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Sunday, 11th November, 2018


Wednesday, 11th July, 2018


Wednesday, 31st January, 2018

  • 04:28 PM - robus mentioned volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    So we're attempting to adopt this approach and of course we immediately run into a situation that I'm not sure how to handle. We muddled through but I thought it would be interesting to discuss. The situation was a chase. The party was trying to cross some terrain occupied by some Fomorians (underdark giants) and were stealthing through. Unfortunately one of the party failed their stealth check and the chase was on. Fortunately none of the players tried any fancy maneuvers and once the Evil Eye attack succeeded on a couple of players the chase ended and the combat was on. But I'm curious as to how others (especially volanin) would handle a chase (in other words a "combat-on-the-run") in the roshambo world?

Monday, 15th January, 2018

  • 09:18 PM - robus mentioned volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    volanin - I was just rereading the latest version (1.4) and something confused me. This: If you're already Engaged, attempting to become Engaged with another creature will break your current engagements. Seems to be in direct conflict with this: If you're already Engaged with a creature, you can use an Action to become Engaged with an additional Near creature of your choice, without breaking your current engagements. What am I missing? Why does one break engagements and the other not?

Monday, 13th November, 2017

  • 12:37 PM - Yaarel mentioned volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    @volanin The update looks great! I finally had a chance to look at the Roshambo update. It handles spell areas elegantly. Converting area shapes (cones etcetera) into a maximum number of targets is probably the friendliest way for mind style. The way that the number of targets counts any allies who are Engaged with a hostile target as extra targets − in order to avoid hitting these allies − is excellent. Note, for a spell with an area shaped as a circle/sphere/cylinder, the Zone Of Truth example makes ‘size /5’ refer to radius. But perhaps it should refer to diameter? So, for example, ‘Fireball (Far 8)’: 20 foot radius sphere ( ≈ 4 five-foot square radius ≈ 50 five-foot squares) → 40 feet diameter → ‘8’ targets Then a 40 foot square (= 8x8 = 64 five-foot squares) → 8 targets and a 40 foot diameter sphere (about 50 five-foot squares) → 8 targets are roughly comparable. Going with diameter also helps ‘aura’ spells. A five-foot radius a...

Wednesday, 8th November, 2017

  • 08:09 PM - robus mentioned volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    volanin, looks like it might need a minor edit. I see a new term "Interrupted" introduced in some example play: DM: That's cool, but the other Goblin... uh... the Fat Goblin is still unengaged, right? It will probably Interrupt your engagement attempt in order to deny your Sneak Attack, you know. Bruce: True... If I am Interrupted, I'll end up Engaged with the Fat Goblin instead. And since it isn't also Engaged with any other of my allies, I won't be able to Sneak Attack it... Crap... Using my Cunning Action, I'll Dash as a Bonus Action into the Skinny Goblin. Now, no one can Interrupt anything... The time to assassinate has come...

Thursday, 26th October, 2017

  • 12:16 AM - OB1 mentioned volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    One optional rule you could throw in there if you want to take the complexity "up one notch", for players that want just a tiny bit more structure in their TOTM. So one scenario you get is where enemies are divided into several areas. Example, I've got the orcs rushing into melee, the archers to the north firing, and the mages to the east a blasting. Current TOTM just treats this as near orcs and far archers/mages. For people that wanted to model this one a bit closer to grid style...but still primarily TOTM, you could do it this way. Zones When you are dealing with enemies in multiple different areas, you can assign them zones (1,2,3) etc. The rules of TOTM work the same as normal, with one change: 1) All creatures in the same zone are near to each other. 2) All creatures in 1 zone are far to creatures in another zone. That's a great way to clarify and is still very simple. I'm voting for volanin to include this in the next revision.

Sunday, 22nd October, 2017

  • 04:17 PM - robus mentioned volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    volanin, I think OB1’s idea of tightening up the intro is great. I’d also recommend a fairly extended “actual play” example where the players declare their moves and the DM responds (the actual attack rolls could be skimmed over), so that readers can get a good handle on how it plays out at the table.

Saturday, 21st October, 2017

  • 04:59 PM - OB1 mentioned volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    volanin - This revised version is very, very good. I've got a couple of suggestions, but I think that this is just about ready to be put into the DM's Guild. Name - How about Rashambo Style Theatre of the Mind? Dealing with speed - So, I think you are part way there with the issue of various creature speed, but I'm wondering what you would think about this. If something has caused your speed to be 20 or less, you cannot intercept (this covers being in difficult terrain, prone, getting up from prone, slowed, etc), and if you dash to a far location that is difficult terrain, you lose your action on your next turn. If something has caused your speed to be 40 or more, you can dash as part of your regular movement Difficult Terrain - An area is either difficult terrain or it is not. If the near zone is difficult terrain, your speed is reduced by half. If a far zone is difficult terrain, see above. Cover - The DM will advise if an area has half or 3/4 cover available, and how many...

Wednesday, 18th October, 2017

  • 10:13 PM - robus mentioned volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    Thanks for taking our feedback so well volanin - I really do like where you're going with this :)
  • 04:02 PM - robus mentioned volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    Nice stuff volanin - I've not been happy with the arbitrary distances I've been using for TotM combat: "Oh that's about 30ft away, that's 50ft away..." etc etc being able to just say "it's nearby or far away" would make things a lot more natural IMHO. Looking forward to trying it out when we shift campaigns.

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Friday, 22nd December, 2017

  • 01:46 PM - Elfcrusher quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    Well, it's only my opinion, of course: 1. I really don't agree that it sometimes lead to complexity. Personally, I think it would lead to a slow down way too often for my comfort. 2. Breaking engagement to Intercept in exchange for an OA feels the same as breaking engagement to Dash in exchange for an OA. This really annoys me, because the Engage wins over Dash proposition would lose its meaning. 3. It diminishes the tactical choices available. Intercept is a strong move, and it demands you to choose between being ready to Intercept or being Engaged. If you can break engagement to Intercept at any moment, this decision becomes void, as it's much more advantageous to be Engaged all the time. How do you choose being ready to Intercept? Doesn't that require you to Disengage (giving up your turn just in case there's a chance to Intercept), and then hope no enemies engage with you before there's a chance to Intercept? Does anybody ever actually do this? Maybe I'm not understanding something ...

Wednesday, 20th December, 2017

  • 11:54 PM - Elfcrusher quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    As written, if you're Engaged, you cannot Intercept at all; you're too busy fighting another creature. But the real reason for this is purely mechanical, in order to avoid cascading effects. Imagine a creature trying to Intercept a player (using a Reaction out of turn), and to do that it breaks engagement, triggering Opportunity Attacks from many other players (even more Reactions out of turn)... with enough combatants, it cascades into insanity! D&D already has a messy situation like this, when many combatants try to cast Counterspell at a Counterspell at a Counterspell! It might be fun when it happens, but that's because it almost never happens. With Interception, this cascading effect could happen every round, and this would slow down the game to a craw... Hmmm. I don't think I like this. If the only rationale for a rule is that its absence would sometimes lead to complexity, I don't think that's a good reason. The worst case is that one reaction (Intercept) triggers a whole bu...

Tuesday, 19th December, 2017


Monday, 13th November, 2017

  • 04:32 PM - Pvt. Winslow quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    2. Is there a limit on how many creatures can Intercept a single enemy's movement? By my reading, I do not see one. In a similar scenario of 20 enemies to 4 PC's, what would prevent 10 enemies from all Intercepting the Fighter's movement in a single turn? In grid play, the maximum number of creatures that can be adjacent to you is 8. In this TotM system, that number is either limitless, or limited by DM adjudication. For the most part, those 10 enemies don't gain a benefit from all Intercepting until the Fighter wishes to break the Engagements and move away. At that point, he either uses the Disengage action, or suffers 10 separate opportunity attacks. This may also be by design. I actually had to reread this a few times to understand what you wanted to do. No, it's not possible for a Fighter to be Intercepted by 10 enemies simultaneously in a single turn. When a Fighter attempts to Engage a creature, he can be Intercepted by another enemy. Even if there are 10 enemies willing to I...

Friday, 10th November, 2017

  • 04:17 AM - Stalker0 quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    If that's your critique, then I am quite happy, because you were the most demanding one in this whole thread! I am fixing the layout, but in the meantime I'd like to ask about another thing. One person called me out on this: "If a creature Disengages from you, and try to Engage someone else, it should not be possible for you to Interrupt it." That's what happens with the Goblin and the Rogue in the example text. The Rogue still has his Reaction, is unengaged (after the Goblin Disengages) and so he Interrupts the Goblin, forcing a re-engagement. What do you think? I would agree. Probably add a clause that says "you cannot interrupt a creature that you have been engaged with this round".

Thursday, 26th October, 2017

  • 06:12 AM - Stalker0 quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    But... but... that EXACTLY how it works right now... :-S I guess I should really forget about this 2 page thing and expand this text (with many examples) asap... The way the current system reads is that you have exactly 2 zones....Near and Far. So the enemies are in one place or the other. I can either 1) Interact with all of the monsters near me OR 2) Do a dash and interact with every other monster in the encounter. If it was your intention that you can have 3 or 4 "groups" of monsters separate from each other, than yes definitely need a rewrite in there! EDIT: Rereading the document, I can see the hints of the "combat zone" in their, but it definitely needs to be more explicit.

Wednesday, 25th October, 2017

  • 08:08 PM - robus quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    Also, although this PDF is meant to be distributed for free, there were 4 people that decided to pay a little for it, for a combined total of $6 ($3 after WotC's 50% cut). While this is a symbolic value, it makes me extra happy to know that they decided to show their appreciation like this! Consider yourself with Thanks Advantage! Just wanted to note that I winced when you reminded me of the 50% cut WotC takes. Shameless! And I thought Apple's 30% was bad!
  • 07:08 PM - Stalker0 quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    This is a good idea! Gaining advantage to Opportunity Attacks is less exploitable than gaining an Opportunity Attack when a creature engages you (and you're unengaged), and the idea is in line with the current way reach weapon works. But also, it doesn't consider the factor that, on the grid, you can melee attack with these weapons without being adjacent, so maybe only gaining this advantage to OAs is actually too little? Let me think about that a little more! Ah, this was considered! There are two points to this: 1. When Engage is a Bonus Action, melee classes which basically have little use for Bonus Actions could spend them round after round in order to "collect" engagements along the battlefield. Eventually, they would be Engaged with everybody, which is OP. 2. Actually, you can Engage for free as part of your movement if you're unengaged (which kind mimics the grid, where you move and become adjacent). It's only when you want to Engage an additional creature without taki...
  • 03:43 AM - robus quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    I see that robus added this thread to the "Best Of", thanks a lot! I changed the name of the thread to make it easier to google, and I hope it doesn't break the link there. (Confession time: I've never realized that there is a "Best Of" thread before... I have to read a lot of things there that caught my interest). No worries, the link is fine :)

Tuesday, 24th October, 2017


Sunday, 22nd October, 2017

  • 03:19 PM - OB1 quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    Consider the name stolen! =) First, this has a minor problem (which is also present in the current PDF text): it makes you track speed values, and I don't like that at all. I'm seriously considering rewriting this situation to: "If you get any speed increase beyond your base speed (Barbarian's Fast Movement, Monk's Unarmored Movement, Haste Spell), you can Dash as a Bonus Action". Easy, fast, and does the job. Second, it's true that the current rules only deal with speed increases (because it's way more common), but not with speed decreases (Difficult Terrain, Slow Spell)... but I agree that speed decreases are common enough to deserve some attention. I just haven't yet found something that I'm completely content with... Glad you like the name and the idea for cover! I'll admit that the speed thing is a bit clunky. I was trying to think of it in terms of an advantage/disadvantage binary model, but this was the closest I could come up with. I chose 20 and 40 since PC base race...

Thursday, 19th October, 2017

  • 05:36 AM - Yaarel quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    While these propositions are great solutions for TotM, just to be clear, this is not what these rules are trying to achieve. The weakness of TotM is exactly keeping track of movement/position and mapping/AoE. It really struggles with that. So the idea was minimizing these as much as possible, to keep things simple: 1. Engaged is treated like a condition. 2. Ranges are condensed in just Near and Far. 3. You can move freely in the Near range without affecting the Engaged condition. 4. And to move to the Far range, you must use a Dash action. All right, I see what you are getting at. But then, in the same spirit, I would still radically simplify all spell ranges and areas. Range • Engaged (A creature might be ‘engaged’ with its ally, within a step or two, yet not in combat against its ally?) • Near • Far Area • Engaged (Target one creature, and creatures that are ‘engaged’ with it, are also affected.) • Near (Target one creature, and all of the creatures that are ‘near’ to it, are also a...

Wednesday, 18th October, 2017

  • 10:05 PM - Mistwell quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    Some extra clarifications: This can't be done without causing major interference in classes that depend on bonus actions, like the Rogue. You could make disengage cost a bonus action, and then treat engaging this way, "It requires a bonus action (or a reaction in the case of intercept) to engage an additional creature after you're already engaged against a creature".
  • 09:48 PM - Mistwell quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    That's the intention. If better wording is necessary: "When you Intercept, you prevent the enemy from Engaging an ally. If you weren't previously Engaged with this enemy, you are now Engaged with it." I like that better, yes. I don't know if you use feats in your games, but how would you rule the Sentinel feat in your system?
  • 08:29 PM - Mistwell quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    Hard at work today, so I am not being able to give the topic the attention I wanted. But let me clear some points that are easy to answer! Maybe yes, maybe not. The Engage, Dash, Intercept triad was created with the Rock, Paper, Scissors concept in mind. Strong against one, weak against the other. Melee combatants have the option to Intercept, so they can actively protect ranged attackers and spellcasters. It's becomes a problem (intentionally) if there are a lot of enemies, or if one enemy wins initiative (so it can't be Intercepted). Maybe I don't understand how this works. So let's use an example of a solo creature - eliminate the horde issue you raised. We can use am Owlbear. So party enters the cave of the Owlbear. Melee type engages the Owlbear. Owlbear tries to engage the wizard (he can do this, at no penalty, for free, even though he's already been engaged by the melee type). Melee type tries to intercept using their reaction...but they're already engaged with the Owl...
  • 08:22 PM - jaelis quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    There is a limit to how many creatures you can Engage: it's one at the end of your Movement/Dash, and one if you Intercept. That is a significant restriction for a character with many attacks. I am troubled by it. What if you could engage a new creature any time your attack drops an opponent?
  • 07:07 PM - jaelis quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    An Engagement ends by using the Disengage action or Dash action (risking an Opportunity Attack). In the example, the Goblin could try to Engage the Elf Wizard again in its next turn, but the Fighter could again Intercept the Engagement by using a Reaction. Effectively, the Fighter could keep Intercepting one enemy every round if this enemy tries to Engage someone. That said, the Goblin has Nimble Escape. It could Disengage the Fighter as a Bonus Action, and shoot the Elf Wizard with its Shortbow without Disadvantage. OK, so it work something like this? - You can only melee attack a creature you are engaged with. - You can engage with a creature in the Near zone as a free action. - An intercept prevents you from engaging with a creature unless you dashed. - You engage a creature you intercept - When you take the disengage action, you disengage from all creatures engaging you - When you dash you disengage from all creatures engaging you, but provoke OAs from each. - Also when y...
  • 05:57 PM - Mistwell quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    Today, while taking a shower, I had some ideas about modifying a few things in D&D 5E combat to make it flow better in Theater of the Mind mode. These modifications are quite simple, and try to keep intrusiveness to a minimum. Some of them are loosely borrowed from other RPG systems. The goal is to fix some small things that bother me during play: mainly static combats and Range/AoE adjudication. http://volanin.com.br/files/totm1.0.pdf It's only two pages, but if somebody wants to give it a read, I'd really like your opinion. Mainly if this can be abused in any way, if something is broken or makes combat boring, or even if I simply forgot something. Thanks! This seems very harsh on ranged and spell casting PCs. They will essentially always be at disadvantage, because all someone needs to do is engage them (which is basically free), and they cannot escape being engaged without essentially skipping a turn.
  • 05:45 PM - Yaarel quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    That's exactly how I did it initially, with slightly different terms. It was Adjacent, Near, Medium, Far, Very Far... and it didn't work at all in table. =( Too many range divisions (and added complexity) for too little gain. Melee ≈ Adjacent Close ≈ Near Distant ≈ Far Normally it doesnt come into play, but it occasionally matters: Distant/Far can be subdivided into: • Short Distance • Long Distance Depending on whether it is within reach of a bow shot or not. You could even call the Short Distance, ‘Shooting Distance’ or ‘Shot Distance’, or ‘within a Shot’. It is about the distance of a city block. (Or modern American football field.)
  • 05:26 PM - OB1 quoted volanin in post Roshambo-Style Theatre of the Mind Combat
    2. About the distance costs, while I can clearly see the intention there, this is exactly the kind of calculations and bookkeeping that bothers me during the action. I am trying to avoid numbers wherever I can! I know what you mean, and it's for things like this that I'm still tinkering with my ToM system a year later. I want things like difficult terrain, standing from prone and the speed bumps given by barbarian and monk to mean something, and that's difficult without having some type of standards. That's why I was thinking in terms of having a standard speed cost for your movement types, but I guess that could be left to DM adjudication as well. How would you handle, for example, a Monk with 50' of movement from class ability and the mobile feat who wants to engage and hit one near enemy and then engage with and hit another near enemy?


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