View Profile: Elfcrusher - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:30 AM
    If it works for you, you should run with it. Now that I'm on a keyboard, though, I want to expand on my earlier post. I can think of three broad categories of ways to play this: 1) Use the mechanics, and play out how they fall. The BBEG's Deception roll beats the player's Insight roll, so the player is deceived, and your job is now to "roleplay" being deceived. Some posters here will...
    812 replies | 54330 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:19 AM
    This is yet another reason why using a skill to "detect" truth or lies is a terrible idea.
    48 replies | 1001 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:48 AM
    On my phone so this will be brief, but instead of having the BBEG coerce them with game mechanics, try to set up a dilemma so that the players feel some actual, real-life motivation to help. Try to make it so tempting to help him that they actually feel torn, even though they know the consequences.
    812 replies | 54330 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd March, 2019, 11:47 PM
    I haven't read the entire thread, so this may not be a new thought, but I like "simple rules, deep implications". Go, of course, is the canonical example. You don't need lots of rules to be interestingly complex, you just need rules that make it hard to know, at any given time, what the optimal choice is. (And, for the record, I'm not arguing that 5e achieves this.)
    170 replies | 6739 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 05:50 AM
    Has anybody mentioned Assassin 17 / Grave Domain 2? Assuming your DM lets you Channel Divinity without breaking stealth (or even if he/she doesn't...there are still scenarios in which this will work) you could get a whopping 80d6 + 5 in a single attack, once per rest. And if you miss you still get a second chance, with advantage, to do it. That's an average of 285, max of 485, and you only...
    86 replies | 345122 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 06:35 AM
    In a 1 on 1 conversation explain the mistake to the player, and ask him to get back to you with a story of how his character loses darkvision. Then in the next session weave that story into the adventure. Since 5e basically doesn't have permanent injuries it will seem all shocking and tragic to the other players. P.S. I don't think he should be given something "in compensation". It's not...
    26 replies | 662 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 04:30 AM
    They could publish an SRD-compliant variant (e.g. Adventures in Middle-Earth) with subclasses, feats, spells, monsters, etc. So the show would still be 5e-based, but all the groupies would want their rulebook.
    102 replies | 3397 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 05:34 AM
    I'll go with option C.: anybody who chooses/allows races with natural weapons to be PCs deserves what they get for choosing/allowing aberrant races.
    43 replies | 1162 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 12:27 AM
    Or, make the hunting a plot hook. Eg fail the stealth roll, the buck flees, the hunter chases...and discovers the overgrown ruins... “What do you do?”
    12 replies | 385 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 12:26 AM
    I would just let the player narrate the whole thing, success and all. No need to roll dice unless the result has impact and the outcome is uncertain. So, yeah, if there’s a danger of starving AND there’s a reason hunting would be hard (eg nobody proficient in Survival and/or game scarce) then roll some dice. But make sure there are real consequences, that player decisions matter, and that...
    12 replies | 385 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th March, 2019, 07:42 AM
    Well, come on, man. It’s been pretty clearly demonstrated that FF is superior in the 4 orc example. And your response is to “acknowledge” that it’s better against 8+? Anyway, I’m done. Peace out.
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th March, 2019, 07:21 AM
    That's big of you.
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th March, 2019, 05:45 AM
    I'm trying! The parameters change so fast it makes me dizzy.
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 10:15 PM
    In the post I was responding to...in the paragraph I was responding to...you said Level 1-2 characters. So no 2nd-level slots. But let me make sure we're on the same page: the question at hand is which of these two spells is the better spell, defined by you as "a lower-level spell for a level 3-4 bard to only be used in non-hard encounters on a typical fight in order to save resources for the...
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 07:34 PM
    Then spell optimization isn't an issue. In fact, the low level bard probably shouldn't waste spell slots on a not-hard encounter. If you want to compare which of two things are better, especially when there's a resource cost, you want to look at situations where it actually matters.
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 07:31 PM
    I think the other thing you have to weigh is that DW has limited upside. At most you get 3-18 damage and a round of fear. That's absolute best case. The upside on FF is huge. When factors do converge it's not even comparable. E.g. multiple allies attacking with Advantage on a high AC boss for multiple rounds.
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 04:52 AM
    What? Why? What's unreasonable about that? Sure, I picked an example in which clearly, obvious, incontrovertibly FF is the better option (unless, for some reason, it's super-duper important that ONE of the 3 enemies spends 1 turn fleeing) but it's not a ridiculous situation. I'd put 3 animated armor in a dark room against level 3-4 characters. But the position I'm arguing is that there's a...
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 04:45 AM
    Like in this thread? EDIT: I actually think these discussions could be interesting and insightful. It's ok to come up with an off-beat hypothesis and be wrong about it.* It's the intransigence that gets tiresome. *Someone once said that Harvard professors strive to be trivially right, proving exhaustively something your grandmother could have told you is true, while MIT professors strive...
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 04:43 AM
    Low Dex and/or high Wisdom and/or high AC targets. -5/+10 feats in your party. A rogue in your party, and a situation where he/she might have trouble getting Sneak Attack. Invisible opponents, or chance of darkness. Groups of enemies. Immunity to psychic. So...let's say you're fighting 3 Animated Armor in a darkened room. Which spell would you use?
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 09:21 PM
    This now makes four times I've written out responses to this thread, then decided it was too snarky and started over. But, yeah, in some situations FF can be a great spell. And in some situations it's not the best choice. Working as intended.
    92 replies | 2400 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 1st March, 2019, 11:11 PM
    I haven't through all the implications, but it would be cool if casters started with one or two cantrips, but then could use as many as they found. Would mess with AL big-time, but still...
    20 replies | 16795 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 1st March, 2019, 05:21 AM
    Huh? Where did I say that you had done such a thing? I was speaking entirely about what iserith is saying, and how that is being received.
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 1st March, 2019, 04:55 AM
    Huh? What am I missing here...?
    110 replies | 3765 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 11:46 PM
    I get that. But I think I also prefer playing games with simple character creation. When there are too many character options, and in particular too many options which depend on each other, I find: a) My focus shifts from the character's story to his/her mechanical power. b) I keep wanting to start over with a new character.
    170 replies | 6739 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 06:25 AM
    I eventually figured out that I really enjoyed creating characters in games with complex rules, but I really enjoyed playing (and DMing) simpler games.
    170 replies | 6739 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 06:16 AM
    FWIW, what I hear you saying is, "There's this awesome way to game that completely eliminates these sorts of conflicts and lets you have more fun. I'm trying to spread the word." Unfortunately that seems to be getting interpreted as, "You are playing wrong and therefore you are a bad person."
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th February, 2019, 12:02 AM
    This is worth unpacking. It reveals some of the differences in underlying assumptions. Maybe what we're talking about here is the difference between actor stance, director stance, and some other stance...although to be honest I'm not 100% positive what those terms mean. I could agree with Salthorae (in this example) if there's a strong connection to the character concept. Let's say the...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 01:33 PM
    You should back off with the attacks, because you clearly don't even understand what point he was making with that comment. I'm glad you added that "to us", because to us it's not mystery in the game if...well, if it's not a mystery. There are so many actual mysteries in the game that we don't need to pretend there are more. That's a nonsense interpretation of what he wrote. ...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 04:38 AM
    Sorry if I'm skipping the 10 pages in between, but I think the answer is "both" of the original answers on page 1: 1) It's because the rogue needs sneak attack damage to be viable aaaand.... 2) When you want something to be true in the game world, you simply adopt whichever rationale works for you. E.g., it's about timing, or finding weak spots, or the God of Rogues (a very, very busy...
    165 replies | 5225 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 04:10 AM
    Ok, so let's say the following happens: On initiative count 17 the wizard tries a spell and discovers she's immune. He says, "Next round I'll try hitting her with my Wand of Lightning." On initiative count 11 the warrior-frog says, "Ribbit. I'll guess I'll hop over here...no, that would put me closer to the bonfire that would scare me...there's water over that way, right?...I guess I'll...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 03:47 AM
    In regard to the two things I bolded: "because it's more plausible": I'm with you up to this point, including (especially) the bit about sometimes doing sub-optimal thing, but I would say "because it's the most entertaining". I don't really buy this "more plausible" argument, because in a good fantasy story I'm not sure plausible is really what I want. Again, it's more plausible that Bilbo,...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, 12:52 AM
    So, here's the thing... If you say, "Regardless of the reasonableness of your actions in the context of the fiction, if you are doing it because you are trying to gain an advantage, based on knowledge that your character wouldn't have" then you are asking...no, begging...players to lie. The frog example in this thread is a little bit silly, but let's use it anyway: if you know that some...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th February, 2019, 05:04 AM
    I think this reply is especially interesting. Maybe it gets at the essence of some of the difference. No, in general you're not a bad DM for instantly killing a PC, as long as you are doing it to contribute to the story. But if you are killing the PC as punishment for, or to retaliate for a perceived abuse then it's not so much that you're a bad DM or acting in bad faith as much as it is...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 25th February, 2019, 07:01 PM
    All true, but we couldn't have yet another desperately needed argument about metagaming if we all took that route.
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 25th February, 2019, 06:52 PM
    This sounds suspiciously like the "roleplaying is doing what that character would do" definition. The problem with that definition is that what your character would most likely do would be to stay home and farm. He definitely wouldn't go down those creepy stairs into the dungeon. And never, ever would he charge at the dragon. Good stories are made from people doing surprising, unexpected,...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 25th February, 2019, 04:54 AM
    See, I don't get this. At all. I *think* you are saying that the suicide frog is disruptive because it's so far out of the bounds of the expected that the only explanation for it happening is that another player is metagaming. (If I've got that wrong, please correct me.) And yet...this is occurring in a world with floating castles, plane-shifting brain eaters, time stop magic, demon...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 25th February, 2019, 01:56 AM
    Of the people who have thought deeply about "metagaming" and have a strong opinion, I agree iserith and I are probably outliers. Most people who actively think about it do so because they think it's not roleplaying. But the vast majority of players I've encountered don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about it, and don't have a problem with it at the table. So in the sense of "allowing...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th February, 2019, 08:11 PM
    This is one of my favorite counter-arguments in most of these debates. Everybody seems to agree that they would have no problem with the brand-new player using fire on trolls, or whatever. It's only when veteran players do it that the metagaming police go nuts. Which demonstrates that it's not that the character action is wrong, but rather it's the player motivation they are policing. ...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th February, 2019, 08:06 PM
    Ok, fair enough. By the same token, maybe I was being hyperbolic with "blind luck" and "saves the day". How about just "totally unexpected" actions and events leading to "surprising twists" in the story? Would the frog hopping unnoticed into the fight and getting stepped on by the Barbarian qualify?
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th February, 2019, 04:06 PM
    I was (again) taking poetic license. Such interruptions don't happen in my games. I was imagining what happens at tables that worry about such things. But even without the actual interruption at the table, think about what's going on here: if another player 'metagaming' is breaking your immersion, it's because you are letting yourself worry about what the player is thinking, not what their...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th February, 2019, 05:32 AM
    He was taking "save the day" from my post. And I was just being colorful. If I were in this situation and the frog/fighter got himself killed in a creative, messy way I'd laugh and cheer. Soooo much more interesting than just following the script. Does make you wonder why all the princes-turned-into-frogs in fairy tales didn't just tell this princess, "Hit me with a mallet."
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd February, 2019, 11:38 PM
    On the fighter/frog/metagaming thing: If you were reading a story and a witch turned the hero into a frog, and the herofrog (froghero?) by blind luck/serendipity/whatever happened to do something improbable that broke the spell and saved the day, wouldn't you enjoy that sort of unexpected twist to the story? Would you call that 'good storytelling'? So why wouldn't you want that in your...
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd February, 2019, 10:57 PM
    Know what shatters my suspension of disabelief? Interrupting the game so the DM can accuse/lecture a player over how the DM defines 'roleplaying' and what he thinks the player 'should' do.
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd February, 2019, 10:54 PM
    Not a 5e game? If so, the rules might work a little differently.
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 23rd February, 2019, 07:38 AM
    Wait, this is like one of those Koans, right? /wink I'm betting some of the anti-metagaming police don't even understand what you are saying here. They think they do, but they don't. (And maybe some of the pro-metagamers, as well.)
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd February, 2019, 09:58 PM
    I'm not even sure what that means to "fire" a player. It's not a job. It's a game. (Then again, I've never dived into the "DM flaw" thread from which this one spawned, either, for a similar reason. Just because a DM has stylistic/aesthetic preferences that are different from my own doesn't make theirs a "flaw".) But if the question is, "Under what circumstances have you had to let a player...
    21 replies | 1150 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd February, 2019, 04:28 AM
    Ha. This thread became an argument about metagaming ON THE FIRST PAGE. I love it. I predict Warlords by page 8.
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 22nd February, 2019, 04:24 AM
    Polymorph him into a frog, drop him into a well.
    288 replies | 8158 view(s)
    0 XP
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Thursday, 28th February, 2019

  • 08:00 AM - Hussar mentioned Elfcrusher in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    FWIW, what I hear you saying is, "There's this awesome way to game that completely eliminates these sorts of conflicts and lets you have more fun. I'm trying to spread the word." Unfortunately that seems to be getting interpreted as, "You are playing wrong and therefore you are a bad person." No, the message I'm hearing is, "My play style is so much better. You'd have so much more fun if you just abandoned your chosen play style and joined with me." Not once in this entire thread have I made a single value judgement on Iserith's play style. Not once. I've never said it was bad. I7ve never said anything negative about Iserith at all. All this interpretation is all on you Elfcrusher. My whole point has always been, why should I have to change my play style to accomodate someone else when my group doesn't want to do that? We don't have these issues at my table because we have all come to the understanding that gaming the system like this leads to games that are not fun for us. We have no need to change. Now, again, I'm not one to say that all meta-gaming is bad. It's not. I believe it's imposible to play an RPG without meta-gaming. But, this particular dead horse that we've been beating is a bridge too far for me. A player who did this at my table would probably be a bad fit for my group. You can spread the word all you like. That's fine. But, it does sound very, very onetruewayist to me. But, hey, it appears that I'm not actually contributing to this conversation, but, rather acting as a roadblock. So, I'll bow out. Probably continue reading, but, unless there is something specific you want me to answer, I'll just back away.

Sunday, 24th February, 2019

  • 07:03 PM - Mouseferatu mentioned Elfcrusher in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    Elfcrusher, I didn't say stories can't have blind luck. I said I dislike when blind luck saves the heroes. Happening to put his hand on the ring was setting up future plotlines. As for happening to coincidentally take his hand out of his pocket at just the right time, I actually did roll my eyes a bit at that. But at least it's something that people normally do all the time, as opposed to a frog happening to leap into the path of a [mild expletive] sword. More to the point, I'm not interested in arguing this or that specific example from this or that piece of fiction. I specifically said there were occasional exceptions if the author or story were brilliant enough. But unless it's parody, a human saving himself from being turned into a frog because he happens to accidentally kill himself, and that happens to actually break the spell (which, as I also said above, I already find incredibly nonsensical as an element of the fiction, even though I understand it as a game balance mechanic) wil...
  • 05:35 AM - iserith mentioned Elfcrusher in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    How is "I jump onto Bob's spear" an event that through "blind luck/serendipity/whatever happened to do something improbable that broke the spell and saved the day, "? You've added the "saved the day" bit to this example. All it does is break the spell on the fighter, potentially having cost the fighter some amount of movement and action which might have been put to better use. And as you correctly note, any damage that spills over. The fighter's return to his normal form may or may not turn the tide of the battle - it depends on many things. Edit: Withdrawn with apologies after Elfcrusher 's clarification. I've been around frogs a fair bit. I've never seen on jump onto a spear. In fact, even jumping in front of a car is pretty rare. You generally see them sitting on the road and getting run over rather than committing suicide by front tire. I don't particularly buy into arguments about plausibility or realism in a game about storytelling in worlds of swords and sorcery, one that shares elements with childhood games of make-believe. We don't even need to go to that length to make the point. What I would want to know is this: Can you imagine an exciting, memorable situation in a fictional world where an Int-1 toad does something to get itself killed? Fictional toads aren't all infallible, right? There is a mechanical issue here too. Damage that breaks the polymorph carries over. So, how do you jump on a spear deliberately and only do 1 point of damage? I mean, we're talking about deliberately killing yourself here. Why doesn't the instant death damage simpl...

Sunday, 20th January, 2019

  • 02:53 AM - Cyber-Dave mentioned Elfcrusher in post yes, this again: Fighters need more non-combat options
    Elfcrusher: when you are hanging out with a small group of close friends who know each other, you can make any jokes you want. There is no reality where a joke about a specific type of victim is acceptable in an environment where it is entirely possible that some of the members are secretly victims of that sort. People who think they have the right to force such jokes on others instead of making their jokes in appropriate environments cause misery in the world.

Thursday, 20th December, 2018

  • 09:04 PM - Manbearcat mentioned Elfcrusher in post 5e Play, 1e Play, and the Immersive Experience
    @lowkey13 I’m going to agree with @Elfcrusher here. I tend to think of D&D Fighters as representing the tails of the (demi)human distribution in the same way that world class Jiujitsu players like Renzo Gracie, a boxer like Vasyl Lomachenko, and a QB like Drew Brees would be. My guess is that as you move toward that tail, the ability to perform immediate multivariate analysis (particularly when those variables include spatial relationships, relative velocities, force/angle requirements to propel a familiar object or compel a relatively proportionate mass/force) increases dramatically in speed (this would be measured in obviously very small units regardless) and accuracy. Their processing speed and the accuracy of their processing speed is borderline superhuman when dealing with an integrated set of variables (that certainly hook into selection pressures that our ancestors faced from East African chimp-dom onward). For instance, the ability of Dree Brees to perform the following with unbelievable accuracy is extremely far b...

Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 01:37 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Elfcrusher in post Skills used by players on other players.
    ...at's the real difference between choosing your own flaw and where you put your one 8? Or your 11, if you're using point buy and choose to stay average? Or your one 16, because your table uses roll 8d6 keep highest and assign to taste? Your argument here is that traits are malleable and stats aren't, but stats are just as malleable as traits, you're just choosing to ignore that. It looks a lot like your trolling. I assure you I am not. Coming face to face with honestly held different beliefs can look like that if you're unwilling to step back and actually consider where it's coming from. I recommend playing in a few sessions of any of the Powered by the Apocolypse games and seeing that there are, indeed, very different styles of play than your own. Perhaps then you'd consider that someone might have a rational, fully formed, and coherent style of play that isn't yours and doesn't lionize the same things your style does. I don't fetishize stats. I'm not to the point of Elfcrusher, though, in that I think that playing a 5 INT Sherlock Holmes is farcical because that character cannot actually perform in game according to archetype, but that's my dislike of farce in game, not a hard rule on what a 5 INT represents. I've no problem playing a 5 INT as not a drooling moron, because I don't think it represents that, either. At this point are you actually trying to get him to see your side? Do you think your going to change anything? Yes. Maybe? I'm asking the question because it seems like there's a contradiction in the statements and I'd curious as to what causes it. Maybe it'll make him change his mind, or maybe it'll provide a new avenue for discussion, or maybe it won't. If I don't ask, only the latter is sure to obtain. What he does at his table isn't going to effect you and I think this thread has done a lot to show that both sides are right,neither side 100% but enough that we can understand that yeah people are viewing things differently and that...

Tuesday, 20th November, 2018

  • 08:26 AM - Enevhar Aldarion mentioned Elfcrusher in post Anyone else find this really irritating?
    LordEntrails Elfcrusher I sort of lost track in this thread who was arguing which side of this, but basically it is legal for the owner of the product to make a backup or an alternate format of the product. That means you, personally, have to make it for it to be legal. As soon as anyone does this and then shares it with other people, even for free, then copyright laws, etc are being violated. You also need to keep ownership of the original for your copies to stay legal. For example, you can't just buy a DVD or CD or something, make a copy of it, and then sell or give away the original without making your copy illegal to own, in the US at least.

Sunday, 18th November, 2018

  • 07:10 PM - Satyrn mentioned Elfcrusher in post Anyone else find this really irritating?
    So you’re saying I’m dreaming about iTunes Match? https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204146 No. I was just taking about how you still have to rip the CD yourself (or otherwise add it to your library) before iTunes Match can do its thing. Once you do that with DDB homebrew you get the same sort of thing. I'm just surprised that what's not getting pointed out is that DDB doesn't allow a compete upload of all content. @Elfcrusher's pointed out that iTunes is way more functional when it comes to adding new content, but even if DDB matched that functionality - like a tool that could "rip" game content from a pdf or other text file and save the data effectively - DDB still doesn't support homebrew classes.

Sunday, 4th November, 2018


Friday, 26th October, 2018

  • 02:24 AM - pukunui mentioned Elfcrusher in post Enhancing "Dragon Heist"
    Although Istrid's description talks about her rates being comparable to those of the Cassalanters, it doesn't specify what any of their rates actually are.Oops. The book *does* actually indicate what Istrid's rates are (on page 17, under "Zhentarim support comes in these ways"): "Istrid offers loans of up to 2,500 gp with an interest rate of 10 percent per tenday." collin Elfcrusher

Friday, 5th October, 2018

  • 04:04 PM - Blue mentioned Elfcrusher in post Let's invent some +1 Feats
    Elfcrusher, this is one of my most enjoyed posts in a while. It's very positive - people just putting up lots of creative ideas. Even critiques seem mainly about ways to approve or riff off the ideas. Thanks.

Wednesday, 19th September, 2018

  • 12:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    ...wise concern, a distinct character/persona under the control of the player. The actual words are mine, but the general thrust is not something I came up with (obviously!). There are corner cases. Is generating a PC roleplaying? In D&D, generally not - it's a precursor to roleplaying. In Classic Traveller, though, generating a PC via the lifepath mechanics does involve making moves that are initiated by (eg enlistment) or otherwise concern (eg survival) a distinct character, and this therefore probably does count as roleplaying (a lot of people certainly enjoy generating Traveller PCs - some even think it's the most fun part of the system!). Likewise equipping PCs - in my D&D games that is generally prep; but others approach it as roleplaying, involving events in the fiction initiated by a distinct persona (ie a character buying stuff from NPCs). The reason for initiated by or concerning is because quite a bit of roleplaying doesn't involve literal actions of the PC. (Eg in Elfcrusher's example, deciding "I'd do this crazy thing because I have a wacky great-aunt whom I take after" is partyl an action of the PC - making a decision - but is also partly about events in the fiction that concern the PC but weren't initiated by him/her, such as ancestry.) Arbitrary stipulations that RPGing must be more narrow than this - eg that the initiated by or constrained by elements must be more tightly circumscribed - are made in ignorance of the actualy history and diversity of the hobby, from the earliest days (eg a paladin calling for a warhorse, in AD&D, establishes fiction that goes beyond event initiated by the PC) through every decade of its development up to the present day.

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 04:20 PM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post Arguments and assumptions against multi classing
    What I meant in the context(here's that context thing again) of "roll then narrate", is that players cannot narrate the roll. Context is important to understanding things. Yet you never seem to understand it in your replies to me. When trying to determine the context of a post, you need to look at the quote that the person is responding to.I understood. You're objecting to a player narrating how it is that his/her PC made a saving throw, or failed to perform a commanded feat. Whereas on this issue I have the same view as Elfcrusher. If players want to narrate their PC's successes, that's fine by me. There is this idea floating around these boards and others and games that players have an inalienable right equal to or greater then the DM to run the game, especially when it comes to rules decisions about their PCs. While the DM and the PC have to have a back and forth, it is always a DMocracy. <snip> As a DM myself, and as an argument FOR MC, I will allow just about anything if your backstory and RP is good enough. I don’t care about the MC requirements either, if you have a good story and plan it’s ok by me as long as it isn’t a blatant min/max power grab. Even those are fine with the right sort of player and backstory and concept, but most who propose something along those lines and are adamant about it are poison for the table long term. Really good backstories and concepts are great and if they require a MC with or without a DM rule bend they should be encouraged.This is another example of an ...

Monday, 3rd September, 2018

  • 06:46 PM - Satyrn mentioned Elfcrusher in post How many gods is too many gods?
    Huh? I hope you are joking. It's paraphrase from the Biblical 10 Commandments where Yaweh commands the Jews to not acknowledged any "gods" but him only. I was indeed joking. Specifically, I was trying to subtly turn what @Elfcrusher said - well, and what the Commandment said - into a double entendre.

Thursday, 23rd August, 2018

  • 06:46 PM - CleverNickName mentioned Elfcrusher in post Favorite Flanking Fixes in Five-E?
    ...ge. Subtract 10.5 (the average of a straight roll) and you get 3.325.Not exactly. I am measuring the difference between two rolls. Then doing it again, and again, and again, ten thousand times. Then I find the average of that difference. Over thousands of iterations, that result approaches 6.6. It's the same thing as if you sat at a table with two d20s, rolled them, and wrote down the difference between the two dice...ten thousand times...then added up all those results and divided the sum by ten thousand. It doesn't care which die has advantage or which has disadvantage, it's only looking at the raw result. In my spreadsheet, the min, max stuff is to ensure I don't have negative results. I could have simply used the ABS(COL1-COL2) function now that I think about it. Your 3.3 result is just one half of the absolute distance between the positive and negative integers (which is 6.6). EDIT: I can sure use a lot of fancy words, can't I? Too bad I'm wrong. Dausuul and Elfcrusher (and others) were precisely right. To measure the net benefit of Advantage, I have to measure from the average d20 result, not from the ends of this range. The result of getting Advantage is +3.325, or +3.3. Whenever you gain Advantage on anything involving a d20, you are statistically getting a +3 bonus. Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 06:04 PM - Cyber-Dave mentioned Elfcrusher in post Why I feel so abysmally let down by the "Ravnica" news...
    Interesting, @Elfcrusher. First, you disagree with the notion that authorial intention is dead, then you try and use deconstruction as a methodology to prove that my interpretation was not the only reasonable interpretation. Ironic. In any case, of course, it isn't the only reasonable interpretation. That isn't the point, however. If a text is overly ambiguous, you can't control the direction that a reader's interpretation will take, and you can't fault them for coming to whatever interpretation it does take. That is the caveat of the deconstructive method. The distance between, "I reasonably came to expect X," and, "X is the only reasonable interpretation," is vast. If you make me reasonably expect X, however, then I am reasonably disappointed when X turns out not to be true. In my opinion, more effort should have been taken to ensure that fans were not misled and then disappointed. It is disheartening to see just how much discontent this announcement has generated, and I sympathize, as I can't help but feel ...

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

  • 09:38 PM - Kobold Boots mentioned Elfcrusher in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    ...falling. Personally I'm glad they try to give updates and previews, rather than keep it all secret until launch in order avoid accusations of betrayal. Saelorn - Regarding your betrayal comment due to WoTC focusing on the middle. I'd argue that your lack of acceptance (not the same as understanding - I think you understand very well) of how markets work is probably the cause of your strife and not WoTC. Once you're running a business, you're doing statistics on the market. Once you're doing statistics you're looking at the middle 50 and folks that are one standard deviation away from the middle 50 for whatever you're marketing because that's where you're going to make most of your money. If you're not in that grouping then it's not the company that's the problem. You need to find the product where you're in that middle 50 plus 1 stdev in order to be happy. Of course, from any marketers viewpoint by aiming at what they're aiming at, they're marketing "to everyone". Elfcrusher regarding the Ravnica thing. I just don't get the folks that hate the idea of using M:tG settings as fodder for D&D. While it's not my first choice of settings were I to select one to be done, I think it's a really good idea when two settings are going to be released to do one classic setting and one that's entirely new in order to expand the brand. If they already have access to the IP and it increases awareness of M:tG all the better. Personally, I've not touched a M:tG deck for about 10 years. However, there were many times where the flavor text on the cards made me wish they did a tabletop setting book for a RPG. It'll probably be great.

Thursday, 12th July, 2018


Wednesday, 9th May, 2018

  • 05:30 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Elfcrusher in post Harassment Policies: New Allegations Show More Work To Be Done
    ...old will do better than a single parent household in most circumstances. There isn't much magic about this; because of the way that our tax code is set up,* and because of the way that partners can structure their lives, childcare and child rearing is much easier. To put it another way- when there are two people, they have fewer expenses and a greater income, and they can more easily divide their time in terms of child care, going to school events, helping with homework, etc. For that reason, the things that you have read are more ambiguous than you might think; it is exceptionally difficult to tease out the many advantages that accrue from growing up in a two-parent household and make a comparison to determine what, exactly, is the "pure benefit" of growing up with two parents. It's not like a separated twins study, which tends to be a lot easier to draw conclusions from. But that's slightly different than the question you have about "latent racism." This is more complicated; as @Elfcrusher wrote, it doesn't mean that that person is racist, or even necessarily has latent racism. It's more .... a red flag. Think of it this way- it's the type of language that is strongly correlated with other beliefs, and is often used for particular purposes (either discussing, from a certain point of view, black families in America, or espousing a belief, for example, that women in abusive relationships should suck it up for the kids). It's sort of like when I see someone complaining about "thugs." The person might be talking about followers of the goddess Kali. Or maybe they really don't like the foot-soldiers of the Italian mob. Or maybe they are just using that phrase innocently (like we do in TTRPGS!). Unfortunately, I have come to realize that the vast majority of the time I see that particular word, I am about to see a release of other words I am not a big fan of. *Yes, even with the "marriage penalty." EDIT- to be clear, I am not saying that people shouldn't use words, and di...

Sunday, 15th April, 2018

  • 02:35 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    ...e to do this easily but generic undergraduate students have a harder time of it, and (for instance) will subsequently do less well on another timed exercise, because they've already exhausted their resolve by not taking the cookies. What's unrealistic to me is a system that posits that everyone has superheroic degrees of resolve. Because by letting the dice do it players are forced to react in new and unexpected ways which gets to the heart of role play. If the player always determines his or her own reaction then it becomes predictable and frankly boring.I've got not issue with this. What I would add is: if the system and mechanics are going to tell me something about how my PC reacts, I also want them to produce some game play effect on me (the player) which aligns my reaction with that of the PC. I don't want to just have to pretend to feel what the game tells me my character is feeling. I find rolepaying as pretending in that way a bit insipid. (I'm not sure I agree with Elfcrushers' (1) and (2) above - in that I'm not sure they cover the field - but I think what I'm saying here is that I personally don't really like (1).)


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Sunday, 24th March, 2019

  • 03:59 PM - Arvok quoted Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    This is yet another reason why using a skill to "detect" truth or lies is a terrible idea. I disagree. While I favor role playing over roll playing, being able to determine when someone is lying is a skill that can be learned. Police, especially detectives, tend to get better at reading when someone is being deceitful the longer they do their jobs. Some of that is due to an increased level of suspicion, but there are some fairly common signs when someone is lying. They aren't foolproof, but they do help. That being said, if you don't like using the Sense Motive skill in your game that's your prerogative that's fine, but there is some basis in reality for having it as a skill.
  • 02:46 PM - Blue quoted Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    This is yet another reason why using a skill to "detect" truth or lies is a terrible idea. We have skills to notice things hidden and to put together clues, I'm unsure why a skill to read someone's emotions are bad. Characters can be more (or less) skilled at reading others just like they can be more or less skilled at noticing a pickpocket.
  • 02:01 PM - c0wfunk quoted Elfcrusher in post Persuade, Intimidate, and Deceive used vs. PCs
    2) Another approach is to actually try to deceive/persuade the players. ... ... The moral of the story is: DON'T HELP DEMONS COMPLETE RITUALS. Sheesh. So I went with this, and in fact we had a pretty good scene, my bbeg convinced them to help him open the portal. Once open, the party got antsy and a fight broke out wherein they defeated the bad guy but the portal remained open. Our hexblade, eager to meet his patron, dove into the portal enthusiastically while the rest of the party looked on with a “uhhh nope” and there we left it. One roll came out of the scene and it was on whether the cleric, onlooking skeptically, saw through the doppelgänger’s act, and she did not. Nevertheless she remained skeptical. I never did have to roll persuasion or use mass suggestion or kidnap the players and yet the portal is open and now I have to figure how to get the warlock back or the party in ;) It feels like with 3/4 not wanting to go I should honor that, give the warlock a quick scene with his ...

Saturday, 23rd March, 2019

  • 04:46 PM - Maxperson quoted Elfcrusher in post Persuade, Intimidate, and Deceive used vs. PCs
    Any reactions? How many people play the way that's described in those three scenarios? For me they go a bit differently. Player: "I think he's lying." DM: "Okay. What are you going to do?" The player has told me that the PC thinks he's lying. There's no need for a roll at that point. DM: "The guard stares at you with an intimidating look on his face. He succeeds on his intimidation roll." Player: "Oh, ok I guess I'll just keep moving then." (or any other way to roleplay the situation) Player: "I don't think I want to do this quest for only 100 gold." DM: "Okay. The Magistrate pauses for a moment in thought. "I will offer 125 gold and no more. If you don't want it at that price I will hire someone else."" For me, skills are useful, but they are not mind control. If I were to use persuade on a PC, I would inform the player that the NPC is being very persuasive. It's still going to be up to the player to figure out with all that is going on in game if a successful per...
  • 12:47 PM - c0wfunk quoted Elfcrusher in post Persuade, Intimidate, and Deceive used vs. PCs
    ... Now that I'm on a keyboard, though, I want to expand on my earlier post. I can think of three broad categories of ways to play this: ... 3) So I think the best bet is to try #2, but instead of relying on it just do it for flavor and assume your players are going to figure out truth, and use that to force some really hard decisions on them. They guess that the sweet old man is really something evil, and that if they help with the ritual bad stuff is going to happen, BUT: 1) if they don't help, something else bad is going to happen, like a beloved NPC dying 2) If they do help they are going to get a sweeeeeeet magic item, and 3) the beloved NPC shares with them a plan for how they can complete the ritual, save said NPC from dying, get the sweet magic item, and THEN still thwart the demon, getting their cake and eating it, too. So they do it, but then the brilliant plan fails and the demon gets away, after all. That's when they find out the beloved NPC is actually in league wit...
  • 09:28 AM - Sadras quoted Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    This is yet another reason why using a skill to "detect" truth or lies is a terrible idea. And this. When an NPC lies to a PC, I roll for the NPC against the PC’s passive Wisdom (Insight). On a failure, I tell the PCs what they notice - for instance, that the NPC is having difficulty maintaining eye contact and their brow has a faint glimmer of sweat or something. On a success, I let the NPC’s statement stand on its own. In either case, it is up to the player whether their character believes they are being lied to or not. There appears to be some confusion, you agree with Elfcrusher but then in your example, you provided lying clues thereby treating the Insight skill as a detect lie check. I do understand that you took the "detect lie roll" behind the DM screen which is a step in the right direction, but players will always know a person is lying if you're offering up clues. Any failed ability check can yield a setback, after all. This I believe yields a better result. Whether the NPC is telling the truth or lying, any failed roll (behind the DM's screen against passive Insight) provides a complication/setback in the fiction.
  • 09:16 AM - Sadras quoted Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    nvm
  • 05:33 AM - Charlaquin quoted Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    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. This. If an NPC is telling the truth, they exhibit no signs that they are lying, therefore there is no uncertainty if a PC attempts to discern whether or not they are lying by observing their behavior. This is yet another reason why using a skill to "detect" truth or lies is a terrible idea. And this. When an NPC lies to a PC, I roll for the NPC against the PC’s passive Wisdom (Insight). On a failure, I tell the PCs what they notice - for instance, that the NPC is having difficulty maintaining eye contact and their brow has a faint glimmer of sweat or something. On a success, I let the NPC’s statement stand on its own. In either case, it is up to the player whether their character believes they are being lied to or not.
  • 04:17 AM - pemerton quoted Elfcrusher in post Why the hate for complexity?
    I haven't read the entire thread, so this may not be a new thought, but I like "simple rules, deep implications". Go, of course, is the canonical example. You don't need lots of rules to be interestingly complex, you just need rules that make it hard to know, at any given time, what the optimal choice is.Cortex+ (which I know through MHRP and the Fantasy Hack variants) is a dice pool system that is (according to designer commentary) designed to make it hard to caculate the odds - so shifting the emphasis to "I've got a handful of dice!" rather than "Have I got the right handful of dice?" It's true that the maths is hard, but that doesn't stop my players trying to optimise their pools!
  • 03:11 AM - c0wfunk quoted Elfcrusher in post Persuade, Intimidate, and Deceive used vs. PCs
    On my phone so this will be brief, but instead of having the BBEG coerce them with game mechanics, try to set up a dilemma so that the players feel some actual, real-life motivation to help. Try to make it so tempting to help him that they actually feel torn, even though they know the consequences. I've got a few ideas and am going to attempt what you suggest for sure. I have mechanics as a fallback - and they have saves as a defense. I am fairly certain none of them will take issue with it at all and we all quite enjoy rolling dice and using the mechanics to help us create a scene.

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 11:04 PM - JPL quoted Elfcrusher in post Bree-Land Region Guide: A Review
    I was perplexed at what rules you were referring to, until I realized you must be referring to the sub-systems for journeys and social encounters. That's a little like calling combat "detailed rules for 'arguing'". For un-initiated readers, NO you don't have detailed rules for walking across a room. Nor are there detailed rules for asking a question. If, however, you want to make a multi-day journey, or approach a suspicious stranger and ask for something they might be unwilling to give, then...yes...it's more involved than making a single Survival or Persuade roll. It's funny that so many threads bemoan the fact that social and exploration pillars are never as interesting as combat. Along comes a game that tries to address that, and people complain. Didn't mean to imply that there were rules for walking across the room. And I'm not really complaining. The rules for journeys and seeking audiences with the powerful both appear well-written and source-material-appropriate. ...

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 03:51 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Elfcrusher in post Could Critical Role launch their own RPG?
    A Tal'Dorei Player's Guide, that I could see happening more than anything else. The Campaign Setting they put out had some player options, and I could see them building and expanding on it. But, that being said, I'm not sure that's a good idea. Some of the design choices in it, like enabling dual concentration, I did not care for. I think the strength of Critical Role and Matt Mercer isn't so much in the world-building and house-rules, but in the vibrancy of the NPCs and PCs, the depth of the tales they tell. They could publish an SRD-compliant variant (e.g. Adventures in Middle-Earth) with subclasses, feats, spells, monsters, etc. So the show would still be 5e-based, but all the groupies would want their rulebook.
  • 01:35 PM - robus quoted Elfcrusher in post Could Critical Role launch their own RPG?
    They could publish an SRD-compliant variant (e.g. Adventures in Middle-Earth) with subclasses, feats, spells, monsters, etc. So the show would still be 5e-based, but all the groupies would want their rulebook. Isn’t that exactly what they did with their campaign setting?!

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 04:50 PM - Reynard quoted Elfcrusher in post Fallout Tabletop RPG Announced from Modiphius
    We may be using "generic" differently. What I meant is that 5e was not designed to support specifically and exclusively a particular setting. WotC is releasing all their APs in Forgotten Realms, but I don't think they would argue that they started with FR and then built a system to narratively support that setting. As evidenced by their recent releases supporting Eberron and Ravnica. Sure, but there's value in having a house system as well. People will have some idea of what they are getting if all of your games hinge on a similar engine (whether that's some version of d20, Fate, 2d20 or whatever). And the Great D20 Glut of 2001-2005 showed us that not every game should run on the same system. Diversity in the marketplace is a good thing. Now, does that mean 2d20 is the best choice for Fallout? Who knows? I like the 2d20 system and think it has a lot of inherent versatility.

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

  • 02:36 PM - FrogReaver quoted Elfcrusher in post Bard Faerie Fire in Tier 1
    Well, come on, man. It’s been pretty clearly demonstrated that FF is superior in the 4 orc example. And your response is to “acknowledge” that it’s better against 8+? Anyway, I’m done. Peace out. That's not been demonstrated. But have fun.
  • 07:24 AM - FrogReaver quoted Elfcrusher in post Bard Faerie Fire in Tier 1
    That's big of you. That wasn't so big of you.
  • 06:16 AM - FrogReaver quoted Elfcrusher in post Bard Faerie Fire in Tier 1
    I'm trying! The parameters change so fast it makes me dizzy. That's fair. lol. I try to indulge others when possible and it can make things get a little muddied. I prefer looking at level 2 because there's a lot less special abilities that need accounting for so the comparisons are a lot less complex at these levels. If you can propose a fairly representative encounter for 4 level 2 characters I would love to take a look at it. Keep in mind I already acknowledge that FF is better than DW against large groups of 8-12 so proposing that kind of encounter won't really be helpful. But anything else I'm highly interested. It can even be a hard encounter...just not cherry picked over the top hard. At that point I won't be talking about level 2 spells for the hard fight. Or if you would prefer pick a fairly representative encounter easy-medium difficulty and I will examine it with other characters not using special abilities. Anything above easy to medium difficulty though and...

Friday, 8th March, 2019

  • 10:55 PM - FrogReaver quoted Elfcrusher in post Bard Faerie Fire in Tier 1
    In the post I was responding to...in the paragraph I was responding to...you said Level 1-2 characters. So no 2nd-level slots. But let me make sure we're on the same page: the question at hand is which of these two spells is the better spell, defined by you as "a lower-level spell for a level 3-4 bard to only be used in non-hard encounters on a typical fight in order to save resources for the rest of the party?" In that case the answer is Sleep. No, that wasn't the post you responded to. The post you responded to was a post where I was responding to a poster that listed a bunch of proposed encounters as typical that were much to strong for level 1-2 characters. Maybe if you keep up with the conversation you wouldn't be getting so confused.
  • 09:05 PM - UngeheuerLich quoted Elfcrusher in post Bard Faerie Fire in Tier 1
    Then spell optimization isn't an issue. In fact, the low level bard probably shouldn't waste spell slots on a not-hard encounter. If you want to compare which of two things are better, especially when there's a resource cost, you want to look at situations where it actually matters. Actually it´s those easy encounters that actually matter. Spells are not the only resources to lose and spell efficiency in easy encounters is especially important. In difficult fights you use the big guns and there often action efficiency matters even more than spell efficiency. On the other hand sometimes it is better to blow a big gun in an easy encounter to save you a lot of low level spells for the hard fight to win over time... after we got used to using short rests and long rests appropriately (we made long rests harder to come by), spells slots in easy fights started to matter.
  • 07:43 PM - FrogReaver quoted Elfcrusher in post Bard Faerie Fire in Tier 1
    Then spell optimization isn't an issue. In fact, the low level bard probably shouldn't waste spell slots on a not-hard encounter. If you want to compare which of two things are better, especially when there's a resource cost, you want to look at situations where it actually matters. Actually you want to look at situations where you will actually use it. In a hard battle you will use a level 2 spell. Surely your not having more than 2-3 hard battles per day?


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