View Profile: MNblockhead - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 07:58 AM
    I'm curious what Strahd's title was before his undeath? Also: Does he still use a title for himself? (Apparently not, he does not sign his invitations using a title, for example) What titles would those loyal to him use? (Probably "Count") 5e's Curse of Strahd campaign does not explicitly state Strahd's current title. The only instance of his name used with a title is in the...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:06 AM
    That I would encourage players to do create personal characteristics from which they can earn a bonus resource without necessarily hindering the entire team is not the same as saying "you can only present flaws in ways that don't negatively impact combat." I'm not going to defend a position I don't hold, sorry. The "very narrow definition" referenced is about the "win" condition...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:49 AM
    I would find that engaging as well. That's the stuff of legends! But it doesn't require a character to be at a mechanical disadvantage to get at that story. A character having disadvantage on attack rolls due to giving into an established flaw (say) is effectively getting a disincentive. "If you act THIS way, you get a mechanical penalty." Contrast that with "If you act THIS way, you get a...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:34 AM
    I can't see the posts you refer to as that poster has me blocked, but I would say a couple of things about the above. What the player gains in the latter case is the ability to make DM calls, at least in this case, which isn't desirable to someone like me who prefers players and DMs stay in their prescribed roles. As well, I don't see why the mechanic necessarily makes for a more engaging story....
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:20 AM
    The assumption stated was narrowly defined and not exclusive or exhaustive. You may also note that I did not refer in any way to the type of challenge at which a player might want to "win." A player may wish to achieve success in all three pillars, not just combat. I also did not assert that "you can only present flaws in ways that don't negatively impact combat." I only said that you can do it,...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:40 PM
    I REALLY like this idea. It makes that epic end-boss battle mean that much more. I'm seriously considering using that. But maybe not for my next campaign, which will be Rappan Athuk. That would just be mean. Or... Hmm, so in my Rappan Atthuk campaign, the characters gain XP from gold removed and earned (e.g. coins and items with values = that much XP whether you store it or sell it, otherwise...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:34 PM
    I think this is somewhat close to a false dichotomy though. It's very possible to both tell a good story and focus on "winning," assuming that means you're shooting for more success than failure or even mostly success. There are so many ways to portray a character's flaws in an entertaining way that isn't also actively hurting the rest of the party. Right.
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:31 PM
    Mmm...creme bulette!
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:27 PM
    Well, there are the lay-offs, hiring freezes, pay freezes and...oh, wait you are talking about the game mechanic. Okay. I only use morale for mass combat. When you have groups of employed or pressed into service. Morale is not the same as fear and not even the same a loyalty. There are other mechanics for fear in 5e. Also, I see HPs as including your mental well being. You can literally be...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:49 PM
    I could see using Morale rules if I had a campaign centered around war or fear or something like that. It would feed into the overall concept. I wouldn't just add it to any old game. I would also have to add an XP incentive to push for the rout instead of stomp everything into a fine paste.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:22 PM
    Yeah, to me it's a bit more cut and dry as it goes to defined roles. I won't describe what a player's character does and he or she doesn't get to narrate the result. At the table, I'd certainly explain my ruling as I've done in this thread (especially as it relates to how the player should be incentivized, not disincentivized for playing to established characteristics) and then move forward. A...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:48 PM
    Generally when I see players wanting to kill everything on the board, it's often in the context of not wanting the ones that are trying to escape to warn others. Which never made a lot of sense to me a lot of the time. You just pasted these monsters, bad enough where one or more are trying to flee. If they warn others, that means more XP is coming your way shortly. So why not let them escape? :)...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:43 PM
    If it'll help bring you back into the GoT fold, I've seen a number of YouTube videos that show all the clues foreshadowing this or that event including character deaths. And plenty of other videos trying to predict, based on clues like it, what will happen next!
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:19 PM
    Same one as always: Basic Rules, page 3, "How to Play." :) Also, DMG section on Master of Rules and Master of Rules preamble in the Introduction. The player and DM roles are well-defined in D&D 5e and the game works best in my opinion when those roles are respected. (That includes the DM not stepping on player roles, just so I'm making it clear I'm not just DM power-tripping here.) I...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:15 PM
    Non-optional morale rules were probably required in systems that were a great deal deadlier and more punishing than more modern rules sets. Being able to force a rout by taking out a leader or the like (I don't really remember the rules from way back when, sorry) would be a good strategy to avoid having to take on a whole host of monsters coming at you for stealing their gold.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:06 PM
    The rules for Morale are in the DMG, page 273.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:04 PM
    The player can describe the character as closing his or her eyes. The DM then applies the appropriate rules to that action, as necessary. Per the rules, a player can declare being terrified of spiders and having arachnophobia. A player cannot say the character is Frightened in a mechanical sense. My assertion is that this is the DM's role and the burden of proof for that assertion is...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:27 PM
    I'm scratching my head over your question. Per the rules, the player can only describe what he or she wants to do. He or she can't decide which rules apply and when. That's for the DM to decide as Master of Rules and as part of determining what to narrate as the result of the adventurers' actions.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:18 PM
    As I stated, a player can definitely decide if the character is frightened or in love. He or she can't decide if the character is (mechanically) Frightened or Charmed. That is the DM's role.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:51 PM
    That's weird. You can be frightened without being Frightened and I don't see how that's a player's role to decide. I could see the DM mandating it for reasons or offering it as an option to the player in exchange for Inspiration (not a great trade, but better than nothing). But the player deciding? Nah.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:58 PM
    I don't watch the vodcast for a number of reasons, but I'm happy to weigh in on DM calls! If it doesn't require a lot of effort, can you share more context?
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 05:17 PM
    The Chase Rules in the DMG allow for the possibility for escape despite speed differences by giving those running away a chance to hide at the end of every round. So that's a chance for at least some characters to get away. Characters who are bad at hiding should consider spending some resources like Inspiration to increases their chances of survival.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 04:42 PM
    I sometimes put "overpowered monsters" in the campaign and the path the players choose for the characters intersects with said monsters. I foreshadow its terrible power well before they interact with it and underscore that subsequently when appropriate. If they decide to fight it, that's on them.
    19 replies | 608 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:18 AM
    One other "dumb" question: What is the general practice for running/using published material at conventions? I'm planning on mostly running my own material, but there are some things I've backed on Kickstarter that I would like to run since I don't know when, if ever, I'll have a chance to run them in my home games. What is the etiquette and general practice for this? Do GMs typically...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:12 AM
    What about multiple endings? If a group is less experienced certain challenges can be throw out. Basically easy mode. Then you have the standard version for what you would expect most groups to be able to get through. But if you have a group that through luck or skill moves forward much faster than you anticipated, have an alternate ending. The big bad reveals the that mayor who hired you...
    9 replies | 195 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 07:05 AM
    Yes, I read that. But I wanted to put out some of the areas I most concerned about. Hope no one minds two similar threads in a short period of time. I'm thinking that I would have more encounters challenges planned than I know I can get through, just in case things go much quicker than anticipated. Each would have something (clue, info, MacGuffin) necessary to achieve the adventures...
    9 replies | 195 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 06:41 AM
    I think Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes describes this quite well. More powerful and intelligent demons are still driven by their selfish desires and rule by force, fear, and whim; but they have grander visions and plans to achieve them. While lesser demons may simply create minions using fear and subjugation, more intelligent demons will have subtler approaches. A demon's promise wouldn't be...
    9 replies | 321 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 03:51 AM
    Tony Vargas Thanks! Regarding "Judge", yep, the menu and GM registration page are titled "judging" and there are two registration options under "judging": "judges" (GMs who pay a registration fee and can both judge and play) and "Referees" (registration is free but the GMs can only run their own games, not participate in other events). http://conofthenorth.org/judging/
    9 replies | 195 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 07:18 PM
    I'm preparing to register as a judge for a convention that takes place February next year. This would be my first time running games at a convention. I would appreciate any advice you can give. I have plenty of time to prepare, so I hope I can make good use of your advice. In particular, I'm interested in hearing from players about pet peeves, poor experiences, and great experiences. The...
    9 replies | 195 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:46 PM
    This reminds me of Jonathan Teatime in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, who insists on everyone pronouncing his surname as Teh-ah-tim-eh. I have a simple sense of humor and it always gives me the giggles. I'm always walking in and around pronunciation landmines at work given the very international environment I work in. I try my best to pronounce names correctly (i.e., the preferred pronunciation...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:21 PM
    Nice! Thanks for sharing. I wish I had more time for painting, it is something I enjoy. I spend a bunch a money on materials, paint a couple and then most of a year goes by before I get back to it.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 05:05 PM
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 03:12 PM
    I agree with Sunseeker. It largely depends on the players. My regular groups are very fast. My pickup groups for one-shots tend to be less so, but I manage to keep them moving forward. Three things I put in my Tables Rules document that have the most impact on how quickly the game moves are: 1. Make use of the improvisational technique known as "Yes, and..." When hearing a serious idea or...
    21 replies | 953 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 09:19 AM
    I've always pronounced it "boo-let" But Matt Mercer, in his recorded pronunciation for DnD Beyond's bulette entry, pronounces it more like "buh-let" Yet EN World's D&D Pronunciation Guide states: I suggest pronouncing it "bullet-tea", just to annoy people.
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:02 AM
    I stick to the RAW. I have no issues with the death save mechanic. I have no issues killing players at low levels. I'm a big fan of the funnel system where players start with four level-0 PCs. From any that survive the first adventure, they chose the once to make a 1st-level character with. The idea is that everyone is going to have at least one of the four characters die and their is a chance...
    35 replies | 1049 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 07:33 AM
    I'm running CoS now. I started with the adventure as written (AAW) but let things evolve based on the party's actions. I don't see the need to remove anything. Let the party explore. One thing I love about CoS is that the number of locations and plot threads and the tarot-reading mechanic allow it to play very differently from one campaign to the next. Let the characters by their actions...
    2 replies | 153 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 03:03 AM
    That would make it better. When you hit zero, take a drag and hold the smoke in until the character is healed or stabilized. If any smoke escapes before then--the character dies. This makes it more obvious and thematic (release the smoke is giving up the spirit) and helps cut down on cheating. Also, smokers of certain substances are, uh, more practiced at holding in the smoke.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 10:43 PM
    Sounds fun! I spend a lot of my DM design time in trying to set up interesting choices both in a general sense and in specific scenes. The travel/pace/marching order/camp rules that I'm using in the Sunless Citadel (linked upthread) campaign are very much the kind of thing I like tinkering with so that players have something to chew on. It doesn't seem like it is terribly interesting in the...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:51 AM
    I like D&D history and if a significant number of ideas were taken from RB's setting, then it would be very interesting to read the source material that may have influenced the published works.
    45 replies | 2236 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 09:10 AM
    When a character is reduced to 0 hit points, the player must hold his or her breath until someone stabilizes them with a medkit or applies magical healing. If the player can no longer hold his or her breath and gasps for air, or passes out, before the character is stabilized or healed, then the character dies. The player may waive, pound the table, and otherwise try to get other players'...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 07:47 AM
    I can imagine the use of the ritual and the reveal of the (say) illusory magic in the area gives it a spooky, Blair witch kind of feel. Something was near our camp last night. And it was weird.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th July, 2018, 06:12 AM
    As a player, I'd be pleased to have such a skilled teammate, especially one that offered the reason for the character's knowledge. Each time he or she does that, we learn a little more about that character which adds to the unfolding story and to me that's awesome. As a DM, I take no position on what a player establishes his or her character thinks about ghouls. (He or she may even be completely...
    29 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 05:08 PM
    In my experience, new DMs can really benefit from eschewing mysteries and investigations at first and just focus on fundamentals: the basic conversation of the game (DM and player roles), the core mechanic, and table/spotlight management. Once he or she gets those down pat, then he or she can branch out into trickier domains. The best way to do this in my view is with scenarios that focus on...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 07:07 AM
    How about making inspiration mean something. No death saves, but you can use inspiration to stabalize at zero. Inspiration is often forgotten when I use it per RAW, but if it was the only way to survive hitting zero HP, it would be used.
    114 replies | 3227 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 09:53 PM
    Unless you have time pressures, it seems like when someone takes Con damage, a reasonable choice would be to just opt to let time pass for a couple weeks before getting back to adventuring. The only cost presumably would be lifestyle expenses which can be effectively minimized so that the cost is negligible. So if you define "gritty" as "laying around a lot for basically no cost," then yeah, it's...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 04:22 PM
    Yep. One thing I explain is that concise statements of goal and approach or dialogue add up over the course of a session. You don't have to get it all out right here. Truthfully this doesn't come up a lot for me though. More frequently what I'll see is someone who busts out a huge backstory and then just sits quietly during the game. It's like, what, did you get everything out that you wanted...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 04:14 PM
    Right. Not only does this make the DM's role easier since he or she can quickly determine success, failure, or the need for an ability check (and which kind of of check), it makes it so the DM can't establish what the character is doing. And, frankly, the player is required to do this. It's his or her role in the game! Make them work for it. :)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 03:57 PM
    I would add that in my view the DM needs to be very careful about making statements about how a character thinks or feels about something. The DM's role is to describe the environment and narrate the results of the adventurers' actions; however, this also has to jive with the player's role which is to determine what the character does, says, or thinks. So the DM needs to walk that fine line by...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 03:03 PM
    So, first, players describe what they want to do and making an ability check isn't something they should be asking for in my view. They should be describing a goal and approach for the character. In this case, it's about recalling lore about the beast (goal) by drawing upon the NPC's description and possibly the character's race, class, or background (approach). It sounds like you left the...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 04:54 AM
    The paragon or epic tier rogue abilities aside, there's more to it than "Making a Stealth check" in either edition. The check is not the action nor the result. It requires specific circumstances and actions which may or may not require a Dexterity (Stealth) check to resolve as determined by the DM.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 01:01 AM
    To the extent that I understand what you have in mind, I would probably do something like this: There are essentially two initial choices: (1) Pursue bad guys in one direction or (2) go in some other direction for some reason. If 1, then the meaningful decision points after that would be Pace (slow, normal, fast), Marching Order, and Activities While Traveling per PC: Keep Watch, Navigate,...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 11:35 PM
    Those things inform their choices perhaps, but doesn't inform my design. I have a player pool with more players than seats per session and each player has more than one character. I quite literally can't design with these things in mind. I can only guess who will attend each session and which character they will choose to bring. I might have a good idea, sometimes, but that's not a good enough...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 06:49 PM
    The chase rules cover what I would say is a fairly close-quarters chase. If I'm reading your correctly, it sounds like you are wanting more of an overland chase (?). If so, these rules probably aren't going to cut it. You might consider something more like what I do for overland travel activities which I can elaborate on if you can describe your scenario a bit more.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 06:09 PM
    Yes, I use them. They work alright, but could be better. I haven't bothered to make them better because it doesn't come up enough to make it worth my time. The main thing I find is that you want to have some visual way of showing relative distances during the chase so it's easy to keep track of. And it helps to distill the specific setup and process into a handout to make it easy to run it. As...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 05:57 PM
    There's no restriction on what the players want to take as characters though, to the limits of what is allowed in the campaign. They just need to adjust their tactics accordingly to take advantage of their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses. "The story" is what happened when they engage with the presented challenges. "Tailoring the story" is deciding the outcome as far as I'm concerned, at...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 04:57 PM
    It's not true in either edition.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 04:39 PM
    No.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 03:50 PM
    I would say, in general, it's on the players to adapt their tactics to the presented challenges, not the other way around. If a party lacks certain things (like a healer or ranged PCs, etc.), the players are well-advised to not play as if they do.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 05:07 AM
    The value by rarity only applies IF the campaign allows for trade in magic items. The default as laid out by the DMG is that items are effectively priceless and not available for purchase. That is the reality of the setting to the extent the DM follows those rules.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 12:19 AM
    "Selling magic items is difficult in most D&D worlds primarily because of the challenge of finding a buyer. Plenty of people might like to have a magic sword, but few of them can afford it. Those who can afford such an item usually have more practical things to spend on." Seems logical to me. Magic items are effectively priceless. There's just no market for them. The game works fine that way....
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 10:09 PM
    Yes, as I somewhat jokingly mentioned a few posts back, rules like this are something DMs often implement to deal with this troublesome issue. While it can work at some tables, I think it doesn't address the underlying issue of either (1) simple rudeness or (2) impetus to debate tactical moves. To my mind, adding more tactical rules, especially fiddly ones, increases that desire to jump in and...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 08:59 PM
    I'd probably look to a different means of achieving the same desired goal, as noted. With advantage and disadvantage being so useful or problematic, players may reasonably spend a lot of time stepping on each other's toes trying to position to gain the best advantage for themselves while avoiding putting someone else at a disadvantage. It necessarily leads in my view to an uptick in cross-talk...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 08:27 PM
    I'm picturing a scene where one player tells another player not to move his or her character there because it will screw up an upcoming attack and to move elsewhere. Then someone suggests readying the attack for when the other character moves away. Then someone else chimes to say just to attack the goblin then we're all good. Then someone else brings up another thing to consider and on and on...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 08:05 PM
    I know it wasn't a point you raised, but as to whether this is a thing in "real life" or not, I would say it's largely irrelevant. The more important questions in my view are (1) Does this achieve the goal of adding interesting tactical choices? and (2) Will this make the play experience better? If the answer to either of those questions are "No," then I say toss it. An in-world justification can...
    19 replies | 504 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 05:36 PM
    It's probably worth trying out at the table for three sessions and then reevaluating. It looks to me to be too fiddly in the abstract. I would reasonably expect a lot more cross-talk on who needs to stand where and I'm not sure that actually achieves the desired goal or, if it does achieve the goal, it does so at the cost of time per turn which really adds up in a session (and over the course of...
    19 replies | 504 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 04:52 AM
    Because I have a player pool and more than one character per player that can be swapped in and out, it's a little hard to say. Based on the most consistent player and character in my town-to-dungeon campaign (two campaigns ago), it's probably something like 80 hours of play to get from 1st to 8th level. That campaign was exactly 20 sessions, each 4 hours long, over the course of 6 months. In game...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 03:40 AM
    The DMG says that "unless you decide your campaign works otherwise, most magic items are so rare that they aren't available for purchase." So I guess they're effectively priceless. For my part, I don't address why as there's really no need to. You can either buy them (as I might permit in Planescape or Eberron) or you can't.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 01:19 AM
    Eberron? Count me in!
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 09:05 PM
    A Balor - CR 19. Two PC deaths in that final battle if I remember correctly. Maybe three.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 08:39 PM
    I also don't see this as a concern. It's not like they can usually buy magic items to increase their power, so generally the money just sort of piles up. If anything, it's better to be poor so you don't have to worry about it! Also, the players in my group tend to either pool all the characters' money or, failing that, make sure that whoever has less wealth still gets upgrades to armor or the...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 9th July, 2018, 07:56 AM
    My situation is very similar. I run a monthly game, each session lasting 8 hours (6-7 being actual play after subtracting time for lunch, late starts, breaks, etc.). In my first campaign, I started with XP, then changed to milestone leveling, and eventually ended with 1 level a session. That was a homebrew campaign. When I go back to homebrew, I plan to start with a type of milestone leveling...
    31 replies | 1022 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 08:30 AM
    MNblockhead replied to 6e? Why?
    With all the other systems out there that I wish I had to try, if I get tired of 5e, I would likely just move to a completely new system. I don't think a new edition would bring me back. That's how it was with 1e for me. I was heavily into 1e and then branched out into other other systems: Gama World, Star Frontiers, Warhammer, etc. When 2e came out, it wasn't compelling enough for me to buy a...
    144 replies | 7292 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 05:21 AM
    That's not really a big deal in D&D 5e. I've seen up to a 7-level differential and it doesn't amount to much except that the lower-level PC needs to be a little more cautious when big damage-dealing monsters come out. And not even for that long as they catch up levels fast.
    93 replies | 2303 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 5th July, 2018, 09:53 PM
    I don't really think about it. Not that I run campaigns from 1st to 20th most of the time, but if it happened in a year of game time, that's fine. Some really important stuff must be going on for that to happen which means it should be pretty exciting. I don't have a care for how real life works since we're not playing a game based on real life, or at least, only somewhat so. I'm also not...
    93 replies | 2303 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 3rd July, 2018, 05:37 AM
    Five 7th-level PCs plus two NPCs? Unless they were low on resources, they should have given this thing a beatdown and feasted on its sweet, sweet XP.
    294 replies | 6911 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 06:44 PM
    The scenario is one in which the PCs will continue to visit the dungeon until it is completed. At the point where they made that decision, they had only really invaded a portion of the location which was inhabited by rats and a hag and that area won't repopulate. As compared to a place where more intelligent creatures might do (kobolds, goblins in this case). Later, they considered resting again...
    9 replies | 765 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 05:51 PM
    "Roleplaying" is also clearly defined in the rules of the game as the player playing a role, which can be communicated through active or descriptive means. The player's prescribed role in the game does not include adding details beyond describing what he or she wants to do, however. Though I personally find those details to be a good addition to the game within certain reasonable limits.
    199 replies | 6731 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 06:22 PM
    iserith replied to Mario Does D&D
    Thanks for the kind words and I'm glad this was useful to you! It looks like the myconid race linked back to the WotC forums which are now defunct. So this may be lost forever. Perhaps it can be reverse-engineered out of the character sheet.
    26 replies | 10475 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 05:53 PM
    They ultimately went back to town and used some of the treasure they found to buy a couple of potions of healing which they found useful as they savaged the kobolds. They didn't buy a mule train, but they've been talking about doing it. Wes Handy has (their porter) been arguing against that, figuring he'll be out of a job if they do.
    9 replies | 765 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 07:31 PM
    The mystery you speak of is somewhat overrated in my view, but actually I'm referring to letting them describe what they want to do then telling them how you're going to resolve it before you do and possibly, in some cases, before they fully commit to the action. That leaves an opening for them to object to how you plan to resolve it based on their perception of how feasible the plan is given...
    43 replies | 1254 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 06:53 PM
    Sure, I get it. Sometimes we make these calls in the moment using the standard guidelines for a nonstandard event and it doesn't quite work out. That's okay. A good rule of thumb for future use in these kind of does-the-villain-die-in-one-go-or-not situations is to start with the hit points as the average damage, then work backward to arrive at the damage roll. The only thing I would say, and...
    43 replies | 1254 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 05:35 PM
    Under this definition of gritty: It would seem to me the only thing you need to do is focus on Lifestyle Expenses and Downtime Acitivities to some degree. Slow Natural Healing and Gritty Realism variant rules (DMG p. 267) might force a greater focus on Lifestyle Expenses and Downtime Activities because there'll be a lot more sitting around waiting to heal up unless the players have access...
    51 replies | 1784 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 05:22 PM
    It's all relative to the hit points of the target though. Maybe it would have been better to set the damage to average 120 points (which is how many hp the villain had).
    43 replies | 1254 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 04:54 PM
    Thanks. And the values you chose for stake and risk - are they based on any particular calculation or just something you gut checked?
    294 replies | 6911 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 03:28 PM
    This. I just had this discussion in another thread. Setting the stakes so everyone's aware of what Success and Failure look like goes a long way toward avoiding a mismatch in expectations that leads to dissatisfaction (among other benefits). It's just getting everyone on the same page before moving forward, which is both useful in D&D and in life.
    43 replies | 1254 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 02:48 PM
    "Dungeon Grappling" also appears to be a game supplement so that could be what is being referenced here. I know nothing about this product, so I'm afraid I can't help.
    6 replies | 410 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 02:41 PM
    I shared your posts with a Discord channel I'm in and someone made an observation I hope you can address: "There seems to be a tone in the post that the player suddenly has a disincentive to use their character when the reward of XP/plot advancement becomes lower than the cost of death." This doesn't seem to matter in any practical sense on account of players typically having just the one...
    294 replies | 6911 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 02:16 PM
    Interesting take!
    294 replies | 6911 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 12:55 AM
    That's right. Failing to walk that tight-rope has to mean something other than death though. Maybe it means you have to spend a lot of time on the task and the villain gets away or whatever. Or getting defeated by the dragon means the nearby town is burned to the ground, not that my character dies. Just don't tell me my character's life is on the line when it really isn't.
    294 replies | 6911 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 12:43 AM
    My position is that you can have a perfectly cromulent game if you take PC death off the table. You just include stakes that aren't life-or-death and, to remain fair and consistent in my view, change the death and dying mechanics to support that. And maybe don't include spheres of annihilation that aren't obviously spheres of annihilation.
    294 replies | 6911 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
About Me:
Gamer that returned to the fold with 5e, after 25 years away from RPGs.
Location:
Twin Cities, MN, USA
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Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
Twin Cities Area
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Minnesota
Country:
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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.
My Character:
I play a Tortle barbarian berserker with the great-weapon master feat.

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RPGs: D&D 5e; Paranoia, InSpectres, Hero Kids, No Thank You, Evil!
Software: Realm Works, Hero Lab, Campaign Cartographer, Cityographer, Dungeonographer

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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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Thursday, 19th July, 2018


Wednesday, 18th July, 2018



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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

Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017

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

Monday, 20th February, 2017

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

Friday, 27th January, 2017

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

Sunday, 28th February, 2016

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

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Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 11:03 AM - pukunui quoted MNblockhead in post Curse of Strahd: What is Straud von Zarovich's Title? [SPOILERS ALERT]
    This could just be Chris Perkins being purposefully vague.More likely to be Weis and Hickman than Perkins.
  • 10:54 AM - Kris quoted MNblockhead in post Kris' all new miniature thread
    I wish I had more time for painting Yeah, I seem to have slowed down again this year too. However, back in 2016 I made a conscious effort to paint at least one mini every single week (which wasn't always easy) ...but it resulted in this lot: https://s19.postimg.cc/hgruk7nn7/all_minis_2016.jpg ...which kinda made the whole thing worth while :) (I kinda wish I had recorded my progress here too - rather than just on my blog)
  • 02:09 AM - smbakeresq quoted MNblockhead in post What happened to Morale?
    Well, there are the lay-offs, hiring freezes, pay freezes and...oh, wait you are talking about the game mechanic. Okay. I only use morale for mass combat. When you have groups of employed or pressed into service. Morale is not the same as fear and not even the same a loyalty. There are other mechanics for fear in 5e. Also, I see HPs as including your mental well being. You can literally be beaten down and finally can't force yourself to go on. So fear, hit points, and also exhaustion--plenty of ways to make characters "give up" in an adventure until they get some R&R. I've used loyalty for hirelings, especially when the party has a ship or business from which they may be absent from for long periods of time. Morale is best used as a tactical resource--a measure of how close a combatant is to giving up in a battle or in a war as a whole. For gaming purposes, I use the secondary, more narrowly scoped definition: "a sense of common purpose with respect to a group : esprit de corps The ship'...

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 10:57 PM - Staccat0 quoted MNblockhead in post I hate death saves. Propose your solution.
    Que?Oh sorry haha. I just mean that the stuff I like about 5e is kinda specific. There are other versions of D&D that I think do a better job of cleanly incorporating risk evaluation and "punishment" for dropping to 0 hp. Rather than going hard in the direction of tying to make 5e a tougher on the players I would probably just play a game that is a little less resistant to the grit. To each his own for sure, but having a bunch of people rolling with disadvantage and stuff sounds kinda tedious for my table. A little nod to "hey you could die easier" is fine, but I'm not too interesting in trying to make the game more punitive with 5e's core mechanics. There might be a way to hack 5e to incorporate those kinds of ideas that I haven't really though of. I'm just kinda lazy and have lots of games I wanna try for those types of games. I REALLY like this idea. It makes that epic end-boss battle mean that much more. I'm seriously considering using that. But maybe not for my next campaign, which will ...
  • 03:46 PM - Jester David quoted MNblockhead in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    Many do not have FLGS near them. It would be nice if these people could buy the books online, if not from Amazon, then from the publisher. Which is a valid complaint. But not one raised that complaint. No one was complaining about not being able to get to this edition, but being forced to buy it without a discount. You can certainly get the regular slipcase box at Amazon prices, just not this collector's edition variant. Well... there are quite a few FLGS who sell online. So a little bit of searching ahead should be able to get you one. I recommend Noble Knight or Miniature Market. Keep an eye on those and pre-order when available. Emailing ahead to ask if they're getting extras would not hurt.
  • 02:14 PM - A Stray Cat quoted MNblockhead in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    AFAIK DnD Beyond's offline reader is only available for iOS at this point. So for offline use, yes, you are quite limited to which devices to use (iPADs and iPhones basically). But, I have to say, that reading the DnD material in the DnD Beyond app on my iPhone X is an excellent experience. I actually read the entire Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes on my phone and have barely done any reading in the physical book. Also, I can created foldered book marks so that I can organize rules in a way that makes sense to me across all the books. I can also search across all my downloaded content and see the results from multiple sources listed together. PDFs have their role as an archive format and it is more likely that I'll be able to access my old PDFs 20 years from now than DnD Beyond, but that is why I buy the books. For digital content, I want something that is easy and pleasant and convenient to use. I don't really worry about whether I'll be able to use it years from now. There is also an Android ap...
  • 06:09 AM - mach1.9pants quoted MNblockhead in post Core Rules Alternative Cover Gift Set
    Many do not have FLGS near them. It would be nice if these people could buy the books online, if not from Amazon, then from the publisher. I'm not sure we actually have any FLGS left in the country! Cards stores, warhammer stores but no actual rpg stores, some will sell DnD but certainly not special editions. So either online or drive 3 hours for me, that's if I can get them to stock it! Unlikely to even make it to NZ

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 07:18 PM - Tony Vargas quoted MNblockhead in post Please share advice for running first game at a convention
    One other "dumb" question: What is the general practice for running/using published material at conventions? I've never heard of a con having a problem with it. Some expect it, at least for certain sorts of games. Do GMs typically let the authors know or ask for permission? Is it considered bad form to significantly alter the published adventure? No &, AFAIK no.
  • 10:31 AM - Lanefan quoted MNblockhead in post Please share advice for running first game at a convention
    What about multiple endings? If a group is less experienced certain challenges can be throw out. Basically easy mode. Then you have the standard version for what you would expect most groups to be able to get through. But if you have a group that through luck or skill moves forward much faster than you anticipated, have an alternate ending. The big bad reveals the that mayor who hired you actually was behind the whole thing and set you up. Yeah, that works too. :) I want to have extra encounters/challenges to help control pacing, but I want to make sure that whether I use 2 or 5, nothing feels left out and nothing feels like "filler."They might feel like filler to you, but that's only 'cause you know better. If the encounters are engaging and exciting the players won't know what's filler and what's not.

Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 08:36 PM - Tony Vargas quoted MNblockhead in post Please share advice for running first game at a convention
    I'm preparing to register as a judge for a convention that takes place February next year. This would be my first time running games at a convention. "Judge?" They still call GM's 'judges' over there? I thought that was a 70s wargaming thing...? ...sorry... anyway... 1. Time management--it is one thing to run games for a regular group of friends. It is entirely different to run a one-off for a group of strangers. Some things are obvious. I will be early to my game and have everything prepared and ready to go. I'm likely going to run games with pre-gens that players choose from. ... I intend, assuming punctual players, to get as close to four hours of gaming out of the four-hour session as possible. But is that wise? I know players can schedule things tightly and may want to run off 5-10 minutes before the end of the session. I would hate to have half the table excuse themselves at the closing scene of a four-hour adventure. It depends on the con, and I suppose varies regionally, so my ...
  • 10:49 AM - Lanefan quoted MNblockhead in post How do you pronounce "bulette"
    I suggest pronouncing it "bullet-tea", just to annoy people.Or "BOO-letty"?

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 02:54 AM - not-so-newguy quoted MNblockhead in post I hate death saves. Propose your solution.
    When a character is reduced to 0 hit points, the player must hold his or her breath until someone stabilizes them with a medkit or applies magical healing. If the player can no longer hold his or her breath and gasps for air, or passes out, before the character is stabilized or healed, then the character dies. The player may waive, pound the table, and otherwise try to get other players' attention while holding his or her breath. Another player may spend an inspiration point to hold his or her breath in lieu of the original player, thereby increasing the time that the character has to be stabilized or healed. A third player may take over from the second player by spending an inspiration and so on. If you give out inspiration liberally, however, you may want to limit the number of players who can take over the breath-holding. I started out writing this as a joke, but it actually seems like it would be fun. Most of the people that I play with also smoke. So this would ...not end we...

Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

  • 03:54 PM - Jester David quoted MNblockhead in post 6e? Why?
    It's funny. Someone mentioned the success of WotC's 5e release in the long term. But we're kinda approaching "the long term" already. By this point in 3e's lifespan, we'd had 3.5 for a year. And by this point in 4e... we had 5e. Ten years seems to be the record. Pathfinder is going to *just* hit it, and only by overlapping with Pathfinder 2. It'll be interesting to see if 5e can keep going past 2024 in decent shape. With all the other systems out there that I wish I had to try, if I get tired of 5e, I would likely just move to a completely new system. I don't think a new edition would bring me back. That's how it was with 1e for me. I was heavily into 1e and then branched out into other other systems: Gama World, Star Frontiers, Warhammer, etc. When 2e came out, it wasn't compelling enough for me to buy a whole new set of books. Of course, now I have so little time to play that it will take a longer time for me to tire of 5e and I already have more material than I have time to go th...

Monday, 9th July, 2018


Saturday, 9th June, 2018

  • 01:52 AM - Silver Moon quoted MNblockhead in post Gaming Group Turns 36!
    Kudos to you! But what REALLY impresses me is that you know the exact session count (Game #1336) Most of my career has been as a supervisor of financial audit teams - accurate record keeping is second nature

Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 10:13 AM - Echohawk quoted MNblockhead in post What year is it?
    Based on the "present age" subsection of "A Brief History" in the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide, the present would have to be after 1489, as it discusses that has having taken place in the past. Also, enough time would have had to pass since 1489 for "other conflicts" to have arisen and new threats to have "imperiled the world." Also, according to Princes of the Apocalypse, "The adventure is set in 1491 DR, the Year of the Scarlet Witch", so canonically we're in at least 1491.

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018


Thursday, 17th May, 2018

  • 05:03 AM - guachi quoted MNblockhead in post Unearthed Arcana May 2018: Centaurs and Minotaurs
    Also, it seems weird that they would specify that the humanoid upper body can display all the human variety of skin tones and features but then state that below the waist, the horse coat tends towards "brown shades chestnut or bay)". Why couldn't they state that below the waist the coat can display all the equine variety of coat shades and features? This was the first thing that jumped out at me, too. It boils down to horses not being sentient so they can't complain and call it racist. It's like why we have an elf race for each ability score but all humans are the same. There are no elves to complain it's racist or bigoted or speciesist.

Monday, 14th May, 2018

  • 09:49 PM - Dire Bare quoted MNblockhead in post Unearthed Arcana May 2018: Centaurs and Minotaurs
    It shows how determined they are not to allow large PCs, given that is states centur PCs are medium, even though they are normally large (as are horses). The medium Centaur doesn't suit me. Make it a Bariaur if it is that size. A centaur should be as large as a horse. So, PC centaurs are part human, part miniature horse? Character size is always a bit of a weird thing as it's less about the mass of the creature as much as it's about the space they occupy or more accurately the space they control. A Centar having a Human upper torso and human size weapons controlling the same space as a human makes sense to me. But obviously the lower body is the size of a horse which is large. The "Equine Build" racial feature is what tries to balance the largeness of the horse with the mediumness of the human. There's good game-balance reasons to keep PCs to medium-size, but that creates narrative problems for players who want to play giants (goliath, firbolg) and centaurs. I'm not sure if a mo...
  • 02:21 PM - SkidAce quoted MNblockhead in post How do you surprise your players?
    Fair enough, but if you you keep shouting "ni!" at my table, I *WILL* kill you--------------r character. Understood, I will not say it......wait...I.....


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