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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 05:45 PM
    I typically use this encounter calculator to build my encounters, but it lacks an option to measure when the party has monsters fighting on their side. Does anyone know of a similar website or just have their own formulas for determining the CR of an encounter with this in mind?
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 07:34 AM
    ZenBear started a thread Kingdom Underhill
    For my homebrew setting, I have been converting the various factions of one of my favorite tabletop war games, Warmachine/Hordes, to 5e. This is a first draft of my Cygnar conversion, which in my setting is known as the Kingdom Underhill, populated by Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings (oh my!). Trencher Infantry Prepared for anything, Underhillís highly trained trenchers are the first on and the...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 07:36 AM
    By my estimation, it should be possible for a caster to use Mold Earth to make a small trench that can be used as cover. I've placed this ability on a homebrew monster that I'll post later, but what I'm concerned about is whether or not the ability to create cover at-will on a monster with ranged attacks ought to change its CR. My current thinking is that a trench created with Mold Earth would...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 10:08 PM
    Blink would be 30 ft. at 1st level for most characters, 35 for wood elves, 25 for dwarves, etc. As I said it's a first draft, and I figured just using your movement range would be simplest. Perhaps your idea is better, to limit it to 10 ft at 1st, or perhaps 15 so it's equal to Misty Step at 2nd.
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 08:48 PM
    ZenBear started a thread Homebrew Spells
    I've been tinkering with a homebrew system based on 5e, and figured I could playtest some spells in a standard D&D game. The idea is to have spellcasters become experts in their chosen cantrips that scale up into spells, rather than have a limited number of cantrips and a broad variety of spells. What do you think of these first drafts? Blink Conjuration Casting time: Bonus Action Range:...
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  • ZenBear's Avatar
    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 08:27 PM
    By RAW, I don't know if Zombies are technically allowed to take special attack actions like Shove. However, I think that's kind of a dumb rule. I was watching the zombie battles in Game of Thrones and noticed how the horde was particularly dangerous because the sheer mass of bodies slamming into the defenders prevented them from getting solid swings or maintaining a coherent battle line. It made...
    16 replies | 491 view(s)
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Thursday, 16th May, 2019


Monday, 29th April, 2019


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Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 11:04 PM - iserith quoted ZenBear in post Zombies Grappling/Shoving
    By RAW, I don't know if Zombies are technically allowed to take special attack actions like Shove. However, I think that's kind of a dumb rule. It's also a rule that doesn't exist. So don't worry about it. Zombies can absolutely grapple and shove. MM, p. 10: "When a monster takes its action, it can choose from the options in the Actions section of its stat block or use one of the actions available to all creatures..." Has anyone ever done this before in your game? Did it last session, in fact. Some zombies grabbed the cleric and dragged him away from the rest of the party who were dealing with an ogre zombie, doppleganger, and a necromancer in a crowded marketplace. The cleric had already turned the ogre zombie before these other zombies arrived on the scene, so the cleric didn't have that option available to him when they grappled him. Do you think zombies should be too dumb to use such tactics? Any good tactic that a zombie is seen to employ (or any monster for that mat...

Friday, 26th April, 2019

  • 09:17 AM - MonsterEnvy quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Thanks everyone. I keep forgetting to specify the setting, but Iím asking about the Forgotten Realms. Heís a great tragic deity for my homebrew campaign setting, but I wonít be able to use him in my story. Oh well. Just say he's a Demon Lord there.

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

  • 09:50 PM - jasper quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Does anyone know if Torog is still canonical for 5th Edition? I name-dropped him in my campaign for the Halloween session, where a Chain Devil chased my party of 4th level characters through the Underdark when they happened across it during its pilgrimage down The King's Highway. I'm curious if I could add him in a story I'm writing that I intend to be as canonically accurate as I can make it. BEWARE OF NON-CANON. THE CANON COPS LEd BY MORRUS WILL KNOW. THEY WILL PEE ON YOUR KITCHEN FLOOR. KNOCK STUFF OFF THE FRIDGE. HIDE YOUR DICE BAG. WAIT A MINUTE. THAT IS MY ELDER CAT SOCKS.
  • 09:44 PM - jasper quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Does anyone know if Torog is still canonical for 5th Edition? I name-dropped him in my campaign for the Halloween session, where a Chain Devil chased my party of 4th level characters through the Underdark when they happened across it during its pilgrimage down The King's Highway. I'm curious if I could add him in a story I'm writing that I intend to be as canonically accurate as I can make it. My the power invested in my due to my great DMing skills, I pronounce it canon. AKA CANON is what the DM says is canon.

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 08:25 PM - UnknownDyson quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Thanks everyone. I keep forgetting to specify the setting, but Iím asking about the Forgotten Realms. Heís a great tragic deity for my homebrew campaign setting, but I wonít be able to use him in my story. Oh well. You know, you could make him an interloper deity in your FR campaign. An interloper deity is a god that has migrated to FR from another dimension/universe. See Mulhorand Pantheon (Supposed to actually be the Egyptian pantheon from our Earth), there is also the Chained God.
  • 08:24 PM - dave2008 quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Thanks everyone. I keep forgetting to specify the setting, but Iím asking about the Forgotten Realms. Heís a great tragic deity for my homebrew campaign setting, but I wonít be able to use him in my story. Oh well. Is there a particular reason you will not be able to use him? There are many gods and other NPCs that where not a thing in Forgotten Realms, until suddenly they where (I'm looking at you Tiamat an Acererak). You could easily create a reason for Torog to appear in the Forgotten Realms. Heck in the Dawn War Cannon his tunnels went into the shadofell as well, might they also burst into Realmspace?
  • 02:37 AM - dave2008 quoted ZenBear in post The King that Crawls
    Does anyone know if Torog is still canonical for 5th Edition? I name-dropped him in my campaign for the Halloween session, where a Chain Devil chased my party of 4th level characters through the Underdark when they happened across it during its pilgrimage down The King's Highway. I'm curious if I could add him in a story I'm writing that I intend to be as canonically accurate as I can make it. There is not a single D&D "canon." Are you talking about Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Eberron, Dragonlnace, Dawn War/Nentir Vale, etc. ? As far as I know Torog was introduced in the 4e Dawn War / Nentir Vale setting. In 5e he is still listed as a god in the Dawn War setting, but there has been no official support for that setting other than mentioning it in the DMG. So I guess that means he is still canon in the Dawn War setting, but there is nothing official in 5e about him other than that.

Sunday, 31st March, 2019

  • 06:41 AM - Dausuul quoted ZenBear in post Bank Security
    What sort of security measures would you expect a bank to have in this setting? Assuming well-organized and educated management, what measures can be taken to, for example, ensure the stash of silver they just exchanged for gold isnít actually wood that has been transmuted via Minor Alchemy? Generally speaking, high-level magic is not required to deal with most threats of this kind. Mundane or low-level solutions will suffice. For example: If someone wants to exchange coins or other precious materials, and the amount is significant, the exchange goods must be left at the bank for 1 hour. You get a receipt. After 1 hour, you can exchange the receipt for the thing you wanted to trade for. Anyone entering is scanned by a 1st-level wizard whose job is to stand there ritual-casting detect magic over and over all day long. The wizard notifies bank staff if there are any suspicious magical auras on you or the items you offer for trade. Vaults are lined with lead against detection spells. W...
  • 05:13 AM - Blue quoted ZenBear in post Bank Security
    What sort of security measures would you expect a bank to have in this setting? In what setting? Makes all the difference. An Eberron bank that was a brnach of House Kundarak would be a heck of a lot different then am underground bank for rebels and shadowy types not under the eye of the Sorcerer Kings in Dark Sun vs. a Dwarven Clan's bank in FR that's not open to non-dwarves.
  • 12:11 AM - Iry quoted ZenBear in post Bank Security
    What sort of security measures would you expect a bank to have in this setting? Assuming well-organized and educated management, what measures can be taken to, for example, ensure the stash of silver they just exchanged for gold isnít actually wood that has been transmuted via Minor Alchemy?Small army of Shadesteel Golems, some Warforged tellers that double as security, with a 15th level Sorcerer as a hostage negotiator. You play in the Tippyverse, right? B-)

Friday, 29th March, 2019

  • 08:04 PM - TaranTheWanderer quoted ZenBear in post Portraying Portent
    TaranTheWanderer Love your name. Thereís a special place in my heart for the Chronicles of Prydain. ❤️ Thanks for the responses, all! I think I like Taranís suggestion best, I feel like there needs to be some active input from the Diviner to best fit the mechanic. Still open for more suggestions though! Thanks. The thing I'd point out is if, in the unlikely event that they can't do their divination(like being tied up and a prisoner), this mode of portent might prevent them from doing getting their dice. You might give them inspiration if you want to deny them a special ability that they should get every day. Or, i'd encourage them to describe how they do their portent in that tricky situation. Maybe they fashion some straw into divining stick or they do the farmers almanac trick: "3 crows are sitting in a tree outside my cell window. Crows are an omen of bad luck and the number three signifies xyz." Portents come in all kinds of forms. A Diviner knows how to...

Thursday, 28th February, 2019

  • 04:55 PM - Cap'n Kobold quoted ZenBear in post Tiefling Hexblade
    I'm trying to come up with a canonical lore-friendly backstory for a Devil Tongue Tiefling to have a cursed sword. Current excuse is a family heirloom, but being that Hexblades are explicitly tied to the Shadowfell it doesn't work as well for a character of Fiendish descent to have one. Maybe his ancestor is Orcus? What sort of alternatives have you seen in play or thought might be fun? One of their ancestors was of fiendish descent. However there are many more of the hexblades' ancestors that are of human descent. And humans can get up to some pretty cool things as well.

Friday, 28th December, 2018

  • 05:43 AM - Blue quoted ZenBear in post Suggested nerf to the Shield spell
    I've considered changing it to be +Proficiency to AC so it's less OP early game and scales into late game. I'm actually pretty hard against this. First, spells (not cantrips) in 5e shouldn't scale without upcasting. That's one of the design truisms that worked towards getting rid of the linear fighter/quadratic wizard issue. So I'm strongly against it for that. Second, 5e with bounded accuracy doesn't race to-hit up a huge deal, it intentionally scales HPs instead. So a +5 to AC will have about the same effect in terms of misses at low levels or at high, and it already scales at high levels because it prevents attacks that do more damage. So scaling it by preventing even more hits will literally raise it's use exponentially. I am strongly against it just on this alone. Third, because of range of proficiency, what this really is doing is nerfing it at lower levels. Low level character already have harder time surviving, especially arcane casters getting attacked. At that level they h...
  • 05:00 AM - quoted ZenBear in post Suggested nerf to the Shield spell
    I've considered changing it to be +Proficiency to AC so it's less OP early game and scales into late game. Ditto. I like the idea of spells scaling via proficiency bonus and Shield seems a logical application for it IMO.

Saturday, 17th November, 2018

  • 11:46 PM - Leatherhead quoted ZenBear in post Unearthed Arcana: of ships and the sea
    Any idea how one would stat up an ironclad warship? My players just commandeered one in the last game session and desperately want to keep it. This UA is serendipity at its finest. 19 Ac, 25 damage threshold. Reduced cargo capacity.
  • 11:39 PM - Satyrn quoted ZenBear in post Unearthed Arcana: of ships and the sea
    Any idea how one would stat up an ironclad warship? My players just commandeered one in the last game session and desperately want to keep it. This UA is serendipity at its finest. I'd start with whatever statblock matched the size of what I was going for, then: 1) Increase the Constitution score (probably by 4) 2) maybe up the Damage Threshold by 10. 3) reflavor the weapons as cannons (upping the damage by 1 or 2 dice if I upped the damage threshold) 4) Switch the movement to Steam Furnace. That would probably be enough.

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 04:30 AM - robus quoted ZenBear in post AoE-TotM
    How to you handle area of effect in theater of the mind? In my last session my players were attacked by hordes of Skaven, and in an effort not to allow the dramatic tension to dissipate in a single turn, I had my players roll 1dX for how many would be effected rather than measuring distance without a grid. The players accepted my adjudication, but I would prefer to nail down a consistent rule since this is likely going to happen a lot. There are rules in the DMG to cover this, but youíre better off (IMHO) trying out the Roshambo approach to the whole thing, which includes those rules.

Thursday, 8th November, 2018

  • 01:53 PM - Li Shenron quoted ZenBear in post Multicaster Rituals
    For the next session I want to have the enemies cast Control Weather to darken the skies so the Skaven donít suffer from Sunlight Sensitivity, but I also donít want to throw a 16th level spellcasters at the party. Is there any precedence in game for multiple low level casters performing a shared ritual to cast a higher level spell? I know as the DM I can just fiat this, but Iím curious if, when and how itís been done before. I also know I can just have the combat happen at night, but thatís what my players are expecting and I intend to catch them off guard. A scroll can be used by lower level casters, or have an ad-hoc magic item.

Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

  • 06:19 PM - RonLugge quoted ZenBear in post Fighter Archetype, 1/3 Cleric Caster: Crusader
    Thatís essentially a better Divine Smite, much better on a Fighter since they get 4 attacks so youíre quadrupling the effect of a single spell slot. I wouldn't say better, because you spent it before you hit or miss. But it's definitely a 'similar to and comparable' feature. On a fighter, with up to 4 attacks, it'd be nasty. But it may be allowable as an extra D4 -- kind of like the Divine Favor 1st level spell, but with scaling instead of a 1 minute duration and concentration.
  • 08:56 AM - RonLugge quoted ZenBear in post Fighter Archetype, 1/3 Cleric Caster: Crusader
    I misread the ability, I thought it said when you make an attack, you get a bonus action attack. My apologies. That... would explain the complete and utter disconnect between our positions. Honestly, even ignoring the feats I'd be 'obviating', that's the type of straight-up power creep I try to avoid when possible.


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