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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:37 AM
    I would say it's a great attempt, but falls short in some areas. Still, LMoP remains my favorite D&D 5e module so far.
    804 replies | 53848 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:14 AM
    Players in my game would say it's very challenging, but fast-paced and hilarious. But I can't claim credit for that. I just set the stage.
    16 replies | 316 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 05:10 AM
    I likely don't set a DC. The character succeeds, no roll, perhaps because the truthful NPC exhibits no body language, speech habit, or change in mannerisms that suggest a deception.
    24 replies | 450 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:09 PM
    First, I wouldn't use an adventure module as proof of anything about the actual rules of the game, especially modules that were written early on in the design process. Leaving that aside, the doppelganger can try to deceive the PCs. It just tells the lies and then it's on the players to declare an action along the lines of wanting to determine the doppelganger's truthfulness (or agenda or...
    804 replies | 53848 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:05 PM
    How would you know with certainty? And more importantly, why even care? It's a manufactured problem (and mostly the DM's fault to boot).
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:48 PM
    Those two actions are not necessarily dependent upon each other. Whether the player is or isn't experienced doesn't matter. As above, not noticing anything peculiar about the statue and hitting it with an adamantine blade are not necessarily dependent upon one another. An attempt to recall lore can be, in effect, trying to verify an assumption you may have about trolls or...
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:50 PM
    Charisma (Deception) might be used as a way to calculate the DC for an uncertain action to assess the doppelganger's truthfulness, its agenda, or its personal characteristics (personality trait, ideal, bond, or flaw). Charisma (Intimidation) or Charisma (Persuasion) might be used to resolve a contest between a player character and an NPC to influence some other NPC. Since an ability check is...
    804 replies | 53848 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:50 PM
    I decided not to do with with attack rolls for the simple reason that every single character at both tables have their primary ability score modifier for attacks either starting at a +2 or a +3, and all of them apply their proficiency bonus (because PCs just don't make attacks with things they aren't proficient in, unless its a particular story point I've put them under.) So with everyone making...
    14 replies | 383 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:26 PM
    Yeah, without the additional context of my table rules document, it does sound cold-blooded. But here is what I tell players up front: "Describe what you want to do by stating a clear goal and approach - what you hope to achieve and how you set about doing it. A question is not a statement of goal and approach, nor is asking to make an ability check or the like." There is no need then to Ask...
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:32 PM
    When I run D&D games and a player asks me, "Would I know about X?" my response is typically "I can only describe the environment and narrate the result of your actions. Do you have an action you want to take?" I discourage all questions from players in most cases, but this one in particular is a sign that the player comes from the kind of game where the DM has to sign off on what you know before...
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:22 PM
    They would be useful in verifying assumptions the player may have regarding the dragon's stat, power, weakness, etc. Presumably, the player does not know with certainty that the dragon's stat block is unchanged from the Monster Manual. If the player does know that the stat block has not changed, then it's not as useful.
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:42 PM
    DEFCON 1 started a thread 2d10 for Skill Checks
    I have run many, many games now over the years that have used the standard d20 for skill checks, and over time have grown more and more disillusioned with it. Principally due to the fact that the d20 die roll produced way too large a variance for me, resulting in a PC's personal modifier having much less meaning in the grand scheme of results. A PC with a +6 to a skill versus one with a +0 did...
    14 replies | 383 view(s)
    9 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:56 PM
    I usually assign a range of CRs for a given adventure location and then use the charts in Xanathar's. In my Hills of Argh adventure location, for example, I just use the CR 5-10 random encounters for Hills from XGtE. It works great. Sometimes the encounters are overwhelming because the players are on the low end of that tier and the resulting encounter is very Deadly. Sometimes it's a cakewalk. I...
    9 replies | 204 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:49 PM
    Not being able to recall a troll's weakness doesn't stop you from lighting a torch and hitting the troll with it. Or lobbing alchemist's fire. That's a player stating an action to deduce based on available clues whether the statue is something more than a statue. The DM finds the action to have an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure and calls for an Intelligence check...
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:39 PM
    I would say you're adding to the D&D 5e's definition of "metagame thinking." Taken as a whole, the DM is told to discourage "metagame thinking" because it can lead the players to getting their characters killed (by assuming the DM would not throw powerful monsters at lower-levels PCs) or wasting valuable session time (by over-exploring an otherwise normal door they thought the DM took longer than...
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 11:53 PM
    I don't see it as "no longer working in 5e." It's not like D&D 5e is a software patch. It's a different game. Rules in D& 3.5e don't apply to D&D 5e.
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:33 PM
    From what I've seen, I think some do. I know I did and groups with whom I played did. We were the real roleplayers. Those other guys - those metagamers - they weren't roleplaying. Not really. Tribalism isn't good or bad (or is both good and bad depending on outcomes). It just is.
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 09:18 PM
    You will note that nowhere in my post do I say that I think I'm "enlightened." We're all subject to tribalism.
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Having been steeped in this mode of play for more than half of my D&D life (but no longer), I think that it is really just a form of tribal identification, since the approach doesn't really seem to achieve its purported goals in my experience, at least not as well as other methods. "Our tribe thinks and does things this way. Other tribes do things some other way." This tribal loyalty would also...
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 07:20 PM
    In D&D 5e, lawful good is defined as someone who can be "counted on to do the right thing as expected by society." That's all we have to go by. Reading into it any further or bringing in definitions of that alignment from other games only serves to confuse the issue. So the question is: "Is this the right thing to do as expected by society?" Whether it is or isn't, it should also be noted that...
    24 replies | 581 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 06:38 PM
    In a D&D 5e context, the DM describes the environment (which would include the necessary telegraphing, one hopes) then the player can describe what he or she wants to do. That might include some attempt to recall lore about trolls, or make a deduction about this troll in particular, which the DM can then adjudicate into success, failure, or uncertainty, the latter of which would call for an...
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 05:44 PM
    Out of curiosity, since a couple people have mentioned it, are there any rules about tumbling to avoid or mitigate falling damage? Because to my knowledge, that is not a thing in D&D 5e. That sounds like a rule that is being imported from some other game.
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 05:40 PM
    I think the easiest way to deal with "metagaming" is to just set the expectation that the DM (and other players) shouldn't care how another player makes decisions for his or her character - it's nobody's business but that player's. However, the player is forewarned that his or her assumptions may not be correct and that it's smart play to verify one's assumptions by taking action in the game. A...
    1795 replies | 48044 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 12:16 AM
    I think the two-barbarians-vs.-one-wizard "problem" is easily fixed by examining one's presuppositions and adjusting them for this game.
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 01:28 PM
    If I was in a party like this, I'd suggest we put one person in front to stay alert to dangers and one person behind or next to him or her who works together on the same task. That means there's a passive Perception of 17 detecting hidden monsters and traps as the PCs move through the dungeon. (The person doing the work together task is automatically surprised if lurking monsters attack, but at...
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 04:31 PM
    Right. The DM is not obligated to ask for an ability check if he or she does not think the outcome of the task is uncertain.
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th March, 2019, 04:02 PM
    Technically, the jumping is... no ability check at all, except in certain circumstances. (See PHB p. 182.) In my experience, DMs ask for way too many ability checks for jumping, climbing, and swimming when these things are factors of speed in D&D 5e. It often leads to PCs looking like chumps.
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 11:55 PM
    My overall point is that Help action as it is is strictly superior than Help action with an ability check attached to it, when judging it in terms of effectiveness. The players in my games make ability checks regularly in combat without changing the Help action. The DM just has to present situation where it's a possibility. Players shouldn't want to make ability checks, of course, but it...
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 11:32 PM
    I'm not sure what rule you're referring to. I'm not aware of anything like that in D&D 5e. As for attacking low-AC monsters, I ask for an attack roll if the monster is defending, which makes the outcome uncertain plus there's a meaningful consequence of failure (the monster goes on living).
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 11:20 PM
    If success on the task is the goal, automatic success is more desirable than rolling a fickle d20. A Help action as it currently is written is an automatic success. Tacking a roll onto it makes it less desirable in my view from that standpoint.
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:47 PM
    I would almost never use the Help action if there was an ability check attached to it. As a player, I'm trying to roll fewer d20's, not more of them!
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:43 PM
    Because I use the Variant Ability Score variant rule, I dropped Acrobatics from my game and just have players make either STR (Athletics) or DEX (Athletics) checks as applicable.
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Describing what you want to do amounts to stating a goal and an approach to that goal. It does not have to be a complicated or technical statement or require any expertise on the part of the player. "I want to make a Stealth check" is not a statement of goal and approach. At best it just implies one. What it is is a player failing to perform his or her role in the game and that slack is often...
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 08:53 PM
    Parkour to climb up something is just climbing, which isn't doesn't call for an ability check anyway (except in certain circumstances).
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 05:43 PM
    Recalling obscure sports trivia.
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 05:36 PM
    I don't agree on this point. Initially, the DM need only describe the environment to include the basic scope of options that present themselves. Each player gets the same description. From there, it's on the players to put their characters in the position to explore further and the resolution of those specific player-declared tasks is when the adjudication process and game mechanics (if...
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 05:28 PM
    Chiefly this comes up in my games for grappling as you say, but also a fair bit when the PCs jump into difficult terrain (see PHB, page 182). The only other time I really see it is if I include a terrain feature that requires balancing, such as a narrow beam or the like between two raised areas. Basically, include the appropriate terrain in your challenges and it will come up more often.
    47 replies | 1263 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 04:26 PM
    In general, if I want to play up some form of discrimination as part of the social interaction challenge, it's generally going to be against adventurers in general rather than adventurers of a particular race. For example, an NPC might have a flaw like "I can't hide my disdain for adventurers after that one group wrecked my tavern!" Then that's a personal characteristic the PCs can suss out and...
    75 replies | 2344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th March, 2019, 02:28 AM
    Sharpshooter is good with nets in that it allows you to ignore penalties for long range. But that's about it. My beastmaster ranger Red Creek Rufus does this to throw nets at a distance then has his boar companion Belvedere charge and knock prone.
    133 replies | 2356 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 08:26 PM
    I do not use a declaration phase. D&D 5e's "How to Play" loop is very simple and easy to follow: The DM describes the environment. The player describes what he or she wants to do. The DM narrates the result of the character's actions. The loop works the same in and out of combat. I can't imagine how a declaration phase in the style of previous editions would improve that or even what sort of play...
    48 replies | 1421 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 04:42 PM
    Whenever possible, hold a choke point with the rest of the party behind you. Dungeons are loaded with them.
    7 replies | 303 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 04:32 PM
    Yes, and we'll see you back here promptly with those aforementioned "specific issues" after running the game like it's some other game. Always happy to help with that!
    25 replies | 782 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 04:31 PM
    The easy way to remember the distinction in my view is: Perception = detect Investigation = deduce (based on clues you have) "Knowledge Skills" = recall Since action declaration is the players' role in the game, to see more Intelligence checks, the players describe their characters as attempting to deduce something from existing clues (e.g. how the trap works based on what they've found...
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th March, 2019, 05:22 AM
    That alone should put make that as strong as Perception in my view. Surprise sucks, of course, but it's just as much a surprise, for example, to hit a creature and find out it's immune to the spell you just hit it with. Trying to recall lore before doing anything else is usually a no-cost or low-cost option that can make a really big difference.
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 11:52 PM
    I think Intelligence is fine as is. Here's what typically results in an Intelligence check in my games, when the approach to a goal described by the player has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure: Attempting to recall useful lore about something Make deductions based on clues such as when trying to figure out a trap before disarming it or trying to figure out a...
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 11:51 PM
    I use the Variant Ability Score variant for skills, thus I have players make INT (Perception) checks all the time when they are actively searching for people. I use WIS (Perception) for their instinctual "danger sense" of whether they notice foes out in the wild, usually determined as their Passive Perception.
    66 replies | 1968 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 09:00 PM
    Welcome to D&D 5e! Here are some resources you may find useful as you prepare to DM your first game: How to Adjudicate Actions in D&D 5e The Case for Inspiration I also strongly recommend that you forget everything you know about running and playing AD&D 2e when running and playing D&D 5e. Much has changed both in terms of mechanics and in the approaches that best fit the game in its...
    25 replies | 782 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 07:40 PM
    In my games, the races that will be universally discriminated against aren't an option for player characters. Even if I accept your definition of "min-max race selection," what does it matter? People choose their character races or any other game options for lots of reasons that are really none of my business.
    75 replies | 2344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 04:35 AM
    What is "with all that means?" A DM's setting might not include particular forms of discrimination by default, perhaps because some players might not respond well to that sort of interaction as part of the play experience. Further, a player might not have based the choice of race on "mix-maxing." A player might just like the drow aesthetic, for example, but might not want to be hassled about his...
    75 replies | 2344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 04:14 AM
    If you're a player wanting to be subject to this kind of social interaction challenge, you can just tell the DM that's what you want (in so many words). I choose not to assume that's the case by default.
    75 replies | 2344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th March, 2019, 04:11 AM
    Sorry, man - that's frustrating. Have some XP. :)
    7 replies | 306 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:51 PM
    Certain campaigns have some race restrictions, depending on the theme/concept. If a race is permitted, then NPCs as a whole will tend to be accepting of them. If part of the challenge I'm trying to present is discrimination that needs overcoming or avoiding, it will usually be applied to the whole party e.g. a city of monsters not caring for non-monsters.
    75 replies | 2344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 10:34 PM
    1. I just do the one. "A replacement" in context suggests just one to me and it feels fair. 2. Yes. I only call for ability checks and leave it to the players to apply whichever skill proficiency they think is appropriate, according to how they described their approach to the goal.
    7 replies | 306 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 08:28 PM
    Heh... not if we don't have enemies that cast spells that often, it ain't. ;) And for some of us, the gravy is actually the meat. Really? If you run games as such that the bonus to DEX saves and the evasion parts of the feat are the actual meat and the shove is the gravy, I have a hard time believing you actually think the shove part needs to be nerfed.
    58 replies | 1927 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 03:13 PM
    What's Darkvision? You mean some games actually have situations where some of the players intentionally screw over their teammates by not letting them be able to see? Hmm. That's interesting. I wonder why they would do that? Doesn't sound very sportsmanlike to me.
    26 replies | 657 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 03:06 PM
    Bonus actions and movement can be used at any time during a player's turn. If a particular bonus action has a prerequisite for use (say, when you make an attack)... so long as the prerequisite happens during the turn I don't care when it happens during the turn. My reasoning for all of this is simple-- whether its Shield Master or Stealth or whatever-- its usually all arguments whose only...
    58 replies | 1927 view(s)
    8 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 02:42 PM
    I've been a loyal watcher since the beginning of Season 1 on YouTube, as I put it up while I'm at work and listen/watch it in the background. Through most of Season 1 I was "on time" with my viewing, and only on occasion did I get two to four episodes behind (but would then cram a bunch to get back on track.) With Season 2 I have fallen continually behind and right now am only on Episode 41...
    90 replies | 3313 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 15th March, 2019, 03:57 AM
    As DM, I try not to set up scenarios like this unless it affects everyone in the party.
    75 replies | 2344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 11:13 PM
    I'd correct the error after explaining it to the player. If it hasn't been a big deal in your games, then not having it any longer shouldn't be a big deal either. But that's also because darkvision is a significant benefit in my games as I play with light and darkness a lot, in part, because I use Roll20 dynamic lighting. You as a player see what your character can see. So darkvision is a big...
    26 replies | 657 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 10:56 PM
    I've tried watching and it doesn't meet my requirements for games or gaming podcasts. Those requirements being: It must be funny and/or very productive. Preferably both which is the goal I set for my games. Unfortunately, I don't find it funny and they don't get enough interesting content in over the course of a session to keep me engaged.
    90 replies | 3313 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 14th March, 2019, 12:27 AM
    My assertion is that arguments for a ruling in the game based on realism are not very good ones. They might work at your table with your players, if you have to justify a ruling (which you shouldn't have to do if you're being consistent). It will rarely if ever work in forum discussions.
    43 replies | 1249 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 11:31 PM
    "Realism" is probably the weakest of arguments when advocating for or arguing against a particular ruling in D&D in my view. Because it's a game based on make-believe sword and sorcery, "consistency" is a much stronger argument and, to that extent, that is where the rules help the most, since we can refer to them in many circumstances, and why the DM is well-advised to be as fair and consistent...
    43 replies | 1249 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 03:32 PM
    With the discussion of 2e, I feel very much obligated to tell you something I learned the hard way years ago: Forget what you know about other game systems when trying to learn a new one. Try to read the rules with fresh eyes without making assumptions. Examine everything you do and ask: "Am I doing this because it is supported by the game I'm playing right now or is it because I picked up...
    61 replies | 2030 view(s)
    3 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 03:23 PM
    Heh... yeah, especially when you add in the fact that really the only time its ever going to come up "in-game" is probably out of combat when the PC is running away from the guy with the hound dog. At that point the narrative will usually take over for the DM and they'll just make rulings as part of some sort of "chase scene" where the PC is trying to run away while also not getting hounded (pun...
    28 replies | 823 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 03:16 PM
    Don't think of it as a "House rule"... think of it merely as the DM interpreting the rules from a lack of specific information. But yes... animals that have Keen Smell can be ones that the DM interprets as ones that could be blinded and deafened and yet still make perception checks to try and find the hidden enemy. But of course bear in mind that it doesn't really make much difference......
    28 replies | 823 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 02:49 PM
    Pointing out the hidden creature's might be useful, such as for targeting an AOE spell. As far as imparting advantage on someone else's Search action, it depends on the circumstances, but that sounds like a Help action to me (keyword being "action").
    28 replies | 823 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 02:38 PM
    Technically, the creature can only communicate on its turn (PHB, p. 190), so it cannot point out the hidden PC. But I've honestly never seen that enforced in practice. That said, even if the hidden PC is pointed out, he or she is still hidden as long as the requirements for hidden are met - not clearly seen and not heard. The rules are unclear here. Being hidden only requires not being...
    28 replies | 823 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 02:13 PM
    I really just wanted to say something about this specific point-- I'd recommend you not think of it as stealth "failing". If you take the Hide action, you *are* stealthed. Regardless of what number your check ended up being. Rather... the number just tells you how well you are stealthed and hidden. It is an important distinction, because whether you are noticed/seen by other people has...
    28 replies | 823 view(s)
    4 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 13th March, 2019, 02:30 AM
    Stick the words "frost" or "ice" in front of monsters in the Monster Manual, give them resistance or immunity to cold sometimes, and call it good.
    16 replies | 564 view(s)
    9 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 04:16 PM
    I was implying it was for the bonus action and Flurry of Blows attacks (which always use the Martial Arts die) but I might not have been clear on it.
    43 replies | 1141 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 11th March, 2019, 02:24 PM
    I just make it easy on myself to adjudicate stuff like this. I strip away all flavor and wording from all of it and just look at the numbers. Are the numbers equal to what you'd get if you played a "prototypical" character with whatever class feature you are talking about? Then great... everything balances and I don't give a rat's ass how the "flavor" is defining what your stuff all looks...
    43 replies | 1141 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019, 11:12 PM
    Thanks for the kind words! I like that there are two ways into the dungeon. This offers a meaningful choice (assuming in your scenario they can choose to take the goblin entrance if they want). Then I'd say you'd want a couple different ways to get to the prize once inside the dungeon, enough to where they might leave an area unexplored and always wonder what was there. (This increase the...
    13 replies | 510 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019, 10:00 PM
    I design and run a lot of one-shots. I love them, especially watching multiple groups play through them so I can compare. One thing I've learned is that a plot-based adventure (what the DMG calls "event-based) is not as good in one-shots as an adventure location, a nonlinear dynamic place where there's at least two groups that are sometimes at odds for some reason. Come up with a theme and...
    13 replies | 510 view(s)
    7 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 10th March, 2019, 07:34 PM
    There is nothing in the rules about Large creatures getting advantage on Strength checks for grappling or shoving. The enlarge/reduce spell specifically grants advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws to the enlarged target of the spell, but that's a property of the spell, not of Large creatures in general.
    43 replies | 1249 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th March, 2019, 08:00 PM
    I rewrote the first encounter with the goblins in LMoP to where the PCs are on the hook for any supplies stolen from the wagon and then had the goblins do nothing but try to steal from the wagon and get away. Taking damage off the table for them except when cornered made for a much more dynamic encounter without the possibility of death but still with compelling stakes. Before I ran LMoP I had...
    61 replies | 2030 view(s)
    3 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Saturday, 9th March, 2019, 07:57 PM
    DEFCON 1 replied to Command: Flee
    Yep, I always try and confirm with DMs how they treat the one word commands, because some are prone to wordsmith things like old school DMs trying to screw you over on Wishes. So for instance, a monster is holding a weapon in their hand... the typical Command would be like Disarm, or Drop... but as that would only put the item at their feet... I would ask what their ruling on something like...
    45 replies | 1772 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 10:45 PM
    I'll add that when you read about Inspiration in the rules, consider my way of handling that mechanic which is a lot less overhead on the DM and a lot of fun for the players: The Case for Inspiration.
    61 replies | 2030 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 08:21 PM
    Lost Mines of Phandelver and the Basic Rules PDF are a good start. LMoP is about the only published D&D 5e adventure so far that I actually like. I recommend reading my tutorial on Adjudicating Actions in D&D 5e. I would also recommend Barrow of the Evensong if you're looking for a pretty fast adventure for 3rd level PCs. (You can safely skip 1st and 2nd levels and start at 3rd level.) I ran...
    61 replies | 2030 view(s)
    3 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 02:50 PM
    Yep. If you want to play in Greyhawk... all you have to do is click on that little Setting dropdown link on DMs Guild that says 'Greyhawk' and you can get what appears to be 122 separate Greyhawk products with thousands upon thousands of pages of Greyhawk material. Just because you can't buy "new stuff" yet doesn't matter. You can get Greyhawk if you really want it that bad. So the ignorant...
    68 replies | 3282 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 8th March, 2019, 03:40 AM
    I wouldn't imagine the mob rules work great with contests. I would just have one orc take the Help action for another which could result in as many as four contests at advantage for eight orcs. In all likelihood, the poor fighter is well grappled and/or shoved prone with this tactic.
    9 replies | 357 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 10:11 PM
    If they are aware of the risk and choose to take the chance, then that's on them. But you have to make doubly sure they are aware of the risk they are taking i.e. know that the hag knows what they want to do and can take steps to prevent it. More importantly though, there seems to be some kind of disconnect between how you view the difficulty of the challenges you're presenting and how the...
    29 replies | 1430 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 05:13 PM
    No time like the present! Unless the end of the campaign hasn't happened yet, in which case, no time like sometime in the future!
    3 replies | 290 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 05:11 PM
    I think the underlying question is "Is this actually a problem to begin with?" To that I would say, "No," but that's because I've adjusted my expectations to be in line with the design conceits that have been discussed upthread. I expect the monsters to miss most of the time and so I'm not disappointed when that's exactly what happens. I would also add that this game works best when it's one...
    84 replies | 3735 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 04:41 AM
    Compared to the Before Times, I have to say that getting one's hands on quality art for games is way easier. Thanks, internet! (Also, artists.) I'm also lucky to have a couple of great artists in my regular group and below is a scene taken right out of one of our recent Eberron sessions. Kudos to Valmarius for the excellent work. Here we see the warforged cavalier Stone in the...
    3 replies | 290 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 04:21 AM
    I'm not sure that really succeeds at achieving the goal you set forth. It makes the game more fiddly and prone to people trying reversies when they inevitably forget they didn't apply the bonus they should have. It risks creating problems you might not have now for no real upside. I would suggest that if you want the combats to be more tactical, introduce better terrain and alternate victory...
    84 replies | 3735 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 03:51 AM
    The general argument against the optional flanking rules is that it's just too easy to get advantage.
    84 replies | 3735 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 7th March, 2019, 02:37 AM
    I strongly suggest not using the optional flanking rules and instead making the areas in which the combat is occurring more interesting with terrain that does stuff (both bad and good). This will make battlefield position more important and instantly set your game apart from many DMs in my experience. In most games I play in, the place we're fighting may as well be an empty white room. In my...
    84 replies | 3735 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 11:29 PM
    As DM, I'm not only bad at having monsters hit the PCs, but terrible at initiative, too. My players love it.
    84 replies | 3735 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 03:36 PM
    I think "roleplay XP" was always an optional rule anyway. I know I never liked it. And in D&D 5e, that space is occupied by the rules for Inspiration.
    94 replies | 3203 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, 03:13 PM
    Well, Mearls ran through most of the material he originally was intending on talking about on Happy Fun Hour... how to create new subclasses and the like. He end up doing new subclasses for almost(?) all the the classes in the game, as well as entirely new classes like the Warlord. I also want to say (although I could be misremembering) that one one of the last ones he did he said something...
    13 replies | 1334 view(s)
    0 XP
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Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 08:17 PM - oreofox mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    ...e. I admit that. It's rather close to dandwiki with some of the content people put on there. But there have been some really good gems. Has been that way since they opened it up in 2016 (I put my first product up on there nearly 3 years ago to the date). Not many people I come across use the fan-made stuff. Opening more settings would give the chance of some gems popping up based in those settings. Also, what do you need to play Forgotten Realms in 5e that wasn't already available from the past 30-40 years? Why focus on Greyhawk, and not mention one of the other settings. Greyhawk and FR both have basically the same races. But why not open up Ansalon and Dragonlance? There are races, classes, subclasses, monsters, and other things rather unique to that setting that are not available using the generic Forgotten Realms products. What about Spelljammer? What about Dark Sun? I see so many people pining for that setting (I don't see the appeal, but apparently a large number love it). DEFCON 1 : 5 years ago, they just barely ended the playtest, and wouldn't truly release 5e for another 6ish months. But yes, not long after release, people were clamoring for a non-adventure 5e book. It took just over 2 years for them to release something that wasn't an adventure: Volo's Guide to Monsters. It gave DMs new monsters, and players a few new racial options. And people loved it. The next year they released the first fully player-oriented book: Xanathar's Guide to Everything. And people ate that book up. A year before Volo's, they released the forgettable and disappointing Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Now, thanks to Curse of Strahd, people are clamoring for them to release something for the other settings. And when CoS was released, and opened on the dmsguild, it was flooded with Ravenloft and horror-centric products, and it dwindled when Yawning Portal was released. Then came generic stuff, and when ToA was released, it was flooded with jungle-themed products. Release a Dragonl...

Saturday, 26th January, 2019

  • 05:05 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Shield Mastery Feat
    ...ires the use of an Attack action. Since you can ONLY take Attack actions on your turn, you cannot Shove a Creature outside of your turn, i.e. as an OA reaction. You are reading "melee attack" as "Attack action", they are two distinct, although similar, things. Again, if it doesn't make sense to follow the RAW, just change it for your game. No harm done if you want to play it that way. I literally said sword swings and Shoves "both use the Attack Action, both are melee attacks, and both are able to be used as a Reaction". I did not read or say Attack Action = melee attack. My point: if a sword swing uses the Attack Action, is a melee attack, and can be used with a Reaction; AND a shove has the exact same 3 characteristics as the sword swing that I just outlined; then both can be used as a Reaction for an Opportunity Attack. I think my interpretation is RAW, you think your interpretation is RAW. Both think the other is wrong. But perhaps we're actually both right because, like @DEFCON 1 says above: Rulings not Rules... only I'm righter because I like to give my players more "Yes"es than "No"s. :p

Friday, 7th December, 2018


Thursday, 22nd November, 2018


Thursday, 25th October, 2018

  • 07:13 AM - Li Shenron mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Passive Perception better than Active Perception?
    I'm not sure what kind of situation you're imagining. I'm only going to consult a character's passive score if they've told me they're looking for something, so I can't imagine a situation where they hit the DC to find whatever it is they're looking for with their passive score but then I'm asking them to roll a check instead. Maybe an example would help. (Also for DEFCON 1) Rather than an example, a general principle: I use Passive Perception against other's rolls, but Perception checks against static DCs. There is then no need to sweat each time to decide what to use. The only decision I typically need to make is, when rolling, whether the player rolls in the open or I roll for her secretly.

Monday, 27th August, 2018


Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

  • 05:13 PM - Sadras mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Player asked for a favour: MC Barbarian-Warlock
    Was the character a Barb first or a Warlock first? By your title, it looks like barb first. At what level did the MC start? So we have just started a new campaign at 3rd. They have had one session so far and he asked me if he could not change one of the levels to Warlock. Generally I am easy within the first two sessions on changing up a few things. 1) Will this player also want to cast spells or cantrips while raging? Nope. 2) How, if at all, would this affect the advantage the player gains on Strength checks and saves while raging? Not affected. @DEFCON 1 - I pretty much agree with you on this. I have had a look at the both the barbarian and the hexblade class. There is no real mechanical benefit I foresee that would be an issue at my table. I personally think the player is building his character incorrectly, said as much to him. There are better ways to make the concept through Background, Feats, Skills, Bonds, Flaws and Ideals - including a makeshift Patron Feat of sorts if need be. Failing that a combination of class features from the two classes. As I see it the high Charisma is actually hindering him (points wise), he won't be casting offensive spells so he doesn't need the high DC and as for the Hexblade Curse minor healing it is not worth it if he only sees the character advancing to level 3. Leaving the ability points in Strength actually works better since he intends to advance in Barbarian and Hexblade Curse works fine with that. I think he is happy I said yes, but muddled that I provided so many possibly better options for...
  • 03:44 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Player asked for a favour: MC Barbarian-Warlock
    I would have no problem with this. As DEFCON 1 said, every ability is like any other. There are already tons of ways for other classes to substitute in their prefered modifier for attack and damage. Additionally, this multiclass slows down the spellcasting and invocation progression, as well as prevent him from getting the barbarian capstone while also slowing his access to brutal critical. The sacrifices seem to balance with the gains. What I would be curious about are: 1) Will this player also want to cast spells or canteips while raging? 2) How, if at all, would this affect the advantage the player gains on Strength checks and saves while raging?

Saturday, 7th July, 2018

  • 11:02 PM - Jester David mentioned DEFCON 1 in post THIS Is The Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook!
    I heard Jester mentioned on the Friday fireside chat episode :). As far as the possible alt covers for the core books, I'm probably down with picking this up, mainly for the errata printing compared to my first edition printing books. Yup. That was my tweet at roughly the 20 minute mark, quoting a DEFCON 1 comment.

Tuesday, 10th April, 2018

  • 08:10 PM - Hawk Diesel mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Curse of Strahd and Strongholds
    Thanks everyone, I'm really digging the feedback. I'll admit, I hadn't really thought about this until a flash of thought this morning. I backed Matt's kickstarter and was wondering how I might be able to use it for the current campaign I'm running. DEFCON 1 that is a good point about there not being much around Barovia. But I don't think they would want to make a "home" of Vallaki what with that mayor being so persistent about people being happy and participating in those parades and fests. Of course, I also have no idea how this group is going to proceed or react. I am changing the script for some things regarding Lady Wachter and her relationship to the Baron and Izek based on some suggests I've found on these boards, so who knows who will survive that event. But the Blue Water Inn already makes a pretty nice base of operations, even if not exactly a player controlled stronghold. Krezk would be more reasonable, but the players may stumble into Van Richten's Tower by then, which has stronghold written all over it. Also, I know that Death House is like... super cursed. But I like to reward my players for creativity. I won't say it's impossible to break the curse. And I don't even know if they would want to claim the house as theirs. Bu...

Wednesday, 14th February, 2018

  • 12:01 AM - Kinematics mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Revised Disadvantage/Advantage
    OK, this came out of brainstorming on @DEFCON 1's post about exhaustion, and the trouble with the impact of disadvantage on all ability checks at the first level of exhaustion. However I'm finding the idea more generally attractive, and would like comment on it. The basic idea is to change the interpretation of how disadvantage affects a check. You still roll two dice, but instead of taking the lowest result and being done right there, you take both results, and apply them in order of lowest to highest. If both results were failures, or both success, then nothing really changes. You still just fail or succeed as normal. However when one is a failure, and the other a success, then things get a bit interesting. Namely, you have to take the consequences of the failure before you can get the results of the success. If the consequences of failure prevent the success from being possible at all (eg: attempting to jump over a pit trap; attempting to hit an enemy), then it's just a straight failure. But if the consequences of fail...

Friday, 26th January, 2018

  • 09:29 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Short and Long Rest limited Actions
    Action Surge is physically taxing, using it to take basically an extra turn costs you 5 hitpoints as you excessively push yourself. Every time you use it after the first the cost doubles, second time 10 hitpoints, third time 20 hitpoints, etc etc. This increased cost resets AFTER you take a short rest, regain your strength and let your body recover. To allow for "Rule of Cool" situations the cost of an Action Surge is paid at the end of your turn, thus allowing you to chose to make that final effort to finish your foe before accepting the consequences. Then, under the rational of doing away with short or long rest recharging, the fighter would get to use Second Wind in the same way to offset the cost of the additional Action Surges... but what is the cost of re-using Second Wind again and again? I'm sure you could come up with something, but it all seems like too much futzing for not enough gain, IMHO - to paraphrase @DEFCON 1's post above. That said, if an alternative Action Surge rule works for your table, give it a whirl. Let us know how it goes!

Friday, 15th December, 2017

  • 03:38 PM - Blue mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Legendary Actions
    DEFCON 1 is entirely correct in the rules as written. And that legendary actions are to help with the action economy of multiple PCs vs. a solo opponent and with a single PC only doing one is appropriate for the combat. However I believe that the intent is that all are used every round and that is built into the Challenge rating / XP value. If the creature will not have a chance to do so, I would lower the challenge and XP.

Thursday, 21st September, 2017

  • 10:00 PM - lowkey13 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post D&D Reader App Coming This Fall? [UPDATED]
    I felt harassed. It's not up to a vote. He's been blocked. Sent from my iPhone using EN World mobile app Fair enough! Well, let's see. Given that I know the posting history of DEFCON 1 (which is long and fair), and given I've seen what you've just done- "I'm not a moderator. My general rule, for myself, is to engage with people I enjoy engaging with, ignore commenters I don't enjoy, and block those commenters that persistently aggravate me." Bye!

Saturday, 16th September, 2017

  • 04:48 PM - Sacrosanct mentioned DEFCON 1 in post [SPOILERS] Enhancing Tomb of Annihilation
    I'm not treating you like freak. You can stop with that nonsense right now. I'm pointing out how every time something like this comes up, you make some sweeping negative statement that is only true if a lot of assumptions are met. In this case, the only way it becomes as easy as you say is if the party is pretty much nothing but clerics and paladins who spend all of their spell slots on those types of spells. and that is most certainly not true of most gaming groups. So when you make a statement like "...you definitely can't use the base game without tweaks.", that is simply not a universal true statement. You do this stuff all the time, trying to say your arguments are somehow a universal truth. This is exactly what I was talking about in that other thread yesterday DEFCON 1. This isn't you just stating your opinion of your personal style. This is you telling everyone else what can or can't be done as if there is no debate, and it's simply not true. Not to mention, if said players do spend their slots on spells like that, it means less slots they have during other combat encounters and other non combat encounters. To be frank, this reminds me of the discussions about how wizards in 3e make every other class obsolete. Those arguments rely on an assumption that the wizard will have every spell available and every slot available all the time, and that simply isn't true how the game is actually played. And finally, I wish you's stop making claims about something you don't even have the book on yet, and telling us who do have the book and have played it that we're wrong. Chult is tier 1. Says so right in the book. Tier 2 is dwellers of the forbidden city.

Saturday, 12th August, 2017

  • 04:38 PM - CapnZapp mentioned DEFCON 1 in post 5e druids/wildshape/combat forms/improvements
    DEFCON 1: actually my ideal for beast selection is the same as for spell selection: that work is done to shore up the weaker choices to make them palatable (or "viable"). If everybody chooses the Brown Bear, or everybody chooses Fireball, that makes for a less varied game. Just as I'm advocating that spells like Witch Bolt gets an official upgrade, I can wish for magic items that might work on the lion but not the wolf, the tiger but not the elk. Examples taken specifically because there are guides out there saying things like: Lion: Pounce is easily outdone by the Dire Wolf's bite, and the Dire Wolf does more damage. The Lion has two attacks, but without Multiattack that doesn't do anything. Dire Wolf is strictly better. Tiger: Nearly identical to the Lion, but with Darkvision and a tiny bit more damage. Dire Wolf is still better. Giant Elk: The Elk's Charge ability is nice, and has a solid DC to resist, but its biggest appeal is the ridiculous damage on its hooves. 4d8+4...

Thursday, 15th June, 2017

  • 04:56 AM - jayoungr mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Why is Hoard of the Dragon Queen such a bad adventure?
    Hi, I stumbled across this old thread from a google search. I am a first time DM, and this module will be my first campaign. I am interested in reading your blog posts mentioned here, and was also wondering if you had any tips for this adventure specifically for first time DM's. The links to these blog posts are no good. Do they still exist? The original article was reposted on this board, here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?373438-7-Legitimate-Beefs-with-Hoard-of-the-Dragon-Queen&p=6422605&viewfull=1#post6422605 And this post later in the thread has links to the follow-up "13 Tips" article on the Wayback Machine: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?373438-7-Legitimate-Beefs-with-Hoard-of-the-Dragon-Queen/page4&p=6730156&viewfull=1#post6730156 Good luck! The "Enhancing" thread mentioned by @DEFCON 1 above is always open for questions.

Wednesday, 10th May, 2017

  • 05:02 AM - pukunui mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Curse of Strahd help
    DEFCON 1: I don't know that I want to cheat quite like that. They're going to go to the castle as soon as they get the sword, so I'm not in a rush to force them there. I've been meaning to have Arrigal attempt to steal the holy symbol off the party (they got it from the Vistani treasure wagon, and I figured Arrigal would've gone off to Strahd to report the PCs' activities, only to be told off by Strahd, who recognized his description of the prize they took from the wagon, and ordered to retrieve it). This is probably the first chance he'll really get, as this is the first time the PCs have spent the night out in the open.

Thursday, 23rd March, 2017

  • 07:00 PM - pukunui mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Curse of Strahd help
    ... and instead of the hag Baba Zelenna, the villain there became a banshee witch named Patrina Velikovna). And then Chris Perkins took the stuff both Expedition and Fair Barovia and reincorporated it again-- for instance taking the name Lysaga and creating Baba Lysaga from it, and taking Patrina and her brother Kasimir's story from Fair Barovia! (which matches the story in CoS of he and the elves stoning his sister so that Strahd couldn't have her and it turning her into a banshee) but moving her from the hill to Strahd's crypt instead ...Actually, Patrina comes from the original I6 module: "Patrina was a gypsy elf maiden who, having learned in early life a great deal of the black arts, was nearly a match for Strahd's powers. She felt a great bond with Strahd and desired to become one of his wives. Strahd, ever willing, agreed, but before the final draining of spirit from her soul could take place, her own people stoned her to death in mercy. Strahd demanded, and got, the body. She then be...

Monday, 20th February, 2017

  • 06:39 PM - lowkey13 mentioned DEFCON 1 in post Warlock, Hex, and Short Rests: The Bag of Rats Problem
    The problem here is that now instead of a bag of rats, the warlock is incentivized to go punch a villager into unconsciousness. Or just slit their throat. It pushes the character towards finding an easy low-risk combat scenario, which is arguably even weirder than the bag of rats. The hardest part of a fully satisfying solution to this issue for me is that allowing all of the mechanics that lead to a bag of rats, which on their own are all reasonable and seem to be RAI and RAW how the warlock is balanced, leads to some kind of weird behavior. Building on what @DEFCON 1 wrote, why not just use your first bonus action in your first combat to cast it? If you think that hex, as intended, requires the Warlock to punch random villagers every morning and immediately take a short rest, then I think there's a very fundamental divide in how you are playing the Warlock (which isn't wrong- it's a choice) as compared to how others might play it. FWIW, I happen to think that hex is situationally useful, but I have found many better uses for the limited spell slots of a Warlock that don't eat up his concentration for the entire day. Because you can't stack concentration. (Although from a strictly comedy perspective, I have no issue with Draak, the Villager Puncher)


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Saturday, 23rd March, 2019

  • 10:33 AM - Harzel quoted DEFCON 1 in post 2d10 for Skill Checks
    Knowing that most skill modifiers for most PCs will fall in the -1 to +4 range (basically anything that isn't a high ability + proficiency modifier and/or Expertise)... the bell curve will usually give me rolls in the 9-13 range and thus produce most modified results between like 10 to 17. If I understand your intent here, I think that range for modified results should be 8 to 17.

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 06:22 PM - DM Dave1 quoted DEFCON 1 in post 2d10 for Skill Checks
    I have run many, many games now over the years that have used the standard d20 for skill checks, and over time have grown more and more disillusioned with it. Principally due to the fact that the d20 die roll produced way too large a variance for me, resulting in a PC's personal modifier having much less meaning in the grand scheme of results. A PC with a +6 to a skill versus one with a +0 did not make a perceptional difference that often... when the +0 could roll 16s to 20s while the +6 would roll 3s, 5s, 6s etc. The lack of a bell-curve meant modifiers had less import. Simple solution: have the players switch dice. That way the PC with the +6 could roll 16s to 20s while the +0 would roll 3s, 5s, 6s. Amirite? On a more serious note, I have noodled over this before but concluded that the d20 just works. In the multiple dice method, any combo of dice is going to have results that strongly favor the middle of the range thereby lowering the chances of spectacular successes and fail...
  • 04:55 PM - Quartz quoted DEFCON 1 in post 2d10 for Skill Checks
    I'm here to say that thus far I feel it has been working very well. It hasn't caused any issues (other than it took a little while for players to remember to roll 2d10 rather than a d20), advantage/disadvantage has been fine (in both cases roll 3d10 and take either the highest/lowest two of the three dice) Interesting. Why are you using that method and not rolling your 2d10 twice? And have you tried applying it to other d20 rolls?

Wednesday, 20th March, 2019

  • 04:43 PM - JPL quoted DEFCON 1 in post Morgrave Miscellany: Eberron Sourcebook from Keith Baker
    In Eberron, its the dwarves of House Kundarak that would really go into that one. Bankers Guild gotta have them Sneakers to try and get past their security. ;) Hmm. I kind of like dwarves or gnomes having ancient lock-whispering secrets, but I guess I would've tried to tie that to the rogue class, as a variant Arcane Trickster. Maybe with your choice of Intelligence or Wisdom-based spellcasting?

Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 10:46 PM - Reynard quoted DEFCON 1 in post GameHole Con Hints At An "As Yet Unannounced Setting" for D&D This Year
    They're not doing Spelljammer because they're doing Planescape. And the way you travel the planes of the multiverse is via spelljammers. ;)Mark my words, 5E Spelljammer is going to get folded into Planescape and you'll be Jammin' through the Astral instead of between the Spheres.
  • 08:43 PM - Satyrn quoted DEFCON 1 in post GameHole Con Hints At An "As Yet Unannounced Setting" for D&D This Year
    They're not doing Spelljammer because they're doing Planescape. And the way you travel the planes of the multiverse is via spelljammers. ;) Oh. I know what I'm betting on. A Star Trek crossover, set specifically on ancient Bajora when they had those solar sailing ships that let them reach Cardassia. "There are four continual flames"
  • 03:19 PM - robus quoted DEFCON 1 in post Do you Critical Role?
    Actors at least know how and why to go after what they want in a scene and always have an objective to strive for. Which in turns actually pushes the story forward and makes the drama compelling. Most of these other streams have just regular people listen to a DM narrate what's going on for 2 minutes and then respond with stuff like "I open the door." Not exactly the most interesting thing to listen to in the world. I think this is key and probably why the game feels so "unrealistic" to many D&D regulars. Certainly in my game my players rarely talk to each other in character about their characters, there's literally no curiosity about the characters themselves, it's just onward with the adventure. Now some of that is because two of the players have pre-gen characters from the starter set (so little investment in the chars themselves), but still their lack of interest in developing their characters has been an interesting contrast to what happens on Critical Role. Basically I feel like I h...

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

  • 05:44 PM - JediSoth quoted DEFCON 1 in post Joe Manganiello Gifts D&D Staff With "Death Saves" T-shirts
    But even us plebians still get stuff given to us for free all the time. Go to any game convention and we'll get swag bags from companies with all manner of stuff. Or walk around a Costco and you can eat a whole bunch of free food they have out on display. The level quality or expense may not be as high, but its not like we are all left out in the cold when it comes to this stuff. You haven't lived until you've made lunch from free samples from Costco or Sam's Club. :p

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 02:18 PM - dpkress2 quoted DEFCON 1 in post Not your average HIDE questions
    Yes, I understand that. And this is a very good point... What this means though... is that while you are hidden, if you choose to make an attack the next time your action comes up, you can possibly get advantage if you choose the right target, or NOT get advantage if you choose a wrong one. Choose a target whose passive perception is lower than your DEX (Stealth) check? Congrats! You get advantage! Choose the one whose PP is higher (and thus they know where you are?) Sorry, no advantage. Thus it behooves you after your PC has made their DEX (Stealth) check to keep a good eye out for how the enemies react on their turns. Because what the DM has them do will give you a better shot at recognizing which enemies did notice your PC and which ones didn't, thus making your target selection better for getting advantage. I might be in the best in the best interest for an enemy to not reveal that they notice the hidden creature to "Fake them out" I guess. At which point can the noticing...

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 06:57 PM - Parmandur quoted DEFCON 1 in post Sneak Peek At Ghosts of Saltmarsh Maps
    I love how they used the Saltmarsh map that was in 3.5's DMG2 for the town but just aged it back several years. So this way both maps are still valid-- the 5E version for the "Sinister Secret" age, and the 3.5 version for many years later as the city has grown. Oh, hey, that's cool: they have put a lot of thought and care into this. I'm glad to see they are following the Waterdeep pattern of a pretty general map, bit clear and clean maps for floorplans.
  • 02:30 PM - Yunru quoted DEFCON 1 in post Natural Weapons; What's Your Take?
    If you want to use Martial Arts with it, that's fine too... but those Martial Arts attacks will still do the same d4 to start with like a normal monk. Even if you try and tell me that you want to Bite with your bonus action "off-hand" Martial Arts attack, you're still doing it a d4 even if the Bite normally does more damage.Quibble; the Martial Arts die is an optional replacement. This is precisely why I find the whole "I HAVE TO USE RAW!!!" thing so baffling. To waste all this time and effort trying to divine what is "legal" according to what is written in the books, when if you just look at the base numbers there are easy standards that classes get. It's a certain random number plus a couple points of modifier. Regardless of how they get to those numbers, if they are all comparable then just let them have it. It's going to make for more original and varied characters, and not have twenty-seven different "dual rapier wielding" DEX fighters because it's the supposed "best" prototype ch...

Sunday, 3rd March, 2019

  • 03:10 PM - Oofta quoted DEFCON 1 in post RAW: Can druids wear studded leather?
    And really, how often does an AL DM actually ask about what armor any PC is wearing anyway? Any time I've run games at conventions, I've never once grilled a player on their weapon or armor choices. While I agree, I would also say it was cheating. A lie by omission is still a lie. It doesn't really matter that much, we're talking about a single point of AC for a PC that will likely never be in melee unless they've turned themselves into some beast. But as with claiming that ring mail doesn't count as metal armor because it doesn't specifically state that it's made of metal (really?), I'd rather not try to fudge the system. Have some respect for your DM and ask because there is no clear cut RAW on this one.
  • 01:06 PM - Leatherhead quoted DEFCON 1 in post Decoupling subclasses from their home class and having them work within other classes
    But honestly, there are not many subclasses than flavor-wise make sense to go cross-class-- probably mainly small swaps between the melee classes, or swaps between the casting classes. That's kind of a recursive situation. :) However, I will say that any Sorcerer Subclass flavor would just strait up work as a Warlock Subclass flavor, and vice-versa. Made a pact with a dragon or your great-great-grandma was a dragon? Doesn't matter! Either way you got scales and breathe fire. The real problem is that their class mechanics are so radically different, and subclasses are meant to build and improve upon class mechanics.
  • 07:58 AM - Hussar quoted DEFCON 1 in post RAW: Can druids wear studded leather?
    Just cast Barkskin on yourself and you never have to worry what any DM might decide. ;) Which is the standard answer for dealing with DM's who insist that they can never be wrong. :p

Friday, 1st March, 2019

  • 06:00 PM - Gwaihir quoted DEFCON 1 in post Cleric Challenged of Helm
    Yeah, my question is pretty much the same... Why Helm specifically? I mean, presumably the player has selected one of the domains that the book says Helm has-- Life or Light. I would imagine the issue is probably that there are no Chaotic Neutral gods that have Life or Light as their domain. If the PC is a Light domain cleric, their options according to the Basic Rules are: Helm (LN) protection; Lathander (LG) birth and renewal; Milil (NG) poetry and song; Sune (CG) love and beauty. And if they are a Life domain cleric, then their options are: Chauntea (NG) agriculture; Eldath (NG) peace; Helm (LN) protection; Ilmater (LG) endurance; Lathander (LG) birth and renewal; Lliira (CG) joy; Selune (CG) moon; Sune (CG) love and beauty. The PC is a Light Cleric, Noble background. Has played through Curse of Strahd and now into homebrew followup. In the last few sessions the propensity for chaos with no regard to Helmishness has increased. Player admits he has been trending CN...
  • 05:00 PM - Parmandur quoted DEFCON 1 in post Artificer UA has been released!
    The UA looks to me to match a lot of the older playtest documents, in that they have "combined" game mechanics they wish tested with flavoring that most likely is not going to actually be used when the final product is done. When I saw the homunculus fall under the alchemist I thought "That doesn't make any sense..." but then I quickly realized that they probably didn't want to confuse the testing issues by presenting the 3, 4, 5 actual subclasses that are going to appear (and have everybody under the sun do nothing but talk about the flavor rather than actually test the mechanics.) I would be not at all surprised if what ends up happening is the Artificer class itself appear in a regular hardcover book with the two "standard" non-setting-specific subclasses (probably alchemist and gunsmith)... and then additional artificer subclasses appear in the hardcover Eberron book when that comes, with those subs being more setting specific (like the warforged/golemsmith-- to which the 'craft homun...

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019


Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 08:55 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted DEFCON 1 in post Pages From The Upcoming Nautical D&D Book!
    5 years ago a vocal minority kept complaining that WotC wasn't releasing material fast enough and that a new splatbook HAD to happen, despite being told by the company that is wasn't going to until at least several years down the line. Imagine that, the purchasers of a product saying "hey, we'd like you to release something"....

Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

  • 04:28 PM - fil512 quoted DEFCON 1 in post Difference between being hidden and being unseen
    I believe it's the other way around-- being Unseen is what grants other creatures Disadvantage when they try and attack you. For you to gain Advantage on your attack, you have to be Hidden. And that occurs after making a Dexterity (Stealth) check and rolling higher than the perception of your target. No. The phb clearly states that what grants you advantage on your attacks is being unseen.

Monday, 18th February, 2019

  • 11:42 PM - guachi quoted DEFCON 1 in post Finally getting some use out of Chapter 4 (Other than Backgrounds)
    Either that, or they have a incredibly specific trait that as a DM you have to work extra-hard to ever have it come up in the game just so you could let them activate it. "I like eggs." Okay, great... now how or when exactly am I going to put you in a situation when you could actually try and claim Inspiration because you like eggs? Because more often than not... the one time you put eggs in an adventure for that one player is the night that player isn't able to show up. ;) Eggs-actly. My trait is "bad word play". I shall take my Inspiration now, thank you.


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