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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:16 PM
    As briefly as I can so as not to derail the thread: Essentially just three locations (Tear of the Moon Goddess, Dragon's Grave, and The Tower Inscrutable) out in an abstract wilderness area that is chiefly forested hills. There's the starting town (Brownshire). The town is 15 miles from the Tear and the Tower and 30 miles to the Grave. It starts off as trackless wilderness (difficult terrain)...
    9 replies | 210 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:05 PM
    Yes, and that's a feature of a current "zone" I'm running in a West Marches-style game which I call the Hills of Argh. This is a multiple DM-setup with around 25 players, so each DM has their own area where players can choose to go adventure. The Hills of Argh is a solid structure I've built for running replayable games and it includes three main points of interest plus a dungeon, trails...
    9 replies | 210 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Today, 10:14 AM
    Can do. Introduction Understand that by default 3.5 rules, ship to ship combat is all about "holing" sections of a ship, so the captain is forced to make a sinking check. Larger vessels have more sections, and so you'd need to hole more sections to make it sink. Also, depending on the size of the ship, the ship will have a limited number of weapon mounts, which determine how many...
    15 replies | 685 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:07 AM
    Not really, no. There's a difference between lore that hints at potential stat info (skill check) and telling a player a monster's vulnerabilities outright (Hunter's Sense). Look back at my example – yes, the player who made the Religion check guessed that the wight was vulnerable to sunlight, but they had no idea about silver overcoming a wight's resistances. In fact, the party had a silver...
    22 replies | 515 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 17th November, 2018, 10:23 PM
    Bonnie Tyler: I Need a Hero.
    32 replies | 681 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 17th November, 2018, 09:54 PM
    Generally, all that stuff in the MM that's not in the stat block (as well as years of D&D monster lore stored in my head). If they roll high like DC 15+, then I start weaving hints of pertinent stat block info into the lore, but I'll never explicitly say "troll regeneration is prevented by fire damage", for example. I don't just consider the skill and the monster, but a bunch of other...
    22 replies | 515 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 17th November, 2018, 10:24 AM
    The Druid-shark murder was a PC action, as was the use of the Ring of the Ram. I deliberately left a lot of options open for them to resolve this situation. Whenever I introduce any villain, he/she is always disposable. In other words, I don't care how or when, or if he dies, because its a villain. Their purpose in life is to be defeated at the hands of the players. But the players could also...
    13 replies | 335 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 17th November, 2018, 05:23 AM
    Yeah, I jacked up a party of 4 8th- and 9th-level PCs last session with 12 quicklings. The way the dungeon was laid out made it easy for them to move in, attack, and move away. The PCs were already weakened due to previous battles and the quicklings really got their pound of flesh. The players cottoned on to their Evasion and start doing shatter spells and thunderwaves to focus on Constitution...
    42 replies | 1645 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 17th November, 2018, 12:09 AM
    Thanks :) Oh! If you wanted to turn it into something mechanical, I'd go with foreshadowing a shatter spell targeting the room, but building up over the course of three rounds. Prostrating with both hands on the mosaic prevents the spell-trap from triggering. Maybe there's some clues about prostrating lining the stairs into the tomb, like statues of human slaves bowing head-and-palms-down to...
    38 replies | 11992 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 09:13 PM
    Old modules like Desert of Desolation had an ethos that's absent from many modern adventures, and that ethos was: There's always a bigger fish, and sometimes the wise adventurer runs away to live another day. The 5e DMG has (mediocre) chase rules, but I'd have those on hand for a purple worm encounter for 5th level PCs, adapting them for a flight & pursuit situation. AFAICR, purple worms...
    37 replies | 1007 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 09:03 PM
    That was just flavor. Have fun running it :) Let me know how it goes?
    38 replies | 11992 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 12:40 PM
    I had another memorable villain in my pirate campaign that was a lot worse. A Kturgian pirate captain called Karagoz, who terrorized the shores of the Emerald Coast. The man was incredibly cruel (as some historical pirates were as well). His moment of utmost cruelty, was when he tried to convince the count of a local town to tell him where he had hidden the citizens of that town, with of course...
    13 replies | 335 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 12:16 PM
    I introduced a nobleman in my pirate campaign, called Alfredo Poussin. I played him like an absolute ***hole, to really get under the player's skin. The funny thing is, he wasn't even a big bad guy by any means, but he really made life difficult for the players regardless. It started when he challenged one of their npc crew members, a man nick-named Rummy, to a duel to the death, over a girl who...
    13 replies | 335 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 11:49 AM
    I can't say this has ever happened to me. Whenever I create a character, I tend to make them flawed characters. I greatly enjoy the moments where my character embarasses him or herself.
    11 replies | 354 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 03:27 AM
    Trit One-Ear Hey, good to see you homebrewing on ENWorld again! Three quick questions for clarity: (1) The creature is a drow who absorbed a dragon's life force and it's Huge. With your narrative, I'd assumed it would be a normal Medium-sized drow. Why is it Huge? Should we a picture a towering Drow giant with draconic eyes and wings...a "drider" with a dragon's lower torso and upper torso...
    6 replies | 182 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 16th November, 2018, 02:00 AM
    Teldarian Great summary of Ras Nsi! It's one of the big failings of the adventure that this his story wasn't fully laid out somewhere. I also had to piece it together from Jungles of Chult, Ring of Winter, wikis, and other sources. And even then, I never realized that Nsi's undead army was created from the remains of the Eshowe! That's especially grisly when you imagine him sending out zombified...
    12 replies | 1711 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 15th November, 2018, 04:05 PM
    I wonder how much heavy lifting “all the time” is doing when we’re evaluating the sentiment “I dodge all the time.” Once per fight? Literally every action? Often enough that it’s saved my bacon a handful of memorable times? Hand-in-hand I wonder whether the emotional impact of success is a stickier experience than those times someone dodges but then nothing really happens. I know...
    56 replies | 1377 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 15th November, 2018, 09:53 AM
    I'm running a 3.5 pirate campaign at the moment, which uses the rules from Stormwreck. Its a clunky system, so we've had to make a lot of homebrew adjustments. First of all we added dozens of flintlock weapons and cannons to the game, with misfire rules to balance things out. But in 3.5 naval combat is mostly about progressing the battle to a boarding action as soon as possible, because ship...
    15 replies | 685 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 15th November, 2018, 08:28 AM
    I don’t know about the campaign, so forgive any bad assumptions on my part. That said, this baddie feels a bit more like a pile of stuff than a cool fusion of drow-gon. I think if I were writing it up, I might do it as three separate stat blocks, each representing a phase/form of the encounter. For phase one, I think I’d have the drow priestess of Lloth from the monster manual with...
    6 replies | 182 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Thursday, 15th November, 2018, 02:36 AM
    My ruling would be that the creature feels compelled to perform the terms of the geas, but initially justifies it in some way appropriate to its personality. Perhaps if the caster who charmed the creature is known or emotionally significant to the creature, the creature has something depicting the caster in its residence (e.g. a statue of painting or locket), while it the caster is unknown maybe...
    7 replies | 242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 15th November, 2018, 12:46 AM
    I achieved my doctorate in artful dodging in London under the tutelage of the esteemed Fagin. Also, you mean I have a different perspective THAN others. You know who I am.
    56 replies | 1377 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 07:49 PM
    The folks who investigate the crimes and the folks who commit the crimes have significant overlap or other strong, close ties.
    38 replies | 868 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 07:46 PM
    Yeah, when you use inaccurate math and take the dodge action in the least favorable circumstances, it’s absolutely a waste of time. It’s complete garbage in social interactions and only occasionally useful during exploration, too.
    56 replies | 1377 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 06:46 PM
    For the life of me, I don't understand why a player would choose to create conflict in the party when there's a whole world of villains and monsters with whom to have conflicts. Those that do try to create drama in the party find they don't get invited back to our games.
    11 replies | 354 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 06:44 PM
    Jumbled Aura. Any creature entering within 5 feet of a jumblie or starting its turn within 5 feet of a jumblie must make a DC 9 Intelligence saving throw. For every additional jumblie whose area the creature is within, rather than require multiple saves, increasing the DC by +1. On a failed save, the creature can't speak intelligibly and any spells with verbal components that it casts while...
    5 replies | 199 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 06:30 PM
    Stalker0 My thoughts were perfectly stated by OverlordOcelot. I'd just add three things. First, having the entire organization wear masks or a homebrew common magic item cowl of face hiding in public really curtails scrying. I wouldn't permit "that masked man we saw yesterday" as a "particular creature" for scrying. Second, a mask or illusion magic can fool the senses of a dead person...
    38 replies | 868 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 05:52 PM
    A monster will do whatever the DM makes it do for whatever reason the DM cares to establish. I can come up with all manner of reasonable justifications for a monster to do a particular thing, even on the fly. It's not hard. If a player wants a monster to attack a character with sanctuary cast on him or her in an effort to get the monster to potentially "waste" an attack, then it's on the...
    70 replies | 1707 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 03:26 AM
    Sometimes it's useful to Dodge then provoke OAs so other allies can get away safely without spending an action to Disengage. The cleric and my character (a bard) were separated from the party and nearly surrounded, so we were trying to pull back to the rest of the group who were also engaged in a fight. I cast longstrider on her earlier, so she could get to the party and cast a spell if she...
    70 replies | 1707 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 14th November, 2018, 12:10 AM
    Crampons overcome icy slopes in regular mountain travel, but if you're buffeted by strong winds or a dragon's wings/tail or struck by a boulder and start falling, you don't rely on crampons to stop your descent. Once you start falling/tumbling, you rely on three things to stop yourself: a rope/anchor system, an ice pick/axe, and your own physical maneuvering to press yourself flat and control...
    13 replies | 404 view(s)
    8 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 11:47 PM
    I've heard there are calculators out there, but I don't use them. I have lots of experience converting & DMing, and I trust myself more than any calculators. I use the DMG page 274 guidelines as a starting point, but often compare to other monsters in the game, and prefer to playtest when possible. Like with most D&D design, one of the fundamental questions I ask myself when doing conversions...
    16 replies | 513 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 09:24 PM
    SatanasOz Shadowslain Lizardfolk Defensive CR = 1/2 effective HP = 27 + 15 from Weave Drain (which is like Regeneration 5) = 42 AC 15 Offensive CR = 2 DPR 10
    16 replies | 513 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 09:35 AM
    Truly a shame, what a legend. I'm happy he still made a cameo in the new PS4 Spiderman game though. Every time that man made a cameo, made me smile.
    7 replies | 442 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 11:12 PM
    The map is not the terrain. You might rule: The fighter shares the wizard's space – adapting the rules for squeezing. This particular dungeon has intermittent alcoves, and the fighter is pushed into one of those as he sees the Gelatinous Cube move just six inches away from his face so that he can smell the acrid scent of its transparent "skin." There happens to be a jammed pit trap which the...
    35 replies | 928 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 01:02 PM
    I played a cocky punk girl Mech operator in a Mech Warrior campaign. She loved collecting knives, smelling the fumes of war, and listening to the most awful deafening electronic-music during battle. She was funny to play. Unfortunately she lasted only a few sessions, before she got murdered by a fellow party member for 'questioning his honor' (after he fled a battle when she didn't). The...
    41 replies | 1006 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 07:01 AM
    Yeah, an eidolon threatens an 11th-12th level party the way an ogre threatens to a 1st-2nd level party. Similarly, like with an ogre, if you're the kind of DM that balks at killing a PC in one blow, you'll want to avoid declaring the same target of both of the eidolon's slam attacks if that PC is low hp. My point was that if you compare the monster's total CR (12 for an eidolon and actually...
    5 replies | 271 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 08:36 PM
    Keep in mind that "grind" is a perception-based issue. If a negotiation, puzzle, or a combat takes 90 minutes, but everyone was engaged and having fun during that time, then it wasn't really a "grind." I've regularly run for a group of 6, 7, or 8. Here are some of my tips: Don't worry about making every encounter challenging. Letting the players totally curb stomp the monsters every now and...
    25 replies | 505 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:15 AM
    Interesting critter. What constitutes a "corpse"? Is a corpse a zombie? This needs to be defined, because even though the corpse returns to death immediately, during its immediate movement it could provoke opportunity attacks (what's its AC?), enter a damaging spell zone (what are its saves?), etc. If it's meant to be 2 zombies, consider that a zombie's attack is +3 to hit, average 4.5...
    2 replies | 117 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 09:45 AM
    I just ran an Eidolon actually. My usage of it was probably atypical – 5th level party plus an NPC party were attempting to get a relic out of a temple and triggered a "trap" which activated the Eidolon. So their objective was not to kill it, but just to get out alive. Anyhow, at the time my eyes also went wide at that damage, so I double-checked the monster maths of the Eidolon's Sacred...
    5 replies | 271 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 01:31 AM
    Those aren’t obstacles. 1.) Not every module is for everyone. If you want to write something that challenges player skill, do that. Embrace the meta-aspects and associated challenges that brings. You get a whole new level of difficulty by leaning in here. Say, for example, the “winner” is the player with the most experience points, even if everyone dies. Then charge experience points for...
    51 replies | 1339 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 06:10 AM
    1.) I am always searching for a way to encompass the most info I can in the most condensed possible version. I’ve settled on the monster cards from battlefront miniatures for now. I often use post-its - my MM is full of post-its. 2.) How much setting is tricky. I will not read 20 pages of setting info prior to running a module. I prefer setting incorporated into scenes at the beginning and...
    10 replies | 498 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 05:46 AM
    Commonly, the noble is sufficient for my purposes. Where that isn’t the case, and the ruler is notably powerful, I like to use that same NPC stat-block and add to it pursuant to that ruler’s reputation. For instance, if this ruler was ordained by a priest and chosen among deities, I might grant them a divine boon to their attack rolls and AC, or make them immune to damage except by...
    57 replies | 1925 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 05:58 PM
    Uff, that was a hard read. But I got your gist. If it's creative spell combos that you're looking to include, there are certainly ways you can do that (e.g. casting any fire spell onto a grease spell) without needing to undermine the Concentration mechanic to do it. I'm not saying Concentration is perfect (in fact, I think the ways it can be disrupted need reexamination). However, it's core...
    60 replies | 1759 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 03:50 PM
    Correct, and this was the post I was going to make shortly. If you're carrying your own stuff (no hirelings, Tenser's floating disc, stashing stuff in places in the dungeon, etc.), then what really matters is the range between lightly and heavily encumbered. Though players imagine it as more important than it turns out to be in my experience, a loss of 10 feet of movement in many dungeon...
    138 replies | 4308 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 10:32 PM
    One thing I've noticed is that if I use the variant encumbrance rules (as I do in dungeon runs), players abandon Dex-based builds and thus ranged attack reliant characters. They seem to value moving normally and carrying supplies/treasure more than how far away they are when they attack in these scenarios.
    138 replies | 4308 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 09:12 PM
    There isn't one in D&D 5e. To increase Wisdom, you'll want to get your mitts on a Tome of Understanding. But I hear it's a dull read.
    11 replies | 520 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 09:09 PM
    If the target succeeds at the saving throw, it can't be used against that target for 24 hours. Also, a creature that can see invisible objects notices the sensor. If targeting an area instead, the sensor doesn't move so that is also a limitation. So, some limits, but still quite powerful as befits a very rare or legendary item.
    10 replies | 453 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 05:22 PM
    How aging might affect a character is left to the DM. I would definitely set some limits on what a character well beyond his or her prime adventuring years could do, on a case-by-case and consistent basis. And if a character was aged to the point where he or she could reasonably die of old age, then he or she just dies. If there was ever any question as to how old a character could be, I'd just...
    39 replies | 1161 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 02:12 AM
    I would take the NPCs off the table and instead do this: If a PC takes damage, the player can choose to have an NPC ally take the damage instead. The NPC ally immediately dies. Then I would just throw the dragon and wolves at them. This makes for a fun game of involving the players in deciding which of the NPCs takes the fall for them which in my experience is good for both drama and laughs. If...
    4 replies | 203 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 10:32 AM
    This sounds very similar to the Buffy the Vampire episode "Restless". Might give you some more ideas. Some of the ideas in that episode: -A character having to take part in a play in front of all of their family and friends, without knowing any of their lines. Including a very strange version of Death of a Salesman, as if written by someone who has no idea what Death of a Salesman is actually...
    6 replies | 322 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 05:03 AM
    I'm getting back to adventure writing with an adventure involving the Dwarven Mountain (Outlands), which is the divine realm of the dwarf gods Vergadain (wealth, trickery, luck), Dugmaren Brightmantle (invention, discovery, scholarship), and Dumathoin (mining, secrets, underground exploration, funerary). What are the best D&D books (any edition) that I should refer to as I'm writing this up? ...
    2 replies | 228 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 05:00 AM
    The main thing I found that players of 4e miss is forced movement. There were a plethora of ways to force movement in 4e, and very very few in 5e. However, also consider that a cliff in 4e wasn't as dangerous because you got a save (50% chance) of not being pushed over it. I'd consider allowing martial-types to push/slide monsters as a bonus action. And give spellcasters the option to include...
    42 replies | 1633 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 12:38 AM
    Certainly you have the right idea for making remove curse itself more interesting. Personally, I'd delve more into the culture. So Azaka is from a family of non-weretigers, but she just reacquired a family heirloom which is a tiger-like magic mask. That says something about her family! Maybe they revere the Cat Lord via its servants in Chult (weretigers) or maybe their daughter was made into a...
    418 replies | 120548 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 2nd November, 2018, 11:24 PM
    Quickleaf replied to Sages
    Sure, I think that could help many DMs. Unfortunately, such an undertaking is outside the scope of my current projects and limited time. If you tackle it, post a link!
    14 replies | 571 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Friday, 2nd November, 2018, 02:33 AM
    Quickleaf replied to Sages
    Thanks! Many NPCs don't need stats (as others noted), but it's really hard to predict when a particular NPC's stats/mechanics will become important for any given gaming group. Having some creative stats at least gives a DM something to base his or her own homebrew on. Cheers! Absolutely. I am trying to encompass many archetypes into one stat block without making it balloon into...
    14 replies | 571 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 08:09 AM
    Quickleaf replied to Sages
    Probably the least interesting aspect of the concept, but I understand how the numbers might make you curious. To start with, I was looking at the AD&D sage guidelines (see spoiler below), and later the Warlock NPC stats in Volo's Guide to Monsters. I wanted to create a NPC who could accompany the PCs (e.g. on a "protect the sage to the distant library" mission) without a great chance...
    14 replies | 571 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 04:59 AM
    Quickleaf started a thread Sages
    I'm looking to pin down what NPC sages can do for the PCs in my 5th edition game with a bit more clarity. Has anyone devised house rules or found useful rules/guidelines in third party supplements? Reading back through the section on sages in the AD&D1e DMG, I tried to pin down a Sage NPC stat block. My reason for doing so was both to pin down the benefits a sage could offer to the PCs and...
    14 replies | 571 view(s)
    7 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Thursday, 1st November, 2018, 01:45 AM
    Usually, this would call for a legendary monster (and potentially some homebrewing). However, since you've got 1st-level PCs and the lowest CR legendary monsters are Yestabrod (CR 4, OotA) and Unicorn (CR 5), you'll probably want to make your own or think outside the box. My suggestion is a ritual arena combat with a Nilbog (CR 1, VGtM), and a whole tribe of goblin onlookers. When "slain", the...
    11 replies | 400 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 04:26 PM
    You're going to need a CR 3 for the challenge to be of Medium difficulty, CR 4 for Hard, CR 5 for Deadly. But even "Deadly" doesn't mean someone will die, only that it's possible. I'd recommend a Deadly monster that has some tricks that can be exploited to reduce the difficulty. A flesh golem has an aversion to fire, for example, so if the PCs are able to learn this before the encounter, they...
    11 replies | 400 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 12:09 PM
    I always want more miniature furniture: Doors, bookcases, tables, chairs, fireplaces, chests, barrels, crates.
    19 replies | 1777 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 10:37 AM
    I haven't watched all that many. I've only watched: Jessica Jones: Enjoyed both seasons Dare Devil: Still have to watch the third season, but loved the other two. Luke Cage: Watched the first season, then stopped watching it.
    55 replies | 1234 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 02:27 AM
    CapnZapp I've honestly never run a beholder fight, only some roleplaying with one back in AD&D. Just looked over the encounter in ToA, and several things popped out. The fight is heavily influenced by the party's access to magical flight & how much metal armor they wear. No metal armor and plentiful magical flight makes the fight a lot easier than presented. A beholder favors a long-range...
    25 replies | 739 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 11:35 PM
    As for #2, I think the usual number of outcomes is something like 2-4. D&D certainly has a kind of default binary hit-or-miss. Apocalypse world has 3 outcomes. There surely COULD be like 20 (one for each result on the d20) but in practice we stick to roughly 2. But now I see where OP was going with your discussion of the weather. And though I suppose the hex flower system can generate...
    29 replies | 765 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 10:47 PM
    I see your point re complexity and have follow-up questions: 1.) why would the current state need to modify the roll to determine the new state? 2.) why would I want to bother with 10-15 possible outcomes when the usual number is 2 and a sufficiently complex number is 4? I guess one real question: what do I get out of doing that?
    29 replies | 765 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 10:13 PM
    No, I’ve got a simple one. Roll a d6. On a 1 - things get worse. On a 2-4 - things stay about the same. On a 5 - things get better. On a 6 - things get a lot better. I could probably refine this down to a d4, tbh, but I prefer d6s to d4s.
    29 replies | 765 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 09:52 PM
    Isn’t that a LOT of prep for a weighted probability chart? And even then just one chart per scenario.
    29 replies | 765 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 09:49 PM
    Bootlebat If you're interested in the inspiration for legendary monsters in 5e D&D, you might check out Planescape origins of legendary monsters where I tracked down what I believe is the first AD&D reference to "Monsters of Legend" (long before 4e's solo monsters). Imagine the Nemean Lion of Hercules myth and its impenetrable hide, and you've got the right idea. Borrowing the boss (video...
    49 replies | 1681 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 09:23 PM
    I read it and I don’t understand it. Sorry.
    29 replies | 765 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 01:19 AM
    Google “living spells” - they were originally part of the Eberron setting and were explicitly a product of the Last War. One way I’ve implemented magical side effects is triggering them when a spell attack rolls a 1 or a saving throw rolls a 20. That can suit battefield type magic.
    9 replies | 314 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 10:40 PM
    jayoungr Sounds like you may have a convergence of 3 issues at your table: 1. A group possibly pre-disposed to cautious play, further entrenched into risk-aversion after being "scarred" by Tomb of Horrors. 2. Imbalanced risk vs. reward ratio when it comes to exploration. 3. Insufficient clues coming from the DM to let players know there's something worth exploring here. I've addressed...
    18 replies | 657 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 06:15 PM
    My position on suboptimal choices is that it's not worth worrying about. Set some limits to the number of times Inspiration can be earned. Peg those limits to drawing upon the range of personal characteristics instead of just one or two. Then let it play out. Sometimes when portraying a characteristic the player will make a suboptimal choice. They won't all be suboptimal. And that's fine in my...
    118 replies | 2879 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 12:47 AM
    The Grand Cascade: Huge cavern with one 90-foot wall that looks like a waterfall sculpted in stone, and a passage above. Water drips slowly down its length, and numerous small fissures in the rocks create a network of slick tunnels. Bits of phosphorescent fungi at the base cause the wet rocks to glitter. Among the stalactites on the ceiling are piercers waiting for prey. Climbing the slick stone...
    7 replies | 314 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 11:32 PM
    The same way we telegraph things you might want “Restaurant: Next exit,” “Last Gas for 100 miles,” “Garage Sale Saturday Morning.” How about this one: “the room contains a fountain of clear, cool liquid. A silver cup rests on the fountain’s stone rim. The little bit of water that remains in the cup and the fingerprint smudges on the handles suggest someone has recently drunk from the...
    18 replies | 657 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 09:01 PM
    Smart adventurers are risk-averse in the absence of knowledge. As mentioned above, telegraphing the effects of a danger before the danger appears is generally a very good way to signal danger. (If I describe a full moon and a solitary nearby howling sound, you’ve got some reasonable expectation of what might come next). So how do you telegraph safety? Or encourage a calculated risk? ...
    18 replies | 657 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 07:48 PM
    Making exploration challenges the main source of treasure is one way, as Satyrn mentions. But also it's worth examining how often you employ "gotchas" in your game. That's a situation where, because the DM hasn't provided adequate information when describing the environment (or perhaps when describing the results of the adventurers' actions), the players are making uninformed decisions that...
    18 replies | 657 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:39 PM
    First, I think "IRL" arguments aren't very convincing when talking about the rules of a game set in a fantasy world. Some amount of realism has to take a back seat to the game play. The way the rules have it set up make it clear there's a meaningful choice to be made here. And as I said upthread, the more meaningful choices a player can make in a given session, the better in my view. ...
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:18 AM
    Activities While Traveling, Basic Rules, pages 64 to 65. A section many people don't notice, forget, or ignore, which I think is a shame because it plays into these mechanics taken as a whole quite well. Really the whole Adventuring chapter is worth a read. As are any section in the DMG related to the activities (navigating, tracking, etc.).
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:16 AM
    Yes, the ranger's ability I reference specifically requires an hour or more of traveling in favored terrain. Anything less than an hour and in anything other than favored terrain, it doesn't kick in. But "traveling" in and of itself is not limited to a certain time, distance, or context in the rules. It can be dungeon or wilderness or anything from feet per minute to miles per day. Searching...
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:09 AM
    The rules straight up say you don't get to apply passive Perception when Navigating and a few other tasks as well as any task the DM deems sufficiently distracting. From a game play perspective and given many, many hours of practical experience with it, it makes great sense to me: You get to choose one thing at the cost of not doing some other thing that may be useful or valuable. (Unless you're...
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:00 AM
    Couple of artists among my regular players and Grae contributes the most art to recent campaigns. Some samples: A Few of Our Planescapers, Just Back from Hell Left to Right: Ysla Gunnulf, Hardwood Rich Mahogany, Bo Low, Jinx Monsoon, Malcer Lackman More Bo Low (Grae's character by whom he is strangely fascinated)
    3 replies | 215 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 01:09 AM
    What if it's Infinity + 1? What're ya going to do then?!
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 12:51 AM
    No worries - if I'm the designated trap-finder with that low of a passive Perception, I'll just ask another PC to Work Together with me on that for a passive Perception of 19.
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 10:04 PM
    As a player, I absolutely do try to take luck out of any task I have my character attempt, to the extent that I can.
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 08:51 PM
    I don't see how that is necessarily so. They're aware of some of their surroundings, but not all of it. If you turn your attention to particular tasks, your passive Perception doesn't apply to noticing hidden threats. That's straight out of the rules. A DM might describe the foreboding hills through which the PCs are traveling, the immediate surroundings, and the basic scope of options that...
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 05:46 PM
    I'm not getting that from anyone's posts at all. Just because a character's passive Perception doesn't apply in certain situations (per the rules) doesn't mean the PC isn't aware of the surroundings. He or she is just not aware of that lurking monster over there or the trap he or she is walking into because the character chose to perform some other valuable task. The player made a choice knowing...
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 03:00 PM
    I prefer the players to declare what they are doing in the moment rather than assume or make an agreement beforehand. It's also pretty common that the players have their characters not stay alert for danger because there are a lot of benefits to doing other tasks in my games. For example: In a recent game, the characters took on a quest to blaze trails to and between three points of interest...
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 11:18 PM
    I don't play with people like that to begin with. But as DM I decide whether and when the rules come into play anyway. The players have no recourse to the rules only to whether they play or not. If the dungeon is rife with altars everywhere, fine, but that seems edge case as I mentioned above. Searching for secret doors all the time is fine and comes up regularly in my games - but at the cost...
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 11:06 PM
    Interestingly, especially within a couple of years of the game launching, there were a ton of complaints about Observant on the forums, specifically around it being too powerful - nothing gets past the character. Taken as a whole, the rules don't suggest this is how it should be handled. Characters can only focus, generally speaking, on one task at a time (except for rangers in favored terrain)....
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 10:28 PM
    No - I don't take passive Perception score into account when calling for a Wisdom (Perception) check. These two mechanics are used to resolve different things - a task performed repeatedly and a task performed once, respectively.
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 10:09 PM
    This looks like a Wisdom (Perception) check to me, not a passive Perception check. If it's a Search action in combat, the passive Perception is by default the "floor" because the creature attempting to hide will have had to beat that passive Perception score to have been hidden in the first place. Observant characters are good at staying alert to danger and noticing things for which they are...
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 09:43 PM
    That would be an ability check in my view rather than a passive check unless it was some kind of (weird?) situation where listening for whispering behind doors was an ongoing task while traveling. And then, of course, only an ability check if the task described by the player had an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure.
    102 replies | 2508 view(s)
    0 XP
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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.)

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.


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Monday, 19th November, 2018


Thursday, 15th November, 2018

  • 04:49 PM - SkidAce quoted Imaculata in post Of Ships and Sea: The Problems
    I'm running a 3.5 pirate campaign at the moment, which uses the rules from Stormwreck. Its a clunky system, so we've had to make a lot of homebrew adjustments. First of all we added dozens of flintlock weapons and cannons to the game, with misfire rules to balance things out. But in 3.5 naval combat is mostly about progressing the battle to a boarding action as soon as possible, because ship against ship isn't as interesting, thanks to the clunky rules. I came up with an alternative system that borrows some rules from Mass Combat for Pathfinder. It allows us to simplify the naval combat, so we can easily play out huge battles between many ships. Could you provide your final set of rules? If not, I have access to those rules and will cobble it together. Either way, thanks for the ideas.

Saturday, 10th November, 2018


Wednesday, 31st October, 2018


Friday, 19th October, 2018

  • 07:51 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted Imaculata in post Adventures with extensive backstory
    Skywalker is a terrible name as well, only it is meant to be campy. The bad name is intentional with Star Wars. But try saying the name "Glasstaff" to yourself, and now say the name "Sharokina". Which of the two sounds more menacing? Opinions can of course differ on what makes a good name (and thats fine), but for me, it is definitely the latter that sounds better. Then there's a name like Aram Seen the Unseen, which I only had to mention once and my players never forgot it. It has a lyrical quality to it that just makes it work. Phandelver iself is indeed also a terrible name, while a name like Gundigroot kind of rolls off the tongue, and it is funny to say. Furnok of Ferd is an alliteration, and there for by definition easier to remember and say. Good names are really important if I want to enjoy running an adventure. I want my players to be able to remember the names of npc's, and not be calling one of the main npc's "that dwarf guy, what's his face". Eh, to each their own. I grew up w...
  • 05:03 AM - Lanefan quoted Imaculata in post Adventures with extensive backstory
    Heck, I didn't even make it past one of the first blocks of text in Lost Mines of Phandelver before my eyes started to roll over. Phandalin, Cragmaw tribe, Gundren Rockseeker and his escort named Sildar Hallwinter, villains called Glasstaff and The Black Spider, Old Owl Well, the town of Thundertree, Wave Echo Cave... Those names, every single one of them, is TERRIBLE. I'm sure the adventure itself is fine (I've heard positive things about it), but I cannot get past the bad names. For new players, however, I've found the best option to get them in and get them engaged is to do exactly what the writers did here: go stereotypical and then take it just a bit over the top. You can always branch out the the not-so-OTT stuff later. :) But these names, given what they're intended to be doing, are excellent! Lan-"...the town of Shipwreck, on Shipwreck Cove, on the island of Shipwreck..."-efan

Saturday, 13th October, 2018

  • 12:42 AM - Shasarak quoted Imaculata in post Adventures with extensive backstory
    But try saying the name "Glasstaff" to yourself, and now say the name "Sharokina". Which of the two sounds more menacing? Opinions can of course differ on what makes a good name (and thats fine), but for me, it is definitely the latter that sounds better. I agree with you about terrible names and on the other hand the thought of being whacked with a Glass Staff sounds menacing especially getting the glass splinters out!

Friday, 12th October, 2018

  • 02:59 PM - billd91 quoted Imaculata in post Adventures with extensive backstory
    Phandelver iself is indeed also a terrible name, while a name like Gundigroot kind of rolls off the tongue, and it is funny to say. Furnok of Ferd is an alliteration, and there for by definition easier to remember and say. Good names are really important if I want to enjoy running an adventure. I want my players to be able to remember the names of npc's, and not be calling one of the main npc's "that dwarf guy, what's his face". Good names is often in the eye (ear) of the beholder. Many Gygaxian names are memorable because they sound ridiculous. Many don't roll off the tongue at all - if you can even manage to give them a reasonable pronunciation.
  • 11:22 AM - Morrus quoted Imaculata in post Adventures with extensive backstory
    And what kind of name is Glasstaff? That doesn't inspire any mystery or fear. I have villains in my campaign called Sharokina, Karagoz, Lady Mori, Aram Seen the Unseen, Sahastra. A villain-name has to sound kind of cool, right? It may very well be that Glasstaff is a really interesting character, who plays a very cool part in the overal story, but I cannot get beyond that name. I can't run a module with poor names. I personally prefer names like Glasstaff and The Black Spider over Sharokina and Sahastra, as there's no way on earth I'm going to remember the latter. And I don't think Glasstaff is any worse than Skywalker.

Sunday, 7th October, 2018

  • 12:49 PM - Morrus quoted Imaculata in post Aquaman Extended Trailer
    maybe the fact that they are releasing such a big trailer is an indication that the studio is insecure as well? What an odd thing to say.
  • 10:48 AM - Tonguez quoted Imaculata in post Aquaman Extended Trailer
    A lot of the action in this trailer looks like watching a videogame. I still don't think this will be a good movie, and maybe the fact that they are releasing such a big trailer is an indication that the studio is insecure as well? really? If the studio was insecure wouldnt they be more likely to hide it and distract? Thus I'd think the opposite was true. The studio is very confident in the new brighter, technicolor epic that they have crafted and so want to show it off as much as possible so people forget the old dark and gritty criticism of the other movies. Indeed the mix of humour. colour, and sci-fi spectacle seems to be aiming directly at the fanbase who embraced Thor Ragnarok and Black Panther I'm personally excited as a fan of the Romancing the Stone type Adventuring Archeologist genre that seems to be part of this mix.

Saturday, 6th October, 2018

  • 09:51 PM - Herosmith14 quoted Imaculata in post You find a magical _____, it does _____
    Shalmanezer's Scroll of Subterfuge This single use blank scroll can be placed over any spellbook, to instantly steal one of the highest level spells from the book. The stolen spell is automatically inscribed on the scroll, and vanishes from the spellbook. Once the scroll has stolen a spell, it becomes an ordinary spell scroll. Next: A mystical jeweled chakram. Chakram of Etrenal Imprisonment Weapon(chakram), Legendary (requires attunement) This chakram constructed of gold and mythril had two large gems implanted in its handle, which can be removed and replaced. The chakram has two charges. When an attuned creature hits with an attack using it, they may expend a charge to cast the Imprisonment spell (DC 15) upon the target, instead of dealing damage. The spell is automatically set to the crystal prison, using one of the gems in the handle, and dies not require material components beyond the jewels. The chakram regain 1d2 charges every week, and the spell can used as long as it has charges ...
  • 04:47 PM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Does this mean that you don't want to play in a campaign that has a plot? Or do you mean that you don't like a campaign that is too 'scripted'?I'm not 100% sure I'm understanding you right (not because you've been unclear, but just because words like "plot" and "story" get used in different ways by different posters); but I think my answers are "no" and "yes". If you look at any of my actual play posts (I've got a lot, mostly on the 4e and General boards) you'll see that I generally favour protagonist-oriented, conflict-driven RPGing. The stories this generates aren't going to win me or my group any Nobel prizes, but they're fun to play in. What I don't like is GM pre-authored story, where the main contribution of the players is either to follow along the GM's narration (if the story is overt, like in many 80s and 90s TSR modules), or to puzzle their way through a series of mysteries to work out what it is the GM (or module writer) had in mind (this is the standard structure of a CoC modul...
  • 03:54 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Imaculata in post Shootout at the D&D Corral
    Well, even back in the pirate era there were multi-shot weapons. I've included 6-shot, 8-shot and 12-shot pepperbox pistols in my campaign as rare loot. I've also included pistols that fire 2 bullets simultaneously, which allows the players to make two attacks. Also, people would carry multiple weapons, such as a bandolier of loaded pistols, or have a shooter and loaders. If you have monsters that are using guns, one way to represent that is to have some servitor monsters doing the loading. For example, if the shooter is a highly trained hobgoblin, there could be some goblin loaders. Part of the tactics would be to kill off the loaders. Clockwork can also make things be much cooler and more effective than Ye Olde gunnes should be. You can also reskin and have spells like Firebolt work with a gun as the focus, potentially making this work with an Eldritch Knight. What I do in my game is have clockwork weapons show up as cool treasure. For example: Ysviden's Rifle (Very Rare, Attunement: Spec...
  • 07:11 AM - Lanefan quoted Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I've left a game where the DM allowed another player to kill my character. It didn't help that the DM allowed my character to miraculously survive the assassination, because how did he expect our two characters to ever work together again? That is not a minor disagreement that you can just sweep under the rug and pretend it never happened. Of course not. One or both of your characters probably has to leave the party at this point, or failing that there's gonna be a showdown at some point. Which to me is all fair game. I've both won and lost these battles, and don't mind fighting more of them. That said, I usually don't initiate them these days but will fully and forcefully engage if provoked. :) This is why I establish a clear "no-pvp" rule during the session 0 of any campaign I run. Any player that objects to that, is welcome to leave my table.I'd be out. If it's true to what the character would do were it an NPC, AFAIC it's all just fine. That said, if it comes out of character a...

Friday, 5th October, 2018

  • 09:44 AM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    So you never describe a room that has furniture in it? Because details about a room that aren't necessarily important for gameplay do occur plenty of times in my experience. No. What I'm saying is that if the players decide to pay attention to the furniture, then I'm not going to unilaterally decide that there's nothing interesting there. Also, and referring back to my response upthread to Campbell, I normally wouldn't describe the furniture in any more detail than I would describe the clothes or the crockery or the tablecloth. Classic D&D is obsessed with the details of furnishings (how many wardrobes, and where they are) for a gameplay reason, to do with the particular dynamics of dungeon exploration. GIven that that gameplay reason doesn't apply in my case, I don't have to place that same distinct focus on furniture. What if the players want to interrogate a prisoner who is willing to give them information, and does not need to be intimidated? Auto-success if they press him for informat...

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 06:45 PM - 5ekyu quoted Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Let me illustrate with an example: The players are in a dungeon, and they enter a room with (among other things) a pile of rubble in it. There is nothing in the pile of rubble, it is just dungeon decoration. Tom: I search the pile of rubble! (Starts rolling Search check) 20! DM: You find nothing of interest. Tom: -But I rolled a 20! All of this can be avoided if the DM is the one calling for a check, or in this case not-asking for a check. This also avoids situations where a player makes a skillcheck, when the DM wants him to make a different skillcheck, and cases where an action is going to auto-succeed. This can also help the players focus more on stating an approach to their actions, rather than immediately throwing their dice before an action has been properly stated.Why does it need to be avoided? Just say "yes you rolled a 20 and your character is sure theres nothing there but rubble." The issue you cite is a confusion over whether search is "do i find something interesting" check...
  • 06:04 PM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    It may just be part of the fluff description of the room, or it may be a decorative element visible on a bunch of dungeon tiles. Whatever the case may be, I think there are plenty of situations in which a room may contain objects that don't lead to riches. Is that really so odd for a DM to include in the room description?Just in passing, I didn't say anything about "leading to riches". But on the main point, generally if I call something out, I think it's open for it to matter. I mean, maybe it won't because the players won't care about it, but if they do then I'm happy to see what happens. Here's an actual play example from a while ago now: As the PCs continue through the tunnels, I described them coming to a cleft in the floor, and got them to describe how they would cross it. The drow sorcerer indicated that he would first fly over (using 16th level At Will Dominant Winds) and then . . . before he could finish, I launched into my beholder encounter, which I had designed inspired by t...
  • 04:26 PM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Let me illustrate with an example: The players are in a dungeon, and they enter a room with (among other things) a pile of rubble in it. There is nothing in the pile of rubble, it is just dungeon decoration. Tom: I search the pile of rubble! (Starts rolling Search check) 20! DM: You find nothing of interest. Tom: -But I rolled a 20! All of this can be avoided if the DM is the one calling for a check, or in this case not-asking for a check. My first thought in response to this was (1) why is the GM calling out stuff that s/he has already decided won't matter ("dungeon decoration") and (2) the player hasn't specified what s/he is looking for. Like Aldarc I enjoy "fiction first" play, but I think that is a bit orthogonal to your example - because in Dungeon World a player who declares I search the rubble is closely studying a person or situation, which automatically triggers the Discern Realities move (DW p 68). And the Dungeon World rules say (p 18) that When a player descr...
  • 03:51 PM - billd91 quoted Imaculata in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Let me illustrate with an example: The players are in a dungeon, and they enter a room with (among other things) a pile of rubble in it. There is nothing in the pile of rubble, it is just dungeon decoration. Tom: I search the pile of rubble! (Starts rolling Search check) 20! DM: You find nothing of interest. Tom: -But I rolled a 20! All of this can be avoided if the DM is the one calling for a check, or in this case not-asking for a check. This also avoids situations where a player makes a skillcheck, when the DM wants him to make a different skillcheck, and cases where an action is going to auto-succeed. What's the problem here? So the player made a good skill roll that didn't net him anything. So what?!? And if the player jumped the gun and rolled the wrong check, all the DM has to do is ask for the right one. This can also help the players focus more on stating an approach to their actions, rather than immediately throwing their dice before an action has been proper...


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