View Profile: MNblockhead - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 06:14 AM
    Looks like the OP abandoned the thread...
    15 replies | 672 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:31 PM
    It's totally a manufactured problem, a self-inflicted wound, that comes from setting a requirement that a character needs to know something to take action. I've already shown a couple of examples where these are decoupled: You don't need to know the troll is weak to fire to lob a fire bolt at it. You don't need to know that gargoyles are weak to adamantine to hit a statue with an adamantine...
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:26 PM
    I probably wouldn't go that route, but I wouldn't be offended as a player if a DM ruled that way.
    812 replies | 54330 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:30 PM
    Haha, thanks. Yeah those scenarios are part of a larger adventure called "Trope." When I go back and read those, I can definitely see how much 4e influence I still had in my thinking.
    812 replies | 54330 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:19 PM
    I didn't read, play, or run any of the D&D Next playtest adventures with the exception of Mines of Madness which I played in. At the time, I was writing up my own scenarios for the playtest called Next World which lampooned the new edition and the forum discussions that were going on.
    812 replies | 54330 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:37 AM
    I would say it's a great attempt, but falls short in some areas. Still, LMoP remains my favorite D&D 5e module so far.
    812 replies | 54330 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:14 AM
    Players in my game would say it's very challenging, but fast-paced and hilarious. But I can't claim credit for that. I just set the stage.
    28 replies | 772 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:10 AM
    I likely don't set a DC. The character succeeds, no roll, perhaps because the truthful NPC exhibits no body language, speech habit, or change in mannerisms that suggest a deception.
    48 replies | 1001 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 11:09 PM
    First, I wouldn't use an adventure module as proof of anything about the actual rules of the game, especially modules that were written early on in the design process. Leaving that aside, the doppelganger can try to deceive the PCs. It just tells the lies and then it's on the players to declare an action along the lines of wanting to determine the doppelganger's truthfulness (or agenda or...
    812 replies | 54330 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 11:05 PM
    How would you know with certainty? And more importantly, why even care? It's a manufactured problem (and mostly the DM's fault to boot).
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:48 PM
    Those two actions are not necessarily dependent upon each other. Whether the player is or isn't experienced doesn't matter. As above, not noticing anything peculiar about the statue and hitting it with an adamantine blade are not necessarily dependent upon one another. An attempt to recall lore can be, in effect, trying to verify an assumption you may have about trolls or...
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 09:50 PM
    Charisma (Deception) might be used as a way to calculate the DC for an uncertain action to assess the doppelganger's truthfulness, its agenda, or its personal characteristics (personality trait, ideal, bond, or flaw). Charisma (Intimidation) or Charisma (Persuasion) might be used to resolve a contest between a player character and an NPC to influence some other NPC. Since an ability check is...
    812 replies | 54330 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 06:26 PM
    Yeah, without the additional context of my table rules document, it does sound cold-blooded. But here is what I tell players up front: "Describe what you want to do by stating a clear goal and approach - what you hope to achieve and how you set about doing it. A question is not a statement of goal and approach, nor is asking to make an ability check or the like." There is no need then to Ask...
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 05:32 PM
    When I run D&D games and a player asks me, "Would I know about X?" my response is typically "I can only describe the environment and narrate the result of your actions. Do you have an action you want to take?" I discourage all questions from players in most cases, but this one in particular is a sign that the player comes from the kind of game where the DM has to sign off on what you know before...
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 04:22 PM
    They would be useful in verifying assumptions the player may have regarding the dragon's stat, power, weakness, etc. Presumably, the player does not know with certainty that the dragon's stat block is unchanged from the Monster Manual. If the player does know that the stat block has not changed, then it's not as useful.
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:56 PM
    I usually assign a range of CRs for a given adventure location and then use the charts in Xanathar's. In my Hills of Argh adventure location, for example, I just use the CR 5-10 random encounters for Hills from XGtE. It works great. Sometimes the encounters are overwhelming because the players are on the low end of that tier and the resulting encounter is very Deadly. Sometimes it's a cakewalk. I...
    9 replies | 210 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:49 PM
    Not being able to recall a troll's weakness doesn't stop you from lighting a torch and hitting the troll with it. Or lobbing alchemist's fire. That's a player stating an action to deduce based on available clues whether the statue is something more than a statue. The DM finds the action to have an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure and calls for an Intelligence check...
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:39 PM
    I would say you're adding to the D&D 5e's definition of "metagame thinking." Taken as a whole, the DM is told to discourage "metagame thinking" because it can lead the players to getting their characters killed (by assuming the DM would not throw powerful monsters at lower-levels PCs) or wasting valuable session time (by over-exploring an otherwise normal door they thought the DM took longer than...
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:53 PM
    I don't see it as "no longer working in 5e." It's not like D&D 5e is a software patch. It's a different game. Rules in D& 3.5e don't apply to D&D 5e.
    47 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:33 PM
    From what I've seen, I think some do. I know I did and groups with whom I played did. We were the real roleplayers. Those other guys - those metagamers - they weren't roleplaying. Not really. Tribalism isn't good or bad (or is both good and bad depending on outcomes). It just is.
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:18 PM
    You will note that nowhere in my post do I say that I think I'm "enlightened." We're all subject to tribalism.
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Having been steeped in this mode of play for more than half of my D&D life (but no longer), I think that it is really just a form of tribal identification, since the approach doesn't really seem to achieve its purported goals in my experience, at least not as well as other methods. "Our tribe thinks and does things this way. Other tribes do things some other way." This tribal loyalty would also...
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 07:20 PM
    In D&D 5e, lawful good is defined as someone who can be "counted on to do the right thing as expected by society." That's all we have to go by. Reading into it any further or bringing in definitions of that alignment from other games only serves to confuse the issue. So the question is: "Is this the right thing to do as expected by society?" Whether it is or isn't, it should also be noted that...
    24 replies | 602 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 06:38 PM
    In a D&D 5e context, the DM describes the environment (which would include the necessary telegraphing, one hopes) then the player can describe what he or she wants to do. That might include some attempt to recall lore about trolls, or make a deduction about this troll in particular, which the DM can then adjudicate into success, failure, or uncertainty, the latter of which would call for an...
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Out of curiosity, since a couple people have mentioned it, are there any rules about tumbling to avoid or mitigate falling damage? Because to my knowledge, that is not a thing in D&D 5e. That sounds like a rule that is being imported from some other game.
    47 replies | 1287 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 05:40 PM
    I think the easiest way to deal with "metagaming" is to just set the expectation that the DM (and other players) shouldn't care how another player makes decisions for his or her character - it's nobody's business but that player's. However, the player is forewarned that his or her assumptions may not be correct and that it's smart play to verify one's assumptions by taking action in the game. A...
    1805 replies | 48796 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 07:31 AM
    He doesn't understand the purpose of DCI numbers in Adventurer's League organized play when there is no effective means of truly policing against cheating. His original post was a hyperbolic, scattered, rant that was hard to follow and which resulted in some posts making fun of it. As far as his question, I guess my sincere answer is that AL rules are like any others. AL players are...
    15 replies | 672 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 06:34 AM
    I could see that, but I would expect that setting books would also be offered in print. Even more than the core rule books, these are particularly enjoyable in print. I find I most enjoy in print monster manuals and setting/lore books.
    44 replies | 1340 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:16 AM
    I think the two-barbarians-vs.-one-wizard "problem" is easily fixed by examining one's presuppositions and adjusting them for this game.
    66 replies | 1976 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 01:28 PM
    If I was in a party like this, I'd suggest we put one person in front to stay alert to dangers and one person behind or next to him or her who works together on the same task. That means there's a passive Perception of 17 detecting hidden monsters and traps as the PCs move through the dungeon. (The person doing the work together task is automatically surprised if lurking monsters attack, but at...
    66 replies | 1976 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 05:19 AM
    I don't think it is a binary decision. Print and digital will continue to exist side by side for a long time to come. I rarely use the print products at the table anymore, even though I'm almost exclusively playing in-person games. But I still buy all the hard covers, because I enjoy them. I like paging through the books. I find art easier to appreciate on paper, I like the aesthetics of a...
    44 replies | 1340 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 04:31 PM
    Right. The DM is not obligated to ask for an ability check if he or she does not think the outcome of the task is uncertain.
    66 replies | 1976 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 04:02 PM
    Technically, the jumping is... no ability check at all, except in certain circumstances. (See PHB p. 182.) In my experience, DMs ask for way too many ability checks for jumping, climbing, and swimming when these things are factors of speed in D&D 5e. It often leads to PCs looking like chumps.
    47 replies | 1287 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 11:55 PM
    My overall point is that Help action as it is is strictly superior than Help action with an ability check attached to it, when judging it in terms of effectiveness. The players in my games make ability checks regularly in combat without changing the Help action. The DM just has to present situation where it's a possibility. Players shouldn't want to make ability checks, of course, but it...
    47 replies | 1287 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 11:32 PM
    I'm not sure what rule you're referring to. I'm not aware of anything like that in D&D 5e. As for attacking low-AC monsters, I ask for an attack roll if the monster is defending, which makes the outcome uncertain plus there's a meaningful consequence of failure (the monster goes on living).
    47 replies | 1287 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 11:20 PM
    If success on the task is the goal, automatic success is more desirable than rolling a fickle d20. A Help action as it currently is written is an automatic success. Tacking a roll onto it makes it less desirable in my view from that standpoint.
    47 replies | 1287 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:47 PM
    I would almost never use the Help action if there was an ability check attached to it. As a player, I'm trying to roll fewer d20's, not more of them!
    47 replies | 1287 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Describing what you want to do amounts to stating a goal and an approach to that goal. It does not have to be a complicated or technical statement or require any expertise on the part of the player. "I want to make a Stealth check" is not a statement of goal and approach. At best it just implies one. What it is is a player failing to perform his or her role in the game and that slack is often...
    66 replies | 1976 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 08:53 PM
    Parkour to climb up something is just climbing, which isn't doesn't call for an ability check anyway (except in certain circumstances).
    47 replies | 1287 view(s)
    1 XP
  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 06:28 PM
    The only way a group should face a demon lord alone and at full strength is a DM fail.
    31 replies | 1286 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 05:43 PM
    Recalling obscure sports trivia.
    66 replies | 1976 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 05:36 PM
    I don't agree on this point. Initially, the DM need only describe the environment to include the basic scope of options that present themselves. Each player gets the same description. From there, it's on the players to put their characters in the position to explore further and the resolution of those specific player-declared tasks is when the adjudication process and game mechanics (if...
    66 replies | 1976 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 05:28 PM
    Chiefly this comes up in my games for grappling as you say, but also a fair bit when the PCs jump into difficult terrain (see PHB, page 182). The only other time I really see it is if I include a terrain feature that requires balancing, such as a narrow beam or the like between two raised areas. Basically, include the appropriate terrain in your challenges and it will come up more often.
    47 replies | 1287 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 04:26 PM
    In general, if I want to play up some form of discrimination as part of the social interaction challenge, it's generally going to be against adventurers in general rather than adventurers of a particular race. For example, an NPC might have a flaw like "I can't hide my disdain for adventurers after that one group wrecked my tavern!" Then that's a personal characteristic the PCs can suss out and...
    75 replies | 2357 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:48 AM
    RealmWorks is the way to go. Too tired to go into detail, check out the website and ask questions in the Lone Wolf Development forums. Or post any questions here and I'll try to answer them. Happy to take screenshots and table photos. Basically, I have same set up. I have display enclosed in a case created by Collabrewate. I connect my laptop to it by HDMI cable. Realmworks is a great...
    11 replies | 442 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:32 AM
    I too came back to D&D after decades away. Stopped in the late 80s. Never played 2e, 3e, or 4e. Came back with 5e and am loving it. I found that playing in some Adventures League games at your friendly local gaming store, if you have one near you, is a great way to ease into the rules and keep your rekindled passion blazing.
    25 replies | 787 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:27 AM
    This. There are some characters, such as those that are exceptionally wise, witty, threatening, evil, good, in ways that I could never convey convincingly. Trying to improv such character's talk would destroy immersion. But that doesn't mean that I have to settle with "I threaten him." You can describe the threat without having to act it out.
    53 replies | 1957 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 02:28 AM
    Sharpshooter is good with nets in that it allows you to ignore penalties for long range. But that's about it. My beastmaster ranger Red Creek Rufus does this to throw nets at a distance then has his boar companion Belvedere charge and knock prone.
    185 replies | 3159 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 08:26 PM
    I do not use a declaration phase. D&D 5e's "How to Play" loop is very simple and easy to follow: The DM describes the environment. The player describes what he or she wants to do. The DM narrates the result of the character's actions. The loop works the same in and out of combat. I can't imagine how a declaration phase in the style of previous editions would improve that or even what sort of play...
    48 replies | 1445 view(s)
    2 XP
  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 08:22 PM
    Although you have to work with DM. A regular thing like a closed window with shade will block vision
    1046 replies | 1352808 view(s)
    0 XP
  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 08:06 PM
    MooreVol has it right. With a huge range you should cast it before the session and tell DM about it and then recover it normally. You should always know everything within a large area, 30í per round for an hour is a big space. Going to the dungeon you can usually get in a few encounters and spend a spell then send in Arcane Eye. Knowing encounters before they happen is a game changer. ...
    1046 replies | 1352808 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 04:42 PM
    Whenever possible, hold a choke point with the rest of the party behind you. Dungeons are loaded with them.
    7 replies | 309 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 04:32 PM
    Yes, and we'll see you back here promptly with those aforementioned "specific issues" after running the game like it's some other game. Always happy to help with that!
    25 replies | 787 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 04:31 PM
    The easy way to remember the distinction in my view is: Perception = detect Investigation = deduce (based on clues you have) "Knowledge Skills" = recall Since action declaration is the players' role in the game, to see more Intelligence checks, the players describe their characters as attempting to deduce something from existing clues (e.g. how the trap works based on what they've found...
    66 replies | 1976 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 05:22 AM
    That alone should put make that as strong as Perception in my view. Surprise sucks, of course, but it's just as much a surprise, for example, to hit a creature and find out it's immune to the spell you just hit it with. Trying to recall lore before doing anything else is usually a no-cost or low-cost option that can make a really big difference.
    66 replies | 1976 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 11:52 PM
    I think Intelligence is fine as is. Here's what typically results in an Intelligence check in my games, when the approach to a goal described by the player has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure: Attempting to recall useful lore about something Make deductions based on clues such as when trying to figure out a trap before disarming it or trying to figure out a...
    66 replies | 1976 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 09:00 PM
    Welcome to D&D 5e! Here are some resources you may find useful as you prepare to DM your first game: How to Adjudicate Actions in D&D 5e The Case for Inspiration I also strongly recommend that you forget everything you know about running and playing AD&D 2e when running and playing D&D 5e. Much has changed both in terms of mechanics and in the approaches that best fit the game in its...
    25 replies | 787 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 07:40 PM
    In my games, the races that will be universally discriminated against aren't an option for player characters. Even if I accept your definition of "min-max race selection," what does it matter? People choose their character races or any other game options for lots of reasons that are really none of my business.
    75 replies | 2357 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 04:35 AM
    What is "with all that means?" A DM's setting might not include particular forms of discrimination by default, perhaps because some players might not respond well to that sort of interaction as part of the play experience. Further, a player might not have based the choice of race on "mix-maxing." A player might just like the drow aesthetic, for example, but might not want to be hassled about his...
    75 replies | 2357 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 04:14 AM
    If you're a player wanting to be subject to this kind of social interaction challenge, you can just tell the DM that's what you want (in so many words). I choose not to assume that's the case by default.
    75 replies | 2357 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 04:11 AM
    Sorry, man - that's frustrating. Have some XP. :)
    7 replies | 310 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:51 PM
    Certain campaigns have some race restrictions, depending on the theme/concept. If a race is permitted, then NPCs as a whole will tend to be accepting of them. If part of the challenge I'm trying to present is discrimination that needs overcoming or avoiding, it will usually be applied to the whole party e.g. a city of monsters not caring for non-monsters.
    75 replies | 2357 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:34 PM
    1. I just do the one. "A replacement" in context suggests just one to me and it feels fair. 2. Yes. I only call for ability checks and leave it to the players to apply whichever skill proficiency they think is appropriate, according to how they described their approach to the goal.
    7 replies | 310 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 07:32 AM
    Pretty much every dragon has darkvision. Treat it as a new draconic ancestry or variant. I don't think that darkvision is game breaking at all, unless light-resource management is a big part of your campaign and you are limiting races to those without darkvision, which obviously isn't the case. You wouldn't have missed it if that were the case. Just let him keep it and move on. Perhaps make...
    26 replies | 662 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 03:57 AM
    As DM, I try not to set up scenarios like this unless it affects everyone in the party.
    75 replies | 2357 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 11:13 PM
    I'd correct the error after explaining it to the player. If it hasn't been a big deal in your games, then not having it any longer shouldn't be a big deal either. But that's also because darkvision is a significant benefit in my games as I play with light and darkness a lot, in part, because I use Roll20 dynamic lighting. You as a player see what your character can see. So darkvision is a big...
    26 replies | 662 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 10:56 PM
    I've tried watching and it doesn't meet my requirements for games or gaming podcasts. Those requirements being: It must be funny and/or very productive. Preferably both which is the goal I set for my games. Unfortunately, I don't find it funny and they don't get enough interesting content in over the course of a session to keep me engaged.
    92 replies | 3500 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 08:47 AM
    They could always hire someone to create a ruleset for them. But why give out on the expansive community, network, and system that is D&D? How easy will their fans be able to find games at their FLGS? Instead of expending resources designing, playtesting, and creating a community for their own game, I think they would be better off working with WotC to release their own adventure path. Yes,...
    102 replies | 3397 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 12:27 AM
    My assertion is that arguments for a ruling in the game based on realism are not very good ones. They might work at your table with your players, if you have to justify a ruling (which you shouldn't have to do if you're being consistent). It will rarely if ever work in forum discussions.
    43 replies | 1267 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 11:31 PM
    "Realism" is probably the weakest of arguments when advocating for or arguing against a particular ruling in D&D in my view. Because it's a game based on make-believe sword and sorcery, "consistency" is a much stronger argument and, to that extent, that is where the rules help the most, since we can refer to them in many circumstances, and why the DM is well-advised to be as fair and consistent...
    43 replies | 1267 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 03:32 PM
    With the discussion of 2e, I feel very much obligated to tell you something I learned the hard way years ago: Forget what you know about other game systems when trying to learn a new one. Try to read the rules with fresh eyes without making assumptions. Examine everything you do and ask: "Am I doing this because it is supported by the game I'm playing right now or is it because I picked up...
    61 replies | 2058 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 02:49 PM
    Pointing out the hidden creature's might be useful, such as for targeting an AOE spell. As far as imparting advantage on someone else's Search action, it depends on the circumstances, but that sounds like a Help action to me (keyword being "action").
    28 replies | 826 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 02:38 PM
    Technically, the creature can only communicate on its turn (PHB, p. 190), so it cannot point out the hidden PC. But I've honestly never seen that enforced in practice. That said, even if the hidden PC is pointed out, he or she is still hidden as long as the requirements for hidden are met - not clearly seen and not heard. The rules are unclear here. Being hidden only requires not being...
    28 replies | 826 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 09:16 AM
    Minnesotans, Giant Lumberjacks, Giant Blue Oxen. Icicle Piercer Ice Mite Swarm Giant Moose (though even a normal moose is pretty darn formidable) Two mimics in the form of snow shoes Wendigo (I believe this was stated up in a thread on this site Thunderbird (stat a roc with natural spell casting allowing it to cast lightning, thunderwave, etc.) Stone golums, stone giants, galeb dur, and...
    16 replies | 580 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 08:30 AM
    As I understand it no. There are some rules to help move borderline characters to the next tier. I think using downtime. A DM did that for me once, but it was a while ago and I don't remember the rules. Besides, there have been some pretty big updates to the AL rules since then. But are your player planning on following AL rules for their characters so that they can use them in other AL games?...
    12 replies | 460 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 08:12 AM
    Yes! I'm so excited with my new toy that I forgot to recommend this. One of the best things I've ever did is create measure sticks for gridless play, using the instructions from DMs Craft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTT1ZU5pDBg Then I bought some polyester felt gaming mats that are gridless. I got fairly generic and reusable terrain patterns. The ones I bought are from Ceri design,...
    10 replies | 341 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 07:58 AM
    One reason I went with the Collabrewate case is that is it pretty portable. It has handle and can be carried from room to room or from home to game store/friends house pretty easily, especially if you go with a smaller screen size. It is not fully encased on the bottom, so you still have to take care, but I've seen people take screens in no case at all, lay them down and put a clear plastic cover...
    10 replies | 341 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 02:30 AM
    Stick the words "frost" or "ice" in front of monsters in the Monster Manual, give them resistance or immunity to cold sometimes, and call it good.
    16 replies | 580 view(s)
    9 XP
  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th March, 2019, 05:58 PM
    Arcane eye should be cast every day. Others also, itís very much a planned class where you should be casting stuff before session even starts.
    1046 replies | 1352808 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th March, 2019, 05:12 AM
    15,555,555 USD
    80 replies | 3320 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 12th March, 2019, 05:03 AM
    I second this recommendation. After years of Chessex, dungeon tiles, home made terrain, and battlemaps printed on large-format printers and plotters, I decided I wanted to spend more of my time on prepping the story and save some money. I had Collabrewate build a case for flat-screen I bought (e.g. https://www.collabrewate.com/blog/2018/3/6/portable-tv-case-tabletop-games). I use RealmWorks...
    10 replies | 341 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 08:07 AM
    Running the recently kickstarted 5e version of Rappan Athuk, a massive mega-dungeon. That's the only TTRPG campaign gaming I can fit in these days. Other gaming are mainly board and card games and the occasional pick-up one-shot TTRPG.
    50 replies | 1541 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 07:44 AM
    If it is a hex crawl and survival-themed game where hunting can easily become part of the encounters, I use a mix of encounter tables, skill checks, and perhaps combat. The encounter table will tell me what is in the hex. But instead of rolling for a random encounter, I'm using it to tell me what creatures are likely to be encountered. In a survival based game, I may have a separate flora and...
    12 replies | 385 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019, 11:12 PM
    Thanks for the kind words! I like that there are two ways into the dungeon. This offers a meaningful choice (assuming in your scenario they can choose to take the goblin entrance if they want). Then I'd say you'd want a couple different ways to get to the prize once inside the dungeon, enough to where they might leave an area unexplored and always wonder what was there. (This increase the...
    13 replies | 515 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019, 10:00 PM
    I design and run a lot of one-shots. I love them, especially watching multiple groups play through them so I can compare. One thing I've learned is that a plot-based adventure (what the DMG calls "event-based) is not as good in one-shots as an adventure location, a nonlinear dynamic place where there's at least two groups that are sometimes at odds for some reason. Come up with a theme and...
    13 replies | 515 view(s)
    7 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019, 07:34 PM
    There is nothing in the rules about Large creatures getting advantage on Strength checks for grappling or shoving. The enlarge/reduce spell specifically grants advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws to the enlarged target of the spell, but that's a property of the spell, not of Large creatures in general.
    43 replies | 1267 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th March, 2019, 08:00 PM
    I rewrote the first encounter with the goblins in LMoP to where the PCs are on the hook for any supplies stolen from the wagon and then had the goblins do nothing but try to steal from the wagon and get away. Taking damage off the table for them except when cornered made for a much more dynamic encounter without the possibility of death but still with compelling stakes. Before I ran LMoP I had...
    61 replies | 2058 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 10:45 PM
    I'll add that when you read about Inspiration in the rules, consider my way of handling that mechanic which is a lot less overhead on the DM and a lot of fun for the players: The Case for Inspiration.
    61 replies | 2058 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 08:21 PM
    Lost Mines of Phandelver and the Basic Rules PDF are a good start. LMoP is about the only published D&D 5e adventure so far that I actually like. I recommend reading my tutorial on Adjudicating Actions in D&D 5e. I would also recommend Barrow of the Evensong if you're looking for a pretty fast adventure for 3rd level PCs. (You can safely skip 1st and 2nd levels and start at 3rd level.) I ran...
    61 replies | 2058 view(s)
    3 XP
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About MNblockhead

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About MNblockhead
Introduction:
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.
Location:
Twin Cities, MN, USA
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Male
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Over 40
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

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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My Game Details
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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Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 05:16 AM - CleverNickName mentioned MNblockhead in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    ...3D-printed character mini (a $25 value), like this one! 105294 I got this digital gift certificate for Christmas, but I already have like a dozen HeroForge minis (I may have a problem). I thought I'd offer it up to a worthy cause. Sound good? OF COURSE it sounds good! Let's see those predictions! ----- PREDICTION ROSTER Last Day to Enter! Stalker0: $100,000,000 Dausuul: $50,000,000 gyor: $30,000,000 Hussar: $25,000,000 aco175: $23,500,000 CubicsRube: $21,000,000 CleverNickName: $20,612,408.57 -----------Highest-Funded Kickstarter in History (Pebble Time smartwatch) $20,338,986----------- Parmandr: $20,000,000 EnochSeven: $16,213,102 TallIan: $15,876,374 MNblockhead: $15,555,555 77IM: $14,980,000.00 jgsugden: $14,520,000 OB1: $14,000,042 The Big BZ: $14,000,000 dregntael: $13,935,109 chrisrtld: $13,635,019 pogre: $13,500,000 Aebir-Toril: $13,224,376.89 Satyrn: $13,000,000 Yardiff: $12,456,145 ------------Highest-Funded Game Project on Kickstarter (Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5) $12,393,139-------- Radaceus: $12,345,678.91 FarBeyondC: $12,345,678.90 Morrus: $12,000,000 Mistwell: $11,800,000 ...

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

  • 07:39 PM - Sword of Spirit mentioned MNblockhead in post Best Campaign Management Product/Site?
    My experiences with RealmWorks are similar to MNblockheadís. I initially was looking for something simpler, but when I gave it a try I was hooked. The auto-linking is huge. There are also a lot of options for how to additionally connect information, and one of the biggest initial difficulties can be recognizing that you donít have to use them all just because you can, and should just use the ones that work best for you. So I donít really need to worry about using the info tag about how each deity (or NPC, or organization, etc) feels about each other, as well as how they publicly act like they feel about them, but using the feature to indicate where different people live is something I do extensively. And I donít use the storyline organizational feature, because my campaign is more exploration-based, but I do use map pins with links that can take me to other maps and topics to allow me explore my world(s) starting from whichever level I want. But you can always start using features you werenít, they arenít something you are locked into and hav...

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019

  • 07:15 PM - OB1 mentioned MNblockhead in post My return to TTRPG w/ 5e, reflections after 5 years
    MNblockhead I fall into a very similar experience as you. I played primarily from 88-96 (mix of 1e and 2e) along with a host of other RPGs (Robotech, Star Wars, Rifts, TMNT, Heroes) and tried out 3e for about six months in 2004 when a workmate invited me into his game, but didnít vibe on it and didnít really have the time. In 2011 or so I began listening to the 4e Critical Hit podcast and that gave me my D&D fix for a while. When the playtest came out, I downloaded it just to read and found it reminded me of the feel of 2e. Started a game with my wife and a couple friends that is still going today (Tier IV near the end). Have bought every official release since and brought a dozen or so new players (including my nieces and nephews) into the game. We put the main campaign on pause to run APs or other home brews from time to time, and there is so much stuff I canít ever imagine needing another system or edition. Not to thread jack, but as for your comments about social media, Iím guessing you ar...

Sunday, 20th January, 2019

  • 11:18 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned MNblockhead in post Blow Darts
    So, your suggestions have given me a couple ideas. How about this: With proficiency in poisoner's kit, a blow gun does 1pnt(as listed in PHB) of POISON damage. You need a long rest to re-apply/make the poison. In lieu of poison damage, if you hit, you may elect to have your opponent make a con save = to 8+proficiency in Poisoner's kit+INT. If they fail, they are poisoned for a number of rounds equal to the amount of damage you replace. So, to start, they'd be poisoned for 1rnd. If you take more time and make a more toxic poison that does, say, 1d3 damage, they are poisoned for 1d3 rounds. My idea is to just give the Stout halflings proficiency in poisoner's kit. As far as poisoning yourself, I think that if you are proficient in the kit, you are very unlikely to hurt yourself. I'd only make someone who has no proficiency make a check to poison themselves. MNblockhead In a fantasy game, having poison do a bit of damage could be partially from the dart or creating a localized bit of minor damage. having a very short term 'poisoned' condition could be from hives or itching or intense pain or whatever might distract or cause disadvantage.

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 05:11 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned MNblockhead in post Matt Colvilleís Strongholds and Followers
    MNblockhead thanks for the reply, very informative. Sadly, it is definitely not just his fast spoken delivery. Iím 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 Iím at the DMV in Zootopia. People talk soooooooo slooooooowwww. He just annoys me. But, I donít think itís his diction, or vocabulary, or anything else that translates directly to print. I think itís just him. I watched his video on the Star Wars sequel movies vs the prequels, and I just couldnít 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 donít 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 oí 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 youíre choosing to use the desktop version of the site with your smartphone instead of the mobile site intended for smartphones, youíre creating your own problem and shouldnít 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



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Thursday, 21st March, 2019

  • 12:26 PM - dnd4vr quoted MNblockhead in post Sassy, smart mouth.
    He doesn't understand the purpose of DCI numbers in Adventurer's League organized play when there is no effective means of truly policing against cheating. His original post was a hyperbolic, scattered, rant that was hard to follow and which resulted in some posts making fun of it. Thanks for the update. Yeah, I have no interest in AL so wasn't following that.

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019

  • 08:35 AM - Kobold Avenger quoted MNblockhead in post Will 5e be the last edition to emphasize print products?
    I don't think it is a binary decision. Print and digital will continue to exist side by side for a long time to come. Print not emphasized could mean the 3 core books only in print on a regular basis, and everything else only available in print for a limited time with a bunch of collector incentives.
  • 05:56 AM - Hussar quoted MNblockhead in post Sneak Peek At Ghosts of Saltmarsh Maps
    Huh. I'd hope that they would have all the wall tracing done so that dynamic lighting and auto-reveal, etc., would be ready to use. I would also hope that all the encounter stats and tokens would be included. Well, Fantasy Grounds doesn't have any of those features, so, it wouldn't appear there. However, the maps are all preset, with tokens appearing where they should and it is entirely possible to run Fantasy Grounds modules pretty much straight out of the box without any prep. That is worth quite a bit.

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 09:43 AM - Tom B1 quoted MNblockhead in post WotC Considering NPC Stat Format Change
    As another older gamer with aging eyes, I have to say that I find serif fonts easier to read, though non-serif looks clean, more modern, and generally more "stylish." I've read a number of times over the years that serif fonts are easier to read than non-serif fonts, but after falling into the rabbit hold of actually research on this, learned that the research isn't conclusive. I would feel sheepish about my how nerdy it is to post about font serifs in a discussion about TTRPG stat blocks in the wee hours of the morning, but then some people are apparently set off by gender terms. *Sigh* Every nerdy thing I do is out-nerded. On the font front, because we are aging and designers and authors need to consider their audience, the serif and non serif fonts have different characteristics; For small fonts (which for me now includes about 10 or 11 pt fonts, 12 pt on some fonts), the non-serif helps avoid the letters blurring together so they are easier to distinguish. On larger font sizes (for mos...

Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 04:41 PM - Parmandur quoted MNblockhead in post Goodman Games' Next Reincarnation Is Expedition To The Barrier Peaks
    I never bought anything from Goodman Games until their Keep in the Borderlands book. Not only have I now bought two expensive TTRPG books from them because of this series, but it also introduced the company to me and created a lot of Goodwill. I skipped their Lankmar kickstarted because it wasn't 5e, but my experiences with the quality of this series made me take the time to look into DCC and to sign up for a Lankhmar game at a recent convention and I'm pretty sure I'll be buying their Lankhmar setting when it is released. I also discovered that they were selling the old Grimtooth Traps books (I don't believe they were the original publishers, but don't remember) and bought the PDF versions. I have not bought any of their 5th edition fantasy adventure modules, but they are now on my RADAR. Not sure if I'm at all representative of their new customers, but if I am, not only did the book sell very well itself, it lead to purchases of their other material and greatly increased their brand recogni...
  • 03:36 PM - lowkey13 quoted MNblockhead in post Goodman Games' Next Reincarnation Is Expedition To The Barrier Peaks
    I never bought anything from Goodman Games until their Keep in the Borderlands book. Not only have I now bought two expensive TTRPG books from them because of this series, but it also introduced the company to me and created a lot of Goodwill. I skipped their Lankmar kickstarted because it wasn't 5e, but my experiences with the quality of this series made me take the time to look into DCC and to sign up for a Lankhmar game at a recent convention and I'm pretty sure I'll be buying their Lankhmar setting when it is released. I also discovered that they were selling the old Grimtooth Traps books (I don't believe they were the original publishers, but don't remember) and bought the PDF versions. I have not bought any of their 5th edition fantasy adventure modules, but they are now on my RADAR. Not sure if I'm at all representative of their new customers, but if I am, not only did the book sell very well itself, it lead to purchases of their other material and greatly increased their brand recogni...
  • 08:38 AM - TestByLogic&Science quoted MNblockhead in post WotC Considering NPC Stat Format Change
    My DEFENCE bit is sufficient explanation why commenting on the language choice evidenced in the new NPC description example given in the original post should be allowed for, well, anyone. There's a political aspect to content in said post (perhaps unintended by the poster, per se.) Unfortunately my post was longer than I like. I felt I needed to set out a substantial but honest defence & explanation just to get a chance to be fairly heard, without being deleted without consideration or shot down by hostile / kneejerk-reacting folks projecting my political position & views (actually Left but religiously affected) & ethics / morals (robust) incorrectly. Deflection of flak etc. So, do you have any thoughts on how NPC stats should be presented in 5e adventures? I signposted a response to the long- vs. shortform aspect at the end.

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 01:54 PM - robus quoted MNblockhead in post Could Critical Role launch their own RPG?
    They could always hire someone to create a ruleset for them. But why give out on the expansive community, network, and system that is D&D? How easy will their fans be able to find games at their FLGS? Instead of expending resources designing, playtesting, and creating a community for their own game, I think they would be better off working with WotC to release their own adventure path. Yes, they are successful, but let's not forget the value of the D&D brand and the fact that D&D is backed by Hasbro. If their animation does well and gets picked up for further seasons by Netflix, Amazon, or a TV network, they could be looking at releasing action figures and other licensed toys and collectibles in the next couple of years. I don't see how it helps them to risk being perceived as a competitor to D&D and Hasbro. I hadnít even thought of the action figure market. Those things would sell like hot cakes!

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 09:29 AM - pukunui quoted MNblockhead in post Running a DDAL season as a home campaign
    But are your player planning on following AL rules for their characters so that they can use them in other AL games? For example, are you enforcing PHB+1. Are you not allowing them to keep found treasure? If not, then the characters are unlikely to be AL legal. But if this is just for your home game, who cares?No, the AL rules and restrictions don't appeal to me. I just want to run AL adventures for my home group. Then, just level up the characters to meet the suggested levels for that adventure.The problem is that the optimal levels don't go in an even spread. Season 2 has one adventure with an optimal level of 1, five adventures with an optimal level of 2, four adventures with an optimal level of 3, three adventures with an optimal level of 6, and then three adventures with an optimal level of 8. Season 3, meanwhile, has two adventures with an optimal level of 1, five adventures with an optimal level of 3, seven adventures with an optimal level of 8, one adventure with an optimal lev...
  • 03:36 AM - Demetrios1453 quoted MNblockhead in post Sneak Peek At Ghosts of Saltmarsh Maps
    I love/hate the Dyson maps. I love them as a DM reference when they are not being shown to players. Very easy to read and run the adventure in. But if you want to use them as a battlemap, they are disappointing. Luckily, within weeks of the book being released, I expect that there will be artists releasing full-color digital battlemap versions. I agree with you on this. I do love them while running tabletop adventures for their simplicity and ease of use. But, yes, they certainly aren't pretty, which is a drawback at other times, and which lessens their value for those who run online games...

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 05:30 AM - ClaytonCross quoted MNblockhead in post Does anyone know where I can get 1.5 inch squre grid Fantacy battle maps?
    I second this recommendation. After years of Chessex, dungeon tiles, home made terrain, and battlemaps printed on large-format printers and plotters, I decided I wanted to spend more of my time on prepping the story and save some money. I had Collabrewate build a case for flat-screen I bought (e.g. https://www.collabrewate.com/blog/2018/3/6/portable-tv-case-tabletop-games). I use RealmWorks for running games in person. I know that Fantasy Grounds, Map Tools, and other software do a better job quickly scaling maps, but I prefer how RealmWorks organizes content and like its content and map reveal features. I can resize the maps I display to any scale I want on the fly with a simple slider control. But I could also just use any free image viewer an scale as needed. If the image had grid lines, you don't need it to be exactly to 1":5' scale. That's awesome and if I had a clear fiber class cover with a 1.5 inch grid on it I could just adjust until they match or use and image without a grid...

Friday, 8th March, 2019

  • 08:52 PM - jasper quoted MNblockhead in post New to DM'ing
    Okay, okay, gheesh, I didn't know this was a class! ;-) That why they are called PC CLASSES, you blockhead. Now stay begin after the game and beat the erasers. :)

Saturday, 2nd March, 2019


Friday, 1st March, 2019

  • 01:48 PM - Zhaleskra quoted MNblockhead in post "I Quit" Public Play - Am I just an impatient jerk? (LONG)
    When it comes to noise, I find conventions as bad--if not worse--than FLGS. Regarding gatekeeping, is their more gatekeeping at conventions? In some ways, gatekeeping is difficult. A DM running a public game at a game store usually has more leeway for booting players than at conventions where the players are paying money for tickets to the game, which gives some players an abusive sense of entitlement. When the convention gives you allows you to set the experience you want the players to have, and rate the complexity of the rules: In general, the higher both are set, the less likely you are to get uninvested players. As for jerks, that's what security is for, if they continue after you've calmly explained how their behavior is lessening the game for others and "please, stop".
  • 01:36 PM - Mustrum_Ridcully quoted MNblockhead in post Souls Versus Cryogenics
    In a pair of twins, only one has soul. It is known. And I know exactly for which one of my sisters this applies. :p I actually used that idea in an Arcana Evolved/Diamond Throne campaign. There was a village were allegedly every generation or so, the villagers would kill a child. The Diamond Throne ordered one of its Commissars (an adventure with the license to conduct investigations n behalf of the Throne, securing support from local guardmens) to investigate the matter and put a stop to it. Turned out that the reason the village did that was because every generation, a child would be born without a soul. In my mythology, a being without a soul has no moral compass, and can't tell right from wrong. Many forms of undead and constructs explicitely have no soul, making it easier for their creators to control them and do their bidding. Evil souls can tell right from wrong, they just don't care. Anyway, this would allow another entity to effectively take control of her. An Oathsworn near th...
  • 07:49 AM - S'mon quoted MNblockhead in post "I Quit" Public Play - Am I just an impatient jerk? (LONG)
    That's awesome. I assume that you all are buying drinks and food. Having a regular, good-sized group spending money on drinks and food seems like a big plus to a pub. Oh yeah - we spend as much as possible; it's very reasonably priced so that's a lot of food and drink (one player bought multiple toasties!). The funny thing is my flat is a couple minutes walk away and (unusual for London) has a big living room perfect for hosting games, but I always struggle to get people to come play there, especially on a week night. I assumed this was because of location but I've had no trouble getting players to come play in the pub nearby so I suspect now it's a Londoner attitude thing. Going to a pub is just more 'normal' than going into domestic premises! :D

Thursday, 28th February, 2019

  • 07:42 PM - Tony Vargas quoted MNblockhead in post Why does the stigma of the "jerk GM" still persist in our hobby?
    That's a strange ask. Multi-quoting has been a common style in bulletin boards, e-mail, and forums since at least the 80s. I appreciate it when folks take the time to do this as it keeps responses in context. I figured that more people don't do it because it takes a bit more work. It's only the second time someone I've seen someone around here get indignant over the use of quote tags. Maybe it's my gnarled UseNet roots, but I don't see either the problem anyone could legitimately have with it (the opposite, quoting a whole post for a brief reply was annoying back in the day, because dial-up modem bandwidth, but I understand it should no longer be an issue worth complaining about). ::shrug:: I didn't mull over my reply long. My initial impulse was to ignore the complaint, and reply only to the interesting bits. In retrospect I shouldn't've mulled it over, at all, and just gone with that. I don't have the greymatta resources to keep track of every posters' personal list of peeve...
  • 06:43 AM - Immortal Sun quoted MNblockhead in post Why does the stigma of the "jerk GM" still persist in our hobby?
    That's a strange ask. Multi-quoting has been a common style in bulletin boards, e-mail, and forums since at least the 80s. I appreciate it when folks take the time to do this as it keeps responses in context. I figured that more people don't do it because it takes a bit more work. It wasn't multiquoting. He literally edited what I said and cut out words and sentences while keeping it as a single quote block. He even multi-quoted another poster in the same post. I have no patience for people who attempt to misconstrue what I say.

Wednesday, 27th February, 2019

  • 05:20 PM - PrometheanVigil quoted MNblockhead in post "I Quit" Public Play - Am I just an impatient jerk? (LONG)
    Overall, I've been very lucky with the DMs and the players. My issues are more with how organized play is organized. Because I see a need, I'm thinking of running my own one shots. I would organize via meet up and have some geared for new players and some for only experienced players. Basically, I'm thinking 6-hour adventures for four players. It would be RAW PHB and DMG and would NOT use organized play rules. Players would have to select from a pregen. I'm not saying that AL is a bad experience. If you can play regularly and find a good group, it can be a lot of fun. But for more casual and intermittent players, I don't think it provides the best experience. I strongly suggest a different path: Found a club. Found a club. Accomodate larger tables: 7-11 players is a nice size for club games (also an old standby but pricey destination for late-night gaming grub!). All gamebooks and supplements valid unless houseruled out. Get a doc together going over houserules, chargen and club inf...

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

  • 04:30 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted MNblockhead in post Replacing dead characters with similar ones
    Knew immediately which scene it would be...so good! In a game with nigh-infinite character ideas and combinations, it seems a shame to just make the same character over and over again. That being said, I can think of worse player sins than just making the same character every time. Unless itís a dwarf with a Scottish accent. Again and again and again. Can't help myself, obligatory The Gamers: Dorkness Rising reference: https://youtu.be/tOUksDJCijw?t=3597


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