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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:26 PM
    Except that Improvised Weapon rules are what are listed under the Weapon section of the PHB. It's pretty clear that Improvised Weapons are a subset of Weapons as per the PHB layout.
    18 replies | 319 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:23 PM
    I believe the OP is talking about using a shield as an Improvised Weapon (PHB 147-148) and attacking with it using two-weapon fighting (PHB 195). Though since it's unlikely a shield would be counted as a light weapon it would require the Dual Wielder feat (PHB 169). All of that looks like it's by the rules.
    18 replies | 319 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:36 PM
    In a related question, if I was planning on using a shield as an Improvised Weapon this turn I wouldn't add the Dueling fighting style to my main weapon.
    18 replies | 319 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:52 AM
    I too love that feeling. Though as they say, sometime you have to make you own luck. Back when (AD&D 2nd) I had a long running character with the largest size bag of holding. I outfitted it over many levels with unwanted items, misc treasure, and with plenty of mundane but odd items. I had a full sheet (from my dot matrix printer, old school) of the things in it. And they came up at the...
    3 replies | 128 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:21 AM
    Just let the players give it out, with that if they do it without good reason you'll shut it down. Just advise them once per character per session is what you are looking for as a guideline. We use poker chips. No longer on the DMs plate, and players will be on the lookout to give out something that helps the group.
    71 replies | 1841 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:15 AM
    If you need a 20, you have a 5% normally, and a 5% + 95%*5% = 9.75%. Slightly less than a +1. If you need a 2 you have a 95% to succeed normally, and 95% + 5% * 95% = 99.75%, agains slightly less than +1. This is the minimum. If you need an 11, you have a 50% normally, and a 50% + 50% * 50% = 75% with advantage. That's the equivalent of +5. This is the maximum. Your +/-6 to +/-7 is...
    71 replies | 1841 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:53 PM
    As long as it's not treasure whores.
    71 replies | 1841 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 08:34 PM
    1. Backgrounds are about half of your skills, and a flavor bonus you cant''get elsewhere. Really, I want to play a criminally minded sorcerer, I can - I can get my contacts and skills and such. A noble? Sure. They allow so much character customization without needing to multiclass. 2. Inspirations is supposed to be given out by the DM. Since you said you ran, I'm having problems that it...
    71 replies | 1841 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 02:50 PM
    If by "too scared" you mean "too scared they will have a repeat of the same massive customer backlash they had when they did that for 4e", then I'm glad that they learned that lesson and we don't have to go through it again. Seriously, older printings of books became actively misleading unless festooned with separate errata sheets all over. The only thing that kept it from being even worse...
    56 replies | 2855 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 02:45 PM
    A few months after the PHB came out someone came up with a real index for it. Just print it out and shove it in the back of your PHB. It was more comprehensive as well. I don't have the file anymore to look at a name, but I'm pretty confident Sage Google will be able to find it.
    56 replies | 2855 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 19th October, 2018, 02:33 PM
    Diffident, perhaps a bit self-effacing or risk adverse, except when calling the storms or preaching. Then they are full of thunder and lightning, channeling their god in full-on mode, full of power, spit and vinegar. Goes from a warm spring drizzle to an unexpected thunderstorm themselves.
    11 replies | 275 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th October, 2018, 03:16 AM
    You are comparing it to the target creature's AC. Not the target creature's armor's base AC or anything else. That's the only AC it can affect. It doesn't target armor, it targets a creature. That's their AC - not part of their AC but we'll add a shield later, or just the base AC of their armor, or AC without cover, or anything like that. If the DM says, "what's your AC" - that's your...
    126 replies | 3150 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 09:52 PM
    Look, narratively I don't like the spell. I think they were trying to come up with something that could ignore any oddity from wild shape (high dex, natural armor, what have you) and ended up with a weird, off off spell. I agree it makes no sense fictionally. If you want to change what the spell does, go for it. But that's not what my answer was about. You said the spell wasn't simple -...
    126 replies | 3150 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:38 PM
    We all filter our perceptions, so that will impact us in some ways. Hard to separate. In one of my previous campaigns was very shades-of-grey. Orcs in particular were a big part of that - there were seven tribes of yurt-dwelling nomadic orcs up in the Northern Steppes, each with their own tribal philosophies, as well as sea raider slaver orcs that lived in an archipelago. The group ended up...
    80 replies | 1429 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:22 PM
    Yunru has been saying everything I would say, and doing it better + faster. I just wanted to unpack that last bit: How does hitting 0 interact with Hex? The same way any other creature dropping to 0 would - the warlock now has the option to spend a bonus action and change the target. They don't have to. Same if a non-wildshape PC was dropped unconscious and then healed - the warlock is...
    12 replies | 329 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:14 PM
    A bit of clarification - you mention only the triggers to get it, but "always on" also seems to imply it would apply to more than one attack per round. What is your intention there? Assuming it's still only a single attack a round, it's a decent buff to the rogue. Perhaps the simplest would just be to say "once per turn you do this extra damage". That gives a bonus of no conditions, but...
    39 replies | 961 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:02 PM
    Not just caster friendly, but CALCULATION friendly with wild shape. No need to worry about how a beast get's it's AC. If it's lower than 16, it becomes 16. Easy.
    126 replies | 3150 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 05:00 PM
    People who don't believe it's done that way because it's doesn't match their expectations because of other AC calculations.
    126 replies | 3150 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:56 PM
    Of course you can apply cover to your AC. And then you compare your AC to 16, and if it's lower you increase it to 16. The order of operations is: 1. Do all AC calculations. Armor, dex, shield, spells, cover, etc. 2. While barkskin is up if the results of step 1 are less than 16 then use 16 instead.
    126 replies | 3150 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:52 PM
    Barkskin doesn't grant an AC, just Say you AC would be 13 without barkskin. You cast barkskin, it's now 16. With yours your AC is 16. Okay. You pick up a shield. With barkskin, you base AC is now 15, so is raised to 16. With yours, it becomes 18. You gain a +2 cover bonus to AC from one target. With barkskin, your 15 becomes a 17 against that target, 16 against everyone else. ...
    126 replies | 3150 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:36 PM
    It does. You calculate your AC. Then you compare and adjust if you are less than 16. If you change your AC, they you calculate and adjust if less than 16. If you change you AC AGAIN, you do it AGAIN. For the duration. It doesn't have an AC to modify - it just changes your AC to 16 if, after all AC calculations are done, it's less than 16. And it keeps doing it for the duration of the...
    126 replies | 3150 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 04:31 PM
    Barkskin does not give you a 16 AC, set at the casting. It just makes it 16 if it would be lower. So there is no "barkskin + shield" calculation that can ever be made because barkskin isn't armor. Just a "armor + dex + shield < 16" calculation to have it overwrite your AC. Same if some monster had a debuff that reduced your DEX by 10 points - it wouldn't come off the barkskin AC, just the...
    126 replies | 3150 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 03:56 AM
    I think the large majority of players will have no objection to their deity or patron having an impact on play. Most players, after all, enjoy the lime light! Players usually pick classes they are interested in, unless they are pure power gamers, but that's a different discussion. If you have a player who obviously doesn't want their character's obligations to come up in play, odds are they are...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 12:56 AM
    I'll even give you a 15% reduction. Of the non-magical B/P/S damage you take at 20th level. Say it keeps you up for one extra hit. Maybe 1/3 of the time you would have dropped that would keep you up for an extra action, other times you'll still drop before your action. The rest of the time it basically means nothing - either you're down anyway or it's fractional less to heal. How many...
    26 replies | 582 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 12:41 AM
    I'm always up for new spells. Thanks for putting these up! Detect Maleficence looks like an outgrowth of Detect Good and Evil. Additional things that can be detected, at a higher level. Looks good. Combat Clarity (and the Mass version) look like the type of spell that in normal play seem like they are well balanced, but are part of power-combos. Even the Fighter (Samurai) can only grant...
    16 replies | 300 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th October, 2018, 12:23 AM
    We're not looking for over 20-30 average attack, we are looking for attacks in the 20-30 attack range. So the fact that there aren't many above that range isn't really of import to the discussion. The multiattack was on the giants. At CR 8 and above, giants already are in the 20-30 average damage per attack range, AND they have multiattack with those attacks. So multiattack is not "making...
    26 replies | 582 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 10:31 PM
    Giants start multi-attacking in the 20-30 average range at CR 8 (Frost) and all the ones up with higher CR also do 20-30. Bunch of demons: Balor (CR 19) & Goristro (CT 17) & wow, Nalfeshnee exceed that with 32 average at CR 13. Dinosaurs too: Triceratops (CR *5*) does 24 average. T-Rex at CR *8* is allt he way up to 33 average bite. I just did a quick skim of categories of bruiser type...
    26 replies | 582 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 04:54 PM
    To me there is a difference between a lie and and a falsehood. Lies have an intent to deceive. I wouldn't have the ring ties into any "cosmic truth", just what the speaker believes is the truth. Simply for game balance reasons. Otherwise you can just have the ring-bearer spout every conspiracy theory and alternate explanation and instead hear the literal truth of what's going on come out. ...
    16 replies | 371 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 04:46 PM
    I see from other comments that the party was fully rested when they went into this. In that case, this is the working-as-designed result of the mechanics. Now, escaping afterwards with everyone alerted and blowing a lot of their resources may be more of a challenge. I'd suggest combining several other encounters in waves as they rush to the sounds of combat.
    57 replies | 1491 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 04:43 PM
    This makes sense. Knowing they are there, having the spell prepped ahead so they pop their head out and use their reaction to cast. Same thing as an invisible character stabbing with a dagger. While the attack makes them visible, but they still have advantage for that attack. Same here.
    57 replies | 1491 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 04:38 PM
    Thanks. I had heard about that months ago, I thought there was a newer change from the tone of the OP.
    247 replies | 5433 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 04:36 PM
    Ditch Resilent (DEX) for Resilient (WIS). Dex sabves are just damage, and you've got HPs. WIS turns you against your party or locks you down. Which then means you could use one of those remaining ASI to boost back up your DEX if you're that worried about Init and saves. And your WIS if it's now odd, or just DEX with a different half-feat. Lucky will save your posterior. Use it to turn a...
    26 replies | 582 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th October, 2018, 04:21 PM
    So what's the new ruling on timing? I don't follow twitter.
    247 replies | 5433 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 03:54 PM
    Since I play in home games that aren't part of AL and don't follow the PHB+1 rule, I can tell you there's no "killer combos" out there. Sure, it helps keep possible combo power creep in check, but a big part of it is keeping the barrier to entry to new players as low as possible since AL is the most accessible form for them.
    16 replies | 824 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 15th October, 2018, 01:42 PM
    You have a very direct approach that I'd like to use as an example. I want to start with: I agree with you. And then continue with afterwards with: How do we improve on the mechanics of a skill challenge to make it more in-line with our other sub-system that we do allow to decide life and death. --- Combat is going away from the whole RP / skills approach to a mechanically heavy...
    55 replies | 1584 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 07:16 PM
    Blue started a thread Levelable dragon character
    So my daughters have been wanting me to introduce D&D to them and we made characters but haven't played yet, and then they got my niece and nephew involved. Youngest is 12, all are bright, and they get the rules. However, my nephew's creativity makes him really want to play a young dragon instead of a humanoid. He's already come up with a backstory. Also, he's not familiar with the D&D lore...
    12 replies | 405 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th October, 2018, 06:42 PM
    This argument is too fluid, in my opinion, to have a resolution. For most of us, doesn't it depend on circumstance? I have had players who carefully chose a deity, or patron and it was important to them, so yes, obligations came up (as well as perks). Other times, players just choose a logical deity, scribble it down, and never think about it again. Obviously the players aren't that interested...
    1362 replies | 34886 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 09:31 PM
    Compared to the "Holiday Layoffs" that went on for many years at Wizards this is indeed welcome news.
    73 replies | 2895 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 09:24 PM
    Judge much? One group I played with was among the best roleplayers I knew, were very creative, and had spent so much time playing that system mastery was second nature and every character was well optimized both individually and with what helped the party much. Or an alternate example - I recently joined an existing group, and I gave a lot of thought to what the group already had and what...
    52 replies | 1814 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 09:19 PM
    This breaks own with a lot of utility spells. Charm Person could prevent a CR 1/4 fight - or a battle with a bunch of high CR creatures. But a sequence of Persuasion and Insight checks could have the same result. Fly could get one person past a 40' fall - or a 500' fall. Or allow someone to anchor a rope to get the whole party past the same. Or allow the barbarian to get into melee with...
    52 replies | 1814 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 07:24 PM
    Nylanfs, it could also be that someone you quoted (or merely up-chain?) to your comment has blocked you after you posted, so you can no longer see your own comment.
    4 replies | 227 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 01:13 AM
    My guess is that the DM isn't pushing 6-8 encounters a day. Or at least 4. Because thoses are the symptoms I see for that. Yes, a party of 10th level should be able to smoke a 200HP foe in a round if they focus fire and have full resources. If you want attrition battles, you need to have a good number of them per day. Let me unpack "attrition" - there are plenty of ways to have encounter...
    57 replies | 1491 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th October, 2018, 12:14 AM
    The countdown was a fixed, but the party didn't know it. They could have spent actions to figure it out, used those on escaping. As for motivation, part of it was how close the characters had been. But the other part is that the sorcerer's player thought it was a fantastic martyr death that made a great story and a fitting end for his character arc, while the rogue's player was earlier in...
    55 replies | 1584 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 09:09 PM
    "Skill" Challenges are great things. Formally defined skill challenges are the antithesis of creativity. Plus 4e style skill challenges by definition artificially exclude anything that isn't a skill - often a "success" can be had through consuming a resource (a spell slot, a one potion, etc.) at the least. And there are time when a "no roll needed" activity also can provide a success - either...
    55 replies | 1584 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 08:11 PM
    That's my worry. My wife is willing to put down a book that doesn't grab her - and she does that often enough with Kindle Unlimited. Hmmm.
    25 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 04:43 PM
    Anyone have any experience with the SF & Fantasy collection for Kindle Unlimited? My wife has it, but she devours urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels like there is no tomorrow, but I'm wondering how it is in the SF/Fantasy category for someone who already has a large library of books so would be looking at it for more new releases / lesser known authors.
    25 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 04:17 PM
    True but irrelevant in this particular case. Let me give an example elsewhere. Say you had up Hex, which adds +d6 necrotic damage whenever you hit the target with an attack. That extra damage does not care if you hit with an attack with the Attack action, with the Cast a Spell action to attack with Booming Blade or Green Flame Blade, or with a reaction to make an Opportunity Attack. Or even...
    20 replies | 985 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 03:51 PM
    Quick question to all the people who prefer to start at level 3 (or 5): Is this a personal preference, where you are fine with others starting at 1st, or do you think the game is weakened (even if just as an opportunity cost) by having that option for other tables? In other word, do you think it brings value even if not for you, or would you eliminate it for everyone if you could?
    56 replies | 2286 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 12th October, 2018, 04:16 AM
    Yes, the PF modules I've run end up very different from what's written, so I don't sweat over learning all that detail anymore. What drives me crazy is Paizo module authors putting in elaborate details about a npc that is just going to attack the players and get killed. No chance for that backstory to come to light at all. If the backstory interests me, the npc will end up becoming more than a...
    30 replies | 774 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 07:15 PM
    It's an interesting point that what you said is very true in D&D but other systems have different takes on it. D&D everyone is expected to contribute in combat - my guess is it's the most wall time per campaign spent on any mechanical subsystem of the game so they want everyone to be able to contribute and have spotlight. Some other systems either deprioritize combat, make it quick to resolve. ...
    52 replies | 1814 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 07:11 PM
    I agree that a character built only around combat is a "trap option". Unfortunately, I think a character built to be able to do everything is also a trap option. Because D&D is a cooperative, team-based game. And unfortunately combat is designed around all characters contributing synergistically, many of the other pillars of the game are not, and have little mechanical benefit from more then...
    52 replies | 1814 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 05:34 PM
    If D&D full sessions were applicable to some sort of monte-carlo repeated testing, I'd say that it wouldn't be to track resources saved - since as you point out there are no rewards for ending up with unused resources - but rather to determine the number of times that there was a resource outage during an adventuring day. For example, damage taken is unimportant, but actions lost to being...
    52 replies | 1814 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th October, 2018, 01:46 AM
    I did start with mentioning that there were a bunch partial solution, but I was interested in a good one. :) Gumshoe is used for space opera (Ashen Stars), modern occult terrorists (The Esoterrorists), mutant police procedurals (Mutant City Blues), vampire spy thriller (Night's Black Agents) as well as others. I'm sure it can focus on action if you want it to.
    10 replies | 307 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 11:05 PM
    Read the surprisingly short Flowers of Vashnoi novella that was the new entry into the Vorkosigan Saga. Ekaterin is a character I greatly enjoy, but this had a lot less laugh-out-loud and less misty-eyed times then usual. I started readign the new Honor Harrington book. So far it's a bunch of disconnected scenes with different characters in each. A very few of which I recognize, some of...
    25 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 10:30 PM
    This reminds me of setting goals / KPIs for my employees. HR keeps on about measurable goals - but oft times what you want to encourage and reward aren't measurable in terms of here's an objective number. If I have one guy who's always dependable, will work the hours needed, and will stay with a problem with the tensity of a bulldog, what's the objective measurement I can put in vs. the guy who...
    52 replies | 1814 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 10:14 PM
    I was just in a thread where people were strongly defending "level 0" rules for 5e, for playing before you start your classes. The idea that you don't have your class until 3rd was laughable to them - you have your class, you just don't have a specialization. I think that 1st is a great place to have. It allows those who want to run true zero-to-hero arc, instead of characters being already...
    56 replies | 2286 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 10:09 PM
    Just if you're going to do it with Spirit of the Century, update it to Fate Core, which is the newest / most streamlined. And the best organized. It should be minor changes, but major benefits. There's also Young Centurions (teen-aged pulp heroes of the 1910s) and Shadow of the Century (1980s), already using with Fate Core. There's a product Strange Tales of the Century with an appendix...
    10 replies | 307 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 04:48 PM
    Ah, a difference in definition. Spotlight time is times when you get to act cool and amazing, when you stand out - have the spotlight on you. If one character is the focus of the session with everything revolving around them, they had the spotlight. The fact that wall time was spent on other characters isn't really an issue. Since we're talking about time in combat, let me give a combat...
    38 replies | 1271 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 04:28 PM
    I'm also interested in the answer to this question. There are some partial answers out there. Gumshoe seems like it might be a good fit, customizing for archeology just like it was customized for Trail of Cthulhu. Actually, any Cthulhu RPG has investigation and lost secrets baked into the core. It just also has insanity and things-man-was-not-meant-to-know as major themes. So it could...
    10 replies | 307 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 03:55 PM
    This is a tough one. I've played as myself before (in a GURPS time-hopping game), and that me got rather messed up in the head (had to kill someone). But never has a player tried to insert me into a game when I was DMing. I have to admit, I'd probably sidestep the whole issue by making my disappearance be my unsolved death, that leads the group to a campaign arc level plot going on. So "me"...
    12 replies | 377 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 03:19 PM
    Timde to take a turn =/= spotlight. Otherwise every ill-prepared caster player who needs to look up three spells would be the "main spotlight character". I am all for working out ways to support the player's concept of the character, such as a summoner, while keeping game-play fast. In earlier editions I've required characters to have cheat-sheets for summons so there wasn't looking up (and...
    38 replies | 1271 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 03:08 PM
    I can't help you with most of these since they are AL specific - which are effectively club rules that are lain on top of D&D rules but are not part of them. I can say I've never seen that interpretation of Detect Magic before, and it's directly contradictory to what's in the PHB.
    11 replies | 589 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 02:40 PM
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't every single reprinting since Wizards acquired the brand included any official errata? Mind you not all books had official errata nor reprintings, especially in the book-a-month 3.x and 4e days, but the core books and many of the others certainly did. I wouldn't really call "continuing to do things as we have always done them" biting the bullet. Now,...
    65 replies | 2694 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th October, 2018, 02:32 PM
    Agreed, but I can understand why they want something they can graph. It's easily consumable and discussable, from designers to managers up the chain outside of D&D. The amount of time to read thousands of responses per subclass would pull the design team away from anything else for a prohibitive amount of time, and what they come away with would be highly subjective. The problem is that...
    65 replies | 2694 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 04:27 PM
    About 3/4 of the way through Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, the Nth book in the Vorkosigan Saga. What's next is challenging. I have a novella (novelette?) on the Vorkosigan Saga I've never read (Lois McMaster Bujold has often not written chronologically). Since I'm hot on that series, that has a lot of pull. But I also just picked up the next (last?!) Honor Harrington book. It arrived...
    25 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 02:52 PM
    Agreed with the others who says it last for two of the bard's turns - the current one and the next. That's only one turn for everyone else, and it's only on action of the bard's (not devoted to countersong). This way makes a lot of sense. Picture the classic myth of sailors being sung into the sea / onto the rocks. If the bard's next action wasn't covered and it ended at the beginning of...
    3 replies | 224 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, 12:22 AM
    The "which class is more powerful" drove me crazy because it didn't have a tier component. Many start slow and get more or vice versa. Heck, how do you compare to 9th level spells.
    65 replies | 2694 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 02:09 PM
    Play a Halfling with the Bountiful Luck racial feat from XGtE. Just to get rid of the worst result.
    2 replies | 193 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 03:07 AM
    The problem is that the rules don't let you "mow through" low level people. Question - if you have two attacks and are facing 20 goblins, what rule lets your 3rd tier character "mow thru them all" in 2-3 turns? None, because you at most hit & kill one per attack. And there's no options like Cleave from earlier editions. That's where a rule to let you deal epicly with hordes of minions can be...
    96 replies | 1824 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 8th October, 2018, 02:54 AM
    That's been pointed out to him earlier in this thread by me and he never addressed it then, either. I don't know his reasons, but having another legitimate reason for the PHB+1 rule does invalidate his original post since it's dependent on that rule only being for balance reasons.
    37 replies | 2211 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 04:23 PM
    I wish I could take credit for this, but a suggestion I got here recently for a similar issue was: Spread the the summons out among the other players. So the other players get more time rolling, and things go through in parallel so it's faster.
    38 replies | 1271 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 04:12 PM
    There are plenty of great scenes in movies, books, legends about heroes fighting through hordes of weak creatures. Many editions have had the "gamist" idea of a swarm of weak creatures, any of which is inconsequential. Minions does it on a bit more of a macro scale. Where they don't have to stay all together in a swarm and are large enough to be represented by a mini. For those who don't...
    96 replies | 1824 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th October, 2018, 03:36 AM
    I like the term "wandering treasure," even though I'm imagining Rincewind's many legged chest. I have done this to a degree. Like your idea of placing the loot based on search rolls, even if it is just a trinket.
    96 replies | 1824 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th October, 2018, 11:49 PM
    "Rocks fall, you die." --Gary Gygax (*sic*)
    13 replies | 538 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 09:12 PM
    Magic weapons aren't needed early like they were in 3.x, PF or 4e. Don't worry about it. Don't worry about various weapon types either, uit's not nearly as common in 5e. You can't take a feat twice unless it explicitly says you can, so no double Ritual Caster. You might want to bring your Str to 20 earlier. Not sure of the PF teminology, but what in 3.x was BAB is now your proficient...
    3 replies | 359 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 04:04 PM
    Elfcrusher, this is one of my most enjoyed posts in a while. It's very positive - people just putting up lots of creative ideas. Even critiques seem mainly about ways to approve or riff off the ideas. Thanks.
    59 replies | 1453 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 03:21 PM
    I'm unsure about adding a damage bonus to all weapon styles (2h, sword+board, archery) except dual wielding. Because you need your bonus action to make your offhand attack. Where this leaves us is the weakest (after Extra Attack) weapon style gets nothing more, and all of the other, already better styles get another thing that could stack. That's not an inherent problem with this - I'd just...
    59 replies | 1453 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 5th October, 2018, 02:34 AM
    You mean, exactly like normal play? Succeed at a challenge and get a reward? I don't find that boring. It's just that now the game mechanically would recognize other types of solutions besides "kill it". I'm sorry you had a unfun experience with a badly written module. The same thing could happen with or without that rule, but I see how that could have made it more common for poorly...
    96 replies | 1824 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 10:50 PM
    Engineer +1 INT or +1 DEX Your bonus when using any Artisan tool is doubled. If a tool is required to be able to attempt a task and you don't have it, you may spend 10 minutes to work up a set of temporary tools. The grant no bonus and may only be used once, but you may attempt the task.
    59 replies | 1453 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 10:46 PM
    The more I do these, the more I wonder if there's a place for +1 to X and +1 to Y feats with some small bonus, as long as X and Y are not complementary like DEX and CON. (Well, just about anything and CON, knowing D&D). For example: Scholar +1 INT and +1 WIS Gain proficiency in a language. You read twice as fast as others. You prepare spells in half the time.
    59 replies | 1453 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 10:41 PM
    Orienteer +1 WIS * Gain proficiency with Cartographer's tools. If you are already proficient with them, double your bonus with them. * You have a superior memory of location, and can produce maps of places you have been within the past month with high accuracy unless there is some outside factor clouding it. * You have advantage on Wis (Perception) and Int (Investigation) rolls specifically...
    59 replies | 1453 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 10:16 PM
    Favored of the Gods +1 CON or WIS Add your proficiency to healing done by any divine spell or channel divinity. When you fail a WIS save or a save originating from a celestial or fiend, you may reroll it with +4. The may be only be done once per long rest. (Idea of the second part is to break out of controls and such through the power of your belief, then I extended it to also anything...
    59 replies | 1453 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 10:06 PM
    Arcane Sensitive +1 INT or CHR You gain one attunement slot. You may cast Detect Magic as a ritual. Once done you may not do so again until you have taken a short or long rest.
    59 replies | 1453 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 09:33 PM
    4e did something that was eye opening - divorced treasure from looting. It had a good reason - treasure, specifically the magic item advancement treadmill, was built into character advancement math. But the idea of treasure packets was liberating. Mayor sends you out against bandits. Maybe you drive off the bandits and loot them - treasure worth X. Maybe you convinced them to give up their...
    96 replies | 1824 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 07:52 PM
    Most powerful was a while ago, D'Gatham of Cormyr. Or, as he was known later in his adventuring career Songmaster D'Gatham, Patriarch of Milil. These days I play an evening every other week, back in high school and college we'd regularly do weekly 12-14 hour marathons. Back in AD&D 2nd times I ran one character for close to a decade of that intense schedule. He started as a bard, and at...
    4 replies | 453 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th October, 2018, 07:39 PM
    In terms of spells that grant tHP, I think Heroism has a lot to commend it. While it's concentration so it doesn't pair well with Barbarian rage, it is a 1st level spell that grants Ability Mod tHP every round for up to a minute. It's a Bard and Paladin spell. Also, it's touch delivered so it could potentially be party dynamic instead of being self-contained. It upcasts to get more targets...
    8 replies | 399 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 09:50 PM
    I'm a big fan of the DMG variant (and D&D Next normal option) of varying ability scores for skills. So this is right up my alley. Though I can picture two characters, both asked to dance (or weapons drill). One wants Athletics (CHR), the other says it's Perform (DEX). :) (I'd probably allow both, as different approaches tot he same challenge.)
    74 replies | 1808 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 09:47 PM
    It's already been discussed that these are different actions with the same end result. I'd like to add that they could be very different. Climb is half speed, so it might take longer. Jumping is a lot more checks (considering your max high jump per check vs. one climb check per round if not less) so has a greater chance to fail even if the DCs are the same. But yeah, if there's no time...
    74 replies | 1808 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 08:30 PM
    Alhoon 11 Allip 17 Banshee 22 Beholder Zombie 22 Bodak 20 Bone Naga 20 Boneclaw 20 Crawling Claw 21 Death Knight 22 Death Tyrant 20
    549 replies | 6838 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018, 05:45 PM
    Parkour! +1 STR or +1 DEX Gain proficiency in either Athletics or Acrobatics Gain advantage on all Athletics and Acrobatics rolls used specifically for movement (jumping, tumbling, etc.). Do not reduce your move for alternate modes of locomotion (climbing, crawling, etc.) Was considering +5' speed but think that might be too much.
    59 replies | 1453 view(s)
    0 XP
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Saturday, 20th October, 2018


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Sunday, 30th September, 2018


Saturday, 5th May, 2018

  • 05:45 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I feel like 'crisis' may be doing too much work here. I mean, yes, you have a mandate to create drama by engaging the character traits/story put forward by the players. This WILL be some form of conflict, and 'crisis' is certainly one of the things that will come up. That doesn't mean that there's nothing else. I mean, when the Titanic sinks, there's a crisis, but other stuff happens too. That's an ongoing disaster situation, but even so there are likely to be scenes that are more 'build up' etc. than 'crisis'. Remember, dramas still have establishment, and build up, etc. Its not all climax. I'm thinking of pemerton's character that has cooking skill. I mean, you wouldn't consider someone hungry showing up in camp a crisis, but its still a reasonable framing for Story Now play. I will try again, trying to build on what Arilyn posted. If the thing that a person enjoys in RPGing is a sense of being in the GM's world, then why would you explain that in terms of agency? The notion of audience membership seems like a more fruitful starting point. I enjoy going to movies, and I enjoy listening to music, but I don't explain that pleasure in terms of my agency. If the purposes of worldbuilding include establishing material for the GM to present to the players, is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile? If the purpose of worldbuilding is - in metaphorical terms - to give the players stuff to interact with via their PCs, which means - in literal terms - to establish frameworks for declaring actions which then affect the way the GM narrates his/her setting - is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile? I think you're still stuck on worldbuilding being outcome determining -- ie, not just setting information but planned story outcomes. And, yes, that is a style of traditiona...

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 11:54 PM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    I will try again, trying to build on what Arilyn posted. If the thing that a person enjoys in RPGing is a sense of being in the GM's world, then why would you explain that in terms of agency? The notion of audience membership seems like a more fruitful starting point. I enjoy going to movies, and I enjoy listening to music, but I don't explain that pleasure in terms of my agency. If the purposes of worldbuilding include establishing material for the GM to present to the players, is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile? If the purpose of worldbuilding is - in metaphorical terms - to give the players stuff to interact with via their PCs, which means - in literal terms - to establish frameworks for declaring actions which then affect the way the GM narrates his/her setting - is anyone interested in explaining why that is worthwhile?

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 05:31 PM - iserith mentioned Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    I wonder if anyone's ideas about character death are different when it comes to one-shots. I run a lot of those and, in many cases, they are even more difficult than my regular campaign. My thinking is that even though I have no expectation of a character surviving in my regular campaign, that's truer still in a one-shot where the character won't be played in a subsequent session. I ran a one-shot last night, for example, in which 3 of the 4 PCs died. Of course, it was Death House, so it should be no surprise that was a possible if not likely outcome and I pulled no punches. Every PC was knocked out at least once, some several times, during the course of the adventure, culminating in the deaths of three PCs in the end. The players had an absolute blast. Arilyn: As to the "string of ridiculously bad dice rolls" or a character dying "5 minutes into the game," I would wonder why you're rolling at all if those kinds of outcomes can come up. Why not just change the stakes to something where failure is more palatable? Then there's no need to fudge.

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 08:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post Do We Still Need "Race" in D&D?
    Perhaps the concern is that this is another step in moving the game "to the left", another step down the slippery slope towards a socially-liberal rewriting of the game. Rygar didn't articulate exactly what some of the specific effects of his claimed "left-wing push" were, but I'll assume he is referring to attempts to make games more inclusive and to avoid content that may be offensive to certain demographics. The problems with that is 5e has already made a push to be far more inclusive and it seems to have had positive, not negative effects on the brand and the bottom line. The reason I XPed Arilyn's reply to Rygar is this: I don't see how including women, or people of colour, in RPGing is a "left-wing push". It's not a socialist conspiracy to have created a world with people in it who aren't white men.

Monday, 22nd January, 2018

  • 04:07 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    Good gawd Pemerton, given this and other threads, you argue against pre-written secret backstoryNo. I personally don't like GM pre-authored backstory which is used as a basis to stipulate that player action declarations for their PCs fail without consulting the action resolution mechanics. A consequence of this dislike is (i) that GM pre-authored backstory needs to be fairly sparse, as otherwise it won't be possible to reconcile it with the outcomes of action declaration (for further on this, see Arilyn's very interesting post about the ghost and the map, and my reply just a bit upthread of this post); and (ii) that richer initial backstory is best established in conjunction with the players, so that everyone is on the same page and hence understands what the parameters are for action declarations. you argue against making stuff up on the spot since they are both railroads according to youNo. The particular approach to GMing I've been focusing on over the last few pages of this thread is the following: (1) The GM is allowed to use his/her pre-written, secret-from-the-players notes to declare that a player's declared action for his/her PC fails; and, (2) The GM is also allowed to change or depart from his/her pre-written notes if s/he thinks that will improve the game. The combination of (1) and (2) prevents the game being like classic Gygax/Moldvay/Pulsipher D&D, because (2) means that the game is not a puzzle/maze for the players to unravel. It also prevents it being pl...

Sunday, 21st January, 2018

  • 04:11 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    One problem. Different player rolled a successful skill check that gave him or her information about the original storyline that conflicts with the new, better storyline. Player knows it was successful. Now the GM needs to have it not conflict.If I've understood this properly, this is not what I'm talking about. Upthread, Lanefan, Sadras (I thinks) and Arilyn all endorsed the follow two propositions: (1) If some bit of fiction (let's call it X) is written down in the GM's notes, but has not yet been established, the GM is permitted to change it to something else (Q) during the course of play, if s/he thinks that Q will make the game better. (2) If X is written down in the GM's notes, and during play a player declares an action for his/her PC that cannot succeed if X is true (eg the player looks for the map in the study, but the GM has already written down in his/her notes that the map is hidden in a bread bin in the kitchen), then the GM is entitled to rely on X to declare that the declared action fails (and so can, for instance, tell the player that the search for the map in the study fails without having regard to the outcome of any action resolution mechanics). I assert: in a game that is GMed in accordance with propositions (1) and (2), the outcomes depend primiarliy upon the GM's opinion as to what makes for a good game. If s...
  • 12:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    ...'s The Scarlet Citadel, or The Hour of the Dragon, or Xuthal of the Dusk. All involve "dungeons". None provides a map. Similarly for Moria in Fellowship of the Ring - no map. Nuances of paths, holes in the wall, heights of ceilings, are not always the most important things - in life or in fiction. As for your "But isn't that how you do it?" - no. To repeat: the PCs (voiced by their players) ask the angels to take the to the reliquary. The angels take them there. We then find out what happens at the reliquary, by deploying the action resolution mechanics. No unrevealed backstory has been used to thwart any action declaration. But you say: relying on unrevealed backstory to determine success or failure means that backstory has now influenced play, and is thus locked in. Obviously it's locked in. My point is - the GM could have changed that backstory to something that allowed the action declaration a chance of success, but didn't. How is that not a railroad? I'm interested in Arilyn's answer to the same question, if she'd like to (Arilyn, I apologise if I've got your gender wrong).

Saturday, 20th January, 2018

  • 12:29 PM - Lanefan mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    ...backstory when s/he likes it; but then changes it when s/he thinks of something s/he likes better - so that the players' decision to search for the map in such-and-such a place will automatically fail, with no check, if the GM decides to stick to his/her original idea that the map is actually on the other side of the world; but may succeed, if the GM decides that this new suggestion is better - then how is that not railroading?But isn't that what you do, only instead of the map going from "the other side of the world" to "here it is" it goes from nowhere in particular to "here it is"? And I don't know how long I have to keep banging this drum but here's another beat: a DM pre-designing her game world, or pre-designing a dungeon (and placing its contents) does not a railroad make. How do you envisage this working, in practical terms? Do you announce to the players "Hey, in today's session your action declarations won't really matter - just focus on the story I'm telling you"?Not Arilyn but I'll try answering this one: if things are getting a little unfocused a DM might out-of-character say something like "Hey, things seem to be drifting a bit - if it helps I've got some adventure and story ideas ready to rock if you all haven't anything - how's that?" Lanefan

Friday, 19th January, 2018

  • 09:38 PM - Sadras mentioned Arilyn in post What Is an Experience Point Worth?
    @Arilyn pretty sums up my thoughts on this with his post above. As I mentioned our table plays with a combination of the two styles. What is important to note that the 5e DMG seemingly dismissed by the 4e proponents does possess a great deal of indie concepts/variants. With concepts along with their mechanics for things such as - success at a cost, degrees of failure, the inspiration mechanic, backgrounds, ideals and flaws, skill variant rules, plot points and I'm sure quite a few others D&D has certainly evolved with the RPG community around it, recognising and incorporating various ideas from other games.

Friday, 1st December, 2017

  • 09:57 PM - Wulffolk mentioned Arilyn in post Why penalize returning from death?
    Arilyn You are right about D&D being the flagship product of our hobby and being the gateway into role-playing for many new players. D&D casts a wide net over the hobby and provides a common ground for many of us to relate to. However, the fact that it does not do anything particularly well is why we see so much division amongst it's fans. Many people like D&D and know it, but few people are satisfied with it as is. Hence the reason for so much house-ruling and home-brewing. I suppose that is part of the magic that is D&D, every difference of opinion generates more discussion and publicity, keeping it from dying. An extremely well-written and self-contained system has no need for more rule books or newer editions, and generates less discussion.

Wednesday, 15th November, 2017

  • 02:34 AM - Oofta mentioned Arilyn in post A Proper Ability Score Generation Preference Poll
    Yes, I prefer the "other" rolling methods. Shall I repost the quotes from the 1e PHB and DMG? Sorry ... I don't remember everything ever written. :) But then I kind of agree with Arilyn, if you just keep rolling I don't see the point.
  • 12:51 AM - Oofta mentioned Arilyn in post A Proper Ability Score Generation Preference Poll
    They don't miss or ignore it (I think), its an outlier not a norm. Unless your saying that this is a norm for entire community? Arilyn said she didn't want a PC more powerful than the rest of the group, which is something I personally witnessed the last time I played in a game where we rolled for ability scores. I know I wouldn't want to play someone with significantly better ability scores, nor would my wife. That's not a huge sample size, but I know other people on various threads have posted a similar sentiment.

Friday, 27th October, 2017

  • 05:50 PM - Oofta mentioned Arilyn in post Toward a Theory of 6th Edition
    Guys maybe I missed something (it's possible as I read the thread quickly). But the title of the thread is "Toward a Theory of 6th Edition" which seems to imply to me it's not a "how would you tweak the game" but rather "what will the game be tweaked to". The later question begins with, "what do people want from the game" doesn't it? As Arilyn said, it's just a discussion on hypothetical changes. I like 5E, I hope it doesn't get replaced any time in the near future. But over the history of D&D it does seem like there's been more and more of a move towards the supernatural/magic classes and builds. That's not necessarily a bad thing it just may not work for every campaign. Take barbarians for example. At higher levels there's a totem animal that gives them options to do things like sprout wings and give them limited fly. That's not a bad thing it just may not fit in a Cimmerian-themed campaign. Then again the tweaks I would make are pretty cosmetic and could be tacked on to the existing game compared to some of the suggestions which would really change the nature of the game.

Monday, 21st August, 2017

  • 07:10 PM - Coroc mentioned Arilyn in post Arcane multiclassing... does it make sense?
    As Arilyn said, but I'm also curious: You state that sentence like it's absolute fact. Do you think that all power hungry wizards should be played as seeking lichdom? also Arilyn and shidaku No, of course not since this is also obviously a truly evil choice, if you care about alignments in your games at all. But it is one way to rise above status, others might be finding the fountain of youth or the Philosopher's stone or learning every known spell to be the greatest wizard of them all. But that is longing for more knowledge, for a broader variety of spells not limiting oneself to the small selection of spells a warlock has got, and turning into a glass cannon depending on the mercy of some patron, and in the same time eventually cutting oneself of to learn the higher wizard spell levels. There may be roleplaying solutions to this but I stand by my point, it is not the obvious thing to multiclass into anything for a wizard.

Sunday, 20th August, 2017

  • 06:59 PM - Satyrn mentioned Arilyn in post Arcane multiclassing... does it make sense?
    A power hungry wizard would rather try to become a lich instead . . . As Arilyn said, but I'm also curious: You state that sentence like it's absolute fact. Do you think that all power hungry wizards should be played as seeking lichdom?

Monday, 31st July, 2017

  • 05:51 PM - Coroc mentioned Arilyn in post Do you miss attribute minimums/maximums?
    5 feet in medieval times? Skeletons form the early middle ages indicate that the average height of a man in Northern Europe was 5'8" https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040902090552.htm Yes I was to generalizing in my post. It is true that in the early middle ages people were almost the same height like people today. But that diminished with the so called little ice age and only since 20th century people are taller again. It was also dependant on your living circumstances. The rich and noble had better nutrition and were likely to be taller. Arilyn The thing with the small armor was not only children sized suits but also model suits made by the armorers as an exhibition of their craftsmanship. There wer also giants. In castle Ambras was a guy who was 2m40 (close to 8 ft.) And he had a giant armor https://imageapi.khm.at/images/556747/HJRK_A_634%20und%20andere-400.jpg Here it is beside some childrens suits of armor

Friday, 21st July, 2017

  • 05:19 PM - Tequila Sunrise mentioned Arilyn in post Do You DM or Play with Flair?
    Saeviomagy Arilyn Clerics are the ministers of communities, and each cleric is a messenger and vessel of all gods. Some clerics favor one god over others, but no cleric is foolish enough to exclude any god of recognized importance from his prayers and invocations, no matter how much he may find a particular god distasteful. The D&D priest (aka cleric) is actually odd compared to most real world priests of polytheistic faiths. My cleric hews more closely to real world priests, in that each one is a servant of all his culture's gods and is not supposed to play favorites.

Thursday, 8th December, 2016


Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

  • 07:31 PM - Wednesday Boy mentioned Arilyn in post Question About New GM Mistakes
    As Arilyn noted, aspects can be tricky to write and implement well. Be flexible about letting players revamp or replace aspects until they get ones that do what they want and play well in practice.

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Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 08:24 AM - 5ekyu quoted Arilyn in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    I think the large majority of players will have no objection to their deity or patron having an impact on play. Most players, after all, enjoy the lime light! Players usually pick classes they are interested in, unless they are pure power gamers, but that's a different discussion. If you have a player who obviously doesn't want their character's obligations to come up in play, odds are they are the quiet player who shows up, rolls their dice, and enjoys an evening with friends. From a GM's perspective, one less ego to worry about! Another thought. What if a player is in a traditionally run dungeon crawl, and has chosen to play the cleric because no one else wanted the role? Should this player have to put up with obligations and role playing deity moments that they don't care about? I agree with Hussar. Why is this so contentious? Feels like a lot of mole hills are getting turned into mountains. I can't believe that GMs struggling with a lack of class fluff at the table is a serious...

Monday, 8th October, 2018


Sunday, 7th October, 2018

  • 08:37 AM - MNblockhead quoted Arilyn in post 5e GMs - Why or Why Not Wandering Treasure?
    I like the term "wandering treasure," even though I'm imagining Rincewind's many legged chest. I have done this to a degree. Like your idea of placing the loot based on search rolls, even if it is just a trinket. Yeah, "The Luggage" from Discworld is what first popped in my mind as well.

Monday, 10th September, 2018

  • 01:19 AM - pemerton quoted Arilyn in post X & O For More Fun
    Tapping the X-card is one player being 'entitled' to dictate the content consumption of the entire group, which is certainly less preferably than the alternative. Huh? In my experience single-person veto is very common in social activities eg if one person doesn't like horror films, we don't go and see a horror movie; if one person is vegetarian, we don't go to the steakhouse; etc. The X card is there for people to tap if things get extremely uncomfortable. These things can't always be predicted. Talking things over ahead of time is not necessarily going to cover specific triggers either, but only broad areas such as amount of more mature content. If something does come up, who would want to interrupt the game and let other players know why this particular scenario is distressing?Right. There seems to be a lot of criticism around the idea of one player dictating a game's direction, as if players are going to be continually tapping that card to just get what they want, or to what? Deli...

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 12:02 AM - Maxperson quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Yes, it was also early in the design phase. Things change. Sometimes best intentions are unworkable. I can't remember them saying that it had changed, though. If you're going to announce a design idea that you plan on accomplishing, it's probably a good idea to let people know that it was scrapped as unworkable as soon as you realize it.

Tuesday, 24th July, 2018

  • 11:22 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I believe it started during the early days of 5e when Monte Cook had a contract with WOTC. Cook was doing weekly articles on DnD Next, and in one of those articles he stated that the game would be modular, and that players would have room to play in their preferred style, from 1st to 4th. Even at the same table, player 1 could have a 2e style character and player 2, a 4e style character. Probably not workable. I believe he was just musing, but it was taken as the game's philosophy, and not forgotten... At the point where Monte walked away from the Next design team, anything that he mused about should have been understood to be null and void from an expectations perspective. You're not wrong. I remember reading that and being psyched. But I also know that when people don't work somewhere anymore it's not usually because they're doing what the company wants in the way they direct. Of course the other side of the argument is Monte saying "You guys are fubar" and walking off but the truth...

Friday, 20th July, 2018

  • 08:38 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Although, I am in agreement with many of your points, your delivery has been so rude, that I am cringing, and feeling that I don't really want to be on your side of this debate.:( Maybe, cool down a bit. Not an earth shaking argument, surely.... I agree with this. There's a certain line beyond which people stop reading points and start responding to tone. At that point, the conversation suffers; if not everyone in it.
  • 04:10 PM - Kobold Boots quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    This is a really geeky argument:) The default worlds of DnD make no sense physically, magically, economically, socially... 1. Geeky - agreed. The conversation has legs though because if you go back through the list of threads that end up with hundreds of posts before they die, it's always the meta conversations and by the end, it's always the same people continuing and posting in it. Self included, though I tend to be on the "seriously?" bench. 2. How "metaphysics" work in a game world is left open and allows every DM to come up with their own solution that works for them. Some groups don't care about it at all. Some groups have a player or DM that are into figuring it out and it sort of flavors the campaign. I have one player who loves magical research and creating new spells (items when possible). For RP reasons it pretty much forced me to create internally consistent "rules" of metaphysics for the game we were playing. Longer the game runs, the more it mushrooms because I h...

Thursday, 19th July, 2018

  • 05:14 PM - Ratskinner quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    And is this having a mechanical effect? While experiencing the searing pain of a fireball are the characters getting any disadvantages? After the sword slices through flesh, is there bleeding, which will continue to weaken the character until treated? Probably not, because fights in DnD have to be meta because of the sheer number of them. It's abstracted out of necessity. And once again, not a problem, but certainly meta. The loss of hp mean very little until they start creeping toward 0, therefore, I'm not in my character's shoes, experiencing the world through her eyes. FATE is criticized for its meta mechanics, but having a fate point slide my way is just as meta, to me, as those vanishing hp, from weapon blows, fire, acid, exploding traps, that don't actually have consequences until I'm dying. But then all rpgs have meta elements. They don't bother me, or break my immersion. Getting a Fate Point is far less meta for me. Its directly connected with the Fiction AND the Mechanics, the...
  • 03:25 AM - 5ekyu quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    Yep. Take your meta-gaming characters, stick them on a railroad, throw in some GNS theory, and then stand way back.Hang on... You forgot to set the steaks too. Steaks are critical and i gi for good solid medium on my steaks but am flexible.

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 07:14 PM - Saelorn quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    And is this having a mechanical effect? While experiencing the searing pain of a fireball are the characters getting any disadvantages? After the sword slices through flesh, is there bleeding, which will continue to weaken the character until treated? Probably not, because fights in DnD have to be meta because of the sheer number of them. It's abstracted out of necessity. And once again, not a problem, but certainly meta.Abstracted does not mean meta. Simplified does not mean meta. It's not meta to describe HP loss as a physical injury, but not apply penalties to ability checks or track blood loss; it's just an abstract simplification. Nothing in D&D gameplay is necessarily meta. The closest thing to meta-gaming in D&D is the suggestion that DMs contrive encounters toward what the party is capable of handling. Everything else can be handled either in-character or out-of-character, without cross-contaminating the information involved.
  • 04:52 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    And is this having a mechanical effect? While experiencing the searing pain of a fireball are the characters getting any disadvantages? After the sword slices through flesh, is there bleeding, which will continue to weaken the character until treated? Probably not, because fights in DnD have to be meta because of the sheer number of them. It's abstracted out of necessity. And once again, not a problem, but certainly meta. The loss of hp mean very little until they start creeping toward 0, therefore, I'm not in my character's shoes, experiencing the world through her eyes. FATE is criticized for its meta mechanics, but having a fate point slide my way is just as meta, to me, as those vanishing hp, from weapon blows, fire, acid, exploding traps, that don't actually have consequences until I'm dying. But then all rpgs have meta elements. They don't bother me, or break my immersion.I think you're confusing abstract with meta. Hitpoints and damage in D&D is abstracted, yes, but not metagame. ...
  • 04:10 PM - Aldarc quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    FATE is criticized for its meta mechanics, but having a fate point slide my way is just as meta, to me, as those vanishing hp, from weapon blows, fire, acid, exploding traps, that don't actually have consequences until I'm dying. But then all rpgs have meta elements. They don't bother me, or break my immersion.But what I appreciate about Fate in this regard is Stress and Consequences. Stress is not a traditional HP system, but is, instead, a more transparent about being a pacing mechanism representing your ability to remain in the action or scene. But you can potentially stay in the action longer if you choose to take Consequences that follow from the fiction: e.g., sprained ankle, publicly humiliated, bloodied up, etc. These are aspects that the players and GM can also then invoke against the player. "You find yourself unable to effectively pursue the thief because you have a 'Sprained Ankle' from earlier that impairs your progress." Or alternatively, the "bloodied up" aspect could be use...
  • 09:28 AM - Saelorn quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    In all my years playing DnD, I have never heard a player say, "My arm is busted up from that last fight, and I'm feeling really woozy, maybe a cure spell please?" I hear, " Ahhh, I have only 4 hp left. Heal me up." Describing damage is a job for the DM, and different DMs describe damage differently. If the players don't understand how badly their characters are hurt, then the DM isn't describing the injury very well (or they are describing it as distinctly non-physical). For contrast, though, I'm currently playing in a game with a DM who has never played or run before. Every single attack that beats armor class, he has described as the blade getting past armor and striking flesh. Every single time someone has failed a save against Fireball, he describes the intense pain of how their skin is burning. Because that's the obvious interpretation of damage, if you read the rule book, and nobody on the internet has tried to convince him otherwise.
  • 03:13 AM - Shasarak quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    I didn't mean literally scream:). I mean, narrating the results. "I drop to the ground, writhing and screaming from the burns." In DnD, our characters feel nothing from the most horrific things thrown their way, like fire, acid, axe blows... I have one player that always narrates those type of effects on his character and one player that never shows any concern for his character. Come to think of it none of my characters have ever had to go to the toilet and yet they are always eating and drinking. I wonder how that is supposed to work? Seems like an oversight there. ;0)
  • 01:55 AM - Shasarak quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    In all my years playing DnD, I have never heard a player say, "My arm is busted up from that last fight, and I'm feeling really woozy, maybe a cure spell please?" I hear, " Ahhh, I have only 4 hp left. Heal me up." HP are very meta. I mean if you were really immersed in your role, wouldn't you be screaming in pain from being hit by a fireball or Dragon breath attack, not calmly changing your hp total and fighting on?Surely even the stoutest warrior feels the agony of burns. This is fine. It works for DnD because of the constant fighting and peril typical groups face. Meta for sure, though, because hp have no bearing in any kind of reality, even high fantasy. No bleeding, sprains, broken limbs, internal injuries, infection, punctured organs, concussions....Just a nice clean bar that steadily drops, having no effect on your performance, until it's gone, and then you're dying. Ah do, do we need to scream out the pain of being hit with a fireball? It reminds me of a story of a DM that ...

Wednesday, 11th July, 2018

  • 11:52 PM - FrogReaver quoted Arilyn in post Would you allow this?
    No. What I meant was that at a table which allows things like the wing example, there is usually collaboration. If a player suddenly declares that her fighter can now turn invisible, the other players, as well as the GM, as final arbiter, are going to pretty much say, "nice try, forget it." Players are good at recognizing what does or doesn't work for the story, and what is just abuse. And, of course, the GM has final word. It's really a minority of players who'll attempt to run amok, because a GM allows player input. My logic and sense comment was directed toward that, not as an insult. Or option number 23. It was abuse but no one cared because they wanted the game to go on and this allowed it to.
  • 06:45 AM - FrogReaver quoted Arilyn in post Would you allow this?
    Logic and sensible players. Are you saying my logic and sensibilities are actually illogical and unsensible. Who made you the arbiter of all things logical and sensible?

Sunday, 8th July, 2018

  • 01:57 AM - Emerikol quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    This wasn't really supposed to be a discussion of what is or isn't metagaming. Emerikol was quite clear that he wasn't looking for a fight, just suggestions on games that might fit his preference. I mean, I kinda get it. I wanted to leap in and defend my preferred "meta-gamey" games too, and I think I might have hit xp on some Fate defender posts, but I think it's pretty clear on what was asked. I don't agree with Emerikol on his definition of metagame, and we play a very different kind of game, but I'm having no trouble understanding what kind of game he's looking for. So... 1. WOIN 2. AGE 3. Castles and Crusades 4.Runequest 5.Warhammer(earlier edition) 6. The Warhammer clone that I can't remember title of 7. Lamentations of the Flame Princess 8. Legend of the Five Rings (pre Fantasy Flight) Aldarc' s suggestion of Beyond the Wall is good one too. Most of the retroclones do the job. I bought N.E.W. and have been reading the pdf while I wait for the book to arrive. I like the s...

Saturday, 7th July, 2018

  • 11:55 PM - Neonchameleon quoted Arilyn in post A discussion of metagame concepts in game design
    [ This wasn't really supposed to be a discussion of what is or isn't metagaming. Emerikol was quite clear that he wasn't looking for a fight, just suggestions on games that might fit his preference. I mean, I kinda get it. I wanted to leap in and defend my preferred "meta-gamey" games too, and I think I might have hit xp on some Fate defender posts, but I think it's pretty clear on what was asked. The problem is that without understanding what was meant by metagamey you can not give good recommendations. And there are people with Emerikol's tastes who are a whole lot more flexible than Emerikol - for example (a) they don't care what everyone else at the table does as long as they don't themselves need to use metagame mechanics, (b) they are fine with WoD-style quintessence mechanics, blood pools, or even willpower, or even the (a+b) combination where they are fine with Fate style mechanics as long as someone points out to them that for their character they can use stamina, willpower, or bl...


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