View Profile: MNblockhead - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 05:14 AM
    His politics aside, the man is a true fantasy nerd. He is very intelligent, quick witted, has an encyclopedic memory of Lord of the Rings lore and I think it'll be a hoot to watch him play. If he makes the game about politics, well, I'd be disappointed. As long has he keeps it about the game and raising money for a good cause, I really don't care about his politics. I don't make my...
    4 replies | 297 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 12:52 AM
    That sounds like an empty threat at first that he was forced to follow through on. Telegraphing a rival adventuring party is a ton of fun and I use that a lot as time pressure. And I use the same party in every campaign - the iconic characters from D&D 3.Xe i.e. Tordek, Lidda, Jozan, Mialee et al. It's kind of a running joke and a little competition is a fantastic way to encourage the players...
    45 replies | 881 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 12:37 AM
    Did the DM telegraph to the players that there were rival adventuring groups in the area? That is also a good time pressure. I bet it was more the gotcha that made the players salty.
    45 replies | 881 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 12:35 AM
    Then you go back to town every time you need a long rest, presuming you can do that in a town. This may increase the amount of time it takes to complete an adventure both in-game and in real time, depending on whether travel back and forth to town is played out. If there is danger on that travel, player may rightly decide to curtail the delve to conserve resources, potentially reducing the amount...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:25 PM
    The Five Minute Workday can be corrected with time pressure in the form of quest timers and/or wandering monsters.
    45 replies | 881 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:24 PM
    It depends on the scenario really.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:51 PM
    I do that right now in most dungeons. It works fine in my experience. Players figure out a way to deal with it and carry on. Typically that just means multiple trips back and forth to the dungeon, either resting nearby in the wilderness or back in town. Or they get a Leomund's tiny hut if they're of the appropriate level and have a caster that can cast it. Depending on how complex I want to...
    45 replies | 881 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:00 PM
    This is supported by the "Degrees of Failure" rules in the DMG, page 242. What is old is new again!
    175 replies | 7699 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:43 PM
    Wow, I hadn't really thought about it in this way before, but that really is what's at stake. On the surface it's all "hey, we're just checking to see what your character knows, 'kay?" Which doesn't seem that unreasonable, especially if you are used to a paradigm where the DM just asks for checks sometimes without an action stated by the player and the player doesn't look too closely at the rules...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:21 PM
    Thinking of the overall situation and challenge instead of thinking of it solely as a combat challenge may help you build into the scene elements that encourage the players to try other things. Alternate goals for the monsters and PCs other than reducing enemies to 0 hit points, plus aligning your rewards accordingly help a great deal with this. Feel free to check out some of my short-form...
    20 replies | 617 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:01 PM
    How the character thinks is in the control of the player, not the DM. As a result, there is no uncertainty - the character thinks whatever the player says he or she thinks. No doubt. The players in the example did not attempt to recall lore. One said he or she wanted to go buy some scrolls. The other said, only after the incredulous DM raised an eyebrow or the like, that he or she...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:17 AM
    For nolstalgia, 1e. But I wouldn't want to play it now. If I had to play a D&D edition other than 5e, I suppose it would be Basic D&D (Moldvay / Metzner (but not Expert/Companion rules), which for some reason you are categorizing as OD&D. But more likely, if I couldn't play 5e, I wouldn't play D&D, I'd play Dungeon Crawl Classics.
    122 replies | 3272 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:08 AM
    Did you book it through Kickstarter or were you already a WeWork customer?
    3 replies | 194 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 12:01 AM
    But you won't be the first or the last Greyhawk fan to be disappointed. :-(
    70 replies | 4228 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 11:59 PM
    Most campaigns never get anywhere near 20. If you are not expecting to play to high levels, you are not likely to shoot yourself in the foot. Multiclass as much as it takes to build the character concept that you are going for, whether that is for story, for power gaming, or both. One thing I am thinking about is doing one shots or mini campaigns at Tier 2 or Tier 3 levels. I would tell...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 11:43 PM
    Meetup.com subscriptions now include free WeWork room reservations (https://help.meetup.com/hc/en-us/articles/360004656412-What-is-Meetup-WeWork-) I've been to WeWork sites for business meetings and they are nice, but I didn't pay much attention to the overall setup. How feasible is it to meeting with a gaming group at a WeWork site? Reserving from Meetup.com has two options, up to 25 and...
    3 replies | 194 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 04:28 PM
    Yes, if the player declares an action that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. In this example, including what you added, we have two action declarations: (1) The barbarian wants to go to Ye Ole Magick Shoppe to buy some thunderwave scrolls for the wizard and (2) The wizard's player wants to retroactively give the barbarian a reason to take the aforementioned action...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:56 AM
    Didn't see this posted in EN World or on RPG News, but I thought it was pretty big in terms of the attention it will bring to the hobby. Stephen Colbert will be playing in a mini-adventure run by Matt Mercer (of Critical Role fame) for Red Nose day, a charity that fights child poverty: https://critrole.com/red-nose-day-choose-stephen-colberts-adventure/ You can donate money to help...
    4 replies | 297 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:18 PM
    Man, I thought my preference for stupid names was well-known at this point. I'm firing my publicist. But just check out my short-form scenarios for examples of this (plus presentation in general).
    51 replies | 1305 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:43 PM
    I have a penchant for silly names in my games, both as a player and DM, because I find them funny and, because others find them funny, they are more memorable. Presenting NPC names this way is good for retention. I struggle to remember NPCs with the usual fantasy RPG names, but you don't forget even minor NPCs like the Marguul bugbear gladiator, Dikpik the Unsolicited, who showed up without...
    51 replies | 1305 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:29 AM
    And, worse than that, when you give your players access to all of D&D Beyond by inviting them to your campaign in D&D Beyond, so they can easily pull up or search for rules...and they expect the DM to do it.
    19 replies | 1101 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:20 AM
    Fair enough. Ultimately it doesn't matter. I'll play and run games that I enjoy and avoid those I don't, regardless of a non-gaming podcast episode.
    13 replies | 671 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:13 AM
    The real world didn't have terrible monsters controlling urban sprawl. Also, like the real life, the "wilderness" was often "inhabited by folk that are not us." Many of the wilderness areas are inhabited by large numbers of sentient beings. They just don't get on well with human, elves, dwarves, etc. Also, what would the world look like with multiple species of intelligent peoples who...
    67 replies | 2415 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:07 AM
    This. Greyhawk is not a "good read." I don't know that I've ever sat down and read the old box set cover to cover. The recent "Wayfarers Guide to Eberron", I read cover to cover, in order, and enjoyed it. I may never run an Eberron campagin, but I enjoyed the book. SGAG is my least favorite 5e book, but I still enjoyed reading the fluff, even if I've never referenced it in or for a game. While I...
    67 replies | 2415 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 08:18 PM
    I have no idea what your goal is with this. And yet here we are saying it. Except determine what their characters do, think, and say.
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 07:19 PM
    No more than anyone should expect me to perfectly execute the approach I use and discuss here on enworld, especially after three or more Jamesons. But I know what I'm supposed to be doing per the rules and I try. A lot of words to say "People can play how they want." Which is and has never been in dispute. But if you want to say the rules support players establishing fiction outside their...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 05:08 PM
    What is the Arcana check for? I don't see an action declaration from the wizard in your breakdown. That's not the DM's problem. It's up to the players to play their characters effectively. My car doesn't use gasoline. That is the smart play. :)
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 02:09 PM
    We have a group that is the Group Of Saves, with a Monk and a Paladin to boost saves and PC paranoia to take all precautions. It shouldnít be too much of a hurdle. If a PC was in the chest and the Paladin is in range I would give them a boost.
    204 replies | 20035 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 01:27 AM
    Perhaps my original post was not written clearly. I have no problem with diceless systems. One of my favorite games of the past couple of years is Dialect. My problem is claiming to play a game, but not actually playing the game. I would further argue that they were not playing any TTRPG because they were not following any rules. I have no issues with improv comedy, or collaborative...
    13 replies | 671 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:51 PM
    It was still entertaining. I'm not tired of Chris Gethard or the Beautiful Anonymous podcast. I wasn't even tired of that specific pod cast. But it was misleading to say that they were playing D&D. Sure, and there are some games like this that I really enjoy. Dialect is one that involves no dice or randomness. But if I just improv a story, without engaging in the mechanics of Dialect,...
    13 replies | 671 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:37 PM
    No. But it wasn't D&D, or any TTRPG for that matter.
    13 replies | 671 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:06 PM
    I can't really speak for the social contracts at anyone's table but my own. From the perspective of the rules though, that expectation does not hold up well in my view since the outcome of all action declarations are decided by the DM who is empowered to use the rules to inform his or her decision but is never beholden to them. (This necessarily includes something as simple as taking rope out of...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:53 PM
    A D&D 5e DM who wants to act in the framework the rules provide in my view narrates the result of the adventurers' action without establishing anything new about what the player described as wanting the character to do. This is the effective limit for the DM in this regard, since he or she cannot determine what the character does, thinks, or says. One trick I do in an effort to avoid overstepping...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:57 PM
    Right. My point being that nobody can really say that a social contract applies to all tables and, given how it will vary, it's not something that helps show an approach is a breach of the social contract. It might be for some and not for others. I think from the perspective of the rules the DM gets to say what the outcome of every action declaration is. Some might not like this or outsource some...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:42 PM
    "Social contract" exists as what the DMG calls "table rules" which are not the rules of the game. These will vary from table to table. I have already given good reasons, based on what the rules describe as the DM's role, why the DM may decide that the player's action declaration to take the rope out of the character's backpack may fail. Those reasons might be that the DM needs to mediate...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 04:57 PM
    But who decides that there is an "automatic outcome" to casting a fireball or seeking help from the PC's temple? The DM, always.
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 03:47 PM
    They may be listed on the character sheet, but as the outcome of all action declarations are decided upon by the DM, I don't think where they are listed says anything about the player controlling the fiction in this regard.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 02:35 PM
    I prefer maps and tokens and use Roll20 even for in-person games. But one thing I learned about TotM is that the standard play loop is even more important and the DM is well-served by internalizing that process and using it. The standard play loop is (1) The DM describes the environment, (2) The players describe what they want to do, and (3) The DM narrates the results of the adventurers's...
    44 replies | 1233 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 01:03 PM
    A break check wouldnít technically be damage, but you have to touch it unless they use a battering ram. Use help actions to give the attacker advantage to land a critical hit. Once you break it everyone is safe right? I donít have module with me. I think the idea IIRC was if anyone got trapped everyone has to attack it hoping they break it before everyone gets trapped.
    204 replies | 20035 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:21 AM
    True neutral, probably not. But, again, in my games Druids can be any alignment. Most likely, Druids were a religious order like any other with an emphasis on oral tradition. "The writer Dio Chrysostom, who lived about 1,900 years ago, compared druids to the Magi and the Brahmans of India. The 'Celts appointed those whom they call druids, these also being devoted to the prophetic art...
    68 replies | 2216 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 08:01 AM
    Not sure I understand the rules of the game, but I see other posting votes more than one time. Is there a limit per day? Regarding Erol Otus the haters are wrong. Must save. Daniel Horne -- 22 Keith Parkinson -- 22 + 1 =23 Jeff Easley -- 23 Larry Elmore -- 18 Clyde Caldwell -- 24 Erol Otus -- 3 + 1 = 4
    159 replies | 3911 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 02:34 AM
    Why? Does what the PC think have to be a truth about the game world or be permitted to create NPCs during play (over which the player has NO authority by the rules) in order for you to feel the player has "total authority over what the PC thinks and feels?" Why does this make the PC a "relative stranger" to the game world? The player can choose to use that knowledge to inform how he or she...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 11:00 PM
    Eberron is the only published setting that handles this in a consistent, logical, easy to run way. In my home campaign, all magic, other than clerical magic from followers of approved gods, is illegal. This is enforced by a powerful and zealous organization of inquisitors, local law enforcement, and pious/superstitious mobs. The gods and their followers are have religious reasons for not...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 10:13 PM
    Blackmoor has the better claim of being the "original" DnD setting (http://www.secretsofblackmoor.com/blog). Kinda. I would say it is more, "there is a place for a little bit of everything." The original Grey Hawk setting was more of an outline that the DM was expected to fill in. It did the work that many people find the most challenging, giving you a professional and evocative map and...
    67 replies | 2415 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:47 PM
    I think Celebrim establishes a good line here: The player is free to draw upon hard-won knowledge to inform how he or she has the character act. The limit is when the player is not acting in good faith and has, as you suggest above, read the module and presumably didn't tell anyone. I think a player not being forthcoming about this many people would consider rude or worse. But sometimes my...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:04 PM
    I don't find any contradiction here that isn't created by the player. It is the player that has to yield since it is the player stating something about the world (e.g. "earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage"), which is under the purview of the DM. The obvious solution to me is for the player not to do that (nor declare the guard is Frances, an old friend) and, again, to verify one's...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • smbakeresq's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:02 PM
    I would treat the CON damage as exhaustion levels, 5e doesnít support ability drain. If not, a long rest seems appropriate or a lesser restoration spell or both. In this case the monk will be fully exhausted if the dispel magic doesnít work. As far as Dispel Magic, the spell affect seems like itís a permanent bestow curse, which IIRC is a level 9 spell, so that seems appropriate. Lowering...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 07:42 AM
    If you do D&D Beyond, you can buy specific monsters, etc. without buying the entire book. That said, I really enjoy the Ravnica book. Lots of ideas to mine from it.
    10 replies | 482 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 07:27 AM
    I have an index like this someone posted for free on Reddit. It doesn't get used anymore since I use D&D Beyond. Easier to search or use D&D Beyonds categories to navigate.
    3 replies | 325 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 07:15 AM
    I'm not familiar with the WotBS or what Seela are. But if you are looking for paper minis, check out Printable Heroes: https://printableheroes.com/minis One Monk Miniatures is another, you can find OMM on DriveThruRPG. Both Printable Heroes and OMM provide cut files, so you can use a paper-cutting machine like a Silhouette or Cricket to cut them out for you. When I can't find minis, I...
    4 replies | 265 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:05 AM
    Maybe not, but he was definitely trying to make this episode a comedy episode. Which is fine. I don't have an issue with slapstick D&D. It is that lack of any engagement with the mechanics. It wasn't D&D, it was just improv comedy with a generic fantasy theme.
    13 replies | 671 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:01 AM
    I don't understand what you're saying here in relation to my specific question that you quoted. If the DM does not care that the PC went to buy scrolls presumably good in a fight against earth elementals with no explanation whatsover, then why would someone care if they do so after saying "earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder" or words to that effect? Does something meaningful change about...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 11:27 PM
    If you're fine with the them going to buy the scrolls without explanation, why care with an explanation? The DM is just there to adjudicate the action of buying the scrolls, nothing more. A player might say "Hey, everyone, earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage." But there's nothing there for the DM to do. I don't say "player knowledge = character knowledge" though. I'm saying...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 09:20 PM
    The player's intent is clear; the character's is not. They don't have to be the same thing since player and character are separate, right? The player could know that earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage, but never say anything about the character's knowledge and just describe what he or she wants to do: "I want to go to Ye Olde Magick Shoppe to buy some scrolls of thunderwave." Just...
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 05:20 AM
    I'm a fan of comedian Chris Gethard's podcast, Beautiful Anonymous. The format is that he takes a random anonymous caller and talks to them for an hour. There is some pre-screening and he selects which to air and when to air them, except at his live shows, but these are not scripted and the guests are not celebrities. His most recently released episode was released as an "extra" because when...
    13 replies | 671 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 06:25 PM
    Yeah. To be clear, I actually prefer the players have some additional measure of control of the fiction outside of their characters and frequently build on offers the players make during play, especially when it comes to my regular players. But I also know that this is not supported by the rules of D&D 5e and so I can't honestly make the argument that it is when we're discussing what is or isn't...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 04:29 PM
    I think they would inform but not constrain the DM's narration of the outcome of the adventurers' outcome. This may seem like splitting hairs, but we have to take any rule into the context of the idea that the rules serve the DM, not the other way around. In this case, it may well be likely that the DM always says the character can (for example) get an audience with a noble or help from his or...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 05:39 AM
    I tend to let the players control them as well as NPC allies in many cases. Anything to spread the DM workload.
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 05:30 AM
    Thanks. Will do.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 02:42 AM
    Fair play, since I provided my own diagnosis for you as you say. However, I think it's more simple: I say what I do in my games e.g. players don't ask to make checks. Someone responds to ask why or to criticize my choice (fair enough), often someone who already knows the answer, perhaps adding that he or she does that and his or her game works fine. I say something like, "I do it because there is...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 02:21 AM
    I'm not sure what you're saying here - the truth is a deflection? In the context of the game, it actually doesn't matter to the DM in my view. My assumption in this example is that the player is making an offer in good faith and with full knowledge of the rules of the game and the table rules. If, however, the player is under some misapprehension that, by the rules of this game or perhaps...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:39 AM
    Again (and again and again...), me saying what I do as being something the rules books say to do isn't a judgment on how you play. But in a discussion about DMing approaches, especially one as meandering as some of the threads of late, it may be appropriate for any number of reasons to observe that someone's approach is clearly taken from some other game when it's obvious there is no support for...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:17 AM
    Yeah, so you just keep saying things I'm not arguing against as if I am and, because I feel obliged to respond to someone who responds to me, I feel like I'm wasting my time now. Probably best to just ignore each other.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 11:29 PM
    Already addressed upthread. And there are approaches that DMs take that simply cannot be derived from the plain English words on the pages of the D&D 5e rules books. Some certainly could if you were reading a rules book from some other game. When that happens, expect me to point it out, especially if the poster is reporting dissatisfaction with the game experience.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 08:42 PM
    All your position means is that we're at an impasse and there's nothing left to discuss on this front. I won't be changing what I call the rules. I mean in a kind of postmodern sense, sure, anything can mean anything. But in a pragmatic sense, only some interpretations will actually be valid in that they actually work reliably in achieving the intended goal. If you're saying that some...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:57 PM
    And who among us old-timers haven't been in games like that?! I sure as heck have.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:34 PM
    Yeah, we can play all kinds of word games if you want. But I don't think that's very interesting or helpful. More word games. It looks more to me that you're reading into my words an intent I do not have.
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:29 PM
    I agree. I think it may have been this thread where I mentioned that even if the DM "gives" the player the freedom to react however he or she likes after the DM establishes how the character feels about something, the DM still established a constraint in which the player may feel compelled to take into account when deciding what to do. As Chaosmancer points out, the rest of the table might be...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:11 PM
    Sure, but all of the organizations, locations, and NPCs are under the full control of the DM during play as are the outcomes of all action declarations by the player related to the background features above, since you still have to declare an action to seek assistance from the priests of your temple, get messages to your criminal contact, secure an audience with a noble, and so on. This does not...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 07:06 PM
    I would say anything that isn't specifically called out as a rules variant (e.g., encumbrance or different resting options) or the like is a rule. This includes the stuff that doesn't seem very "crunchy," such as the section on "How to Play" or what the player gets to determine about the character. I think to parse it into various other words like "guidelines" or the like doesn't really help and...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 03:45 PM
    There's a difference between before play and during play with regard to equipment. Yes, you get to pick your equipment before play during character creation, just like you get to pick your ability scores (if you're not rolling them), race, class, and so on. During play, the results of your action declarations are firmly in the hands of the DM. People other than player characters are non-player...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 02:23 PM
    I'm not trying to convince you of anything. And it's likely that more people understand my points than don't. Just a handful of folks are vocal in their objections and it's always the same posters in multiple threads. That strikes me as a clash of personalities more than anything else.
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 05:13 AM
    Daniel Horne -- 21 Keith Parkinson -- 21 Jeff Easley -- 18 Larry Elmore -- 24 + 1 = 25 Clyde Caldwell -- 19 Erol Otus -- 18 + 1 = 19 Wayne Reynolds -- 8 Todd Lockwood -- 19 Tyler Jacobson -- 20 David Trampier -- 22
    159 replies | 3911 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 04:36 AM
    In my home brew campaign, Druids are seen as heretical and have almost been eliminated. The reason they are seen as these deep-woods hermits is because they've been driven there. They organize into "circles" of otherwise independent druids, because it helps ensure they will survive--it makes it difficult to wipe out the entire group. The heresy is that they dare teach that the god arose from...
    68 replies | 2216 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 04:21 AM
    Yes. If you want to get really fancy, and plan to reuse them, get some cheap foam board from the dollar store and use spray-adhesive to glue the printed maps to the foam board. Of course that makes it a bit less convenient to store and travel with. When I didn't have access to the large-format printer/plotter, I would print on Letter-sized paper and piece together. The big hassle was...
    20 replies | 4157 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 04:07 AM
    I hear you regarding the Combat Tracker. I can see using this for adventures that I can buy through Fantasy Grounds. The learning curve and prep time is what holds me back. I've already invested a lot of time into RealmWorks, using Hero Lab for combat tracking. I also have all the source books (but not adventures) in D&D Beyond. My understanding is that to take advantage of the...
    14 replies | 513 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 01:35 AM
    What's not solid about it? Always right in that this is what the character thinks, anyway, since the rules say the player determines what the character thinks. Those thoughts themselves might be wrong. The player need not necessarily believe that Frances exists. The player could be portraying a character who is sometimes confused about what is or isn't real, a flaw that when so...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 08:49 PM
    I truly think that is what your objection is all about - memories of a war in which you participated that ended long ago. It can be seen in a lot of your posts and it appears to color your reception of the viewpoints and positions of others. It's in your often backhanded or faint praise of D&D 5e, compared to the edition of the game you clearly prefer (and frankly so do I). I'm not a ghost...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 08:06 PM
    Here we're just discussing how to discuss or arguing about how to argue and you know my feelings about that.
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:51 PM
    Thanks for the kind words, but if that's your interpretation of my position, I'm afraid it will have to continue to bother you. I won't stop saying that I do what I do because the rules say to do that or suggest to people having issues that they try what the rules say to see if it corrects the problem.
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:22 PM
    As far as D&D 5e is concerned, that's the definition. Other games might have other definitions. That the game works to varying degrees whether a DM follows the rules or not is something I do not dispute, especially since I've seen that be the case (even if it some cases it wasn't my cup of tea). But that comes at the risk of arriving at a game experience that is not intended or in some...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:08 PM
    Sorry, dude, I'm the only authority here on what I care about. Please kindly leave off on this track. "Roleplaying is, literally, the act of playing out a role. In this case, it's you as a player determining how your character thinks, acts, and talks." (PHB, p. 185) Taken together with "How to Play," we see very clearly who gets to say what according to the rules. The DM's authority...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 06:12 PM
    Please do not ascribe to me claims I am not making. As for showing where others are not following the rules and perhaps not achieving a desirable result, that's fair game as far as I am concerned. It's advice for correcting a problem the poster reports. They can take it or leave it. Further, me saying what I do is because I'm just following what the books say is not a judgment on what other...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 05:59 PM
    I would say your impression is mistaken and perhaps, based on your previous posts in this and other threads, greatly influenced by your experience in the edition wars and related discussions of the past. My position is that the rules are like the directions of a recipe. If you don't follow them, you may get a different result than the recipe intended. Whether that's good or bad is a matter of...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 05:14 PM
    And I'm saying it's absolutely true that you can work out what is or isn't permitted with the existing rules. The DM narrates the results of the adventurers' actions, always. If the player says he or she wants to have the character reach into the backpack and grab a rope, by the rules, the DM gets to say how that works out. As I said before, the DM may decide the character lacks the remaining...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 04:01 AM
    What answer are you looking for? I stated what the rules have to say on the matter and have addressed the specific example in a reply to Elfcrusher upthread. You're welcome to read it. I hope you don't count me among them. If you do, then you've misunderstood (and now misstated) my position. Yes, the player determines what the character thinks and does, and particular knowledge is...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 02:47 AM
    Using PVC pipes with caps is brilliant! I had a bunch of those cardboard tubes, but the plastic ends would get loose. Sorry, didn't mean to thread hijack. Personally, I would rather use a chessex matt or battle-grid than have to manage paper maps (or worse, dungeon tiles) again. I do still like to use physical maps for world and region maps, printed on cloth is best. I also will still...
    20 replies | 4157 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 02:18 AM
    True. So much of what we "know" about Druids is from biased Roman accounts.
    68 replies | 2216 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 01:32 AM
    Another poster who stated that he or she deviated from the rules told me to call what he or she does "house rules" before. I refused. So I'm afraid you'll have to find someone else to push back on in this regard. This isn't me advocating slavish devotion to RAW for its own sake. The endless polling probably didn't hurt. There you go again parsing the rules and organizing them in...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 01:02 AM
    It's all rules as I see it, and you're free to ignore the rules you don't want to use. Again, just be aware that this may impact the game experience negatively and require adjustment. There isn't much value in picking and choosing which are rules and which are not in my view. Accept them as one big bag of rules that are instructing you on how to play the game, then pare them down if you wish (or...
    575 replies | 19995 view(s)
    0 XP
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About MNblockhead

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About MNblockhead
Introduction:
Back to the table-top after 2.5 decades away
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Gamer that returned to the fold with 5e, after 25 years away from RPGs.
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Twin Cities, MN, USA
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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:
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Minnesota
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Game Details:
Monthly 8-hour 5e game. Ended home-brew campaign in January 2018, after two years and am now running Curse of Strahd.
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I play a Tortle barbarian berserker with the great-weapon master feat.
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Tuesday, 21st May, 2019



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Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 02:55 AM - uzirath mentioned MNblockhead in post Good, Evil, Nature, and Druids
    Yeah, the lack of knowledge about historical druids is what would hold me back, though I love to reskin race and class archetypes in my campaigns to play against expectations (or at least to have variants that do). I'm not sure about the idea that historical druids didn't "revolve around gods." That may be true, but there were certainly Celtic gods, so it may be that scholars just don't have enough information to go on. But, in a game context, I like MNblockhead's conception of druids. The reincarnation motif is interesting and the idea that the gods are newcomers or outsiders or something like that is also fun to play with. That could create fun political conflicts between clerics and druids. In the Dungeon Fantasy RPG, druids don't have healing spells by default (that's the core domain of clerics). But, many GMs (including me) have houseruled them back in. (I can't remember how various editions of D&D handle this and I don't have my books nearby.) I had a discussion a while back on one of the SJG forums about how one might differentiate druidic from clerical healing. One idea I was mulling was that druidic healing is more "natural," which also means that it might be a bit slower, possibly more painful, and would leave scars. Clerics, on the other hand, basically erase wounds altogether. This could create all sorts of intriguing cultural elements. In a culture where clerics abound, having scar-free skin might be a sign of the upper class....

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 08:31 AM - aramis erak mentioned MNblockhead in post Printing maps - how to do this affordably & with minimum headache?
    MNblockhead A growing sector of gamers are playing in public spaces without access to power, big screens, projectors, etc. Tablets suck for map display. Printing things out is likely to remain important for many. blank grids (square or hex) only go so far; to go past, the best, least expensive method is usually to buy the commercial ones. And commercial maps were available for most of the hardcover Wizards 5E adventures... Buying them would be about the same cost as having them locally printed, and more likely to have good color. Nice that you broke free, but it's not practical for many. And undesirable for more. Oh, and a great way to carry maps? 4" or larger thin-wall PVC pipes - used for low-pressure applications, like AC ducting. End caps are readily available, even screw cap fittings. Adding a strap is trivial - buy some nylon strapping, glue it on. I've used a 4" water pipe. For unlaminated maps, it's great (if a bit heavy). For laminated, I want 6" PVC duct pipe...

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 10:11 PM - MaximusArael020 mentioned MNblockhead in post Need help coming up with the function of a magic artifact!
    Good suggestion, MNblockhead! Yes, my idea was that the abilities stack, and you unlock additional powers as you progress. The charges then denote how many total charges you have at that proficiency bonus level. Thus a total of 12 charges per day with proficiency bonus of +6, and all abilities "unlocked". I like the idea of breaking it into 3 columns. Thanks!

Friday, 19th April, 2019


Wednesday, 17th April, 2019


Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 09:52 PM - robus mentioned MNblockhead in post Your most used accessories?
    @MNblockhead - the cloth printing arrived. I think it's going to work well (and very easy to transport): 105896 Edit: probably could have been 25% smaller... :)

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

  • 10:32 PM - Hussar mentioned MNblockhead in post Sneak Peek At Ghosts of Saltmarsh Maps
    I wonder if this is related to groups that don't do a lot of mapping during play. Left, right, ahead, (never minding, Top and Bottom) would be incredibly frustrating to the mapper. But, as MNblockhead says, maybe it's just an experience thing. My group also has a fair bit of military background, so it seems pretty natural to put north at the top of the map. Heh. Right as I type this, I'm looking at the weather map for today on TV. Funnily enough, it's oriented north to the top. :D Every time I use Google Maps, it's oriented north to the top. Every single map of Canada I've ever seen, going back centuries, is oriented north to the top. North to the top has been the standard for centuries now. It's pretty ubiquitous. Heck, rolling this back around to Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, the town in the three modules was never mapped. It's not like there's any sort of canon or tradition here. You were instructed by the original module to make your own map. So, why make a map that it automatically harder to use at the table? Player: Where is the general store? DM: It's in the west end of the town, next to the Color Animal Inn. Player: Huh? The Color Animal Inn is ...

Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 02:38 PM - robus mentioned MNblockhead in post Your most used accessories?
    Thanks for the detailed list MNblockhead, that Time Tracker looks really cool. Actually it would be perfect on the flip side of my initiative tracker!

Tuesday, 12th March, 2019

  • 05:16 AM - CleverNickName mentioned MNblockhead in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    ...ualified. Predictions must be made in this thread before next Monday, March 11th, 11:59 p.m. PST. Predictions made after that time will be ignored. Good luck! The Prize The winner will receive a gift certificate to HeroForge.com, good for one custom 3D-printed character mini (a $25 value), like this one! 105294 I got this digital gift certificate for Christmas, but I already have like a dozen HeroForge minis (I may have a problem). I thought I'd offer it up to a worthy cause. Sound good? OF COURSE it sounds good! Let's see those predictions! ----- PREDICTION ROSTER Stalker0: $100,000,000 Dausuul: $50,000,000 gyor: $30,000,000 Hussar: $25,000,000 aco175: $23,500,000 CubicsRube: $21,000,000 CleverNickName: $20,612,408.57 ---------Highest-Funded Kickstarter in History (Pebble Time smartwatch) $20,338,986----------- Parmandr: $20,000,000 EnochSeven: $16,213,102 TallIan: $15,876,374 MNblockhead: $15,555,555 77IM: $14,980,000.00 jgsugden: $14,520,000 OB1: $14,000,042 The Big BZ: $14,000,000 dregntael: $13,935,109 chrisrtld: $13,635,019 pogre: $13,500,000 Aebir-Toril: $13,224,376.89 Satyrn: $13,000,000 Yardiff: $12,456,145 -----------Highest-Funded Game Project on Kickstarter (Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5) $12,393,139-------- Radaceus: $12,345,678.91 FarBeyondC: $12,345,678.90 Morrus: $12,000,000 Mistwell: $11,800,000 Mort: $11,620,000 Zardnaar: $11,354,883 <--- The Winner! Sadras: $11,120,000 SkidAce: $11,000,000 Tazawa: $10,700,000 togashi_joe: $10,250,000 DM Dave1: $10,101,010 MichaelSomething: $10,000,000 Lazybones: $9,750,000 PabloM: $9,500,000 akr71: $9,250,000 rczarnec: $9,250,000 Azzy: $9,000,000 Henry: $8,900,000 mortwatcher: $8,666,000 ...

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019

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

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019

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

Sunday, 20th January, 2019

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

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 05:11 PM - doctorbadwolf mentioned MNblockhead in post Matt Colvilleís Strongholds and Followers
    MNblockhead thanks for the reply, very informative. Sadly, it is definitely not just his fast spoken delivery. Iím from California, and I consume a lot more YouTube and podcast media than I do traditional video media, so fast talk is where I live. When I have to call the support center st work, and get someone from Vest Virginia, I feel like Iím at the DMV in Zootopia. People talk soooooooo slooooooowwww. He just annoys me. But, I donít think itís his diction, or vocabulary, or anything else that translates directly to print. I think itís just him. I watched his video on the Star Wars sequel movies vs the prequels, and I just couldnít stand the guy. Part of what annoys me about him is what annoys me about so many of my fellow Millenials, and GenX ppl. That is, the rampant deeply emotionally stubborn nostalgia. I...just donít experience nostalgia to anywhere near the same degree that others seem to, so when people seem to base their opinions strongly on it, I find it obnoxious. His line...

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 12:45 PM - dave2008 mentioned MNblockhead in post How to make an encounter with falling great distances interesting and dangerous, but not deadly?
    I agree with @MNblockhead - thank you for the recap. I think this is an interesting challenge and covers a lot a things that, out of the box, D&D doesn't do well. We really could use a DMG II or similar that covers more complex scenarios like this. One thing that got me thinking... Yeah, I really overlooked this. Twice, when they realized the fall was only 30 feet, the players sort of shrugged. I had further complications up my sleeve, so I was able to added twists when that happened (and I remembered to!), however it definitely dispelled the illusion of threat. This made me think once again about the falling rules. How about in addition to damage: every 30 feet of falling requires you to either take a level of exhaustion (thus 180' = death) or a roll on the lingering injury table. Or possibly a combination of the two. That way falling as some real consequences other than damage (which we all know is not a real consequence in D&D) ;)

Sunday, 2nd December, 2018

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

Tuesday, 30th October, 2018


Saturday, 8th September, 2018

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

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

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


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Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 12:03 PM - Zardnaar quoted MNblockhead in post Dragon Reflections 21
    Is it strange to feel nostalgic about issues of Dragon that were published before I got into the hobby? Can't wait until we get to the 80s! Not really old Dragon has the same effect on me although I was reading it while it was in print.

Sunday, 19th May, 2019


Thursday, 16th May, 2019


Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 05:15 AM - Parmandur quoted MNblockhead in post Fantasy Grounds Usage Stats Through Q1 2019: D&D Up, Pathfinder Down
    The growth in 5e will eventually result in the growth of other systems. There will be a number of people who will look to diversify the games they play or who get tired of D&D and want to try something else. It'll be interesting to see how long it will take to observe this trickle down effect. I would have thought we'd see more of this already. I started trying and buying other systems about a year after getting into 5e. Then again, I've never played a Fantasy Grounds game and I don't think any of the games I play other than D&D have FG support. I would imagine most of the trickle down will eventually go to games that do something substantially different thematically, if anything.
  • 05:11 AM - Gleb Igumnov quoted MNblockhead in post RPGs, Russia, and The City of the Steam Sun on IndieGoGo
    Great interview! Am interested to know why Kickstarter "doesn't work in Russia." Most probably some financial issues, at is was with PayPal for long years. Or maybe they think, that there will be lots of frauds. Sadly, our country reputation isn't the best.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 12:48 AM - Hussar quoted MNblockhead in post Chris Gethard "plays" D&D on Beautiful Anonymous
    No. But it wasn't D&D, or any TTRPG for that matter. Amber Diceless would like to have a word. As would a huge swath of TTRPG's which don't rely or even heavily rely on mechanics. The notion that unless we're throwing dice, it's not really an RPG needs to die in a fire.

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 10:52 PM - insanity_rocks quoted MNblockhead in post Looking for paper miniatures for NPCs and/or Creatures
    I'm not familiar with the WotBS or what Seela are. But if you are looking for paper minis, check out Printable Heroes: https://printableheroes.com/minis One Monk Miniatures is another, you can find OMM on DriveThruRPG. Both Printable Heroes and OMM provide cut files, so you can use a paper-cutting machine like a Silhouette or Cricket to cut them out for you. When I can't find minis, I second Tormyr's advice. I find an image I want to use and use the Token Tools software from RPTools (https://www.rptools.net/toolbox/token-tool/) to make the token. Then I copy the token image many times on a letter sized sheet in MS Word or Publisher. I print it out and use a 1" diameter circle punch to punch them out. I use one like this (link), which allows me to see the image I'm punching out. Many punches assume that you are just cutting out colored paper and it is hard to line up to punch out an image. If you use card stock, you can just use these as your tokens. But I like to glue them t...
  • 02:49 PM - Umbran quoted MNblockhead in post Chris Gethard "plays" D&D on Beautiful Anonymous
    While I enjoy listening to Dragon Friends and other "live play" pod casts acted out by improv actors, I'm getting a bit tired of D&D as an improv session. "Doctor, it hurts when I do this!" "Well, then don't do that." If you are tired of a thing, stop consuming that thing. Turn off the podcast and find something you do like, instead. First, letting the dice determine the outcomes creates a more interesting dynamic to act against. Second, and for me most importantly, stripping out all the crunch and opportunities for tactics and rules mastery ruins it as a game, both as a player and as an audience member. Meh. To each their own. There are entire RPGs that don't have dice, or any random elements at all - for example, some use a resource pool and bidding mechanic. So, while you may prefer the randomness, we shouldn't speak like that's the only way to get the job done. You probably also need to remember that the podcast *isn't* a gaming experience. It is a separate ente...
  • 02:03 PM - Ancalagon quoted MNblockhead in post Chris Gethard "plays" D&D on Beautiful Anonymous
    Maybe not, but he was definitely trying to make this episode a comedy episode. Which is fine. I don't have an issue with slapstick D&D. It is that lack of any engagement with the mechanics. It wasn't D&D, it was just improv comedy with a generic fantasy theme.So they were having fun wrong?
  • 07:00 AM - Riley37 quoted MNblockhead in post Good, Evil, Nature, and Druids
    Has anyone played druids in the historical sense? Here are chapters 13 and 14 of Book 6 of Caesar's history of the Gallic Wars (or rather, a translation of them into English, thus losing or warping various nuances and connotations from the original Latin). You tell me: does this match your understanding of True Neutral? Chapter 13 Throughout all Gaul there are two orders of those men who are of any rank and dignity: for the commonality is held almost in the condition of slaves, and dares to undertake nothing of itself, and is admitted to no deliberation. The greater part, when they are pressed either by debt, or the large amount of their tributes, or the oppression of the more powerful, give themselves up in vassalage to the nobles, who possess over them the same rights without exception as masters over their slaves. But of these two orders, one is that of the Druids, the other that of the knights. The former are engaged in things sacred, conduct the public and the private sacrifices, an...

Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 08:21 AM - S'mon quoted MNblockhead in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    Having the monster and npc stats for 5e is all well in good, but what about skill checks and other mechanics that apply to the non-combat aspects of the game? How easy is it to determine appropriate DC values for picking locks, finding secret doors, etc.? I'm running the PF Rise of the Runelords & Shattered Star APs in 5e, so I have a lot* of experience with this. For skill DCs (and for ACs) you basically halve the value over 10, typically rounding down, eg PF > 5e 10 > 10 15 > 12 20 > 15 30 > 20 35 > 22 40 > 25 45 > 27 50 > 30 I wouldn't go over DC 30. For stuff that would allow a Take 20 in PF such as long term research, I may use a straight halving of the DC, so 55 > 27. I don't think I've seen a PF DC over 55 yet. *PCs have gone from 1st to 20th, we have played most of Runelords books 2-5, all of Shattered Star books 1-4, and are currently about 2/3 through Shattered Star book 5. Will likely play Shattered Star 6; may or may not play Runelords 6 (Karzoug may end up ...
  • 06:47 AM - mach1.9pants quoted MNblockhead in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    I guess I'm spoiled by Kobold Press and Frog God Games Kickstarters. I just do not see the value here and the risk seems high given their track record. If it ever makes it to my FLGS shelves, I'll take a look at it, but I'm going to pass on backing the crowdfunding effort. 'track record'? This is Paizo's first crowd funding effort, the previous ones were by (admittedly endorsed) 3PP. I can't see this doing anything but going well. But it will be all in retail, so not a huge problem -apart from the coins type stuff. You'll pay more but that's normal.

Friday, 10th May, 2019

  • 01:02 AM - LordEntrails quoted MNblockhead in post Using Fantasy Grounds for Face-to-Face?
    I hear you regarding the Combat Tracker. I can see using this for adventures that I can buy through Fantasy Grounds. ... My understanding is that to take advantage of the features you are talking about, I would have to re-purchase all of the D&D Books. In other words, say the new Saltmarsh book becomes available on FG. I would consider buying FG and buying the Saltmarsh adventure on FG, but if I also have to buy the PH, DMG, and MM, that's just too expensive for me right now. Not really, to leverage the CT doesn't require the purchased DLC. But it does require you have monster stat blocks. But, for instance you can get all of the ~400 1d6 Adventures "Monster-A-Day" monsters for free in an FG module. https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?44066-1d6-Adventurers-Monster-Compendium It also requires the PCs to have populated FG character sheets. That can be done manually or with the included SRD data. Placing the tokens on the map etc is pretty trivial. Overall, I think you have a pr...
  • 12:16 AM - Hussar quoted MNblockhead in post A Look Inside Ghosts of Saltmarsh
    Which WotC APs does that describe? My issue with many of the APs is the expectation that you play though all the content. Perhaps this is why I love Curse of Strahd. Currently, I'm running Rappan Athuk. It is a given that much if not most of the content will never be used in this campaign. I also see myself running groups through CoS and RA again, something I can't say about most adventure material. I answered this upthread a bit, but, again, Storm King's Thunder, if played by the book where you only deal with one of the giant groups, results in much of the adventure being left behind. Dragon Heist is specifically built that you will only use about 1/3 of the book in any given campaign - you'd have to do a massive rewrite (see The Alexandrian for how) to use the whole book. And, as you say, Curse of Strahd isn't meant to be completely played through.

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 03:41 PM - Celebrim quoted MNblockhead in post Good, Evil, Nature, and Druids
    In my home brew campaign, Druids are seen as heretical and have almost been eliminated. In my homebrew campaign, I don't have Druids the class, but I do have the Shaman class that allows characters to fulfill the same role and any other animist priest or magician. Shamans are persecuted in civilized lands to one degree or the other as a type of "Witchcraft" or "Black Magic". In less tolerant areas, they are every bit as paranoid as Northern Europe in the height of the Witch scare, with all the attendant evils there of. In more tolerant areas, Shamans are technically illegal, but as long as they keep their heads down and stay out of trouble, the local authorities tend to avoid pressing the issue. Still, you are basically without legal protection and if any thing goes wrong, and someone in the community who is popular speaks out against you, you might find yourself fleeing or confronting a lynch mob. It really took having a Player Character in the party for a few years of play time befor...
  • 04:16 AM - robus quoted MNblockhead in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    Exactly. Those kids who grew up in a world where fantasy movies were blockbuster, Oscar-winning movies grew up to be today's millennial streaming their games on Youtube and Twitch. I don't think you can point to one watershed moment. There has been a cultural shift. My generation of geeks from the 80s are now running companies, hosting TV shows, and fueling 80s-nostalgia shows like Stranger Things. The generation after us took our hobbies main stream and into their adulthood. My kids are growing up never having known a world where comic super heroes, computer games, fantasy, scifi, and cos play were not mainstream. Yep my daughter grew up quite the nerd, Star Trek characters at halloween, devouring Harry Potter. Briefly turned away during high school (as you do), but now thoroughly happy to indulge her interests once more. Only wish 5e had been around a few years earlier so we could have adventured together.

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 09:12 AM - aramis erak quoted MNblockhead in post Printing maps - how to do this affordably & with minimum headache?
    Using PVC pipes with caps is brilliant! I had a bunch of those cardboard tubes, but the plastic ends would get loose. You want one to be glued on; the other either a screw-cap (the female portion glues on) or an unglued cap. If using a screw-cap, you also get high water resistance.
  • 05:46 AM - LordEntrails quoted MNblockhead in post Using Fantasy Grounds for Face-to-Face?
    My impression was that FG makes it easy to quickly size the map appropriately. But he was also using RealmWorks, which seemed like over kill and too much software to deal with. I recently had a case commissioned by Collabrewate and have also been thinking of backing the FG kickstarter, but currently using Realmworks to display maps is sufficient for my needs. It feels like FG would just be a lot of money for more complexity. When I finish my current campaign, I might get FG with an adventure. If I have all the content pre-entered, it might get me over the learning curve. IMO the benefit of FG is not the map or the tokens, but rather the Combat Tracker. It's integrated with the map tokens and looks like an initiative tracker, but does much more than just initiative. It tracks hit points, AC, effects (shield, mage armor, ongoing damage, spell concentration, prone, poisoned, cover, etc etc) and allows the DM to run NPC attacks/action and save off of it. Also tracks things like if a reaction is u...
  • 03:09 AM - Parmandur quoted MNblockhead in post Paizo To Make Kingmaker Bestiary... For D&D 5E!
    Sorry, replied before getting through the thread. I don't understand how PF gives NPC and monster stat blocks. For a monster, I could see just giving the name and parenthetical letting you know which bestiary you need. But for NPCs, are they built like characters? Wouldn't they be treated like monsters and just have a description of their abilities in their stat block? If not, ouch! Yes, that would suck. I also wasn't thinking of the poor game designer who would have to take into account all of the official classes and feats when designing an adventure. One could always just run their own home-brew adventures...but that is a lot of work, which will turn away a lot of people from being game master for the system. I concede the point. Oh, sweet Summer child: in 3.x/Pathfinder, all monsters are built like PCs. Every. Single. One. Classes, Feats, the whole shebang.


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