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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:55 PM
    I don't know that we're too far apart. I'm fine with multiclassing to get a mechanical benefit because it fits your vision of the character. It's the difference between playing a holy knight of the god of magic that you realize as a paladin/sorcerer vs. playing a grim vengance-knight where you take levels of sorcerer just to fuel your Divine Smite slots and for the CON save. I'm also big on...
    17 replies | 407 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 03:29 PM
    So when crafting Jillian's personality, I really ran with the halfling's Fearless racial ability - Jillian just didn't have fear. Didn't mean he rushed into things - he was canny and would try and come at things from the best angle, but he never had a doubt they'd win. Amusingly he had the lowest HP and AC in the group, and twice he went from full to unconcious with non-crit attacks against...
    7 replies | 293 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 06:11 PM
    From what I understand RP has done some pretty good jobs acting in other movies. The fact that friends don't let friends Twilight is besides the point.
    25 replies | 538 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 06:00 PM
    For me, multiclassing is a great tool for building a concept that falls between some classes. I've seen multiclassing to two and even three done quite well. On the other hand, I've seen multiclassing being used to cherry pick advantages from various classes - those can fall flat with even just 2 if you're doing it for mechanics instead of for a concept. "My paladin is going to take a level...
    17 replies | 407 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 05:48 PM
    Perhaps drawn cards do not immediately reappear. Perhaps they do in 10 years. So there's a reason to lock decks up - keep them for use at a later point, especially as you start to know what cards are in the deck. This avoids the repetition, gives a reason for guarding them but not carrying them with you, can fuel plot hooks liek a temple of a god of luck being known to have a particularly...
    3 replies | 273 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 05:02 PM
    Blue started a thread End of campaign salute
    Last night was bittersweet. A rousing conclusion of a D&D campaign, with two of our long-time nemesisses (nemesi? nemessen?) working together to overtake the kingdom we have spent so much of the campaign trying to restore, surrounded by fighting armies of orcs and our displaced barbarian friends. What started as the likely-mad man who claimed to be the King of Pal, a nation no one in...
    7 replies | 293 view(s)
    8 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 09:01 PM
    I read it and came to 100% the opposite conclusion than you. This is a subclass that will support how I want to play it. Want to be DEX based, it can do that, use my limited slots on arcane weapon, and be a crossbow-wielding hunk. But Arcane Weapon takes concentration, which locks you out of a bunch of options. Want to be INT based, it can do that. Don't need slots, cast scaling,...
    68 replies | 2506 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:46 PM
    Player crunch sells books. You don't have to worry about going out to your players to deny it - I believe this will be embedded in the Eberron sourcebook they are selling, not a general expansion like XGtE. (As a side note, I'm actually happy with the XGtE subclasses I've seen hit the table in the games I play. I don't want to derail this, I personally had more problems with the races in...
    68 replies | 2506 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 08:04 PM
    A related question about advancement systems - how fast for skills you're not so good at? For example, say we have a character that is advanced via whatever method the system uses. Level in a D&D-type game, etc. They want to start using a new skill. Or just do - the hacker finds herself in more and more social forums trying to drum up support for their cause and while she wasn't designed...
    20 replies | 559 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 04:25 PM
    I have to admit that I'd be tempted to go base human, pop all of those 14s to 15 (and the 15 to 16) and then as I hit ASIs use nifty half-feats to bring them up to 16s. (Since you mentioned variant human I'm assuming you're using feats.) Talking out-loud: Your highest is INT. However, almost all of the others can get up to the +3 modifier range if picking a +2 ability race. not sure how...
    6 replies | 197 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 02:12 PM
    I haven't gone over the changes in detail, specifically the new subclasses but also looking for other changes since February. The XGtE spells was a good add. I think they updated the Infusion list which is somethign I wanted, but I need to compare. I still don't like the turrets from the Artillerist. They don't scale, becoming less important than a cantrip. They are in that in-between...
    68 replies | 2506 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 01:42 PM
    I'm in a game with a Swords Bard and she's awesome. Defensive Flourish is her go-to when there's several foes abotu, and she just gets in there and foes either waste their time missing her as she steadily cuts them down, or runs off to elsewhere in the combat triggering opportunity attacks.
    156 replies | 204977 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 09:19 PM
    If you're against a single opponent, without reach, and you need to move - then it's decent. Though it's not "free", it costs one of your bardic inspiration dice. Often Defensive Flourish can grant you a good enough AC against multiple attacks that mathematically it's superior (as in it saves more damage over it's length statistically) than avoiding a single attack of opportunity that may or...
    156 replies | 204977 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 09:10 PM
    What about making it narrative? Any time the character succeeds at a meaningful and important* task they may instead fail and improve the skill. * Defining & measuring "meaningful" and "important" are left as an exercise for someone smarter than I.
    20 replies | 559 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:37 PM
    They scale slightly (HPs with level and INT mod for other things), with the only real level-based bonus is being able to summon a second turret once a day at 14th. (And activate them both with the same bonus action). So yeah, I'm with you - they barely scale.
    117 replies | 5647 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 11:56 PM
    Yes, and so what? Nova-ing isn't inherently bad. As a matter of fact, it's a feature of daily resource usage vs. a more spread at-will (or somewhat spread short rest). So it looks like it is something intentional from them designers. Let's not move the goalpost. The question is about replacing removed mechanical ways to help avoid 15 minute adventuring days.
    35 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 02:35 AM
    Everyone else posting was doing it in 2014. At the very least, mention Undertaker Sheep, jodyjohnson and Olaf the Stout so that they know to read this five year old post about your request. (The others haven't logged in in 2019.)
    12 replies | 10160 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:01 PM
    Bards get this as well. So, make it the norm. But don't forget what the druids get out of this - perhaps they require no expansion of civilization into natural areas, so they can't build more farms -and now with population increasing they require the druids just to avoid starvation. Sure, so some. Others would likely rather do it in unspoiled areas rather than crops meant to be...
    127 replies | 4828 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 03:34 PM
    Great googly moogly! Knowing that you have a movie focusing on you coming up that you have no idea what your character will be like, but needing to portray that character accurately in a different movie filming first, showing second, that will have a huge audience. Ugh, I do not envy Brie Larson. This does explain why they kept down the numebr of character interaction scenes. Not...
    176 replies | 4714 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 03:24 PM
    I'd be hesitant to do this. One of the cooler bardic abilities is Magical Secrets, which allows picking spells off of other lists. But that's a class feature, and not a minor one. So I'd suggest that a balanced way to do it would have to swap out a class feature in order to do this. Maybe swap out Destroy Undead (not particularly thunder/lightning) and grant a lightning/thunder spell known...
    12 replies | 430 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 03:14 PM
    This is mischaracterizing my question. We're not looking for a 100% solution -- that's a different thing. There are mechanics that help reduce 15 minute adventuring days. Having cantrips that allow a caster to contribute *meaningfully* without using a slot is one of them. Havign a large number of slots (vs. effectively reducing the number of slots by consolidating to fewer high level slots). ...
    35 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 01:03 AM
    Replacement for the /rule part/ solution that he removed - cantrips which can be done at-will. There is also the DM and adventure parts of avaoidign 15 minute adventuring days. He removed a mechanical fix, so I was looking for a mechanical replacement for it. Not a hand wave to put more on the DM. Calling it "One True Pace" really sounds like "this is the only way to play". I'm not...
    35 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 06:29 PM
    From our playtests, the case wasn't "slightly" worse, it was much more pronounced. But either way, cantrips were a mechanical safety value designed to deal with this exact problem (as well as others). So it looks like the proposal is both (a) worsening problem (regardless if it's "slightly" or "much" and (b) removing the design safety to deal with this. Taking that and putting it on the...
    35 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 02:14 PM
    Actual experience of several people on this thread (myself included) is that many players don't have the mindset to conserve points, and in reality will instead push for a 15 minute adventuring day. So, assuming Novaing will happen if allowed, how would you adjust the proposal to provide a hard stop instead of a soft stop to that?
    35 replies | 1222 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 07:23 PM
    Just search the web. People have been doing this since not long after 5e came out. And back then there was no dmsguild so it was all free.
    3 replies | 325 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 05:22 PM
    We playtested it as a few different level points. We found that it strongly encouraged casting higher level spells - basically novaing all the time. better action economy, kill foes quicker, etc. But because of that casters ran out quickly and advocated for 15 minute adventuring days. If there was some adventure reason they couldn't take a long rest then instead ended up using mostly cantrips...
    35 replies | 1222 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 12:32 AM
    No extra rolling, but loads more fiddliness and math. In the two games I'm in there are at least one person per game that needs to be coached through the math for every roll, even when it's written on their character sheet. This spell now gives three different cases that are not obvious to that type of player: I don't have a proficiency, so I need to add +3. I have proficiency, but it's...
    16 replies | 682 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 09:49 PM
    So in addition to the wrist-breaking six-volumes-in-one, I also have a ebook I'm reading. The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky is a retelling, or rather a re-imagining, of Peter Pan. I'm not far into it, but so far I am very much enjoying the narration style, one that almost chats with the reader. I have never read the original Peter Pan, but I can easily believe it was (or should have been) written...
    22 replies | 481 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 02:02 PM
    In my game, anything that's a feature of your character (class feature, result of a spell, etc.) are 100% under your control. (And when I'm a player, I expect the same - that's part of my character, and I am absolute authority on is how my character acts (baring spells, etc.).) Anything else (NPCs, trained/befriended animals, etc.) are under the DM's control - who may cede it to the player's...
    25 replies | 796 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 02:34 AM
    Barbarians don't have enough rages to have it up the majority of combat at low levels. Planning on say one rage and one warlock-slot driven combat per short rest works out to extend them.
    8 replies | 341 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 09:55 PM
    Warlord.
    64 replies | 2808 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 03:34 PM
    Great googly moogly. Really nice rolls so you can ignose ASIs for feats, plus one of the balance points of multiclassing removed. That can be a killer "warrior". I'd be really tempted to go for pact of the blade as well because you can use CHR with your pact weapon regardless of category (it's split onto the next page in XGtE) and eventually taking GWM - big weapons do more on crits even...
    8 replies | 341 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 01:31 AM
    Though as a bit of a continuity bobble - why didn't she lose to Thanos as well? Where was she? End of Ragnarok she was on that singular ship with Thor, Heimdeil, Loki and the rest. Which is destroyed in Infinity War. But here's Valkyrie as well as Korg and Miek. But yeah, she stepped up in the 5 years.
    176 replies | 4714 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 01:23 AM
    Dammit, being reasonable. What type of warped internet debate is that? ;) Okay, I see your point. And you're right, people will try to Ready anything. As you as you have reasonable players (and I find they are the most fun to run with), it works out fine.
    25 replies | 791 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 08:28 PM
    I was talking to my wife (always smarter than I) about Thor's end. To her, it was like growing up in a small town and then getting out to see the world. Even if you were the mayor's kid and a shoe in to be mayor yourself one day, maybe you aren't happy with just that small town any more. Even if it's a pretty spectacular small town.
    176 replies | 4714 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 07:03 PM
    I picked up cheap a several inch thick softcover that's six or so novels that are the complete Jill Kismet series by Lilith Stormcrow. Not sure who has the more pretentious name. I'm fairly early in the book. Somewhat standard urban fantasy - quite powerful but emotionally scarred protagonist facing off something that scares everyone else. The prose is a bit florid, perhaps even shading...
    22 replies | 481 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 06:57 PM
    "Worst" case of not knowing the rules in terms of impacting play speed was trying to have one player run another player's paragon 4e character when they were out. The misunderstandings, retcons because "oh, that's how it works", and time spent were ridiculous. This happened on a regular basis in one game, where the character was still there (and needed) regardless if the player could make it. ...
    19 replies | 1105 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 06:37 PM
    This is a textbook example of a design fail. Think of the non-combat pillars of play. Some classes are better at accomplishing tasks using mundane abilities. They have skill enhancers like expertise and possibly other class features to make them good at it. Some classes are better at accomplishing tasks using magic. They have enormous flexibility, enough that they could step on the...
    27 replies | 1074 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Here's how it looks like it differs from base 5e. 1. Bounded accuracy takes a big hit at higher levels. This is the to hit/DC portion of this. This will make foes very easy to hit / affect because AC and non-proficient saves don't get proficiency. At my table I'd want to balance that out ... but probably by not doing it instead of introducing an offsetting mechanic. 2. Expertise is a...
    27 replies | 1074 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 03:15 AM
    Just to share, the line from my youngest daughter on the car ride home was "I'm not sure I like that NoobSlayer69 existing is now canon for the MCU." :) You mean like they already did to Cap in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Where there was the running gag about his gawd-awful PSAs for students that he was decades out of touch with? All of the MCU movies have humor. Look at how many times...
    176 replies | 4714 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 02:47 AM
    As a minor he would have had to have his parent or legal guardian sign them, and Aunt May doesn't seem to know he's Spidey. So it seems pretty clear he couldn't have signed them / had them signed on his behalf.
    176 replies | 4714 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 09:11 PM
    The stacking rules are in the DMG errata. Basically, unless they have the exact same name they stack. So +2 arrows and a +1 bow will give you +3 to attack and damage.
    20 replies | 680 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 07:16 PM
    I'm good with this - as long as it's consistant. Actually, I'm more than good with extending out Concentration. I used Concentration for non-casting some back in 3.0 and 3.5, but with the granularity of skill ranks really the only ones who bothered to be good at it were casters so things like keeping up a counter-chant the PCs had been taught to an evil ritual while fighting had mechanical...
    25 replies | 791 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 07:05 PM
    If what the characters in the film described was the complete truth, then I disagree to a point. Of course, it's time travel so there's probably no objective truth. What I got was that there was one timeline and every time time travel caused a change then it caused a split and there was the original timeline and the new timeline. Who know how many times this has already happened in the past,...
    176 replies | 4714 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 06:49 PM
    I agree, just want to add. Until the moment that Nebula's memories sync'd, that was "the timeline". But as soon as it did it created an alternate timeline that wasn't the past that the Avengers were on. So Thanos came from that alternate timeline exactly as you say - it just was a recently diverged timeline. But still not the Avengers past any more.
    176 replies | 4714 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 06:41 PM
    Okay, thoughts as I read through, then I'll pull them together at the end. Like the art at the beginning, but the red outline on "It Came From the Shadow Realm..." doesn't work well. Printable adventure - I'd make sure my color art is still readable in B&W. And as many have ink-jet printers perhaps use thinker fonts if over art, if the "It Came From The Shadow Realms..." is an indication....
    18 replies | 530 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 05:44 PM
    If you can hold it, does this mean you can pre-cast out-of-combat and hold it until a combat starts? This gets you things like if you are expecting a combat casting a spell with the trigger "if I see a foe", and getting a reaction at the very top of initiative when they burst open a door (or whatever). It could also lead to things like pre-casting a longer-than-one-round spell that you...
    25 replies | 791 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 05:40 PM
    Are you are also doing away with the fact that it takes Concentration, since that's part of the holding spells? If you are going to make a major change like that, don't hide it. If you aren't going to make a change like that, then the spell obviously was cast and the rational for the proposal doesn't hold up.
    25 replies | 791 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 05:33 PM
    I go with the simpler: if the results of success or failure aren't interesting, no check. So no one makes a check to climb a normal ladder under unchallenging circumstances.'
    13 replies | 634 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 01:41 AM
    This would have been cool, though since her power is from one of the stones in the first place I wonder how it would have affected her. But yeah, that makes sense. I think she wasn't there just so they could have the dramatic entrance. They were expert and whipsawing our emotions up and down throughout the movie and that fight scene. I had two thoughts about the drowning scene with...
    176 replies | 4714 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 01:30 AM
    There was a five year gap. We got to see several characters how they grew during those five years. Cap leading small counseling sessions because he cares about actual people. Tony and Pepper starting a family. Nat burning herself out trying to hold her chosen family together. And Banner/Hulk resolving the issues from the end of Infinity War, finding his center and coming to peace with...
    176 replies | 4714 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 04:17 PM
    Just to let you knwo, the public copy shows a dialog that "File is in the owner's trash You will soon loose permanent access to this file. For continued access please make a copy" (And, of course, it's not editable.)
    150 replies | 166941 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 04:11 PM
    :) In one 4e game about a decade ago we used to have the "Wall of Dell", where everyone kept their character electronically because fo the great tools, so looking around the table there was a wall of laptop lids blocking you from seeing anyone. Problem was that it was sooooooo easy to engage with during down time, be it when you were not going in a combat not involved in a scene. Even in...
    74 replies | 3124 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 04:07 PM
    We played 4e on a weeknight, and when we got to mid paragon the average combat was lasting more than a full session. The time spent was ridiculous. It took over so badly that it prevented fun. So it was really about time for us. We had a typical group of gamers, not a tactical live-for-combat wargamers. One players needed to reevaluate all of their available options every round, another...
    74 replies | 3124 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 12:57 PM
    Permanent character retirement is even more harsh then save-or-die. The 5e way of handling those seems to be to put in place multiple rolls. How about this: Requires attunement. Can not be re-attuned while the being it it attuned to lives. On use, make a death save. On failure, gain 1 permanent Evil Inclinations mark. When you gain the third, you turn LE and your character is retired. ...
    51 replies | 1251 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 09:09 PM
    To compare it to Shield, it would need to force a reroll of the next hit, rather then d20 of what could both be misses. Because Shield doesn't even have a chance to trigger without a hit, so it's never wasted. But yeah, it's quite good.
    79 replies | 35775 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 09:07 PM
    So many other DMs would go the other way but I really applaud you going this way. If they've doubled down on the feature, let it feel like it's making a real difference.
    79 replies | 35775 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 02:31 PM
    These are strictly better than any existing one, since they have full damage plus inflicting a condition, prone. The only possible downside is bludgeoning damage which actually has a lot less creatures in the MM with immunities and resistances then some of the elemental types. Note that unlike a lot of other powers, the proning also doesn't have a max size. So you can knock down titans with...
    9 replies | 377 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 02:11 PM
    From the 13th Age Bestiary 2 Kickstarter extra, may I present the snow owlbear cub: Cuteness personified.
    33 replies | 992 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 12:25 AM
    It still takes a spell prepared, or worse, spell known. Plus foes can still use it against you. Plus at the higher levels it's your god refusing to talk to you because someone else's god talked to them earlier in the day - why? My original read through thought this was an unintended consequence, but when he confirmed it's very intentional that it can be used to block PCs, that's ... not...
    30 replies | 1128 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 10:53 PM
    Okay, if it's going to be used this way, then I'm against it. It totally negates someone using a resource if will always come back with "Reply hazy, ask again later". That's not fair to the players. Better not to have the spell at all so they don't spend the slot. And when you're casting a 5th level spell to directly talk to your deity or their divine proxy, and they leave you hanging...
    30 replies | 1128 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 07:23 PM
    In general I think these charges are well considered, with minimal ripple effects, and supportive of the style fo campaign you are running. I do have comments on two of them: Does this mean that organizations with access to several casters (or just one high level one) can intentionally keep everything hazy for anyone else by just casting this about things they don't want others to know...
    30 replies | 1128 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 09:05 PM
    Several times during really tough encounters, but usually zero during the vast majority of encounters. The poll needs more irregular options.
    42 replies | 1400 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 03:50 AM
    Back in AD&D 2nd I had a cleric who was convinced that there was an absolute morality because no matter the position of the deity, spells like Know Alignment and Detect Evil would always return the same. In 5e, as you say, not so much. Even spells like Detect Evil and Good are just about their type, and will not be able to tell anything about two humans be one a saint and another a heretic.
    68 replies | 2220 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 02:59 PM
    Druids to me can be good, evil or neither in the settings I run, as these are orthagonal to base morality the druid needs to embrace. Even within the druids there can be a lot of variation. Wildfires are a necessary part of forest management, yet many would look askance at that from someone they would consider "nature loving". But that word "loving" is the trap there - nature is. Just like...
    68 replies | 2220 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 01:48 PM
    Before anything else, the firearm rules aren't balanced against normal D&D weapons. Considering how powerful ranged already is, those will change the whole balance. So trying to critique this class agaisnt an unkwnon balance is a bit hard. (Note that the reload is absolutely no limitation - for those without multiple attacks all except the shotgun should last a full combat, and for those...
    16 replies | 686 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 06:01 PM
    Hmm, is that so. Wonder what the OED says. Pulling out just the relevant parts (not needed that's a type of American frisbee.) You've already opening up the skill being increased beyond proficiency by various things such as expertise. Is there something beyond what you described? Yes, higher results boosted by feats and abilities scores. Therefore "just expertise" isn't ultimate. ...
    106 replies | 3775 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 02:45 AM
    Blue replied to Hexblade Feats
    The layout of XGtE unfortunately cuts the last sentence of Hex Warrior in half, putting most of it on the following page. That sentence reads: "If you later gain the Pact of the Blade feature, this benefit extends to every pact weapon you conjure with that feature, no matter the weapon's type." So you are correct that Hexblade will not let you use a weapon with the two-handed property. But...
    8 replies | 491 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 12:16 AM
    Feats and multiclassing were easy adds, and with feats you can add the variant human. I personally like the variant which allows using different ability scores with skills for specific uses. Two we tried and did not like. Flanking trivialized Advantage, for both sides. It really was no good. Also we tried the Spell Points instead of Spell Slots option, and at higher levels it led to...
    19 replies | 892 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 11:49 PM
    But you haven't described "ultimate" skill, you've described "casual skill by a master". "Ultimate" skill is boosted by expertise, by natural ability (ability scores), perhaps by feats. This is the difference between "I don't know this" and "I have familiarity with it and in general a lot of experience".
    106 replies | 3775 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 05:37 PM
    There's an important distinction between those. Sure, a character without a player isn't anything. Maybe you could mathematically model DPR or somethign to see if it passes a threshold, so that could be a "challenge", but any real-world tabletop challenge for the character is the player playing that character. With emphasis on both player and character. I'm a better storyteller then...
    576 replies | 20128 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 05:03 AM
    Blue replied to Hexblade Feats
    I think there are a few weapon focused feats that you are missing because of the choice of the longsword. Picking a spear instead of longsword lets you play with Polearm Mastery, now that it's been errata'd in (Nov '18 errata). (This is assuming that you didn't like the legal option before of a 1H quarterstaff.) Extra attack as well as more chances to use your reaction to attack. And still...
    8 replies | 491 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, 02:39 AM
    I'm with you. Heck, you can play a Fallen Aasimar as a subrace so they can be edgy too, but no "Redeemed Tiefling".
    90 replies | 5414 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, 02:19 AM
    I think this is how Drow became a standard race. Some may blame that poser Drizzt but really, if you do a google for images of Drow, well, it's a thing. For this, I need to reach back into the annals of RPG history. Real Men like half nekkid demon chicks. And playing the "bad boys". Real Roleplayers feel Tieflings have such wonderful pathos to build upon. Real Loonies like to blame...
    90 replies | 5414 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, 02:08 AM
    Completely agree more attacks are a great way to have a better chance to land SA. And you are right, your crit change will go up because you can have a miss then a crit, which before would have just been a miss. The way I read the phrasing had me worried that it was rolling all your attacks, seeing if any were a crit, and then assigning SA to that one. You've since shown that I was in error...
    95 replies | 296885 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, 02:02 AM
    This isn't a thing at all. Period. This isn't 3.x, only PCs need be made with PC rules. If you want to make an NPC with PC rules you're welcome to do so, but you don't have to. The Monster Manual doesn't feel the need to stick to closely. Heck, the Druid entry is a 4th level caster without Wildshape. Second, the game isn't going in that direction in terms of realism. Look at the crafting...
    118 replies | 3956 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, 08:13 PM
    I was overlooking that the WIS was boosting your AC - since you pointed it out I'd keep it the way you have it and save the slot you'd use for mage armor to cast Shield / Absorb Elements - another good way to keep your saves. Changing direction for a moment, I tried playing a touch with if Bladesinger could work better than Sorcerer since INT and CHR are equally non-useful for a Monk. ...
    10 replies | 590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, 06:02 PM
    Well, part of only having a 12 CON a conscious decision to favor WIS over CON - perhaps not the best call for a melee character in the first place due to HPs and HD healing. But even with a 12 CON, don't discount the warlock. Going with the numbers that most campaigns have the majority of play (or all play) in the first 2 tiers, the warlock having twice as many slots of 2nd level or higher at...
    10 replies | 590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, 11:22 AM
    To deal with the number of slots, I'd pair monk up with warlock instead. Both are short rest recharge classes, and warlock 3 you get two castings of Shadow Blade per short rest. As long as you can really push for a short rest every other combat you're fine. And if you go up to warlock 5 then both of those slots are 3rd and your Shadow Blade does 3d8 base. Until you hit warlock 3, hex is...
    10 replies | 590 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, 10:56 AM
    "Need" is such a loaded term. We don't "need" more than a single class much less subclasses, if you want to be technical. Do subclasses give us a design space that makes it easy to balance and expand? Yes. Do we "need" that? No - we could easily play a worse game or a game that's more expensive because it needed more playtest time.
    53 replies | 2737 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 22nd April, 2019, 06:55 PM
    Can you tell us your methodology for crits for this table? Because that statement above does not seem possible within the rules whihc makes me question your entire table. You can't roll both your Attack action, take your Bonus Attack action, and then determine which to apply your sneak attack. Roll your attack, if it hits decide to add SA or not, and then roll damage. There seems no way...
    95 replies | 296885 view(s)
    0 XP
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Tuesday, 21st May, 2019


Monday, 20th May, 2019


Sunday, 19th May, 2019


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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Sunday, 10th March, 2019

  • 06:18 PM - S'mon quoted Arilyn in post Need for a Home Base
    I know what you mean about players thrust into dangerous territory, where establishing a safe zone becomes top priority. I haven't given it much thought, but those games do dissipate faster. The major goal been reached, so story over? Perhaps these types of campaigns feel more like a movie than a tv series. Maybe not having periodic home breaks, like in real life, is just too tiring after a while. I noticed that my son loved "Shadow of Mordor" computer game, with constant fighting in the hellscape of Mordor; whereas I couldn't stand it. Conversely I love the cadence of "Skyrim", with its nearly-always-safe cities & inns, its dangerous wilderness, and deadly delves. I nearly always 'save' my PC back at home base, so when I reload I am in the tavern or Breezehome, not neck deep in Draugr. :)

Sunday, 3rd February, 2019

  • 10:23 PM - Reynard quoted Arilyn in post Feature or Bug: D&D's Power and Complexity Curve
    You would have to really dig in and rebuild the character classes. Abilities across all characters would be less flashy, more skill oriented. I would probably limit the levels to 10, so coming up with new class abilities that don't go over the top would be easier to design. You would definitely want to severely limit spell casting classes to one or two. And the magic system would need a serious overhaul. It could definitely work, but it's not something you could enter into lightly. I wasn't actually proposing to do this. It was more an illustration of how if you significantly flatten the power and complexity curve, the game benefits from it.

Monday, 21st January, 2019

  • 09:54 AM - Jhaelen quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: How "Precise" Should RPG Rules Be?
    I think the dice pool rpg lewpuls is talking about might be a FFG game, either Star Wars or Genesys, where the symbols on the dice act as a springboard for the narrative.That's what I was reminded of, too. A more precise(!) portrayal of the Star Wars/Genesys dice pool should probably mention that the result of a roll has both precise and narrative results. Different dice are used to represent a character's skill, an opponent's skill, environmental effects, and in the case of Star Wars 'The Force'. The basic outcome (failure/success) is determined by counting one set of symbols and is indeed precise. Only the other set of symbols isn't clearly defined and can interpreted in different ways to represent complications or a lucky coincidence. I don't think this is true. I think boardgames could work really well with inprecise rules. Its just that there are few boardgames that seem to have tried this so far.Ah, no. In fact, imprecise rules would quickly kill any interest in me to continue pl...

Thursday, 17th January, 2019

  • 11:47 PM - Saelorn quoted Arilyn in post I want faster character creation. Also, I’m a monster.
    Wouldn't the character system have to be really basic to avoid the silliness you mention? Eh... maybe? If you have a lot of decision points, such that optimization becomes a fun exercise, then that's a strong incentive for some people to go back and play that mini-game. You can still have complexity without turning character creation into a fun puzzle, but I can't think of any way to do that without invoking random factors (like Palladium, or Maid). And is it so common that we need to take that behaviour into account when designing a character creation system in a game?It's probably not common enough that it would be the sole factor when designing the creation mechanics, but it can be one factor. Other factors might be to discourage pigeon-holing (few people would choose to make a high-strength wizard, if given the choice, but someone might chance into it if you're rolling randomly for stats), or just to speed the process along in case a character does happen to die during play.
  • 08:35 PM - Lanefan quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    I agree with Umbran. We can't discuss NS D&D as if it is the same as other NS games. This has caused confusion and arguments on this thread, for sure. Thinking just about D&D, we need to send the game to middle school. 1e and 2e are not old school. They are too rules dense, and both editions strongly discourage house rules, lest the unwary GM brings the whole game tumbling down. It makes sense. Gygax wanted a ruleset which would be consistent no matter where you played. That might have been what he wanted, but it wasn't what he got. Is there anyone out there - anyone - who played non-RPGA 1e by RAW? Gygax, despite his stated desire to have everyone playing the same game, gave us a wonderfully modular system just perfect for tweaking and kitbashing to suit a particular table or playstyle by any DM willing to spend the time - and many were. And oddly enough, I suspect this malleability helped make the game overall more popular rather than less. It was also there to support tou...
  • 08:05 PM - Satyrn quoted Arilyn in post I want faster character creation. Also, I’m a monster.
    I make characters for fun too. It is my favourite part of PF. I used to say the same thing about City of Heroes/Villains.

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019

  • 07:53 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    2 e continued the 1e philosophy, as written, not what most players were actually doing. Later 2e loosened up character rules with kit books and became more story oriented, which was what fans were wanting. One reason 2E was such a minimal rewrite of 1E has to do with business issues. It's really important to remember that these kinds of design decisions are not made in a vacuum. Recall that 2E came out in 1989, which was just a few years after Gygax was kicked to the curb and new management came in. TSR had a warehouse of 1E material still, and didn't want it to all of a sudden become totally obsolete. Also, the relatively new management of TSR was very gun-shy about destroying their market by making what would be perceived as really drastic changes to the game. New editions, just like a band getting a new lead singer or a change in direction for an author, movie series, or video game series, need to be handled very delicately and they were feeling pretty insecure at that point. The designe...
  • 06:23 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Ahhh, but if old schoolers are not embracing all the rules in advanced because they are arbitrary, fiddly and overly complicated, or because they just enjoy tinkering, and they are rejecting Gygax's philosophy, then are they technically embracing the game? They are using the game, but have heavily modified it to fit personal tastes. Usually those tastes fall under what is now considered Old School, but that is not Gygax's Advanced ruleset. 2 e continued the 1e philosophy, as written, not what most players were actually doing. Later 2e loosened up character rules with kit books and became more story oriented, which was what fans were wanting. 3e grew from there. So, whether players were actually using advanced rules, as written or using them in an old school kind of way doesn't change the fact that Advanced is a middle school game. Players were using it in an old school kind of way, but it is rules dense, has lots of fiddly bits, and arbitrary rules like losing exp. from alignment change. And...
  • 05:55 PM - Umbran quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    So, OD&D, and basic/expert are old school. 1st and 2nd are middle school, and 3rd - 5th are NS. I feel adding that middle bridge helps define the editions better. That is sort of assuming the conclusion that "rules density" is actually a determiner of school. I submit that *play experience* is probably the better determiner - as is suggested by the fact that the term "old school" became popularized largely as a marketing ploy - "new rules, old school feel" - for adventures that used the new ruleset. Suggesting that the rule set isn't the major issue, that you can generate the same feeling within a wide range of game designs.
  • 05:39 PM - Umbran quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    Oh yes, they were heavily house ruled, but if you read the rules in Advanced, house ruling is discouraged. I find that... largely irrelevant in its classification. Especially when one of the major forces in the community at that time was Dragon Magazine, which contained a lot of house rule choices. The message becomes mixed - "DOn't use house rules, but here are some house rules for you to use!" And the effect... was heavy house ruling.
  • 05:25 PM - AriochQ quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    If we are going to examine games, we need to look at the intent of the rules, even if players are straying from that intent because it is the RAW that future game developers are going to use as the springboard for newer editions. An equally compelling, and possibly stronger, argument could be made for the opposite viewpoint. That we should use how the games were actually played, rather than intended. AD&D was rarely run 'as intended'. In 40 years, I have never run into a group that ran by the book initiative. Yet, most of the AD&D groups I have played with over the years had most of the OS characteristics I outlined in my earlier post.
  • 02:39 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    I agree with Umbran. We can't discuss NS D&D as if it is the same as other NS games. This has caused confusion and arguments on this thread, for sure. Thinking just about D&D, we need to send the game to middle school. 1e and 2e are not old school. They are too rules dense, and both editions strongly discourage house rules, lest the unwary GM brings the whole game tumbling down. It makes sense. Gygax wanted a ruleset which would be consistent no matter where you played. It was also there to support tournament play. Having said this, D&D hadn't shed all of its old school roots. It still relied on player skill over character skill, and was usually played as a series of obstacles that clever players could overcome. You were expected to bring your A game, not play out your own character's flaws and foibles. This was the period of heavy simulation, which spanned about two decades. 2e started focussing more on story. The kit books gave players more control over character choice. The end of 2 e f...
  • 02:02 PM - AriochQ quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    1e and 2e are not old school. They are too rules dense, and both editions strongly discourage house rules, Not sure I agree with this. While I didn't have the broadest experience during the 1e/early 2e era, every table I played at was heavily house ruled. It was almost required given the complexity of the rules and relative lack of interaction with other gamers outside of conventions, college clubs, or Dragon Magazine.

Sunday, 13th January, 2019

  • 10:29 PM - GreyLord quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    There are three loud groups in the hobby, which contribute almost nothing to rpg conversations. There is the pretentious "serious" roleplayer group which dismisses D&D as a board game for murder hoboes, the "hardcore" tactical group which dismisses "serious" roleplayers as fluffy wannabe drama students, and the "old schoolers" who lament the hobby being taken over by the "young folk" who don't like challenges and want everything handed over for free. It's fine to have strong opinions, to be passionate, but not to be an obnoxious and/or pretentious know-it-all, who can't even be bothered to understand their whole hobby, beyond their favoured niche. What!? I consider myself an old schooler and I do not feel the young folk are like that at all. I think some of them may have had serious problems with elementary school math (with some of the complaints they level about older styles way of involving math within them), or that they like to focus on other things than the older types o...
  • 09:46 PM - Bedrockgames quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    If you are looking for specific, objective critiques of the article, there have been many made on this thread. Hawkeyefan did an excellent job breaking down the article, piece by piece. I believe it's back on page three, if you missed it. It really isn't about differing viewpoints, but how a paid article needs to present itself in order to be taken seriously. Thanks. Hawkeye gives a good response in my opinion. But he also doesn't seem to question putting the article up. Instead he takes up the article point by point. He also notes it where he agrees (even if, on the whole, it seems he disagrees). I'd be curious how Hawkeye and others view the difference between old and new school play.

Saturday, 12th January, 2019

  • 06:33 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 2 and 3 Rules, Pacing, Non-RPGs, and Gameplay
    There are, of course, differences in play between approaching adventures as, usually, massive dungeons which need to be solved or survived, and games that are closer to emulating an adventure story. This could be used as a difference between old and new school, but since the divide is as old as the game, perhaps the labels are inaccurate? Yes, and I think you can have what I consider my favorite campaign style, which is a hybrid of the two: The game takes place in a framework created by the DM in which the PCs can make meaningful choices. It's got the character-based story aspects of "New School" but lots of meaningful player choice and potential stakes of "Old School." For example, I revived an old campaign of mine from many years ago in 2013 and started running it regularly in 2016. The players had remembered an old villain from the first time the campaign ran and were sweating bullets about him making a reappearance at some point. Evidently he'd left quite a mark! He'd been killed way ...
  • 06:01 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    Yes, in superhero and some action movies, protagonists shake off tremendous amounts of damage, but not completely, until they drop. There is often some teetering and blood first. <...> I am not against DnD hp. They fit the game fine, but they are absurd, from any reality's point of view, a metagame conceit. They seem to work fairly well in many circumstances, although they can get kind of ludicrous, such as when dealing with falling. As annoying as they are, in many cases the cure is worse than the disease---the bookkeeping that comes with keeping track of bleeding or various persistent conditions creates pretty marked slowdown, for example---and hit points enable D&D's really massive scale, where ordinary mortals can fight dragons and the like. However, games like Champions have Body and Stun, and this works well to simulate the superhero genre. Various Wounds/Vitality or Wounds/Fatigue systems have been around for a while and they can work, even in D&D type games.
  • 04:34 AM - Lanefan quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    Yes, I agree a vitality system would work, but would it be generally welcome? Is it worth the little extra bother? Or would we give it a whirl before just going back to the old way of doing things? Out of curiousity, have you added vitality to your game? About 35 years ago, yes; though we call it a body point/fatigue point system the principle is the same. Still use it. Write-up's here ( http://www.friendsofgravity.com/games/commons_room/blue_books/decast-blue-book-in-html/decbluebook4.html#hit ) if you want to look deeper. The biggest in-play thing we have to deal with is that b.p. and f.p. cure differently, meaning almost every cure spell has different dice to roll depending on whether the target is in bodies or fatigues. We tossed the idea around at my table, but nothing has come of it. In all the years DnD has been around, hp, like the names of the stats hasn't changed. Interesting question, would it be a welcome change?Well, we thought it was; and through several system rebuil...
  • 12:05 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    Yes, I agree a vitality system would work, but would it be generally welcome? Is it worth the little extra bother? Or would we give it a whirl before just going back to the old way of doing things? Out of curiousity, have you added vitality to your game? We tossed the idea around at my table, but nothing has come of it. In all the years DnD has been around, hp, like the names of the stats hasn't changed. Interesting question, would it be a welcome change? I've played the old Star Wars D20 Revised with it and ran my own 3.5 with tons of Unearthed Arcana D&D game with it, as well as Armor as damage reduction and level based AC. I ran this game from 2004 to 2007 so we had plenty of time to get a feel for the issues. One difficulty is to figure out how to handle the variety and scale of threats that show up in D&D. Ultimately while there are appealing aspects to using a Wounds/Vitality type system and I think for a really gritty type game that didn't feature a really broad variety of weird m...

Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 10:28 PM - Lanefan quoted Arilyn in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    Once again, it's totally ridiculous, but it's no big deal in DnD. Since there is so much combat, we really don't want a realistic wound system I wouldn't so much say we don't want it but more that we just don't have it, which is odd in that it's pretty easy* to bolt a simple wound-vitality (or body-fatigue) system along with abstract lingering-injury mechanics on to the hit point system - though the HD mechanic in 4e-5e would push back. but it's still so divorced from reality (in any plausible world), that it become a metagame cheat. But hey, that's just fine.😄Under the heading of 'minimize what can't be eliminated', adding on a wound-vitality system doesn't fix anything but it helps.


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