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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 04:35 PM
    Updated the index and the DMs Guild cross-reference.
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 08:45 PM
    So re-reviewing Matt's video I think his hard 3 failures rule seems overly rigid, but even he thinks needing 6-9 successes is difficult. 10 (at level 6) seems daunting :)
    53 replies | 1491 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 08:38 PM
    Just adding this in case some future reader wants some context...
    53 replies | 1491 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 07:46 PM
    The key is to keep the ratio number of successes to failures somewhat balanced (or even have more failures allowed than successes). Too many successes required over failures is a recipe for disaster :) There's a reason why the death saves are balanced between success and failure. Anyway, the skill challenge (IMHO) is best reserved for some non-lethal difficult task. A great example was in a...
    53 replies | 1491 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 06:22 PM
    I guess Iím confused as to why the DC for every check is identical? I would say that if you could have varied the DC (or sometimes been able to give advantage that might have helped. And I have to say a 10 : 3 ratio is pretty long odds with random rolls at DC 15! Why so many successes required?
    53 replies | 1491 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 12:00 AM
    Played some Zombicide Black Plague over the weekend and the tiles seemed like they could work well for an urban campaign (if youíre happy going gridless :) ). I could imagine representing Trollskull Alley and perhaps some other locations with the tiles?
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 02:07 PM
    What kind of damage are you dishing out with each swarm?
    32 replies | 1084 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 03:58 PM
    Just had a thought that this might be a fun one to reset in Ravnica substituting 4 guilds for the 4 groups of cultists, perhaps an unholy alliance of The Gruul Clans (Earth), The Cult of Rakdos (Fire), The Izzet League (Air), and The Simic Combine (Water)? Given that civilization has taken over the entire planet, perhaps there's some crazy people who want to do a reset in an apocalyptic manner?
    17 replies | 6813 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 03:03 PM
    Cool, I've added it to my master list post
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 06:47 PM
    Still wanting to know the effect of Turn Undead on a zombie swarm...? :)
    32 replies | 1084 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 10:29 PM
    Index updated! Sorry it has been a while!
    412 replies | 114209 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 09:45 PM
    Listening to Critical Role and hearing them navigate through a reef, it made me think of the pirate cove in Chult with the simple single check to navigate the reef there. The way Matt handled it was great and this seems like a great opportunity for a skill challenge where multiple successes are needed to safely make it through. For more info on Skill Challenges:...
    412 replies | 114209 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 09:27 PM
    And it raises a question that's going to quickly come up at the table. What is the effect of "Turn Undead" on a zombie swarm? Edit: And, of course, "Destroy Undead"...
    32 replies | 1084 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 09:11 PM
    But we appreciate your attention to detail :) Edit: Searching for the swarm trait I found this relevant article: http://slyflourish.com/high_level_swarms.html
    32 replies | 1084 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 05:10 PM
    It's DMs that want to run a thread like a railroad that cause me to actually leave this one! ;)
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 04:28 PM
    I think it's a testament to the power of D&D that people are still playing even after being sorely abused by their DMs in some campaigns! :)
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:00 PM
    Updated the collection of DMs Guild publications related to Dragon Heist. Now with review stars! (where applicable :) ) Edit: And added the DND Beyond posts that are related Edit, edit: And if you've downloaded something from DMs Guild and see it has no stars (or the star rating seems off), go and give it at least a star rating and hopefully a review too!
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 02:50 PM
    Yeah, Iím not sure what exactly would happen there, but, really, you have to hold these ideas loosely :) if it turns out the original ending concept isnít going to fly then fine. But itís nice to have some surprises conceptualized...
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:40 AM
    Sheís the villainís accomplice and theyíre going to split the loot? :) So now itís not only stealing the loot back but also proving that sheís a baddie? This is one scenario where Volo might come in handy...
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 04:14 AM
    I agree that it would be tricky to pull off smoothly, but the world doesnít stop functioning around the PCs. These villains are tough so I think it could be foreshadowed that their ability to beat the villains to the loot *and* get away with would be pretty amazing. Of course they could desire to fight to the death, so it would be best to indicate that the odds are overwhelming, and if they fight...
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 10:52 PM
    I've been continuing to think about how to remix this adventure to have a heist finale and this is my current thoughts: The adventure plays out as written (with whatever tweaks as necessary to enhance/streamline the plot), until the adventurers reach the vault of dragons. There, once they think victory is at hand, the villain that has also been searching for the dragons appears (they've been...
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 08:41 PM
    You're absolutely right about the fact that the resolution given in the rules is very hard to translate to the looseness of TotM. It does require some flexibility in the interpretation of rules, so it definitely suits tables that are more "story" focused than "game" focused.
    55 replies | 1373 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 03:30 PM
    It does require a DM who is prepared to narrate the combat in and out of turns so that the players are continuously updated as to the state of play. The AngryGM has an excellent post to that effect: https://theangrygm.com/manage-combat-like-a-dolphin/
    55 replies | 1373 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 08:00 PM
    The PDF is only 4 pages and half of that is example scenarios :) Perfect thing to peruse over a coffee.
    55 replies | 1373 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 05:58 PM
    That's pretty much how the Roshambo approach handles it. And the areas of effect spells use the targeting rules found in the DMG. It's quite simple and effective and is at the appropriate level of detail for TotM IMHO.
    55 replies | 1373 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 04:01 PM
    Something I find very impressive with Critical Role is how rarely the players address the DM out of character, it's perhaps once an episode (if that). You'll hear a "OK this is Liam asking Matt..." and it'll seem so strange (of course there's the discussion when a mat comes out and the players want to get their characters positioned where they imagined them to be, but I see that as different)....
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 04:34 AM
    Glad to see some push back on LMoP, if this is as good as published adventures get, I think thereís a lot of room for improvement. :) Itís fine for established D&Ders to get a taste of 5e I guess, but for newbs it leaves a lot to be desired.
    55 replies | 1821 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, 04:29 AM
    Check out the Roshambo approach, itís great (even though my players donít take full advantage of all its features we no longer squabble over trivial distances) : http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?592401-Need-feedback-on-these-alternative-rules-for-Theatre-of-the-Mind-combat-(updated-again-to-version-1-2)
    55 replies | 1373 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 06:11 PM
    Updated the index...
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 04:16 PM
    Sure it's accurate with regards to their intended function for the rule in that the player has no need roll dice to resolve uncertainty with ongoing actions, but given the normal parlance for "passive" it is fraught with confusion as we continually get into arguments over active vs passive perception where there is not such thing as "active perception", but people naturally assume that passive...
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:47 PM
    Ah, that explains a lot!
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:35 PM
    Yeah, the city guard is the militia dealing with external threats, whilst the city watch is the constabulary dealing with keeping the peace within the city walls (or at least it should be :) )
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:29 PM
    I think the worst decision WotC made in the 5e ruleset is choosing to name "repetitive actions requiring no rolls", "passive". The passivity is with the players not the characters. The character is actively pursuing their action as the player sits back and lets them get on with it. In other words the character is always taking actions (unless they're sleeping :) ). I once found a better...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 02:47 PM
    All I can say, after reading many of these responses, is that people have been through some scarring campaigns! :)
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 01:34 PM
    Surely it depends on the tableís preference? If the players prefer combat and social interaction over exploration, then sure donít bore them with uninteresting stuff, or wanking about as you so colorfully put it :) But I do have to wonder about continuing to play a game of imagination when itís become boring and routine. In my mindís eye a room (thatís been sufficiently, and distinctly,...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:49 AM
    Donít forget that they do suggest rolling your own ďbest ofĒ chain. So feel free to mix and match to suit your objective.
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 1st October, 2018, 03:45 AM
    Except thatís not what passive means in 5e. Instead it means that there is no roll for the declared repetitive action. Itís not an always on radar for everything, it is what is used when your character is doing a repeated action for a period of time: keeping watch, exploring a dungeon, whatever. Instead of asking players to continuously roll for their declared action, DMs can simply consult the...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Sunday, 30th September, 2018, 02:48 PM
    Agree with all of this, my only niggle is with the term ďroll is requiredĒ. Iím assuming itís shorthand for saying some interaction by the PC is necessary to gain the information? Given the chance for misunderstanding on this thread I thought Iíd check. :)
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 29th September, 2018, 04:25 AM
    there are two very different situations. the first is catastrophic damage, where the total remaining after taking you to 0 HP equals your HP maximum. The second is if youíre hit while at 0 hp. So your multi attack fits into the second case: the first attack takes you to 0, the second attack takes a death save, or two if itís critical.
    22 replies | 612 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th September, 2018, 10:23 PM
    While I've not played or DMed in either setting, I'm much more sympathetic to Planescape as an expansion instead of Spelljammer. Planar travel is well established in 5e as there are many spells that allow movement between the planes, but Spelljammer requires (from what I understand) a whole subsystem to be added to describe the vessels and their navigation etc etc. I just think it sounds a bit...
    13 replies | 497 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th September, 2018, 09:54 PM
    I've not followed this as closely as I probably should, but hey it's the Internet so here goes :D ... For recalling knowledge the DM needs to be able to adjudicate whether the PC recalls the lore or not. For there to be a chance of success, the player should offer some approach to that recall, "I remember a lesson back in my "Lore you should know" class that covered strange shields and this...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th September, 2018, 05:13 PM
    I think there is a disconnect between tables that have the understanding that passive perception is an always on radar, vs tables like yours (and mine when I remember :) ) where players have to declare a particular focus for their perception, i.e. what is taking their attention for this extended period of time. If you don't have to declare your passive perception action (for lack of a better...
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 28th September, 2018, 05:02 PM
    Actually, if this is an issue for particular tables, then pre-rolling initiative (at the beginning of the session, or at the end of the last combat) can greatly lessen the "swoosh"-iness of "Roll Initiative!". The threat of combat can build more organically, based off of actions of the PCs and NPCs.
    1306 replies | 33304 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 09:13 PM
    This sounds very cool. For 3a, if Volo is part of your adventure then he would certainly be an honoured guest and would be able to bring an entourage, i.e. the PCs. Or Neveremberís son I suppose, they should have some coattails they could ride in on at any rate.
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 04:00 PM
    Yeah the description is pretty confusing - a side on view would have helped a lot (or even a "site in context of other buildings" overview). The text seems to assume that the PCs approach from a side alley on the west side (those rectangular things I'm guessing are rickety steps?) That's where they encounter the fence and see the yard and "main entrance". I think the other entrances are...
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 03:38 PM
    That was going to be my suggestion too. The Castle was built long ago atop an old Dwarven mineworks. Neverember learned of the vault's existence during his time as the Open Lord and made sure that he was the only one alive with the knowledge of its whereabouts (he's a bit of a bastard). As far as the heist goes though, given its massive weight it seems logical that the heist would happen while...
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th September, 2018, 02:07 AM
    So, Iíll admit to a bit of skimming (not finding this the most readable adventure, given the four parallel plots, I probably need to pick a villain and read it that way), but I did not see a location given for the vault? Did I miss it? If I didnít, where would be a good place for large, forgotten?, Dwarven vault? And did anyone else eye-roll on the key options? Iíd prefer some thing that...
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th September, 2018, 03:27 AM
    From the thread title I thought it was to be some mammoth treatise :) a video seems more digestible...
    21 replies | 675 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 10:03 PM
    Well the proof will be in the pudding with the Dungeon of the Mad Mage campaign. That's supposed to level all the way up to 20, so we'll finally get to see what WotC thinks a campaign at that level should look like and we'll get some first hand reports from tables trying to play it. DMs will of course have to turn some knobs to tune to their table (I wonder if there'll be guidance on that...?) ...
    88 replies | 3509 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 09:56 PM
    robus replied to Dragon Heist TPK
    I dunno, there is zero foreshadowing that the PCs are getting in over their heads: The way to the hideout is clearly marked, there's one guardian on the route. The goblin guards are sleeping and will probably remain that way, doors are all unlocked. A couple of folks otherwise preoccupied. This is the poorest excuse for a secret hideout I've seen in a while. :) Compared to the goblin hideout...
    77 replies | 2967 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 04:43 PM
    robus replied to Dragon Heist TPK
    Sure, but what confuses me is the inconsistency in the level of characterization. Some random NPCs get lots of detail and others (seemingly more central to the story - such as a "boss") get little to none. What is the purpose of this hideout? What is the mind flayer doing there? Just interrogating Floon? And with its detect thoughts why is an interrogation even needed? Weak story logic is not...
    77 replies | 2967 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 01:52 PM
    robus replied to Dragon Heist TPK
    That is the key question! It must have been crits all round! Or there are 10 PCs in the party! :D
    77 replies | 2967 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 04:57 AM
    robus replied to Dragon Heist TPK
    Just finished that chapter, and while they do say the mind flayer heads off when the PCs arrive, itís all a bit meh as far as a scene goes. The mind flayer doesnít really care that some PCs infiltrated the secret hideout? Iíd expect some repartee at least: ďoh look, some foolish creatures have come to rescue this worthless dreg. Deal with them!Ē and then off it goes or something. Itís a bit...
    77 replies | 2967 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 04:49 AM
    Ok, cool :)
    179 replies | 13025 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th September, 2018, 03:37 AM
    Cool map, pondering using it for some underdark travel, but Iím confused about the secret door off the main entrance. it looks like it leads to a lower level given the dotted lines, but I donít see stairs anywhere to indicate a level split?
    179 replies | 13025 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 09:04 PM
    I guess you're technically right, but FR is at least heavily favored. :) One of the great services the popular streams like Critical Role provide is demonstrating that D&D can be played in worlds other than FR and, in particular, in worlds of your own design. Imagine if they just ran through the published adventures?! (Also it protects them somewhat from a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacking,...
    66 replies | 3226 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 08:45 PM
    robus replied to Dragon Heist TPK
    So you're claiming that the designers put a "gotcha" encounter for level 1 characters? There was no foreshadowing? No "reputation" hints given to the players (no roll needed because the Waterdeep NPCs with dangerous reputations are generally avoided by the regular folks of which the PCs are recently members :) ). I just don't understand how the PCs went into this encounter guns blazing if the...
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 07:31 PM
    Wow!
    30 replies | 692 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 05:08 PM
    Well the OP did out himself as a particular kind of person, so, yeah, I think he rightly feels singled out by Mearls's tweet ;)
    66 replies | 3226 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 03:32 PM
    robus replied to Dragon Heist TPK
    I'm more thinking Alabama 3 (A3 in the USA) "Woke up this morning" ... ! ;)
    77 replies | 2967 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 02:38 PM
    robus replied to Dragon Heist TPK
    I love this setup to the adventure,even without an initial TPK! Much more distinctive than the one in the book.
    77 replies | 2967 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Monday, 24th September, 2018, 02:30 PM
    Well Iím surprised at how many say they do! I didnít until recently, when I got a request for a picture of something from a player. Now I take pictures of things and have them on my iPad ready to show during the session. I think Iíll try and do both a verbal and a picture. I was disappointed by the request, actually, and took it as a note to improve my monster/NPC descriptions. The players...
    30 replies | 692 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd September, 2018, 10:10 PM
    Finally got my copy of Dragon Heist and Iím starting to read it. Whatís shocking me is that there is no heist to retrieve the dragon hoard from the villainís lair. (Iíve noted this oddness in other threads, but reading it for real makes it puzzling all over again.) If I get to run this adventure, the PCs will be beaten by the villain to the hoard, the mission will then be to extract the hoard...
    66 replies | 4157 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd September, 2018, 04:09 PM
    Well thatís disappointing, though I guess a DM is under no obligation to run it by the book, but then youíd be on the hook to add all the motivation/backstory (basically NPC complexity) thatís missing. Not that WotC is great at this either...
    28 replies | 1012 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 11:21 PM
    And that's what makes this quite different from really any other game. The DM really manages the dramatic flow in order to produce the desired sense of challenges with their associated victories and defeats. If the PCs never win (or always easily win) then the result is a boring slog. Realizing when the party needs a boost from a victory or to be given a reality check of a brutal loss is all part...
    42 replies | 1262 view(s)
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    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 06:17 PM
    Seems like some beholders should be able to fire laser beams from an eye stalk: Blast ray (Dex): 4d10 radiant damage
    10 replies | 393 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 06:06 PM
    And, of course, there's Paizo's Bagel Emporium that's opened right next door! Edit: Speak of the devil: http://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?5626-Pathfinder-s-Runelords-Are-Returning!
    1277 replies | 37579 view(s)
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    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 05:20 PM
    This is perhaps why Paizo continues to do well and perhaps it is healthy for the hobby as a whole as there are more playstyle options available: those wanting a more mechanical approach to the game can find lots of support in Pathfinder, while those wanting a looser, more DM arbitrated game can hang out with D&D. I'm not trying to start a war, but simply saying that there is a system, that's very...
    1277 replies | 37579 view(s)
    6 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 05:00 PM
    pukunui: In my high level reboot I kicked it off with the quest from the Dwarven King (name escapes me at the mo :) ). I didn't bother cluttering the party up with an army (and they were 15th level when we started). The quest is - clean out the Underdark of Demon Lords before they find a way through to the surface. My rough outline is: Head to Gravenhollow to gain more intelligence on the...
    3 replies | 220 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 04:19 PM
    I'll add it to the "Best of" (if it's not already :) )
    1277 replies | 37579 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st September, 2018, 06:54 AM
    Cool. Iím reworking OotA to be a high level campaign where the PCs have to be the demonbusters and clean out the Underdark :) This is after LMoP -> ToD with SKT thrown in for good measure!
    88 replies | 3509 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 09:16 PM
    Sounds like we're running similar high-level campaigns, my group is about to start their journey to take on Demogorgon. :)
    88 replies | 3509 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 09:14 PM
    Excuse me for being a bit thick, but what are the obvious repercussions? :)
    57 replies | 1122 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 09:08 PM
    Right - the DM can only say what the character senses, not what they do with that sense. So a failed check simply means the character is unable to spot an obvious tell that the NPC is lying. The player is under no obligation to believe the NPC. If they want to role play that they're going to assume the NPC is trustworthy that's great. So just communicate what the character senses, not what the...
    57 replies | 1122 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 04:40 PM
    Right it's similar to how in a book when an author takes time to establish the setting at the beginning of a scene. Once that's finished there's little need to refer back to it. But it's highly important to set the tone.
    42 replies | 1262 view(s)
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  • robus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th September, 2018, 02:36 PM
    That describes me - I think it's the experience of both running the game for that long and getting familiar with the antics of a particular group. Knowing what their typical response to a big challenge is (gung-ho, cautious, whatever) really helps a DM choose the right mix. It's not like the boosts at each higher level massively change - it's incremental, but the damage increments do seem (at...
    88 replies | 3509 view(s)
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    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 10:38 PM
    I'm learning to take my time in setting the scene, too often I'd rush through atmospheric description (focusing just on what they see, not what they feel, hear and smell). Adding those senses (when appropriate) has really helped enhance the immersion. I've also tried to improve my description of creatures too, where before I was rushing into the encounter without fully filling in the picture....
    42 replies | 1262 view(s)
    4 XP
  • robus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th September, 2018, 07:49 PM
    I was wondering if there was a connection... :)
    33 replies | 1120 view(s)
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Tuesday, 18th September, 2018

  • 06:30 PM - Quickleaf mentioned robus in post Mitigating players spamming Help, Guidance, Bardic Inspiration, and oh Iíll roll too?
    iserith robus ad_hoc A lot of advice about ďPlayers donít decide when to roll, the DM does.Ē Yep! My issue is not that I donít 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. Itís tiring for me because I love to say ďyesĒ to my players & the policing part is my least favorite part of DMing. ďNo, you canít Help/Work Together because you havenít said anything that would be helpful in this negotiation. Is there something youíd like to speak up and add to support the Bardís arguement?Ē ďNo, Bard player, you canít roll to beat the druidís Nature check because you havenít proposed doing anything substantially different. Besides the Druid is the *best* in your party at Nature lore. You might try a new approach?Ē ďNo, Sorcerer player, you canít 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).

Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018

  • 08:46 PM - iserith mentioned robus in post Luring new people into D&D
    Yeah, do a graphic like @robus suggested, but replace the game-related clip art with a white windowless van and a clown. That'll lure 'em.

Wednesday, 8th November, 2017

  • 06:04 PM - volanin mentioned robus in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    This is it! Version 1.3 of Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind is up! I rewrote most of the PDF to make it much, MUCH clearer, and incorporated a lot of suggestions that were proposed since the last version. - The PDF now is 4 pages long (instead of the original 2 pages) - Mechanics have been cleaned up a lot, with better pictures (as suggested by @Stalker0 and @OB1) - Spells have been very simplified and their rules have been made explicit (as suggested by @Yaarel) - I added an actual-play example to all of the mechanics (as suggested by @robus) - Other small corrections and game rebalances. I am quite satisfied by the result, and I'd really like to thank everybody for demanding explanations, cleanups, and proposing improvements! I guess this is it, time to stop fiddling with the D&D rules and start playing more! For those interested in great Theatre of the Mind combat, check it out here: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/224253 If anybody ever try these rules in their games, even a one-shot, please tell me how it went! Thanks again, :D

Sunday, 29th October, 2017

  • 11:05 PM - pukunui mentioned robus in post [SPOILERS] Enhancing Tomb of Annihilation
    robus: I know just how you feel, and I often give the NPC stats to the players as a result. They have Meepo's stats, for instance. But in this case, I don't think I want to give them the guides' stats, since so many of them have secrets. I don't want them to know that Eku is a couatl, for instance ... and if I give them Qawasha's statblock, they'll wonder why I'm not also give them Eku's.

Wednesday, 25th October, 2017

  • 03:06 AM - volanin mentioned robus in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    Congrats - just picked it up from there. Well done! :) I just picked up a copy as well! Great job! Thanks a lot for all the help and suggestions, I hope these ideas are able improve the combats of more people who play TotM style as much as they're improving mine right now. Also, although this PDF is meant to be distributed for free, there were 4 people that decided to pay a little for it, for a combined total of $6 ($3 after WotC's 50% cut). While this is a symbolic value, it makes me extra happy to know that they decided to show their appreciation like this! Consider yourself with Thanks Advantage! robus - May I suggest adding this thread to the "Best Of" sticky thread? I see that robus added this thread to the "Best Of", thanks a lot! I changed the name of the thread to make it easier to google, and I hope it doesn't break the link there. (Confession time: I've never realized that there is a "Best Of" thread before... I have to read a lot of things there that caught my interest).

Tuesday, 24th October, 2017

  • 09:11 PM - pukunui mentioned robus in post [SPOILERS] Enhancing Tomb of Annihilation
    Excellent work, robus! That certainly will make this thread more user-friendly.
  • 08:58 PM - OB1 mentioned robus in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    I just picked up a copy as well! Great job! robus - May I suggest adding this thread to the "Best Of" sticky thread?
  • 01:51 AM - DeJoker mentioned robus in post Thoughts on this article about Black Culture & the D&D team dropping the ball?
    The hilarious(?) thing is how oblivious you are to the negativity you introduced in this thread from you first post. And now youíre attacking Imaro. Perhaps you should spend a bit more time lurking on these forums to pick up on the vibe around here. Itís actually quite a nice place and people donít generally go looking for a fight. Iím quite pleasant and yet youíve accused me of wanting to start a flame war! You should probably join me in stepping away from this thread. Hmm interesting @robus, you twist the meaning of something I said to make it seem more negative than it was and then state that I am oblivious to introducing negativity -- I would counter that with I did not introduce the negativity -- however I will admit I have a tendency to cause it to become a pink elephant in the room when it chooses to surface its ugly head -- the fact is that Imaro's first post to me was delivered in a very condescending manner (whether intentional or not) and then when called out on this no apology just more condescending comments. Then there is you, the "quite pleasant" person who creates more negative disrespectful crap and seems to think that this is just a-okay *sigh*. So again it seems like the negativity has always been here and just no one was interested in calling it our for what it was. So do not blame me for what was already here. And if you and Imaro were such wholesome individuals as you claim, it most likely would never have gone down the route it did. It takes two t...


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Friday, 12th October, 2018

  • 07:17 PM - Retreater quoted robus in post Doh! Killed my party with a skill challenge
    I guess Iím confused as to why the DC for every check is identical? I would say that if you could have varied the DC (or sometimes been able to give advantage that might have helped. And I have to say a 10 : 3 ratio is pretty long odds with random rolls at DC 15! Why so many successes required? I guess because that was what had been recommended before? And due to having 5 characters, it would give each player a chance to have a few rolls and draw it out to seem more important and involved? Maybe 7 would've been a better number?

Saturday, 6th October, 2018

  • 08:03 PM - Oofta quoted robus in post How do I run a zombie horde?
    Still wanting to know the effect of Turn Undead on a zombie swarm...? :) I'd say it splits the swarm into two based on how many would be turned. Of course I'd also give them resistance as some that would try to run away and get shoved forward anyway.

Friday, 5th October, 2018

  • 04:41 PM - DMMike quoted robus in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I think it's a testament to the power of D&D that people are still playing even after being sorely abused by their DMs in some campaigns! :) People are still using Facebook too. What's your point? Thread derailment rating: 98.63%

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 02:17 AM - pukunui quoted robus in post Enhancing "Dragon Heist"
    Anyway, the adventurers are captured and the loot stolen. How do you pull this off in a way that doesn't upset the players? In my experience, players hate having their agency taken away like this. (Mine grumbled when I read the bit at the beginning of the book about handwaving their PCs getting arrested.)

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 07:18 PM - Blue quoted robus in post Tell Me About Your Experiences with Theater of the Mind 5E
    That's pretty much how the Roshambo approach handles it. And the areas of effect spells use the targeting rules found in the DMG. It's quite simple and effective and is at the appropriate level of detail for TotM IMHO. You mention AoE spells. I do like how 13th Age does it, where spells and target "Up to two nearby enemies" or "1d4+1 nearby allies". Perhaps a guideline to convert AoEs to that format would be useful. I really need to pick up the Roshambo approach.
  • 04:16 PM - iserith quoted robus in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Something I find very impressive with Critical Role is how rarely the players address the DM out of character, it's perhaps once an episode (if that). You'll hear a "OK this is Liam asking Matt..." and it'll seem so strange (of course there's the discussion when a mat comes out and the players want to get their characters positioned where they imagined them to be, but I see that as different). The players constantly have their characters engage with the world Matt's describing and it's a pleasure to see, because the world becomes richer because of it and the energy of the game is preserved. For me, it's less about that experience as it is just keeping things moving forward. I mean, my games are highly comedic and not serious at all in the way that I've seen Critical Role can be serious. (I'm not a fan and don't watch much of it, but occasionally I tune in for a few minutes.) I also see the questions in many cases as a form of cheating. If you can ask the right questions of the DM, you don'...
  • 06:38 AM - S'mon quoted robus in post Which First Level Adventure for Beginners/Returning Lapsed Adults
    Glad to see some push back on LMoP, if this is as good as published adventures get, I think thereís a lot of room for improvement. :) Itís fine for established D&Ders to get a taste of 5e I guess, but for newbs it leaves a lot to be desired. It seems as good as WoTC adventures get. The great thing about 5e is that you can take the best adventures of 0e-2e and to a slightly lesser xtent 3e, and run them in 5e really easily. I mostly run OSR stuff written for Labyrinth Lord in 5e and that works brilliantly, especially when I use BX/LL reaction/morale/loyalty - roll 2d6, low roll = hostile/brave/loyal; high roll = friendly/runs away/leaves.

Monday, 1st October, 2018

  • 11:39 PM - Hussar quoted robus in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Surely it depends on the tableís preference? If the players prefer combat and social interaction over exploration, then sure donít bore them with uninteresting stuff, or wanking about as you so colorfully put it :) But I do have to wonder about continuing to play a game of imagination when itís become boring and routine. In my mindís eye a room (thatís been sufficiently, and distinctly, illustrated by the DMs description) is a world of exciting possibility. Assuming a room is just a box with a few hidden items, so just give us them already, seems quite dull..? Is searching a room actually interesting exploration? Really? After the fifteenth room in that adventure? I love exploration, but, actually make it exploration - finding unknown things and learning new stuff. Filling in that hex map, scouting ahead of the party, finding or making maps, discovering new information about the society that the PC's find themselves in - that's exploration. Endless "I search the chest, I listen ...
  • 03:45 PM - iserith quoted robus in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I think the worst decision WotC made in the 5e ruleset is choosing to name "repetitive actions requiring no rolls", "passive". The passivity is with the players not the characters. The character is actively pursuing their action as the player sits back and lets them get on with it. In other words the character is always taking actions (unless they're sleeping :) ). I once found a better term, which now eludes me, but it was something like "constant", or "continuous" or something like that. "Rolling" would also work but that would just open up another massive can of worms! :D What were they thinking with "passive"? It's been a major source of ongoing confusion! I know that D&D 4e framed passive checks as used when a character was not "actively using a skill." It's possible that worked its way into people's thinking and approaches on this matter and they carried it forward into D&D 5e. (If someone didn't play D&D 4e but uses this approach, it's possible he or she just picked it up from so...
  • 03:44 PM - Kobold Boots quoted robus in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I think the worst decision WotC made in the 5e ruleset is choosing to name "repetitive actions requiring no rolls", "passive". The passivity is with the players not the characters. The character is actively pursuing their action as the player sits back and lets them get on with it. In other words the character is always taking actions (unless they're sleeping :) ). I once found a better term, which now eludes me, but it was something like "constant", or "continuous" or something like that. "Rolling" would also work but that would just open up another massive can of worms! :D What were they thinking with "passive"? It's been a major source of ongoing confusion! I'm of the opinion that the choice of word was accurate and the way it's described is not. Perception is one of those things that's always been a pain.
  • 07:52 AM - Imaculata quoted robus in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Then the player can decline to roll and auto-fail which both faster and is less onerous than having the same player say "I check...". The trouble with waiting for positive affirmation before providing contingent information is it teaches players to play whack-a-mole by saying "I check..." at every item in a description because there may be "gotcha" information available if only they had asked. But that depends entirely on your style of DM'ing. I don't do gotchas. If there is something important in the room, I will draw their attention to it. No need for a game of whack-a-mole. If the statue is worth investigating, I will give my players a clue that this is the case. Otherwise they can assume it is just another statue. Agree with all of this, my only niggle is with the term ďroll is requiredĒ. Iím assuming itís shorthand for saying some interaction by the PC is necessary to gain the information? Given the chance for misunderstanding on this thread I thought Iíd check. :) Exactly. ...
  • 06:00 AM - pukunui quoted robus in post Enhancing "Dragon Heist"
    Donít forget that they do suggest rolling your own ďbest ofĒ chain. So feel free to mix and match to suit your objective.Well, yes, but Iím not sure how I would combine all the bits I like best, especially when I like more than one of the final quest chain options. I can't have the street urchins take the Stone of Golorr into the sewers *and* have the drow gunslingers drop it in the harbor! Not unless I contrive some way for the stone to be snatched away from the kids before the PCs get to it ... I suppose I could have the gunslingers leave behind a fake that the mimic then squats on top of in its rocking chair form. Will have to ponder it for a bit ... I *would* love to have the street urchins show up more than just the once. I'll have to see if I can work them into chapter 2 somehow. EDIT: Oh, and I would love to have the PCs get tailed by a gazer or two through chapter 4 even if I don't do the spring chain. And since the gazers are meant to resemble the beholder who dreamed ...

Saturday, 29th September, 2018

  • 04:52 AM - 5ekyu quoted robus in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I've not followed this as closely as I probably should, but hey it's the Internet so here goes :D ... For recalling knowledge the DM needs to be able to adjudicate whether the PC recalls the lore or not. For there to be a chance of success, the player should offer some approach to that recall, "I remember a lesson back in my "Lore you should know" class that covered strange shields and this one strikes a chord"... or "My uncle came from this region and often told regaled us with wild tales of its history"... It's really not a high bar (at my table at least), but it really enriches the time around the table, as players use these moments to enrich the backstory of the characters (or build upon an existing aspect of their backstory). It also acts as a minor gate to avoid just every PC rolling knowledge checks (so that eventually someone gets a super high roll and looks questioningly at the DM). So just offer the DM something from your character's story (either made up at the moment, or pulli...

Friday, 28th September, 2018

  • 10:27 PM - Zardnaar quoted robus in post A Spelljammer Retrospective (and Why It Makes Sense for 5E)
    While I've not played or DMed in either setting, I'm much more sympathetic to Planescape as an expansion instead of Spelljammer. Planar travel is well established in 5e as there are many spells that allow movement between the planes, but Spelljammer requires (from what I understand) a whole subsystem to be added to describe the vessels and their navigation etc etc. I just think it sounds a bit hokey to be honest and not very cool. Of course it could be cool, but given how FR continues to be kind of clunky (and silly) I'm doubtful. Planescapes almost doesn't need its own campaign setting and the mechanics it did have can almost be run as is from 2E. PS almost already lives in 5E via the DMG and MGttM. SJ needs more work to convert, the big one being the ship combat subsystem. Personally I would just overhaul the old Star Wars Saga vehicle rules and plug them into 5E with stats for the ships and plug in bits of 2E to make SJ 5E work. Throw in a back ground or 2 that allows you proficiency ...
  • 05:29 PM - iserith quoted robus in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I think there is a disconnect between tables that have the understanding that passive perception is an always on radar, vs tables like yours (and mine when I remember :) ) where players have to declare a particular focus for their perception, i.e. what is taking their attention for this extended period of time. If you don't have to declare your passive perception action (for lack of a better term) then I can imagine people being confused by your approach. I believe you are correct, but it's a thing that is often overlooked/forgotten/ignored. Yeah, no doubt. And that's certainly how it worked in other games. But in this one it has to, in my view, be taken in the context of the other rules that work with passive Perception and ability checks as you say.
  • 05:27 PM - iserith quoted robus in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Actually, if this is an issue for particular tables, then pre-rolling initiative (at the beginning of the session, or at the end of the last combat) can greatly lessen the "swoosh"-iness of "Roll Initiative!". The threat of combat can build more organically, based off of actions of the PCs and NPCs. I've tried all kinds of different initiative methods and found the standard one is the least worst of the lot. :) But if I remember correctly, Nagol runs games that are heavy on combat so there is probably both an assumption that combat will be the result both in design and expectation of the players. So they may skip the in-between step in favor of going directly to initiative. Which is fine, lots of people do that. I love combat, myself, and am always spoiling for a dust-up. I just think there needs to be a little space in between the description of the environment and the call for initiative per the text on How to Play. I don't think that a lot of people skipping that step to go straight to ...

Thursday, 27th September, 2018

  • 05:58 PM - jimmytheccomic quoted robus in post Enhancing "Dragon Heist"
    That was going to be my suggestion too. The Castle was built long ago atop an old Dwarven mineworks. Neverember learned of the vault's existence during his time as the Open Lord and made sure that he was the only one alive with the knowledge of its whereabouts (he's a bit of a bastard). As far as the heist goes though, given its massive weight it seems logical that the heist would happen while the hoard is being transported to its new owner (in my approach, the players are cheated out of their victory at the end of chapter 4 by one of the villains and the level 5 mission is to steal the hoard back :) ). I would let the players know the planned route through the city and let them choose where they're going to strike, using your rules supplement to join the action in medias res. Oooh, yeah, stealing the hoard back while it's in motion is pretty fun. I was thinking of something revolving around a "Bag of Holding" shell game, but my players are crazy so who knows what they'll come up with. I'...
  • 05:03 PM - Hriston quoted robus in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    That seems a bit of a stretch and I can also find online sources to support my position too :) In fact I found a very useful definition of the difference between opponent and competitor: An opponent is someone you are trying to defeat, a competitor is someone you are trying to best. The latter description much better describes the initiative roll situation. You are not only rolling against enemies, but also allies. Are you suggesting that the Rogue in the party is trying to defeat (oppose) the Ranger in the party? This seemed particularly relevant: https://engineeredathletes.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/competitor-or-opponent/ But I'm not going to push it more than that. :) I'm just not seeing the opposition inherent in the initiative roll. And I'm not seeing combat as a friendly competition. :) To jump off from your preference for the word competitor, however, I thought it would be instructive to look up the definition of contestant. con∑test∑ant /kənˈtestənt/ noun a per...
  • 03:03 PM - jimmytheccomic quoted robus in post Enhancing "Dragon Heist"
    So, Iíll admit to a bit of skimming (not finding this the most readable adventure, given the four parallel plots, I probably need to pick a villain and read it that way), but I did not see a location given for the vault? Did I miss it? If I didnít, where would be a good place for large, forgotten?, Dwarven vault? A "Heist" climax is important to me, so my plan is to put the vault under Castle Waterdeep. If they don't want to fight through hundreds of guards, the vault will only be really accessible during a large banquet function- all of the villains will either be in attendance or have agents in attendance, and the team will have to try to get it out under everyone nose.
  • 02:55 PM - Hriston quoted robus in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    I dunno, do we think of races as having opponents? Tennis? Sure. But the 100m? Theyíre competitors, but not opponents? :) Yes, we do. Here's an example of such usage from the Wikipedia article about the board game Hare and Tortoise. Notice that it uses the word opponent when speaking about characters in a German fable, not about opponents in the game itself: In Germany, there is another fable by a similar name, Hase und Igel (Hare and hedgehog), made popular by the Brothers Grimm, in which the hedgehog wins because his wife is at the finish line, and the hare mistakes her for his race opponent. "Hare's race opponent" has also been seen as a crossword clue, for which the answer of course is tortoise. Here's a quote from an article titled "10 Racing Strategies to Run Your Best" from active.com: If there is a specific opponent you want to beat, learn his racing strengths and weaknesses. Someone asked the question on quora.com, "How can I beat my opponent mentally in a running race?" Clea...


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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!
2870 +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
294 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...
2187 +6 1 Sunday, 27th September, 2015, 04:07 PM Monday, 28th September, 2015, 10:42 PM

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