View Profile: jamesjhaeck - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book! Saturday, 9th February, 2019 12:18 AM

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Friday, 22nd February, 2019


Saturday, 9th February, 2019


Tuesday, 14th March, 2017


Tuesday, 31st January, 2017

  • 07:15 PM - Morrus mentioned jamesjhaeck in post ZEITGEIST Campaign Guide [5E]
    There are a few references to mechanics of past editions in the en-five-der ( :) ) Zeitgeist campaign guide - e.g. reference to an "Epic Tier". Not a problem, of course, but it got me curious... Given the differences between 4e and 5e (not just tiers, but also differences in assumptions about gridded play, existence of formal skill challenges etc.), how will the conversion handle these? E.g. will skill challenges be converted into group checks of some kind? (I realize this will likely differ by skill challenge). Will it still assume a level of gridded play for combat? For another example, 4e and 5e make very different assumptions about encounter-building: e.g. CR in 5e is intended as a normal challenge for a normal-sized party of level = the monster's CR, where in 4e the equivalent would be a group of monsters of level = party's level, and number = # of PCs. I know you know all this, and I believe y'all will do it well. I'd just be interested to know how you handle these sorts of differe...

Wednesday, 30th November, 2016

  • 10:07 PM - Morrus mentioned jamesjhaeck in post Holdenshire chronicles - have anyone run it?
    I have! If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them. :) Though I ran the Pathfinder version, so the specifics of the 5E version I'm not 100% familiar with. Jumblejacks did the conversion on that.

Sunday, 11th January, 2015

  • 09:44 PM - Blackbrrd mentioned jamesjhaeck in post Magic Items in 5e... Lackluster?
    @Jumblejacks have you checked out page 142 and 143 in the DMG? It has tables that you can use (or use for inspiration) to make any magic item unique. A table for: who created it or was intended to use it?; What is a detail from it's history?; What minor properties does it have?; What quirks does it have? All of these can make any "plain" magic item interesting. You also have page 214/15 in the DMG with guidelines for creating sentient magic items. Let's take the Cloak of Protection +1 that was made Air Elementals, half the normal weight and diaphanous. While wearing it you can speak with Air Elementals, you also feel fortunate and optimistic about what the future holds. Butterflies and other harmless creatures might frolic in your presence. I much prefer "random" tables like that added to the game instead of page up and down with premade items that won't fit my campaign/setting. A bit of extra work sure, but it really makes the magic items unique. It also helps me as a DM just create a custom m...

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Saturday, 9th February, 2019


Saturday, 16th December, 2017

  • 12:32 AM - Darren Richardson quoted jamesjhaeck in post Delve into Critical Role's campaign setting with co-writer James Haeck!
    To my knowledge, there are no plans of releasing adventures for this setting. The goal of the campaign guide is to provide fuel for GMs to create their own adventures. Matt hopes to create more campaign guides for other continents on his world of Exandria, however. I really hope we get a 'Rogues Gallery' book with history, art and stats for all the major movers and shakers (living and deceased) in the setting, now that the campaign is done.

Friday, 10th November, 2017

  • 03:34 AM - Michael Dean quoted jamesjhaeck in post WotC Is Hiring A New D&D Game Designer
    Oh hey, that's me! It's true, I was an undergrad in college when I coauthored the Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting, and an intern at G&S of only about 6 months. But at that point, I had been editor of EN5ider for two years and a freelance designer for Kobold Press for just under a year. It was still a lucky break, and certainly my highest profile project to date, but Matt only trusted me with his baby because I had proven myself on smaller scales. Athena springing forth fully formed, I am not! Hey, I just picked up Tal'Dorei yesterday in a little town named Gaylord, Michigan on my way home from a trial in Marquette, Michigan! Kept me up til midnight reading it. Great job!

Friday, 21st July, 2017

  • 02:47 AM - Brodie quoted jamesjhaeck in post Delve into Critical Role's campaign setting with co-writer James Haeck!
    Drama is one major reason why it's included on the show, yes. That said, your interpretation is another awesome use for the resurrection challenge! My favorite part of having this book out in the wild is seeing how different gamers take it in totally unexpected directions. Matt's a monumentally busy guy, and writing a setting book is a huge task! (Just look at the number of authors on any edition of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.) Being able to collaborate was a serious boon for both of us; it allowed us to share ideas and brainstorm together. It led to the development of diverse story and character ideas that kept the setting from feeling monolithic. And ultimately, it let us finish the book faster than if Matt had been working on his own. Wow. Cool. Thanks for responding. I always enjoy when something I've commented on gets attention from someone in the business. I really do feel the resurrection rules are something that needs to be in core D&D because like I said it's too easy...
  • 01:23 AM - BookBarbarian quoted jamesjhaeck in post Delve into Critical Role's campaign setting with co-writer James Haeck!
    The Gazetteer portion of the book is rife with plot hooks. (Like that "Legend of the Headless Horse-Man" one above? Hee hee.) The huge density of story seeds is one of my favorite parts of the book. Thanks for the info! And congratulations! It looks like it's already on its way to being a hit.

Saturday, 13th May, 2017

  • 02:29 AM - MNblockhead quoted jamesjhaeck in post The New D&D Adventure Storyline Will Be Announced On June 2nd-3rd
    I won't say it won't happen, but I think WotC is well aware that splitting their base via too many campaign settings [is one of the things that] killed TSR. Their strategy makes sense; offer the old stuff as pdfs on the DMs Guild for the die-hard fans, and keep a unified setting in their main line releases. Getting greedy and creating a new glut of settings would be their downfall, like it was in the 90s. Yep. Better to focus on one setting and let other companies design other settings. BUT why no open the old settings' IP for use in DM's Guild?

Friday, 12th May, 2017

  • 10:48 AM - Ashran quoted jamesjhaeck in post The New D&D Adventure Storyline Will Be Announced On June 2nd-3rd
    I won't say it won't happen, but I think WotC is well aware that splitting their base via too many campaign settings [is one of the things that] killed TSR. Their strategy makes sense; offer the old stuff as pdfs on the DMs Guild for the die-hard fans, and keep a unified setting in their main line releases. Getting greedy and creating a new glut of settings would be their downfall, like it was in the 90s. I agree with the splitting of their base with too many settings, but I do think that there is still some margin between what they offer right now and what would be that too many settings :p

Sunday, 7th May, 2017

  • 08:08 PM - MoonSong quoted jamesjhaeck in post Down to the last 3 days with A Touch of Class' 7 new 5E classes
    The table takes precedence over the (vestigial) text. I'm going through the text as we speak and compiling an errata document that will be sent out to all backers. Thanks for sharing your finds! Good to see you here. The brave noble lacks armor proficiency and Stirring words was supposed to apply to damage rolls instead of attack rolls.

Friday, 31st March, 2017

  • 03:01 PM - ddaley quoted jamesjhaeck in post Preview The ALCHEMIST Class From A TOUCH OF CLASS For 5E
    Well, I think the intention is for this feature to function like a cantrip... unlimited and on demand use. But, forcing the player to prepare the devices prior to an encounter lessens its usefulness somewhat. That's why I was thinking they should add in residual damage on the following round... to make up for the slight loss of usefulness. I think that is what I would try anyways. I totally agree. All I mean is that as long as the bombs essentially function as at-will attacks in combat, you can houserule the RP factor as much as you want without breaking the class. :)
  • 06:00 AM - dave2008 quoted jamesjhaeck in post Preview The ALCHEMIST Class From A TOUCH OF CLASS For 5E
    I totally agree. All I mean is that as long as the bombs essentially function as at-will attacks in combat, you can houserule the RP factor as much as you want without breaking the class. :) True
  • 01:18 AM - dave2008 quoted jamesjhaeck in post Preview The ALCHEMIST Class From A TOUCH OF CLASS For 5E
    That choice makes total sense to me, and it doesn't affect balance in any significant way. As long as those basic bombs are essentially at-will attacks, the class works as intended. Yes, but it could also would work as intended if you had to prepare the bombs first. It is not the mechanics factor for me, but the RP factor. I have a hard time visualizing someone mixing together volatile materials, corking them in a fragile container, and then throwing them; all in the same amount of time it takes someone else to draw, aim, and shoot an arrow.

Monday, 20th March, 2017

  • 07:43 PM - machineelf quoted jamesjhaeck in post D&D Beyond Beta: Your First Thoughts Thread!
    Surely you can see why they have that policy, though. A ton of spammers, harassers, and so forth use VPNs to make multiple accounts and circumvent IP bans. Yes, but it's not the VPN IP address only that's banned. It's the entire account, even when you log in using a normal IP address. And then getting that account restored is very hard to impossible to do. I find that policy to be a little on the extreme side, especially considering they don't do a good job warning you this will happen. In fact, I wish they had banned the VPN IP address in a way that kept me from logging on in the first place. I would have realized what was going on, and simply logged in with a normal IP, and could have avoided having my account banned (which I only used to watch videos every now and then, I never posted anything). It seems to me to be a better way to handle things and not to exclude your clients who aren't problems or trouble-makers. Regardless of whether you think it's a good policy or not (Facebook and Yout...
  • 07:37 PM - Morrus quoted jamesjhaeck in post D&D Beyond Beta: Your First Thoughts Thread!
    Surely you can see why they have that policy, though. A ton of spammers, harassers, and so forth use VPNs to make multiple accounts and circumvent IP bans. I see it as a net gain for the user experience. Yup. Spambots are problem we have right here on EN World. Takes a mix of tech and moderation to handle them.

Wednesday, 1st February, 2017

  • 10:23 PM - Zardnaar quoted jamesjhaeck in post ZEITGEIST Campaign Guide [5E]
    Following this Campaign Guide, the ZEITGEIST Players' Guide will be released over the next few months, then adventures will start rolling out. It's a huge undertaking, so serialization may take some time. No big hurry its free(sorta) and it seems a bit more involved than To Kill A Dragon.
  • 04:32 AM - TailleferTheWise quoted jamesjhaeck in post ZEITGEIST Campaign Guide [5E]
    Is there a rough timeline for when the first adventure will be published, and about how frequently the subsequent pieces will arrive? I'll be starting a campaign soon with a new group from work, and am curious if I should consider this as an option. Thanks! This 5e conversion is based off of the Pathfinder RPG version of ZEITGEIST, since 5e inherits more d20 System mechanics than 4e mechanics. Encounter level conversion is still the biggest concern, since the CR of Pathfinder monsters are based on individual PCs, rather than a party of 4-5. There won't be any problem with that—the conversion of To Slay a Dragon was a valuable lesson in encounter building. I don't want to go into too much detail just yet, but we're trying to keep things as close to the original as we can. Some things don't translate perfectly in conversion, so there will be some adaptation of structure and powers. It will feel like 5e. There was some internal discussion of renovating Prestige Classes, but we felt that it made t...

Thursday, 1st December, 2016

  • 03:57 AM - Rellott quoted jamesjhaeck in post Holdenshire chronicles - have anyone run it?
    Hi! I'm James, the editor for EN5ider. I can answer any questions you have about our 5e version of Holdenshire/To Slay a Dragon. :) I have been content to stalk the forum for months, but for this I break my silence. It's been a little while since I read through the adventure series (I read it as it came out, then again all together when the last part came out), but at the time I remember feeling that the middle adventure had several major issues that turned me off to running it, so I'll ask about the parts that I remember. 1. What motivation would the characters be given to go to the various towns, help out, and acquire the magic dragon-slaying gear? The end of the first adventure leaves them with the quest to go east and kill the dragon/save the kids. 2. Tying in with number 1, wouldn't it take forever to travel all the way to the dragon's mountain, let alone go hex crawling and doing the side quests? Why hasn't the dragon eaten the kids yet? 3. There's at least one part of the hex crawling ...

Tuesday, 19th April, 2016


Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

  • 06:00 PM - BruceRCordell quoted jamesjhaeck in post AMA with Bruce R Cordell (The Strange, D&D, Monte Cook Games)
    Things are different now, but when you were a game designer looking to make a name for yourself, how did you go about it? Did you seek TSR people out at conventions and hand them manuscripts? Or did you submit relentlessly to Dragon/Dungeon magazine, etc.? TL;DR I was hired to code an electronic game, but ended up writing print products Long Version: I sort of stumbled into it. I was asked several times to write some content for Role Master. I was reluctant at first, since I was still busy pursuing my bio science degree and working the rest of the time in a developmental bio lab. But I finally agreed, and wrote some material that first appeared in Space Master II that described genetically engineered organisms that were essentially super-tech items. I followed that up with a ton of material for Creatures and Monsters. Meanwhile, I got my degree and parlayed my 6 years working in a dev bio lab into becoming a research associate for a start-up pharmaceutical company. (I think my degree its...

Wednesday, 24th February, 2016

  • 10:16 PM - Jimbro quoted jamesjhaeck in post Pay What You Want on the DMs Guild - An Analysis and Explanation
    I don't think that's right. I've seen several free products on DMs Guild that aren't PWYW. This is the first one I saw: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/175140/Free-Dungeon-Map-3?affiliate_id=719494 Well I'll be! I have no idea how he did that. I tried a bunch with Greater & Elder Elementals. I know some of the resources are given for free.

Friday, 19th February, 2016

  • 10:00 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted jamesjhaeck in post Check Out These Peeks At CURSE OF STRAHD
    It really is an awesome piece. The "wine"glass is a great touch. It would make a great framed print...right next to Vigo, the Scourge of Carpathia, the Sorrow of Moldavia. Oh, the floating glass in the mirror is fantastic. I didn't notice it the first time I saw that image.


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