View Profile: MNblockhead - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:34 PM
    Side comment: There seems to be an argument, directly or indirectly by multiple posters, that a player needs to "pay" in some way for having a character with a dump stat and part of paying for it is, for example, folding in an argument between characters, acting stupid or playing dumb, not sussing out a lie, etc. Or abiding by the result of an ability check by another player's character. I...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:07 PM
    Let's say you refuse to adopt the approach that some of us use to handle PvP. Let's also say that nobody ever engages in PvP at the table. It just never comes up. Is Alice gaining some kind of benefit in this situation? If the answer is "no" (and that would be my response), then I don't see the need to account for Alice's character low Charisma as a good argument against such an approach. If...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:47 PM
    A task performed by a PC or NPC to influence a PC's thoughts does not have an uncertain outcome because the player of that character determines how the character thinks. There's no check here. When we get into other tasks that are essentially PC vs. PC, some of us let the players resolve that among themselves through negotiation to avoid the many problems that can arise from having the DM...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:12 PM
    I will refer you back to the post you're referencing with some additional emphasis: I was very careful with my language here. "Adjudicate and narrate as normal" means to follow the D&D 5e rules for adjudicating a proposed task which does not necessarily mean there is an ability check. I go on to clarify that there may or may not be an ability check.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:06 PM
    One thing I've noticed is that when you implement these sorts of approaches, all the PVP stuff by and large seems to evaporate.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:57 AM
    Consistency in this regard is something players can count on in my games. It's one of my principles. Except I'm not leaving the box blank. I'm copying off the person next to me whose answer is always right.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:13 AM
    Which rules are you referring to? Players don't get to decide they're making a Wisdom (Insight) check or any other kind of ability check. They might succeed or fail outright with no roll. All they get to do is describe a task they want to perform. What the character sees can be negotiated by the players involved. You can call it a "house rule." It doesn't bother me. But it's not...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:40 AM
    Which mechanic do you mean - "Insight?" Because that sounds awfully close to "using skills" again which is strictly inferior to deciding the result anyway. No, there is no such case. The player always determines what the character thinks. It is therefore always certain. The whole scenario is rife with trouble. It's better in my view that the players work this out between them to...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:17 AM
    If a player describes the character as trying to determine an NPC's true intentions by observing its body language, speech habits, and changes in mannerisms, then I'll adjudicate and narrate as normal. I would have telegraphed a tell while describing the environment anyway. In almost all cases, if there is an ability check at all, this would be a Wisdom (Insight) check though; passive Insight...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:42 AM
    Narrating the results is distinct from describing the environment and is differentiated in the play loop described in the rules. It seems like you want them to be the same thing to prove something about how you choose to play. You don't have to justify yourself.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:36 AM
    "I don't know - is he?" Player B is sitting at the table, so he knows that Player A's character is lying. He or she can just say his or her character believes or disbelieves Player A's character for whatever reason Player B chooses to establish.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:27 AM
    I describe the environment, then assess if there is to be surprise, taking into account and reminding the players of the ongoing tasks they previously established ("staying alert to danger," "navigating," "drawing a map," etc.), then narrate the result of those actions.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:09 AM
    The DM doesn't need to ask for checks to describe the environment.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 01:26 AM
    I honestly couldn't make much sense of the scenario, so I'll defer to Ovinomancer on the response as it sounds appropriate to what I could take away from your example. Also, it would be great if you'd stop accusing me of sidestepping or trolling or any of the other things you've rather rudely accused me of in this thread. It makes me want to stop responding to you at all. I've answered your...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:54 PM
    "Use skill" is reminiscent of D&D 3.Xe and D&D 4e where players asked or decided to make "skill checks." This is not supported in the D&D 5e rules. There should be no expectation that a player can "use a skill" in D&D 5e. You know, I've posted that same post at least a half dozen times in this thread including my very first post in the discussion. The situation under discussion is...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:26 PM
    Here's how that might play out at my table: DM: Alice, your rogue recognizes the Zhentish tattoos on the gang leader as they flee. Alice: Oh, I need to make sure they get away. My rogue says "We shouldn't follow then, they're probably just hired thugs." DM: Alice, with the tattoos you're sure that's not true. Can you make a deception check for your rogue? Alice: 9, plus 2 for CHR and...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:22 PM
    Blue: In D&D 5e, one does not "use skills" on NPCs or PCs. They perform tasks. The outcomes of those tasks may be uncertain and carry with it a meaningful consequence of failure. If they do, then the DM calls for an ability check to resolve it. If the task does not have an uncertain outcome and/or a meaningful consequence of failure, the DM does not call for an ability check. These are not house...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:00 PM
    Thank you.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:26 PM
    I wrote the Barrow of the Evensong specifically for my niece and nephew (pre-teens at the time). I ran it for some adults at a game store in about 3 hours and it was fun for adults, too. I recommend giving it a look for your purposes, plus it's free and you can read it right now!
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:42 PM
    Well, that's kind of the premise of one location in Lost Laboratory of Kwalish, though one session is not a campaign. I agree, an entire campaign of this would get old fast. Hard to make that awesome. Though, could other beasts survive. Are their spirits and undeed to interact with? Can you bring back any of the dead as you clear areas? Would the jellies and other monsters have evolved in this...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:14 PM
    Why does this bother you? As a DM or player, I couldn't give a dusty flumph what someone else's ability scores are and how he or she chooses to use them to inform how they portray the character. It's really just none of my business as I see it. As long as the player is pursuing the goals of play in good faith, that is, making choices that are fun for everyone and that contribute to an...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:05 PM
    Not that I have an issue calling it a "house rule," but just for funsies, if you really think about it, it might not be: If the DM is the one who makes the call as to whether there's an ability check and the one who narrates the results of an adventurer's action, then all we're really doing is giving the player input on what is ultimately the DM's call. "What do you think happens here, Player?...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:36 PM
    What do you mean by "skill usage?"
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:35 PM
    That is incorrect. My position is that a player decides how their character thinks and acts and what it says, which is straight from the rules almost verbatim. I have made no claim as to the role of ability scores in making that determination. A player might do that, or might not. I take no position on that. Please cite the rules that instruct players how to play their characters according...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:00 PM
    A player determining how the character thinks and acts is the definition of roleplaying provided by the rules themselves. We didn't just make that up. There are also no rules that require a player to act any particular way given their ability scores. The character creation guidelines do suggest that ability scores can inform the PC's appearance and personality, but there are no hard rules on how...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 PM
    My opinion is informed by the rules of the game which I paraphrased in my response. You don't have to follow the rules, of course, but those of us who share my opinion are following the rules.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:25 PM
    The DM can only call for an ability check when there's uncertainty as to the outcome of a task. The task here is "Convince barbarian to go along with rogue's plan." Players can't call for or decide to make ability checks. The question is whether there is uncertainty as to the outcome of the task. And the answer is: There isn't. A player determines how the character thinks and acts - thus the...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:33 PM
    He is subject to the negatives though. If he has a low Intelligence, he will on average do poorly on Intelligence ability checks (such as when determining if he can recall lore or make a deduction) and Intelligence saving throws. If he has a low Wisdom, he'll perform badly on average on a number of tasks including Insight, Perception, and Survival, when asked to make a roll to resolve those...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:22 PM
    In reading the posts of people who are using mechanics to influence decisions players make for their own characters, there seems to be an undercurrent of player issues at the table for which this method was deemed a solution. As has been stated, using mechanics to solve player issues is not ideal and, in fact, often leads to the sorts of problem that kicked off this thread.
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:05 AM
    Like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGVC6-Bohqk
    19 replies | 376 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:47 AM
    When I wanted to get back into gaming, I was really put off by the need for miniatures. Watching Chris Perkins's videos helped and hurt. I loved the videos where he explains his thinking and gives tops on running the game, but his elaborate, pre-drawn maps seemed far beyond me. I bought into the impression many people had that 4e was heavily focused on tactical miniature combats and tried to...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:37 AM
    From UNDERNEATH LA – CIVIC CENTER TUNNELS "The lighted tunnels are about 12 feet wide and 10 feet high, big enough for a small bulldozer to drive through." https://strayngerranger.com/underneath-la-civic-center-tunnels/ A picture of a 10' high 20' wide wildlife underpass with a man walking underneath for scale. Imagine it half as wide and you have your 10x10 square. from "Animals put...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:07 AM
    Because, once us hoi polloi like it, it is no longer cool or high quality. Luckily there is a very long tail of high-concept TTRPGs for the hipster dogs to chase.
    43 replies | 1413 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:41 AM
    Our games start at 10am and end at 6pm Often donuts are brought and some players bring breakfast some somewhere they stopped on the way. We break for lunch and usually go to nearby place for takeout, though we've also ordered pizzas and have done pot lucks. Folks will usually bring some sodas, iced teas, and chips to share. I often skip dinner on game day, since I've been noshing...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:31 AM
    I bought a conference table and six conference room chairs from a company that was selling off a bunch of old furniture and equipment on Craigslist, which I've set up in my basement near a wood stove and kitchenette (full fridge, mini stove, sink and decent amount of counter space and cabinets. Nice for pot-luck game days. Also have a number of folding tables. When not running my D&D game,...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:10 AM
    Ever play Paranoia?
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:07 AM
    Yeah, if I went through the trouble, my players would find someway, somehow, without any intention of doing do, completely avoiding that encounter. Many a well planned battlemap set up has only been seen by this DM the night before the game...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:19 AM
    Discussions in other threads about the propriety of DMs limiting that campaigns in ways that ban things that some players love got me to thinking. Can you really come up with a campaign setting that NOBODY would like play in? Give it your best shot, come up with what you think is an awful campaign concept. The other part of this challenge is to try to show how these awful concepts could...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:16 AM
    Seems silly to keep debating a point of preference. Generally, I try to be very accommodating. My current campaign is especially so. But there are times when I want to run a very narrowly focused campaign. Some that I've been thinking of: 1. A party of human wizards in a world where arcane magic has been been banned an almost completely lost to the world. Driven underground. They are...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:09 PM
    Right. The best definition in my opinion for agency is simply being able to make reasonably informed decisions for your character that have an actual impact on the game world. That's all there is to it, really. "Reasonably informed decisions" come from the DM providing an adequate description of the environment and being consistent with rulings. Having an "actual impact on the game world" comes...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 06:41 PM
    How is it not adding to the discussion to show how to play in a way that avoids the problem entirely?
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:24 PM
    Oh, did my post stop there? I'm pretty sure I added a whole other part that explained further how I handle it at my table.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:18 PM
    I wouldn't do this. With a failed check, I would just say the true intentions of the creature are no clearer than they were before. The player can then decide what to do with that. A Wisdom (Insight) check isn't about whether you believe someone or not. It's about whether you can detect changes in body language, speech habits, or mannerisms that provide you information appropriate to your goal....
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:00 PM
    Yeah, the "Use Skill" thing is definitely an artifact of other games. You can hear it in the way certain posters talk about their games. Not surprisingly, if there is some kind of problem seeking an answer posted on the forums, it's often due at least in part to handling ability checks this way. Which is not to say the method always produces problems. Rather, if there is a problem, you can be...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 04:56 PM
    I run my regular campaign which is about 10 players, 7 of whom are the most active, and 3 who show up for the odd cameo. There are 5 seats per session and the quorum is 4 players. So here I'm very familiar with these players, but the roster does change almost every session. They have two PCs each as well, though they do favor their primary ones chiefly. I also run scenarios in a West Marches...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 04:47 PM
    I require the player to adequately perform their role in the game. They have one thing to do - describe what they want to do and how they want to do it. They require me to adequately perform my role in the game as well - describing the environment, laying out the basic scope of options that present themselves, and narrating the result of the adventurers' actions. (And staying functional after 6...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 08:07 AM
    Well, you'd be welcome in my campaign. That sounds awesome!
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 07:38 AM
    It's not about precise phrasing though. If I'm not going to tell you what your character thinks, then it's only consistent in my view for me to also not assume or establish what your character is doing. To that end it's on the player to describe a goal and approach that I can adjudicate.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 06:09 AM
    Yeah man, there's a whole world of villains and monsters out there to lie to, steal from, and murder. Ain't got time for people who want to instead flip coins trying to mess with each other. I would say it's not about allowing or not allowing it really. I just can't do anything with that question - there's nothing there for me to adjudicate into a result because the player didn't tell me...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 05:57 AM
    Ovinomancer has it. It's just worked out by the players involved in a way that they believe will be fun for everyone and that contributes to an exciting, memorable story. I see no need for mechanics here.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 02:20 AM
    My response to these sorts of questions is "Only you can say what your character thinks." The way this plays out at our table is that the character tells a lie, both players know it since presumably nobody's really in the dark about this as we're all there at the table, and then the player whose character is being lied to decides whether it would be more fun to play along with it, to be...
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    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 02:03 AM
    It seems reasonable to me that some adventurers might weigh two options and go with the one that will provide him or her with the most benefit. And oddly enough in this case, for reasons that probably amount to a lucky guess, that choice ended up being the right one (to the extent I understand GameOgre's description).
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th December, 2018, 12:07 AM
    It's how the rules of the game you're playing defines "roleplaying" as well. I didn't just make up that definition. So the rogue makes a case to help the villagers. The barbarian hears him out and decides he doesn't want to do that. Is that not "reacting to the outside influences going on around you?" Let me ask you this, out of curiosity: Did they go help the villagers ultimately? Was...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 11:37 PM
    They are roleplaying though - determining how their characters act, think, and talk. The player determined that his barbarian character wasn't convinced by the rogue character's argument. That's roleplaying.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 11:31 PM
    You said "Players are less likely to out and out ignore something if they had to make a check for it." The DM is the one who calls for checks, so this has the look of the DM caring about whether the players have their characters act deceived, persuaded, or intimidated by a fellow PC. Why care about that at all as DM?
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 11:20 PM
    The question for me arises: Why should the DM care if the player ignores the attempt at deception, intimidation, or persuasion? It's really none of his or her business, right? I don't have an issue if the player decides to, effectively, flip a coin to decide what the character does. I would have a problem if the DM is telling me my character thinks the rogue's argument works on me.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 10:16 PM
    In which case there was no point to this interaction and the subsequent fallout at all in my view. To me it would have been better to play as I do - the rogue's player makes the case and the barbarian's player chooses what to do. This is reminiscent of previous discussions where monsters try to intimidate PCs and the DM calls for an ability check, establishing on a sufficient result that the...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:50 PM
    The question really boils down to whether the DM can say what my character does. I can find no support for that (short of magical compulsion), and plenty of support that suggests otherwise.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:45 PM
    I'm just saying that trying to determine what is the exception to what is not actually helpful since it can be argued either way with no end. Sorry but I don't follow this at all.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 09:10 PM
    My point was that you can look at it as an exception either way so this line of argument isn't actually useful.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 08:46 PM
    While I still think there's some confusion here about the nature of ability checks and their relation to the fiction, one could easily say that it's the Strength (Athletics) checks or the like which are the "special exception" to the general rule of the player determining how his or her character thinks, acts, and talks.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:57 PM
    I think there's a few ways to deal with this sort of setup. First, consider that roleplaying is just determining what your character thinks, how it acts, and what it says. Nothing else. That's all roleplaying is. To that end, even your "tactical-oriented gamers" are roleplaying when they have their characters do stuff. If you want the players to portray specific, clearly-defined aspects of...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:20 PM
    That suggests to me that (1) combat and exploration pillars may be over-represented in the campaign as compared to social interaction challenges (a DM issue), and (2) a conversation needs to be had to get the players on the same page with regard to cooperatively roleplaying and helping others be awesome (a group issue).
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:29 PM
    The social character's player would determine the outcome of the combat character's attacks and the combat character's player would determine the outcome of the social character's arguments, deceptions, or intimidation. This allows for intraparty conflict that is resolved the same for both players and avoids the problem of players being annoyed at non-consensual pvp.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 05:25 PM
    Per the rules, a player determines how his or her character thinks, acts, and talks. The player plays the game by describing what he or she wants to do. The DM then adjudicates and narrates. In your example, Barbie's player is still able to determine how his or her character thinks, acts, and talks despite Alice being hidden. I will add that an ability check is a mechanic used to resolve...
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    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th December, 2018, 07:31 AM
    An ability check is called for when the outcome of an action is an uncertain and there's a meaningful consequence of failure. Only the DM may call for an ability check. A player determines how his or her character thinks, acts, and talks. Only the player may determine this, short of exceptions like magical compulsion. There is no uncertainty as to the outcome of an action made to influence...
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    9 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 11:06 PM
    Well, either way, a pixie dies, so that's good. I would say as a pixie. So you can enjoy seeing a dead pixie.
    6 replies | 197 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 11:05 PM
    This. I never played 4e, but Matt Coleville put out an excellent video discussing using 4e skill challenges in 5e and I used his advice to in my Curse of Strahd campaign when for the travel up the frozen winter pass to the Amber temple. How I handle it is I ask each player to explain how their character is contributing to the challenge. In this case, it would be getting the entire party safely up...
    51 replies | 890 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 10:47 PM
    Ptolus is on my to-buy list. I've heard a lot about the City State of the Invincible Overlord. I'll need to check it out. I'm backing City of Brass by FGG, but that, being a planar adventure, is not going to be a good fit for many campaigns.
    6 replies | 219 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 10:40 PM
    Not fair to add the Devo reference. Just hearing the word Devo I have to repeat that line. It isn't even a conscious decision. Someone needs to stat up a Devo race.
    106 replies | 2524 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 09:08 PM
    People ate Bigfoot? And now they are going after Yeti. I never knew culinary cryptozoology was a thing. No wonder they keep themselves well hidden!
    201 replies | 6741 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 7th December, 2018, 08:41 PM
    What are the best source books or other materials that give highly fleshed out cities for use with fantasy RPGs. In particular, I would like something that I could easily use with D&D 5e but the system doesn't matter. Maps and descriptions are more important. I find I can create a village or small town on the fly easily. But doing that with larger settlements can lead to a bland experience...
    6 replies | 219 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 07:08 AM
    Welp, I've pledged my $45. Wish I could afford the $2500. As I'm in the Twin Cities and wouldn't need to travel, it is a great deal for a 7-day mini-convention with some of the fathers of the hobby, room & board included. Just not in a position to spend that kind of money on the hobby right now, unfortunately. Still stoked about the film though.
    9 replies | 272 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 06:27 AM
    You could tie this into magical healing. For example, in some great war against the forces of evil certain temples were destroyed or defiles. The forces of good focused on survival and winning the war, let certain battles be lost. After a centuries of struggle and war the forces of good overcame the forces of evil. The evil empire is long gone and but a dark spot in history. But the forces of...
    9 replies | 440 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 08:40 PM
    If you are provoking OppAtt with those spells and using Warcaster then Booming Blade is better as you can provoke the attack and then use Booming Blade and get the bonus damage right away. Warcaster helps with spell casting and hands free issues, if your DM isn’t strict about it then it means less.
    7 replies | 329 view(s)
    0 XP
  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th December, 2018, 04:48 AM
    Find Greater Steed is great. Destructive Wave is fine, huge radius (30', that's more then double the area of a fireball) its V only, 2 damage types, and knocks prone which can spring people for critical hits. Valor Bards will be near the front so its better for them. Your Great Weapon Master will love attacking prone people with advantage. Remember Destructive Wave is a radius, so it...
    8 replies | 526 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 10:02 PM
    Here is my approach as DM for 5e. I start with the premise that I will endeavor to stick to RAW unless the exceptions are explicitly stated and communicated with the players. I have an idea for a campaign. I e-mail potential players giving a synopsis of the campaign, and race/class limitations, what rule variants or home-brew I'll be using, and ask if they would be interested in playing...
    93 replies | 2651 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th December, 2018, 07:04 PM
    WARNING ! SKYRIM SPOILER Then again, the Snow Elves are also gone (well have been twisted into the Falmer), except that in what quest you do find the last remaining Snow Elves, hidden away. It is one of the more narratively interesting quests in Skyrim. Perhaps a gnome was long ago turned to stone or put into some magic stasis. As for settings where the race NEVER exisited, well,...
    201 replies | 6741 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 06:50 PM
    I hear you, but I am the kind of customer who is responsible for this state of affairs. I am not a video gamer for the most part. I never owned a console in my life until my 40s. I'll play a AAA CRPG every few years and then go many months to even years without playing video games. When a game comes out that excites me, I'll buy the console for it. For me, the console is the game. Also,...
    29 replies | 888 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 06:29 PM
    I don't remember beholders in Zork, but those darn grue!
    29 replies | 888 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 05:13 AM
    My favorite flavor. Coffee, scotch, tobacco (gave up the last, but not because the taste). Anyway, I pretty much let my players play what they wish but we work together on back stories and what kind of game they want to play. I don't want to "pick on" a player because they are playing a character that looks like a monster to most of the people they will need to interact with. At the same...
    201 replies | 6741 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 04:45 AM
    Yeah, there is 1e and 2e stuff that I've purchased on DMs Guild to use with my 5e game. I think it will be MORESO the case with 5e. Even if any future editions are so different that there is no backwards compatibility with the rules, the 5e books mix DM and player content and lore and crunch in the same books. Certainly others will have differing opinions, but the 5e "fluff" is some the best...
    32 replies | 1299 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd December, 2018, 04:39 AM
    Which is why I like to have the "boxed set" as a supplement. I would be happy buying the adventure as a book and then, if I want, I could buy a boxed set with minis/pogs and battlemaps (and maybe some handouts if the price doesn't get too out of hand). I can see the advantages to reprinting the adventure and spliting different sections of the book as in the B&G version of Dragon Heist, but I'm...
    32 replies | 1299 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd December, 2018, 05:47 AM
    T'enik the wizard, in his drive for power and knowledge, discovered and tampered with magic beyond his understanding and control. In an attempt to contact mysterious and powerful beings from whom he hoped to wrest the secrets of the universe, he ripped a small tear in the fabric of reality, giving an ancient abomination from the far realms a finger-hold into the adventurers' world and reality. ...
    8 replies | 243 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 11:00 PM
    Right, but the price point is not going to work for most DMs. Hasbro should be able to sell a much more modestly priced set with less premium components.
    32 replies | 1299 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 10:59 PM
    Well, sure. They could continue to sell the book as it and a separate supplement set.
    32 replies | 1299 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 08:30 PM
    I don't want core rule box sets. I want adventure box sets. Like Beadle & Grimm, but focused on minis and battlemaps and less on tchotchkes. Give me EVERYTHING I need to run the adventure. An affordably priced option would have paper battlemaps and punch out cardboard counters/pogs. A premium option would have wizkids pre-painted minis and maybe some premium poster maps, cloth maps, and hand...
    32 replies | 1299 view(s)
    4 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 08:21 PM
    Have YOU asked them?
    20 replies | 4884 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st December, 2018, 07:52 PM
    What are some things you never have used, even as reference? Most things I have not used are adventures I don't have time to get to but at least have enjoyed browsing, and hope to someday run, and board games. Board games are where I'm guiltiest of buying and not playing. It's hard at this time of my lift to regularly get 3 or more adult gamers together, outside of my regular D&D games.
    29 replies | 795 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 30th November, 2018, 10:17 AM
    I checked out your "Party Base" document, very cool. Thanks for the link and for creating and sharing it. Very useful stuff.
    7 replies | 825 view(s)
    0 XP
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About MNblockhead

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About MNblockhead
Introduction:
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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My Game Details

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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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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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Tuesday, 11th December, 2018


Monday, 10th December, 2018



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Sunday, 2nd December, 2018

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

Tuesday, 30th October, 2018


Saturday, 8th September, 2018

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

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

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

Monday, 27th August, 2018


Wednesday, 8th August, 2018

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

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

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

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

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

Friday, 20th July, 2018


Thursday, 26th April, 2018


Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

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

Friday, 30th March, 2018

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

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

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

Thursday, 22nd March, 2018


Sunday, 8th October, 2017


Monday, 31st July, 2017

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

Tuesday, 18th July, 2017

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

Monday, 19th June, 2017

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

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.


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Monday, 10th December, 2018


Saturday, 8th December, 2018


Friday, 7th December, 2018

  • 11:32 PM - Quickleaf quoted MNblockhead in post How to make an encounter with falling great distances interesting and dangerous, but not deadly?
    This. I never played 4e, but Matt Coleville put out an excellent video discussing using 4e skill challenges in 5e and I used his advice to in my Curse of Strahd campaign when for the travel up the frozen winter pass to the Amber temple. How I handle it is I ask each player to explain how their character is contributing to the challenge. In this case, it would be getting the entire party safely up the cliff. It needs to be reasonable, or at least cool enough to let all reason go to the wind. Then each player makes a skill check relevant to the how they explained their character was contributing. Based on how well or how poorly they role, complications, encounters, or cool finds may result. I try to come up with complications and successes that are more interesting than "you fall" or "you scale the cliff in half the time". Complications could be: Player says he is looking for hazards, safe footholds, and just finding and easier way up. But he rolls poorly on his Wisdom (Perception) check. ...
  • 09:28 PM - Henry quoted MNblockhead in post Do We Really Need Half-Elves and Half-Orcs?
    People ate Bigfoot? And now they are going after Yeti. I never knew culinary cryptozoology was a thing. No wonder they keep themselves well hidden! I humbly submit: https://www.connectsavannah.com/savannah/dont-eat-the-coelacanth/Content?oid=2136175 You KNOW if any cryptids were ever discovered as real, the first thing to happen is tons of bozos lining up to dine on one, no matter how sentient... :D Yetis? Mothmen? Grafton Monsters? Bishopville Lizard Men? Nessie? Chupacabras? First question probably won't be, "What is the Genus of such a fabulous creature," but, "HOW MUCH PER POUND?!?!?!" I've come upon an aphorism I keep finding true: "If it exists, mankind has tried to eat it, shoot it, or screw it." :)

Thursday, 6th December, 2018

  • 08:26 PM - GMforPowergamers quoted MNblockhead in post Global Enhancements as Treasure
    You could tie this into magical healing. For example, in some great war against the forces of evil certain temples were destroyed or defiles. The forces of good focused on survival and winning the war, let certain battles be lost. After a centuries of struggle and war the forces of good overcame the forces of evil. The evil empire is long gone and but a dark spot in history. But the forces of good never reclaimed the ancient temples. New temples were built but that didn't satisfy the goods. Or maybe the death and destruction of the wars cause the people to turn to new gods. Over time certain magics weakened/disappeared. Maybe there is no magical healing, other than basic potions of healing, which are are incredibly expensive. Buy reclaiming, cleansing, rebuilding, and bringing new devout caretakers to a certain temple, 1st tier healing spells become unlocked. And then additional positive magics become available as greater threats are overcome to reclaim ever more important temples. coo...
  • 07:25 PM - Egg Embry quoted MNblockhead in post RPG Crowdfunding News 124: Art of De Architecturart, Folio Quarterly, Dragon d20 Dice, Emberwind, Mythic Mania 2, Adrift in the Dark, Uninvited Guests, and Adventure Omnibus
    As much time and money as I spend on Kickstarter there is still so much that never pops up on my RADAR. I've come to rely on this series to learn of cool TTRPG kickstarters. So kudos to Egg Embry. De Architecturart look amazing. I'm a sucker for beautiful maps. Even though I have more maps that I'll probably get to use in play in my lifetime, I may still need to back this. MNblockhead and all - I enjoy De Architecturart's work as well. And thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate it. :-) Thanks, Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer If you're a publisher that would like to share a crowdfunding campaign or a RPG-related job opportunity for a future article, please contact me here.

Wednesday, 5th December, 2018


Tuesday, 4th December, 2018

  • 07:37 PM - Jester David quoted MNblockhead in post Review Dragon Heist, Mad Mage, and Ravnica!
    It matters if you are trying to gauge interest in and success of a product. Which is what Jester was getting at. But, I'm happy to stay here conversing with my 300,000 closest friends. :-) I think Morrus is just tired of me crapping on the popularity of his site. Cause I’m always the one pointing out we’re not the norm and implying message boards are dated... Also, Discord drives me nuts. I've forced myself to use it a few times because some Kickstarter creators have the best fan support on that site and some on-line games require its use. But it is just awful for having conversations over time and mining prior conversations for information. Same with Twitter. Forums like this will continue to play a role for those who want to engage in more substantive online conversations. I use Discord for a streaming game in place of Skype. But I generally have no interest in the larger communities. Too old for that stuff. In general Twitter is a hole. But the #dnd community there is fun. Had some neat co...
  • 07:17 PM - WaterRabbit quoted MNblockhead in post Do We Really Need Half-Elves and Half-Orcs?
    WARNING ! SKYRIM SPOILER Then again, the Snow Elves are also gone (well have been twisted into the Falmer), except that in what quest you do find the last remaining Snow Elves, hidden away. It is one of the more narratively interesting quests in Skyrim. Perhaps a gnome was long ago turned to stone or put into some magic stasis. As for settings where the race NEVER exisited, well, perhaps the character put a bag of holding inside a handy haversack and bumbled his way into a portal to this world. If that is not the game you want to play as DM, well then don't. But if you want to run a setting that doesn't have a certain race that the player wants to play, there are ways to do it that don't have to disrupt the tone and narrative. Except that you have just disrupted the narrative with the bag of holding gag. Or the gnome or whatever. You are now creating a snowflake exception that doesn't respect the themes and tone of the setting. Notice in the Skyrim story, Snow Elf still...

Monday, 3rd December, 2018

  • 06:59 AM - Leatherhead quoted MNblockhead in post What would you want to see in a 5e CRPG set in FR?
    I long for the day when CRPG means Console RPG and not Computer RPG, especially if more consoles go the hybrid portable route that the Nintendo Switch does. This. If the game is good enough, I will go out and buy a new console if I don't own the supported one, but I'm just done with playing games on a laptop. Even though I can connect the lap top to my TV ... I just don't want to bother. When it comes to gaming, I just want to sit back on my couch and just play. I am here to register myself as the designated voice of dissension to this sentiment. Mostly because I am getting seriously jaded by the Console-game industry at the moment. And Console Exclusive titles are one of the major reasons for that. Another major reason being you have to download the game and it's patches after you buy the disk, which negates the reason to even have a console in the first place. Why am I buying a closed garden box if I have to download and set the game up anyway? The days of just plugging a cartridge into...

Sunday, 2nd December, 2018

  • 04:05 PM - Zhaleskra quoted MNblockhead in post How will your gaming-purchase habits change in 2019?
    What are some things you never have used, even as reference? A fair number of adventures that seemed like they'd be fun to run, but I never offered, or by the time I remembered we were already on D&D 3.0. "Middle" World of Darkness stuff, I like that Changeling: The Lost is closer to changeling stories, and I like that Changing Breeds made it so you didn't need endless splatbooks for other were-creatures. Even the core book had potential, and I actually wanted to run some games. TimeLords . . . a book it took me a long time to buy, and I even bought CORPS to hopefully run it, but the only thing I keep that has potential is "Time travel is necessarily also probability travel". If you travel back in time X years, but don't take into account where Earth was back then it's a one way trip to your death. As a teenager, and hack and slasher at the time, I liked the concept of Dark Sun. I have run using that setting, but it's not where my interests lie anymore.
  • 10:30 AM - CubicsRube quoted MNblockhead in post Boxed Sets 2018 Style
    I don't want core rule box sets. I want adventure box sets. Like Beadle & Grimm, but focused on minis and battlemaps and less on tchotchkes. Give me EVERYTHING I need to run the adventure. An affordably priced option would have paper battlemaps and punch out cardboard counters/pogs. A premium option would have wizkids pre-painted minis and maybe some premium poster maps, cloth maps, and hand outs. Beadle & Grimm's is heading in the right direction, but I worry it is priced too high to be successful. I would like to see something similar but priced so that it could be sold in Target and which an average middle-class parent or grandparent would consider buying it a gift. I still remember owning the ultima 9 box with it's cloth map of Britannia. Oh my lordy, give me a tea towel map of the sword coast and some fake parchment letters and I'll run you an adventure!
  • 10:16 AM - CubicsRube quoted MNblockhead in post Boxed Sets 2018 Style
    I don't want core rule box sets. I want adventure box sets. Like Beadle & Grimm, but focused on minis and battlemaps and less on tchotchkes. Give me EVERYTHING I need to run the adventure. An affordably priced option would have paper battlemaps and punch out cardboard counters/pogs. A premium option would have wizkids pre-painted minis and maybe some premium poster maps, cloth maps, and hand outs. Beadle & Grimm's is heading in the right direction, but I worry it is priced too high to be successful. I would like to see something similar but priced so that it could be sold in Target and which an average middle-class parent or grandparent would consider buying it a gift. I still remember owning the ultima 9 box with it's cloth map of Britannia. Oh my lordy, give me a tea towel map of the sword coast and some fake parchment letters and I'll run you an adventure!

Saturday, 1st December, 2018

  • 11:28 PM - Parmandur quoted MNblockhead in post Boxed Sets 2018 Style
    Right, but the price point is not going to work for most DMs. Hasbro should be able to sell a much more modestly priced set with less premium components. B&G was going to have less premium boxes; those seem to have disappeared? Maybe there isn't a major, viable market for more-than the Starter Set but less-than the B&G? WotC has tried before, but none of those products seemed to last.
  • 10:14 PM - Harzel quoted MNblockhead in post Burning Questions: How Can I Add Ambience to D&D Sessions?
    As I get older, I am less impressed by attempts to create ambiance. I keep coming back to a more minimalist play style. The great thing about TTRPGs for me is that it exercises your imagination. The more props and special effects you add to it, to less your mind has to do. That's why I don't feel compelled to spend a fortune on ultra-realistic terrain. In terms of ambiance-creating gimmicks I've tried or have been subjected to, here are how I stand on them: Background music works best when it gets out of the way of your imagination. Scented "gaming candles" can be interesting--at first, but you can't change scents as easy as music, making it hard to support scene changes with scents. Also, many people are sensitive to scented candles, so ask your players before lighting up candles. Lighting. You'r playing a game not having a themed dinner party. Keep the lighting bright so people can easily read and write. If you play with digital devices, maybe this isn't as important, but I would think ...
  • 08:37 PM - bedir than quoted MNblockhead in post Boxed Sets 2018 Style
    I don't want core rule box sets. I want adventure box sets. Like Beadle & Grimm, but focused on minis and battlemaps and less on tchotchkes. Give me EVERYTHING I need to run the adventure. An affordably priced option would have paper battlemaps and punch out cardboard counters/pogs. A premium option would have wizkids pre-painted minis and maybe some premium poster maps, cloth maps, and hand outs. Beadle & Grimm's is heading in the right direction, but I worry it is priced too high to be successful. I would like to see something similar but priced so that it could be sold in Target and which an average middle-class parent or grandparent would consider buying it a gift. The B&G set has more than 2 dozen minis and dozens of battlemaps
  • 08:36 PM - Parmandur quoted MNblockhead in post Boxed Sets 2018 Style
    I don't want core rule box sets. I want adventure box sets. Like Beadle & Grimm, but focused on minis and battlemaps and less on tchotchkes. Give me EVERYTHING I need to run the adventure. An affordably priced option would have paper battlemaps and punch out cardboard counters/pogs. A premium option would have wizkids pre-painted minis and maybe some premium poster maps, cloth maps, and hand outs. Beadle & Grimm's is heading in the right direction, but I worry it is priced too high to be successful. I would like to see something similar but priced so that it could be sold in Target and which an average middle-class parent or grandparent would consider buying it a gift. Issue there is, the adventure books already give most groups everything they need: text, maps, and handouts. Miniatures or physical representation of any kind are not a universal feature of play.

Wednesday, 28th November, 2018

  • 10:09 PM - Dausuul quoted MNblockhead in post The Power of Surprise: How my 7th level party took out a 40k xp challenge without a sweat
    Sorry to be that guy, but there is no such thing as a surprise round. Now it is possible that the party could get an entire round of surprise if all the enemy are surprised, but did you check for all 18 githyanki or did you do a group check. You don't check for each githyanki. Each PC rolls Stealth; unless the githyanki are using an action to search, they must rely on passive Perception. So if each PC is able to beat the highest passive Perception among the githyanki, the entire raiding party is surprised.
  • 08:44 PM - jasper quoted MNblockhead in post How will your gaming-purchase habits change in 2019?
    Yikes! Just to get in‽ Are you including the hotel cost? I don't think I would ever spend that much for a fan con. Maybe I'm dating myself with my sticker shock. Still, even though I have far more disposable income than when I was young, I would not want to spend that amount of money on top of travel, hotel, food, and purchases. I'd rather use that money to buy new games or on other hobbies. Dragoncon swag $8.02 Dragon Con Cash $185.00 Dragon Con frame $13.16 Dragon*Con food $34.00 Dragon*Con Store 2019 mem $95.00 Dragon*Con card food $8.00 Dragon*Con ebooks $41.00 Dragon*Con room payment $400.00 Dragon*Con dry cleaning $29.00 Dragoncon dinner & stuff $79.00 Does not include gas as the deal was I leave house with a full tank and on way back the passengers fill the tank. So say $30 in gas because The Altanta airport is only 2 hours 20 from my front door (ask me how I know.) And I was not paying attention to drive time once I hit Atlanta proper.


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