View Profile: Imaculata - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Today, 05:39 AM
    I'll chime in here to disagree that Deadly (using DMG parameters) = fight for survival = boring. Here's an anecdote from my last Tomb of Annihilation session which contradicts that... My party was effectively 7 PCs of 3rd level: Two CR 1 tabaxi hunter guides who are effectively 3rd-level PCs in combat Human Ranger (gloom stalker) Lizardfolk Rogue (swashbuckler) Tabaxi Monk (drunken...
    26 replies | 581 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:08 PM
    I've been running my current homebrew campaign for over a year now, and we often use dungeon tiles and miniatures for combat. But two of my players have recently brought custom miniatures of their characters with them, and those looked awesome. I should post a picture of those some time.
    57 replies | 1402 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:51 AM
    I can't help but thinking this feels like the Sexual Assault Monk.
    25 replies | 610 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:04 AM
    Have we reached that inevitable point where we're quoting dictionaries already?
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:58 AM
    Baldur's Gate 24 Blackmoor 20 Calimport 20 City of Brass 20 City state of the Invincible Overlord 23 Free City of Greyhawk 24 Glantri City 18 Huzuz 23 Lankhmar 24 Palanthas 16
    154 replies | 2326 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:55 AM
    I play 3.5, which lends itself perhaps more towards grids and miniatures. But I use both. Theater of the mind for simple skirmishes, and dungeon tiles or maps with a grid, with miniatures, for large scale battles.
    57 replies | 1402 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 04:20 PM
    In my current campaign I've introduced an island that is littered with the ruins of an ancient civilization. The island is always covered by dark clouds, and surrounded by bad weather, because the God of Storms is angry with its former people (The God of Storms holds a very long grudge). His lightning bolts are constantly striking the ruins of the temples, because at some point in time the tribe...
    5 replies | 185 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 01:31 PM
    What lovely artwork! This is what I've always loved about D&D books: Monster art. Small side story: But I recently visited a life-long friend of mine, who has a young son and daughter. And apparently both of them are obsessed by all the pictures of monsters in the various third edition Monster Manuals that he has. They know all the creatures by heart, and love going through all of those books....
    87 replies | 2325 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 09:26 AM
    Leomund's tiny hug - He has trouble expressing his true feelings, okay?
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 09:23 AM
    Baldur's Gate 23 Blackmoor 20 Calimport 19 City of Brass 21 City state of the Invincible Overlord 25 Free City of Greyhawk 24 Glantri City 18 Huzuz 24 Lankhmar 25 Neverwinter 5
    154 replies | 2326 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 09:16 PM
    Another druid character I did was a multiclass transmuter wizard and land druid with the Alchemist feat. The concept was that he was an old-timey medicine peddler, so all of his spells and features were reflavored to be potions, ointments, and suppositories with grandiose sounding names (check out some old medicine bottles and adverts). Everything I had him choose stuck to a theme of changing one...
    21 replies | 463 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 09:00 PM
    Have you considered doing a "druid," but with some other class? I had great fun playing a tanky archfey tome pact warlock. With the right spell and invocation selection, you can make it smell like a druid while playing a warlock. In fact, because my warlock had a staff of the woodlands, it took several sessions for anyone to realize that I was actually a warlock. His shtick was to have armor of...
    21 replies | 463 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 08:45 PM
    Another thing to try sometimes is to have a big set piece encounter that is actually three encounters in waves. This allows you to pump up the number of discrete encounters between short rests while reusing the prep on the location itself. As an example, let's say the final scene is in the villain's lair around his or her doomsday device. The first encounter is with the workers and guards (Medium...
    26 replies | 581 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 03:28 PM
    In my own homebrew setting I've kept it rather simple, so my players can at least remember most of the deities. I have three ancient evils, which are god-like in nature, and only worshiped by the villains. I have one pantheon of good/neutral gods, 5 of which are referenced repeatedly in the campaign. Priests in my setting worship all of the gods in the pantheon, but only 5 of them are...
    49 replies | 1098 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 12:47 PM
    The way I tend to do world building for my campaigns, is to write out the basics of every important location in my campaign. So I'll write a short piece of text for every country, island and city. Just a basic description. Then I'll flesh out some of the cultures, and the religions. But when it comes to the finer details, such as maps, adventure hooks, quests... those I tend to write out just...
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 12:30 PM
    Telepork: Instantly summon an adorable little pig to your location.
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 08:51 AM
    Imprisonment Painting This cursed painting is used to imprison up to one living person, with the aid of an imprisonment spell. Subjects imprisoned within continue to live their lives inside the painting, and age, until eventually they die of old age. The subjects can look outward from within the painting, and see the outward world. They are unable to communicate however, since they only seem to...
    332 replies | 18720 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 08:11 AM
    I'm not sure why this one made me laugh so much. :D
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 08:05 AM
    I played a Barbarian who was afraid of heights, and dumb as a rock. He had his heart in the right place though, and really liked to arm wrestle (he ended up restoring time and space by arm wrestling himself from a parallel universe). But most of his personal quest was about reclaiming honor in the eyes of his tribe, and overcoming this fear of heights. Its pretty funny to play a guy who is not...
    61 replies | 1632 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 07:50 AM
    Baldurís Gate 22 Blackmoor 20 Calimport 19 City of Brass 2 City State of the Invincible Overlord 25 Fallcrest 14 Free City of Greyhawk 21 Glantri City 18 Huzuz 23 Lankhmar 26
    154 replies | 2326 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 07:05 PM
    The D&D 5e rules are pretty clear about alignment as being something that "broadly describes" morals and attitudes and "typical behavior." It goes on to say "individuals might vary significantly... and few people are perfectly and consistently faithful to the precepts of their alignment." Since few mechanics interact with alignment in D&D 5e, it is likely that only house rules will make...
    26 replies | 789 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 01:45 AM
    I've been out of painting hobby for a long time, and have been enjoying getting back into it with Army Painter. Here's my latest mini with Army Painter acrylics (plastic from D&D boardgame, paint-on primed black)...
    12 replies | 1317 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 07:29 PM
    I see it as an attempt at a solution to iteration time more than anything, that is, the time it takes a player with a dead character to get back into the primary mode of participation with the game. It takes a while to make a character, compared to earlier versions of the game. Which means that without setting up backup characters (as we do in my games), players can end up sitting out of the game...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 01:22 PM
    I have never understood why a monster's stats always need to be kept a secret.
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 01:18 PM
    Baldur's Gate 20 - Classic Blackmoor 20 Calimport 20 City of Brass 20 City State of the Invincible Overlord 22 Fallcrest 16 Free City of Greyhawk 26 Glantri City 20 Huzuz 21 Lankhmar 22
    154 replies | 2326 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 10:32 PM
    I would say I'm expressing my opinion to everyone reading who might be in a similar situation, not just the OP and his or her particular situation.
    38 replies | 1506 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 07:05 PM
    I think concerns about continuity typically arise from basing the plot or storyline on the PCs, especially on their backstories. As characters drop out, holes in the story start to appear as things go unresolved. Avoiding doing that deals with that problem. We seem to agree on that. In my last three D&D 5e campaigns, I have a player pool of 8 to 12 players. Each of them has 2 or more...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 06:37 PM
    It's not the same thing. A player isn't aware of illusionism (otherwise it would be "participationism" or whatever) in the same way I'm aware I signed up for being tricked by a magician. Even the DMG suggests not letting players know you fudge. I think that's bad advice because it's encouraging acting in an untruthful manner. I'd rather the DM tell me he or she does that so I can opt not to play...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 05:39 PM
    I don't think the game makes any serious judgment on what "appropriate" deaths are by way of its design, nor should it in my view. I'm going to stick with dishonest. It's certainly not dishonesty of any ruinous sort, since we are talking about a game here, but I prefer to be honest and transparent. Trust in the DM is a precious commodity in my view. I'm not going to intentionally do...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 04:47 PM
    This may be an unpopular sentiment, but: This doesn't have to fall on the DM. While the game confers to the DM control over the campaign world, the adventures therein, and the rules themselves, this does not confer any special privilege in the hierarchy of the social group. The DM is just like everyone else. While many people defer to the DM as the de facto "leader" of sorts even outside...
    38 replies | 1506 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 03:15 PM
    What I plan months ahead, or days ahead, will differ depending on the importance. But one does not exclude the other. Because when my players visit the local church, and ask me what it looks like, I would like the statue to the god of death to already be there. So that things I set up very early on in the campaign, can have a planned pay off much later in the campaign. As was the case with...
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 03:05 PM
    When DM's do worldbuilding for their roleplaying campaign, I think the latter is very uncommon. Why would anyone write in detail about every single building in every single town? Does anyone do that? But if the library of a certain town is particularly of interest, or tied to a main plot or side plot, then I will definitely prepare that location. I'll write what it looks like, and who works...
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 02:32 PM
    No how matter good your improvisation skills are, you are not going to end up with a very complex plot that still is consistent with all the facts. There is a limit to how deep you can make the plot when you're just 'winging it'. There are some things you have to think up in advance, before running the campaign, and that is world building. That's not to say that other modes of play can't be...
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 02:24 PM
    Even if you do ultimately give him the boot, I recommend telling him why. You're doing him no favors by giving him an excuse. By telling him why he's no longer welcome, he has the opportunity to think about his behavior and change. It might be uncomfortable in the moment and perhaps quite unwelcome, but ultimately it's the best way to help him learn to be better.
    38 replies | 1506 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 01:28 PM
    Last time I checked, the thread was called "Why world building is bad", not "Why Story now, No Myth is good". I'm not here to attack other methods of play. I'm here to defend worldbuilding.
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 12:17 PM
    I just bought Starfinder, but haven't played it yet. However, it is quite likely that we may end up borrowing various feats from this book for our D20 Future campaign. Maybe even the entire space combat system.
    21 replies | 654 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 11:01 AM
    Same here. My players are still thoroughly engaged with my current campaign, because of the world building. They want to meet all the various cultures, and delve into the lore, to discover ancient secrets. Its because a lot of it is one coherent whole, that the players feel immersed. I'm not sure if my players would be having quite that same experience if I were just improvising everything....
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 10:13 AM
    Absolutely hate him. Look, I've never read any of the books he's in. But the moment I'm playing a D&D related videogame, and he makes a cameo, its always pure fan service, and I can't stand it. "Look! It's that character that less than half of you may recognize!", ugh!
    58 replies | 1760 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 09:56 AM
    The DM doesn't just build the world for himself, he also builds it for his players.
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 09:37 AM
    I'm currently working on a SWAT board game. And I came up with a rule that long arms are easier to disarm, because suspects can grab the barrel. Where as bullpop rifles (SMG's and such) do not have this disadvantage, due to their smaller/integrated barrel. This would also give the players a tactical reason to choose an SMG over a fully automatic rifle, when engaging enemies in close quarters.
    15 replies | 326 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 08:42 AM
    This is why I think world building is very important. It makes the world more believable, consistent and coherent. It can add complexity and intricacies to the plot, that wouldn't be there if it was just improvised on the spot. My group of players has a tendency to get invested in the world, and ask a lot of tricky questions. I like to be able to answer those questions with satisfying...
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 08:28 AM
    Anuire 14 Baldur's Gate 21 - Go for the eyes Boo! Blackmoor 20 Calimport 20 City of Brass 20 City State of the Invincible Overlord 21 Fallcrest 20 Free City of Greyhawk 24 Glantri City 20 Huzuz 20
    154 replies | 2326 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 08:10 AM
    Frankly, I just used the Turks as inspiration for one of the factions in my game. I wanted to give them a very specific look, that happened to fit well with the look of Turkish pirates from the age of sail (most importantly, Barbary corsairs). But I made sure to make them a fictional version of them, and not literally Turkish pirates. I made one of them a pretty clear black hat villain though....
    93 replies | 2777 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 03:15 AM
    I just don't think there's a system fix for it that keeps death on the table and illusionism sounds like Forge Waffle for "dishonesty." My position is also that the system doesn't need fixing. It's not a mechanics thing, but a technique thing as far as I can tell. If you want death to be a real possibility, keep the stakes as they are and prepare for that possibility - good advice for both DMs...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • AaronOfBarbaria's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 12:16 AM
    I don't tailor adventure content to try and push the limits of what an optimized character is capable of, so if someone sits down to one of my campaigns with a character optimized for something they are going to stomp all over that something (and hopefully enjoy doing so, as that's about the only reason I can imagine as to why someone would bother optimizing in the first place; because they want...
    56 replies | 1601 view(s)
    1 XP
  • AaronOfBarbaria's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 12:10 AM
    I hate the effect he had upon the ranger class... but I love that the character has resulted in people wanting to play D&D.
    58 replies | 1760 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 11:48 PM
    If the players are aware of the illusionism, is it still illusionism? Question for the philosophers perhaps. A mitigation of the issue but not a complete solution I would say. There's still the odd chance of the "inglorious death" by kobolds.
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 11:41 PM
    The easiest way is to just make sure you have backup characters with a "trapdoor." A trapdoor is something established in the game that would allow for one character to be replaced by another one as easily as you can manage. Then just make sure either you're not running a set storyline or that the plot you're presenting doesn't hinge on a particular character or characters. Do this and know...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 11:19 PM
    Sure. I've posted some of those kinds of scenarios on the forums before. It's not as easy as a life-or-death struggle to design, certainly. But doable. That sounds like some version of hell to me, so I would certainly not want to inflict that upon my players. There's a difference when there's an understanding that the game mechanics are being used to decide between distinct...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 11:10 PM
    Sure, but again I would say that if you didn't desire an outcome like the one you would have gotten without fudging, why did you allow for the possibility of that outcome at all? There is a non-zero risk of an inglorious death and you were letting the dice decide that outcome. Until you weren't, that is. In a similar situation at my table, the PCs would have simply died. The players would get...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 10:51 PM
    Less so in my view. I've designed enough challenges where tension runs high enough to feel like life-or-death but where the stakes are something else entirely to know someone can run a perfectly intense game without killing PCs. Or fudging. "Illusionism" is one of those words that demands a specific definition because it can mean different things. At its heart though, it strikes me as...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 09:54 PM
    What I prefer to do is figure out a way where there can be TPKs and the system doesn't melt down.
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 09:51 PM
    Eh, it wouldn't be my cup of tea, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's not D&D. Satyrn got this. By "technical," I'm referring to the techniques the DM uses since how the play experience turns out is so largely dependent on the DM in D&D 5e.
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 08:23 PM
    Should everything be equally useful all the time?
    112 replies | 4261 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 08:21 PM
    Not at all. I'm referring to both the stakes for individual rolls and for challenges overall. I think this is irrelevant. If you don't want death as a possibility, just take it off the table up front. There are other possible outcomes to losing a combat challenge. It might be implausible to others that only certain deaths are possible and others ("ridiculous" ones) are not. I'm less...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 08:00 PM
    It seems like it is though. DM is not happy with a particular outcome, so he or she fudges the dice. Okay. But the DM determines both outcomes and uncertainty. So how was an undesirable outcome even a possibility? That goes back to stakes though. The adventurers are boldly confronting deadly perils. Even in an Easy combat challenge where Team Monster's goal is to kill the PCs, the DM is...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 07:49 PM
    Sure, but I'm not too concerned about frequency. I'm more interested in how folks are arriving at "ridiculous" outcomes at all. The DM decides when the mechanics come into play and also sets the stakes (what happens on a success, what happens on a failure). It therefore seems to me that either the mechanics are being brought into play when they "shouldn't" be or that the DM is not setting the...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 07:40 PM
    I wouldn't say anyone need be infallible, but I think it helps to think about why someone keeps arriving at problems where fudging is a solution. Stake-setting is a pretty good skill to have and clears up more issues than just fudging. I don't see where it would be used to cover up for "system deficiencies." And "immersion" is one of those words that means things to different people, so it's...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • AaronOfBarbaria's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 07:39 PM
    Why don't you?
    112 replies | 4261 view(s)
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  • AaronOfBarbaria's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 07:17 PM
    Congratulations on the true, but entirely irrelevant comment.
    63 replies | 1945 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 05:31 PM
    I wonder if anyone's ideas about character death are different when it comes to one-shots. I run a lot of those and, in many cases, they are even more difficult than my regular campaign. My thinking is that even though I have no expectation of a character surviving in my regular campaign, that's truer still in a one-shot where the character won't be played in a subsequent session. I ran a...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 04:08 PM
    I would say fudging is ultimately a correction for a failure to set appropriate stakes before the roll. If that can be corrected upstream, there's no reason to fudge.
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 02:05 PM
    I still think you're making a lot of assumptions. The usefulness of this spell is going to depend on the game and on the situation. The same can be said for lots of spells and other game options. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
    112 replies | 4261 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 01:57 PM
    I don't have regrets often. Sometimes I may regret not making the encounters in the session harder or more interesting, I always try to improve as a DM. But as far as the story and adventures, I'm usually happy with my choices, since my players seem to enjoy it all. But there was one particular session where I had prepared the island of Witchclaw. I had specifically prepared a lot of random...
    10 replies | 432 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 12:06 PM
    First of all, thanks for providing some specific criticism. I don't think it is of concern to the players how the DM spends his time preparing his campaign. Nor do I think that you can make a reasonable case that the quality of the adventures suffers as a result of world building. I could come up with plenty of examples of ways in which the world building actually helps flesh out the finer...
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 10:56 AM
    I used to do this, but hearing the criticism of other DM's on this forum changed my mind. Ever since I've stopped fudging, I've noticed just how amazing it is to experience genuine close calls. Just last session, was such a close call. One of the players had his cohort act as a bodyguard, and take a hit from a Red Guard (homebrew crocodile soldiers, using an anti-paladin template). The Red...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 10:48 AM
    Circle of the Moon 3 College of Valor 1 Shadow Magic 10
    428 replies | 7948 view(s)
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  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 11:40 PM
    Trit One-Ear The best laid plans, huh? Well, your adaptation sounds great! Prisons (not talking temporary jails) of any substantial size are almost never in the heart of population centers. So perhaps this drow prison is built into a separate stalactite or cavern, and is usually accessed via a magical "spinaret shuttle"...this might be a hollow spider golem, a retriever who only responds to...
    8 replies | 263 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 08:48 PM
    I leave a lot of this to the player. If I had a reason to want to involve the patron as some kind of NPC in the game (essentially), I'd seek to get on the same page with the player on that score before implementation. That might include talking about what I had in mind and making sure the player didn't feel like he or she had obligations or consequences that players with other characters don't...
    23 replies | 863 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 08:05 PM
    My experience with D&D is that what's good in one situation isn't so great in another and vice versa. So I don't think it's all that great to unilaterally say this or that is terrible. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. If you'd prefer to just say it sucks in all situations and is a trap choice, that's your right I suppose. I'd rather say when it's good and when it's not as good.
    112 replies | 4261 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 04:18 PM
    What I did for my 3.5 pirate campaign, was put a square grid on the world map, for the purpose of calculating the distance between two locations. Then when the players arrive on a new location, I show them a zoomed in map of it, again with a square grid. But because my campaign is very exploration based, each square represents an unexplored part of the zoomed-in map that would require 1 hour of...
    19 replies | 487 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 03:16 PM
    You make a lot of assumptions here about what's going on in that fight. Maybe the party isn't managing fine and, for some reason, PWK is the best choice right now even if it isn't always so. Maybe the other 9th-level spells you have prepared aren't a good fit in this moment. Maybe you're in the last fight of the day and you don't care if you blow the slot on PWK. Maybe you just want to say you...
    112 replies | 4261 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 02:46 PM
    Yeah, or you might say that what a character would do is whatever the "player" says it will do since it's the player who determines how a character thinks or acts or what it says. There is therefore no separation between "What would my character do?" and "What will I choose to do?" because they are the same.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 02:40 PM
    I often find that the reasons they are adamantly against it are lacking or contradictory. But I suppose there's no accounting for taste. In my Tables Rules document, I include the following: "'Metagaming,' defined as using player skill or knowledge that a character might not necessarily have, is fine as long as it's fun for everyone and helps contribute to an exciting, memorable story....
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 02:35 PM
    I think this is terrible advice. The approach to the goal suggests setting up in-game situations to solve what is ultimately a problem that occurs outside the game. Better in my view to tell the players why it is unnecessarily risky or a waste of time to act on what could be erroneous assumptions and what they can do to verify those assumptions. I have no issue with setting up challenges that...
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 02:31 PM
    Classic pirate treasure maps do tend to depict a compass rose, so they do indicate directions. :D
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 12:35 PM
    I would presume that in a Game of Thrones campaign your profession is probably a lot more important than your class, since Game of Thrones is all about political intrigue.
    12 replies | 403 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 12:26 PM
    And relative to the implementation by the GM.
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 10:34 AM
    I use skill challenges a lot. But it depends entirely on the description of the action by the player. I rarely ask for a skill check, unless an action has been declared by the player.
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 10:31 AM
    ^ This. As a DM I do not concern myself with why the players make a particular decision. In fact, I often remind them that they ARE allowed to think as players too, because this is a game after all. It is up to them whether they go for what their character would do, what they would do, or if they find a happy compromise between the two. I only encourage them to confirm their ideas in-game.
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 08:55 AM
    What if I do really sh*tty research, and then present the culture as really bad/dumb humans? I can think of so many ways in which this would go wrong. I don't think it is that simple. Here is what I would advise: Use real world cultures as inspiration for a fictional culture, but coat them in enough fantasy that they are not literally a stereotype of the culture they were based on. For...
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 08:41 AM
    Of course. But what I meant is, you don't need to be accurate, you just need to define the target. Magic doesn't require accuracy, strength or dexterity. If you know where you want the spell to go, then that is exactly where it goes.
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 08:29 AM
    Circle of the Land 0 - DEAD! Circle of the Moon 5 College of Lore 5 College of Valor 13 Shadow Magic 8 The Celestial 4
    428 replies | 7948 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 02:34 AM
    I don't see why that's necessarily "bad metagaming." It's none of my business, as a player or a DM, why a player makes a particular decision for his or her character. It is my business that we all have fun and help create an exciting, memorable story together since that is the shared goal of this game. To that end, I think it's possible to use knowledge of monster stats to determine a PC's combat...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 02:16 AM
    In D&D 5e, there is a section in the DMG (page 235) that discusses "Metagame Thinking." Taken as a whole, it's an injunction to remind players not to make uninformed decisions that lead to a bad outcome. The examples it cites are players thinking that "the DM wouldn't throw such powerful a monster at the characters" (presumably leading to their unexpected demise when the players decide to fight...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 12:04 AM
    I think it would be a decent spell to use on a creature with magic resistance and/or legendary resistance. Get that ancient dragon down to 100 hp or less then finish it off with a PWK at range, no save. Scrooge McDuck in its hoard. Tell tales about how you told a dragon to die and it did.
    112 replies | 4261 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 07:23 PM
    On the side matter of magic resistance or the like, I do make an effort to telegraph that in the lead-up to the challenge or in its setup. I think any special attacks, traits, resistances, immunities, etc. are important to telegraph in some way to avoid gotchas. When I'm reading a stat block, I'm thinking of ways to describe the environment such that I'm embedding clues as to these. It sets up...
    112 replies | 4261 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 03:55 PM
    Even at in-person games, I use Roll20 and reveal the hit point bar. It doesn't say how many hit points the monster has, but you can discern about how many it is after the first bit of damage is done based on how the bar changes. I think it is reasonable for a player to describe an action to be able to discern a creature's hit points in fictional terms and for the DM to resolve that with an...
    112 replies | 4261 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 02:36 PM
    It would seem that anything less than a .50 caliber has great difficulty piercing plate armor.
    18 replies | 1050 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:57 PM
    But we're not discussing effectiveness over distance. If you want to compare it to a .50Cal as well, you're welcome to do that... but you specifically mentioned the 9mm. And that is where I disagree.
    18 replies | 1050 view(s)
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Thursday, 26th April, 2018


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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.)

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 12:41 PM - Coroc mentioned Imaculata in post Game of thrones setting
    Imaculata You mean Background in this case? And yes GoT is eventually better suited for roleplaying the politics than for recreating its epic combats, which are btw almost always mass combat Scenarios, there rarely are fights in Group size. Also there are not many nonhuman adversaries aka Monsters. Many combats are also very Environment specific, be it on ships, on the wall, sieges etc. there are few Special rules in 5th Edition so far to cover this..

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 12:21 PM - Hussar mentioned Imaculata in post Diagonal area of spells
    ...ategies are possible with magic. Sometimes my players come up with really weird ideas. "Can I use the Create Water spell, and then have my ally freeze it in mid air with a cold spell, to create a wall of ice?". "Sure" , I would reply, "What is the size of the area of water that the spell can produce?". I like that my players try to think outside what is literally written in the book, and be more creative. I WANT them to be this creative. And I try to be just as creative as them with my monsters, and how they use magic against the players. For me, it's needlessly mickey mouse. And, again, this is a proud nail thing for me, so, it's not entirely rational. :D But, think about it. You need to hit a point 50 feet away from you that is exactly 20 feet away from point A and 25 feet from point B. And the wizard can do it EVERY time. We don't allow fighters to do that. But, as soon as it's maaaaaaagic, then it's perfectly fine? Bugs me far more than it really should. Thing is, Imaculata, I'd agree with the idea of weird ideas. That's groovy. But, playing silly buggers because the grid creates pixelated circles, or "rotating" the cube so that it becomes a pin point smart spell just rubs me very much the wrong way.

Thursday, 12th April, 2018

  • 05:26 PM - pemerton mentioned Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    The problem is in these threads this extreme is presented as why worldbuilding is bad but when presented with extremes on the other side of the spectrum (no worldbuilding) we get posters who then proceed to argue that either it doesn't happen that way in their game or we are arguing against their style in bad faith. This is certainly not accurate in relation to my posts. I've spelled out in some detail (mostly in replies to Imaculata) what I want in a RPG - for instance, that I want stuff like religous doctrine, dispositions of NPCs, details of what might be found where, etc to come out in the play of the game, rather than to be decided in advance of play by meta-level negotiation among the game participants. That's a reason why worldbuilding is "bad" for me (other than the sort of "high level" stuff I've talked about, like giving names to places and setting out some basic history to hang the genre tropes on). And this reason has nothing to do with whether someone is a good or bad GM. I'm talking about techniques for RPGing, not GM skill or good faith.

Tuesday, 16th January, 2018

  • 05:38 PM - Coroc mentioned Imaculata in post Oriental Adventures 5e: How would you do it?
    Yea now i did read Imaculata 's link - People cmon! It is about context!!! I would never call a present person of asian heritage an oriental. But medieval oriental adventures that is a total different thing. In fact if we stay with the official product line they took place in Kara Tur not in Orientalistan. Now that the Name Kara Tur is established you might use it, but still how does someone not familar with that FR sidekick campaign check out that he gets a ninja, samurai and dervish style campaign by the product name?
  • 11:00 AM - Sadras mentioned Imaculata in post The Best Movie About RPGs in 2018 (So Far)
    D&D thrives precisely because we're a part of it, and the meta-narrative of the players (not the characters) makes it so much more fun. For me, Jumanji demonstrated that the concept can definitely work. Agree very much with you and Imaculata on this. A little Stranger Things-type-style maybe needed with kids playing at a table and the audience gets sucked into the shared-fantasy, otherwise it becomes just another fantasy movie.

Friday, 12th January, 2018


Thursday, 11th January, 2018

  • 11:14 AM - delericho mentioned Imaculata in post A simple, system-neutral encumbrance system incorporating weight and bulk
    Yep, I'm afraid I agree with Imaculata - almost every encumbrance system I've seen adds much more complexity than it gives benefit. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the best system is probably "you can carry ten things", where a 'thing' is a weapon, set of armour, potion, pouch of money, or whatever - basically, anything important enough for you to worry about whether the PC has it or not. And then don't sweat the small stuff, like mundane clothes, scabbards, etc.

Wednesday, 27th December, 2017

  • 04:46 PM - SkidAce mentioned Imaculata in post Need Advice from USA troops working in war zones.
    Depending on his specialty and ops tempo, best bet is as Imaculata said. Bring a bag of dice. And pdfs. Maybe core book if it fits in personal gear. Word of caution, again based on specialty and ops, the focus in a combat zone may preclude that type of gaming. Other times its fine when you have downtime. He really needs to scout the area, ask someone who has been there, and get a feel for it before showing up.

Sunday, 3rd December, 2017


Friday, 1st December, 2017

  • 04:50 PM - akr71 mentioned Imaculata in post An endless stream of random encounters
    I liked @Imaculata's volcanic environment ones so much, I thought I'd try my hand at some terrain based ones. Here are some arid and rocky environment ones Dry stream bed Travelling through an arid environment, this dry stream bed is easily the best way to make good time. It is hard packed sand with a few small boulders and small ponds that are easily avoided. The banks of the river and the surrounding area are rocky, rough terrain - perhaps the dry river is at the base of a gully leading into the foothills. For every hour travelling, roll a d8 - on a 1 it starts to rain (or determine the weather however you normally would). The rain is not a big deal at first - a stream starts to form, the adventurers get wet - DC 10 Athletics to stay on your feet. If they continue to travel on the river bed, bad things are about to happen as the rain flows down the rocky landscape out of the foothills. The stream becomes a river again before long - DC 20 Athletics to stay on your feet, or DC 15 to swim upstream...

Tuesday, 21st November, 2017

  • 03:03 PM - akr71 mentioned Imaculata in post An endless stream of random encounters
    @Imaculata I am totally using The Curious Bard in my next session. Hopefully, some fame will take the sting out of the near TPK last night ;) The Knight's Bridge The party arrives at a swift stream with steep, deep banks. A sturdy narrow bridge made of felled trees seems to be the only nearby crossing. Standing in the middle of the bridge is a human in plate armor, leaning on a great sword. As the party approaches, the Knight stands at attention, readying the weapon "Who approaches this bridge and what is your business!" the knight bellows. When/if the party answers, the knight replies "Are you challenging me?" If the answer is no, the knight moves aside and lets them pass, if the answer is yes, the knight approaches, weapon raised. "One on one combat, no interference. The first to fall is the new guardian of the bridge." Indeed, if the challenger falls to the knight, they are bound to the bridge until they fall in combat to another challenger.

Tuesday, 7th November, 2017


Friday, 22nd September, 2017

  • 03:20 PM - robus mentioned Imaculata in post Illusionist in a Theater: Help Me Design a Fun Combat
    Imaculata - your imaginings for this encounter are amazing to behold. When I read theater, I went straight for the mundane - curtains dropping, battling up in the stage rigging, in other words: typical stuff. You've taken it to a whole new awesome level. I'm hoping WotC calls you in to consult on their next adventure! ;)

Thursday, 21st September, 2017

  • 08:56 PM - dave2008 mentioned Imaculata in post Survivor Legendary Monsters: EVIL DRAGONS WIN!
    Aboleth 22 Adult/Ancient Chromatic (Evil) Dragon 23 Adult/Ancient Metallic (Good) Dragon 7 +2 = 9. Beholder 26 Death Tyrant 22 Demilich 12 -1 = 11. Dracolich 23 Elder Brain 19 Kraken 24 Lich 23 Mummy Lord 19 Vampire 16 Imaculata - this is the correction from your 2x vote (after Ed's vote). Does this look correct?

Saturday, 9th September, 2017

  • 12:43 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Imaculata in post The Warrior
    But is, like 'Fighter is about movement,' not mechanically supported in any edition. Though, there were specific fighter builds in 3e & 4e that could do quite a bit of dancing around, not to mention mounted combat builds... :shrug: But, I get that your experiences were quite specific in that regard. Comparing the jump spell and Champion, you'd think it was 5th ;) But seriously, that's a good point. There is room in the concept of "warrior" for quite a bit of leeway in interpretation that goes above and beyond what D&D has covered. Sure. And there is a certain type of fighter – a Musketeer / Dread Pirate Roberts type – who fits that highly mobile model very well. But the execution of whatever movement mechanic Imaculata was imagining would need to be meaningfully differentiated from the Rogue class in a way that feels "fighter-y." How about an ability that allows you to leap over an enemy, as part of your attack? What I'm thinking of is that the warrior can do cool athletic tricks during combat, to end up behind an enemy. I'm trying to think of an ability that is simple to understand, and genuinely cool to do. I imagine that the warrior is the hero in a fantasy epic. The brave hero in a movie, who does an amazing move that takes down an enemy. Such a skill would also become more potent at higher levels, when you get more attacks. Because flipping over the head of an enemy, puts you in the enemy's back, to make another attack. And you can put whatever limitations on that as you feel appropriate, such as only once per round, or only once per fight.. or only creatures of the same size category as you. I thought about this one a bit further. Another way of rephrasing this in a way that makes sense with...

Friday, 18th August, 2017

  • 01:08 PM - akr71 mentioned Imaculata in post An endless stream of random encounters
    Imaculata thanks! I'm very happy to see this thread resurrected and have thought of doing so myself recently. I have just started planning a sandbox campaign for my players for when we finish what we are currently working on. Once I have some free time (LOL), I might try and organize these by environment/setting for easier use. Tiny Tricksters While traveling through the forest, some strange, but harmless things happen. After stopping for a drink or a rest, one of the party trips - their boots have been tied together. Someone gets hit in the head by a pine cone - the trajectory seems doesn't seem like it fell from a tree, but was thrown. The party might hear the occasional giggle, or see branches of an evergreen tree move suddenly. They are being tailed by a troop of pixies and their harmless pranks are to distract the characters while the pixies' Detect Thoughts ability is used to determine the nature and friendliness of the adventurers. If they are deemed worthy, the pixies may show...

Tuesday, 8th August, 2017

  • 12:52 AM - Quickleaf mentioned Imaculata in post Fire and Water: Designing themed dungeons
    Imaculata I put a link to your design thread in my own :) I really like how your gradient on the stairs communicates up/down directionality, and how you illustrate various winches/gears that open the gates. Really makes reading the map easier and more interesting!

Monday, 7th August, 2017

  • 09:42 PM - Satyrn mentioned Imaculata in post WotC's Mearls Presents A New XP System For 5E In August's Unearthed Arcana
    I got thinking the exploration XP would be great for the megadungeon I've been creating. Inspired by an adventure map Imaculata posted a little while ago, I've got an underground river as the focus, with lots of little sites along the banks or connected by branching tunnels. The exploration XP could make finding those sites, and the effort getting to them, a greater focus for the players. But I'd have to change the conditions that location XP is awarded for, since the site's importance to the world isn't a significant factor here.
  • 05:18 PM - mrpopstar mentioned Imaculata in post Fire and Water: Designing themed dungeons
    Imaculata Fun stuff! I love using water as a feature in dungeons. Fantastic map! What software did you use?


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Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

  • 12:20 PM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Have we reached that inevitable point where we're quoting dictionaries already?I know we don't agree on everything RPG related, but I think we're in agreement that the interesting part of this thread isn't the semantics!
  • 09:06 AM - Sadras quoted Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Have we reached that inevitable point where we're quoting dictionaries already? If it helps us resolve but one of these worldbuilding threads it will be well worth it. :p

Monday, 23rd April, 2018

  • 03:46 PM - Plutancatty quoted Imaculata in post How many gods is too many gods?
    In my own homebrew setting I've kept it rather simple, so my players can at least remember most of the deities. I have three ancient evils, which are god-like in nature, and only worshiped by the villains. I have one pantheon of good/neutral gods, 5 of which are referenced repeatedly in the campaign. Priests in my setting worship all of the gods in the pantheon, but only 5 of them are always prominently on display in every church. The other gods may have a small shrine/statue in a corner of the church; always represented, but depending on the church, other gods may get preferential treatment. For example, the goddess of love and fertility is only worshiped when people want to have a child, have marriage problems, or when a big festival is approaching. So, this goddess is not prominently on display, and the players have little interaction with the deity. Lastly, some churches have a local saint, which the church tends to be named after. So you might have a St. Anna's Church, or a St. Germaine'...

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

  • 06:54 AM - pemerton quoted 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.)
  • 05:58 AM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    No how matter good your improvisation skills are, you are not going to end up with a very complex plot that still is consistent with all the facts. There is a limit to how deep you can make the plot when you're just 'winging it'. There are some things you have to think up in advance, before running the campaign, and that is world building. <snip> The way all of these plot points fall into place... I wouldn't be able to do that, unless I first wrote it all out. And I am skeptical that other DM's would be able to craft a similar cohesive plot line, unless they first took the time to do some worldbuilding.Here are four actual play posts: * The PCs travel back in time and rescue an apprentice wizard trapped in a mirror; * The PCs, now in the present, dining with a baron whose trusted advisor is (secretly) their mortal enemy, notice that portraits of the baron's family include women who resemble the apprentice, one of whom turns out to be the baron's niece; * The PCs "rescue" the niec...

Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 03:38 PM - TheSword quoted Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Because when my players visit the local church, and ask me what it looks like, I would like the statue to the god of death to already be there. So that things I set up very early on in the campaign, can have a planned pay off much later in the campaign. As was the case with my example of the undead pirate captain. A villain that was part of the lore since the very beginning of the campaign, but didn't actually enter the picture . Ah that makes sense. So by that token you are preparing only what you are likely to need because the party are likely to enter the temple of the death god and see his statue. You wouldnít then need to plan the god of the harvest, the god of war or the god of watery depths. Then youíre adding mysterious hooks that can be dropped into the campaign later on creating the illusion of depth. Which hooks you pick up and follow can depend entirely on how you feel. I am in total agreement thatís an excellent way to prep. I donít get the impression that is the type of world...
  • 03:07 PM - TheSword quoted Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    There is a limit to how deep you can make the plot when you're just 'winging it'. There are some things you have to think up in advance, before running the campaign, and that is world building. Why do you have to plan these things before the campaign starts months ahead. Why not just plan what you need for the adventures next two or three sessions and then add more as the PCs progress? Surely game prep can be more nuanced than this all or nothing approach. If your PC wants to play a cleric of the fire god, plan the fire god. If your adventure will feature a cult leader of the god of death then build the god of death. Donít plan the whole pantheon of 20 gods and their complex inter-relationships because they will all be irrelevant if they donít come up in the game [Unless you enjoy that kind of thing] [Edit] I think we have crossed wire about world building. I call that adventure prep. Is one side really advocating winging it on the day with little or no prep?
  • 01:47 PM - darkbard quoted Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    Last time I checked, the thread was called "Why world building is bad", not "Why Story now, No Myth is good". I'm not here to attack other methods of play. I'm here to defend worldbuilding. Fair enough. (And I think this thread title needlessly inflames strong responses; I much prefer its contemporary successor's "What is worldbuilding for?") Is your opinion, then, that both traditional, heavy world-building approaches and Story Now, No Myth approaches can both achieve high levels of believability, consistency, and coherence? If so, why do you claim It [world building] can add complexity and intricacies to the plot, that wouldn't be there if it was just improvised on the spot. ? Your intention certainly may not be to attack other methods of play, but your contention does rest on a faulty assumption about other methods of play.
  • 01:19 PM - darkbard quoted Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    This is why I think world building is very important. It makes the world more believable, consistent and coherent. It can add complexity and intricacies to the plot, that wouldn't be there if it was just improvised on the spot. But hasn't pemerton already addressed this a zillion times, and posted numerous and extensive play reports that support the fact that Story Now, No Myth gaming, free of the kind of world building you advocate for, can produce the same kind of believability, consistency, and coherence? Do you dispute his examples? This is not to say that your style of play can't do this, of course (although doing so through decidedly different methods, some of which may deny player agency). Why must this debate continue to run in circles? Unless there is hard counter-evidence one can provide that Story Now, No Myth gaming fails to provide believablity, consistency, and coherence, in the face of hard evidence to the contrary, can we just let this point rest?
  • 11:49 AM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    My players are still thoroughly engaged with my current campaign, because of the world building. They want to meet all the various cultures, and delve into the lore, to discover ancient secrets. This is an instance of what I mean when I say that extensive world building by a GM means that a significant focus of play is having the GM tell the players stuff that the GM has made up, triggered by the actions that the players declare for their PCs. (So instead of the players looking through a GM-authored encyclopedia for the duergar entry, to learn what the GM has made up about duergar the players declare as actions for their PCs that they enter certain tunnels, delve deep into the depths of the Underdark, etc.) For instance, worldbuilding by a GM mean that a certain amount of table time is spent having the GM tell the players stuff about the world that the GM has builtwithout "worldbuilding" by a GM a certain amount of table time is spent having the GM tell the players stuff about the world.W...
  • 11:05 AM - TheSword quoted Imaculata in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    The DM doesn't just build the world for himself, he also builds it for his players. Thatís the point. They think they build it for the players and put all this effort in, but the reality is that most of it never gets seen by the players or they donít care about. For instance... you may detail the Inn of the Roaring Dragon, in the village of Blumenthal. Detail the landlord, his motivations, the crooked cellerar thatís secretly a spy for the entropy Cult, the names of serving wenches, a map of the inn, the stats for all of them and the items kept in the vault of the inn. However... A. The PCs may never visit Blumenthal B. The PCs may not stop at the inn C. They might stay but not be interested in getting to know the staff. If any of these things are true then the three hours spent on these things was a collosal waste of time. Unless the GM enjoys creating it, in which case who am I to tell someone what to do with their free time. Plan the Roaring Dragon inn when you think your characters...
  • 09:30 AM - Jhaelen quoted Imaculata in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    I think if I were to run a campaign in a setting of a well known franchise (LOTR/Star Wars/Jurassic Park), my first act as a DM would probably be to kill one of the core characters of that franchise off. Just start with Gandalf or Luke Skywalker dying, and don't bring them back to life.Yup, that's my preferred approach, as well. It serves as an early demonstration that you don't feel bound to canon and anything might happen in your campaign. E.g. in my 2e Dark Sun campaign, Rikus was killed after his failed attempt to assassinate Kalak. He still managed to wound Kalak badly and disrupt the ritual that should have turned Kalak into a dragon, forcing Kalak to make a disappearance...
  • 08:56 AM - Jhaelen quoted Imaculata in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    All the alignments do, is describe if your character is more likely to commit good acts, or evil acts.Okay. But they don't help a player at all to come up with a reason why the character is more likely to commit good or evil acts. So, what purpose do alignments serve, again? I think you are mistaking the intent of the alignment system. It isn't meant to be the final definition of your characters personality, they are a tool to help you get started. So if you state that your character is lawful good, that is a general description of your character's moral compass. But that doesn't mean that you can't further define your character, and it doesn't mean that your character blindly follows every law.Then why are there alignment restrictions for classes, spells, and magic items? Apparently, the game designers cannot decide what alignments should be: Just a loose guideline or a hard restriction? I'm getting ambiguous signals here! Imagine for a second how you would create a PC if there was no ali...

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 03:30 PM - Ranthalan quoted Imaculata in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    I used to do this, but hearing the criticism of other DM's on this forum changed my mind. Ever since I've stopped fudging, I've noticed just how amazing it is to experience genuine close calls. Note that fudging is just a tool. It shouldn't be done on every single roll (or more than a few percent of rolls). Fudging doesn't even have to be done on a roll. In my last campaign, an assassin succefully snuck in the PC's camp and, based on the critical hit rules of our table, killed the monk outright in her sleep. The player playing the bard, said, "oh, can it be me? I'd like to roll a new character." Clearly, it was more fun for all involved to switch it up and kill the bard. So the bard was murdered. [ETA] I guess this was actually a fudged die roll, since it was a random determination of which sleeping PC was the target.
  • 08:51 AM - Jhaelen quoted Imaculata in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    I think the alignments help get a basic idea of where your character stands in regards to morals and values. For example, whether your character is good, neutral or evil, is already a pretty clear step to defining what kind of character you are going to play. If your character is lawful, then this poses the question in what way your character is lawful? Do they obey the law, even if they think the law is wrong? Or do they follow a personal code? I wouldn't call that useless, but it is just a basis from which to further expand on your character's moral compass.No real person is always good or always evil. No real person is always lawful or always chaotic. Real people don't commit evil acts because they're 'Evil'. They always rationalize their actions in some way. If your 'Evil' character commits atrocious acts for no reason other than being 'Evil' what is she? What you (well, at least myself) really want, is players describing their goals and motivations, their personality traits. Following ...

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018

  • 06:49 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Imaculata in post Diagonal area of spells
    Of course. But what I meant is, you don't need to be accurate, you just need to define the target.That kind of magic is almost like programing... ;) OK, it's like sympathy & contagion. You just have to uniquely identify a target, not see it or point precisely at it. Maybe with it's full name, or it's position in society, or whether it's bearing a specific item, or by making a campy voodoo doll of it, or by having a clipping of it's hair or nails, etc... Most D&D magic, though, doesn't work that way. You pick an exact point in space as the origin for your AE (so it'll really help to be able to see what's going on near that exact point in space) or you do, indeed, point precisely the path of your magical attack and roll to hit AC (mostly with cantrips, but they're still magic).
  • 02:46 PM - iserith quoted Imaculata in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    ^ This. As a DM I do not concern myself with why the players make a particular decision. In fact, I often remind them that they ARE allowed to think as players too, because this is a game after all. It is up to them whether they go for what their character would do, what they would do, or if they find a happy compromise between the two. I only encourage them to confirm their ideas in-game. Yeah, or you might say that what a character would do is whatever the "player" says it will do since it's the player who determines how a character thinks or acts or what it says. There is therefore no separation between "What would my character do?" and "What will I choose to do?" because they are the same.
  • 08:53 AM - Jhaelen quoted Imaculata in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    That seems hardly a problem with the alignment system though.?!!?! So, if I buy a gadget that's been advertised as something everyone requires and find out later that it serves absolutely no useful purpose and is actually detrimental in certain circumstances, it's a not a problem with the gadget?
  • 01:07 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Imaculata in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    I usually avoid using well known characters from popular settings in my RPG sessions. There's a huge risk that either the game rules or the person in control of those characters will not do them justice. So if I ever ran a LOTR campaign, there would be no Gandalf, Legolas or Aragorn. There would be the player characters instead. Indeed from perusing the Cubicle 7 forum, a non-trivial number of people playing Middle Earth games set it away from LotR timeline, either earlier, later, or in an out of the way place. I too dislike "signature" NPCs quite a bit and almost always try to avoid them whenever playing or running in a licensed property.

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018



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