View Profile: Travis Henry - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Travis Henry's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 02:07 AM
    I like the "suggested appearances" of the Artificial Minds (basically, "awakened" objects). I'd add these: For mineral (glass, stone, metal) objects, could also have a personality like a dwarf, gnome, or earth elemental, as these are all traditionally "earth spirits." For plant objects, rather than just "bespectacled visage or treant", could also have a personality like a dryad or other plant...
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  • Travis Henry's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 02:00 AM
    Nice that several D&D worlds are mentioned in the Artificer write-up, including Mystara!: "in Mystara, various nationsemploy artificers to keep airships and other wondrousdevices operational." Cool. The "wondrous devices" may refer to the BECMI accessory AC11: The Book of Wondrous Inventions (1987). Which had magi-tech boom-boxes, vending machines, submarines, and the like. Besides Mystara,...
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  • Travis Henry's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 04:23 PM
    Hi, I've been DMing and playing 5E for three months, having co-started a group with three persons, and switching off DMing with another fellow. We've been playing feverishly, like 2 to 3 times per week. Almost through the Starter Set, and we've run several other shorter adventures too. And having fun. Yet still... Man, the game is a bit too complex for me. My brain shorts out. The main fun is...
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  • Travis Henry's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, 09:59 PM
    Thanks to everyone for responding and sharing your DM Wisdom! (grateful)
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  • Travis Henry's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, 07:02 PM
    Thanks iserith. Yes, this is what I was wondering. I feel that my ruling in the moment - since we have only the core rules - was valid in that context. Xanathar's Guide wouldn't have addressed that topic if it hadn't been an unresolved question in the core rules-as-written. I described it to the player as (something like): "Your wizard can tell the spell formula is not able to affix the spell...
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  • Travis Henry's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, 06:55 PM
    Haha, yeah I was aware in moment that it was a judgement call as to whether to assent to their request for Initiative. But I happily decided on "Okay, Yes", because: 1) there have been a few other times in our campaign when the players themselves have asked if they could go into, or stay in, Initiative mode outside of combat, so that everyone could take their turn (in talking or making skill...
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  • Travis Henry's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, 06:26 PM
    Well, as first person to hit the statue with a metal weapon, the Fighter did receive an electric shock (2hp dmg). The statue was a trap, not a creature.
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  • Travis Henry's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019, 04:37 AM
    Last night, I was DMing an old Basic D&D adventure, updated for 5E. And discovered a curious use of the Magic Missile spell. The party had a tough fight with a Living Rock Statue, which they defeated, and then...around the next corner was another statue. They ran into the room, and a player asked "roll for Initiative?" I'm like: "Yes." So they roll Init and I have them go, and they are all...
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About Travis Henry

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Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

  • 12:20 AM - DM Dave1 mentioned Travis Henry in post [New DM Question] What about Simultaneous Movement?
    Not necessarily. I could use a move to move towards a target to goad them towards you, use a bonus attack (maybe a quickened spell) then ready a dash action with the trigger ‘when they are 10 feet away’. Then move back 30 feet out of the opponent’s melee range and back behind cover. It’s kind of situational. Maybe someone is behind cover and you are trying to draw them out or something. To the OP. If they are out of combat and planning to go together, like your second example, I let them go at the same time at the slowest initiative. For the Mexican stand off, I allow an insight and anyone who fails misses their turn, like an ambush situation. Still possible for everyone to go before the person imitating combat, but less likely. Dash only increases your speed. It does not allow you to move. Thank goodness - I’m not the only one who has been thinking about Dash the wrong way. Thanks for being gentle with us, iserith, Charlaquin. Travis Henry!

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Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 08:49 PM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted Travis Henry in post The One Ring 2nd Edition Is Coming!
    I see 2E is starting in the Misty Mountains and Minas Tirith, in the Fourth Age. Great. I am guessing you are just being humorous with this or did not do the math. The 2E is set 25 years after the end of The Hobbit, not LotR, so it is still about 40 years before Fellowship even starts.

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 02:27 AM - Yaarel quoted Travis Henry in post New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer
    I like the "suggested appearances" of the Artificial Minds (basically, "awakened" objects). I'd add these: For mineral (glass, stone, metal) objects, could also have a personality like a dwarf, gnome, or earth elemental, as these are all traditionally "earth spirits." For plant objects, rather than just "bespectacled visage or treant", could also have a personality like a dryad or other plant spirit. I agree. At the same time, I am ok with the pets being golem-like, artificial, and even mechanical, to convey the flavor that the Artificer is using artifice to construct things. To me this has a Renaissance vibe, when building ‘automatons’ was popular.

Monday, 29th April, 2019

  • 10:58 AM - ccs quoted Travis Henry in post Using previous D&D miniature games or boardgames to make a simpler D&D RPG?
    Hi, I've been DMing and playing 5E for three months, having co-started a group with three persons, and switching off DMing with another fellow. We've been playing feverishly, like 2 to 3 times per week. Almost through the Starter Set, and we've run several other shorter adventures too. And having fun. Yet still... Man, the game is a bit too complex for me. My brain shorts out. The main fun is running through the stories (adventures), with all their different vibes. I really think I'd have just as much fun (or more fun) if the game was about half as complex as it is now. I'm digging the 5e "action economy": Action + Move. Cool. Yet here are my design criteria: I thought you just said 5e was too complex for you? Some of what you want already exists. And in this edition. Some of what you want is pointless (ex: explain the functional difference between adding up encumbrance vs bulk points) Your wish for an equipment inventory log/map can be solved with a Google search. Or a piece of paper + ...

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 07:16 PM - iserith quoted Travis Henry in post Use Magic Missile to determine whether a statue is an Object or a Creature?(!)
    Thanks iserith. Yes, this is what I was wondering. I feel that my ruling in the moment - since we have only the core rules - was valid in that context. Xanathar's Guide wouldn't have addressed that topic if it hadn't been an unresolved question in the core rules-as-written. I described it to the player as (something like): "Your wizard can tell the spell formula is not able to affix the spell to that target." I see that Xanathar's Guide provides an official ruling. Good to know. I'll probably bring that to the group as a rules update at our table. For what it's worth, I think that the "official ruling" of expending a spell slot is a bit harsh.
  • 07:14 PM - iserith quoted Travis Henry in post Use Magic Missile to determine whether a statue is an Object or a Creature?(!)
    Haha, yeah I was aware in moment that it was a judgement call as to whether to assent to their request for Initiative. But I happily decided on "Okay, Yes", because: 1) there have been a few other times in our campaign when the players themselves have asked if they could go into, or stay in, Initiative mode outside of combat, so that everyone could take their turn (in talking or making skill checks) in an orderly fashion. And so, it was not a novel or anomalous ruling to allow Initiative in what was not necessarily a combat encounter...but which certainly *appeared* to be a combat encounter to the players. Sure, I sometimes use Initiative just as a means to control the spotlight. I'm just careful to mention that it isn't necessarily because I expect or an implying a combat may break out. Following the previous fight with the Living Rock Statue, they had clearly dropped out of the previous Initiative, having regrouped themselves into marching order to walk down the hall. And their blitz ap...
  • 06:10 PM - Satyrn quoted Travis Henry in post Use Magic Missile to determine whether a statue is an Object or a Creature?(!)
    . Then I realized that Magic Missile can be used as a utility spell to determine whether something that looks like an Object (such as a statue, icicle, or stalactite) is really just an Object or whether it's a Creature (a Golem, Living Statue, Animated Object, Ice Mephit, Gargoyle, Piercer, or Mimic). Is that y'all's understanding as well? Of course, if that creature wasn't hostile before, it sure is gonna be now! And if it's got friends around the players might have just made things a whole lot worse for themselves. So, it's a risk. Maybe they should research a new spell, like that detect life one I really liked in Oblivion or Skyrim.
  • 05:06 AM - iserith quoted Travis Henry in post Use Magic Missile to determine whether a statue is an Object or a Creature?(!)
    Then I realized that Magic Missile can be used as a utility spell to determine whether something that looks like an Object (such as a statue, icicle, or stalactite) is really just an Object or whether it's a Creature (a Golem, Living Statue, Animated Object, Ice Mephit, Gargoyle, Piercer, or Mimic). Is that y'all's understanding as well? Yes, though arguably in a lot of these situations the creature might have False Appearance which makes it indistinguishable from an object. The DM could rule, based on that, that magic missile does not work while the creature meets the requirements for False Appearance (usually when it remains motionless). This makes it somewhat less reliable as a means to identify such creatures. Some DMs may also rule that the spell slot is spent even if it has no effect. I think the chief issue in the above example though is calling for Initiative when this wasn't actually a clash between two or more sides in conflict. Essentially, you established by the call for initiative th...

Saturday, 9th February, 2019

  • 08:55 PM - robus quoted Travis Henry in post 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10; Wizards More Popular At Higher Levels
    And there's lots of stuff in the Starter Set which is either not clear or *too detailed*. Amen to that! I also started out with 5e and the Starter Set and I came away with the impression that it’s a “how to play 5e” (i.e. for experienced players/DMs) rather than “how to play D&D” and that first goblin encounter proved it IMO, way too many moving parts and way to little hand holding. I also almost lost a player early on as he tried to get the hang of his wizard character (from the starter set characters) he’d get visibly frustrated when trying to understand spells and slots. Fortunately he stuck with it and he’s now at level 18, but the start was not smooth at all. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone in your impression. Now back to the thread... :)

Friday, 8th February, 2019

  • 04:39 PM - 5ekyu quoted Travis Henry in post 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10; Wizards More Popular At Higher Levels
    Whoa whoa there. I read the Starter Rules twice, and the Phandevler Adventure twice. Before starting. While I'm sure there are people who are quicker than me, I'm not going to feel ashamed for not being a paragon of system mastery from the start. And there's lots of stuff in the Starter Set which is either not clear or *too detailed*. For example, not clear for Novice DM: The first encounter is basically like: Here's four goblins. See stats on page such-and-such. But doesn't remind/explain to use the Goblin's Bonus Hide and Bonus Disengage. Sure, the rules for Hide and Disengage and Bonus Action are somewhere in the Rulebook, but geez, for the first encounter, let's give a sentence or two explaining and reminding exactly how this will look in the goblin encounter! And the pages-and-pages of write-ups for the various townspeople could've really been distilled into a few bullet points. Name, key info (preferably written out as a sample quote), and adventure seed. Voila. But this thread ...
  • 04:04 PM - 5ekyu quoted Travis Henry in post 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10; Wizards More Popular At Higher Levels
    Well, if that is what is required, then it'd be great if the STARTER SET wasn't presented in that way. If the character sheet only had like six numbers on it, a box for HP and AC, and a line to write your name, then the required light-touch would be obvious. As it stood, we were all trying to figure out the rules and make heads-and-tails of these densely worded character sheets at the same time. It took us like a half hour at least to read through the pregen character sheets. But all we had was the Starter Set - there are no character creation rules. I did start with questions: which of these class/backgrounds would you like to play? And what is the name of your noble fighter? I don't know how to build a character. I got Starter Set, and for the second session, printed off some spell list from the Basic Rules. It's not a DDB print out. It's the Starter Set character sheet! Okay, but I am learning how to play too. That's why I bought the Starter Set. That sounds ...
  • 11:14 AM - Enevhar Aldarion quoted Travis Henry in post 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10; Wizards More Popular At Higher Levels
    I wish there was a BASIC BASIC D&D which was still an RPG (not a boardgame), and was still a vigorous engine for exploring the D&D Multiverse. The closest you will get to that is the FREE Basic Rules you can download from their website. It covers level 1-20 play, but still has less detail than the Starter Set and easier to learn with.
  • 08:11 AM - ad_hoc quoted Travis Henry in post 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10; Wizards More Popular At Higher Levels
    At the same time, me and the other fellow were learning the rules for the first time ourselves. I did my best, but the first two sessions were slow and clunky. This is likely the root of it. Even light/gateway board games are frustrating and seem overly complicated if no one knows how to play. There are over 15 million 5e players now. The vast majority of them have been introduced to hobby gaming/RPGs through 5e. I think the biggest factors in 5e's popularity are its intuitive rule set, focus on story, and ease of play/pacing. It's possible that your group got too bogged down in rules minutiae as you were trying to learn the game. It works remarkably well if you just give it a go without worrying about getting everything right.
  • 05:27 AM - 5ekyu quoted Travis Henry in post 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10; Wizards More Popular At Higher Levels
    5 personality traits a long list of equipment 18-some skills big list of Proficiencies the three character powers (Second Wind, Fighting Style, and Position of Privilege) have long descriptions the long text on the back of the sheet describing Humans, Fighters, and Background. I know many ENWorlders may roll their eyes - but really, it's quite a lot of info. It's an info dump. And yeah, I figure there are tips for managing the info, but still... D&D is very complex, even at first level. She's not a gamer gearhead - she's an artist. She liked some aspects of the game, but the crunch and sheer detail was too much. At the same time, me and the other fellow were learning the rules for the first time ourselves. I did my best, but the first two sessions were slow and clunky. If that were only so. Well then, a character sheet could have hardly more than just the six abilities written on it! Visually, six boxes with six numbers in it would present a very different picture than the 40-som...

Thursday, 7th February, 2019

  • 09:11 PM - Olaf the Stout quoted Travis Henry in post 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10; Wizards More Popular At Higher Levels
    Frankly, D&D is too complex at any level, especially beyond 10th. I'm new to 5E, and been running the Starter Set for about five sessions. It is fun. And yet...we lost one player due to complexity at 1st level. And even though I played 3e back in the day, my head swims to keep track of everything. It's fun, but still... I implore "Mearls, Crawford, and team" to produce another kind of D&D which is still a RPG (not a boardgame or TCG), but which is super-streamlined. I call it "Simply D&D." It could perhaps be based on the Tails of Equestria system. Or it could be an even more streamlined distillation of the Basic Rules. But the main thing is that a character only gets one Power per level. So by 10th level the character has 10 powers. And only 20 powers by 20th level. Juveniles have one power (a Race power), Adults have a Background power, and Adventurers have one Class power. Literally, one. Like, the Wizard has one spell. The first session of the game is run as a party of 2nd-level cla...
  • 04:12 PM - DEFCON 1 quoted Travis Henry in post 90% of D&D Games Stop By Level 10; Wizards More Popular At Higher Levels
    It's also not a stretch to suggest that WotC consider testing another product line (alongside their D&D RPG, D&D Cooperative Boardgames, and D&D Parlor Games). If I'm not welcome to voice this at ENWorld, the moderator is welcome to notify me. It's not that you aren't welcome to suggest this on ENWorld... you absolutely can and may suggest anything you'd like. But I suspect the reason why people will respond with "Just change it yourself" is because of an important fact that I don't think many folks really want to admit to themselves... ...us folks on ENWorld have almost not a single bit of sway with anyone at Wizards of the Coast. We like to THINK that we are "tried and true" D&Ders, and thus our opinions should hold some weight and that WotC would be wiser to heed our words... but there has never been a single indication that WotC has ever listened or taken our opinions to heart. As a result, those of us who have been here for a long long time just have come to accept that anyone st...

Tuesday, 5th February, 2019

  • 08:04 PM - iserith quoted Travis Henry in post [New DM Question] What about Simultaneous Movement?
    Thanks to everyone for the responses. Charlaquin and DM Dave1 affirmed the original problem. From everyone's posts, I see at least four solutions: 1) Tweaking the fiction/narrative to match the RAW. ("You had to hesitate a bit to get Ready to move together, so only Move, not Dash.) This is the most straightforward solution, yet probably least satisfactory given the karma of my group. A small suggestion on this solution: If you go with what is essentially mechanics first and frame the fiction around that as truth, then I encourage you to enlist the help of your players to think about how that looks in the fiction for their own characters. "You had to hesitate a bit..." can be seen as the DM playing the character. But if you let them offer that up themselves, it comes with their immediate buy-in on both the mechanical resolution and the way it plays out in the emerging story. Player buy-in is great for maintaining satisfaction with the play experience.

Monday, 4th February, 2019

  • 08:12 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Travis Henry in post [New DM Question] What about Simultaneous Movement?
    Ready: "you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose to move up to your speed in response to it." My understanding is that the Readied reaction can either be one Action, or one Move. But a Dash is a Move + Move. I completely see how you might interpret it that way, but Dash is not categorized as Movement in the rules. It is specifically in the Action section and, as an action, it allows you to double your movement (clear as mud, right?). Any Action can be readied. You are gimping Dash if you rule it can't be used with Ready. Ready Sometimes you want to get the jump on a foe or wait for a particular circumstance before you act. To do so, you can take the Ready action on your turn so that you can act later in the round using your reaction. First, you decide what perceivable circumstance will trigger your reaction. Then, you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose to move up to your speed in response to it. Examples include “I...
  • 07:26 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Travis Henry in post [New DM Question] What about Simultaneous Movement?
    But then we realized...on a Readied reaction, you can only move up to your Speed (In this case, 40' for the ox). So you can't Dash. (I mean, the running character could Dash on his turn, but then he'd get ahead of the cart!) This interpretation seems incorrect to me. The cart driver Readies the Dash Action, which triggers when the PC behind the cart says to "Go!" On his turn, the PC behind the cart says "Go" and they then Dash together. The Dash Action allows both players to move twice their normal movement. There is no restriction against using the Dash Action in conjunction with Ready.

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