View Profile: Shiroiken - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Today, 02:51 AM
    Sorcerers are generally consider more fun to play (at least IME). They have lots of cool abilities, and can either cast more spells per day by converting sorcery points, or they get more bang for their buck for the ones they cast. It's flashy, but once they expend those sorcery points (or burn spell slots for more points for meta-magic), they quickly run out of steam. A Wizard can ritual cast...
    59 replies | 1318 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Today, 02:35 AM
    Nature, red in tooth and claw. Only the strong survive, everything is either predator or prey, and you are the alpha predator.
    33 replies | 613 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:35 PM
    Wish there was more than 1 choice allowed. Prestidigitation was my first choice, because of the auto-clean option (no more laundry!), but realized that Guidance would be far more useful (just like in the game). I can always use some help doing things right the first time ;) Mage Hand seems great at first as well, as I'd mostly use it to get a beer from the fridge without having to get up...
    86 replies | 1645 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 02:58 PM
    Other than getting a duplicate class benefit (i.e. Extra Attack), I don't see any purpose for it within the base classes, as multi-classing is an optional rule. I could see some sub-classes that are specifically designed to synergy with multi-classing (to create specific classic combinations), because they would only be available in a game with multi-classing.
    44 replies | 1135 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th January, 2019, 05:58 PM
    I've found that unless the player knows they have advantage, they tend to not use it on the first attack of the combat. Getting an idea of the target's AC allows for better assessment of the risk/reward. With advantage, even against an unknown AC, players tend to jump on the -5/+10, because it seems more often than not the advantage assures them success.
    110 replies | 2772 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 11:07 PM
    I've gotten a chance to play most of my current concepts (however short lived they might have been), but my current idea for a character would require both fairly good rolls (or point buy) and some DM leeway. Mountain Dwarf Acolyte Level 3 Lawful Divine Soul Sorcerer Mountain Dwarf grants medium armor and war hammer proficiency (used 2 handed) Cantrips: Fire Bolt, Green Flame Blade,...
    27 replies | 730 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 11:02 PM
    While I wish they'd done the Fighter a bit different (Champion, Battlemaster, and Eldrich Knight really seem to cover almost every possible niche for the class), I don't feel that they need an out of combat ability built into the class. Most classes really don't have them either, unless the character spends resources (such as spells) to have them. The player needs to be more assertive about...
    236 replies | 7315 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 5th January, 2019, 08:50 AM
    I believe by RAW and RAI, the distance is the same. While a horse is capable of bursts of speed, overall they don't really add much distance per day (between the stamina of both horse and rider). If you had the ability to replace your horse every so often, you could argue for using the horses movement similar to a ship.
    41 replies | 1377 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 4th January, 2019, 10:52 PM
    I'd say it's uncommon in our group, at least until higher levels. In an epic game that went to 18th level, 3 of the 7 PCs multi-classed after 11th level. Two of those were simple 1 level dips to fill out a weakness (but the players did a great job of RPing the addition). The other one was a planned setup where the Rogue went to 11th level, then switched to Champion Fighter. In all the other...
    99 replies | 3018 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 06:07 AM
    Rope Trick is a fine spell that works exactly as intended. It allows a safe hiding space for 1 hour, which not coincidentally is the standard rate of a Short Rest. The time taken to climb into and out of the area is incidental, and would only count as detrimental to the Short Rest by one of two types of DMs: a sadist who wants to hurt the players at every chance, and a rules lawyer who feels the...
    117 replies | 3740 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 05:44 AM
    Not really. Average modern door size today is about 2' 6" for internal doors, and 3' for external ones. Add in a 2" frame on each side and you're looking at 5' 4" for an interior double door and 6' 4" for an exterior door. Add to this that the doors and frames of medieval European castles (the baseline for fantasy design) are usually much larger than this, giving a double door the spacing of 10...
    43 replies | 1722 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 3rd January, 2019, 01:16 AM
    Assuming I'm not missing an obvious joke (totally possible; I have low Insight), it's just a matter of spacing on a grid. Just as a small or medium creature doesn't take up the entire 5 ft space, a door is just 3 ft wide with a frame (or two 3 ft wide doors), and the rest is still just wall. Similarly a bed is slightly larger than a 5 ft space, so it takes up a 10 ft square, without filling up...
    43 replies | 1722 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019, 12:26 AM
    Not normally that interested in character design, I have drawn up one that I find interesting. Not so much for its mechanics, but for the theme behind it. Mechanics work fairly well though. Mountain Dwarf Acolyte Level 3 Lawful Divine Soul Sorcerer Mountain Dwarf grants medium armor and war hammer proficiency (used 2 handed) Cantrips: Fire Bolt, Green Flame Blade, Guidance, Word of Radiance...
    7 replies | 345 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st January, 2019, 04:02 PM
    The only advantage darts have over daggers is cost and weight. I thought they had a farther range (which would make sense, balance wise), but they do not. This also means that the dart is inferior to the sling as well.
    7 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Tuesday, 1st January, 2019, 03:56 PM
    Unfortunately, I think we really can't without a rewrite of a huge chunk of the edition. If they had set the starting baseline level at 3, with levels 1-2 being only for multi-classing and "apprentice" games, they could have gotten rid of cantrips completely (level 1 spells would take their place), and they could have overall increased the number of lower level spell slots. This would allow...
    203 replies | 6365 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 12:25 PM
    During the Playtest, you got a bonus for your race and for your class. I thought that was a great option, because both had an impact on your character, rather than just race. As for your solution, it depends on what your goal is. Powergamers are gonna powergame, and all that will happen is that everyone play whatever race has the best ability benefits, and background will be chosen the way...
    45 replies | 904 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 05:30 AM
    Any item that allows you "to cast" a spell means that it is treated exactly as if you were casting the spell normally (with minimal spell level). Some items (particularly potions) may give you the effects of a spell without casting it, meaning it takes 1 Use an Item Action and has no Concentration requirements.
    9 replies | 519 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 05:18 AM
    I think as a magic item, it would work well. You can limit its existence to only 1-2, keeping it from becoming a problem. As a feat, every spellcaster is going to take that as their first feat. There are just too many good combinations that it would allow. As a magic item, I could see two different ways to do it (both require attuned): a charged item or a limited scope item. As a charged item,...
    25 replies | 595 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 31st December, 2018, 05:08 AM
    As the DM in such a situation, I would pull of something about a 4. A strange person has heard of their plight, and is offering to help... for a price. The price is not in gold or magic, but something more. There are many different options the DM could go for, but my favorite would be the following: Mysterious benefactor offers to restore the petrified PC, if they agree to a magical contract....
    33 replies | 1058 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th December, 2018, 01:20 PM
    Unless she's got a Teleportation Circle to get back to the Archmage, she's already committed to her move here. If the blip was wrong, she's screwed. It would be easy for her to bully the medusa queen by threatening to burn the garden down with fireballs. In exchange for leaving her garden alone, if the medusa helps with her plant monsters, she can keep all the PCs she petrifies (the artifact...
    27 replies | 612 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 11:14 PM
    If you are levitating, you cannot jump at all. You can only move by pushing off of, or crawling along (climbing) a surface. I would allow a movement of a push off as if running long jump, but you would remain at the exact same height. Other DMs might rule otherwise, as this is a very strange and situational question.
    4 replies | 209 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 11:09 PM
    In older editions, they listed a specific time rate for characters in other planes of existence. The most notable ones I recall is that time ran twice as fast on the elemental planes, but super, SUPER slow in the astral plane. This meant that if you wanted to do something quickly (like crafting), you wanted to do it on an elemental plane. If you wanted to keep something from happening (such as a...
    26 replies | 660 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 03:15 AM
    I find this to be the biggest "fix" to a lot of abilities. In the last adventure I played in, we started things off at an inn. There were 2 social encounters, which revealed to us that it was run by werewolves. We had 2 combat encounters, plus a social encounter that revealed a shortcut to the BBEG. We took the shortcut with 1 more combat along the way. Against the BBEG, we couldn't nova,...
    45 replies | 1575 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Friday, 28th December, 2018, 12:04 AM
    1. Any resolutions on things you want to do? Have more regular sessions. Things have gotten very irregular (I eventually had to take a hiatus), and I want to be prepared enough that I can actuIally run when I say I'm going to run. Obviously life events overrule this, as life>gaming. 2. What do you want to improve in your DMing? Note taking. I've tried several methods of helping me keep track...
    24 replies | 638 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th December, 2018, 03:34 AM
    APPARENT TRUISM OF 5E "It's not EXACTLY how *I* would have designed it" -every internet poster 5E is not perfect; nor is it meant to be. It's meant to appeal to the largest number of overall players. If someone (such as the OP) has such a problem with it, they are far better off finding a game more to their liking. There are hundreds of RPGs available, so I'm sure they're likely to find...
    99 replies | 4056 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 02:07 PM
    Unless the game is a series of one-shots, I generally object to themed adventures at all. They usually take away from the realism of the setting, and that's anathema to me. The only "theme" adventures that usually work for me is Halloween, because horror usually fits into most settings. Oh, and the occasional April Fool session (which turns out to be a dream or something) can be done well, if...
    26 replies | 840 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 01:59 PM
    First of all, I object to the omission of the exploration pillar, because that is often an integral part of my campaign. The question requires a level of clarification: in game or out of game? Combat tends to dominate the largest amount of real time, especially given that even 3-4 rounds of combat (24 seconds in game) often takes 15-20 minutes. Converse this to exploration, where half an hour...
    58 replies | 1268 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Monday, 24th December, 2018, 01:35 PM
    I've disallowed characters for a host of reasons, but "broken" hasn't been one of them (usually because I'll give anything a fair shake before calling it broken). This has caused several problems in other editions and RPGs (such as a character who would have the 5E equivalent of 30 AC and immune to automatic hits), but IME in 5E, "broken" characters really aren't that much more powerful than the...
    86 replies | 4070 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Sunday, 23rd December, 2018, 05:53 PM
    Honestly, you're better off making them the way you want them to be, and not worrying about the CR value too much (other than for giving out XP). The guidelines for encounter creation are fairly loose, and IME the party will usually be able to handle a lot more than you think they can, especially considering you have a big party. The standard NPC Priest is a CR 2, 5th level caster. You could...
    19 replies | 491 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd December, 2018, 04:46 PM
    Something else I considered afterwards that would also negate this exploit is that your character would have to dead-lift the enemy, including his equipment (and yours) to be able to fly off with them. High Str characters might be able to still pull this off against small or maybe medium creatures, but that's it. I've found this fixes a lot of broken combos. In a different RPG there were rules...
    14 replies | 585 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd December, 2018, 11:04 AM
    It could be argued by a DM (as I probably would) that if your steed moves away from a creature that you've grappled, you cannot maintain the grapple with the creature. It says when *you* move you may drag a grappled creature, but you are not moving, but being moved by your mount. It may be semantics, but it seems not very different to me than if you were moved by a Thunderwave spell (the example...
    14 replies | 585 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:31 AM
    I try to make impressive epic battles with the BBEG, but I generally assume that most of my tricks won't work, and the players will come up with something I overlooked. My assumptions come true far more often than they don't...
    92 replies | 2788 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:28 AM
    Real weapons generally use Dex to hit and Str for damage, while armor would be damage reduction. If you want to go down this rabbit hole, you'll eventually end up with a combat system completely different (and much more complicated) than the one we have. It would greatly decrease the value of Dex, which many would approve of. Str fighters would be able to use extra attack for ranged weapons,...
    56 replies | 1856 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 05:13 AM
    Such as system can work, but may I suggest you offer the "dying" option after ANY hit? The reason for this is that being damaged to just above your Base HP is a death sentence for most characters. I played in a different RPG (Legend of the Five Rings), where characters took damage that slowly reduced their effectiveness, until they were dropped, possibly unconscious or dead. Players...
    37 replies | 807 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 04:57 AM
    Shiroiken replied to New shields
    I used to do stage sword-fighting, and my partner built a "buckler" based on the 3E design (unaware of the actual buckler's history). Strapped to his arm, he was able to block several of my strikes successfully while holding his claymore in both hands... but after a 15 minute practice bout, his arm and hand were a bloody mess. Every time I struck it, the metal rim would cut into flesh. Admittedly...
    13 replies | 456 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th December, 2018, 04:43 AM
    Oddly, events had changed dramatically by the next time I got an ASI, and took Mobile instead. Agreed. This is why rolled stats are actually a bad thing. With point buy and array capping your starting ability at 17, you shouldn't "run out" until level 10 (except fighters), and the average campaign comes to an end around that point. If Feats were valued equal to +2 to secondary abilities, no...
    41 replies | 1880 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th December, 2018, 10:40 PM
    Shiroiken replied to New shields
    I've just house-ruled it that way in my game for all shields. It hasn't really broken the game, but it has increased the number of sword and board characters since you aren't screwed if you don't have it ready.
    13 replies | 456 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th December, 2018, 10:37 PM
    Have her wear a crystal on an amulet, which she can use for material components. I allow Dex/Slight of Hand to cast spells unobtrusively, so she could pull off casting non-flashy spells with only a little difficulty. I might allow the players an Insight check against that check if she's forced into casting while not in the background. Also, she might deliberately incorporate simple illusions...
    19 replies | 567 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th December, 2018, 10:32 PM
    Feats, by definition, make certain things easier in the game. However, it is often overlooked that they come with an opportunity cost (ideally +2 to primary ability score), so while some things become easier, other things that should have do not. I'll use my first 5E character for an example of this. Upon reaching 8th level as an Elven Rogue, I was considering Sharpshooter as a feat. I was...
    41 replies | 1880 view(s)
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  • Shiroiken's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th December, 2018, 01:59 AM
    This is the quintessential failure of adventure design, and happens all too often with riddles. I prefer to use riddles sparingly, and *never* require them to be solved to further the plot. I like to use them to grant a benefit if solved, usually with limited attempts to keep it short. One adventure I ran back in 2E, the party was teleported to the center of a maze (dungeon). There were...
    41 replies | 886 view(s)
    1 XP
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About Shiroiken

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About Shiroiken
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Greyhawk Grognard
About Me:
I started playing when I was 14 or so, with AD&D 1E. I've played and DMed every edition of D&D except OD&D, and have played several RPGs over the years. My favorites are: (A)D&D, L5R, and Deadlands (original RPG). I am currently only playing and running D&D 5E.
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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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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, 20th December, 2018

  • 01:15 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned Shiroiken in post Character Death Variant
    That kind of situation....I have a Base HP of 16 and I'm at 20 HP therefore I'm in big trouble.....is kind of what we're going for, but it's also an area of concern. The idea is to do away with the "I'm fine till at 0 HP" thinking, but we didn't want to incorporate "death spiral" type mechanics, where their ability or potency weakens with damage. But adding the option to drop unconscious after any hit helps mitigate a bit of the swingy risk at play, but still gives the players some level of control. It's a good idea. So, what both you and Shiroiken are talking about is the Concession rule in FATE. It works well, and this is how it works: You can concede at any time, even after the DM says you are going to be attacked but BEFORE the dice gets rolled. The player who concedes gets to narrate their concession. Examples: -You get hit by an Ogre and have 20 hit points left. On your turn you attack the ogre and say, "I'm only barely able to stand, in a final ditch effort, I attack the ogre but the exertion causes me to fall unconscious." - You get hit by an Ogre, the fight continues and, on the Ogres next turn, the DM says, "The Ogre attacks you!" "Don't bother rolling! I concede the fight. 'The ogres club comes down and I barely have time to shield myself as the club grazes my head, knocking me unconscious as I go sprawling under a bush.'." Obviously, you can concede before the fight starts...that just called surrendering. Or surrender any time...there's probably no need to formalize the rules around surrendering...

Friday, 30th November, 2018

  • 10:12 AM - MNblockhead mentioned Shiroiken in post How do you do secret doors?
    I roll a d20 against the party's passive perception, using a modifier equal to the DC of the door -9. If it beats everyone's Passive Perception, then it's not seen. If someone is actively searching, I allow either a Perception or Investigation (player's choice) instead. Once found, an Investigation check is required to figure out how to open it. Shiroiken, curious why you use "-9" ? -10 seems more in keeping with 5e (unless I'm missing something). How do you handle advantage on Perception? RAW is to apply +5 to passive score but I could also see handling it as 2 rolls and taking the lower (since trying to roll under instead of over).

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 12:50 AM - Laurefindel mentioned Shiroiken in post How do you do secret doors?
    I get the concern about passive perception...it’s one of the things where you are damned either way. If you go with passive...a party either auto succeeds or auto fails. With rolling, due to the math of multiple characters rolling, the chance to spot goes way up...so you often have to raise the DC to compensate. And it takes more time. A poster above proposed a third possibility, and the more I think about it, the better I like the idea: the door rolls its own ability check! [edit] that was @Shiroiken in this post So instead of having a set DC, the door has some sort of "hiding bonus" (presumably set by the makers of the secret door) and when the PC walk in front of it, the DM makes a check for the door (DC = passive perception). If the check is successful, the door remains hidden. Otherwise, it is discovered. The DM even has the possibility of giving the door "advantage" if he/she wants to (covered in snow/dust, overgrown with vines and moss, etc). This way, players don’t get a hint for rolling perception out of the blue (and get four attempts for a 4-player party), and passive perception is not always a auto-win/auto-lose.

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...


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Tuesday, 15th January, 2019

  • 11:55 PM - Azzy quoted Shiroiken in post Choose One Cantrip You'd Like In Real Life
    Wish there was more than 1 choice allowed. Indeed. While mending in my first choice (the practical applications are astounding), prestidigitation is my second choice. Guidance is a close runner-up for second place. Spare the dying in nice in theory, but without heal or some other high-level curative spell, it's just a slight delay in the inevitable in many cases. Sure, great for emergency rescue and what not, but it doesn't fix the underlying problem in most cases.

Saturday, 12th January, 2019

  • 07:36 PM - 5ekyu quoted Shiroiken in post The Mechanical Impact of -5/+10
    I've found that unless the player knows they have advantage, they tend to not use it on the first attack of the combat. Getting an idea of the target's AC allows for better assessment of the risk/reward. With advantage, even against an unknown AC, players tend to jump on the -5/+10, because it seems more often than not the advantage assures them success.That sounds reasonable as a rough means of assessment and one that throws a lot to the campaign and circumstance for "how much is it worth vs ASI" (or versus feats thst give you less circumstantially limited gains) as well as "who will it be good against?" Many times I see groups getting advantage a lot more often against less dangerous foes - ones relatively straightforward. Meanwhile, more dangerous and cagey adversaries often have more ways to avoid giving out advantage (or generating disadvantage to counter it) and so features that depend on having advantage often turn up useless whren it could matter the most.
  • 05:50 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Shiroiken in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    To be fair, I'm also not a fan of full co-op games. Most suffer greatly from quarterback syndrome, where one player dictates the optimal action for everyone. The good ones (IMO) either have limited knowledge, such as Hanabi or Ghost Stories, or have time/chaos restrictions that keep quarterbacking from working, such as Space Alert. I personally favor semi-cooperative games, such as Battlestar Galactica, Dead of Winter, and Shadows over Camalot, where there is a traitor mechanic that keeps things interesting. Any good coop game really needs to put in things that push the clock and make it hard to keep things going. We recently played Pandemic, which was a lot of fun and long ago I played a good bit of Arkham Horror. I'm a "get off my lawn" kinda guy myself, and I'm willing to admit that I don't understand the appeal of certain aspects of New School gaming. I don't like them, don't use them, and generally don't play in games that do. While I feel people that do are nuts, they should be free t...
  • 04:00 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Shiroiken in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    While others have taken to task the RPG aspects of the article, as an avid boardgamer, I'm going to focus on this section. Boardgaming is generally divided into 2 types: Euro and Ameritrash (technically co-op is it's own type as well, but we'll ignore it for this discussion). I don't think Lewpuls would consider co-op as a "game" due to it lacking a versus component. That would be, in his terminology as I recall it a "puzzle." I'm still not sure how he squares the circle of "military squad" style play and "group success" for "versus" in a game like D&D unless the versus is DM to players. Ameritrash is primarly consisting of direct attacks, usually leading to player elimination. Despite the author's description, Ameritrash games are still VERY popular, even in the newer style of boardgames. Heh. In addition, while there are several Euro games that have minimal interaction and lots of paths to victory (often derogatorily referred to as "point salads"), those are NOT the best ...

Saturday, 5th January, 2019

  • 06:14 PM - iserith quoted Shiroiken in post Miles per day on horseback: how many?
    I believe by RAW and RAI, the distance is the same. While a horse is capable of bursts of speed, overall they don't really add much distance per day (between the stamina of both horse and rider). If you had the ability to replace your horse every so often, you could argue for using the horses movement similar to a ship. This is correct. Here are the rules (Basic Rules, p. 66): "For short spans of time (up to an hour), many animals move much faster than humanoids. A mounted character can ride at a gallop for about an hour, covering twice the usual distance for a fast pace. If fresh mounts are available every 8 to 10 miles, characters can cover larger distances at this pace, but this is very rare except in densely populated areas." In my view, this rule argues for the DM to design the challenge such that when and where to use that burst of speed is a meaningful choice that affects some important outcome. That would be a fun little addition to an overland exploration challenge.
  • 12:19 AM - TaranTheWanderer quoted Shiroiken in post Elven trance and long rests
    Officially (per Mike Mearls), Trance does not reduce the length of a Long Rest. However, I've allowed Trance to do so in my game, and have found no ill effects for play. Really it's just a matter of preference, as it will only matter maybe once in an entire campaign. It really depends on the DM. If you're the DM: do whatever you want. If you're not the DM, and feel strongly about it, talk to your DM about it. The difference is huge. It lets the elves in the party act all the more uppity and superior. Honestly, do they really need that kind of encouragement? It’s hard enough to bear as it is.

Friday, 4th January, 2019

  • 05:50 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Shiroiken in post Why is everything twice as big?
    Edit: upon further consideration, something you might want to consider was an idea I cooked up a while back. Instead of using 5 ft squares, reduce them to 2.5 ft squares. It allows a much better level of granularity, but it will take some time to get used to. With this level of detail, you can have your beds and double doors at 7.5 ft in length, which is much closer to reality. I did this back in the 70s & 80s. I stopped because it was a P.I.T.A. communicating this to the players.

Thursday, 3rd January, 2019

  • 01:23 AM - Yunru quoted Shiroiken in post Why is everything twice as big?
    Assuming I'm not missing an obvious joke (totally possible; I have low Insight), it's just a matter of spacing on a grid. Just as a small or medium creature doesn't take up the entire 5 ft space, a door is just 3 ft wide with a frame (or two 3 ft wide doors), and the rest is still just wall. Similarly a bed is slightly larger than a 5 ft space, so it takes up a 10 ft square, without filling up the entire space. Yes, but a double door and frame should fit into a 5ft space, but instead takes up the majority of 10ft. Obviously it's not a problem with self-drawn maps, but I've seen it on official maps a lot.

Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019

  • 03:31 AM - Blue quoted Shiroiken in post What solution for "Cantrips don't feel magical"?
    Unfortunately, I think we really can't without a rewrite of a huge chunk of the edition. If they had set the starting baseline level at 3, with levels 1-2 being only for multi-classing and "apprentice" games, they could have gotten rid of cantrips completely (level 1 spells would take their place), and they could have overall increased the number of lower level spell slots. This would allow primary casters to be able to use spells for a majority of combat, but at the cost of utility spells, leaving them to occasionally find a non-magical option. Eventually they would "master" a few 1st level spells, turning them into cantrips, but that would be at a point where the character would feel very magical anyway. I disagree with this. First, take a look at the spells cast per day in the first post. You would need to increase the number of spell slots to a ridiculous level to be able to replace all cantrip uses with spells for a 3rd level character. We're talking over 20 slots. Second, picture that...

Saturday, 29th December, 2018

  • 07:05 PM - Quickleaf quoted Shiroiken in post What is this villain's next step?
    Unless she's got a Teleportation Circle to get back to the Archmage, she's already committed to her move here. If the blip was wrong, she's screwed. It would be easy for her to bully the medusa queen by threatening to burn the garden down with fireballs. In exchange for leaving her garden alone, if the medusa helps with her plant monsters, she can keep all the PCs she petrifies (the artifact should be unaffected by lesser magics). She gets the goblins to sneak into their camp at night to steal something (IME, it doesn't matter WHAT they steal, the players will go berserk and chase them to the ends of the earth). When the party gives chase, they lead them into the garden (and likely flee beyond, since goblins are not much of a threat at the PCs likely level). In the garden they face the medusa queen and her plant allies, including the sorceress polymorphed into a Treant (as she's 9th level). If the sorceress "dies" she can act confused to the party, claiming to have been kidnapped & cursed (us...

Saturday, 22nd December, 2018

  • 01:38 PM - Oofta quoted Shiroiken in post Grappling on a steed
    It could be argued by a DM (as I probably would) that if your steed moves away from a creature that you've grappled, you cannot maintain the grapple with the creature. It says when *you* move you may drag a grappled creature, but you are not moving, but being moved by your mount. It may be semantics, but it seems not very different to me than if you were moved by a Thunderwave spell (the example listed in the grapple condition of how it might end). This is particularly relevant if you consider the Pegasus to be an intelligent creature, because then it acts on its own initiative. Right. And if it's not being considered an intelligent creature then it can only move. But the sticking point is that grapple specifically states that "when you move you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you". Since this is a silly rule exploit in the first place (and I'd rule that it wouldn't work for several other reasons as well), using a technicality is a perfectly legitimate reason to say no in my boo...

Thursday, 20th December, 2018

  • 08:18 AM - Horwath quoted Shiroiken in post How would changing bows to Str-only change the game?
    Real weapons generally use Dex to hit and Str for damage, while armor would be damage reduction. If you want to go down this rabbit hole, you'll eventually end up with a combat system completely different (and much more complicated) than the one we have. It would greatly decrease the value of Dex, which many would approve of. Str fighters would be able to use extra attack for ranged weapons, making them much more versatile in combat (Paladins, for example, would basically have no weakness). You should also consider all other ranged weapons, and how they should be adjudicated. The sling logically would also require Str, since the amount of momentum you can create would determine the force of impact. Crossbows should remain completely Dex based, since Str really has nothing to do with the attack (arguably you would have variable Str crossbows that require that Str to draw, and use that modifier). Blowgun and Net also seem to primarily be Dex based. armor counts as damage reduction only vs...
  • 08:03 AM - ccs quoted Shiroiken in post 5E Feat Option = D&D On Easy Mode?
    Feats, by definition, make certain things easier in the game. However, it is often overlooked that they come with an opportunity cost (ideally +2 to primary ability score), so while some things become easier, other things that should have do not. I'll use my first 5E character for an example of this. For me there is no opportunity cost, only the opportunity to better realize the character I'm envisioning. My big issue with Feats is that everyone forgets the opportunity cost of taking them. Unfortunately most feats come nowhere near being worth that cost, leaving everyone complaining about the "broken" feats (i.e. the ones actually worth the cost) that everyone takes. Hmm. In my experience any feat I've ever taken here in 5e has been 100% worth taking as without them my characters would be less than how I'm envisioning them. Afterall, I took them to represent something that a mere +2 to a stat couldn't. What the non-"broken" feats are worth depends heavily upon the character (not...
  • 08:01 AM - Horwath quoted Shiroiken in post 5E Feat Option = D&D On Easy Mode?
    Feats, by definition, make certain things easier in the game. However, it is often overlooked that they come with an opportunity cost (ideally +2 to primary ability score), so while some things become easier, other things that should have do not. I'll use my first 5E character for an example of this. Upon reaching 8th level as an Elven Rogue, I was considering Sharpshooter as a feat. I was mostly ranged, using a longbow and hiding between attacks, so it seemed like a good option. I had an 18 Dex, however, so I thought that moving to 20 might be a better choice. So I considered the benefits of each. Sharpshooter removed range (not really an issue in the campaign, but you never know) and cover (i.e. it was +2 attack for most of my attacks), and the -5/+10 (increasing the possibility of not getting Sneak Attack). Increasing Dex would give +1 Attack (half the cover benefit), +1 Damage (a little bit of the -5/+10), +1 Initiative (something I consider overrated), and +1 to all my Dex checks (which ...
  • 05:34 AM - hawkeyefan quoted Shiroiken in post Character Death Variant
    Such as system can work, but may I suggest you offer the "dying" option after ANY hit? The reason for this is that being damaged to just above your Base HP is a death sentence for most characters. I played in a different RPG (Legend of the Five Rings), where characters took damage that slowly reduced their effectiveness, until they were dropped, possibly unconscious or dead. Players absolutely dreaded taking damage that put them into just above the "Down" condition. As samurai they were expected to continue to fight, but they knew that a single hit would most likely kill them. Being knocked Down or Out was okay, because while you might suffer a small amount of shame, you showed courage, which is honorable. Extrapolating this to D&D, several mid-level creatures can deal 20+ damage in an average hit, and even most low level creatures can do it on a critical hit. At high level, almost every attack would be enough to kill a PC who's still above their Base HP. If players have the option to go ...

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018

  • 11:48 PM - Saelorn quoted Shiroiken in post 5E Feat Option = D&D On Easy Mode?
    Feats, by definition, make certain things easier in the game. However, it is often overlooked that they come with an opportunity cost (ideally +2 to primary ability score), so while some things become easier, other things that should have do not. I'll use my first 5E character for an example of this.That's only true if your primary stat is not yet at 20. Your Elven Rogue faced a dilemma at level 8, but your path is much more obvious when you reach level 10. The real balance issue with feats is that, in the long run, the opportunity cost vanishes. Sharpshooter may be worth +2 to Dex under many circumstances, and choosing between them can be difficult at first, but you're eventually going to end up with both. In a game without feats, your level 10 dilemma is between +2 to Con and +2 to Wisdom or Intelligence; if you could take +2 to Dex or Sharpshooter, then you'd jump at the opportunity, because either one is vastly superior to bumping a secondary stat.

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 11:32 PM - SubDude quoted Shiroiken in post Creating Factions: Large or Small?
    A true Grey Marches game, as I understand it.... Ok, like a "West Marches" game, but with fewer players and less driven by the players / more driven by the DM. Pretty similar, overall. Thanks!

Thursday, 13th December, 2018

  • 10:02 PM - GothicEmperor quoted Shiroiken in post Most frustrating quirk of 5E?
    Probably the biggest pet peeve of 5E for me is the armor and weapons. I admit they are technically workable, but they drive me nuts. Just like in 3E, once you have enough money, there are really only 2 armor choices. Well, technically a few characters wear medium armor, so I suppose that there are 3, but still. There are weapons that are pretty much just superior to their peers, an while Versatile is neat in theory, it's such an edge case use that it may as well not exist. A DM can deal with this by dangling magical items that have certain bonuses in front of them. It's easy to choose plate when the alternative is splint or half plate, but if you can also get a +1 mithral chainmail and you know you're going to sneak around a lot, that's a more interesting choice. Having that sort of granularity built-in would've been better, I agree. Medium armor at least gives you the option to choose between stealthy and non-stealthy armour. Let's hope come 6e they just merge the Heavy and Medium armor catego...

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018



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