite smack-down.
    25 replies | 568 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 04:06 AM
    You missed the important part "in a vacuum," which is what the Low AC, High HP was referencing. Without any other aspects (like Reckless Attack) it's only an okay Feat: worth taking for those that use that style of weapon, but might not be worth +1 Str modifier. Many abilities, however, greatly improve the efficiency of GWM, which is part of the reason why many DM's hate it. Pretty much anything...
    348 replies | 10380 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 12:00 AM
    Shiroiken replied to Text-play
    I have done this with email, allowing for some complex scenes to occur away from the table. It can be useful if you have stuff going on that doesn't require the whole party and everyone is good with it.
    8 replies | 275 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 11:58 PM
    While I don't really play IRL anymore, when I did, mapping really depending on the complexity of the layout. If it was something simple that the players were expected to explore in 1-2 sessions, or linear in nature, then a map was unnecessary. If meaningful decisions needed to be made, as a player I often just kept track on a piece of paper, with rough descriptions and other exits. It would...
    33 replies | 969 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 11:49 PM
    Great Weapon Mastery, in a vacuum, is only a moderately powerful feat. Against creatures that have high HP and low AC, it's amazing, but otherwise you risk missing, which overall lowers your dpr. The problem that many have is the various ways a character can mitigate the -5 attack penalty, such as from Bless, Advantage, Precision Attack, Magic Items, etc. The perception is that these allow the...
    348 replies | 10380 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th May, 2018, 11:55 AM
    I have played many forgettable characters over the decades. Only a handful of characters really earn the title of "memorable," and IME it usually isn't about the character's mechanics*. A character needs to do something memorable, preferably based on their personality, to really be memorable. No one really remembers the characters that die in their first session, no matter how cool. Characters...
    36 replies | 911 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th May, 2018, 11:03 AM
    Technically passive Investigation should be used here, if the DM uses passive checks.
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 27th May, 2018, 07:56 AM
    Eh, there's two philosphy's for consumable items. I'm old school, so I tend to stockpile them for when the fit hits the shan. Some like to burn through them whenever it's convenient. I really wouldn't worry about it, because keeping track of what they can do is the players' responsibility, not yours.
    40 replies | 1354 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 27th May, 2018, 07:53 AM
    Shiroiken replied to d20 vs 2d20
    To answer the original question, it's done this way for speed of play. AC and save DCs being static numbers is basically assuming they always use passive results, because it would double every roll (attack and defense for each attack, or DC and save). Same for Passive Perception against Stealth. Oddly, I have considered the impact of removing static target numbers. It would create a more...
    30 replies | 924 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 09:34 PM
    Actually you often seem the voice of reason and sanity, which is why your unnatural love of the d12 unnerves me. I fear you have been brainwashed by the Mind Flayer Consortium (tm), and that they are leading you down the path of insanity in an attempt to draw others with you. With the forum filled with gibbering idiots, the game would break down into chaos, preventing true heroes* from hunting...
    33 replies | 1297 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 03:43 AM
    I have to say I dislike much of the surface elf lore in MToF. It makes elves seem like emo jerks that long for the relief that death will bring. I mean, birth is a time of sadness because it steals a soul from elf heaven? Screw that; elves are suppose to love life! The creation of new life should be the most joyous of occasions, not a pity party. Oh, and as a grognard, elves don't have souls,...
    377 replies | 13116 view(s)
    9 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 03:36 AM
    I gotta say, lowkey13, you are cracked. The d12 is BY FAR the worst die in the game! The only people who like it are barbarians and orcs :p For all the love you have for the d20 (which I'll grant, does have a game system based on it), you seem to forget that it's almost as round as the d100. I've seen those suckers roll like a ball, never wanting to stop... I want to love the d4. I really...
    33 replies | 1297 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 10:24 PM
    You need to limit the amount of spells they cast in a different way, or you need to buff the warlock and every non-caster class (plus Warlock, who gets screwed). To limit the casters, you could either require a spellcasting check every time a non-ritual spell is cast (DC: 10+spell level) with failure wasting the casting time. Out of combat spells might not be greatly impacted, but it'll make...
    41 replies | 1563 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 11:44 PM
    Shiroiken replied to Core+1
    Is there a better system that could have been used? Probably. Like many aspects of 5E, WotC decided to use a simple system that works fairly well for the largest number of people. I considered using it for my West Marches style game, but honestly don't feel there is enough bloat in the game yet to require it. Eventually I could see it becoming more common in home games, but at the current rate of...
    159 replies | 5685 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 11:32 PM
    More monsters are always needed, but for this poll I chose Feats. Feats that add definition to a character are a great way to customize builds. Magic Items would be a close 2nd, but as I tend to make my own, I don't really need a lot.
    53 replies | 1873 view(s)
    1 XP
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About Shiroiken

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About Shiroiken
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Greyhawk Grognard
About Me:
I started playing when I was 14 or so, with AD&D 1E. I've played and DMed every edition of D&D except OD&D, and have played several RPGs over the years. My favorites are: (A)D&D, L5R, and Deadlands (original RPG). I am currently only playing and running D&D 5E.
Location:
Cincinnati
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Male
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Over 40
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I am running a Gyagxian Greyhawk campaign, tying several of Gygax's best adventures together into an semi-AP. The group stated with the Temple of Elemental Evil, then moved on to the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (with a stopover at the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun), before beginning Against the Giants.

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Town:
Cincinnati
State:
Ohio
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USA
Game Details:
I am running a Gyagxian Greyhawk campaign, tying several of Gygax's best adventures together into an semi-AP. The group stated with the Temple of Elemental Evil, then moved on to the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (with a stopover at the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun), before beginning Against the Giants.
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Friday, 27th April, 2018

  • 02:28 PM - Oofta mentioned Shiroiken in post Find Steed's Hit Points
    As Shiroiken said, the text is just a holdover from previous editions where the steed was an enhanced version. In my home campaign I give them a little extra oomph, but that's a house rule.

Monday, 12th February, 2018

  • 05:07 AM - Nevvur mentioned Shiroiken in post How long til you modified 5e?
    Thanks to everyone who has responded and/or voted so far. Some remarks: I didn't think "immediately" would be such a common response. I would've included it as an option on the poll if I suspected it would be. @Shiroiken : You wrote that 5e is great for customization. Out of curiosity, how would you compare the customizability of 5e to earlier editions, assuming you have experience with any of them? (open question if anyone else wants to respond) @Satyrn: You mentioned inventing new monsters doesn't count as modifying. I respectfully disagree, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn I'm in the minority in defining homebrew content as such. The distinction for me is whether the thing implies consideration of mechanical impact on game play. Something to do with the mystical developer's "stamp of approval" some GMs prefer or require before giving a thing serious consideration for inclusion in their own games. Not that anyone needs WotC's approval to modify the game and have fun doing it, and anyway, custom monsters are some of the lowest-impact form of house rules (again, as I define it). Even so, I'd like to avoid derailing the thread with a debate about semantics. However you and others approach the ques...

Wednesday, 27th December, 2017

  • 05:15 AM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Shiroiken in post Advice wanted on Player Vs Player Situation
    ...willing to accept help from the necromancer and has been assisted by the necromancer's minions and powers. So even if the rogue believes this power is potentially bad or corrupting, what responsibility does he take for complacency? Also, if they have been traveling together and battling on the same side, there is an assumption that they have saved each other's lives from time to time. Outside of complete sociopaths, it should not be a decision made lightly or easily to kill a brother-in-arms. Also, how does Harry believe the others are going to respond? These are people that have a bond forged in the fires of battle. Even if Derek has the potential to fall as the first necromancer character did, how is the party going to look at Harry? Are they going to see someone that stopped a future Hitler before he had a chance to do real damage? Or as someone that just killed a friend in his sleep, and may decide to do the same to the others when Harry feels justified? While I agree with Shiroiken that a DM should remain neutral and move the story along for everyone's enjoyment, it is also the DM's job to help flesh out the player characters. I would be having this conversation with the player and asking these questions, and pointing out the inconsistencies such as how he justified traveling and fighting with the necromancer for so long and now all of a sudden feels this person should die. I would ask the player to develop a sense of how these feelings and decisions came to be, while pointing out the potential consequences of his actions. Because not only might the group turn on Harry for killing Derek, but if Derek's character has done nothing to break the law then Harry is going to be a murderer, plain and simple. No matter how badly he may have been trying to reform in the past, he has just elevated and escalated his threat level to society and become a vigilante to be hunted by the law. And while I am not familiar with the module, but if the group has any fame or notoriety f...

Monday, 4th December, 2017

  • 04:14 PM - jasper mentioned Shiroiken in post Players Self-Assigning Rolls
    I have agree with Shiroiken “The primary reason is to prevent the "dice determine everything" mentality that some players adopt” over @5eku “how does "the player rolled ahead" have any effect on the GM”. Rolling ahead interrupts the dm while he is giving out information. The player nor the pc knows if a roll is needed. I even a player roll a knowledge check to determine the correct hallway to take. This is after I told the group to listen, take notes, and repeated the data dump three times. So he wanted a die roll to supersede what was a player choice. Or being Snaky… 5ekyu “ The tall dark handsome strange tells of the tell tale heart in which …. Jasper rolls, die hits the table. “That is 12 so 16 on insight so I know he is lying, 14 I going to use deception to shake him down for more money, 15 on sleight of hand to pick his pocket for the needed map, 12 on initiative and I ready my ray of frost if he has a higher initiative!”. Or Jasper, “ the party enters the room, is 40 by 40 has statue of a drago...

Monday, 16th October, 2017

  • 12:28 AM - Nevvur mentioned Shiroiken in post Forced Movement in 5e ?
    ...ong before (relatively speaking) you reached the maximum distance, providing an opportunity to catch the ledge. A Dexterity saving throw is appropriate in virtually every case, and as others have suggested, the DC can be modified by factors like creature size (and appendages), terrain, and distance beyond the ledge. You wrote you're looking for consistency, so maybe something like this: Dexterity saving throw DC 10 Creature size: S = +5, M = 0, L = -5, H = -10. Assumes the creature has limbs that can grab the ledge. A gorgon could reasonably be expected to simply plummet. Terrain: Rough/obstacles = -5, Flat = 0, Smooth = +5, Slippery = +10 Push distance beyond ledge: 5 feet = 0, 10 = feet = +5, 15 feet = +10 Again, just to be clear, I don't actually use a formal system to handle forced movement over ledges, mostly because it doesn't come up enough in my games. However, I would probably arrive at a DC similar to what the above prescribes when making a spot call for the DC. Shiroiken hints at the subject, but one thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is to base the ruling on the style of game. In a game of gritty realism, I'm going to take the immediacy of gravity into greater consideration. In a wuxia game, gravity might not come into play until the end of the forced movement, effectively preventing a catch check if the distance beyond the ledge is greater than the reach of the creature. Regardless of the game style, I'm permissive about letting mooks fly off the edge without a save. I've also designed combats that would be deadly+ if the PCs didn't try to push enemies off ledges.

Saturday, 14th October, 2017

  • 11:39 PM - Ristamar mentioned Shiroiken in post I don't use Passive Perception
    Shouldn't it be +4, though? EDIT: Wow, rough evening, my math/logic was a total failure on the first pass. Using the example Shiroiken provided, a human with an 11 PP (inferring no proficiency, +1 Wis modifier) has a 40% chance to detect a DC 15 trap when converted to a d20 + 3 DC. The trap is found on a natural die roll of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8. If the same human was actively making a check against a static DC 15 trap, he'd also have a 35% chance with d20 + modifier. The trap is found on a natural die roll of 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20. So, yes, +4 is correct for a randomly generated DC since ties still indicate successful detection assuming the standard ability check versus target DC mechanic. However, if you are treating the trap as an opposed roll where a tie does not indicate success (the situation remains unchanged, thus the trap is not detected), you would use +3 instead.

Thursday, 21st September, 2017


Sunday, 4th June, 2017

  • 01:26 PM - clearstream mentioned Shiroiken in post Making Combat More Mobile
    Trust me on this : you don't want fights to become more mobile. In the group I DM for, there's a Barbarian/Rogue with the Mobile feat and it's utterly ridiculous. He strikes, then retreats 50 feet (or 100 feet if he needs to). Try to picture that seriously, it makes no sense at all. Good advice. I feel like it can make sense, but as your example goes on to show, it can be very annoying. the other players were bored to death because both the Deva and the player were moving too fast for them to catch up with, and the Barbarian was bent on retreating AWAY from the group because he didn't want to give the angel a chance to hit him. Ugh. Possibly fun for the Barbarian, but dull for the other players. What I think I want to see is more shifting and changing of targets while retaining coherence. Perhaps then the advice from Shiroiken above makes most sense: make more use of moving around enemies without leaving their reach.

Friday, 26th May, 2017

  • 04:31 PM - clearstream mentioned Shiroiken in post Moving while blind
    ... For me, suspension of disbelief is harmed by doing nothing. For example, some of my players have asked with a tone of incredulity if they can move unhindered when blind? Isn't treating clear terrain as difficult a simple rule? I kind of share your concern about adding complexity so I might leave it at only that. This is not RAW, but when a character is in darkness or blinded, I require a Perception roll to see if they head in the correct direction. (It's incredibly easy to get turned around in complete darkness.) I give advantage if they have a wall or some such near at hand. Whether they succeed on the Per roll or not, treat the terrain as difficult and no dashing. If they fail the Per roll, they tell me how far they are moving and I randomly roll their direction. Seems to work fine, as I impose the same problems on enemies. That perception check could be worth a try. The question is whether it adds enough value to be worth remembering to call for the check? What did you think of @Shiroiken 's suggestion of a Dex check to avoid falling?

Sunday, 21st May, 2017


Friday, 28th April, 2017

  • 04:53 PM - Gadget mentioned Shiroiken in post Questions on flaming sphere and liquid tendrils
    1) This is where D&D's stop motion initiative can be a little confusing. The 5 opponents only take damage if the Flaming Sphere was within 5 feet at the time when they ended their turn; it is not like they are in an 'end turn' state for the rest of the turns until they go again that can be exploited by Flaming Sphere breezing buy. You would have to ram them with the sphere to do damage. 2) I believe Shiroiken above has the right of it.

Friday, 21st April, 2017

  • 05:04 AM - Luz mentioned Shiroiken in post Running T1-4 (ToEE) for the first time. Any advice?
    Another thing: The Temple fell to the forces of good. Powerful good-guys sealed off portions of the dungeons which obviously means it would be rather easy for there to be some pretty solid rumors about what parts of the dungeon levels look like (not in any real detail) and even partial maps. The party hook could be as simple as having found a journal with a lead on a valuable treasure, a colorful story of a battle beneath the temple, and some information about the layout of a small portion of the dungeons. I really like this idea. It could be cryptic message or partial map that hints at a hidden sublevel (the the interdicted prison of Zuggtmoy), perhaps suggesting (or warning) that it is behind the "four seals" or can only be accessed with the golden key (orb). Since we are well into the module now, I may place a mapseller in Nulb's black market who will try to pawn it off on the party. Shiroiken: that's an awesome way to tie Lareth and Lolth to the temple! I wish I had thought of that earlier.

Thursday, 6th April, 2017

  • 10:16 AM - Li Shenron mentioned Shiroiken in post What non-Western campaign settings do you want to play or run in?
    Rokugan. I wrote a 5e conversion of this setting, it's somewhere buried in ENWorld forums if you can find it. Shiroiken has already mentioned many of its features, but I'll toss a few words of my own here as well. What made you choose this setting The setting is based on the L5R card game, but I have never actually played it. It also had its own RPG, but I haven't played that either. I started from the 3e Oriental Adventures which featured Rokugan as default setting, but in practice the OA book had a lot of additional stuff which was not part of Rokugan. But for some reasons, even if Rokugan was a small subset of the OA material, it stroke me as having a strong identity of its own. OA as a whole felt like vanilla D&D with an oriental flavor, but if you only took Rokugan, then it was a lot more distinctive. Sometimes, restrictions and limitations end up in stronger character and identity! How it's different from standard D&D settings In a lot of ways! You have to throw away many typical D&D starting assumption, most importantly these 4: - D&D typically assumes a world with lots of huma...

Sunday, 12th March, 2017

  • 11:41 AM - pming mentioned Shiroiken in post Traps, how do you handle them?
    Hiya! As Shiroiken said, the Players *don't decide* when they get to make a check. Making any sort of skill check, save, or anything else for that matter, is when the DM says to do so. Heck when I'm looking for a player to make some kind of skill check or ability save I usually just say "Roll d20 for me". If I'm checking their PC's Perception and the players had stated they are being 'extra cautious' or slow; then I add their Perception adjustment (I have Passive Perception, Passive Insight and any 'important' skill for that character; e.g., Survival for a Ranger , Knowledge for Wizard types and Bards, Stealth for Thieves, etc). I relay any info that result may have garnered... I DM 5e very similar to how I DM BECMI/1e (or, hell, just about any game I run actually!). That is to say I DM "old skool". If a door is trapped with a falling block, I'll say something like "The door in front of you looks similar to the other dungeon doors you've seen. This one doesn't seem to be used very often at all, as a lar...

Saturday, 11th February, 2017


Wednesday, 8th February, 2017

  • 05:16 AM - ProgBard mentioned Shiroiken in post NPCs: Where can I find more?
    Tome of Beasts has a few good NPCs. Also Adversaries and Allies (DMs Guild) is all about new NPCs. Much obliged, Shiroiken, for pitching my stuff so I don't have to be so gauche as to come in and do it myself. :)

Friday, 27th January, 2017

  • 05:13 PM - Rils mentioned Shiroiken in post Protection from Zone of Truth
    As mentioned above, the best defense is to talk around it. Just because you can only speak the truth doesn't mean you have to spill your deepest secrets. Shiroiken has some great ideas - circle speak, answering questions with questions, changing the topic, simply keeping your mouth shut - it drives players crazy. :)

Saturday, 10th December, 2016

  • 06:21 PM - CapnZapp mentioned Shiroiken in post Feat Workshop
    Shiroiken: not to dwell on this, since it's okay to have different opinions, but: Charge: agree, if I can tie the movement to combat in a graceful manner, I will. I don't think wizards running away should be a concern, however - if they take it despite wasting all the other benefits, let them. Agree on loss felt to other fighting styles. The solution is to offer them another feat. Each fighting style should have a feat. Agree the UA idea to tie the feats to actual implements is too narrow. A feat should work for all tools for a certain fighting style. Whether you dual wield two daggers or two hammers is not something the feat should constrict. Ideally a feat (or other kind of ability) is as useful at level 1 as at level 20. Action Surge, for instance. But a feat must be fairly simple to work at all, and if I need to make a hard choice between overpoweredness at one end and underpoweredness at the other, I will choose the latter every time. In the end, the player's choice fixes this....

Friday, 9th December, 2016

  • 11:04 PM - not-so-newguy mentioned Shiroiken in post Futzing With Experience Points (Exploration and Treasure for XP)
    Shiroiken After rereading your post, I realized that you suggested using CR too and I missed it. Apologies. I thumbed through the DMG and Monster Manual, but I'm not seeing anything that would make this less complicated. The closest thing I could find is the XP Threshold table on page 82. Maybe it's a matter of being too close to my own idea to see it, but I don't think 5% is any more complicated than using CR. In fact, I think it might be a little less complicated. Experience Gained is based only on the player's level, so there's no need to thumb through the DMG or MM to figure out the experience granted per CR. The only thing I might want to change is the percentage I use. Since I already have the numbers, it's a pretty simple change. Here's some thoughts I've had over the past couple days: There's another reason why I'm creating these house rules, which is to lessen the focus on monster slaying as the only solution. It's not the only reason, but it's certainly one of the...

Tuesday, 29th November, 2016

  • 02:02 PM - ThePolarBear mentioned Shiroiken in post RAW Shield activation
    ...omething that should be allowed/is not allowed/works differently in a certain game. If there's no rule that requires the DM to keep the rolls secret it does not mean that there is a rule that says that rolls have to be known. The only important thing that has to be passed on to players is the result of their actions and have them informed on how difficult things can be, but there's no requirement on explicitly letting them know a numerical value ("it's extremely hard to climb that wall, you do not think you'll be able to do it at all" vs "Clmb wall, DC 25, for you it's impossible.") In short, it's an interpretation on something that is not stated clearly, not an houserule. Btw, not saying you are "playing it wrong". It's just not an houserule. As i wrote, i'm unsure that this is actually the case and there might be a place where it's stated you have to let the rolls be known or the other way around. If you know where those rules are i'll love to have that information, thank you. @Shiroiken You might be right at calling it a table rule... but somehow i think "table convention" would be even better. I usually refer proper table manners as "table rules", such as no swearing, keep the voice down after x hour and such. But yeah more or less nitpicking on the name :P


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Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 04:26 AM - the Jester quoted Shiroiken in post Deity Ranks: Quasideities, Lesser Deities, Greater Deities
    The question becomes "why." WHY do certain being gain power from worshipers, but not others? It's an arbitrary reasoning, one that (as far as I can tell) came about because of the Time of Troubles in the Realms (which only then limited the god's power to be based on worship). I never really liked the worshipper requirement that came about from FR. It seemed to be a core concept of planescape as well. Lose your worshippers and end up as a floating corpse in the Astral. I'm not sure if this is where it started, but a 1e-era Dragon Magazine had a fascinating article, I believe written by Gygax, about how gods received "mana" from their worshipers, which they spent to perform miracles and grant spells. So the more worshipers- as well as the higher level they were, with extra mana being received from paladins and clerics- the more powerful the god becomes. And the fewer worshipers, the fewer clerics and paladins the god can empower to spread the word.
  • 04:13 AM - mrpopstar quoted Shiroiken in post Regarding the Life of Threads
    My first thought was how this will look when someone necro's it :DA lich of a thread from the start!
  • 03:06 AM - mrpopstar quoted Shiroiken in post Super Simple Armor
    The logic makes sense to me. But I don't think that rogues are particularly strong in melee now, and this will make them worse. (Same for bards, really.) So as a practical matter, this will push rogues more towards ranged weapons, which is a little disappointing to me because I like melee rogues :) You could houserule a new rogue ability at level 2 or something that gives them a +1 to AC when wearing light or no armor.I support melee rogues! -- Do you think losing 1 point of armor class "nerfs" them in light of all of Dexterity's bounty? And the knight has Strength 16, so that's covered. The only one in the basic document who looks like they would be in trouble is the priest, who is wearing a chain shirt with a Strength 10. You could address that either by saying that it's a light chain shirt, giving it AC 12 (only one point off); or by giving them some other form of armor. You would also have to go through and recalculate the AC for almost everyone in the book, but only by a point or ...
  • 01:10 AM - gyor quoted Shiroiken in post Deity Ranks: Quasideities, Lesser Deities, Greater Deities
    The question becomes "why." WHY do certain being gain power from worshipers, but not others? It's an arbitrary reasoning, one that (as far as I can tell) came about because of the Time of Troubles in the Realms (which only then limited the god's power to be based on worship). The IC reason is that to gain power from being worshipped one requires, a divine spark, godhood basically, which is the source of a Gods divine power. Greater Gods Divine Spark is well fed and the most powerful, a Demigods the weakest, too weak to grant spells to Clerics, or usually to hear prayers, but still strong enough to grant them some Divine Abilities including Immortality. Everyone Else, Lesser Gods, Titans, Vestiages are all some where inbetween.

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 02:03 AM - gyor quoted Shiroiken in post Deity Ranks: Quasideities, Lesser Deities, Greater Deities
    I really hate the new system, and ignore it accordingly for world building. Also, the term "god" is relative for these endeavors, since powerful demons, daemons, devils, elementals, and even some fey should have the ability to grant spells to worshipers, making them "gods." I know many people here would argue that they should only have warlocks, but I have never seen any actual difference given between the "gods" and non-gods, except arbitrary designation. Anywho, here's my breakdown of the gods: Greater (Elder) God - represents a fundamental aspect of the universe, and is beyond the understanding of mortals. Most have many temples, but few dedicated worshipers, with most give homage only when their aspect is going to be immediately relevant (such as giving tribute to Mother Earth before the spring planting). Boccob, for example, is the Archmage of the Gods, and represents the god of magic for mortals Lesser Gods (usually just called the Gods) - have a much more specific sphere of influ...

Monday, 18th June, 2018


Thursday, 14th June, 2018

  • 03:53 AM - iserith quoted Shiroiken in post Players with multiple characters
    The fact that you have that many players available is what makes many of us jealous. Of course, I'm a bit too selective with my players, which limits my options (I'd rather have a group of 5 friends playing than 5 friends and 1 jackass). I hear you. What I do is run a lot of one-shots and then from those pickup groups invite players I like to join regular games. I have a FANTASTIC group as a result.

Tuesday, 12th June, 2018

  • 10:39 PM - mrpopstar quoted Shiroiken in post Expanding the Weapon List
    They didn't use a formula to design balanced weapons for the PHB, so I'm not really surprised they didn't have one in the DMG to create new ones.They offered a formula for spell damage despite deviating in the design PHB spells. :)
  • 12:39 PM - Keravath quoted Shiroiken in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    I've modified the working together option for my game. If it's something that multiple people could work on together, and each helper could either help or hurt the effort, I use the following system. Group declares a primary character, and everyone else participating makes the check, usually against a DC 10. Subtract the number of failures from successes, then use the following modifier based on the total: <0 - Disadvantage 0 - normal 1 - advantage 2 - +2 to the check 3 - +4 to the check 4 - +6 to the check etc. Other times I prefer to use group checks, such as in the barn raising example. You might want to keep in mind that advantage is equivalent to a +5 on the die roll on average so a "1" result in your table is better than a 2 or 3 which doesn't make much sense.
  • 10:54 AM - CapnZapp quoted Shiroiken in post Wizards and bonus actions - not just for bonus action casting cost spells?
    Bonus actions are just a bonus. Most characters I've seen don't use one every round. Many characters use them occasionally, but only a few focus on them. Learning how to minmax your bonus actions will increase your combat prowess significantly, so I encourage you to give it a look. Edit: I now realize this is a necroed thread and that I have given Shiroiken this advice already. Oh well, I'll leave this here for the benefit of anyone else that fell for WotC's "You otherwise don’t have a bonus action to take" language. I removed the quote link to Shiroiken's post; he should not feel compelled to reply once more.

Monday, 11th June, 2018

  • 05:38 AM - Ancalagon quoted Shiroiken in post MToF explains Rary the Traitor?
    Probably to give an in-universe reason for something that never made any sense. While I don't follow that canon (everything after 1985 is questionable), I do find this attempt to reconcile that story aberration to be done quite well. It shows a level of respect for the characters involved, without directly ret-conning the event. For those that don't know, Rary's treachery (along with most of the early 2E Greyhawk lore) was mostly done as an insult to Gygax after his ousting, and in an attempt to deviate the setting as much as they could from his earlier works. This incident in particular was problematic for fans, because they never really gave any reason why Rary and Roblar would betray their friends. There was no power play that would have benefited them, nor did Rary have prior known connection to any participants in the Greyhawk War (the plan was to cause the peace negotiations to fail). That's kind of sad :(

Thursday, 7th June, 2018

  • 10:05 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Shiroiken in post DM Best Traits
    In addition, Communication and Storytelling are similar to Acting, but much more integral to the game. Even with 3 votes, I feel that Acting would still have the fewest votes because of this. I suspect you're right. So far there are some good takeaways here though. I've heard new players say they are hesitant to be a DM because they aren't rules experts, or don't have the best organization skills. What this poll says, is that that's not all that important. Better to have good communication skills, be fair, don't be rigid in your plans, and turn the campaign into an interesting story as you play it. None of those require any system mastery at all. Which is encouraging to new DMs I think.

Monday, 4th June, 2018

  • 01:02 PM - ClaytonCross quoted Shiroiken in post Power Gaming: the result of leveling power driven design
    1) This isn't story driven DMs, this is just bad DMs who take on an adversarial role. In example 1, the DM simply has to allow that PC to avoid surprise for the ambush, which doesn't actually help the rest of the party very much. In example 2, the DM has poorly designed encounters, focusing on a single powerful monster, which will pretty much always fail miserably (unless Legendary) due to the action economy. Using a single (slightly less) powerful monsters along with a few weaker minions is far more effective. Neither of those problems really has anything to do with Powergaming. In 5E, the difference in power between an optimized and normal character is fairly minimal (from the DM's perspective), since the "power" options are all based around specialization. A character may be excellent at something, but that means they didn't get more powerful somewhere else. 2) Player driven issues are going to happen regardless of the mechanics of the game. Some players just HAVE to be the "best" at e...

Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

  • 04:56 PM - jayoungr quoted Shiroiken in post XP for Non-Combat Tasks
    Shiroiken, I'm interested in learning more about your system. I have lots of questions! SXP is based on completing various tasks that require social interaction with NPCs, with the amount equal to an encounter for the adventure's average level (easy, medium, hard, and deadly). Can you give examples of the various difficulties of social interaction? Do you grant SXP only for "social combat," i.e. when the PCs have to get something they want from an NPC, or are there other examples of social interaction that would award XP? QXP is normally only used if the adventure has a primary goal that doesn't have to be completed for the adventure to end, or for side quests, and are normally equal to between 10% to 50% of the total value of the xp for the entire adventure. How do you determine the total value of XP for the entire adventure? Do you just decide you want the party to get to the next level during it, or do you have another method? To take an example from a converted 4E adventure ...
  • 08:29 AM - Zardnaar quoted Shiroiken in post Palace of the Silver Princess 5e Conversion
    Having done several conversions of BECMI adventures, I've found that most Basic adventures are suitable for level 2-4 characters in 5E. Level 1 characters are generally too fragile, and those adventures generally assumed ~8 PCs (with deaths common). If you want to run them with level 1 characters, I'd suggest breaking up the adventure, making the start easier and allowing a point to level up the characters (either as a milestone or using xp). Once the characters are level 2, you can start bring the difficulty back up. Some other suggestions: * Unless I really feel like making a conversion, I often substitute for existing monsters where possible. * Cut non-magical treasure by at least half, probably closer to 10% * Remove all non-necessary magic items, then re-add level appropriate ones as needed (should still be a lot less) * Often the idea of the adventure is the best part, then simply fill in the adventure with level appropriate challenges. + 1 for this, level 1 to squishy, level 5 t...

Saturday, 2nd June, 2018

  • 03:34 AM - plisnithus8 quoted Shiroiken in post Text-play
    I wanted to do something like this, but unfortunately most of my group doesn't use Facebook. We discussed Google+, but myself and another were not fans. We use Google Drive for documents, and keep discussions in Skype. We have always used text and have seen no drawbacks.

Friday, 1st June, 2018

  • 10:04 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Shiroiken in post Text-play
    I have done this with email, allowing for some complex scenes to occur away from the table. It can be useful if you have stuff going on that doesn't require the whole party and everyone is good with it. Ditto. Also, when the party gets some rare "Downtime", I'll often handle that (using the rules from XGtE) over email and then we all summarize the results at the start of the next session as the next adventure is about to begin.
  • 12:22 AM - guachi quoted Shiroiken in post What makes Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter so good?
    Great Weapon Mastery, in a vacuum, is only a moderately powerful feat. Against creatures that have high HP and low AC, it's amazing, but otherwise you risk missing, which overall lowers your dpr. It's an amazing feat against high AC low HP foes, too. Facing a hobgoblin as a level 2 variant human barbarian with GWM? Well, I guess I don't use the -5/+10 part but I will Reckless Attack to boost my hit chance from 40% to 64%. If you are raging and wielding a two-handed sword you'll one-shot kill the hobgoblin 72% of the time you hit. Hey, look! Free bonus action attack! Multiply your hit chance by your kill chance and you'll get an extra attack 46% of the time (and, therefore, boost your damage 46%). Though, your damage boost would be a little higher than 46% fighting an infinite amount of hobgoblins as any hobgoblin you didn't kill on the first hit you'd automatically kill on the second. It's not like hobgoblins are rare creatures to fight. And a 46% damage boost not even using the part of t...
  • 12:19 AM - BookBarbarian quoted Shiroiken in post What makes Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter so good?
    I personally find the other two abilities to be more problematic than the -5/+10, but to each their own. I think this is true. Big damage just doesn't really screw up the game for me, especially at high level. Even at lower level a single Sleep spell seemed to have more impact on putting down a baddies than GWM or SS.

Thursday, 31st May, 2018

  • 08:00 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Shiroiken in post Poison needle traps
    Technically passive Investigation should be used here, if the DM uses passive checks. There is no such thing as Passive Investigation. By definition, investigating something is an activity. Passive Perception might notice an external clue if such a clue exists, but otherwise, unless the player says "I am investigating the lock" assume they don't find the trap. A cracksman who tries to pick a lock without investigating it first deserves all they get. The traps in the DMG and Xanthar's are suggestions. It's up to the DM to decide how the traps in their adventure work. For example, a trap may be designed to trigger if the "proper key" is rotated clockwise. To open the lock the key must be rotated anticlockwise.


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