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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 07:48 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    How I handle firearms in my 3.5 pirate campaign, is to make them clearly better than regular D&D weapons. They do more damage, can fire multiple shots, and do triple damage on a crit. They can also be combined with weapon-specific feats/abilities, such as using the Quickdraw feat to draw multiple preloaded pistols in a round and fire them. You need to give firearms a strong advantage, or players...
    119 replies | 3276 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 07:40 AM
    Yeah, both actors were heavily criticised. People were furious about Ledger playing the joker... but turns out he might be one of the best Joker's of all time (second only to Mark Hamill in my opinion). Then again, DC is having an epic dance with failure lately. If they get Batman right with Pattison, it's probably on accident.
    17 replies | 340 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 07:34 AM
    Well, I still play 3.5, so my answer is obvious.
    49 replies | 1250 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 07:22 AM
    Yeah, when I watched the first episode for the first time, I wasn't convinced that it would become as good as it ultimately would. If it weren't for the cliffhanger ending, I might not have kept watching the show.
    3 replies | 147 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Today, 06:18 AM
    Sunday in the US. So we won't know till it's Monday here already.
    38 replies | 2114 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Today, 01:12 AM
    The plural of nemesis is nemeses.
    7 replies | 249 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:51 PM
    Kinda relating to the Artificer, I would find it helpful if D&D added a new skill: Alchemy. Alchemy covers the elements − earth (bludgeon, pierce, slash), air (thunder, lightning), fire, and water (cold) − acid, metallurgy, material strength, pouring concrete, geology, (seismic activity, volcanoes), and so on. Basically, proto-chemistry. So far I use the Nature skill for Alchemy. But I feel...
    64 replies | 2186 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 04:28 PM
    Yes, if the player declares an action that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. In this example, including what you added, we have two action declarations: (1) The barbarian wants to go to Ye Ole Magick Shoppe to buy some thunderwave scrolls for the wizard and (2) The wizard's player wants to retroactively give the barbarian a reason to take the aforementioned action...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 01:40 PM
    As others have moreorless said, distances need to simplify to: • engaged - in melee • near - ≈30ft - namely within a Move • far - beyond a Move I wish every D&D spell had a range of either engaged (touch), near (upto 30ft), or far (upto 100ft). When thinking about ranges and area-of-effects, just ballpark it as one of these three.
    41 replies | 1093 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:23 AM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Norse Warrior Magic − Galdr Chanting Yaarel 2019 This essay assesses the Norse warrior magic, called galdr ‘chanting’, that the Ljóðatal poem describes, and translates the concepts into D&D. The result has a Psionic Paladin vibe. For a full spellcaster, the spells here are appropriate for a Psionic Bard. These Norse archetypes for the D&D classes gain the ‘psionics’ tag. The Norse poem...
    87 replies | 7137 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 04:04 AM
    Yeah. I get that half-casters can be powerful, and it shores up the mundane aspects. At the same time, someone who makes magic items needs to excel at magic, including high-level spellcasting for high-level magic items. At the very least, I want to see a high level feature that can access high level spells, even if like the way a Warlock does.
    64 replies | 2186 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:52 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    A drengr is an example of an ideal Norse warrior. Goodhearted, high-quality, idealistic − and extremely courageous. The recklessness exhibits the courage. Courage is a highest good in the Norse male gender identity. In the case of the drengr, the daring and thrill-seeking also demonstrates competence and effectiveness, because somehow the drengr manages to pull the stunt off, despite great odds....
    87 replies | 7137 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:40 PM
    I dislike the emphasis on “pets”. The turret in particular is too video gamey for my tastes. The new archivist feels more like a psionic character than an artificer. I do like the unique approach to spell casting, though.
    64 replies | 2186 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:55 AM
    Usually what I do to get the creative juices flowing, is to imagine my world as Disneyland. Every location should be unique and interesting, as should every character. Its kind of like going sight seeing. If there's nothing to be seen, then why should your players care? So I often start with a location that I'm interested in. If for example the players are hired by a wizard, then where does he...
    12 replies | 422 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:37 AM
    It's a shame Solo was such a flop, because it was a pretty entertaining movie.
    9 replies | 276 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 07:40 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    Christian families are in Norse lands during all of the Viking Period. In the 800s, they are a few families. In the 900s, they are some of the regional leaders. In the 1000s, the emergence of monarchy comes from foreign Christian influence, from the Holy Roman Empire of Continental Europe. The monarchs who unify the lands of Scandinavia during the 1000s are mainly Christian. For the sake of...
    87 replies | 7137 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:50 PM
    Oh, almost guaranteed. But I think George RR Martin will make the transition a bit more smooth, character motivated and logical, instead of the abrupt character assassination that we got this season... that is, if he ever finishes Winds of Winter and then some more books... which seems unlikely. It's not Dany's turn that I have a problem with. It is how it is presented in the show, which made...
    166 replies | 3613 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:18 PM
    Man, I thought my preference for stupid names was well-known at this point. I'm firing my publicist. But just check out my short-form scenarios for examples of this (plus presentation in general).
    51 replies | 1295 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:43 PM
    I have a penchant for silly names in my games, both as a player and DM, because I find them funny and, because others find them funny, they are more memorable. Presenting NPC names this way is good for retention. I struggle to remember NPCs with the usual fantasy RPG names, but you don't forget even minor NPCs like the Marguul bugbear gladiator, Dikpik the Unsolicited, who showed up without...
    51 replies | 1295 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:04 PM
    They also need to be consistent. We have been shown how accurate or inaccurate the Scorpion is three or four times in the show (one of which was the episode before). And it is always as accurate as the plot requires at that time, which means not consistent at all.
    166 replies | 3613 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 11:44 AM
    Ramsay's book counter part is every bit as evil as the one on the show. But some of his acts were switched from a character not featured on the show, to one that is; Sansa. The show indeed struggles a lot around season 5. The book on which it is based, Feast for Crows, struggles about just as much (although they also throw in some Dance with Dragons). There's a lot of aimless floundering about...
    166 replies | 3613 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 09:36 AM
    If there is anything to be learned here, it is how important George RR Martin's writing was to the success of the show... without that backbone, the show stumbles towards the finish line in a hurry.
    166 replies | 3613 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 02:45 AM
    Russia seems a bit like this to me. Vast wilderness, dotted here and there with towns. The roads look like a spiderweb linking these farflung towns. Maybe parts of Canada too. Albeit Toronto is practically an ecumenopolis.
    67 replies | 2384 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 02:27 AM
    I agree. At the same time, I am ok with the pets being golem-like, artificial, and even mechanical, to convey the flavor that the Artificer is using artifice to construct things. To me this has a Renaissance vibe, when building ‘automatons’ was popular.
    116 replies | 5271 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 09:02 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    The D&D spell, Magnificent Mansion, is a useful tool for a DM to represent a Norse or Norse-esque setting. There are many examples of ‘extradimensional spaces’ in Norse beliefs (and in Scandinavian folkbelief too). A dvergar might leave the door open on the side of a hill, where inside the hill is a luxurious home. Entering a burial mound might enter a spooky large multi-level crypt,...
    87 replies | 7137 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 08:18 PM
    I have no idea what your goal is with this. And yet here we are saying it. Except determine what their characters do, think, and say.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 07:56 PM
    I basically agree. But I would qualify. Rather. Gygax could teach a course on secondary sources about weapons and armors, but the reliability of these secondary sources is problematic.
    67 replies | 2384 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 07:41 PM
    I dont Gygax is ‘ignorant’ about history. I think he intentionally mixes history up, to reinvent a fictional fantastical version of history. For example, the Monster Manual. The ‘Cloud Giant’ is actually the same giant in the ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ tale. But rather than present it via mythological accuracy, Gygax intentionally mashes it up, even with a picture portraying East Asia...
    67 replies | 2384 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 07:19 PM
    No more than anyone should expect me to perfectly execute the approach I use and discuss here on enworld, especially after three or more Jamesons. But I know what I'm supposed to be doing per the rules and I try. A lot of words to say "People can play how they want." Which is and has never been in dispute. But if you want to say the rules support players establishing fiction outside their...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 05:08 PM
    What is the Arcana check for? I don't see an action declaration from the wizard in your breakdown. That's not the DM's problem. It's up to the players to play their characters effectively. My car doesn't use gasoline. That is the smart play. :)
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 11:57 AM
    This episode was one giant character assassination. I know that they were trying to build up to Dany's madness, but they had not built it up to the point where killing thousands of innocent civillians feels like something she would do. This feels completely divorced from her character up to this point. Also, apparently dragon fire behaves like a missile now, and has concussive force to blow...
    166 replies | 3613 view(s)
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  • Istbor's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:54 PM
    Yeah. I smirked at that as well. Suddenly the Scorpions behaved as you'd expect them to. All in all though, I was pretty happy with the way the episode went. Made for some awesome Dragoning.
    166 replies | 3613 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:23 PM
    Greyhawk Elevator Pitch: What if everything that TSR ever published was all put in one setting?
    67 replies | 2384 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:06 PM
    I can't really speak for the social contracts at anyone's table but my own. From the perspective of the rules though, that expectation does not hold up well in my view since the outcome of all action declarations are decided by the DM who is empowered to use the rules to inform his or her decision but is never beholden to them. (This necessarily includes something as simple as taking rope out of...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:55 PM
    I will probably leave the Setup section separate because it is more like a ritual, and not really cast on the fly. I when I have time, I will integrate the Eldritch Knight section in with the rest of the list. Probably I will put a short ‘− melee’ tag, meaning any spell that range 15 feet or less. If you have a chance to go thru the Eldritch Knight sections, feel free to recommend which...
    252 replies | 44057 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:53 PM
    A D&D 5e DM who wants to act in the framework the rules provide in my view narrates the result of the adventurers' action without establishing anything new about what the player described as wanting the character to do. This is the effective limit for the DM in this regard, since he or she cannot determine what the character does, thinks, or says. One trick I do in an effort to avoid overstepping...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:57 PM
    Right. My point being that nobody can really say that a social contract applies to all tables and, given how it will vary, it's not something that helps show an approach is a breach of the social contract. It might be for some and not for others. I think from the perspective of the rules the DM gets to say what the outcome of every action declaration is. Some might not like this or outsource some...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:23 PM
    I would expect cargo to be a hazard. Imagine a big crane lifting heavy crates that the bad guys can swing towards the players, or use to drop the cargo on their heads. Also, I would expect the bad guys to use a small sloop to sneak their men into the city via the canals as backup, with some extra firepower. The fight on the docks would simply be a distraction while the sloop is the main...
    15 replies | 442 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:42 PM
    "Social contract" exists as what the DMG calls "table rules" which are not the rules of the game. These will vary from table to table. I have already given good reasons, based on what the rules describe as the DM's role, why the DM may decide that the player's action declaration to take the rope out of the character's backpack may fail. Those reasons might be that the DM needs to mediate...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 04:57 PM
    But who decides that there is an "automatic outcome" to casting a fireball or seeking help from the PC's temple? The DM, always.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • Istbor's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 04:53 PM
    Oooo, is this where we get to list off how much media we've consumed in an effort to see which of us is the superior nerd? Hard pass. If you think it was that bad, for you, then fine by me. I will argue that objectively, there are worse.
    166 replies | 3613 view(s)
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  • Istbor's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 04:36 PM
    I mean, Tyrion is the Hand of the Queen to killed Cersei. So... he kind of killed her... maybe that was all the prophecy was. Or maybe the showrunners don't care about that bit, while the books if they ever come out, will go more into that.
    166 replies | 3613 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 03:47 PM
    They may be listed on the character sheet, but as the outcome of all action declarations are decided upon by the DM, I don't think where they are listed says anything about the player controlling the fiction in this regard.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • Istbor's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 03:04 PM
    You must not watch that much Television then.
    166 replies | 3613 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 02:35 PM
    I prefer maps and tokens and use Roll20 even for in-person games. But one thing I learned about TotM is that the standard play loop is even more important and the DM is well-served by internalizing that process and using it. The standard play loop is (1) The DM describes the environment, (2) The players describe what they want to do, and (3) The DM narrates the results of the adventurers's...
    41 replies | 1093 view(s)
    8 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 02:34 AM
    Why? Does what the PC think have to be a truth about the game world or be permitted to create NPCs during play (over which the player has NO authority by the rules) in order for you to feel the player has "total authority over what the PC thinks and feels?" Why does this make the PC a "relative stranger" to the game world? The player can choose to use that knowledge to inform how he or she...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:47 PM
    I think Celebrim establishes a good line here: The player is free to draw upon hard-won knowledge to inform how he or she has the character act. The limit is when the player is not acting in good faith and has, as you suggest above, read the module and presumably didn't tell anyone. I think a player not being forthcoming about this many people would consider rude or worse. But sometimes my...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:04 PM
    I don't find any contradiction here that isn't created by the player. It is the player that has to yield since it is the player stating something about the world (e.g. "earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage"), which is under the purview of the DM. The obvious solution to me is for the player not to do that (nor declare the guard is Frances, an old friend) and, again, to verify one's...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:01 AM
    I don't understand what you're saying here in relation to my specific question that you quoted. If the DM does not care that the PC went to buy scrolls presumably good in a fight against earth elementals with no explanation whatsover, then why would someone care if they do so after saying "earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder" or words to that effect? Does something meaningful change about...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 11:27 PM
    If you're fine with the them going to buy the scrolls without explanation, why care with an explanation? The DM is just there to adjudicate the action of buying the scrolls, nothing more. A player might say "Hey, everyone, earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage." But there's nothing there for the DM to do. I don't say "player knowledge = character knowledge" though. I'm saying...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 09:20 PM
    The player's intent is clear; the character's is not. They don't have to be the same thing since player and character are separate, right? The player could know that earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage, but never say anything about the character's knowledge and just describe what he or she wants to do: "I want to go to Ye Olde Magick Shoppe to buy some scrolls of thunderwave." Just...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 06:25 PM
    Yeah. To be clear, I actually prefer the players have some additional measure of control of the fiction outside of their characters and frequently build on offers the players make during play, especially when it comes to my regular players. But I also know that this is not supported by the rules of D&D 5e and so I can't honestly make the argument that it is when we're discussing what is or isn't...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 05:05 PM
    Zardnaar, Stalker0 Based on popular demand, Guidance 0 ranks as the best cantrip. So, people would rather have the Guidance cantrip than have the Eldritch Blast cantrip. (Really?)
    252 replies | 44057 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 04:58 PM
    I understand what you are saying. Counterspell is as powerful as any spell of any hostile spellcaster. It is somewhat situational in that the opponent must be a spellcaster. And it is reactive, rather than proactive. In other words, Counterspell doesnt actually do anything. It stops someone else from doing something. That said, it is powerful. If you have a location where you would like...
    252 replies | 44057 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 04:50 PM
    Really the ‘Eldritch Knight’ subsection includes Bards, Paladins, Clerics, Druids − any spellcaster that fight melee. Would calling it ‘Gish’ make it clearer?
    252 replies | 44057 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 04:29 PM
    I think they would inform but not constrain the DM's narration of the outcome of the adventurers' outcome. This may seem like splitting hairs, but we have to take any rule into the context of the idea that the rules serve the DM, not the other way around. In this case, it may well be likely that the DM always says the character can (for example) get an audience with a noble or help from his or...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 03:39 PM
    Yaarel replied to Norse World
    The most difficult part of translating Norse beliefs into D&D is the world setting. The Norse worldview is entirely this-worldly. Everything happens *here* in the material world. In D&D terms, the Norse cosmos only has one plane, the Material Plane, and everyone is part of it − the humans, the alfar, æsir and vanir, the dvergar, risar and þursar, and the náir. They all happen here. For...
    87 replies | 7137 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 03:12 PM
    Well, there goes the thread...
    73 replies | 6112 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:19 PM
    Heh, I distrust the justice system. Unfair outcomes happen all the time. But trial by public opinion is so many times worse.
    73 replies | 6112 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 11:05 AM
    Stalker0, your comments, and your format are helpful. In the second post of this thread, I tentatively made the following updates. Message 0. Its rank moves down (improves) to the Not Bad section. It is particular good for situations where the party splits up. One doesnt want to split up too often, but it can be lifesaving when the party does. The truth is, metagaming where the players...
    252 replies | 44057 view(s)
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  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 05:00 AM
    Its true, when players play moreorless straightforwardly, the 5e system seems to handle alot of abuse. Mainly by relying on the DM to monitor and rule-zero situations. Yeah, this is the kind of thing I worry about. The combos. And these combos are even normal, working as intended − Rage feature, Haste spell, Great Weapon Master feat. Plus the extra attack feature. It is damage...
    21 replies | 883 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 02:42 AM
    Fair play, since I provided my own diagnosis for you as you say. However, I think it's more simple: I say what I do in my games e.g. players don't ask to make checks. Someone responds to ask why or to criticize my choice (fair enough), often someone who already knows the answer, perhaps adding that he or she does that and his or her game works fine. I say something like, "I do it because there is...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 02:21 AM
    I'm not sure what you're saying here - the truth is a deflection? In the context of the game, it actually doesn't matter to the DM in my view. My assumption in this example is that the player is making an offer in good faith and with full knowledge of the rules of the game and the table rules. If, however, the player is under some misapprehension that, by the rules of this game or perhaps...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:39 AM
    Again (and again and again...), me saying what I do as being something the rules books say to do isn't a judgment on how you play. But in a discussion about DMing approaches, especially one as meandering as some of the threads of late, it may be appropriate for any number of reasons to observe that someone's approach is clearly taken from some other game when it's obvious there is no support for...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:17 AM
    Yeah, so you just keep saying things I'm not arguing against as if I am and, because I feel obliged to respond to someone who responds to me, I feel like I'm wasting my time now. Probably best to just ignore each other.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:29 PM
    Already addressed upthread. And there are approaches that DMs take that simply cannot be derived from the plain English words on the pages of the D&D 5e rules books. Some certainly could if you were reading a rules book from some other game. When that happens, expect me to point it out, especially if the poster is reporting dissatisfaction with the game experience.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 08:42 PM
    All your position means is that we're at an impasse and there's nothing left to discuss on this front. I won't be changing what I call the rules. I mean in a kind of postmodern sense, sure, anything can mean anything. But in a pragmatic sense, only some interpretations will actually be valid in that they actually work reliably in achieving the intended goal. If you're saying that some...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:57 PM
    And who among us old-timers haven't been in games like that?! I sure as heck have.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:34 PM
    Yeah, we can play all kinds of word games if you want. But I don't think that's very interesting or helpful. More word games. It looks more to me that you're reading into my words an intent I do not have.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:29 PM
    I agree. I think it may have been this thread where I mentioned that even if the DM "gives" the player the freedom to react however he or she likes after the DM establishes how the character feels about something, the DM still established a constraint in which the player may feel compelled to take into account when deciding what to do. As Chaosmancer points out, the rest of the table might be...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:11 PM
    Sure, but all of the organizations, locations, and NPCs are under the full control of the DM during play as are the outcomes of all action declarations by the player related to the background features above, since you still have to declare an action to seek assistance from the priests of your temple, get messages to your criminal contact, secure an audience with a noble, and so on. This does not...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:06 PM
    I would say anything that isn't specifically called out as a rules variant (e.g., encumbrance or different resting options) or the like is a rule. This includes the stuff that doesn't seem very "crunchy," such as the section on "How to Play" or what the player gets to determine about the character. I think to parse it into various other words like "guidelines" or the like doesn't really help and...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 06:19 PM
    It has been over year since the creation of this thread. It is probably a good time to carefully reassess the ranking of spells in light of recent experiences. Prismatic Wall/Sphere is an objectively good spell. It seems to even be one of the spells that the 5e design intentionally made extra powerful for plot protection, similar to Fireball at spellslot 3. Still, it has one purpose: wall. ...
    252 replies | 44057 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 03:45 PM
    There's a difference between before play and during play with regard to equipment. Yes, you get to pick your equipment before play during character creation, just like you get to pick your ability scores (if you're not rolling them), race, class, and so on. During play, the results of your action declarations are firmly in the hands of the DM. People other than player characters are non-player...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Istbor's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 03:21 PM
    In certain establishments or with certain friends I may still order Whiskey like Matt.
    11 replies | 434 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Istbor's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 02:50 PM
    I've been thinking of watching the show myself. Loved Snuff Box. I think my all time favorite is Matt helping a lady with her dog until he discovers she has a boyfriend. XD While a little immature now maybe, that struck me at just the right age when I was single looking for someone.
    11 replies | 434 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Istbor's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 02:32 PM
    That is an age old trope is all. Hero or villain too emotional to think clearly. That's not necessarily how humans work. Your body pumping you full of chemicals in a fight or flight situation doesn't make you an idiot.
    60 replies | 1936 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 02:23 PM
    I'm not trying to convince you of anything. And it's likely that more people understand my points than don't. Just a handful of folks are vocal in their objections and it's always the same posters in multiple threads. That strikes me as a clash of personalities more than anything else.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:50 AM
    Yeti's! Make it a crypt with an ice/snow theme.
    11 replies | 354 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:45 AM
    The entire trailer makes it look like this was conceived in the 90's. Complete with Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise.
    25 replies | 652 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:40 AM
    But remember that Melisandre told him they would both die in Westeros. She'd just witnessed Rhaegal die. I don't think she'd have been in the right frame of mind to think that tactically.
    60 replies | 1936 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 02:16 AM
    I agree with you sentiments. At the same time, the Bard feels like a full spellcaster to me, and of course is one. I love the fact that there is such thing as a "clean-cut, shining, Charismatic mage hero".
    59 replies | 2432 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 01:35 AM
    What's not solid about it? Always right in that this is what the character thinks, anyway, since the rules say the player determines what the character thinks. Those thoughts themselves might be wrong. The player need not necessarily believe that Frances exists. The player could be portraying a character who is sometimes confused about what is or isn't real, a flaw that when so...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Istbor's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 09:31 PM
    I recall the rock jutting up, and yeah, that is hardly an excuse. What is more, Danny then does a straight dive into these boats instead of winging around that rock to their rears and burning them out. What, are they going to aim through their own sails and rigging? They certainly aren't going to turn all of those ships around before that dragon could fly around behind them. Sigh...
    60 replies | 1936 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 08:49 PM
    I truly think that is what your objection is all about - memories of a war in which you participated that ended long ago. It can be seen in a lot of your posts and it appears to color your reception of the viewpoints and positions of others. It's in your often backhanded or faint praise of D&D 5e, compared to the edition of the game you clearly prefer (and frankly so do I). I'm not a ghost...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 08:06 PM
    Here we're just discussing how to discuss or arguing about how to argue and you know my feelings about that.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:51 PM
    Thanks for the kind words, but if that's your interpretation of my position, I'm afraid it will have to continue to bother you. I won't stop saying that I do what I do because the rules say to do that or suggest to people having issues that they try what the rules say to see if it corrects the problem.
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:22 PM
    As far as D&D 5e is concerned, that's the definition. Other games might have other definitions. That the game works to varying degrees whether a DM follows the rules or not is something I do not dispute, especially since I've seen that be the case (even if it some cases it wasn't my cup of tea). But that comes at the risk of arriving at a game experience that is not intended or in some...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Istbor's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:18 PM
    Do tell Morrus.
    176 replies | 4678 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:08 PM
    Sorry, dude, I'm the only authority here on what I care about. Please kindly leave off on this track. "Roleplaying is, literally, the act of playing out a role. In this case, it's you as a player determining how your character thinks, acts, and talks." (PHB, p. 185) Taken together with "How to Play," we see very clearly who gets to say what according to the rules. The DM's authority...
    569 replies | 19368 view(s)
    0 XP
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Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 01:25 PM - robus mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...people are reading what they want to read. Myself included. Go back to the early posts. While I cannot speak for anyone else, I never "went after" anything. I was pretty clear that I was only speaking for how I played. I even went so far as to invite folks to call my way house ruling if it helped. IOW, while I might have gotten sucked down into some argument, I certainly started off by saying, "That's cool but I prefer to handle it this way". I dunno, your very first post in thread definitely took an aggressive stance: #37 All this equivocating or "letting there be leeway for error" is just a player screw job AFAIC. Yeah, I'm not big on playing silly buggers to try to increase difficulty. So definitely stepping into the realm of going after others method right off the bat. Your second post in thread #42 gets a bit more passive aggressive: I always find it surprising how many DM's insist on only the DM calling for skill rolls. Maybe I'm just too gamist in my approach. @Bawylie engaged with that though in post #46 but rather than dogpiling, gave a brief history of the game discussing the different approaches to action resolution encouraged by the different editions. @Oofta joins in with post #49 and increases the temperature with this little nugget: While I encourage people to state things in-character, I don't see a need to treat every action like Jeopardy where things have to be said using the correct structure. No need for a wording gestapo if the intent is clear. (my bold) And we’re off to the races... Edit: and I see Charlaquin beat me to it.

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 12:58 AM - robus mentioned Bawylie in post Hit Points and Constitution damage System
    @Bawylie, something you’ve not discussed in your homebrew is how Monks and spellcasters are impacted by the armor and breakage rules? Curious about how they work out for your group?

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 11:28 PM - iserith mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Insufficient for you, perhaps. I have no such problem. Nor does it cause issues at my table. The "here" in "insufficient here" - which you just quoted - refers to the method of adjudication under discussion in the context of Bawylie 's post, not to how you are doing things. Twice in as many days you have observed how you've overreacted to my posts, but you're still doing it so far as I can tell. Third time's a charm perhaps?
  • 04:25 PM - iserith mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    See, to me, this is a perfect example of why I don't play this way. If, as Bawylie says, " it doesn’t matter how good of an explanation either Player gives", then why am I giving any explanation at all? If the DC is static, then what's the point? I can be as silver tongued or as tongue tied or just say, "I persuade the King, Persuasion X" and the end result is identical. Me, I would much, much rather that the player narrates the results than the lead up to the roll. The lead up may be contradicted by the roll. The results won't be. I think there is a misunderstanding here. What Bawylie is saying is that no matter how it is presented by the players, as long as the goal and approach is the same, the DC is the same. So let's say you have the Cha-10 character's player give a first-person in-depth reasoning for why the king would benefit from lending the vanguard to the dance competition. Tears are in the eyes of everyone else at the table after this thespian finishes his or her speech. In an alternate reality where the same situation is playing out at the table, ...
  • 08:18 AM - Hussar mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...s’ rep but not much. As DM, I judge this to be a difficult task. The goal is clear - get the king to lend the vanguard. The approach is clear - try to convince him of the reputation benefits. The DC is clear - 20 for a hard task. The adventurer with 20 Cha and Persuasion needs to hit a 12. The adventurer with 10 Cha needs to hit a 20. It’s way more likely our silver-tongued ally will succeed than our more blunt ally. But the DC is a 20 regardless. What’s more, it doesn’t matter how good of an explanation either Player gives. No matter how many eloquent words the player of the blunt character uses, the DC is still 20 for this particular approach to this particular goal. And no matter how much of a mumble-mouth our player of the Cha 20 character is, they’ll still have a +8 to the roll. Pretty neat, eh? The scenario challenges the players. The difficulty of the task challenges the characters. See, to me, this is a perfect example of why I don't play this way. If, as Bawylie says, " it doesn’t matter how good of an explanation either Player gives", then why am I giving any explanation at all? If the DC is static, then what's the point? I can be as silver tongued or as tongue tied or just say, "I persuade the King, Persuasion X" and the end result is identical. Me, I would much, much rather that the player narrates the results than the lead up to the roll. The lead up may be contradicted by the roll. The results won't be. Now, OTOH, if, as say, Elfcrusher says, we are playing to the player and not the character, then what I say absolutely matters. If I can say it right, I won't even have to make a check, or, depending on how well I do it, my DC will be reduced (which effectively grants me bonuses on my die roll). Again, and I think I stated this way, way back in the early pages of this thread, it makes me, the DM, too visible as now I'm judging performances, which I don't want to do. So, I'd rather be like Baywilie where it doesn't matter wha...
  • 06:05 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Ya know. A DM who posts stuff about D&D on the internet, and people actually read/listen to. Oh! Like Bawylie and iserith? (On a totally unrelated note: Bawylie...check your messages.)
  • 02:22 AM - iserith mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...more than that. The thinking goes, no matter what your approach, if your goal is to kill the orc, you’re gonna need to make an attack roll. If, on the other hand, your goal is to persuade the king, and you can do that without having to make a Charisma check with the right approach, then the game is unfairly favoring physical stats. As an aside, with regard to attack rolls, the DMG has this to say: "Call for an attack roll when a character ties to hit a creature or an object with an attack, especially when the attack could be foiled by the target's armor or shield or by another object providing cover." The implication here is that there's something in the way of your success when you're making an attack roll. If there isn't, then an attack roll is superfluous. This leaves open the possibility, however remote, that as long as a character can figure out a way to get around the target's armor, shield, or cover sufficient to negate uncertainty, then there's no roll and damage is applied. @Bawylie sometimes brings up an example along these lines with regard to a PC holding a knife to a NPC's throat, effectively "checkmating" the NPC. Even saving throws aren't a given. "A save makes most sense when something bad happens to the character and the character has a chance to avoid that effect." So if you have no chance to avoid the effect, you don't get to make a save. All that to say - I don't see any reason, given a reading of the rules for D&D 5e, that anyone should assume there's going to be a roll in all situations. We have to examine the fiction first.

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 04:13 AM - Warforged DK mentioned Bawylie in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    iserith and Bawylie totally opened my eyes to a better way to play D&D. DISCLAIMER: The use of the word "better" in this post is meant entirely subjectively, and is not intended as a denigration or dismissal of the views of other participants in roleplaying games. Even if they are playing the game wrong. Although I've not played with either of them, I lurked and followed their posts way back from the old WotC servers in 4e. iserith has taught me a ton about DM-ing and I've used many of his scenarios in play. I remember the post-wars of him vs SageAtopTheMountain or some pretentious name like that. Bawylie has a lot of great insight to the game towards making it more fun.

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 11:00 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Bawylie in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    Seriously though: has the Internet ever changed your mind about the way you run your game? Tell us a story. iserith and Bawylie totally opened my eyes to a better way to play D&D. DISCLAIMER: The use of the word "better" in this post is meant entirely subjectively, and is not intended as a denigration or dismissal of the views of other participants in roleplaying games. Even if they are playing the game wrong.

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 06:48 PM - Immortal Sun mentioned Bawylie in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    @Elfcrusher I’m not gonna debate action resolution in this thread but the idea that more eloquent people have an unfair advantage is bunk. Well, that certainly doesn't sound like "Those things you're talking about aren't the things we're talking about." It certainly sounds a lot more like "That thing you said is wrong." We’re not looking for perfect description or dissertations. Which I never implied nor suggested other DMs, in this context ones like @iserith were expecting. @Elfcrusher, while I felt dismissed by @Bawylie, I found @iserith to actually be constructive on the subject, at least until he bailed on defending his point and said "I just do what the book says." We’re looking for an articulated objective and a reasonable approach to achieve that objective. No more complicated than “I attack with my sword.” I find "I attack with my sword." to be exactly as descriptive as "I search the room." Assuming there is only one enemy, just like there is only one room, these two statements are identical to me. I don't particularly want to go rounds with my player over "I search the cabinets." then "I search the bed." Then "I search the trunk." And so on and so on and so on. If there is limited time I will explain that the player may only have time to search a limited number of items, I'll describe what items are present and relevant in the room. The player then says "I search X and Y." But otherwise, "I search the room." is sufficient to convey to me that the character is engaging in searching th...

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 08:34 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I agree with you, that was a great example - made even greater by its use notes. An alternative approach would be: "Hey, it doesn't seem like any character choices mattered here, and that you were determined they would arrive at this one (and only one) solution. Is that the case or is there more you didn't tell us? What would you have done if they just didn't get it?" That would have been an example of what I meant by "those genuinely interested in discussing this approach." (And, by the way, I'm still just the disciple. @Bawylie and @iserith are the masters.) Your assumption that you knew the answers to those questions, plus your sarcasm/snark, sorta makes me wish you'd put me back on ignore.
  • 08:21 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...or a wizard or a rogue or... well... anything "character". It seems 100% play and GM puzzle and you did not se fit to show any point where character mattered to the outcome. That's very very informative about your presentation of what separates "approach and goal" from the rest **in actual play** and I thank you for that. By the way, in my non "approach and goal" gameplay, I dont throw random or generic secret doors in either. They require time too. So, it's good that those are not the only alternatives. It's true that in the parts I described, no special character skills or personality traits were necessary, or even invoked, to put the final pieces of the puzzle together. But those distinctions factored into the story leading up to it. It was the Wizard, who used Investigation and Arcana, who uncovered the clues. And in rescuing the lady they all used both their mechanical abilities and their personalities. Likewise with everything that led to the gift of the wine. And, as @Bawylie pointed out, if they had "solved" the problem in another way it might have relied more heavily on specific attributes/skills. It's funny that you compare this approach to a board game, because I feel exactly the same way about the "I roll Perception to look for secret doors" approach. Many posters talk about "challenging the character not the player" but that seems to be a euphemism for "challenging the player to build an effective character and knowing when to invoke abilities." Maybe a card game is a better comparison that a board game, for it seems to be quite analogous to the challenge of building and playing an effective deck in M:tG. Would you call that "challenging the deck not the player"? Simply having different options, and different strengths and weaknesses, from player to player is not what sets RPGs apart from other games.
  • 06:09 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Bawylie in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    Should a dagger be able to kill an NPC? (X) Yes ( ) No ( ) Lemon cupcakes ----- Except... Sometimes, when you hit an NPC with a dagger, they don't die! Sometimes, when you miss an NPC with a dagger, they die anyway, a round or two later! Sometimes, you can kill an NPC using something that isn't a dagger at all! Sometimes, you can use a dagger to skin a rabbit, or cut slices of lemon meringue pie! Sometimes, an NPC can use a dagger to kill YOU! I actually think this is a GREAT example because: 1) There are very explicit rules for how a dagger can be used to kill an NPC. Note that it's not not necessarily, "Roll one success, NPC dies" but it's one component: you roll to hit, then you roll some damage; wash/rinse/repeat and eventually it dies. Unless it has other counteractions it can take. And note that there are potentially negative consequences of trying this approach. (Surprise! He's a shapeshifted Dragon!) 2) As Bawylie pointed out somewhere that if the PCs capture an NPC and hold a dagger to his throat, and for whatever reason they decide to kill him, it's also perfectly fine to narrate an insta-kill (possibly with some kind of die roll, although I'd probably let the player choose what sort...Medicine, straight Dexterity, etc., instead of an attack roll). Similarly: 1) A successful Insight roll could be one component toward determining if an NPC is telling the truth. In some circumstances a single roll might even be sufficient. (That is, you figure out his Bond, at which point you figure it's highly likely that he is lying.) But there should be a consequence to trying and failing. 2) if a scene is properly set up so that the truth (or not) of the NPC can be determined by asking the right questions, looking for the right clues (including possibly spying on the NPC afterwards) then no Insight roll is needed.

Saturday, 6th April, 2019

  • 03:04 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    What some people refuse to accept or acknowledge is that finding/removing traps descriptively is boring for a lot of people. They may have focused their limited options on being the greatest trap finder/remover they can be so they want to be rewarded by using the skill now and then. No one refuses this. No one is saying doing it your way is wrong, or lesser. We've been asked how we do it and have responded. I find it really weird that there's this pushback that, after asking how we do things, you take it as us telling you that you play wrong. Like, really odd. I actually love that you play differently from me. I love this because you have fun when you do. That's the best outcome for our shared hobby -- that lots of people enjoy it and tell others. And, that's all I'm doing here, and all iserith and Bawylie and Elfcrusher are doing: telling others how we enjoy our hobby. I'm not a terrible person for advocating for my play any more than you are. So, can we kindly (and this is for the whole thread) dispense with the outraged imagined injuries -- they don't actually exist. You cannot quote anyone saying that they don't think that some people would find removing traps descriptively boring, you can only impute that yourself. So, stop imputing it. But describing in detail how they counteract yet another contact poison? Snooze time. Not to mention, why is it always contact poison? And why would pouring fermented grape juice on it do anything at all? Why would anyone else at the table care? I think if anyone started doing this at my table, I'd start throwing in alcoholic mimics that pretended to be poisoned door handles. :hmm: In order: I don't ask them to. I ask for an approach and goal -- in the case of removing contact poison, it can be any reasonable approach, I do not ca...

Friday, 5th April, 2019

  • 03:20 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...a set of lock picks, a small mirror mounted on a metal handle, a set of narrow-bladed scissors, and a pair of pliers. Proficiency with these tools lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to disarm traps or open locks. Huh, you're right, totally useless for finding traps. I could use the file to poke depressions, or the mirror to look at things from a different angle, or the scissors to cut any cloth or thin coverings away that might conceal mechanisms. Totes useless. You keep saying that we're looking for magic words, or testing the player's ability to solve problems, but when presented with a situation where "i use my thieves tools to search for traps" it's you that's saying this is impossible whilst everyone that keeps telling you we don't use magic words is dumbfounded that you would say so. Of course it's a valid approach. We don't have a preferred solution, we have problems that the players tell us how they're going to solve. I'm dead certain Bawylie and iserith (and myself, for certain) are not looking for the one approach we have written in our notes because there are NO approaches written in our notes, only the problems. I never know how the players are going to solve a trap -- it's fun to find out how they do it. Like, maybe, a ranger not using a light source getting caught in a trap where the dwarf decides to head-charge the trap and bust it to free his friend. Never saw that coming.
  • 12:45 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Oh noes, I give advantage to players who actually play the game? The shame, the shame. ??? Why the snark? I'm not saying you're doing anything shameful, just that your assertion that you are advantaging some players over others is incorrect. You are just advantaging a different category of player. Sorry, but, if you want to play a game, learn how to play. I have zero interest in playing with people who cannot be bothered learning the mechanics anymore. I've been there. Played with that guy who spent the first six months not even knowing the most basic things on his character sheet. Yeah, not interested in that anymore. Play the game we've all agreed to play or find another table. That's fine. And as Bawylie has made quite clear, he is specifically interested in playing with people who don't know the rules. (I suspect not just to allow novices to play, but because that approach leads to a different style of gaming even for those who are expert in the rules.) And his/our way of playing makes that possible. An attempt to unearth fundamental underlying differences is not necessarily a personal attack.
  • 12:20 AM - iserith mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...egardless of how many times you try to say you aren't, is not something I enjoy. I actually don't care what you do or do not enjoy. Not even a little. What I do care about is the aforementioned abjectly incorrect assertions you make because it may give other people reading this exchange the wrong idea. It's a curious thing why you'd do that. But I am at least heartened by our agreement that mitigating the effect of a d20 is a good thing as a player. Do you agree that two different approaches to, say, opening a door might result in a situation where one is calls for an ability check and one is deemed an outright success? Heh, yup, I'm doing it wrong. You keep stating this stuff like it's a carved in stone rule and that D&D cannot encompass numerous playstyles. Why are you insisting that your way is the one true way? Why is it so hard to accept that not every table does it your way and not everyone views play advice as the holy writ of gaming? Sheesh. That was a joke. At least @Bawylie got it. I'd use a smiley but I find them unprofessional.

Thursday, 4th April, 2019

  • 11:07 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'll agree that even when you're "challenging the character" you're still challenging the player, just in a different way. So it comes down to, in a really coarse sense: do you challenge the player's ability to remember rules, or do you challenge their ability to narrate creative solutions? @Hussar says he doesn't want to advantage some players over others, because it's all about the characters, but doesn't his version of "challenge the characters" advantage those who are good at memorizing rules? Or did I just repeat what @Bawylie was saying?
  • 05:54 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Sorry but its been made pretty clear by some that there are auto-success "approaches" that dont get to character skill as part of their resolution. So, you know, if we can get to that auto-success without checking, the wizard can very well solve that trap. there is a huge difference in that and say the way i do, using the auto-success rule from the DMG on proficiencies as a baseline for tasks/challenges that matter. It's the DM's prerogative to adjudicate an auto-success based on the approach with the PC (and, hence, the PC's abilities) in mind. The approach is not in a vacuum. If the lock is not mundane, why would the DM grant an auto-success to the wizard when we all know he is not skilled at picking locks? No amount of "magic words" will work to get the wizard an auto-success... well, maybe the Knock spell :P ... and so, as DM, if the player said their wizard wanted to pick a difficult lock, I'd probably tell the player (as Bawylie said upthread): “your character knows this won’t work - you want to try something else?”
  • 12:14 PM - 5ekyu mentioned Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Bawylie Thanks for a good post to spring off of to set up a question of balance that may help frame the discussion and differences. . In their post above a hypothetical case is put forth... "A hypothetical. You’re the DM. You’ve posed a scenario in which adventurers have to overcome some obstacle - let’s say give a password or something. Or punch in a combination. Something like that such that there’s a right answer, wrong answers, and the ability to roll some check to bypass the obstacle." In this case the GM has put a challenge before the party with both of the following presdnted: 1 An absolute correct answer - if I do this, if I say this literally in this case, I get thru. No checks, no character skills needed. Just pick/guess the right key/way AS PLAYER and walk thru. There may even be more than one absolute answer - more than one just "choose the win." 2 A way to use a CHARACTER's skill check (ability check) to get thru. May be more than one way to "check the win." So, this is I thi...


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Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 01:13 PM - Oofta quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I have a problem understanding this. How do you challenge a PC? It can’t think, it can’t act, it can’t do anything other than what the player says it does. It’s like a User Interface but it isn’t itself the User. It’s always the player behind the avatar that has to think and act. What am I missing? Let me rephrase. Sometimes only the PC's abilities can overcome an obstacle. If a lock needs to be picked, it's a tool check. There may be other ways of overcoming the obstacle such as using a key or a crowbar of course. The thieve's tools check is a PC challenge resolved by rolling dice and is based on the PC's proficiency. As another example, in my game simple traps can't be overcome by describing how you sniff the door handle and then pour wine on it to get rid of the contact poison. Appropriate checks and associated rolls are going to be needed to discover and disable the trap. You can of course always take an alternate route. I don't view proficiency with a skill or tool all that much...
  • 05:53 AM - 5ekyu quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I have a problem understanding this. How do you challenge a PC? It can’t think, it can’t act, it can’t do anything other than what the player says it does. It’s like a User Interface but it isn’t itself the User. It’s always the player behind the avatar that has to think and act. What am I missing?It has meaning in context and in contrast, not in isolation. An obstacle that challenges the character requires some use or reference of the character traits to reach conclusion, to be solved. Three different characters with three different sets of abilities likely have very different chances to succeed. The character traits are integral and necessary. Obviously, there is likely also, in conjunction, some degree of effort or decision by the player, but it may be as little as "Johsn swings his axe at the dwarf." An obstacle that "challenges the player" is by contrast one where the character has no required traits or skills needed to be called on. The 3 and 5 gallon jug type puzzles, riddles that ...
  • 03:30 AM - pemerton quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Just because it's a minor background issue, doesn't mean it's not important. I'm not meaning to be a smart-arse, but to me that looks almost self-contradictory: how can it be minor yet important? Sometimes a chest is trapped because it makes sense for it to be trapped and there is a level of risk, that doesn't mean I'm going to make a big deal out of it.But calling for a check makes it a big deal - or at least that's how it seems to me. I think part of the explanation for our different conceptions here might be very different approaches to establishing the adventure/scenario. I have a problem understanding this. How do you challenge a PC? It can’t think, it can’t act, it can’t do anything other than what the player says it does. It’s like a User Interface but it isn’t itself the User. It’s always the player behind the avatar that has to think and act. What am I missing?I think challenge the PC means something like establish a ficitonal situation in which the PC faces a challenge...

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 11:37 PM - iserith quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    The problem with reading the rules and imagining the game play, de novo, is the same problem with reading sheet music and imagining the song in your head. Very few people can really do that. So it’s natural that people reach for the nearest possible experience to inform their current doings. Sure, that's reasonable. And it argues for a continual checking of oneself in my view, something I commonly dispense as advice: Ask yourself if the thing you're doing is informed by the game you're playing now or something you're bringing in from another game. Then examine it fully to determine if you need to leave it behind or keep using it in order to achieve the intended game experience. Once you arrive at that intended game experience, evaluate and see if it's for you. You can see this to some degree in the short-form scenario designs I've posted. The earlier ones show a lot of D&D 4e influence and slowly over time that goes away.
  • 02:41 PM - WaterRabbit quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    FWIW, your last two sentences cut into the overall credibility of your argument here. Ok, good to know you think that. However, your comment cuts into the overall credibility of any of your arguments here since it has no explanation as to why you think that.

Monday, 22nd April, 2019


Sunday, 21st April, 2019

  • 10:43 PM - dnd4vr quoted Bawylie in post Hit Points and Constitution damage System
    Yeah I think this is the sort of thing you set to the needs of the game and the tastes of the players. Proficiency bonus might work, but depending on how vicious your monsters are or how heroic your game is, you may be better off with level instead. Incidentally, how heroic are we talking here? For gear: I hear what you’re saying about the quality of gear, and it makes sense. I mean, losing a magic sword would suck. But I’d bet they’d save re-rolls to insure against “1s.” Personally I prefer a binary “broken/not broken” system to a “degrading quality” system just because that’s easier to track. Practically speaking, a weapon that’s doing less damage is just going to be replaced at the first chance anyway. Same for armor. Agreed. It totally depends on the style at your table. Our group is fairly heroic I suppose... We defeated an Archmage while at level 6 (didn't kill him, but he fled... later returned and killed off most of the party...) and a Young Black Dragon when level 4-5 (only one ...
  • 10:03 PM - dnd4vr quoted Bawylie in post Hit Points and Constitution damage System
    Ok so my players are currently level 6. They’ve been playing with these “lethality” rules since last August. We’ve seen fewer than 10 broken weapons and fewer than 6 broken armors. See, when I changed the rules, the players changed their behavior. They take calculated risks when attacking and defending and try to set up as many successful called shots as they can. There’s much less HP attrition combat than in a default setup. Very little standing around trading melee blows. So far it’s been fun. So we’re not “burning through” anything but we do see breaks from time to time. As to your damage threshold, of course that’s fine. I was aiming at a more deadly/dangerous combat overall, which my rules achieved. By keeping the threshold at Constitution score, I get more mileage out of lower tier baddies, and my players beef up their CON with their ASIs instead of taking feats. But again, I’m going for a sense of “combat can kill you if you’re careless.” IMO, a dragon’s bite probably SHOULD be...
  • 09:17 PM - dnd4vr quoted Bawylie in post Hit Points and Constitution damage System
    Here’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s been working beautifully at my table. •When you are not wearing armor, you are vulnerable to damage. •Critical hits scored against the target do normal damage but break it’s armor (in the case of targets with thick hide, like a dragon, critical hits do double damage instead). •Attack rolls that result in a natural 1 break the attacker’s weapon. •An attacker can attempt a “called-shot” against a target to bypass the armor by taking disadvantage on the attack roll. If the attack succeeds, the target takes damage as if they were unarmored. (Optional: you can attach effects to this like disarm, trip, shove, severing a limb - which succeed when the damage dealt by the attack exceeds the target’s constitution score). •Whenever a creature takes damage in an amount equal to or greater than their Constitution score, they must make a Death Saving Throw (DC 10). (For unnamed NPCs, they die on a failed saving throw. Named NPCs die on their third failed death...
  • 09:01 PM - dnd4vr quoted Bawylie in post Hit Points and Constitution damage System
    Why not use the existing exhaustion progress? I could, but I wanted something more random and akin to critical hit tables of ol'. For simplicity's sake, we might just use Exhaustion if everyone thinks it is better.
  • 08:24 AM - Cap'n Kobold quoted Bawylie in post Hit Points and Constitution damage System
    Here’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s been working beautifully at my table. •When you are not wearing armor, you are vulnerable to damage. •Critical hits scored against the target do normal damage but break it’s armor (in the case of targets with thick hide, like a dragon, critical hits do double damage instead). •Attack rolls that result in a natural 1 break the attacker’s weapon. •An attacker can attempt a “called-shot” against a target to bypass the armor by taking disadvantage on the attack roll. If the attack succeeds, the target takes damage as if they were unarmored. (Optional: you can attach effects to this like disarm, trip, shove, severing a limb - which succeed when the damage dealt by the attack exceeds the target’s constitution score). •Whenever a creature takes damage in an amount equal to or greater than their Constitution score, they must make a Death Saving Throw (DC 10). (For unnamed NPCs, they die on a failed saving throw. Named NPCs die on their third failed death...
  • 07:26 AM - Charlaquin quoted Bawylie in post Hit Points and Constitution damage System
    Here’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s been working beautifully at my table. •When you are not wearing armor, you are vulnerable to damage. •Critical hits scored against the target do normal damage but break it’s armor (in the case of targets with thick hide, like a dragon, critical hits do double damage instead). •Attack rolls that result in a natural 1 break the attacker’s weapon. •An attacker can attempt a “called-shot” against a target to bypass the armor by taking disadvantage on the attack roll. If the attack succeeds, the target takes damage as if they were unarmored. (Optional: you can attach effects to this like disarm, trip, shove, severing a limb - which succeed when the damage dealt by the attack exceeds the target’s constitution score). •Whenever a creature takes damage in an amount equal to or greater than their Constitution score, they must make a Death Saving Throw (DC 10). (For unnamed NPCs, they die on a failed saving throw. Named NPCs die on their third failed death...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 02:01 PM - Oofta quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Yeah, insulting the king doesn’t go over well no matter what your charisma is. Let’s take 2 adventurers. One with Cha 20 and Persuasion and one with Cha 10. Both wish to convince the king to lend them a vanguard for use in a dance competition in the slums. The king feels this is a terrible use of trained soldiers. Both adventurers decide they will attempt to persuade the king to lend the vanguard by convincing him it will show a friendlier side of the guard to the people. The king sort of cares about his soldiers’ rep but not much. As DM, I judge this to be a difficult task. The goal is clear - get the king to lend the vanguard. The approach is clear - try to convince him of the reputation benefits. The DC is clear - 20 for a hard task. The adventurer with 20 Cha and Persuasion needs to hit a 12. The adventurer with 10 Cha needs to hit a 20. It’s way more likely our silver-tongued ally will succeed than our more blunt ally. But the DC is a 20 regardless. What’s more, it doesn’...
  • 08:18 AM - Hussar quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...s’ rep but not much. As DM, I judge this to be a difficult task. The goal is clear - get the king to lend the vanguard. The approach is clear - try to convince him of the reputation benefits. The DC is clear - 20 for a hard task. The adventurer with 20 Cha and Persuasion needs to hit a 12. The adventurer with 10 Cha needs to hit a 20. It’s way more likely our silver-tongued ally will succeed than our more blunt ally. But the DC is a 20 regardless. What’s more, it doesn’t matter how good of an explanation either Player gives. No matter how many eloquent words the player of the blunt character uses, the DC is still 20 for this particular approach to this particular goal. And no matter how much of a mumble-mouth our player of the Cha 20 character is, they’ll still have a +8 to the roll. Pretty neat, eh? The scenario challenges the players. The difficulty of the task challenges the characters. See, to me, this is a perfect example of why I don't play this way. If, as Bawylie says, " it doesn’t matter how good of an explanation either Player gives", then why am I giving any explanation at all? If the DC is static, then what's the point? I can be as silver tongued or as tongue tied or just say, "I persuade the King, Persuasion X" and the end result is identical. Me, I would much, much rather that the player narrates the results than the lead up to the roll. The lead up may be contradicted by the roll. The results won't be. Now, OTOH, if, as say, Elfcrusher says, we are playing to the player and not the character, then what I say absolutely matters. If I can say it right, I won't even have to make a check, or, depending on how well I do it, my DC will be reduced (which effectively grants me bonuses on my die roll). Again, and I think I stated this way, way back in the early pages of this thread, it makes me, the DM, too visible as now I'm judging performances, which I don't want to do. So, I'd rather be like Baywilie where it doesn't matter wha...
  • 04:41 AM - Charlaquin quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    What’s a high profile DM? Ya know. A DM who posts stuff about D&D on the internet, and people actually read/listen to. And since the 5e playtest was happening, at the time, that meant like... all the WotC forum regulars. My taste in RPGs was very much still developing, and I had only just started to dip my toe into DMing. You and Iserith were certainly both influential on my developing DMing style. I recall Mellored being someone I enjoyed reading. And there were a fair number of D&D blogs at the time, most of which I don’t remember, but the Angry GM was among those I was reading at the time. Nowadays with the advent of streaming games and D&D advice YouTube, you’ve got folks like Matt Mercer, Chris Perkins, Griffin McElroy, Jim Davis, the Nerdarchy folks, etc.
  • 03:28 AM - Mort quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Yeah, insulting the king doesn’t go over well no matter what your charisma is. Let’s take 2 adventurers. One with Cha 20 and Persuasion and one with Cha 10. Both wish to convince the king to lend them a vanguard for use in a dance competition in the slums. The king feels this is a terrible use of trained soldiers. Both adventurers decide they will attempt to persuade the king to lend the vanguard by convincing him it will show a friendlier side of the guard to the people. The king sort of cares about his soldiers’ rep but not much. As DM, I judge this to be a difficult task. The goal is clear - get the king to lend the vanguard. The approach is clear - try to convince him of the reputation benefits. The DC is clear - 20 for a hard task. The adventurer with 20 Cha and Persuasion needs to hit a 12. The adventurer with 10 Cha needs to hit a 20. It’s way more likely our silver-tongued ally will succeed than our more blunt ally. But the DC is a 20 regardless. What’s more, it doesn’t matter...

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019

  • 07:53 AM - Charlaquin quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    DM-side stuff doesn’t work like player-side stuff. Sure, but I still feel like “the dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check” doesn’t give me enough information to properly utilize the Legendary Action. I’m sorely tempted, just for a laugh, to spend the Legendary Action and narrate the dragon pulling out an enormous 20-sided die, rolling it, and announcing that it got a (whatever number) on its perception check. Like, to no further effect.
  • 07:44 AM - Charlaquin quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Yeah, actions and checks are completely different things. Check out your PH pg 192 “Actions in Combat.” Dodge, dash, disengage, etc. don’t need checks at all. And even the “Roll With It” path wouldn’t ask for checks on these things. Here’s a real trip, look at “Search” as an in-combat action. The text says, “When you take the Search action, you devote your attention to finding something. Depending on the nature of your search, the DM might have you make a Wisdom (Perception) check or an Intelligence (Investigation) check.” Seems to indicate that the Approach(!) of your Search Action determines the ability (and skill) check you’d roll. You’ll note it doesn’t say “your [player’s] choice of Intelligence or Wisdom check determines how you find what you’re looking for.” The Action comes first, then, maybe, the check (if the DM decides that’s necessary and appropriate). What’s more, that word “might” seems to play at two meanings. The DM may decide between two different Ability Checks, or may...
  • 07:33 AM - Charlaquin quoted Bawylie in post What's your opinion on "Save or Die" effects?
    Save or “Dying” comes up frequently at my table (any time you take damage in excess of your constitution score). Oh, wow! That’s pretty cool, is that in addition to or instead of the normal rule where you die without entering the “Dying” state when you take damage equal to your current hit points + your max hit points in one shot?

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 01:59 AM - iserith quoted Bawylie in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I have to disagree here. I think 3rd/PF plays better when you do it like 5th than when you play it like 3rd/PF. I'll have to take your word for it on that. I haven't played D&D 3.Xe in some time and perhaps the game is "backwards compatible" in that way. I wouldn't want to go the other way and bring players asking to make checks to perform tasks into D&D 5e in any case which was certainly a part of the common D&D 3.Xe approach in my experience. I think this is a "systems matter" issue underlying our disagreement, which I know we've had before. I think it matters to the extent the players and DM have some focus on the rules, just perhaps not as much as the overwrought Forge model might imply. I'm going on "middle path" on this position too!


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