View Profile: Elfcrusher - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:55 PM
    I think they're on an island, partying with rappers and supermodels.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:03 PM
    OMG the map of Saltmarsh has North pointing in the wrong direction!!! One star.
    41 replies | 1824 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:02 PM
    Yeah, I'll agree with that part. But...closer. Spoken like a true grognard who can't remember what it's like to be new to the game. I'd have to put my first foray into the Steading as one of my top 5 all-time most exciting D&D games. Then again, I was in junior high. As are the players this is going to be for.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 05:32 AM
    Paizo must have paid for those clicks. :-)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 05:31 AM
    Awesome. Thanks for the help!
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    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 05:29 AM
    Thanks for all the answers. I was leaning toward Forge of Fury from Yawning Portal. Keep on the Borderland conversion is intriguing...I'll have to research that.
    22 replies | 782 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Elfcrusher started a thread Map Printing Help
    Anybody have practical experience printing map images at 1" battlemap scale? How about at a DYI copy/print shop? I'd like to start with something like this Against the Giants map: http://archive.wizards.com/dnd/images/mapofweek/May2006/04_MAWMay2006_72_ppi_4yj4.jpg And print it on smaller sheets that I can then tape together into a big map. But since the copy shop is going to charge me...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 09:09 PM
    Forget plot, forget character development, forget roleplaying. What's the best good old-fashioned kick-in-the-door-kill-the-monster-take-his-$#@% dungeon for 5e? Does it even exist? I'm going to be running a very short campaign (a bunch of sessions crammed into a week) for some novice players, and they'll just want to hack and slash their way to victory. EDIT: Of any level, although lower...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 04:18 PM
    There's something in between a numerical bonus and pure flavor. I like magic items that do something mechanically beneficial other than have a straight +1/+2/+3 bonus. (Well, ok, I don't mind also getting some bonuses...)
    31 replies | 783 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:09 AM
    Ok, so you are policing their thoughts.
    580 replies | 20850 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 06:32 PM
    But all those Scottish accents are just racial stereotyping. Everybody knows they have Russian accents.
    104 replies | 2557 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:04 PM
    Only if the females get reciprocally higher Intelligence and Wisdom scores.
    104 replies | 2557 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 12:59 AM
    Um, it is published. Or did you mean, put it in a book? What book? (Less facetiously, if they release a sourcebook for a setting where the Artificer fits in, then by all means they should include it in that sourcebook.)
    71 replies | 2927 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 08:58 PM
    I'm glad you didn't take away her agency.
    580 replies | 20850 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:20 PM
    I disagree. "Smelly" is a subjective term, and a player is free to declare they their character finds a certain odor offensive or not. Now, if the rules call for a saving throw to avoid an effect the dice may override their declaration ("Sure, usually you like the smell of raw sewage, but in this case it overwhelms you...") but otherwise why not let them decide what they are sensitive to, or not?...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 09:04 PM
    I'm glad you said that, because I thought your thinking (and ability to express it) were impresively clear in....those other threads recently. I get the "clarity of design intent." And it might be fun to brainstorm a more elegant solution. I just don't think the current one is an actual problem.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 07:17 PM
    Oh, this is a “suspension of disbelief” thing. I’ll bow out. Good luck.
    44 replies | 1337 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 04:20 PM
    Oh, maybe I'm misunderstanding your goal. I thought you wanted the specific types to have some kind of symmetry and pattern. Because if I look at "Hill", "Stone", "Cloud", "Fire", "Frost", and "Storm" I'm not really seeing any pattern. That's two elements, a mineral, a geological feature, and two meteorological phenomena. On the other hand, if what you're looking for is...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 02:34 PM
    I'm not sure I see the difference between those two phrasings. Can you explain? "my enjoyment" seems just as subjective as "fun." Oh, maybe you thought I meant "universally fun for all". No, I meant it in an entirely subjective sense. Huh. I never would have even considered that to be a criteria. I can't remember how many hit points an ogre has off the top of my head, either. I...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 01:54 AM
    I don't find the Smelly Chamberlain to be particular complicated. The author apparently thinks it's some sort of paradox. The only paradox is that the author seems to think that the GM needs to define whether or not the chamberlain is objectively, factually smelly. He doesn't. He only needs to decide whether other people (other than the PCs) think he's smelly. If the GM likes the idea,...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 08:29 AM
    I skimmed the thread and didn't see any suggestions for vampire spawn. I believe they are CR 5. On a related note, one thing I don't like about D&D (and most RPGs) is that PCs come in a variety of levels, but monsters have specific CRs. I'd like to be able to easily get a CR 8 (or whatever) Vampire. My wish list includes a web-based bestiary where you can adjust a slider for CR and have...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 04:54 PM
    Yeah, this. I mean, I'm all for rethinking assumptions and trying to make the game more fun. But trying to rationalize design ideas by arguing that they are more historically accurate, or more scientific, or whatever, is kinda pointless in my opinion. So let's say we reconfigure all the dragons to meet the expectations of the OP. How will that make the game more fun? That's kind of all...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 08:22 PM
    Plutonium dragon. Its breath weapon causes random mutations.
    44 replies | 1337 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 05:10 AM
    If only you could earn treasure points on Enworld. Amirite?
    580 replies | 20850 view(s)
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    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 01:51 AM
    Great paragraph.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 12:18 AM
    What does any of this have to do with metagaming, player agency, and Warlords?
    73 replies | 6556 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 12:10 AM
    I roll Insight! Drek....I got a 3. Guess I’ll have to roleplay arguing, even though I really don’t want to.
    1672 replies | 59679 view(s)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 08:20 PM
    I don't see why iserith should be expected to temper what he's saying. The passages he quotes aren't suggestions; they are rules. Sure, people might find it more persuasive if he stopped using that argument and instead explained why he finds the actual rules more enjoyable than some misinterpretation of them. But he's not saying anything subjective or untrue. Nor is he telling other people...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:58 PM
    And even if you do care about the meta-knowledge thing (which I don't, just in case I haven't made that abundantly and redundantly clear), why would you want to intentionally give the players more information their characters don't have? Every time you call for a Perception check and the player fails and you just keep moving, you are just expanding the disconnect, the gulf, between player...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:54 PM
    Except I wasn't really joking, as I said in my next post. Sure, I was trying to be funny and a wee bit hyperbolic at the same time, but that's different from "just kidding." And then Oofta pretty much confirmed that what I was saying...about him (and others)...was true. If anything, I should have added the smilies to the "Should I have added smilies?" comment. Because that was the...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:48 PM
    Assassin Rogue/Gloomstalker Ranger multiclass. The whole "I shall save thee!" knight in shining armor types are chumps. But they're useful for finding and trigger traps, I guess. Maybe the answer to this question depends on how you define "heroic"...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 07:46 PM
    Alanis had the last laugh on that one. Most people were so busy gleefully pointing out that the anecdotes in the song are (for the most part) not examples of irony that they missed the point that the song itself is ironic.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 04:42 PM
    If all this stuff of serious concern to you? Or is it just philosophical debate for the point of...well, philosophical debate? Because if disagreements about these things are actually causing problems at your table(s), I would suggest it's an issue with the attitudes of the participants, not game/house rules.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 02:13 PM
    See? I didn't even need smilies. It was taken as a compliment! But more seriously, our gaming values are so completely different that it should be no surprise that we find different mechanics appealing. You apparently don't mind if the DM tips his hand because you expect players to ignore that information. I think it makes the game less fun if the players have to compartmentalize like...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 06:06 AM
    But also a joke with a point: how could it not be obvious why "Can I have a Perception check? 4? Ok, nevermind...." is a DMing technique that could be improved upon?
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 05:47 AM
    Should I have added some smilies?
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 03:43 AM
    I'll try to answer that, and maybe this will help pemerton, too, who keeps trying to get me to define this boundary. Francis the Guard exists if that suits my purpose. He exists only in the player's imagination otherwise. Or he died. Or maybe he does exist, but this isn't Francis. As iserith points out, the player has absolute control over the character's thoughts and beliefs, and the DM...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 03:22 AM
    I was trying to figure out how it's possible to not understand why so many people have moved away from that DMing style (not that it's "wrong"...but perhaps "weak" would be an appropriate adjective.) Then it occurred to me: if you belong to the RPG school of thought that the epitome of fine roleplaying is pretending your character doesn't know what you know, then a DM asking for Perception...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 08:12 PM
    The bold part is absolutely true, and perhaps I should be prefacing a lot of my statements with "in my opinion". But, yes, definitely: when I say something is boring and uninteresting I mean for me. YMMV. Anyway, back to the dice rolling... What I don't like is a situation where there's an obstacle (a trap, a lock, a wall, a ledge) that is clearly meant to be solved one and only one way,...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 04:04 PM
    You are making assumptions about my position that are incorrect. Some tables track equipment assiduously. Others think it’s unnecessary and boring bookkeeping and don’t bother. It’s enough for them to say “you could easily have packed rope if we tracked those things so yes you have it if you say so.” I don’t think it’s an illuminating or interesting exploration of “player narration...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 05:38 AM
    Funny, my answer was in the 2nd half of my post, but you only quoted the first half. Here; I'll re-post it for you: So, no, I'm not going to argue about which side of the line mundane equipment carried by the character lies.
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    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 05:22 AM
    EDIT: Wait, I mis-read what you were saying slightly. I missed the part about some of them getting triggered. You're making a category error. You are proposing a new reason for putting in those traps, but my list was about the impact on gameplay. So, yeah, the purpose may be to establish mood, but how does it drive player behavior? I would totally be down with simply narrating that the...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 10:25 PM
    Exactly. I wouldn’t use a single orc as a combat encounter for a high level party. Likewise I wouldn’t bother putting a trap in their way that gets resolved by rolling one die without thinking.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 09:36 PM
    That's why I put "immersion" in quotes. Usually it used to mean, "My favorite form of realism is rigidly adhered to." As if the player is so absorbed in the game they forget that it's not reality, until somebody swims in plate armor or falls 100 feet without dying uses fire on trolls, or whatever. And then suddenly they find themselves sitting at a table covered in dice, minis, and empty...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:59 PM
    That's the thing, right? There's basically nothing interesting or exciting or suspenseful about the occasional trap going off because nobody's passive Perception was high enough. What's interesting is knowing the trap is there, coming up with a plan to avoid/disarm it, and then crossing your fingers that it works. And the problem with just "rolling to disarm" is that you know you're doing the...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:52 PM
    Yeah, I was both clear in my first post, and then re-explained in my next post, why I included that as a possible outcome (because it is). But if it makes you feel better to get a "win" by continuing to misinterpret this point so that you can dismiss it as a strawman, then you got me, too. I guess. But as long as we're on the topic, has anybody here (besides me) ever been in a game where the...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:22 PM
    "Obvious locations" is a form of telegraph. If a player is thinking, "This door to the treasure room is probably trapped" then we are talking about player skill, right? That's why the only way to not telegraph, at all, is to place them randomly. Or maybe you had a different idea in mind when @iserith and others started talking about 'telegraphing'? Maybe you thought, oh, I don't know...how...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 02:53 PM
    If some of us are questioning un-telegraphed traps, the question we are asking is "what is the point?" Your answer to that question seems to be "because in a real world traps would NOT be telegraphed, so it feels more realistic to have them be a total surprise." Ok, fair enough. I (and I assume others) believe there are all sorts of 'realistic' things that don't actually add to the fun of a...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 01:27 PM
    Nevermind. Sometimes it takes clicking the "Post" button to recognize that I'm not contributing.
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    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 11:18 PM
    Whoooooooosh
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    Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 11:02 PM
    Oh, right. Well it is the D&D forum, anyway.
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    Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 11:00 PM
    I harbor this dear but dim candle of hope that someday when somebody says “well MY players...” to defend their position, it will turn out that one of the people they are arguing with is, in fact, one of their players.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 03:08 PM
    Sorry, I should have been more specific. Changing the game state by having your character do something is fine. I was talking about changing the game state from the DM's side of the table. E.g., "Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, a piece of the ceiling collapses, landing on the evil necromancer." (Maybe there are RPGs where that's part of game play? Could be fun. But this is the 5e...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 03:11 AM
    Real cranberry sauce is better, but canned cranberry sauce is smoother.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 04:32 PM
    Or "punch 'im roight in the bowls"
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 04:08 PM
    I think it's also good to just develop the habit of engaging in particular way. The answer to "what's wrong with just saying 'I roll Skill X' when it's obvious?" is the same as the answer to "What's wrong with not using my turn signal when there's nobody there?"
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 04:04 PM
    Yes, I agree. Although the latter scenario could work as a roll-then-narrate thing: Player: "I have contacts in the city; I'll approach the guards and see if any of them know me and will let me in if I promise to keep it quiet." DM: "Even if you know them it's still going to to take some talking. Sounds like you're using Persuasion, so let me have a roll." Player: "17." DM: "Yeah, one of...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 01:09 AM
    No, sorry Hussar, but this is total B.S. "Better" and "Smoother" do have different meanings. Go look them up. It's not hard to understand. As for acknowledging "weaknesses", sure, goal-and-approach has weaknesses. Poorly implemented, or misunderstood, players may try to "talkie talkie" the DM or think it's "mother may I." Of course, those sorts of DMs and players will try to do that...
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 12:35 AM
    I don't want an impartial DM. I want a DM partial to fun.
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 12:23 AM
    Sort of reminds me of the joke "What do you need if you've got a lawyer up to his neck in sand?"
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 08:55 PM
    I can easily see that if the relationship between DM and players is at all adversarial, or if you just have disruptive players, it would never work. But I don’t, so it does. (Maybe that’s why goal-and-approach works so well, too. I mean, smoothly. Both. ) Sometimes I have to coax veteran players into joining in this way. “No, seriously, there’s candy in the van. Your mother was wrong.”
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    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 06:39 PM
    Yes. And also 'yes' to iserith's response. Now, in my own games I welcome this sort of thing, even though it's technically a violation of the Player/DM division of authority. If for some reason I didn't want the guard to be the Francis the player knows, it would just turn out that he's mistaken, this is not Francis. IT'S HIS EVIL TWIN!!!! Or just somebody who looks like Francis. ...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 06:14 AM
    Gah. Damn. I should have looked up Noble background. I thought the mechanic only mentioned the reaction of other nobles. Ok, so let's pretend that... Oh, nevermind. If you were genuinely interested you would have been able to error correct around that mistake.
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    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 05:45 AM
    That's a start. I was thinking: - Disadvantage on attack roll if shooting at target that is within 5' of a conscious enemy (in other words, it's really hard to hit somebody who is actively engaged in melee combat) - Shooting within 5' of an enemy provokes opportunity attack
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    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 03:59 AM
    So, I think this might be a sign of progress, because the "Noble at the gate" story is a great example of goal-and-method. The reasons you say it's not may help us finally get at the disconnect. First, there is no mechanical ability attached to Noble that allows them to influence guards. The mechanical ability that is attached to that background is totally unrelated. So the player is...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 03:09 AM
    I find it rather astonishing that you interpret this debate as us preaching a superior “onetruewayism”. From my point of view this entire discussion has been a few of us defending our approach from (intentional?) mischaracterization and denigration “Mother May I”, “pixelbitching”, “talkie talkie” etc.
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    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 02:00 AM
    I was hoping this thread would be about archery.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 09:32 PM
    Or maybe find a game more suited to your preferences, even.
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 08:08 PM
    I wouldn't even give him a bonus. I'd just narrate success or failure depending on what he is doing. This thread reminds me of a poster who used to pop in on the old Cubicle 7 forums (R.I.P.) to talk about The One Ring. He was always going off on the paradoxes of Gandalf or Elrond or Glorfindel statted out according to the PC rules, and how doing so couldn't possibly explain their...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:41 PM
    He was quoting Charlquin. And apparently not actually reading what she wrote. But, yeah, I think there are two (more) people in this thread I need to put on "manual Ignore."
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:32 PM
    Roger. Damn, I mean, uh...let’s go with “Edith”
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:26 PM
    If a -1 modifier counts as “really bad” at something, what’s “average”?
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:22 PM
    You really need to re-read that passage. It’s not at all what he said. Not even close.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:02 PM
    Ok, but even so, he was not saying his own tastes are more refined, he was saying the other guy's tastes are not more refined. He was making a statement of equality, not superiority.
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 06:54 PM
    My two small boys are always asking me to take a detour on the way home that goes over a dirt road. They think the bumpy way is better.
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 06:52 PM
    I really cannot see at all how you get from evidence to conclusion on that one. Maybe you skimmed the second paragraph and thought he was claiming "more refined taste" for his own playstyle? In the first paragraph he is saying (and honestly it's hard to paraphrase it more succinctly and clearly than what he wrote) "we don't think you understand what we're saying because your descriptions of...
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 05:52 PM
    Evidence to the contrary is right in this thread!
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 05:51 PM
    I think he was messing with you. You described a perfect example of "goal-and-method", and granted an automatic success because the approach made total sense. (I might have put a new obstacle in the way, though: the guards will let in the noble but not the rabble with him. Depending on what the player proposed, that might lead to a Cha check after all.)
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Sure! Happy to. And, yes, I get it, physical challenges somehow seem different than social/intellectual challenges. Sure, just like you may not have the key and have no other choice but to break it down (if there's no keyhole, either) or pick the lock (if it can't be broken down), sometimes you won't have the 'key' to a social encounter and might not be able to come up with any other...
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 04:59 PM
    That was well-expressed.
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 04:57 PM
    I’ll acknowledge nothing of the sort. It’s as good an analogy as any. Sure, more serious stakes in freedom of speech than in roleplaying games, but that doesn’t invalidate the analogy. This thread and others are full of bad-faith debate, willful misunderstanding, disingenuous rhetorical tricks, and denigrating/dismissive language. Yet you seem more bothered by me pointing out the obvious...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 03:39 PM
    Yes. This is exactly what I meant earlier when I said I'd rather the players themselves feel their hair stand on end, rather than tell them that their characters' hair stands on end. (This is exactly my definition of 'immersion': it's not play-acting your character with whatever your notion of fidelity is; it's feeling the emotions your character is supposedly feeling.)
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 03:36 PM
    Good post. I especially like the Blades in the Dark example (which I have also been reading lately). Maybe that mechanic is a kind of litmus test: whether or not you like it perhaps says a lot about where you stand on a number of other playstyle questions. For the record, I love that mechanic.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 03:28 PM
    Yes! Elsewhere I gave the example from last night of my players finding a necklace of fireballs. If I were really concerned about so-called 'metagaming' I would have either: - Described something that doesn't look like a necklace of fireballs. (E.g., bracelet with pearls) - Made it look like a necklace of fireballs but do something totally different. If I'm concerned about "knowledge the...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 02:50 PM
    I'm a huge fan of roll-then-narrate because it promotes creativity (and, as you say, humor), which I enjoy. But it doesn't (in my experience) promote genuine problem solving. Why find a creative, workable solution to a problem when it's going to be the same roll regardless of what you do? And I like D&D where the players have to figure things out. Example: you need to persuade an NPC of...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 02:26 PM
    That's too bad, because as I've said a couple of times recently I think it's the tricky examples in between the two positions...rather than the obvious ones at the extreme ends...that can help us figure out what the fundamental differences in belief are. You caricaturing my position ("talky talky") to make it look ridiculous, and me caricaturing your position ("search every 5' square") to...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 02:04 PM
    Ah, ok. Then that's something else. I was misled by your focus on the word "would", which seemed to be a concern not about allocation of roles but fairness of adjudication. Which definitely seems to be a concern of some other posters: their primary concern is that players will be greedy, or DMs will be arbitrary and/or manipulable, and seem to want rules systems that are designed to prevent...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 05:51 AM
    Methinks your requirement of "clear boundaries" indicates a lack of trust in other players/DMs.
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 04:51 AM
    Let's say I play a Sorcerer, and I "dump" both Strength and Int with 8's in each. (I won't even go into the fact that an 8, with a 5% penalty, isn't even really that low.) For some reason the sorcerer is separated from his party and now he needs to push a mine cart loaded with heavy silver ingots up a steep ramp, and you (the DM) have already decided that it's a DC 18 Strength check to...
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  • Elfcrusher's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 04:29 AM
    Umbran, did you include this one in the spreadsheet?
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Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 07:28 PM - Oofta mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Elfcrusher, I'm with 5ekyu on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks. I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to be a strawman.

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 05:23 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...ers are defined by much more than their race and class. They’re individuals with their own stories, interests, connections, and capabilities beyond those that class and race define." There are sidebar examples throughout the PDF of two characters (Tika and Artemis) who are distinguiished - as those sidebars emphasise - on the basis of non-mechanical details of the fiction. That seems an invitation to players to make up similar stuff for their PCs. Deciding on Ideals and Bonds seems also to invite the player to make up people and places that their PCs care about and are connected to. In the context of this thread, I think that Hussar has made it fairly clear that one reason he doesn't like the "goal and approach" method of action resolution is that it privileges the GM's conception of key aspects of the ficiton over possibly differing conceptions held by the players. Others obviously disagree, taking the view that exercising such authority is the prerogative of the GM. But upthread, Elfcrusher gave an example of a player authoring shared fiction invovling the stories told to a young PC by trial elders. I don't think many posters regarded this as a usurpation of the GM's authority. The general response to my post seems to be that the player deciding that the gate guard is her/his PC's childhood friend Frances is a usurpation of the GM's authority. But in some other recent threads I've seen criticisms of a GM narrating failure as some sort of oversight or carelessness on the part of the PC as a usurpation by the GM of the player's authority over deciding what his/her PC does, thinks and feels. Likewise there's a widespread view that it would be usurpation for a GM to decide that a PC didn't do what the player has said s/he does, because the GM thinks it is inconsistent with the PC's stats. These boundaries aren't crystal clear to me, and I'm a pretty experienced RPGer. I don't find them clearly articulated in the 5e Basic PDF. I'm sure I could get by in iserith's game playi...

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 03:42 AM - Eubani mentioned Elfcrusher in post A Few Balance Changes I'm Considering
    I was hoping this thread would be about archery. Just for you Elfcrusher I change abilities that ignore cover bonuses to reduce AC by 2. This gives them some benefit whilst making cover still desirable. I have been thinking about but yet to make the leap of bringing Archery fighting style in line with duelling and other styles by making it +2 damage instead of to hit. Useful but not overriding the usefulness of everything else.
  • 03:22 AM - Hussar mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Y'know, I have to apologize for the "talkie talkie" thing. I thought it was funny and cute, totally not meant as a shot or anything like that. I see that it has very much taken on a life of its own, and that's totally my bad. Sorry about that. When I say, talky talky or talky bits, I'm simply meaning those parts of the game that revolve around the social pillar. As opposed to the hacky bits or looky bits. :p Yeah, humour is always tough. But, honestly Elfcrusher, I've never seen this as you folks needing to defend anything. iserith is 100% right in saying that this is what the 5e books expect. It is right there in black and white. I can't really argue with that. My point has always been that anyone, like me or Oofta, saying that we have a way that works better for us is immediately dogpiled on as coming from dysfunctional tables or not understanding other approaches or whatever.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 04:38 PM - Oofta mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Elfcrusher, can you define your "alternative method" for a low charisma character achieving a social goal. Because when we ask for examples it's "use the key to open the locked door". Well, duh. Of course you can bypass a locked door by using a key. You can smash it down if you don't mind the noise and the fact that you're breaking the door. But it's the same as bypassing a trap. Want to open a trapped chest? You either have to use a skill or find the instructions on how to bypass the trap in my campaign. If you're trying to get past a trapped door and can just bypass it by going around, why wouldn't you? So for social encounters what are your options. Bribery? Blackmail? The former may not work or you may have insufficient items of value, the latter is assuming you have a "key" (aka "dirt") and are willing to use it*. It also assumes that you do either of those without insulting the NPC. In other words in my campaign you could try those but best it would do would be to give you a...
  • 05:57 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I'm not sure what you're commenting on or asking, if you're asking anything at all.Fair enough. I'm commenting on the apparent need, in the action resolution scenarios being discussed in this thread, for very clear boundaries in respect of who has authority over what bits of the fiction. And adding that notions of "trusting the GM" - which were invoked by another poster - seem to be irrelevant to the context in which they were invoked. For what it's worth, the "literature" (for lack of a better term) on RPG design has discussed this issue of boundaries at some length, but not normally in the context of presenting D&D rules. To the extent that D&D rules and discussion of them articulate the issue at all, it tends to use very informal notions that mix at-the-table and in-the-fiction notions, like the player has authority over the character and the GM has authority over everything else in the gameworld. In Elfcrusher's examples, it's clear that the player is allowed not only to state that Gord the Barbarian believes, but that Gord the Barbarian knows, that the tribal elders told such-and-such tales. Whereas it's equally clear that Gord the Barbarian may believe that a certain approach to disarming a trap could not go wrong, but that only the GM is allowed to decide whether or not this belief is true. Maybe you disagree that clear boundaries of the sort I describe are needed. Or maybe you agree, but think that they are quite clear and hence this need won't cause any issues in play. My own view is that a lot of the disagreement in this thread seems to be turning on differences of opinion and experience over whether those boundaries are (i) clear, and (ii) drawn in the right place to deliver a fun play experience. Methinks your requirement of "clear boundaries" indicates a lack of trust in other players/DMs.No. It indicates that if I'm going to fit in properly at youe table, it would be hellpfu...

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 06:13 AM - 5ekyu mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Elfcrusher said "Maybe that also happens, but some have argued pretty explicitly that they think the adjudication of anything important should fall to the dice using ability/skill mechanics, and that no cleverness on the part of the player should alter the probabilities. That, for example, "I disarm the trap" with no description should have exactly the same odds of disarming the trap as proposing a clever and logical way of doing so." It would be nice to have cites for this claim. However, so far I dont think I have seen this on the challenge the character side. I am pretty sure many or most have at one point of another explicitly said that either advantage or disadvantage can come from the choices made by the player. Do you have examples from this thread? Or is this one of those pretending extremes?
  • 05:44 AM - Celebrim mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Elfcrusher: After 30+ years of GMing, I've discovered that if you are worried about the players metagaming, it's almost certainly the case that the fault is with you, and that then instructing the players to not metagame is simply digging your own hole deeper. The only time metagaming is poor play is when it is a symptom of some other sort of poor play (such as cheating by buying a copy of the module you are playing). Otherwise, you should really not even try to identify metagaming, much less assert GM force to prevent it.

Sunday, 28th April, 2019

  • 01:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...e Raven Queen story - their character does. The second is it seems an example of my #4 - both are required (if I read it tight) because specific language skills in character *and* a riddle answered in player are required. Riddles do not have to be player only, no argument there. They just fo seem to be that way quite often.I think at my table they're probably closer to your 1 (? I'm not sure I'm remembering your categories correctly), in the sense that there is not going to be any check made. At the table, the discussion is all between the players, playing their characters - so eg in the second you see the player of the paladin declining to take part because he's not interested in debating "good" ideals; and in the first, he is the one who is most excited about being in the Mausoleum of the Raven Queen, and so it's not a coincidence (although also not guaranteed) that he is the one who works it out first. I don't know 100% how this fits into your conception, or Hussar's, or Elfcrusher's - I would say it is challenging the player's ability to inhabit and play as his/her character. And of course it takes for granted that the player is immersed in the fiction of the campaign (riddle 3) or its moral logic (riddle 2). I think the first riddle - the one I can't remember - was probably weakest in this repsect because it didn't draw enough on that immersion.

Saturday, 27th April, 2019

  • 12:42 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Because it's frequently not apparent. Consider this: a pit appears bottomless, but is actually an illusion - it's really on 3 feet deep. What do you do, tell them the truth: "if you fail this roll nothing bad will happen", blatantly lie to them "you will fall to your death", or tell them nothing, thus letting them know there is something fishy about the pit, because you normally tell them what will happen? @Elfcrusher already answered this before your post: Now, you don't have to give away every nuance of the consequence. "Sure, you can try to chop the door down, but it's going to make a lot of noise. Are you sure...?" But they don't have to know exactly what sort of creature is going to be alerted. "If you fail, you fall into the pit". No more detail necessary. The players can be terrified until they make it across safely and then perhaps laugh at the clumsy wizard who screamed as he fell three feet, reveling the illusion.

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 04:46 PM - Oofta mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Great and interesting post. I'm keying on this at the end for a reason. I think that everyone who has posted in this thread, so far, has articulated the same distinction (for the most part) with regards to PC/Player challenges. I guess what I'm not sure I understand is how, in the excerpted fashion, this is any different that what Elfcrusher is saying when he articulates that a PC challenge is actually a build challenge? By investing resources into, for example, being a trap-finder? Am I missing something? Or are you agreeing? We're kind of agreeing? Sort of? For me challenging the PC applies to the part of overcoming an obstacle or achieving a goal using the numbers on the character sheet along with a die roll*. Sometimes this is good for the player because they have high numbers, sometimes it's not. So again, encounters are often a mix. Can you come up with a way of achieving your goal that uses the best aspects of your PC or do you have to fall back on some of the weakest because you have no choice? I don't go out of my way to target weaknesses, but if the scene calls for lifting a heavy rock I had assumed you would need to make an strength (athletics) check. But maybe the player thinks of using some type of lever in which case I'd still call for a check but this time using intelligence to see if they can...
  • 03:46 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    In a broader sense, I like to create adventures that mix PC challenges and Player challenges. If someone has invested a significant amount of PC resources into being the best trap-finder ever, I want to reward that. If the players come up with a clever plan to bypass the trap altogether, I want to reward that as well. Great and interesting post. I'm keying on this at the end for a reason. I think that everyone who has posted in this thread, so far, has articulated the same distinction (for the most part) with regards to PC/Player challenges. I guess what I'm not sure I understand is how, in the excerpted fashion, this is any different that what Elfcrusher is saying when he articulates that a PC challenge is actually a build challenge? By investing resources into, for example, being a trap-finder? Am I missing something? Or are you agreeing?
  • 02:37 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... story for there to be a somewhat difficult to climb run-of-the-mill wall I may include it. Unless it's important I get past it with as little muss and fuss as possible.To me, this would seem a good reason not to call for a check at all, because nothing is at stake.. Just narrate the climbing of the unremarable wall and keep moving until something more significant comes up. So, just to be clear, y’all would allow a player to roll (and potentially fail) to perform a task that you didn’t initially plan to require a roll to succeed on, simply because they announced that they were making a check? That’s actually how you would all rule in that situation?For my part, it would depend. If the DC is zero/automatic (as per Hussar's comments upthread), no. But if what's going on is a mismatch between GM and player expectations as to whether something is at stake, it might be time for a re-calibration in our understanding of the situation. Either way, I couldn't imagine it playing out like Elfcrusher's example.

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 08:18 AM - Hussar mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...r how good of an explanation either Player gives. No matter how many eloquent words the player of the blunt character uses, the DC is still 20 for this particular approach to this particular goal. And no matter how much of a mumble-mouth our player of the Cha 20 character is, they’ll still have a +8 to the roll. Pretty neat, eh? The scenario challenges the players. The difficulty of the task challenges the characters. See, to me, this is a perfect example of why I don't play this way. If, as Bawylie says, " it doesn’t matter how good of an explanation either Player gives", then why am I giving any explanation at all? If the DC is static, then what's the point? I can be as silver tongued or as tongue tied or just say, "I persuade the King, Persuasion X" and the end result is identical. Me, I would much, much rather that the player narrates the results than the lead up to the roll. The lead up may be contradicted by the roll. The results won't be. Now, OTOH, if, as say, Elfcrusher says, we are playing to the player and not the character, then what I say absolutely matters. If I can say it right, I won't even have to make a check, or, depending on how well I do it, my DC will be reduced (which effectively grants me bonuses on my die roll). Again, and I think I stated this way, way back in the early pages of this thread, it makes me, the DM, too visible as now I'm judging performances, which I don't want to do. So, I'd rather be like Baywilie where it doesn't matter what explanation the player gives and then take it a step further and skip the explanation (which doesn't matter) and go right to the result, which does matter.
  • 07:29 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...roll. They would remain neutral as a counter to the consequences of failure. So, it was proposed, that there should not only be consequences for failure, but consequences for doing nothing. So, exactly what I said. Consequence for failing and consequence for doing nothing.That was me, not Charlaquin. As per a post I made not too long ago days-wise but maybe 100+ posts upthread, there are different approaches possible and this thread is bringing out some of those differences. Just to mention some of the posters I've interacted with: The approach I'm describing (which I use in 4e and which I think could be ported to 5e) has some similiarities to 5ekyu's, but is not identical (as can be seen in the discussion of the Audience With the Troll King scenario). Ovinomancer also does some things similar to me - eg in some recent posts mentions the idea of keeping up the pressure on the players via their PCs - but not identically I don't think. I also have some similiarites to Elfcrusher and Charlaquin - eg regarding the fictional specification of the declared action as very important - but some differences - eg I call for more checks than they do (see my quote upthread from Luke Crane for the reasons why). I have had far too many players who are so scared of failing and making things worse for the party that instead they opt to do nothing. So, when I see people saying that by adding more consequences for failing a roll than simply defaulting to the status quo, and that makes their players more eager to act, that goes against everything I have seen with new players. The more consequences there are, the more likely they are to withdraw. <snip> Failing forward is great, I love that style. But that was not the style I was addressing. This style seems more like "checks shouldn't be rolled unless failure hurts" and that is why I said the fighter puts there foot in their mouth. Under that style, as I understand it, it cannot be that the fighter simply fails t...

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 02:18 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    OK, but then "I listen at the door" is pretty concrete. "I ride my horse across the plain, hastening to Hardby" is pretty concrete. But at least some posters are suggesting that those sorts of action declarations lack sufficient precision. I'm not wanting to put everyone in the same box - I already think I posted upthread that I get a different impression from your posts than (say) elfrcrusher's - but the overall vibe I am getting is one of emphasis on engineering details rather than (say) emotional or thematic details. To the extent that your game contradicts that vibe, OK, I believe you. I listen at the door is at the minimum threshold, i think. And, yes, I'd say there's a lot more engineering in Elfcrusher's game than mine, His example of how much thinking goes into his games is a very far cry from the "oh, crap, I supposed to run in 15 minutes" I usually do. I just finished a dungeon tonight that's run the last two sessions, which was reasonably prepped. The "final" room, though, didn't go at all how I anticipated, which was awesome. I mean, I figured it would be a social encounter with a powerful prisoner of the area, negotiating information for freedom, and it was kinda that, but the dwarven barbarian kicked things off by making an offering of alcoholic beverages, and so it went in a very different way that what I anticipated. Drunk djinns are much more genial and forthcoming than I expected (some great rolls!). As it was, the planned hard choices ended up being friendly with a powerful elemental AND getting good info on what they came for. I think this may be an overly narrow account of "skilled play". There's a well-known anecdote of Gygax ruling that the sceptre-to-crown ...

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 11:05 PM - CleverNickName mentioned Elfcrusher in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    iserith and Bawylie totally opened my eyes to a better way to play D&D.Tell us a story, Elfcrusher!
  • 09:31 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...ell us why. So, if I am confronted by failure, I don't just brush it off, I give them the reason in the narrative. Players fail rolls. It happens in the game. Whether that particular roll should have been called for has nothing to do with the fact that as a DM I have to consider how I would narrate a failure, even one that on the surface seemed so unlikely that we didn't think it was going to happen. Not exactly. My problem was with the way of narrating the failure you claimed was better. It wasn’t better, it was flawed for exactly the same reasons that the ruling in the example was flawed - namely, that arriving at it would still have required calling for a roll in a situation where the outcome was not uncertain. It was no better a call, it was just a more flowery way of making the same bad call. Exactly. You have no problem with what I said, you have no disagreement with me. Your entire disagreement is that I didn't condemn an absurd premise hard enough. Fine. Elfcrusher, in your sarcastic example of a DM calling for a die roll to disarm a poisoned handle, even after the player declared they were wiping the handle with a thick cloth and were wearing gloves so that no poison could possibly contact their skin, you were completely wrong in all ways and there was nothing redeemable about that. No roll should ever be called upon in that situation, no matter the circumstances, and nothing else could ever be said about that example or any permutation of that example because your failure in calling for that roll was so extreme it eclipses everything else. Further more, my use of that example to bring up an entirely different point was wrong in all ways. I should have never have done so, and will endeavor to punish myself appropriately for such a disgrace, since my point fell under the assumption of the roll that must have never been and that is a shameful scar upon my DMing from here on out. Now, Charlaquin, if I have properly responded to the roll tha...

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 06:48 PM - Immortal Sun mentioned Elfcrusher in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    @Elfcrusher I’m not gonna debate action resolution in this thread but the idea that more eloquent people have an unfair advantage is bunk. Well, that certainly doesn't sound like "Those things you're talking about aren't the things we're talking about." It certainly sounds a lot more like "That thing you said is wrong." We’re not looking for perfect description or dissertations. Which I never implied nor suggested other DMs, in this context ones like @iserith were expecting. @Elfcrusher, while I felt dismissed by @Bawylie, I found @iserith to actually be constructive on the subject, at least until he bailed on defending his point and said "I just do what the book says." We’re looking for an articulated objective and a reasonable approach to achieve that objective. No more complicated than “I attack with my sword.” I find "I attack with my sword." to be exactly as descriptive as "I search the room." Assuming there is only one enemy, just like there is only one room, these two statements ar...

Friday, 12th April, 2019

  • 01:39 AM - pemerton mentioned Elfcrusher in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...in the deliberate action that the player has declared, then the answer is yes. For example, suppose the PC is fighting an orc on muddy ground. If the player rolls an attack, and misses, I think it's acceptable for the GM to narrate "You have trouble keeping your footing in the mud, and can't land a blow on the orc." If the PC is trying to disarm a trap, and a check is made and fails, I think it's legitimate for the GM to narrate a slip, or a failure to notice one of the wires, or a drop of sweat from the PC's brow, etc Is it acceptable to narrate "You use the shortcut your master showed you - but this trap must have been built by your master, because it's got a failsafe against the shortcut- that you only discover too late!"? I would regard this as highly table-specific. Similarly, if the player of the scholarly character fails a knowledge check, can the GM narrate "You must have skpped that lecture!"? That too looks to me like a highly tablle-specific thing. Upthread, Elfcrusher suggested allowing players to narrate their own failure. That's certainly one possibility, but some tables prefer the GM to be the one who carries the responsibilityi for introducing adversity into the game. I don't think there's anything in the 5e rules that contradicts that preference.


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Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 10:40 AM - Radaceus quoted Elfcrusher in post Best old-school dungeon crawl for 5e?
    I was leaning toward Forge of Fury from Yawning Portal. I ran this as a one shot ( it was actually a 10 hour marathon...) for a group of 7, and it was a blast, a lot going on, a good blend of RP opportunity mixed with Hack & Slash, which went over well for the group since it was a F2F reunion of sorts and we had several different play-styles representing. EDIT NOTE: regarding novice players: Most of the group had not played 5e at the time, I created about a dozen 3rd level characters beforehand, and threw them on the table 30 minutes before starting. The 3 PF players really got into the background and RP, where the OD&D/1E guys were all about the min-maxing and figuring out how to team up and kick doors down. It was fun to play with their expectations, knowing that it wouldn't play out the way they were used to those strategies working.
  • 04:38 AM - dnd4vr quoted Elfcrusher in post Best old-school dungeon crawl for 5e?
    Thanks for all the answers. I was leaning toward Forge of Fury from Yawning Portal. Keep on the Borderland conversion is intriguing...I'll have to research that. If you are interested in KotBL, I can sell you our copy now that we're done with it. I'll give you a good price! :)
  • 02:46 AM - Fenris-77 quoted Elfcrusher in post The Charismatic Fighting "Hero" - Which Core Class does it Best?
    Maybe the answer to this question depends on how you define "heroic"... When I constantly feel the need to airbrush a gleam coming from your teeth when you smile? Anyone who can give an Ancient Red Dragon the wink and guns routine and be taken seriously? Any character who does something rousing or stirring at least once a game session (but only in sessions rated PG or lower). I could go on...

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 01:35 PM - darkbard quoted Elfcrusher in post Map Printing Help
    Any advice? Are you familiar with Posterazor? It may take a bit of fiddling to get each map to exactly 1" squares, but it does precisely what you want.
  • 01:10 AM - Toledo quoted Elfcrusher in post Best old-school dungeon crawl for 5e?
    Forget plot, forget character development, forget roleplaying. What's the best good old-fashioned kick-in-the-door-kill-the-monster-take-his-$#@% dungeon for 5e? Does it even exist? I'm going to be running a very short campaign (a bunch of sessions crammed into a week) for some novice players, and they'll just want to hack and slash their way to victory. EDIT: Of any level, although lower is probably better. I've been told by the veterans at my table that Rapanathik is an extremely old school dungeon. It's very huge so far, and extremely tough. We ventured into the surrounding areas before entering it...we were probably L4 or L5 before entering it.

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 09:43 PM - Parmandur quoted Elfcrusher in post Best old-school dungeon crawl for 5e?
    Forget plot, forget character development, forget roleplaying. What's the best good old-fashioned kick-in-the-door-kill-the-monster-take-his-$#@% dungeon for 5e? Does it even exist? I'm going to be running a very short campaign (a bunch of sessions crammed into a week) for some novice players, and they'll just want to hack and slash their way to victory. EDIT: Of any level, although lower is probably better. Tales from the Yawning Portal is a pretty good bet for this need.

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 04:18 AM - Chaosmancer quoted Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Ok, so you are policing their thoughts. If you mean in terms of using knowledge checks to see if a character has knowledge, then yes. IF you mean yelling at my players for thinking bad things... then sometimes yes, but only when I can tell they've got their minds in the gutter.

Saturday, 18th May, 2019


Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 12:43 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Elfcrusher in post The Most Popular D&D Character Name Is "Bob"
    I'm sure everybody who hates that the Fighter is the most popular class will take some comfort in this implications of this new data. Yeah, because Fighters named Bob are OK. (Seriously, though, the Fighter has ALWAYS been the most popular class. Every. Survey. Ever.)

Thursday, 16th May, 2019

  • 08:07 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Elfcrusher in post Ghosts of Saltmarsh: A Review
    I figured the plot would be the same. I was wondering more how the text expects the DM to resolve the challenges, vis-a-vis the debate(s) we've been having about how tasks are handled in 5e. The difficulty would vary depending on how many innocent lizardfolk the PCs slaughter before realising they are in a Star Trek scenario. I always think it's a bit silly putting in DCs for social skills beforehand when there are so many potential variables. Something static, like a trap? Sure.

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 07:59 PM - Celebrim quoted Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I disagree. "Smelly" is a subjective term, and a player is free to declare they their character finds a certain odor offensive or not. I agree. The smelly chamberlain example is just the latest example of attempt to assert that the boundaries of the PC extend to encompass all that the PC can observe or think on. One wonders if the person making these claims believes their own person extends to encompass all that they can observe or think on? I really have a hard time taking these arguments seriously, as I think they are less serious arguments than attempts to justify a process of play that includes a gentlemen's agreement over what different participants can introduce to the fiction in an effort to improve the game - something I think that is neither justified by these red herrings nor which needs to be justified. It's not badwrongfun to cooperate together. Go ahead, especially if you have nigh unto perfect knowledge of what everyone else at the table enjoys. Under such condit...
  • 07:16 PM - Morrus quoted Elfcrusher in post Ghosts of Saltmarsh: A Review
    Could you elaborate on the nature of the "diplomacy" in Danger at Dunwater? (This is in the context of two current threads on skill use.) Are the challenges written in a way that assumes/requires certain skills to be used in certain spots. E.g., "The chieftain can be convinced to do X with a DC Y Persuasion check." Or does the adventure simply provide factors and motivations, and give more general guidance about how things might get resolved? I'm guessing the former...especially since it's an updated version of an old adventure...but I'll cross my fingers for the latter. If it's the same as the original, the PCs think the Lizardfolk are the bad guys. It's only after they start to raid their lair they (might) realise they're the good guys, and they're refugees from a Sahuagin attack. They're trying to build an alliance with Locathah and Merfolk to fight back, and humans aren't even on their radar. If the PCs have killed too many of them before figuring this out, the original adventure...
  • 04:06 PM - pemerton quoted Elfcrusher in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I think the idea here would be that the GM can insist that they don't smell anything (because there's nothing to smell), but they're free to insist that they do - so they're either hallucinating, deluded, or just teasing the guy. And, really, probably not hallucinating, but deluded, yeah, if the distinction is that hallucinations are /caused/ by something (like the ergot in the rye bread that came with your standard rations - should've sprung for the iron), while delusions are self-imposed.Right. Which is not consistent with the suggestion that the player has total authority over what the character thinks and feels. If the GM likes the idea, he runs with it. If he doesn't think his Chamberlain should smell bad (but I do hope he has a good reason, because really if the players want him to smell bad that's a great contribution) then the PCs are the only people who think he smells bad. The players are free to have their characters act like he smells bad. The players are free to have thei...
  • 02:49 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Elfcrusher in post Bethesda Comments On Accusations Of Plagiarizing D&D Adventure
    I'm curious what you think should have happened differently here. Assuming that the folks at Bethesda didn't have a specific reason to suspect plagiarism (and why would they?), what sort of competent keyword search do you imagine would have tipped them off? I'm no QC professional, and I realize I do have the power of hindsight here, but one might run a search that includes a setting element, the mcguffin, and the named characters: - desert AND statue - "Chandra Stol" OR "Mother Mara" OR "Kah'reem" OR "Zayla" Given the proclivity for lawsuits in the video game world, it seems this and similar types of QC research would be done (early and often) regardless of whether the company suspects something; it would be done to ensure their "original" idea doesn't too closely resemble something else already out there. Then the company can decide whether to edit the work or just proceed as is.

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 11:28 PM - Charlaquin quoted Elfcrusher in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    I'm glad you said that, because I thought your thinking (and ability to express it) were impresively clear in....those other threads recently. Thank you! :) I get the "clarity of design intent." And it might be fun to brainstorm a more elegant solution. I just don't think the current one is an actual problem. I tend to agree with you. The current set of dragons is definitely not a problem. The game works perfectly fine with them, and changing them doesn't really improve gameplay in any noticeable way. It's mostly just a matter of design aesthetic preference. If you're fine with the current set of dragons, they work very well. For me, it's just one of those minor little annoyances that doesn't really matter, but I enjoy homebrewing "solutions" to.
  • 09:12 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Elfcrusher in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    I hope RGB (additive) is being taught as the primary colors today, but in the 1970s anyone who didn't work in television or printing definitely thought of RYB (mixing) as the primary colors. I thought about mentioning that. If you were a bit nerdy in the A/V sense back in the day, you'd've definitely been familiar with 'additive' primaries (and maybe felt a little smug superiority over it), and/or if you'd paid attention to the popular-science level explanations of color TV back in the 60s (color TV was a big deal for a while). Thanks for bringing up heraldry; surely some of the TSR folks had studied that topic. If the dragons were based on heraldry colors, wouldn't they have included purpure (purple)? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtractive_color#RYB IDK, I don't recall hearing of purpure (or tunney or anything else but the above, and 'propper' (natural color of the thing, which'd seem highly debateable in the case of dragons), the times I looked up heraldry (card catalog!) in library b...
  • 07:24 PM - Charlaquin quoted Elfcrusher in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    Oh, this is a “suspension of disbelief” thing. I’ll bow out. Good luck. Not for me. If I’m suspending my disbelief enough to allow for the existence of dragons, I can easily believe that they would not come in a nice, tidy, color-coded set. To me the issue is not suspension of disbelief, but clarity of design intent. I want a clear design reason behind the set if it does exist.
  • 07:07 PM - Charlaquin quoted Elfcrusher in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    I'm not sure I see the difference between those two phrasings. Can you explain? "my enjoyment" seems just as subjective as "fun." Oh, maybe you thought I meant "universally fun for all". No, I meant it in an entirely subjective sense. No, fun just has connotations of exhilaration and joy to me. There are lots of things that I enjoy that I wouldn’t describe as “fun.” But, I suppose it’s only a semantic difference, if by “fun” you just mean “enjoyment” then I retract the objection Huh. I never would have even considered that to be a criteria. I can't remember how many hit points an ogre has off the top of my head, either. I almost always look up a monster when I use it. I don’t need to know its HP or whatever off the top of my head, but I do like to know one monster from another. I don’t know how much HP an ogre has, but I know an ogre from a troll, from an orc, from a goblin, you know? Hill, Stone, Cloud, Frost, Fire, Storm. Why those six? Flesh, Clay, Stone, Iron. Why those four? ...
  • 06:01 PM - Frankie1969 quoted Elfcrusher in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    On the other hand, if what you're looking for is historical/literary/mythological precedent, why are you going for colors/elements in dragons at all? Where does THAT come from? [ . . . ] How does it actually affect gameplay, in a negative way? Sometimes the game mechanics are so utterly off from fantasy storytelling that it interferes with my Suspension of Disbelief. For example, Evasion. TV rogue surviving dragon breath completely unscathed by diving behind cover? Awesome! D&D rogue surviving Incendiary Cloud completely unscathed by ... standing inside it on an open field? WTF? I never liked Vancian spell preparation, but the guys in Wisconsin did, and it does have a valid internal logic, so I can't hold it against them. AC and HP are bad oversimplifications that have polluted countless game systems ever since. But even there, I have to admit that they do make the rules simpler, and that's a valid game design principle. Dragons are literally the most important monsters in D&D, and their su...
  • 03:21 PM - Frankie1969 quoted Elfcrusher in post On the Origins of Dragon Species
    Hill, Stone, Cloud, Frost, Fire, Storm. Why those six? Flesh, Clay, Stone, Iron. Why those four? Giants: Fire, Frost, Stone (Mountain), and Storm: Norse mythology Cloud: Jack & the Beanstalk Hill: not sure about them, maybe just overgrown Ogres? Cyclops, Titan: Greek mythology Ettin: Narnia Golems: Flesh: Frankenstein's Monster Clay: Jewish mythology Stone: various myths of animated statues Iron: Greek mythology (Talos was actually bronze, but close enough. 1E's Iron Golem drawing is plagiarized from Jason & the Argonauts.) Thank you for bringing this up. Nearly all of D&D's early monsters have known obvious precedents in myth & fiction (except for a select batch that were derived from a weird set of plastic toys), but not most of the core dragons (red is European myth, gold is Chinese myth, the rest are ???). That's exactly what bugs many of us.


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