View Profile: Annie Bulloch - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:26 AM
    Lorelei will pursue at normal speed and uses her action to cast Eldritch Blast at the swamp giant again, if she is within range (120ft). Otherwise if she can see that she is out of range, she'll Dash in order to get closer but she will still stay far enough so that the monster can't suddenly turn around and attack her in melee, using her best judgement to estimate the distances. Feel free to...
    62 replies | 1056 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:23 PM
    I just think that, more simply, most DMs prefer to make those decisions themselves instead of rolling.
    52 replies | 1268 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 01:16 PM
    It is very hard to say, because such changes will have huge repercussions to class balance as well as to combat dynamics. I would not worry too much about the variant combat rules threatening fidelity to D&D. The way I see it, combat action economy is not essential to D&D tradition, and in any case in your game you can do what you want. But the part about being forced to actively choose...
    5 replies | 262 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 09:01 AM
    Lorelei will stick with the party if they initiate a chase, but will be cautious about straying off too far from the workers we're supposed to protect and will make this remark clear to the others
    62 replies | 1056 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, 08:59 AM
    Sir Reginald 2018-07-18 07:58:01 1d20+4;1d6 1D20+4 = +4 = 7 1D6 = = 1 Charisma (Persuasion); Bardic Inspiration So total result is 8, if allowed to use Bardic Inspiration straight away, or 7 otherwise.
    243 replies | 4844 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 02:30 PM
    Sir Reginald takes a chair and sits down, then calmly takes out a small old pipe and takes a puff from it, except he forgets to light it up. "No need to get hot blooded here, we don't just pen people here, all we are interested in is setting things straight. We ask you questions, you give us answers. As for my word, I think my emblem speaks for me already, doesn't it?"
    243 replies | 4844 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 09:01 AM
    I think that being able to split attack is the primary defining feature of 2WF. Without it, it becomes almost a cosmetic difference, except in corner cases (e.g. two magic weapons with different effects). But that unique feature is lost as soon as you would get Extra Attacks, at which point you can have at least 2 different targets per round no matter the choice of weapon. Uhm... isn't...
    22 replies | 696 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, 06:10 AM
    Intelligence checks to recall important bits from the map?
    8 replies | 328 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:34 PM
    Thanks! I have never read Volo's Guide unfortunately.
    4 replies | 218 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 08:33 PM
    To be honest, they are a bit made up :P I wanted to have an XP increase because the monsters are a little better that their base version. I realized that the first level is worth more, but only if the monster gets a bump in HP, AC or attack damage, and since in my idea those depend on how the monster and the class match each other, I decided for cumulative XP increases that depend directly...
    4 replies | 218 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 16th July, 2018, 02:53 PM
    I have just uploaded Light Character Classes for Monsters to the downloads area. Just for fun, I mocked up some rules for "light" versions of PHB classes to be used as templates for monsters. You can find the file here in the downloads section. Please use this thread for comments.
    4 replies | 218 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 09:08 AM
    My personal opinion : An encounter with lots of small monsters can benefit from doing lots of attacks (action economy) BUT it makes a HUGE difference whether they concentrate their attacks on a single PC or spread them around. A single powerful monster usually always focus on a single target (unless you make it change each round). Tactically, it is always convenient to focus fire. But...
    227 replies | 4616 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 15th July, 2018, 08:41 AM
    (I haven't read others' comments) As long as you understand the 2 rules are VERY unrelated. Critical hits occur statistically once every 20 attacks. At mid levels it is not uncommon for monsters to have multiattack. An encounter against 5 monsters with 2 attacks per round or 3 monsters with 3 attacks per round, means about one critical every 2 rounds, thus at least one critical per...
    39 replies | 879 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:41 PM
    Why? Do you think it's broken to give Raise Thread to 1st-level posters? :)
    92 replies | 13791 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 11:55 AM
    Monk with Magic Initiate, high-Dex Cleric in light armor, Divine Soul Sorcerer with good physical stats also work.
    190 replies | 4872 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:26 AM
    It is a failure of description, both designers' fault and players' fault. If you start seeing the Fighter more like a budoka or dedicated student of the martial arts as a way of life (whatever style, nothing to do with the oriental), it can be on par with all other classes. Instead people insists on thinking of the Fighter as a mere collector of useful techniques, and then blame it because is...
    190 replies | 4872 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 10:08 AM
    Though I actually used it in the past for a couple of characters, I dislike multiclassing in all combinations. Each class is both a strong archetype and a flexible canvas for good players. I generally find that roleplay reasons for multiclassing are weak. IMXP the real reasons for most players are most commonly (1) believing they can get an advantage from combining the abilities of different...
    190 replies | 4872 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 09:51 AM
    Realizing that she has no chance at communicating with the monsters, and that everyone else is already attacking it, Lorelei casts Hex on the swamp giant (bonus action, range 90ft) followed by Eldritch Blast (action, range 120ft). two beams 1d10 force damage 1d6 necrotic damage push 10ft away Lorelei 2018-07-13 08:46:19 1d20+7; 1d10; 1d6 1D20+7 = +7 = 22 1D10 = = 2 1D6 = = 2
    62 replies | 1056 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 13th July, 2018, 06:20 AM
    That happens when the player sucks, not the character. I've seen players incapable of doing anything but roll. They may stay idle until then, but the build doesn't matter. The vast majority of players are not like that, they contribute all the time with their ideas, leaving the resolution of tasks to the specialized PC does not threaten the fun. The Fighter's player suggesting where a trap...
    252 replies | 24283 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 08:37 AM
    Uhm... do you really need to be still young for that? Because that is my reaction pretty much every time a new Sage Advice comes out :blush:
    70 replies | 6172 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 12th July, 2018, 07:45 AM
    My personal preference on how I'd handle those problems: 1) I wouldn't change the ability scores of the monster, since they have other repercussion. If you want more damage, I would just add more damage dice. This is a very simple and self-contained change that directly achieves the wanted outcome (more damage) without other consequences. In our games, what has been scary about monsters with...
    20 replies | 1212 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 10:11 PM
    Lorelei's Wisdom(Insight) check: Lorelei 2018-07-11 21:10:39 1d20+1 1D20+1 = +1 = 12 Wisdom(Insight)
    62 replies | 1056 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, 10:56 AM
    Compared with the ridiculously complicated jumping rules of 3rd edition, 5th edition went for maximum simplicity (thank God!) and we get more or less realistic values: a human can have maximum Str20 and this means being able to jump 8ft/2.4m high (a bit optimistic, that is basically the same as the world record for high jump, which requires to land prone on a soft surface, and in 5e you even have...
    147 replies | 3538 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 09:09 AM
    There may be no Castle/Fantasy sets line currently from Lego, but themes are periodical and usually come in waves every few years, so it's always possible to see something like that again next year. Lego does a lot of licensed sets based on popular movies, so it might actually depend on whether there are fantasy movies coming out. In the last few years unfortunately, superhero movies dominated...
    17 replies | 605 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 10th July, 2018, 08:12 AM
    Lorelei's inititative is then 9+3=12. (Note: the following may suffer disadvantage or even automatic failure in case someone with a higher initiative decides to attack the swamp giant) Lorelei tries to stay visible and appear non-threatening to the swamp giant, but keeps her distance from it, ideally 70-80ft if possible: she's trying for the moment to stay far enough as to have a chance to...
    62 replies | 1056 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 8th July, 2018, 11:27 AM
    Feels too artificial to me. It'd be more believable if it was a larger area centered on the Fighter. But then, I am not generally a fan of these concepts anyway.
    9 replies | 567 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 6th July, 2018, 11:21 PM
    Lorelei doesn't immediately recognises the nature of the sound signal, but seeing her companions' reaction, she instinctively casts Resistance on herself and quickly follows the others into the woods.
    62 replies | 1056 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 10:44 AM
    Do they still have problems with the binding after 4 years? :/
    86 replies | 6364 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 07:36 AM
    The fact that you are undecided just proves that both are good choices. You can't go wrong :) As you say, Faerie Fire works as a team spell while Hex gives more personal benefits. Check with your group if the other PCs have special abilities that require advantage on attacks in order to be activated, and if that's the case with many PCs then consider choosing Faerie Fire, but really both...
    17 replies | 644 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 07:30 AM
    Sure! I don't remember the exact details on the 5e version of the ethereal plane. As a matter of fact, I am not even sure how much of the way we used to handle the ethereal plane in previous editions was canon and how much was our own stuff... but in general, we've always ruled so that distances and directions on the ethereal plane are exactly the same as in the material plane. So you can...
    14 replies | 576 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 4th July, 2018, 07:09 AM
    As long as it's not 5.5...
    86 replies | 6364 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 08:48 PM
    Adding one or more special abilities is very easy. Figuring out the CR/XP adjustment less easy but also less important. It would have been nice however to have set suggestions in the MM, because those would enrich the world narrative, a sidebar that says e.g. 1 Vrock every 10 can cast Mirror Image. It adds something to the common baseline of all tables.
    47 replies | 2268 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 02:35 PM
    Sir Reginald tries to assume a somewhat understanding and paternalistic tone, while adding up to Leau's question: "Surely, none of us wants this conversation to be either too long or unpleasant... but are we to believe that really the target of your 'job' was just a random barmy?" In case it's needed, here's a couple of rolls for questioning and sensing the truthfulness of the answers: Sir...
    243 replies | 4844 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 02:20 PM
    IIRC, during 5e playtest the designers have mentioned many times about the idea of setting the monsters complexity baseline LOW in order to have 'basic' monsters (3.5 monsters were typically exhausting for the DM to run decently because they had way too many features and abilities), and then provide optional add-on abilities to have 'advanced' monsters. Unfortunately they didn't really develop...
    47 replies | 2268 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 2nd July, 2018, 09:02 AM
    Serial books need to keep selling. Kill off the main character, and you won't sell any continuation book, you'd have to find a new idea for another story. Tolkien obviously didn't need to do that because he didn't write book series, but for example Forgotten Realm novels won't likely kill off the most popular characters. Not every player is interested in personal agendas, but for those who...
    79 replies | 1968 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 11:23 AM
    I was going to suggest to just design yourself a better character sheet :) Well the official character sheet is just USELESS for tracking equipment. I use a whole page divided into a few sections, you can see my custom character sheets here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/rpgdownloads.php?do=download&downloadid=1415 But if you don't want to use pen & paper at all for this, "props" do sound like...
    5 replies | 217 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 11:13 AM
    I would allow it, because it's balanced mechanically and reasonable narratively. Mechanically, the player essentially decides not to benefit from a feature that she had all the right to use, so this is a voluntary choice to give up something in order to make the story better. Getting it back just makes the character as balanced as it was meant to be. It could be argued that a character in a...
    199 replies | 6776 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 1st July, 2018, 11:03 AM
    I am not running one, but if I did, I'd mainly do these: - keep track of food and water supplies as well as ammunition - use encumbrance rules and monitor equipment weight carefully - limit magic items to the minimum (at least no magic shops, for magic items in treasure it depends on the setting) - narrate travel and its effects more accurately, try to feature many environmental nuisances...
    51 replies | 1795 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Saturday, 30th June, 2018, 09:08 PM
    Sorry about my slowness and ignorance of Planescape... what is the typical Harmoniums' opinion on Dustmen and their business? Are they enemies?
    243 replies | 4844 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Sunday, 24th June, 2018, 10:37 PM
    Basically a theology treatise. You know what's the problem with such book? That 5 minutes after it's out, people are already complaining that God this should be that, and Goddess that should be this instead, that this thing should really be split and those should be merged and so on. Gamers do that kind of game with all books, but the more useless (detatched from play) the book, the more...
    119 replies | 3612 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 09:59 PM
    Lorelei is usually uninterested in food, and even less so in funny beverages. She takes as little as possible from the trays, more as a polite gesture than anything, and only raw or dried vegetables. She will then retire for the night, but will spend at least an hour trying to reconnect to her patron.
    62 replies | 1298 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st June, 2018, 09:48 PM
    I am not sure if I got it right... the half-elf IS Shadowknave, correct? It's not that there are 2 people tied up and wounded?
    243 replies | 4844 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 10:41 AM
    Lorelei's attention is captured by Erevan's bear transformation... despite not being her own path, she has always been fascinated by druids' ability to wildshape, and perhaps a bit jealous. "Always nice to meet a friend of the wild...", she removes the hood from her head with one hand and produces a barley spike from inside her cloak, and with a whisper of hers (Druidcraft) the spike quickly...
    62 replies | 1298 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 09:39 AM
    It's ok, but why not just pick one PHB armor from each category, and say that everything else is not available on the market?
    113 replies | 3639 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 09:35 AM
    This is what a good forum should be! :) A forum is not a "knowledge repository" where conclusions are reached and truths are established, but rather a place for discussions. If someone wants static knowledge, that could better be a wiki. Besides, one of the biggest pests in technical forums on the web is very much the habit of redirecting people to years-old answers, ignoring the fact that...
    25 replies | 794 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Annie Bulloch

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About Annie Bulloch
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I am a D&D player and DM who co-owns 8th Dimension Comics & Games in Houston.
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Saturday, 30th June, 2018

  • 07:05 PM - Schmoe quoted Annie Bulloch in post Graph Paper Romance: When D&D Characters Date
    Yeah, absolutely. I hoped it would go without saying, but: don't be inappropriate. Don't be a creep. Again, this is a rule for D&D and also real life. With all due respect, I think "Don't be a creep" completely undersells the point that he was making. There is nothing more inherently creepy about introducing romance in a game with 14 year olds than in a game with co-workers or a game with people at your local game store. You want everyone to be comfortable with introducing romance into a game, and it's conceivable that the groups in any of those situations might be interested in romance. But crucially, the distinction is that there are certain situations where no matter how comfortable the group is, the consequences of anything being misinterpreted go far beyond just some hurt feelings or a broken gaming group. People should recognize those situations and avoid romance entirely if that is the situation they are in, no matter what else.
  • 12:20 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Annie Bulloch in post Graph Paper Romance: When D&D Characters Date
    Do your D&D games ever contain romantic elements? Not as often as other games, like Storyteller.

Friday, 29th June, 2018

  • 09:23 PM - mrpopstar quoted Annie Bulloch in post Graph Paper Romance: When D&D Characters Date
    There are so many ways in-game romance can turn out either well or horribly, for characters and players alike. Do you ever include romantic plots in your D&D campaigns? If so, did it add an enjoyable element to your story, or create any issues?I am the Dungeon Master for a campaign that features a romantic plot. One of our adventurers has kindled a relationship with one of the non-player characters. Things happened naturally as the narrative unfolded, and I observe that it makes everyone smile whenever the couple's interactions are explored. I think the romantic plot adds an enjoyable element to the story first and foremost because it offered an opportunity for a character to gain a new bond. As a Dungeon Master, bonds are important to me because they represent important connections to people in the world I've created for us to tell stories in. Each one helps me better understand the kind of story my players want to be involved with. Most of the relationship is explored in descriptions of down...
  • 05:39 PM - DMMike quoted Annie Bulloch in post Graph Paper Romance: When D&D Characters Date
    so we just jumped in. Our DM was entertained enough by this to make us both roll DEX checks for makeout success once (I rolled a 19!), and their relationship became a minor aspect of the overall narrative. Does that mean there was a chance for critical fails? In making out? Were braces involved? Romance is an ageless plot device. It would be weird not to include it...unless your players are all murderhobos. That, and it's weird for some non-actors to role-play romance. But I think you can abstract it enough, players willing, to keep even the most sensitive (yet tough. AND manly.) players comfortable in their seats.

Monday, 11th June, 2018

  • 07:24 AM - Josiah Stoll quoted Annie Bulloch in post Creating a More Immersive D&D Experience
    Yeah, that's tricky. We tried to counter the fluorescent lights with the wall and floor colors in my shop's game room, which seems to work pretty well. It's not exactly mood lighting, but it's not like an office building in there either. What color is that? Iím no interior designer, but I love the idea.

Sunday, 10th June, 2018

  • 09:14 PM - Staffan quoted Annie Bulloch in post Creating a More Immersive D&D Experience
    Me too! I'm allergic to most scented items, and it's even worse for my husband. I think it's really cool that the products exist, but they definitely are not for everyone. Thank you for calling that out. I'm allergic to scented stuff (or at least some of it, and after one run-in I decided it wasn't worth experimenting to see how broad the allergy was), and I know from experience with other things that unless you are allergic or know someone with that particular allergy, it's easy to miss. As I was reading the article, my mind went "Oh, I'd better post a warning about that... oh, she got it. Cool."
  • 09:46 AM - Li Shenron quoted Annie Bulloch in post Creating a More Immersive D&D Experience
    Always great articles from Annie! :) Music This is a big deal for us. We have maybe a dozen playlists on Spotify to highlight the mood of certain scenes, from taverns to wilderness to dungeons and so on. The key in my opinion is to keep the music really in the background, never in the foreground! That usually means to keep the volume fairly low, and avoid any music draws too much attention. I've seen many times some gaming group put on some epic rock or heavy metal, thinking it's going to be cool, then after 15 minutes you just hate it and have to shut it off... the music should not distract you from the game. Save your favourite high-calories songs for the moments between the game, such as when you level up your PCs. Decor and Lighting I've never really done anything more than dimming the lights. Snacks I used to hate snacks at the gaming table long ago, then I realized that what I really hated is having snacks and books around at the same time. I am just too jealous of my...

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

  • 08:21 AM - Li Shenron quoted Annie Bulloch in post Keep These Tools in Your Real-Life Bag of Holding
    Maps and Miniatures We use Lego minifigs, but no maps. We also use some Lego bricks for terrain elements. Initiative Indicators Never used. We just write down the initiative list on paper at each encounter. Spell Cards Not yet... Being a strong fan of DIY, I have created my own "action cards" that include more than just spells, but I am still prototyping different printing options, so the cards are not ready yet. Inspiration Tokens I very rarely use Inspiration, but I thought about tokens for conditions and buffs. I don't have a plan yet, however. Do you use any tools of a similar nature that arenít mentioned here? Because Iím always looking for ways to step up my game! Let me know in the comments. Well there's always the DM screen :) Actually I haven't used that in a while, but in the past I have used a DIY mock screen made by a simple folding cardboard with pinned tables and other printouts (the idea is that I can change each session what to pin on it, depending on...

Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

  • 08:49 PM - Ed Laprade quoted Annie Bulloch in post Keep These Tools in Your Real-Life Bag of Holding
    As a player, I love getting a physical card from my DM for a new item. I'll probably get into this more in-depth in a future column, talking about more ways to help set the tone and immerse players in the game. I've used (hand-made) magic item cards, but some players either forget them or hand them back for me to hold onto between sessions. So I don't do it any more. All that work, and they really don't care... except when they need to look up what they do, of course!

Wednesday, 30th May, 2018

  • 05:44 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Annie Bulloch in post We Were All New D&D Players Once
    I think it does new players a disservice to overemphasize the gameís simplicity because thereís really a lot to know. If you tell them itís so simple and they feel overwhelmed, thatís when they start feeling like maybe they just donít get it and this game isnít for them. I usually tell players that there are a lot of moving parts, but we will walk them through what they need to do and theyíll see how their part works with everything else. That takes some of the pressure off.Thank you so much for realizing this. I guess it's because you haven't been playing for 20 or 40 years, and the complexities and oddities of D&D haven't just vanished into the haze of long familiarity for you. OT1H, it's a boon that 5e is widely miss-represented as 'simple' in the on-line community, it makes it less intimidating for those thinking about trying it - the atmosphere of the fan community can really put people off, and 5e has a less turbulent atmosphere than other WotC eds. OTOH, its a problem in that, when they do...

Sunday, 27th May, 2018

  • 03:25 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Annie Bulloch in post We Were All New D&D Players Once
    So many people are coming into the game now with at least some knowledge of how things work from watching streaming games (myself included) that itís hard to have any absolute rule that works for every player. And different people learn differently, so some things come easier than others depending on the person. But having a bunch of spells bogs new players down every time. Even when they have a spell list already set, itís tough at first. Yes, that's one reason I would want a newbie to stay away from a caster at first. But a lot of this depends on level. If you're starting at level 1 with a pregen it's probably not so bad. Still, the fact that many casters have only a few fire-and-forget spells means that the player needs to choose their moment with a limited resources.
  • 07:57 AM - Staffan quoted Annie Bulloch in post We Were All New D&D Players Once
    If a new player has their heart set on playing a particular class, Iím not going to stop them, but I do strongly suggest they start with something fairly simple and spell-light. Fighters and rogues are pretty easy, and rangers are a good compromise if you want a few little spells but mostly need to get familiar with the game mechanics. But I also have a kid in my youth game whoís been playing a wizard since last year, when she was 7! It's been a long, long time since I was a newbie, but I'm thinking the ranger's delayed spell access might actually be particularly useful as a teaching tool, at least if starting from first level. The paladin is similar, but I'm not sure which is easiest for a newbie: the once-and-done choices when picking their spells known you do with a ranger, or daily choices of a paladin. Plus, the paladin can also exchange the spells for smites, which creates additional conflict.
  • 04:37 AM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Annie Bulloch in post We Were All New D&D Players Once
    I think it does new players a disservice to overemphasize the gameís simplicity because thereís really a lot to know. If you tell them itís so simple and they feel overwhelmed, thatís when they start feeling like maybe they just donít get it and this game isnít for them. I usually tell players that there are a lot of moving parts, but we will walk them through what they need to do and theyíll see how their part works with everything else. That takes some of the pressure off. Absolutely, this is effective communication and instruction. I teach statistics for a living, which is a notoriously fear-inducing subject. When introducing a topic I always say "it's going to be kind of overwhelming at the start, but we'll break things up as much as possible and build up." It's exactly the same. You don't want to start out by invalidating their experience, but instead validating them---"yes, it can be a bit overwhelming at first, many people feel that"---and then giving them the tools to develop competence...

Monday, 14th May, 2018

  • 06:48 AM - Harzel quoted Annie Bulloch in post EN World's Critical Role Roundup 012: How Caleb Spent His Summer Vacation
    There was SO MUCH happening in this episode. Sadly, it wasn't possible to cover everything and do it justice with my word limit. Deciding which details I have to leave out due to space restrictions is the hardest part of this gig. Yah, sorry, I didn't intend to imply that your summary was deficient. No reason to think they won't, though -- especially for a group who recently, repeatedly, and publicly proved to be very effective fighters. I think Molly's right to be cautious about it. I'd get out ASAP if I was in their shoes. Assuming the worst has both benefits and costs.
  • 06:41 AM - Harzel quoted Annie Bulloch in post EN World's Critical Role Roundup 012: How Caleb Spent His Summer Vacation
    Yeah, in the screencap I included above, he made A Face and held it. Yep, he just froze, which does seem to be what Caleb does when alarmed rather than being demonstratively frantic.
  • 03:07 AM - kenmarable quoted Annie Bulloch in post EN World's Critical Role Roundup 012: How Caleb Spent His Summer Vacation
    Once Trent's name was dropped, Liam started emphasizing that Caleb was keeping his face pointed toward the floor, trying to stay inconspicuous. He didn't know that character was at the party before that, so he worked that in as possible once he knew. To be fair, it's been maybe 15 years since Caleb has seen Trent, so he might not have recognized him right away. As for the lack of recognition, the two wizards did have their backs to the party while looking out the window until Beau and Yasha approached them. Also, I didn't notice at the time, but I saw it shared on Tumblr, but when Trent's name is dropped just watch Liam. He freezes in mid reach just staring for 20 seconds or more. So I think his seeming "unruffled" was actually some pretty severe dissociation. He was likely distancing himself emotionally from it, or at the very least trying to fade into the background and not be noticed. With the sort of character Caleb is, the majority of his most emotional moments are when he gets quiet. H...

Saturday, 31st March, 2018


Monday, 12th March, 2018

  • 07:20 AM - Scrivener of Doom quoted Annie Bulloch in post EN World's Critical Role Roundup 003: What's On The Job Board?
    I did! If you aren't really into streamed games, 500 hours of Critical Role might not be your thing. I really enjoyed all the world-building and character development in this one. I'm extremely intrigued by the Traveler, who just showed up when Jester called. Who is he? What is his deal, and when will it become a problem for the Mighty Nein? I'm particularly interested in seeing if I can use Matt's take on the Traveller as inspiration for the Eberron deity of the same name who is also - coincidentally? - surrounded by mystery. And thanks again, Annie, for taking the time to these summaries. They're great way to keep up-to-date without the time sink.

Saturday, 10th March, 2018

  • 01:41 AM - pogre quoted Annie Bulloch in post EN World's Critical Role Roundup 003: What's On The Job Board?
    I did! If you aren't really into streamed games, 500 hours of Critical Role might not be your thing. I really enjoyed all the world-building and character development in this one. I'm extremely intrigued by the Traveler, who just showed up when Jester called. Who is he? What is his deal, and when will it become a problem for the Mighty Nein? Fair enough. The pacing and delivery was not for me, but I readily concede others may enjoy it.

Thursday, 8th March, 2018

  • 12:34 PM - Darren Richardson quoted Annie Bulloch in post EN World's Critical Role Roundup 002: The Story So Far
    Glad youíre enjoying these recaps! I understand the spoiler quandary, but I assure you that thereís no way I can communicate the full entertainment value of the way things happen in a summary. For instance, thereís an NPC from last nightís episode who simply must be seen and heard. 😃 If that's who I think your talking about, I suspect we have just been introduced to this campaign's Glorious Gilmore :D


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