View Profile: Ilbranteloth - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Saturday, 26th May, 2018, 04:48 PM
    In college, we had different RPGs depending on which assortment of people were there. When I ran my D&D campaigns post college, it was usually a play down one, or play boardgames if we were down two or more. Now, as a full fledged adult with full fledged adult players, I run one shots and serialized games (Blades in the Dark) where the cast of characters can change week to week with no problem.
    15 replies | 275 view(s)
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  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Friday, 25th May, 2018, 12:45 PM
    I don't think my son was three when we started testing the RPG waters, but when we did start it was mostly just back and forth storytelling about his favorite TV shows and video game characters accompanied by dice so that he'd get in numbers and colors practice.
    11 replies | 285 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Thursday, 24th May, 2018, 06:45 PM
    Yeah, it doesn't have to be that big. I think that for me it has to do with being bigger than a single group (even one with different characters or even players), but also has to do with multiple stories that form part of the greater whole. That there are multiple characters (possibly players), and multiple story arcs that are tied together by a common setting. So one group that goes on a...
    42 replies | 1065 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 05:06 PM
    LOL. I can't tell you how many things I wrote (or was working on writing up) back in the day with the intention of submitting it to Dragon or Dungeon magazine, only for it to come out first from somebody else. I'm not a Spelljammer guy, but you have to admit that your idea of the Astral Plane is one of those things that's just so obvious once you mention it. Kind of a "Doh!" moment that all of...
    25 replies | 1279 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 05:00 PM
    The few issues I had with Spelljammer had nothing to do with space fantasy. Most of it centered around the tone and their poor attempt at humor. The real problem with humor in a written medium that you'll be reading frequently is that the jokes grow stale and are no longer funny. This tendency is greatly exacerbated if the jokes aren't funny to begin with. Planescape, in my opinion, had a similar...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 04:41 PM
    I think part of what needs to be defined is what's a campaign? Wikipedia states that for an RPG campaign, it's a connected series of battles, adventures, or scenarios played by the same character. In the body it states "usually played by the same set of characters." By this definition, in order for the campaign to continue, the characters need to remain involved. So yes, their motivations...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 04:40 PM
    Well, I think that's only true to the extent that it was the early stages of RPGs and the game was built around the motivations the players had for their characters in Gygax's and Arneson's campaigns. The game was new, it had a level of re-playability that I don't think any other game had at the time, and the wonder and excitement came from working through the latest creative ideas of the DM, so...
    42 replies | 1065 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 01:14 PM
    Exactly. Which is why we have everybody have multiple characters, and they are always creating more. Because a lot of the time the characters move onto something else. We do it for a number of practical reasons as well, the primary one being that we don't have to worry about whether everybody can make it every week. If somebody can't make a session, then we switch to another group of characters...
    42 replies | 1065 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 12:42 PM
    Very cool. I like your list of effects. I may incorporate them as other options. My approach is quite similar, but I wanted to leverage existing 5e mechanics as much as possible, and also maintain the abstract approach that D&D combat uses. We use a modified version of the exhaustion track. Injuries can occur because of a critical hit (if you fail a save) or are reduced to 0 hp (always). We...
    67 replies | 1935 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 06:07 AM
    Thatís pretty similar to what we do for lingering injuries. We use a modified exhaustion track and the death save mechanic. You get one save attempt per day, 3 non consecutive successes it gets better by one level, 3 fails and it gets worse. High level magic to heal. We love the system.
    67 replies | 1935 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 02:22 AM
    We have pretty extensive house rules at this point, but I'll see if I can summarize where we started, which was working on making it feel more like AD&D. Or at least AD&D as we experienced it. For me it boils down to a few goals: 1. Focus on the characters and their narrative - not the rules and their abilities. 2. Exploration is the primary pillar of the game. Exploration of the...
    67 replies | 1935 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 10:24 PM
    Huh? I have no intention, nor have I attempted to discredit anything you'd suggested. I simply stated that I didn't care for what you were proposing, and why. Furthermore, my objections are to the design of the 3e rules for vision - it's not your houserule. It was the published RAW for 3e through 4e. The only objection I have to what you propose is to reintroduce a rule I didn't like in the...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 12:43 AM
    The difference between fog, foliage and darkness has nothing to do with earlier editions. But whatever. Thanks and you too!
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 12:42 AM
    Here's another approach that I don't think has been mentioned. Use the 5e rules as written, except: Creatures with superior darkvision don't have disadvantage on Perception checks in darkness.
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 05:57 PM
    My contribution here would be to offer this opinion. As a player, I don't think the most important thing is that the DM is invested in the setting. I think that it's more important for the DM to be invested in the players themselves and to be socially minded such that he's not going to flake on the group due to feeling some responsibility to them. As such I'd not run away if the setting was...
    94 replies | 2685 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 12:48 PM
    Yeah, I wouldn't call recognizing that the impediment to your vision is different for fog, foliage, and dim light a house rule, ad hoc or otherwise. Those are simply examples of circumstances where your vision is impacted enough that you have disadvantage on Perception checks. That the rules use the same penalty for all three circumstances doesn't preclude you from recognizing that fact that...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 12:15 PM
    I make no claim that the rules prevent me from anything, nor have I stated that I have any issue adjudicating such situations. My "complaint" is simply this: If using the 3e/4e rules for low-light vision, at what level of lighting does a creature with low-light vision suffer the effects of "dim" light? That is, where they can still see but (in 5e terms and rules) they have disadvantage in...
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 07:17 AM
    ďDim lightĒ due to patchy fog is different than the dim light of dawn and the dim light of a moonless night, etc., and not everything needs a rule. To me ďcommon senseĒ which could also be described as ďtable consensusĒ is what the table agrees to in terms of things that arenít covered in the rules. So your table might differ than ours, but itís consistency at your table that matters. At ours,...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 06:23 AM
    No. And furthermore I think a published setting modified to suit the groupís specific needs is the best option. I donít limit playerís access to published material (as if I could), and actually encourage it. They understand it might not be 100% correct, and nothing is canon until it actually enters the campaign. Iíve done the full home brew thing. And I always come back to asking why I...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 06:19 AM
    Actually, we deliberately slow level advancement because of the exact opposite. We prefer the campaign to focus on the growth of the characters, that is, the people. The game, however, has continued to be centered more and more about gaining levels and new and better abilities. Like TV dramas, we want the focus to be on the characters themselves, and not necessarily their abilities or...
    42 replies | 1065 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 05:53 AM
    Well the big thing missing here are the more complex motivations that real people have. I describe my campaign as a living sandbox. That is, there are all sorts of things going on in the background that might come into play. Politics, schemes, romance, along with criminal elements, etc. The PCs are well grounded in the world, with families, responsibilities, non-adventuring goals, likes,...
    42 replies | 1065 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 05:25 AM
    Itís important to understand that the 5e design differentiates between a 24 hour day and an ďadventuring day.Ē While the default testing rules encourage them to align fairly closely, I think one of the reasons the PHB didnít tie a long rest to sleep was because of this separation between the two. The game is designed around the idea that failure is not fun. Thus, you should succeed more...
    67 replies | 1935 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 05:15 AM
    I enjoy this sort of thing,but also like to maintain practicality in a game. So there are language families and you can try to determine the gist of something if you know similar languages, especially when reading written materials.
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 03:16 AM
    Yep. Although to be fair, those were also written during the time the rules had yet to be finalized. I'm sure they tweaked things as the rules were finished, but it must have been tough to be writing an adventure for a new system. I don't pretend that my homebrew version of the Realms is necessarily better than what's published, although I'd probably argue it's better than a lot of things that...
    47 replies | 1301 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 03:09 AM
    Personally, this is one of the issues that I have with the way D&D has assigned a pantheon of gods to nearly every race. I put lizardfolk in a category with troglodytes, bullywugs as having a more primitive form of religion, if at all. They would have something more like a shaman than a cleric, and perhaps closer to our understanding (or lack thereof) of primitive man. So their religion...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 02:28 AM
    True. But it still made me smile :) so I decided to share. I hope you did too! And I get what you're saying. With something published by WotC you're getting a minimum level of quality that you don't with 3rd party or homebrew material. And with the limited amount of time most of us seem to have to dedicate to gaming, that's a good way to ensure that at least the material is decent quality.
    47 replies | 1301 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 02:21 AM
    Obviously there are a lot of reasons. A few possibilities. The amount of time people have to play vs. how many things are available. Distribution - kickstarter/internet is one thing, being in every game shop and other outlets another. 3rd party products often cater to a specific play-style or approach. They are frequently more of a niche product. D&D and 5e in particular are very...
    127 replies | 4735 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 01:58 AM
    I don't. The various "theories" presented in the sourcebooks over the years are just that, theories, in my campaign. Those and many others exist. The reality is, since characters rarely visit the planes in my game, it's all irrelevant, until such time they do. Where it does matter is in magic use. Specifically any magic that reaches out to the planes (as most witchcraft does in my...
    68 replies | 1826 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 01:48 AM
    To me it's both. I prefer a published setting, and have been running my campaign in the Forgotten Realms since it was released in '87. Having said that, I followed directions and have made it my own. To start, it's much closer to the originally released setting in feel and content than the 5e version now. But I also incorporate probably 95%+ of what's been published over the years and we're...
    47 replies | 1301 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 01:40 AM
    Can I call that out as an ironic answer for somebody with a handle of ad_hoc?
    47 replies | 1301 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 01:30 AM
    It's not, nor was that what I was saying. I was responding to the comment "if that's your idea of a constructive houserule, sure" when I noted that the easiest solution was, in fact, to simply remind folks what the actual rule is. I think it's very clear from my posts that I'm hugely in favor of house rules, and part of what makes the game D&D to me is that it is extremely flexible and...
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 01:12 AM
    Umm, a constructive houserule? I don't recall any request of such by the OP. Just an observation by them that some people forget that a creature with darkvision has disadvantage on Perception checks in darkness, and that they didn't like the idea of them not having such a disadvantage because it seems too powerful. It really doesn't seem to be a request for any sort of rules change at all,...
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 12:01 AM
    Or remind them of the rule? That works too! In regards to a dim step - with low light vision you can either see perfectly, or not at all. There's no intermediate step where you can see, but not as well (that is, you have disadvantage). For a creature with low-light vision there is no such thing as dim light with the 3e rules. That doesn't make sense to me. What's "good" about it is that...
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 11:52 PM
    I agree. And frankly, in addition to reminding folks to apply the rules, if your table doesn't want to worry about it (or doesn't think creatures with darkvision should have disadvantage), then just ignore that part of the rule. It's not really necessary to do anything more than that, really, unless you want to. As for investigation - I think that's circumstantial, but more often than not, no....
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 11:21 PM
    This is all within the DMs (and the players') interpretations of the rules. For me it also goes back to 1e combined with "common sense." In 1e, you couldn't read with infravision. Furthermore, dim light in 5e is sufficient enough to give you disadvantage on Perception checks (passive or active). So, consider the real world - how dim would the light have to be for you to have "disadvantage" on...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 10:54 PM
    Yes, this thread is about the fact that some people forget that darkvision imposes disadvantage on Perception in the darkness. Perhaps the majority of those people that forget that are ones that played 3/3.5/Pathfinder/4e? There are many people just picking up 5e, or those that played prior to 3e and didn't agree with the change that there was no disadvantage at all in the darkness for...
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 04:43 PM
    My assessment of specifics may not be 100% correct. But it really boils down to this: 1. I don't think there is a problem to fix. 2. You do. So, for folks that, like you, don't like the way the 5e rules work, the 3e rules are as good as any to go with, depending on your goals for the "fix." My point is that it's important to define the problem. To me, having low-light vision that...
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 04:34 PM
    We're still working out that math on that one. The trick is one of game interest rather than one of realism. For example, plate armor was pretty effective against every known weapon of the time. So we started with a 5/10/15 scale, the idea being plate would stop even most of the damage from a greatsword. But that meant that combat was miss, miss, miss, miss, big hit (Critical). Realistic,...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 04:06 PM
    OK, so you want to revert it back the rules for an earlier edition? Fair enough. My vote is, well D&D the entire time it was produced by TSR, and they should all have infravision. See, I like the dim light provision for darkness. Because it makes sense. It's not that they have perfect vision all the time, they have better vision than creatures without it. Infravision (the way it was described...
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 03:26 PM
    Uh, no. It's an answer to questioning, "Why do intelligent creatures use light and when?" I don't particularly care when something uses light or not. That's kind of "up to them." But since I'm the DM and I need to know when they would choose to use light, I have to ask and answer those questions. I disagree. An intelligent creature capable of creating light wants to not be at a...
    103 replies | 3129 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 11:27 PM
    Iíve noted in multiple threads that unless an intelligent underdark creature is intending to be stealthy, they would be using magical or mundane dim lights. While you have an advantage in being stealthy in darkness with darkvision, so does your enemy. But if you light an area larger than long range of missile weapons or spells, you take that advantage away. The other way to think about it is...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 11:21 PM
    Thatís essentially what we use. If itís a d20 roll then you either have proficiency or not, and they all use the same formula (although we start at 10 + ability + proficiency). Expertise gives you advantage instead of double your proficiency bonus. Armor doesnít provide AC anymore. Itís damage reduction now. Critical hits ignore DR. However, even if youíre just sticking with AC as is, you just...
    43 replies | 1331 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 04:13 AM
    I'd agree with that. Being able to charge with horns without a bonus to shove seems odd. But then it seems odd that it requires a feat to charge in 5e too.
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 02:21 AM
    I'm going through the other thread, and it seems to be only you complaining about the natural weapons. Most of the complaints seem to be about the centaur and minotaur being medium instead of large. Although TwoSix commented that the horns are no better than simple weapons, I don't really gather it's a complaint, just a comment. And I don't see any further commentary in the thread yet from him...
    33 replies | 687 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 01:23 AM
    Heh, debacle. I love the dramatics. Another one in this thread I love: Since you specifically invited me to read this thread, I'm going on a different tangent. You want natural weapons to scale, so somebody can choose to be a natural weapon specialist, and focus on that aspect. Well, OK, that's fine. They can do that as a pugilist too.
    33 replies | 687 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 11:39 PM
    Well, I think the same question can be asked about spellcasters in general since so many classes are spellcasters at 1st level. But to me, you phrased your question perfectly because the answer lies within. There is a misconception that each race and class needs to have a mechanical niche or role. And to some degree I think this perception arose because of the cleric, and to a lesser...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 04:38 PM
    This sounds interesting. Can you expand on what youíre thinking with specifics? Particularly the damage bonus.
    234 replies | 7520 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 12:09 PM
    The difference between: Unarmed strike, which is not a weapon attack and does damage of 1 + Strength modifier And A horn attack which is a weapon attack and does 1d6 + Strength modifier A potential of dealing 600% better damage is significant.
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 05:44 AM
    I think it came from earlier editions or Ed Greenwood if I were to guess. Forgotten Realms Gray Box maybe? Back in AD&D days humanoids were monsters and demihumans were elves, dwarves, etc. so Iím used to those. But I do prefer goblinkin myself. Giantkin too. And unlike later editions, I still consider orcs goblinkin.
    234 replies | 7520 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 04:52 AM
    Absolutely. All of which applies to my campaign too...except the fey part. They are, after all, a warlike race that has routinely threatened human, dwarven and elven settlements, often in cooperation with other goblinkin, orcs, ogres, etc. And as to whether theyíd change them, I wouldnít be so sure. They changed elves after all.
    234 replies | 7520 view(s)
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 04:48 AM
    I agree with that, each DMís campaign should be their own. And Dark Sun is a great example of altering the nature of many things to suit the setting. As it should be. My objection revolves around changing the baseline from edition to edition, within the core and also within the given settings.
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 16th May, 2018, 02:48 AM
    My issue doesnít stem from what they might be in other historical sources, but as they were defined in D&D. The same reason why elves will never have anything to do with eladrin in my campaign. I donít recall 4e changing goblins to fey, but after 20+ years of goblins being what they are, I donít agree with changing them in the core rules to whatever. As part of a new setting? Sure. It...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 05:52 AM
    Itís a collaborative game, and itís everybodyís responsibility to ensure that everybody is having fun. What youíre referring to are a number of lines dividing up exactly what responsibilities each participant has. In general these are divided along a DM/player line, but that doesnít have to be the case. For example I have a couple of players who help with rulings. There are lots of ways to...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th May, 2018, 05:35 AM
    That and the wonky climbing rules, plus the size issue. While I get the appeal of some players wanting to play different races, this highlights the challenges with things that make sense vs maintaining a strict adherence to ďgame balance.Ē I much prefer a risk/reward approach too, but the fact is, thereís little downside to a centaur charging unless the target is well prepared. So they either...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 01:17 AM
    Yes to all of the above, although I will say our actual combat system is different now too, to allow more of it. Essentially, the way I treat combat is that you are slicing it into sections of time (approx 6 seconds), and that the actions in that slice should work together to make sense. A goal is to be able to recreate a great combat scene from a movie, etc. One of the things that detracts...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 12:26 PM
    This thread again... To start with, all the sorts of things that normal people spend coin on. Their first adventure is like winning the lottery, so they can buy property, homes for their family, horses, wagons or carts. They can be Oprah, ďyou get a cart! And you get a cart!Ē Of course, parties and frivolous spending. Also much (most?) of the treasure is in something other than coins. And...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 01:23 AM
    That was exactly one of the things that we wanted to eliminate too. I just didn't see any reason to set an order for declarations. One of the main benefits of the approach is that the players can coordinate better, since turn order isn't a thing. By setting an order of declaration, those that declare first don't have any reference to what the others are doing. In other words, you're shifting the...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 01:12 AM
    Yeah, that's never really been a problem, even at a public table with 13 strangers (to me, and among most of them). It's not that it's entirely that chaos, and I'll ask if needed. Each table that I've run has had a slightly different dynamic, and it's never taken long for everybody to figure out how best to fit in around that particular table. So yes, there are some folks that will never jump in...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 01:01 AM
    I can understand the criticism, but I think it is different if the intent is different. If the GM's intent is to make it an interesting challenge along the way to whatever their goal is, then it is quite different than "you fail because I don't want you to succeed." If the force field is something that goes beyond that, and tells the characters (players) something they didn't know about the...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Friday, 4th May, 2018, 12:52 AM
    On Heresy: I am not certain religious language is the best way to frame it, but I have encountered a certain sense of orthodoxy or at least attachment to the mainstream in our shared hobby. There is a certain sense that there is one way to play a role playing game instead of many ways. It also feels like more leniency is provided to use of less mainstream techniques when you do not specifically...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 10:59 PM
    Iíd say thereís a meaningful difference between agency (control) of your character and agency (control) of results. Both provide input into the fiction or narrative, but in a different way. The force placed against the players/characters is essentially the same when the GM arbitrarily decides results in the moment, or ahead of time. Neither affects your control of the characterís actions, and...
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  • Ilbranteloth's Avatar
    Monday, 30th April, 2018, 07:42 PM
    We donít use initiative at all, resolving things in what seems a logical order. I donít ďgo around the tableĒ, just tell me what youíre doing, and go ahead and start doing it. They can talk to each other, etc. I can listen to several people at once, and if I have questions Iíll ask. We like combat to be fast, chaotic, and just part of the flow of the game. Itís usually not important to know...
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  • Nytmare's Avatar
    Sunday, 29th April, 2018, 03:47 PM
    And because I see that the old server I had my power card backs hosted on has long since disappeared: https://imgur.com/a/0DAhoq6
    2005 replies | 537735 view(s)
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Saturday, 28th April, 2018, 07:03 AM
    Here's what I really want to talk about: Playing and Designing with Purpose. The reason I make the distinction between setting design and world building is entirely focused on what the driving force or motivating energy is behind the design. What I really want to discuss is designing to enable active play versus designing to share content for others to appreciate after the fact. When I run a...
    1901 replies | 64445 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 03:07 AM
    You have an absolute right to raise your children as you see fit. I havenít seen anyone question that. But I feel that the folks that are going to agree with you about the use of the word orgy are going to be more conservative than the average and likely share a common geography with you. No disrespect meant, but Iím heavily libertarian, Iím just not as conservative. My son was taught...
    79 replies | 3310 view(s)
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  • Kobold Boots's Avatar
    Friday, 27th April, 2018, 02:35 AM
    Fundamentally, I donít disagree with anyone thatís saying that they have a right to protect their kids. I also think that more needs to be done to protect children as there are a lot of bad things in the world. That said, I think thereís an order of magnitude that needs to be reached before we start having that discussion. If any parent tried to tell me that what Kate specifically said...
    79 replies | 3310 view(s)
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About Ilbranteloth

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About Ilbranteloth
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DMing in the Forgotten Realms since 1987
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Started playing in 1978ish, and have been DMing ever since. Been running in the Forgotten Realms since it was released.
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DM in the Forgotten Realms. Current 5e home campaign running since 2014. Started public campaign at local game store January 2015.

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Saturday, 28th April, 2018

  • 08:42 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Yet if the players do want to spend time on it, what then? If a player thinks I've misconceived what's really at stake, they can tell me. To me, this is in the same category as my reply to Ilbranteloth not far upthread - as Ron Edwards says, a GM can take suggestions. And it is also in the same category as my response to you and Maxperson about the trip to the giants' cavern upthread - the players at my table don't need permission to speak, and so if they think something is heading in a weird direction, or think a call about framing seems wrong, they can say so. Then we can talk about it. EDIT: This is basically what darkbard said.

Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

  • 02:24 PM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... a bare stone wall in a D&D-style dungeon or fortress where it would be illogical for a secret door to appear! In a sense we're only arguing here about the DETAILS of the fiction, because EVERY narrative model game is going to have this character, the players declare actions to advance their agendas. Since it doesn't actually matter MECHANICALLY what those actions are (modulus which skill/power/whatever you get to use due to fictional reasons), the ONLY actual considerations are aesthetic! So it makes no sense for the players to declare dumb things, they are just as well off to declare cool things!What you say here is (in my view) absolutely correct for Cortex+ Heroic, 4e, HeroQuest revised, or any other system in which DCs are "subjective" ie based on pacing and similar considerations. In the context of an "objective" DC system (eg Burning Wheel, Classic Traveller, I think 5e by deffault), the players do have an incentive to identify an approach with a low DC. Relating this to Ilbranteloth's question above, if a secret door seems unlikely in some place, that would increase the DC. A related thing is the continued (seeming) insistence that with a prepared map or notes that it is impossible for the DM to make changes. This is simply not true. There's no reason why, if a player decided to search for a secret door, that I can't decide that one might be present, and even in that moment make the decision that the dice will decide and allow them to make a check.I'm certainly not insisting on this. Many many posts (over 1000) upthread, this was discussed at some length. From my point of view, it doesn't meaningfully change the distribution of agency over the content of the shared fiction for the chance of success to depend on the GM "allowing" the check to have a chance of success. the general thrust of everything is exploration. Exploring the setting. Exploring the characters. Exploring the politics, the dangers, dungeons, and such. Learning what makes these characte...
  • 08:52 AM - Sadras mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... genre, some plot elements which could be used, selected a mechanics to use, and characters were created with back stories appropriate to the genre and referencing some of the pre-generated 'stuff'. Now, I ended up GMing this, so I added a bunch of added 'things' in the course of scene framing. These included a child, a tower, a battle on a bridge with a black knight, a tournament, a plot to kill an important NPC, a giant, etc. A lot of stuff really. The players also invented a lot of stuff related to their characters. They invented followers, a way to dispatch the giant, a way in and out of the tower, etc. Honestly I'm not as systematic as pemerton in terms of remembering who did what, but we all had a good amount of input. I would call this typical for MY games. GM is important, but the whole game is an outgrowth of what all the participants were interested in doing. I do not play Story Now/No Myth games but you have just described one of my games. That is why I think Ilbranteloth is quite right when he says he plays a variation of both, sometimes switching between the two styles unconsciously and even within a period of just a few minutes. This below quote from Ovinomancer really concludes the railroad discussion for me. (snip)...under Story Now, the example would be a railroad because it's the GM overriding the play procedures to abridge player agency (as allowed by the system) and enforce the GM's preferred outcome... (snip)... the playstyles differ enough in core assumptions that maybe you cannot use the same metrics to analyze them both.
  • 08:32 AM - Lanefan mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...on, right? I mean, why are they here to begin with? What do they WANT? I would make something happen that was related to the story and the characters. Maybe there's a way out, maybe someone can get back out. I mean, what did you do? "OK, TPK, everyone roll up a new character!"? I mean, that's warranted, in a Gygaxian sense, and perfectly OK. It just doesn't serve narrativist ends and wouldn't happen in that sort of game. Nobody would frame a scene with that element in it which would produce that result. So in narrativist play players/PCs are never given the chance to do something TPK-level stupid and-or TPK-level unlucky? Sounds a bit dull... :) Who knows what reasons they might have had for jumping down. At the time it might have made perfect sense...well, other than the forgetting-the-rope part...to escape from something or because it was the only obvious way to proceed or simply because they were all just really thirsty! The fact is, down they went. [later note: then saw Ilbranteloth 's write-up a few posts down from the one I quoted, which explains the scenario] Lanefan

Monday, 16th April, 2018

  • 01:11 PM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... Poker face: on!Ē And then Iím like ďwait a sec. I want them to figure out whatís wrong in the town. In fact, I want to show them whatís wrong! Otherwise theyíll wander around waiting for me to drop them a clue, Iíll have my dumb poker face on, and weíll be bored stupid the whole evening.Ē So instead of having the NPC say ďoh no, I meant that things are going just fine, and I shut up now,Ē I have the NPC launch into his or her tirade. ďThings are awful! This personís sleeping with this other person not with me, they murdered the schoolteacher, blood pours down the meeting house walls every night!Ē ...Or sometimes, the NPC wants to lie, instead. Thatís okay! I have the NPC lie. Youíve watched movies. You always can tell when youíre watching a movie whoís lying and whoís telling the truth. And wouldnít you know it, most the time the players are looking at me with skeptical looks, and I give them a little sly nod that yep, sheís lying. . . . Then the game goes somewhere. You, Ilbranteloth, are assuming that GM authority over backstory equals secret backstory. But it doesn't. Because, as Vincent Baker shows us in the passage I just quoted, the GM can author the backstory but reveal it to the players. This is how the "standard narrativistic model" works - the GM frames the PCs into situations. The elements of framing are backstory, but - just as DitV illustrates - they're not secret. It's an important part of PbtA also - the GM establishes the fiction by performing narrations in response to player moves (both failed moves - 6 or down - and half-way successful moves - 7 to 9 - and in some cases even fully successful moves where the player's result is 10+). When you sit down at a gaming table and are told that the game is taking place in Europe, 1943, and you can be a French, UK, or US soldier, it doesn't inhibit your agency. It shapes it.That is not secret backstory. It is revealed backstory. It is genre, feeding into framing. If the GM decided at the beginning ...
  • 04:05 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... - not Eero Tuovinen - to illustrate the contrast between resolution with or without GM secet backstory. The only connection they have to Eero's essay is indirect, in the following way: (i) the absence of secret-backtory is more typical in standard narrativistic RPGing, because (ii) the use of secret backstory makes it harder to "go where the action is" if the action involves discovery (as opposed to, say, killing) and makes it more likely that the game will involve a significant degree of the players declaring actions that trigger the GM to reveal hitherto-unrevealed backstory so that the players then know what the necessary fictional positioning is for their PCs to make the desired discoveries. I guess a third connection between the topic of the previous paragraph, and Eero's essay, is that his essay is moslty a criticism of conch-passing (or, as he calls it, narration sharing), and resolving an action declaration in a RPG is obviously not conch-passing. Subsequently, Lanefan, Ilbranteloth and Maxperson asserted that resolving action declaration is, in fact, a form of conch-passing, and hence is the sort of thing that Eero is cautioning against. I think this is obviously not what Eero had in mind, for the reasons that both AbdulAlhazred and I have given: whatever we think about action resolution, it is clearly not preparing something in advance of playing the game, nor a proxy for it.

Thursday, 12th April, 2018

  • 03:42 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... I asked him where they come from - player (in which case it's the agendas he claims to reject) or GM (in which case it's the menu he claims to reject). The fact that the player might ignore any given opportunity doesn't actually answer my question. How is that not "informally signalling an agenda"? What do you think "informally signalling an agenda" looks like, if not the sort of thing you describe here? I've come to the conclusion that what Maxperson really needs is to play in a No Myth Story Now mode for a month as a player and see for himself. Complete with GM explication of the reasoning behind framing specific scenes, etc. I think he's going to see that he's already trying to do it, and his issue is really just one of not having been really exposed to the technique in a way that is conducive to his understanding it. He seems to WANT not to understand, and yet at the same time to DO what he claims he doesn't do and doesn't want to do! I really need to make good on my offer to Ilbranteloth to do some kind of a demo game.

Saturday, 7th April, 2018

  • 03:23 PM - Maxperson mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    Obviously, you can use words however you want. But I'm explaining why Ilbranteloth is not making an error in reading Eero Tuovinen. When Eeor Tuovinen refers to "backstory", he is not talking about the outcomes of action resolution. I'm not talking about action resolution, either. Action resolution is different from backstory authority, but can result in changes to backstory as I demonstrated above. The resolution to the action was only to find a secret door or not. Nothing else. The backstory authority comes from a secret door appearing where there was none in the backstory prior to the action resolution. Below is the quote from Tuovinen on backstory. "Backstory authority Backstory is the part of a roleplaying game scenario that ďhas happened before the game beganĒ. The concept only makes sense when somebody has done preparatory work for the game or is using specific heuristics to simulate such preparation in real-time. For example, if the GM has decided in advance that the butler did it, then that is part of the backstory Ė it happened before the pl...
  • 02:45 PM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    A character declaring he is searching for a secret door is exercising the authority to declare an action for one's PC. A player creating a secret door via a roll is establishing backstory, as that secret door is now a part of the history of the scene. It now has existed PRIOR to the search for it and is backstory. To me on a success it is, as it's directly adding something to the backstory (in this case, the scene as framed) that wasn't put there by the GM.Obviously, you can use words however you want. But I'm explaining why Ilbranteloth is making an error in reading Eero Tuovinen. When Eero Tuovinen refers to "backstory", he is not talking about the outcomes of action resolution. The backstory was established by the GM in framing the scene.But the GM didn't know there was a secret door there until the player/PC found it, so how could she have already framed it into the scene even in her mind?The GM didn't frame the secret door. It's not part of the backstory. It's presence or absence is being established by way of action resolution. Backstory is not being used by Eero Tuovinen (or me) to denote stuff that, in the fiction, existed. It's being used to denote stuff that, at the table, is already established as part of the shared fiction. In the context of a check for a secret door, the backstory - which is part of the framing - might include that there is a stone wall in an ancient castle built by a people well-known for their cunning engineering. This is another case of being misled by not distinguishing stuf...

Tuesday, 27th March, 2018

  • 10:05 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ... one reason why not. Four hours (or whatever) of nothing interesting happening from anything the protagonists do is not a story. It might resemble an Andy Warhol movie, but those are deliberate repudiations of story! (And I'm not sure that anyone actually watches Empire.) And it's these times of frustration that makes times of success all the more rewarding.Failure is not the same things as nothing interesting resulting from what is attempted. If the player's agenda is for her PC to get rich or to accumulate magic items then you're wide open to this sort of thing. Silly, perhaps, but legal by the letter of this narrativistic type of system where success on an action declaration cannot be denied.If everyone at the table knows that the game is not silly, then everyone equally knows that (in the absence of some context, such as searching the home of a fairy) there is no point looking for wands in trees, as there won't be any there. This repeated concern, from you and now Ilbranteloth, that the first things players will do who actually have the power to contribute to the content of the shared fiction will be to find gold and items for their PCs, rests on the same illusion as other concerns you've expressed. The gameworld is not a reality. If you don't want a silly gameworld, it's easy to avoid: just don't author one! If you want PCs who are more than just a Gygaxian id, then build and play them. One of the true appeals of RPGs is that as player you're (in theory) free to try anything, no matter how ridiculous. There shouldn't be any system-based limits on the actions players can declare or have thier PCs attempt.I don't understand what you are claiming here, or what purported contrast you are drawing. What's the DC for your D&D character to flap her arms and fly to the moon? What's the DC for a 1st level character to jump into a volcano and survive? What's the DC for your 1st level fighter PC to try and kill ten orcs in one round? There are all sorts of li...

Monday, 26th March, 2018

  • 10:00 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    In the rogue example the player is clearly and strongly letting the DM know what the PCs is doing and why. That qualifies as full agency, even if that particular example isn't showing all aspects of what Eero talks about in that paragraph.That example has zero to do with what Eero Tuovinen is talking about. Ilbranteloth is just wrong to think that declaring a search for a secret door, and looking for scuff marks as part of that, is the sort of thing that Tuovinen has in mind. the rogue's agenda is clearly to get inside unnoticedThat's not an agenda. It's a means, and a very generic one. Why does the rogue want to enter the castle? What would s/he risk to do so? If s/he is entering stealthily, what provocation would make her reveal herself? These are the sorts of things that show us who the character is, what s/he wants, what her goals are, what sort of person s/he is. I as a player establish my character's personality, interests and agendas. Here's the thing. I don't even have to tell the DM what they are in order for me to bring them out in the game. Nothing is required on the part of the DM. Let's say that I'm playing a dour dwarf(I know, it's a stretch ;) ) who is interested in fine wines and with an agenda to get drunk on fine wine in every town he comes to. Without telling the ...
  • 09:50 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    What we don't see in this example is all the lead-up showing how the rogue got to this point. The agenda and reasons for being here would very likely have long since been established. What the rogue thinks and feels at that particular moment would of course be up to the player to narrate on the fly, should she so desire; as would the decision of what if anything to sacrifice or trade off in order to achieve her immediate goal of stealthily getting into the castle.My point is that Ilbranteloth doesn't tell us anything about (for instance) any such sacrifice being required. Or anything else that brings character personality or agenda to the fore. The only choice the player of the rogue had to make was do I declare a search, or do I not bother? Nothing was at stake. it's not very often that much characterization comes out of what are in effect largely mechanical action declarations. "This is a logical place for a secret door so I'll search for one" tells us maybe a bit about the character, but mostly that's just a simple Search declaration - not much in it; and it's unfair to point at this as a reason for any lack of characterization or personality.What it tells me is that this is not a game in which advocacy, in Eero Tuovinen's sense, is important. And at least in my games most of what we learn about characters comes out of action declarations. I've posted many actual play links in this thread, and described a number as well. Here are just a handful: * A Travel...
  • 01:28 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...hat it must be undertaken in a strictly linear fashion, is a FIXED set of scenes. If these scenes address character needs and player agenda it by pure chance. 2) The keep itself is, again, not particularly well-adapted to Story Now. It will work as a backdrop to various scenes, but there's nothing especially compelling about it. The Evil Cleric exists as-is. You can confront him, or not, and he will only address player's interests haphazardly at best. There are other characters who are basically either quest-givers or resource dispensers, or both. These characters are mostly peripheral, they could be co-opted into playing a part in the character's story, but nothing about them is ESPECIALLY compelling in this regard, any collection of similar NPCs would do as well. 3) The general premise, the stronghold on the edge of civilization, may or may not be a suitable setting in which to play out the character's story, but we cannot say unless we know what that story is. In terms of what Ilbranteloth has to say about it specifically: OK, the premise is the keep on the edge of civilization. What does this say about civilization? What does it say about wilderness? About their relationship, and that of people, PCs particularly, to either of those things? Establishment of a Fighter, wizard, cleric, and thief: These are generic characters built to classes which are basic archetypes. What is unique about these guys and what compels them? B/X and 1e both ASSUME fighters want to build keeps, wizards want/need components etc, rogues want riches, and clerics want to build temples. What is actually pushing these guys? Does the fighter wish to establish a keep because his family honor is at stake after they lost their holding somewhere else? Is the wizard attempting to achieve some specific magical effect? Why? What is the basis of the cleric's friendship with the fighter? Are they related, old friends, lovers?! What deity does this cleric even serve? Why is the rogue out here on the edge o...

Saturday, 24th March, 2018

  • 09:15 PM - Lanefan mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    ...d even in a DM-driven game can sometimes have a function - usually when dealing with off-screen details the DM doesn't want to bother with such as determining each inhabitant of the PC's home village. But that type of agency is not a part of the normal run of play, and thus is meaningless in that context. Here's one way that B2 restricts player agency: if a player declares "I want to meet an alchemist in the keep" then, as the module is written, that action will fail. That doesn't restrict their agency at all! They declared an attempted action (thus exercising their agency) and were told that action failed. Which also shows that the characters can't do whatever they like. They can do whatever the established fiction of the keep might permit them to do. Yep. Just like reality, in that regard - if I go to the mall and look for a hardware store, no matter what I do if the mall doesn't have a hardware store I ain't gonna find one there. Side note: thanks to Maxperson and Ilbranteloth for saving me loads of typing these last few days. :) Lanefan

Thursday, 1st March, 2018

  • 10:14 AM - pemerton mentioned Ilbranteloth in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I think he means the sort of game where once the DM has set the world up and placed the PCs into an initial setting she from there on acts as nothing more than a glorified CPU whose only purposes are to react to what the PCs do, to narrate those reactions neutrally, and to describe the scenery around the PCs wherever they may be. The parameters for action declaration are set by a combination of the rules system in use (what actions are allowed and-or how are they resolved) and the fictional environment in which the PCs are at the time (as per your example of no boats in mid-desert).I understand what sort of game Ilbranteloth is describing. I'm just saying that it's a mistake to say that the GM doesn't influence the action at all. When one says that the fictional environment establishes a parameter for action declaration , and also note that the GM established the fictional environment, we see that the GM is influencing actions a great deal. In thinking about the significance of this for play, I think it's helpful to think about game conventions or conceits. If I turn up to play a session of Moldvay Basic, or of the sort of D&D that Gygax describes in the "Successful Adventuring" section of his PHB, then of course the fictional situation is going to be a dungeon. That's what the game is about. And it has a lot of system elements - mechanics, methods, implicit understandings - to support play in that context. If I turn up to play a game of AD&D and the GM says, "Right, you're in a desert" that's already very different from the Moldvay Basic case.

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017

  • 02:58 PM - Salamandyr mentioned Ilbranteloth in post Group Rule Deal-Breakers
    I find myself in agreement with the way Ilbranteloth does things. Not every character class has to represent a "job" somebody can have in the D&D universe. We don't need Orders of Paladins to have paladins. We just need one guy (the PC) the gods have chosen to bless with those kinds of powers. We don't need tribes of BearBarians; we just need one guy (the PC) who has made a vision quest to the mountaintop to request the blessing of the Bear spirits. Maybe not every priest is a cleric, but the PC is the once in a lifetime holy scion blessed with the powers of the gods. Yeah...fighters are going to exist, but there might be only one Champion. Do sorcerors need to be common? Gandalf was a wizard and Radagast was a druid but they were both Wizards. One can play the D&D game entirely RAW and still keep control of the world, as long as one reinforces the idea that PC's are exceptions even when they're playing as classic a concept as the paladin or cleric.

Thursday, 21st September, 2017

  • 09:34 PM - DeJoker mentioned Ilbranteloth in post A New Thought About Skills
    @Ilbranteloth you got ahead of me -- please look again at my previous post I think that will help you understand what I was getting at -- if you still do not understand let me know and I make an even more verbose version
  • 05:58 AM - Harzel mentioned Ilbranteloth in post Casting multiple spells with bonus spells and the order they are cast.
    I see I have arrived late and @Ilbranteloth has found a definitive tweet from Crawford. Nevertheless, I will add this, let us say, for completeness. I'll try again. Reactions are not part of your turn, even if they hasten during your turn. We can tell because the rules provide what you can do on your turn and reactions aren't part of it (you get a move, and action, and maybe a bonus action). Reactions are a special action that can happen anytime - during your turn, during someone else's turn, whenever it's trigger happens. So far, so good. Here's the bit that I'm saying. The restriction on casting due to bonus action casting is a specific rule that trumps the general rule of what you do on your turn. That's the extent of the exception: only what you can do with your turn is affected. Therefore, even though your reaction may trigger during your turn and occur on it, outs not part of your turn (it's a special action outside of what you can do on your turn), and so restrictions on what you can do on your turn do not app...

Monday, 28th August, 2017

  • 07:53 AM - Hussar mentioned Ilbranteloth in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    At that point, I'm honestly wondering why you'd bother rolling Ilbranteloth. Those arrays you listed are pretty much standard arrays. Certainly within a couple of points anyway. Besides that guy with the 17 Dex and 15 con who's pretty much just begging to be a fighter or rogue. So, he's going to start with an 18 or 19 Dex. Effectively a bonus feat at first level. Sweet. He's actually better than EVERY rogue will ever be who starts with a point buy. Nice. As a fighter, he attacks several levels higher and has a better AC than the heavy armor characters for a fraction of the cost. Again, sweet. Never minding that poor schmuck you force to play the 12, 10, 10, 11, 14, 10 array. Whoohoo. I have to be a fighter or rogue who will never, ever be equal to Bob sitting beside me. Fantastic. Gimme more of that please. Yeah, no thanks. It's funny. We play with array or point buy (player choice) and yet, despite my current campaign of no casters (two rangers, a paladin, two fighters and a monk) none of the characters have even remotely similar s...

Sunday, 27th August, 2017



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Thursday, 24th May, 2018

  • 04:52 AM - Lanefan quoted Ilbranteloth in post How different PC motivations support sandbox and campaign play
    I think part of what needs to be defined is what's a campaign? Wikipedia states that for an RPG campaign, it's a connected series of battles, adventures, or scenarios played by the same character. In the body it states "usually played by the same set of characters." By this definition, in order for the campaign to continue, the characters need to remain involved. So yes, their motivations matter in that regard. Partly. See below. However, I think the term "campaign" came from the wargaming hobby that preceded D&D. And a military campaign is a large scale, long term series of interrelated conflicts that involve many squads and platoons. Regardless of it's origination, I've always approached the term "campaign" with the idea that it incorporates the adventures of many different characters and parties over a period of time in the same setting. Hence the term, campaign setting. That is, a campaign is much more than a single character or group of characters, it encompasses whatever happens wi...

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018

  • 09:12 PM - KenNYC quoted Ilbranteloth in post Game Theory. CR and 5E Encounter System.
    Itís important to understand that the 5e design differentiates between a 24 hour day and an ďadventuring day.Ē While the default testing rules encourage them to align fairly closely, I think one of the reasons the PHB didnít tie a long rest to sleep was because of this separation between the two. The game is designed around the idea that failure is not fun. Thus, you should succeed more often than fail. This makes it feel considerably easier than, say, AD&D. Iím not sure itís really all that much easier that 3e or 4e, but it is much less complicated and I think that contributes to that feel. But itís also relatively easy to find a balance that works for your table. And itís very easy to tweak to make it play similar to AD&D with streamlined rules. Our game has a very AD&D feel because thatís basically what I like running. But I also like the simpler rule structure, and weíve tweaked it further to better fit our style. I highly recommend the approach - make the game work for you and your s...
  • 05:10 PM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    snip Okay, so now that all your efforts to discredit, question and invalidate my suggestion have boiled down to "don't like it; rather use other houserules", maybe if there is nothing further, you can let me present my contribution without further interference. Thank you.

Monday, 21st May, 2018

  • 12:59 PM - 5ekyu quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    Yeah, I wouldn't call recognizing that the impediment to your vision is different for fog, foliage, and dim light a house rule, ad hoc or otherwise. Those are simply examples of circumstances where your vision is impacted enough that you have disadvantage on Perception checks. That the rules use the same penalty for all three circumstances doesn't preclude you from recognizing that fact that the causes and their impact are different and adjudicating accordingly. I don't consider traveling outside at night suicidal, but there's a reason why people, even today, don't travel through the wilderness at night, preferring to set up camp and rest. I think that's well reflected in the 5e rules as is. People without darkvision have disadvantage in dim light, and it's worse in total darkness. So they use light, but since most portable light sources have a relatively small radius (too small to be safe outdoors), they will tend to set up camp for the night. I use the 5e vision rules just as they are. As I st...
  • 11:53 AM - Doc_Klueless quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    I don't recall any request of such by the OP. Just an observation by them that some people forget that a creature with darkvision has disadvantage on Perception checks in darkness. ... Simply an observation and a reminder that dungeons are more dangerous when you remember that a creature with darkvision has disadvantage on their Perception checks when in darkness. I don't think the OP is asking for a houserule. He appears to be encouraging people to remember the rule about disadvantage. While both of these are true about my OP, posts are like children. You raise them as best as you can. But once they leave the house they're on their own! I've found the topic interesting, for the most part.
  • 10:15 AM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    As for the intermediate step I mention, it's really just the possibility that no matter what type of vision a creature has, there is some level of brightness that means they have disadvantage on Perception checks. The rules don't say a human gets a penalty to (or even Disadvantage) to a perception check made at a distance. Yet I submit nobody has any issues adjucating such a situation, except possibly you, and even then probably to create a problem with my suggestion that really isn't there. Just like a human can get penalties even in broad daylight, obviously an elf can get them under a full moon. Otherwise abilities such as Barbarian Eagle Totem means nothing. Your claim that you are prevented by the rules from applying disadvantage to low-light vision at night outdoors is just as feeble as it sounds like. Sure, you've made up your mind not to use my suggestion (and what your business in this thread even is, well probably never know!) But don't make my suggestion out to be problematic whe...
  • 08:19 AM - 5ekyu quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    ďDim lightĒ due to patchy fog is different than the dim light of dawn and the dim light of a moonless night, etc., and not everything needs a rule. To me ďcommon senseĒ which could also be described as ďtable consensusĒ is what the table agrees to in terms of things that arenít covered in the rules. So your table might differ than ours, but itís consistency at your table that matters. At ours, darkvision isnít sufficient to read by, nor is a starry night. In fog, itís not a hindrance. Mostly because fog isnít a hindrance due to it being dim light, it just has similar effects with regards to being able to clearly see beyond a certain distance. I adjudicate such things on the fly based on what makes sense to me, based on research and experience, including experience as a DM and running many editions and RPGs. But if somebody at the table questions it, Iím happy to explain my reasoning, and the table can decide if that will be the ruling going forward or not. The entire purpose for the rules to us i...
  • 03:24 AM - 5ekyu quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    This is all within the DMs (and the players') interpretations of the rules. For me it also goes back to 1e combined with "common sense." In 1e, you couldn't read with infravision. Furthermore, dim light in 5e is sufficient enough to give you disadvantage on Perception checks (passive or active). So, consider the real world - how dim would the light have to be for you to have "disadvantage" on perception checks? Pretty dim. You'll also notice that things naturally become black and white (grayscale) under those conditions, and that you can't read either. So when you're trying to be stealthy and sneak around, but then want to read that scroll? That's an interesting situation. If nobody in the underdark uses light because they all have darkvision that allows them to see without light with no problem, why did drow evolve the ability to cast darkness? Most are probably never exposed to light at all. Ever. The rules cover specific circumstances where die rolls that come up fairly frequently. In addition...
  • 02:56 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted Ilbranteloth in post As a player: prefer Homebrew or Published settings?
    And I get what you're saying. With something published by WotC you're getting a minimum level of quality that you don't with 3rd party or homebrew material. And with the limited amount of time most of us seem to have to dedicate to gaming, that's a good way to ensure that at least the material is decent quality. It is not just that. Look at the range in quality in WotC's own 5E adventures. The first few were farmed out to other companies to produce, so they are second party products, and their overall quality was not as good as the subsequent ones produced in-house by WotC. But those early adventures are still better in quality than probably 80% of third party adventures.
  • 02:16 AM - ad_hoc quoted Ilbranteloth in post As a player: prefer Homebrew or Published settings?
    Can I call that out as an ironic answer for somebody with a handle of ad_hoc? Unless we're talking about making everything up at the game table, homebrew isn't ad hoc. :p
  • 01:16 AM - FrogReaver quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    Umm, a constructive houserule? I don't recall any request of such by the OP. Just an observation by them that some people forget that a creature with darkvision has disadvantage on Perception checks in darkness, and that they didn't like the idea of them not having such a disadvantage because it seems too powerful. It really doesn't seem to be a request for any sort of rules change at all, actually. Simply an observation and a reminder that dungeons are more dangerous when you remember that a creature with darkvision has disadvantage on their Perception checks when in darkness. Another signed and framed example of Enworld being Enworld... I mean since when did it become deviant to post about house rules we use and found useful in place of a certain rule?
  • 12:59 AM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    I totally agree with you, if a creature can see without hindrance in total darkness, they'd never use light. Although that's not the description of drowish cities going back to at least Menzoberranzan where things are lit with phosphorescent mosses and fungi, faerie fire, and such. But if darkness provides a significant disadvantage to your vision, then I still maintain that intelligent such creatures would use it. I never question using light in well-defended outposts (let alone major cities). Again this is about player characters, or any small group of vulnerable numbers. The same drow that loves to light up their city would be foolish indeed if they used light when travelling on patrol. That would immediately squander their greatest asset: moving about in total darkness, and even spotting other darkvision-enabled races before they're seen themselves (since 120 ft Darkvision is twice the normal range). Suggesting that creatures with Darkvision still travel with torches is not a solu...
  • 12:49 AM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    Or remind them of the rule? That works too! If that's your idea of a constructive houserule, sure. In regards to a dim step - with low light vision you can either see perfectly, or not at all. There's no intermediate step where you can see, but not as well (that is, you have disadvantage). For a creature with low-light vision there is no such thing as dim light with the 3e rules. That doesn't make sense to me. I don't follow. By the rules you (I'm assuming you're a human with no special vision) can either see perfectly, or not at all. It's called "day" and "night". I would have thought you have no problems adjucating the game when a human PC is out adventuring in the day - in towns, forests and hills. There aren't any intermediate steps in human day vision. Assuming you don't either - then that is exactly how it works for an Elf with low-light vision during the night. No changes. I don't see why anyone would need intermediate steps. (If you really need them 3E offered distance p...

Sunday, 20th May, 2018

  • 06:23 PM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    So, for folks that, like you, don't like the way the 5e rules work More like don't remember the way the 5e rules work... Remember: the OP of this thread said: "Too many people [] tend to forget the drawbacks of darkvision." I'm assuming we're discussing ways to ameliorate this issue. My approach is very direct: remove the things you tend to forget - since that's a proven way to handle it :) , the 3e rules are as good as any to go with Thank you. Personally, I think the 3E darkvision rules are even better than "as good as any", since they're exactly the same as 5E Darkvision except that specific part people tend to forget! :) Anyway. All that remains is to ask... To me, having low-light vision that doesn't have an intermediate (dim) step is a problem. What do you mean? Wherever you have bright-dim-dark, you have it with low-light vision too? (A torch just provides 40 ft bright light followed by 40 ft dim light, instead of the usual 20/20 ft.) And above ground, you...
  • 04:37 PM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    From what I see, you have two issues with the current system: 1. Too many creatures have the ability to see in total darkness, to whatever degree. Although most of the creatures you're complaining about historically have had that abilit. Elves, for example, have always had the ability in D&D, it was nerfed when 3e came around with more granularity. 2. You want creatures with darkvision to have the same advantage against creatures without darkvision (including those with low-light vision, should it exist) that nocturnal creatures have against non-nocturnal creatures. Or to put it a different way, you want creatures with darkvision to not have any disadvantage in darkness. First off, I'm not the one with the problems. I've already solved my game. This is about this thread, where people are having difficulty remembering specifics about 5th edition darkvision. I am providing a suggestion on how to solve that. Perhaps surprisingly, this wasn't a issue before, so if you revert the changes fro...
  • 04:29 PM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    OK, so you want to revert it back the rules for an earlier edition? Fair enough. My vote is, well D&D the entire time it was produced by TSR, and they should all have infravision. No, I want to suggest the perfectly serviceable rules of 3rd edition. I want to flag the idea that maybe 5th edition made changes that are the root of the issue; and by reverting these changes, the problem also goes away :) I also took the opportunity to set you straight, thinking that perhaps you base your opinion on a misassumption.

Saturday, 19th May, 2018

  • 08:28 AM - CapnZapp quoted Ilbranteloth in post Darkvision: Don't forget the Disadvantage & limitations!
    Iíve noted in multiple threads that unless an intelligent underdark creature is intending to be stealthy, they would be using magical or mundane dim lights. While you have an advantage in being stealthy in darkness with darkvision, so does your enemy. But if you light an area larger than long range of missile weapons or spells, you take that advantage away. The other way to think about it is that we donít wait until itís dark to use a light. We wait until itís dark enough to impair our vision. Underdark creatures are likely to do the same. Because they arenít worried about the odd human that wanders down, theyíre worried about the other underdark monsters.This argument boils down to "I want creatures to use light in the underdark" In reality, what you would go for in utter darkness, is not being detected. Since light spreads fantastically far (even around corners) when it is pitch black, what you do not do, if you want to stay undetected, is light even the smallest light source. Darkness is yo...
  • 05:59 AM - jmucchiello quoted Ilbranteloth in post Thoughts on Proficiency and AC
    Thatís essentially what we use. If itís a d20 roll then you either have proficiency or not, and they all use the same formula (although we start at 10 + ability + proficiency). Expertise gives you advantage instead of double your proficiency bonus. Armor doesnít provide AC anymore. Itís damage reduction now. Critical hits ignore DR. That's an interesting take. Thanks for contributing. What DR values do you use for each armor type?

Thursday, 17th May, 2018

  • 04:16 PM - Warpiglet quoted Ilbranteloth in post Oh cleric what are thou? When most classes can heal...
    Well, I think the same question can be asked about spellcasters in general since so many classes are spellcasters at 1st level. But to me, you phrased your question perfectly because the answer lies within. There is a misconception that each race and class needs to have a mechanical niche or role. And to some degree I think this perception arose because of the cleric, and to a lesser degree, the rogue (thief). 5eís design does a great job of doing away with this myth by providing more mechanical options. Because the ďroleĒ a character plays is whatever role you want it to be. Itís a role playing game, so find the character, the personality, the ďwhyĒ they are there. There isnít anything wrong with tying your characterís role to the mechanics of course. But itís so very limiting. Your race and class can define your character, but they donít have to. So, no, I think that theyíve improved playability by not putting classes into such specific niches. Look beyond the mechanical role, e...
  • 04:30 AM - Yaarel quoted Ilbranteloth in post Unearthed Arcana May 2018: Centaurs and Minotaurs
    My campaign has been running since the '87 release of the Gray Box, and while I have added some things and follow the general timeline, the options and feel remains very much a 1e AD&D setting. But they know that going in. Yeah, when you have a setting that has been evolving across years, that body of work is a valuable asset. It isnt really something that someone can do from scratch.


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