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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    46 replies | 1169 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 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...
    46 replies | 1169 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...
    12 replies | 269 view(s)
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  • 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 | 168 view(s)
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  • 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...
    224 replies | 4690 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 07:30 PM
    Great Weapon Master, especially if you have some way to semi-reliably get advantage (such as a Wolf Totem Barbarian in your party). Even if you can't, it will still be useful against low AC opponents pretty often.
    26 replies | 565 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 07:25 PM
    I would have the party perform a series of non-combat challenges. First, they have to find her. Perception and Investigation checks would be best for this, as they attempt to listed to the singing, and follow the path she takes (which includes going through walls). The number of checks, and DCs I leave to you, as you know your party's abilities. Second, they have to talk with her. Insight,...
    14 replies | 434 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 07:04 PM
    This should be the end of the discussion for EB, since even if you'd agree that using the focus would be "using the weapon," you are not using the focus for the EB. As for the intent of the discussion, while I would not allow it, I could understand a DM doing so.
    42 replies | 1048 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 09:44 PM
    I think they expect most games to start at level 3 (or at least hit it after 2 sessions). Starting at level 3 allows the players to start off as heroes, rather than a common person, which is a common theme. Starting at level 1 allows the zero-to-hero approach, which is also a popular theme. However, I feel that WotC missed an opportunity here. If instead of front-loading most of the classes,...
    56 replies | 2252 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 09:36 PM
    I have found such abilities to be extremely powerful in the right situation. In a prior campaign, the party opened the magical vault and found a sleeping maiden among the treasure. She seemingly woke up and was frightened of the party, but in reality she was a vampire fighter with high social skills (we were on Roll20, and I gm rolled her deception against their passive Insight, so they had no...
    52 replies | 1792 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 07:31 AM
    I have not played with a DM who would allow only a single roll. Everyone I've talked to about it thinks that's stupid, and I'm inclined to agree. I have adjusted it to once per creature per effect, so it encourages spreading the damage around.
    73 replies | 2138 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 09:24 PM
    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).
    42 replies | 2334 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 09:25 PM
    As I discovered when I used it with my last character, nothing prevents jumping to avoid most of the damage. Assuming a character moves 10 ft, they can jump their strength score, so the most an enemy is likely to take from the spell is 4d4 (assuming they were at the center of the effect). Enemies not in the center should take 2d4 tops. That's still not bad for a 2nd level slot, considering that...
    25 replies | 787 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 09:17 PM
    Absolutely not. There is a significant difference between food & water, which theoretically exists beyond the needs of the players, and treasure, which is a specific reward. That said, unless I have a specific reason for hiding the treasure, I simply assume the area can normally be thoroughly searched after the adventure is complete. Occasionally, however, there is an exception, such as a...
    96 replies | 1808 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 05:48 PM
    Remember, when you multi-class (especially at higher levels), there is the opportunity cost of what you could have gotten had you remained in your class. Most of the time, higher level class abilities are going to be much better than the first level class abilities (even though most classes are front loaded). I have not yet seen this particular example occur, so I don't really know how much of...
    188 replies | 4984 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 05:42 PM
    Alhoon 14-2=12 Allip 17 Banshee 22 Beholder Zombie 21 Bodak 20 Bone Naga 20 Boneclaw 20 Crawling Claw 21 Death Knight 22 - the ultimate anti-paladin Death Tyrant 20
    536 replies | 6536 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 04:46 AM
    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.
    55 replies | 1373 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 04:40 AM
    It really depends on what is being tried. Some things can be accomplished with either, depending on how it's being attempted (grapple is the best example of this). Some things are always going to be athletics (such as swimming), while other things are always going to be acrobatics (such as tightrope walking). If a player can give me a reasonable method to use one over the other, I'll consider...
    74 replies | 1792 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 09:25 PM
    If you want to implement something like this, I recommend you take a rule from AD&D. If the character makes the save, all items are unharmed (or minimally harmed), but if the character fails, then the items can be damaged. In AD&D, items had their own saving throws, but for 5E, I'd suggest items follow the normal AC and HP for items. If a character fails the save, then some number of random...
    29 replies | 929 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 10:02 PM
    A surprisingly excellent adventure. I've used it on multiple occasions to introduce players to 5E, including 3E players, 4E players, and total newbs. Assuming you don't want to run this one, I'd suggest something simple, such as Keep on the Borderlands (which was partially reprinted for the playtest, if you can find it), Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (1E), or the Secret of Bone Hill (1E). Death...
    55 replies | 1821 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 11:32 AM
    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.
    64 replies | 2716 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 03:24 AM
    I actually figured it was lowkey13 discussing taxidermy ;)
    17 replies | 531 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 03:22 AM
    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...
    64 replies | 2716 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 10:52 PM
    I would say my marriage has helped my DMing. When I first started DMing, I was a 15 year old geek with no sisters and (obviously) no girlfriend. Needless to say, my female NPCs were abysmally bad, but since my players were just as clueless as me, no one really noticed. I met my wife, and somehow convinced her after a few years to marry me. Having a girlfriend gave me some insight to the female...
    5 replies | 394 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 10:16 PM
    When I played my last Druid, I did it pretty much the same way I play my wizard now. I have a standard "City" selection (mostly non-flammable/destructive spells) a Wilderness/Traveling selection (lots of situational spells, including Water Breathing/Walking if going by boat), and an "Adventuring" selection that contains what I expect to use in almost all adventures. I might periodically switch...
    38 replies | 1952 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 04:05 AM
    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...
    34 replies | 1105 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 04:00 AM
    I would suggest: "The target is blind until the start of your next turn. If the target is attacked or makes an attack roll, the effect ends immediately after resolving the attack. Higher Levels: At 5th level the effect ends after the target is attacked and/or attacks twice. At 11th level the effect ends after the target is attacked and/or attacks three times. At 17th level the effect ends...
    7 replies | 230 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 04:42 AM
    "How have I improved as a DM?" Wow. Short answer: in every way possible. I started out as jack-wagon teenager, often tormenting my fellow teenagers (called "players") with the specter of death, while giving away treasure like I was Monty Hall and using "female" NPCs that have no relationship with reality (considering that at the time, I didn't know reality). Now, I'd like to thing my plots (and...
    42 replies | 1264 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 09:54 PM
    Shiroiken replied to 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.
    28 replies | 727 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 09:48 PM
    In AD&D, lighting bolts would bounce off the walls (back at the caster in 1E, using geometry in 2E) unless the wall was a conductor. Like most spells in 5E, everything has been simplified, so this is entirely a DM call. I would suggest if you do have the lightning bounce, that you only deal regular damage to each creature in the area, even if a creature would be struck more than once (perhaps...
    23 replies | 775 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 09:37 PM
    It really depends on the game. In my last campaign (and the way our other DMs do it), everyone is the same level, with the group having an XP total. This is really useful when doing an epic game, or anything with a specific storyline. In such a case, new PCs are going to be the same level. In my current game, it's a West Marches style, with players owning several characters. They can have any...
    46 replies | 1157 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 09:32 PM
    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. One DM (who also periodically played in my games) liked the Dragonball Z style of gaming, where everything was BIG (things like +100 to hit...
    1307 replies | 33411 view(s)
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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.
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Cincinnati
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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:
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Ohio
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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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Thursday, 18th October, 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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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.

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 11:28 PM - BookBarbarian quoted Shiroiken in post Does (or should) the halfling “lucky” ability apply when the DM is making the roll?
    While I never roll for the PCs, if I did, the ability is referring to the character's roll, so I would apply it. Same here.
  • 06:41 PM - Quickleaf quoted Shiroiken in post Mitigating players spamming Help, Guidance, Bardic Inspiration, and oh I’ll roll too?
    I've had this issue a time or two, and it's not hard to fix. Bardic Inspiration and Guidance are abilities like any other. Unless you're particular about having casters describe every spell they cast and warriors every sword swing, it's a bit unfair to put them under the spotlight to use these abilities. The only limitation I put on these is they must have already been used before the call for a check, and they can't be used for activities that take longer than their duration. They'll still get used a lot (especially guidance), but the player chose to get the ability, they should be allowed to benefit from it. 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 ...

Sunday, 16th September, 2018

  • 03:32 AM - pemerton quoted Shiroiken in post Boss Monsters? I Just Say No!
    Part of the problem has become the action economy; single monsters can't compete with output the way an entire party can.I don't agree with your "has become" - action economy was an issue from the beginning. The action economy issue can be reduced in systems that (1) use "active" defence, and (2) don't ration that defence. Maverl Heroic RP/Cortex+ Heroic is one example. I think it's interesting that we tend to see it as "natural" for there to be a big fight at the climax to a story. I think that's just a trope we get from, mostly, movies, or rather the current approach that exciting-but-vacuous movies take. Stories don't have to end with a fight at all. I'll leave the debate about the origins of the trope to others. But in the RPG context, I think it's partly about framing but to a significant extent about system. D&D generates a strong degree of pressure to have combat as climax because the system allows for the most amount of player decision-making that will clearly impact the fiction i...

Friday, 7th September, 2018

  • 08:45 PM - 77IM quoted Shiroiken in post Preserving the Fear Inherent in 1st Level
    Change Death by Massive Damage to be extra HP equal to Level plus Con score. At lower levels, it's not likely to matter, but soon healing from 0 HP becomes a risky process. With only a few HP, taking lethal damage is much more likely, even without a critical hit. Being attacked while down is much more likely to kill, since it's also a critical hit, and random AoE can also cause instant death (rather than just a failed death save). I love this idea. A similar idea is to reduce the number of death saves you fail before dying. I've considered a rule where you only get 1 failed death save, and that's it. So when a character drops to 0, it should be panic time, as the other PCs scramble to stabilize them.
  • 04:06 AM - 5ekyu quoted Shiroiken in post Preserving the Fear Inherent in 1st Level
    My original statement was assuming the same or similar number of encounters per day, but pushing the rests back. In such a case, the game is exceptionally more deadly than normal, since you have less resources to get the same amount done. I suppose, however, it depends on how your game runs. My group seldom takes a short rest (and never more than 1 per day), because of the opportunity costs associated with them. Unless we are just traveling with no set time frame, we assume that the DM will have the ecology adjust to our presence. Rather than facing unprepared enemies that we can try to pick off, they're much more likely to be alert, better defended, and massed into harder groups. While this can happen at any time during the adventure, allowing an hour for creatures to come across our activities (i.e. trail of dead monsters) seems like a lot, even if dealing with low intelligence creatures. With intelligent creatures, it should almost certainly happen within an hour ("Bob's been gone a while...

Thursday, 6th September, 2018

  • 10:20 PM - 5ekyu quoted Shiroiken in post Preserving the Fear Inherent in 1st Level
    Changing the rest structure will impact the deadliness, especially if they're forced to push on after most resources have been spent. The 8 hour short rest and 1 week long rest makes even simple tasks much harder. Change Death by Massive Damage to be extra HP equal to Level plus Con score. At lower levels, it's not likely to matter, but soon healing from 0 HP becomes a risky process. With only a few HP, taking lethal damage is much more likely, even without a critical hit. Being attacked while down is much more likely to kill, since it's also a critical hit, and random AoE can also cause instant death (rather than just a failed death save). I will quibble with the first statement. you can inflict time pressure to keep going with a 1 hr short and 8 hour long with no problem. Ongoing harrassment by enemies, chase and pursuit angles and even just the usual sacrifice at midnight tic tocs can push those just fine. So, no, changing the rests to longer dont make things deadlier than they ca...

Wednesday, 29th August, 2018

  • 11:45 AM - 5ekyu quoted Shiroiken in post Trickster Sweat and Other Material Concerns
    I have had various components become available if a character levels away from town, usually as a form of treasure, but always in a way that makes sense. In the original situation, the party could come across an old hermit who lives in the woods, who would own charcoal, incense, and herbs, along with a brass brazier they could use (but not keep) in exchange for 10 gp worth of supplies. The best example of this was in the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun, when our bard got the divination spell. It requires an amount of special incense, which she didn't have. They found some incense in the strange temple, which she kept for the spell. What she didn't realize, is that her divinations were now directed to Tharizdun (CE god of insanity), who subtly tried to corrupt her soul. She figured it out, and used the incense sparingly, until they could get back to town and get incense dedicated to a non-insane/evil god. Eventually this led her to multi-classing into cleric for Tritheron (CG god of Liberty).I ten...

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 07:48 AM - ClaytonCross quoted Shiroiken in post Katana
    As mentioned, the Katana is just the longsword with different fluff. You should probably also pick up a shortsword to serve as your wakazashi. -omitted- I would actually suggest a short sword as the basis of a Katana and a dagger for a wakizashi. Two reasons for this. 1. They were referred to by Japanese as longswords but the length of the blade that determines that is 30-80cm or 23-31inches by comparison that makes closer to a European short sword than longsword. Where shortswords average about 30-50cm or 23-19 inches and long swords average about 120-125cm or 47-49 inches. So while it over laps with both it completely encompass short swords while only partially over lapping with European longsword. This is just a difference in regional naming standards. Basigly the same thing is true with the wakizahi. 2. Mechanically, Monks treat Shortswords as you want with scaling damage. Add two handed versatile to 1d8 to accommodate the fighting style of samurai and your done.

Sunday, 26th August, 2018

  • 09:24 AM - Tallifer quoted Shiroiken in post PLEASE DELETE
    Some other ones to consider: Multi-classing Feats Variant Human Traits Variant Half-Elf Traits Variant Teifling Traits (abyssal I think) Encumbrance Skills with different Abilities Playing on a Grid Expanded Diagonal Movement Equipment Sizes Arguably the non-basic races Certainly Unearthed Arcana stuff. I will wait until the poll is all fixed before voting.


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