View Profile: 5ekyu - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:49 PM
    Yes, you are correct. In the games j run, the average run of the mill is more "commoner" than "1st level PC". So I was basing it on that plus the typical fictions. If the guy next door is as good as your pc, that's a definite different animal of a campaign.
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    Yesterday, 08:30 PM
    To me, this seems a bit of an issue thats a disconnect. There is nothing in conflict with ssying as GM " in this world, ABC tend to be weaker than def" yet then letting PCs choose their ability scores without putting a penalty on one. The PCs are a blip, anomalies by definition and are exceptions to the rules. So pushing them to follow the norms... well...ok so maybe one PC in a hundred...
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    Yesterday, 08:21 PM
    First, in 5e based games, I use weather frequently. If the PCs cannot get shelter longcreets are sometimes not possible. Dungeons and other environments that are more sealed, sometimes are still disturbing unless they can do stuff about it - fetid tainted air, stressful noises or vibrations, even temperatures outside of the normal ranges can all serve to make rests not as productive. ...
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    Yesterday, 04:46 PM
    Yup, "you make it a bit farther but then..." some degree of problems arise. I tend to go with a few escalating style problems before I get to free fall. Slip down a distance, drop gear, get to bad spot with disadvantage to continue or you can backtrack to new line, etc. Things like free falling I tend to hold back until they have disadvantage and then continue anyway. I have tended to show...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:25 PM
    While 1e has loads of good memories that was more in spite of not because of system. 3.5e would be second best to 5e imo so, 3.5.
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    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 10:05 PM
    Hmmm... Misc pondering if the artificier advancing thru the dev cycle has ties with not just Ebberon but the techno-infernal flavor of the DnD live stuff?
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 08:46 PM
    I am not sure but I myself font recall DDB or even certainly other sources making "games/campaigns that allow feats" claims. I recall some comments here or there about characters that use feats. But I really dont recall seeing the games with feats claim being made with any degree of clarity as to its scope.
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    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 03:58 PM
    To me this is more a case of the difficulties of parsing searches for frequency on open text field vs that of checkboxes. How did they handle multi-word names? How did they handle names like "Soren, Cleric of Pelor"? How did they handle "Walter (Tristan)" where the () is the player name and the first part the charscter name? There are huge differences in ata output whether they...
    53 replies | 1417 view(s)
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 05:42 AM
    But in my experience, most settings for fantasy worlds (movies, books, RPGs) rarely fo a good job of altering the "normal" setting to account for the "a normal aspects of the setting - on large scale. Even the existence of flying dangers or flying mounts thrown a ton of "normal" out the window - much less something as simple as even infrequent invisibility. Now, in part, the origin of this is...
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    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 08:59 PM
    On the lawyerly part... well if you mean its lawyerly to point out what was written in contrast to what you claimed, then guilty. But, if one accepts that the actual text is telling you to only consider hazardous to the priest, then on gets the door opened to a lot of very strange results. If it means the priest spends his time casting raise dead instead of using a cantrip to stabilize an...
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    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 03:12 PM
    Not Tony but if this is meant to prevent or discourage nova i think its hard fail. Its so small a diff between casting 5th and 1st that u are much better off casting fewer bigger spells for their greater impact. The risk from lower level casting combines with their lower output to make it not worth the risk. This seems nova-better rule.
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 01:14 PM
    Iirc it was the ssrgon body stealing episode and a discussion of Vulcan history *or* the Kirok and the asteroid one, or both.
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 01:04 PM
    As I recall, it was one dev and whenever he started to dive into options in depth it got ugly quick. In my experience, the morning after musings rarely turn out to be worth much without putting in the work to again see "why we did this and didnt do that". But that's me.
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 05:01 AM
    I would say this is just an example of poor choices by the player. How is this different from any other character choosing more than one bonus sction attack pair of options? Making your "bonus action attack" be the beast attack instead of your blade attack fits to me pretty solid.
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:54 AM
    The newcomers were brought up by someone else. I just clarified their cycle when it was not correctly represented. But in the discussion of aliens etc, there are so many expressions of the humanoids as all being genetically engineered or manipulated evolution etc as to make the distinction a pretty much trivial one. I am sure it was before Star Teek but even there in TOS the idea that the...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 05:05 PM
    About the newcomers - they had three sexes. There was a third who got involved in the "mechanics" when a couple wanted to reproduce. Their inclusion change it from a form of recreation to procreation and they were honored. I adapted this (and borrowed from other scifi) with my own runs at tri-genders by having the third gender be the one who carried the child. Again, their inclusion move the...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, 02:13 PM
    So, here is the rub... in order to craft armor with fabricate you have to know how to craft armor. So, who taught the wizard these crafts that then apparently in some campaigns lead to unemployment? "You also canít use it to create items that ordinarily require a high degree of craftsmanship, such as jewelry, weapons, glass, or armor, unless you have proficiency with the type of artisanís...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:50 PM
    Nitpick - "to the priests" did not accompany "hazardous" in the write-up in the PHB. So, for instance, if the priests' spells and efforts are tied up combating a local outbreak, they might consider casting cure spells on your scratches a lower priority than saving other people's lives - the hazard being yo those thry are helping. But, to be clear, given your long list of assumptions, I would...
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    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 05:38 PM
    I actually dont have much of a problem with this viewpoint except to,point out that *like fireball* but *unlike magic missle* both these features require an external factor not under your control in character and in plsyer - the material components which for the priests means a temple and priests. Unless you are camping at the temple, the one "a town away" youmight find sacked, abandoned or...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 06:25 AM
    Really by the time most PCs hit 7th level they can have more things that are more society impactful than fabricating to save time on crafting. Sending with good travel and setups with a number taverns and you get telegraphs going, especially thru say major organizations like temples.
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 13th May, 2019, 12:51 AM
    "'The idea that each can have absolute authority over a domain - PC beliefs/feelings; the rest of the gameworld - with no possibility of contradiciton isn't tenable, in my view." Uh huh... But the heart of the matter is this... "- while the GM, exercising his/her power to describe the environment, insists that the chamberlain doesn't smell." As a gm, I would never rule the NPC doesn't...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 09:55 PM
    Fabricate is not much of an issue for me. The combo if 7th levrl plus wizards eith the proficiency in plate mail willing to spend their time in a fixed spot on such pursuits is so low as to not be setting breaking. You dont generally get to tier 2 and up by being the type who sits around having loads of mundane stuff brought t them. The materials needed for a suit of plate a day is very...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 07:39 PM
    Rule system only solution to the 15m adventuring day? It doesn't exist in 5e core primarily because nothing in thec5e tulesrt mandates any day pacing standard. The 6-8 encounters adventuring day is not a rule, so there are no rules that enforce it. Nor, imo, fo there need to be. In my own game, the pacing I'd set by charscter choices and world events with consequences. No problem there. Had...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 05:19 PM
    We ran an Esper genesus campaign for 18 months. It uses that rule for its psychic types alongside slots for its engineers - think arcane vs divine. They worked fine alongside each other. If I were going to implement it, any "prepared casters eould keep slots - including wizards. The "known" classes like bards, sorc old get points. Warlock fo their own thing with slots. But multiclassing...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 12:05 PM
    "But in any event, what is the advantage in having the guard by my old friend Frances? Does the GM have no challeng to put before the players (and their characters) except that of getting past the gate?" To me the last sentence there is not relevant. It's too broad to have meaning. Doesnt the GM have a challenge other than that dragon? Than that raidingnparty of orcs? Thsn that...etc etc etc ...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 02:36 AM
    Bias - I dont have problems with Guidance or Bless as is in my games. Changes to Guidance - I doubt you would ever see anyone spend a slot at any time slots matter at all for +1 to skills. Its just not worth it. It looks like you try and justify it with adding more targets, more time, no concen etc but the 1 in 20 chance it matters to the result is just not going to be worth a slot. You go...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Friday, 10th May, 2019, 04:53 AM
    It depends on a lot of specifics but as a rule nocs are gm controlled unless specific player abilities overrule that.
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 10:23 PM
    "And even if you do care about the meta-knowledge thing (which I don't, just in case I haven't made that abundantly and redundantly clear), why would you want to intentionally give the players more information their characters don't have? " Because the other options are worse, to us and our game play. There are a gazillion ways one PC can get info the others dont. Various senses, traits and...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 06:26 PM
    Its entirely possible if it was a barbarian it was raging, the mystical ability that gives it a wide array of superhuman capabilities. But, of course, if one was operating under the power of such a powerful mystic effect, its unlikely that glorified cow tipping would be so easily seen as a ridiculous stretch of the game. I mean at lower level than the, a wizard could be levitating the gorgons.
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    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 08:25 PM
    It was me last night. Group was moving thru a crowd when someone sneaky in the crowd got close enough to whisper to one of them. The others who made a certain degree of perception were close enough or looking in the right direction and not next to someone else bring loud in the chaotic scene to notice it and maybe hear what was whispered. The die roll covered the uncertainty in the scene...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 07:37 PM
    Yeah this last exchangexwas confusing to me. I dont get the linkage between rolling skill checks to resolve a challenge or obstacle and combats with foregone conclusions, particularly as regards to 5e. When fights look to the participants like foregone conclusions, that easily time or past time that things should be changing... right? One side or the other tries other solutions like flight,...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 04:49 PM
    If I go with d20+11 vs d20+5 it looks like your definition of "with impunity" is a tad under 3 out of 4. That does assume doubled prof at +3 getting +6 and 20 in stat for the pally. Or was to there more magic and superheroic stats stuff involved? Or was this with the house rule? Cuz normally, 11 out of 12 is a bit on the unlikely side at the normal odds. Also, the MM has traits (was it...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 09:57 PM
    For me, a meaningful definition I like to use for "telegraphing" is as follows. If a general statement of the circumstance would lead players and PCs to think "there are traps here" it's not telegraphing - its just established world consistency. "Going into the hidden crypt of lost king ehere thry ssy lots of loot is buried" is not "telegraphing traps any more than "got to the vault door" is...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 09:07 PM
    The closest we ever csme was when, under "that GM" where we would get hung out to dry on casual statements by the players, we would develop written "standard procedures" - as in "door procedure" and "enter room procedures". This had nothing to do with traps per se, but it was about surviving the numerous cases of "you did not say you looked up" and so on. It was much more about the...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:39 PM
    But to be fair, if the pre-telegraph pre G-A-P standard being used as the baseline is thst assumed play with checks every 5 ft (with apparently lotsa confused take-backs over mis-understanding on skill checks) it does certainly make the claims in various discussions about speeding up play more plausible.
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:30 PM
    So, yay, we have characters or players realizing "maybe vault doors are trapoed or alarmed" as telegraphing and challeges that check against PC stats as "challenges to players". If we keep this up, we will soon have no non-re-definable differences at all.
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:14 PM
    I believe to some that might be defined as gatekeeping important info behind character stats and seen as not the (insert non-judgemental jargon for as goid as my way) method. :-) But, yeah, me too.
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 07:57 PM
    What definition of telegraph is being asked about here? Is it "dead bugs or other detectable signs of "trap here"" telegrsph? Or is it "you know, if I were the other guy, this would be where I would put a trap" reasoning and deduction telegraph?
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 05:40 PM
    "If using completely un-telegraphed, totally random traps, there seem to be a few ways (as I mentioned elsewhere) that this can unfold in play:" Just curious why on the subject of telegraphed vs non-telegraphed traps the need was there to add in "totally random"? I dont recall anybody pushing for totally random traps - did the telegraph traps guys get that a lot before their switch? Was...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 01:29 PM
    I use for crafting and any other ask that takes more than a minute the same house rule. Take the std completion time and cost to make. Divide it by four. Require checks in a race to 3 (like death saves) with each check uding one of those quarters of time and goods. This means you can finish ahead of schedule and under budget, behond schedule and over budget or on time on budget. You can...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 11:35 AM
    So, you again tend to describe "what it does" a lot more that "what it was needed to do". But it seems like some of the multiple changes work against the goals of others? Huh? Did your group in play find at levels 17-20 too many cases where the differences in play between +6 proficiency with say +5 ability score was key? Where another +3 was needed? How did the feats the give you...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 12:31 AM
    "Thoughts?" You made changes. That's about it. Without knowing what the goals were other than "making changes" there is not much to think sbout. Rules serve a purpose, they aim towards a goal or they are pointless.
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    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 01:16 PM
    In the game I run, I made some setting changes and ruled. Healing potions are **not** standard equipment. They are magic items and its infrequent you will find them outside of one or two in specific cases or you craft your own (requires special ingredients.) On the other hand, "recovery elixirs " are fairly common and require more common ingredients. The difference is that recovery elixirs...
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    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 05:33 AM
    Agreed. In my games I established pre-game that all efforts taking more than a minute will be resolved in a trios check (race to three) like death saves. Even just that move to three minimum shifts the random luck odds significantly. Add in the DMG rules on auto-success and you get far more obvious demonstrations of the value of aptitude.
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    Saturday, 4th May, 2019, 05:26 AM
    Instead, I represent it as a measure of how favorable the circumstances for that effort were - both in results and the perspective of the charsater. So, nah, it's not welded shut, but part of the floor or ground gave wsy unexpectedly, or was slicker than expected, or any number things that seem very appropriate to the scene. Next guy, avoids those, maybe shoes up footing etc. ...
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    Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 02:48 PM
    If you want it to be class neutral, i would consider for this item adding a seventh attribute - akin to sanity - that only comes unto play in such cases. Use of the item gradually degrades the sanity producing short term or long term problems and eventually the new "better" you emerges dominant. Past editions and other games use this kind of wear down - cyberpunk and cthulu right off the bat....
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 09:06 PM
    Hey, hey, hey... not wait one minute. Speaking as the old fart uncle who might well drink st our Turkey Slaughterday Feasting... Yeah, pretty much agree. No pass the damn corn pudding and another beer.
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 06:43 PM
    Well, there is the basic principle - if they still do this - they like it. Your or my thoughts of more fun might not suit thrm. But for your item, it needs imo to be more than an item they need for the final door. That is insular - circular - a thing in this dungeon related to this dungeon. That still leaves the thoughts at "the dungeon" and really separate from the character. It's another...
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 06:25 PM
    Personally, what I want out of swarms us high durability except against area attacks with high probability of doing light damage. To me they fill the role of "mobile hazard" more than adversary.
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 06:06 PM
    So, if I get this right, in addition to bringing in what is an rpg and what kinds of conflicts count you want to count/exclude you also now want to kind of get into to what constitutes a style of play vs say whatever your would choose to call a choice by a group to not rely on rules to limit ourselves regardless of your sense of that making it not being an RPG ... I hope that gets you what...
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 03:39 PM
    Again, the lack to me is the absence of z concrete reason they want to interact. If you are relying on "why not pick it up?" you are hanging your results on their paranoia. If you put forth a playstyle where the things you hope they interact have clear meaning to the characters, you are less hooked. This is especially true if they if they see potential risks in "inaction." If later on they...
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 03:24 PM
    On the value of minor obstacles - absolutely. Maybe even more so. It's part of why I often use the term "challenge that matters" to deal with serious "this takes work mechanically speaking to resolve issues- where charsacterctests matter. A lot of lesser obstacles that don't require that much can be highly valuable but just dont require specific character elements. Did you stop and help the...
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 03:04 PM
    You can assume whatever you like about other games, but for me, I have seem plenty of conflicts in games without authorship by players. To me, honestly, my experience says the fsctors that lead to conflicts and campaigns bring abandoned over them are in the vast majority not actually related to the rules of the game system, it the personalities and social dynamics. Fragility on the basis...
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 01:45 PM
    I would myself push back on a definition of smooth play for RPGs as following the intended playstyle or rules. There are more than a few RPGs where the rules/playstyle either clash or where the "correct play" is anything but smooth. At best, smooth to me means that the play flows easily from one beat to the next. Smooth would be quick series of choices and actions resolving quickly as we go...
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 11:04 AM
    "you have to assume that the first thing I'm going to try is reductio ad absurdum. " No, you dont. I can assume that if we all agree to play a game where the players have a lot of freedom or even total freedom to create the fictions around their character scenes that we are not then trying to game that angle. It's not at all different from saying "hey, let's play a supers game and start...
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    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 12:17 AM
    If the mechanics dont prevent it, I shift all my games to OAR Players Alwats Roll. So, whether its enemies making saves or orc shooting at your PC, you make the roll and add your side agsinst the static DC of the enrmy. What you describe, except for the 20 roll, is kinda similar. If a climb is tougher than the NPC climb check default allows, that's an opportunity for player character to...
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    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 10:28 PM
    Well, see, here we go to the jump to exaggerated... I have seen games, screentime comes to mind but that may be off, where the "check" or roll is to determine the fpoutvome and control. So, making a "check" against your "soldier" rank gets you past the guard by you then describing "Joe, hey, how are you? Hows the boy?He join the guard yet?" Other games for instance the search check is not...
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    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 10:01 PM
    Doors, scouting, caution... A lot comes down to how rich the scenario is. I rarely have "monsters in rooms" and instead have places where monsters live or work. So, these six or seven caves/huts/structures have these guys around and in various activities but any choke points are already a part of the day-to-day. A party stopping at the door likely finds an enemy not rushing up, being happy to...
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    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 04:56 PM
    On the question about OtE to me, especially vs the 8 Int 5e case. I am intrigued by the latest OtE reboot myself. So, it's on my list of hopefulls. But let me maybe shed a bit of spotlight. First, I dont give most any weight in 5e to what an 8 int says about the character or how the player will play it. To me, my rough way of thinking (which draws on other games and lessons drawn from...
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:01 PM
    There are a lot of games built with those sort of things in mind. I remember Stargate having expendable gear points for gizmo on demand". Often they are tied in with gimmick points like hero points, plot points, momentum, inspiration and even sometimes to the point of scene editing. "Plot point - I bet the backdoor is blocked by old crates and stuff." We have played a lot of those, each...
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 06:47 PM
    "Anyway, on to examples. Yes, you cover a lot of the bases with the categories of "bribery" and "blackmail/threats": - Offer gold. Maybe a lot of gold. - Offer something else you know the NPC really wants (information, captives, magic items, perform a task, etc.) - Threaten to expose 'dirt' on the NPC - Threaten to kill the NPCs family members. (Does the DM ask for an Intimidation...
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 06:32 PM
    "Maybe one of the misunderstandings here is that that you (and others) are assuming there is ALWAYS an alternative plan with guaranteed success? Not at all. " Nah. Well some may but I and others have talked about it being the frequency, how often there are shown auto-success with no reference to skills of character. "By the way, you giving advantage, or a reduced DC, is logically no...
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 06:24 PM
    Since the real world issues surrounding the legal and political hot potato of freedom of speech, including life and death stakes - some playing out right now on the news , are so very polarizing, I wont have anything to do with that attempt to link this gaming playstyle to that set of IRL issues.
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 04:08 PM
    Well said. I agree with your focus. Part of me thinks there might be generational divides that can exacerbate this - as someone who has a gaming lifespan that started in the 90s or at 3.x etc might not have gone thru the "glory days" seeing the rise and fall of all sorts of different approaches. "Do you think that the PC is a separate entity, capable of solving problems with an independent...
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 03:42 PM
    "If a player dump stats an attribute and in your opinion doesn't suffer enough of a penalty for it, then it suggests that attribute doesn't actually have enough impact on play and possibly should be removed from the game entirely. If it really was the case that there was no mechanical penalty for low INT, why do characters and the rules system have INT at all? That sounds like a problem with the...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 05:11 AM
    I cannot even see the connection. The character can lift 10lbs is a reference to the characters strength. The characters Con is such and such so they can do the longer task is a use of the character sheet. The choice between a quick but risky cart move vs a slow but manageable ingot by ingot haul is a choice between two different uses of the character stats, neither necessarily unforeseen. ...
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    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 04:26 AM
    "As an add, when people respond to the goal and approach by claiming that you can pass off a low CHA-no-social-skill character because you, as a player, can talk well, you've completely missed the point. I'm not judging how you acted out your goal and approach, I'm judging your goal and approach. " Just pointing out that wasn't bring said here. The " not talking about flowery language" and "...
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    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 02:40 PM
    Like walking across the floor or lacing boots, sure. There are tons of no-character-traits-needed actions in my games. There are even ones you can do for benefit - anybody can "share my rations with the hungry" or "go buy blankets for the refugees" and those might well pay off down the road. That is different from the "challenges that matter" which are not (in my game) so simple that "your...
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    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 02:31 PM
    The crowbar description says you get advsntage on strength checks ehere its leverage can be applied. I should have been more clear on the others. My assumption was that the basic situation was one where a statement of. "I sneak past the guards using hide" was possible (obscurement, cover, crowds etc ) and where these were added efforts to help the attempt, not that these were the enabling...
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    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 11:29 AM
    But, to be clear, because I am dense sometimes, if I tell you I am using z crowbar gor prying s gor, you give advantage of not? If I tell you my character is trying to sneak past guards snd the plan is an ally starts a ruckus nearby to draw thrir attention away from the point I am sneaking thru, then I move... advantage or not? Or in the same case, I use somantic only conttol flames to...
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    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 07:04 AM
    If I were overly concerned about pets and balance from scratch, it would go more of the familiar route. Take some features of Find Familiar, Spiritual Weapon snd Smites to combine into a conjurable ally that your class features allow to be more effective in combat at the cost of your spell slots. That allows the up-ticks as you level to be metered by your gains in numbers of and levels of...
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    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 06:13 AM
    Elfcrusher said "Maybe that also happens, but some have argued pretty explicitly that they think the adjudication of anything important should fall to the dice using ability/skill mechanics, and that no cleverness on the part of the player should alter the probabilities. That, for example, "I disarm the trap" with no description should have exactly the same odds of disarming the trap as...
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    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 03:18 AM
    "If a problematic behavior is outlined, and you don't fit the description... then maybe there's no issue, and you can stop arguing over it." Yeah, after this latest swerve, it really seems we are all in favor of having challenges where the player makes choices *and* those combined with the references to the character stats and traits lead to the resolution, but that those where the player...
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    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 09:53 PM
    So, if you go back to even page one, you see descriptions of what challenge the charscter and challenge the layer divisions are - stated by some on iirc both sides. If the challenge the player "side" is now wanting their position to be that it's about having both charscters stats and player choices relevant to resolution of encounters, not having player-only puzzles sndvriddles where literally...
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    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 06:56 PM
    But in the first example, the character's stats determines how much shielding there is. So the choices that led to those stats and the character stats themselves apply as do the choices made now. So it is a challenge that the character matters to. perhaps this is party of the problem - the definitions of "challenge the character" does not include "no player choices". Take "i cast wall of...
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    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 06:15 PM
    To me those are both testing the charsacter examples. One is z resource allocation that directly accesses the PC traits. The other is a check based one with more success-fail than resource spend but it still directly utilizes the charscter stats. In short, no matter which of those you choose "who the charascter is" will matter to the outcome. If you put in the ships tactical officer or the...
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    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 03:36 PM
    I do not step that far. So, I dont see the connection. When it comes to the insight vs lies etc, I tell the player what their character picks up. There is a big difference between "the signs you can see point to him being truthful" (or the more common language " he seems to be telling the truth") and "you believe them" So, in my games part of.the "on the same page" we get to early is...
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    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 03:19 PM
    Ok. Not sure u get your "it's more like" cuz whatever you mean by "a b2 campaign" is lost on me. It could be several things. But that's fine. Maybe you meant the 39 year old module, maybe not. But, for me, I dont see a difference in "you are playing a lock expert character but you the player's knowledge of locks in the campaign is key to this challenge not the character's" and "you are...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 02:42 AM
    The reason I counted the sphinx as #3 was a perception (maybe wrong) that they had options to just bypass it and fight with debuff or some such, so they could default punt back to solving it with charscters. I would not see it as default involving the charscter both ways **if ** it relied on the player knowing the raven queen story. If they can do a religion check and have their character's...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 12:53 AM
    The raven queen examplexseems to show one of my #3 either a player-only or a character challenge can overcome it. **if** there was some check or trait that could have in-character led that paladin to the answer it's even more so because the answer option is character as well as player. In that, it foesnt rrl on the **player** knowing the Raven Queen story - their character does. The second is...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 12:31 AM
    "Here's a question: what's coddling players more, telegraphing the nature of the consequence of a failure, or not even having failures trigger meaningful consequences? Talk about irony!" If a check is being made, it's being made to reflect an action - an attempt to do something. Even if its only "you didn't get it" that is a consequence. How meaningful the consequence is or will be is a matter...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 02:23 PM
    I frequently comment that IMO many or most GMs should run a few diceless games. My experience is it helps them get perspective, experiences and techniques that carry over into diced games and may make them better. That has some applicability here. I am sure it's very efficient to have before every check a formal statement of success/fail/stakes and/or negotiation to set those. I am sure it...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 02:01 PM
    Not disagreeing with you but... the third possibility is that the consequence is not obvious **but** there are ways the PCs can try and determine it or mitigate it. Some of these efforts may have their own consequences in time, resources, risks of their own (noise, tracks, etc) Net result is not just two cases but a spectrum, none of which require a GM to Player declaration be explicit,...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 01:43 PM
    I have used them less than thst. L much prefer the blue delving to be in-game mysteries and the like. The last riddle session I was in was three weeks ago. One of them hinged on the english spelling and pronunciation of a word, so it did not even cover the scope of our own real world, much less have a "in character in a fantasy world tie." So its answer definitely required leaving character. ...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 01:25 PM
    Since the character would see a cat, see a beam and reasonably obvious to them that falling off would have a chance to fall into said , it seems like this is challenging the assertion with an example that fits the category of "what character would know." Seems odd. This is a far very much different thing from blanket statements like "all traps are telegraphed" and the like. I too am in...
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  • 5ekyu's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 04:52 AM
    And alignment is another case of "what would gygax do" that we ignore too.
    576 replies | 20280 view(s)
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Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 07:28 PM - Oofta mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Elfcrusher, I'm with 5ekyu on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks. I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to be a strawman.

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 05:33 PM - Celebrim mentioned 5ekyu in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    5ekyu: The thing I like most about your post in which you describe your 4 different categories of challenge is that we almost entirely agree on the definitions and meanings of the terms, but having done so, you express an entirely different set of preferences and processes of play which you also present a reasonable case for. I don't agree with your preferences, and I have different ones and different processes of play, but I can't actually prove that you are right or wrong. Yet, we also agree that "challenge the player" and "challenge the character" are reasonable labels and define very different things. You probably won't be surprised to discover that just as you are trying to eliminate all category #1 challenges for your game, I'm trying to eliminate all category #2 challenges from mine.
  • 01:26 PM - Oofta mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... going to be needed to discover and disable the trap. You can of course always take an alternate route. I don't view proficiency with a skill or tool all that much differently than proficiency with a weapon. Yes, a +1 sword will add 5% to your chance to hit and a climber's kit will stop you from falling more than 25 feet once you're anchored. But you still need to roll a d20 in all but a few edge cases to hit with the sword and you still need to roll a d20 to climb a wall unless it's a foregone conclusion that you can climb the wall safely. In any case, this was in response to a posting about how climbing a wall requires describing how you're climbing the wall and getting out a climber's kit, and so on and so forth. The vast majority of time I don't care. It's just a wall, make an athletics check to climb unless you have all the time in the world or you can't fall far enough to hurt yourself. If the latter case, you just climb the wall as part of the narration. [EDIT] I think 5ekyu probably put it better. If a PC's ability and proficiency score do not matter it's a player challenge. If it's something that gets resolved using a PC's stats, it's a PC challenge. In addition I use blended challenges sometimes, especially when it comes to puzzles; if the players are struggling I'll give them hints based on PC's capabilities.
  • 06:42 AM - Hussar mentioned 5ekyu in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    CleverNickName and 5ekyu and Mort get it. As was said, meaning is rarely in a vacuum. Challenge the character is simply shorthand for setting a challenge in the game that is addressed to the fictional abilities of the character and not directly addressed to the player. Combat is a perfect example really. Very few of us know how to use a halberd. None of us can cast a fireball. But, our characters can. How they do it? Dunno. Don't particularly care either. But, I do know that they can. So, when combat ensues, I'm not expected to tell the group how I hold my halberd or how I wave my hands and make a fireball shoot out. Sure, the decision to use a halberd or a fireball is a player decision, but, the solution to the problem of the orc standing between you and the pie is found with the character, not within your ability to figure out how to stab that orc. Once upon a time, adventures were designed to be very, very player facing. Tome of Horrors is probably the best example of this, but, there ...

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 10:48 PM - Hussar mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'm not going to get terribly concerned about how you want to describe the guy who fails 50% of the time or more. That's not really the point. The point is, the untrained guy, as 5ekyu points out, fails social checks that carry any sort of real penalty at least half the time. Again, not a very persuasive person. And, since, by the rules, if the NPC is actively hostile, the untrained, low Cha character (Cha 8) has zero chance of success, I'd say that he's not very persuasive. But, the point being, I'd rather you make the check first and then narrate. Solves all the inconsistency issues and falls in line with every other d20 roll you ever make. You don't narrate before an attack, you don't narrate before initiative, you don't narrate before a saving throw. You can't narrate before most other checks as well - physical checks is what I'm thinking here. You can't narrate a climb before you make your check. So, I simply follow the same method for all checks - make the check first and then deal with the fallout.

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 11:15 PM - Hussar mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    So even though I keep repeatedly saying that the performance doesn't matter, and that it's the content of the idea (the "approach") that counts, not how well it was delivered, you simply don't believe me? FWIW, you can't challenge the character. The character doesn't exist. You can only challenge the player. Part of resolving the challenge can use the numbers on the character sheet, but that still does not challenge the character. Now, the player can do their best to pretend to be the character when addressing the challenge, and that's great, but I don't want to get into a game of arbitrating what is good and bad, or valid and invalid, roleplaying. 5ekyu answered this quite well but, I thought I'd repeat. The approach matters. The approach is defined by the player. The player can define an approach regardless of what the character he or she is playing. Thus, we are challenging the player. I am not interested in that. Perhaps a better way for me to phrase it is that everything the player does must be shaped by the character and the results of the die roll. So, no your approach doesn't really matter to me. The results matter. Because, as you say, you don't want to arbitrate good or bad. Therefore, I don't. Remove approach and now there is nothing to arbitrate.
  • 02:01 PM - Oofta mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...more blunt ally. But the DC is a 20 regardless. Whatís more, it doesnít matter how good of an explanation either Player gives. No matter how many eloquent words the player of the blunt character uses, the DC is still 20 for this particular approach to this particular goal. And no matter how much of a mumble-mouth our player of the Cha 20 character is, theyíll still have a +8 to the roll. Pretty neat, eh? The scenario challenges the players. The difficulty of the task challenges the characters. Couple of things. One is that I run campaigns with a lot of RP, a lot of back-and-forth. So trying to persuade or convince people happens on a pretty regular basis. I don't want to stop someone from contributing because they run a low charisma character, but if I rely on a straight roll in a lot of times that is the result. This is something I've experienced from both sides of the DM's screen. I'm just not sure there's a good answer. Or at least not for me. Second (and I think 5ekyu brought this up) what a person says does matter. If they make a cogent argument, bring up salient points I'll give them advantage or lower the DC. I may also give the player some insight, history or straight intelligence checks to remember things that might be important. I also don't usually have a predetermined DC in mind. I run a sandbox campaign most of the time, I know who's who and what's going on but the PCs largely drive the story. I may have never foreseen that they'd try diplomacy with the rat king, but they're free to do so. So I'm making up the DC on the fly and I'm simply acknowledging that what the player says will probably affect the DC.
  • 07:29 AM - pemerton mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...y the Troll King, then they can expect to have to make some suboptimal moves. A bit like when a fight goes bad and the wizard has to start declaring melee attacks. At some point in this rambling conversation it was brought up that players who would worry about failing a roll and making a situation worse would simply choose not to roll. They would remain neutral as a counter to the consequences of failure. So, it was proposed, that there should not only be consequences for failure, but consequences for doing nothing. So, exactly what I said. Consequence for failing and consequence for doing nothing.That was me, not Charlaquin. As per a post I made not too long ago days-wise but maybe 100+ posts upthread, there are different approaches possible and this thread is bringing out some of those differences. Just to mention some of the posters I've interacted with: The approach I'm describing (which I use in 4e and which I think could be ported to 5e) has some similiarities to 5ekyu's, but is not identical (as can be seen in the discussion of the Audience With the Troll King scenario). Ovinomancer also does some things similar to me - eg in some recent posts mentions the idea of keeping up the pressure on the players via their PCs - but not identically I don't think. I also have some similiarites to Elfcrusher and Charlaquin - eg regarding the fictional specification of the declared action as very important - but some differences - eg I call for more checks than they do (see my quote upthread from Luke Crane for the reasons why). I have had far too many players who are so scared of failing and making things worse for the party that instead they opt to do nothing. So, when I see people saying that by adding more consequences for failing a roll than simply defaulting to the status quo, and that makes their players more eager to act, that goes against everything I have seen with new players. The more consequences there are, the more likely they are t...

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 06:42 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I listen at the door is at the minimum threshold, i think. If I'm being sober about it, I think "I listen at the door" is fine, too, if minimal. The problem with that example is that it's probably where the two different styles meet, so it's not really a great illustration of the difference. And, yes, I'd say there's a lot more engineering in @Elfcrusher's game than mine, His example of how much thinking goes into his games is a very far cry from the "oh, crap, I supposed to run in 15 minutes" I usually do. For the record, although I'd like for my game to be as "engineered", and to unfold as nicely, as the example I narrated earlier, it's definitely the exception. I find myself winging it much more than I want to, and too often think afterward "Oh, what I should have done was...." I'm not a great improv DM. I'll add that I'm still licking my wounds over the accusation (e.g. @5ekyu) that it was over-engineered, that I wasn't allowing for the possibility that the story might unfold a different way. On the one hand, I really wanted (needed?) them to eventually/somehow find and open the secret door, and I had a couple of likely pathways mapped out. But yes...of course...if they did something completely unexpected (like siding with the Lady's attackers) I would have adapted.

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 02:51 AM - pemerton mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...a few times in this particular dungeon. Now, what happens if they do not roll perception? They get ambushed. So... what happens if they do roll perception? They get ambushed. And, to my mind, there is clearly uncertain circumstance if they press their ears to the door to see if they can hear enemies waiting on the other side. This clearly needs a roll. But the way you are describing this to me, in trying to be cautious and come up with a plan, they are inviting the possibility of worse things happening than just getting ambushed. Failing has to be worse than not trying. And knowledge skills... yeah, I've heard of the idea of telling the players lies when they roll low. The problem? I let my players roll their own dice. So, they know they rolled low, and they know it is likely what they have learned is a lie.I can only speak for my own approach - and to reiterate my earlier disclosure, I'm not playing 5e (although some people in this thread - especially 5ekyu, if I've understood properly - use a similar approach in 5e). I use a broadly similar approach in 4e, Cortex+ Heroic, and Burning Wheel. (Prince Valiant doesn't really involve knowledge/perception checks, so this issue hasn't come up; and Classic Traveller is a bit different too as I posted not far upthread.) Your examples seem to take it as a given that the fiction already contains an answer - that there is an ambush, or that the truth of the situation is such-and-such. But I'm using these checks to establish the fiction. An example, not too far upthread, is of the search for the mace. The check fails, and so the PCs discover something they didn't want to be true (namely, that the brother was an evil manufacturer of cursed black arrows). If the players declare that they are trying to ascertain whether or not an ambush is behind a door, then there will already be some context in play that makes ambushes a salient stake. A successful check might mean the PCs learn there is no o...

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019

  • 07:51 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned 5ekyu in post My "Insane" house Rule on healing
    5ekyu - That doesn't sound crazy. It actually reminds me a bit of healing surges in 4e. I kind of like the idea, to be honest. But I do have some questions. How do you handle things like the Life Cleric? Also, since a paladin no longer needs a "pool" of hit points for Lay on Hands, do you change this to a number of uses per rest? Also, how do you handle the curing of poison or disease with Lay on Hands?
  • 08:49 AM - Caliburn101 mentioned 5ekyu in post Incorporeal Creatures Carrying Objects
    @5ekyu I note that you sidestepped the entire point of my post and didn't answer any of the situational conflicts the RAW give rise to - concentrating on the only element of your argument that is on solid ground. Let me make one last appeal to you to answer on the many exceptions to the way in which the rule is supposed to work, but doesn't. The definition (insofar as it goes...) of the Trait is not the problem. The extremely limited scope of the Incorporeal Trait is. It cannot be utilised at the table as written in any of the circumstances I have described without houseruling. It cannot. Therefore a DM is forced to rule what incorporeal means at their table - making the issue of whether they can carry things and if they can under what restrictions and circumstances a necessary consideration for any DM. What incorporeal means at one table differs from another - there being a suite of different answers to the various interactions with solid objects such monster will make as the DM sees i...

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 07:13 PM - Oofta mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...mething like "they seem to be telling the truth" or maybe "they seem to be a bit nervous, but your not sure why". So I never tell anyone with 100% certainty that someone is lying or telling the truth with an insight check. It's just a skill, not magic. Even if an NPC is using deception, the insight check won't be a guarantee more of a feeling that they're hiding something or their unconsciously glancing at someone or something nervously. I always allow people to ask if they can do any skill check. I'll only tell them they can't if it should be obvious from the perspective of the PC that it's not possible. Superman may be able to leap buildings with a single bound, PCs by and large cannot. But otherwise they're always allowed to try even if it will fail because it reflects the effort. I don't care if I know the skill check won't alter the outcome. In the case of the OP it's not obvious from the perspective of the PC that the skill check will always have the same result. 5ekyu, I pre-map almost nothing. I'm quite lazy and rarely even pre-draw maps lower than region or maybe a city down to the neighborhood level. I gave up on trying to figure out what my players were going to do ahead of time a long time ago. So I focus on organizations, conflicts, alliances, general environment and ecology. But I do set things in place that I think make sense. If the NPC should have traps, they probably will. Related to that, I almost never use complex traps unless they're powered by magic or maintained by undead/automatons because I find them silly. While I frequently have multiple ways around obstacles or allow the players to come up with something I didn't think of, describing how you're doing what I deem a skill check is not one of them. Coming up with a different way to do the skill check (arcana to freeze the trap with Ray of Frost for example) is fine. Some people indicate that they will allow a good description to bypass just about any obstacle and feel like...

Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 02:56 PM - Oofta mentioned 5ekyu in post How do YOU handle a Fastball Special, and other team manuevers?
    If it ever came up, which it hasn't, I would probably do similar to 5ekyu or give both PCs a check. The check could be athletics or acrobatics for the PC being thrown. For example if the fighter is throwing the halfling rogue, the fighter is providing the oomph while the halfling is providing the finesse. I wouldn't add a ton of distance either way, just use the highest distance possible jump ignoring special class features or magic and give advantage to the person being thrown to their skill check. All the other action economy restrictions would still apply.

Thursday, 4th April, 2019


Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019

  • 02:13 AM - Hawk Diesel mentioned 5ekyu in post True Strike: Yes, lets beat the dead horse
    5ekyu - Not trying to start an argument or come off disrespectfully. But I honestly don't see the thing that you are seeing. It would be helpful if you provide some concrete examples. Most of the cases you describe give plenty of options for using your bonus action. So requiring you to have access to cantrip *and* give up bonus action on the turn of use is an opportunity cost. So to my knowledge, most fighters only have access to Second Wind as a normal bonus action, which is only once per rest. Two-Weapon fighters will use their bonus action for an additional attack, but once you get access to Extra Attack it seems it would be more beneficial to use a bonus action for your version of True Strike. The same applies to the bonus action attack from Great Weapon Master or Polearm Master. Especially since your primary weapon is likely to deal more damage on a hit than your secondary weapon. Those with the Shield Master feat would lose out on using shove as a bonus action, but I most often ...

Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019

  • 09:34 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned 5ekyu in post True Strike: Yes, lets beat the dead horse
    5ekyu Your version runs into the same issue though. Rogues with access to this cantrip would always get their sneak attack. Fighters (not even just Eldritch Knights) would effectively get an unlimited lesser version of Action Surge, or put another way, a better version of Barbarian's Reckless Attack since it has no penalty tied to it. Not only that, but by limiting the attack to a weapon attack, you make it an even more useless cantrip to actual spellcasters that might consider such a cantrip. As to your point about smites and sneak attacks, at least in my version such characters give up a round of not being able to sneak attack or smite. They may be more likely to use sneak attack or smite the next round, but most times the damage boost from True Strike is less than 2 rounds of smite/sneak attack damage. The point of my version is meant to be risk/reward. You give up an action, so your next attack can be more reliable with a slight damage boost. The only edge case I see becoming probl...
  • 01:05 PM - Oofta mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    That is an important question for GMs to ask, to avoid the following situation. Player: I search the door for traps. GM: As you touch it, contact poison seeps into your skin, makeó Player: Hang on, I never said I touched the door! That's not fair! I think 5ekyu responded with better details, but the simple answer is "don't be a dick DM". If you are, I'll walk. After all I could also have Player: "I look closely at the trap, leaning in to examine it. I'm being careful not to touch it while rubbing my arm stub where we had to cut off my hand to stop the poison from last door." DM: "Ha! A needle springs forth and stabs you in the eye! Not only do you take 20 points of damage from the poison but you're permanently blinded in that eye!" Player: "Gah! Not my good eye!" I can play "gotcha" with whatever style of play you want. ;)
  • 12:23 PM - Sadras mentioned 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    5ekyu raises some good points in his post - as well as that comparison to combat. Having said that, there are quite a few players that still enjoy an old tomb of horrors-like styled method of roleplaying where the players' words matter greatly. Some of us (presumably many) prefer the grey area in between. And some of us can expertly run separate styled games all of which would be discussed at session 0. I'm easy enough (starved) to enjoy both styles.

Wednesday, 27th March, 2019

  • 08:09 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned 5ekyu in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    ...t know. And sometimes rolling a skill is appropriate even when success is guaranteed because: a) my player has invested heavily in a skill and 'wants' to roll a dice and show off how cool his character is at doing skill (x). Who am I do deny a player a chance to throw a die if it brings them joy? Players tend to approach problems using the tools they are best at and, often, like to show those things off. b) Sometimes I use degrees of success which doesn't usually affect anything other than narrative. So it lets a player or GM narrate a cooler description or outcome if they succeed with style. Usually 'b' comes as a result of 'a'. I'm happy to narrate a cool success without the use of dice too. twofalls The skill list in 5e is good. Expand the use of Investigation a bit and make Perception less of a catch-all Use Medicine more If you were looking for a way to incorporate point-buy skills in 5e, then I'd probably have suggestions but it doesn't look that way. 5ekyu had lots of good suggestions. - As suggested, Definitely separate stats from skills. Use the skill/stat combinations that best suit the situation/action. - I've done away with 'tools as skill proficiency' and just made each tool a 'profession' skill. A lack of tools either makes it impossible to do that skill or gives you disadvantage. It hasn't changed much - it's really mostly a change in semantics (using Burglary instead of 'Thieve's Tools', for instance) but I like the change.


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Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 08:34 PM - Nagol quoted 5ekyu in post If there's one game where stat differences are justified, what game would that be?
    To me, this seems a bit of an issue thats a disconnect. There is nothing in conflict with ssying as GM " in this world, ABC tend to be weaker than def" yet then letting PCs choose their ability scores without putting a penalty on one. The PCs are a blip, anomalies by definition and are exceptions to the rules. So pushing them to follow the norms... well...ok so maybe one PC in a hundred is a hero then and the rest are peasants? I mean really, of your four heroes one is an wicked prince, another a master spy, a third an enraged fiend of vengeance and the last is a former priest now trying to hunt down a demon they accidentally loosed.. but you as gm are gonna get ticked if the women PCs hafe too much muscle to be considered "within the norm"? Ok then... Your premise depends strongly on how special the PCs are. Most campaigns of D&D I run, the PCs start off just like their neighbours. Heroism comes from choosing to act not nature and all that rot.

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 04:26 AM - dnd4vr quoted 5ekyu in post Using Spell Point Variant Rule?
    Not Tony but if this is meant to prevent or discourage nova i think its hard fail. Its so small a diff between casting 5th and 1st that u are much better off casting fewer bigger spells for their greater impact. The risk from lower level casting combines with their lower output to make it not worth the risk. This seems nova-better rule. No, this was not any sort of attempt about novaing. I don't care about novaing. No matter what system you use, someone can always nova--whether it is to a lesser or greater degree maybe--but they can always do it. That was one of the things in the back of my mind, yes. Magic is often presented as 'dangerous' or 'exhausting' or otherwise something you wouldn't want to do systematically just because you can - alternately, magic is often presented as something that /can't/ be used any time you want (only at certain times under certain conditions, with the aid/approval of some entity, etc). Vancian, in an abstract/meta-game/dissociated way, do...

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 04:06 PM - pemerton quoted 5ekyu in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I think the idea here would be that the GM can insist that they don't smell anything (because there's nothing to smell), but they're free to insist that they do - so they're either hallucinating, deluded, or just teasing the guy. And, really, probably not hallucinating, but deluded, yeah, if the distinction is that hallucinations are /caused/ by something (like the ergot in the rye bread that came with your standard rations - should've sprung for the iron), while delusions are self-imposed.Right. Which is not consistent with the suggestion that the player has total authority over what the character thinks and feels. If the GM likes the idea, he runs with it. If he doesn't think his Chamberlain should smell bad (but I do hope he has a good reason, because really if the players want him to smell bad that's a great contribution) then the PCs are the only people who think he smells bad. The players are free to have their characters act like he smells bad. The players are free to have...
  • 03:20 PM - Hriston quoted 5ekyu in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Nitpick - "to the priests" did not accompany "hazardous" in the write-up in the PHB. So, for instance, if the priests' spells and efforts are tied up combating a local outbreak, they might consider casting cure spells on your scratches a lower priority than saving other people's lives - the hazard being yo those thry are helping. Forgive me, but this interpretation seems like a lawyerly effort to screw over the players. I think it's pretty clear that hazardous assistance refers to assistance that would be hazardous to the priests themselves, not hazardous to anyone in general. But, to be clear, given your long list of assumptions, I would boil it down to "unless there is a compelling reason not to... " What's wrong with sticking to only the conditions of the spell or feature, and not imposing additional restrictions that the DM deems "compelling" in his/her judgement? A referencexwas made above yo sort of "without a good reason" and to me most of my playstyle revolves around "...
  • 03:11 AM - JacktheRabbit quoted 5ekyu in post The Pilosus, a player race with 6 Genders for your 5th edition Sci Fi setting
    About the newcomers - they had three sexes. There was a third who got involved in the "mechanics" when a couple wanted to reproduce. Their inclusion change it from a form of recreation to procreation and they were honored. I adapted this (and borrowed from other scifi) with my own runs at tri-genders by having the third gender be the one who carried the child. Again, their inclusion move the activity from recreation to procreation and so they became part of the family. In my culture, the third gender tended to remain as caregiver until the child hit puberty. Then , sometime, they may move on if they have not spawned other kiddies in that family. But there are a lot of ways i have seen tri-genders work. Also, Enemy Mine used a solo gender alien. So, really, to me, this concept for alien or fantasy species well pre-dates whatever modern cultural slants folks may want to paint it as. Especially with examples of gender swapping occuring in real world animals. The Newcomers w...

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 03:22 PM - jayoungr quoted 5ekyu in post The economics of Continual flame
    I could see the reverse - ruby miners promoting Continual Light as status symbol - to create market for their scraps. It would be interesting to have the availability dependent on how close to a ruby mine you are. If there's only one place in the world where you can mine rubies, then maybe continual flames get less common the farther from that part of the world you are. Whereas in the country where the mine is located, virtually every household has one.
  • 02:24 PM - Dausuul quoted 5ekyu in post How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game?
    So, here is the rub... in order to craft armor with fabricate you have to know how to craft armor. So, who taught the wizard these crafts that then apparently in some campaigns lead to unemployment? "You also canít use it to create items that ordinarily require a high degree of craftsmanship, such as jewelry, weapons, glass, or armor, unless you have proficiency with the type of artisanís tools used to craft such objects." I'd assume that in a world where this is a thing, you learn the craft from another armorer-wizard. As someone else pointed out, you need people to handle mundane details like marketing, supplies, and so forth. So you take on an apprentice, teach them wizardry and armorsmithing, and in return the apprentice takes care of all that boring crap that you the wizard don't want to bother with. By the time the apprentice reaches 7th level, you're probably ready to retire. While the OP skims over some of the nasty details, the armorer-wizard really is a legit business model...

Monday, 13th May, 2019

  • 05:47 PM - Hriston quoted 5ekyu in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I actually dont have much of a problem with this viewpoint except to,point out that *like fireball* but *unlike magic missle* both these features require an external factor not under your control in character and in plsyer - the material components which for the priests means a temple and priests. Unless you are camping at the temple, the one "a town away" youmight find sacked, abandoned or under someone oe something else's control. This is not unlike losing access to materials. There are other considerations but the background features like this establish s baseline, expectation not an absolute. For instance, there is nothing IIRC saying *immediate* or *unlimited* assistance and healing. Right, but assuming you have the material components in your possession and faithfully perform the other components of the spell, and assuming you have ties to a temple that you are close to and have good standing with, and that the assistance you request is not hazardous to the priests, shouldn...
  • 08:57 AM - S'mon quoted 5ekyu in post How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game?
    Sending with good travel and setups with a number taverns and you get telegraphs going, especially thru say major organizations like temples. Having Sending as a level 3 spell widely available - all Clerics get it on their spell list - is definitely the thing that has the most setting impact IME. Seen this in my 5e Wilderlands campaign. When armies are at war the level 5 Clerics (or just the MM Priests!) become incredibly important for coordination and communication. Assassins bump off those guys as a high priority, much more than the enemy generals. :D Apart from Sending, the other spell with big setting impact is Raise Dead. If level 9 Clerics are rare, that just means the wealthy dead will be brought a long way to get them Raised, under Gentle Repose if necessary. In 4e D&D I recall the ease of using Linked Portal for long distance travel - explicitly a setting element, too - meant that logically all high value or long distance cargo would use Portals, not roads or ships.
  • 01:03 AM - Blue quoted 5ekyu in post Using Spell Point Variant Rule?
    Rule system only solution to the 15m adventuring day? Replacement for the /rule part/ solution that he removed - cantrips which can be done at-will. There is also the DM and adventure parts of avaoidign 15 minute adventuring days. He removed a mechanical fix, so I was looking for a mechanical replacement for it. Not a hand wave to put more on the DM. **But** if for some reason I wanted to mechanically homogenize folks to a more "forced" adherence to an OTP house rule "one true pace" then I would consider this. Calling it "One True Pace" really sounds like "this is the only way to play". I'm not for any single pace, I am for not regularly doing the shortest 1-2 encounter pace because of the balance between classes. There is an undeniable mechanical balance factor between classes that are primary at-will, primary short-rest recharge, and primary long-rest recharge. I think you will agree that, for instance, a long rest after every encounter vs. a long rest only after ten encounters...

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 01:25 PM - dnd4vr quoted 5ekyu in post Changing Expertise, Adding Double Proficiency
    If I go with d20+11 vs d20+5 it looks like your definition of "with impunity" is a tad under 3 out of 4. That does assume doubled prof at +3 getting +6 and 20 in stat for the pally. Or was to there more magic and superheroic stats stuff involved? Or was this with the house rule? Cuz normally, 11 out of 12 is a bit on the unlikely side at the normal odds. Also, the MM has traits (was it sure footed or some other name) which does give creatures the advantage against shoves snd the like, so, if in your game you felt it was appropriate for the gorgon to have it, why didnt you give it to them? I don't recall why, but I do remember the character was getting advantage on his checks. I'd have to ask either the DM or the player why they got it, but it was there and what helped make the odds worse (or better, depending on how you look at it). As far as the sure-footed feature, the DM could have done that but seemed content not to. I certainly would have run things differently but I ju...

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 05:20 AM - dnd4vr quoted 5ekyu in post Changing Expertise, Adding Double Proficiency
    "Thoughts?" Since you need more info here you go: Increasing the proficiency bonus range to +9 maximum creates a greater gap between lower and higher level characters. Our table finds a change from +2 to +6 in RAW too little to really represent the improvements 20 levels of experience could bring. At any rate, the difference between RAW +6 and the higher +9 is typically nothing in the first tier, a +1 for most of the second tier, a +2 for much of the third tier, and +2 or +3 for the highest levels. I would like it to be greater, but beyond +9 and the increases it creates, there is too much imbalance with the other aspects of the game (monster stats, DCs, etc.). It would require way too much work to make those changes, and the +9 progression works well enough while maintaining the confines of Bounded Accuracy. Expertise, especially at higher levels, even with normal RAW proficiency bonuses, can strain Bounded Accuracy. Even at lower levels, using double the proficiency bonus can resu...

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 09:30 PM - lowkey13 quoted 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Hey, hey, hey... not wait one minute. Speaking as the old fart uncle who might well drink st our Turkey Slaughterday Feasting... Yeah, pretty much agree. No pass the damn corn pudding and another beer. Pro-tip- Just drink a few bottle of Wild Turkey. Then, when people ask why you're all belligerent, say, "'Cuz I had too much turkey!" and you won't be a liar, and they will be mollified, if somewhat confuddled.
  • 04:09 PM - Celebrim quoted 5ekyu in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    As for me takingbyime to "take note" of what you didn't say... why in the world would I try and note all the things you didnt say? Because you seem quite happy to invent things for me to say when it suits your purposes. You can assume whatever you like about other games, but for me, I have seem plenty of conflicts in games without authorship by players. Is that really all you got out of that? I even called out that the sort of conflicts that I was talking about were not merely the sort that comes from players acting immaturely or having poor social skills, and yet here we are. As for you wanting to keep focusing on your choices in the "RPG or not" test, that's fine and dandy. I hope it yields for you some useful or beneficial results. For me, worrying over whether or not someone else's style if play "counts as an RPG in my eyes" is a pursuit with no payoff at the end. Style of play? I'm not quibbling over styles of play. Objectively, there are things that are RPGs a...
  • 03:44 PM - jayoungr quoted 5ekyu in post Want to shake things up: Doorways, Scouting, Caution
    Again, the lack to me is the absence of z concrete reason they want to interact. If you are relying on "why not pick it up?" you are hanging your results on their paranoia. Well, in this particular adventure, they needed the item because it was one of four things they needed to unlock the door to the final chamber. But it's just one example of a pattern that's driving me a little crazy. Honestly, I think it's probably too late to train these players not to be ultra-cautious. What I need is tools to overcome that caution in specific situations. When the players are done with the adventure, do they typically have a lot of resources, especially hit points, remaining? Yes, they do. That's partly because they're a large group of high-level characters and I'm still trying to learn how to challenge them, though. (I've run a game up to level 20 before, but there were only four PCs in that game, and this one has six.)
  • 02:26 PM - Celebrim quoted 5ekyu in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    "you have to assume that the first thing I'm going to try is reductio ad absurdum. " No, you dont. I can assume that if we all agree to play a game where the players have a lot of freedom or even total freedom to create the fictions around their character scenes that we are not then trying to game that angle. You have subtly moved the argument. Now we are talking about how you play the game. And regarding that, my assumption was not that you immediately tried to find the most absurd declarations that you could make within the letter of the law. There may be players like that, and actually, I've probably ran games for a couple of them, but I wasn't making the assumption that because the game did not prevent absurd situations that you played it absurdly. What I do assume is that any game which allows absurd situations and has no barriers or remedies other than social agreements to prevent it is one that is quite fragile, requires a very particular group of players, and which is ...
  • 02:20 PM - Oofta quoted 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I would myself push back on a definition of smooth play for RPGs as following the intended playstyle or rules. There are more than a few RPGs where the rules/playstyle either clash or where the "correct play" is anything but smooth. At best, smooth to me means that the play flows easily from one beat to the next. Smooth would be quick series of choices and actions resolving quickly as we go through a conflict. If we need to stop multiple times to consult different charts etc, then it's not smooth, even if its the rules as presented. But really, its boiling down to we need an ENW language lexicon for clear terms we can use to avoid swerving by thesaurus. Maybe "flarfel" can be the ENW term for "general term for favorable or better in some contexts directly related to the intended purpose and context" as in "fresh fruit is "flarfel" than rotted fruit." I don't want to continue the argument of whether "smoother" means "better", because it's pointless. Smoother for whom? My ga...
  • 02:15 PM - lowkey13 quoted 5ekyu in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Maybe "flarfel" can be the ENW term for Mmm.... I love some good flarfel .... maybe in some pita bread .... a little tzatziki sauce ...
  • 04:18 AM - pemerton quoted 5ekyu in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    That's longer and rambling than I wanted but then I am trying to compress s btoad sense of results across a lot of games over a lot of years - with both different and some old players, so... its what it is.Thanks for the response.
  • 02:20 AM - Celebrim quoted 5ekyu in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Well, see, here we go to the jump to exaggerated... If someone purposes something to be true, and yet places no boundaries on, you have to assume that the first thing I'm going to try is reductio ad absurdum. The boundary I purpose is at minimum, "And the DM agrees." Yet this boundary was suggested to violate the separation between the player and GM's prerogative. Thus, reduction to the absurd is not a logical fallacy, because we have no rule to suggest when or how the player's authorial power is to be kept in check, and players - unlike the GM - have no reason to not employ the tools provided to them to solve problems because that's the players role in the game. Fundamentally, if you give the power to author things to the players with no limits or boundaries, you've put the GM hat on the player and they can then resolve everything by fiat. I have seen games, screentime comes to mind but that may be off, where the "check" or roll is to determine the fpoutvome and control. So, m...


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