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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 08:21 AM
    This reminds me of a Lucky Coin I have in my campaign. Only it doesn't grants advantage or disadvantage, it just always lands with the same face up. Excellent magical item for cheating at gambling.
    7 replies | 148 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 08:18 AM
    I think the trick to a good story twist, is set up, and pay off. You need to give the characters enough motivation to justify the twist. This is why the final season of Game of Thrones fell flat in my opinion. There is nothing wrong with having Dany become the villain, but it needs to be properly set up and motivated. Earlier seasons of Game of Thrones were fantastic because every twist felt...
    11 replies | 297 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:37 AM
    I want this to be good so much... but this trailer... doesn't look very good.
    26 replies | 492 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:28 AM
    In 3rd edition I love the expansion books that focus on a specific climate. There's Sandstorm for desert adventures, Frostburn for arctic adventures, and of course Stormwrack for sea adventures (which I am using for a campaign right now). These books are a fantastic help in creating a campaign that is very different in tone, style and theme than normal D&D campaigns. I especially love the various...
    78 replies | 4917 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:26 PM
    That and a couple binders and dividers, and brothers, you’re there.
    9 replies | 278 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:13 PM
    Yeah, I just use pen and paper. There’s no substitute- the OS is always current and it never crashes. The monthly subscriptions are minimal.
    9 replies | 278 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Nah. See also alchemist fire for ideas on how to resolve.
    13 replies | 335 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:14 PM
    It seems like the create bonfire spell might be a decent basis for ruling what happens here.
    13 replies | 335 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 11:11 AM
    I started off my long running pirate campaign with two players in a jail tower, and two other players climbing the tower to free them. I wanted the campaign to start with action right away, and with an event that brings the party together. During this session the players could also recruit other prisoners as members of their crew. This also served to introduce some of the bad guys and set the...
    19 replies | 433 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:38 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    I've actually used the idea of smoke build up in a couple of battles in my pirate campaign. The players had been exchanging fire with the crew of another pirate ship for a few rounds, and I described that so much smoke had started building up that they had great difficulty seeing their opponents. It adds a neat bit of extra flavor to a battle while also changing things up a bit.
    160 replies | 4907 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:33 AM
    I'm looking forward to it.
    6 replies | 232 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:48 AM
    A hovering sculpture made of Styx ice called "Dark Birds of Ocanthus" (from Planescape Torment). Battle plans for an upcoming confrontation in the Blood War, frost-burned onto the flayed skin of a behemoth. A clutch of remorhaz eggs packed into the snow. Scroll case fashioned from a saintly giant's femur bone, with numerous maps of shifting planar boundaries following Blood War...
    9 replies | 224 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:04 PM
    Me personally, I don't really care about "immersion." But I would care as a player if I'm asked to make a check without declaring an action. So as DM I would just honestly remind the players that they have X, Y, and Z as quests and that (if this is truly a sandbox game) they aren't required to complete them, but that taking actions A, B, or C would definitely result in those quests being...
    47 replies | 1762 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 08:59 PM
    I think that's definitely a good attitude to have and it helps if the players are onboard with purposefully putting their characters in bad situations sometimes, trusting that the outcome will be fun for them even if it's bad for the characters. That's certainly the spirit of the game as outlined in the rules in any case. At the same time, as a player, I also want to honor the DM's prep...
    47 replies | 1762 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 08:19 PM
    Man, I don't know if I'd want to live in a world where as DM I'm not encouraging stupid actions.
    47 replies | 1762 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 06:51 PM
    Basic Rules, page 3, in the paragraph about "winning and losing" in D&D. The "win" conditions are as I specified. This is the section of the rules that tell us what the game is supposed to be about (even if people don't play it that way sometimes). It does not say that the adventurers have to have a good time - it's the players this is referring to. The adventurers could be torn to bits, after...
    47 replies | 1762 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:01 PM
    The thing with burning down the house is that as with any particular course of action the players consider, they are well-served to pass it through the filter of the goals of play. The game defines those goals as the DM and the players creating an exciting, memorable story of bold adventurers who confront deadly perils and having a good time doing it. So the question the players could stand to...
    47 replies | 1762 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:06 PM
    Wow, you jumped on that adventure fast! I just got my book a couple days ago and haven't even cracked it open.
    47 replies | 1762 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:04 PM
    That is my reading, though I would say a sword is also an object. I think the main thing here is that incorporeal movement is just that - movement. Push a sword through this creature and it will take damage. If it instead moves through the sword, it takes no damage unless it ends its turn on the sword.
    18 replies | 381 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 02:38 PM
    "For the purposes of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or vehicle that is composed of many other objects." (DMG, pg. 246) Walls are also considered objects. They are mentioned in this section as well.
    18 replies | 381 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    5 rounds of reloading is a bit harsh for 3.5, which is why I made it only 1 round of reloading. It may not be realistic, but I think it is more fun to play that way.
    160 replies | 4907 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:42 AM
    All of these details I like. The fact that the previous movie didn't follow up on the Knights of Ren was a big flaw in my view.
    6 replies | 232 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:35 AM
    I doubt D&D's contribution to HBO will be judged based on just the last season. They have had so much success with this show, that I don't think they care that the last season under performs. I think they are mostly happy that the show ran so long and pulled in so much revenue for them.
    24 replies | 487 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:08 PM
    Another option, only with less work, is to just play D&D 4e.
    78 replies | 2081 view(s)
    12 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:46 PM
    The rules of the game don't seem to indicate I should care about this as DM. The only exception is to encourage players not to waste game time or their characters' lives on bad assumptions and I do that. It seems more likely to me that Intelligence is seen as a dump stat because there is only one class and a couple of sub-classes that use it regularly for attack rolls and DCs and very few...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 03:55 PM
    It's frankly hard to say what's at the core of this discussion anymore. What I do know is that if you want to call "thinking" an action, then because of the rule that players determine what the characters think, then there can be no ability check here since there is no uncertainty as to the outcome. The character thinks what the player says he or she thinks. I don't see any complications...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:24 PM
    Well, the good news is that climbing in D&D 5e is a factor of speed and ability checks are only necessary if there's something about the climb that makes it uncertain, such as a slippery vertical surface or few handholds.
    179 replies | 8229 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:46 AM
    Also, Renly believes that Stannis in an unlikeable king. He may have the stronger claim, but not that many people want him as their king.
    14 replies | 392 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:43 AM
    I'm pretty sure you are incorrect. HBO is unlikely to share our sentiments about those two. Game of Thrones was HBO's pride and joy for years. It was pretty much the only reason to have an HBO subscription. D&D's writing may have gone downhill as they surpassed the books, but their efforts to adapt the books into a succesful tv show will not be ignored by HBO. All D&D have to do is tell HBO they...
    24 replies | 487 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:39 AM
    I recently acquired Myst 3 Exile for the PS2 at a sale. I'm replaying it now. Ah, nostalgia and frustrating puzzles.
    51 replies | 4773 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:34 AM
    I think it’s wise to divide the combat encounters between big set pieces and minor skirmishes. Because by doing that, you can spend your prep time designing your set piece encounters while leaving “trash” combat encounters (random encounters, unexpected fights, etc.) to a very quick and improv-friendly rules set. If I were in your shoes and table-time was at a premium, I would run my minor...
    46 replies | 1467 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:36 AM
    4E - easy vote. Happy to see 5th keep so many of its innovations.
    203 replies | 6415 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:34 PM
    I had the same thought for the exact same reasons as your OP some time ago. First thing I thought of was to differentiate between sleep and rest. I decided sleep was as necessary as food and water, but didn’t itself automatically mean “rest.” Then I decided that proper rest had to be in a kind of sanctuary - a home, at minimum. To me, rest has to be reasonably free from stress or peril....
    53 replies | 1530 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:55 AM
    Don't give them ideas for a new show.
    108 replies | 2883 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    Considering how much the show went downhill the last two seasons, I think another series might be a terrible idea.
    24 replies | 487 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:50 AM
    I watched this last episode in a packed movie theater. It was disappointing, but not as disappointing as I expected it to be. There were a few enjoyable moments, plus some stellar acting from Dinklage.
    108 replies | 2883 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 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...
    53 replies | 1530 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 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.
    53 replies | 1530 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 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...
    53 replies | 1530 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:25 PM
    The Five Minute Workday can be corrected with time pressure in the form of quest timers and/or wandering monsters.
    53 replies | 1530 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:24 PM
    It depends on the scenario really.
    53 replies | 1530 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 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...
    53 replies | 1530 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    I don't think that is true. Of course. But the players have plenty of access to healing and protection of all kinds. Deadlier combat simply means the players will have to play differently, and think more about their strategies. This is a fair point, which is why I think any spells and special abilities that work against projectiles, should also work against bullets. This includes...
    160 replies | 4907 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 08:00 PM
    This is supported by the "Degrees of Failure" rules in the DMG, page 242. What is old is new again!
    179 replies | 8229 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 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 | 662 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:47 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    The reason I disagree with you, is because I feel firearms should be the first and obvious choice for the players, and melee should be their backup weapons. As I said, I run a pirate campaign, and if all my players still ended up using bows and swords, then I'd feel like I had failed at establishing a pirate campaign. Historically guns were more deadly, so they should be a lot more powerful than...
    160 replies | 4907 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:39 AM
    Just beautiful. I want to give more xp!
    4 replies | 267 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:48 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    How I handle firearms in my 3.5 pirate campaign, is to make them clearly better than regular D&D weapons. They do more damage, can fire multiple shots, and do triple damage on a crit. They can also be combined with weapon-specific feats/abilities, such as using the Quickdraw feat to draw multiple preloaded pistols in a round and fire them. You need to give firearms a strong advantage, or players...
    160 replies | 4907 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:40 AM
    Yeah, both actors were heavily criticised. People were furious about Ledger playing the joker... but turns out he might be one of the best Joker's of all time (second only to Mark Hamill in my opinion). Then again, DC is having an epic dance with failure lately. If they get Batman right with Pattison, it's probably on accident.
    25 replies | 585 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:34 AM
    Well, I still play 3.5, so my answer is obvious.
    203 replies | 6415 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:22 AM
    Yeah, when I watched the first episode for the first time, I wasn't convinced that it would become as good as it ultimately would. If it weren't for the cliffhanger ending, I might not have kept watching the show.
    14 replies | 392 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 04:30 AM
    Hah. That would have been brilliant. :) No, this was Vecna telepathically contacting a PC who was carrying the Hand in her backpack but hadn't yet realized its true nature. I kind of was channeling my inner Dave Arneson – at least I've heard stories he'd DM behind a full-body DM screen. My intention was to model a disembodied voice which the player couldn't attempt to "discern if it's telling...
    51 replies | 1332 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:10 PM
    I guess I am guilty of all the above? I do voices, diction, expressive language, facial expressions, and body language as needed. For example, when portraying an eblis I adopted a zany silly voice, whereas for having the Hand of Vecna whispering to a PC, I spoke with my shirt pulled up over my mouth. I pre-write area descriptions as needed (usually no more than 1 per session), use...
    51 replies | 1332 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 10:14 PM
    My rule of thumb with NPCs joining the party is to begin with this as my rough guideline (and then adjust based on play experience of that particular NPC): CR = Level equivalent 1/4 = 1 1/2 = 2 1 = 3 2 = 4 3 = 5 4 = 7 5 = 9
    3 replies | 188 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:55 AM
    Usually what I do to get the creative juices flowing, is to imagine my world as Disneyland. Every location should be unique and interesting, as should every character. Its kind of like going sight seeing. If there's nothing to be seen, then why should your players care? So I often start with a location that I'm interested in. If for example the players are hired by a wizard, then where does he...
    12 replies | 466 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:37 AM
    It's a shame Solo was such a flop, because it was a pretty entertaining movie.
    9 replies | 323 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:50 PM
    Oh, almost guaranteed. But I think George RR Martin will make the transition a bit more smooth, character motivated and logical, instead of the abrupt character assassination that we got this season... that is, if he ever finishes Winds of Winter and then some more books... which seems unlikely. It's not Dany's turn that I have a problem with. It is how it is presented in the show, which made...
    179 replies | 4200 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 | 1332 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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 | 1332 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:04 PM
    They also need to be consistent. We have been shown how accurate or inaccurate the Scorpion is three or four times in the show (one of which was the episode before). And it is always as accurate as the plot requires at that time, which means not consistent at all.
    179 replies | 4200 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 11:44 AM
    Ramsay's book counter part is every bit as evil as the one on the show. But some of his acts were switched from a character not featured on the show, to one that is; Sansa. The show indeed struggles a lot around season 5. The book on which it is based, Feast for Crows, struggles about just as much (although they also throw in some Dance with Dragons). There's a lot of aimless floundering about...
    179 replies | 4200 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 09:36 AM
    If there is anything to be learned here, it is how important George RR Martin's writing was to the success of the show... without that backbone, the show stumbles towards the finish line in a hurry.
    179 replies | 4200 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 02:01 AM
    Everything you said is accurate. My introduction to D&D was with the Greyhawk "setting" – though it was used more as a backdrop for adventuring. I was young at that time, but looking back I feel it kinda fit the "middle fantasy" mold, more similar to books like The Black Company or The Witcher than Forgotten Realms. I actually started a discussion on what constitutes "middle fantasy" here...
    67 replies | 2505 view(s)
    2 XP
  • 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.
    580 replies | 20953 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...
    580 replies | 20953 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. :)
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 11:57 AM
    This episode was one giant character assassination. I know that they were trying to build up to Dany's madness, but they had not built it up to the point where killing thousands of innocent civillians feels like something she would do. This feels completely divorced from her character up to this point. Also, apparently dragon fire behaves like a missile now, and has concussive force to blow...
    179 replies | 4200 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 10:47 AM
    Might be a good opportunity to subvert expectations. Everyone says Artus is possessed by the Ring, or an unreliable scoundrel, or whatever, and they're paying good money to see him captured. But when they meet Artus, he's a standup guy who is very concerned about the Death Curse and is willing to join them so long as their goals are aligned (his goal is always first and foremost to return to his...
    11 replies | 2721 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:23 PM
    I would expect cargo to be a hazard. Imagine a big crane lifting heavy crates that the bad guys can swing towards the players, or use to drop the cargo on their heads. Also, I would expect the bad guys to use a small sloop to sneak their men into the city via the canals as backup, with some extra firepower. The fight on the docks would simply be a distraction while the sloop is the main...
    15 replies | 463 view(s)
    3 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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.
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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.
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
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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...
    46 replies | 1467 view(s)
    12 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 03:12 PM
    Well, there goes the thread...
    73 replies | 6694 view(s)
    0 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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...
    580 replies | 20953 view(s)
    0 XP
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Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 09:45 PM - Fenris-77 mentioned Imaculata in post Firearms
    ...nd a lot without everyone having a clear idea what it means. @Celebrim - you got a linky for that article? Maybe it'll help everyone get on the same page. I'd love to read it too! As for the console analogy, I'm with Kobold et al - the GM isn't a console at all. Fair arbitration is one of the GM's hats, but that's not the same thing as not having an opinion. As a GM I am doing a lot more work than everyone else involved in a game, so it's absolutely critical that I be enjoying myself. Generally that means that whatever contract and agreements that were set up between myself and the players in session zero are being adhered to, and everyone is on the same page with expectations and results. Even then, should I take steps as a GM to reign in players and get things back on track I'm still not railroading. Anyway, we've moved pretty far astray from firearms, but I do think we've hit upon one of the subterranean reasons why the arguments about firearms are so contentious sometimes. @Imaculata - you're making a category mistake. What is commonly true of most campaigns is one thing, and all of my points in that regard are on point, and accurate. Just because you want to do something different doesn't make me wrong. I'm not wrong. You want to push things with firearms? Go ahead, but it's got nothing to do with what works in a general sense.

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 04:02 PM - Sadras mentioned Imaculata in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 2
    Jaime for Kingslayer and Queenslayer. Sansa will survive to depose Cersei as per the prophecy. I'm expecting Dani will likely be betrayed, perhaps by Jon or Jorah (or maybe Varys - not mentioned by you @Imaculata). I also expect Davos to survive.

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019


Monday, 1st April, 2019

  • 11:14 PM - Hussar mentioned Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... that way. I suspect, though, that iserith would not require the players to state that action...unless he had provided some sort of clue or signal that this is what they should do. Just like the existence of the office. Not quite. As I understand it, the way this would be done would be, if the players simply stated they were searching the office, the DC would be X. If the players stated they were checking out the furniture in the office, the DC would be Y. If the players stated they were taking out the drawers and looking at the bottom, they would automatically succeed. Is that a fair interpretation? iserith? Where X>Y, so, stating a general approach will succeed less often than a more specific approach and a very specific approach will always succeed, presuming it's the right approach? At least, that's how I'm interpreting what they are saying. Please correct me if I'm wrong. To me, it's not how I enjoy the game. For one, you see interpretations like Elfcrusher and Imaculata, where they look at the rules and interpret things a very different way than I would (like when the skill specifically calls out being able to discern lies but the DM says, nope, that's not what it says, I'm going to get frustrated), which lead to, IMO, artificially inflating difficulty in the name of "challenging" the players. And, funnily enough, IME, these "interpretations" always go against the players. The players can never jump more than is "realistic", the players never can do something that the DM thinks is unrealistic. And, it's the DM's sense of realism that is the bar that is set. It's not something I enjoy. You have a character who, for some reason, has a super set of jumping skills, and scores a 25 or 30 on a jump score - that's a legendary level of success. So, why not wuxia style jumping?

Monday, 25th March, 2019

  • 03:56 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...s meant as an off the cuff remark that I was surprised that DM's do this. Just something I'd never run across. Which is at least somewhat surprising, since it is RAW (PHB p 174, emphasis mine): An ability check tests a character's or monster's innate talent and training in an effort to overcome a challenge. The DM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure. When the outcome is uncertain, the dice determine the results. That said, I totally missed - or at least did not fully absorb - this passage when I started DMing 5e. I let players self-assign rolls which seemed ok as some of them had more RPG experience than I did and what did I know about D&D after not playing since 1e - but something just didn't feel right during our games for many months. I didn't recognize the solution until I started reading stuff from Angry and getting solid advice from folks here like iserith, Bawylie, Charlaquin, and Imaculata. Our games have gone from usually fine to consistently very good. And it has had a lot to do with my DM approach to dice rolls. Please don't misunderstand - I am in no way saying you are doing it wrong - if your group is having fun, you're doing it right! But you might give this way a try for a one shot or three to see how it feels for you and your group.

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

  • 01:24 AM - Numidius mentioned Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    This goes to a variation of player-imputes-knowledge-to-PC, which (at least in my experience), is helpful to first-person roleplaying: the player is entitled to make up setting elements and incorporate them into his/her roleplaying of his/her PC. I have one player in particular who likes to do this - sometimes drawing on his recollections of how a system or a setting works (he's been RPGing for over 30 years and so has a lot of such recollections), and sometimes just projecting his best sense (given past episodes of play plus genre logic) of how things should be in the setting. Right, and that is from player' side. I was asking from the Gm side, since I understand Imaculata is the Gm in the Death God example, and me being a bit provocative, like: how even if is the Gm, can he/she be sure if a Death God will take offense?

Sunday, 10th February, 2019

  • 03:58 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Outsider Perspective: Is this line of debate going anywhere productive? It seems like instead of debating the placement of goalposts or the number of angels that can dance on the AC of dragons, that the participants should reset and refocus their lines.From my point of view I've made my points and think they're clear. My exchange with Imaculata was brief but sensible, and I think we understand one another and our different ways into, and hence responses to, the issue. If you'd like me to elaborate or explain again, though, I'm happy to.

Saturday, 9th February, 2019

  • 08:27 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    Why are you so fixated on what is power level x as compared to power level y? I don't understand.Because if I introduced 75th level characters into a game then I would also be introducing 75th level (or thereabouts) dragons, which - as I pointed out - would have natural armour bonuses that exceed the most powerful armour that can be forged by mages and godlings in the setting. Which is to say, the issue that I dislike - the simulationist veneer of "natural armour" - would still be there. If you're still confused by my concern, I recommend Imaculata's posts above. Imaculata doesn't get irritated in the way I do because he (? I apologise if that's an erroneous gender attribution) is able to treat the natural armour bonuses as purely mechanical devices to ensure the game maths works properly. I can't muster the same sanguinity, but Imaculata's response shows a clear understanding of the issue I'm raising and addresses it completely sensibly (and without any frustration on my part at least).

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 04:40 PM - iserith mentioned Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    ...olved until everyone sees the situation the same way and then roll the dice, or don’t, as the situation requires. So at least as I read the DW rules, there is no reason why a player who declares I search the rubble shouldn't then pick up his/her 2d6 and roll them. If s/he gets an 11 or 12 (like the 20 in your example) then the GM is obliged to provide a certain sort of information, as specified in the rules (eg What here is not what it appears to be?). The pile of rubble matters (regardless of whether the GM thought it would or wouldn't) because the player has (i) decided to pay attention to it, and (ii) succeeded at a check. As I said, what strikes me in your example is that the player hasn't indicated what s/he is looking for, and so hasn't given the GM very much context to hang a response on. I find it easier to narrate successes (and failures) when I have some sense of what the player thinks is at stake in the situation. This isn't Dungeon World though. It's D&D 3.Xe (for Imaculata at least). What is missing from the player's example in a D&D context in my view is an approach to the goal (and to some extent the goal more specifically). I would prefer to hear something like "I want to use my shovel to move the rubble around to see if I find anything useful or valuable." Maybe there's something valuable there, maybe there's not (the example scenario suggests there isn't). But at least the DM isn't assuming or establishing what the character is doing. In another context, one where there's something potentially dangerous in the rubble, I'd want to know how the player is having the character go about searching as per my preferred statement. This avoids issues of the DM and player disagreeing about what the character was doing after the danger is revealed. The DM may have imagined the player digging into the rubble with his or her hands; the player may have imagined using a shovel. That's going to be a problem when being stricken with rot grubs or contact poison is on ...

Monday, 27th August, 2018

  • 07:41 PM - Loren Keely mentioned Imaculata in post Katana
    Imaculata This is just what I was thinking. I sent him a breakdown and this was almost exactly the concept I was thinking. Great minds think alike I guess. I will also look for that Dragon magazine issue.

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 09:39 AM - Jhaelen mentioned Imaculata in post Death and Storytelling
    No fudging or nerfing necessary. Unless your definition of nerfing is "modifying encounters to be something other than suicide-death-pacts." Allow me to first remind you of the original statement I've been responding to: During the early levels, all encounters are fairly balanced, so that deaths are just not going to happen. Also, please note that Imaculata is playing D&D 3.5. Now, to address your points: PCs can choose to run away from fights.Yep, they can do that. As a DM I may even suggest it. But it's not under my control whether they actually do try to flee or not. If a fight is unavoidable, PCs can throw down their weapons and beg for mercy.See above! PCs can enlist help to attain overwhelming odds.See above! GMs can provide level-appropriate encounters.There's a very clear definition how difficult encounters should be in the 3.5 DMG (page 48, I think). Unfortunately, I'm away from my books and failed to find the exact text. I only found the Encounter Calculator that is based on these assumptions. I.e. 10% of all encounters should be 'easy', 50% should be 'Challenging', 15% should be very hard, 5% should be overpowering. IIRC, the remaining encounters should be 'very hard', but there should be a way for the PCs to turn it into a 'challenging' encounter if they approach it in a clever way. GMs can play opponents int...

Sunday, 24th June, 2018

  • 12:54 AM - Maxperson mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    Yes, exactly. Of course sometimes as a DM there is nothing you can do. We were playing many years ago and the players, of which I was one, could not roll dice for toffee. I have never seen an entire party roll like that in 30+ years of playing. Individuals certainly but not everyone! Poor DM didn't stand a chance. There wasn't even something subtle he could do. Something extreme on the DM's part wouldn't have helped because even if mysteriously the enemy were suddenly replaced by school kids, they still would have kicked sand in our faces. We really were that bad. Of course it has become legendary in the group and still makes us laugh to this day, but it also led to some interesting twists in the overall plot as we then had to work out how to continue to pursue the quest in the light of the abject failure. A silver lining. Yeah. Sometimes there's nothing you can do. I will also address something I missed in Imaculata's post. Solid strategies. If the players come up with a great plan and turn a challenging encounter into an easy, or even trivial one, so be it. I'm not going to negate player effort and planning.

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 03:07 PM - akr71 mentioned Imaculata in post Need input on a ship based mini adventure
    ...here they want to go next, so that I know what to prepare. Once they reach such a location, I sprinkle various interconnected mysteries around, along with some sight seeing / exploration. It is up to them which of the clues they follow up on, but I'll usually also have an npc approach them directly, to provide a quest hook. Sometimes there's even more than one npc that approaches them for a quest, although one quest may lead straight into the next. I'm not sure either. I probably have as many sessions to fill as I want, but I'm not sure how long I can go before they want to get back to civilization and the mainland. The ship is a convenient 'left-over' from the previous DM and I thought I could try some things I never get to do on land. I was planning on sprinkling some things to explore or ignore as they saw fit. None of the characters or players have any sailing experience, so anything on-board the ship other than combat leaves them as bystanders, which I would like to avoid. Imaculata - you posted your hooks while I was writing. Thanks! I'll take a look at those and see what I can work with.
  • 11:38 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...nnaturally, for that goes contrary to the major precepts of the game. I'm not saying that Gygax's advice is the only way to do it, but I think it's noteworthy that he draws such a strong contrast between the GM making decisions that regulate the introduction of new challenges into play (eg by ignoring wandering monster dice) and the GM fudging action resolution results. There are lots and lots of games that put ”don’t cheat” explicitly in their game text. They go on to explain why it’s a problem and why it’s wholly unnecessary for that/those games (because they work without need for application of GM Force).Hm. I wonder if anyone can find me a quote reference of that from a game.Suggesting that certain GMing choices would go contrary to the major precepts of the game, and for that reason should not be done, comes well within cooee of what Manbearcat described. Here's another example, from Burning Wheel (Gold edition, p 30), which is directly relevant to the sort of example Imaculata gave: [W]hat happens after the dice have come to rest and the successes are counted? If the successes equal or exceed the obstacle, the character has succeeded in his goal—he achieved his intent and completed the task. This is important enough to say again: Characters who are successful complete actions in the manner described by the player. A successful roll is sacrosanct in Burning Wheel and neither GM nor other players can change the fact that the act was successful. The GM may only embellish or reinforce a successful ability test. Slightly less portentously, the Marvel Heroic RP rulebook (p OM8) says: In some games, the person who runs the game rolls the dice in secret - but there are no secrets in the Bullpen. Roll those bones in full view, Watchers!
  • 05:06 AM - Maxperson mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    So you are making a legal appeal to the rules as written to suggest that "rulings not rules" means that the GM is inherently incapable of cheating? :confused: Since all rules are guidelines and the DM has full power to alter them at will, it's not cheating if he does. He's just using his given ability as DM. Rulings over rules is just a part of that authority. This would make an interesting poll. Officially can a DM cheat? The online definition of cheating: 1. act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. 2. avoid (something undesirable) by luck or skill. In (1), one might ask what advantage might the DM gain. Well DM's that act as the one described by @Imaculata tend to enjoy a DM-vs-player style and so there is room to say that cheating or fudging (whichever you prefer) provides an advantage to the DM in that roleplaying style. A few things. First, the DM is given an unfair advantage by the rules by virtue of being DM. He has the given ability to drop 10,000 monsters on a first level party if he wants. It's the DM's responsibility, though, to use that power wisely as bad DMs lose players fast. Second, I don't view what Imaculata is describing as a playstyle. Bad DMing is bad DMing, not a style of play. If a game devolves into DM vs. Player, the players lose. In (2), many DM's technically cheat or fudge to avoid undesirable outcomes for the table (whether it be to spare a PC or prolong an epic combat...etc). By that definition, everything you avoid that you don't like is cheating. Avoid eating a cheese sandwich that you dislike while at a party? Cheater!! Intercept a football headed for the end zone? Cheater!! Work hard to avoid...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 02:39 PM - Sadras mentioned Imaculata in post Everybody Cheats?
    The DM is not cheating, though. He can't. Instead, he's being an asshat and bad DM. You respond to that by letting him know that you have better things to do and going elsewhere. The fact that the DM is given the authority to add, subtract or alter rules as he sees fit means that he literally cannot cheat. There's no rule for him to break. Rulings over rules and all that. It's messed up, but it's not cheating since he isn't breaking a rule. This would make an interesting poll. Officially can a DM cheat? The online definition of cheating: 1. act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage. 2. avoid (something undesirable) by luck or skill. In (1), one might ask what advantage might the DM gain. Well DM's that act as the one described by @Imaculata tend to enjoy a DM-vs-player style and so there is room to say that cheating or fudging (whichever you prefer) provides an advantage to the DM in that roleplaying style. In (2), many DM's technically cheat or fudge to avoid undesirable outcomes for the table (whether it be to spare a PC or prolong an epic combat...etc). However having said all that, the DM has the power to change/amend any rule of the game AND at any time. So can he really cheat? I'm not really asking you Max, just musing and upping my post count. :) EDIT: Wait, I got it, CAN GOD CHEAT?

Tuesday, 29th May, 2018

  • 02:34 PM - iserith mentioned Imaculata in post Poison needle traps
    It just looks badly worded to me, perhaps an editing error, so it's up to you how it will ultimately function. It seems like the goal here is to set up a challenge of (1) finding the proper key or (2) disabling the trap then picking the lock. Anyone going straight to picking the lock is going to have a nasty surprise. That's how I'd handle it, anyway. I would also be sure to telegraph the existence of the trap in some way so that it isn't a "gotcha." @Imaculata: A passive check does not imply that the character is being passive. "Passive" refers to their being no roll, not that the character isn't performing a task. In fact, the rules state that such checks resolve a character performing a task repeatedly. Whether the DM uses a passive Investigation check to resolve this situation depends on what, specifically, the player described the character as doing.
  • 02:12 PM - Li Shenron mentioned Imaculata in post Poison needle traps
    A poisoned needle is hidden within a treasure chest’s lock, or in something else that a creature might open. Opening the chest without the proper key causes the needle to spring out, delivering a dose of poison. When the trap is triggered, the needle extends 3 inches straight out from the lock. A creature within range takes 1 piercing damage and 11 (2d10) poison damage, and must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour. A successful DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check allows a character to deduce the trap’s presence from alterations made to the lock to accommodate the needle. A successful DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools disarms the trap, removing the needle from the lock. Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap. Imaculata, how can you say the wording is "pretty clear"? :) It's not even clear whether the description here is for the trap only excluding the lock or if it is for trap and lock together. (CASE 1) If you assume the description is complete for the whole thing, then it sounds like you need only one check with thieves' tools for both disarming the trap and opening the lock, provided you first detect the trap. In this case the last sentence "Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap" suggests both checks are merged into one. If you instead don't detect the traps (your Investigation fails or you didn't ever think about it), you automatically trigger the trap, before you finish your lockpicking. After that, since the trap doesn't reset, you can continue without further danger, but you still need to make the DC15 lockpicking check. In this case the last sentence "Unsuccessfully attempting to pick the lock triggers the trap" is irrelevant because the trap is already spr...

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 01:48 PM - Coroc mentioned Imaculata in post Timelines in your Setting
    Imaculata The Thing with ancient Scenarios in the official Settings (FR Netheril, DL Ishtar, Eberron Giants vs Dragons, Greyhawk Twin Cataclysm, DS everything up till present :) ) is that it gives instant and believable Explanation for a lot of stuff: - Ruins aka dungeons - Unusual (powerful) Magic - Unusual Technology - Rifts (temporal, dimensional) - Forgotten cults - Ancient Villains rising again (not necessarily undead) etc. etc. It is not thought to be a fictionary history lesson in the first place but rather to consturct those bullets

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

  • 06:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    ...the cabal called Jabal? It was established by way of an action declaration by the same player. How do we know that there are catacombs? Same answer. Why did I, as GM, describe the bazaar in Hardby as including a peddler trying to sell an angel feather? Because the same player had authored a Belief for his PC that said PC wouldn't leave Hardby without an item useful for confronting his balrog-possessed brother. Why did I, as GM, establish the feather as cursed? Because the player declared an attempt by his PC to read its aura, which failed - so the aura he read wasn't what he was hoping for! Why did I, as GM, establish that Jabal lives in a tower? Because the same player had authored an instict for his PC, cast Falconskin if I fall, and so it seemed appropriate to introduce a high place into the action. Etc. I think it is quite obvious that this is a different way of establishing setting, and a different approach to the role of setting in framing and in adjudication, from what Imaculata describes. Whether you want to label it "no myth", or "the standard narrativistic model" or simply "story now" doesn't seem that big a deal. (Strangely, the main poster who seems to want to argue this point has me blocked. Hence my lack of reply to that particular poster.)


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Saturday, 25th May, 2019


Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 02:12 PM - Celebrim quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    5 rounds of reloading is a bit harsh for 3.5, which is why I made it only 1 round of reloading. It may not be realistic, but I think it is more fun to play that way. I've totally not got any problem with that. And it could even have color of realism at least in the loading times if you patterned the technology after say late 18th century flintlock muskets or even 19th century caplocks. One round of loading probably isn't going to be game breaking if you don't otherwise load the firearm up with realistic or fantastic advantages. Keep damage, range, and penetrating power under control and you basically have a potent crossbow, and crossbows in D&D have never exactly dominated gameplay. Back on the subject of how much realism do you want, and why you don't have to be consistent, part of the answer to that is simply, "What's fun is unique to an individual and a group." A bit more elaborately, what sort of realism a person cares about depends on what they are passionate about, what sort o...

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 06:46 PM - Derren quoted Imaculata in post Game of Thrones Spin-offs: News & Speculation
    I'm pretty sure you are incorrect. HBO is unlikely to share our sentiments about those two. Game of Thrones was HBO's pride and joy for years. It was pretty much the only reason to have an HBO subscription. D&D's writing may have gone downhill as they surpassed the books, but their efforts to adapt the books into a succesful tv show will not be ignored by HBO. All D&D have to do is tell HBO they want to make a new show, and HBO's response would be "How many piles of cash do you need?" I am not so sure about that. HBO wanted D&D to make more episodes and even more seasons (it is their cash cow after all), only to be told by them they don't need/want it. And then they delivered something that disappointed fans, damaging the brand, and is especially criticized for being too rushed and that there should have been more episode. I don't think that HBO is all that happy about how D&D handled the last season.

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 08:30 PM - Derren quoted Imaculata in post Game of Thrones Spin-offs: News & Speculation
    I don't think they do an "Arya goes west". The subject is much too touchy, especially if they do it GoT style, and it would throw away too much of the Westeros we know (although that hasn't stopped movie makers in the past). No idea if they use the "Evil Bran" idea, but that would be a major story and not simple a spinoff. Drogon will certainly play a role in one of the series I guess. Hes too much of a plot device to not use him. Considering how much the show went downhill the last two seasons, I think another series might be a terrible idea. With D&D being busy with Star Wars there is a chance that they get good writers instead. It wouldn't surprise me if internally those two will be blacklisted by HBO.
  • 04:02 PM - Sadras quoted Imaculata in post Game of Thrones Spin-offs: News & Speculation
    I don't see the point of "a thousand years ago" or "Arya goes west". The point of a Westeros series surely lies in it being set in the Westeros we recognize? Otherwise it's just generic fantasy series #71 with the GoT label slapped onto it. This. Considering how much the show went downhill the last two seasons, I think another series might be a terrible idea. And this.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 04:45 PM - Cap'n Kobold quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    The reason I disagree with you, is because I feel firearms should be the first and obvious choice for the players, and melee should be their backup weapons. As I said, I run a pirate campaign, and if all my players still ended up using bows and swords, then I'd feel like I had failed at establishing a pirate campaign. Historically guns were more deadly, so they should be a lot more powerful than any other weapon in the campaign. If guns only did slightly more damage, that would not be enough to pursuade all players away from their default D&D weaponry. The best situation for me is one where there's plenty of gun-use, and the players are occasionally forced to fall back on melee (due to a misfire, a gun being empty, running out of ammo/powder, or a gun getting wet.) Because this allows me as a DM to set up interesting encounters where getting their precious guns wet is a high risk, and where enemies are trying to force them into a melee. This makes positioning extremely important in combat. ...
  • 03:35 PM - Raunalyn quoted Imaculata in post "I'm BATMAN!" - Robert Pattison
    Yeah, both actors were heavily criticised. People were furious about Ledger playing the joker... but turns out he might be one of the best Joker's of all time (second only to Mark Hamill in my opinion). Then again, DC is having an epic dance with failure lately. If they get Batman right with Pattison, it's probably on accident. Ledger was incredible...surprisingly so. He went to a dark place playing that character, and I honestly think it contributed to his death. Not so much with the DC failure on its last few movies. Wonder Woman and Aquaman were both surprisingly good. And while I haven't seen Shazam! I do hear that it is a fun and entertaining movie. Maybe RP will get it right...if they don't make him sparkle...
  • 03:29 PM - Celebrim quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    The reason I disagree with you, is because I feel firearms should be the first and obvious choice for the players, and melee should be their backup weapons. As I said, I run a pirate campaign, and if all my players still ended up using bows and swords, then I'd feel like I had failed at establishing a pirate campaign. Historically guns were more deadly, so they should be a lot more powerful than any other weapon in the campaign. This is an example of how different persons can have very different perceptions of what makes sense and feels right. For you, owing to the power of firearms, pirates need to leap on to the decks of other ships armed with all manner of firearms, and to treat swords as a backup weapon. For me, I'm perfectly happy to have a band of cutthroats be mostly armed with all manner of stabbing and cutting implements, and to treat wheellock pistols as an expensive, somewhat unreliable, backup weapon - leaving most of the actual musket and blunderbuss fire to the moment before t...
  • 01:14 PM - Fenris-77 quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    The reason I disagree with you, is because I feel firearms should be the first and obvious choice for the players, and melee should be their backup weapons. As I said, I run a pirate campaign, and if all my players still ended up using bows and swords, then I'd feel like I had failed at establishing a pirate campaign. Historically guns were more deadly, so they should be a lot more powerful than any other weapon in the campaign. If guns only did slightly more damage, that would not be enough to pursuade all players away from their default D&D weaponry. The best situation for me is one where there's plenty of gun-use, and the players are occasionally forced to fall back on melee (due to a misfire, a gun being empty, running out of ammo/powder, or a gun getting wet.) Because this allows me as a DM to set up interesting encounters where getting their precious guns wet is a high risk, and where enemies are trying to force them into a melee. This makes positioning extremely important in combat. I...
  • 04:23 AM - Yaarel quoted Imaculata in post Favourite D&D edition that’s not 5E
    Well, I still play 3.5, so my answer is obvious. I’m curious, what does 3e have for you that 5e lacks?

Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 08:45 PM - Fenris-77 quoted Imaculata in post Firearms
    You need to give firearms a strong advantage, or players won't bother to use them, and at higher levels you may even need to introduce magical or mastercrafted guns as loot. I think I'd disagree. A lot of players spend significant time eking out even a minor advantage based weapons and combos. If your firearms are even slightly superior then everyone will use them unless "story reasons". So sure. I think balance is way more important than selling the idea to the players.

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 12:39 AM - billd91 quoted Imaculata in post Star Wars: Rian Johnson Out?
    It's a shame Solo was such a flop, because it was a pretty entertaining movie. Solo was a flop mostly because of its enormous expense. Nearly $400 million world-wide would be fantastic for most movies - but not if the project was in such bad shape much of it needed to be redone at great expense. Plenty of people were entertained by it.

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 07:18 PM - lowkey13 quoted Imaculata in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    (just like Euron's magical fleet appearing out of nowhere). NOBODY EXPECTS THE EUROTRASH INQUISITION! Oh, Euron, you off-brand Jack Sparrow, I will miss you.
  • 12:15 PM - Zardnaar quoted Imaculata in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    Ramsay's book counter part is every bit as evil as the one on the show. But some of his acts were switched from a character not featured on the show, to one that is; Sansa. The show indeed struggles a lot around season 5. The book on which it is based, Feast for Crows, struggles about just as much (although they also throw in some Dance with Dragons). There's a lot of aimless floundering about in Dorne with new characters that no one really cares about, and the main cast is mostly abscent. And the ironborne aren't very interesting either, though I feel the show did both a disservice. I have read the books although it has been a while.
  • 12:03 PM - Kramodlog quoted Imaculata in post GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8--Final Run-- Part 5
    If there is anything to be learned here, it is how important George RR Martin's writing was to the success of the show... without that backbone, the show stumbles towards the finish line in a hurry. Dany will still be a murderous despote on the books.
  • 12:02 PM - Tormyr quoted Imaculata in post A Kraken Mini To Go With Your Nautical Adventures This Summer
    I came across that one when looking for a good representation of a kraken in my pirate campaign. While it is a fantastic looking miniature, it is also large enough as to make me wonder if it still qualifies as a miniature. That means it might just be big enough...barely.

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019


Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 10:12 PM - BookBarbarian quoted Imaculata in post Mythological Figures: Anne Bonny (5E)
    It is widely disputed whether the two of them were actually 'disguised as men'. More likely they simply wore men's clothing and were accepted among the crew. It would be near impossible to hide your real gender in a culture so dominated by men. Also there are accounts that their breasts were quite pronounced, as to make it painfully obvious they were women:. It's also quite possible that traditionally male clothing was far more practical in day-to-day piratical work than fluffy skirts and corsets. I'll conduct an experiment on the subject and report my findings.

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 08:42 AM - jonesy quoted Imaculata in post Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 "The Last of the Starks"
    Originally in the books, Bran was able to see through the faces of the weirdwood trees. That was how he was able to see his father during the events of the first book. I don't think there is a weirwood at King's Landing, thus explaining the limits to his sight. But it has not been established well in the show. I think after episode 3 we won't see Bran do anything useful any more in the show. To continue on this line of thought: In the books the trees were supposed to be windows that the Old Gods looked through to see what was happening in the world. That's why marriage ceremonies in the North took place beside them. Greenseers like Bran used that same method to see things. I don't remember exactly, but I think it wasn't like a exact window analogy, but more like they could see the surrounding "land" in a dreamlike way. Like, not just what was in the line of sight of the eyes in the tree. But I do remember that they said something like 'the trees have no understanding of time so through them yo...

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 01:50 PM - Maxperson quoted Imaculata in post Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 "The Last of the Starks"
    It also feels like we've reached the point in this series where everything has become very predictable. I'm still hoping they'll pull a big twist from their hat, but so far the plot has been very by the numbers. I'm also tired of all the main cast death fake-outs. It's basically, fake, fake, fake, fake, death of minor character, fake, fake, fake, death of another minor character. They've taking the Martin's willingness to kill major character off and are using it as a weapon against viewers.


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