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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 09:06 AM
    Elemental Command 18 Feather Falling 20 Free Action 24 Invisibility 25 Mind Shielding 10 Ram 11 Regeneration 8 Shooting Stars 28 Spell Storing 26 Spell Turning 26
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 05:27 AM
    Elemental Command 21 Feather Falling 21 Free Action 22 Invisibility 25 Mind Shielding 16 Ram 15 Regeneration 11 Resistance 6 Shooting Stars 26 Spell Storing 23
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 04:57 AM
    So you are saying that in the fiction the difference between armors is attributable solely to how much body area they cover? Sorry, that's not working very well for me. If that were the case, it would be a lot more sane to have, as some other systems do, incremental AC benefits for which pieces of armor you have rather than the type of armor you have. The version you propose has never IMX been...
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 03:55 AM
    If consistency is a desideratum, Barkskin as specified by JC's sage advice is most certainly an epic fail. There is no logical connection between minimizing errata and making the rules consistent (which is what I assume you mean by 'integration of the rules'.) As measured by what? Keep in mind that his current favorite pat phrase in his tweets is "D&D is a game of exceptions."
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 03:46 AM
    Simple in an absolute sense perhaps, but (although I'd have to agree in the abstract at least) that's subjective. What is objectively true is that it makes AC calculation more complicated; every AC calculation now has the 'min' function tacked on. That might be ok if there was some benefit to having it this way rather than something that fit more smoothly into the more usual AC calculations.
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 12:05 PM
    IMO, Shield is much too good already, mostly because it stacks with Mage Armor. At the very least, that combo needs to be nerfed. Mages should not be able to make themselves as hard (or harder) to hit as a heavily armored fighter - at least not so cheaply. Anyway, if you want to expand the applicability of Shield, IMO you should reduce its effectiveness, e.g., resistance instead of immunity....
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Thursday, 23rd August, 2018

  • 11:43 AM - Ovinomancer mentioned Harzel in post Extreme self-preservation
    ...t seemed odd that no answer from @Oofta seemed to satisfy you. For myself, although neither of the rogue PCs my players have ever tried hiding very often (they seem to prefer running up and stabbing things), I would be strongly inclined to not grant repeated hiding in the same place maximum efficacy in most situations. I think it's a close call between imposing disadvantage and just saying it doesn't work. As to why, it is partly a matter of verisimilitude and partly a matter of it seeming like button-mashing if the rogue does the same thing every. single. round. That said, it does occur to me that I would probably just let it work if the player were a young kid or very new. So not strictly neutral arbitration I guess. Oh, well. * By the way, I hope you do not think that anyone meant to imply that you did not require reasonable environmental conditions and using them to hide. (That is, literally, just roll a d20.) That would be a serious misunderstanding of the conversation. Harzel, below is the exchange. Oofta's original scene has him clearly stating the rogue cannot hide at all, much kess a second time. This was the disagreement, although I grant you Oofta has tried to redefine it recently to the advantage thing, perhaps forgetting that people can just scroll back and re-read? The second exchange is Oofta directly claiming that just rolling a d20 is sufficient in my games. Again, he's done a wonderful job obfuscating this, but, again, we can scroll back up. If his actual argument was really about second time sane place arguing, we'd have a different thread. But, be my guest, ask Oofta yourself if he'd allow the rogue in his scene to hide at the corner. Scene: fighter goes 20 feet down a well lit 10 foot wide hallway and engages the guard. The rogue is behind the fighter hiding around the corner. There is no way for the rogue to see the fight, or to know when to lean around the corner to fire a shot. The guard is distracted enough by the fighter th...

Sunday, 6th May, 2018

  • 10:56 AM - TheSword mentioned Harzel in post Is my DM being fair?
    Harzel I agree with pretty much everything youíve said, so perhaps I should clarify. The phaser to a knife fight analogy is a really good one. Iím all for adventures with higher power levels and I have no issue flexing challenges to abilities. My issue is when one PC has a phaser and all the other PCs bring knives. In my experience this isnít because of a lack of knowledge on the other PCs. Itís becausr they arenít looking to play the game that way. 5e is relatively balanced, at least compared to Pathfinder but there are still issues which result in unbalanced builds. The assassin/alert combo getting to go first is an example. The assassin already gets to act in the surprise round, and with +5 initiative will almost certainly get to go before other PCs. That means the rogue is getting 2 rounds of actions before anyone else gets to go. 4 attacks, 2 of which sneak, is easily 40+ points of damage without crits which with 4 attacks will be 1/5 chance. This happens every time or near enou...

Friday, 27th April, 2018

  • 02:45 AM - iserith mentioned Harzel in post 6-8 Encounters a long rest is, actually, a pretty problematic idea.
    I think Harzel pointed out in another thread recently, the DMG states that 6 to 8 medium to hard encounters are what the PCs can handle per adventuring day, not that they should necessarily be doing this many encounters per day. As for the concerns presented in your points 1 and 2, I would say that comes down to how the DM presents things in my experience.

Saturday, 20th January, 2018

Wednesday, 29th November, 2017

  • 05:46 AM - Ilbranteloth mentioned Harzel in post How do you rule multiple damage types versus reductions
    ...DM argues that a flame tongue sword is the same thing: Two separate instances of damage dealing and you have to pick one to shield against. Based on how such hits are typically described in the rules, I'm inclined to disagree; I think a flame tongue hit is a single event and you can apply Spirit Shield to both the slashing and the fire damage. But the RAW is not 100% clear and the passage you quoted does nothing to clarify it. You've found a very nice hammer; but this question ain't a nail. And there remains the secondary question: Say your troll buddy is hit for 5 slashing and 4 fire (total 9), and you reduce the total by 7. We agree that you can apply the reduction to the entire hit. So the troll will take 2 damage. That's all well and good, but the question is: Of the 2 points of damage that get through, is any of it fire damage? If yes, the troll can't regenerate. If no, it can regenerate as normal. So far as I can tell, RAW doesn't even hint at an answer to this one. First, Harzel - not harsh at all. Do I think it's nonsensical? Perhaps on a first glance. But then the way that you can move 30 feet, attack, and in many cases do something else while everybody else stands still is nonsensical to me too. If there's something that bothers me enough (like the combat thing), then I'll change it. Having said that, (and in part in response to CapnZapp and others), I'll try to clarify why I'm generally OK with this in a single post. I think the spirit of 5e is tilted towards simplicity, but also making things mean something. So the attack is meaningful - a successful attack almost always causes some damage - and the resistance is meaningful too. That's why there's advantage/disadvantage instead of a bunch of +1 modifiers, why the proficiency bonus starts at +2, and why it's usually resistance instead of damage reduction. So let's look at it from a different perspective. If your barbarian is using Spirit Shield, and is attacked by a flame tongue, does the damage ...

Tuesday, 28th November, 2017

Saturday, 11th November, 2017

  • 04:06 AM - Hriston mentioned Harzel in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    ...mpetition play. :D I'd forgotten about that method. It's a fine method and one many DMs use for any NPCs to which they wish to give ability scores. Personally, I set scores for any NPCs that need them by using either a rolling method or an array appropriate to their power level, or if I think they need a particular score, by balancing that score through a point-buy of a number of points appropriate to the character. Although we can quibble about the specifics of how flat or not the bell curve is, no-one here has denied that the reality of populations is modeled by bell curves; how loose or how tight is up for debate, but the bell curve itself is not. So we can have a bell curve of 3d6, a skewed curve of 4d6k3, a tight curve from 15d2-12(!), and so on, and they will be 'realistic' to a greater or lesser extent by simply using a bell curve. Technically, a bell curve follows a normal distribution, which 3d6 does not. (15d2)-12 is much closer to a true bell curve because, as Harzel pointed out, the more dice you roll, the more normal the distribution becomes, which is the same reason we expect to see populations conforming to a normal distribution in the natural world. But imagine a method which says, "Toss a coin for each ability: heads it's 18, tails it's 3, and if it lands on its edge then it's 10". This is not a bell curve! It is absurd, and as a method of character creation it is totally unrealistic (where 'realism' = 'verisimilitude'). I agree it's a crap method, but the resulting character fits just fine on the 3d6 "bell curve", so if you think 3d6 is realistic enough, then how come that character seems unrealistic to you? If I use point-buy, and choose three 15s (and en passant also 'choosing' three 8s) then this is not a bell curve either. It is just as absurd as the 3 or 18 coin toss just mentioned. Unlike your coin-toss method, point-buy doesn't establish a distribution of scores, curved or otherwise, but all of its results fit nicely on...

Monday, 6th November, 2017

  • 06:44 PM - Gradine mentioned Harzel in post North Texas RPG Convention Refuses To Listen To Harassment Concerns
    ...n the misleading headline hysteria. It remains an eminently accurate headline; if not value-neutral, which if we're all being honest is the real issue of concern here. There's this belief that in order for a work of journalism to have integrity or even just be considered "good" it must remain as impartial as possible, even in situations where one (or both) sides are objectively wrong. Taken to extremes you wind up with weasily non-journalism that provides no information or context outside of carefully crafted quotes on all sides. You wind up with what are essentially non-headlines like "[Neo-nazi Speaker] makes remarks some critics find racist" which is completely asinine. Sometimes journalistic integrity requires more than just regurgitating what people on both sides are saying; it requires cutting through the nonsense and reporting the actual truth. And the truth is exactly what the headline says. There seems to be some quibbling over the definition of the term "listening" but Harzel hit the nail on the head in terms of what should be commonly understood by the use of the phrase in this context: As I understand the term to be used in this sort of context, "listening" generally means making a concerted effort to put yourself in the speaker's place and understand what they are trying to communicate at more than a superficial level. And if you want to be given credit for listening, since we can't see inside your head, you have to demonstrate that understanding in your response. So when people say he didn't listen, I think they mean he failed in his response to demonstrate an understanding of the concerns of the people to whom he was responding. Moreover, in this case, beyond failing to demonstrate that he did understand, he also gave notable evidence that he did not understand. To me the first piece of evidence that he probably did not understand was the amount of his post that was about himself and self-congratulation. If you are thinking first of ...

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017

  • 08:26 AM - Hussar mentioned Harzel in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    Thanks for the math check Harzel. :thumbu: Oh, and I was in no way trying to imply that there was a right or wrong answer to whether or not you like rules as physics. It's entirely a personal choice. For me, the potential wonkiness just outweighs the benefits. Obviously that's not true for others. I wonder if group size has any impact here as well. In a fairly small group, say 3 PC's, most of the time those three PC's will be within fairly close tolerances. Sure, one might be a bit higher or lower, but, there likely won't be large disparities most of the time. But, the larger the group gets, the larger the chances become of a greater disparity between high and low, simply because you're rolling more dice. I play in large groups. We've had 6 PC's pretty consistently for a long time. With that many PC's, having PC's with consistently higher stats really skews game balance. And it becomes more and more difficult to create encounters when you have to account for the fact that the group has so many act...

Friday, 27th October, 2017

  • 01:05 PM - Hussar mentioned Harzel in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    I think Harzel has the right of it. As I understand it, the idea is that since a person cannot control his or her own gross physical and mental characteristics, die rolling better reflects the random chances of birth. And, to be fair, I get the appeal. We all want our games to be somewhat grounded in believability. Fair enough. To me though, I find the argument far too self serving. There's apparently no problems with choosing background, choosing where to place those die rolled stats (arrange to taste is apparently fine), choosing class and pretty much every other element of the character, none of which a person really has control over. But, apparently, while it's perfectly fine to declare that my character is part of the nobility, it's not acceptable to claim that I have a 14 Strength. :uhoh: Again, to me, this is where the self serving element comes in. Because, if it's not true that die rolling is more realistic, then, well, there's nothing really else to recommend it. It's pretty m...

Thursday, 26th October, 2017

Monday, 23rd October, 2017

  • 10:05 AM - Lanefan mentioned Harzel in post Point Buy vs Rolling for Stats
    Harzel, in the last line of the table in post 1534 (just above this one) I think it wants to say "Some < 8; Some > 15" - you have an extra '=' in there. Otherwise, good stuff; and I'm curious as to what your further number-crunching will show. Lanefan

Monday, 16th October, 2017

  • 02:18 PM - Nevvur mentioned Harzel in post Forced Movement in 5e ?
    Harzel Thanks for clarifying your point. I did misunderstand, but I see what you're getting at now (I hope). I look at forced movement over ledges roughly the same way I look at some features and spell effects with special conditions. Disintegrate causes 75 HP of normal damage. If the condition exists where there's no more HP, an additional effect comes into play - the target is reduced to ash. Forced movement across a flat surface causes normal forced movement. If the condition exists where there's no more surface, an additional effect comes into play - make a Dex save to arrest horizontal movement, as you put it. I don't think the sort of consistency you're driving at is required because, as I see things, the different conditions imply the need for different treatment.

Monday, 9th October, 2017

  • 08:08 AM - Sadras mentioned Harzel in post Counterspell - Do I know my foes' spell before I counter?
    @Harzel, no sarcasm intended in previous post. Apologies if it came out that way. Yes, just one of the many instances in which a DM has to adjudicate what an NPC with limited knowledge would do. Again, phrasing these as questions leaves your point in doubt. For me, these would both be legitimate options (amongst others). The choice would depend on the situation and the NPC. Do you think these are not legitimate options? The 50/50 die roll option reflects the DM/NPC is not fit to decide and wants to play fair by leaving it to fate (a die roll). The other option can be misapplied and might taste (to the players) of unfair DM knowledge should he counterspell it. You see why should the DM know the spells because he can be trusted to be objective but the players cannot be trusted to play their characters correctly/fairly and therefore are not allowed to know the spell?

Wednesday, 20th September, 2017

Friday, 11th August, 2017

Wednesday, 24th May, 2017

  • 06:01 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Harzel in post Resting and the frikkin' Elephant in the Room
    It all boils down to the practical conclusion: the game needs to work without these story-based time constraints, or it simply is an inflexible less-open edition of D&D. @Harzel posted this link, which may have gotten lost, and seems more relevant and timely than the original link: I recommend reading it. Essentially, the issue is, and always has been in D&D, time. This isn't something new to 5e. You can argue that 5e makes it "worse" with the short/long rest and healing, but it has existed in all editions. Fundamentally, the problem is the divide between the fictional character and the player. It is easy for a player to say, "It takes six months of time and I gain a skill? SURE!" Or, to use more common examples- "I search for secret doors. None? Again. None? Again. None? Again. None? Again ...." "Welp, I just nova'd on that baby orc at 9am, time for a long rest!" Time, in the real world, sucks. It is our most precious resource. Really. You can't buy it. And it's finite (EXCEPT FOR ME! I WILL NOT DIE!). But for fictional D&D character, it's ... you know ... whatever. Consider the difference- you get imprisoned...

Friday, 19th May, 2017

  • 02:31 AM - Mephista mentioned Harzel in post Spells: the Good, the Bad, and the Downright Orcish Grandmother
    Harzel Domo arigato gozaimasu. So, I can see where most of those are considered bad in that list, but what's wrong with Jump? Or Weird- too small of an area, maybe? I presume the dislike of Color Spray is because Blind is a weaker condition than Sleep? Not sure about Melf's Acid Arrow, why that's considered poor? Just not enough damage? Gadget - why do you dislike Crown of Madness. I know that I'm disappointed it doesn't scale with level (making it fall behind for a warlock), but other than that? Seems solid. And the Ray of Enfeeblement?

Tuesday, 16th May, 2017

  • 04:17 AM - Oofta mentioned Harzel in post What Rules do you see people mistake or misapply?
    Almost fifty posts with but a single possible rule to add to the discussion. Anyway, regarding the invisibility debate, is it possible that all creatures are objects, but only living objects are creatures? I haven't delved into the rules on this one, but was wondering. I agree with Harzel, and would just add that basically anything that shows up in the monster or is an NPC is a creature. It gets a little bit gray when you're talking about things like animated armor or golems who are powered by magic and don't have an innate life on their own, but they are still considered creatures for purposes of the game. It does get a little bit odd when a Magic Missile can target a creature but not an object (unless your DM overrules that which is fine), but generally spells that target creatures are targeting intellect or life force itself. So ... yes. If it has a life force (and even undead ghosts or vampires have something powering them) it's a creature.

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Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 11:58 PM - James Grover quoted Harzel in post Changing the Shield spell
    One alternative idea that had crossed my mind, though I haven't pursued thinking about it very hard, was to reduce the AC bonus (e.g. to +2 or +3) but add a commensurate bonus to saving throws. Along these lines I like the idea of the AC bonus equal to proficiency bonus. So, at lower levels it is +2 or so, but closer to the original +5 at the higher levels.

Saturday, 10th November, 2018

  • 12:09 AM - TallIan quoted Harzel in post Changing the Shield spell
    I think that it blocks Magic Missile partly as a legacy from older editions. AD&D had the damage scale along with wizard level from his first level spell slot, so mid level wizards could do substantial damage with MM that was guaranteed. MM still is a guaranteed hit, but getting more damage from it requires a higher level spell slot. I think the main reason to have Shield block MM in 5e, is to do with concentration. A to-hit roll and a concentration check has a smaller chance of ending concentration than just straight concentration check every round - something MM could force - albeit at a considerable resource cost. IMO, Shield is much too good already, mostly because it stacks with Mage Armor. At the very least, that combo needs to be nerfed. Mages should not be able to make themselves as hard (or harder) to hit as a heavily armored fighter - at least not so cheaply. I really don't find this to be a problem, your spell slots are a limited resource so having plate mail level arm...

Sunday, 7th October, 2018

  • 01:29 PM - pemerton quoted Harzel in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Dungeon WorldI've played a short campaign of this but never GMed it. It's on my list! That campaign of yours sounds like fun. Care to elaborate the player driven aspect of 4e? I had a look at how skill challenges work, also the shorter Obsidian variant: reminds me of how conflicts work in Trollbabe (except that them are usually ple-planned in 4e, but very interesting nonetheless). Someone even proposed to resolve combat as a skill challenge... that would be a cool feature, i must admit it.We'e never done combat-as-skill-challenge - the closest we've come is using a skill check in the appropriate context to "minionise" an opponent (ie render the opponent vulnerable to a one-shot kill). I like the skill challenge system as set out in the DMG and DMG2 - I can't compare it to Trollbabe (I know that game by reptuation but that's all) but can compare it to HeroWars/Quest extended resolution, and to Duel of Wits in BW: unlike those systems there is no active opposition, so the GM really h...

Thursday, 4th October, 2018

  • 10:56 AM - Lanefan quoted Harzel in post Mearls On D&D's Design Premises/Goals
    Dude! You can't be serious! Have you ever tried to arbitrate an interior decorating argument? I mean, you can have everyone have their own wing of the castle, but then there's still the questions about the great hall and the guest quarters, not to mention everyone wants to be near the garden and away from the middens. Now you could try separate keeps sharing some fortifications, but you'll have an endless debate about whether we really need that high a wall or that deep a moat, and OMG the plantings - shrubberies vs. no shubberies - they'll just never agree. Now, I know what you're thinking: ok, you'll go in together to get a big parcel of land at a good price and at least our castles will be close together. Nope, not gonna work out. First off, there's the issue of who gets the high ground. Then it's your turret is blocking my view of the mountains. And the damn rogue is trying to add on an octagonal tower - didn't we agree on no weird-shaped castle additions? The fighter will want ...

Wednesday, 26th September, 2018

  • 12:15 PM - Chaosmancer quoted Harzel in post When a Paladin is Mounted
    As to the OP issue, for me I think it would depend on the tone of the campaign. If I were running something epic-ish, or we were tending toward don't-care-about-wacky-cheesy-as-long-as-it's-cool, I'd let the aura extend from the mount. Otherwise, the rules clearly are stated in terms of distance from the paladin, and the mounted combat rules make no exception, so if others can't get close enough to take advantage of your aura, well, choices have consequences. Crawford has weighed in on this (in his usual somewhat oblique fashion). Thank you for the link. I didn't find the answers terribly helpful, but it is good to know what the official answer was. It looks like it is really an issue of ease of use. I could specify which space the paladin is in, keep track of that exact spot on the three hexes the horse is occupying, force them to care about facing which we never have cared abou...

Monday, 10th September, 2018

  • 12:08 PM - JacktheRabbit quoted Harzel in post Life Transference - Xanathers
    Yes, with the note that NPCs with PC-class-like features need not (and in the MM, etc., generally do not) have the same HP as an equivalently leveled PC would. In the MM, etc., NPCs generally have higher HD/HP than would a PC with the same class-level features.Right. Based on other NPC style examples my 5th level Carter examples would have way more hit points than a PC would and would have a minor magic item or precast a spell on themself to give them vulnerability to nevermind so the damage taken is doubled which is then doubled again as healing to boss. Idea being they take about 40 and crush and bid gets s nice 80hp surge.
  • 05:53 AM - ClaytonCross quoted Harzel in post Life Transference - Xanathers
    I would say yes, except that I would rule that the healing is limited to 2x the HP of the cultist. (You can't transfer more life than you have.) Actually, I believe that is already built into the spell and D&D 5e design as hit points are not tracked into negative scores. You take hits after 0 you lose a death save, You take critical hits after 0 you lose two death saves, you take a single hit after 0 that would be more than your maximum hit points you instantly die, but you don't track negative hit points. Since the spell says they heal twice the damage you take and you don't take negative damage then its capped by the max damage a character can take up to 0. Someone can correct me but I looked at PHB p.197 "Dropping to 0 Hit points"

Saturday, 8th September, 2018

Friday, 7th September, 2018

Thursday, 6th September, 2018

  • 01:16 PM - Maxperson quoted Harzel in post Survivor Appendix N Authors- LEIBER WINS!
    No, no, no. I can't believe you think that Tolkien influenced the eyes of beholders. Tolkien contributed nothing to beholders! My buddy Gary said so at least 14 times. Truly, you are an ignorant sod. And no, I won't stop calling you Truly. P.S. For those of you who find Lord of the Rings too laborious, I suggest Bored of the Rings. I rather enjoyed it. Much shorter, and, in its own way, faster paced, at the expense, perhaps, of plot continuity. Lies! Elves have eyes, orcs have eyes, and dwarves have ayes! Sauron and Morgoth were both tyrants. Eye tyrants are completely founded on Tolkien!

Wednesday, 5th September, 2018

  • 09:24 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Harzel in post Survivor Appendix N Authors- LEIBER WINS!
    Point taken. I was conflating 'goodness' with 'relevance to D&D'. Gardner Fox's inclusion is interesting, as the only predominantly comic-book writer on the list. The "Graphic Novel" was not considered a valid literary form in 1979. Talking of which, I have just noticed the absence of Neil Gaiman from the 2014 Appendix E.
  • 07:52 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Harzel in post Survivor Appendix N Authors- LEIBER WINS!
    And also not better than Gardner Fox? Gardner Fox wrote for Batman!
  • 07:49 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Harzel in post Survivor Appendix N Authors- LEIBER WINS!
    A 'problem' is usually something that has some deleterious effect. But anyway, have some XP for your honesty. deleterious effects: 1) not reading other authors; 2) failing to understand what Tolkien was actually doing with Lord of the Rings. Tolkien would be horrified with anyone who wasn't familiar with Beowulf.

Tuesday, 4th September, 2018

  • 04:53 PM - Kor quoted Harzel in post Creatures partially in an area of effect. How are they affected.
    Personally, I ignore the 'point of origin must be grid intersection' restriction in general, and in particular I treat the area of Spirit Guardians as a 15ft diameter circle centered on the (center of the) caster. For medium sized creatures, this is wouldn't matter either way. 15-feet from the center of the square you are in, will reach squares 15' away from you and the coverage area in those squares would be 50%, so effectively the area of effect is 15.5-feet. For a large sized creature (or larger) casting this, then the area of effect would greatly diminish -- this is why I think they went with the wording "around you to a distance of 15-feet". Accordingly, I don't think you count the square you are in when determining the distance -- otherwise they would not have described it in these specific words. However, I do see your point -- and while talking about "points", I suspect the point of origin rules could likely favor your interpretation. I think all area affect spells all se...
  • 08:12 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Harzel in post Survivor Appendix N Authors- LEIBER WINS!
    I don't support name-calling, or divisiveness, or taking Survivor threads too seriously. But it is my sense based on some of the commentary that at least some of the downvoting of Tolkien is driven by the perception that some other people like him 'too much'. True in my case, and comments in this thread have convinced my that "liking Tolkien too much" is a problem.
  • 07:24 AM - squibbles quoted Harzel in post Survivor Appendix N Authors- LEIBER WINS!
    I don't support name-calling, or divisiveness, or taking Survivor threads too seriously. But it is my sense based on some of the commentary that at least some of the downvoting of Tolkien is driven by the perception that some other people like him 'too much'. I admit to having done my share of eye rolling at (what seemed to me) excessive expressions of fan enthusiasm for various cultural phenomena, but in the end trying to puncture someone else's balloon because they're having too much fun is, I think, a little sketchy. Although all this and more is within the rules for Survivor threads. So I guess we can pat ourselves on the back for being inclusive. :) I'm downvoting Tolkien because Gary Gygax consistently (militantly?) argued that D&D's foundational inspiration came from other sources. D&D borrows a lot from Tolkien, but I think the idea that 'killing monsters and looting their gold is a path to personal advancement and world influence' (as codified in every edition of D&D's rules) ...

Monday, 3rd September, 2018

  • 09:14 PM - Dan Chernozub quoted Harzel in post Getting to 6 encounters in a day
    <lots of good comments and questions> Thanks for letting me know someone have actually read this:) Let me unswer your question to the best of my ability The first is level appropriateness. In a purely uncaring sandbox, the relative difficulty of challenges (perhaps Figures in your terminology) is determined by their inherent nature and internal logic, not by convenience for the PCs. That's fine as long as you are ok with the campaign being very episodic as the PCs confront and defeat (or retreat from) relatively self-contained, localized challenges. However, if you want the PCs to be able to pursue goals that involve overcoming a number of disparate challenges, then (it seems to me) something will have to have to go by the wayside - level appropriateness, or the freedom to tackle things in whatever order they choose, or the nature of the challenges being independent of the PCs' level progression. (In case it's not clear, I'm thinking here of a set of challenges that involve th...
  • 01:45 AM - chrisrtld quoted Harzel in post Survivor Appendix N Authors- LEIBER WINS!
    [QUOTE=Harzel;7488671]Bellairs, John 13 Burroughs, Edgar Rice 21 Carter, Lin 16 de Camp & Pratt 15 Dunsany, Lord 19 Fox, Gardner 19 Lanier, Sterling 4 Leiber, Fritz 19 Merritt, A. 18 Offutt, Andrew J. 16 Pratt, Fletcher 12 St. Clair, Margaret 18 Tolkien, J.R.R. 20 Weinbaum, Stanley 8 Wellman, Manley Wade 16 Williamson, Jack 18 Zelazny, Roger 20
  • 01:18 AM - StormbringerAUS quoted Harzel in post Survivor Appendix N Authors- LEIBER WINS!
    [QUOTE=Harzel;7488671]Bellairs, John 13 Burroughs, Edgar Rice 21 Carter, Lin 16 de Camp & Pratt 19 - 2 = 17 Dunsany, Lord 19 Fox, Gardner 19 Lanier, Sterling 4 Leiber, Fritz 19 Merritt, A. 18 Offutt, Andrew J. 16 Pratt, Fletcher 12 St. Clair, Margaret 18 Tolkien, J.R.R. 18 + 1 = 19 Weinbaum, Stanley 8 Wellman, Manley Wade 16 Williamson, Jack 18 Zelazny, Roger 20

Sunday, 2nd September, 2018

  • 09:46 AM - MNblockhead quoted Harzel in post Would you allow an extra background instead of Feat?
    I had not really thought much about starting at level 0 before, but it sounds kind of interesting. How do you decide when to level up to 1st level? (Not looking for one 'right' answer, just wondering what each of you chose to do.) I guess it could even be just whenever the PCs themselves decide they are tired of getting their butts kicked and want to get on the road to being a badass. Whoever survives the first adventure. I'm going to be using this for my next campaign and here is how I am thinking of doing it. I will schedule an 8-hour chunk of time for session-0, a level-0 game, lunch, and general hanging out together. Session 0 will be maybe an hour or two. Everyone will be given a sheet of paper that is split into four sections. Each session will have a form for basic stats and equipment. All players will create four characters. Stats will be based on standard array. We usually roll, but this time I think standard array is quicker and helps people not get two attached to ...

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