View Profile: MNblockhead - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:29 PM
    I would say your explanation as to why has so far been contradictory or nonsensical, especially considering what you've admitted about how you run your game. I don't dismiss your opinion that you don't like the mechanic - which is fine, seriously. I don't even use the proposed house rule in most of my games. I do dismiss your objections and justifications as to why you hold that opinion for...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:02 PM
    I just showed that there's a contradiction quite clearly. I know you don't like the rule. I haven't dismissed your opinion, only your justifications and objections which lead to what I would say are obvious contradictions in your thinking. I haven't called you a liar either. You can say "I don't like the rule and I don't have any particularly good reason for that..." and I'd have...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:39 PM
    You can have both a story-reason and a game-reason for it. Just like how you incentivize players and therefore their characters to achieve goals via whatever means of character advancement you use. The goals are tied to your story, presumably. You're literally doing the same thing, but somehow, you think the proposed mechanic is a "lazy cop-out." Please explain this apparent contradiction. And...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:46 PM
    Watch how this works: Blood Makes the Razorvine Grow In this Blood War mercenary campaign, you gain +5% bonus XP, cumulatively, for every combat challenge overcome after the fifth combat in a single adventuring day. The crucible of battle in this endless conflict forges warriors into weapons of unimaginable ferocity. Fight makes Might! Shed their blood! There's your story-based reason tied...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:22 PM
    So you're incentivizing them to achieve goals. Forcing them to play characters who achieve goals. Or forcing their aimless characters to pursue goals which may go against their concept. You're withholding rewards unless they achieve goals. I don't care if you like the mechanic or not, truly. My argument is not with your opinion, but with the specific objections you are providing which are...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:53 PM
    Milestone advancement uses XP and awards it when the PCs achieve designated goals, complete quests, or when certain events occur. Story-based advancement awards levels for accomplishing significant goals in the campaign. It is relevant to this conversation to point out that your objection to an XP incentive for doing a particular thing is strange because the other methods are not meaningfully...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:02 PM
    It's a reward for engaging in certain challenges. I don't now what you're on about with withholding rewards. The parameters for receiving the XP and bonus XP are set forth. It's on the players to pursue it, if they wish. That's how standard XP works. You said you level up the PCs when it feels right for the story. So, you give out cookies when you feel like it. The players may have some...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:53 PM
    It doesn't say that though. It says "Here are some cookies for overcoming that challenge. If you want more cookies plus some bonus cookies on top of that, keep overcoming challenges this adventuring day. Or not. It's up to you." Compare with the method you say you employ which is "It's not up to you when you get cookies - I'll give you some cookies when I feel like it."
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 07:24 PM
    That sounds really cool. What level PCs?
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 07:11 PM
    Again, you leave out the possibility that it's reasonable to establish Barry finding such an action fun. Barry could be an Outlander with whose Ideal is earning glory in battle for himself and his clan. If the motivation of the character and the player are essentially the same as a result, I would say you're setting up the perfect situation for the player to emotionally identify with the...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 06:41 PM
    Not if it's reasonable to establish that Barry the Bard might think that course of action is fun. If it's not reasonable, then you can establish something else that is consistent with Barry the Bard's established characterization. Perhaps he thinks it will lead to inspiration for a great song entitled The Battle of Barry the Bard. I would say the justification happens alongside the...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 06:03 PM
    Sure, what I'm suggesting though is making decisions that both satisfy however someone may think of his or her character and the drive for more XP. It's possible. Easy even. To be clear, I don't dismiss your opinion. I address the objections you're posting to try to justify your opinion. "I just don't like it" is something I can't argue. "I just don't like it because X, Y, and Z..." when...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 05:28 PM
    I don't really have a strong opinion on the mechanic I suggested. As I said, I generally use other means to achieve the same end. I'm only addressing what I perceive as objections that are easily handled. I would say, like standard XP, the proposed house rule influences player behavior and thus character behavior, but that it needn't be the character's sole motivation or even the most...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 04:07 PM
    Experience points are also a motivation for players to do the things that net the characters XP, provided they care to some degree about character advancement. This works in tandem with whatever reasons a player might conceive for the character to also want to do those things. Even so, you would appear to be fine with players establishing that their characters are all for getting through more...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 03:27 PM
    Sure, that's all well and good - people have their preferences. It's just your specific objections strike me as being really easy to address. And they're even stranger in my view in light of the fact that you seem to have no problem with XP in and of itself as a motivator for PCs to do certain things (fight monsters, do certain non-combat challenges). All I'm talking about is an increased rate of...
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 03:02 PM
    So the player would have to come up with an excuse before the fact and you'd be cool with it? Like a criminal background PC with the personality trait of "I donít pay attention to the risks in a situation. Never tell me the odds."
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 02:49 PM
    "Overpowered" compared to what? I think that word is overused. If the DM has monsters attack prone, wounded PCs, then the players should prepare for that eventuality in my view. Drag the unconscious character away from the enemy, shove the enemy back, interpose oneself between the enemy and the dying character. Do something to encourage the DM (and thus the monster) to attack someone other...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 03:34 AM
    I use time pressures and random encounters/wandering monsters (though they are also just forms of time pressure) generally. If I wasn't running a game with little to no time pressures, a bonus XP mechanic works well to achieve the same end by a different means. And, for those for whom it matters, some thought can be given to why that makes sense to them in the game world. On the justification...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 02:03 AM
    But if they came up with an "in-world reason," you'd presumably be fine with it? Or perhaps if one was created as part of the mechanic, such as it being a boon of the God or Goddess of Skill for those who test their limits in the pursuit of excellence?
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 01:44 AM
    I do it sometimes, when I think it's important that the PCs should do as many combat challenges in an adventuring day as possible. That varies from game to game.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 23rd May, 2018, 01:24 AM
    I've been saying for a while on the forums that you can do this by granting the PCs a cumulative XP bonus that increases with every encounter past a certain benchmark. The more they do in an adventuring day, the bigger the bonus gets.
    131 replies | 2753 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 09:19 PM
    In order to destroy the artifact, one must cut the deck. But this requires oversize novelty scissors crafted in the Mithral Forge of Flandal Steelskin, the Master of Metal, a gnomish deity and one of the finest and strongest smiths in creation. The PCs must travel to the Twin Paradises of Bytopia, cross the rolling terrain of Dothion to reach the Golden Hills, and delve the depths of the...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 04:28 PM
    Most everyone in my regular player pool are DMs or GMs. So I quite like getting their input on what we play next. Sometimes it's put forth as "I'd like to see what you can do with..." suggestions. That's a fun challenge for me to think about how I'd go about preparing and running someone else's ideas. It gives me some constraints to work under which are useful. Ultimately I pick what I'm going to...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018, 04:03 AM
    Yet, her infant son made his check! :-)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 03:32 PM
    Yes, I've seen that behavior before in the past. It seems less common now than it was from my perspective. For my part, I'll build that sand castle and happily invite the players to wreck it just to see what happens.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 03:27 PM
    Yes, that's often what I do. I do steal a lot of stuff from published settings and just general D&D lore accumulated over the last 25 years to make that happen, cobbling together the setting as it's needed and as inspiration strikes during play. I don't think one needs an entire world or even a large region to get going and I don't want to spend a lot of time preparing stuff I may not use. Two...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 02:56 PM
    I play with people who are good at playing D&D (by my standards). Those who aren't so good, but who are also my friends, are people with whom I do other things instead. Your objection to what I said doesn't make a lot of sense. It seems more likely this is an objection to your belief that players should have no say in the world-building process than a care for anyone else's patience.
    47 replies | 1211 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 21st May, 2018, 03:06 AM
    Canon lawyering is a personality issue as is the DM unwilling to change the canon. Don't play with those sorts of people. I don't. I think a lot of the reasons you're "opposite" me is, so far as I can tell from this and other posts, gaming in a way that tries to address people's various personality issues. I just don't play with people who have issues. You could just not offer up...
    47 replies | 1211 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 07:50 PM
    I prefer a published setting when everyone at the table is familiar with that setting. Otherwise, I prefer a homebrew setting that is generated during play via player and DM input.
    47 replies | 1211 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 06:47 AM
    I'm fine with the 5e darkvision rules mechanically. But I do like thinking more about how exactly low-light vision and dark vision work. I always assumed that darkvision is just "magic" vision. But I'm thinking of treating it more like other the other hightened senses being perceived as sight (more on this at the end, below). For those promoting using "low-light vision" instead of...
    103 replies | 3065 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 20th May, 2018, 05:23 AM
    Good sound equipment is a base requirement--people hate and will tune out if they have a hard time hearing the players. There are a number of online resources that give advice on equipment. I find that the Dragon Talk podcasts' interviews with various RPG stream-show creaters to be interesting and worth checking out if you are looking into starting your own show. But good sound is, of course,...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 08:51 PM
    I use the Great Wheel. Also north is always up.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 08:00 PM
    The way it usually plays out in my game is that the players claim Inspiration, then immediately spend it. That tends to be with the personal characteristics that are easy to portray. They set themselves up for some kind of awesome attack or what they imagine might be a risky maneuver that will call for an ability check, do the portrayal, claim the Inspiration, then spend it right away when I call...
    42 replies | 838 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 07:02 PM
    That makes sense. In my case, the players only know the traditional advantage method, so that must be why they think +1d6 after the roll is better. It's not so much the bonus as it is the efficiency. They'll still get to earn Inspiration as I've been running it (up to 4 times per session per player), but now it will be more efficient for them to apply it. And instead of applying to their own...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 05:18 PM
    Your analysis is really interesting. What do you think about Bawylie's more, say, experiential analysis in terms of how it feels at the table? I realize there's no accounting for taste, but I'm interested in your take on that given that you would be sitting at the table fully knowing the underlying maths.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 18th May, 2018, 03:53 PM
    It is kind of nice to have to offset disadvantage though. That's one thing a d6 won't get you. Check this out: The Case for Inspiration.
    42 replies | 838 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 11:33 PM
    Great, thanks all. The general consensus here so far and in some Twitter and Discord chats I'm in says d6 is the way to go, so that's what I'll do. I'm designing something to work with Tales from the Yawning Portal where there are adventurers in the tavern telling a story about the current adventure as if it took place in the past. So there will be some mechanics that those storytellers can...
    42 replies | 838 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 07:26 PM
    That's very interesting - thanks for the analysis! From a player's perspective, if you were limited to say up to 4 Inspiration per session (one per personal characteristic category), would you prefer to have the option to reroll the d20 or add a d6? Assume that you know what the AC and DC are because I'm pretty transparent with that in my game. Would you have the same opinion if you could...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 17th May, 2018, 04:07 PM
    I wonder if I can get the help of the math-inclined out there so I can make some informed decisions about Inspiration (plus a variant) and Hero Points. I'm considering some options to fit the themes of some upcoming campaigns and one-shots. I understand that the way standard Inspiration works is the higher the AC or DC you need to hit compared to your attack or ability check bonus, the higher...
    42 replies | 838 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 10:14 PM
    The dwarves in my setting prefer wine spritzers to ale. They have cultivated lime trees that grow by the light of their forges and the water of their slack tubs is made effervescent with their great bellows. Mix with white wine made secured by Underdark traders and serve chilled. They all still speak with a Scottish accent though.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:58 PM
    I think I've addressed that in both my responses to Sadras and to you. The thing I always find curious about concerns over "metagame knowledge" or "metagaming" is that it always seems like the DM frequently creates the conditions for "metagaming" to occur by way of their approach, then has to come up with some kludge to fix the problem he or she created. Such as pretending to write down...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:45 PM
    More illumination fun at Friday night's Planescape session: The PCs were on a quest to rescue a wizard friend of their NPC ally, Wanda Curelight, who was trapped on the Infinite Staircase in an area claimed by a glabrezu that had taken some treasure off the PCs in the past as a toll. So they had good reason to go and get some payback in addition to helping Wanda. The Staircase is basically...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:10 PM
    I get that it's an opinion. I simply find "because metagaming" to be an insufficient reason to do a thing when objections over "metagame information" can be so easily knocked down. Once the player commits the character to the attack, I could preempt the roll and say something like "The arrow whistles through the air, but there is no sound that it struck anything or that any creature dodged or...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 05:37 PM
    You could just as easily decide that they DO know the target is not in the square they targeted though. The fiction is quite mutable in that way. So it's a wonder why you don't just tell them.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 04:43 PM
    If there is no expectation that the character or other characters must act like the NPC or monster is in that square, then again, I wonder why anyone would bother playing coy about it.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 04:15 PM
    I've seen a lot of confusion over this in actual play under other DMs who called it a "surprise round" and ended up treating it like some other game, so I'm particularly sensitive to it. Yes, I agree, though we don't know what the DM intended with certainty.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 02:25 PM
    I think getting information in exchange for a "wasted" attack is at least some consolation. Also, it prevents a situation like in the OP where there is a mismatch between what the player expects to achieve as a result of the roll (a critical hit) and what he or she actually achieves (nothing).
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:37 AM
    Fair enough, but if you you keep shouting "ni!" at my table, I *WILL* kill you--------------r character.
    36 replies | 859 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:30 AM
    Can you use wet erase markers on them? Dry erase makes it difficult to pre-draw your maps because it rubs off and smears so easily.
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 14th May, 2018, 06:20 AM
    Like Practicalm, I also backed the Saga World Builder tiles. They come with titles that have black & white terrain features pre-printed on them, as well as "neutral" tiles. One cool innovation is that they are also including objects preprinted on adheasion film so you can add furturniture, treature, terrain features and other items without have draw them and which are removable and movable. ...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 07:58 PM
    Let's think about this for a minute. On a grid in the wilderness, assuming conservatively that the monsters are able to safely move and hide in a 90-degree cone away from the square the PC attacked, that's something like 48 squares left to target (less any blocking terrain). If it's difficult terrain, it's more like 15 squares - still quite a few choices will be wrong. It's substantially more...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 07:14 PM
    What is actually gained by deciding that they should not have that information?
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 06:54 PM
    The Basic Rules state: "If the target isnít in the location you targeted, you automatically miss, but the DM typically just says that the attack missed, not whether you guessed the targetís location correctly." Based on the surrounding context in this section, I think it's inferred here that the player made an attack roll, even though his or her character had no chance of hitting. But that...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 06:28 PM
    All of those PCs in the examples are characters of mine. Chuck Dagger is my favorite. (But don't tell the others.)
    4 replies | 305 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 06:23 PM
    I think it's a good policy in general to narrate the result of the adventurer's action from the perspective of what impact is has on the environment (including NPCs and monsters) rather than from the perspective of the PC. This helps the DM avoid establishing what the characters think, do, or say. In this case, describing the impact of the attack on the monster given its resistances, immunities,...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 06:13 PM
    Thanks for the kind words and I'm glad you found it of use. Skimming a bit, I can see a few things I would change because no DM should be DMing the same way three years later! In particular, I've since moved on from starting any descriptions with "You..." in an effort to check myself against describing what the characters do, think, or say. Plus I've refined my use of passive checks quite a bit....
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 06:04 PM
    Thanks for doing that and I'm happy to hear that it was of use to you in your game.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 07:55 AM
    I generally try to telegraph it before the monster is hit, then after it's hit in a way that lets them know it wasn't affected as much by the damage type in question, then I spit out the damage resistances or immunities into Roll20 chat. I don't think one needs to get too fancy here.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th May, 2018, 01:15 AM
    It's a safe assumption, usually. However, if they're doing something at least as distracting as navigating, foraging, tracking, or drawing a map, then they aren't turning their attention toward keeping watch for danger and thus they have no chance of noticing lurking monsters. Therefore, they are automatically surprised. The key thing here is making those tasks and other such distracting tasks as...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 10:43 PM
    I have them attacked by the Spanish Inquisition. Yes, it is a tired joke. Monty Python has become trite in gaming circles. But, still... NO-body expects the Spanish Inquisition!
    36 replies | 859 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 09:12 PM
    In general, I don't set out to surprise the players. Sometimes it will happen because of this occurrence or that, but I find that wanting a particular outcome too much can result in treading upon the players' choices. So the best I can do is set up situations that are interesting and challenging and if the players find themselves surprised by those events, then great! Otherwise, no big deal. ...
    36 replies | 859 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 04:26 AM
    Man, that's how I originally called it when the PHB came out but went with the forum consensus. Once again the internet has led me astray. First porn, now this.
    343 replies | 10919 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th May, 2018, 04:21 AM
    I have all the books, but nothing beats a bookmarked PDF and the ability to keyword search in my view. So I use the Basic Rules PDF a lot, especially for reference on the forums and because I DM and don't need to look at character classes or feats much.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 08:03 PM
    Pauper: Good analysis. The only minor things with which I would take issue are (1) referring to the first round as the "surprise round" which risks confusing this game with other editions and the methods of resolution therein; and (2) the resolution of PC2's action is, I think, covered under noticing creatures that are hidden which doesn't necessarily require sight. How this might exactly be...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 07:32 PM
    I think that's reasonable. We just don't know with certainty whether that's what happened in the OP's scenario. If that's what happened, then I would say that combat begins, with no chance of surprise, after PC1 tries to perceive what made the noise.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 06:20 PM
    Unfortunately, we don't have enough information to say one way or another. I would say that the noise is sufficient to remove both surprise and hidden. So if the DM wanted to have surprise and/or hidden, he or she should not have described the noise until after determining the monsters were not hidden (the noise being indicative of a failed Dexterity (Stealth) check perhaps). Hiding can happen...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 06:08 PM
    Right, as I say, "if lack of sight would reasonably hinder this search but not make it impossible..." There are certainly situations where lack of sight would make it impossible, given the player's description of what he or she wanted to do, and therefore no check would be called for. It would just be automatic failure.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 05:52 PM
    The thing is, the DM kind of messed up here by describing the noise. Assuming the noise is related to the monsters, they are by definition not hidden because hidden requires (1) not being clearly seen and (2) being unheard. If there's a noise, they aren't unheard and thus are not hidden. The PCs can pinpoint them without a Search action. A Search action would effectively be a wasted action here...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 04:31 PM
    They are necessarily in combat and thus initiative in that scenario by the time PC2 is looking for where the shot came from - by the rules anyway. It's not clear whether the DM was following the rules, however. Basic Rules, page 72. There's no such thing as an "active perception check" though.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 04:26 PM
    Detecting a creature is not just a matter of sight. If a creature is both not clearly seen and is also unheard, then it is hidden. Uncertainty as to whether a creature is both not clearly seen and unheard is resolved with Dexterity (Stealth) versus the observer's passive Perception score. You'd have to guess that creature's location or search for it which would be the Search action in combat. If...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 04:02 PM
    Technically, in combat, it would be the NPC or monster's Dexterity (Stealth) against the PCs' passive Perception. If the NPC or monster was determined to be hidden, the PC could opt to take the Search action in which case it would be a Wisdom (Perception) check versus the monster's Dexterity (Stealth) check result as an action. The PCs' passive Perception check would be the floor. It sounds...
    67 replies | 2087 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 02:45 PM
    A rogue readying to attack after an ally moves adjacent to the enemy is fairly common as is readying a grapple for a skirmisher. I sometimes see a PC ready a shove (to knock prone) after someone else gets the grapple. That occurs because of the initiative order messing with the SOP of my current group of thugs who love to grapple, knock prone, then kick things till they're dead. They call it...
    52 replies | 1520 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 06:04 AM
    Meet more people, read more books, watch foreign films. Movies and TVs seem to dip into the same character types over and over. Of course, books do as well, but I've found that I find more variety in books. Also, putting yourself in situations where you'll meet a wider variety of people helps. While not everyone can travel widely or have easy access to highly diverse groups, you can still...
    10 replies | 431 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 11th May, 2018, 02:23 AM
    An unrelated elephant standing in the moonlight.
    67 replies | 2087 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 11:33 PM
    Based on the information you provided: The noise means the creature making the noise is not hidden. PC1 moves ahead and should be aware of enemy even if he or she can't see it - no Perception check needed. If crossbow bolts are about to fly, we have to go into initiative and there's no surprise since noise was established initially (and presumably the PCs were not being stealthy). ...
    67 replies | 2087 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 06:51 PM
    The right move was to climb out and head back to the inn, then spend the next couple hours posturing while talking in funny voices as you order food and ale.
    29 replies | 864 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 05:51 PM
    I would say that, by definition, railroading is a problem. There is no "good railroading" in my view. It's all bad. What happens though is a lot of folks in the hobby conflate "railroading" with "linear plot" or suggest that players can railroad themselves (?) or that railroading is okay as long as it's not obvious. These are very broad or perhaps erroneous definitions that start to take all...
    29 replies | 864 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 05:10 PM
    When discussing matters on the forums, I usually quote and reference the Basic Rules which are available on the Wizards website as a PDF. I do that so that anyone who wants to look up the rule but doesn't have the book on them can use the PDF. I also reference the PDF because they can be keyword searched whereas a physical book cannot. I suppose there's the possibility that someone might have a...
    288 replies | 20072 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Alternatively, what you can do is talk to the players, give them a general idea of what you want to do, and ask if they'll buy-in to the idea of staying on the obvious path. By getting their agreement, you can't be coercing, subverting, or negating their choices during play because they already agreed to engage with the content you are presenting and act accordingly. Thus, you are not...
    29 replies | 864 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 05:09 AM
    No. It's linear, but an adventure being linear does not railroading make. You describe a lot of assumptions and contingencies (they track the thief, they catch up, they confront the thief, they regain the McGuffin, etc.). As long as you do not subvert or negate your players' choices to make those things happen, then you're not railroading.
    29 replies | 864 view(s)
    7 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 03:51 AM
    Agreed with one Caveat. There are some reviewers I respect enough that they influence me for or against something despite a large number of reviews that recommend the opposite. Also, there have been well-written reviews that have changed my mind on something that I had written off. This usually only goes one way. I think that I'm not going to like something, my intuition enforced by many...
    19 replies | 593 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 03:46 AM
    Not only is that awesome, that's good tactics. Something people in sword-and-shield times would have done. Now, enemies of the party should learn from this or have encountered this tactic in the past. So at some time, the party will find that an opponent has found ways to more effectively counter this tactic. If the DM was simply asking for ideas on how to counter this tactic, I don't think...
    33 replies | 1092 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 03:39 AM
    If you want an inexpensive way to build armies, consider buying a paper-cutting machine like a Silhouette or Cricket. You buy the print files from someone like One Monk Miniatures or Paper Heroes (both on DriveThruRPG), you print them on card stock, you then feed the printouts into the paper cutter and it will cut everything out. Most of the better designers will provide the front and...
    13 replies | 738 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th May, 2018, 03:20 AM
    I bought Schley's map pack and printed them at 1-inch-square scale on a large format printer. It is very nice to have battlemats for most of the locations. Castle Ravenloft is the exception, but that would be tough to do as a battlemat unless you use a Virtual Table Top. I believe Fantasy Ground provide complete digital battlemats for all locations, including the Castle. However, I think NOT...
    11 replies | 392 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 07:56 PM
    So let me try to understand your assertion: Because I organized the rules into a handy chart, then what is in that chart is not in the rules. Okay. Let's test that out. Marching Order - page 64 of the Basic Rules. Keeping Watch, Drawing a Map, Tracking, Navigating - page 65. Working Together - page 59. Moving Stealthily - page 64. Passive Checks - page 59. Would you like to retract your...
    288 replies | 20072 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 07:22 PM
    The approach I presented on how to handle passive Perception is, in fact, based upon the rules for passive checks, travel pace, working together, activities while traveling, among others. All of those are right in the Basic Rules. Whether or not anyone on a Twitch stream plays the game based on the rules is irrelevant to whether the rules cover the situations you have described in this thread....
    288 replies | 20072 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 05:16 PM
    I outmaneuver the players by just giving all the NPCs and monsters stupid names to begin with.
    18 replies | 1447 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 02:13 PM
    I second TheSword's recommendation. The 6.50/month subscription gives you access to everything. I also have an Apple Music subscription. I'm finding that I use it more than Syrinscape as thematic background music is mostly what I want and it is less fiddly to select a song or playlist. Generally, I play from Apple music and use Syrinscape for specific encounters or areas. For Syrinscape...
    11 replies | 392 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 01:17 PM
    Making gamers is easy. My wife helped. It was fun. The feeding, grooming, and training is another thing entirely. Seriously though, good on you. You've not created one gamer, but a group, and is likely to spread from there. A GM who inspires another person to GM sends out positive ripples that influence and strengthen the viability of the hobby.
    8 replies | 414 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th May, 2018, 01:03 PM
    Why? Does only anime highlight "awesome stuff"?
    33 replies | 1092 view(s)
    0 XP
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About MNblockhead

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About MNblockhead
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Back to the table-top after 2.5 decades away
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Gamer that returned to the fold with 5e, after 25 years away from RPGs.
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Twin Cities, MN, USA
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Twin Cities Area
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Game Details:
Monthly 8-hour 5e game. Ended home-brew campaign in January 2018, after two years and am now running Curse of Strahd.
My Character:
I play a Tortle barbarian berserker with the great-weapon master feat.

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RPGs: D&D 5e; Paranoia, InSpectres, Hero Kids, No Thank You, Evil!
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Town:
Twin Cities Area
State:
Minnesota
Country:
USA
Game Details:
Monthly 8-hour 5e game. Ended home-brew campaign in January 2018, after two years and am now running Curse of Strahd.
My Character:
I play a Tortle barbarian berserker with the great-weapon master feat.
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Thursday, 26th April, 2018


Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 02:00 AM - Schmoe mentioned MNblockhead in post Cultures in D&D/roleplaying: damned if you do, damned if you don't
    I agree with MNblockhead, I don't worry about it. In my games, when I look at broad strokes of a culture, I'm much more interested in themes and generalities, and in that case I'm quite comfortable drawing on caricatures and stereotypes because they are effective at conveying the themes; they are quickly and easily understood. If I want to base a culture or race on the Mongols and their aspect of terrifying raids and fearsome campaigns of pillaging, I'll do so. If I want to depict another culture as partaking in ritual sacrifice and draw on Aztec lore for inspiration, I'll do so as well. I've caricatured North American WASP bourgeoisie, and I've caricatured Arabian dervishes because, frankly, the literal interpretation of these cultures is far less important to my game than the themes they represent. I don't do this because I believe those cultures to really be caricatures, but because it is an effective means to convey certain aspects of the cultures in my world that create a more vibrant backdrop for ...

Friday, 30th March, 2018

  • 08:57 PM - Quickleaf mentioned MNblockhead in post Printing maps - how to do this affordably & with minimum headache?
    Thanks for the tip darjr! I always assumed large format printers were in the $1000-$4000 range (like what MNblockhead uses) and too big for the cottage I rent, but I'll have to check out my options on ebay and craigslist more closely if some sell for just $100. While I appreciate how convenient a screen + VTT setup is, I'm not the one hosting games, the place I rent probably isn't well-suited, and that's a larger investment of time and money than I'm looking for right now. Maybe down the road. So I looked over this one map, counting the squares... http://media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/dragon/TOA_Level1UN.jpg ...and *think* printing it at 1-square = 1" scale would meant printing it on a 36" (3 ft) high x 54" (4.5 ft) wide sheet. Unfortunately, exceeding 48" (4 ft) dramatically bumps up the prince on the various online printing shops I'm looking at (www.vivyx.com and www.vistaprint.com) and also gets unwieldy for the table we play at (my largest wet-erase mat is 34.5" x 48", and that *barely* fits). So I'm wondering if I could get away with scaling it down to 88.88% of its original size, whic...

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

  • 08:08 AM - Shiroiken mentioned MNblockhead in post Mending
    As a cantrip, as long as they have all of the pieces, I think it could be done, but as MNblockhead said, requiring an Int check to do it correct would be a good idea. If it's something that could be crafted from a tool, I'd allow that proficiency, but otherwise Investigation seems like the puzzle solving skill.

Thursday, 22nd March, 2018


Sunday, 8th October, 2017


Monday, 31st July, 2017

  • 10:33 PM - Dan Chernozub mentioned MNblockhead in post Back to DnD after 12 years break. DM-ing questions thread.
    MNblockhead I do agree with you mostly, and if you will look at my reply to Tony Vargas, you will notice, that our approach to the game is quite similar. However, DnD being a combat-centric system it is a part of the enjoyment of the game to have interesting and rich and diverse combat encounters. So I'm not saying that I'm trying to have 6-8 combats per day because book says so, I'm saying that with few big combats a day the party can burn everything that they have, which takes out some of interest and of learning process of resource management. Unfortunately, I don't own and AL modules.

Tuesday, 18th July, 2017

  • 03:36 PM - LordEntrails mentioned MNblockhead in post Can Hobby Stores Make Their Saving Throw?
    I think @Coeryartus has said it well. I see the future of hobby gaming stores as a social/community gathering place. Sunsword has already said that store owners need to adapt, so I don't think any product line is going to sustain or doom stores in general. Small business owners need to adapt, and sell what people want. And, that's probably not going to be products in the future. At least not at the level they once were. One thing that hasn't been mentioned, and I know several wargamers who would love it (and pay for it) is storage at their game store. I've never seen it, but these wargamers would pay to rent a locker/drawer rather than have to carry around with them their foam cases to carry all their figures. Oh, and I will agree with MNblockhead too. The way the owner presents himself, and insists that his staff presents themselves, sets the tone of the store. IMO, every owner and employee should be wearing a collared shirt with the store logo on it. It's amazing how such a simple "uniform" sets an environment of clean professionalism.

Monday, 19th June, 2017

  • 11:44 PM - LordEntrails mentioned MNblockhead in post New Dwarven Forge Kickstarter kicked off over the weekend...tempted, but...
    I agree with you MNblockhead. I've been tempted in the past, even created models of a similar system and had them 3D printed. But I just can't do it. The difficulty of transport, the need for variety, and the time required to setup and take-down have taken them from my wishlist. I would rather have a game table with a TV/Monitor built in to the surface where I can display digital battle maps. Yes they are not 3D, but the ease of use, the versatility, and the diversity of settings is just too much to limit myself to something like 3D terrain.

Sunday, 4th June, 2017

  • 05:04 PM - Ninefingers mentioned MNblockhead in post Die Calculator
    MNblockhead Thank you, however a lot of those components are new old stock, and are difficult to find consistently.

Saturday, 27th May, 2017

  • 09:43 PM - Quickleaf mentioned MNblockhead in post Do you prefer TTRPG combat as war or as sport?
    MNblockhead I replied "Mostly War" because I like the creativity and hi-jinx that ensue from thinking outside the box. I also feel that other mediums handle "Combat as Sport" better than TTRPGs, including video games, SCA events, and martial arts. This is probably tied up with my view of RPGs being equally as important as an educational and self-development tool, as they are social entertainment. I very much think RPGs should challenge the players, not just their characters; that's what makes RPGs unique from other forms of gaming IMHO. At my table, I usually have a mix of players who lean toward Sport or toward War. So I keep tabs on the pulse of the group; if the "Combat as Sport" folks are getting restless, then I make sure to include a more involved "staged" action scene as soon as I can. And I usually give some consideration to both action scene framing & NPCs' schemes / lair defenses in advance of each session, so that helps keep my sessions pretty balanced.

Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017

  • 09:32 AM - Azurewraith mentioned MNblockhead in post Dark Fairytale OOC [Closed]
    Ok i couldn't wait any longer Here is your IC thread If @MNblockhead wants to join us he can just jump in when he gets a character up as for the rest of you have at it, a few quick things Use your brains as well as your brawn Think you character should know something just ask Im not out to kill you but i wont hesitate to do so Not all encounters are CR appropriate if this is the case there will be some way you can "win" it just may take some leg work After some umming and ahhing ill be rocking milestone xp Any questions feel free to ask im a nice guy really :P

Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017

  • 04:59 PM - LordEntrails mentioned MNblockhead in post Public Games and Kids
    MNblockhead, I think you've thought this through pretty well. And I think you have it pretty close to my own thoughts. I believe the key is what you said, and what most all of your suggestions come down to; "setting expectations". I do think your time estimates might be too long, based on my experience with kids, but not vastly different than what you layout. The one thing I will disagree with; As a parent, I think it is rude to sign up for a game unless I am 100% sure my kid can handle it. Otherwise, if my kid has a meltdown and I have to leave with him, the table is down two party members. That's not fair to the other players. I don't think 100% is the right level of expectation. As an analytical person, 100% indicates to me that their is no possibility of deviation from the event. I don't have a 100% confidence that my older brother isn't going to have the equivalent of a mature breakdown at some random time. Heck, I might sometime/day/etc. There should be a "high level of confidence" or s...

Monday, 20th February, 2017

  • 08:22 PM - Morrus mentioned MNblockhead in post Purchasing Gold
    Didn't see this, MNblockhead. Sound like you have PayPal handling it now, though? Do you still need anything from me?

Friday, 27th January, 2017

  • 02:53 AM - Quickleaf mentioned MNblockhead in post Capricious Home Rules and DM Pet Peeves
    MNblockhead Thanks for sparking some interesting discussions! I do have one pet peeve as a DM. I hate "throw away" die rolls. You know, players throwing dice at a problem until it breaks. DMs allowing that behavior. Knowledge checks without consequences. Rolls where nobody really is clear about what's at stake. Combat being something of an exception, because it's "roll happy" in D&D and always has been. But when an ability check comes up I pretty much always have an idea of what interesting thing happens as a result of failure or success, and often I have ideas for what happens if the checks fails/succeeds by 5+ as well. For an exaggerated example of what I mean, here's what's working in the mental background for me as DM when adjudicating a player's Dexterity (Thieves' Tools) roll to open a lock or disarm a trap... http://i.imgur.com/f4peb8P.png

Sunday, 28th February, 2016

  • 10:18 AM - Quickleaf mentioned MNblockhead in post Determining CR / XP for NPC
    MNblockhead My quick and dirty guideline is warrior type NPCs have a CR very roughly equal to 1/3 their level, whereas casters with serious firepower have a CR very generally equal to 1/2 their level. However, there's tons of variables that can throw this off (particularly AC and attack bonus), so I only would suggest using it if you absolutely don't have time to run the numbers yourself. By "running the numbers", here's what I mean... See page 274 of the DMG to follow along... 9th level fighter (champion) I'm assuming a very robust warrior with 20 strength, 18 constitution, 14 dexterity, dueling fighting style, no magic items or feats, wearing half-plate, wielding a long sword and shield in a scenario where he can engage in meaningful melee combat each round HP = 100 (9d10+36 con+14.5 second wind) AC = 19 (15+2 dex+2 shield) Longsword +9 to hit; two attacks at 11.5 (1d8+7) damage each DPR = 31 Saving throws = treat him as having 3 saving throws, thanks to Indomitable Damage per r...

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Thursday, 17th May, 2018

  • 05:03 AM - guachi quoted MNblockhead in post Unearthed Arcana May 2018: Centaurs and Minotaurs
    Also, it seems weird that they would specify that the humanoid upper body can display all the human variety of skin tones and features but then state that below the waist, the horse coat tends towards "brown shades chestnut or bay)". Why couldn't they state that below the waist the coat can display all the equine variety of coat shades and features? This was the first thing that jumped out at me, too. It boils down to horses not being sentient so they can't complain and call it racist. It's like why we have an elf race for each ability score but all humans are the same. There are no elves to complain it's racist or bigoted or speciesist.

Monday, 14th May, 2018

  • 09:49 PM - Dire Bare quoted MNblockhead in post Unearthed Arcana May 2018: Centaurs and Minotaurs
    It shows how determined they are not to allow large PCs, given that is states centur PCs are medium, even though they are normally large (as are horses). The medium Centaur doesn't suit me. Make it a Bariaur if it is that size. A centaur should be as large as a horse. So, PC centaurs are part human, part miniature horse? Character size is always a bit of a weird thing as it's less about the mass of the creature as much as it's about the space they occupy or more accurately the space they control. A Centar having a Human upper torso and human size weapons controlling the same space as a human makes sense to me. But obviously the lower body is the size of a horse which is large. The "Equine Build" racial feature is what tries to balance the largeness of the horse with the mediumness of the human. There's good game-balance reasons to keep PCs to medium-size, but that creates narrative problems for players who want to play giants (goliath, firbolg) and centaurs. I'm not sure if a mo...
  • 02:21 PM - SkidAce quoted MNblockhead in post How do you surprise your players?
    Fair enough, but if you you keep shouting "ni!" at my table, I *WILL* kill you--------------r character. Understood, I will not say it......wait...I.....
  • 12:48 PM - Sadras quoted MNblockhead in post Avoiding Initiative
    Static/passive initiative scores for PCs, roll for Monsters. Lindybeige has a video trashing D&D initiative (though he's not a fan of the D&D system in general). He argues against basing initiative on dexterity. He argues that initiative is based on experience and skill, not how dextrous you are and suggests that your initiative shold increase with your level. I'm thinking of combining these two ideas. PC initiative = 10 + level/2 (rounded up) + modifiers* NPC/Monster initiative = rolled by the DM + modifiers* (allowing for the uncertainty in combat) *Modifiers allows for ability/feat/magic modifiers and/or modifiers for weapon/attack types. Spells would affect the initiative with -x, where x is the level of the spell. Weapons would affect the initiative with - x, and be dependent on reach and loading etc. Other actions - searching & drinking a potion etc would have a standard modifier. That would mean the initiative order could change from round to round depending on their actions, with...

Thursday, 10th May, 2018

  • 03:51 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted MNblockhead in post I have a very detailed world, but that's not why my game is popular...
    As a DM, I feel like clever plans and tactics should be rewarded, otherwise the PCs will stop trying to use them, and then the game gets much less exciting. That being said, sometimes you do also have to throw a monkeywrench at them, to keep them on their toes. It can be hard to know when is the right time to do so. I find myself falling back on Robin Lawsí ideas on up- and down-beats in Hamletís Hit Points. If theyíre coming off of a big win, maybe itís time to take things down a notch to make the next peril all that much more...perilous. Have they just had a near-death, hard-fought battle? Maybe the plan goes off without a hitch. Heck, maybe itís such a good plan that they get to have two up-beat moments in a row. But yeah, I donít think those multiple paladin auras wouldíve stacked. Not only is that awesome, that's good tactics. Something people in sword-and-shield times would have done. Thought, re-reading your example, I think the DM made a mistake allowing them to stack the bon...
  • 10:33 AM - Riley37 quoted MNblockhead in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Yeah, I don't get this defeatist attitude. I can understand feeling frustrated with the pace of progress but to deny the possibility of progress smacks of mental illness. Or posturing. It's posturing. I have chronic severe depression (mitigated with treatment, but still unpleasant). Optimism does not come easily to me. But I don't deny the possibility of progress. Some days, if I asserted that life is anything but meaningless suffering, I would be bluffing, with a negative modifier to my Bluff roll. Even on those days, I can recognize that Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O'Connor did something worthwhile. Denying progress goes WAY past distortion, well into delusion. There are people in mental hospitals, in the locked ward, who can still recognize that progress is reality. So yeah. It's posturing. Tangent, but relevant to other forms of harassment: Mental illness *overlaps* with bad character and misbehavior, especially for psychopaths, narcissists, etc.; but even so, I would rather ...
  • 04:34 AM - Hussar quoted MNblockhead in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    Companies deal with this all the time and there are products and services to support this, such as compliance hotlines. These are, however, generally expensive and are probably beyond what a game store or convention will be willing or able to spend. Still it isn't that difficult to create a web form that would allow anonymous complaints. I gotta admit I'm not hugely comfortable with this. I worry that a system like this is just an easy vehicle to harass someone with. As soon as you make it completely anonymous, it's pretty easy to start being a douche bag and make spurious complaints. I get the idea, but, I'm not sure how practical it would be in use. I do think that it's not a hugely onerous responsibility to place on the person being harassed that they have to go to the staff and make a complaint. But, I'll admit, I'm not sure either way.

Wednesday, 9th May, 2018

  • 02:19 PM - lowkey13 quoted MNblockhead in post [+] Plus Threads
    Huh, never heard of plus threads. Learned something new. If it caught on, I could see it being a nice option. But it will take a LOT of education and moderation involvement to work. Many (most?) users are going to have trouble understanding the concept. Is it that hard to ignore responses that don't answer your question or attempt to start an argument you are not interested in? In fairness to the concept, it's the problem of thread-drift. IOW, it's not just the responses to the OP. It's that people get involved in completely different discussions and arguments, and eventually the thread has been "highjacked" by a completely different conversation.

Tuesday, 8th May, 2018

  • 05:43 AM - Raith5 quoted MNblockhead in post Making a camp
    Yeah, I've had to bite my tongue before when a DM tries to claim how my character wouldn't be rested doing things I've done myself in real life. Yes, but I also remember someone on these forums who served in the US armed services who recounting a story of sleeping 300 yards away from an active howitzer battery. Fortunately I dont have any personal experience of this, but it expanded my notion of what people actually do in the real world vs what roleplayers think people can do in terms of rest.

Monday, 7th May, 2018

  • 11:41 PM - Ryujin quoted MNblockhead in post An Historical Document from The Satanic Panic
    I second this recommendation. For "Dark Dungeons," ZOE actually had Jack Chick's blessing to make the movie. They kept very true to Jack's pamphlet. That was what was brilliant about the project. They didn't need to exaggerate anything to make it come off as ridicoulous. Not sure if he ever saw the follow-up mockumentary "Attacking the Darkness" that makes it quite clear that ZOE is making fun of the accusations against D&D and other role-playing games. They had to expand on that tiny pamphlet so JR Ralls and the ZOE crew did extensive research on the other various pamphlets, Chick message boards, and plethora of interviews Chick did in order to fill out the run time with accurate information. It certainly didn't hurt that Chris Ode, a long time member of ZOE, is also a Lutheran Pastor. Chris plays Pastor Doug in "Attacking the Darkness." You'll have to cast a wider net on who the mockumentary lampoons though. Organized religion, even a specific church if you look closely enough. Film ma...

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 03:12 PM - iserith quoted MNblockhead in post High AC and encounters
    Would that be a swarm? Actually, this raises a good point, if the party encounters a swarm of insects, would heavy armor actually be worse? Wouldn't the bitting insects get into the armor and be harder to smash and swat off your body? I think it would be a fine trait to put on some insect swarms. The NPC guide warns the characters before they strike out into the jungle: "You there in the heavy armor, mind you don't step in any swarms of devil ants - you'll have the worst time of it." Then create a trait that reads: They Go Everywhere. The swarm attacks creatures in heavy armor with advantage.
  • 03:04 AM - DM Dave1 quoted MNblockhead in post "Immortal Fortress" - WotC Drops Clues About The Upcoming Storyline?
    I've found the obelisks in many of the APs, but not in Curse of Strahd. Maybe the Monoliths at Old Bonegrinder are the analog in CoS...

Thursday, 3rd May, 2018


Monday, 30th April, 2018

  • 05:08 PM - Tony Vargas quoted MNblockhead in post What 5e spinoffs would you like to see?
    Okay, I should have done my homework. I had a looong gap in plaing TTRPGs between 1e AD&D and 5e. I always remembered that I played 1st edition Gamma world, but now that I read up on Gamma World history, I was probably playing 3rd edition, considering that I played it in the mid-to-late 1980s. Yeah, that'd've been the one that used the same utterly-un-D&D-like column-shifting FASE-RIP system as TSR's Marvel Super Heroes. I picked it up, disliked it as totally unlike the prior two eds of GW, and never really played or followed it much, so can't comment beyond that. The 1st ed was D&D-like in using 6 attributes (substituting Mental Strength for Wisdom), d20 attack rolls, matrixes and the like. It was different in level having less of an impact, lacking classes entirely, and much less access to healing. 2nd was similar. I'm curious, did you play the 7th edition? How do you think it compares to the d20 editions (5th and 6th editions)? Yes, I have (someone ran it at our FLGS the other week,...
  • 01:59 PM - lowkey13 quoted MNblockhead in post Weird Orgy comment on DnD Beyond Home Page Video
    Okay, and that's relevant how? The other example was ragtime and blues songs from the 20s and 30s. I was responding to another post that specifically mentioned gangster rap. Whether not gangster rap is still a "thing," it is a readily-understood reference to content that many parents would object to their kids being exposed to. You could also say deathcore, black metal, or porno grind. The current popularity of the genre is not particularly relevant. Eh, it's more like one of those, "Old man yelling at clouds" kind of things. FWIW, I use "gangster rap" along with other indicators ("the hippity hop music," "get off my lawn," and, of course, "I WILL FORWARD IMPORTANT EMAILS IN ALL CAPS") when I want to show that I am old and out of touch. After all, when the seminal band of gangster rap (west coast) is most famous now for beloved character actor Ice Cube and Billionaire Apple Employee Dr. Dre, then I think the signifier might be missing something. If you want the new hotness to get outraged...
  • 09:52 AM - Imaculata quoted MNblockhead in post Avoiding Initiative
    Lloyd (Lindeybeige's actual name) is envisioning this: https://youtu.be/tOUksDJCijw?t=1629 (27:09 to, oh, about 29:12, but if you can stop watching, you are dead inside) But that, of course, is not what is happening. Everything is happening fast but we are slowing down to fight-time. And Lloyd's alternative isn't satisfying for me. It is mostly narrative and up to the DM. You are taking things out of the hands of the players. In some games, like, oh, InSPECTREs, a highly narrative approach makes sense. There are radically different mechanics in that game to support that. Initiative is a simple concept that helps keep combat manageable. And if you are going to attack the initiative system based on verisimilitude, is that really the place to start? How about falling damage, swimming in plate mail, and so forth. When I have played with DM who add lots of home rules to increase versimilitude, it always seemed to bog down the game and didn't really add to the fun. Another problem with Lloyd's ...
  • 07:47 AM - Li Shenron quoted MNblockhead in post Rarity, Efficaciousness, and Reliability of Divine Magic in Your Campains
    7407638DIVINE MAGIC IS EXCEEDINGLY RARE I've run campaigns where divine magic is limited to prophets and saints. The purpose of the miracles is conversion or to execute some divine plan. Those able to cast 1st level cleric spells are more common but still seen as god-touched and special. Those who can cast higher level healing, restoration, and resurrection spells would attract disciples and their reputations would spread fast and their arrival in villages and cities would attract throngs of believers and petitioners. The existence of such individual would not make the world that much different than ours This is generally my starting assumption. I most commonly just tell the players that classed characters are a tiny minority of the population, and that in addition the distribution by level looks kind of a decreasing exponential, so it's progressively more and more difficult to find a higher-level cleric (or whatever) in the world. To the point that it should not be assumed that ther...
  • 06:43 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted MNblockhead in post Rarity, Efficaciousness, and Reliability of Divine Magic in Your Campains
    I guess I may have overstated the availability of this kind of magic in the Forgotten Realms. I really have no knowledge of it outside of the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. My impression is more from Adventure's League, in which resurrection is kinda guaranteed by your faction. Not sure if I'm remembering the rules correctly, but is seems pretty easy to obtain resurrection in AL from my limited experience. Resurrection is available for free in AL play only up to 4th level, I think, because they did not want new players to be turned off and quit when their first ever character died in the first couple of adventures and was gone for good.

Sunday, 29th April, 2018

  • 08:19 PM - Tony Vargas quoted MNblockhead in post What 5e spinoffs would you like to see?
    Gama World rebuilt on the 5e platform. 5e's biggest changes relative to d20 are treatment of classes, spellcasting, and magic items, which don't much apply, so it wouldn't be much different than d20 gamma world, just with BA & Adv/Dis. 5e is all about evoking classic D&D, and TSR didn't much re-use the quixotic D&D mechanics outside of Gamma World, either. d20 makes an adequate core system, in that respect.

Saturday, 28th April, 2018

  • 08:20 PM - Satyrn quoted MNblockhead in post Weird Orgy comment on DnD Beyond Home Page Video
    Okay, and that's relevant how? The other example was ragtime and blues songs from the 20s and 30s. I was responding to another post that specifically mentioned gangster rap. Whether not gangster rap is still a "thing," it is a readily-understood reference to content that many parents would object to their kids being exposed to. You could also say deathcore, black metal, or porno grind. I know what ganster rap is. I'd never have guessed that porno grind would refer to the music at an orgy.


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