View Profile: MNblockhead - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 10:40 AM
    Not very difficult for me. It could have been much more difficult. All they had to do it throw in 2e, 3e, and 4e settings and mechanics questions. For anyone who grew up playing the game in the 70s and 80s and who know a bit about the game's origins, most of these questions will be easy. Now, ask me about Eberron, Spelljammer, Planescape, or Dark Sun and they could get me.
    2 replies | 0 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 09:36 AM
    Also, I have a high-definition display on my laptop (Dell XPS). Does it make sense to get a 1080p display for digital battlemaps or is 720p sufficient?
    1 replies | 8 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 09:29 AM
    I'm going to be placing an order from Collabrewate for a portable TV case for tabletop games and digital maps. Basically, the display is horizontal and connected to a laptop so you can display digital battlemaps using RealmWorks, Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, or just zooming a PDF to the appropriate scale. I'm leaning towards a 32" display for portability and storage between games. The case...
    1 replies | 8 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:52 PM
    I don't find riddles or puzzles terribly engaging so only every now and again I will use them. But really the riddles I use end up just being dirty jokes because that's more fun to me. I had a villain in a previous campaign called The Puzzler and he would have a new dirty joke to tell every turn. If the PCs guessed the punchline, he would get so mad he'd be stunned on his next turn.
    26 replies | 339 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:39 PM
    The trickery angle suggests a hag, probably a green hag that is part of a coven and has some minions in or around the cave it can call upon if a battle breaks out.
    11 replies | 212 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 17th December, 2018, 03:26 PM
    I think before this can be discussed, everyone will need to agree on a definition of "immersion."
    57 replies | 1540 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 17th December, 2018, 09:33 AM
    Yeah, railroad campaigns are the worst. ;-)
    58 replies | 1209 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th December, 2018, 07:30 AM
    For those using the Warfare rules, someone with the Twitter handle @pikaoku created a "Unit Card Maker", available here: https://www.unit.pikaoku.com/
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th December, 2018, 06:01 AM
    Can anyone explain what "Size" in the "size per level" table is? For example, for a keep he gives sample maps of a a small and a large keep. It the large keep a size "20"? I can't find anything in the book that explains what the "size" value is. The entire table is useless without explaining what it means. EDIT: Never mind. I'm blind.
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th December, 2018, 06:23 AM
    At my table they date to never. But yes, according to Wikipedia, they date to Dragon issue #37, published in 1980, but they were not published in any D&D hard cover while I was playing (I switched to Warhammer in late high school and stopped role playing when I went to college. Then I get back into D&D when 5e comes out and there are Tieflings and Dragonborn. Now you want me to adjust to...
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th December, 2018, 04:29 AM
    Sounds like someone needs to learn how to share the spotlight. I'm all for silly concepts, but it's all in the execution.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th December, 2018, 02:35 AM
    Well, at the risk of upsetting doctorbadwolf, I mainly dislike them because I'm an opinionated Gen Xer who believes that only Fey creatures, not Vampires or Dragons, should sparkle. Also, I don't like the idea of psionic dragons. Leave that to the aberrations and their twisted thralls. Really. No good reason. The artwork for the gem dragons in Matt's book are awesome. They look cool and...
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th December, 2018, 02:26 AM
    <SNIP> I find that many people react strongly to opinionated people. Some people love them--find them more interesting and fun to listed to and argue with. Others find them annoying and full of themselves. When I moved to New York City, I fell in love instantly. Most Americans have negative stereotypes of New Yorkers. After moving back to the Midwest, I find I have to tone it down. Whenever I...
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 05:17 PM
    I've been in or observed a number of games like this where this seems to be the case. Someone in the group starts lone-wolfing around. Whatever they're doing is more interesting to other players than whatever it is they're doing (or not doing, as is frequently the case in aimless style games). So they start trying to effectively ask the dice for permission to get involved. Sometimes they just...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 07:43 AM
    Which book would you recommend? I have Dragon Heist. What other book would flesh out the city more?
    12 replies | 482 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 07:40 AM
    I'll let Matt answer that from the book: I think most people who use the book will keep to type, as the system makes it easiest to do so, but you could re-purpose with very little work to customize. Nope. What makes Matt annoying to most people, including me the first time I tried to watch his videos, is his motor-mouth delivery. I find as I started listening to more podcasts, I...
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 06:48 AM
    Pages 149-230, so 81 pages. 39 monsters (quick count, may be off by one or a couple) 2 demons 1 devil A section on the celestial court with 6 celestials (2 page treatment for each, 1 full-page art and one with stats and fluff) A section on "The Court of All Flesh": 7 abberations. Art for each one, some near full-page pieces. A section on "The Court of Arcadia": six fey. I really like...
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 06:32 AM
    I like the warfare rules. The warefare rules are completely open content, so I could past them here, but I don't want to clutter the thread. I'm wondering if there is a PDF out there of just the warfare rules? I can only find the earlier simplified rules he posted, which are not the same as those in the book.
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 06:17 AM
    I'm having trouble focusing on the crunch... I'm enjoying reading the side stories. The included adventure, which can be used to earn a party a stronghold, looks fun.
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 06:15 AM
    The bestiary appendix has some cool monsters. Not a fan of gem dragons, but I like additional fey, aberrations, elementals, fiends, and celestials.
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 05:52 AM
    The maps and artworks are gorgeous. Well designed graphically. I find the maps of the different stages of a stronghold to be very helpful.
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 05:41 AM
    I do like his design philosophy that strongholds must cost a lot, but not take too long to build. Base costs are keep=10,000 GB; tower = 8,000 GP; temple=8,000 Gp; establishment= 6,000 Gp
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 05:32 AM
    I just downloaded my copy and am looking it over. Way too much content for me to go over before bed and I have a long day of work tomorrow and my monthly 8-hour game on Saturday to prep for. I am considering using this in my current campaign. I would be interested in any opinions on whether any of the mechanics are overpowered or otherwise problematic. I know it was pretty heavily play tested,...
    77 replies | 3575 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 03:20 AM
    Actually as soon as I thought of the idea of a dual wielding Paladin that lost a hand so beats people with his iron covered stump I remembered the Deities and Demigods book image of Tyr. I am definitely going to build a Paladin that just punches people in the face with that. In the 1956 Moby Dick movie the captain of one of the whaling boats had his had replaced with a harpoon end I think.
    22 replies | 887 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 01:40 AM
    iserith replied to Rotating DMs?
    Sometimes you can find yourself in a situation where someone rotates in and is running a game whose play experience you don't particularly enjoy. If you're not in a sufficiently large group and absenteeism matters to whether there's a session or not, it can be harder to dip and wait for the next DM. But if everyone's who will be in the rotation has been tested and found true, then this isn't so...
    25 replies | 553 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 14th December, 2018, 01:07 AM
    What I mean by "Basic Rules" is the free PDF which only includes the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard classes. Monk isn't in the Basic Rules.
    17 replies | 396 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 11:53 PM
    I do a lot of this sort of stuff and one thing I've come to realize is that it's better in my view to think about the concept as D&D+Mario (or D&D plus whatever) than trying to strictly simulate the concept with D&D mechanics. So it's Mario with a layer of D&D on top. This is a lot easier to accomplish. I also tend to use just the Basic Rules when posting things so that limits what character...
    17 replies | 396 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 11:29 PM
    I created Mario for my one-shot Mario Does D&D. You can check it out there and please feel free to use the scenario to entertain your players.
    17 replies | 396 view(s)
    2 XP
  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 10:02 PM
    Oh God not another Hexblade dip!! Does it ever end? :cool: In all honesty as a DM if you have a good reason (background, RP, missing a hand and the stump is covered in iron, etc) for your Paladin to be a dual-wielder I would just let you take it.
    22 replies | 887 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 03:56 PM
    In my games, players can get Inspiration up to 4 times per session, once each per category of the personal characteristics. I discuss it here in the Case for Inspiration. The result of this method is that the group of five players are earning Inspiration about once every 10 minutes which means up to 20 times per session the characters are being portrayed in a fun way according to their...
    21 replies | 524 view(s)
    5 XP
  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 03:26 PM
    I wouldn’t mind using Beyond although I think the application is clunky. However I am not going to pay again for material I already have. I get that Curse has to make their money also, but I don’t have to pay them.
    4581 replies | 639015 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 03:23 PM
    The sheet handles spells that way, cleric domain spells are handle the same way. You just have to put Darkness in. I think spell sheet has to be set to all and then you just have to choose the right spells for the material. I don’t think the sources choices applies anywhere but the start page.
    4581 replies | 639015 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 07:21 AM
    I would say that the PHB and the DMG work together here which is why you will almost always see me quote both. And the methods described in the previous section are simply a matter of difference for the respective DMs as to what is uncertain and what is meaningful. Only one of those methods, however, is without potential drawbacks at least according to the DMG.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 06:37 AM
    See DMG, page 237: "Only call for a roll if there is a meaningful consequence of failure."
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th December, 2018, 02:02 AM
    There needs to be a meaningful consequence of failure in order for there to be an ability check because that's one of the two criteria by which the DM calls for a roll. It's up to the DM to decide what that means in context though, so reasonable people can disagree on what is or isn't meaningful in the abstract.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 11:26 PM
    They're welcome to perform a task to ascertain the NPC's sincerity, agenda, ideal, bond, or flaw as much as they want. But there's a meaningful consequence of failure if the DM calls for an ability check though. Sometimes the cost of failure might be high enough to make it a risky task to undertake. There might also be an opportunity cost for performing this task and not some other. Do you...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 10:40 PM
    That's how I would have done it in D&D 4e. I think from a D&D 5e game perspective, at least how I view it, one wants to have these things as trade-offs against other tasks so that there's a meaningful choice to be made by the player. You can either try to engage in an attempt to persuade the NPC or suss out its agenda right now, for example, not both. This emphasizes teamwork in the challenge as...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 10:19 PM
    Yeah man, I'm constantly tinkering and testing. It's only way to be sure it works. Luckily I get to test this stuff on multiple groups of different players! On top of that, my regular players are all DMs, so they'll often test it in their own games and give great feedback. I use the passive scores if the social interaction is more than an hour and the PC is performing the task repeatedly....
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 10:12 PM
    I don't like the players asking to make an Insight check (and neither do they once they realize that making ability checks is BAD), but I do agree that when this is played out, the best way in my view is to keep the action declaration on the player's side. I have the NPC lie or whatever, then the players can declare an action to confirm their suspicions. I don't make a Deception check for the...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 10:04 PM
    Another thing you can do is stop having all of your NPCs lie to the characters so that you can avoid this: In other words, make better social interaction challenges. In my games, Wisdom (Insight) comes up when an NPC is trying to keep its agenda or ideal, bond, or flaw hidden and the players, during the interaction, are trading off their part in the conversation to observe the NPC and try...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 05:53 PM
    I suppose it depends on what you mean exactly by "rules." My read on D&D 5e is that since the DM is tasked with deciding whether or not there's some kind of roll to resolve your proposed action, then the best strategy (if more success than failure is the goal) is to work to remove uncertainty from the situation and/or the meaningful consequence of failure, if you're able to. Those two things need...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 04:55 PM
    I do like the "ratification" idea. That makes a lot of sense. "It's not real until the dice say so." When really, players should be avoiding that d20 like the fickle, unreliable piece of plastic that it is.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    2 XP
  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 04:52 PM
    You cant MC into SOR since your CHR is too low, it needs to be 13. If you did do that then you cast BB you use your melee attack modifier, not wisdom, so make sure you watch that. Warcaster and BB and other OppATT stuff only have value if your group forces OppAtt, if you are the tank that happens less as they just stop and attack you. Make sure you use Command to get them to flee and...
    11 replies | 530 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th December, 2018, 04:25 PM
    To be fair, I don't think anyone objects to "using rolls to decide what your character will do, or using stats as a guide to how your character will act." Some might not choose to do it, but it's reasonable in my view to use those things to inform your decisions as a player. Where the objection sits is when the DM, or perhaps another player in some cases, asking for that check and then expecting...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 11:42 PM
    Thanks for sharing the post-play recap. Reading your question while designing the scene, all the discussions, and a recap of the play session is very helpful.
    59 replies | 1111 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 11:26 PM
    I'd play it, but only as a LARP. Your XP is the number of minutes you last before being escorted out of the Wal Mart.
    58 replies | 1209 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 11:25 PM
    Hey, I could see enjoying playing Mr and Mrs Potato the TTRPG. When you kill an antagonist, you can take various body party to swap out with your own. Different body parts provide different advantages and disadvantages. Each character has a bag of body parts that are use to build them selves after a long rest. You can change your configuration one per long rest.
    58 replies | 1209 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 11:18 PM
    Sounds cool. Just make the monsters Lovecraftian and sell it as a Cthulu campaign set in 1812
    58 replies | 1209 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 11:16 PM
    Right, so you turn it into the medieval fantasy version of Star Trek. The characters all man the "bridge" of their space/dimension faring vessel.
    58 replies | 1209 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 10:10 PM
    In D&D 5e, a character's faults are largely defined by his or her personal characteristics though which are a far better marker in my experience than "whatever an 8 means." The rules give only cursory advice that amounts to "it could mean this or it could mean that..." and "a score of 10 or 11 is the normal human average." A personality trait, ideal, bond, or flaw is specific and also tied to an...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 09:05 PM
    I'd be curious if GameOgre would feel the "roleplaying" is improved at his table if the players subscribed to this approach. But I was also struck by his longer post in which he seemed to indicate that "roleplaying" isn't so much a player determining how the character thinks and acts, and what it says (which is what the rules define it as). Rather it seems the character's thoughts and...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 08:31 PM
    So far as I can tell, the rules are mute on the matter of PvP. I even looked in the DMG earlier today to see if there was anything in the "Table Rules" section. It seems like if it was going to go anywhere, it should have been mentioned in that part, given as common as players wanting to mess with other players' characters is. A table rule gets people on the same page with regard to whether this...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:34 PM
    Side comment: There seems to be an argument, directly or indirectly by multiple posters, that a player needs to "pay" in some way for having a character with a dump stat and part of paying for it is, for example, folding in an argument between characters, acting stupid or playing dumb, not sussing out a lie, etc. Or abiding by the result of an ability check by another player's character. I...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:07 PM
    Let's say you refuse to adopt the approach that some of us use to handle PvP. Let's also say that nobody ever engages in PvP at the table. It just never comes up. Is Alice gaining some kind of benefit in this situation? If the answer is "no" (and that would be my response), then I don't see the need to account for Alice's character low Charisma as a good argument against such an approach. If...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:47 PM
    A task performed by a PC or NPC to influence a PC's thoughts does not have an uncertain outcome because the player of that character determines how the character thinks. There's no check here. When we get into other tasks that are essentially PC vs. PC, some of us let the players resolve that among themselves through negotiation to avoid the many problems that can arise from having the DM...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:12 PM
    I will refer you back to the post you're referencing with some additional emphasis: I was very careful with my language here. "Adjudicate and narrate as normal" means to follow the D&D 5e rules for adjudicating a proposed task which does not necessarily mean there is an ability check. I go on to clarify that there may or may not be an ability check.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:06 PM
    One thing I've noticed is that when you implement these sorts of approaches, all the PVP stuff by and large seems to evaporate.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:57 AM
    Consistency in this regard is something players can count on in my games. It's one of my principles. Except I'm not leaving the box blank. I'm copying off the person next to me whose answer is always right.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 06:13 AM
    Which rules are you referring to? Players don't get to decide they're making a Wisdom (Insight) check or any other kind of ability check. They might succeed or fail outright with no roll. All they get to do is describe a task they want to perform. What the character sees can be negotiated by the players involved. You can call it a "house rule." It doesn't bother me. But it's not...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 05:40 AM
    Which mechanic do you mean - "Insight?" Because that sounds awfully close to "using skills" again which is strictly inferior to deciding the result anyway. No, there is no such case. The player always determines what the character thinks. It is therefore always certain. The whole scenario is rife with trouble. It's better in my view that the players work this out between them to...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 05:17 AM
    If a player describes the character as trying to determine an NPC's true intentions by observing its body language, speech habits, and changes in mannerisms, then I'll adjudicate and narrate as normal. I would have telegraphed a tell while describing the environment anyway. In almost all cases, if there is an ability check at all, this would be a Wisdom (Insight) check though; passive Insight...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:42 AM
    Narrating the results is distinct from describing the environment and is differentiated in the play loop described in the rules. It seems like you want them to be the same thing to prove something about how you choose to play. You don't have to justify yourself.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:36 AM
    "I don't know - is he?" Player B is sitting at the table, so he knows that Player A's character is lying. He or she can just say his or her character believes or disbelieves Player A's character for whatever reason Player B chooses to establish.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 04:27 AM
    I describe the environment, then assess if there is to be surprise, taking into account and reminding the players of the ongoing tasks they previously established ("staying alert to danger," "navigating," "drawing a map," etc.), then narrate the result of those actions.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 03:09 AM
    The DM doesn't need to ask for checks to describe the environment.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th December, 2018, 01:26 AM
    I honestly couldn't make much sense of the scenario, so I'll defer to Ovinomancer on the response as it sounds appropriate to what I could take away from your example. Also, it would be great if you'd stop accusing me of sidestepping or trolling or any of the other things you've rather rudely accused me of in this thread. It makes me want to stop responding to you at all. I've answered your...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:54 PM
    "Use skill" is reminiscent of D&D 3.Xe and D&D 4e where players asked or decided to make "skill checks." This is not supported in the D&D 5e rules. There should be no expectation that a player can "use a skill" in D&D 5e. You know, I've posted that same post at least a half dozen times in this thread including my very first post in the discussion. The situation under discussion is...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:26 PM
    Here's how that might play out at my table: DM: Alice, your rogue recognizes the Zhentish tattoos on the gang leader as they flee. Alice: Oh, I need to make sure they get away. My rogue says "We shouldn't follow then, they're probably just hired thugs." DM: Alice, with the tattoos you're sure that's not true. Can you make a deception check for your rogue? Alice: 9, plus 2 for CHR and...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 11:22 PM
    Blue: In D&D 5e, one does not "use skills" on NPCs or PCs. They perform tasks. The outcomes of those tasks may be uncertain and carry with it a meaningful consequence of failure. If they do, then the DM calls for an ability check to resolve it. If the task does not have an uncertain outcome and/or a meaningful consequence of failure, the DM does not call for an ability check. These are not house...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 09:00 PM
    Thank you.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 08:26 PM
    I wrote the Barrow of the Evensong specifically for my niece and nephew (pre-teens at the time). I ran it for some adults at a game store in about 3 hours and it was fun for adults, too. I recommend giving it a look for your purposes, plus it's free and you can read it right now!
    14 replies | 423 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 07:42 PM
    Well, that's kind of the premise of one location in Lost Laboratory of Kwalish, though one session is not a campaign. I agree, an entire campaign of this would get old fast. Hard to make that awesome. Though, could other beasts survive. Are their spirits and undeed to interact with? Can you bring back any of the dead as you clear areas? Would the jellies and other monsters have evolved in this...
    58 replies | 1209 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 07:14 PM
    Why does this bother you? As a DM or player, I couldn't give a dusty flumph what someone else's ability scores are and how he or she chooses to use them to inform how they portray the character. It's really just none of my business as I see it. As long as the player is pursuing the goals of play in good faith, that is, making choices that are fun for everyone and that contribute to an...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 07:05 PM
    Not that I have an issue calling it a "house rule," but just for funsies, if you really think about it, it might not be: If the DM is the one who makes the call as to whether there's an ability check and the one who narrates the results of an adventurer's action, then all we're really doing is giving the player input on what is ultimately the DM's call. "What do you think happens here, Player?...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:36 PM
    What do you mean by "skill usage?"
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:35 PM
    That is incorrect. My position is that a player decides how their character thinks and acts and what it says, which is straight from the rules almost verbatim. I have made no claim as to the role of ability scores in making that determination. A player might do that, or might not. I take no position on that. Please cite the rules that instruct players how to play their characters according...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:00 PM
    A player determining how the character thinks and acts is the definition of roleplaying provided by the rules themselves. We didn't just make that up. There are also no rules that require a player to act any particular way given their ability scores. The character creation guidelines do suggest that ability scores can inform the PC's appearance and personality, but there are no hard rules on how...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:41 PM
    My opinion is informed by the rules of the game which I paraphrased in my response. You don't have to follow the rules, of course, but those of us who share my opinion are following the rules.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:25 PM
    The DM can only call for an ability check when there's uncertainty as to the outcome of a task. The task here is "Convince barbarian to go along with rogue's plan." Players can't call for or decide to make ability checks. The question is whether there is uncertainty as to the outcome of the task. And the answer is: There isn't. A player determines how the character thinks and acts - thus the...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:33 PM
    He is subject to the negatives though. If he has a low Intelligence, he will on average do poorly on Intelligence ability checks (such as when determining if he can recall lore or make a deduction) and Intelligence saving throws. If he has a low Wisdom, he'll perform badly on average on a number of tasks including Insight, Perception, and Survival, when asked to make a roll to resolve those...
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:22 PM
    In reading the posts of people who are using mechanics to influence decisions players make for their own characters, there seems to be an undercurrent of player issues at the table for which this method was deemed a solution. As has been stated, using mechanics to solve player issues is not ideal and, in fact, often leads to the sorts of problem that kicked off this thread.
    523 replies | 10802 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 09:05 AM
    Like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGVC6-Bohqk
    58 replies | 1209 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:47 AM
    When I wanted to get back into gaming, I was really put off by the need for miniatures. Watching Chris Perkins's videos helped and hurt. I loved the videos where he explains his thinking and gives tops on running the game, but his elaborate, pre-drawn maps seemed far beyond me. I bought into the impression many people had that 4e was heavily focused on tactical miniature combats and tried to...
    45 replies | 1670 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:37 AM
    From UNDERNEATH LA – CIVIC CENTER TUNNELS "The lighted tunnels are about 12 feet wide and 10 feet high, big enough for a small bulldozer to drive through." https://strayngerranger.com/underneath-la-civic-center-tunnels/ A picture of a 10' high 20' wide wildlife underpass with a man walking underneath for scale. Imagine it half as wide and you have your 10x10 square. from "Animals put...
    4 replies | 433 view(s)
    3 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 06:07 AM
    Because, once us hoi polloi like it, it is no longer cool or high quality. Luckily there is a very long tail of high-concept TTRPGs for the hipster dogs to chase.
    45 replies | 1670 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:41 AM
    Our games start at 10am and end at 6pm Often donuts are brought and some players bring breakfast some somewhere they stopped on the way. We break for lunch and usually go to nearby place for takeout, though we've also ordered pizzas and have done pot lucks. Folks will usually bring some sodas, iced teas, and chips to share. I often skip dinner on game day, since I've been noshing...
    7 replies | 179 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:31 AM
    I bought a conference table and six conference room chairs from a company that was selling off a bunch of old furniture and equipment on Craigslist, which I've set up in my basement near a wood stove and kitchenette (full fridge, mini stove, sink and decent amount of counter space and cabinets. Nice for pot-luck game days. Also have a number of folding tables. When not running my D&D game,...
    5 replies | 156 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:10 AM
    Ever play Paranoia?
    58 replies | 1209 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 05:07 AM
    Yeah, if I went through the trouble, my players would find someway, somehow, without any intention of doing do, completely avoiding that encounter. Many a well planned battlemap set up has only been seen by this DM the night before the game...
    48 replies | 2950 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 10th December, 2018, 04:19 AM
    Discussions in other threads about the propriety of DMs limiting that campaigns in ways that ban things that some players love got me to thinking. Can you really come up with a campaign setting that NOBODY would like play in? Give it your best shot, come up with what you think is an awful campaign concept. The other part of this challenge is to try to show how these awful concepts could...
    58 replies | 1209 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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Monthly 8-hour 5e game. Ended home-brew campaign in January 2018, after two years and am now running Curse of Strahd.
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I play a Tortle barbarian berserker with the great-weapon master feat.

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My Game Details
Town:
Twin Cities Area
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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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Wednesday, 19th December, 2018


Tuesday, 18th December, 2018



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Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 05:11 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned MNblockhead in post Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers
    MNblockhead thanks for the reply, very informative. Sadly, it is definitely not just his fast spoken delivery. I’m from California, and I consume a lot more YouTube and podcast media than I do traditional video media, so fast talk is where I live. When I have to call the support center st work, and get someone from Vest Virginia, I feel like I’m at the DMV in Zootopia. People talk soooooooo slooooooowwww. He just annoys me. But, I don’t think it’s his diction, or vocabulary, or anything else that translates directly to print. I think it’s just him. I watched his video on the Star Wars sequel movies vs the prequels, and I just couldn’t stand the guy. Part of what annoys me about him is what annoys me about so many of my fellow Millenials, and GenX ppl. That is, the rampant deeply emotionally stubborn nostalgia. I...just don’t experience nostalgia to anywhere near the same degree that others seem to, so when people seem to base their opinions strongly on it, I find it obnoxious. His line...

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 12:45 PM - dave2008 mentioned MNblockhead in post How to make an encounter with falling great distances interesting and dangerous, but not deadly?
    I agree with @MNblockhead - thank you for the recap. I think this is an interesting challenge and covers a lot a things that, out of the box, D&D doesn't do well. We really could use a DMG II or similar that covers more complex scenarios like this. One thing that got me thinking... Yeah, I really overlooked this. Twice, when they realized the fall was only 30 feet, the players sort of shrugged. I had further complications up my sleeve, so I was able to added twists when that happened (and I remembered to!), however it definitely dispelled the illusion of threat. This made me think once again about the falling rules. How about in addition to damage: every 30 feet of falling requires you to either take a level of exhaustion (thus 180' = death) or a roll on the lingering injury table. Or possibly a combination of the two. That way falling as some real consequences other than damage (which we all know is not a real consequence in D&D) ;)

Sunday, 2nd December, 2018

  • 05:08 PM - Parmandur mentioned MNblockhead in post Boxed Sets 2018 Style
    The key market for box sets isn't APs, it's settings, which simply aren't being given enough meat. MNblockhead specified Adventures, not other kinds of products. I don't see that a Ravnica box set would have had different contents, but would have cost more?

Tuesday, 30th October, 2018


Saturday, 8th September, 2018

  • 10:05 PM - epithet mentioned MNblockhead in post Curse of Strahd help (lots o’ spoilers)
    I definitely agree that the Master of Ravenloft is a prisoner of the mists. Once you take up that power, your campaign is necessarily limited to consolidating your power in Barovia. I respectfully disagree with @MNblockhead with regard to the dark gift, however. While the dark gift of the Vampyre is currently necessary to rule the cursed land of Barovia, I think it is something that can be taken by charm, guile or force from one who currently possesses it, rather than strictly requiring the recipient to return to the original source. It just fits much better with vampire mythology in my mind. As I consider it, I would also require a special ritual casting of the 1st level cleric spell ceremony for the investiture of the new Master of Ravenloft, involving the shedding of the new Master's blood upon the soil of Barovia (as mentioned in the novel I, Strahd.) One thing I've been wondering is the possibility of freeing Barovia from the curse altogether. It seems that it should be possible to, for example, plane shift each amber vessel and its resident dark power to Carceri, or the astral plane, or somewhere removed from Barovia. If the Amber Temple were then hallowed, that should, in theory, completely brea...

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 07:35 AM - Coroc mentioned MNblockhead in post Interpreting Barbarian Rage in Non-combat Situations
    MNblockhead "Tell me more about how this would work in your games. First, the RAW does not seem to support this, beyond the DM determining how NPCs and creatures react to someone who is raging. In your example, would you, as the DM, decide that the player attacks the table? That's not really my style. I want the player to play their character and they decide how their character acts. Also, intimiation is a CHA check, so it would be waste to burn a rage to intimidate as it gives no mechanical advantage. " That is depending on the roleplaying of the player. The whole situation is a bit constructed and hypothetic but let us say it goes like this: Conan the thirsty roleplays his character being in absolute need for a drink. DM : The waiter seems to ignore you Player : I get really upset and clench my fist DM ruling you: get enraged and you want to hit something Player either playing along or DM ruling: Make a wis save to see if you control your rage if it fails you hit the table....

Monday, 27th August, 2018


Wednesday, 8th August, 2018

  • 01:15 PM - lowkey13 mentioned MNblockhead in post Forum Suddenly Switched How Named Are Displayed?
    My obvious reply though is going to be... at the point where you’re choosing to use the desktop version of the site with your smartphone instead of the mobile site intended for smartphones, you’re creating your own problem and shouldn’t be listened to specific to that use case. I can't speak for everyone, but I will add my 2 cents to what @Ath-kethin and what @MNblockhead wrote. I find that the mobile appearance is atrocious. Even when I am on my smartphone (or tablet) I use the desktop appearance. Apparently, that is not uncommon. I don't think that is a very rare use case at all. (Also, the new appearance is much worse for those of us who use smartphones and the desktop appearance, at least IMO.)

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 06:02 PM - Cyber-Dave mentioned MNblockhead in post Why I feel so abysmally let down by the "Ravnica" news...
    That is a fair attitude @MNblockhead. I'm trying to work my way from disappointed towards that. I'll be honest, I think this thread is part of my cathartic process. As I said, I have been looking into Ravnica, and there is a lot to love about the setting. I know I will be buying the product and giving it an honest whirl. I am also very happy about the way Eberron has been released. I think it is a smart distribution model for settings. I hope they release more of them, in the future, using a similar model.

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

  • 10:05 AM - Coroc mentioned MNblockhead in post Curse of Strahd: What is Straud von Zarovich's Title? [SPOILERS ALERT]
    MNblockhead all the van richten guides are a nice read if you/your PC are heavy into roleplaying some sort of gothic monster (Vampire/werewolf etc.) with all of its powers but also all of its tragic curse. Why did i write your PC? Well in classical ravenloft all of the afflictions can get to your Players as well. That means for a start get the red box or black box Basic set and read about power checks, that is a mean mechanic i tell you. Adventures as such, hm several of the hyskosa hexad are quite good, but not all. The first two (levelwise so the second would be touch of death the first is night of the living death or such, i cannot remember right now) are pretty intense. The fifth, the one before roots of evil has one of the best starts (although a railroaded start it is so fantastic if you do this to unaware players) i ever read. I agree on most of the classic modules are pretty good, also for other settings, still i think the ravenloft are much better, on detailing complex personalitie...

Friday, 20th July, 2018


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.


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Wednesday, 19th December, 2018

  • 10:44 AM - Zardnaar quoted MNblockhead in post "Impossible" D&D Quiz
    103770 Not very difficult for me. It could have been much more difficult. All they had to do it throw in 2e, 3e, and 4e settings and mechanics questions. For anyone who grew up playing the game in the 70s and 80s and who know a bit about the game's origins, most of these questions will be easy. Now, ask me about Eberron, Spelljammer, Planescape, or Dark Sun and they could get me. Yeah its not that hard but a few people won't have played the older D&Ds lol. Also probably not that hard for a D&D message board.

Monday, 17th December, 2018


Sunday, 16th December, 2018

  • 10:11 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted MNblockhead in post Burning Questions: What Do New DMs Need to Know?
    You don't have to be a professional voice actor or author to run a game. This is a very good point. I pay 0 attention to streams and wouldn't even think of it, but you're right, noobs are likely to run into making that comparison. In many ways, it's like assuming that when you first start learning to play guitar you're going to be able to play like, oh, John Mayer, Tosin Abasi, or St. Vincent (to name excellent players in very different styles). That's not going to happen but it doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a go.
  • 10:02 PM - Nytmare quoted MNblockhead in post CHALLENGE: Campaigns that NOBODY would want to play in
    Right, so you turn it into the medieval fantasy version of Star Trek. The characters all man the "bridge" of their space/dimension faring vessel. I ran a short lived Deep Space 9 inspired "you're all different types of Mimic stuck in a dungeon" game.

Saturday, 15th December, 2018

  • 05:16 PM - Doc_Klueless quoted MNblockhead in post Burning Questions: What Do New DMs Need to Know?
    You don't have to be a professional voice actor or author to run a game.Absolutely. Caveat: The following is not a dig at Matt Mercer. He seems like a very nice, likable guy who is obviously skilled at his craft. Many people have stated what a great GM Matt Mercer is. He is and isn't. For the most part, he's a good DM, of that there is little doubt. Personally, I wouldn't want to be in his game long term, because he's not GMing in a style that I wouldn't enjoy over a long period of time (I find the voice acting really distracting at times, for example. He allows intraparty conflict, which I don't enjoy or allow in my games, as another). He's a great GM for that particular group and environment. And that is the major lesson that new DMs should take away from him (and I think I recall him saying the same thing): The best GMs tailor their game to their players and environment. That's a very hard GM skill to learn. I find, for the style of play I like, that Chris Perkins is a much better...
  • 04:34 AM - Jester David quoted MNblockhead in post Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers
    Well, at the risk of upsetting doctorbadwolf, I mainly dislike them because I'm an opinionated Gen Xer who believes that only Fey creatures, not Vampires or Dragons, should sparkle. Also, I don't like the idea of psionic dragons. Leave that to the aberrations and their twisted thralls. Really. No good reason. The artwork for the gem dragons in Matt's book are awesome. They look cool and are probably fun to use in a game. But the words "psionic gem dragons" just turns my stomach a bit sour. Now a Fey flower-petal dragon that has no physical attacks, that's cool. :-) Don’t they date to 1980?
  • 04:27 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted MNblockhead in post Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers
    <SNIP> I find that many people react strongly to opinionated people. Some people love them--find them more interesting and fun to listed to and argue with. Others find them annoying and full of themselves. When I moved to New York City, I fell in love instantly. Most Americans have negative stereotypes of New Yorkers. After moving back to the Midwest, I find I have to tone it down. Whenever I find myself conversing with someone who'll bluntly state a strong opinion on anything, I find it to be a breath of fresh air. My wife, on the other hand, finds it exhausting to be around me and some of my friends. After a few drinks, when we are at the point of having heated arguments about garlic, she'll tap out. And I don't think it is a millennial thing or a gen X thing as my grandfather and several of my uncles illustrate--especially those too-full-of-themselves uncles who moved to Los Angeles ;-) Matt seems like a fun person to grab drink with and argue have friendly arguments about inc...
  • 03:12 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted MNblockhead in post Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers
    Well, at the risk of upsetting doctorbadwolf, I mainly dislike them because I'm an opinionated Gen Xer who believes that only Fey creatures, not Vampires or Dragons, should sparkle. Also, I don't like the idea of psionic dragons. Leave that to the aberrations and their twisted thralls. Really. No good reason. The artwork for the gem dragons in Matt's book are awesome. They look cool and are probably fun to use in a game. But the words "psionic gem dragons" just turns my stomach a bit sour. Now a Fey flower-petal dragon that has no physical attacks, that's cool. :-) All these dang olds, having opinions, liking old things! <flips table>

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 09:27 PM - Fluerdemal quoted MNblockhead in post Best Fleshed Out Cities for use with fantasy TTRPG
    Which book would you recommend? I have Dragon Heist. What other book would flesh out the city more? The old boxed set. D.
  • 07:43 PM - Mr. Wilson quoted MNblockhead in post Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers
    The bestiary appendix has some cool monsters. Not a fan of gem dragons, but I like additional fey, aberrations, elementals, fiends, and celestials. I am curious as to why you dislike Gem Dragons as they've always been my favorite, especially the Sapphire Dragons. Is it the Psionics instead of magic part?
  • 11:00 AM - Zardnaar quoted MNblockhead in post Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers
    I'll let Matt answer that from the book: I think most people who use the book will keep to type, as the system makes it easiest to do so, but you could re-purpose with very little work to customize. Nope. What makes Matt annoying to most people, including me the first time I tried to watch his videos, is his motor-mouth delivery. I find as I started listening to more podcasts, I appreciated his style. You get through a lot of content quickly. For me he was an acquired taste but he's gone from "gah! turn it off" to becoming one of my favorite and must-listed to streamers. Keep in mind, I only listen to his DM game tip videos. I've never watched any of his streamed games. I found the style very readable and engaging. Actually, I'm enjoying this enough that I've put his novels on my Amazon buy list. If this book is any indication, Matt is a good writer. You can buy the PDF now for $20. The hardback will also be available for anyone to buy. You can buy the PDF now from his on...
  • 07:00 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted MNblockhead in post Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers
    I do like his design philosophy that strongholds must cost a lot, but not take too long to build. Base costs are keep=10,000 GB; tower = 8,000 GP; temple=8,000 Gp; establishment= 6,000 Gp Are there different subtypes? Like, are there sizes of strongholds, or is that purely part of the stronghold level system? I'll have more to say once I've had more time with the book, but to give you a quick and incomplete synopsis.... There are 4 primary stronghold types, with some slight variations on a few.....Keep, Tower, Temple, and Establishment. Each corresponds to a type of character class; Keep for martial types, Tower for arcane types, Temple for devout types, and Establishment for skilled types. Each one grants benefits to the founder in the form of enhanced class features that are usable a certain number of times until you spend an Extended Rest (a week) at your stronghold. These features are pretty cool and pretty effective, but not so effective as to break the game or anything. They definitel...
  • 06:26 AM - Demetrios1453 quoted MNblockhead in post Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers
    The bestiary appendix has some cool monsters. Not a fan of gem dragons, but I like additional fey, aberrations, elementals, fiends, and celestials.I had no idea there would be a bestiary. About how many pages/monsters are there?
  • 05:58 AM - Devilbass quoted MNblockhead in post Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers
    I do like his design philosophy that strongholds must cost a lot, but not take too long to build. Base costs are keep=10,000 GB; tower = 8,000 GP; temple=8,000 Gp; establishment= 6,000 Gp I agree. Worth mentioning though, that he does his due diligence (like everywhere else in the book) and makes it clear that this is meant as a baseline - obviously your game may make different assumptions and be thematically different enough to require radically different time/monetary investment.

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 02:00 PM - Quickleaf quoted MNblockhead in post How to make an encounter with falling great distances interesting and dangerous, but not deadly?
    Thanks for sharing the post-play recap. Reading your question while designing the scene, all the discussions, and a recap of the play session is very helpful. Absolutely! You're welcome. Glad to hear it was helpful for you. It was personally helpful for me to write down my retrospective, as I'm likely going to be using this prop and Kir Sabal again in a few sessions under more challenging circumstances during a gargoyle attack and/or heavy rain. That gives me the opportunity to tighten up the design and tweak what didn't work... for example, this just occurred to me – I might delay exhaustion setting in until after they reach the top! That way it doesn't penalize the climb itself, but how they handle what's at the top. I also might give each player an index card of possible "fall reactions" jotted down. I agree with @MNblockhead - thank you for the recap. I think this is an interesting challenge and covers a lot a things that, out of the box, D&D doesn't do well. We really could use a DMG II or similar that covers more complex scenarios like this. One thing that got me thinking... This made me think once again about the falling rules. How about in addition to damage: every 30 feet of falling requires you to either take a level of exhaustion (thus 180' = death) or a roll on the lingering injury table. Or possibly a combination of the two. That way falling as some real consequences other than damage (which we all know is not a real consequence in D&D) ;) Yeah, I definitely agree with you that D&D could use a "book of challenges" or something similar. Running this showed me that, yes, while I was on to something, I still have a ways to go to tighten it up. At the table, I interpreted the map we were using as being relatively accurate – so that ~450' of the climb was easily accomplished on a stone r...
  • 05:06 AM - ModernApathy quoted MNblockhead in post CHALLENGE: Campaigns that NOBODY would want to play in
    Well, that's kind of the premise of one location in Lost Laboratory of Kwalish, though one session is not a campaign. I agree, an entire campaign of this would get old fast. Hard to make that awesome. Though, could other beasts survive. Are their spirits and undeed to interact with? Can you bring back any of the dead as you clear areas? Would the jellies and other monsters have evolved in this world? Yeah, I was just trying to think of a single monster campaign that would get old fast. The more I thought about it afterwards, the more I thought this could really work for at least the first tier of play. 'Day of the Jellies'
  • 01:07 AM - Lanefan quoted MNblockhead in post CHALLENGE: Campaigns that NOBODY would want to play in
    Right, so you turn it into the medieval fantasy version of Star Trek. The characters all man the "bridge" of their space/dimension faring vessel.Except the 'vessel' is a lot smaller and less interesting inside, and there's no way to beam out or otherwise leave it. The 'vessel' does everything, as guided by the PCs stuck inside it.

Tuesday, 11th December, 2018


Monday, 10th December, 2018



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