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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Today, 04:20 AM
    Look here: @is3rith's Adventure Scenarios https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_fid=4081&share_tid=470673&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eenworld%2Eorg%2Fforum%2Fshowthread%2Ephp%3Ft%3D470673&share_type=t Every one of those is great.
    1 replies | 4 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 04:18 AM
    The standard set forth and the rules for How to Play are certainly longer than a single line. Taken as a whole, it informs us what the game expects which in turn informs my approach. I wouldn't call what you do house-ruling. It's just an approach I find works better with other games like D&D 3e or D&D 4e. And neither of our approaches for D&D 5e would work well with, say, Dungeon World....
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:56 AM
    Ah I see. I think that's a common outcome of viewing things as as "would" rather than "could." It's a safer assertion to say that a reason a creature could turn its attention to another creature is if that it is the biggest threat. Or it could find the wolf annoying and go after it to its own detriment. And that's really where the DM's and players' heads should be at in my view when playing...
    26 replies | 368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 03:25 AM
    The rules lay out who gets to say what and a standard for reasonable specificity, particularly in regards to searching for hidden objects. I might be less concerned with that and more open to players asking to make ability checks if I wasn't playing D&D 5e. It would certainly be appropriate for D&D 3e and 4e as the rules encourage it. But those are different games.
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 02:58 AM
    iserith replied to "House" Rules
    Agreed. I mean, it's important to examine the actual play experience that arises given more strict rules for identifying magic items: The loot goes in a bag with the PCs' spare socks and underwear and sits there until the "clean-up phase" of the session when loot and XP are divvied up. It tends to become a dull transaction that simply delays the use of the cool stuff the PCs earned, as you say. ...
    11 replies | 177 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 02:34 AM
    As DM, I prefer not to play the characters for the players. That's not my role in the game as prescribed by the rules. You are wrong in this interpretation. The questions I asked were in reference to your declaration of a goal to find traps. I may need to know the requested information with reasonable specificity to decide whether your approach to the goal is successful, unsuccessful, or...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 02:12 AM
    So are you okay with the DM just establishing what your character is doing? Or does he or she have to ask questions of you until what you want to do is clear enough to adjudicate? How does that work in practice? If a player only gives me a goal (search for traps), I don't have an approach (how the search is conducted) and thus I can't decide if there is certainty or uncertainty to the outcome or...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 01:22 AM
    That's not my position in any case, as evidenced by my previous posts. The comment was made in jest. What was your DM's reasoning for disadvantage on the check? Sometimes DMs do that so the task you're attempting isn't seen as a great option in the future.
    26 replies | 368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 12:43 AM
    iserith replied to "House" Rules
    Every game I've been in that had critical failure house rules was absolutely boring in all respects, sluggish start to finish, with a lot of "nothing happens" after failed rolls. Social interactions were ponderous and combats were dull. I'm convinced those DMs added the critical failure house rules because it was the only time something potentially funny happened all session. It seems to me if...
    11 replies | 177 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 12:23 AM
    Magnets. Players who state they are staying alert to hidden danger while traveling the dungeon and don't turn their attention to other tasks that distract from that effort get to apply their passive Perception when the DM determines surprise. Where in the room are you looking? Do you move about the whole chamber freely? Is there any feature of the room as describe that you're...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:50 PM
    Sounds like it's time to get your wolf familiar leveled up in battle master then.
    26 replies | 368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:38 PM
    I'm not so sure. If it's a straight single roll to resolve uncertainty, an argument can be made that the difficulty comes in getting both of them to agree to the same course of action (put the whole at risk to go after the taunting wolf). "An ettin bullies and argues with itself constantly..." As well, while the ettin's Two Heads trait does not address the issue of taunting specifically, it...
    26 replies | 368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:37 PM
    This is probably a little more complicated than I would generally like, especially if I'm making a ruling in the moment. I'd also prefer a static DC instead of a contest here. The DC I chose happens to be the ettin's passive Insight, for what it's worth.
    26 replies | 368 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:17 PM
    The dispute highlights why I generally only ask for the ability check and permit the player to add the skill proficiency he or she thinks applies, based on the approach to the goal the player described. Simply put, the player is going to have a better idea of what he or she means even if it's not communicated as clearly as it could have been. In this case, I would have asked for a DC 10 Charisma...
    26 replies | 368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:06 PM
    I think you might’ve been more persuasive describing a feint rather than a taunt. Your intent seems to me to have been to coax the opponent into a sub-optimal move rather than to get it to attack a specific target (which could also be circumstantially sub-optimal), per se. I’d have allowed it. I’d have probably clarified your intent first but I’d go with an opposed charisma...
    26 replies | 368 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:57 PM
    For #2, I would not really call it a gotcha if there has been an expectation set that loot chests commonly have traps on them.
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:28 PM
    Bringing my last post back around to the central topic, telegraphing performs much the same role in social interaction challenges. If you're telegraphing the NPC's truthfulness (or lack thereof), the same applies: It rewards players who pay attention to the DM's description of the social interaction, draw reasonable conclusions, and engage with it accordingly. It cuts down on players trying...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:20 PM
    It rewards players who pay attention to the DM's description of the environment, draw reasonable conclusions, and engage with it accordingly. It cuts down on players searching everything methodically as they try to avoid random traps. It avoids the perception of the trap being a "gotcha." Even if the PCs don't pick up on the clues and wander right into it (which happens sometimes no matter...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:26 PM
    It's amazing to me that more players don't think this way. I suspect it's due in part to DMs not having any meaningful consequences for failing, which is a prerequisite for there being a roll in the first place. If it rarely costs you anything to fail, you may as well just offer up half an idea and ask to roll.
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:00 PM
    Not mine! Trying to roll is not a great strategy for success.
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:57 PM
    Yes, and as DM, I want to limit the amount of assumptions I'm making about what the character is actually doing. For one, it's not my role as DM to say what the character does and, for another, I don't want to create a situation where the player may object to what I establish (e.g. "I didn't say I was moving toward the dragon statue..."). If a player states a clear goal and approach that takes...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:07 AM
    I think that argument relies on reading my intent. As for whether anyone else feels defensive, I couldn’t say. As for attacks, I do ask that you give a reasonable statement regarding your intent. You’ll need to have specified, at minimum, which target. “I attack the nearest goblin with my sword” is perfectly sufficient. As we’ve discussed before. And there are situations in which no attack...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:50 AM
    Fair enough. The text of the game: “Insight. Your Wisdom (Insight) check decides whether you can determine the true intentions of a creature, such as when searching out a lie or predicting someone’s next move. Doing so involves gleaning clues from body language, speech habits, and changes in mannerisms.” My reading is definitely not the only interpretation. There is a reading of that...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:27 AM
    I hear you. Once I ask for a roll, I don’t count a result of 1 as an automatic fail. But there are things that cannot succeed on their own merit regardless of a result of the die roll. Just as there are no automatic failures, there are no automatic successes as a result of a check. But before we ask for a check, we determine whether or not a proposed action is possible, or if it can’t...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:36 AM
    First, the player can't decide to "roll to search for it." The DM's the only one who can decide if there's an ability check, after the player has described an action along those lines that has both an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure. So let's say there is no trap. The player describes the search. The DM then narrates the result that there is no trap found without a...
    23 replies | 431 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 10:24 PM
    Just use your 2E stuff. IMO Ravenloft is way more about setting, tone, and lore than it is about getting the right mechanics for curses. In a pinch, the DMG (of 258) has some rules for madness. You can do a very quick hack of that for RL. I’d also put in a Sanity stat, like constitution. Except every 3 failed madness/horror saves result in a loss of 1 sanity. 0 sanity and your character...
    13 replies | 305 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 10:12 PM
    Nailed it.
    4 replies | 209 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 09:48 PM
    I think, if you want to take that position, then the insight check is determining the character’s certainty that the NPC is lying/truthful, but says absolutely nothing about whether that NPC is lying or not. I’ve seen that in play. It works. I just don’t care for that, particularly, because I think it’s up to the player to determine what the character thinks and how they feel - not the dice....
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 09:40 PM
    I suppose that depends on how we think about it. In case you're not following all the posts in the concurrent thread on Insight checks to determine truthfulness, one of the things I mentioned might be useful here: I would say that may blunt any concern over hiding Insight checks from players, unless you can think of other situations where it's ideal for them not to know the result.
    23 replies | 431 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 09:25 PM
    ^ This. There is a tendency to want to go to the dice the moment an action is offered which sounds like it could be an ability check, but that's not always the best choice given the situation.
    23 replies | 431 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 08:49 PM
    Who is telling the player what they can or cannot attempt? And who is insulted or mad? I think I might see the source of your confusion. I’ll let you two work it out.
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 08:20 PM
    I’m not conflating those things but now that you bring it up, doing it this way does have the added benefit of AVOIDING gotchas. So there’s another compelling reason, if you’re looking for one. As for the sword, I’m sure you can work out why it’s relevant that what’s said and done in game is an important part of play. If not, assume I rolled a diplomacy check to convince you. My reasons...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 08:19 PM
    Getting back to telling truth from lies, here's how I view this as a DM: A lie in a social interaction challenge is similar to a trap in an exploration challenge. If you're telegraphing traps in an exploration challenge, you should be telegraphing lies in a social interaction challenge. Players engaging with NPCs and always trying to discern their truthfulness is the same as players searching for...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 07:46 PM
    Here’s how it’s different if I’m your DM. Same setup with the glamoured Wall. PC1: I’m going to climb it. DM: ok, how? Free climb? Use your climber’s kit? It looks pretty smooth to you. PC1: ok I’ll use my climber’s kit and sink a piton in first as a base. DM: great, using your climber’s kit you ascend the wall. As it turns out, it’s not nearly as smooth as it seems to be and you move...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 07:40 PM
    You might try "The Forge of Fury" from Tales from the Yawning Portal. You can likely buy this module on Roll20 so that the maps and whatnot are set up. I know I got it as part of a TFtYP bundle a while back. It's meant for 3rd- to 5th-level PCs. Starting at 4th level seems fine if you're working with new players. I'd also like to recommend checking this out as a new DM: How to Adjudicate...
    4 replies | 209 view(s)
    6 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 07:34 PM
    As a player, I'm not sure how I'd respond. Since I'm a DM primarily and can't help but see things through that lens, I'd be concerned about the kind of game the DM was running and how he or she viewed the adjudication process. But I'd have to see how it goes in practice. As a DM, I would not see any value in this approach. This looks to be something that is intended to keep the players in the...
    23 replies | 431 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 07:10 PM
    I would add that the player is obligated to describe what he or she wants to do, just like the DM is obligated to describe the environment and narrate the result of the adventurers's actions (among other things). Describing what he or she wants to do is the player's role and responsibility in this game. I think it's just fine to encourage players to live up to their responsibilities and say what...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 06:51 PM
    “Bad” suggests a value judgment that I’m not making. So I decline to defend a position I haven’t taken. My choice is DM option 4. “Hold up with the dice for a second. Why are you making an athletics check? You can just climb without a check, at half your movement rate. Asking to make the check is essentially asking for the opportunity to fail. Would you like to fail here?” Comes down to...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 06:23 PM
    Are you referring to D&D 5e? If you are, none of that is true. At all. A player can say what the character thinks, which (to build on your example) might include what he or she thinks about the weaknesses of fiends. He or she can then have the character act accordingly. Here's the problem though: The player, and thus the character, might be wrong. The player might have gotten the weaknesses...
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 05:21 PM
    This isn't a chicken-and-the-egg scenario. The game puts no restriction on actions based on player or character knowledge. You're adding that and your solution to the problem you've created is the social contract - getting all your players to agree this is a problem and to go to the DM for his or her blessing on what the character knows before acting. All I need to do is just play the game as is....
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 05:13 PM
    The D&D 3e and D&D 4e rules explicitly encouraged players to ask to make rolls and for the DM to be open to it. So if you play in a D&D 4e game that I run, ask for all the rolls you want! D&D 5e, however, has nothing like that in its rules. The player describes what he or she wants to do, that's all. (Or at most can ask if a particular skill proficiency applies to an ability check the DM has...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 05:05 PM
    I was an investigator for 12 years and now I supervise a team of investigators. Civil/insurance fraud, generally, sometimes criminal. Our ability to “detect” lies is no better or more reliable than a coin toss. The very best of us are right 55% of the time. We know when people are lying after we compare statements given to other records and witness accounts. I’ve never once used “sweat on the...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 03:43 PM
    I wouldn’t say you were too “gamist” but that’s largely because I find no value in Forge-waffle. Apart from that, when I played (for a very limited time) 1st edition, my DM did ALL the rolling except damage dice. Now I was 8, and that’s fair. But he rolled everyone else too (his brothers) and they were 9 and 12. In 2nd, I remember rolling to hit and making ability checks when asked to by the...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 09:51 AM
    That seems to be a narrative decission to me. Some npc's are good liars and you can't tell that they are lying, some are bad liars and you might be able to tell, and some are terrible liars and no check is needed. There are auto-fails, auto-successes, and a few edge cases. For the most part, I lean towards auto-fail. I assume that all my npc's are competent and try their best to lie. If the...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 04:26 AM
    I ask the player what the character is doing to determine whether or not the NPC is telling the truth and then determine the DC based on the approach.
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:31 PM
    It's totally a manufactured problem, a self-inflicted wound, that comes from setting a requirement that a character needs to know something to take action. I've already shown a couple of examples where these are decoupled: You don't need to know the troll is weak to fire to lob a fire bolt at it. You don't need to know that gargoyles are weak to adamantine to hit a statue with an adamantine...
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:26 PM
    I probably wouldn't go that route, but I wouldn't be offended as a player if a DM ruled that way.
    812 replies | 54547 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 04:30 PM
    Haha, thanks. Yeah those scenarios are part of a larger adventure called "Trope." When I go back and read those, I can definitely see how much 4e influence I still had in my thinking.
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 04:19 PM
    I didn't read, play, or run any of the D&D Next playtest adventures with the exception of Mines of Madness which I played in. At the time, I was writing up my own scenarios for the playtest called Next World which lampooned the new edition and the forum discussions that were going on.
    812 replies | 54547 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 03:16 PM
    My campaigns always include a great deal of humor. We have our moments of suspense, romance and drama. But there is always room to laugh as well. My players aren't in-character 100% of the time, and there's plenty of room for OC-jokes and remarks at the table. But then there are the epic moments as well. The moments where one of the players comes up with an amazing speech, or does something...
    48 replies | 1315 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 01:36 PM
    I just ordered the dungeon furniture from ebay, because you can never haver enough of that. I still want to get that metal scorpion as well, because it fits a monster I want to use some time in my current campaign. Most of the other minis are a bit meh though.
    8 replies | 352 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 11:53 AM
    The first game was enjoyable, if unfinished and very buggy. It was a diamond in the rough... if the diamond in question crashed a lot and had a lot of its content scrapped. I'm cautiously excited about this announcement. Making a videogame like the Vampire the Masquerade today is a massive undertaking, and it is hard to do it justice. I hope it stays true to its RPG nature and doesn't become a...
    5 replies | 160 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 09:12 AM
    One puzzle that I used last year, was one where the players need to match the quotes of famous characters to their names. How it works, is that you insert a location early on in the dungeon where the players can find three famous quotations by three famous characters (perhaps in the form of a mural or statues). Then later in the dungeon they can encounter a door that has 6 rotating metal...
    5 replies | 161 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 08:50 AM
    I had a short encounter in my campaign where my players were sailing the world, when they noticed a strange fortress in the shape of a skull in the middle of the ocean. A booming voice warned them not to come any closer, or he would incinerate their ship. A few fireballs flew out to sea to make an intimidating display. He also warned them that he could strike them from any angle, so they'd better...
    812 replies | 54547 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 08:38 AM
    Insight isn't a lie detector, and neither is sense motive in older editions. When an npc lies, you generally can't tell, unless the DM decides that the npc exhibits a remarkable behavior. And if that be the case, a player can ask wether they can tell what this behavior means... and then (possibly) you roll insight against the npc's deception to determine what it means, but not wether the npc...
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:37 AM
    I would say it's a great attempt, but falls short in some areas. Still, LMoP remains my favorite D&D 5e module so far.
    812 replies | 54547 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:27 AM
    Terminally serious.
    48 replies | 1315 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:14 AM
    Players in my game would say it's very challenging, but fast-paced and hilarious. But I can't claim credit for that. I just set the stage.
    48 replies | 1315 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 05:10 AM
    I likely don't set a DC. The character succeeds, no roll, perhaps because the truthful NPC exhibits no body language, speech habit, or change in mannerisms that suggest a deception.
    150 replies | 2885 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Quickleaf's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd March, 2019, 12:58 AM
    The puzzle ran great at my table. Players were very engaged. They ended up destroying the door gargoyle, creatively nullifying the serpent gargoyle with mold earth, using the oathbreaker paladin PC's Control Undead to communicate with the skulls, and collectively solving the puzzle. It was definitely a challenge, but they rose to the challenge. Sounds like if I was DMing for your group, I'd...
    439 replies | 149298 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 11:09 PM
    First, I wouldn't use an adventure module as proof of anything about the actual rules of the game, especially modules that were written early on in the design process. Leaving that aside, the doppelganger can try to deceive the PCs. It just tells the lies and then it's on the players to declare an action along the lines of wanting to determine the doppelganger's truthfulness (or agenda or...
    812 replies | 54547 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 11:05 PM
    How would you know with certainty? And more importantly, why even care? It's a manufactured problem (and mostly the DM's fault to boot).
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 10:48 PM
    Those two actions are not necessarily dependent upon each other. Whether the player is or isn't experienced doesn't matter. As above, not noticing anything peculiar about the statue and hitting it with an adamantine blade are not necessarily dependent upon one another. An attempt to recall lore can be, in effect, trying to verify an assumption you may have about trolls or...
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 09:50 PM
    Charisma (Deception) might be used as a way to calculate the DC for an uncertain action to assess the doppelganger's truthfulness, its agenda, or its personal characteristics (personality trait, ideal, bond, or flaw). Charisma (Intimidation) or Charisma (Persuasion) might be used to resolve a contest between a player character and an NPC to influence some other NPC. Since an ability check is...
    812 replies | 54547 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 06:26 PM
    Yeah, without the additional context of my table rules document, it does sound cold-blooded. But here is what I tell players up front: "Describe what you want to do by stating a clear goal and approach - what you hope to achieve and how you set about doing it. A question is not a statement of goal and approach, nor is asking to make an ability check or the like." There is no need then to Ask...
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    6 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 05:32 PM
    When I run D&D games and a player asks me, "Would I know about X?" my response is typically "I can only describe the environment and narrate the result of your actions. Do you have an action you want to take?" I discourage all questions from players in most cases, but this one in particular is a sign that the player comes from the kind of game where the DM has to sign off on what you know before...
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 04:22 PM
    They would be useful in verifying assumptions the player may have regarding the dragon's stat, power, weakness, etc. Presumably, the player does not know with certainty that the dragon's stat block is unchanged from the Monster Manual. If the player does know that the stat block has not changed, then it's not as useful.
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:56 PM
    I usually assign a range of CRs for a given adventure location and then use the charts in Xanathar's. In my Hills of Argh adventure location, for example, I just use the CR 5-10 random encounters for Hills from XGtE. It works great. Sometimes the encounters are overwhelming because the players are on the low end of that tier and the resulting encounter is very Deadly. Sometimes it's a cakewalk. I...
    9 replies | 215 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:49 PM
    Not being able to recall a troll's weakness doesn't stop you from lighting a torch and hitting the troll with it. Or lobbing alchemist's fire. That's a player stating an action to deduce based on available clues whether the statue is something more than a statue. The DM finds the action to have an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure and calls for an Intelligence check...
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 02:39 PM
    I would say you're adding to the D&D 5e's definition of "metagame thinking." Taken as a whole, the DM is told to discourage "metagame thinking" because it can lead the players to getting their characters killed (by assuming the DM would not throw powerful monsters at lower-levels PCs) or wasting valuable session time (by over-exploring an otherwise normal door they thought the DM took longer than...
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 12:49 PM
    It would help if you already had a location or situation in mind.
    5 replies | 161 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 07:27 AM
    Pretty wild and horrifying! I wouldn’t want to go in without a reliable cleric.
    14 replies | 1472 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:58 PM
    Sure. Lots of people have all kinds of relationships (working, romantic, familial) with folks who have very different values and ethoi. It can be a relationship colored by conflict, passion, or even cool, dispassionate consideration. By way of example I employ a small group of people. We all have varied political, religious, philosophical, romantic, ideas, values, and experiences. But we...
    24 replies | 617 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:53 PM
    I don't see it as "no longer working in 5e." It's not like D&D 5e is a software patch. It's a different game. Rules in D& 3.5e don't apply to D&D 5e.
    47 replies | 1304 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:33 PM
    From what I've seen, I think some do. I know I did and groups with whom I played did. We were the real roleplayers. Those other guys - those metagamers - they weren't roleplaying. Not really. Tribalism isn't good or bad (or is both good and bad depending on outcomes). It just is.
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:18 PM
    You will note that nowhere in my post do I say that I think I'm "enlightened." We're all subject to tribalism.
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Having been steeped in this mode of play for more than half of my D&D life (but no longer), I think that it is really just a form of tribal identification, since the approach doesn't really seem to achieve its purported goals in my experience, at least not as well as other methods. "Our tribe thinks and does things this way. Other tribes do things some other way." This tribal loyalty would also...
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 07:20 PM
    In D&D 5e, lawful good is defined as someone who can be "counted on to do the right thing as expected by society." That's all we have to go by. Reading into it any further or bringing in definitions of that alignment from other games only serves to confuse the issue. So the question is: "Is this the right thing to do as expected by society?" Whether it is or isn't, it should also be noted that...
    24 replies | 617 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 06:38 PM
    In a D&D 5e context, the DM describes the environment (which would include the necessary telegraphing, one hopes) then the player can describe what he or she wants to do. That might include some attempt to recall lore about trolls, or make a deduction about this troll in particular, which the DM can then adjudicate into success, failure, or uncertainty, the latter of which would call for an...
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Out of curiosity, since a couple people have mentioned it, are there any rules about tumbling to avoid or mitigate falling damage? Because to my knowledge, that is not a thing in D&D 5e. That sounds like a rule that is being imported from some other game.
    47 replies | 1304 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 05:40 PM
    I think the easiest way to deal with "metagaming" is to just set the expectation that the DM (and other players) shouldn't care how another player makes decisions for his or her character - it's nobody's business but that player's. However, the player is forewarned that his or her assumptions may not be correct and that it's smart play to verify one's assumptions by taking action in the game. A...
    1847 replies | 50238 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:59 PM
    I would have a shady church member approach the imprisoned players and offer them a way out of the whole ordeal. Perhaps someone who wishes to dethrone the High inquisitor, and then blame his death on the players? If the players accept his help, he will organize an attack on the High inquisitor during the trial of the players while making sure most of the men present during the trial are...
    9 replies | 288 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:50 PM
    Nothing on the internet is worth getting so worked up about.
    15 replies | 756 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:44 PM
    I still play 3rd edition (specifically 3.5), because a wealth of books exist for it (more than for 5th edition) and I have quite a lot of them. It is also compatible with pathfinder, so there's an infinite amount of resources to harvest from. The quality of the books is also really good. Secondly, because I really like the system. It is easy to understand and pickup, and offers just the right...
    113 replies | 6114 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:16 AM
    I think the two-barbarians-vs.-one-wizard "problem" is easily fixed by examining one's presuppositions and adjusting them for this game.
    66 replies | 1993 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 01:28 PM
    If I was in a party like this, I'd suggest we put one person in front to stay alert to dangers and one person behind or next to him or her who works together on the same task. That means there's a passive Perception of 17 detecting hidden monsters and traps as the PCs move through the dungeon. (The person doing the work together task is automatically surprised if lurking monsters attack, but at...
    66 replies | 1993 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 12:39 PM
    I had a former lover of one of the PC's turn into an avatar of the vermin goddess Theelian'tara, Lady of the Flesh. It was an elven maiden he had casually written into his backstory, but then as the campaign progressed he had kind of forgotten about it. Over the course of the campaign his elven character fell in love with someone new. So I had this former lover show up at the most inconvenient...
    21 replies | 749 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 06:36 AM
    Content. If I’m spending a year at level 3, it better be a year filled with all manner of people, places, and plots. If I’m spending a year at level 3 in the same town, fighting the same band of goblins, for the same ungrateful NPCs, then my interest is as blunt as my sword. The award is content.
    36 replies | 823 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 04:31 PM
    Right. The DM is not obligated to ask for an ability check if he or she does not think the outcome of the task is uncertain.
    66 replies | 1993 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 04:02 PM
    Technically, the jumping is... no ability check at all, except in certain circumstances. (See PHB p. 182.) In my experience, DMs ask for way too many ability checks for jumping, climbing, and swimming when these things are factors of speed in D&D 5e. It often leads to PCs looking like chumps.
    47 replies | 1304 view(s)
    2 XP
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Monday, 25th March, 2019

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

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

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

Sunday, 10th February, 2019

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

Saturday, 9th February, 2019

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

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

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

Monday, 27th August, 2018

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

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

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

Sunday, 24th June, 2018

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

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

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

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

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

Tuesday, 29th May, 2018

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

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

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

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

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

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?


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Sunday, 24th March, 2019

  • 01:45 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    If a PC asks to roll Insight against an NPC telling the truth... Slight point of order here... I've found the game works best as intended: the players don't call for rolls - the DM calls for a roll only if there is a chance of success or failure and there is a meaningful consequence to failure to the PCs' actions. So like this: I ask the player what the character is doing to determine whether or not the NPC is telling the truth and then determine the DC based on the approach. Of course, with no meaningful consequence of failure, I'd go with this: I likely don't set a DC. The character succeeds, no roll, perhaps because the truthful NPC exhibits no body language, speech habit, or change in mannerisms that suggest a deception. And keep in mind: A player is always the final arbiter as to whether their character is persuaded or intimidated. Indeed, the player has every right to roleplay their character as naive or paranoid. No specific die roll needed to do so. And more good a...

Saturday, 23rd March, 2019

  • 06:44 PM - Harzel quoted Imaculata in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Insight isn't a lie detector, and neither is sense motive in older editions. When an npc lies, you generally can't tell, unless the DM decides that the npc exhibits a remarkable behavior. And how does the DM make that decision? To me, it seems that is exactly what the Deception skill is intended for. And if that be the case, a player can ask wether they can tell what this behavior means... and then (possibly) you roll insight against the npc's deception to determine what it means, but not wether the npc lies. The players may be able to deduce some things that give them a clue regarding whether the npc is telling the truth, but it is still up to them to interpret it how they wish. For example, an npc might be throwing a suspicious look at someone else at the bar. Determining what that means would require an insight check. Or, an npc may be making a secret gesture at another npc, again, roll insight. Or, an npc may be acting a bit skittish or nervous. Determining why he is acting this way,...

Friday, 22nd March, 2019


Wednesday, 20th March, 2019

  • 01:37 PM - Bitbrain quoted Imaculata in post Show Me Your Villains
    Don't leave us hanging. What was in there? SIDE NOTE: Sorry about leaving the thread, I was watching something on YouTube. You asked for it . . . A 9-year-old girl with both of her eyes gouged out, the reason being that she would be forced to rely upon Malison himself to lead her by the hand from place to place. If the players had enquired further, they would have learned that she was also being groomed to be Malison's favored wife when she reached 16, but as soon as the players learned that her torture was simply another way for Malison to maintain control over her, three of the players jumped to their feet in genuine anger. My dad on the other hand, put his head in his hands and declared "I swear, I don't know where he comes up this $#!+. You've met him outside of D&D, you all know my son would never hurt a fly in real life. Right?"

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 08:44 PM - Lanefan quoted Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    My take on this is that I don't expect my players to fake ignorance, nor do I expect them to possess the knowledge that their character should have. Their characters are allowed to use what ever assumptions they have as players, but their guess is as good as that of an unexperienced player. Where their knowledge as players is lacking, I provide them with the information that I believe their characters would have so that they are able to play the competent adventurer they are trying to portray. For example, last night my players defeated two Liches, and being an experienced player, the priest in the party asked me if his character knew about philacteries. I decided to have him make a check to determine the outcome, but I might as well have said 'yes', because my campaign does not hinge on finding and destroying the philacteries of those Liches. I have no intention to have those Liches make a surprise return, and so whether they destroy the philacteries is irrelevant to the campaign honestly. B...
  • 04:59 PM - Numidius quoted Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    My take on this is that I don't expect my players to fake ignorance, nor do I expect them to possess the knowledge that their character should have. Their characters are allowed to use what ever assumptions they have as players, but their guess is as good as that of an unexperienced player. Where their knowledge as players is lacking, I provide them with the information that I believe their characters would have so that they are able to play the competent adventurer they are trying to portray. For example, last night my players defeated two Liches, and being an experienced player, the priest in the party asked me if his character knew about philacteries. I decided to have him make a check to determine the outcome, but I might as well have said 'yes', because my campaign does not hinge on finding and destroying the philacteries of those Liches. I have no intention to have those Liches make a surprise return, and so whether they destroy the philacteries is irrelevant to the campaign honestly. Is...

Sunday, 17th March, 2019

  • 08:24 PM - Jester David quoted Imaculata in post Do you Critical Role?
    I watched some episodes from the first season, but the episodes are very long, and it quickly felt like they were trying too hard. It felt a bit too staged. I think I'd rather watch real players play a D&D session and seeing genuine emotions. However, I appreciate how the show has opened up the game to more people. I play a game on Roll20 that’s streamed and archived. (Star Trek Adventures) It doesn’t take much to slip into the “no off-game chatter” mindset and only talk in character for lengthy stretches. Slip in some professional training at imporovation, and that will appear staged. But it’s really just how they play. They ARE real players. It IS a D&D session. And the player’s emotions ARE genuine. They’re not really playing for the audience. Because they do act different in the live stream games when there literally is an audience.
  • 04:24 PM - MarkB quoted Imaculata in post Do you Critical Role?
    They are actors. They act. Sure, they also play D&D, but always towards the camera. It's different from watching a normal group play the game. Critical Roll is a show, and so they run their games like one. I'm not saying they are playing the game wrong, but it's definitely very different. I'd rather watch a group that is less focused on entertaining a crowd and more on just playing the game. It's different, but it's a matter of degree rather than a fundamental difference. When we play D&D we're playing the roles of characters - which is the definition of acting. Whether we're acting for a small audience of friends or a large audience of strangers, it's still a performance. I don't think you can meaningfully define one as more 'real' than the other.
  • 01:59 PM - 5ekyu quoted Imaculata in post Do you Critical Role?
    They are actors. They act. Sure, they also play D&D, but always towards the camera. It's different from watching a normal group play the game. Critical Roll is a show, and so they run their games like one. I'm not saying they are playing the game wrong, but it's definitely very different. I'd rather watch a group that is less focused on entertaining a crowd and more on just playing the game.That is incorrect. They started the stream after about 7 level of their home campaign and iirc it was not their first for some of them. I have no idea what amount of time they have no gor other games, given how much goes into the CR project and others but quite a few of them played DnD off-camera.
  • 01:25 PM - robus quoted Imaculata in post Do you Critical Role?
    They are actors. They act. Sure, they also play D&D, but always towards the camera. It's different from watching a normal group play the game. Critical Roll is a show, and so they run their games like one. I'm not saying they are playing the game wrong, but it's definitely very different. I'd rather watch a group that is less focused on entertaining a crowd and more on just playing the game. Cool, I imagined you meant to write average, or normal as you say, but “real players” seemed a bit of a low blow. :) Apologies for the sidetrack everyone. Carry on.

Saturday, 16th March, 2019

  • 06:27 PM - robus quoted Imaculata in post Do you Critical Role?
    I watched some episodes from the first season, but the episodes are very long, and it quickly felt like they were trying too hard. It felt a bit too staged. I think I'd rather watch real players play a D&D session and seeing genuine emotions. However, I appreciate how the show has opened up the game to more people. “real players”?! that sounds a bit gatekeepery for you? What’s not real about how they play? And i’ve plenty of genuine emotion in the game. You surprise me!

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 09:10 AM - Maxperson quoted Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    It would not surprise me if there are a lot more groups that play this way than you think. That to me, makes it a playstyle. A bad one, but a playstyle none the less. I disagree of course. Being a bad DM is not a playstyle, not matter how many groups suffer through them. Not that it's very many relative to the number of groups that play. It was parked in a hangar. Nothing was preventing me from getting into the cockpit and starting the engines. But this DM had everything planned out that he wanted to happen, and the players grabbing his decorative X-wings and bailing was not part of that plan. Not only did he railroad the campaign, but his playstyle meant blocking our actions at every turn. He would arbitralily tell us our actions failed, because it is not what he intended. This was a bad DM. It's that simple. A DM who was mediocre or better would have let you make the attempt.
  • 08:45 AM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    It was parked in a hangar. Nothing was preventing me from getting into the cockpit and starting the engines. But this DM had everything planned out that he wanted to happen, and the players grabbing his decorative X-wings and bailing was not part of that plan. Not only did he railroad the campaign, but his playstyle meant blocking our actions at every turn. He would arbitralily tell us our actions failed, because it is not what he intended.I don't want to speak too harshy about a situation that you were part of and I (obviously enough) was not - but why participate in this game for more than the session or so it took to work this out? What you're talking about here isn't RPGing, it's just sitting there listening to the GM tell his Star Wars story. Which is unlikely to be as good as one you'll find in a comic or a film, simply because most professional storytellers are better than most amateurs. To me, this seems like the other side of Numidius's bathtime coin: we have bathtime GMs who just l...

Friday, 8th March, 2019

  • 04:16 PM - pemerton quoted Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I'm not sure "GM decides" covers the same ground though as "Mother May I". The GM decides a lot of things in general, and so it makes the terminology a bit vague. As I've been using the term GM decides in this thread - which I think is pretty close to what S'mon has in mind - I've been meaning the GM decides what changes occur in the fiction as a result of a player declaring an action for his/her PC. I'm pretty sure that that is what the OP in the progenitor thread of this thread had in mind in using the phrase "Mother may I" - the connection between that latter phrase, and the GM decides method of action resolution, being that if a player wants to produce change X to the shared fiction, s/he has to guess what action declaration might lead the GM to decide to change the fiction in way X. The contrast, then, is with action resolution methods which allow a player to change the fiction in way X without that having to be mediated through GM decision-making about outcomes and consequences - D&D ...
  • 02:43 PM - Maxperson quoted Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    When someone uses "Mother May I", I'm thinking of a style of play in which the DM explicitly blocks the players from taking certain actions, or determines the outcome in such a way as to render player-actions useless. It is the direct opposite of a DM that says "roll the dice", thus allowing just about any action, but using the dice to resolve the outcome. This isn't a style of play, though. It's the DM being a jerk, which isn't a matter of playstyle or rules. It's simply a DM being one of the relatively few bad DMs that exist within the hobby. For example, I played in a Star Wars RPG, where the DM told me that I couldn't try to pilot a stationary X-wing in a hangar. He didn't ask for a check, even though my character had a pilot skill. That would be an example of "Mother May I" in my opinion. He could have asked me to make a skill check (not "Mother May I"), or he could have just set the DC impossibly high (soft "Mother May I", but almost just as bad). What he did not do, is allow me t...
  • 01:55 PM - Numidius quoted Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I'm not sure "GM decides" covers the same ground though as "Mother May I". The GM decides a lot of things in general, and so it makes the terminology a bit vague. When someone uses "Mother May I", I'm thinking of a style of play in which the DM explicitly blocks the players from taking certain actions, or determines the outcome in such a way as to render player-actions useless. It is the direct opposite of a DM that says "roll the dice", thus allowing just about any action, but using the dice to resolve the outcome. For example, I played in a Star Wars RPG, where the DM told me that I couldn't try to pilot a stationary X-wing in a hangar. He didn't ask for a check, even though my character had a pilot skill. That would be an example of "Mother May I" in my opinion. He could have asked me to make a skill check (not "Mother May I"), or he could have just set the DC impossibly high (soft "Mother May I", but almost just as bad). What he did not do, is allow me to just take the action and/or hav...
  • 01:48 PM - Michael Silverbane quoted Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I'm not sure "GM decides" covers the same ground though as "Mother May I". The GM decides a lot of things in general, and so it makes the terminology a bit vague. When someone uses "Mother May I", I'm thinking of a style of play in which the DM explicitly blocks the players from taking certain actions, or determines the outcome in such a way as to render player-actions useless. It is the direct opposite of a DM that says "roll the dice", thus allowing just about any action, but using the dice to resolve the outcome. For example, I played in a Star Wars RPG, where the DM told me that I couldn't try to pilot a stationary X-wing in a hangar. He didn't ask for a check, even though my character had a pilot skill. That would be an example of "Mother May I" in my opinion. He could have asked me to make a skill check (not "Mother May I"), or he could have just set the DC impossibly high (soft "Mother May I", but almost just as bad). What he did not do, is allow me to just take the action and/o...

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

  • 01:05 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Imaculata in post A GMing telling the players about the gameworld is not like real life
    I'm willing to bet my campaign is less realistic than most of the campaigns on this board. :P But it has a few unique semi-realistic rules. The rest follows rule-of-cool though. I am not particularly caught up in realism as I am in causality in my games. My style is to emulate the stuff of wuxia movies and books, but I like to do so in a way that, for me at least, makes the place feel like a real thing the players are exploring. So I am not worried about rigid adherence to weighing all the items characters are carrying, but I don't want to teleport my NPCs around for pure convenience of plot. But any effort at plausibility is surely more eyeballed than measured. I also want what is going on to logically follow from prior events and NPC motivations (i.e. well, Iron Toothed Bat King is still sore about the players getting away with the Obsidian Bat, and he was in Kaifeng eight days ago, so getting to Handan and ambushing the PCs here is plausible. I would then call for a Survival roll on the p...

Tuesday, 5th March, 2019

  • 01:15 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Imaculata in post For the good of video games, Anthem needs to fail hard
    That is factually not true. There's been a few videogames in videogame history that were a notorious liability, and one even that contained a virus. Besides, it is a known fact that a PS4 doesn't like improper restarts. I've experienced a couple myself, and it can sometimes take quite a while to get the thing to restore its system integrity. If a Playstation 4 (this also goes for PS3 btw) runs out of memory, or encounters a serious error, it will hard crash (The Ghostbusters videogame on the PS3 for example, struggles with certain scenes in the library section, and can hard crash. Same with Red Dead Redemption on the PS3.). This wasn't an issue with earlier consoles, because they didn't require the sort of manual shut down procedure that a pc requires. But a hard crash on the PS4 without the proper shutdown, can hit the console hard. When I played Red Dead Redemption online with friends on the PS3, we did a little quest where you have to escort a minecart. We failed to complete it, when dozens...

Sunday, 3rd March, 2019

  • 08:34 PM - trappedslider quoted Imaculata in post For the good of video games, Anthem needs to fail hard
    Every time I hear this defense, I groan. There is no such thing as 'just cosmetics'. I'm guessing you haven't been paying attention to Fallout 76 either... Rather than offer a Season Pass, Bethesda will be funding the development of Fallout 76 DLC with the sale of micro-transactions. https://fallout.bethesda.net/en/article/2a4GTCpUPyEsGCGYWyM6Q2/welcome-to-the-atomic-shop https://www.polygon.com/2018/10/31/18049482/fallout-76-atoms-currency-real-money-atomic-shop TBH fallout 76 isn't a traditional RPG,and the atom shop is the way they are funding the upcoming stuff...just like 343 is using the req system to fund Halo 5's new stuff. https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/news/halo-5-guardians-req-system-introduction Here's what the atom shop is funding https://bethesda.net/en/article/1vtgqSxLlbipZyHOA19tT5/inside-the-vault-wild-appalachia-preview-brewing-and-distilling and then full road map for the year : https://bethesda.net/en/article/7Lw6jVvhjzSNzuUMmKZgwn/fallout-76-10...


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