View Profile: Charlaquin - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 06:48 PM
    Then we have a distinction without difference here. The situations you would describe as a railroad are the ones where I would say a railroad becomes a problem. Iíd still call combat ďthe minimum number of rolls necessary to resolve uncertainty,Ē itís just that the mechanics surround combat necessitates more rolls to resolve uncertainty. You canít stop players from making decisions...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 07:50 AM
    It does seem like chance to hit is a bit of a weird thing to get so hung up on. Like, the Wizard having Proficiency with daggers and the same Dexterity score as the Fighter would seem to me to indicate that theyíve each trained about the same amount with daggers. While the Wizard spent more time learning Shield and Burning Hands, the Fighter continued training with more weapons. Thatís why, yeah,...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 02:19 AM
    To ease players into their classes. You'll also notice that most classes pick up a subclass at 2nd or 3rd level. 3rd is about the time that most classes really come into their own. It also provides, for those who want it, a more ďzero to heroĒ experience, where you start off with almost no class features and work your way up to being a full member of your class, and a higher lethality start to...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 10:05 PM
    Then youíre not getting a complete picture of how much better of a combattant the fighter is. Even at low levels, the fighter does much better in combat due to better weapons, meaning higher damage, and class and subclass features which can further improve damage. And really, the fighter is generally more likely to hit, because theyíre going to make strength and/or Dexterity the first...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 09:52 PM
    Well first of all, 16 is a very high Dex score for a Wizard. Second of all, the best finesse weapon a wizard can add their proficiency bonus to attacks with is a dagger. The fighter can use a rapier or dual-wield with short swords and/or scimitars, not to mention potential bonus damage from any of several fighter class and subclass features. So while they may have the same bonus to hit, the...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 09:40 PM
    You do you, but I would still recommend trying it as written before changing it. It works better in practice than it looks like it would on paper. +1 to AC seems small if youíre not used to 5e, but it really is a significant bonus across all levels in this system. I would argue that itís actually a sign that the game is well-designed, because it doesnít need a +3 to fix it. Itís already...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 09:00 PM
    I donít typically like to have party members at different levels, so I have new characters start out at the same exp as the rest of the group. That said, I tend to run more serialized campaigns, where each session is part of an ongoing story. If I was doing something more episodic, where a consistent cast of characters form the through line of a series of otherwise self-contained adventures, then...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 08:31 PM
    Wish I could say I was surprised.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 08:01 PM
    As others have said, try the game as-written first before you start making house rules. You may find that things arenít as much of a problem as they seem from just reading, and youíll definitely get a better feel for how best to change things to get the feel youíre looking for. I would strongly recommend against this change. The math behind AC and attack bonuses is very tight in 5e. If you...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 05:48 PM
    Let me introduce you to this amazing thing called Control f.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 09:38 PM
    Sure. Assume the DM was unwilling to improvise, but the need to improvise just never arose because the things the players wanted to do happened to be the things the DM had already prepared for. I find this sort of stark separation between ďthe portion of the game where there is minimal dice rollingĒ and ďthe portion of the game where rolling happensĒ to be not to my taste. It is my...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 08:13 PM
    Hypothetical scenario: a DM prepares a game that is not set up to handle a change of direction weíll. If the players decide to do something he didnít expect, heís not going to be able to accommodate. If his players do not end up going off-script, is the game still a railroad? I would argue yes, this DM judt got lucky that his players didnít notice. This is why I say a railroad is only a problem...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 05:31 PM
    What, you mean like roleplaying through your time in the city, talking to NPCs while youíre between adventures, that kind of thing? Sure, Iíd consider that part of the fun part of the game.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 05:28 PM
    I donít disagree. Iím just saying that a lot of players will favor options with hard-coded mechanics because thereís no uncertainty on what they do. You may think you encountered a lot of D&D players, but thatís still anecdotal. And at any rate, if we proceed under the assumption that they were in the minority, itís still not a new problem in 5e. Sure, if thatís how you prefer to phrase...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 04:13 PM
    Yes, the fun part of the game. I think Iíve been pretty clear in this thread that I have fun making difficult decisions with significant consequences in character, and I find the most opportunities for that arise during uptime. If you find downtime fun, thatís fine. But a lot of players donít, and would much rather focus on uptime.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 07:12 AM
    Aye, but itís less work for the DM when mechanics are invented by the game designers instead of by themselves, and options with hard-coded mechanics are often more appealing to players than being forced to rely on DM fiat. If you think that people who desired more robust mechanics did not exist simply because you didnít encounter them, you are fooling yourself. Whatís the saying about D&D...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 12:28 AM
    Uh...I generally donít stat up such characters... For how often their stats actually become relevant, itís not worth the extra work. If you need a number for them to make an Insight check or whatever, itís pretty easy to just eyeball.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 08:57 PM
    The Warlock seems to be very polarizing - you either love the class or hate it. Now, I may be biased because I love the warlock, but I think this is as it should be. I generally prefer things to be the best they can for their target audience, even at the cost of being less appealing to those not specifically targeted. Deeper, narrower appeal is always better than broader, shallower appeal in my...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 06:10 PM
    Yes, but your analogy ignored the fact that only some things you can spend gold on has mechanical effects, whereas all classes have mechanical effects. Yeah, but there werenít a lot of people complaining about 1e and 2e on the internet, given the lack of internet at the time. Work on the DMís part. Iím going to have to disagree that it encourages magic marts, but ok.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 12:43 AM
    Welp, looks like Lowkey has blocked me. What is up with people who donít like rules making fun of people who do, chastising us for being intolerant of their playstyle when we defend our own, and then blocking us when we point it out? Whatever, hopefully they enjoy their echo chamber.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 12:32 AM
    Wow. So, youíre just going to demean my play style, and when I point out that what you said is demeaning, your response is ďyeah, because thatís what the way you play is likeĒ?... just... Wow, is all I can say to that. Donít ask for empathy for your play style if youíre unwilling to extend that same courtesy to others. I understand that I donít play the same way everyone else does, and I...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 11:32 PM
    I mean, yes, that has been my argument all along. Although, I would add that new equipment is ďstory stuff,Ē and it would be preferable if non-equipment stuff that you could spend money on also had an effect on uptime. Like, itís buzzard to me that people on both sides of this argument seem to separate between adventure and story. Are adventures not what the stories yíall tell are about??
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 10:47 PM
    I trust that you did not mean it to come off this way, but this is an extremely reductive and, frankly, demeaning representation of the view I presented. And not because of the hyperbolic sketch comedy bit, but because it reduces all adventuring to fighting monsters and getting loot, which are actually pretty low on the list of reasons I like adventuring. I understand that my playstyle...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 08:05 PM
    If Fighter was the only class that had any abilities that could be used outside of downtime, this might be a fitting analogy. And Iím that case, I wouldnít blame my players for always choosing Fighter. In fact, I would share their frustration that the other classes were pointless. No magic item market in 5e by default is one of the major differences. And I would agree thatís a good thing, if...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 07:53 PM
    Youíve mostly got me right, although I also donít find ďthe purchasing and management of castles, homesteads, ships, businesses and/or staff/crewĒ particularly interesting either. Any time you spend overseeing the construction of your wizardís tower or managing your staff is fine youíre not out rescuing dragons in distress from fire breathing princesses or whatever. So, ok, you can just spend the...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 07:44 AM
    Weíre just never going to find common ground here.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 05:20 AM
    Not much of a counter-argument, then. Why, though? None of the things you can spend money on have any mechanics to them, apart from like... Slightly better armor, which you can pretty much afford after your first treasure horde, if you haven't already found something better by then. If the benefits of the stuff you can buy with gold are entirely narrative, why not make the gold you purchase...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 10:46 PM
    Oh, cool!
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 06:09 PM
    Or what about the story of a character searching for mortality? Not as common, but still an interesting one - see, for example, Smendrick the magician in The Last Unicorn (the book).
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 05:34 PM
    But the DM doesnít have to do any work to make Initiative matter. They can do work to change how it functions, but they can also just use the function already provided in the book. Not so. I prefer that there be codified rules and subsystems only where the depth added by the rule or system is significant compared to the complexity of the rule or system. Thatís why I say, if the route one...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 05:19 PM
    Yes, these are some good examples of the sort of things Iíd like to see available for purchase.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 08:49 AM
    Iíd say thatís an oversimplification of the view of formulae and mechanics I presented, but the conclusion you come to is still more or less accurate. And guess who is coming up with and applying those formulae on the fly? You. Or whoever else is DMing. So, the conclusion that we arrive at is, as I have been saying for six goddamn pages, gold only matters* if the DM makes it matter*. *ĒmatterĒ...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 09:26 PM
    As opposed to a number of minutes? Where is that written? Well, yeah, you have to resolve all of the effects of the spell before you can start using movement. But there is no rule against resolving those effects sequentially, except in the case of magic missile, which would seem to indicate that it is an exception to the general case.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 06:38 PM
    Jesus Christ! ďMeaningĒ also has an objective definition. As in, for example, ďthe meaning of the word.Ē Iím not talking about what a rule means to you personally, Iím talking about the specific game function it signifies. But f*** it! I donít care enough about this incessant nitpicking about my word choice. If you want to pretend meaning and significance can never be objective, fine, but for the...
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 03:22 PM
    I am disappointed in Mike. I do not see the virtue in continuing to re-spark the flames of the edition war every 3-6 months like this. What's the end game here?
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 08:21 AM
    Statistical significance is not the definition Iím using here, itís just a random third example of a definition of significant, one that is also objective. The one I am using here isĒhaving a particular meaning; indicative of something.Ē Like I said. I will gladly ďadmitĒ that the rules are not worthy of attention for everyone. Iíve never claimed otherwise. But it makes no sense to claim...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 05:07 AM
    English words have multiple definitions. The one you are using here is only one of them. ďsufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthyď is indeed one thing ďsignificantĒ can mean. Statistical significance is another, which is why I brought it up. Another is ďhaving a particular meaning; indicative of something.Ē They all have particular meaning within the the game...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 11:35 PM
    Oh, and to jgsugden, whoís post I got a notification about but cannot see any more, apparently because you blocked me after posting it: Donít ask me. Iím being quite clear and thorough, yet people seem to be coming to incorrect conclusions about my taste in RPGs. Probably because they recognize that I think game mechanics are important and then assume Iím some kind of powergamer who only cares...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 11:16 PM
    Lol. You must not be very familiar with statistics. Weíre working from different definitions of the word here. Youíre talking about the quality of being worthy of attention. Thatís subjective. Iím talking about the objective impact something has. Bill Gates may not consider $1,000 worthy of his attention, but it has exactly the same purchasing power in is hands as it does in mine. Your...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 10:32 PM
    Again, Iím not going to design a system for you just because you stubbornly insist on ďnu-uhĒimg everything I say. But if you want a basic example, maybe a table you roll on after each month of downtime with a modifier based on the lifestyle you maintained during that month (or the lowest one you had at any point during the month, if you paid daily or weekly instead of monthly). Low results cause...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 06:27 PM
    It kind of depends on what is meant by turn-based. Is BioWare style combat turn-based? KotOR, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect had very RPG-like gameplay, heck KotOR was almost directly ripped off of D&D 3.5, but they all use live action with the option to pause to input commands. What about WoW-style cooldown actions? Those create something in-between live action and turn-based action. What about...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 06:11 PM
    They may not have cared about their level, but thatís not the same thing as level not mattering. Whether they cared or not, at level 5 they had more spells and abilities at their disposal and a higher probability of succeeding on rolls to which their proficiencies applied than at level 1. That makes the level objectively significant, even if they donít care about its significance. The simple...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 05:54 PM
    It also is not called a Role Playing Conversation. Yes. A role playing game. Role playing is the act of imagining yourself as someone else and making decisions as you imagine that person would. Games have mechanics. Role playing games have mechanics that revolve around imagining yourself as someone else and making decisions as you imagine that person would. I have never said Iím not...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 07:58 AM
    Thatís just not true. Most of these things have a direct impact on your available actions and/or the probability of success/failure at certain actions. That matters to gameplay with or without effort on the playerís or DMís parts. I disagree, for the reasons we have been discussing.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 07:22 AM
    How astute of you to have discerned the reasoning for my choice of words.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 07:17 AM
    And you also play a game with mechanics. In theory, but that only matters if the DM actually decides to run a scene where an NPC shows that they want my money. And frankly, I would find that much less interesting than a scene where Iím... you know, going on adventures. If the rest of the group is interested in playing a game where we save the world through philanthropy, sure. Thatís not...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 07:07 AM
    In other words, the participants of the game have to do the work to make it relevant. Like I said.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 07:06 AM
    I gave you my exact criteria, How much more specific do you want me to be? Iím not going to design an entire gold economy just because youíre being obtuse. I want three things out of an RPG economy: ē Lifestyle expenses that are significant compared to the amount of wealth the players earn ē Mechanical and/or consequences for lifestyles ē Alternative expenses, such as equipment, goods, and...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 03:58 AM
    I have said, if youíd been paying attention. Reduce gold rewards and/or increase lifestyle costs. Give meaningful (as in, with direct impact on gameplay) consequences, whether positive, negative, or both, to lifestyles. And add other meaningful (again, mechanically relevant) things to spend gold on. Maybe higher quality mundane equipment. Maybe material components for spells. Maybe goods and...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 03:32 AM
    Except that nothing you can spend your gold on really does anything. Sure, I can say I bout some real expensive art, or built a castle or whatever, but none of that matters if it doesnít affect actual gameplay. Spending useless money to buy useless trade goods and/or useless real estate isnít my idea of making gold meaningful. But the cost of a ration is not, so thereís no meaningful...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 12:46 AM
    Not so. If the things youíre spending gold on have an actual impact on the game, and they cost a significant enough amount of the gold you make that you have to think critically about what to spend it on, then itís not monotonous bookkeeping, itís meaningful resource management. If you made significantly less gold, if lifestyles cost significantly more to maintain, if the lifestyle you maintained...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 11:22 PM
    Because the game is Dungeons and Dragons, not Bills and Bankruptcy. Yes, and they cost such a paltry fraction of the treasure you earn adventuring that they can safely be ignored without losing anything but monotonous bookeeping. He might, if thatís what you want to focus your game on. Again, gold matters if the DM makes it matter.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 08:32 PM
    But we need things like food, water, and shelter, we have financial demands like insurance and taxes, and we derive entertainment value from things that have no practical use. D&D lumps all of these expenses into Lifestyle, charges an insignificant fraction of the currency PCs earn by adventuring for even the most lavish lifestyle, and assigns no consequences or benefits to any of the lifestyles.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 08:24 PM
    Sure, if you as a player are actively looking for ways to spend gold, you can find them. One might argue that itís still ultimately the DM providing those ways to spend them, as nothing exists in the game world that the DM doesnít put there, but itís ultimately a distinction without difference. Semantics aside, gold can matter if the people participating in the game make it matter, but otherwise...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 07:40 AM
    Personally, I donít think Eldritch Blast is as much of a staple to Warlocks as itís made out to be. I mean donít get me wrong, if single-target DPR at range is what you want to build for, Eldritch Blast+Agonizing Blast+Hex+Maddening Hex is great! But single-target DPR at range is not the only way to make a Warlock stand out from other casters. Standing out from other casters is literally the...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 07:19 AM
    *Sigh* hit post too early by accident.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 2nd November, 2018, 07:31 PM
    Youíre adding Hex damage to the warlock formula but not adding Hunterís Mark damage to the Rangerís formulae.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 2nd November, 2018, 05:41 PM
    Guess Iíll throw my 2cp into this three year old discussion. Gold is as useful as the DM makes it. Past about 4th level, it no longer really matters for mundane equipment, and magic equipment isnít available for purchase unless the DM allows it, and then they kind of have to set their own prices. Gold can pay for lifestyle expenses, but unless the DM includes consequences (whether positiv or...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 2nd November, 2018, 05:17 PM
    And with Feats, the ranger outpaces the Warlock during that time thanks to Sharpshooter and potentially Crossbow Expert. The hype for Eldritch Blast is a little overblown for sure. But what it does do very well is provide a simple caster, for players who want to do magic but donít want to deal with tracking spell slots. There are also plenty of other perfectly viable ways to build a Warlock.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 2nd November, 2018, 03:38 PM
    Well, thatís your call. Nothing in the RAW says thatís how it works, and the fact that magic missile specifies that all darts hit simultaneously while Eldritch Blast does not leads me to think otherwise, but your table your rules.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 02:29 PM
    Thatís why you hit them with as many blasts as you can, add in Lance of Lethargy from XGtE to slow them by 10 feet, and use your own moment to widen the gap. Very true. Which is why Evardís Black Tentacles is one of my favorite spells on a Warlock. Between that and Eldritch Blast with Repelling Blast, Lance of Lethargy, and Grasp of Hadar, you can really manipulate the battlefield and lock...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 04:07 AM
    Well, if you take the Repelling Blast Cantrip, this is only a problem for your first beam (unless it misses). Itís still a good idea to have a melee Cantrip in your back pocket, but often itís worth the disadvantage on the first attack to get the following ones off.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 07:36 AM
    Awkward interactions with rules that relate to weapons, mostly.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 07:17 PM
    This is going to sound dumb, but itís how the rules of D&D 5e work: An Unarmed Strike is considered a Melee Weapon Attack, but fists are not considered weapons.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 05:46 PM
    Hereís a tweak to Inspiration I have used that Iíve found very successful (though I donít use it in every campaign): ē Everyone gains Inspiration automatically at the beginning of each session. ē Your Flaw(s) give you a way to gain Inspiration. Any time you or your party suffer a setback as a result of your Flaw, you gain Inspiration. ē Your Personality Traits, Ideal(s), and Bond(s) give you...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 05:12 PM
    Accidentally hit submit too soon here, please disregard.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 03:14 AM
    Eew. This is worse than the current TWF rules in basically every way possible.
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 07:41 AM
    Hereís how I personally run it. Any hidden details in a scene have a DC to detect. If a characterís passive Perception is equal to or higher than the DC, I describe any sensory information the character could notice about the hidden detail without actively looking, e.g. feeling a draft coming from a concealed passageway, spotting a trip wire for a trap, noticing dust on a section of flood that...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 07:21 AM
    I agree with this assessment, but... I kinda feel like the game works better when thereís an agreement that the party is always looking for traps/ambushes unless they state otherwise? Like, I get some tasks are going to take too much attention to performe while remaining alert to danger. But unless the whole party is engaged in such activities, it seems a little silly for those available not to...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Monday, 22nd October, 2018, 07:18 PM
    He can do this 100% by-the-books if he just takes a couple levels of Warlock. Warlock spell slots recover on a short rest, and you can trade them for sorcery points with flexible casting. If he takes 4 levels of warlock, he can grab the Pact of the Tome boon at 3rd and retrain an Invocation at 4th to get Aspect of the Moon so he never has to sleep, and just take 8 consecutive short rests while...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 07:29 AM
    There arenít really any codified abilities that call for such a roll, so this would fall under the rules for improvising an action. So, itís up to the DM how to resolve it. Making an attack roll against an AC calculated in a non-standard way is one way you might resolve that. But, as the rules for improvised actions state that you normally make an ability check for improvised actions and...
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 04:15 AM
    For what it's worth I believe in shared ownership of setting, more in terms of taking an active interest in it and responsibility for it's content than the freedom to do whatever we want with it. The GM is mostly responsible for it in the same way that players are mostly responsibility for their characters. Obviously there's some interaction there. No one is an island. This is a game where we...
    1794 replies | 57355 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 10:25 PM
    Tomato, tomhato, my point is that itís unique among features that interact with AC, and that is what throws people off about it.
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 10:16 PM
    5e doesnít have a concept of touch AC. Even if we were to compare to touch AC in 3e, wearing heavy armor never increases your touch AC, and often decreases it. What Iím doing is interpreting where the challenge lies in overcoming a creatureís AC. The challenge is not in penetrating the armor, but in landing a blow in a spot that the armor does not cover. I guess you could call it ďtouch the...
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 09:08 PM
    I would argue that natural armor works differently because, like any armor, it is modeling the difficulty of hitting the creature with it in a vulnerable spot, not the difficulty of hitting it hard enough to break through. The surface area you can hit and do meaningful harm to the creature is less than that on a similarly nimble creature without the same natural armor. However, I would agree...
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 09:04 PM
    Double post
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 07:28 PM
    Trees canít benefit from partial cover because they canít move. Youíre going to hit a tree that is not behind total cover, the attack roll is just to see if you hit it hard enough. A creature affected by Barkskin can benefit from cover, however. It adds 2 to the threshold that needs to be met or exceeded on an attack roll to hit its body. The value that is calculated as 10 + Dexterity Mod by...
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 06:44 PM
    I donít feel like I have to. The spellís mechanical function is perfectly clear, and in my assessment, internally consistent with the way creature and object AC works in the game. But, since some people seem to be struggling to understand how the mechanics translate to the fiction, I explained it in detail for their benefit. If thereís anything here complicating the explanation, itís not the...
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 03:27 PM
    This is silly criteria. You can over-explain literally anything if you want to.
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 03:26 PM
    How so? In what way is skin of bark harder to make contact with than skin of... skin? It may be more difficult to penetrate, but it is not more difficult to hit. Well, yeah. Oak trees are objects. Objectsí AC represents the difficulty of damaging them, not the difficulty of hitting them. With you so far. Except Druids are creatures, and a creatureís AC represents the difficulty of...
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 07:42 AM
    Howís this for an unpopular opinion: I donít think its intended function is particularly incongruous with the fiction. Look, the way I see it, a creatureís AC generally represents how difficult that creature is to hit. Being more nimble, holding a plank of wood in front of you, ducking behind a chest-high wall, being surrounded by a magical field of repulsive force, wearing a...
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 07:01 PM
    I would love that!
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
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  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:16 PM
    Because lots of people refuse to accept that it works the way it says it does, because they canít reconcile what it says it does with the fiction.
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:39 PM
    Here's the thing: In any social situation we are always constrained by the expectations and customs of the social group, even if we do not give voice to them. When I am playing a role playing game, despite the insistence of total theoretical freedom of action, I am constrained by what is socially acceptable to do at the table. When I run the game the same is true. This is the natural state of...
    1794 replies | 57355 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 07:28 AM
    I donít really think it does. The wording very succinctly and accurately describes the function. The most natural interpretation of the words is the correct one, itís just that it feels like it shouldnít be, because nothing else in the game works that way, and you kind of have to stretch to justify it in-fiction.
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 07:23 AM
    Yeah, i donít have a problem with making it work in the fiction. Itís just not the most intuitive, so early on a lot of people assumed that the spell was meant to set your minimum AC to 16 before bonuses like shields and cover instead of after, and therefore the wording must be wrong. Jeremy Crawford eventually confirmed the RAW does match RAI. Of course, by then a lot of people were already...
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 06:22 AM
    Anyone else have it? I am still working my way through my copy. Really like most of what I am seeing so far. More thoughts to follow.
    1 replies | 204 view(s)
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  • Campbell's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:45 AM
    I am not really a fan of back-grounding as a formal mechanic - mostly because I think it reinforces playing a character concept rather than a character. I also think it encourages individual creativity over vigorous collaboration. I am not a fan of these walled off gardens we have the tendency to create in this hobby where we decide how exactly everyone else at the table is allowed to engage with...
    1794 replies | 57355 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:43 AM
    Oh, it was super controversial when 5e first came out. The thing is, itís extremely easy to understand the literal meaning of the words, but the conclusion can be very difficult to reconcile with the fiction. For example, a character with 14 Dex and hide armor has an AC of 14, so Barkskin increases it to 16. But if that character picks up a shield, Barkskin no longer affects them because their AC...
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
    8 XP
  • Charlaquin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 02:25 AM
    Because that would change its function. With that wording, it could be used to reduce a targetís AC, and it could be modified from that value by things like equipping a shield or going behind cover. With the current wording, if you AC would be less than 16 without Barkskin, it becomes 16, and if your AC would be equal to or greater than 16, it remains that value.
    138 replies | 5017 view(s)
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Wednesday, 7th November, 2018

  • 10:08 AM - Sadras mentioned Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    @Maxperson, I think @Charlaquin's issue, and he may correct me where I'm misstating him, is that unless one incorporates the purchasing and management of castles, homesteads, ships, businesses and/or staff/crew the direct influence of gold is reduced to the acquisition of magical items (which I have to agree with him is hardly exciting), bribery (again mostly inconsequential), advice/services (not dynamic enough) and the purchasing of equipment (hardly relevant given its blandness). [Disclaimer: I have not gone through Xanathar's in depth] To Charlaquin the decision points the above spend necessitate are not exciting and meaningful enough. He believes it requires an active DM to stress wealth in the game that will encourage meaningful decisions. I kind of agree with him on this as I'm one of those DM's that had to work to make wealth matter. One of my campaigns was called Darokin: The Accounting, it doesn't get much more than that. :) Lifestyle tendencies, fine and masterwork items and interesting services that pro...

Monday, 5th November, 2018

  • 12:38 PM - Matrix Sorcica mentioned Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    Charlaquin, I have the precise same issues with 5e's lack of (for me) meaningful gp spending. Luckily, Blacky the Blackball has created a free supplement that puts a price on magic items, based on the treasure tables in the DMG. The supplement even allows you to play gold-as-xp! He has also converted the domain and mass combat rules from the old companion set, for even more ways to spend gold with mechanical effect. Check it out: https://gurbintrollgames.wordpress.com/blackballs-treasure-2/

Friday, 5th October, 2018

  • 03:22 AM - Yaarel mentioned Charlaquin in post Do Cleric/Druid players just ignore a large portion of their spells list?
    I like the idea by Charlaquin, Dont Ďprepareí spells, but have a limited number of different kinds of spells that are possible each day. This allows both spontaneity and gaming balance. That said, I prefer thematic spellcasters, for flavor. So even the pool of available spells to choose from during the day would depend on which themes the caster specializes in.

Friday, 28th September, 2018

  • 06:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I must admit that this got me a bit stumped. You do realise that every feature of a character in 4E was in the nature of a power and every power in 4E was in the same format and relied on exactly the same mechanics, right? Roll an attack roll, do damage, apply condition. Rinse, repeat. To suggest that there was somehow "more variety" in character options in 4E than in 5E is, to my mind, contrary to evidence. 4E was the absolute pinnacle of less mechanical variety in character options of any version of D&D yet. Deliberately. That there were ten different powers that attacked an individual creature's Reflex defence, did 3 dice damage, and pushed them 2 squares, is not the definition of "variety".What are the 10 powers you've got in mind? But in any event, I think you've missed Charlaquin's point, because you've misdescribed 4e powers. Most 4e powers are a distinctive, perhaps unique, combination of actions for the attacker (move, shift, heal, etc) and effects on the target (various conditions and forced movement effects). This satisfies Charlaauin's request for uniqueness. And you get to make a new power choice at most levels. Which satisfies the request for frequent, beyond-starting-levels, PC build options. One of the reasons I dislike the encounter/daily power limitation of 4E (or the battle master for that matter) is that it's very much a limit for the sake of "balance". I understand it, but no matter what fluff you add it still just felt artificial. IMHO the fluff reasons were flimsier than the paper they were written on. I can't do a "come and get it" twice because they already fell for it once? But what if we have a second wave or we didn't have time for a short rest between encounters?It's action economy. It's no different from the fact that a 1s...

Thursday, 27th September, 2018

  • 06:15 PM - Satyrn mentioned Charlaquin in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    But...I mean,...isn't that what the free, basic rules really amounts to? :) No. My idea of an advanced players handbook with a lot less mechanical bits would be a reflection of Charlaquin's with lots more. It's not really about sheer number of choices of character building option, but the number of choice points. I'm talking about a version of D&D where I choose my race and class, gain a couple features at 1st level and then never have to make another character building choice again. The Basic rules don't give me that. Even with the champion, I have ASIs to allocate, for example, and all the classes still gain too many features overall. In a nutshell, I want more classes to choose from than the Basic Rules give, but I want each of those classes to have fewer features than the PH gives them.
  • 09:17 AM - Sadras mentioned Charlaquin in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    At the risk of using inciting language, would generalising capabilities that are (in the 5e context) primary located in the spell/magic systems be something like what you've got in mind? I'm not @Charlaquin, but in a manner yes. Judging on what he/she had said, I think it is about additional meaningful choice points which have the ability to differentiate characters of the same class and subclass even more than what you can already do with backgrounds, feats, personality characteristics and skills. Example: 1. As a human variant allowing him to swap out the feat & skill combo for an additional background instead. The additional background might reflect on the character's age or that the character moves around a lot and has obtained experience in various lines of work. 2. As a fighter he could select Battle Awareness as opposed to Second Wind. Battle Awareness: As long as the character is not surprised, the character may move up or down the initiative order by 5 after initiative is rolled. Character is still limited to acting once per turn. Rechargeable after a long or short rest. 3. As a Champion, he might drop Improved Critical for Flare of the Champion Flare of the Champion: Pr...
  • 06:48 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Charlaquin, I think differences can be meaningful but still expressed in the numerical terms you are less happy with. For instance, in my 4e game some PCs have +15 or so in their knowledge skills while the invoker/wizard/divine philosopher/sage of ages has around +40 or so. These characters play differently, even though they can both attempt the same stuff. Likewise the invoker sometimes finds himself making melee attacks (once every few levels) and has even hit once or twice, but plays quite differently from the melee specialists. In Classic Traveller it's a bit different, because some skills are (to use D&D terminology) "trained only" - a person with no Engineering or Pilot expertise can't fill those roles on a starship, for instance. But even where skills aren't trained only, the difference between the ex-marine withe Cutlass-4 (+4 on a 2d6 check) and the playboy with Gambling-2 but no fighting skills comes through fairly clearly. In our Prince Valiant game the knights with Brawn 4 an...

Wednesday, 26th September, 2018

  • 08:32 PM - Sadras mentioned Charlaquin in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Charlaquin and Eric V I think another factor in this discussion and why there might be a divide is, frequency of play. The more frequently one plays, getting through the material and roleplaying various class, then the greater the likelihood one will be asking for something like an Advanced Player's Guide for more variation.
  • 06:39 PM - Sadras mentioned Charlaquin in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    @Charlaquin you're essentially asking for an Advanced Player's Handbook where one could swap out racial traits, class and subclass features, and/or background features and characteristics and thereby have additional decision points during class creation/progression hopefully making each Champion mechanically different.

Monday, 24th September, 2018

  • 07:35 AM - ClaytonCross mentioned Charlaquin in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    So poeple are talking bad bout 3.5 but honestly I never had any problem with it. I miss alot of the mechanica options. like Charlaquin said, I don't consider powergaming or min/maxing a bad thing and perhaps more importantly I don't consider them in conflict against good role playing and story telling. It seems like their is a lot of effort to steer away from mechanical flexibility to prevent power gaming but highly limit building characters to fit story narrative. If you doubt this Ö look at the latest number of players choosing to play warlocks versus previous editions. Warlocks, are a prime choice for players how seek mechanic diversity because the get a class, sub-class, pact, invocations, and spell selections. That's the most mechanical diversity of any class in the game.... and so it popularity is only climbing. Its way easier to build the character to fit your narrative as a warlock so it has appeal to min/maxers, power gamers, and story players that don't want to be forced to take extra features that done fit the image of the character concept the want to play. Its not because they are building the most "optim...

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 05:42 PM - pming mentioned Charlaquin in post How come BBEG coming out never have magic weapons or items?
    Hiya! As Charlaquin above said, the game isn't designed with magic items being "assumed". I see this sort of argument ("Why doesn't Creature X have Special Thing Y?") every now and then and feel the need to point out one major fact: If you use an "option" in your game, the game, by default, WILL become "unbalanced" unless the DM takes steps to re-balance it. And yes, I'm talking mostly about Feats and Multiclassing, but "assumed magical items" is another one. With 5e's bounded accuracy bedrock, adding +1 to hit and damage to a demon lord will make a difference in games where magic items of protection are non-existent (or virtually so). I mean, if a DEMON LORD has "only" a +1 sword, then it would be safe to assume that nobody has a Shield +1 let alone a suit of Scale Mail +1. So, what to do? Well, up the + of the sword to make it "worthy" of a Demon Lord compared to a mere mortal...so now the Demon Lord has a Sword +3 Flame Tongue that can Dance on it's own. Now we're getting somewhere! But wait...that ...

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 12:20 PM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post Missing Rules
    I didn't say characters try to jump as far as possible whenever they jump. I said characters put in their best effort at all times. Your best effort to jump 5 feet looks pretty different than your best effort to jump 50.Well, on your approach there is no such thing as the best effor to jump 50' (without magical enhancement) given that STR caps at 25! I give the PC the benefit of the doubt and assume that they perform at the best of their ability when it matters. I like players to succeed and fail by their choices, not by factors outside their control like whether or not they focused on their breathing properly, or got distracted, or thought about their hips and thighs enough.I find it a bit ironic that, in this case, empowering the PCs by assuming that they always perform at their best has the result ofn them being limited in how far they can jump, in comparison to the alternative rules intepretation being suggested, which allows that it is uncertain whether or not they can jump to their best...
  • 05:07 AM - Maxperson mentioned Charlaquin in post Missing Rules
    What's the objection to a player having his/her PC trying to jump further than normal every time s/he wants to? Does that seem unrealistic? No. Does it break the game, or even put it under strain? Almost certainly not. Does it mean (as you assert) that those longer jumps are not going to be unusual? Well, how often they are attempted will depend on how often those larger distances become salient in the ficiton, so in advance of actual play who can tell? But even if the attempts are quite frequent, who knows - in advance of setting a DC and making some rolls - what the frequency of success will be? It makes the leaps with extra distance usual, not unusual as the rules say. Do I think it's unrealistic to go variable distances with effort? No. Does it break the game? No. That isn't the rules, though, and this is a rules discussion. I also prefer that the players to describe their actions to me like iserith and Charlaquin. I'm trying to get one of my players over the bad habit(personal opinion) of just asking to roll certain skills. All my asking of "How?" is starting to sink in, and he's catching himself more and more often.
  • 04:57 AM - iserith mentioned Charlaquin in post Missing Rules
    ... outcome of an attempt by a muscled and athletically trained human in the D&D world to jump an 18' chasm is certain failure. Obviously, given the rule on p 64 and assuming less than 18 STR, it is not certainly successful either. Hence it would be determined by a STR (Athletics) check made against an appropriate difficulty. My reason for spelling this out is simply to demonstrate the point that what is at issue in this thread, at least as far as the current discussion is concerned, is not the proper way to adjudicate 5e, nor the closely related issue of whose job it is to call for checks, nor the issue of whether or not "I clear the chasm by jumping over it" states an approach to the goal of getting across the chasm - it manifestly does. What is at issue is what the rule on p 64 makes certain and leaves uncertain. On this issue of jumping the chasm, that's the sole point of difference between me and @robus and I think @SkidAce, @5ekyu and @Reynard, on the one hand, and you and @Charlaquin on the other. I still think this comes down to approach. There are two goals here, you might say: Jumping Normally and Jumping An Unusually Long Distance. You can certainly achieve the second goal, in some circumstances, given a viable approach. This might mean interacting with the terrain in some fashion that is unusual, getting the assistance of an ally, or using a resource that reasonably helps. The resolution of that outcome may or may not involve a Strength (Athletics) check. What is a viable approach requires context and, even if we're all looking at the same context, we may rule differently as to its viability. Some might say it works, others that it doesn't - no roll. Some might say it's uncertain and call for a check. Among those latter folk, the DCs may vary. Do I think a character can jump an unusually long distance? Yes. The rules say it's possible. What matters is the approach they offer to achieve that goal.
  • 04:30 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post Missing Rules
    ...the outcome of an attempt by a muscled and athletically trained human in the D&D world to jump an 18' chasm is certain failure. Obviously, given the rule on p 64 and assuming less than 18 STR, it is not certainly successful either. Hence it would be determined by a STR (Athletics) check made against an appropriate difficulty. My reason for spelling this out is simply to demonstrate the point that what is at issue in this thread, at least as far as the current discussion is concerned, is not the proper way to adjudicate 5e, nor the closely related issue of whose job it is to call for checks, nor the issue of whether or not "I clear the chasm by jumping over it" states an approach to the goal of getting across the chasm - it manifestly does. What is at issue is what the rule on p 64 makes certain and leaves uncertain. On this issue of jumping the chasm, that's the sole point of difference between me and robus and I think SkidAce, 5ekyu and Reynard, on the one hand, and you and Charlaquin on the other.
  • 03:31 AM - iserith mentioned Charlaquin in post Missing Rules
    That is perfectly reasonable, the character is heroically trying to push themselves to escape a tight spot, and the response is ďsad tromboneĒ the character automatically fails and falls. I would say it's also reasonable to conclude that an approach is needed to achieve a goal of jumping an unusually long distance which is something other than the approach used to jump normally. And that if such an approach is not viable in the present situation, then it's time for that player (and character) to think fast and come up with something else. We're talking about poor Bob as if jumping is his only option and that doesn't seem all that likely a scenario in my experience. Climb down the chasm or pit wall - I've never heard of a zombie that climbs. What we're disagreeing on appears to be the viability of "I try harder than usual" or "adrenaline and stuff" as approaches and I think even Charlaquin is okay with the latter given a cost. I'm not. So my players may have to work a little harder to save Bob. No big deal. Why am I not okay with that approach? It doesn't actually matter. DMs are just going to rule differently on matters of what is or isn't an uncertain outcome and/or a meaningful consequence of failure. That's okay.
  • 02:29 AM - iserith mentioned Charlaquin in post Missing Rules
    @pemerton: I think @Charlaquin has essentially given the same answer I would for questions in posts 267, 269, and 270, by and large. I didn't think anything needed repeating. If there's anything that was missed, please let me know.
  • 02:00 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post Missing Rules
    So please understand that I'm not advocating for anything about the system being better or worse than a previous edition of the game. I was no fan at the start. I'm just saying what it is and what it's not and what my experience is with it now.I realise all this. For clarity, I will restate the two things I've said in this thread. One is a reply to your question about what games I'm playing, wtih some explanation. I'm trying to explain why I don't find 5e too appealing, using some of what is going on in this thread as illustration. The other is about the topic of the thread. Even within the 5e paradigm - which I don't think you have got wrong, although I think you advocate a very orthodox version of it! - I think your adjudication of the jump a long distance issue is not the only way to go. I think you treat p 64 as making something certain which in my view it doesn't, especially when p 59 is factored in. EDIT: In the post just upthread of this Charlaquin sets out the two interpetations clearly. And that has also prompted my to state one way my two points do interact: my reading of pp 59 and 64 goes a very minor way to reducing those features of 5e which make it somewhat unappealing to me, by increasing the scope of what a non-magic-using character can achieve by jumping.
  • 01:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post Missing Rules
    These rules are both nested in the overall rules for how to play. There is no Athletics check without an accompanying goal (jump an unusually long distance) and approach (?) that the DM can judge and determine whether and which mechanics come into play. Where people appear to differ is on what approach is seen as viable.I take the main difference to be about what is uncertain. You (and Charlaquin) seem to think that it is certain that, everything else being equal, a character can't jump further than what the rules on p 64 state. Hence a declaration (say by the player of a PC with 15 STR) "I jump across the 18' wide chasm" is, in your view, uncertain in its outcome. But my view is that the presence of p 59 in the rulebook means that the outcome of that action declaration is not certain. It is not certain that the PC makes the jump (because it is further than the distance mentioned on p 64) but nor is it certain that the jump fails (becuse p 59 says that characters can try and jump unusual distances, and that STR is the ability score that is checked to determine the outcome of such attempts). Being uncetain, the general procedures of play call for a check.

Monday, 20th August, 2018

  • 10:12 PM - Reynard mentioned Charlaquin in post Missing Rules
    I have to wonder what you're actually hearing me say if that's the sort of conclusion you reach based on what I'm telling you.It's possible I am misunderstanding you, but what I think you are saying is that you would prefer to have a player say, "My character saunters up to the guard, flexes a little and politely suggests it's time to take a coffee break," and YOU decide (assuming there is going to be a roll involved) whether that is a Charisma check and whether Bluff or Intimidate applies. Do I have that right? EDIT: To add, perhaps I am conflating Charlaquin and your points of view on this?


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Tuesday, 13th November, 2018

  • 03:59 AM - Maxperson quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    Iíd still call combat ďthe minimum number of rolls necessary to resolve uncertainty,Ē itís just that the mechanics surround combat necessitates more rolls to resolve uncertainty. Regardless of how you want to paint it, there are times in the game where you have only a few rolls, if any, in an hour(simple roleplaying), and other times when that minimum is a very large clump of rolls(combat and skill challenges). Those are distinctly different types of game events. You canít stop players from making decisions based on the mechanical benefits theyíll get for them. I never said I was going to stop them. What I'm saying is that I prefer the primary reason to be roleplay. Let's take an example from 3e. If I wanted to have a PC to be the best in the land at X skill, there were a variety of ways I could go about that mechanically. Maybe I take the skill focus feat. Maybe I take one of the myriad of feats, or more than one, where there are two different skills at a lower bonus. Maybe I se...

Monday, 12th November, 2018

  • 07:56 PM - Turgenev quoted Charlaquin in post First Impressions Ė Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
    Hmm... So, for the most part itís a smaller subsection of the level as depicted in 2e, but with some subtle differences. Some of those subtle differences were slight modifications to make sure everything fit on a page. I might have had to shorten a corridor or room here & there to make sure everything fit. You could only shrink the grid down so far before details start getting lost. Cheers, Tim Hartin
  • 02:32 PM - Maxperson quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    Sure. Assume the DM was unwilling to improvise, but the need to improvise just never arose because the things the players wanted to do happened to be the things the DM had already prepared for. It still wouldn't be a railroad unless a player tried to do something and was told no. The defining feature of a railroad is a player being unable to do something he wants to do for no other reason than the DM doesn't want it to happen. I find this sort of stark separation between ďthe portion of the game where there is minimal dice rollingĒ and ďthe portion of the game where rolling happensĒ to be not to my taste. It is my preference that, in all portions of the game, dice rolling should be kept to the minimum necessary because it disrupts narrative flow. By the same token, in all portions of the game, dice rolls should be used when necessary to resolve actions with uncertain outcomes. Whether it's to your taste or not, they exist in D&D. Combat being the major guilty party. Skill challenges be...

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 11:38 PM - Parmandur quoted Charlaquin in post First Impressions Ė Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
    Cool! So thereís not necessarily an overarching objective like ďstop the return of TiamatĒ in HotDQ or RoT, or ďdefeat Strahd and escape BaroviaĒ in CoS, but more of a common theme of ďHalaster has done some crazy stuff down hereĒ? There are... possibilities...once you get way down in the level, but there is no metaplot or goal per se. Lots of smaller goals that can add up, and maybe eventually a confrontation with Halaster. But it's not like there is an apocalypse or grander implications on the line.
  • 10:56 PM - Demetrios1453 quoted Charlaquin in post First Impressions Ė Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
    Question for folks who have the book: Is the book a single adventure that takes characters from 5th-20th level, a series of self-contained adventures spanning 5th-20th level that all take place in Undermountain, a sandbox that includes challenges for characters ranging from 5th-20th level, or something in-between? Something in between. It could easily be run as a linked mega-campaign, or split into 23 separate dungeons to be run on their own. Basically, there are some links between levels, and there's the over-arching Halaster theme, but these aren't so vital that they couldn't be easily done away with and/or replaced. It reminds me very much of the giant strongholds in SKT, which were made for a particular campaign, and have links to it, but would be very simple to break out individually and be used on their own for something entirely different.

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 09:03 PM - Hriston quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    A month's salary (or a month's living expenses) sounds like the perfect starting point. I must remember that the next time it comes up. Thank you. You're welcome! Because my goal was a unified mechanic for all offerings of inducement including bribes, gifts, rewards, and tributes, and because my houserule is in origin an adaptation of rules from the 1st Ed. AD&D DMG, I started with the idea that many skilled hirelings and henchmen will not accept an offer of employment for a term of less than one month or will require at least one-month's payment for a shorter term. Extending that thinking from signing bonuses to bribes seemed natural. Oh, cool! :)
  • 04:57 AM - Harzel quoted Charlaquin in post Barkskin *Might* Be the Worst Spell Description I've Ever Read
    This is where weíre disagreeing. Iím saying that when you attack a creature, you roll against a number that represents how difficult it is to hit that creature in a vulnerable spot. By default, this number is 10+Dex, representing the creatireís ability to dodge your attacks. Armor and some abilities change this calculation, usually representing the decreased surface area of the creature that is vulnerable to attack, and potentially the increased difficulty of dodging attacks while armored. Shields and cover increase this number, representing an obstacle preventing the attackerís blows from reaching the target. So you are saying that in the fiction the difference between armors is attributable solely to how much body area they cover? Sorry, that's not working very well for me. If that were the case, it would be a lot more sane to have, as some other systems do, incremental AC benefits for which pieces of armor you have rather than the type of armor you have. The version you propose has never I...

Friday, 9th November, 2018

  • 08:29 PM - Maxperson quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    Hypothetical scenario: a DM prepares a game that is not set up to handle a change of direction weíll. If the players decide to do something he didnít expect, heís not going to be able to accommodate. If his players do not end up going off-script, is the game still a railroad? I would argue yes, this DM judt got lucky that his players didnít notice. This is why I say a railroad is only a problem if the players want to go somewhere other than where itís headed. See, I would need more than this hypothetical to be able to answer that question. If he's not set up to handle a change of direction, I need to know why? If it's because they are in the underdark and they have no way of getting out, then it's not a railroad not to accommodate a desire to leave and set up a garden. If they are in a town and the DM hasn't set up up anything else nearby, I would not call that a railroad, since as far as I'm concerned, the DM can improv until the end of the night and set things up before the next game. If...
  • 05:58 PM - Maxperson quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    What, you mean like roleplaying through your time in the city, talking to NPCs while youíre between adventures, that kind of thing? Sure, Iíd consider that part of the fun part of the game. Or even the building of a castle. You don't have to spend every moment roleplaying the castle being built, but the PCs can go back, take care of issues that come up, issue directions and then go out and do something else. It's pretty easy to include the castle construction into uptime, without making it the entire game.
  • 05:56 PM - Maxperson quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    I strongly disagree. Iíve run plenty of games that many would describe as ďrailroadsĒ that all of my players thoroughly enjoyed. My players probably wouldnít describe them as railroads, but thatís because they wanted to go where it was going. The reason railroads is a problem is because they remove player agency, but if the players donít encounter a situation where they want to go a new direction that the railroad doesnít allow, then their agency is never infringed upon. And a skilled DM can switch tracks (or create brand new routes) at a momentís notice if their players do want to go in a different direction. If they are going in a direction anyway, it's not a railroad. A railroad happens if they CANNOT go off the rails and into a different direction. Unless youíre seriously saying that a half to two thirds of your game is taken up by resolving downtime activities, I think you may have misunderstood what I meant by ďfun part of the game.Ē Uptime is simply time when youíre playing thing...
  • 05:00 PM - Maxperson quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    Yes, the fun part of the game. I think Iíve been pretty clear in this thread that I have fun making difficult decisions with significant consequences in character, and I find the most opportunities for that arise during uptime. If you find downtime fun, thatís fine. But a lot of players donít, and would much rather focus on uptime. You might be overlooking that anything you can do during downtime, can also be done during uptime.
  • 03:26 PM - SkidAce quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    ...because if the more expensive lifestyles arenít useful to me in the fun part of the game, then Iíll save my resources for something that is. "fun part of the game" ?
  • 08:13 AM - Maxperson quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    Aye, but itís less work for the DM when mechanics are invented by the game designers instead of by themselves, and options with hard-coded mechanics are often more appealing to players than being forced to rely on DM fiat. DM fiat is the greatest tool the DM has, and unless it's in the hands of a bad DM(rare), it's good for the players, too. Too many try to use it as if it were a bad word. If you think that people who desired more robust mechanics did not exist simply because you didnít encounter them, you are fooling yourself. Whatís the saying about D&D spawning a million game designers who all wanted to make D&D with one thing changed? There have always been, and will always be, people dissatisfied with any set of RPG rules. I didn't say that they didn't exist. What I implied, and am saying straight out now, is that if I didn't encounter them given the sheer numbers of D&D players I encountered, the complainers were in a small minority. There is a world of difference between ...
  • 04:33 AM - Maxperson quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    Yes, but your analogy ignored the fact that only some things you can spend gold on has mechanical effects, whereas all classes have mechanical effects. As we figured out above, the fact that the DM has to create a forumula(mechanic) for how much gold it takes, as well as a formula(mechanic) for the effect it has, spending gold does in fact have mechanical effects. That they are not listed in the book like classes doesn't change that. In both cases it's player choice, and in both cases there is mechanical effect. Yeah, but there werenít a lot of people complaining about 1e and 2e on the internet, given the lack of internet at the time. I played with a lot of people during those years, both at home and at conventions where I both played and watched D&D games. Not once did I ever hear a complaint. It wasn't the lack of internet. More likely the complaining started after the advent of the over regulated 3e and 4e games. Work on the DMís part. Everything the DM does is work on th...

Thursday, 8th November, 2018

  • 04:05 AM - Maxperson quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    If Fighter was the only class that had any abilities that could be used outside of downtime, this might be a fitting analogy. And Iím that case, I wouldnít blame my players for always choosing Fighter. In fact, I would share their frustration that the other classes were pointless. Not so. My analogy was fitting, because in both cases it's the players choosing what to, or not to buy/play. No magic item market in 5e by default is one of the major differences. And I would agree thatís a good thing, if there was anything else with mechanical benefits that affect uptime to spend gold on, but there isnít. Another is the near complete lack of upgrades for nonmagical equipment. You pretty much get the best stuff available in your starting equipment package. Maybe you upgrade to silk rope over hemp rope and studded leather over leather after your first adventure. If youíre a heavy armor user, maybe you upgrade from chainmail to half-plate once and half-plate to full-plate once. After that, th...
  • 03:07 AM - Shasarak quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    Welp, looks like Lowkey has blocked me. What is up with people who donít like rules making fun of people who do, chastising us for being intolerant of their playstyle when we defend our own, and then blocking us when we point it out? Whatever, hopefully they enjoy their echo chamber. It was obvious that he did not understand what you were talking about with making difficult choices with significant consequences. I think one good example that I have seen in this thread was the player who spent all their money to rebuild their destroyed town as opposed to lowkeys example of spending all their money to make themselves better at adventuring.

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018

  • 11:45 PM - lowkey13 quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    I mean, yes, that has been my argument all along. Although, I would add that new equipment is ďstory stuff,Ē and it would be preferable if non-equipment stuff that you could spend money on also had an effect on uptime. Like, itís buzzard to me that people on both sides of this argument seem to separate between adventure and story. Are adventures not what the stories yíall tell are about?? No. Not in the sense you are talking about. So, think of a classic computer RPG. Like ... Diablo (Diablo III, for instance). It has the classic loot concept- in fact, that is part of what makes it so fun. You adventure to get more stuff. You use the more stuff to kill more powerful stuff, to get better stuff, to kill more stuff, to get better stuff ... and so on. And, to be fair, this has always been a part of D&D. Going back to the earliest days, you started with the +1 sword, and then kep killing things and eventually, if you lived long enough and killed enough stuff (and got rid of enough +1 lo...
  • 11:28 PM - lowkey13 quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    I trust that you did not mean it to come off this way, but this is an extremely reductive and, frankly, demeaning representation of the view I presented. And not because of the hyperbolic sketch comedy bit, but because it reduces all adventuring to fighting monsters and getting loot, which are actually pretty low on the list of reasons I like adventuring. I understand that my playstyle preferences are not shared by everyone, and I have absolutely no problem with the folks who prefer games that focus more on the charactersí day-to-day lives than on the adventures they go on. But for some reason, that crowd seems either unable or unwilling to accept that those of us who prefer to focus on the adventures donít necessarily feel that way out of a desire for combat and character optimization. For me, the interesting part of the game is making choices as I imagine my character might. More specifically, making difficult choices with significant consequences. I find that more such choices occur during u...
  • 11:15 PM - Derren quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    instead of a meaningful decision point. Don't you think that it would be a more meaningful decision if you had to choose between buying new equipment and story stuff instead of money being practically useless and can be thrown around without a second thought as you do not really need it?
  • 08:13 PM - lowkey13 quoted Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    Youíve mostly got me right, although I also donít find ďthe purchasing and management of castles, homesteads, ships, businesses and/or staff/crewĒ particularly interesting either. Any time you spend overseeing the construction of your wizardís tower or managing your staff is fine youíre not out rescuing dragons in distress from fire breathing princesses or whatever. So, ok, you can just spend the money, hire a foreman, let the construction project be a thing that goes on in the background, and save your table time for actual adventuring. But then youíre left with the only thing of consequence you can spend your money on being a completely away-from-table thing. For anything that occurs during downtime, be that subsisting on the streets, carousing in the taverns, living it up with the aristocracy, building a castle, practicing a profession, or whatever else, to be (what I would consider meaningful), it needs to have an impact on the adventure. How nice the bed I slept on during my month offwas,...


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