View Profile: Harzel - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Today, 04:49 AM
    Gloves of Thievery 16 Goggles of Night 17 Hat of Disguise 20 Helm of Brilliance 17 Helm of Comprehending Languages 20 Helm of Teleportation 10 Slippers of Spider Climbing 15 Winged Boots 9
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:09 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 6 Gloves of Thievery 17 Goggles of Night 17 Hat of Disguise 21 Helm of Brilliance 19 Helm of Comprehending Languages 21 Helm of Teleportation 12 Slippers of Spider Climbing 18 Winged Boots 11
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 08:08 AM
    Well, don't forget the part where you are going to "Come join us and help redefine technology and software engineering at Wizards of the Coast!" So in addition to doing all phases and types of development work, you will get to design their development methodology, and then select, bring up, and administer a suite of tools for them. I guess there is the advantage, though, that you don't have...
    19 replies | 781 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 21st April, 2019, 07:30 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 4 Gloves of Thievery 17 Goggles of Night 17 Hat of Disguise 25 - "This item allows you cast spell X at will." is so bland. Helm of Brilliance 20 Helm of Comprehending Languages 22 Helm of Teleportation 14 Slippers of Spider Climbing 22 Winged Boots 11
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 20th April, 2019, 03:42 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 4 Gloves of Thievery 17 Goggles of Night 19 Hat of Disguise 27 Helm of Brilliance 20 Helm of Comprehending Languages 27 Helm of Teleportation 13 Slippers of Spider Climbing 24 Winged Boots 13
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 07:31 AM
    If there is a surge at the last minute, Zardnaar will win, but if the current rate holds it will be just barely short.
    130 replies | 6423 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 19th April, 2019, 06:31 AM
    Well, 89 minutes to go and Zardnaar needs just under $100K to win. It's going to be close.
    130 replies | 6423 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 02:51 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 10 Boots of Speed 14 Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 19 Hat of Disguise 25 Helm of Brilliance 21 Helm of Comprehending Languages 26 Helm of Teleportation 15 Slippers of Spider Climbing 26 Winged Boots 17
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 18th April, 2019, 02:41 AM
    Ah, I interpreted your comment as absolute rather than relative to price. Also, I was being a bit silly, though Trinket does have the "Aww..." factor going for him, unlike the stickers and pins, which I totally don't get.
    130 replies | 6423 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 06:50 PM
    How can you not want a Trinket plushie????? :confused: :)
    130 replies | 6423 view(s)
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  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 17th April, 2019, 08:05 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 14 Boots of Speed 18 Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 23 Hat of Disguise 24 Helm of Brilliance 21 Helm of Comprehending Languages 27 Helm of Teleportation 14 Slippers of Spider Climbing 28 Winged Boots 18
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th April, 2019, 01:25 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 16 Boots of Speed 20 Gloves of Missile Snaring 6 Gloves of Thievery 19 Goggles of Night 23 Hat of Disguise 24 Helm of Brilliance 23 Helm of Comprehending Languages 25 Helm of Teleportation 17 Slippers of Spider Climbing 28
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th April, 2019, 09:14 PM
    Boots of Elvenkind 18 Boots of Speed 21 Gloves of Missile Snaring 11 Gloves of Thievery 19 Goggles of Night 25 Hat of Disguise 24 Helm of Brilliance 25 Helm of Comprehending Languages 26 Helm of Teleportation 16 Slippers of Spider Climbing 28
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th April, 2019, 04:22 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 20 Boots of Speed 23 Boots of Striding and Springing 6 Gloves of Missile Snaring 19 Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 25 Hat of Disguise 24 Helm of Brilliance 27 Helm of Comprehending Languages 25 Helm of Teleportation 15
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 02:42 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 20 Boots of Speed 23 Boots of Striding and Springing 11 Boots of the Winterlands 2 Gloves of Missile Snaring 20 Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 23 Hat of Disguise 24 Helm of Brilliance 25 Helm of Comprehending Languages 26
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 02:40 AM
    Correction for Tallifer's missed votes. Boots of Elvenkind 20 Boots of Speed 23 Boots of Striding and Springing 11 Boots of the Winterlands 2 Gloves of Missile Snaring 19 Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 23 Hat of Disguise 24
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th April, 2019, 08:30 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 21 Boots of Speed 24 Boots of Striding and Springing 13 Boots of the Winterlands 10 Gloves of Missile Snaring 21 Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 23 Hat of Disguise 24 Helm of Brilliance 26 Helm of Comprehending Languages 21
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th April, 2019, 09:04 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 22 Boots of Speed 23 Boots of Striding and Springing 15 Boots of the Winterlands 14 Gloves of Missile Snaring 20 Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 22 Hat of Disguise 24 Headband of Intellect 11 Helm of Brilliance 25
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th April, 2019, 07:38 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 23 Boots of Levitation 1 Boots of Speed 22 Boots of Striding and Springing 18 Boots of the Winterlands 16 Gloves of Missile Snaring 20 Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 22 Hat of Disguise 24 Headband of Intellect 21
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 8th April, 2019, 07:36 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 22 Boots of Levitation 6 Boots of Speed 21 Boots of Striding and Springing 20 Boots of the Winterlands 20 Cap of Waterbreathing 10 Gloves of Missile Snaring 21 Gloves of Swimming and Climbing 0 - Slipped while climbing the cliff, fell into the river and drowned. Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 24
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th April, 2019, 09:57 AM
    Huh? What is it you think is required to be 'MVP'? If it is high DPR, then yeah, bards may have a harder (or less obvious) path to that than some other classes, but IMX, being the 'MVP' is much more often the result of clever play (and circumstance) than some dominant class feature. I don't know how much you've thought about it, but I think it is possible to undervalue Bardic Inspiration if...
    20 replies | 525 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th April, 2019, 08:40 AM
    Like other groups, apparently, the player of the bard in my group uses cards that she hands out. She has as many cards as she has uses of inspiration per rest (CHA mod), and they all start in the 'usable' pile. When an inspired PC uses the inspiration or it expires, they hand the card back to her and she puts in it her 'used' pile. After a rest (her bard is 6th level), all cards move back to...
    20 replies | 525 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th April, 2019, 05:38 AM
    Boots of Elvenkind 20 Boots of Levitation 14 Boots of Speed 20 Boots of Striding and Springing 20 Boots of the Winterlands 20 Cap of Waterbreathing 14 Gloves of Missile Snaring 21 Gloves of Swimming and Climbing 10 Gloves of Thievery 20 Goggles of Night 23
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th April, 2019, 08:01 AM
    Including @Ed Laprade's missed votes. Boots of Elvenkind 20 Boots of Levitation 16 Boots of Speed 19 Boots of Striding and Springing 20 Boots of the Winterlands 20 Cap of Waterbreathing 18 Gauntlets of Ogre Power 8 Gloves of Missile Snaring 20
    292 replies | 5831 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th April, 2019, 07:33 AM
    Ah, but you are forgetting about the specialized versions: Robe of the Roman Arch Magi, Robe of the Gothic Arch Magi, and Robe of the Tudor Arch Magi.
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 5th April, 2019, 06:33 AM
    Not wild about the choices, but I guess I'll vote anyway. Cloak of Displacement 2 Robe of the Archmagi 8
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th April, 2019, 04:42 AM
    bqx?
    20 replies | 694 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th April, 2019, 04:28 AM
    Disadvantage to hit the cloak, so everyone beats on the robes. Cloak of Displacement 10 Robe of the Archmagi 11 Robe of Stars 8
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019, 08:23 AM
    Cloak of Displacement 12 Cloak of the Manta Ray 3 Robe of the Archmagi 15 Robe of Stars 15
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019, 07:03 AM
    Cape of the Mountebank 6 Cloak of Displacement 15 Cloak of the Manta Ray 10 Robe of the Archmagi 14 Robe of Stars 18
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 31st March, 2019, 11:58 PM
    Cape of the Mountebank 9 Cloak of Displacement 15 Cloak of the Manta Ray 12 Robe of the Archmagi 18 Robe of Stars 21 Robe of Useful Items 6
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 31st March, 2019, 09:20 AM
    Cape of the Mountebank 11 Cloak of Displacement 17 Cloak of the Manta Ray 13 Robe of the Archmagi 20 Robe of Stars 20 Robe of Useful Items 12
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th March, 2019, 09:07 AM
    Cape of the Mountebank 16 Cloak of Displacement 18 Cloak of the Manta Ray 15 Robe of the Archmagi 23 Robe of Eyes 3 Robe of Stars 17 Robe of Useful Items 13
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 29th March, 2019, 11:22 AM
    Cape of the Mountebank 16 Cloak of Arachnida 7 Cloak of Displacement 21 Cloak of the Manta Ray 14 Robe of the Archmagi 22 Robe of Eyes 9 Robe of Stars 21 Robe of Useful Items 12
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Friday, 29th March, 2019, 11:01 AM
    This. And perhaps to do that in a way that leverages / integrates with how the OP has been thinking about the problem: go ahead and create and/or steal a more detailed list of skills. Then just figure out which 5e skill subsumes each one and use that (along with abilities/skills info from the PHB) to construct the list that @Rya.Reisender suggests. Seems like that would produce a set of ideas...
    132 replies | 4601 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Thursday, 28th March, 2019, 09:26 AM
    Cape of the Mountebank 18 Cloak of Arachnida 10 Cloak of Displacement 24 Cloak of the Manta Ray 14 Robe of the Archmagi 26 Robe of Eyes 9 Robe of Stars 24 Robe of Useful Items 13
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Wednesday, 27th March, 2019, 09:00 AM
    Cape of the Mountebank 18 Cloak of Arachnidia 12 Cloak of the Bat 5 Cloak of Displacement 25 Cloak of the Manta Ray 13 Mantle of Spell Resistance 8 Robe of the Archmagi 25 Robe of Eyes 11 Robe of Stars 27 Robe of Useful Items 12
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 08:00 AM
    Cape of the Mountebank 17 Cloak of Arachnidia 13 Cloak of the Bat 8 Cloak of Displacement 25 Cloak of the Manta Ray 15 Mantle of Spell Resistance 12 Robe of the Archmagi 25 Robe of Eyes 13 Robe of Stars 30 - come back down to earth Robe of Useful Items 13
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Monday, 25th March, 2019, 08:15 AM
    Belt of Dwarvenkind 4 Cape of the Mountebank 16 Cloak of Arachnidia 14 Cloak of the Bat 13 Cloak of Displacement 24 Cloak of the Manta Ray 15 Mantle of Spell Resistance 16 Robe of the Archmagi 25 Robe of Eyes 13 Robe of Stars 34
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 08:10 AM
    I think I would allow creatures with Incorporeal Movement to move or carry physical objects, subject to their STR score. However, if they were carrying an object and used Incorporeal Movement to move through a physical barrier (or creature), the object they were carrying would be left behind.
    29 replies | 911 view(s)
    9 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 08:05 AM
    At least among the undead that have Incorporeal Movement their attacks do necrotic or force damage. It's not explicitly stated, but to me that indicates that they don't have a 'physical' attack in the usual sense. Is there an example of a creature that has Incorporeal Movement and an attack that does bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage? Looking at the spell description, I don't see...
    29 replies | 911 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Harzel's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th March, 2019, 05:44 AM
    Belt of Dwarvenkind 4 Cape of the Mountebank 16 Cloak of Arachnidia 15 Cloak of the Bat 15 Cloak of Displacement 25 Cloak of Elvenkind 3 Cloak of the Manta Ray 15 Mantle of Spell Resistance 16 Robe of the Archmagi 26 Robe of Eyes 14
    367 replies | 7643 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Harzel

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About Harzel
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Monday, 7th January, 2019

  • 02:14 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Harzel in post Survivor Potions- POTION OF VITALITY WINS!
    Elixir of Health 16 Oil of Etherealness 18 Oil Of Sharpness 20 Oil of Slipperiness 22 Philter of Love 16 Potion of Animal Friendship 18 Potion of Clairvoyance 16 Potion of Climbing 20 Potion of Giant Strength 21 Potion of Diminution 20 Potion of Fire Breath 22 Potion Flying 23 Potion of Gaseous Form 16 Potion of Growth 20 Potion of Healing 17 Potion of Heroism 21 Potion of Invisibility 21 Potion of Invulnerability 21 Potion of Longevity 20 Potion of Mind Reading 14 Potion of Poison 18 Potion of Resistance 20 Potion of Speed 20 Potion of Vitality 20 Potion of Water Breathing 18 Thank you Harzel

Tuesday, 1st January, 2019


Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 03:04 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Harzel in post Survivor Rods & Staves- STAFF OF THE MAGI WINS!
    Thank you Harzel Immovable Rod 13 Rod of Absorption 20 Rod of Alertness 20 Rod of Lordly Might 20 Rod of the Pact Keeper 20 Rod of Resurrection 20 Rod or Rulership 20 Rod of Security 20 Staff of the Adder 20 Staff of Charming 20 Staff of Fire 21 Staff of Frost 21 Staff of Healing 21 Staff of Power 22 Staff of Striking 20 Staff of Swarming Insects 16 Staff of the Magi 21 Staff of the Python 12 Staff of the Woodlands 21 Staff of Thunder and Lightning 21 Staff of Withering 18 Tentacle Rod 21 Sorry everyone! My bad. This list is the list! :)

Tuesday, 27th November, 2018

  • 07:52 PM - Satyrn mentioned Harzel in post Does Leomund's Tiny Hut block Scrying?
    Bzzzt. Try again. The correct answer is "Whatever the DM says the correct answer is." And that answer doesn't extend beyond your table. So go ask your DM I read Harzel's comment as a joke. You seem to have taken it very seriously.

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 you’ve said, so perhaps I should clarify. The phaser to a knife fight analogy is a really good one. I’m 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 isn’t because of a lack of knowledge on the other PCs. It’s becausr they aren’t 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 RPG.net 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



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Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 10:52 PM - BookBarbarian quoted Harzel in post WotC hiring software developer
    It seems like they're looking for one person to be an entire IT shop (on one person's salary, of course). Or else they just have no clue what they want. Considering WotC's abysmal history with electronic offerings, I suppose that's not surprising, though. EDIT: It's very odd. I looked at their other SW job descriptions and they all seem pretty normal. This one is just wacky. Looks to me like they want a jack of all trades to support everyone and their dog who makes a d&d app or game.

Sunday, 21st April, 2019

  • 07:14 PM - Nagol quoted Harzel in post WotC hiring software developer
    Well, don't forget the part where you are going to "Come join us and help redefine technology and software engineering at Wizards of the Coast!" So in addition to doing all phases and types of development work, you will get to design their development methodology, and then select, bring up, and administer a suite of tools for them. I guess there is the advantage, though, that you don't have to argue with anyone about which source control or bug tracker to use. That's always so contentious. :p EDIT: It's very odd. I looked at their other SW job descriptions and they all seem pretty normal. This one is just wacky. They used to have a cadre of enterprise architects so all the definitional work should be done. I guess they're gone?

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 05:02 PM - Parmandur quoted Harzel in post Critical Role Kickstarter Predition Game: Guess the Funding Outcome (GTFO)
    Ah, I interpreted your comment as absolute rather than relative to price. Also, I was being a bit silly, though Trinket does have the "Aww..." factor going for him, unlike the stickers and pins, which I totally don't get. I think the Venn diagram overlap of Critters and Collectors is pretty high, and these are limited run items.

Wednesday, 17th April, 2019


Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 09:59 AM - 5ekyu quoted Harzel in post Bardic Inspiration houserules
    Like other groups, apparently, the player of the bard in my group uses cards that she hands out. She has as many cards as she has uses of inspiration per rest (CHA mod), and they all start in the 'usable' pile. When an inspired PC uses the inspiration or it expires, they hand the card back to her and she puts in it her 'used' pile. After a rest (her bard is 6th level), all cards move back to the 'usable' pile. If your bard somehow has trouble distinguishing 'used' from 'usable', players could hand 'used' cards to the DM, who could then hand them back to the bard player after a rest (long rest if less than 5th level). As to the 'realism' issue of being inspired for 10 min - to me, that seems, if anything, too short for the effect of encouragement from a comrade in most circumstances. (To me, the weird thing is that in 5e that is enough time to fight half a dozen or more substantial battles.) In game terms, it seems to work just fine; and if occasionally I forget to point out that a use o...

Saturday, 6th April, 2019


Thursday, 28th March, 2019

  • 02:07 PM - jasper quoted Harzel in post Incorporeal Creatures Carrying Objects
    At least among the undead that have Incorporeal Movement their attacks do necrotic or force damage. It's not explicitly stated, but to me that indicates that they don't have a 'physical' attack in the usual sense. Is there an example of a creature that has Incorporeal Movement and an attack that does bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage? Looking at the spell description, I don't see the word 'incorporeal'. Is there a creature that does not have a strength score? I don't know of any, but I might have missed something. Avatar of Death does 7 (1d8+3) slashing damage, has incorporeal movement. Medium undead. Str is 16 aka +3

Sunday, 24th March, 2019

  • 09:51 AM - Imaculata quoted Harzel in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    And how does the DM make that decision? To me, it seems that is exactly what the Deception skill is intended for. That seems to be a narrative decission to me. Some npc's are good liars and you can't tell that they are lying, some are bad liars and you might be able to tell, and some are terrible liars and no check is needed. There are auto-fails, auto-successes, and a few edge cases. For the most part, I lean towards auto-fail. I assume that all my npc's are competent and try their best to lie. If the players want to find out if they are lying, they have to catch the npc's on falsehoods or inconsistencies in their story, rather than a lucky dice roll. To me that is far more exciting roleplaying wise. While autofailure is, in the abstract, always one possibility, personally I don't think it makes a very good default independent of circumstances. Can you give any additional insight (haha) as to why you do this? Nice one. :D I do this because I want my players to actually pay attention t...

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 03:54 AM - Hriston quoted Harzel in post Simultaneous Initiative (Adapted from Chainmail)
    Preliminary caveat: I have not looked at the rules for Chainmail. A lot that became and is still part of D&D, including the initiative system, has its roots in Chainmail. The purpose of this thought experiment, rather than an attempt to fix anything, is to imagine how “simultaneous movement” could work if it was brought forward into the current edition in the same way that the “move/countermove” system was. Just to be sure, "actions" here includes bonus actions, correct? Yes, as in the example when the orcs use the bonus action given to them by the Aggressive trait. May an order be conditional, thereby making whether "they can take" an action a matter of intent rather than physical possibility? E.g., "When Joe has moved 15 ft. north, I cast fireball." or "When/if the goblins come into range, I shoot my bow at the nearest one." Yes, I’d consider this a use of the Ready action, though, with the limitations that come with that. What about reactions due to actions (Shield, Counterspe...

Tuesday, 19th March, 2019

  • 06:51 PM - Lanefan quoted Harzel in post I Do Declare! Do you? (POLL)
    Wellll, yeah, it's 'unrealistic' if you imagine that the whole you do your entire round's worth of stuff, and then I do my entire round's worth of stuff and then the Orc does his entire round's worth of stuff is actually what is happening in the fiction, which is pretty, um, what's the word I want, oh, yeah --- unrealistic. Problem is, starting with 3e that's how the game has worked by RAW: one person does their entire round's worth of stuff, then another, then another. Movement is almost like a mini-teleport, there's no consideration given for the time it takes and where you might be when something else happens (e.g. did you just run into that lightning bolt or not). Don't get me wrong, there are reasonable criticisms of using declarations with you-go-I go; it just doesn't seem to me that 'unrealistic' is one of them. (Unless you meant unrealistic that anyone would have fun doing it this way.) No, unrealistic in that I can't change my action to reflect things that happen between the ti...
  • 05:24 PM - Seramus quoted Harzel in post I Do Declare! Do you? (POLL)
    Wellll, yeah, it's 'unrealistic' if you imagine that the whole you do your entire round's worth of stuff, and then I do my entire round's worth of stuff and then the Orc does his entire round's worth of stuff is actually what is happening in the fiction, which is pretty, um, what's the word I want, oh, yeah --- unrealistic.I've got the opposite problem. Accomplishing nothing is too realistic! My players are trying to escape their crushing depression. :D
  • 02:10 PM - vincegetorix quoted Harzel in post Need help with Health recovery math
    Somehow, I hate to be the one to do this, but... Adequate for what? You have proposed changing the rest mechanic, but you didn't say what you are trying to accomplish. How do you want the game to play differently? Or do you just really, really want to use that mechanic, but want the game to play as close to the same as possible? (Which sounds a little weird when stated that way, but it does seem to be the spirit in which people are answering your question so far.) Because short rest are not frequently used in my group. My players tend to push to the edge of collapsing then are more or less forced to take a long rest, even if I remind them that they could have gone further if they paced themselves a little better. And they are not really optimal players: they die a lot because they lack any basic strategy and dont really know or care to heal themselves when appropriate. They lost a whole bunch of PC because they entered combat without really thinking while at 10% max HP. They are wh...
  • 01:01 PM - Myzzrym quoted Harzel in post I Do Declare! Do you? (POLL)
    We declare actions, but only because I use simultaneous resolution rather than sequential turns. Same, I feel like it gives more punch to the fight when everything happens at once, with Initiative being used to show who's slightly faster (for instance during a duel to know who hits first). Players can react while I describe what's happening, but it avoids people constantly readjusting their action depending on what the previous player / monster just did. Battles become more frantic, and reactions actually feel like split of a second decisions

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 04:15 PM - jayoungr quoted Harzel in post Back after about 29 years
    As one example of something that deserves some contemplation - look at the resting / resource recovery rules, think about how different they are from 1e, and think about how that will affect the game. If these rules seem too generous to you, note that the DMG has grittier alternate rules for slower healing. Using them will make 5E feel more like AD&D, if that is a goal for you.

Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 12:55 PM - Yardiff quoted Harzel in post Survivor Magic Clothing Part 1- Robe of the Arch Magi WINS!
    I'm confused. What did you intend? Looks like one upvote and two corrections? But what was there to correct? Maybe there is a post that I'm not seeing. I 'corrected' Mine and CleverNickName's post since they were almost simultaneous, but looking at it now I messed it up. I changed my post to look like a normal post without blue corrections, but with the right numbers now.

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 09:54 AM - S'mon quoted Harzel in post Tips? Haven't DMed D&D since 2E
    Definitely a subjective matter, but IMO using DCs at least up to 25 is just fine. Even at level 1, most PCs can, with luck, achieve a 25 on checks that use their main stat and at which they are proficient. To me, that seems like a good representation for particularly difficult (but still doable) tasks. I use 25s (Very Difficult) and 30s (Nearly Impossible), but mostly at level 11-20. Occasionally there may be a DC 25 at low level for something incredibly difficult like an epically obscure bit of historical knowledge. In my Tier IV Runelords game the STR 28 Barbarian-20 auto passes DC 28 Athletics checks, and the Rogue-17 has something like an auto 27 Reliable Talent on some stuff; I like telling them "Yeah that was a 25 so you auto-pass" - I like how this (a) makes them feel cool and (b) actually speeds up game play.
  • 09:33 AM - thorgrit quoted Harzel in post Tips? Haven't DMed D&D since 2E
    While I don't think it was thorgrit's intent, I think this may create an impression that is inaccurate. While it is true that there aren't very many interacting subsystems, and that the spell descriptions are explicit about many things, the spell descriptions are not self-contained. Particularly with respect to targeting and how area effects 'spread', the general spellcasting rules are absolutely critical (assuming you want to play RAW), and these are in no way obvious from or implied by the individual spell descriptions. So be sure to read (and, preferably, memorize) the general spellcasting rules; they answer critical questions that will arise in play. (Not that the game will implode if you get something wrong in this regard, but there are really just a few important points, and it will save you having to explain and change things up later.) Yes, good catch! The exceptions-based rules design sort of "cascades" from general to more and more specific. There's the general way that comba...

Friday, 8th March, 2019


Tuesday, 5th March, 2019

  • 08:40 AM - Rya.Reisender quoted Harzel in post Non-spell area effects vs. total cover
    Sure, but that doesn't help. The rule for how a spell's effect expands (that I quoted) is separate from the rules for the individual shapes and applies to all of them. The text you quoted is part of the Area of Effect section, so I'd apply that as well of course. That is unless the ability description says otherwise. Banshee's Wail is very specific in how it works and doesn't even refer to an AoE type.

Monday, 25th February, 2019

  • 10:58 AM - Dannyalcatraz quoted Harzel in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Let me guess. This became a catch phrase that you have used ever since (with this friend) whenever someone (especially someone in charge of something) is being incomprehensibly unreasonable. ;) It would have in our group, for sure! And there would be the requisite jokes about using feats like Manyshot, too.


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