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  • robus's Avatar
    Today, 03:49 AM
    Cool, sorry I closed the poll down to one option.
    33 replies | 616 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Today, 03:41 AM
    Huh, I guess I imagined that every DM would have a preferred style? :)
    33 replies | 616 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:12 PM
    Again we're probably talking at cross-purposes because I don't see myself in an adversarial position to my players, I try to put interesting challenges in front of them and they in turn try to engage creatively with those challenges. If that makes me a bad DM then I guess that's a cross I'll have to bear. :) And with that I'm finally out of this thread.
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:38 PM
    I think this thread has seen quite enough of that! :P
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:07 PM
    I cast sleep on this thread!
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:57 PM
    That looks a lot more workable IMHO. When you say score here do you mean total Con score or bonus? I imagine bonus because otherwise we're talking Monty Python levels of mere flesh wounds? :)
    18 replies | 377 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:41 AM
    I dunno, it’s hard to tell a player their pre-rolled nat 20 didn’t accomplish anything... Edit: I retract that, you’re talking about asking, not rolling without asking. Apologies.
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:25 AM
    That really helps to explain how we’ve managed to talk at cross-purposes for so long! Except for things like passive perception, AC and level I know little else about the players character sheet.
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:18 AM
    One thing we have to stop saying is that there’s “a correct approach”, there a good approaches and bad approaches. It’s very poor DMing (Imho) to have situations with a single acceptable approach. In fact I never even consider approaches when I put obstacles in the way of the players, I just think of what would naturally be the result of either their or NPCs actions (or the environment) and throw...
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 06:26 PM
    I want fantastical worlds/cultures to explore (one of the reasons I find the M:tG Planeshift docs so appealing) and an adventure to animate it (and be the launching point of a long campaign if the setting resonated with my group). If I had my druthers I would have one setting neutral (OK FR) adventure path levels 1-15/5-20 and one brand new campaign setting + intro adventure (1-5) per year (fill...
    35 replies | 902 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 03:18 PM
    I hear you, I just remember my time on the other side of the screen and getting quite lost after a number of sessions with no recap. Now I'm not a great note-taker so that might have been part of it, but I'm not at a session to go back to school (and copious note-taking seems like work, rather than aiding immersion?) :) I'm there to have fun exploring, fighting and interacting with a motley crew...
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 03:07 PM
    If you like this idea you'll love this time tracking sheet that was created to support Angry's time keeping method: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/253286/Time-Tracker
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 03:00 PM
    So I hijacked another thread and thought this was interesting enough to have its own thread. Do you recap the story so far (in some way or other) at the beginning of your sessions?
    33 replies | 616 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 02:09 PM
    It does seem a bit fiddly, but connecting constitution and HP is, of course, correct, as HP increases are tied to your Con. But at higher levels any critical is going to blow away all your Con, so PCs are going to suffer more fainting fits than they would at lower levels so that seems wrong, or perhaps I’m not understanding what you mean by applying critical damage to your Con score? How...
    18 replies | 377 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 01:57 PM
    Well it used to be once a week, but now every two weeks. But I still do the recap every session, because players, in my experience, are not keeping track of the big picture. When the session ends they’ll discuss what happened a bit but then not think about the game for the rest of the week. Me, on the other hand, I spend the entire week thinking about the next session and what threads I want to...
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 12:59 AM
    If nothing else I, at least, learned something new in this thread. Detect had puzzled me too! :)
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 06:47 PM
    MM=Matt Mercer? Mike Mearls? Mickey Mouse? Marshall Mathers? :P
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 04:55 PM
    MNblockhead - bingo!
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 03:07 PM
    Ha you're absolutely right. That's crying out for a "How I think I GM/How my players think I GM/How I actually GM" meme :)
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 02:00 PM
    After being in a game with no recap (except what us players could manage to cobble together) this article resonated with me: https://theangrygm.com/the-art-of-the-recap/
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 08:18 PM
    Glad that's working for you. My players are similar to how I was as a player, they remember a few random things but have lost the thread a bit, so while they might, after a while, piece something coherent together I prefer to avoid the awkward fumbling and instead provide an engaging recap that leads directly to them being able to declare an action and we're off.
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 03:49 PM
    Absolutely. I just think that when we're approaching a new "environment" - a remote castle, or a dangerous swamp it's a good idea to really come up with some evocative language to "set the overall scene". Then, as exploration proceeds, continue to flesh it out with new details as they go, but hopefully that background scene setting at the beginning has been infused so that the details are...
    99 replies | 2587 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 02:11 PM
    There must be a ton of options on DMsGuild for what you’re needing? AL sounds like a good plan, but with the short game time, something simple homebrewed (that interests you) would also work?
    6 replies | 236 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 02:04 PM
    Talk about the right product at the right time!
    5 replies | 316 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 03:49 AM
    Just gave episode 8 a glance and right off the bat, Matt C. doesn’t bother with a recap, relying on the players to vaguely recall a couple of points (they’d been off for two weeks!). DMing 101, in my book, is not relying on the players to remember what’s going on and provding a useful recap that leads neatly into interesting situation where the players get to make choices. I hated it when my...
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:30 AM
    We should probably start a separate thread capturing boxed text botch ups! :D
    99 replies | 2587 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 12:04 AM
    Absolutely, which was the surprise. I guess good to see that not every notable DM is also a natural storyteller, but it was not compelling to watch. I should probably give a more recent episode a go, just to see if it wasn’t first time nerves. The early Critical Roles were a bit dire, but mostly on the technical side.
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 09:42 PM
    I really don't understand this attitude. Not everywhere needs to become the Forgotten Realms. I think one of its great weaknesses is the fact that it's a kitchen-sink, anything goes setting that drowns in the mess of it all. WotC needs to remember that less is more. The PHB, MM and DMG are resources to be mined for assets to add to your game, not an a la carte menu that must be available to...
    17 replies | 489 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 09:27 PM
    Because otherwise there was really no chance of failure?
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 09:23 PM
    To clarify, "a chance of failure, but no cost or consequence to retry, then the action is successful."
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 09:17 PM
    That's the most delicious one! :D "You just manage to be successful, but...."
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 06:40 PM
    I agree and when it's an adventure of your own making it works really well. One of the issues I have with the published adventures (because they're set in the Forgotten Realms) is the backstory is pretty epic and there are all kinds of factors involved and if your players are aware of some of that, then they can get testy if your "reasons" don't match their understanding of the canon. It can...
    99 replies | 2587 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 06:24 PM
    I expected the game to sparkle with talent and yet it just kind of slogged. Colville's narration seemed particularly weak which surprised me given his authorial talents (and how to vids) and there were some rules questions (and opening the game up to outside input via twitter seems like a bad idea). Also some of the players seemed quite unengaged/unhappy. It wasn't what I imagined at all. Very...
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 05:55 PM
    Absolutely, and it would be even better if the boxed text didn't make too many assumptions about the story so far (and thus trip up a novice DM). That's what caused me much grief in the early days.
    99 replies | 2587 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 04:29 PM
    The way I think about scene setting is similar to a chapter in a book. The first page or so of the chapter typically immerses the reader in the location, setting the mood, describing the environment etc etc. After that the reader is assumed to have that picture in their head and the action resumes. So some lengthy (2 or 3 paragraphs) boxed text at the beginning of an adventure/extended sequence...
    99 replies | 2587 view(s)
    2 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 04:13 PM
    I've struggled with boxed text in that it often assumes a certain direction of approach by the party and a static situation (especially when it includes NPC info). Boxed text that simply and evocatively described the location/environment would be great. Let me handle the dynamic aspects.
    99 replies | 2587 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 01:49 PM
    I’ve adopted the roshambo approach that was posted on Enworld, but I’m curious about this. Is there a good link to share?
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 01:37 PM
    This was the fabric print option, which is much lighter than the canvas. But yeah, no marking the days/weeks off. :) Edit: this is how they describe it: 1 Custom Photo/Art Print (14" x 11")
    78 replies | 2968 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 03:14 AM
    Just rewatched “The Name of the Rose” and that was enormously helpful in getting a feel for the milieu!
    19 replies | 568 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th April, 2019, 03:11 AM
    AngryGM’s posts on running the game were very illuminating when I was starting out and Iserith’s adjudicating actions guide I found here was icing on the cake (and a major reason why I stuck around) I thought AngryGM’s schtick was just against DMing styles he didn’t like but it turns out he’s got a lot of retrograde opinions, so my enthusiasm for him has dimmed considerably (thank goodness he...
    68 replies | 3504 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th April, 2019, 09:52 PM
    @MNblockhead - the cloth printing arrived. I think it's going to work well (and very easy to transport): Edit: probably could have been 25% smaller... :)
    78 replies | 2968 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 05:22 AM
    This humble kickstarter (now ended) actually broke $1,000,000! They don’t show what the original raise was, but they smashed it whatever it was. What is going on with 5e?!
    9 replies | 534 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 09:46 PM
    Dragons were a big part of my campaign as we went through ToD and SKT. Now, though, we're in the Underdark, so dragons are not a feature. I don't envisage dragons making any impression in the next campaign.
    48 replies | 1476 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 02:35 AM
    I watched the Tomb Raider reboot not long ago and one thing I came away with was how much the way Lara takes a beating but still pushes through is almost exactly how I imagine a PC adventuring: lots of near death experiences and bruising fights and yet each night she bandages her wounds and readies herself to fight another day. A few non-adventuring days puts her back 100% once more. Yes it’s not...
    75 replies | 1885 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th April, 2019, 09:54 PM
    I see. Yeah, I've nothing useful to contribute in that discussion :)
    75 replies | 1885 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th April, 2019, 09:11 PM
    I think simply making the player roll damage (now called "defense" or something) to find out how difficult it is to fend off the successful attack is all that's need to adjust to this definition of HP? The player is determining (randomly it's true) how much it costs them from their resource pool. But perhaps I'm thinking of some middle path between what you and Laurefindel are conceiving? But...
    75 replies | 1885 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th April, 2019, 04:49 PM
    Someone else (in another thread?) mentioned that they have their players roll for the damage done against their characters. This would work well with the "spending HP" approach. How much effort/HP do I have to expend do prevent this attack from taking me down? Edit: clarity
    75 replies | 1885 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th April, 2019, 04:12 PM
    HP is measuring how long you keep up the fight. Every time you defend yourself from a successful attack it consumes your HP resource, your fighting spirit. If you don't put up a fight then you don't spend HP. Simple as that. Sure it can be used to model a duel or whatever. But rather than say "I choose to spend HP" it's simply "I choose to defend myself" and that act of defense consumes your HP....
    75 replies | 1885 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th April, 2019, 02:01 PM
    Very nice indeed. I can recommend the cloroplast boards (I mentioned above) for something very light but sturdy, if that hardboard is a bit unwieldy?
    78 replies | 2968 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th April, 2019, 12:23 PM
    Imaculata, this sounds really nice, do you have some pics you can share?
    78 replies | 2968 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th April, 2019, 08:44 PM
    I definitely fall into the camp that every successful hit makes contact (breaks through the defenses and actually leaves a mark on the body of the opponent.) This is to account for things like poison and necrotic damage etc. If the blow was actually avoided then there's not much chance of poison taking its toll. So HP is your ability to field the blows, and stay in the fight. It's pretty much...
    75 replies | 1885 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 8th April, 2019, 11:34 PM
    As we sit around on sofas to play, rather than at a table, this has become a great lightweight play surface for maps, dice etc. It’s placed on top of the ottoman between the sofas: NEOPlex 22" x 28" Black Corrugated Plastic Replacement Panel for Sidewalk Sandwich Board A-frame Signs https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004PBZU14/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_tV8QCbC88Y6Y7 (I think mine is 24” x 36”or maybe larger)
    78 replies | 2968 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 8th April, 2019, 08:04 PM
    Ooh - I'll take that thanks very much! :D
    265 replies | 26091 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 8th April, 2019, 04:50 PM
    Update: Just ordered a fabric version from Vivyx (14"x11") for portability. I'll post a pic when it arrives.
    78 replies | 2968 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 8th April, 2019, 01:21 PM
    Yep, this has been an issue for me too, which is why I appreciated the AngryGM’s idea (that this TimeTracker is derived from, and makes so convenient). What final size did you go for?
    78 replies | 2968 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th April, 2019, 08:21 PM
    Yep I was just trying to think of an environment that would come with a lot of potential integral speed bumps as you call them and how that might play out.
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th April, 2019, 06:35 PM
    A situation where I can see a lot of mundane obstacles to overcome would be playing something like Dragon Heist. There you can imagine a lot of locked doors to get past, or guards (city and private) to evade. Now those could be resolved with dice rolls, but most of the time they should not be. Remember if there’s no penalty for taking time then the PCs will eventually succeed. (a locked door just...
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th April, 2019, 02:38 PM
    Thanks for the detailed list MNblockhead, that Time Tracker looks really cool. Actually it would be perfect on the flip side of my initiative tracker!
    78 replies | 2968 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th April, 2019, 04:56 AM
    Sad that comments aren’t available on the article it would have been interesting to see some Times reader responses.
    19 replies | 815 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th April, 2019, 04:42 AM
    One of my players got me this artist’s easel and storage drawer: It stands my Paizo initiative tracker up nicely during the game and keeps my dice, pens and index cards neatly stored between sessions. Not sure what to do with the paint palette :)
    78 replies | 2968 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th April, 2019, 01:29 PM
    Absolutely agree on the books and their layout. Very hard to navigate for folks new to the game. I think you have some other good points but it’s sad that your final verdict is so down, especially as it’s something you were excited to share with the next generation. Perhaps return those books (if you can?), pick up the Starter Set and just run through that adventure with your son. While it...
    1852 replies | 171635 view(s)
    3 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th April, 2019, 07:37 PM
    This scenario sounds like the rogue is attempting to sneak up on someone and knock them out? I would argue that until a fight breaks out the combat rules don't apply, so sneak attack damage/weapons/finesse etc are moot until that point. One thing the rules don't describe is a non-combat knockout scenario. To me asking for the attacker to reduce the target to zero HP is ridiculous because the...
    34 replies | 1369 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th April, 2019, 05:58 PM
    I think you have a preconceived notion of how you think we play: pixel bitching, magic words, and when we say, no that's not how we play, it confuses you because you think you know how we play (and it's a form of play you think you've experienced and had a miserable time). We're simply saying that we encourage creative and imaginative play at the table. Players are simply asked to immerse...
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
    3 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th April, 2019, 05:36 PM
    Actually I really don't want to faff about figuring out how it works, I want the adventure writers to do that! :) But, absolutely, I do want an interesting (and logical) world for my players to explore and interact with. Just killing stuff over and over gets old at my table... (because if there's little to no exploration or social interaction then all that remains is end to end combat?)
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th April, 2019, 04:44 PM
    Here's my favorite: The north wall has a secret door. DC 15 Wisdom (perception) (or investigation) to detect it. No description of what the tell tale sign of the secret door is, just it's there. Instead of telling my the DC, tell me what clues I can give to my players so that they have a chance of finding (or suspecting) its presence! The room is interesting so give them some interesting stuff...
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th April, 2019, 04:35 PM
    Yeah - I'm working on an adventure scenario right now, and it's much harder than it looks :) But I still think WotC (at least) should be trying to think about framing these challenges in a way that encourages creative thinking and not trip up DMs by documenting an assumed approach and DC and when the players try an obvious but different approach, leaving the DM to wonder why they bothered even...
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
    4 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th April, 2019, 03:58 PM
    This is actually one of the major issues I have with the published adventures, they assume approaches (by indicating the desired ability/skill) and set DCs, and given this it's easy to understand why it is often the default mode of play instead of the recommendation in the PHB. I'd much prefer that the adventures just describe the situation and indicate the expected challenge level, easy,...
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
    5 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th April, 2019, 09:21 PM
    And here I thought we were going to be talking about about adversarial DM vs PC battle royale games :) I've only played in one game and it kind of petered out, so I've mostly DM'd and now, while I would like a chance to play again, I'm not sure I'd be happy in that role. I want to run (and potentially play in) thematically tight games. I've come to dislike the "kitchen sink" approach of FR. I...
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th April, 2019, 04:59 PM
    I'm not sure I have any great insight into this but I do like to have lots of monster options, so more is great! Yay! The biggest ease-of-use aspect (and something that Creature Codex includes) are multiple indexes based on CR, environment as well as simple alphabetical. If there was someway to download a condensed PDF of pure stat blocks that would be awesome (though understandable if you...
    7 replies | 242 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th April, 2019, 03:36 PM
    Just saw this thread resurface and I immediately thought of Matt Mercer's notes for the Harvest's Close Festival that he kindly shared. It has a bunch of fun carnival type games for PCs to play: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uzhaqli8jsuh8gg/C2%20-%20Session%2017%20-%20The%20Harvest%27s%20Close%20Festival.pdf?dl=0
    27 replies | 29129 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Whilst LMoP doesn’t get a lot of love from me as a Starter Adventure (it’s more like an intro to 5e for existing players), it does have a story, a variety of adventures and some interesting NPCs (the whole thing is a bit wildly uneven). But if you’ve not played it (and you’re an experienced DM) you should have a good time. There are tons of reviews around the web (and here:...
    13 replies | 587 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019, 03:33 PM
    I know when I was playing in Princes of the Apocalypse that things got very dull very fast because the goals were vague and even when we accomplished them it didn’t seem to make much difference. So I’m sympathetic to the OPs concern. If you’re wanting the players to remain engaged with a larger story then you need to have a desirable goal and show meaningful progress toward that goal in...
    13 replies | 587 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019, 08:04 PM
    Ah, you’re new around here :) This is a seasonable phenomenon, each year, in the Spring (for us in the north) the birds start to sing, the flowers start to bud and Enworld has the traditional player approach vs PC ability debate. It eventually peters out, and we’re almost there. But in summer we switch to the “high-level play is broken battle royale” :D
    1128 replies | 30805 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st April, 2019, 09:24 PM
    Interesting to see this thread resurrected. What ended up happening in my game (I see I intended to provide an update...!) was that by defeating the entity bound to the sword my player was able to effectively neutralize it. I then explained that she could reinvigorate it by defeating a great evil and in that good act part of her soul and powers from the defeated creature would enter the sword and...
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 31st March, 2019, 10:42 PM
    That looks like fun!
    18 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 31st March, 2019, 03:54 AM
    I’m trying with my OotA remix (PCs are at level 17). It’s really hard to design a foolproof encounter because they have so many tricks up their sleeves. So now I’m focusing mainly on throwing the kitchen sink at them and trying to spin an engaging story. I don’t even worry about trying to balance things anymore, I just try to make it interesting.
    25 replies | 995 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th March, 2019, 08:18 PM
    While they occasionally have a session in front of a live audience, as do other streaming shows (such as Acq. Inc.) the vast majority are simply streamed. I think you’re assuming more artifice than there is, they’re simply very good at improve and voices and are very good friends who having been playing together for a long time. I get the impression that many people assume this group formed to...
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 29th March, 2019, 05:39 PM
    Yeah, my group absolutely hates political stuff. The council meetings in ToD were just boring noise to them, so I quickly learned to make them into simple mission setters. "Well done on mission X, now we need people to Y and do Z. With that accomplished we should be in a position to make the final assault on the Well of Dragons!" My players, at least, are very happy to have clear goals for...
    132 replies | 4545 view(s)
    2 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th March, 2019, 07:43 PM
    Thanks for sharing all these Dyson, I've picked up a few for an adventure I'm planning that will fit perfectly. I'm also going to try my hand at redrawing some maps in your excellent style for an old adventure that I've foolishly promised to share (I just looked at them and thought, Dyson would not be impressed! :D )
    265 replies | 26091 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th March, 2019, 01:17 AM
    Cool, I’ll see what I can do. What’s your urgency?
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th March, 2019, 01:07 AM
    I wrote up an intro adventure when I first started out that had the PCs recover a medicinal vial that had been lost in a wreck off Waterdeep. I had a lot of fun running it, I’ll look it over and upload it if you’d be interested?
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    Wednesday, 27th March, 2019, 05:40 PM
    What do you mean by "staged"? Do you believe the show to be pre-scripted?
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 09:25 PM
    Is that WotC or the Pudding King? ;)
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    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 08:18 PM
    Prepping Blingdenstone for tonight and what on earth is the deal with the cool "Royal Sphere" (area 28) that is actually just an empty nothing? Their words: "There is nothing of interest or value within."! Why would WotC put something like that in there without using it? Obviously I'm going to put the Pudding King's throne room in there. It'll be all blinged up with mother-of-pearl style...
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 06:03 PM
    So Insight then? :P
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 03:49 PM
    Surely this can be handled by Passive Perception or Passive Investigation if it's an action your character is performing repeatedly? If you've declared that you're constantly looking for traps while exploring the dungeon then that's what you're doing, no need to keep declaring it. If you stop doing it for some reason (an encounter for example), then you just have to declare that your character...
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    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 01:57 PM
    You can message them, I believe. I did when someone else had blocked me (unbelievable right? ;) ) and they removed the block.
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 03:56 AM
    Wow, that’s quite unfortunate. Well I’m glad you’ve found an approach that let’s you still enjoy the game. I’ve, surprisingly it seems, not yet ended in that inevitable state despite running an almost 3 year long campaign, but I’ll keep an eye out for it, only a few sessions remaining though... ;)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 02:09 AM
    Sure, but that's entirely different from claiming that it doesn't have a simple answer. All systems can be abused and ungenerous, pixel bitching, nit-picky DMs that want people to jump through their hoops are trouble no matter what approach they choose. My commiserations, I would also be mad if I'd had that bad experience. However I am surprised that, given the relative novelty of this...
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 01:48 AM
    And this is why I think you're deliberately trying to misunderstand our position and pretend it's more complicated than it is. We're really not wanting players to jump through magic hoops, we just want them to clearly communicate an action through their goal and approach. You seem to assume that we have a predetermined phrase that the player must utter to pass our test (or expert domain knowledge...
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Saturday, 20th April, 2019


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Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 07:33 PM - Immortal Sun mentioned robus in post To recap or not to recap
    I do a short recap reminding the players of where they are, what their immediate quest was, and what the general story has been so far. Generally along the lines of "LAST TIME ON DRAGONBALL Z!" Because while I read the Angry GM post about recaps as robus linked me and much of that is more or less what I already do, I just enjoy being dramatic.

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 03:25 PM - Parmandur mentioned robus in post Of Ships & The Sea DM Screen & Official Vinyl Sword Coast Map
    The wasted something like 20% of the area of the map on empty ocean in order to show one small island in the far north east. Three better options: 1) Reduce the size of the map by 20%, pocket the profits. 2) Reduce the size of the map by 20%, cut the price. 3) Keep the same size, extend the map to show 20% more of eastern Fearun; including the location for the first 6 seasons of AL and all the CCC content. That's robus printout: the Gale Force 9 map doesn't have all the water.

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 09:46 PM - jimmytheccomic mentioned robus in post Enhancing "Dragon Heist"
    robus, since you're updating the index- I wrote a second DMs Guild Waterdeep themed product as a sibling piece to "Here's to Crime". "Handful of Heists" is a collection of five heist adventures set in Waterdeep- https://www.dmsguild.com/product/270065/Handful-of-Heists?src=hottest_filtered&filters=0_45728_0_0_0_0_0_0&site=#_=_

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 07:22 PM - CleverNickName mentioned robus in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    ... dregntael: $13,935,109 chrisrtld: $13,635,019 pogre: $13,500,000 Aebir-Toril: $13,224,376.89 Satyrn: $13,000,000 Yardiff: $12,456,145 -----------Highest-Funded Game Project on Kickstarter (Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5) $12,393,139-------- Radaceus: $12,345,678.91 FarBeyondC: $12,345,678.90 Morrus: $12,000,000 Mistwell: $11,800,000 Mort: $11,620,000 Zardnaar: $11,354,883 <--- The Winner! Sadras: $11,120,000 SkidAce: $11,000,000 Tazawa: $10,700,000 togashi_joe: $10,250,000 DM Dave1: $10,101,010 MichaelSomething: $10,000,000 Lazybones: $9,750,000 PabloM: $9,500,000 akr71: $9,250,000 rczarnec: $9,250,000 Azzy: $9,000,000 Henry: $8,900,000 mortwatcher: $8,666,000 Lidgar: $8,423,976.73 vincegetorix: $8,360,000 SmokeyCriminal: $8,008,135 AriochQ: $7,777,777 robus: $7,750,000 MarkB: $7,500,000 phantomK9: $6,969,696 TarionzCousin: $6,160,000 ClaytonCross: $6,000,000 ---------Highest-Funded Film Project on Kickstarter (MST3K Kickstarter) $5,764,229----------- MaximusArael020: $5,685,000 Prakriti: $1

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 07:15 PM - CleverNickName mentioned robus in post In Defense of Milestone Leveling
    robus, iserith, DM Dave1: Is "DM fiat leveling" even a bad thing? The DM controls how many battles occur and when, and determines how many monsters are in each...therefore, the DM fully controls XP already. Any control the player has over XP is purely an illusion. Milestone leveling might break the illusion, but it's not like the concept is new...

Thursday, 13th December, 2018


Thursday, 1st November, 2018

  • 01:11 PM - lowkey13 mentioned robus in post best/saved threads
    It's not quite the same, but robus has this thread which is stickied and can be edited: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?545699-Best-of-the-5e-Forum

Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 06:30 PM - Quickleaf mentioned robus in post Mitigating players spamming Help, Guidance, Bardic Inspiration, and oh I’ll roll too?
    iserith robus ad_hoc A lot of advice about “Players don’t decide when to roll, the DM does.” Yep! My issue is not that I don’t practice that; it is that I am getting worn down constantly policing the players on this issue & constantly finding new ways to explain this specific to a scenario as one or more players eagerly reach for their dice. It’s tiring for me because I love to say “yes” to my players & the policing part is my least favorite part of DMing. “No, you can’t Help/Work Together because you haven’t said anything that would be helpful in this negotiation. Is there something you’d like to speak up and add to support the Bard’s arguement?” “No, Bard player, you can’t roll to beat the druid’s Nature check because you haven’t proposed doing anything substantially different. Besides the Druid is the *best* in your party at Nature lore. You might try a new approach?” “No, Sorcerer player, you can’t make a History check here. Because nothing in your background as a native of the forests ...

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 06:30 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned robus in post Video Game Inspiration for D&D 5e
    Prize: The four colored spheres become elemental gems that can only be activated by the winner Fruit: I like what robus suggests... make them healing/defensive potions of various strengths such as: Cherry = Potion of Healing Strawberry = Potion of Necrotic Resistance Orange = Potion of Greater Healing Apple = Potion of Heroism Melon = Potion of Superior Healing Galaxian = Potion of Longevity Bell = Potion of Supreme Healing Key = Potion of Speed

Tuesday, 21st August, 2018

  • 04:57 AM - iserith mentioned robus in post Missing Rules
    ...hat the winning jump at the 1896 Olympics was over 22 feet, I don't think that the outcome of an attempt by a muscled and athletically trained human in the D&D world to jump an 18' chasm is certain failure. Obviously, given the rule on p 64 and assuming less than 18 STR, it is not certainly successful either. Hence it would be determined by a STR (Athletics) check made against an appropriate difficulty. My reason for spelling this out is simply to demonstrate the point that what is at issue in this thread, at least as far as the current discussion is concerned, is not the proper way to adjudicate 5e, nor the closely related issue of whose job it is to call for checks, nor the issue of whether or not "I clear the chasm by jumping over it" states an approach to the goal of getting across the chasm - it manifestly does. What is at issue is what the rule on p 64 makes certain and leaves uncertain. On this issue of jumping the chasm, that's the sole point of difference between me and @robus and I think @SkidAce, @5ekyu and @Reynard, on the one hand, and you and @Charlaquin on the other. I still think this comes down to approach. There are two goals here, you might say: Jumping Normally and Jumping An Unusually Long Distance. You can certainly achieve the second goal, in some circumstances, given a viable approach. This might mean interacting with the terrain in some fashion that is unusual, getting the assistance of an ally, or using a resource that reasonably helps. The resolution of that outcome may or may not involve a Strength (Athletics) check. What is a viable approach requires context and, even if we're all looking at the same context, we may rule differently as to its viability. Some might say it works, others that it doesn't - no roll. Some might say it's uncertain and call for a check. Among those latter folk, the DCs may vary. Do I think a character can jump an unusually long distance? Yes. The rules say it's possible. What matters is the approach they off...
  • 04:30 AM - pemerton mentioned robus in post Missing Rules
    ...the winning jump at the 1896 Olympics was over 22 feet, I don't think that the outcome of an attempt by a muscled and athletically trained human in the D&D world to jump an 18' chasm is certain failure. Obviously, given the rule on p 64 and assuming less than 18 STR, it is not certainly successful either. Hence it would be determined by a STR (Athletics) check made against an appropriate difficulty. My reason for spelling this out is simply to demonstrate the point that what is at issue in this thread, at least as far as the current discussion is concerned, is not the proper way to adjudicate 5e, nor the closely related issue of whose job it is to call for checks, nor the issue of whether or not "I clear the chasm by jumping over it" states an approach to the goal of getting across the chasm - it manifestly does. What is at issue is what the rule on p 64 makes certain and leaves uncertain. On this issue of jumping the chasm, that's the sole point of difference between me and robus and I think SkidAce, 5ekyu and Reynard, on the one hand, and you and Charlaquin on the other.
  • 03:29 AM - SkidAce mentioned robus in post Missing Rules
    robus said it well.

Monday, 20th August, 2018

  • 05:08 PM - iserith mentioned robus in post Missing Rules
    Except that the rules also state that you can jump further than usual, which is something you don't seem to have explained. I've explained it at length, over and over again: An approach is required to determine if the character can actually jump an unusually long distance. "An Athletics check" is not an approach. It is a mechanic to resolve a declared approach to a goal that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure. I am in no way against a character trying to jump an unusually long distance. The question is "How?" The gray area, as I pointed out to robus, is that the efficacy of the player's answer to "How?" is going to be judged differently by different DMs. He's okay with "I try harder..." (or words to that effect). I am not. Neither of us are wrong.

Monday, 30th July, 2018

  • 09:08 PM - guachi mentioned robus in post Running 5e published adventures
    I hate the fact that 5e adventures don't have inline monster stats so much I don't run 5e published modules. I just convert older modules and just combine my conversion time into adding concise monster stats to an Excel spreadsheet and I print the stat block up separately for each encounter. It also serves as a convenient place to track HP, too. Yes, it takes time. But my time at the table (which this saves) is more valuable than my time in prep. Another benefit is that typing out the abbreviated stat block and treasure list is that it gives me a much better grasp on the encounter. I get a much better feel for encounter difficulty this way. I've only ever seriously misjudged one encounter - with three hellhounds. LOL - I just realized I said basically the same thing robus did.

Friday, 27th July, 2018

  • 07:19 PM - Cyber-Dave mentioned robus in post For those who know, are Ravnica vampires like Zendikar vampires or Innistrad vampires?
    @robus Outside of D&D, vampires do not come with a "very specific set of aspects." They are, in fact, a relatively recent mythological development. Right now, the term "vampire" coheres with exactly two core qualities that are common to every instance of the creature in fiction: it thirsts for something related to one's life energy; it comes correlated to the promise of longevity. D&D vampires are more specific than that. D&D vampires generally look like a conflation of the vampires from Bram Stoker's Dracula and the film Nosferatu. The vampires of Innistrad are the same. That isn't true of Magic the Gathering. The vampire's from its different planes retain the core aspects that have defined vampires across all their variations, but each plane presents a different variation of the creature. In some planes, they are living creatures infected with a disease a la I Am Legend. In others (like Innistrad), they are creatures out of a gothic horror story. Arguing that vampires belong only in on...

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 06:04 PM - iserith mentioned robus in post Critical Role Episode #26 - spoilers!
    ... time they can impose a negative effect on themselves. The player can describe the character as closing his or her eyes. The DM then applies the appropriate rules to that action, as necessary. So why can't a player declare "I'm terrified of spiders and suffers from acute arachnophobia. I'm making myself frightened of the drider."? Why do they need to ask "DM may I?" to hinder themselves. Is any DM really going to argue? The DM saying "No, you are NOT frightened" is so much worse... Per the rules, a player can declare being terrified of spiders and having arachnophobia. A player cannot say the character is Frightened in a mechanical sense. My assertion is that this is the DM's role and the burden of proof for that assertion is satisfied in my view by pointing to the rules of the game. Now, if you or @Istbor want to allow players to decide the mechanical effects of their actions, nobody is stopping you. I'm just saying that's not what the rules say and it's likely why someone like @robus would find what he saw on Critical Role strange (in addition to it not being telegraphed). I would find it strange, too, and said as much. Personally, I would advise a player against this. A player-imposed hindrance to a character is a hindrance to the entire team to varying degrees. It messes at some level with the difficulty of the challenge. I would instead encourage the player to write an appropriate personal characteristic (personality traits, ideal, bond, flaw) for the character regarding his or her fears, portray it accordingly with no mechanical hindrance, then take Inspiration for doing so. This encourages the behavior rather than discourages it via a disincentive.

Friday, 11th May, 2018

  • 03:43 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned robus in post Can a Critical Hit miss?
    You are no longer hidden if you attack someone even if the attack misses (unless you have the Skulker feat). {snip} At least, that's the rules. I'd argue they are wise ones. As soon as you start letting creatures attack and auto-hide due to existing cover and make them immune to being perceived, players will start massively abusing that when they can. It's not a particularly good path to go down, in my opinion. It's pretty clean and simple that when you attack you're no longer hidden. These are great points. At the very least, there needs to be a contested skill check for the Move and Hide after the crossbow shots (as robus mentions above). Example 2: "what was the players intent and how would the players character approach that task" {snip} Player said do I see where the arrow came from not do I see who shot it. I think its bad GMing but people have different styles. Agreed. The DM in the situation was too nitpicky with PC#2's Perception check. Succeeding on Perception should have given away the crossbowfolks' position, too. All of that said, if I were this DM and bungled the various rulings up to the point where PC#2 shot, I hope I would have had the sense in the moment to rule as follows on the Crit: "Your arrow flies through the thick foliage. You hear your arrow ricochet off of something hard and then you hear an audible yelp about 10 feet away from the spot. Roll your crit damage." That would be much more satisfying to the table than just saying "Sorry, even though you rolled a 20, you missed" in this situation - especially with the lack of solid RAW/RAI justification for everything ...

Wednesday, 9th May, 2018

  • 10:50 PM - dave2008 mentioned robus in post Disintegrate vs Forcecage
    I should have specified that I'm using @dave2008's beefed 5e monsters. His version of Yeenoghu has Disintegrate instead of Teleport. But you're right that some limited teleport would be a good addition for Demon Lords. @robus, I just wanted to point out that my Demon Lords have some standard spells that they all have access too. If you look at the demon lord traits, all demon lords have the following spells: At will: comprehend languages, darkness, detect magic, detect thoughts, polymorph, see invisibility, telekinesis 3/day each: arcane gate, dispel magic, fear, teleport 1/day each: forbiddance, symbol So my version of Yeenoghu does still have access to teleport. However, as @MonsterEnvy noted, I plan to add limited range at-will teleport abilities in future updates.

Wednesday, 2nd May, 2018


Sunday, 28th January, 2018

  • 09:42 PM - monkeydm mentioned robus in post passive perception vs active perception
    what i meant by not really looking is this: the orcs dont know there are any elves. They are just marching to their base camp for instance. but in the PHB on pg 177 (block on Hiding), it states that PP can be used even when characters arent really looking. Which kind of contradicts what robus said about PP not being a radar for anything. This rings true to me as wel. Because even if you are not looking for elves, you can spot one (by accident).


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Saturday, 20th April, 2019

  • 03:45 AM - UngeheuerLich quoted robus in post To recap or not to recap
    Huh, I guess I imagined that every DM would have a preferred style? :) Ok. I prefer if a dedicated player takes notes. But I can't endorce it. I also don't like to be the dedicated player myself. I also think in some groups it better to have everyone recall the past events or me as a DM do a short recap. I could vote for desicated player if you want. Edit: I voted fir player recap and I remind them on what they forgot. Maybe that encompasses most variants.

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 10:05 PM - Chaosmancer quoted robus in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    It's possible different people imagine different things with the language used. By "punish" I (and I think others) are imagining the DM intentionally trying to make sure the player/character is forced to use the dump stat. But maybe others use "punish" to mean just letting people play the game, and not always giving the player an "out" to avoid using the dump stat. Yeah, I agree that the term "punish" is poor wording for how I look at it as well. I'd point out the original statement did also say they should be rewarded for having high stats as well, which is why I think they meant it more in lines with not giving people outs to avoid having to care about their weak points. By all means, quote the post where I said “you should do it this way.” If you can point to it, I will cede that I misspoke and apologize. But this whole time I have done nothing but answer your questions about my DMing style and correct your misapprehensions about it. From my perspective, I am just b...
  • 09:29 PM - Elfcrusher quoted robus in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I cast sleep on this thread! Next time use Intimidation.
  • 09:21 PM - Oofta quoted robus in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I cast sleep on this thread! Ah, robus, my dear deluded poster. This thread has over a thousand posts, do you really think a simple sleep spell will put it to rest? Even if it does, it is only a matter of time before it rises from the dead yet again. Jason Voorhees is probably easier to kill.
  • 02:48 PM - dnd4vr quoted robus in post Hit Points and Constitution damage System
    That looks a lot more workable IMHO. When you say score here do you mean total Con score or bonus? I imagine bonus because otherwise we're talking Monty Python levels of mere flesh wounds? :) I thought it looked more workable to, but we'll have to see when we playtest it (if it comes to that). I was actually thinking Con score, not bonus. Because you have to make a Con save for every wound, most characters will fall unconscious after 4-5 wounds I would think but I haven't done the math on it yet. If it turns out to be the "mere flesh wound" scenario, we'll rethink it. Maybe 5 plus Con mod? So, most characters would range from 5-8 or so. That would mirror closely to the levels of exhaustion, but that isn't my goal.
  • 01:59 AM - iserith quoted robus in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    It’s very poor DMing (Imho) to have situations with a single acceptable approach. And THAT is what "pixelbitching" actually is.

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 11:36 AM - S'mon quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    After being in a game with no recap (except what us players could manage to cobble together) this article resonated with me: https://theangrygm.com/the-art-of-the-recap/ How often do you play? It seems to me that players who don't remember what happened last week must be incredibly bored/disengaged. I have one guy like that in one online game who just sort of tags along. But most players pay attention. IME all I need to do is say "So, you are heading into the hills to look for the evil temple" or wherever we ended last week. No way am I going over important npcs etc pre game - if the players care, they will remember. If it comes up in game and they ask "Who is that guy?" their PC can have an INT check. I really dislike the idea of opening the session with a mini lecture on what's going to be important this session. It sounds like one of Angry's many bad ideas, like his cargo cult approach to megadungeon play. He only seems to be able to think in terms of linear narratives and squishi...

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019

  • 10:28 PM - BookBarbarian quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    MM=Matt Mercer? Mike Mearls? Mickey Mouse? Marshall Mathers? :P We'll now I want to see Eminem DM in rhyme. Another dream that will never be realized!
  • 07:38 PM - 5ekyu quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    I expected the game to sparkle with talent and yet it just kind of slogged. Colville's narration seemed particularly weak which surprised me given his authorial talents (and how to vids) and there were some rules questions (and opening the game up to outside input via twitter seems like a bad idea). Also some of the players seemed quite unengaged/unhappy. It wasn't what I imagined at all. Very low energy. I didn't make it through the first episode of "The Chain" to be honest, so perhaps it got better, but it also made me sympathetic to those who say watching people play D&D is not enjoyable.I also found the chain badly managed. Whoever thought spending so much time on diecroll bids and skipping the "who am I and what am I like" portions on the first episode needs to be sent to pluck live cockatrices. It was bombing on other details but that was the most egregious. The second most was "'jumping right into it" with a fight that wasnt compelling that it seemed heading to a foregone conclusi...
  • 07:28 PM - Gradine quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    MM=Matt Mercer? Mike Mearls? Mickey Mouse? Marshall Mathers? :P Mega Man, obviously
  • 06:27 PM - DM Dave1 quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    After being in a game with no recap (except what us players could manage to cobble together) this article resonated with me: https://theangrygm.com/the-art-of-the-recap/ Thanks for this. Angry always seems to provide some good food for thought. I'm still going to have my players share in the recap, but I will be sure to sprinkle in some important things that happened before the prior sessions. Also, MM did a fine job with that recap. I'll definitely be checking out the series. Always good to review what we think we know just to be sure.
  • 02:37 PM - S'mon quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    AngryGM’s posts on running the game were very illuminating when I was starting out and Iserith’s adjudicating actions guide I found here was icing on the cake (and a major reason why I stuck around) I thought AngryGM’s schtick was just against DMing styles he didn’t like but it turns out he’s got a lot of retrograde opinions, so my enthusiasm for him has dimmed considerably (thank goodness he got off twitter!), but he still continues to produce thought provoking articles damn him! I really don’t want to see him DM though, I might end up disappointed like I was, surprisingly, with Colville. :( Colville's GMing does look lame on Youtube but I am sure is fine for the players. Whereas Matt Mercer GMing is a lot like how I imagine myself to be. :D
  • 05:19 AM - Immortal Sun quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    Just gave episode 8 a glance and right off the bat, Matt C. doesn’t bother with a recap, relying on the players to vaguely recall a couple of points (they’d been off for two weeks!). DMing 101, in my book, is not relying on the players to remember what’s going on and provding a useful recap that leads neatly into interesting situation where the players get to make choices. I hated it when my DM didn’t do a recap. Very strange. It depends on the players. The group I play with now are terrible note takers and the DM has a memory like a steel trap. I've played with other folks who are incredible note takers. And quite frankly even as DM there have been moments I've forgotten what happened last session. Recaps always feel very...schoolish or TVish though. I'm not saying that's bad, and maybe it's just me, but it always feels like I'm either a naggy teacher "Alright students did you remember to do your homework? We're reviewing Chapter 4 today." or "LAST TIME ON DRAGONBALL Z!" Ha...

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 05:33 PM - DM Dave1 quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    Just gave episode 8 a glance and right off the bat, Matt C. doesn’t bother with a recap, relying on the players to vaguely recall a couple of points (they’d been off for two weeks!). DMing 101, in my book, is not relying on the players to remember what’s going on and provding a useful recap that leads neatly into interesting situation where the players get to make choices. I hated it when my DM didn’t do a recap. Very strange. I've been following Sly Flourish's advice from his Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master: The players are the ones who do the recap at the start of each session and the DM sits back and listens. Then the DM fills in any important information that they misunderstood or just plain missed. A big advantage of this is that the players work as a team to help each other remember the high and low points of the last session and everyone gets to relive some of the fun of last session. The players also might hit upon aspects of the game that the DM did not previously thi...
  • 05:15 PM - Gradine quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    AngryGM’s posts on running the game were very illuminating when I was starting out and Iserith’s adjudicating actions guide I found here was icing on the cake (and a major reason why I stuck around) I thought AngryGM’s schtick was just against DMing styles he didn’t like but it turns out he’s got a lot of retrograde opinions, so my enthusiasm for him has dimmed considerably (thank goodness he got off twitter!), but he still continues to produce thought provoking articles damn him! I really don’t want to see him DM though, I might end up disappointed like I was, surprisingly, with Colville. :( I used to (and I guess I still do) consider Angry GM's two-part series on "The Eight Kinds of Fun" to be basically required reading for any new GM. There are few things more important and fundamental to GMing than having an understanding of the reasons why your players are showing up at your table; and what they're hoping to get out of the experience. Fundamentally changed the way I approached ...
  • 03:31 PM - iserith quoted robus in post To boxed text or not to boxed text
    The way I think about scene setting is similar to a chapter in a book. The first page or so of the chapter typically immerses the reader in the location, setting the mood, describing the environment etc etc. After that the reader is assumed to have that picture in their head and the action resumes. So some lengthy (2 or 3 paragraphs) boxed text at the beginning of an adventure/extended sequence of encounters is OK with me as it helps to set the mood. (And I have a habit of not setting the scene well enough, jumping into the action a bit prematurely so I, at least, could do with some encouragement in that department :) ). But a randomly long piece of exposition in the middle of the action? No thanks! :) So one thing I try to do is roll out important information throughout the scene, not just up front. Boxed text gives us the impression (or me at least, at one time) that you get it all out, then the PCs do their thing. When really, we have to look at the play loop: DM describes the environ...
  • 12:23 AM - Yardiff quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    Absolutely, which was the surprise. I guess good to see that not every notable DM is also a natural storyteller, but it was not compelling to watch. I should probably give a more recent episode a go, just to see if it wasn’t first time nerves. The early Critical Roles were a bit dire, but mostly on the technical side. Maybe watching Matt's Campaign Diary video about session one will give you some insight. Edit: I agree that session one wasn't what I was expecting from Matt.

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 11:39 PM - MNblockhead quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    I expected the game to sparkle with talent and yet it just kind of slogged. Colville's narration seemed particularly weak which surprised me given his authorial talents (and how to vids) and there were some rules questions (and opening the game up to outside input via twitter seems like a bad idea). Also some of the players seemed quite unengaged/unhappy. It wasn't what I imagined at all. Very low energy. I didn't make it through the first episode of "The Chain" to be honest, so perhaps it got better, but it also made me sympathetic to those who say watching people play D&D is not enjoyable. I'm not surprised. I feel like I'm a much better writer than speaker. Many good writers mull over word choice, edit as much as put words on the page, and are thoughtful. These traits do not always translate to improvisational narration. Similarly, many people who are charismatic, witty, and good with the spoken word, are not necessarily great writers. Mercer hired people do do much of the writing/poli...
  • 11:30 PM - MNblockhead quoted robus in post Your most used accessories?
    This was the fabric print option, which is much lighter than the canvas. But yeah, no marking the days/weeks off. :) Edit: this is how they describe it: 1 Custom Photo/Art Print (14" x 11") Digital Image Print Presentation Fabric Hem the edges of my banner Manual Print Trimming Thanks! Copied to my someday/maybe list in Evernote. I'd love to have the world map for my homebrew campaign printed on cloth.
  • 11:13 PM - MNblockhead quoted robus in post Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing
    I’ve adopted the roshambo approach that was posted on Enworld, but I’m curious about this. Is there a good link to share? Pretty much the entire DMs Craft YouTube channel is an example of gridless play and making amazing terrain with relatively cheap materials. But the following video is a good place to start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94aqO7jQp8E I stopped making terrain (no time) and use a digital battlemap now, but I still still have all the gridless play measuring sticks I made using DM Scotty's directions (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTT1ZU5pDBg&t=2s) and they are now an essential part of my DM and player kit. Even when using maps with grids, I use these sticks because they are so much more convenient and quicker than counting squares.


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robus's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated
Player Quick Reference
Here's a short summary of the key rules relating to combat, resting, conditions and exhaustion that players frequently need reminding of during play.

I find it much handier than leafing through the PHB!
3234 +4 1 Tuesday, 23rd May, 2017, 04:05 PM Tuesday, 23rd May, 2017, 04:05 PM
SKT Runes for Chapter 4
A handout for the runes would be nice for the players to reference so I made one.

Hopefully others find it useful too
319 0 1 Sunday, 23rd April, 2017, 11:40 PM Sunday, 23rd April, 2017, 11:40 PM
Out of the Abyss: Gracklstugh Encounter Map
Reading through the Gracklstugh chapter gave me a headache with all the cross-referencing buried in the text, so I decided to make a map of the encounters and the transitions between them.

Hopefully it's useful.

Updates

v1.0.1
* Fixed the DarkLak...
2463 +6 1 Sunday, 27th September, 2015, 04:07 PM Monday, 28th September, 2015, 10:42 PM

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