View Profile: MNblockhead - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 04:05 AM
    I'm a big fan of paper minis and currently support Printable Heroes and have bought a lot of One Monk Miniatures and Fat Dragon Games paper miniatures and terrain. I would be interested in yours as well, but it appears you don't over cut files for any support level. Sorry, but no cut files, I'm not going to bother. I'm not going to waste time carving the mini out with an exacto knife. With a...
    5 replies | 279 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:26 AM
    Sometimes it's useful to Dodge then provoke OAs so other allies can get away safely without spending an action to Disengage. The cleric and my character (a bard) were separated from the party and nearly surrounded, so we were trying to pull back to the rest of the group who were also engaged in a fight. I cast longstrider on her earlier, so she could get to the party and cast a spell if she...
    9 replies | 153 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 03:21 AM
    It is nice that they are releasing this and I assume they will have some publication to tie in with the big ship mini that is being released. But it isn't going to replace the rules I've been using for the past four years: Ronny Hart's Nautical Adventures: A Supplement Providing Ship to Ship Combat Rules, available on his Dungeon Masters Assistance blog, here:...
    4 replies | 88 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Today, 03:19 AM
    BTW I think you have done zero analysis either, just some personal experiences. You also have not kept statistics or done anything on how it relates to party success either, you just want to argue since you left feels is hurt. So like I said start a thread on dodge usefulness and greatness and how much it contributes to party success to voluntarily do nothing on your turn except move....
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Today, 03:07 AM
    If you have a party of 4-5 PCs and you donít do your damage then party damage has decreased by 20-25%. That means the enemy dies slower and is alive longer to cause more damage and effects. Essentially you stunned yourself, since you can move. You correct, over many years and plenty of games with many players and watching various games on YouTube and Twitch and years in these forums...
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:27 PM
    Its not a combat simulator, however properly run it simulates the flow of combat very well
    118 replies | 3846 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:17 PM
    What really stops attacks is killing or completely incapacitating the enemy. Anything that doesn't involve that increases potential damage to you. The thread is about melee vs range and mostly about martial pcs, their actions are better spent making all their attacks on the enemy to get their damage across. You are a melee PC (definition of the thread) so you need to get what you do...
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:25 PM
    Enforcing encumbrance also helps get rid of those 8 Str builds. Elfcrusher I have never used the Dodge action in combat for any 2 handed attacker, or for most primary melee types used in the discussion here. Its a waste of an action, just put your damage out and have the group plan to bring you back up.
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:19 PM
    Command and Dissonant Whispers are 1st level, generating multiple OppAtt with a first level spell at 7th level has a very low cost as by then. You need to set them up of course, they should always generate at least 2 OppAtt with proper play, one of which could be Booming Blade with Warcaster, which would trigger immediately as you can make an OppAtt on your own turn if you use Dissonant...
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:42 PM
    TBH I have never seen so many complicated methods for stat generation as I have seen posted here. To me its way overthought, but more power to the people that hold it dear. I don't even really role the dice for PC stats anymore, I just use Hamete Dice Server to roll 4d6-L for all 6 stats in less than a second and clear the array with the DM or approve it if I am DM. https://dicelog.com/dice
    148 replies | 12559 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:24 AM
    Forgotten Realms
    7 replies | 272 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:17 AM
    Any sufficiently crazy or motivated idiot with a knife or gun can kill the President. That's why there are lots of folks whose job it is to make sure it doesn't happen. A ruler's power isn't strength or stamina, its charisma and wealth. They don't generally deal or take damage from PCs, they have people for that.
    54 replies | 1675 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:46 AM
    A large group of goblins isnít a problem for a higher level PCs IF the group is properly played. You canít just stupid you way through anymore with more and better equipment. Magic items are still great, however they are not longer required to just keep up. Higher level foes can still crush lower level foes if played correctly. 5e is a lot more then it seems at a glance.
    118 replies | 3846 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:37 AM
    I have played for almost 40 years, every edition. 5e is just easier to play then all previous editions. Itís also easier to DM, which means less set up time and more play time. The way the game uses AC with bounded accuracy, IMO, makes AC more important. You still get hit, but getting hit less really means more as creatures hit harder. You get the back and forth and trading blows effect,...
    118 replies | 3846 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 09:56 PM
    However you do it the best way IMO is to have Session 0 be a PC build session where all this is done. The groups can see who everyone is and choose class/race/etc based on group. You can build PCS and get in the starting adventure easily, getting level 1 done with no problem.
    148 replies | 12559 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 04:37 PM
    Oops. Should have though to check the dmg. :-). Thanks for pointing me to it. This should work well enough.
    19 replies | 397 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 04:22 PM
    I had something similar happen, except I had the jags force the party to eat dream pastries so they had a chance to get addicted and so that the hags took glee in the corruption of their bodies. The. I had the night hags use their nightmare ability on one of the characters who resisted them, which was a major impediment to the character and party at that level. Iím your case I would say that...
    2 replies | 201 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 05:06 AM
    Is there no discussion about the campaign before you started playing? No session zero? Much of what you list is common and more a matter of group preference than a "bad DM." The only thing that would make these due to "bad" DMing would be if the DM somehow misled you on what kind of campaign was being run. Random character generation is not poor house-ruling. It is a valid...
    1794 replies | 57198 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:59 AM
    Yep. I do. I also roll in the open, so when they see that 20, they know a card is going to be drawn. This was the players' idea by the way. We played around with crit decks on and off in my prior campaigns but on player request they are standard for my current campaign.
    1794 replies | 57198 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:49 AM
    If a character dies, I feel that the player should be able to start at a level in-line with the rest of the party. Generally, this will be one level lower than the lowest leveled living character. But what have you found to be the best way to handle the wealth and magic-item disparity? Do you attempt to provide the new character with wealth and magic commensurate with its level? If so, do...
    19 replies | 397 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:10 AM
    ENWorld EN5ider published a class option you might find helpful in Chessmasters and Commanders: The Noble, which is also included in the anathology A Touch of Class. If you become a Patreon supporter, I think you still get access to all the past articles. Otherwise, A Touch of Class is available in DMs Guild. What I like about the EN5ider Noble class is that is more about leading. It can make...
    54 replies | 1675 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 12:04 AM
    I'm still fairly 'new' as a DM. After 1990, I didn't play any TTRPGs until 5e and even now I can only run a game about once per month. Now, its an 8-hour game each month, but most of my time is spent on familiarizing myself with the setting, adventure, likely encounters for the session, etc. So, I find these discussions useful. It was another thread on ENWorld that convinced me to ditch fumble...
    1794 replies | 57198 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 09:49 PM
    Well, the intention of my question was to separate pet peeves from game breakers. There have been lots of threads about pet peeves and annoyances, but what DM behavior has actually made you quit a game. I should have known my audience better. For many, they are the same thing.
    1794 replies | 57198 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 09:22 PM
    I missed this. This thread has become a epic discussion on the proper flow of the game that individual stories like this are getting lost. I agree with Grainger completely and I say this as a reformed DM who no longer uses critical failures. A "1" is just an auto miss/fail. Otherwise you have high level fighters with multiple attacks being more likely to fumble than a first level fighter.
    1794 replies | 57198 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 09:10 PM
    Aligning schedules is the biggest challenge. I have one regular game I run on a monthly basis. If I were to run any more games they would be one shots at the game store. Meetup.com has been the best tool for finding gamers. If I'm travelling for business and am at a location more than a couple nights, I can usually find a game to play in. So, I don't think finding an occasional game is the...
    10 replies | 377 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 08:52 PM
    Good point. But it isn't like the Doctor had much time to do anything. Perhaps she would have come up with a kinder way of alleviating its pain.
    174 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 05:59 PM
    It actually doesn't rely on ANY published settings or adventures (Fields of Blood, the other isn't out yet.) Its just a rules system for empire management and mass combat D&D style. Managing a fief of any size gets expensive, and troops cost money. Worse, the system includes historical rules that show the difference between having wealth as opposed to cash, which you never have enough of.
    745 replies | 83346 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 03:24 PM
    Agree to above. Go get the old Fields of Blood for 3.5 or go back the new 5e version, both by same author, Matt Colville. You will find plenty of uses for gold, in fact you will find out why Kings sponsor the expeditions that are the hook you see to get PC out on adventures.
    745 replies | 83346 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 01:05 PM
    Itís the balance between +1 AC and +1 DMG to 2-3 weapon attacks per round vs +1 to hit/ +1 DMG (and +1 to AC if Dex based). I think the ASI is better if DEX based and the same if STR based but itís close enough itís a preference thing. I would choose based on if I had a Mini with 2 medium sized weapons or with 2 small weapons so it matches the PC on the sheet....
    10 replies | 321 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 01:18 AM
    Because the OP wanted to use 2 weapons.
    10 replies | 321 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 11:55 PM
    And if you were to go 2 weapon then Champion letís you pick the style and get full attack bonus and Dual Wielder is then the feat you take. With that feat and the second fighting style from Paladin you can take defense and get a total defense bonus of +2.
    10 replies | 321 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 11:54 PM
    You need to pick something to use your bonus action on. Shield Master used to be a good choice, it still is if you donít follow JC. Otherwise you need something, and if you have nothing then use Wrathful Smite.
    10 replies | 321 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 10:00 PM
    It drains concentration for 8 hours, that's enough. You wont use them that long.
    60 replies | 1708 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 06:19 PM
    I think the bigger issue with wizards is that within each level there are spells that are just terrible and others that are just great and must haves. It makes all wizards sort of the same. Even spells that seem the same are far apart. Look at Conjure Minor Elementals compared to summon greater demon. It would seem they are similar but different in choice of creature. Itís not close. ...
    60 replies | 1708 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 04:42 PM
    ROFL we never had anyone taker invoker because it wasnt very good. The most played type was by far was Transmuter and Conjuration specialists. 5E does have a generalist wizard, its every single wizard as all of them can take any spell. The Diviner is best generalist ever with the added benefit of portent.
    60 replies | 1708 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 04:17 PM
    It does but the cover would have to be between you and who you are attacking so that means the target would have to be 10í away, so only applies to reach weapons. Cover is different in melee as the weapon is always attached to you and you are in all parts of the 5í square and it is assumed you are reaching and attacking from different angles. In the situation where a wall or something say 3í...
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 06:36 PM
    I agree. However I did like the feature in earlier editions that you choice of school cut off access to another school. I thought that was a good option .
    60 replies | 1708 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 04:43 PM
    Another issue with ranged combat specialist is their HP pool is in general not available for the party to use, other players in melee range must take hits for them. This also needs to be planned for at session 0.
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 04:39 PM
    Your examples also do not include the OppAtt that melee users get and should get %50 of the time in a well played group. Dissonant Whispers, Command, Compulsion exist for that very reason.
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 04:35 PM
    Session 0 is incredibly important. For an example relevant to this thread, if I saw a Shield user who intended to go into Shield Mastery to bash people around and prone them, I probably wouldn't build a ranged user, as ranged attacks against prone creatures are at disadvantage. If, in addition to the above, there was a Bard who intended to use dissonant whispers and warcaster and booming blade,...
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 03:50 PM
    Correct, and this was the post I was going to make shortly. If you're carrying your own stuff (no hirelings, Tenser's floating disc, stashing stuff in places in the dungeon, etc.), then what really matters is the range between lightly and heavily encumbered. Though players imagine it as more important than it turns out to be in my experience, a loss of 10 feet of movement in many dungeon...
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:35 AM
    Did you see the Age of Worms conversion here by Tormyr? Itís good. I am on part 6. Donít worry about too many magic items early, you will need them and you get less later.
    253 replies | 10283 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:28 AM
    However mostly encumbrance is the simple rule or hand-waved entirely. This also applies to vision rules over range. Players will also actually protest if DM uses advanced creatures with Archery Style and Sharpshooter, Stone Giants throwing rocks with both for example.
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 10:32 PM
    One thing I've noticed is that if I use the variant encumbrance rules (as I do in dungeon runs), players abandon Dex-based builds and thus ranged attack reliant characters. They seem to value moving normally and carrying supplies/treasure more than how far away they are when they attack in these scenarios.
    108 replies | 3376 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 09:12 PM
    There isn't one in D&D 5e. To increase Wisdom, you'll want to get your mitts on a Tome of Understanding. But I hear it's a dull read.
    11 replies | 504 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 09:09 PM
    If the target succeeds at the saving throw, it can't be used against that target for 24 hours. Also, a creature that can see invisible objects notices the sensor. If targeting an area instead, the sensor doesn't move so that is also a limitation. So, some limits, but still quite powerful as befits a very rare or legendary item.
    10 replies | 430 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 05:22 PM
    How aging might affect a character is left to the DM. I would definitely set some limits on what a character well beyond his or her prime adventuring years could do, on a case-by-case and consistent basis. And if a character was aged to the point where he or she could reasonably die of old age, then he or she just dies. If there was ever any question as to how old a character could be, I'd just...
    39 replies | 1126 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 02:12 AM
    I would take the NPCs off the table and instead do this: If a PC takes damage, the player can choose to have an NPC ally take the damage instead. The NPC ally immediately dies. Then I would just throw the dragon and wolves at them. This makes for a fun game of involving the players in deciding which of the NPCs takes the fall for them which in my experience is good for both drama and laughs. If...
    4 replies | 181 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 12:00 AM
    I use glass beads for minions, they have a round side and a flat side, but of 7 different colors. So after a hit I just flip them over. Itís like mook HP from earlier editions.
    42 replies | 1584 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 03:10 PM
    Tormyr probably doesnít want to blow his own horn, but try his conversion of Age of Worms. Itís from 3.5 and you need the original Dungeon magazines (available online somewhere....) but itís all there and itís all linked episodes.
    22 replies | 738 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 03:03 PM
    I use this also, scaling on level. Sometimes a creature can take 2 hits, sometimes 3.
    42 replies | 1584 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 02:24 PM
    It depends on the nature of the torture but in general yes. If the torture is endless quotes about doing good things and how the demon should repent, thatís not an inherently evil act but could be torture to that creature. Thumbscrews or the Iron Maiden yes, in all cases. Itís depends on the nature of the act used to torture. I thought the movie Titanic was torture, the boat couldnít...
    27 replies | 767 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 01:23 PM
    As a DM I always make sure treasure hordes include deeds, businesses, mines, etc. A VG and free mini adventure is Leomundís Missing Mansion at DMs guild, the PC get an extra planar mansion. The players who like these things will select them when dividing up treasure.
    745 replies | 83346 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 01:09 PM
    Correct. Been nation building since companion set rules, Fields of Blood, and the new kickstarter by Matthew Colvin.
    745 replies | 83346 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 07:04 PM
    Things I use: Critical hits are max weapons damage plus bonus dice as usual. I donít want players to get a crit and then roll two 1ís. Same goes for monsters. Yunru rule about ability scores Jump checks are DC= distance in feet. No automatic jumps. Dueling users have option to step up damage die size instead of flat +2 i.e. d8 goes to d12
    42 replies | 1584 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 01:07 PM
    I am more of the opinion he was a warrior who has athletics as a skill and is good at climbing and had stealth as a skill and was good at it. Having athletics and stealth as skills doesnít make mean you have rogue as a class. In earlier editions when move silently was a skill specific to certain classes, you would have to put some rogue in, but this edition changes that. If anything I...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 06:12 AM
    Spiders was my least favorite episode, and a real fall from the prior episode, mainly because of the ham-fisted cartoon villain. I hope he is not a recurring character, or if he is, make him more 3-dimensional. But there were some real gems in this otherwise blah episode. 1st - the grieving scenes - Bradley Walsh delivered a moving performance and made for the deepest and best portrayed...
    174 replies | 4503 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 05:28 AM
    So many other good tips in this thread. I just finished CoS. Some changes / tips: Baba Lysaga ("BL") is too cool and has too cool of a back story to remain a side character in the swamp. My party never went to the Ruins of Berez, but through luck and smart game play they assembled a powerful group of followers to help them storm the castle. Now, remember, BL thinks of Strahd as her son. She...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 04:47 AM
    Interesting. Thanks for sharing. This would work better in a prior campaign a ran where each session was rather stand-alone and each was a different level (i.e. 20 sessions, 20 levels) and the assumption being that the group got together aver perhaps years apart to address a thread, recover an artifact, etc. It would be more difficult to apply the length of time in a typical campaign though....
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 04:18 AM
    Yeah because experience alone is going to teach you those new skills and abilities. Things your character has never done. Besides, as I've stated, in this campaign you don't get any experience for killing creatures. You get experience primarily from extracting treasure. One GP of value equals one XP. There is also milestone experience (not milestone leveling, but XP given for hitting certain...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 04:07 AM
    I would think the training costs should be something that the party should be willing to chip in to help each other out. It helps the entire party to have a member level up. But, ultimately, it is up to the players. I certainly have the stomach to not allow someone to level up if they can't afford it. Get back into the dungeon and get that treasure, son!
    36 replies | 853 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 04:05 AM
    Nope. Not core. It is a home brew rule based on (1) the training for levels variant in the DMG, (2) with pricing adjusted based on a suggestion by 77IM in another thread I started (click here for his post), (3) and EN5ider #23 - Master & Apprentice: Gaining New Levels With Style. I replaced the EN5ider "mojo" mechanic with an award of inspiration for a exceptional training results. Going into...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 03:31 AM
    I'm not familiar with Imagine magazine and am unsure if I've every seen, bought, or played any "UK module" so it would have been nice to have these highlighted. Perhaps some example of foreign-language editions as well, but it is already a hefty tome and they can only fit so much.
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 10:12 PM
    I have never thought of Conan as a rogue/Thief even though he stole things. I always figured he was a strong-arm thief, he was not a sleight of hand, lock picking, skulking in shadows, second story type. He had companions handle that stuff.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 04:26 PM
    You're going to need a CR 3 for the challenge to be of Medium difficulty, CR 4 for Hard, CR 5 for Deadly. But even "Deadly" doesn't mean someone will die, only that it's possible. I'd recommend a Deadly monster that has some tricks that can be exploited to reduce the difficulty. A flesh golem has an aversion to fire, for example, so if the PCs are able to learn this before the encounter, they...
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 02:49 PM
    What I find amazing, at every table I have ever played at, is you can suggest players focus fire on a creature and it just doesnít happen. But if you use, as an example, shield master to prone someone and then say ďif you attack this guy that I proned you get advantageĒ players will leap across traps, risk opportunity attacks, etc to get to where they can roll more dice. To get a group to...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 07:41 AM
    Well I'm not going to try to calculate that, but it isn't until page 279 of the 433-page book that it starts getting in to WoTC stuff. I was very happy that a great portion of this tome was not only on TSR but on the early ODD and AD&D 1e art of the 70s and 80s. But it was also interesting for me to see the 3e and 4e stuff, which I missed entirely in my time away from RPGs. This is a...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 07:31 AM
    Started there but TSR ended up publishing it themselves and used it to start TSR UK. The story is in Art and Arcana. See page 127, where they reproduce an add from 1981 that advertises the Fiend Folio as "Monsters from England: The Fiend Folio Tome". Unfortunately, that page is the only one listed in the index's entry for TSR Hobbies UK, Ltd. What UK-specific work do you think was...
    31 replies | 1226 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 07:16 AM
    Session Zero is this Saturday, so it hasn't come up yet. But a player asked by e-mail. He is on the fence between school of divination and school of abjuration and if he can use portent on downtime skill checks, it may push him into selecting divination. He asked about lucky feat in the same e-mail but later said he's not really interested in that. But I figure I better have an answer in case...
    36 replies | 853 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 04:49 PM
    My experience is DM do that sometimes. The familiars that can fly away are better for this obviously. However, if the creature spends its turn chasing and attack a familiar that is a good use of 2nd level spell as a form of soft control. In our group recently its been used to prevent regeneration of some creature, we are fighting a lot of regenerating undead. Its sometimes its worth it,...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 06:27 AM
    I can agree with the former in many instances. As for the second phrase, I would edit it to say "the fresh grads *think* they have all the knowledge."
    21 replies | 711 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 06:22 AM
    Bought the regular book as the inserts and posters didn't appeal to me (although I do like the Hydro74 alternative cover). I'm loving it. Absolutely worth the price. Especially with the Amazon pre-order discount. Already paged through the entire thing letting nostalgia wash over me and am going back and reading it. I love books on the history of D&D and RPGs and it is wonderful to now have a...
    31 replies | 1226 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 06:18 AM
    Fiend Folio.
    31 replies | 1226 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 05:03 AM
    Are you using XGE? Because few of the downtime activities are pass/fail. Most have you compare your roll against a table to determine the result.
    36 replies | 853 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 05:01 AM
    Yikes! I've never played GURPS, but it sounds like a slog.
    36 replies | 853 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 04:59 AM
    Right. I agree. Would you allow lucky feat and/or portent to be used on that one roll?
    36 replies | 853 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 01:47 AM
    By RAW it seems that players should be able to use the lucky feat or the Wizard School of Divination Portent Feature for skill checks required by downtime activities. However, given the ample opportunity for long rest during extended downtime, is this not almost guaranteeing good results? I have a player who is considering a build that will have both. That's 5 re-rolls per long rest, two of...
    36 replies | 853 view(s)
    0 XP
  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 02:16 PM
    Itís clearly a slot tax, itís so worth it that Bards should take it if no one else has it.
    1022 replies | 1137133 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 06:15 PM
    My position on suboptimal choices is that it's not worth worrying about. Set some limits to the number of times Inspiration can be earned. Peg those limits to drawing upon the range of personal characteristics instead of just one or two. Then let it play out. Sometimes when portraying a characteristic the player will make a suboptimal choice. They won't all be suboptimal. And that's fine in my...
    118 replies | 2834 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 07:48 PM
    Making exploration challenges the main source of treasure is one way, as Satyrn mentions. But also it's worth examining how often you employ "gotchas" in your game. That's a situation where, because the DM hasn't provided adequate information when describing the environment (or perhaps when describing the results of the adventurers' actions), the players are making uninformed decisions that...
    18 replies | 643 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:39 PM
    First, I think "IRL" arguments aren't very convincing when talking about the rules of a game set in a fantasy world. Some amount of realism has to take a back seat to the game play. The way the rules have it set up make it clear there's a meaningful choice to be made here. And as I said upthread, the more meaningful choices a player can make in a given session, the better in my view. ...
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:18 AM
    Activities While Traveling, Basic Rules, pages 64 to 65. A section many people don't notice, forget, or ignore, which I think is a shame because it plays into these mechanics taken as a whole quite well. Really the whole Adventuring chapter is worth a read. As are any section in the DMG related to the activities (navigating, tracking, etc.).
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:16 AM
    Yes, the ranger's ability I reference specifically requires an hour or more of traveling in favored terrain. Anything less than an hour and in anything other than favored terrain, it doesn't kick in. But "traveling" in and of itself is not limited to a certain time, distance, or context in the rules. It can be dungeon or wilderness or anything from feet per minute to miles per day. Searching...
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:09 AM
    The rules straight up say you don't get to apply passive Perception when Navigating and a few other tasks as well as any task the DM deems sufficiently distracting. From a game play perspective and given many, many hours of practical experience with it, it makes great sense to me: You get to choose one thing at the cost of not doing some other thing that may be useful or valuable. (Unless you're...
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:00 AM
    Couple of artists among my regular players and Grae contributes the most art to recent campaigns. Some samples: A Few of Our Planescapers, Just Back from Hell Left to Right: Ysla Gunnulf, Hardwood Rich Mahogany, Bo Low, Jinx Monsoon, Malcer Lackman More Bo Low (Grae's character by whom he is strangely fascinated)
    3 replies | 210 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 01:09 AM
    What if it's Infinity + 1? What're ya going to do then?!
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 12:51 AM
    No worries - if I'm the designated trap-finder with that low of a passive Perception, I'll just ask another PC to Work Together with me on that for a passive Perception of 19.
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 10:04 PM
    As a player, I absolutely do try to take luck out of any task I have my character attempt, to the extent that I can.
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 08:51 PM
    I don't see how that is necessarily so. They're aware of some of their surroundings, but not all of it. If you turn your attention to particular tasks, your passive Perception doesn't apply to noticing hidden threats. That's straight out of the rules. A DM might describe the foreboding hills through which the PCs are traveling, the immediate surroundings, and the basic scope of options that...
    102 replies | 2458 view(s)
    1 XP
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About MNblockhead

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About MNblockhead
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Back to the table-top after 2.5 decades away
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Gamer that returned to the fold with 5e, after 25 years away from RPGs.
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Twin Cities, MN, USA
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Monthly 8-hour 5e game. Ended home-brew campaign in January 2018, after two years and am now running Curse of Strahd.
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I play a Tortle barbarian berserker with the great-weapon master feat.

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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, 14th November, 2018


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Tuesday, 30th October, 2018


Saturday, 8th September, 2018

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

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

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

Monday, 27th August, 2018


Wednesday, 8th August, 2018

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

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

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

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

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

Friday, 20th July, 2018


Thursday, 26th April, 2018


Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

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

Friday, 30th March, 2018

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

Sunday, 25th March, 2018

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

Thursday, 22nd March, 2018


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


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Monday, 12th November, 2018

  • 02:15 PM - CydKnight quoted MNblockhead in post After character death - new character wealth and magic
    If a character dies, I feel that the player should be able to start at a level in-line with the rest of the party. Generally, this will be one level lower than the lowest leveled living character. But what have you found to be the best way to handle the wealth and magic-item disparity? Do you attempt to provide the new character with wealth and magic commensurate with its level? If so, do you have a set of guidelines or a table for this? But I thought magic items and wealth didn't matter so much to 5E? That any such gains should be considered "boons"? Seriously though, I once allowed a few new players to come into an already running campaign that had reached level 5. I even allowed them to have some questionable wealth and magic items and they ended up outshining the players that had already been in the group playing for months. Then one got really pissy out of character when the other players wouldn't allow his assassin to shake down the room and pocket all the choice loot for himself jus...
  • 01:23 PM - Rya.Reisender quoted MNblockhead in post After character death - new character wealth and magic
    If a character dies, I feel that the player should be able to start at a level in-line with the rest of the party. Generally, this will be one level lower than the lowest leveled living character. But what have you found to be the best way to handle the wealth and magic-item disparity? Do you attempt to provide the new character with wealth and magic commensurate with its level? If so, do you have a set of guidelines or a table for this? For me a new character is always a new character with no extra items. What happens with the items of the dead character depends on scenario. If the PCs flee, the enemies will loot his corpse and the players might get it back later when they finally defeat the enemies. If the PCs win the battle, they can directly loot their fallen comrade. If the PC was burned to dead, all wooden objects that are not magical might be destroyed. And enemies would usually keep coins and magic items but probably not all the random adventuring gear. What my players usuall...
  • 01:05 PM - Grainger quoted MNblockhead in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    This discuss is useful but I've found that many of the complaints would not change my style but rather would lead to say "well, this isn't the game for you." I would say that a good percentage of 5e players would not like my current campaign. And, so long as I can find a group that does enjoy the campaign I'm running, that's fine. I'm like that too. I try to make it fun for my players, and am flexible, but there are certain things I won't do. I dislike "kitchen sink" fantasy settings (e.g. just pick a rough time period and stick to it) and I will not use minis or the grid to handle combats. They're kind of my red lines. However, other than that, I tailor my campaign so that it involves things my players will enjoy.

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 09:08 PM - Satyrn quoted MNblockhead in post After character death - new character wealth and magic
    If a character dies, I feel that the player should be able to start at a level in-line with the rest of the party. Generally, this will be one level lower than the lowest leveled living character. But what have you found to be the best way to handle the wealth and magic-item disparity? Do you attempt to provide the new character with wealth and magic commensurate with its level? If so, do you have a set of guidelines or a table for this? After my fighter died, my new druid came into the game with nothing. However, the rest of the party looted my late fighter's gear, and redistributed all the party's gear to where it best fit. That is, I didn't get the boots the fighter had, but my druid was handed the wand of lightning bolts that no one else needed. So, since we consider all the loot as belonging to the party, there's no need to bother doing anything special for new characters and they start with starting gear . . . oh, we do let them start with plate mail if that's their schtick...
  • 08:21 PM - 5ekyu quoted MNblockhead in post After character death - new character wealth and magic
    If a character dies, I feel that the player should be able to start at a level in-line with the rest of the party. Generally, this will be one level lower than the lowest leveled living character. But what have you found to be the best way to handle the wealth and magic-item disparity? Do you attempt to provide the new character with wealth and magic commensurate with its level? If so, do you have a set of guidelines or a table for this?I generally start new charscters st the same level with slightly lower net gear and wealth - if the previous character's stuff of not in play. If the previous character's stuff is still there, cut the gear wealth by 33-50% cuz I dont want death to power up the group. If the existing party is mostly found gear then the stuff for the new charscter will be chosen by me. If it's mostly bought or chosen, the new PC gets choice.
  • 05:10 PM - Plutancatty quoted MNblockhead in post (CoS) Getting TPK'd at Old Bonegrinder and more.
    I had something similar happen, except I had the jags force the party to eat dream pastries so they had a chance to get addicted and so that the hags took glee in the corruption of their bodies. The. I had the night hags use their nightmare ability on one of the characters who resisted them, which was a major impediment to the character and party at that level. Iím your case I would say that the invisible assasin doesnít know where van richter is. But have it show up later, perhaps when he reveals who he is to the party. The party unwilling leads the assassin to him. If he survives, he blames the party and hides from them and refuses to help them until they can prove their true intentions. (I had a dream pastry force-fed to the rogue as well, for the lulz)
  • 02:56 PM - Gilladian quoted MNblockhead in post D&D Endless QuestsÖ in Target, B&N, Amazon, and More!
    Yep. Also, I was very happy to see that my local library has "Art & Arcana" on order, which I found out when I went online to request that they get it. BTW, most libraries have a way for you to request books. If you want to help the hobby, make requests for RPG and RPG-related/inspired books that have mass appeal. I've found that books from better-known publishers are more likely to be selected. I don't know if that is because libraries get special deals from the larger publishers and distributors or that it just seems like a "safer bet" to the librarians considering them. Most libraries buy through one of two or three large distributors. If your requested material is not available through one of them, we will usually not order it direct, because we do get big discounts. I will look tomorrow to see if these are available and if so, recommend them to the Childrenís Librarian for purchase in my system.
  • 12:49 AM - Oofta quoted MNblockhead in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I'm still fairly 'new' as a DM. After 1990, I didn't play any TTRPGs until 5e and even now I can only run a game about once per month. Now, its an 8-hour game each month, but most of my time is spent on familiarizing myself with the setting, adventure, likely encounters for the session, etc. So, I find these discussions useful. It was another thread on ENWorld that convinced me to ditch fumble rules, but we still use a critical hit deck (the one by Nord games), because the players enjoy it. This discuss is useful but I've found that many of the complaints would not change my style but rather would lead to say "well, this isn't the game for you." I would say that a good percentage of 5e players would not like my current campaign. And, so long as I can find a group that does enjoy the campaign I'm running, that's fine. Do you use the critical hit deck for the monsters, or just the PCs? I've always ruled that what works for team PC also works for team monster. But I do agree with Satyr...

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 10:02 PM - Satyrn quoted MNblockhead in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Well, the intention of my question was to separate pet peeves from game breakers. There have been lots of threads about pet peeves and annoyances, but what DM behavior has actually made you quit a game. I should have known my audience better. For many, they are the same thing. It has been an interesting and good thread at times. It helps me to see what things actually cause people to leave, because maybe that'll show me how to retain players (although I don't actually have a player retention problem at the moment; my table is more committed to each other than many a married couple). Ironically, despite saying this could be a learning experience for me, more than once somebody's game breaker has had me saying "hey, that's me," yet I haven't decided to change my ways.
  • 09:33 PM - Satyrn quoted MNblockhead in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I missed this. This thread has become a epic discussion on the proper flow of the game that individual stories like this are getting lost. I agree with Grainger completely and I say this as a reformed DM who no longer uses critical failures. A "1" is just an auto miss/fail. Otherwise you have high level fighters with multiple attacks being more likely to fumble than a first level fighter. I did the critical failure thing for one session - well, half a session - using the Pathfinder critical fumble deck, which I picked up with thevCritical hit deck because I figured they'd complement each other. Each card in the decks had different effects based on whether the attack was melee, ranged, magical or something else I can't remember. Then, right after introducing the decks to the game, the wizard player had at least 3 fumbled spells in one combat. That was bad enough, made far worse because the effects produced by a randomly drawn card were, of course, random and did not relate at all to the wi...
  • 05:39 PM - Dire Bare quoted MNblockhead in post Ravnica & Dungeon of the Mad Mage Are In Stores Today!
    I have two game stores within 10 minutes drive (one about 5 minutes away when traffic is low) and many more within a 20 minute drive. I preorder all WoTC books on Amazon. Yet, I still pay about as much money at games stores as I do on Amazon and Kickstarter combined. But that money isn't from books. Games stores can't compete on price and convenience. If there business model is the charity of gamers, they have no reason to exist. Shaming people for not buying books from their "F"LGS is silly. Shaming? Nah, teasing. Relax.

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018

  • 07:07 PM - Salamandyr quoted MNblockhead in post Art and Arcana: A visual History just arrived!
    Well I'm not going to try to calculate that, but it isn't until page 279 of the 433-page book that it starts getting in to WoTC stuff. I was very happy that a great portion of this tome was not only on TSR but on the early ODD and AD&D 1e art of the 70s and 80s. But it was also interesting for me to see the 3e and 4e stuff, which I missed entirely in my time away from RPGs. This is a comprehensive work. Fans of all editions should be pleased. For me it allowed me to bathe in nostalgia while also getting me excited by the future. I can't recommend this book enough. Thanks; that's exactly what I wanted to know. The thing that has me most interested is the early art up through, say 1981. I've got a complete collection of the D&D artbooks that came out in the 80's and 90's, which cover only the art from about 82 on--sadly. I'm not really interested in the WOTC era material, for various reasons. So it's good that such a large portion is dedicated to the era of D&D art that hasn't really ...

Thursday, 1st November, 2018

  • 06:41 PM - Tonguez quoted MNblockhead in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    2nd - the scene where the giant mother spider was dying because it grew too large and it being shot. Up until the villain started speaking. Such good writing so startlingly quickly ruined by poor writing. . See, suspension of disbeleif failed for me on that small artifice, because you can't have a giant spider happily clinging to a roof in one scene and then suffocating from its weight in the next - if square-cube law and the spiders weight is an issue, then make sure that gravity applies to spiders on the ceiling too!! Indeed when they dropped that tidbit in after they had already proclaimed the 'strand of spider silk the thickness of a pencil can hold down a plane" meme, my inner nerd groaned at the rush of middle school trivia parading as creative writing
  • 02:52 PM - MarkB quoted MNblockhead in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    2nd - the scene where the giant mother spider was dying because it grew too large and it being shot. Up until the villain started speaking. Such good writing so startlingly quickly ruined by poor writing. True, but I feel like the Doctor's "no guns" policy was played up in this episode to the point of being just a knee-jerk reaction. Yeah, the hotel guy's actions were clearly not motivated by mercy, but when the poor creature is dying a slow and painful death from suffocation, a bullet to the brain seems a lot more merciful than the Doctor's apparent intention of standing there sympathising with it while it slowly expired.
  • 11:19 AM - Rya.Reisender quoted MNblockhead in post Do you allow lucky feat and Wiz. divination portent feature for downtime activity rolls?
    Now, I've found that in discussions like this I often have the concern raised that I will be harming the fun by using rules that lead to unequal results, especiall if the rules do not give equal opportunity to all characters. May it has something to do with my only having played OD&D and AD&D (1e) before a long period of time with no D&D, but this way of thinking feels alien to me. While I like the modernization of the rules, bounded accuracy, and the overall better balance of modern D&D, even in 5e two characters are not going to have equal opportunity to do all things unless they are playing clones. My rules are certainly more "fair" than OD&D and AD&D that capped levels for certain races, had race requirements for certain classes, and which had different XP requirements to level up for each class. I'm not bringing any of that into 5e. I'm simply using a mechanism that will make it possible for training to tougher (more time and more money needed to level up) if you roll poorly on traini...
  • 10:36 AM - Li Shenron quoted MNblockhead in post Do you allow lucky feat and Wiz. divination portent feature for downtime activity rolls?
    By RAW it seems that players should be able to use the lucky feat or the Wizard School of Divination Portent Feature for skill checks required by downtime activities. However, given the ample opportunity for long rest during extended downtime, is this not almost guaranteeing good results? I have a player who is considering a build that will have both. That's 5 re-rolls per long rest, two of which can be used for one check. With XGE variants there is at least "complication" rolls, which the Lucky Feat won't help with. I'm inclined to allow it because I like to follow RAW and I also like the idea of the trope of the lucky sob who is always finding what he needs and getting good deals. I don't think it would break anything, but this is the first campaign where downtime with figure prominently. Has anyone used a lot of downtime activities where characters made heavy use of the lucky feat? How did that impact the game? It's never come up, but I may probably allow it, as in general bot...
  • 10:31 AM - Sir_Lancian quoted MNblockhead in post Curse of Strahd "Edits"
    Another great source for narrative purposes if you want to showcase this cycle of corruption and despair is the Abbot in the monastery. He is a fallen angel and is described as being driven mad by the powers of Barovia. In my game I had his motive for betraying the party and for making the corpse bride be related. He was convinced in his madness that the only way to truly save the souls of those trapped in barovia is to ha e Strahd win, and to do that he must accomplish the one thing he is fated to fail over and over again with: ending up with Ireena. The powers are his jailers and Strahd is a prisoner. Even if you don't like the fate angle for Strhad to fail with Ireena, the Abbot can still be a great source to help showcase the futility of pointlessness of killing Strahd: the players may succeed (I even had the Abbot say that he *did* succeed at killing him once, though the players weren't sure if he was just mad or not), and may even escape, but Barovia and Strahd will always be out there...lur...
  • 06:42 AM - Nutation quoted MNblockhead in post Thirteenth Doctor - First Season - Thoughts? (SPOILERS WELCOME)
    Spiders was my least favorite episode, and a real fall from the prior episode, mainly because of the ham-fisted cartoon villain. I hope he is not a recurring character, or if he is, make him more 3-dimensional. I doubt we'll see him again. I think the hotel owner who wants to be the American president was an unflattering caricature of the current American president who is a hotel owner. 1st - the grieving scenes - Bradley Walsh delivered a moving performance and made for the deepest and best portrayed motive for a character wanting to go off with the doctor in the history of the show (at least that I can think of off the top of my head). Nyssa, perhaps? The Master had stolen her father's body. But, it was a great performance. Too often, the companions leave with the Doctor just because it's a lark.

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

  • 05:41 PM - Sacrosanct quoted MNblockhead in post Art and Arcana: A visual History just arrived!
    Well I'm not going to try to calculate that, but it isn't until page 279 of the 433-page book that it starts getting in to WoTC stuff. I was very happy that a great portion of this tome was not only on TSR but on the early ODD and AD&D 1e art of the 70s and 80s. But it was also interesting for me to see the 3e and 4e stuff, which I missed entirely in my time away from RPGs. This is a comprehensive work. Fans of all editions should be pleased. For me it allowed me to bathe in nostalgia while also getting me excited by the future. I can't recommend this book enough. This. This is exactly how I feel.
  • 01:29 PM - clearstream quoted MNblockhead in post Do you allow lucky feat and Wiz. divination portent feature for downtime activity rolls?
    Downtime and resource management will figure heavily into this campaign. Most importantly, training is required to level up. The base cost and time for training is modified based upon a number of skill checks relevant to your class. The campaign will also use the Rivals mechanics from XGE and so some of the social intrigue downtime activities may become important. I've been thinking about training. I like the sound of skill checks for time and costs, applied in the following way. Say I require that a named trainer be found, who must be higher level than the trainee. This obviously becomes more difficult and more interesting as characters advanced. Characters then need to show them that they are worth taking on: the named trainer increasing their time and costs if they can't prove themselves. ("You clearly need a lot of practice and are barely worth my effort, but very well then, pay me double and it'll take twice as long!") Characters who find themselves unable to afford the cost can find ...


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