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    Saturday, 21st July, 2018, 10:38 PM
    Best book Curse of Strahd 5e. The very epitome of what a hardback should be like. Return to Undermountain. Destroyed what could have been an awesome 3e setting but chose a lazy, and clumsy approach. Really disappointing, with almost no redeeming features. Even the maps were terrible.
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    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 11:25 PM
    If it uses amazon data it probably takes account of pre-orders. This would explain the immediate spike and then the drop off until the product we actually released.
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    Saturday, 7th July, 2018, 09:05 AM
    Regarding in game time, how long is a piece of string, depends on how long stuff takes. When people can rest a day or a year in 1min of game time the clock ticks however it ticks. In session time I like quick progression as a player and as a DM. I would say level up in 4-8 hours of playing. 5e with itís flattened progression benefits from this as some levels barely take a minute to level up...
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    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 07:10 PM
    I think itís a poorly designed creature. The death ray is ridiculous in my honest opinion. A Con 10 character will fail the save by 5 more often than it passes and 64 damage is enough to drop most 4th level characters. The dying at 0 is a dirty trick considering the power of the ray. It seems a beast designed to really put a downer on a players experience. So the question is what are you...
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    Thursday, 28th June, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Great aspiration, really look forward to seeing your results if your can share them. Regarding modifications... Four elemental domains would be fairly essential to represent the elemental clerics. I think setting a campaign just before the death of the Kalak has merit. However i would want to see some other stories to be told by a major campaign, not just focusing on Tyr alone. Letís be...
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What's the best and worst D&D book you own from any edition? Saturday, 21st July, 2018 10:38 PM

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Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 08:50 PM - akr71 mentioned TheSword in post Need input on a ship based mini adventure
    Ooh, jgsugden I really like that! I had been trying to figure out who the slavers clients were. I was playing with the idea of an efreeti cuz I didn't really want to get into a whole "stop the slave trade" quest. I mean if they want to travel to the City of Brass and give it a go, I won't stop them, but orcs or goblins are as good as any other strong back to the efreeti. TheSword maybe that's where the juvenile kraken comes into the picture - it could be what the shaman summons. Kraken-Priest/Orc Shaman mashup? Don't mind if I do... Sprinkle a few swampy, sunken ruins around the island and they can explore for a good while.

Wednesday, 6th June, 2018

  • 01:41 PM - Maxperson mentioned TheSword in post Will you make transsexual Elves canon in your games ?
    On the other hand, I do think there's a subtle distinction being made by some that is worth repeating: there's a problem with linking gender identity with "real world issues" or "culture wars" that we use D&D as an escape from. Do not trans people also have the same right to escape from real world issues into fantasy, while bringing their own identity with them? I generally prefer to play hetero male characters, so have no issue with someone wanting to play a character that aligns with their own sexual preference and/or gender identification. As I explained to TheSword, there's a difference between playing a transgender person in the world and the DM making that happen, and bringing in real world issues relating to gender. I won't be having these elves in my game due to the real world issues and the escape from those issues that the game represents, but I will be allowing a transgender PC should a player ever want to make one.

Monday, 4th June, 2018

  • 03:21 PM - akr71 mentioned TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    TheSword "It's going to be more like at the level of how Barovia [introduced in the Curse of Strahd adventure storyline] is in terms of stuff. Here's a thing that's going to give you a taste of the setting, but we're not going to that setting yet, we're just letting you get in there and start doing it." They've been dancing around Planescape and for a while now. As Astral Sea primer would be my guess - from there all other settings are just destinations in the Astral Sea.

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018

  • 11:05 AM - Coroc mentioned TheSword in post Character Advancement versus Pathfinder
    Saelorn principally what TheSword also posted: As far as i can remember you cannot even try to use lockpicks or trap disarm without rogue or other class Levels in 3.5 style Systems . In 5e you can even try this unskilled. And if you look at #26 TheSword seems to have overseen that Backgrounds are more than pure flavor. My own PC is a Wood elf Archer ranger with 16 dex 16 wis. Atm. Level 5 he got prof in Deception +2, insight +6, nature +3, Perception +6, Stealth +6, Survival +6, thieves Tools +6, gaming dice +6, with sleight of Hand still being +3 due to dex. Ok he does not have sneak attack or cunning Action, but he got SS and can heal himself with cure wounds spells. Compared to a pure rogue he loses some on thieving skills but he is far more versatile and durable. So he opens locks and detects / disarms traps with +6 each. And that is purely due to Background (and race for perception).
  • 04:46 AM - Henry mentioned TheSword in post Oh cleric what are thou? When most classes can heal...
    I always thought the phrase came from [Cleric Or Druid]-zilla. TheSword is correct about the CoD thing. Second, I think the Cleric still has a role as primary buffer/debuffer, as spells like bless, aid, lesser restoration, remove curse, etc. can attest. The Druid shares some of this, but the druidís Focus is split in an average party between buffing/debuffing and something else (area control, front line for Moon Druid, etc.) But in truth, no class in 5e is niche exclusive - even wizards are partially usurped by druids and sorcerers, rogues by bards and to a lesser extent warlocks, etc. so if cleric shares some of its niche, itís not necessarily a bad thing. I still see plenty of people clamoring to be clerics in 5e, so a good balance is still being struck IMO.

Thursday, 19th April, 2018

  • 10:07 AM - Lanefan mentioned TheSword in post Campaign regrets
    As TheSword so neatly put it just above, every regret is also a lesson. I'm still learning... :)

Tuesday, 17th April, 2018

  • 09:40 AM - pming mentioned TheSword in post DM advice: How do you NOT kill your party?
    ... "PC's FIRST" based game. I'd rather have a solid playground where anyone of my players can choose any type of PC they want. As the players play, they fit into the world. If they do heroic things and get notices, then they do heroic things and get noticed. If they are very mercenary and pay-us-first, and become known for "getting anything done...for a price", then so be it. If they die in the second room in the dungeon...well, nobody said adventuring was easy! ;) As long as the campaign remains consistent, the Players know that how the story unfolds and how their PC's evolve is almost entirely up to them. I'm just the DM; I don't write the stories...they do. PS: As an aside... I got my order of 4 copies of the "Dungeon World" RPG. I had bought the PDF a while ago and thought it had an interesting way of handling a heavy story-based fantasy game, without it being totally freeform. I've only read up to about page 30 or so. I'm bringing this up because in my first posted reply to you, TheSword, I was trying to point out that this is how I DM for "D&D" (and games very similar to). But some RPG's support a much more "DM tailors more to the individual PC's" type of narrative games. Dungeon World RPG is most definitely in that "narrative, collective, story-telling" bucket. Two of my players are reading through it now as well (lent them each a book). When I end up DM'ing my first Dungeon World game, I will most certainly be doing it MUCH more like what you prefer; tailor to the PC's, make it challenging and interesting, but also make sure there are lots of opportunities for the players PC's to "win" more than die. But...for D&D...I'll stick to my "Old Skool Killer DM" style. :) ^_^ Paul L. Ming

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Saturday, 30th June, 2018

  • 09:00 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted TheSword in post 4th level party vs CR5 Catoblepas
    I think itís a poorly designed creature. The death ray is ridiculous in my honest opinion. A Con 10 character will fail the save by 5 more often than it passes and 64 damage is enough to drop most 4th level characters. The dying at 0 is a dirty trick considering the power of the ray. It seems a beast designed to really put a downer on a players experience. So the question is what are you trying to achieve? Death should come from poor choices not failing a single 50-50 saving throw. The Catobelpas was ported from earlier editions, where sudden death was far more common. It is also based on a mythical creature, described by Pliny the Elder (he who died at Pompeii) that was said to have gaze (or bad breath) that could kill instantly or turn to stone. It was probably a somewhat garbled account of a wildebeest.

Sunday, 17th June, 2018

  • 11:20 AM - superstition quoted TheSword in post Will you make transsexual Elves canon in your games ?
    Well theyíre certainly valid opinions but Iíd be a bit more cautious presenting gut feeling, stereotype and personal anecdote as fact. - plenty of girls like action games - plenty of girls couldnít give two hoots about dressing up I specifically wrote that there is overlap between the gender stereotypes and that there are exceptions. Of course individuality matters and there is also a spectrum of masculinity and femininity for both sexes. Also, a person's socialization does have influence. My post isn't just gut feeling, personal anecdote, and empty stereotyping. The notion that males and females are the same, except for some physical differences, is proven false by a lot of hard scientific evidence. I think youíre reading too much into elven attractiveness. Slim with good bone structure is probably as far as elven attractiveness goes. Williams syndrome inspiration seems like quite the leap. Iíd put 1st ed elves down to bad art. I was speaking to the concept of elfin features. Elfi...

Saturday, 16th June, 2018

  • 09:04 PM - Demetrios1453 quoted TheSword in post Elves in forgotten realms and 5e - what is the official source?
    That choice I would say comes down to the player and DM. Which would you prefer it to be? - Celestial - your parentage comes from Arvandor/you were born and raised in Arvandor - Fey - your parentage comes from the Feywild/you were born and raised there. We know there have always been eladrin in both places. This is the case even in 5e, as MtoF states that some eladrin have been accepted back on Arvandor by the Seldarine. These would presumably be the celestial versions that were in previous editions, even if they haven't been officially described as such in the current edition.
  • 07:34 PM - Ancalagon quoted TheSword in post Elves in forgotten realms and 5e - what is the official source?
    Is there a need to know the precise origin and story for the elves, or rather arenít conflicting, differing tales a good thing, as it represents the mythology of the people. If we are talking about something that happened several thousand years ago then Iíd like a bit of mystery along the way. I definitely wouldnít expect a PC to need to know a precise history. Granted that history and myth could be vague... But this is about *right now*. If an FR character is Eladrin, is she celestial or Fey? And if she's Fey now, how come she was celestial 20 years ago?
  • 05:37 PM - SkidAce quoted TheSword in post Elves in forgotten realms and 5e - what is the official source?
    Is there a need to know the precise origin and story for the elves, or rather arenít conflicting, differing tales a good thing, as it represents the mythology of the people. If we are talking about something that happened several thousand years ago then Iíd like a bit of mystery along the way. I definitely wouldnít expect a PC to need to know a precise history. If it happened several thousand years ago, an elf's grandfather may have seen it, and passed it on. Interesting thought.

Sunday, 10th June, 2018

  • 12:35 AM - Staffan quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    In Defilers and Preservers of Athasí isolation was explained by the grey, a Demi plane that surrounds Athas and traps all its souls (as described in the Prism Pentad series). Rules were laid out showing it was difficult to reach Athas but not impossible. So yes Athas is definitely linked to the multiverse albeit remotely... there were also other more reliable methods for traveling at least on portal to the Astral and the Planar Mirror artifact. Some people have said, because they donít like the Defilers and Preservers supplement that it doesnít apply and travel to Athas is the same as any other plane *slaps forehead*. Hence me saying if they want to play it that way they can homebrew it any way they like. Look, if you want to have your Athas isolated, I'm not going to stop you. My point is that it's by no means a make-or-break thing for the setting. Environmentally hazardous wizardry, yes. Psionics, hell yes. Crappy gear, probably, though I'd be OK with making it a cosmetic thing for bala...

Saturday, 9th June, 2018

  • 09:12 PM - Parmandur quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    Yeah, sorry it doesnít work for me. If gold, iron, water etc can be ported in from beyond then ecological disaster becomes irrelevant. Athas is hell, if things could leave for less sunny climes, they would. In a place where gold is worth 100 times its normal price then 1,000 go becomes 100,000 gp. Apparently the designers/editors or the setting felt so to. Iím not going to bother arguing with you any more because youíre clearly choosing to ignore the official writings that donít support your view. Do what you like with the setting. Itís old edition at this point so technically itís all homebrew. Well, I mean, sure, do what you like: I was discussing what we will be seeing for 5E Dark Sun, sooner or later (and have seen early bits of).
  • 07:37 PM - Paul Farquhar quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    So youíre comfortable with Athas being accessible to all and sundry as normal with simple plane shifting magic? It's easy enough for a DM to rule that thier Athas isn't part of the standard D&D cosmology, just as they can with any setting. It's the donkey work of worldbuilding - especially in the crunch-department - balancing subclasses, and races, developing psionics etc, that it's useful to have done professionally. Then the DM can add whatever customised detailing they like.
  • 06:57 PM - Parmandur quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    So youíre comfortable with Athas being accessible to all and sundry as normal with simple plane shifting magic? Perfectly comfortable, which is handy, because that is what will be happening moving forwards, it seems. Note that there is a major distinction between "accessible" and "easily accessible." You can have a story telling about events in 12th century Mexico, that are not easily accessible to 12th century European characters in another story. Doesn't mean they take place in different universes.
  • 06:15 PM - Parmandur quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    I donít understand are you saying that Defilers and Preservers wasnít a valid book? The whole range came out over 5 years for AD&D. The Grey and the Black were pretty well established in the lore - particularly the entrapment and blocking - Rikus is trapped in the grey, Rajaat was trapped in the black. The links with the inner planes and the remoteness of the outer planes all of these things were well established. The isolations seems to fit the setting extremely well so I really donít understand your issues. Back in 2nd edition, planescape wasnít released until 1994 three years after Darksun so Iím not surprised that the planes werenít a big deal in the Dark sun books. After Planescape there was a need to codify where Athas sat in the cosmology hence Preservers and Defilers coming out in 1996. Regarding planar sources, Sadira drew her energy from the sun, it doesnít seem unreasonable for necromancers to draw energy from the Grey. I really like the mechanic in D&P where it is difficul...
  • 01:06 PM - Staffan quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    I donít understand are you saying that Defilers and Preservers wasnít a valid book? The whole range came out over 5 years for AD&D. I am saying that for the first four years of those five, there was no problem whatsoever with using planar travel in Dark Sun. Dragon Kings had an introduction to the cosmology, which was the same as the regular D&D cosmology. Travel to the outer and astral planes was de-emphasized, because that description was written in the context of high-level clerics having to attend to duties on the elemental planes, but there was nothing about planar travel being more difficult. You also had adventures featuring planar foes (even when the planes weren't the main focus of the adventure - IIRC there's a random nalfeshnee running around in Dragon's Crown), and in the revised Dark Sun boxed set baatezu, tanar'ri, and yugoloth was on a rather short list of monsters from the Monstrous Manual that were considered appropriate for a Dark Sun campaign. They were not listed in the ori...
  • 11:42 AM - Staffan quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    I rearched the links with Athas in AD&D. Trying to use magic to travel between planes required a wizard to roll Intelligence or under on a d100. Failure meant the wizard was lost in the Grey and would start to have Consititution drained. So magic existed but it was very risky. The grey surrounded the material plane of Athas and isolated it. So in the Athas multiverse gods exist but just canít reach followers in Athas without great difficulty. Also the crystal sphere of Athas is completely impenetrable to Spelljammers. (Described in Preservers and Defilers of Athas.) IIRC, Dark Sun was always part of the multiverse. In that the original boxed set stated that planar travel didnít work, and that the world was cut off. So you could travel in, but not out. Defilers & Preservers was one of the last books made for Dark Sun, and it had plenty of questionable stuff in it (such as wizards that don't draw power from plant life, but from planar sources). Before that book, there was nothing indicati...
  • 04:54 AM - Parmandur quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    I rearched the links with Athas in AD&D. Trying to use magic to travel between planes required a wizard to roll Intelligence or under on a d100. Failure meant the wizard was lost in the Grey and would start to have Consititution drained. So magic existed but it was very risky. The grey surrounded the material plane of Athas and isolated it. So in the Athas multiverse gods exist but just canít reach followers in Athas without great difficulty. Also the crystal sphere of Athas is completely impenetrable to Spelljammers. (Described in Preservers and Defilers of Athas.) Yes, so part of the same cosmos, just remote and usually hard to reach.

Thursday, 7th June, 2018

  • 11:43 AM - Lychee of the Exch. quoted TheSword in post Will you make transsexual Elves canon in your games ?
    I amended my post before your replied to be less accusative. However, since you asked... ... suggestive that you care more about preserving your own idea of how the world should look like than you do about the game we all play. The more you post the more the ugly sentiment is revealed. I care about the society I live in. And I have opinions about the way it (the society) should go. I 've also come to care deeply about D&D for the 35 years (give or take) since I've been playing it. Insofar as D&D is a cultural medium, it is linked to the society I live in. And, as important, D&D has been a part of my personal life - as a gamer and a social creature - for a long time. In this thread, I talk about society and D&D, as they relate to each other. For me, there's nothing "ugly" about this way of dealing with D&D and the world at large. If this medium wasn't in any way relating to the culture at large that we share -and thus to society - the self-described progressive segment of the RPG industry ...
  • 11:37 AM - Staffan quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    It wasnít connected directly. The planar conduits led to the elemental planes not the great wheel. The adventure Dregoth Ascending published on Athas.org was all about reversing the position creating conduits to the great wheel and closing the elemental conduits. My understanding was that there werenít direct links (not that they couldnít be created, but that they werenít known). Black spine accesses the multiverse through the astral plane. Dregothís mirror could allow planar travel but was an artifact so who knows. Previous to the release of Defilers & Preservers, one of the last books of the line, there was nothing indicating that Athas didn't have the same access to the multiverse as any other setting. Plane shift and astral spell were available in the priestly sphere of Air. Wizards had teleport without error and astral spell. The original boxed set called out some items and spells as being unsuitable for Dark Sun, but none of those had anything to do with planar travel. Dragon Kings had...
  • 10:44 AM - Lychee of the Exch. quoted TheSword in post Will you make transsexual Elves canon in your games ?
    A very quickly diminishing consensus, soon to be replaced with an increasing consensus, thank god. Iíve just seen your post history, and I find it highly suggestive that youíve only posted in threads about black stereotyping and transsexuals. Have you ever considered that as a married straight white male father, it may be worth branching off into other topics, you know, like the game of D&D? Highly suggestive of what ? I'm concerned about the social intentions - and the desire for change as conveyed in their products - of a sizable part of the RPG industry. I write in this forum to make my position on the subject as clear as possible. I'm not in sync with the progressive goals of this sizable, and increasing, part of the RPG industry. And judging by the number of posts in this thread, and the different viewpoints therein, I gather I'm not the only one interested in the subject, nor the only one in disagreement with this kind of self-described progressives in the industry. I'm ju...
  • 10:43 AM - Aldarc quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    The sad thing is, the more roadblocks fans of the setting throw up to specify precisely what incarnation they expect (despite the fact that every setting changes when new editions come round, including the realms), the more likely WOC are to think relaunching that setting is too risky. That said youíre railing against changes that havenít been made, just in case they get made.Such railing incidentally saved Eberron's timeline from being advanced significantly in 4e - as per the Realms - as they were considering updating Eberron more radically. They did, however, force the Great Axis cosmology into Eberron a bit in 4e, which left a lot of Eberron fans somewhat sour including Keith Baker.
  • 10:39 AM - Staffan quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    That said youíre railing against changes that havenít been made, just in case they get made. If WOC offered to remake Athas but it was going to be connected to the great wheel. Iíd love the fact we were getting a remake and just alter the fluff for stuff I didnít like. Simple. I think the correct expression is ďlooking a gift horse in the mouth.Ē Except youíre describing the characteristics you expect from your gift. Athas was never not connected to the Great Wheel.
  • 10:12 AM - Lychee of the Exch. quoted TheSword in post Will you make transsexual Elves canon in your games ?
    ...the words you choose to describe something matters. Yes. It conveys tone, intentions, and creates an environment of inclusion or segregation. My primary purpose with my words is not to create an environment of inclusion or segregation. It is to express myself and to convey my point of view. The truth is the words Ďnormalí and Ďordinaryí arenít very good at describing human beings. Those words are part of our vocabulary and for us to use. If I use the word "ordinary" in a sentence like: "They were ordinary middle-class conservative Americans, appalled at their current president, but having voted Republicans nonetheless, because they were deeply untrustful of the other candidate" it paints a pretty good picture of what I mean, I think. Replace these words with Ďacceptedí. Why would I need to do that ? I thought I made it pretty clear that I accept any human being on principle. If you accept people for what they are then the frequency becomes irrelevant. I don't think so. I...
  • 09:54 AM - Aldarc quoted TheSword in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    It may matter, but it doesnít matter a lot does it. In the grand scheme of things itís not high on the list of great tragedies.It would be a fairly significant red flag for me that WotC is out-of-touch with the Eberron fanbase. It would not bode well for any other potential changes to the setting.


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