View Profile: Charlaquin - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:10 AM
    I think a lot of DMs worry too much about allowing things that donít explicitly say they can be used to do damage to do damage, especially when it comes to cantrips. Personally, I try to err on the side of allowing a result that reinforces the playersí sense of a consistent world. It makes sense that filling a creatureís 5-foot space with fire would hurt them, so it should do some fire damage....
    14 replies | 404 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:55 AM
    I mean the obvious solution to the ďplayers will only use it when they have disadvantageĒ option is just to make it not allow that. You can only benefit from the coin on a roll that doesnít already have advantage or disadvantage. I really like Shiroikenís idea of having the (dis)advantage be bankable. Either you apply advantage to a later roll of your choice (that doesnít have disadvantage) or...
    10 replies | 263 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:40 AM
    No doubt! Like I said, the survivability treadmill is not without its drawbacks, theyíre just drawbacks I personally find less irksome than the drawbacks of the accuracy treadmill. I mean, ultimately I prefer horizontal advancement over vertical advancement anyway. Iíll take a system where leveling up gives you a cool new power over one where leveling up gives you a simple numerical bonus any...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:24 AM
    With lower attack bonuses, the result on the d20 has a greater impact on the result, proportional to the modifier. I suppose if the treadmill keeps perfect lockstep with your progression and you never fight anything outside of the appropriate challenge for your level there is no difference on swinginess, but in actual play no game is really like that. I may have missed that part of the...
    206 replies | 6670 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 07:32 PM
    shifting the treadmill from hit bonus and AC to damage and HP is just as illusory, yes, but there are some important differences. With an accuracy treadmill, you eventually reach the point where itís impossible for you to miss enemies far enough below your CR, which in turn find it impossible to hit you. Shifting the treadmill to survivability makes the giant horde of low-level enemies tactic...
    206 replies | 6670 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 07:04 PM
    That might work. It would still leave spells generally more likely to successfully affect the target than they are by default, but not by as much. At 13th-16th level your prof bonus would finally catch up with the discrepancy, and at 17th-20th youíd Actually have a harder time landing spells. But most games arenít likely to go that high. I mean, the ideal version of attacker-always-rolls, if...
    55 replies | 1238 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 05:25 PM
    This is a very good analysis, I appreciate the feedback. This made me reflect on why the probabilities are so far off, when the ability scores are so close to the average roll of 10.5 + mod + prof. I think part of the problem is that in 5e as written, spell DCs are 8 + mod + prof. In order to properly reproduce those probabilities in an attacker always rolls system, a NAD would need to be 14 +...
    55 replies | 1238 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 07:14 AM
    Pull the other one!
    78 replies | 2270 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 06:59 AM
    Iíd call that a tolerable variation from the standard. YMMV, of course, but + or - 10% chance to affect the target seems like a reasonable amount of flex. Oh, undoubtedly. Thatís why I made sure to point out that this system would make picking the right spell for the right opponent significantly more important, as it could make a huge difference in your chance of success. This might or might...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 02:36 AM
    Hmm. I think this is the most convincing argument Iíve heard in favor of making my own system. I appreciate the encouragement.
    78 replies | 2270 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 02:31 AM
    I have. Itís a very good system, but it doesnít hit the right notes for me.
    78 replies | 2270 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 25th May, 2019, 12:39 AM
    I feel quite the same. I have often considered just building my ideal system from the ground up, but man does that sound like a lot of work for something that would likely be too specifically tailored to my own tastes to be able to find an audience for.
    78 replies | 2270 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 11:45 PM
    Iím all for the idea of a 4e clone, but there is a lot of armchair lawyering going on in this thread that I personally would not put a lot of stock in. If youíre serious enough about this that you think getting a C&D from WotC is a realistic concern, and youíd actually be willing to fight it in court, then you should probably talk to a real lawyer in meatspace about it.
    39 replies | 1006 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:56 PM
    For me, itís about wanting to see 4e design iterated and improved upon. If I want to play 4e I can play 4e. I moved on from 4e though, because while there are aspects of it that I think got thrown out with the bath water, the overall experience does feel very 2010 to me. What I want is a 2019 evolution of 4e. Something that takes the best parts of 4e and brings them into a more streamlined,...
    78 replies | 2270 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:36 PM
    Nice! Iíd love to hear how it works out for you. As I pointed out in my other post, the math works out such that ability score as target number is within about 1.5 of the average roll for a proficient check with the same ability, so adding proficiency to the target number would, I think, make it too difficult to hit with spells and abilities that target a score. The math does start to...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 05:07 PM
    *shrug* seems like more cognitive load than its worth to me.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 04:19 PM
    I wouldnít add proficiency bonus to target numbers. The math works out so that the target number is within about 1.5 of the average roll the character would get on a proficient save. 16-17: 10.5 avg + 3 mod +2 prof = 15.5 14-15: 10.5 avg + 2 mod +2 prof = 14.5 12-13: 10.5 avg + 1 mod +2 prof = 13.5 10-11: 10.5 avg + 0 mod +2 prof = 12.5 8-9: 10.5 avg -1 mod +2 prof = 11.5 With...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 03:53 PM
    Oh, I see. But then youíve got different modifiers depending on whether youíre rolling an attack/save or a check.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:47 AM
    Hereís one: First, get rid of saving throws. Use an ďattacker always rollsĒ system where the ability score is the target number for any attacks that target that ability. So sacred flame, for example, would be a ranged spellcasting attack against the targetís Dexterity instead of forcing a Dexterity save.
    55 replies | 1238 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 08:31 AM
    That doesnít actually address the problem though, it just makes even numbered scores the mostly-useless ones instead of odd.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 06:17 PM
    Iíve done both, but usually I go with visitors, unless I have a compelling reason for them to be local citizens.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:39 PM
    Yeah, as a 4e fan, Bounded Accuracy was the thing that sold me on 5e. By the end of 4eís life cycle, I was familiar enough with the system to recognize the artificiality of the numbers treadmill, and I kind of hated it. Bounded Accuracy, as you said, was same window, no dressing, and since I had grown to hate the dressing, it was exactly what I had been wanting.
    206 replies | 6670 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 07:24 AM
    The point of 5e was supposed to be that it could be whatever edition you wanted it to be.
    78 replies | 2270 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:31 AM
    This is incredibly helpful, thank you. EDIT: To add on to this, what Iíve found very helpful when running combat without visual aid is to present options and trade offs instead of distances. ďYou can reach the bugbear this turn if you Dash,Ē and ďyou could get to cover this turn, but the hobgoblin will try and attack you as you run past unless you Disengage,Ē rather than trying to describe...
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    4 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:34 PM
    I prefer to make generic +X bonuses the domain of masterwork quality, while magic should always grant a weapon some property. That +1 Flametongue is +1 because itís well-made, and does fire damage and sheds light like a torch because it is imbued with Fire magic. That +3 Holy Avenger is +3 because it was forged from unobtanium by the faithís most talented swordsmith, but deals extra damage to...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 08:29 AM
    I know Iím not the one you asked, but for me, 3e has a certain je ne sais quoi that no other edition has managed to capture. Itís a hot mess, but in a weird way, thatís exactly what makes it so charming. Beneath all its quirks and eccentricities, itís got so much damn heart that even as someone who knows I donít enjoy playing it, I still find myself kinda wishing I did. And for those who do love...
    206 replies | 6670 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:11 AM
    Sadly, the lack of established players bringing new players into 4e severely bottlenecked the editionís growth. Thereís definitely a market out there for an updated 4e clone, but itís a niche one.
    206 replies | 6670 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:50 AM
    4e was much better received than popular opinion might lead one to believe. In fact, it was very successful with new players, its problem was that it didnít appeal to established players, who were very much necessary to bring in new players at the time.
    206 replies | 6670 view(s)
    9 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 10:44 PM
    Very good point.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 06:22 PM
    My 2cp: Magic shouldnít be a science. My preferred setting constraint around magic is ďmagic is common, but mysterious.Ē Under that directive, I prefer wizards to be more like hermeticists - their study is around making themselves better vessels for magic, rather than studying magic itself like itís something that can be learned. Sorcerers are just naturally powerful vessels for magic, due to...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 03:44 AM
    I haven't said anything about you, dude.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 02:17 AM
    There is absolutely nothing political about the statement of the scientific fact that sex characteristics exist on a spectrum. This is just not scientifically accurate. Do your research before trying to debate something. If you insist on defining "sex" as what type of genetic material someone is capable of providing. But A.) that's not what the word means, and B.) that definition still...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 06:25 PM
    Humans, for one. Human sex characteristics exist on a spectrum. There are the two extreme ends that people tend to think of as mutually exclusive categories, and they are the most common, but there are in fact a wide variety of variations between those extremes. The catch-all term for someone who exhibits a nonstandard set of sex characteristics is intersex. These kinds of variations occur...
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    1 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 11:28 PM
    Thank you! :) I tend to agree with you. The current set of dragons is definitely not a problem. The game works perfectly fine with them, and changing them doesn't really improve gameplay in any noticeable way. It's mostly just a matter of design aesthetic preference. If you're fine with the current set of dragons, they work very well. For me, it's just one of those minor little annoyances...
    44 replies | 1341 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 10:59 PM
    Conveniently, you've ignored the part where the statement "no species has more than two " is inaccurate, and the part where even if it was accurate, that wouldn't be a good reason for a fictional alien species not to have more than two .
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:24 PM
    Not for me. If Iím suspending my disbelief enough to allow for the existence of dragons, I can easily believe that they would not come in a nice, tidy, color-coded set. To me the issue is not suspension of disbelief, but clarity of design intent. I want a clear design reason behind the set if it does exist.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:14 PM
    First of all, the word for that is ďsexes,Ē not ďgenders.Ē Second of all, even if you use the word gender interchangeably with sex, in defiance of what most of the scientific and academic community uses them to mean, it is simply not true that there are no animals with more than two of them. And even if it was, that would not be a compelling reason for a fictional alien race not to have more than...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:07 PM
    No, fun just has connotations of exhilaration and joy to me. There are lots of things that I enjoy that I wouldnít describe as ďfun.Ē But, I suppose itís only a semantic difference, if by ďfunĒ you just mean ďenjoymentĒ then I retract the objection I donít need to know its HP or whatever off the top of my head, but I do like to know one monster from another. I donít know how much HP an ogre...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 04:05 PM
    I donít think ďmore funĒ is necessarily the right metric to use here. A game with a cohesive setting is not necessarily ďmore funĒ than a game with a hodgepodge setting, but depending on the interests of the people playing, either may be preferable to the other, for reasons other than being more fun. Fun is also very difficult to quantify, which makes proving that a fluff change makes the game...
    44 replies | 1341 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 07:25 PM
    If youíre going to do 7 varieties of chromatic dragon, why not ROYGBIV? Alternatively, the traditional Red, Green, Blue, Black White works perfectly as the primary colors of additive color theory (swap Red for Magenta, Green for Yellow, and Blue for Cyan if you prefer subtractive), with other colors being cross breeds. Iíd definitely give Iron Fire. The symbolic association is too strong to...
    44 replies | 1341 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 07:09 AM
    In my setting, there are 7 varieties of metallic dragon - lead, copper, tin, iron, silver, quicksilver (the name ďmercuryĒ doesnít make sense in a world without the god for which it is named), and gold, corresponding to the 7 classical metals of alchemy, with Bahamut being the Orichalcum dragon, rather than platinum, repesenting metal perfected by the Great Work. There are 4 varieties of...
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    4 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 03:36 AM
    There are many, many dudes who would like to be sent pictures of boobies. And since humans tend to assume most people think mostly the same way as themselves, a lot of dudes think ďI would like to receive pictures of boobies, therefore women would surely like to receive pictures of my dick,Ē even though in reality the number of women who want to be sent pictures of dicks is comparatively quite...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:04 PM
    If a spell such as Find Familiar or Animate Dead, or a feature such as the Beast Masterís Rangerís Companion or the mounted combat rules allows a player to control another creature in combat, that spell or feature specifies the limits of that control. For example, Familiars, as per the Find Familiar spell, act on their own Initiative, are controlled by the player in combat, abd cannot Attack...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 12:27 AM
    Cool beans. Iíll leave it at that then.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 12:19 AM
    Gradine: Hmm... My notifications seem to think you just quoted me. Ahh, well. I wholeheartedly agree with your call to keep this conversation focused on pretend aliens.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 11:36 PM
    dwayne, I appreciate that you came seeking feedback on the mechanics of your custom race, not the underlying fiction or the presentation. But unfortunately, the existence of more than two genders and how gender relates to sex are far too controversial of topics to reasonably expect this thread not to turn into an argument about that. As well, I understand this is a draft, and you intend to revise...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 09:10 PM
    Just so you know, the bolded section is why you keep getting people insisting that you donít understand their style. You keep saying that you donít understand it, and we, in an attempt at good faith discussion, take your word for it and explain why itís a big deal to us. Then instead of saying ďok, thatís not a big deal to me, but I can see why it is to you,Ē you argue against the reasons we give...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:17 PM
    I donít think this implies that you believe a lack of trust exists between goal-and-approach DMs and their players at all, so Iím not sure what your point is here. This is probably a misunderstanding based on a difference of values. I donít need to trust my players not to use meta-game knowledge because I donít think using meta-game knowledge is a bad thing. You trust your players not to use...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 05:26 PM
    The bolded statement is either a misunderstanding of Sandra Bemís cognitive theory of gender schema, an anti-left bias or both. Gender theory is not a redefinition of anything, it is a theory explaining how sex-linked characteristics are maintained and transmitted within a culture. To be fair, I donít think most people on the left really understand this theory either, and some do misuse its terms...
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    3 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 06:32 AM
    Itís certainly odd to me that it wouldnít be obvious to someone else why such an exchange would be less than ideal. But I am willing to extend the benefit of the doubt that it probably isnít an accurate representation of what their games actually look like. Iíve had my approach misrepresented and that misrepresentation ridiculed enough to know that it only serves to muddy the issue and make...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 05:52 AM
    I mean, I got that it was a joke, just not the most diplomatic joke given the sensitivity of the topic.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 04:47 AM
    Iímma be honest, even I as a staunch defender of the goal and approach style find this a little unfair to the non goal and approach folks.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 04:20 AM
    Mmm... This really depends on how you define gender. Modern gender theory, as it pertains to humans, would disagree. Most scholars on the subject nowadays agree that gender is performative, and there are plenty of animals that have more than two sex-related roles that different members of their species perform. Even if we go with the now largely scientifically outdated concept of sex and gender...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 04:00 AM
    Wh... what does that even mean?
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 02:15 AM
    4eís fluff is largely implied rather than directly stated. They took the From Software approach to lore rather than the BioWare approach. But the gist is, Bael Turath was a powerful human empire. They came into conflict with the Dragonborn empire of Arkhosia, and turned to Devil worship and infernal pacts for the power they needed to turn the tide of the war. As a result of their pacts, the...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 10:09 PM
    There is nothing pornographic about an alien race having more complex sexual dimorphism than humans.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 08:36 PM
    My favorite is when the DM does this, the player gets a really low roll, and the DM goes ďUhh... Well, I guess youíd still be able to notice , but you almost missed it!Ē That was a thing I used to do a lot, when the PCs really needed to find a particular detail of the environment to make progress, like a hidden door or tracks or something. I remember in the 3e era it was a sort of hobbywide...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 07:22 AM
    Man, if you're putting untelegraphed traps in your dungeons to establish a mood, and the optimal player strategy for safely dealing with these untelegraphed traps spoils the mood... I dunno, doesn't seem like a very effective approach to the stated goal.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 04:24 PM
    I suppose that makes sense. Iím not sure itís supported by the rules, but itís a perfectly reasonable ruling to make.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 03:34 PM
    Which is important for determining the affected area, but it doesnít say it ignores cover. Cover is something you have relative to the caster, not to the spellís area of effect.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 06:54 AM
    Actually it does, since Fireball does half damage on a successful Dex save. Half cover gives +2 to AC and Dex saves, 3/4 cover gives +5 to AC and Dex saves. Granted, cover wonít save a creature from taking damage from Fireball, but it will give them a better chance of reducing the damage by half, which is better than nothing.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 07:07 AM
    Weíre still fairly early on, about midway through Forge of Fury right now. Keeping groups together all the way through a long campaign like that can be tough. For me it helps that two of my five players live in the same house as me, two of the others also live together, and one of those two is a coworker of mine. And the fifth happens to have the same days off work as me, so it all works out...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 08:27 PM
    This is clearly a completely pointless conversation. Some folks were confused by the reasons behind some other folks choices of how they run the game. Those folks have tried to explain why they choose to run the game the way they do. But apparently any explanation of why anyone might find their playstyle preferable over another is deemed too judgmental of other playstyles. Apparently all...
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    3 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 01:18 AM
    The choice to play in a manner contrary to the gameís default assumptions. No one is forcing you to play by the default assumptions, and if you want to play contrary to them, by all means go ahead. Those words arenít even synonymous though. This isnít linguistic sleight of hand, itís plain English. The game doesnít force you to play the way it presents as default, and in fact encourages you...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 11:36 PM
    I donít think connotations are the issue here, context is. ďForceĒ is being used here to mean, making something happen by way of force that would not otherwise happen. Like forcing a square peg through a round hole, or forcing someone to give you their wallet under threat of violence. Regardless of what connotations the word may have, I donít think the way in which it is being used here is an...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 03:43 PM
    See, now youíre talking about combat encounter difficulty, which is a different thing than trap/hazzard telegraphing. This is a false dichotomy. There is a whole spectrum of villain motivations between ineffable mastermind who foresees all possible ways the heroes could notice his traps and takes measures to cover them up, and the riddler. There are any number of reasons that the details...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 03:02 PM
    I donít think thatís at all contentious. Thatís how you choose to run the game, and thatís fine. But, in the course of our discussion, it seems to me that you have filtered our explanations of how we run the game and why through this framework, leading you to see us as ďtaking away the playerís agencyĒ when in fact maintaining player agency is one of our major reasons for why we run the way we...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 04:58 AM
    Umm... Your first handfull of posts in this thread contained the following gems: ^Which would seem to contradict your later assertion that you played like this 20+ years ago. ^ A mischaracterization of how I run the game
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 04:05 AM
    I wish I could give this post more than one XP.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 03:26 AM
    And I simply find it annoying that people keep telling me that I'm telling them they're too stupid and ignorant to understand the brilliance of my style because if they did they'd agree when I have never said that and do not believe it's true.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 03:25 AM
    I think you've stretched the metaphor well beyond its breaking point here. Nah, man, people are free to enjoy what they enjoy. I agree, but no one here has said that if you don't like it, you must not have done it right. And that's totally fine. Nothing wrong with that.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 01:38 AM
    Well, for one, itís up to the player how they want to go about achieving their goals. Trying to avoid having to make skill checks where is a good strategy for success, but itís certainly not a necessary part of the technique. Depending on what you mean by ďdescribing how they disarm a trap,Ē this may be either something that is a necessary part of any action declaration under this technique (if...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 01:03 AM
    Certainly. Although, this explanation would fail to account for the fact that a majority of the people who claim to have played that way and chosen not to be picky about how people declare what they are doing also display several fundamental misunderstandings of the playstyle they claim to have tried. It's fish (sometimes raw, but often cooked), rice, nori, and various vegetables.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 12:47 AM
    I mean... One possible explanation of this phenomenon might be that people who do understand the way we run the game tend to like it. It's a bit like saying "Don't you think it's a little odd that everyone who says they like sushi seem to have tried authentically-made sushi?" No, I don't find that odd, honestly. Authentically made sushi is very good. Obviously it's not to everyone's tastes, and...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 10:56 PM
    Alright, man. If you want to give your players unfair challenges on purpose and they're cool with it, you have fun with that. -.- I didn't offer any reasoning because it doesn't matter. Obviously we're never going to agree on this, and it seems clear at this point that you are understanding my position here, and simply hold a different one. So, I'm satisfied with that. You see where...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 09:51 PM
    Thanks! Yeah, itís definitely going to be pretty brutal. But Iím hoping Tomb of Horrors will be mitigated by the impermanence of death in the flashbacks, and that Tomb of Annihilation will be mitigated by the playerís being well over-leveled for it. Plus, there will be a decently sized break between the two tombs, for some good olí fashioned hex crawling in Chult and the stuff in Nyanzaru and...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 09:08 PM
    Since I know none of my players visit ENworld, I can speak pretty openly of my gameís overarching plot. So, Iím currently running Tales From The Yawning Portal. The premise Iím using to weave the dungeons together is that the PCs are all retired adventures, who have been on many adventures together over the past 30 years or so. Now, they get together at the Yawning Portal every other week to...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:55 PM
    ďMore refinedĒ is what I was saying Hussar was mistaking his playstyle preference for, as opppsed to simply a preference. By saying that the playstyle the 5e rules promote is for inexperienced players, it was him suggesting that his playstyle was more refined. Itís the equivalent of saying ď is for babies.Ē I was merely pointing out the bias in Hussarís wording. I donít think either of our tastes...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:30 PM
    She, by the way.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 05:53 PM
    Well, smoother and better do have different meanings. And if the game is designed a certain way and you play it a different way, your purposes are objectively crossed with the games. Thereís nothing wrong with that if thatís what you want to do. Also, if you tell me your game runs smoothly the way you run it, Iíll believe you. Itís entirely possible to rn the game differently than it was written...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 08:47 AM
    I donít know what point you think Iím making that any of this is supposed to refute. I donít think they alter their play style to suit the audienceís tastes. I certainly donít think the fact that they do the game for an audience makes it in any way less authentic. All Iím saying is, some of Mattís DMing choices that I would not care for in a private game work very well in the context of a...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 05:31 AM
    I imagine they're there to maintain the dungeon. You know, dispose of the bodies, reset the traps, etc. There's the trap where the blood of all the victims the tomb has ever claimed pours out and fills the whole room, drowning the PCs if they can't escape or stop it somehow, which means, conservatively, dozens of people would have to have died in the tomb every year for the hundreds of years...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 04:37 AM
    I see nothing in that post that asserts you'd have a better time if you followed the rules. On the contrary, he specifically said that whether the game experience that following the rules leads to is enjoyable or not is a matter of taste. See: Seems like people are reading what they want to out of iserith's posts in order to vilify his position, instead of reading what his posts actually say.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 04:18 AM
    For one thing, those people were in the wrong to crucify 4e for being too limited in playstyle. Its rules, just like 5e's were designed to create a particular play experience, but could be ignored if they did not suit the preferences of the group playing it. For another, I don't see anyone lauding 5e for being limited in playstyle. People are expressing their enjoyment of the play experience 5e's...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 02:39 AM
    *shrug* sorry? Like I said, I can't remember a specific example off the top of my head. You'll fall into the pit. Whatever. Most players who have been playing in one of my games for more than a few sessions are going to have a pretty good idea of what actions are going to take 10 minutes. I've talked about this before in the thread, but 10 minutes (the amount of time it takes to cast a...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 01:11 AM
    That's pretty much my thinking as well.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 12:54 AM
    Again, I don't really care about this particular line of discussion. Just wanted to set the record straight that iserith is not ignoring the fact that the rules are meant to serve the game, not the other way around.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 12:51 AM
    No, it's fine, but that doesn't mean I don't find it odd that D&D's zombies slam instead of grappling and biting once a grapple has been established. Like, there's nothing wrong with that take, it's just not what I typically expect out of zombies.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 12:49 AM
    Umm... I know, and I acknowledged that. There are also, buried somewhere on YouTube and Twitter, a few clips from the Critical Role crew's game before they made the switch to streaming it, and it looks very different. Far less polished, far less performative, far more like what private D&D games normally look like in my experience, albeit one with a fantastic DM and a set of players who...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 12:36 AM
    Umm... I've been staying out of this line of discussion because I'm not really interested in semantics about what's a rule and what's advice, but... Clearly, iserith is not forgetting that part. It is, in fact, a key part of his argument. He's not saying "these are the rules and therefore you must follow them," he's saying "these are the rules, and if you don't like them feel free to...
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Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 03:45 PM - jayoungr mentioned Charlaquin in post The Pilosus, a player race with 6 Genders for your 5th edition Sci Fi setting
    I find it funny that people seem to know more about a fictional race that i created than the one who made them. It is like saying to god, hay that's not how it works when really he should know because well he made it. I promise, explanations and expansion of all that is this small and might add controversial race will be revealed at a later date when i am done with the races for players as a whole. Mean while please continue as this is very good material on my end and might even use a snip it or two to help fill in some of the cracks that i have been stuck on or not. Don't take it personally. As Charlaquin said upthread, it's just a touchy subject right now, and people are quick to assume you have a message, even though it sounds like that wasn't your intention. (FWIW, I don't have a problem with imaginary alien biology for imaginary alien species.)

Saturday, 4th May, 2019

  • 06:45 AM - Unwise mentioned Charlaquin in post Please describe your experience (players) or management (GMs) of a perfectly executed metaplot...
    Charlaquin , wow it sounds like we are running the same game :) I'd like to think my earlier mentions of that helped inspire yours. It sounds like yours has progressed better than mine though. My group stopped playing due to RL concerns before I could reveal the death curse having an effect on them. I planned on swapping from flashback mode to real-time once the members sitting around the pub talking noticed that they were getting sicker and sicker. They were well over-leveled, which would have meant they breeze through Chuult and have a final showdown with the BBEG, which was the final moment in which we see if these old timers live or die. I'm sad we did not see that through to the conclusion.

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 01:30 PM - robus mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...ting there be leeway for error" is just a player screw job AFAIC. Yeah, I'm not big on playing silly buggers to try to increase difficulty. So definitely stepping into the realm of going after others method right off the bat. Your second post in thread #42 gets a bit more passive aggressive: I always find it surprising how many DM's insist on only the DM calling for skill rolls. Maybe I'm just too gamist in my approach. @Bawylie engaged with that though in post #46 but rather than dogpiling, gave a brief history of the game discussing the different approaches to action resolution encouraged by the different editions. @Oofta joins in with post #49 and increases the temperature with this little nugget: While I encourage people to state things in-character, I don't see a need to treat every action like Jeopardy where things have to be said using the correct structure. No need for a wording gestapo if the intent is clear. (my bold) And weíre off to the races... Edit: and I see Charlaquin beat me to it.
  • 10:35 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    This is the gauntlet that leads to the lich's lair, his home. They want to dissuade people from trying to get through it, the entire point is that it is a security measure. You don't post the code to your home security system on the front lawn, why would a Lich who is willing to devour and destroy souls to extend their life risk anything that could lead to their death? To reiterate the obvious, I'm not Charlaquin. Still, I think my response to this question is consistent with what Charlaquin has said upthread: you, the GM, tell me. I mean, it's the GM's job to frame a situation that will be engaging for the players, and if that situation is going to be a lich's gauntlet of death than it's on the GM to find a way of making that engaging rather than just an experience in literalness. If you, as a GM, want to keep threats and consequences hidden from your players well that's your prerogative. But you can't blame this on the fiction, given that you wrote that! If I create a lich that is an undead sociopath, with no regard for mortal life except as a fuel source to delay it's own death for as long as possible... Why on earth would I have it sandbag the heroes by posting a riddle before a trap? "Oh, if the heroes are clever enough they'll bypass my defenses, right into my inner sanctum, but of course they'll never be more clever than me and catch all the clues I left them." <snip> I coul...

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 10:21 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...said. Not even close. Really? "There is an implicit value judgment here that a clear delineation between player and DM roles is something ďfor inexperienced players.Ē (There is a clear judgement that marking the line between player and DM is something for new players) You are mistaking your preference for more give-and-take of narrative control between the players and the DM for a more refined taste that players and DMs will naturally grow into with experience. (You are mixing up your preference for a "give and take" style for a more refined style that players will grow into with experience)" How is "your preference" vs "a more refined style" not saying that their preference is less refined? Add in that this more refined style naturally comes from experience and there is an implication that lacking that more refined style is either choosing to play as if you were inexperienced, or comes about from being inexperienced. Seems pretty dang close to what Oofta was saying about Charlaquin coming across as feeling superior in their style. ďMore refinedĒ is what I was saying Hussar was mistaking his playstyle preference for, as opppsed to simply a preference. By saying that the playstyle the 5e rules promote is for inexperienced players, it was him suggesting that his playstyle was more refined. Itís the equivalent of saying ď[thing I donít like] is for babies.Ē I was merely pointing out the bias in Hussarís wording. I donít think either of our tastes are more refined, or ďfor more experienced players,Ē I think they are simply different preferences. Ah, I see that now. Be easier to spot with some clearer subject-verb usage, it gets a little muddled and I think it could be read either way. There isn't much daylight between Charlaquin's position and mine, plus I have the other poster blocked, so my mistake there. But that poster has been continually railing about my position as well or what he or she can read of it in quotes from others or perhaps loggi...
  • 09:13 PM - robus mentioned Charlaquin in post Please describe your experience (players) or management (GMs) of a perfectly executed metaplot...
    Charlaquin, that sounds cool - though back-to-back Tombs of Horrors might be a bit "overkill" so to speak ;) ?

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 06:12 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...f the universe if it suits me. I have all the advantages I could ever need. This is about style. My players want to be the characters in the game, and that means they are limited by what those characters could see or understand. Whether or not we're asked to say whether a thing is good or bad, we're tasked as DMs by the rules of D&D 5e to judge whether a player's approach to a goal makes the task trivial or impossible and, if neither and accompanied by a meaningful consequence of failure, to call for a roll of some kind. Do we agree on that point? For the most part, I do not agree with "needing a meaningful consequence of failure" before asking for a die roll. I'll admit I'm perplexed why there is resistance to telling the player the consequences of failure. If helping them making an informed decision is "coddling" then I'm all for it: I'd rather have them know the stakes, so that when they decide to roll that die they know what they're rolling for. As Charlaquin says, and supports with the Hitchcock quote, the suspense is so much more delicious when you know what that stakes are. Now, you don't have to give away every nuance of the consequence. "Sure, you can try to chop the door down, but it's going to make a lot of noise. Are you sure...?" But they don't have to know exactly what sort of creature is going to be alerted. And here Charlaquin and pemerton is where I want to discuss something about our word choice. See, I don't see the point in telling my players that breaking down a door with an axe will make a lot of noise. To me, that is unnecessary because it is obvious. As obvious as telling a player that if they attempt to jump over a ravine, they might fall into said ravine. This is obvious, this is knowing how the world works. We assume standards such as gravity and sound work the same as always, until we are given reason to suspect otherwise. To me, this is just telling the players obvious things, the only use of whic...

Saturday, 27th April, 2019

  • 02:28 AM - DM Dave1 mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    (...I'm constantly "bemoaning" the fate of my monsters and the successes of my players, most of them seem to enjoy the act, especially since I let them know it is all an act on top of it. I'm very silly at times) While I largely agree with Charlaquin in this discussion, I am seeking to share some common ground here. Our table very much enjoys this farce as well where I openly lament the partyís latest beat-down of my creatures. Weíll see who laughs last, though! Each battle is but a test for the final showdown with the BBEG! :devil:

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 11:55 PM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...om the same section ("Difficulty Class"). We can only speculate as to why.Just as we can only speculate as to why the skill text in the Basic PDF for 5e seems to take 3 different approaches across the 3 entries of Investigation, Perception and Survival. Put this together and we have an expectation that players will ask for checksWhose expectation? The DMG and PHB for 4e came out in 2008 - were expectations changed by a book published two years later? Did the RC change its text because it was wanting to bring the rules text more closely into line with observed play practices? In which case one could hardly assert its normative force. Anyway, given the text I've quoted from the 4e DMG and the text you've quoted from the 4e PHB, I hope you can see why I don't see the cleavage in systems being as great as you do in respect of GM and player roles. The key difference I see is that the 4e rules assume that checks will be made at moments of drama, whereas the 5e rules as applied by Charlaquin and (I think) you expect players to be angling for no check even at moments of drama. My own framework for making sense of this contrast is between "say 'yes' or roll the dice" (4e) and classic skilled play, which in my view doesn't involve "pixel bitching" as you have described it upthread, but does involve leveraging the fiction to generate desired results by way of free narration (5e "goal and approach" as articulated in this thread).
  • 03:29 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Play it and get back to us.There was a reason I asked Charlaquin.
  • 02:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Rolling dice is not the primary resolution mechanic of the game, in my view. The primary resolution mechanic is using a human brain to imagine a fictional scenario and determine the likely outcome of the action within that scenario. If, and only if the outcome can not be determined by this method alone, then rolling dice is a tool to help make that determination.I'm glad you spelled this out, because it was the first thing I thought when I read Chaosmancer's remark about the game's resolution method - ie that you would not agree. we aren't talking about goal and approach. We are talking about whether or not giving players information on the consequences of their actions leads to better and more dramatic roleplaying. That has nothing to do with how the players approach the problem and all about how much we tell them.As a semi-participant in this particualr discusion with Charlaquin, I will say that what you describe here doesn't ring true to me at all, for my game. I'm not talking about tellling players coonsequences which would obtain even if the players weren't told. I'm talking about telling the players those consdequences that obtain, or - alternatively - having those consequences be implict in the framing of the situation and the plyaer's knowledge of why the situation matters. I don't think that keeping potential consequences secret from the players makes for good RPGing. You are standing in on the second floor of a mansion, guards are charging up the stairs and you need to escape. You see a window and a chandelier, across from which is a ledge leading somewhere else, in addition to the stairs leading down. What do you do? <snip> the player can't spend 10 minutes checking the stability of the chandelier. It is a viable option, but a failed check might lead to it breaking, and the player doesn't know it could break.The devil is always in the...

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 06:17 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    @Charlaquin and @iserith raise an excellent point, which maybe will clear up some of the confusion. Players do, after all, often say a lot more than, "I attack." They describe where they move. They say which target they are going to attack. They use bonus actions. They invoke special abilities. The expend resources. Notice this is not just the "narration" you keep invoking. It's not that they wrap colorful adverbs around the actions. They are describing specific things they are doing to achieve their goal. And those decisions have mechanical impact. The other two pillars have far, far fewer mechanics designed to support them, so to make those pillars as rich you need to give the players some leeway to be creative. As I suggested above, maybe they go fetch a ladder, or stack up some crates, to climb a wall. I'm glad the game doesn't have specific class mechanics for activities like these; I'd rather leave it to improvisation and DM judgment. But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be m...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 07:29 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...tainly the players deciding to seek out the troll king (somewhat) changes the dynamic, as opposed to, for example, them being captured and then dragged in front of the troll king.To me, this raises the question of how much should failure snowball? This is very system dependent, but my overall take is that if the players are unsuccessful and so their PCs are captured by the Troll King, then they can expect to have to make some suboptimal moves. A bit like when a fight goes bad and the wizard has to start declaring melee attacks. At some point in this rambling conversation it was brought up that players who would worry about failing a roll and making a situation worse would simply choose not to roll. They would remain neutral as a counter to the consequences of failure. So, it was proposed, that there should not only be consequences for failure, but consequences for doing nothing. So, exactly what I said. Consequence for failing and consequence for doing nothing.That was me, not Charlaquin. As per a post I made not too long ago days-wise but maybe 100+ posts upthread, there are different approaches possible and this thread is bringing out some of those differences. Just to mention some of the posters I've interacted with: The approach I'm describing (which I use in 4e and which I think could be ported to 5e) has some similiarities to 5ekyu's, but is not identical (as can be seen in the discussion of the Audience With the Troll King scenario). Ovinomancer also does some things similar to me - eg in some recent posts mentions the idea of keeping up the pressure on the players via their PCs - but not identically I don't think. I also have some similiarites to Elfcrusher and Charlaquin - eg regarding the fictional specification of the declared action as very important - but some differences - eg I call for more checks than they do (see my quote upthread from Luke Crane for the reasons why). I have had far too many players who are so scared of failing and...

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 07:47 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...nto what you are saying, trying to figure it out, and it seems our difference is simply you have a strict checklist that you don't share with your players and just mentally work through? That's what this entire thing exploded from? Action declarations sometimes have checks follow them. The action declaration, like the check itself, is an event in the real world. On the other hand, the action is an imagined event that (we pretend) occurs in the fictional world of the game. I think that keeping these things distinct aids clarity, especially when trying to compare different approaches to action resolution. For most versions of D&D, including 5e, for many action declarations this simply isn't true. In 5e the action declaration I cast a spell is not normally resolved by calling for a check. Nor is the action declaration I pick the sword up from the ground. Nor is the action declaration I use the key to unlock the door. Actually, if we want to get really pedantic to quote Charlaquin "Rolling a d20, adding modifiers, and comparing to a DC is the processes that constitutes the game rules term, "check."" So, almost all spells are resolved through a check. Either an attack roll or a saving throw. But while we can pedantically argue down the primrose path, I think another point here is more important. That bolded section... is that the only point to keeping them separated? Just for ease of comparing different styles, most of which will still follow "declaration before roll" no matter what may find its way between? (I think it is fair to say no one has been advocating rolling then declaring an action afterward) In that case, awesome, I appreciate it existing for that. Why am I getting taken to task for saying there are some checks that don't require a roll (reliable talent, barbarian strength) and that the action and check are so closely linked that I don't see a point in dividing them at the table? I was told I was wrong for equating actions and checks, ...

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 06:10 PM - Oofta mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Charlaquin, I don't want to waste time on this any more. Obviously if someone has a key to a door they don't need to use lockpicks. If they can bypass a trap by taking another route, they take the other route. On the other hand if they have to disable a simple trap (complex traps are a different beast) or unlock a door with lockpicks, I will ask for a check no matter how they describe it. That's just not how I run it. Run it differently at your table? As long as people are having fun you're doing it right.
  • 02:38 PM - iserith mentioned Charlaquin in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    ... doing to help the party survive in the uninhabited sandy wastes by using that skill. Donít say no too often, but donít say yes if it doesnít make sense in the context of the challenge. I think this shows that 4e is very much in the camp of frame checks and then roll dice to find out how the fiction evolves at key moments of dramatic uncertainty. And the framing is to be undertaken by both player and GM, with the GM haveing ultimate responsibility for managing the coherence of the fiction and ensuring that the framing respects this. I mention this not to contest your account of how you run 5e, nor what approach 5e might best be suited for, but rather to show that goal and approach (or, as I prefer under the influence of Luke Crane, intnt and task) has currency beyond your particular use of it - which makes it even more appealling! Sure, whereas D&D 5e divorces tasks and checks in a way that D&D 4e does not. A player describes tasks rather than "uses skills." This is the issue Charlaquin is having trying to communicate with another poster in the current similar thread. To add to the differences, D&D 4e also says "All DCs assume acting in situations that are far from mundane; the DM should call for checks only in dramatic situations." This backs up the idea "frame checks and then roll dice to find out how the fiction evolves at key moments of dramatic uncertainty." D&D 5e does not support players calling for checks at all, plus "dramatic uncertainty" is framed as "uncertain outcome and meaningful consequence for failure." These may seem like minor differences, but in play, a D&D 4e game and a D&D 5e game "by the book" will look different in many ways outside of different mechanics. Unless of course one is playing D&D 5e like some other game. (As an aside, here's a weird thing I noticed about D&D 4e back in the day. What I quoted above - the "dramatic situations" line - was removed from D&D Essentials Rules Compendium. I have no idea why because the "dramatic situa...
  • 06:14 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Charlaquin I think you should give up. It just ain't gonna happen.

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 09:31 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...an absurd premise hard enough. Fine. Elfcrusher, in your sarcastic example of a DM calling for a die roll to disarm a poisoned handle, even after the player declared they were wiping the handle with a thick cloth and were wearing gloves so that no poison could possibly contact their skin, you were completely wrong in all ways and there was nothing redeemable about that. No roll should ever be called upon in that situation, no matter the circumstances, and nothing else could ever be said about that example or any permutation of that example because your failure in calling for that roll was so extreme it eclipses everything else. Further more, my use of that example to bring up an entirely different point was wrong in all ways. I should have never have done so, and will endeavor to punish myself appropriately for such a disgrace, since my point fell under the assumption of the roll that must have never been and that is a shameful scar upon my DMing from here on out. Now, Charlaquin, if I have properly responded to the roll that never should have been made, can we just drop this already? This is because your point of conflict is "is this NPC lying to me." That's, frankly, utterly boring to me. If I present a lying NPC, figuring out the NPC is lying will not resolve whatever the actual issue is. It will just lead to a new point of contention. Why did the NPC lie? What do we do know that we know the NPC lied? To go back to the shopkeep example you proposed, determining that the shopkeep lied would never be a check in my game. I'd never need to prevaricate to preserve uncertainty so that my plot continues. Instead, discovering the lie is just one more means to advance the plot and do something different. You'd need evidence, and could then brace the shopkeep with it to expose the lie and get the truth (which leads to more adventure), or maybe you engage in discussion, discover something about the shopkeep, like that he loves his little girl...

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 02:30 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...uch detail you add to carefully licking the doorknob clean won't result in an autosuccess, ever (unless, maybe, you're immune to poison?). On the other hand, being skilled at poisoner's tools and wiping off the contact poison may very well result in autosuccess. Don't make the mistake that we're looking for a long, detailed explanation for anything done -- that sounds horribly boring. Yes, you are, and no, it's not. The game revolves around actions, not skill checks. Skill checks are used when an action is uncertain and there's a cost of failure. You don't call for a skill check when a player declares their character walks across a room, do you? Is this a case where hairs have been split because there should be a roll? In other words, I say that a discussion about how to handle skills has placed the cart before the horse because we do not yet know how we handle actions. Skills come after we get a handle on actions. Okay, but let me call back to the original quote by Charlaquin "This is why vague statements like, ďI check for trapsĒ are a poor strategy. Yes, if I just said I check for traps without saying what Iím doing to check for them, we have little choice but to determine what my character was doing that resulted in that failure retroactively. The dice are generating the story - we didnít really know what my character was doing until we found out whether it worked or not, and then we came up with a narrative explanation for the result. And if you like to play that way, more power to you! I do not like to play that way, because it puts my successes and failures in the hands of chance. I want my successes and failures to be in my hands. I enjoy the game more when I succeed because I thought of a clever plan or fail because I took a calculated risk and it didnít pay off." According to this, the player declared an action "check for traps" but that was not specific enough, so when the roll happened we had to fill in story of why the result happened. ...

Tuesday, 26th March, 2019

  • 07:49 AM - Hussar mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... about DMs who who give no fictional context and basically force the players to interact solely in terms of mechanics because they donít have enough information about whatís going on in the game world to act otherwise. Or about DMs who make wild assumptions about your characterís actions and then spring consequences on you for the things they decided you were doing based solely on the type of check you made, and then argue about ďyou never said you didĒ or ďyou never said you didnít.Ē But I prefer to give people Iím talking to the benefit of the doubt. Bad DMs are going to DM badly. Just because youíve had some bad experiences with DMs requiring overly specific details that they then use as anmo against you doesnít mean all DMs who prefer a goal and an approach rather than an announcement of what kind of check the player is making are like that. These conversations might be more fruitful if you did t assume the worst in people who have a different approach than you. To be honest Charlaquin, it's a lot less about the "gotcha" element and far more about the "Why am I pissing about describing for the 237th time how I look for traps on a chest" thing. It gets old really, really fast. If you do dungeon crawls, and I do, you're likely to have dozens of rooms/chambers. Each of which is likely going to get searched at some point. Having to repeat myself dozens of times because the DM wants more than "I search the room" just makes me want to blow my brains out. I've played the way you're talking about. I can see the attraction for a certain kind of player but, I'm very, very much not that kind of player. Very little would cause me to check out of a game faster than this. Not that it's bad or that you're a bad DM or badwrongfun or anything like that. Not at all. But, because it would bore me to tears. I would be a terrible player at this table. I'd be that bad player futzing around on my phone while the rest of the group plays because, fifteen minutes into the sessio...


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Sunday, 26th May, 2019

  • 08:18 AM - pemerton quoted Charlaquin in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    back to the treadmill illusion, as those minions and swarms will be of about the party's level, again.I think I'm missing the illusion. Who is being deceived about what? The problem is, in an accuracy treadmill, a swarm or minion still needs to be tailored to a specific level of challenge. So, while the horde of low level enemies thing is doable with minions, you have to pick the right minions for the right party, which either means making a ton of different stat sets for each type of enemy at different levels, or accept that certain enemy types are just not going to be relevant at certain levels.With a level tolerance of (say) +/-3, I'm not sure it's a ton. But I think it's clear that 4e - as set out in the "tiers of play" in the PHB and DMG - assumes that the content of the fiction will steadily be changing as the game progresses. So it absolutely takes for granted that, at epic tier, we're done with keeping count of individual goblins. EDIT: I think one effect of the 4e approach is t...
  • 05:46 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Charlaquin in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    . Shifting the treadmill to survivability makes the giant horde of low-level enemies tactic viable. Unless you have save:1/2 AEs flying around at high levels, then the hordes get auto-killed. It's more dramatic, since volleys from said hordes will also be quickly fatal, but it's still problematic. This just leads back to the discussion about minions and swarms. In 4e I had more combats, and more interesting combats, involving giant hordes of weaker enemies than I ever did in AD&D or Rolemaster. Yes, it does, and back to the treadmill illusion, as those minions and swarms will be of about the party's level, again.
  • 04:37 AM - pemerton quoted Charlaquin in post Favourite D&D edition thatís not 5E
    It also makes the math you have to do every time you make an attack a little more manageable - adding a number from 1d20 + 11 is faster and easier to do for most people than 1d20 + 45. It also keeps d20 rolls swingy throughout a characterís career, though not everyone considers that a positive change.I'll agree on the easier arithmetic. I'm not sure about what you mean by "swingy" - if it's really an attack/defence treadmill then the "swinginess" is preserved just the same. shifting the treadmill from hit bonus and AC to damage and HP is just as illusory, yes, but there are some important differences. With an accuracy treadmill, you eventually reach the point where itís impossible for you to miss enemies far enough below your CR, which in turn find it impossible to hit you. Shifting the treadmill to survivability makes the giant horde of low-level enemies tactic viable.This just leads back to the discussion about minions and swarms. In 4e I had more combats, and more interesting combats, invo...

Saturday, 25th May, 2019

  • 08:02 PM - dnd4vr quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    What if you do not add your proficiency to your spell attack bonus, making it maximum of 1d20+5 (+/- magic items)? In 4e non-weapon attack (implement attacks) did add a weapon proficiency bonus to the attack roll. The real issue is that the current system only moves 5% per two points (because a 14 and 15 DEX offer the same modifier), as where going with straight ability scores is a 1 point per 5% change. If you remove proficiency bonus (or keep it a static +2) that might work, but then very high ability scores would be impossible without something to assist the spellcaster. Keep in mind this also raises the point of normal attacks against AC. Why is the base AC 10? Because the base "normal" DEX is 10. If you implement such a system for casting, why not use it for combat? Armor could work as damage reduction (which is more realistic). I guess it all comes down to nailing exactly what you want to accomplish. That might work. It would still leave spells generally more likely to successfull...
  • 06:09 PM - dnd4vr quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    This is a very good analysis, I appreciate the feedback. This made me reflect on why the probabilities are so far off, when the ability scores are so close to the average roll of 10.5 + mod + prof. I think part of the problem is that in 5e as written, spell DCs are 8 + mod + prof. In order to properly reproduce those probabilities in an attacker always rolls system, a NAD would need to be 14 + mod + prof, not 10.5 + mod + prof. As a result, the casterís chance of successfully affecting the target is 17.5% higher than I was expecting it to be across all values. This could be fixed simply by making the target number [ability score + 4], but that no longer feels as elegant. Maybe you add prof to all your NADs, and double-prof to NADs of abilities you have prof in saves for? Again, feels less elegant than a simple spellcasting attack against the targetís ability score. Iíll have to noodle on this more. Thanks. Like I said there nothing inherently wrong with doing it the other way, but it would cha...
  • 03:18 PM - dnd4vr quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    Iíd call that a tolerable variation from the standard. YMMV, of course, but + or - 10% chance to affect the target seems like a reasonable amount of flex. Oh, undoubtedly. Thatís why I made sure to point out that this system would make picking the right spell for the right opponent significantly more important, as it could make a huge difference in your chance of success. This might or might not be an acceptable tradeoff in exchange for making all ability scores relevant with a single, simple house rule, depending on your goals and your groupís preferences. I donít use this rule myself, but since the question was being asked, I offered the idea. Well, it makes casting a Lightning Bolt or Fireball against dragons a no-brainer! The best DEX a chromatic dragon has is 14 for Black dragons. Even at lower levels with a modest +6 spellcasting modifier you will be successful 65% of the time, but in the current system with the DEX save, the Black Young for instance has a +5 modifier because it is pr...
  • 04:31 AM - dnd4vr quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    I wouldnít add proficiency bonus to target numbers. The math works out so that the target number is within about 1.5 of the average roll the character would get on a proficient save. 16-17: 10.5 avg + 3 mod +2 prof = 15.5 14-15: 10.5 avg + 2 mod +2 prof = 14.5 12-13: 10.5 avg + 1 mod +2 prof = 13.5 10-11: 10.5 avg + 0 mod +2 prof = 12.5 8-9: 10.5 avg -1 mod +2 prof = 11.5 With point-buy, scores of 18-19 and 20 are only possible at levels 4 and 8 at the earliest, with +3 prof bonus coming at level 5 and +4 at level 9. 18-19: 10.5 avg + 3 mod + 2 prof = 16.5 18-19: 10.5 avg + 4 mod + 2 prof = 17.5 20: 10.5 avg + 5 mod + 3 prof = 18.5 20: 10.5 avg + 5 mod + 4 prof = 19.5 So this system would make it a little harder to hit untrained and high-ability targets, and a little easier to hit trained and low-ability targets on average, but it comes pretty close in the middle ranges. If you want save proficiencies to still matter under this system, Iíd suggest adding them to rolls to ...
  • 01:05 AM - Saelorn quoted Charlaquin in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    I feel quite the same. I have often considered just building my ideal system from the ground up, but man does that sound like a lot of work for something that would likely be too specifically tailored to my own tastes to be able to find an audience for.If you're starting from an established system, and you're just introducing a couple of wide-reaching changes to the system, then it shouldn't take you much more than six months. Remember, you don't have to translate all of the content immediately, as long as you establish how you would translate later on. As for finding an audience, I honestly think you'd have a better chance finding players for a new game that nobody had ever heard of, rather than an established game which has been discontinued. The only one you really need to sell on it is yourself.
  • 12:47 AM - Morrus quoted Charlaquin in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    I feel quite the same. I have often considered just building my ideal system from the ground up, but man does that sound like a lot of work for something that would likely be too specifically tailored to my own tastes to be able to find an audience for. You just described the OSR movement! Except that quite often, they do find an audience.
  • 12:27 AM - Retreater quoted Charlaquin in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    For me, itís about wanting to see 4e design iterated and improved upon. If I want to play 4e I can play 4e. I moved on from 4e though, because while there are aspects of it that I think got thrown out with the bath water, the overall experience does feel very 2010 to me. What I want is a 2019 evolution of 4e. Something that takes the best parts of 4e and brings them into a more streamlined, approachable, modern system. I want the 5e from the alternate universe where 4e sold gangbusters. And the 5e from this universe is probably the best baseline to work from to make that. Certainly it has a broader pool of potentially interested players than ďhey guys, want to play my heavily houseruled version of 4e?Ē I'm a fellow 4e apologist here. In fact, I've been running two 4e campaigns recently and modding my creature design in another 5e game to reflect 4e paradigms - I think to good success. I've tried 13th Age, and it also didn't hit that sweet spot of 4e play. Particularly, the Icon dice and inf...
  • 12:18 AM - jmartkdr quoted Charlaquin in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    For me, itís about wanting to see 4e design iterated and improved upon. If I want to play 4e I can play 4e. I moved on from 4e though, because while there are aspects of it that I think got thrown out with the bath water, the overall experience does feel very 2010 to me. What I want is a 2019 evolution of 4e. Something that takes the best parts of 4e and brings them into a more streamlined, approachable, modern system. I want the 5e from the alternate universe where 4e sold gangbusters. And the 5e from this universe is probably the best baseline to work from to make that. Certainly it has a broader pool of potentially interested players than ďhey guys, want to play my heavily houseruled version of 4e?Ē I assume you've looked into 13th Age? It's very much, in many ways, an attempt to be exactly this. It didn't quite hit the sweet spot for me (because it goes all-in on the TotM among other things) but it seems to work for a lot of people.
  • 12:18 AM - UngeheuerLich quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    *shrug* seems like more cognitive load than its worth to me. That may happen. But actually it is not that difficult. Just write two numbers +2/+3 for 15 Dex for example. Now you know: +3 for ability checks, +2 for everything else. If you have spells (a cantrip) and conditions that can grant advantage to only ability checks, I am sure you can handle giving a +1 bonus too. And in the standard character sheet, saving throws and attacks are listed seperately, so actually you probably only use the higher value when you look at the stats during a gaming session.

Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 09:21 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    First, get rid of saving throws. Use an ďattacker always rollsĒ system where the ability score is the target number for any attacks that target that ability. So sacred flame, for example, would be a ranged spellcasting attack against the targetís Dexterity instead of forcing a Dexterity save.Has the virtue of simplicity. What about 'good' saves? Those could get pretty high if you added proficiency - and, if you don't, there's no progression, at all (rather than just none with bad saves).
  • 08:18 PM - Immortal Sun quoted Charlaquin in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    The point of 5e was supposed to be that it could be whatever edition you wanted it to be. Except it's never going to be 4E. It's the "any edition you want to be except for that last edition we don't talk about" edition. ------- I don't understand the desire to make a 4E clone and I like 4E. Is it because you can't publish your own material? I mean, okay yeah if the "problem" with 4E is that you. can't make money off it, well, I mean tough beans. Is the problem getting the books? They're cheap on ebay and heck, I've got 3 extra copies of the PHB if you want one for a deal (I buy people's 4E collections). Is the issue getting people to play? That's just a matter of making a good game and trying to find folks who haven't bought too heavily into the stigma around it. Is it the fact that it feels so different than 5/3/whateverE? I mean, that's no bigger a deal than getting someone to play an entirely different RPG. I just don't get it. 4E isn't "oldschool", even the concept of an OSR ...
  • 06:13 PM - vincegetorix quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    I wouldnít add proficiency bonus to target numbers. The math works out so that the target number is within about 1.5 of the average roll the character would get on a proficient save. 16-17: 10.5 avg + 3 mod +2 prof = 15.5 14-15: 10.5 avg + 2 mod +2 prof = 14.5 12-13: 10.5 avg + 1 mod +2 prof = 13.5 10-11: 10.5 avg + 0 mod +2 prof = 12.5 8-9: 10.5 avg -1 mod +2 prof = 11.5 With point-buy, scores of 18-19 and 20 are only possible at levels 4 and 8 at the earliest, with +3 prof bonus coming at level 5 and +4 at level 9. 18-19: 10.5 avg + 3 mod + 2 prof = 16.5 18-19: 10.5 avg + 4 mod + 2 prof = 17.5 20: 10.5 avg + 5 mod + 3 prof = 18.5 20: 10.5 avg + 5 mod + 4 prof = 19.5 So this system would make it a little harder to hit untrained and high-ability targets, and a little easier to hit trained and low-ability targets on average, but it comes pretty close in the middle ranges. If you want save proficiencies to still matter under this system, Iíd suggest adding them to rolls to ...
  • 05:19 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Charlaquin in post How To Clone 4E Using 5E Rules
    The point of 5e was supposed to be that it could be whatever edition you wanted it to be. Huh? No, the point of 5e wasn't to allow people to play it like any other edition. That would be an impossible task. The point of 5e was to bring back it's gamer base that they lost to Pathfinder. And to somewhat bring D&D back to what the D&D identity was prior. Note: I am not saying 4e was a bad game, I'm simply saying it was a pretty big difference from what D&D was prior to that, mechanically, for either good or bad, depending on a person's preference of course. 5e brought elements from every prior edition into it, but was never meant to allow people to play it like it was any previous edition. I certainly can't play it like 1e without major mechanical overhauls. I imagine 4e fans feel the same.
  • 05:00 PM - UngeheuerLich quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    Oh, I see. But then youíve got different modifiers depending on whether youíre rolling an attack/save or a check. And thats the point.
  • 02:46 PM - dnd4vr quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    Hereís one: First, get rid of saving throws. Use an ďattacker always rollsĒ system where the ability score is the target number for any attacks that target that ability. So sacred flame, for example, would be a ranged spellcasting attack against the targetís Dexterity instead of forcing a Dexterity save. This isn't a bad idea, as basically the DC for the save would work like AC does in combat with the attacker always rolling. But I think there might be some problems with this in the mechanics. First, most characters are only proficient in two saves. So for a character without proficiency in DEX saves, but with a DEX 16, would have a big advantage doing it as you suggest. Also, how would proficiency help? If the same character had a proficiency bonus of +4, would their DEX save DC be 20 instead of 16?
  • 01:27 PM - vincegetorix quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    Hereís one: First, get rid of saving throws. Use an ďattacker always rollsĒ system where the ability score is the target number for any attacks that target that ability. So sacred flame, for example, would be a ranged spellcasting attack against the targetís Dexterity instead of forcing a Dexterity save. And maybe go with 4e saving throw (roll 10 or more on a flat d20) for ongoing effects? Yes, that could work. Would ST proficiency still apply? Like, if a class gave you prof in Dex saves, would you add your proficiency to your score? Maybe 1/2 prof, or only +2? Just to be sure to avoid having caster needing to hit a total Dex score of 26 to land a fireball, for example.
  • 10:25 AM - UngeheuerLich quoted Charlaquin in post More uses for ability scores?
    That doesnít actually address the problem though, it just makes even numbered scores the mostly-useless ones instead of odd. No. Only ability checks. Attack rolls and saving throws and DCs are still the same as now. 10-11 +0, 12-13 +2. I mean, if don't value combat as high as most people, better for you. I hope you know the difference between an ability check and an attack roll or saving throw. Otherwise HEX is probably quite overpowered in your game.


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