View Profile: MNblockhead - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:11 AM
    My games are pretty silly. But the one thing I take seriously is dragons. It's in the title of the game, so I figure I have to make it good.
    9 replies | 198 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:13 PM
    Personally, I would look for a monster other than a baby dragon. It seems a little weird to offer up a baby dragon as a combat challenge to me, even if they can take out some lower-level PCs. I'd much rather save dragons for later in the campaign when they get really nasty and nobody feels bad about slaying something that just hatched. I'm running Sunless Citadel right now and that there is a...
    9 replies | 198 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:52 PM
    I would also say that the "drama and excitement" has more to do with the context of the scenes and events that lead up to and follow the ability check than the tension created by the ability check itself. That tension is good when it happens, but there's more to it than that in my view.
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:20 PM
    Taking his post within the context of the ongoing conversation with a couple of other posters, it looks to me to be a rebuttal to the assertion that the DCs are too easy. His position thus appears to be that they are as difficult as they should be to encourage players to avoid rolling wherever possible and could reasonably be argued to be too difficult, not that they are too difficult....
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:58 PM
    That's probably how I would rule it, for the sake of simplicity. Just the weapon damage I would think since that is what would happen on a casting of this spell without War Caster involved. That would fail to meet my understanding of what "willing" means. Therefore, compulsion to move away from the caster of booming blade would not trigger the damage.
    29 replies | 668 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:08 PM
    What level are the PCs and how many of them are there?
    9 replies | 198 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:46 PM
    That's exactly my point though - "Easy" is subjective and requires an understanding of the total context at the table. Which means examples are often pointless distractions that harm understanding as has been shown here quite easily in my view. So it's better to sit at the level of abstraction. It doesn't matter what I consider to be Easy tasks which is why I distilled @Ovinomancer's examples...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:09 AM
    As I've stated in other threads, examples are dangerous for exactly the reason we're debating here. People get hung up on the specifics of the examples and in my view miss the overall point. I prefer to deal at the level of abstraction hence "easy tasks an adventurer might do that have an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure." We can both understand that without getting hung...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 07:47 PM
    You're missing the point. I'm not arguing for this, so you're addressing a strawman. Set aside the specific examples and look at the abstraction: You can imagine there are Easy tasks an adventurer might do that do have an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure. Those are the things under discussion. NOT things that have a certain outcome and/or no meaningful consequence of...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 04:30 PM
    Hmm, I'll think about this and respond in about 6 months.
    24 replies | 593 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 06:10 AM
    I think the way to interpret the examples of "driving to the store" or "changing a diaper" would be as the equivalent "easy adventuring tasks for an adventurer given an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure." Not that the tasks themselves are necessarily mundane, have a certain outcome, and no meaningful consequence of failure.
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 03:01 AM
    Jameson.
    26 replies | 610 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th June, 2018, 02:57 AM
    Thanks for that. It's neat to see something of substance like math undergirds the nonsense I spout. Consider this bookmarked for future reference!
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 07:46 PM
    I will add hit points to set a particular monster apart from others of its kind, but generally if I want to increase the difficulty of a challenge, I'm going to add more monsters or terrain that benefits the existing monsters in some way. Technically, if you add terrain or other features of the environment that could benefit (or hinder) the monsters or the PCs, should they choose to interact with...
    25 replies | 729 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 07:08 AM
    My overall point is that it's not a meaningful choice to pick between two essentially opaque options, even if that's a common thing at many tables in my experience.
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th June, 2018, 04:39 AM
    It's definitely a common choice in D&D. The issue is that it's still not a meaningful choice unless you have some idea of what's down the turn and what's straight ahead or otherwise where they lead. Otherwise the choice may as well be random. This is a good place for the DM to foreshadow: straight ahead, there's a metallic ringing like a hammer on an anvil and, to the right, the horrible stench...
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 10:56 PM
    Yep, which circles right back to my very first post in this thread. :D
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 05:29 PM
    Yes, I don't recommend an ability check or set DC for Working Together in D&D 5e all the time, but when it makes sense to have the helper roll, a reduced DC for just helping out sounds reasonable.
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 04:48 PM
    I got the DC wrong, but I mentioned this here.
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th June, 2018, 03:58 PM
    I fully support holding players accountable to their prescribed role in the game: describing what they want to do in a reasonably specific manner. Sometimes, what they want to do isn't actually helpful though. It's up to the DM to decide if their approach to the goal of Working Together is sufficient to grant advantage to the lead character's ability check. This is in line with both the rules...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 09:26 PM
    I'm less concerned about "immersion breaking" with the MP jokes as much as the references themselves are just quite stale. Like get some new material already, nerds.
    68 replies | 2735 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 08:27 PM
    I went with Social, Co-Op, Fantasy, and Tactical. We're coming together socially to enjoy each other's company and tell archetypal fantasy stories together by playing in the framework of a strategic and tactical game.
    23 replies | 706 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 04:51 PM
    My house rules on Inspiration: The Case for Inspiration. Inspiration, in my experience , is highly underutilized in most games and this house rule solves some of the issues for why that is. Otherwise, I use the rules as is with some amount of interpretation for Activities While Traveling and passive checks. I will at times use variant rules in the PHB or DMG (such as encumbrance) for specific...
    34 replies | 1053 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 04:43 PM
    My suspension of disbelief can't be broken in a fantasy game. I've got room in my head for all manner of silliness.
    68 replies | 2735 view(s)
    6 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 03:26 PM
    Do you have a source for disarming a trap taking an action?
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 03:16 PM
    I view them as tasks different enough from each other to warrant separate tasks. Aside from that, the more options that are on the table for the PCs, the more they have to think about how they want to divide up their labor and how much time they want to spend on it. I'm testing it now in actual play so I'll keep an eye on what you suggest and see if it might work better. So far the current system...
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:32 PM
    That seems a bit granular to me, such that I don't want to have to worry about it. I'd rather just assume the map is always of good quality.
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:31 PM
    Still can't PM you and I don't want to post it publicly.
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 02:30 PM
    It's on page 181 under "Time." Only the thief subclass of rogue can disarm a trap as a bonus action. All the other rogues are out of luck. What is the "1 round thing from the skills section?"
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 06:05 AM
    Good catch on the time to check for traps on a door. I set that at 10 minutes in my Sunless Citadel game along with a number of other common dungeoneering tasks so that the PCs can all get more or less one thing done in a given 10-minutes stretch. At the end of it, I make a wandering monster check.
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 05:58 AM
    A slow pace in the dungeon (which is what you want to be at if you want to stealth around or try to find traps) has characters moving 200 feet in 1 minute. There is no rule for how long it takes to check for traps or disable them traps so far as I know, except that a thief can disarm a trap as a bonus action. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Edit: Checking for traps, at least on a door, takes 1...
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 05:20 AM
    Do you mean if the DM doesn't map or the players don't map? I guess a proficient character is just that good. In tonight's game, the bugbear fighter with cartographer's tools drew a map of an off-road path from the village of Jerkwater to the Sunless Citadel while Tracking to help mitigate the chance of a random encounter. They wanted to avoid trouble on the way to the dungeon so they...
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th June, 2018, 03:53 AM
    I hear you. What I do is run a lot of one-shots and then from those pickup groups invite players I like to join regular games. I have a FANTASTIC group as a result.
    37 replies | 796 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 06:17 PM
    There was a thread on this recently. I use Roll20 for my games, both online and in-person, so the map is generally up on the screen and revealed as the players move their tokens around. Dynamic lighting is great because the players will only see what their characters can see. I think mapping has fallen out of mainstream practice, in part, because the reason for mapping "back in the day" was...
    62 replies | 1596 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 05:08 PM
    I think the reason players are always quick with "I'm helping" is because there's no cost or risk to it. Adding restrictions to whether they can help or putting it behind an ability check doesn't necessarily solve the problem (if it's seen as a problem, that is) of players being quick with "I'm helping" because there's still no cost or risk to it. The specific requirements of Working Together...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 02:21 PM
    The way I set things up is actually a defense against games being called off due to scheduling issues. If the DM can play, there's a game, so I never have to deal with the heartbreak of putting together an adventure and then having the game delayed because of a lack of quorum. In the Sunless Citadel game I'm running tonight, I have 5 regulars and 3 alternates. One of the regulars had to drop last...
    37 replies | 796 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, 01:55 AM
    I run my game with a player pool. So while there are only 5 seats per session that I run, there are usually double that many players in the pool. Each of those characters typically have a character and a backup character. So for a given game, I might have up to 20 PCs floating in and out. Generally there's a fairly strong A-team of regulars and a number of lower-level adventures that rotate in...
    37 replies | 796 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 07:10 PM
    Assuming you're in a situation where a check is actually warranted (uncertain outcome AND meaningful consequence of failure) and attempting the task again is possible, in many cases I would say that if someone wants to retry, he or she is going to have to come up with a materially different approach to the goal than the character who failed. Further attempts simply fail outright. That stops the...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 05:58 PM
    I choked on a Funyun once. Mountain Dew sorted it out.
    14 replies | 488 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 03:56 PM
    I'll be running Sunless Citadel shortly from Yawning Portal. In that adventure, I'm taking a page from the past and doing a formal exploration phase in the dungeon. Exploration has rounds, somewhat like combat but a bit looser in terms of order of resolution. These rounds represent 10 minutes of activity on the part of the PCs in a given area (about 1000 square feet). At the end of the 10...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th June, 2018, 04:42 AM
    The Help action is for combat; Working Together is for non-combat situations. There are two restrictions on Working Together: (1) A character can only provide help if the task is one he or she could attempt alone and (2) A character can help only when two or more individuals working together would actually be helpful, which the DM of course determines. The standard rules for adjudicating...
    121 replies | 3314 view(s)
    12 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 03:40 PM
    The question is whether this addition to the adventure will be fun for everyone and help create an exciting, memorable story. I could see it being quite frustrating for some players and lead to a lot of going in circles.
    6 replies | 250 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 03:26 PM
    Conjure animals (or conjure anything) is like casting a slow spell... on the game itself. As noted already - hypnotic pattern.
    24 replies | 1128 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 03:13 PM
    This is a good example of why wanting particular outcomes for the emergent story can be problematic. The DM sets the scene. The players do stuff. The outcome is what we all play to find out. Putting one's thumb too heavily on the scale of the outcome risks creating undesirable complications.
    40 replies | 1003 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 11th June, 2018, 02:24 PM
    Telegraph and foreshadow this threat well in advance. It should not in my view be a surprise to the players when the spell is cast on them. That gives them the opportunity to think about how they want to possibly counter or avoid it when the time comes. The easiest way to try to deal with it is spending Inspiration on their saving throws to have a better chance of success, but they may come up...
    40 replies | 1003 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 07:12 AM
    Kudos to you! But what REALLY impresses me is that you know the exact session count (Game #1336)
    17 replies | 599 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 8th June, 2018, 07:05 AM
    Based on the "present age" subsection of "A Brief History" in the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide, the present would have to be after 1489, as it discusses that has having taken place in the past. Also, enough time would have had to pass since 1489 for "other conflicts" to have arisen and new threats to have "imperiled the world."
    30 replies | 1061 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 11:18 PM
    Same here. We didn't like player mapping long before GPS and smart phones. And with current game mechanics I just don't think it's necessary.
    33 replies | 969 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 08:55 PM
    I have a terrible sense of direction. It's gotten to the point where my car just lets out an exasperated sigh when I screw up following its explicit driving directions.
    33 replies | 969 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 07:51 PM
    I think this made more sense in an edition without passive Perception, Activities While Traveling, and ability checks. The players' map was part of trying to figure out where all the hidden stuff was in the dungeon. With current DM skills like telegraphing and the aforementioned mechanics, I can't see mapping as you describe as a good use of table time unless the players just really like doing...
    33 replies | 969 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 04:39 PM
    Haha, you're brave to put the dragon in melee range! :) It sounds like in some ways the PCs were not being particularly tactical. When the dice go the wrong way, my expectation is that players will shift tactics to start getting advantage or bonuses to the rolls (Inspiration, bardic inspiration, bless, Help action, etc.). So that's something maybe the group could work on. With white dragons...
    31 replies | 991 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th June, 2018, 03:16 PM
    Typically, a challenge is perceived as a "slog" when the outcome is basically known but you're just rolling it out and it's taking forever. At best you're testing to see how many spell slots get used and how many hit points the PCs have at the end. Those stakes tend to be fairly uninteresting and becomes doubly so when it takes a long time to get an outcome. Dragon fights tend to benefit from...
    31 replies | 991 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 11:38 PM
    I don't think it's a great argument either. It strikes me as thinking it's cool to have a Harry Potter-esque adventurer and then coming up with a reason after the fact and a somewhat weak one at that. No reason is needed in my view other than the player thinks it will be fun and help contribute to an exciting, memorable tale. It doesn't need any other justification in my opinion and there are...
    68 replies | 2087 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 06:32 PM
    I would add consistency as a good DM trait and that works on several levels, including the quality of prep, how the game is run, and how rulings are made. Of your list, I think communication ability is the most important with reliability and adaptability being up there as well.
    37 replies | 1087 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th June, 2018, 04:38 PM
    I don't see any need to play this out, especially since the outcome is already known. It can just be established as the party's backstory.
    68 replies | 2087 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 08:53 PM
    Game day is too precious. If even one player can make it, I'll run a game. If the party ended at a spot where it would be logical for one or more characters to vere off on a side adventure, I have some one-shots available for times like this. Even if I don't there are generally enough plot hooks, NPCs, and locations fleshed out that I can put something together on the fly. In the rare instance...
    19 replies | 594 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 08:46 PM
    Hmm...this is discussing different fluffing powers than I was searching for.
    1 replies | 220 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 06:40 PM
    That mirrors my experience as well. I run a lot of pickup games, especially for other DMs, and they are almost always surprised that I don't normally use feats in my games. When I explain that it's an optional rule they act like it's the first time they've ever heard that. To a man or woman, they all played D&D 3.Xe and/or 4e.
    348 replies | 10380 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 07:36 AM
    When I want to join in on a D&D 5e love fest I go to the D&D Beyond forums. When I want diverse and divergent opinions from a well-informed and experienced group of TTRPG enthusiasts, I read these boards. I may roll my eyes at some of the more over the top posts by the 5e haters, but if they are not attacking me personally for expressing my enjoyment of the books, they are entitled to...
    40 replies | 2122 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 02:44 AM
    I would say it's relevant to my experience with the feat in actual play and player feedback regarding it.
    348 replies | 10380 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 5th June, 2018, 02:21 AM
    I would never make that argument and haven't done so here.
    348 replies | 10380 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 08:56 PM
    Here I agree with Ned Stark on everything before the word "but" not counting.
    68 replies | 2087 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 08:40 PM
    I would say "Yes." Moreover, I would say "Yes... and here's why the NPCs specifically recruited this kid..." then figure out something that makes sense and is awesome. It's really very easy once you stop thinking of reasons to say "No."
    68 replies | 2087 view(s)
    17 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 05:40 PM
    I think it's perfectly reasonable behavior to try to be the best as something - anything worth doing is worth doing well and all that. To that end, a leveling system and the ability to optimize basically mirrors life. That is, the opportunity to be a little better than you were yesterday and, hopefully, the best you can be in one or more areas. This is something that's easily relatable in my...
    32 replies | 1060 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 08:52 AM
    I can understand from an organizational standpoint why it would be attractive to segregate player crunch, DM crunch, and setting lore into different books. But combining the three into one book has proven to be a very successful model. It greatly increases the customer base. Personally, it doesn't bother me at all and makes the books more enjoyable to read. I'm more annoyed by not having...
    40 replies | 2122 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 4th June, 2018, 08:15 AM
    What? Look, I'm firmly in the fan-camp for XGTE, but how is it a statement made from privilege to say that it is not a selling point for them when a good chunk of a book is not of interest to them. I mean, I can understand if you are irked by differing opinions on something you like, especially if you feel they are uninformed or unfair. But I don't know where your comment on "privilege" is...
    40 replies | 2122 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 3rd June, 2018, 04:51 PM
    I randomly generate treasure the moment the PCs find it, so its uncommon for an NPC or monster to be wielding a specific magic item in my games.
    33 replies | 877 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 2nd June, 2018, 06:41 PM
    Yeah, in my games, treasure is generally a reward for success in exploration challenges. You get XP for combat and social interaction challenges. If you want to get paid, you have to do something other than kill stuff.
    33 replies | 877 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 09:37 PM
    I don't have the option to send you a PM. I sent a friend request to see if that allows for a subsequent PM. Probably one of the settings you opted out of.
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 08:32 PM
    That's just me being somewhat pedantic in using the same terminology in the rules so that my rulings have the slight whiff of being official. :D I'll PM you the draft of my Exploration Phase handout so you can see my full thinking on it.
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 08:13 PM
    I'll think about the 5-minute round. I like 10 minutes and how it aligns with the wandering monster check frequency - it's a bit less fiddly. And I need that since I drink when I DM. I'll try both when I run Sunless Citadel and report back. How I have it now, you're either "Traveling" (moving around the dungeon doing Activities While Traveling resolved by passive checks) or "Exploring" (as I...
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 07:09 PM
    As an aside, I'm getting ready to run Sunless Citadel while another DM is on summer hiatus. I'm using it as an opportunity to test out a few ideas including a more structured Exploration Phase. Taking a page from the Olden Days, Exploration will take place more or less in rounds of 10 minutes long at the end of which is a wandering monster check. This automatically puts stakes on the line for...
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 05:54 PM
    I voted "in almost every combat encounter." I view hit points as a currency I can spend to do cool things. If I have to take an OA to do something awesome, that's fine by me. Same thing with my monsters when I DM.
    42 replies | 1685 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 05:44 PM
    Basically all you need do is award the same XP as a combat of the same difficulty, but only if there was a meaningful risk of failure. Just gut-check the difficulty level based on the number of tasks with uncertain outcomes you might reasonably expect and finite resources that might be expended to succeed. You might also think about skewing XP based on what you want to incentivize the players...
    33 replies | 877 view(s)
    7 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 02:43 PM
    I would say the Intelligence (Investigation) check, to the extent one is necessary, is to reveal only that the trap goes off unless a particular key is used and to essentially "unlock" the ability to disable it with tools. That is the relevant, actionable information the players need. How tumblers work and the like is somewhat superfluous in my view. Prior to the Intelligence (Investigation)...
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Egg Embry's Avatar
    Friday, 1st June, 2018, 08:11 AM
    "Over the course of the summer -- culminating right before GenCon -- this RPG Superstar-style contest will take competitors through four rounds, with the winner earning a contract to write a (first edition) Pathfinder RPG adventure for d20pfsrd.com." I'm curious, other than me, who else is excited to see what Design Finder 2018 produces? Anyone planning to try their hand at it? :-) Contest...
    1 replies | 308 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 08:48 PM
    In the Before Times, usually the person stuck being the mapper was the guy who was in the bathroom when the DM asked who would be mapper and the rest of us said "Not it!"
    33 replies | 969 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 08:38 PM
    It was Marshal Heeling, actually.
    72 replies | 2204 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 07:38 PM
    As interesting as it is to read about how lockpicking actually works, I would say that it's almost entirely irrelevant in actual play. All the DM need know is that there is a trap, how it triggers, what its effects are, and what countermeasures the PCs can reliably take to avoid or disable it. The intricacies of how tumblers work and such are unnecessary in my view and are likely to be lost on...
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 06:24 PM
    I love the immovable rod. I have no particular hatred for anything else.
    48 replies | 1715 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 05:40 PM
    In my Planescape game, I gate feats behind faction membership. If you join a faction, you get access to certain feats. Otherwise, feats aren't an option for your character. To get the Lucky feat, you have to join the Xaositects, a group that revels in chaos. Chungus, the half-orc barbarian, joined the faction in part due to access to that feat. Also, he's a crazy hillbilly. He uses Lucky only...
    50 replies | 1447 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 04:14 PM
    I use Roll20 for most games (even in-person ones) so the map is revealed as the players move about the adventure location. In a game without Roll20, I give each chamber or area a pithy and memorable name, e.g. The Oubliette of Screams or The Hazardous Hall, that the players can add to a list so they can just say where they want to go back to if necessary. "There was a door we didn't check in...
    33 replies | 969 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 03:45 PM
    Funny aside, I joined a campaign with this character a few months back and the DM actually had to look up whether Sharpshooter applied to the weapons I was using it on - everyone else in her games only took bows! Players in my games, for whatever reason, tend to do pretty awesome stuff. My experience is that when someone just focuses on "I do lots of damage with this one weapon..." they...
    348 replies | 10380 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 03:34 PM
    Your comments (and the comments of others) seemed to indicate that the player wasn't describing an action for the character. That the character was somehow "passive."
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 02:55 PM
    I don't often use feats in my games, but I have some experience with them as DM and a player, particularly Sharpshooter. One of my favorite characters is Red Creek Rufus, a ranger. He's the world's greatest fisherman, so his primary weapon is a net. With Sharpshooter, that means I can actually throw it from range and suffer no penalty, then have his boar, Belvedere, charge and knock down the...
    348 replies | 10380 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 31st May, 2018, 02:40 PM
    Yes, there is. It follows the definition of passive checks, Basic Rules p. 59. It's also mentioned in the Observant feat. It likely doesn't come up a lot, but it exists. Again, from the rules: "A passive check is a special kind of ability check that doesn’t involve any die rolls. Such a check can represent the average result for a task done repeatedly, such as searching for secret...
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    4 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 30th May, 2018, 09:04 PM
    A chicken, in the middle of the road, suffering an etiologic crisis.
    68 replies | 4708 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th May, 2018, 11:18 PM
    As a tool for resolving an action declaration into a result, in my view it sits somewhere in between a task that is done a single time with an uncertain result and a task that can be performed repeatedly in such a way as to guarantee automatic success (DMG p. 237). So it's a task that can or must be performed repeatedly, but not one where performing it enough times will result in success. In...
    58 replies | 1365 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 29th May, 2018, 03:34 PM
    Yet more illumination fun at Friday's Planescape session: I mentioned upthread about a situation that may unfold wherein the PCs were crossing a massive, crater-ridden platform on the Infinite Staircase while a crazed sorceress perched high above them on the stairs lobbed fiery death upon them. That situation came to pass. The PCs started to make their way across when the sorceress revealed...
    93 replies | 2911 view(s)
    1 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
About Me:
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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Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

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Twin Cities Area
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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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RPGs: D&D 5e; Paranoia, InSpectres, Hero Kids, No Thank You, Evil!
Software: Realm Works, Hero Lab, Campaign Cartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer

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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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Saturday, 9th June, 2018

  • 01:52 AM - Silver Moon quoted MNblockhead in post Gaming Group Turns 36!
    Kudos to you! But what REALLY impresses me is that you know the exact session count (Game #1336) Most of my career has been as a supervisor of financial audit teams - accurate record keeping is second nature

Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 10:13 AM - Echohawk quoted MNblockhead in post What year is it?
    Based on the "present age" subsection of "A Brief History" in the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide, the present would have to be after 1489, as it discusses that has having taken place in the past. Also, enough time would have had to pass since 1489 for "other conflicts" to have arisen and new threats to have "imperiled the world." Also, according to Princes of the Apocalypse, "The adventure is set in 1491 DR, the Year of the Scarlet Witch", so canonically we're in at least 1491.

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018


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 Laws’ ideas on up- and down-beats in Hamlet’s Hit Points. If they’re coming off of a big win, maybe it’s 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 it’s such a good plan that they get to have two up-beat moments in a row. But yeah, I don’t think those multiple paladin auras would’ve 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...


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