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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:20 AM
    This is how I've ruled similar things. I find the "can't willingly end your move" to be somewhat problematic. By RAW, you can't stand on top of a fallen ally or enemy, because you would be ending your turn in their space. Arguably you could once they fail all the death saves, since they're no longer creatures, but it shows how strict adherence to wording can quickly become silly.
    32 replies | 682 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 07:54 PM
    First of all, welcome back! One of the best things about 5E is that it's taken the "best" aspects of prior editions (as determined in the public playtest), making it workable for most returning players. Some concepts are new, as we'll discuss below. First of all, I remember playing AD&D (both 1E and 2E), and have no memory of any characters getting an AC bonus from anything other than spells...
    118 replies | 3831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 07:22 PM
    In a normal campaign, we usually have everyone score the same xp, present or not. Not only does it keep it easier to track, but it keeps everyone on the same power level. My current campaign is a West Marches style, so each player has several characters of various levels. I don't approve of adding magic items to new characters. As we found out in 3E, this creates a situation where character...
    19 replies | 392 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 08:06 AM
    Higher CR monsters will make the encounters feel more exciting, because they'll deal more damage, but the action economy will actually put them behind. If you're doing a one-shot, larger monsters might be better, because they'll have quicker, more exciting combats. If you're doing a full campaign, I'd try to add 1 monster per PC you add to keep up with the action economy, giving longer, but more...
    25 replies | 465 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 11:06 PM
    I have heard many good things about Return, as well as Princes. I don't know anything about the 4E adventures though. My only suggestion with Princes is to change the 3 level elemental temples to be separate temples. Otherwise, lower level character are likely to stumble into more dangerous areas because it makes logical sense.
    6 replies | 308 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 11:02 PM
    I have not found the -5/+10 to be the problem, so much as how the other abilities boost it. I have house ruled that it doubles the short range of weapons, and reduces cover by 3 (giving 3/4 cover a +2 bonus). In the short range, they are just as good against non-heavy covered opponents, but it prevents the ridiculous attacks against an opponent 600' away behind an arrow slit. Edit: I don't...
    7 replies | 224 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 10:58 PM
    Keep combat quick. Let players know that they have to determine their action within a few seconds or be forced to Dodge. It may seem mean, but with a group of that size combat is going to take a while, so you need to shorten it as much as possible. Otherwise a simple encounter may take an hour, reducing the overall time for the rest of the adventure. An old school idea would be to have the...
    25 replies | 465 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 12:42 PM
    1) I don't see a full 5E statblock as essential, but for a new product you are probably better off having it available. While a lot of groups are using the simpler options for 5E (no feats or multi-classing), a significant number of groups like all the options (like mine). 2) Personally, I like it when products expand the setting, rather than using it as a backdrop. For example, if the...
    10 replies | 476 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 12:24 PM
    Ah, good! I don't own it, so my information was secondhand. If that's the case, if it was as lethal as I heard, then the tomb section would probably qualify as a ToH type adventure (which I'm sure was the intent).
    51 replies | 1297 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 01:24 AM
    I don't think we'll see a TOH type adventure from WotC anytime soon, even though I would like one. There are a couple of reasons for this. 1) WotC doesn't do short adventures. TftYP was close to that, but it's just reprints, not fresh adventures. They want to use APs, because they sell better. Something like ToH must be fairly short, by design, since the lethal nature of it would likely kill...
    51 replies | 1297 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 01:09 AM
    I generally don't bother stating nobility, unless I expect combat from them. D&D is unfortunately combat focused, making non-combat characters have lower skill checks. When requiring checks to interact with them, such as deception, insight, intimidation, or persuasion, I set a DC, rather than doing a contested check.
    54 replies | 1673 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 10:47 PM
    Just because there isn't a rule for it doesn't mean you can't do it. Perhaps the enemy has figured out how to perform a ritual with multiple lower level casters. It might even be common, just not something the PCs have ever partaken of. There are other easy methods as well. The enemy might have a spell scroll that they successfully use (my favorite). The enemy might have a favor from a...
    11 replies | 348 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 10:38 PM
    IMNSHO, every character should have the ability to do both. The crazed berserker with a greatsword is going to be impotent against a flying creature unless they have at least some thrown weapons. Ranged characters need something they can do well when forced into melee, be it a melee weapon or a melee/saving throw cantrip (for spellcasters), because swarms can and will get to the ranged attackers....
    108 replies | 3333 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 01:34 PM
    Currently playing a wizard in a party with a sorcerer and a warlock. I don't generally deal as much damage as they do per round, nor do I have cool, flashy abilities that they have. Instead I have access to about twice as many spells as they do, and since I've been careful to pick a number of rituals (which I don't have to memorize to use), I have access to all of them as well. Not flashy or...
    60 replies | 1708 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 01:39 AM
    Unless this is intended to be a short mini-campaign, do NOT use the permanent damage table. PCs generally become the walking wounded in short order, and nothing ruins a campaign like players unhappy about their characters. I think most of the others are fairly reasonable. I don't use the mark option or flanking, but that's personal preference. Marks are hard to keep track of, and flanking...
    42 replies | 1584 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 2nd November, 2018, 03:54 AM
    Alas, I have but one XP to give. This alone deserves more.
    75 replies | 3459 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 09:41 PM
    Shiroiken replied to Sages
    I don't feel the need to flesh out all my NPCs, but a few things to consider: Not all sages should be spellcasters, despite the suggestion in the 1E DMG. Remember, in 1E all priests were clerics (or druids), because they didn't have a real concept of NPC classes (at least not official ones; the Dragon was full of them). Just like the Acolyte is now a background (as is the Sage), it shouldn't...
    14 replies | 554 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 09:28 PM
    To me, removing EB from the warlock is like telling a fighter all weapons higher than 1d8 damage (including from versatile) have been removed from the game. They can get by without it, but you're taking away a major component of the class. As others have said,, in general a caster takes 1 primary combat cantrip, a back-up combat cantrip, and the rest are utility cantrips. My current wizard has...
    118 replies | 3817 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 09:31 PM
    The biggest complaint that I've seen is the drop-off of damage at level 5 due to Extra Attack. I solved that by adding the Off-Hand weapon trait to several 1d4 damage weapons that allows them to be used with any one-handed weapon for two-weapon fighting (such as sword & dagger). The damage runs about the same (it's actually a flatter curve than 2d6), and using a 1d8 weapon for the extra attack...
    85 replies | 3356 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 11:53 AM
    I think 5E is by far the greatest edition of D&D. The basic framework is fantastic, and it easily allows for customization (which was a heavy emphasis during the playtest). The fact that I can ignore the "rulings" from the lead designer without having my game fall apart in front of me is amazing. My issue with JC is that his "rulings" push the game in a different direction than I want for MY...
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 04:53 AM
    Yup. IMO he's the reason for "rulings not rules." He is (supposedly) trying to appeal to the largest possible group of players. I'm trying to make the best possible game for my group. These are competing goals, especially considering that his DM style seems almost diametrically opposed to my own. Almost every single one of his "rulings" from Twitter I've disagreed with and ignore in my game.*...
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 11:32 PM
    The only new classes that have been discussed are the Artificer for Eberron (which might be in the "official" DMsGuild product) and the Psion (or whatever they eventually call it). There was discussion of an alternate Ranger class, but that has been abandoned. Personally, I like the change from bloating the game with classes to limiting them to sub-classes. Of course, bloat may still occur,...
    27 replies | 1471 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 11:25 PM
    It really depends on how the DM uses passive checks. Surprisingly, the rulebooks only talk about using passive checks in the players handbook, and the only example ever given is a stealth check against passive perception. There is never any indication to the DM on how and when to use passive checks. This has led to a lot of confusion and different methods. According to Crawford, the minimum...
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 10:57 PM
    1) Backgrounds. The only part of backgrounds I don't like is that you can change the skills. If they would have had each background provide choices for the two skills, like classes do, I'd be happier. As it stands, the skills and tools listed are nothing more than suggestions. 2) Inspiration. I am VERY limited on how I use inspiration. I generally give it out to the party after a story arc,...
    253 replies | 10281 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 11:14 PM
    It was the cost of the adventures. I used to run Encounters back during the playtest, where they provided the adventures for the DMs to run (usually to highlight some aspect of the playtest). The DMs got to keep the adventure, which was basically the reward for 10+ weeks of work. When Murder in Baulder's Gate came out, they wanted the DMs to purchase the adventure instead. The store owner went...
    60 replies | 2323 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 03:18 AM
    Pro 1. This was a design goal. IME it's actually easier to teach new players 5E than 3E/PF, because of the simplicity. 2. See Pro #1 3. More intentional design. Characters can take as long or short as desired to create & level. 4. Sadly, this isn't quite true IME, but a rules lawyer is going to find a way... 5. By allowing the DM the freedom to make the call, rather than a game...
    60 replies | 2323 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 09:47 PM
    You can easily make the argument that carrying someone is the same as moving while grappling (you're just doing it in the air), which is at half speed. While this won't solve all your problems, it should help avoid extra flight in combat. You could instead institute a rule similar to Encumbrance for flight. At Str x5 (Encumbered), you are at half speed, instead of -10 ft. At Str x10 (Heavily...
    20 replies | 622 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 09:35 PM
    Very cool idea. You may as well consider it stolen :) Might be better to have locations where the planes "thin" and travel between them can happen, sometimes even by accident. This would allow the party to stumble across the trick of the dungeon, but might also confuse the hell out of them. I think it's actually better to use this as a way of explaining having a crap-ton of traps. An area...
    6 replies | 231 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 10:48 PM
    This still doesn't affect me, nor anyone else who doesn't follow Organized Play. JC's rulings are generally trash IMO, and I ignore them (especially since I don't use twitter) and suggest others do the same. If they compile his list of rulings into errata, then I will simply homebrew them away. The goal of 5E is to be able to customize it for each group, and JC is not (nor will ever be) in my...
    247 replies | 6593 view(s)
    2 XP
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About Shiroiken

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About Shiroiken
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Greyhawk Grognard
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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.
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Cincinnati
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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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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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Tuesday, 13th November, 2018


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Thursday, 18th October, 2018

  • 02:09 PM - jasper mentioned Shiroiken in post My (Personal) Early Evaluation of the D&D 5thEd System – Wall of Text
    AlterEgo....Not just one store. I've been to AL in 4 different stores in 3 different states. All charged $5 and said they were 'supposed' to because of AL rules. None of them charge for a PFS or SW game at the same store. The only place that didn't charge was AL at a bar. But even they said they were told they were supposed to charge but didn't because we all came in and bought plenty of drinks and food. ....... Ok I have review all the AL docs I have on hand and I don't find this rule. Are they "WPN" ( I think those are the initials ) stores? If you have facebook join the Adventure League Facebook book page, and ask if this an official. Never mind. I just ask there if a $5 cover was required. Will update if the post gets approved and answered. *** Shiroiken 13. I can't comment on AL, because I don't participate in any organized play anymore. When they started charging the DM to run events, I quit and never looked back. When did this happen? I started AL back in July 2016 and never been charged. Ok I do generally buy my own modules. *** elterEgo I own Seasons 1-8 AL adventures. Some con create and Adept modules. How about you list the adventures you have game with and some the problems in the modules. That way we can see if was bad editing on the module or bad dming.

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 07:11 PM - Sadras mentioned Shiroiken in post Mitigating players spamming Help, Guidance, Bardic Inspiration, and oh I’ll roll too?
    Interesting. In every 5e table I’ve sat at where Bardic Inspiration or Guidance was used, I saw it used at the time of the check. But you’re saying the correct way is to use them before any check is called for? So the players approach the Duke’s estate, descend to the entrance to the Tomb, or are about to study a book of arcane lore...and Bardic Inspiration or Guidance would be used in advance? I'm not @Shiroiken, but that is exactly what I meant by Immediate vs Prepared. The correct way is to cast the Guidance or provide Bardic Inspiration before the check is required - it rightly should to happen before the active skill use. With group lore checks, do you have the whole party (or whomever is involved/interested) roll, irrespective of proficiency in the pertinent skill? If there is more than one person proficient in the lore, just provide Advantage. If only one person is proficient only they should be allowed to roll - others would not be able to assist. Do you mean you individually don’t allow re-checks, so the Rogue couldn’t attempt to pick the lock but the Warlock with thieves tools proficiency could try? Or do you mean you don’t allow re-checks systemically, so once the Rogue fails to pick a lock that lock is unpickable to the entire party until something major changes? In that instance, if the rogue or the warlock attempted, I would add a complication whether it was a success or...

Sunday, 26th August, 2018

  • 07:39 PM - Oofta mentioned Shiroiken in post How come BBEG coming out never have magic weapons or items?
    I give the bad guys magical weapons depending on the campaign and whether I think I need to up the threat level a little bit. Like Shiroiken mentioned, traditionally most people don't because the PCs will consider it as loot. In addition, the default assumption is that magic items are fairly rare. I have a fairly high magic world so I give the bad guys weapons as appropriate. However, they are frequently cursed and only usable by evil creatures (for various reasons depending on campaign). Since I don't allow evil characters and a blade that needs to be fueled by the blood of an innocent isn't going to be have any value on the open market, I don't have the loot problem. Unless, of course I want to.

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018


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. :)


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Tuesday, 13th November, 2018

  • 09:20 AM - S'mon quoted Shiroiken in post A gelatinous Cube and a 10-feet corridor ...
    This is how I've ruled similar things. I find the "can't willingly end your move" to be somewhat problematic. By RAW, you can't stand on top of a fallen ally or enemy, because you would be ending your turn in their space. Arguably you could once they fail all the death saves, since they're no longer creatures, but it shows how strict adherence to wording can quickly become silly. Yeah, I don't apply the rule to prone, unconscious creatures. You are free to stand on top of them. :)

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 01:29 PM - criticalfumble quoted Shiroiken in post Scaling for a large group
    Higher CR monsters will make the encounters feel more exciting, because they'll deal more damage, but the action economy will actually put them behind. If you're doing a one-shot, larger monsters might be better, because they'll have quicker, more exciting combats. If you're doing a full campaign, I'd try to add 1 monster per PC you add to keep up with the action economy, giving longer, but more meaningful combats (i.e. reducing resources). It's a weird hybrid of one shot and campaign because we rarely get to play face to face. Leaning toward fewer, more challenging monsters to make things exciting and quicker.

Friday, 9th November, 2018

  • 11:23 PM - clearstream quoted Shiroiken in post Sharpshooter - updated attempt at revision
    I have not found the -5/+10 to be the problem, so much as how the other abilities boost it. I have house ruled that it doubles the short range of weapons, and reduces cover by 3 (giving 3/4 cover a +2 bonus). In the short range, they are just as good against non-heavy covered opponents, but it prevents the ridiculous attacks against an opponent 600' away behind an arrow slit. I agree about that obviating the cover and range penalties completely seems a bit extra. Still, we also want players to have fun with their feats. So for me the goal is a feat that still feels very strong, but doesn't overshadow other strategies. Edit: I don't understand why the Heavy property should be needed, but otherwise limiting the -5/+10 to once per round would be fine. It's to do with the interact with Crossbow Expert, that thoroughly breaks it. GWM requires a heavy weapon, so I think it is justified here. The heavy ranged weapons are two-handed, so no Hand Crossbow bonus attack.
  • 11:05 PM - criticalfumble quoted Shiroiken in post Scaling for a large group
    Keep combat quick. Let players know that they have to determine their action within a few seconds or be forced to Dodge. It may seem mean, but with a group of that size combat is going to take a while, so you need to shorten it as much as possible. Otherwise a simple encounter may take an hour, reducing the overall time for the rest of the adventure. An old school idea would be to have the group elect a party leader. That player will be the one to give the DM the groups overall action/direction outside of combat. Individual players may choose to do something else, of course. If a player has a suggestion for the party leader, they can offer it, possibly sparking a short discussion, but the party leader's decision should be final. If the group becomes unhappy with their current party leader, they can elect a new one to take his place. The advantage of this is to prevent a 20+ minute discussion at each decision point, but some players may balk at the idea of one player having more power than the o...
  • 02:31 AM - Parmandur quoted Shiroiken in post Does 5e need its own, original TOMB OF HORRORS?
    I don't think we'll see a TOH type adventure from WotC anytime soon, even though I would like one. There are a couple of reasons for this. 1) WotC doesn't do short adventures. TftYP was close to that, but it's just reprints, not fresh adventures. They want to use APs, because they sell better. Something like ToH must be fairly short, by design, since the lethal nature of it would likely kill any party eventually (also, leveling wouldn't work in the adventure either). 2) WotC doesn't do lethal well. Standard encounters are designed for the players to easily win with minimal loss of resources. Even "deadly" encounters only have "a chance" of killing a character. As I understand it, ToA was pretty lethal, but it was done poorly, since the adventure precluded new PCs from joining the adventure once they entered the Tomb. If you want lethal, it either needs to be a one-shot adventure or have the ability to add in new characters, otherwise the first PC to die is going to have a boring night. ...

Friday, 2nd November, 2018

  • 02:33 AM - Quickleaf quoted Shiroiken in post Sages
    Quickleaf I like what you have done. Perhaps what might be needed is a Lesser and Greater NPC-types just for overall completeness. Thanks! Many NPCs don't need stats (as others noted), but it's really hard to predict when a particular NPC's stats/mechanics will become important for any given gaming group. Having some creative stats at least gives a DM something to base his or her own homebrew on. This would also be handy for a conversion of UK4 When a Star Falls. Thanks! Cheers! If I yoink this, I'd drop the spellcasting completely and lower the hit die to 3. That is to say, I really like the Sage Specialty and the Read Magic bit is cool, and still lets the Sage cast any spell . . . if I give him the scroll. So, uh *yoink* Thank you. Absolutely. I am trying to encompass many archetypes into one stat block without making it balloon into something unwieldy. I am not sure why you need any specific rules for what a sage can do to be honest. To me, the question "Why ...

Thursday, 25th October, 2018

  • 05:29 AM - ad_hoc quoted Shiroiken in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    Yup. IMO he's the reason for "rulings not rules." He is (supposedly) trying to appeal to the largest possible group of players. I'm trying to make the best possible game for my group. These are competing goals, especially considering that his DM style seems almost diametrically opposed to my own. Almost every single one of his "rulings" from Twitter I've disagreed with and ignore in my game.* He's probably not an idiot, but as far as D&D is concerned, I consider him so. * We actually agreed on the shield mastery ruling, so I'm not surprised he changed his mind. He is 1 of 2 lead designers and he has a vision for his game that he is sticking to. You're not just seeing his design in his tweets, his design is the game. The smart thing to do when you don't like a game is to not play it. If you prefer another edition of D&D play that one. I get it, the edition you don't like is the most popular of RPG of all time. I hated 4e so I didn't play it or engage with it. It was unfortunate...
  • 01:53 AM - ad_hoc quoted Shiroiken in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    but I also think that JC is an idiot, so... really?

Sunday, 21st October, 2018

  • 12:19 AM - Quartz quoted Shiroiken in post 5E's "Missed Opportunities?"
    * spreading out the saving throws so that any "dump stat" can actually hurt. Instead of focusing on Con, Dex, and Wis, you'd want all of them to be good. Adding 1/2 or 1/3 of your proficiency bonus to untrained saves might have been a decent idea as well. You could make that a feat: Resistant: You add half your Proficiency Bonus (rounded down) to saving throws in which you are not proficient. (i.e. from +1 to +3) or Resistant: You add your Proficiency Bonus less 2 to saving throws in which you are not proficient. (i.e. from +0 to +4) Inspiration is a horribly wasted mechanic. We have been playing since 5e came out and often commented about this. By now we never remember and it might as well not exist. I've seen poker chips recommended as a solution. Players are more likely to remember if they have a visual reminder in front of them. It works with conditions too. When someone is at 0 HP you can give them 3 black chips. Each round they lose one chip...

Thursday, 11th October, 2018

  • 09:02 AM - CapnZapp quoted Shiroiken in post Updated errata will be released within the next month!
    Important to note the difference between Sage Advice and Errata. Sage Advice is clarifications to existing rules; errata is an actual change to the rules. You can (and probably should) ignore Sage Advice and JC's twitter feed to your heart's content. Errata is usually something that was originally misprinted, or possibly a balance adjustment (which should be rare in 5E). This is what WotC wants you to believe, yes.

Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018

  • 03:30 PM - robus quoted Shiroiken in post Tell Me About Your Experiences with Theater of the Mind 5E
    Works best with smaller groups (usually 3), because more than that and people start forgetting who's fighting who and where. Also, give a lot of latitude to player's ideas and actions, since they're automatically going to be rough descriptions. It does require a DM who is prepared to narrate the combat in and out of turns so that the players are continuously updated as to the state of play. The AngryGM has an excellent post to that effect: https://theangrygm.com/manage-combat-like-a-dolphin/

Sunday, 30th September, 2018

  • 06:36 PM - Satyrn quoted Shiroiken in post The Only Thing I Don't Like About 5e! (Hint- ASIs)
    I have actually considered removing the ASI, requiring everyone to take a feat instead. The half-feats that provide a +1 are still available, so improvement is possible, but at a rate that won't allow many 20 values. The downside to this is that my group likes rolling, and this would make rolling high super-important. I would much rather allow a choice of arrays, as we all hate point buy, but they'd never go for it. It's a shame your players wouldn't go for it. Using just the standard array has made the game run smoother at my table for the DM (he's no longer pumping up monsters). It has also curtailed my desire to powergame my characters - it's sorta weird, but because I can't start with an 18 I stopped caring about ever having an 18. My druid has a 16 Wis, and that's after an ASI I took only because no feat appealed to me. And previously, my battlemaster's dexterity was 16 when he croaked, because that's where it started by chance (It was a nice surprise that forest gnomes get +1 to Dex); ...

Thursday, 27th September, 2018

  • 10:44 PM - Sword of Spirit quoted Shiroiken in post The Only Thing I Don't Like About 5e! (Hint- ASIs)
    The downside to this is that my group likes rolling, and this would make rolling high super-important. I would much rather allow a choice of arrays, as we all hate point buy, but they'd never go for it. One method I like is to randomly roll stats, but make sure they all add up to the same absolute point value (ie, a 10 equals 10 points and an 18 equals 18 points). You just set a total value up front, and then after initially rolling, for arrays that exceed or fall short of that, do something like roll a 1d6 to target a stat, and then a 1d4 (or something else) to raise/lower the stat. Just keep rolling until the numbers add up. To make it even more fun, have everyone roll when the group gets together, and then you pick which array you use--it doesn't have to be the one you rolled. I did this for my current game, but also allowed players to choose to do a normal point buy if they didn't want to use any of the arrays. It's done a great job of giving variance amongst the characters. We have charac...
  • 04:35 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Shiroiken in post The Only Thing I Don't Like About 5e! (Hint- ASIs)
    Yea, slightly better array would be good too. I also want the option of several arrays, such as one with an 18, but two really low scores, and one with mostly 14s (for MAD multi-classing). Giving people choices allows characters to avoid the sameness that often comes from using array. Yes! Several different arrays would be great. A method I proposed a while ago, to get more variety in stat distribution, is as follows: 1) Roll 3d6 x 6, assigning results in order. 2) Now increase those scores as desired using point buy, with a budget of 12 points to spend (1:1 below 13, 2:1 to increase a 13 or 14, 3:1 to go above 15). 12 points works out to be identical to current rules (that is, starting with 8's you would have to spend 15 points to reach an average of 10.5, which is what you get rolling 3d6). But if you're going to ban ASIs I would make the budget 15.
  • 05:34 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Shiroiken in post The Only Thing I Don't Like About 5e! (Hint- ASIs)
    I have actually considered removing the ASI, requiring everyone to take a feat instead. I've thought about this, too. Maybe pair it with a better default array. Something like 16, 15, 13, 12, 10, 8 (i.e., trade the 14 for a 16)

Friday, 21st September, 2018

  • 05:08 AM - eayres33 quoted Shiroiken in post What gaming habit of yours has annoyed other players?
    Interesting topic. I know that I used to annoy players when I played religious classes (cleric/druid/paladin), because I would often proselytize the players and NPCs. My current group has had less issue with that, as my druid had several interesting debates with a cleric in a Thule campaign about the value of thousands of lesser gods (forest/nature spirits) vs. a handful of powerful ones (the 12 or so standard deities). I considered asking my group... but honestly, I'm afraid to hear the answer :blush: This, I'm a devout follower of Helm, the watcher and the god of the wounded warrior and I bring it up all the time, like when I'm using his power to heal you or summon a magic weapon to save you. Of course my character also believes and has been kicked out of his church for believing Helm is also the god of the sex worker. Oddly with my group its the constant referencing of a god saving you that has them the most upset.

Thursday, 20th September, 2018

  • 06:43 PM - MNblockhead quoted Shiroiken in post How have you improved as a DM?
    "[W]hile I don't hesitate to slaughter innocent PCs, I do try to give them a fair shake. There are no innocent PCs. :-)
  • 04:28 AM - Nickolaidas quoted Shiroiken in post When a Lightning Bolt spell met the floor ...
    There are no "called shots" in D&D 5E, so aiming at specific areas of the body lower down isn't really a thing, unless used just for flavor. Lightning Breath reads: A stroke of lightning forming a line 20 feet long and 5 feet wide. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw. The spell Lightning Bolt, in the PHB, is almost exactly the same, except it is 100 feet long instead of 20. In either case, it clearly hits any creature in that line. So each creature directly behind the target up to the appropriate distance needs to make a saving throw and take damage as necessary. So the only way a diagonal line of lightning could've hit the paladin and only the paladin would be for the attacker to be at least 5ft above the ground? Like, for example, a Young Blue Dragon firing his breath at a party of 4 adventurers (with them having formed a square formation) while flying 5ft above the ground and be next to the paladin? PFD CT P=Paladin F=Fighter C=Cleric T=Thief D=Young Blue Dragon...

Wednesday, 19th September, 2018

  • 11:33 PM - Tallifer quoted Shiroiken in post Table Rules
    That's the kicker. One player in my game has a sage rogue named "Ohio" Jones and a noble bard named Chad of House Kroeger. In our other game, he plays a dinosaur tracking ranger named Robert Muldoon. These are all great joke names that don't actually take away from the game. Great names for a game like mine in which the players defeated the following and traded it to a renegade Duergar prospector for some equipment to assist them to defeat the Emperor of the Ghouls. 101580
  • 09:55 PM - iserith quoted Shiroiken in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Oddly enough, I've usually left only because of the other players, and seldom because of the DM. Of course, I've quit quite a few games as the DM due to players too. I suppose the few campaigns I left because of the DM were due to a difference of style. Good observation. I too have probably left more games because of the other players than the DM. I've been very lucky with players in my own games though so I've never had to quit on them. Some pickup groups (I've run for hundreds of players on Roll20) have been better than others, but nobody was ever so bad that I couldn't continue DMing for them or had to give them the boot.


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