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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Today, 01:28 AM
    It's easy to make stuff for 5e. I whipped up a new player race of little rock trolls in a rather short space of time. Adding feats and magic items is pretty painless too. I think that's a strength.
    5 replies | 149 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Today, 01:20 AM
    Where are all these paranoid players? Where are these groups that are dissolving, because the GM made something up on the spot that made the players cool? I have seen no evidence of this. Has anyone?
    143 replies | 4262 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:01 PM
    Thanks for the kind words, and no worries. We're all enjoying (and kitbashing) our hobby together, and what works at one of our tables may not be right for another. Yes, but several years of the game being out and played really brought home those numbers as really strong. Again, fewer encounters is workable -- it just favors features that are of limited use and more powerful. And...
    26 replies | 581 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 01:30 PM
    Fantastic information, thanks a lot Dausuul! And the breakdown by CR is exactly how that's information is useful to me - well broken out and clearly presented. You mentioned you did have the data to pull it in other ways - would it be possible to pull just the vulnerabilities? What you have is fantastic in picking damage types that will be effective, but if you have the luxury of picking...
    20 replies | 528 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 24th April, 2018, 03:39 AM
    Unfortunately, that's a commonly spread misconception. The DMG suggest 6-8 encounters with 2 short rests, about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through the day. (DMG pg 84.) Just having harder encounters doesn't balance because of durations. An easy example is the barbarian - starting at 2 rages a day, they are supposed to be able to rage 1/4 to 1/3 of the encounters. With 1-2 encounters per day...
    26 replies | 581 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 09:50 PM
    The OP is talking about world building not being needed in a game where reality is shaped during play. GM frames a scene, players make moves, ie, searching for a secret door, and then dice are used to determine what happens. These games are driven by character motivations. In this kind of game there is no reason to prebuild a world, as it forms around the narrative at the table. This doesn't mean...
    2161 replies | 49713 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 07:59 PM
    Wyrd of Radiance - You have a bright destiny Down - counter feather fall Gush - makes a rapid spout of water Sold Earth - completes real estate transactions. Beast band - They play grunge and heavy metal
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 07:46 PM
    That spell has been passed down through generations of Armstrongs!
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 07:38 PM
    There's also more then a dash of hopeful rationalization in my post - Lies blew me away when I read it and I recommended it left and right, but Red Seas and Republic didn't do it like that for me. They weren't bad, but they also weren't magical. So I keep hoping for the next book to return me to the place of the first, and hearing how this was what he wanted to write in the first place renews...
    23 replies | 525 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 05:57 PM
    A number of years ago, my oldest daughter (still quite young) asked me what I was doing while I was making a D& character. I told her a little about it and she wanted to try, so she started telling me her ideas. They didn't fit any of the classes - even with multiclassing it wasn't there because the ideas were unfettered by the containers we normally think things of. So I figured I'd explain...
    100 replies | 1964 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 05:27 PM
    To be fair, he did have six years between Red Seas and Republic. And has a cover image for The Thorn of Emberlain on his web site, but nothing else linked there seems particularly recent. Let me search. Hmm, he's moved and gotten married to Elizabeth Bear since the last book. Nifty. Ah, found something. An interview in August 2017 that he's going abotu 8 weeks of fixing things he...
    23 replies | 525 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 04:45 PM
    The term railroading has in recent years come off the rails (heh heh). It has become an insult players fling at each other, when in disagreement over playstyles. Railroading is usually a rookie mistake, and I doubt many posters actually engage in it. Railroading is: GM: That dwarf in the corner is insulting elves. You fling your ale mug at him. Player: What? I'm not going to start a fight....
    2161 replies | 49713 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 04:11 PM
    Blame Arrows - when your archer just can't hit. Catnip - obvious effects Spywrite - encodes secret messages Mend Spike - after your bard bends all the tent spikes. Again. Maximilian's earthen grass - "No really, it will grow in." *sigh*
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 23rd April, 2018, 03:58 PM
    You've got to be kidding me! If you took this in 3.5ed along with the Small Forest Beasts Against Dorkness gnomish paladin level substitution and the Child of Dorkness PrC it was sooooooo much better then it ever was in 4e as long as you maxed out your skill ranks in Inane Trivia - but luckily that was a class skill.
    44 replies | 1147 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 03:39 PM
    Re-fluff the rage. Razor Fighting Focus, zen-state martial arts, what have you. Even if you want to keep it as hyper aggression, it could be by possession, by sharing your soul with an ancestor or spirit of an animal. Just like any character, come up with an interesting story and work out from there. The mechanics of rage can fit a lot of different narratives. And while the class is...
    61 replies | 1632 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 22nd April, 2018, 01:39 AM
    A DM doesn't have to run for anyone they don't want. One can say "I won't run for you" and make it stick. Period, no discussion. No need to involve anyone else or get the buy in from the host or group. The DM has rights as well as everyone else. That's not kicking them out of the group, nor of the house however. If the group as a whole says "that's fine, we'll have someone else run",...
    38 replies | 1506 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 07:59 PM
    Agreed - there are a number of spells good are removing someone from a fight. Hypnotic pattern is an area of effect and a single save. Web is also an area of effect and while you can try to escape every round, it take a check (which uses your action) to do so, and you can still be re-affected in later rounds. Hold Person/Monster is inferior to both of them (and most hard control spells) as a...
    13 replies | 451 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 05:13 PM
    Of course. I never championed concealing what kind of game is run. If my players wanted all dice rolls to stand, I would absolutely do that. My table is heavily story oriented, however, and are content with the rare fudging that they don't know about at the time. I may not have made this clear enough in my earlier posts. My objection comes from players who claim nobody should "cheat", no matter...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 03:08 AM
    If you go by the distribution in the DMG, I know many player who would be happy if they never get a magic weapon. The distribution for 5e is sooo much flatter. Here's a thread where they work out what you should be getting levels 1-20. It then codifies it, breaking it up four ways, to give guidelines: 1 uncommon permanent item at level 4, and another at level 7. 1 rare permanent item...
    26 replies | 857 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 02:09 AM
    I like to do this too. And giving the more potent items quirks is fun too.
    26 replies | 857 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Saturday, 21st April, 2018, 12:27 AM
    Everway is a game that's been sitting on our shelf for years. I love how the cards help develop your character. I am also drawn to the world hopping aspects, and the narrative driven mechanics. Not sure why we haven't got to it yet. Nobilis is another one on the list. I find it intimidating. Mouseguard is a recent purchase. I have the boxed set which I love. Should give us a taste of...
    21 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 11:36 PM
    In almost every other rpg, except DnD. The D20 is swingy, and if players are in a losing streak, which is just getting silly, like my earlier Kobold example then I'll fudge a little. It has never been apparent to my players, because it's rare. If I decide after a long night of gaming, that the archer, who hasn't been able to hit the broad side of a barn all night, finally gets a solid shot on the...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 11:23 PM
    I strongly agree with what you say. I'm often the DM, and I say that I only have any special role within the game, and that at the sufferance of the player. (If anyone has special rights, it's the host.) That said, the DM can handle it with a simple "I don't want to run for you". A decision made within the context of the game. I'm actually slightly conflicted, so I turn to how I've...
    38 replies | 1506 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 11:11 PM
    I'm going to ramble a bit. I started with D&D. It came in a red box. And you stated at first level and you earned every bit of power you ever had, be it levels or loot or things less mechanical. If you died, you likely started back at 1st level even though others around you were unimaginably powerful, say third or maybe even fifth! But once I started playing regularly (a feat that took a...
    10 replies | 276 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 09:49 PM
    I disagree with this end of the spectrum as well. As I mentioned, there are time multiclassing characters can fulfill their concepts while not falling behind. Some guidelines (not hard and fast rules) would be wait until after 5th, if you're near an ASI, take another level and get it, and have an eye on what you're giving up - but for some classes at higher levels that's not much as long as...
    63 replies | 1917 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 09:41 PM
    I agree with this sentiment. There was a ranger UA that had them changing into giant trees and fighting and I loved it - because it was something big and different. When you have subclasses that give different mechanical expression to mostly the same broad concept, I'd rather subtract out the subclass. I don't need a brute and a champion. I don't need two archers who shoot a lot and are...
    63 replies | 1917 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 09:29 PM
    My own experience is 180 degrees away from this. In 5e, multiclassing isn't the "road to greatness" it was with some earlier editions. Just that all us old grognards think it is. And I tell you, every single one of my powergaming friends immediately went to multiclassing in 5e because of that ... and most of them ended up shooting themselves in the foot. So then they learned some lessons,...
    63 replies | 1917 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 08:15 PM
    I wish I could. But I don't want to run it - I've been running a campaign for 4+ years with not much time as a player. It's near the end and that's good - I'm burning out. So me running is off the table. I've brought ti up to my group as a game we play next, but not of the prospective GMs seem that interested in running, and we've got a "not fantasy" request. So it looks like I'll have to...
    21 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 07:23 PM
    Reading closely, I would say Healing Spirit does not trigger the Unicorn Spirit. The Unicorn Spirit is triggered when you cast a spell that heals. Healing Spirit is a conjuration spell that summons a spirit. The exact wording about the heal is "...you can cause the spirit to restore 1d6 hit points...". It's not the spell, it's the spirit that's healing. Think if you had a class feature...
    1 replies | 150 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 05:54 PM
    Wow, Blades has quite the "I wanna play but haven't yet" vibe going on.
    21 replies | 654 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 04:27 PM
    I've read all those pemerton examples too, and have not reached your conclusion at all... So, after all the debating in the "What is World Building For?" we decided to give "No Myth" a serious try. I am a player in a 13th Age campaign. We are not using the world that comes with the setting. All the stories are driven by the players' backgrounds and one unique things. So far, it's working just...
    1529 replies | 51557 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 02:45 PM
    Some games I'd like to play for an campaign to get the feel: I'm really interested in playing anything Powered by the Apocalypse. The focus on relationships, the changes to GM style with Fronts, the codification of Moves - all of it seems like a very different take that I'd love to experience firsthand. Blades in the Dark. Specialized rules for a specific niche. Downtime activities that...
    21 replies | 654 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 12:24 PM
    Discuss? With a stated goal of reuniting the split fan base (4e, 3.x, PF, and old school), the classes they published in the very first core book needed to both ooze with nostalgia and classic D&D-ness as well as cover all of the traditional bases so that people could envision their favorite character in 5e. So what is published in that first core player's book has other aspects then just...
    63 replies | 1917 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 01:02 AM
    I was a big fan of the original Torg too. Yes, I am looking forward to the new version.
    5 replies | 224 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 12:58 AM
    Blue replied to New Action: Flee
    My example had them starting adjacent, no moving the goalpost to have them further away. Also, mine just needs about 100' of distance - since when you are closed with you can go back the other direction.
    25 replies | 532 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 20th April, 2018, 12:15 AM
    I can't love him or hate him, as I have never read any of the books or had him pop up in any of my Forgotten Realms campaigns. Little tired of hearing about him I guess?
    58 replies | 1760 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 10:58 PM
    Blue replied to Power is Relative
    I tend to focus world-building on what I need, not spending much time detailing out specifics of encounters for areas my PCs aren't going to soon. But I agree - I've often had encounters where we don't bother to roll initiative - either it's too low and I'd rather we just spend 3 minutes doing a quick montage around the table giving everyone a chance to narrate a quick bit of awesomeness, or...
    56 replies | 1601 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 10:52 PM
    Blue replied to Power is Relative
    I find that everyone has the most fun if most of the characters are around the same power level. I don't care if it's high or low - I've got as many foes and hazards as I want. BTW, this goes when I am a player as well - I've voluntarily de-tuned my characters when they were too potent for the group. As a DM, i mention to my players. Though a mix of detuning some and optimizing others...
    56 replies | 1601 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 10:42 PM
    Be mature, talk first. Could be hard line "you're ruining other's fun, that needs to stop now. and zero tolerance for cheating, fudge dice like initiative again and you're not playing under me again." Could be soft, "look, you're fun to be with but there are somethings that are making it less fun to game with..." as long as it's not wishy-washy and generic "hey whole group, if there's...
    38 replies | 1506 view(s)
    8 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 10:15 PM
    One example, from 3.5. My players were first level in their first session, and ran into kobolds. Shouldn't have been a big deal, right? The players kept rolling really bad, over and over. The kobolds, on the other hand were having a blast. They were golden! Couldn't miss, rolled some criticals. I fudged a little to keep the party from going down in an inglorious TPK. They were excited about their...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 09:07 PM
    Blue replied to New Action: Flee
    Nope. Here's what I had wrote: Here it is without disengage: Suck an attack of opportunity and dash. Moves further then the foe can catch up. Next round, fires and moves, so again more than one move away for a foe. Foe dashes to close. repeat. In other words, the foe gets to Opportunity Attack you every other round when they've caught up before you run. That's not "unbeatable"...
    25 replies | 532 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 08:40 PM
    Blue replied to New Action: Flee
    FLEE You impose the Frightened condition on yourself for 30 minutes, or 5 minutes after your last sight of the foes. If you ignore or are immune to the frightened condition, you may not take this action. During this time, you may Disengage as a bonus action. You may only take the Dash action. I thought about adding in a "Cornered Rat" option, but left it out.
    25 replies | 532 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 08:28 PM
    Blue replied to New Action: Flee
    Let's try "good for the goose, good for the gander": Any foe who's movement is not half or lower of the PC's can always escape, barring ranged attacks/spells or immobilization. I think that will get tired if the DM uses it to the degree it could be used. Also it can allow someone with even a slightly higher movement (like a wood elf) to unbeatably kite. Auto disengage and dash. Moves...
    25 replies | 532 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 07:15 PM
    I think that there is a misconception that I'm willy nilly changing dice rolls. It's rare. I am not constantly designing things that my players need bailing out of. Fudging or altering things is only when the alternative would be ridiculous, for the kind of game that my table prefers. And, as I mentioned earlier, only DnD, and in 5e, it's very rare, as the game has been designed to mitigate...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 05:07 PM
    This is addressed under the races in the PHB - all of the races explicitly mature at the same rate. Read the Age section for each race. So none of them are children for longer.
    7 replies | 316 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 04:28 PM
    Yes, a tool, used sparingly to help ensure the group is having fun. I get letting the dice roll where they will to see if you can survive through luck and skill, but role playing games aren't board games and a little judicious nudging by the GM, who is not a player, can enhance the experience for many tables. For me, stupid deaths are boring. Player is just going to make a new character...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 04:07 PM
    Wow, I think I hit a nerve.
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 05:28 AM
    In 3.5, I had a paladin that rolled 1 hp almost every time we levelled up. The GM felt so bad for me, he handed me some extra hp. The wizard literally had more hp than my poor paladin. After that we adopted your idea exactly. In 5e, we've been doing average hp.
    46 replies | 1214 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 04:34 AM
    Your damage calculations is the most optimistic cast. The second part of booming blade only triggers if they move, which often isn't true. Now, you can't have more SP then your level, and breaking down a spell slot to SP takes a bonus action. So you will need to skip the quickened GFB every once in a while to do that. However, since that's 2/3 of your SP budget, at lower levels it will...
    2 replies | 252 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 03:44 AM
    If you're willing to not use 5e, Pendragon could work. There's a system in the game for character passions which would work well. Game of Throne characters are all about their drives and passions after all. Magic is mysterious, and not in the hands of PCs too.
    12 replies | 403 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 03:35 AM
    Lots of DnD players are looking for a narrative. It's the stated goal of the game, especially these days. Just read the introduction. It's all about living out the fantasy of being a hero, and creating exciting stories with your friends. New players come to the table, their minds full of Legolas or Conan and dwarves and wizards. They probably don't want their beloved character to die 15 minutes...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 02:51 AM
    I repent.
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 02:40 AM
    Nope. My players have happily played with a variety of different GMs, no anguish or conflict at all. Cause, guess what? There's lots and lots of different styles of rpging, as I believe you've been reminded of many a time.:) But more seriously, if you want a more narrative style game, even a little, you kind of need to do some adjusting on the fly. I'm not just talking about fudging rolls, but...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 12:30 AM
    The problem with this idea is that we are letting pieces of plastic always have the final say. I fudge rolls as GM because sometimes the dice roll stupidly. The D20 in DnD is way too swingy. The irony is that DnD players are the ones who often shout the loudest against "fudging," but DnD is actually the only game I GM where I need to do some tweaking, in order to avoid dumb deaths. To be honest,...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 12:17 AM
    Blue replied to MagicWeapons
    I never give "plus X" weapons. They are boring math modifiers that really aren't needed with bounded accuracy.
    12 replies | 346 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 12:15 AM
    Eldritch Smite explicitly only allows Warlock slots. Paladin's divine smite has been errata'd that it allows any slot, so all those bard spell slots become extra damage.
    63 replies | 17745 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Thursday, 19th April, 2018, 12:05 AM
    In 13th Age, your one unique thing does not actually have a game mechanic. You can't take "world's greatest swordsman," and get a bonus in combat. Your one unique thing is a hook to make you, well unique. There is no reason for an NPC to have this, as they are not the protagonists. And you can take a grand one unique, like "destined to be the cause of the end of the 13th Age," or something...
    2161 replies | 49713 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 06:09 PM
    If it's not a hex grid, it's not an RPG overland map! Get off my lawn! While, in reality, I haven't used a grid - hex or square - for any mapping in years. Not saying it couldn't be useful, just haven't bothered.
    19 replies | 487 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th April, 2018, 04:48 PM
    @Morrus talked about it his experiences DMing it recently. To paraphrase what I recall, his players were finding little to look forward in leveling up compared to their base 5e expectations, and a dedicated system like The One Ring might handle those expectations better. I believe they were 3rd level.
    5 replies | 322 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 03:00 AM
    I think the amount of material needed to block an appreciably amount of the sun's radiation caught by the earth, and all of it's supporting infrastructure to hold it rigid, keep in in place even though it's so large that gravity has different pulls on different parts of it, and constantly deal with repairs from micro material impacts at orbital speeds. It would be vastly, hugely, mind boggling...
    26 replies | 499 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 02:53 AM
    Turn this around: Do you think you can intentionally kill the party in a hard but fair fight? HA. 5e gives a lot of wiggle room to build up the tension and stakes of "we're all going to die" without getting anywhere close. Great, someone dropped to zero. They are closer to being unharmed then death. Literally. Because death is 3 failed death saves away (with one given for every damage...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 02:38 AM
    I'll restate it a different way - the game assumes you'll be spending money on consumables, it's built into the economy. If they are potions or ritual components it doesn't care. And items are part of character advancement, and their costs go up fivefold every five levels - the amounts you pay for low level rituals are literal pocket change compared to paragon level characters.
    34 replies | 884 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th April, 2018, 01:13 AM
    It's really hard to find campaign scenarios for what you are after. Bubblegumshoe sounds ideal since your players like mysteries, but I think you'd have to create your own adventures.
    9 replies | 251 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 08:56 PM
    I routinely throw very difficult encounters at my party, as well as traps and situation that I don't know how they will get out of. My between session planning is usually deadly*. (* Or cakewalk - there are times they need to curbstomp foes to remind them of how badarse they are now, and with super easy foes (goblin patrols for level 8s) I just let them montage and each gets to tell quickly...
    180 replies | 4242 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 08:25 PM
    Max HPs for PCs and foes stretches out combat, making it more of a grind. It devalues healing, and in-combat healing except for standing up fallen allies is already cheap. It devalues all limited resources (superiority dice, spells, etc.) that don't last an entire combat because combat lasts more rounds so it's active for less of your actions, and damage takes a double whammy because it...
    46 replies | 1214 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 16th April, 2018, 01:33 AM
    Can you unpack where you don't like it? Since I've explained several times that my "unequivocal conclusion" is solely for if the Order domain outdoes the War domain in the arena defined by the War domain mechanically, I assume that you are actually addressing what I'm saying and not looking elsewhere like what you think the War domain "should" be. My conclusion was from the weapon...
    25 replies | 630 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 07:52 PM
    Well, dang. Okay, here's my baseball card collection.
    14 replies | 793 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 04:28 PM
    Request: A strongly flavorful Underdark scene while traveling in unexplored areas by those with little Underdark experience (but good spelunking skills), where the local Underdark taints all within with madness and psychopathic tendencies. Horror and psychological elements are welcome. Challenging for level 14-17 characters, but that's tweakable. Does not need to feature combat, and if it...
    14 replies | 793 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 03:15 PM
    So I think I've watched as much TV in these past 3 months as I've watched in the past three years combined. That's still not a lot of TV, but it's been taking a chunk out of my reading time. Picked up on recommendation Sarah J. Maas' The Throne of Glass. I think it's technically YA fantasy, but it was well done. She's got a good use of words, and crafts believable relationships. The main...
    23 replies | 525 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 01:58 PM
    Expertise. This is assuming we're talking ability (& skill) checks that currently have expertise. I'd rather have the higher max roll, even if for most of my adventuring career my average roll would be a bit lower. Plus I can always do something else (like have someone do the help action) to get Advantage. If you expand this out to saves, my answer stays the same. But if you expand it...
    28 replies | 1126 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 01:31 PM
    I am speaking strictly mechanically. If you want to reskin another cleric domain as a cleric of war, go ahead. Speaking only mechanically, all clerics share the same chassis. That can't be used as a point of differentiation between domains. So looking at the mechanics of the domain that was published, the specifics of what the war domain is meant to represent is personal excellence in...
    25 replies | 630 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 12:40 AM
    Okay, let's focus on the game mechanics since you are asking for a balance check. I'm going to put in a little formatting: I'd say this is rather well above the power level of other races. Once you get rid of some glaring issues, I'll take the wood elf as another +2/+1, 35 speed medium race and doing a 1:1 comparison of features. Group up ones of equal power, and then see if you have...
    18 replies | 427 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th April, 2018, 12:01 AM
    War clerics specialty seems to be about personal excellence in combat. This is taken from their weapon proficiencies, their features, their channel divinity, and a number of their domain spell selection. This will be the basis if Order clerics overshadow War clerics at what the War domain is intended to do. Order clerics don't have martial weapon proficiency. With the exception of the...
    25 replies | 630 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 11:52 PM
    One thing I've had success in my current campaign is that the religions are not monocultures. They have sects and different interpretations of dogma. This can allow priests of the same god to be helpful, to block you, to be indifferent, and otherwise stay interesting. So you could have different interpretations and competition between followers even in a monotheistic interpretation,...
    27 replies | 654 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 02:59 PM
    Fixed that for you: Arcane Lock, Arcane Mark, Brew Potion, Continual Light, Create Campsite, Discern Lies, Eavesdropper's Foil, Enchant Magic Item, Explosive Ruins, Eye of Alarm, Eye of Warding, Farsight, Find the Path, History Revealed ... I could go on but I think you have the idea. There were so many useful rituals that basically just took coin, but once you were high enough level...
    34 replies | 884 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 02:33 PM
    Human Bard - I've played one in every version of D&D since AD&D 2nd. There's been a lot of different takes, but it's usually interesting plus a character who mechanically is strong socially plays well with my preferred RP mode.
    48 replies | 1218 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 14th April, 2018, 02:31 PM
    Yeah, we never did "campaigns" - but we did plenty of one-shots with recurring characters.
    10 replies | 350 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 11:17 PM
    We had a lot of fun with Toon back in the early 90s. I've got several memorable stories, all from a friend who was fantastic at getting that zany comic feel as well as physical comedy. His Toon was "Splam the Wingding". In one episode, Splam had an infinite roll of 1 cent stamps. At some point they trapped a vampire in his coffin, so they decide to mail him away. Splam, with his sooper...
    10 replies | 350 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 11:07 PM
    In gebneral this is good advice, but he also said that he will be /primary melee/ for their group. Without extra attack, he really needs EK for BB and GFB to be able to disk out anything. And it will at least give him +1 spell level for slots as well as the cantrip/1st level Wizard spells known. I like 5e multiclassing, but my biggest beef with it is that it's a so easy to shoot yourself...
    9 replies | 342 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 13th April, 2018, 02:07 PM
    I understand that your group is short on front-liners (depending on if the ranger is ranged or melee), but I think you'd really be spreading yourself too thin to try to go for it. You mentioned this is a replacement character - are you coming in at 1st or a higher level? Especially if the group is 5th or higher the weapon damage of a cleric has too low of a return (as a percentage of damage...
    2 replies | 207 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th April, 2018, 02:34 AM
    I like the new 5th level Holy Weapon for 2d8 per attack myself, with one casting lasting up to an hour. But you can either have full attack (paladin, so level 17) or full caster (cleric or divine soul sorcerer at level 9). Or the same trick, of using bard's magical secrets to pick it up.
    63 replies | 17745 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 08:01 PM
    I like that a lot. Paladin Divine Smite + their additional spell slots works better than the Elidritch Smite invocation which only allows warlock slots to power it. But with curse only working on one foe per short rest, I wonder if Champion 3 for all crits on 19-20 isn't a better way to go first, and then swing back to paladin. Note that if you also pick up Blade Pact you can extend two...
    63 replies | 17745 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 07:40 PM
    Check the date - Yunru wrote that back with the original, UA version of Elven accuracy that doesn't have that limitation. The UA was even linked a few posts in. So yes, today there is a limitation but back when this was written it worked just fine.
    63 replies | 17745 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 07:18 PM
    *tips hat* Thanks, that was fun. Though actually you win - I don't know MAID RPG from a hole in the wall. And I'm still laughing from Eric's Grandmother's "Bitchin' Camaro". Well played sir, well played.
    48 replies | 1906 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 06:09 PM
    Pish tosh my fine gentleman - and I use that title with irony and derision. The late master's Cyborg Commando works best in a late Renaissance setting, perhaps featuring composers and, of course, set near the picturesque Rhine. A hotbed of psychic ability covered up by mechanical inventions if I ever saw one. You obviously were grasping for, and failing to find, My Life With Master as your...
    48 replies | 1906 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 05:57 PM
    Oh, I love this. Keep exactly to the words of the bargain while at the same time damning her. The axe has a horrendous reputation, and is known to church scholars that it will corrupt the wielder, or perhaps bring back the body (sans soul) if she dies as a powerful evil force with the axe. While controlling the wielder is a bit much for overriding player agency, maybe make it intelligent...
    3 replies | 200 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 05:20 PM
    Well, Riddle of Steel does have a rather realistic simulation combat system. It's for the games where when your hero is surrounded by three bandits you prepare to die. But everyone knows it's best at simulating West Berlin, you insensitive clod! ;)
    48 replies | 1906 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, 05:04 PM
    There's a difference between "can do successfully" and "the mechanics really evoke and support the setting." There's also an axis from "unmodified D&D" to "a different system that supports the feel I want", and modding D&D is moving along that axis toward the second one already. Can I run anything I want in unmodded D&D? Eh, sure. But that doesn't mean that there are places where the...
    48 replies | 1906 view(s)
    0 XP
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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

  • 07:29 PM - shidaku mentioned Arilyn in post Arcane multiclassing... does it make sense?
    A power hungry wizard would rather try to become a lich instead, and for otherworldly entities - he does not pray to them or revere them as a master, but he summons them to do his bidding. I am equally perturbed by this statement as Satyrn and Arilyn are. It may simply be your word choice, but I think there is plenty of fantasy material showing smart (read: hit int score) wizards making packs with dark powers in order to gain unique, unrivaled or secret magic. I think the classic "high int, low wis" parable is appropriate here. A smart wizard may not worship any god but knowledge, but that same smart wizard is smart enough to know that other creatures know things he doesn't and his lust for knowledge (and therefore power) cause him to make deals to gain that knowledge. I mean we've got the classic parable right there: Faust. Beyond that, while a power-hungry wizard might desire to become a lich, I don't see how that's universal. There are plenty of ways a wizard could transcend mortality, and plenty more ways a wizard could bypass the human lifespan. And this is of course, discounting more naturally long-lived races like elves.
  • 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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Thursday, 26th April, 2018

  • 01:26 AM - Saelorn quoted Arilyn in post What Aspects of 4E Made It into 5E?
    Where are all these paranoid players? Where are these groups that are dissolving, because the GM made something up on the spot that made the players cool? I have seen no evidence of this. Has anyone?They were substantially more common in the late eighties and early nineties. You can see evidence of it by examining games of the time, many of which had rules addressing the matter. By and large, the community has improved over time, as players have become more considerate and cheaters have been called out on their shenanigans.

Wednesday, 25th April, 2018

  • 07:13 AM - aramis erak quoted Arilyn in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    In DnD, killing is so abstract that the impact of what an actual combat would be like is totally lost. I remember laughing at the idea of adding bleed damage to a weapon. What, swords don't normally cause bleeding wounds? No, actually, typically they cause closed wounds with only internal bleeding... at least when the target is armored. Destructive testing by SCAers (usually upon euthanized pigs) has demonstrated that, vs armor, swords don't cut... they make deep bruises and shatter bones, but don't break skin. Live steel ARMA groups also have often demonstrated that steel blades don't actually penetrate the typical leather or chain, but do blunt trauma through them.
  • 02:52 AM - Warpiglet quoted Arilyn in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    My point is that the violence being so abstract makes games like DnD actually less violent in a way. It's very clean and sanitized like Zelda, of which I too am a fan. Kids have access to 5e, and its not raising alarm bells. Fighting and killing is not treated at all realistically, and is therefore less immediate and bloody. Thus my comment about weapons that don't cause bleeding, and poking fun at "hard-core" players. And of course DnD is silly. But it's harmless fun, because the violence is pretty much treated like kids playing cops and robbers, or a board game where pieces are just removed. It's not graphic as a default. This makes it a good choice for high adventure stories, and most of the time the silliness slides into the background anyway. No moral high horse. It's still nice having less killing alternatives, however. More choices is a good thing (as long as my favorite is among them!)
  • 01:31 AM - Eirikrautha quoted Arilyn in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    A fair point, but I don't think players really want to shed much of our modern morality. By our standards people were awfully nasty in the medieval period... Au contraire! Part of the fun of roleplaying (for some/many of us; experiences may vary) is exactly the opportunity to shed modern conventions and restrictions.

Tuesday, 24th April, 2018

  • 10:06 PM - Warpiglet quoted Arilyn in post Killing In The Name Of Advancement
    In DnD, killing is so abstract that the impact of what an actual combat would be like is totally lost. I remember laughing at the idea of adding bleed damage to a weapon. What, swords don't normally cause bleeding wounds? I would even go so far as to say, that the standard game of DnD isn't even about killing, because it is so abstract and kind of weird. Even the grittiest, most violent fantasy novel wouldn't have the protagonists fighting 4-8 times in one day! DnD is like a video game where the critters just pop out of existence, leaving a treasure chest behind. These games are usually rated for kids, because the violence isn't really there. This is the reason I smile at groups bragging about being hard-core players. It's DnD, guys. You're pretty much playing Zelda. As for your basic premise, I am in full agreement. I'm glad there are games that are getting past the killing stuff. But roleplaying and using dice to model other things is more realistic? If its Zelda (which is damn fun) som...
  • 01:32 AM - pemerton quoted Arilyn in post What is *worldbuilding* for?
    The term railroading has in recent years come off the rails (heh heh). It has become an insult players fling at each other, when in disagreement over playstyles. <snip> Railroading is not pre-written adventures. Railroading is not world building. Railroading is not "going where the action is." Railroading is simply the GM deciding actions for the players, or forcing a preconceived result no matter what the players do, or whether it makes sense anymore. Nobody in this thread is guilty of railroading. I haven't said that anyone is "guilty" of railroading. I've described a particular approach to play, and why I regard it as railroading. If others don't so regard it, that's their prerogative. In the context of RPGing, as in life more generally, "railroading" has a normative/evaluative element and so judgements in respect of it are likely to differ. Here's one suggested meaning of railroading: Control of a player-character's decisions, or opportunities for decisions, by another pers...

Saturday, 21st April, 2018

  • 07:29 PM - iserith quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    I was also just musing on how DnD has become less deadly, and noting that I fudge way less in 5e, and haven't yet in 13th Age. Fans must be happier with less character turnover. What is your feeling on this change? I see it as an attempt at a solution to iteration time more than anything, that is, the time it takes a player with a dead character to get back into the primary mode of participation with the game. It takes a while to make a character, compared to earlier versions of the game. Which means that without setting up backup characters (as we do in my games), players can end up sitting out of the game if a character dies for some amount of time. Sturdier characters mitigates this issue. Do you prefer the more random deadly nature of earlier versions, or are you content with characters having a buffer against the deadly surprises? DnD has always claimed Swords and Sorcery as inspiration, but these days players have a little more leeway to behave like Conan. Does this make the game...
  • 02:42 PM - ExploderWizard quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    The idea that once the dice come out, we have to always abide by them isn't always the best route. It's assumed that players will survive most routine battles, yet they aren't just narrated. There was absolutely no advantage to letting my players fall to the kobolds. Nobody did anything wrong, but a TPK would have had us halting the game to create a brand new group, which may not have been as interesting. My players would have felt understandably frustrated, and for what? An unbreakable rule about dice that once rolled, must rule? No, I'd rather fudge. Abiding by the dice isn't required to have a good time by any means. Technically you can play games without them. It all depends on player expectations and what they want out of the experience. If the players are happy being the stars of their own drama series and don't care how that happens then everything is fine. If players are expecting a game that is theirs to either successfully conquer or to lose depending on a combination of their ow...

Friday, 20th April, 2018

  • 10:33 PM - ExploderWizard quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    The problem with this idea is that we are letting pieces of plastic always have the final say. I fudge rolls as GM because sometimes the dice roll stupidly. The D20 in DnD is way too swingy. The irony is that DnD players are the ones who often shout the loudest against "fudging," but DnD is actually the only game I GM where I need to do some tweaking, in order to avoid dumb deaths. To be honest, 5e is not as bad as earlier editions, because characters seem more survivable. Anyway, my players are not going to want to fall down a pit trap and die before the end of the first session, so yeah, I'll fudge to avoid this. And no, Saelorn, in my many years GMing, I've never had anyone walk away in disgust from my table, or become disenchanted with the hobby because of my "corrupt" ways.:) Letting the dice fall where they may is not the same as letting the dice control your game. As the DM, you are in control of when dice get rolled and you may modify the odds of the roll as circumstances permi...
  • 05:10 PM - Celebrim quoted Arilyn in post Why Worldbuilding is Bad
    I've read all those pemerton examples too, and have not reached your conclusion at all... Since pemerton and I stopped talking over this very point, I don't feel its fair to him to continue to debate it. But after like the fifth thread where he described drawing a dungeon and stocking it and backgrounding it, and then described his play as some sort of revolutionary 'no myth' because in the course of play he invented one new element he hadn't fully detailed before, I decided I'd had enough. I have no desire to argue over your personal experience. I'm glad whatever new approaches you've adopted have led to success for your group. Although I will say "all the stories drive by players backgrounds" doesn't in and of itself mean you are playing no myth, it just means you've given your players agency to tell the stories that they want to experience. And you can do that within a 'no myth' framework on in a 'low myth' or 'high myth' classical sandbox. 'No myth' literally means that ...

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 11:10 PM - iserith quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    One example, from 3.5. My players were first level in their first session, and ran into kobolds. Shouldn't have been a big deal, right? The players kept rolling really bad, over and over. The kobolds, on the other hand were having a blast. They were golden! Couldn't miss, rolled some criticals. I fudged a little to keep the party from going down in an inglorious TPK. They were excited about their characters. Nobody, including me, wanted to start a new group. Group survived by the skin of their teeth, had no idea I had altered the damage roll that would have downed the cleric, ending in death of the party. This happened because the d20 is swingy and unreliable. This is what I mean about ridiculous dice rolls that can be altered a bit to keep the game going. And sometimes I make a mistake in my prep that needs to be altered on the fly. No biggie. Sure, but again I would say that if you didn't desire an outcome like the one you would have gotten without fudging, why did you allow for the pos...
  • 07:49 PM - iserith quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    I think that there is a misconception that I'm willy nilly changing dice rolls. It's rare. I am not constantly designing things that my players need bailing out of. Fudging or altering things is only when the alternative would be ridiculous, for the kind of game that my table prefers. And, as I mentioned earlier, only DnD, and in 5e, it's very rare, as the game has been designed to mitigate player death. If I were to give an average, maybe once per three sessions in 3e. Once per ten in 5e. Sure, but I'm not too concerned about frequency. I'm more interested in how folks are arriving at "ridiculous" outcomes at all. The DM decides when the mechanics come into play and also sets the stakes (what happens on a success, what happens on a failure). It therefore seems to me that either the mechanics are being brought into play when they "shouldn't" be or that the DM is not setting the stakes in a way that both success and failure are palatable. Can you see other reasons for it?
  • 07:42 PM - Doug McCrae quoted Arilyn in post Hidden
  • 07:35 PM - Saelorn quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    You're right about DnD not being my favourite game. I have fun with it, however, and it can be used to tell satisfying tales. And yes, I'm still role playing. The games I mentioned are all role playing games. We are not doing improvisational theatre.If you're telling a story, then you're not playing a role. Definitionally, role-playing is something you do as the character. If you're treating them like some narrative construct in a story, then you aren't role-playing. If you restrict role playing games to a narrow band of "Saelorn's way", our hobby will be impoverished.If you were to kill off every story-telling game that calls itself an RPG, then the RPG hobby will be stronger for it. It would be like pruning diseased, parasite-ridden branches from a tree. The only ones who lose out are the (metaphorical) parasites. Your hobby will be impoverished. Alternatively, if those branches were deemed to have some value, you might consider grafting them onto a different tree where they would do n...
  • 06:53 PM - jasper quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    Wow, I think I hit a nerve. no. But I did have decaffe this morning. And if you are fudging more than once per game, change games.
  • 01:36 PM - jasper quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    1. The problem with this idea is that we are letting pieces of plastic always have the final say. 2. I fudge rolls as GM because sometimes the dice roll stupidly. 3.The D20 in DnD is way too swingy. 4.The irony is that DnD players are the ones who often shout the loudest against "fudging," but DnD is actually the only game I GM where I need to do some tweaking, in order to avoid dumb deaths. 5.To be honest, 5e is not as bad as earlier editions, because characters seem more survivable. Anyway, my players are not going to want to fall down a pit trap and die before the end of the first session, so yeah, I'll fudge to avoid this. 7. And no, Saelorn, in my many years GMing, I've never had anyone walk away in disgust from my table, or become disenchanted with the hobby because of my "corrupt" ways.:) Me added in the numbers. ALL PRAISE THE HOLY ARILYN. 1. HOLY MOLLY. IN a game of chance using dice, the dice should rule. NAY SATHY HOLY ARILYN 2. No. The dice just roll. Against the group. 3. TRUE. In some games. But hey. Dice rules. 4. pass on this. My bigger sister is still mad at me for beating her in "SORRY" four games in a roll. And I was five at the time. 5. Perhaps your players need to learn that the dice are the creators of their fates. Or just use average damage. 6. was stolen by the EVIL SINISTER SAELORN! 7. I have walked away from tables due to bad players, players doing something STUPID, players doing something totally smart, or dice hating us all. I did walk away recently for 5 minutes when PVP started.
  • 02:54 AM - Saelorn quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    The typical DnD game is full of combat and traps, way more danger than even the most pulpiest of heroes in fiction encounter. Players are rolling that d20 a lot. It's not a reliable die, and so of course there are streaks where the players can't catch a break. Some players are willing to let the die roll as it will, and stupid deaths are just part of the game. Many players, however, are not, because they are hoping to experience a type of story. They want the game to simulate narrative. I will repeat my earlier point. DnD is the only game where I fudge. I don't need to do this in Fate, or Cortex or The One Ring, or even 13th Age. And as I mentioned its less in 5e. The stupid death syndrome is a feature of older versions of DnD, including PF. I think there's a reason it's fading. Dungeons & Dragons has never been an engine that was designed to generate a narrative, any more than the physical laws of the real world are designed to generate a particular narrative. The player characters are n...
  • 02:48 AM - Caliban quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    Nope. My players have happily played with a variety of different GMs, no anguish or conflict at all. Cause, guess what? There's lots and lots of different styles of rpging, as I believe you've been reminded of many a time.:) The Prophet of Gaming has spoken and shared the One True Way with us. Do not attempt to corrupt us with your seductive tales of fun and fudging of die rolls!
  • 12:59 AM - Saelorn quoted Arilyn in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    And no, Saelorn, in my many years GMing, I've never had anyone walk away in disgust from my table, or become disenchanted with the hobby because of my "corrupt" ways.If you successfully corrupt a new player, then they're misled into believing that your method is the correct way, so the conflict comes when they try to play with someone who doesn't cheat.

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 05:30 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Arilyn in post Lost In Translation: Adapting Fictional Characters To Games
    Yeah, DnD is not the game for LoTR. AiME does a surprisingly good job, but even it is hampered by being DnD, and in my mind is inferior to The One Ring. Gandalf is Gandalf, and is neither a cleric or a wizard. On top of that, I suspect we never really see his true essence or power. Absolutely. AIME does a surprisingly good job of a Dark Ages feel but even so I think it has issues. Gandalf is a particularly difficult character in no small part because he really is an NPC. Some of the other characters in the Fellowship are PC-worthy but Gandalf really isn't. Much of his power is kept off-screen so you're right, we never really see what he does. In addition, Middle Earth is deeply magical but the magic is really quite different than D&D's more utilitarian, game balanced, and often much more grandiose Vancian magic. For example, nobody really has fast travel. The closest are the Nazgul on their aerial mounts, Gandalf mounted on Shadowfax, and the giant eagles, but even they have to travel fr...


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