View Profile: MNblockhead - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:43 PM
    I liked enough to watch the series. But there are too many instances of the sort of dumb decision making and unrealistic reactions that run the immersion for me. If there is a second season, I do have hopes that it will be better. I think it would improve if it is more focused on just the family, lost "in space." Season 1 was basically a less well-written version Terra Nova. I want it to be...
    9 replies | 185 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:32 PM
    I often do not use a grid and even when I do I have spell effect templates. If you can position it in such a way that it works this way--hey good on you! Why no reward this kind of thinking? I often forgo templates and "wing it". I like to say yes to interesting ideas. At the same time, I will sometimes make judgments based on the terrain, how close the enemy is to the other characters,...
    51 replies | 1459 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:25 PM
    Sure. But being a DM means being willing to never use 70-80% of what you've prepared. Preparing things in broad strokes and working on improving your improv skills will go a long way toward helping you get past post-session remorse. Still, for some of us it is hard. I have trouble with improv and know even in the sense of live acting improv, I would go nuts kicking myself over missed...
    7 replies | 160 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:20 PM
    I really like Web DM's discussion about this and recommend watching/listening to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-nO8vIJP-E In my last campaign, a character multi-classed into a warlock. The patron was an arch fey. She expected that certain tasks and quests be completed for her. Often these had little effect on the party. In other instances, they would be the impetus for the parties...
    11 replies | 263 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:48 PM
    I leave a lot of this to the player. If I had a reason to want to involve the patron as some kind of NPC in the game (essentially), I'd seek to get on the same page with the player on that score before implementation. That might include talking about what I had in mind and making sure the player didn't feel like he or she had obligations or consequences that players with other characters don't...
    11 replies | 263 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:05 PM
    My experience with D&D is that what's good in one situation isn't so great in another and vice versa. So I don't think it's all that great to unilaterally say this or that is terrible. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. If you'd prefer to just say it sucks in all situations and is a trap choice, that's your right I suppose. I'd rather say when it's good and when it's not as good.
    106 replies | 3868 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:16 PM
    You make a lot of assumptions here about what's going on in that fight. Maybe the party isn't managing fine and, for some reason, PWK is the best choice right now even if it isn't always so. Maybe the other 9th-level spells you have prepared aren't a good fit in this moment. Maybe you're in the last fight of the day and you don't care if you blow the slot on PWK. Maybe you just want to say you...
    106 replies | 3868 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:46 PM
    Yeah, or you might say that what a character would do is whatever the "player" says it will do since it's the player who determines how a character thinks or acts or what it says. There is therefore no separation between "What would my character do?" and "What will I choose to do?" because they are the same.
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:40 PM
    I often find that the reasons they are adamantly against it are lacking or contradictory. But I suppose there's no accounting for taste. In my Tables Rules document, I include the following: "'Metagaming,' defined as using player skill or knowledge that a character might not necessarily have, is fine as long as it's fun for everyone and helps contribute to an exciting, memorable story....
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:35 PM
    I think this is terrible advice. The approach to the goal suggests setting up in-game situations to solve what is ultimately a problem that occurs outside the game. Better in my view to tell the players why it is unnecessarily risky or a waste of time to act on what could be erroneous assumptions and what they can do to verify those assumptions. I have no issue with setting up challenges that...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:34 AM
    I don't see why that's necessarily "bad metagaming." It's none of my business, as a player or a DM, why a player makes a particular decision for his or her character. It is my business that we all have fun and help create an exciting, memorable story together since that is the shared goal of this game. To that end, I think it's possible to use knowledge of monster stats to determine a PC's combat...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:16 AM
    In D&D 5e, there is a section in the DMG (page 235) that discusses "Metagame Thinking." Taken as a whole, it's an injunction to remind players not to make uninformed decisions that lead to a bad outcome. The examples it cites are players thinking that "the DM wouldn't throw such powerful a monster at the characters" (presumably leading to their unexpected demise when the players decide to fight...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:04 AM
    I think it would be a decent spell to use on a creature with magic resistance and/or legendary resistance. Get that ancient dragon down to 100 hp or less then finish it off with a PWK at range, no save. Scrooge McDuck in its hoard. Tell tales about how you told a dragon to die and it did.
    106 replies | 3868 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 07:23 PM
    On the side matter of magic resistance or the like, I do make an effort to telegraph that in the lead-up to the challenge or in its setup. I think any special attacks, traits, resistances, immunities, etc. are important to telegraph in some way to avoid gotchas. When I'm reading a stat block, I'm thinking of ways to describe the environment such that I'm embedding clues as to these. It sets up...
    106 replies | 3868 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 03:55 PM
    Even at in-person games, I use Roll20 and reveal the hit point bar. It doesn't say how many hit points the monster has, but you can discern about how many it is after the first bit of damage is done based on how the bar changes. I think it is reasonable for a player to describe an action to be able to discern a creature's hit points in fictional terms and for the DM to resolve that with an...
    106 replies | 3868 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 02:11 AM
    Based on my reading of the spell on the Pathfinder SRD, it seems to me goats and/or puppies is a good solution. Therein lay the challenge of the spell - how to overcome it by way of your meaningful decisions. The "fun," some might say, is coming up with a way to not suffer from some spells. The issue was the DM didn't telegraph that such a spell was in play so you could come up with the goats and...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:44 AM
    What would you have done, given the options at your disposal, if you knew the mid-level boss you needed to defeat had the spell in question? Would always staying outside of the range of the circle of death work? How about buying some goats to take into battle with you? Or perhaps a sack of puppies? That's a good example of why bottlenecks can be a problem in adventure design. It sounds...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 12:53 AM
    Then I would say the issue wasn't the DM's choice of spell or not fudging or not building a "balanced encounter," but rather his or her failure to telegraph the spell's use as a possibility in the challenge. If the players know what's coming and they choose to face it, then the DM isn't to blame when the very thing they were warned about comes to pass. It's when it's a "gotcha" that a player...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 12:20 AM
    Let's imagine a slightly different scenario where the players were aware that this mid-level boss had "Circle of Death" (whatever that is) and the players had a choice of whether and how to engage with said boss. Perhaps an NPC told them previously that this villain had slain several people before his very eyes with it. Does that change your calculation on whether it was the "worst ever game...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 11:44 PM
    I backed the Tome of Beasts on Kickstarter and got the 2D miniature back, so this was a no-brainer when it came out. I've run at least half of the adventures in this book and enjoyed them all. Note that you need the Tome of Beasts. This book doesn't contain the stat blocks for the monsters and the whole point of the book is to highlight monsters in the ToB, you'll not find them in the WotC...
    2 replies | 205 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 08:57 PM
    I don't worry about it in my personal, at-home games. That doesn't mean that I don't care about racist stereotypes or offending my players. Rather, it means that if I overstep a line, I know that I can be called out on it, address it, and move on. Offense given and taken among friends is a very different situation than in a more public setting with people who don't know each other well. I would...
    38 replies | 1137 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 08:20 PM
    And good advice to DMs should start with "know your players." One group of players I DM for who are veteran roleplayers. They like tactics and are also fine from a roleplaying standpoint with character death. I also DM games for my kids. My youngest isn't even comfortable with too much description of violence and would take character death very badly. My older son is "fine" but would not...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 07:46 PM
    Can you give an example of "the fate of an epic fight is decided by a single bad dice roll?" I suppose there's the possibility of a single villain being undone by a polymorph spell or the like, but that seems to me to be an issue with the challenge's design. But typically, even if the challenge goes awry for one side or the other in a way that was unexpected, there will have been a number of...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 06:50 PM
    As DM, I don't see it as my role to keep the party alive. That's the players' role. My responsibility is to give the players some clue as to how deadly a challenge might be, then the rest is on them. If I am not willing to see the entire party be killed, then I will not present challenges where life and death is on the line. I think one thing that is important to do is not to want any...
    111 replies | 2490 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 06:36 PM
    We use average HP for PCs and I generally use average HP for monsters. In some cases, I will max their HP if they are special in some way, perhaps a "leader" or the like. I imagine max HP for both PCs and monsters all the time would draw things out.
    40 replies | 1000 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 05:34 PM
    In a one-shot adventure, I will typically place specific magic items that can be useful in the context of that adventure. I will also tend to "front load" them so that PCs get them early enough where they can use them by adventure's end if they wish. In an ongoing campaign, I use random treasure tables and I ask the players to roll for it. Whatever they find, they find. In my experience, the...
    29 replies | 795 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 07:29 AM
    Dwarven Bard. Any chance to play a drunken, horn-blowing, vicious mocking, war-hammer wielding, rowdy, bawdy, song-sling'n, bilbo-baggins plates-breaking mountain dwarf is a good time for me.
    48 replies | 1152 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 05:17 PM
    They should codify that into their personal characteristics so that, when they behave this way, they get Inspiration!
    50 replies | 1537 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 04:42 PM
    Personality Trait: My answer to anything another adventurer suggests is "No." Ideal: Safety. Boldly confronting deadly perils isn't worth any amount of gold or glory. (Any) Bond: I want nothing more than to shop for mundane supplies and hang out in taverns all day every day. Flaw: I run screaming from adventure hooks.
    50 replies | 1537 view(s)
    3 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 04:06 AM
    For your requirements, Google Hangouts would be sufficient. But I would go for a full VTT. If you are using official APs and want most of the mechanics taken careful, Fantasy Grounds is probably the way to go, but Roll20 and d20pro also have official WoTC 5e content and may be easier to use. There are so many recorded live play sessions that show all these platforms, that I would watch a bit of...
    5 replies | 216 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 04:00 AM
    REQUEST CR: Enough to challenge 4-5 20th level characters (veteran, highly tactical players) Environment: Remote mountain fortress, rising above a vast jungle, won from a Rakshasa Monster type: Fiendish or something a revengeful, unforgiving, and unforgetting Raksha might set into motion. Please, not just bags of hit points. Something challenging and interesting, bonus points for...
    14 replies | 759 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 11:42 PM
    His concluding paragraph sums up my feelings well: Great to play RAW and great to homebrew.
    2 replies | 244 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 08:31 PM
    Am currently DMing CoS and love it. I integrated Forge of Fury and Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan from TFTYP into my homebrew. Own SKT and TOA but haven't had an opportunity to run them yet. Looking forward to TOA more than SKT. Will probably use parts of SKT in home brew (allong with the Against the Giants modules in TFTYP). I bought the basic set that has LMOP for my son and am waiting...
    31 replies | 1014 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 08:18 PM
    In support of several other posters, with my spin on their points: 1. While I try to customize things to be interesting and challenging to my players, that doesn't mean perfectly balancing encounters based on their choices. The opposite actually. I'll often try to design encounters that take advantage of blind spots. If a player puts all of a character's eggs in one basket, that's on the...
    27 replies | 989 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 07:51 PM
    11 years and 2,000 posts. The fact that I even tried to skim through this thread indicates a sickness. I am a world builder because I enjoy it. It is a hobby onto itself that integrates many interests: history, anthropology, geology, fantasy literature, folklore, religious studies, sociology, and more. I don't use a lot of what I build in my games and I make up a lot on the fly or a...
    1309 replies | 46086 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 03:48 PM
    A dungeon quest with the hook of "bring life back to the dungeon by slaying its evil denizens" might be fun for this player. Rogues have lots to do in dungeons, so he can definitely see some spotlight time. This is also a good environment to train people on rules, provided they have a good faith interest in learning. Make it a goal in your design to set up a locked door challenge, a trap...
    51 replies | 2737 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th April, 2018, 04:48 AM
    Well, thanks for sending me down the Google research rabbit hole. There was a thread on this in the Straight Dope message board, but nothing had any citations to reputable research. Still, I like the suggestion of one of the posters" crow feathers have a sheen to them (kind of like looking at a puddle of gasoline), and a crow's eye sees others, not as flat black, but as a rainbow. Apparently...
    10 replies | 282 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th April, 2018, 11:08 PM
    By the way I would say that Dungeon World, run as intended, is actually harder to run than D&D 5e. A Dungeon World GM is way more constrained than a DM and the rules must be followed to produce the intended play experience. It's a good game and I'm a fan (my name's in the book!), but it's not necessarily easier than D&D.
    51 replies | 2737 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th April, 2018, 11:05 PM
    I would suggest going back to basics: A small town. A dungeon. A party dedicated to exploring the dungeon, killings its denizens, and taking the treasure. No overarching plot to follow. No investigations. No quirky, cagey NPCs to interview. No town adventure of any kind or mundane errand-running. That is, essentially, a very small sandbox. It's easy to manage, easy for players to understand,...
    51 replies | 2737 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 02:34 PM
    I imagine how this is perceived depends on the number of rolls in the game. The method I propose limits Inspiration to one per personal characteristic, so 4 per game per PC. The goal here is to encourage the players to each portray four characteristics per session. The effect is that you get to see more aspects of each character during play though, in practice, it's fairly rare to see all...
    61 replies | 1854 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 07:28 PM
    He would not give such a weapon for a soul. Her having the ax must advance some plan of his. First, make the weapon intelligent--a reflection of Asmodeus will. Narratively, it would make it feel different than just another powerful weapon. Mechanically, it gives you a way to shape outcomes, which the only reason the Lord of Hell would give it to someone. Perhaps, he expects it to be stolen by...
    3 replies | 197 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 07:03 PM
    Yes, I remember when that case came out, it was very disappointing. I hope that as more of us who came of age in the late 70s and 80s continue to take the reigns in business and government, we will finally put this ignorant nonsense behind us. It already happening in entertainment.
    20 replies | 1078 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 06:58 PM
    I left gaming for over two decades and my love for 5e hasn't faded yet. But 5e and I are in an open relationship. I still like to play other systems. I occasionally rune one-shots from the new Paranoia system. I've also run one-shots of InSPECTREs and when my kids were younger we played a lot of Hero Kids and No Thank You, Evil! One nice thing about "dumbed down" kid games is that they really...
    51 replies | 2737 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 05:18 PM
    Roleplaying is just playing a role - determining how your character acts and thinks and what he or she says. If you choose to get into a fight, you're still roleplaying. You're also roleplaying when you talk to NPCs or when you try to sneak past some orcs. Just because someone "powergames" to get the best bonuses when fighting, talking to NPCs, or exploring doesn't mean he or she isn't...
    30 replies | 1240 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 05:48 AM
    What are the people like with whom you play? Are you mostly a DM or player?
    51 replies | 2737 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 05:37 AM
    I don't know what you're referring to. That hasn't been my experience.
    61 replies | 1854 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 02:42 AM
    Proficiencies do matter. Inspiration gives you advantage on an ability check, not an auto-success. As for the Inspiration rules themselves, the only failing I see is in expecting the DM to keep track of so many traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws, which is why (on top of other reasons) I advocate for the approach I mention in my original post.
    61 replies | 1854 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 02:10 AM
    Plus, it's super fun!
    61 replies | 1854 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 9th April, 2018, 02:06 AM
    When I'm converting an old module, I ignore the treasure except for anything plot-relevant. I prefer to do random treasure anyway and tend to put it behind an exploration challenge rather than have it be the reward for overcoming a combat challenge. Sometimes I will include specific treasure that isn't necessarily plot-relevant, but that can be of use in the adventure location so the payoff for...
    24 replies | 600 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th April, 2018, 08:32 PM
    I don't think it's necessary to get that granular with it. More food and less dead rats for pillows I think is an easy enough abstraction to explain why there are benefits to spending more gold on a better lifestyle.
    22 replies | 807 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th April, 2018, 03:21 AM
    I don't know what you mean by "RP choice" or "RP implications" or why you suppose that Lifestyle Expenses should favor whatever you think "RP" is instead of whatever you think "Not RP" is. The OP's players "strongly gravitate to the combat pillar" - which is roleplaying by the way - so it would stand to reason in my view if you want to make Lifestyle Expenses meaningful for them, having them...
    22 replies | 807 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th April, 2018, 07:18 PM
    Here's how to use Inspiration in my view: The Case for Inspiration. In a previous campaign, I tied Lifestyle Expenses to advantage to saving throws against disease, poison, and (at the highest level) to bonus temporary hit points at the start of the day. The effects were cumulative. So at a Comfortable lifestyle, you get advantage to saves versus disease. At Wealthy, you get advantage to saves...
    22 replies | 807 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 10:17 PM
    Eh, I've done it in games that are like the ones you describe, too. There are plenty of fictional "outs," if you want them, though I'm not saying you have to.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 10:16 PM
    Basic Rules, page 2: "Thereís no winning and losing in the Dungeons & Dragons gameóat least, not the way those terms are usually understood. Together, the DM and the players create an exciting story of bold adventurers who confront deadly perils. Sometimes an adventurer might come to a grisly end, torn apart by ferocious monsters or done in by a nefarious villain. Even so, the other adventurers...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 09:43 PM
    The thing is, one can be in total control of one's character, be relentlessly pursuing the things that allow the character to advance, and still be making the game fun for everyone, and helping to create an exciting, memorable story in the doing. These things don't have to be in opposition. With the right advancement system in place, everything can be moving in the same direction towards the goal...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 09:13 PM
    As an aside, I'm actually writing a short-form scenario that lampoons the breakfast-ordering trope. I've seen so much time getting eaten up on vodcasts (even some very popular ones) with this sort of thing, that I thought I'd create an actual exciting challenge that revolves around ordering breakfast. My working title is "You Fool, You Killed Us By Ordering the Sausage!" I'll post it up once I'm...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 09:07 PM
    I think the rules are correct. The character increases in power as a result of doing certain things, and the incremental advance toward that increase in power is the reward for the player for having the character do those things. One of the good things about a game that is about storytelling and shares elements with childhood games of make-believe is that the fiction is very mutable. It's...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 09:02 PM
    Where is that information from? I found the Wikia article that seems copied from, but the Wikia article doesn't give any cites to RAW. The MM and Volo's do not have this life-cycle information. That said, seems about right given the stats and fluff that are in the MM. I guess I play them pretty close to RAW but I homebrew them to be more social than described in the Wikia article....
    28 replies | 820 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 08:00 PM
    I don't recommend accepting people's assumptions about how people they don't know actually play. It's certainly very possible to both optimize one's character advancement and also be "engaged in the story," whatever that means. If the advancement system and "the story" are in sync, it works even better. I would have no issue with milestone XP or story-based advancement so long as I was...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 07:54 PM
    No, just trying to think about how I would perceive the described approach as a player in that game. What am I being incentivized to do? How would I prioritize my goals to optimize character advancement? etc. I don't even favor one method over another, just one the players can understand and that supports the goals of play of the given game. I'm even find with session-based advancement as long as...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 07:20 PM
    Sure, but things like, say, spending session time on shopping or hanging around taverns ordering breakfast are worth nothing in terms of advancement (in general), so my goal would be to get to it in order to advance as quickly as possible. Assuming that's my goal which I think is reasonable one.
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 06:49 PM
    The important part of that is "in most cases." One exception are crocodilians. For example, see the American Alligator. Source: Smithsonianís National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/american-alligator Pythons and boas will protect their eggs until hatching but the African rock python goes further than that:
    28 replies | 820 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 05:52 PM
    Right, you defined what you meany by "encounter" upthread, so assuming the players have some notion as to that, plus the fact that getting through more such encounters will result in character advancement, I'm essentially incentivized to seek out those kinds of situations as quickly as possible. Assuming leveling up at a good clip is my goal.
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 05:10 PM
    So in theory by knowing that leveling is tied to number of encounters overcome (if not a specific number), I could modify my play to engage with more encounters per session in order to speed up character advancement.
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 02:51 PM
    Are the players aware ahead of time of approximately how many "encounters" they must overcome before gaining a level?
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 02:50 PM
    The rules on experience points refer to it as both a reward for the player and character. In my current campaign, if someone is absent, the character is either not present or fades to the background and gets no XP.
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 08:06 AM
    For those of you who have run Curse of Strahd, how do you handle the Old Bonegrinder Night Hags 'nightmare haunting' ability? The party encountered them early in the game and had their first lesson that you need to be very careful about what you pick a fight within Barovia. One member escaped. The others were brought to 0 hit points or put to sleep. I had the party wake up to the hags...
    3 replies | 250 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 04:47 AM
    In my homebrew campaign, I played green dragons as exceptionally intelligent, scheming, and power hungry. They wouldn't just "gobble" up a metallic wyrmling. They would look for some way to profit off of it or use it to advance its goals. At the very least, it might try to hold it hostage for treasure or come concession from other copper dragons. Also, copper dragons are known to "possess a...
    28 replies | 820 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 04:33 AM
    If it were me, I'd shave my head. But I admire a man who doesn't give :):):):).
    4 replies | 390 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 04:19 AM
    Nice! Thanks for sharing. I'm almost done with my updated deck. But I won't be able to post it here in its entirety as I've taken a lot of the card descriptions from the Tarokka Unleashed PDF. Maybe I'll post with with my original text and for those I copied from TU, I'll just mention "same as TU".
    7 replies | 361 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 6th April, 2018, 04:16 AM
    Ebirah isn't satisfying to me. They could have just made a lobster toy and not have worried about IP. Also, some of the other others seem to be rip-offs of Ultraman monsters. So I would start by looking at Ultraman Kaiju. Some other possibilities: Kemular http://ultra.wikia.com/wiki/Ultra_Monster_Series/Gallery?file=Kemular_toys.jpg
    14 replies | 605 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 11:19 PM
    Perhaps in an effort to recruit the wyrmling to its side, the green dragon lies to it, saying either that the green wyrm is actually a copper dragon that is so old it has a green patina on its copper scales or that the copper dragon is actually a green dragon that has not yet gotten its proper color yet. It then tries to turn its heart against the PCs. I would give it some charm or illusion...
    28 replies | 820 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 11:06 PM
    Why does it matter? Because this is a discussion and I'm trying to understand your method better and to see if and how it aligns with established approaches. I'm interested in the topic of advancement systems. It's why I'm in this thread. Story-based advancement in the DMG doesn't use XP and is based on awarding levels for accomplishing "significant goals." That sounds like what you're doing....
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 09:02 PM
    That sounds about right. In almost all cases, people I've talked to about when they stopped doing standard XP awards was in D&D 3e or 4e. Those who played multiple editions, that is. Chiefly because D&D 3e was a bit cumbersome and D&D 4e because it became a significant problem when characters weren't all the same level or close to it. (I think 3e was the same in that regard as well.) So they...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 07:55 PM
    Mostly for backstory reasons, though I might avoid a mechanically disadvantageous combo and don't mind the benefits of an advantageous dip. My AL character started as a fighter. For one level. Then went bard. He is a mountain dwarf from a clan with a rich martial heritage. Leaving the military to become a bard has estranged him from his family and clan. I won't bore you with more details, but...
    89 replies | 2135 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 07:31 PM
    So it sounds like story-based advancement to me or some variation of it, as defined in the DMG. It sounds like you've played in various editions. What's the edition you've played the most? In what edition did you decide to stop using standard XP as the advancement system?
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 07:24 PM
    DM David posted an interesting article on his blog today that discusses the origins and inspirations for many of D&D's iconic monsters. A number of them seem to have been inspired by some knock-off toys of Japanese kaiju, sold in US dime stores at the time as "prehistoric animals." I think the owlbear connection is clear, but the rust monster is especially obvious. What is interesting is...
    14 replies | 605 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 07:12 PM
    Do you have a particular setting that you use for all of your campaigns? In terms of leveling up, is that basically when you as DM decide it's time? Do the players have any notion as to when that might be in advance?
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 06:29 PM
    It's rather bold to state how a campaign "should" be rather than, say, make that claim for your own campaign and no other. I'd have to know more about your particular campaign to examine how I would set up the advancement system for such a game. What system do you use now?
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 06:24 PM
    iserith started a thread Block Feature Issue
    Hello Morrus - My understanding is that the block feature is two-way. If I block someone, I can't see their posts or respond to them and vice versa. While that does appear to be working for posters that have blocked me, it does not appear to be the case for posters I have blocked. They have been able to view and quote my posts and I have also received PMs from posters I have blocked. Would you...
    4 replies | 167 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 05:22 PM
    That argument appears to be based in the idea that all pillars should be rewarded equally with XP, which I don't take to be a given. I don't think the DMG does either. It's left up to the DM. My take is that the DM is well-served by giving out XP to the pillars that are most important to the particular campaign and possibly give out other rewards for pillars that are not rewarded with XP. Then...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 04:55 PM
    Sure, I don't think I'll convince Oofta. But I'm not trying to. I'm trying to convince everyone else who is reading the exchange who has not publicly stated a position on the matter. It's much easier to reverse oneself if one hasn't already taken a stand aloud. :)
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 04:52 PM
    I don't think we are "arguing semantics." Explain what you mean by those words. :)
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 04:20 PM
    I think that is so if the reduction to 0 was due to the curse. It's not clear from the original post if that was the case or if the damage came from some other source. It sounds like the latter, but we'd need clarification.
    5 replies | 215 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 04:16 PM
    I don't disagree that XP is a good incentive and reward for more than just the combat pillar, depending on the type of game the DM is going for. I do disagree that if you knowingly signed up for a game that only incentivizes and rewards one pillar that you have any justification to call it a penalty when you get no reward for doing anything other than that pillar. I don't think there is...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 03:59 PM
    The wording of mummy rot says the character cannot regain hit points. The wording of a 20 on a death save is: "If you roll a 20 on the d20, you regain 1 hit point." Therefore, a 20 on a death save will not help you here!
    5 replies | 215 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 03:48 PM
    I have that poster blocked for reasons I hope are obvious, so I'm not able to see the post you reference. However, in the post I quoted, you mention the three-pillar experience rule or something about mods that did not appear to be in reference to AL. My comment was directed as that specifically, not to your later comment regarding AL. If it was all about AL, please disregard. I still take...
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 03:04 PM
    See DMG page 261 for rules on noncombat challenges, plus non-XP rewards (under Milestones).
    289 replies | 7617 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th April, 2018, 02:31 AM
    Depends on the theme of the campaign, I would say.
    289 replies | 7617 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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Game Details:
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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RPGs: D&D 5e; Paranoia, InSpectres, Hero Kids, No Thank You, Evil!
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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, 18th April, 2018


Tuesday, 17th April, 2018


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Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

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

Friday, 30th March, 2018

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

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

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

Thursday, 22nd March, 2018


Sunday, 8th October, 2017


Monday, 31st July, 2017

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

Tuesday, 18th July, 2017

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

Monday, 19th June, 2017

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

Sunday, 4th June, 2017

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

Saturday, 27th May, 2017

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

Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017

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

Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017

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

Monday, 20th February, 2017

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

Friday, 27th January, 2017

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

Sunday, 28th February, 2016

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

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Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 08:59 AM - Jhaelen quoted MNblockhead in post Lost In Space *spoilers*
    Season 1 was basically a less well-written version Terra Nova.Ugh, that's harsh! It's straining my imagination to think of a tv show with worse writing. ... well, okay, there's Star Gate. ... and Supernatural. ... and X-Files. ... Okay, I rest my case ;-)

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 10:49 PM - trappedslider quoted MNblockhead in post Lost In Space *spoilers*
    I want it to be specifically about the family traveling through space looking for fuel getting caught up in campy shenanigans. So you want this https://www.amazon.com/Lost-In-Space-Season-1/dp/B015CF11QO/ref=tmm_aiv_swatch_1?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= but with updated science and other sensibilities?

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 12:03 AM - TheSword quoted MNblockhead in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    6. Fudge stats, not die rolls. I like to roll in front of the players. Also, while the die rolls are not sacred, I like for the dice to land where they may. Sometimes, however, if I realize that I wildly misjudged the difficulty of an encounter--either making it too easy or too hard--I may fudge the stat block or make other on-the-fly changes to the encounters. If you find that the battle is going to be too deadly for the characters consider: Decreasing the foes' hit points Decreasing the foes' AC Decreasing the number of minions Making the minions like 4e minions. If the players hit, the minion dies. Less to manage and fewer opportunities for minions to hit This is really good advice. Probably the best Iíve seen on the boards in an advice thread. Worst ever game encounter - fighting against a mid level boss who opened the fight with Circle of Death (In pathfinder). Rolled the dice with a ridiculously high roll and killed three of the four characters before they had chance to do anythin...

Friday, 13th April, 2018

  • 02:25 PM - vincegetorix quoted MNblockhead in post Terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad encounters, by type
    REQUEST CR: Enough to challenge 4-5 20th level characters (veteran, highly tactical players) Environment: Remote mountain fortress, rising above a vast jungle, won from a Rakshasa Monster type: Fiendish or something a revengeful, unforgiving, and unforgetting Raksha might set into motion. Please, not just bags of hit points. Something challenging and interesting, bonus points for humiliating to the characters and groan-inducing to the players. As the party starts to climb down the cliff-side path, a loud thunder-like noise comes from behind them. On the horizon appears a vision of nightmare; the party quickly recognized the Pasha's Cart of Doom, the fabled cart made from the melted chains of a thousand Chain Demons in the flame of the City of Brass by a thousand Effreet and covered by the gold stolent from the ancient dragon Namewitoomanyixes. In the skies above them is a large flying carriage pulled by 2 Young Red Dragons and 2 Blue Dragons with the Variant Spellcasting trait with Enchantme...
  • 06:32 AM - Hussar quoted MNblockhead in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    /snip 2000 posts that can be summed up as "you don't need to spend a lot of time world building to run a great campaign, but if you enjoy doing it, have at it!" And that's fair enough. But, unlike Imaro, I think that whenever this sort of thing comes up, I see the exact opposite of what he does- the basic advice is always world building first. If you're a good DM, you're going to world build and anyone who doesn't spend the time doing it is, by implication anyway, a bad DM. Like was said earlier, to me, it's a red flag. I've almost never enjoyed a game where the DM has this extensive setting, whether homebrew or published. It's too restrictive for me. I don't enjoy it. I'd much rather the players have far more input into the game world and I wish my players would be more pro-active about it. You want griffon cavalry in the game for whatever reason? Sure, let's talk about that. How can we bring that in? You want to play a war forged monk in my pirates campaign? Sure, let's tal...

Wednesday, 11th April, 2018

  • 08:52 AM - Li Shenron quoted MNblockhead in post Do you use timers in combat?
    To keep combat moving and creat more excitement, Iím thinking of using a game timer at the table. I donít want to overly constrict players ability to strategize or punish those who are slower, but I think a time can help ensure people are ready on there term. If you have done this, what kind of timer did you use and how much time did you give? Did you apply it to yourself as well? Another thought is just calling the player on his turn and if he doest respond within 5 seconds, go to the next person in initiative order then come back tot the slow player. I never use timers. I had a few cases as a player in the past of DMs using timers, and I absolutely utterly HATED them. They create a kind of pressure and stress that for me is not enjoyable. When I play a RPG I like the thinking aspects, and timers pretty much cut the thinking opportunities. Obviously, I am not trying to say that a player should take an hour to resolve a combat turn, but neither I want to have a hard limit.

Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

  • 05:57 PM - Blue quoted MNblockhead in post Asmodeus and the young Maiden Fair.
    Perhaps the weapon finds ways to create foes. Foes that would never have been Lagatha's foes--and were not the intended foes she needed the power to slay--but by the strict terms of her contract, they are foes even if she never wanted them as foes. And she does have the power to slay them, even though she never intended nor wanted to. I see a 15th-level Lagatha, sitting at the head of an army, maybe including questionable/evil allies and looking across the field to the opposing army, that has members of her family, her home tribe, and prior comrades--and she realizes why one doesn't make a deal with devils. Oh, I love this. Keep exactly to the words of the bargain while at the same time damning her. The axe has a horrendous reputation, and is known to church scholars that it will corrupt the wielder, or perhaps bring back the body (sans soul) if she dies as a powerful evil force with the axe. While controlling the wielder is a bit much for overriding player agency, maybe make it intelligen...

Saturday, 7th April, 2018

  • 05:04 AM - Riley37 quoted MNblockhead in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    A kilobyte is 1000 bytes 1024 bytes is a kibibyte Maybe I'm a prescriptive a-hole, but I'd like to think words mean something. If you buy a USB drive at a chain retail store, and the label says 4KB, will it store 4 kilobytes or 4 kibibytes? If you are counting on that drive to store a 4-kibibyte file, because you expect all of the 7 billion humans who aren't you to follow your usage prescriptions, then there may be an unpleasant surprise in your future. If you are also counting on everyone in this thread to use the terms race, ancestry, and ethnicity, with the same precision you bring to kilobytes and kibibytes...

Friday, 6th April, 2018

  • 11:00 PM - MonsterEnvy quoted MNblockhead in post Would an Ancient Green Dragon consider adopting an orphaned copper wyrmling?
    Where is that information from? I found the Wikia article that seems copied from, but the Wikia article doesn't give any cites to RAW. The MM and Volo's do not have this life-cycle information. That said, seems about right given the stats and fluff that are in the MM. I guess I play them pretty close to RAW but I homebrew them to be more social than described in the Wikia article. Not social in the humanoid sense, perhaps, but still there is interaction and knowledge transfer as well as working together and against each other. Dracnomicon from earlier editions.
  • 06:55 PM - MonsterEnvy quoted MNblockhead in post Would an Ancient Green Dragon consider adopting an orphaned copper wyrmling?
    Also, in D&D we are dealing with highly intelligent, magical creatures. If they are truly fully solitary beings after hatching, then how do they learn language? They may not have dragon cities, but for huge flying creatures, flying over to the next mountain is like going next door. Just because they don't live with each other doesn't mean they do not socialize, keep in touch, and look out for one another. As I just posted a chunk about their lifestyle we know the answer to this. They are born with language and knowledge. They still still live with their parent for a short while. But it's not a long time. Some dragons do socialize, but for most chromatics they never want another Dragon entering their territory even if it's their parent or child.

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 09:28 PM - TheCosmicKid quoted MNblockhead in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Once of the brilliant aspects of 5e is how they have both managed to capture some of the old-school flavor of the game while at the same time modernizing it--both its mechanics and its flavor. That modernization has including making it a more inclusive game. Well said. A lot of the negative reaction to diversity efforts stems from the fact that they seem new and alien to the mainstream. And a lot of them are new and alien, aggressively so -- attacking the everyday with the language of academics and the fervor of revolutionaries. And that's always frustrating to me, because they don't have to be, and they're actively sabotaging their ultimate aims when they are. The real path to progress can be found in 5E's casual diversity, and Black Panther telling a universal coming-of-age story, and a Puerto Rican Alexander Hamilton rapping about the American dream on Broadway.
  • 08:25 AM - DRF quoted MNblockhead in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    The problems with that is 5e has already made a push to be far more inclusive and it seems to have had positive, not negative effects on the brand and the bottom line. . I do think we really quickly need to establish that 5e is doing well because it's a good game, not because of any significant changes relating to it being more inclusive.
  • 08:18 AM - pemerton quoted MNblockhead in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Perhaps the concern is that this is another step in moving the game "to the left", another step down the slippery slope towards a socially-liberal rewriting of the game. Rygar didn't articulate exactly what some of the specific effects of his claimed "left-wing push" were, but I'll assume he is referring to attempts to make games more inclusive and to avoid content that may be offensive to certain demographics. The problems with that is 5e has already made a push to be far more inclusive and it seems to have had positive, not negative effects on the brand and the bottom line. The reason I XPed Arilyn's reply to Rygar is this: I don't see how including women, or people of colour, in RPGing is a "left-wing push". It's not a socialist conspiracy to have created a world with people in it who aren't white men.

Tuesday, 3rd April, 2018

  • 10:35 PM - Ath-kethin quoted MNblockhead in post Darkest Dungeon-like campaign.
    Misread the title and though this you were going to run a campaign based off of the Jack Chick pamphlet or the movie based off of it (http://www.darkdungeonsthemovie.com/) I thought the same thing. I was wondering who in the world would try to turn that into a game, and how they would do it.
  • 04:03 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted MNblockhead in post What's in your GM "bug-out bag"? Tips for running a TTRPG session on the fly and on the go
    Thereís a lovely sense of whimsy to it. Items like a gem that, when shattered, summons a blizzard, or a knight chess piece that detects horses. Plus NPC traits, adventure hooks, tavern details, and all sorts of random useful stuff. Hadn't seen this before. Definitely going to check it out. Looks like there is a Table Fables II as well.
  • 04:06 AM - aramis erak quoted MNblockhead in post How old were you when your first GMed an RPG?
    I was 10. I was introduced to D&D at a slumber party in 1982. We were too young to pay all that much attention to the rules so for a couple years we played a weird melange of AD&D and BECMI. A lot of us did, year dependant being BX or BECMI with AD&D1. In that year, tho, it's more likely BX, rather than BECMI... as Frank Mentzer's edition is copyright 1983. The AD&D MM worked pretty well with BX, and far better with BECMI, as long as you got to the companion set. For those of you who started as a child, did a parent or other adult relative who was already a gamer introduce you or was it from a peer or older sibling? Peers. I knew some adults who gamed, but they didn't game with the kids I knew who gamed. I knew of HS kids who gamed, but didn't game with them, either. I was invited by John W and by Aaron G to Andrew F's game, with Brian W and Brice W also there...

Monday, 2nd April, 2018

  • 09:15 PM - Geeknamese quoted MNblockhead in post The Case for Inspiration
    I've tried and in my first campaign, it basically went unused for many of the reasons other have posted. It just wasn't very inspiring or fun, it felt like I was put into a position to have to reward players for playing their characters how I thought they should play them, and--mostly--I just never remembered to give it. In my current Curse of Strahd game, I use a version of inspiration inspired by the Angry GM. INSPIRATION = INSPIRED ACTION(inspired by the Angry GM) Each session, each player will start with one inspiration token. The token can be 'spent' to take an "inspired action." When you take an Inspired Action, you can either gain advantage on an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw OR you can give advantage to someone elseís ability check, attack roll, or saving throw provided you are in a position to assist them directly in some way OR impose disadvantage on someone elseís ability check, attack roll, or saving throw provided you are in a position to hinder their ...
  • 06:53 PM - iserith quoted MNblockhead in post The Case for Inspiration
    I'll bring it up in my next game and see what my players think. Your method would make my job even easier, so I don't have an issue with it. The only change, I would make, I think, is limiting to once or twice per session. My sessions are 8 hours long with a solid 6, maybe 7, hours of actual gameplay. So a chance to claim inspiration once for every 3-4 hours of game time. For reference, my games (and my ToA DM @Valmarius' games) are 4 hours long and we both use this method. I find that I can reasonably claim Inspiration about twice on average, but that's largely because a couple of my character's personal characteristics are a little difficult to work into many scenes. Last session, I managed to hit them all, largely due to running into an NPC who was also an archaeologist, so I was able to touch on a couple of those hard-to-get characteristics during play. Other characters have characteristics that are easier to claim. My favorite one is my flaw: "When I have a choice to go left or right, ...
  • 06:21 PM - kelvan1138 quoted MNblockhead in post The Case for Inspiration
    I guess if the DM is very generous in how often inspiration is rewarded. You can only have one inspiration point at a time. If it is only used once per session, does it have that much of an impact that it makes character features meaningless? Also, since it is part of the core RAW game, isn't it an ASPECT of the "mini-game that is 'maximizing advantage'"? In additional to sub-class, proficiency, and feat selection, you would also want to make sure you select a background and traits, bonds, flaws that you are comfortable role-playing to increase your chance of inspiration. My problem is that as written, it gives all the power to the GM. I can carefully craft my background and play it to the hilt, but if the DM doesn't notice or doesn't care, then I don't get that advantage. I find that in games run using inspiration RAW, either the players have to exaggerate how they player their characters--especially their flaws--or the DM doesn't notice. Either that, the DM will out of fairness just ...
  • 06:11 PM - iserith quoted MNblockhead in post The Case for Inspiration
    I've tried and in my first campaign, it basically went unused for many of the reasons other have posted. It just wasn't very inspiring or fun, it felt like I was put into a position to have to reward players for playing their characters how I thought they should play them, and--mostly--I just never remembered to give it. In my current Curse of Strahd game, I use a version of inspiration inspired by the Angry GM. INSPIRATION = INSPIRED ACTION(inspired by the Angry GM) Each session, each player will start with one inspiration token. The token can be 'spent' to take an "inspired action." When you take an Inspired Action, you can either gain advantage on an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw OR you can give advantage to someone elseís ability check, attack roll, or saving throw provided you are in a position to assist them directly in some way OR impose disadvantage on someone elseís ability check, attack roll, or saving throw provided you are in a position to hinder their ...


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