View Profile: Ath-kethin - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:13 AM
    I never thought about it, to be honest. Now that I am, I think they could have been NWPs, except that the proficiency system in 2e was optional. A DM who didn't use proficiencies would seriously undercut a thief's effectiveness, so the abilities had to be baked-in. I guess starting with 3e they changed to skills, more or less the way you suggest, but it wouldn't have worked in 2nd.
    8 replies | 173 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:08 AM
    Happily beating on this no-longer-dead horse: Best: Secrets of the Lamp, a 2nd Edition Al-Qadim sourcebox. It has seen extensive use in every campaign I have ever run since I bought it back in '94. Distant 2nd place: Rules Cyclopedia, tied with DM's Option: High Level Campaigns. One gives you all the tools you need to run a game; the other tells you how to use them. Worst: Magic of...
    90 replies | 13450 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:26 PM
    You know what I think is insane? Apparently nobody responded to the OP's question for over 15 freaking years. This is some "unearth the Mummy" type stuff, and we are all doomed.
    27 replies | 913 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:22 PM
    Same.
    27 replies | 913 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:20 PM
    I'm a bit confused by the PHB sales graph. It states that the worst point for the book was June 13, 2014, but the book wasn't released until August 19th (August 8th at WPN stores). Am I missing something?
    11 replies | 626 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 12:34 PM
    In my learned experience, ogres listen to Slayer, orcs listen to early Metallica, hobgoblins dig Megadeth, and elves listen to Celine Dion. Oh, and kobolds listen to Nickleback.
    19 replies | 532 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 11:04 PM
    I think that it might be more helpful to re-evaluate how you envision hit points, what what they actually mean. As an article pointed out way back when, hit points aren't meant to represent the ability of a character to withstand damage. The example they used was something to the tune of this: A first level character can be killed by a single blow from a longsword. If we envision hit points...
    33 replies | 721 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 10:56 PM
    Let me answer your question with a question: what's wrong with a railroad? Some of the most famous and revered modules in D&D history were little more. For what it's worth, I don't remember the module being that much of a railroad, but then again, it's been over 20 years since I played it, and much depends on a DM. It's quite possible that the guy running it for my group back in the day was...
    2 replies | 168 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 10:31 PM
    Wish, followed by Wish, again. Why aim low?
    8 replies | 330 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 10:23 PM
    I lived in Indiana for 17 years or so, and Gen Con moved to Indy literally a couple of months after I moved to Massachusetts. My 4 year old son and I will be attending Gen Con this year, and I don't even know which one of us is more excited. There isn't a specific game release I'm looking forward to, but he wants to play No Thank You, Evil! with someone who isn't just me, and MCG seems happy...
    6 replies | 237 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 10:19 PM
    Like many, I go in for retroclones more than actual OD&D; organization, clarity, and . . . Let's say changing social values all play into those decisions. By far my favorite is Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperboria. I love the art, the class/subclass structure, everything.
    20 replies | 527 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 08:22 PM
    Looking for a way to spice up your campaign? Need something to inject a bit of weirdness into your game? Did the party just head off in some random direction you didn't expect? Offbeat Encounters is the solution for you! This bookmarked, color PDF contains 10 scenarios ready to amuse you, torment your players, and provide fodder for stories you'll reminisce about for years to come. In...
    0 replies | 90 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 04:22 AM
    We used a smattering of everything. Kits, hell yeah. Non-weapon proficiencies, weapon type vs. armor type modifiers, weapon speeds, the gamut. The DM Option: High Level Campaigns book is full of still-useful advice. The Spells & Magic book had a ton of cool ideas and approaches. Combat & Tactics was great for the weapon table (even if it nerfed scimitars) and the 6-second combat round. ...
    15 replies | 561 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 12:32 PM
    The golden standard for a death knight remains Lord Soth, of course. And the idea of nobility fallen due to personal failing is as old as stories. So i think you could use those factors as hooks to roleplay him. He could be grim and determined, but that IS a little played out at this point. So how about this: I don't know if you've ever had to turn to a debt consolidation company or...
    10 replies | 504 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 12:23 PM
    They are still replacing them for free, you know. The Twitter piece the photos come from has a discussion about it.
    86 replies | 6352 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 04:07 PM
    Ath-kethin replied to Dark Sun
    I actually like this idea a lot. It does a good job of preserving the idea of defiling being the "quick and easy" path and preservation needing sacrifice and dedication. It also helps cement humans as the core of preservation magic, since it comes easier to them. A possible problem is the ability to switch between the two; in this model, a preserver who slips and begins defiling loses...
    58 replies | 2290 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 12:57 PM
    You also could check Elven Tower; this company/group/person makes awesome maps, often of established locations, and you can get many of them free on the website: https://www.elventower.com They also have compilations available for excellent prices on Dmsguild.com.
    9 replies | 424 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 12:39 PM
    I see lots of great advice here, though I personally don't fiddle with the core healing rules. Now, that's partially because in my games I don't allow full casters as PCs, so nobody has any magical healing at all. I also seriously dial back the presence of magic items; effectively, exactly one of any non-perishable item exists in the world. You want a staff of the python? You better hope that...
    51 replies | 1750 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Friday, 29th June, 2018, 12:06 PM
    It might also be bworth taking a look at this book. It's pretty pricy, and it badly needs to be bookmarked, but it's a pretty solid 2e psionics system using the rules. Even if it did go with the mAC/mTHACO sort of approach. http://www.dmsguild.com/m/product/242474
    33 replies | 1078 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 04:11 PM
    Ha! I'm with you there. Hell, I was even introduced to high fantasy literature through the Dragonlance Chronicles, so quite a few things considered a bit trite or weird in some circles ring just fine for me. Alignment, Vancian casting; it was all given in-universe rationale in Dragonlance, and it all makes sense when viewed through that lens. Team DL forever, baby. Or at least, Team Weis &...
    51 replies | 2554 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, 11:20 AM
    What he said. If you would have allowed the winged/flying character in the first place, there's no reason to not allow it later. especially in such a badass, innovative story development. Think of the directions you could go with that afterward! Why did it happen? Why then? What changes might this signify in the divine realms? I'd be all over it.
    196 replies | 6467 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th June, 2018, 09:57 PM
    Ath-kethin started a thread Offbeat Encounters
    Product information... View for more details
    0 replies | 120 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Monday, 25th June, 2018, 03:01 AM
    New at the Dungeon Master's Guild, Offbeat Encounters is a collection of unusual scenarios that provide a setup, an adversary, and a motivation, leaving the rest to you. Consisting of unorthodox approaches to both monsters and situations, Offbeat Encounters are the perfect addition to shake up any 5e game. This bookmarked, color PDF contains 10 scenarios ready to amuse you, torment your...
    0 replies | 117 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Monday, 25th June, 2018, 12:03 AM
    See, I'm more likely to buy this than the hardcover.
    1 replies | 366 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th June, 2018, 11:58 AM
    Sure. I for one have always embraced the abstract nature of D&D rules - I remember defending the one-minute combat rounds back in the 2e days, and I still feel it makes some sense. My overall goal is to let people play characters they will love (without multiclasing, because I really detest WotC-era multiclasing). I have no interest in making all weapons equally useful as such, since as I...
    70 replies | 1966 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 07:26 PM
    I'm starting to think you put more thought into this idea than I did. I really like your solution for the two-handed/two weapon attacks. I guess another option would be to have a two-handed attack move up one die size and two-weapon fighting move down one die size (so a fighter attacking two-handed with a battleaxe would roll a d12 for damage, and a fighter wielding two short swords or...
    70 replies | 1966 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 06:22 PM
    Ath-kethin replied to Elvish City
    There's a treetop elven village detailed on page 77 of the 3.5 supplement Heroes of Valor as part of a druid organization's hideout. The diagram and map for it is available as a free download at the Dungeon Master's Guild under the Maps package in Creator Resources.
    11 replies | 536 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 05:11 PM
    I wouldn't change anything. Each weapon attach does the same damage regardless of what it is. That makes a greataxe comparatively weak and dual wielding comparatively strong, but I'm not sure I see that as a problem, necessarily. I don't think it would have THAT an impact. You could ask how it works for multiclassing too, and to that I have no answer. Maybe just use the best value? I run...
    70 replies | 1966 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 03:59 PM
    OP: have you tried checking through dragondex? It's a pretty comprehensive index of everything that appeared in Dragon, though it might just cover the print run.
    7 replies | 472 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 03:58 PM
    "Oh, come on!"
    7 replies | 472 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 03:52 PM
    To be honest, I'm mostly tempted to just have a character's weapon damage equal their Hit Die, no matter what weapon they use. So a wizard deals 1d6 damage on an attack no matter what weapon they wield, and a barbarian deals 1d12. To my mind it solves two problems: 1. the elf wizard with a rapier who out-damages the orc barbarian wielding an axe and 2. every character of a given class using...
    70 replies | 1966 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 01:53 AM
    Most of the SAGA era books made the classic mistake of focusing on new characters I just couldn't get into. And while the War of Souls books were fine and arguably Weis & Hickman's highest-quality writing, they smacked hard of being exactly what they were: an attempt to lend legitimacy to the setting's return to D&D proper by way of its most respected authors.
    51 replies | 2554 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd June, 2018, 01:17 AM
    I think the biggest difference comes from multiclassing, to be honest. Also nonstandard ability generation methods, come to think of it; in my games we use the standard array, so neither luck nor system mastery come into play. I would be very interested in a codification of the optional rules vs. balance issues data you suggest, if it were possible to accurately collect.
    122 replies | 4258 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd June, 2018, 09:44 PM
    I've never really had a problem with the encounter math myself, but then, I also tend to play the way the math was designed: that is, without using the optional feat and multiclasing rules. I think it's disingenuous to use a bunch of optional stuff not accounted in the calculations and then claim the calculations are wrong. It's your game. You do you, and gripe as you will.
    122 replies | 4258 view(s)
    8 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 01:55 AM
    Ath-kethin replied to Elvish City
    Oops. Double post.
    11 replies | 536 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 01:54 AM
    Ath-kethin replied to Elvish City
    Does the edition matter? DL2, from the early 80s, has a write-up for the elven city of Qualinost.
    11 replies | 536 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 03:16 PM
    Nice work; I particularly like Mystic as a background, though I could see a case being made for the Favored Soul. A few suggestions: On Page 4 (of the PDF) in your Languages sidebar, you refer readers to an out of print 3.5e sourcebook. Since it is unlikely that everyone has access to this book, I would remove the reference. On page 6 (of the PDF) I'd take another look at your wording...
    51 replies | 2554 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 11:44 PM
    That's an argument that would make sense if the two (phlogiston and Astral) were doing the same thing. But they aren't - unless, in your campaign setting, a person who levitates or flies high enough off the planet's surface ends up in the Astral plane, in which the planet's moons and starts float. Which isn't unreasonable for a fantasy world, but I don't believe it's the baseline assumption in...
    43 replies | 1537 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 03:54 PM
    That's awesome. How many multiclass elf/dwarf/halfling/wizards did that game see?
    70 replies | 6082 view(s)
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  • Ath-kethin's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 01:42 PM
    It's really interesting to to me how many people seem to have an issue with the phlogiston. I don't understand why it makes sense to have an overlapping plane (astral, ethereal, shadow, whatever) but not fantasy space within the Prime/Prime Material. A post above actually taps into the same issue, talking about the contrast between magical travle (through portals, doors, whatevers) and just...
    43 replies | 1537 view(s)
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About Ath-kethin

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DM's Guild: Offbeat Encounters (Collection of 10 Unusual Drop-in Encounter Scenarios for Characters of All Levels), Offbeat Encounters: The Wayward Warlock (Additional Drop-in Adventure Scenario), Offbeat Encounters: The Well of Suka Damu (Additional Drop-in Adventure Scenario), The Clockwork Mage (Rogue Subclass), Oath of the Cosmos (Paladin Subclass)
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Friday, 27th April, 2018

  • 08:44 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Ath-kethin in post What happens to the "suboptimal?"
    ...ays succeeded and always did well because it wasn't challenging. We remember when the PC who has challenges overcame the challenge (either through luck, or creative play) to win the day. Flaws and weaknesses are what accentuates the strengths and heroic actions. Yes to this. Playing the way the hive mind wants ("must max your main stat!", "only use certain race/class combos!", "don't take spells that are red or brown on the interweb lists!", etc) results in a less memorable experience, IMO. Which is kind of missing the point of the fun of playing. Suddenly everything is very samey and mechanical and about "winning" with very little flavor. It's the heroic failures and unlikely victories that make for the grand stories we tell years from now. No group will wax poetic (or want to listen to the hyper-optimizing player who remembers) about the UA Revised Ranger Wood Elf who single-handedly wiped out the low level humanoids in that one combat. I'll take @ccs's Halfling Barbarian or @Ath-kethin's grappling VHuman Warlock or @Warpiglet's Hobgoblin Celestial Warlock in a party any day.

Tuesday, 5th December, 2017

  • 07:23 AM - Wulffolk mentioned Ath-kethin in post Making weapon choice matter
    Ath-kethin and ART! I started a thread about that exact same idea a little while back. It received mixed responses, but in the end I dropped it because I was headed in the direction of re-writing the entire game. Anyways, here is the link to that thread. Maybe there is something there that you will find interesting. http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?590882-5e-Weapon-Damage-Option&highlight=Damage

Monday, 12th June, 2017

  • 05:37 AM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Ath-kethin in post Eberron - Mourning causing a PC's warlock's powers?
    Yes, I completely agree with Ath-kethin. Perhaps the Mourning was a kind of catalyst that allowed the player to develop powers, kinda like in comic books (Hulk anyone?). If you want it traced back to one of the Rakshasa or Lords of Dust, it could be that one of them influenced this player unknowingly, because it was connected to the Prophecy as a means to further the freeing of one of the Overlords. The rakshasa/Lord of Dust would not be so much a patron, but a manipulator nurturing along part of the Prophecy and using the player as a pawn in furthering it's own goals. Alternatively, you could always say it's the Traveler. Even if it's not, you could always say it. That is why the Traveler is interesting. His ways are mysterious, he is the only deity believed to actually walk upon Eberron, and also seems mischievous enough that when ever things go wrong or wonky, the Traveler is a reasonable, even if incorrect, suspect.

Saturday, 10th June, 2017


Tuesday, 6th June, 2017

  • 09:58 PM - Mouseferatu mentioned Ath-kethin in post EN5ider Turns 150 With Ari Marmell's TIDES OF BATTLE - Cinematic Stunts for 5E!
    Ath-kethin, While I haven't seen the final draft, so I don't know how it might have changed in development, when I wrote that stunt, it increased your place in an initiative order that had already been established. Since (by the core rules), you only roll init once, there was no roll to apply advantage to; you just moved up in the init order by +5. :) (If you're using any of the optional systems where you roll init every round, I would suggest it simply give you advantage on init the round after you use it.)

Sunday, 4th June, 2017

  • 07:01 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Hit Point Maximum and Exhaustion
    Ath-kethin My thinking is that the wording of the Exhaustion rules is different from the wording of the Wraith's Life Drain. The Wraith's Life Drain clearly inflicts damage and reduces maximum HP value. Exhaustion does not. Approach #1 is correct. However, it's worth pointing out that effects of Exhaustion are cumulative, so at Exhaustion level 4, the poor PC would suffer... disadvantage on ability checks speed hlaved disadvantage on attacks and saves hit point maximum halved

Saturday, 13th May, 2017

  • 08:45 PM - Tormyr mentioned Ath-kethin in post Greetings! Need Some Help (newer to DMING)
    What kind of maps are you looking for (i.e. regional, town, encounter, etc.)? Different maps have different tricks to put them together quickly such as what @Ath-kethin mentioned. Do you have access to a large format printer? What physical size of maps are you looking to make?

Monday, 17th April, 2017

  • 11:56 PM - Kobold Stew mentioned Ath-kethin in post Unearthed Arcana: Get Better At Skills With These Feats
    ... now lose the ability to specialize through these skills (in that their benefit from the feats is smaller than another class). While it is not spelled out, the only way to preserve the niche held by these classes would be to allow the expertise granted by these feats to stack (i.e. to give triple the proficiency bonus, not double). That will bend the limits of the game, but would help keep the rogue and the knowledge cleric distinct. (I am not sure the Bard needs more benefits). Since all of these feats can grant expertise as well as +1 to a related stat, all of them end up more powerful than a feat such as Skilled. The third bullet point, then is gravy on top of an already strong feat. I can't help feel many of these will be appealing to players, and that part of the reason is that they are all strong. I can think of cases where I would take these even without the bonus to the associated ability. I will say, I think they have balanced the feats that grant spells (or, better as Ath-kethin suggests, spell-like but nonmagical abilities) well: iI still suspect the bonus to the relevant stat is too much -- expertise on a skill and a 1st-level spell (and in three cases a multi-use, flavourful, but non-damaging cantrip), should be enough for a full feat; still, they have constrained the choice of first-level spell and limited the available cantrip.
  • 11:20 PM - Gradine mentioned Ath-kethin in post Unearthed Arcana: Get Better At Skills With These Feats
    ...t. Diplomat, Empathic and Menacing are all also things I don't think you should need a feat to do. I'd even make the argument for Medic and maybe even Historian (though I personally love the flavor of that ability, if nothing else). I get that some of the other ribbon abilities just let you do things better or more quickly, but the action economy isn't that important outside of combat, where needing to use such skills might be. The spells are thematic and neat and not particularly game-breaking in any sense. I was about to quibble about Theologian's detect good and evil but I forgot they radically changed what that spell does without giving it an appropriate name change and I think it fits. Alarm is still a terrible fit for Survival, it seems to me that there is a lot of design space around the skill they could have figured out something a little more interesting. And double proficiency is seriously fine; remember that a feat is a huge investment, even with the +1 ASI. I'll echo what Ath-kethin had say; there's nothing wrong with a character wanting to specialize to such a degree that they are essentially grandmasters in their field. Especially something as mundane as a skill, which can become a character-defining trait without throwing the balance of an adventure out of whack (seeing as the point of challenges in an RPG are to be overcome, and D&D does not traffic in degrees of success). Sure, Char-opers might have a field day with Perceptive, but what're you gonna do? Char-opers gonna char-op. Besides, they're already doing that with Observant, which seems more useful and relevant to their goals anyways. I'd think throwing Perceptive on top of that would be overkill and a waste of a good feat/ASI.

Thursday, 9th March, 2017

  • 03:48 AM - Prakriti mentioned Ath-kethin in post Check Out The First 3 Pages Of TALES FROM THE YAWNING PORTAL
    The words "Draft" would have been enough to give it a pass. But this has the appearance of being the copy that's going to be sent to the printers. After all the map/key trouble they've had you'd think it would be a little more of a concern! :) Yep. The errors in the Volo's Guide previews were never corrected, so I wouldn't expect these to be corrected either. And as a compulsive copy-editor, I share Ath-kethin's chagrin. All the books have had significant errors, and sometimes they are big enough to cause confusion, such as this wonderful example from Storm King's Thunder: "The couatl knows that Wormblod is away, searching for a missing concubine named If the characters present proof [...]" (p. 88). There is clearly a name and a period missing between "named" and "If."

Monday, 27th February, 2017

  • 12:27 AM - Flareanthia mentioned Ath-kethin in post Help a rogue with her special item wish list
    ...thes water, and figured that I MIGHT be able to talk a sea creature into doing my bidding. Now that I look at it again however, I think it might totally work. This would be a spell and one of three charges, so it would probably make it harder for a DM to go "mmm nah, the fish don't listen to you" lol XD But Wave? OH MY GOSH!! Yeah that might be too powerful, but I want it!!! It is sentient? It SINGS?! I want that item so much now, going to the top of my list! XD And yeah, after all your suggestions I am going to ask if the Trident can be made with finesse. I really really want to use a trident, I am a "Triton" for crying out loud! >XD (My DM has been pretty awesome and flexible with my nuts requests so far, so I think it will be fine heheh) x3 And... Foldable boat? Foldable boat?! WooHOO that looks fanTASTIC! I didn't know THAT was a thing either! Definitely being added to the wishes, aawh, I am so glad there are people who know more of the game for me to throw out my questions~ Ath-kethin In all honesty I love RPing in dungeons and Dragons, way more than I do fighting! So I gravitate towards items or weapons with flare, more than I do toward a weapon that is strong just for the sake of min-maxing. But saying that, suggestions so far have been so interesting! I have to say, I've posted questions here twice and so far, absolutely no disappointments! You people know what you're talking about. So yes! Immovable rods sounds like an excellent idea and I shall be adding that to my wishlist (someone else suggested it too! It's a really great idea :D ) Oooh ring of the ram sounds like you could get really creative! XD And hmmmm, a boost to charisma item? Sorry, you've already given me such great suggestions, would it be okay though for you to give me some examples?? :3 Would the item for Dex be something like the gauntlets of ogre strength per chance?? (I only know those cause an ally of mine got them last session XD ) KahlessNestor sadly mariner's armour would not do me much...

Thursday, 2nd February, 2017

  • 10:21 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Creating The Bonfire: Help with a BBEG?
    Ath-kethin That would be a twist! I was reading in Secrets of the Lamp that: In fact, the amir has actually been kidnapped by the Brotherhood of the True Flame, who keep him languishing in the fortress of their dreaded leader, the Bonfire, deep within the Great Anvil.

Tuesday, 13th December, 2016

  • 11:15 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post What do the PCs find in a City of the Jann?
    I like the idea of transplanar hyper-elemental storms being sent by, or disguising, malevolent beings trying to breach the city's defenses. Genius! Thanks Ath-kethin! Now that I'm getting a better feel of the City of the Jann (more elemental ultra-mercantile jann, planeshifting, hidden, labyrinthine, wondrous, material & ethereal, dark side of guest hospitality), I think it's time to envision some potential encounters for my players... So I'm thinking of two 2d10 encounter tables, one for Material Plane and one for Border Ethereal, with some overlapping entries... What would be interesting and apropos here? I'll take a first stab at it... using these probabilities as my guide... Very rare (2-3 and 19-20) 6% chance Rare (4-5 and 17-18) 14% chance Uncommon (6-7 and 15-16) 22% chance Common (8-14) 58% chance Qaybar, City of the Jann (Material Plane) Encounters (2d10) 2 Brotherhood of the True Flame (see sub-table) – this entry is an ongoing threat in the campaign 3 Invisible stalker sent by an NPC 4 Jann infighting 5 Jann duplicity (see sub-table) 6 Sandstorm (Arabian Adventures p.82) blankets the city, horns sound as gates are ...

Monday, 28th November, 2016

  • 09:26 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post [5e] QL's Al-Qadim Game
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/39/Al_qadim_logo.gif Rogue's Gallery ➤OOC Thread (you're here now) Play Thread Map of Zakhara 2875 × 4025 This is an 11th level Al-Qadim game using the D&D 5th edition rules, playtesting high-level material me and a team are working on for the forthcoming Al-Qadim Adventurer's Guide. Currently we have 6 players, and are full. My intention for the game is to adapt original material, Object of Desire (Dungeon #50), Blood and Fire (Dungeon #63), the high-level scenarios from ALQ3 A Dozen and One Adventures, and ALQ4 Secrets of the Lamp to run a game from 11th - 16th level (or however high we get). There's a big theme of fighting the Brotherhood of True Flame. As a DM I like to include a well-balanced diversity of challenges, opportunities for exploration, Prince of Persia style traps, plentiful humor, lots of great acting, dark intrigue, even romance if folks want, some moral dilemmas, and lots of scimitar and spell-slinging action. ...

Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

  • 08:05 PM - Rune mentioned Ath-kethin in post How do I get a signature?
    Ath-kethin: as an unrelated aside (since you already have your answers), may I propose an alternate definition of "plot" to the one in your sig? Plot: what the players make of the DM's setting.

Thursday, 4th February, 2016

  • 11:59 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (5e conversion)
    Thanks DrOct Ath-kethin also made the point that I should resolve any issues of income from the project, since there's a few folks getting involved now :) In the beginning it was just me, so it's awesome to see MessiahMushroom, Ath-kethin, and several others contributing things. I'm thinking we'll offer it "pay what you want", and after any commissioned/purchased art costs are deducted, remaining profit would be donated to a charity like St. Jude's or American Red Cross. That way, it's clear this is for the love of the setting, not making money, and there's no bad feelings later. Hopefully, what this will do is provide a common touchstone for anyone wanting to write DM's Guild products dealing with AL-QADIM in the future. Say you want to put together an AL-QADIM adventure, a monster book, or a class supplement? You could reference the Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara in your work. I think this plays to one of the strengths of DM's Guild which is that, ideally, it allows sharing of ideas and linking of p...
  • 05:54 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (5e conversion)
    Ok as per Ath-kethin's recommendation, I sent an email to Karl Waller, the artist who did the fantastic black and white illustrations in the Al-Qadim products, to boldly ask if he'd like to donate a piece of art. Such a weird feeling mailing an artist who had a big influence on my imagination as a boy. Keeping my fingers crossed! You can see an early working PDF of the Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0Z7ZsrO9VLBMGRiYllFNnVtWlU/view?usp=sharing

Wednesday, 3rd February, 2016

  • 05:02 PM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (5e conversion)
    Ath-kethin Thanks for the editing! I didn't expect anyone to jump on the editing until it was further along, so your critique is much appreciated :) I made all the changes you recommended. For the weapons vs. genies: 2) Why add the ghul? It seems an odd pairing, given how much hatred exists between the genies and the ghuls. The alliteration in the name is great though I see. So you're envisioning that some enemy of the genies made these weapons, so logically that creator wouldn't want to make a weapon vs. ghuls since "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." That's certainly one way to imagine the story of how these weapons came to be. But it's also certainly not the only story we could imagine. My thinking was more along the lines of: Hey, players in AQ go up against ghuls just as much as other genies. Shouldn't there be a weapon specially suited to fighting ghuls? To be fair, I considered jann as well, but they usually aren't adversaries...I suppose I could remedy that...
  • 02:49 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Ath-kethin in post Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (5e conversion)
    If the Clockwork Mage is still up for grabs, I'd like to take a stab at it. I'm looking to do so for my campaign anyway, and I could definitely use more eyes on it and better feedback. Yes! That was one that I wasn't too keen on converting, so you're welcome to go for it, and I'll provide another set of eyes. ... As an aside Bravesword, or anyone else with US copyright law knowledge, in producing an e-book can there be multiple copyright holders to different portions of text? For example, say MessiahMushroom does the Ghul Lord and Ath-kethin does the Clockwork Mage and I do the Mamluk Officer...can we each hold copyright to our respective portions of the text? If so, what is the correct legal boilerplate to use? Would something like this work...? DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, Wizards of the Coast, Forgotten Realms, Al-Qadim, the dragon ampersand, and all other Wizards of the Coast product names, and their respective logos are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast in the USA and other countries. This work contains material that is copyright Wizards of the Coast and/or other authors. Such material is used with permission under the Community Content Agreement for Dungeon Masters Guild. The following original material in this work is copyright 2016 by the listed author and published under the Community Content Agreement for Dungeon Masters Guild: Real name "MushroomMessiah" Ghul Lord Real name "Ath-kethin" Clockwordk Mage Real name "Quickleaf" Mamluk Officer

Friday, 22nd January, 2016

  • 05:46 PM - Bravesword mentioned Ath-kethin in post Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (5e conversion)
    @Ath-kethin, I disagree with your statements in some points. While Zakhara indeed have a different feeling than a “standard” FR setting, it also have some connections with Toril as a whole (which surely may or may not be explored, and I agree with you on this). Some foreign gods described in Al-Qadim as foreign powers represent in fact different approaches or interpretations of Faerunian Gods. While the deities relationship with its worshipers are indeed quite different, and considering that we could have here cool unique opportunities to roleplay such relationships, I do not believe that this is a problem after all. The AD&D 2nd Edition supplement Faiths and Avatars even describe essentially the spheres of influence of Toril Powers, and in this sense Kara Tur and Zakhara are totally independent and outside of the influence of Faerunian deities. We could use the monsters presented in the A,-Qadim Monstrous Compendium as a whole to begin to adapt old entities to the updated Lad of Fate for D&D 5...


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Monday, 16th July, 2018

  • 10:00 AM - Jhaelen quoted Ath-kethin in post What's the best and worst D&D book you own from any edition?
    Worst: Magic of Incarnum. I'd be hard-pressed to think of a more lifeless and less interesting publication sold under the D&D banner. The only things that come close are the 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide II and 3.5 Spell Compendium.MoI was weird. I agree that DMG2 was mostly uninspired. The Spell Compendium, though, was an excellent investment, just like the Magic Item Compendium. While they surely didn't make for an exciting read, both were great reference books. 1e favorite: 'Fiend Folio', hands down. The worst? I cannot think of one. 'sleeper hit': 'Deities & Demigods'. Not much use for the actual game, but such a great inspiration. Also my first contact with Lovecraft's Mythos... 2e favorites: Plenty. My favorite setting was 'Dark Sun'. And my favorite supplement 'The Complete Psionics Handbook'. The worst? Perhaps the 'Book of Artifacts'. 'sleeper hit': 'Planescape Campaign Setting': Such a great read with awesome artwork, but nothing I ever wanted to play. My favorite 3e book was ...
  • 01:40 AM - Lanefan quoted Ath-kethin in post How do you pronounce "bulette"
    You know what I think is insane? Apparently nobody responded to the OP's question for over 15 freaking years. This is some "unearth the Mummy" type stuff, and we are all doomed.Mummies live in deserts...Bulettes live in deserts...yeah, I see the connection there. :)

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018

  • 06:34 PM - Quickleaf quoted Ath-kethin in post Help with a death knight?
    You could give him a few minutes of conversations. He could be friendlier and more easily convinced to give up treasures if one of the characters worships or is the cleric of his former god provided that Ras T'fima wants to atone for his sins. He could also be convinced if one of the characters was from the same group of marginalized people the death knight championed before his death. There is a tabaxi PC & two tabaxi NPC guides, who the death knight Ras T'fima might see as belonging to the marginalized group. I'm contemplating him having a quest to give the PCs in exchange for letting them keep some treasure: rid the ruined city of loot-seeking mercenaries (Flaming Fist). The golden standard for a death knight remains Lord Soth, of course. And the idea of nobility fallen due to personal failing is as old as stories. So i think you could use those factors as hooks to roleplay him. He could be grim and determined, but that IS a little played out at this point. So how about this: I ...

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018

  • 01:42 PM - delericho quoted Ath-kethin in post What's This Mysterious D&D Book? [UPDATED!]
    They are still replacing them for free, you know. The Twitter piece the photos come from has a discussion about it. Yes. Unfortunately, it's also in that limbo place where the pages are noticably loose but they haven't as yet fallen out, so it's not yet faulty, just annoying. If I'd played 5e as much as I did 3e in the same time-frame, I've no doubt the pages would have gone by now. But then, if I'd played 5e as much as I did 3e, I would have no issues with forking out for a new copy - it would be well worth it. (And that last is not a criticism of 5e, BTW - sadly, life just doesn't allow me to spend 6 hours every Saturday playing D&D any longer. :) )

Monday, 2nd July, 2018

  • 02:13 AM - cbwjm quoted Ath-kethin in post Dark Sun
    I actually like this idea a lot. It does a good job of preserving the idea of defiling being the "quick and easy" path and preservation needing sacrifice and dedication. It also helps cement humans as the core of preservation magic, since it comes easier to them. A possible problem is the ability to switch between the two; in this model, a preserver who slips and begins defiling loses access to a feat they already took. I don't think there is precedent for that in 5e. Doesn't make it a bad idea or unworkable, but needs some thought. One reason I don't like having defiling as the default requiring a feat for preserving is that it means you have to take variant human to be a preserver right from level one, no one else can choose to be a preserver from the beginning. That right there makes it a bad idea to me. I'd much rather that choosing to use preserving of defiling magic be just part of the setting, no feats required, although there could be feats for each that enhance one or the other.
  • 12:52 AM - Eltab quoted Ath-kethin in post Dark Sun
    A possible problem is the ability to switch between the two; in this model, a preserver who slips and begins defiling loses access to a feat they already took. I don't think there is precedent for that in 5e. Doesn't make it a bad idea or unworkable, but needs some thought. The DM is going to have more record-keeping. For each spell (or each combat), was it preserve-cast or defile-cast? Who witnessed it? Did they survive the combat? Would word get out? Unless you have A Very Powerful Protector, defile-casting gets you the opportunity to be the target of an angry mob (who figure that dying killing you is better than dying to power your spells, but they are going to die regardless, therefore you can't threaten to kill them unless they leave you alone).

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

  • 01:46 PM - kenmarable quoted Ath-kethin in post Dragon Reflections #3: Controversy Strikes!
    Umm . . .Gary Gygax openly mocked Women's Lib in early D&D products. I don't think it's an exaggeration to bring up the game's sexism. Even the 2e-era "we're going to use the masculine pronoun for everything but really we're not trying to discriminate or anything ha ha everybody likes mostly-naked girls in the art, right?" approach didn't really help whole lot, not matter how much better the intentions might have been. My intention is not to derail the thread here. But let's not pretend there was anything even imitating egalitarianism on the minds of the designers back in the day. It doesn't make them bad people - they were products of their environments the same as any of us. But it's a relief that the environment has changed. There’s certainly a mix of “product of their time” and “even sexist for back then.” For example, during that time period, I was still being taught in school that using only masculine pronouns was grammatically correct. So I wouldn’t fault them for that, it was un...
  • 01:30 AM - Morrus quoted Ath-kethin in post Dragon Reflections #3: Controversy Strikes!
    EDIT: found it! It was Ryan Dancey. https://www.insaneangel.com/insaneangel/RPG/Dancey.html That essay is recorded right here on EN World and has been for nearly 20 years: http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?404-Ryan-Dancey-Acquiring-TSR You can find more historical documents, posts, and essays here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?333655-From-TSR-to-WotC-A-History-of-D-amp-D

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 10:51 PM - gyor quoted Ath-kethin in post Dragon Reflections #3: Controversy Strikes!
    I suppose it's a tribute to modern values that the rampant sexism upon which the game and the entire fantasy genre were founded are so shocking now. Sadly, such viewpoints are also all too common even now. It's fascinating looking at the analysis of Dragon's development, and thank you for it. Even if you did skip the Strategic Review and the introduction of my all-time favorite D&D monster, the mind flayer. Let's not over state things over one guys silly article, I got a good laugh out of it's absurbity, acknowledged he likely had good intentions and intended to be inclusive, and moved on.
  • 07:58 PM - Flexor the Mighty! quoted Ath-kethin in post Dragon Reflections #3: Controversy Strikes!
    I remember reading back in the late 90s or early 200s an article - I think it was by Ryan Dancey or Peter Adkison - talking about how after WotC took over TSR, they were astounded to find that TSR had no marketing survey or customer base research of any kind. The company literally flew blind based on what the designers and/or editors and/or Lorraine Williams thought sounded cool, with no knowledge of or mind toward what customers actually wanted outside of informal anecdotes. Explains a lot, if you think about it. EDIT: found it! It was Ryan Dancey. https://www.insaneangel.com/insaneangel/RPG/Dancey.html Most definitely, thanks for the info!
  • 05:41 PM - PabloM quoted Ath-kethin in post Dragonlance adaptation to D&D 5th Edition
    Team DL forever, baby. Or at least, Team Weis & Hickman DL forever. There's some real chaff outside the main books. Long live the lance! ...as a D&D setting!
  • 04:26 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Ath-kethin in post Dragon Reflections #3: Controversy Strikes!
    In issue #18 of The Dragon (1978), there’s a single line in discussing the results of an Origins Game Fair D&D tournament that speaks volumes about the attitudes of the time: “The winning team had two ladies on it, both of them capable players.” I suppose it's a tribute to modern values that the rampant sexism upon which the game and the entire fantasy genre were founded are so shocking now. Sadly, such viewpoints are also all too common even now.

Sunday, 24th June, 2018

  • 04:03 PM - mrpopstar quoted Ath-kethin in post Super Simple Weapons
    Sure. I for one have always embraced the abstract nature of D&D rules - I remember defending the one-minute combat rounds back in the 2e days, and I still feel it makes some sense. My overall goal is to let people play characters they will love (without multiclasing, because I really detest WotC-era multiclasing). I have no interest in making all weapons equally useful as such, since as I mentioned before there's a reason spears have been the go-to weapon choice in pretty much all cultures for centuries and centuries, and axes then swords became so popular. They're just better designs. But if a character idea revolves around wielding a knife, it makes sense to me that a warrior type trained in eviscerating people will be far more effective at using it than the scholar who uses it mainly for separating bat poop into separate lines by color. Hit Dice already represent this combat training, so applying them as weapon damage is intuitive and solves a host of logical and gameplay problems. O...
  • 04:40 AM - Raith5 quoted Ath-kethin in post Fiddling around with Fifth Ed
    I've never really had a problem with the encounter math myself, but then, I also tend to play the way the math was designed: that is, without using the optional feat and multiclasing rules. I think it's disingenuous to use a bunch of optional stuff not accounted in the calculations and then claim the calculations are wrong. It's your game. You do you, and gripe as you will. How do feats and MC make that much of a difference? I play a RAW campaign playing a published adventure and I see some of the "problems" noted in OP, but I have never played without feats or with MC, so I have no reference point. Feats dont seem to a high impact on our game.
  • 04:24 AM - Saelorn quoted Ath-kethin in post Super Simple Weapons
    It's a fantasy game with a high level of abstraction built into it already, and I feel it breaks nothing to have Rogar the Ranger killing more effectively with a knife than Samael the Sorcerer can with a greataxe.Counterpoint: There's already a lot of abstraction built into the game, as a necessity in order to make the game playable, so there's not much benefit to adding any more abstractions than are strictly necessary. Of course, that's entirely a matter of priorities.
  • 03:36 AM - mrpopstar quoted Ath-kethin in post Super Simple Weapons
    A flying rapier! Edit: Scratch that. A chakram. It should always be a chakram.Y E S I'm starting to think you put more thought into this idea than I did. I really like your solution for the two-handed/two weapon attacks. I guess another option would be to have a two-handed attack move up one die size and two-weapon fighting move down one die size (so a fighter attacking two-handed with a battleaxe would roll a d12 for damage, and a fighter wielding two short swords or whatever would roll d8s for damage), but that seems unnecessarily fiddle compared to your solution. Especially since barbarians are SOL if they wield a weapon two-handed. So yeah, yours works better.I've thought long and hard about how I'd make things crazy simple. LOL Using class hit dice for weapon damage dice has made a lot of sense to me for a long time. It's two-weapon and two-handed fighting that present complications. I think a marriage of our two ideas makes the most sense. :) Martial classe...

Saturday, 23rd June, 2018

  • 06:21 PM - mrpopstar quoted Ath-kethin in post Super Simple Weapons
    I wouldn't change anything. Each weapon attach does the same damage regardless of what it is. That makes a great comparatively weak and dual wielding comparatively strong, but I'm not sure I see that as a problem, necessarily. I don't think it would have THAT an impact. You could ask how it works for multiclasing too, and to that I have no answer. Maybe just use the best value? I run tough games with tough encounters. I don't mind PCs having a bit of an edge, because in my campaigns they need it.Compared to one wielding a two-handed weapon, a two-weapon fighting barbarian would be doing an average of 6.5 more damage per use of the attack action. That's a pretty big difference, especially over time. Personally, I would make it so that barbarians fighting two-handed or two-weapon fighting rolled 2d12 and chose the highest of the two dice for their damage (essentially granting their weapon damage advantage). It's an elegant solution that speeds up play (only rolling once per attack action) and...
  • 05:00 PM - mrpopstar quoted Ath-kethin in post Super Simple Weapons
    To be honest, I'm mostly tempted to just have a character's weapon damage equal their Hit Die, no matter what weapon they use. So a wizard deals 1d6 damage on an attack no matter what weapon they wield, and a barbarian deals 1d12. To my mind it solves two problems: 1. the elf wizard with a rapier who out-damages the orc barbarian wielding an axe and 2. every character of a given class using exactly the same weapon because it's just the best one. Now, there is historical precedent for 2; after all, there is a reason spears and later swords were so popular - they are extremely effective designs. But if I have a concept (or a player in my game has a concept) for a character who is a badass superstrong Schwartzenegger-style giant who wields dual hatchets because it looks cool, I want to help them make it work. It's a fantasy game with a high level of abstraction built into it already, and I feel it breaks nothing to have Rogar the Ranger killing more effectively with a knife than Samael the Sor...
  • 04:55 PM - mrpopstar quoted Ath-kethin in post Super Simple Weapons
    DM: "As you approach the city walls, you see some guards at the gate. They're wearing medium armor, and carrying large martial melee weapons." Player: "The kind that does slashing damage, or the kind that does piercing damage?"LOL Or... DM: "As you approach the city walls, you see some guards at the gate. They're moderately armored in the standard-issue breast plate of their station, and carrying large pikes." Or... DM: "As you approach the city walls, you see some guards at the gate. They're moderately armored in filthy hides, and carrying large axes." Or... DM: "As you approach the city walls, you see some guards at the gate. They're moderately armored in the chain mail afforded every guardsman, and carrying large Damaran swords." To be honest, I'm mostly tempted to just have a character's weapon damage equal their Hit Die, no matter what weapon they use. So a wizard deals 1d6 damage on an attack no matter what weapon they wield, and a barbarian deals 1d12. To my mind it s...
  • 02:45 AM - PabloM quoted Ath-kethin in post Dragonlance adaptation to D&D 5th Edition
    Most of the SAGA era books made the classic mistake of focusing on new characters I just couldn't get into. And while the War of Souls books were fine and arguable Weis & Hickman's highest-quality writing, they smacked hard of being exactly what they were: an attempt to lend legitimacy to the setting's return to D&D proper by way of its most respected authors. I agree. I quit reading the novels a long time ago (in fact I don´t think they are particularly good, even the Chronicles), but I keep playing in the setting understanding it as it is: a very good classic D&D setting. Thereby, reading the 3e books (Dragonlance Campaign Setting, Age of Mortals, Races of Ansalon, etc.) made me change my mind about the current time line (with little changes here and there of course). Anyway, it´s nice to realize there are some Dragonlance fans out there. The setting is far from dead, although is far form its best moment of popularity too.


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