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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:35 PM
    pemerton replied to Carl Sargent
    I was sad to read this. I have a lot of Car Sargent's Greyhawk work on my shelves.
    4 replies | 302 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 01:30 AM
    darkbard, sort-of following on from your post: If we assume that magic items are mechanical in some fashion (eg grant bonuses to checks), then once we allow that mechanics can extend beyond combat, we have a framework for making sense of "loot" in the way you describe. In 4e there're are also options for approaching bonuses a bit differently eg the signet of authority allows one reroll in a...
    7 replies | 324 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 10:24 AM
    This appears to assume, as I said in my post, that the PCs are strangers. What you describe may be an excellent approach for a novelist wanting to introduce his/her readers to his/her imaginary land (I'm currently 50 pages into a rereading of Dune - Frank Herbert is doing a lot of this). But if one of the players is playing a dwarf; or if any of the PCs is from one of the civilisations in...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 03:37 AM
    I don't know - why would they? I suggested that the GM should probably follow the players lead, which the player sketched out in the OP and was seeking some feedback on. Whereas my recommendation would be to answer the question Does a game in which a half orc paladin of conquest seeks divinty by eating the hearts of coutatls, devas etc sound exciting?. Presumably the player thinks it is, or...
    14 replies | 559 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 03:30 AM
    The difference between (1) me, in the world, going to my place of work and saying hello to my colleagues, and (2) me, as a player, asking the GM to tell me where my place of work is, and what it looks like, and who my colleagues are, and what they are like, is huge! The second is very like having someone read me a book or tell me a (perhaps not super-gripping) story. But if the goal is...
    46 replies | 1437 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 10:41 PM
    No it wouldn't. The real world is something I live in and experience. My knowledge of it is intimate. It is not mediated to me through anyone's verbal narration of it. The most obvious way to emulate this in a RPG is for the players to stipulate elements of the setting as they need to. Not for the GM (or a 3rd party) to write up reams of fiction in advance of play. Providing a tool to...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:41 PM
    Again, this is not my experience at all. When I started a Classic Traveller campaign, I rolled up the starting world in front of the players, after they had rolled up their PCs. We discussed how each of the PCs had got there - integrating the implict story resulting from PC gen (Traveller uses a lifepath system) with the implicit story of the world - and one of the players decided that this...
    46 replies | 1437 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:35 PM
    My experience is closer to cmad1977's. Reading someone else's story about what happened in some imagined place at some imagined time doesn't help my immersion.
    46 replies | 1437 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:03 PM
    What you've set out sounds fun to me! Why would the GM not just follow the player's lead?
    14 replies | 559 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 09:09 AM
    As far as I know the god Dumathoin was first mentioned in DDG under the entry for Moradin, but nothing was said about him except that he is the "god of secrets under mountains". Vergadain and Dumathoin were written up by Roger E Moore in Dragon 58, as part of his "point of view" and demihuman god series. As far as I know this was the first appearance of Vergadain. This is reprinted as part of...
    2 replies | 209 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 08:39 AM
    Continuing in my persona as the man from 15 months ago: This was interesting, both in general and because I'm trying to get myself into the mindset to GM Dungeon World next year. I don't know BitD outside of this thread and a few other posts about it, so my thinking/question will be framed in (what I take to be) DW-ish terms. And also BW-ish terms. It seems to me that this issue of...
    41 replies | 5177 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 06:00 AM
    When this has come up in my game we've handled it in various ad hoc ways. Remember that the player can always choose that "dropped to zero" equals unconsciousness, not death, so to a significant extent this will be about what the attacking player thinks makes sense in the fiction. I certainly have memories of the wizard player in my game using Colour Spray as an AoE when innocent parties were...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 05:55 AM
    Coming in a bit late (!), but this resonated with me. It may seem slightly odd, but I had the sort of feeling you describe when our group generated PCs for Classic Traveller. I'm sure it's clunkier than BitD, and probably not as "fiction first", but compared to some other systems (eg AD&D, or RM, or a certain approach to 4e) the characters felt real, with histories that could easily be seen as...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 05:19 AM
    Manbearcat, cthulhu42, I think this might be the thread: Blades in the Dark Actual Play. It was started by Campbell.
    5 replies | 285 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 02:50 AM
    On these boards, I think Manbearcat has played a bit of BitD. Maybe Campbell also. I think there are a lot of RPG systems that are underappreciated and worth talking more about. That's why I keep posting about my play experiences with Prince Valiant, Classic Traveller, etc! Unfortunately I've not played any BitD and not much DW either, so don't have heaps to offer on this occasion. I am...
    5 replies | 285 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 06:46 AM
    What's your resolution system? Ie how do you decide if the PCs have escaped the dreams?
    6 replies | 283 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 05:11 AM
    Especially (b), ie the fact that spellcasting in D&D almost never requires a successful check. Think about what, supposedly, the fiction of D&D spellcasting involves - precise hand gestures, speaking complex arcane syllables of such power and profundity that only a few of them can be impressed into a human brain at any one time (ie Vancian spell memorisation/preparation), pulling various...
    930 replies | 12813 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 03:08 AM
    I've never played serious Pendragon, only one or two one-shots at conventions years ago. I got a copy of Pendragon 5.2 with Prince Valiant as part of the Kickstarter. It's an interesting system, and we're using the price lists and the map for our Prince Valiant game, but I don't think I could imagine actually running Pendragon as a serious campaign. Besides it's general "heaviness", I don't...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 12:21 AM
    Gygax's DMG, pp 110-11: Serving some deity is an integral part of AD&D. . . . he accumulation of hit points and the ever-greater abilities and better saving throws represents the aid supplied by supernatural forces. This is consistent with the description of hit points on p 82, which includes the increase in hit points . . . reflect both the actual physical ability of the character . . ....
    930 replies | 12813 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 08:30 AM
    Sure, but then we need "codified rules" for how a martial PC gets to add a shield (or whatever) to his/her equipment list. And we probably also want some system - a fairly generic one is fine, even desirable - for working out how hard it is to throw your shield (or whatever) and stun three orcs (or whatever). I agree with Garthanos that if we don't go beyond what the GM envisages a strong...
    930 replies | 12813 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 04:49 AM
    You're foucsing on the fiction. I'm focusing on the gameplay. A rule that is at work in my 4e game - in virtue of one of the player's choice of epic destiny for a PC - allows that PC to wield bigger weapons that deal more damage. The fiction of the epic destiny is that the PC has grown in stature. I wouldn't mind if the fiction was, instead, that the PC has been injected with super-soldier...
    930 replies | 12813 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 12:33 AM
    I really don't see much evidence in the history of RPGs that this way of approaching it provides dynamic and capable "martial" characters. This applies to everything from the stuff Garthanos is talking about, to exactly how many orcs my Conan-esque fighter can slay per game-unit-of-action, to the need in AD&D for my fighter to PC to get a girdle of giant strength if s/he is going to emulate a...
    930 replies | 12813 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 05:30 PM
    No worries! Like I've said in a couple of posts now, I think it's a bit underappreciated. In five sessions I've used six episodes from the main book (three knightly challenges, a family in distress, a woman in distress, and rebellious peasants twice) and six from the episode book (Kenneth Hite's wild hunt, the episode called A Wild Hunt which is the Crowmaster one, the Blue Cloak, the Crimson...
    7 replies | 324 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 05:22 PM
    I would say "scenario" rather than adventure. It's generally a situation that will activate knightly intervention - attacks by bandits, rescues from bandits, helping out innocent women/villagers/ghosts/etc figure prominently. Ron Edwards gives some nice descriptions of how Prince Valiant scenarios work: . . . the character's judgmental and active presence is established and already in...
    4 replies | 377 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 03:39 PM
    My group has played a couple of Prince Valiant sessions since my last actual play report. The first of these (fourth session in what has turned out to be a campaign) saw the squire PC progress dramatically. The session started with some recap, a mixture of in-character and out-of-character: our fourth player, who had been absent from the previous session, was there, and so there had to be...
    7 replies | 324 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 12:38 AM
    Sorry for the late reply! Yes, we use dice (evens for success) rather than coins, just because we've got plenty of dice ready to hand - and when a joust is on the rattle of the dice in hand emulates the thundering of hooves! I think your idea of using PV for Middle Earth makes sense. If you do it, I'd be interested to hear how it goes.
    4 replies | 377 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 3rd November, 2018, 10:34 AM
    I don't know if Libramarian still posts on these boards, but he used to have good ideas for this sort of thing.
    3 replies | 291 view(s)
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Friday, 2nd November, 2018, 08:22 AM
    Why not just throw two solo monsters at the same time at your party???
    11 replies | 396 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 31st October, 2018, 11:36 AM
    I've sblocked an account of a beholder fight in 4e. It was pretty good. I don't know how easy it would be to replicate in 5e.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th October, 2018, 11:06 AM
    I'm going to repost my post to which you replied (and will explain why I've bolded what I've bolded): So I'll ask again, how did it become true, in this example, that the PC is moving across the room? You have once again said that the player's action declaration does not yield such a result. You have said (and I have bolded) that the GM narrates the results but in the original example the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 11:42 PM
    As I said, this is the crappiest approach to RPGing I can imagine. Fortunately, 5e doesn't mandate it. The Basic PDF doesn't state it or even imply it. The only edition of D&D that I'm aware of that comes close to this in its rules is 2nd ed AD&D, but I don't think even it comes out and says this quite so bluntly.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 11:36 PM
    Just to be clear: I posted about some experiences that had caused me to leave games. Lanefan and others then posted to say that I was wrong in my view that those experiences were examples of bad GMing, and that I did the wrong thing in leaving those games. So I think you've got it slightly backwards - I've been told I'm not doing my duty as a RPG player because I don't want to play with (what...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 11:31 PM
    It's one thing to have preferences. It's a different thing to interpret a game system. Clearly 5e works more like 5ekyu describes than as you might wish that it did. This is a little ironic given your other post that I've quoted! Because here you're saying that, in fact, the fiction does not unfold over the course of play, but is only established "as a block" when the GM decides what happens....
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 01:58 PM
    pemerton started a thread Capture scenario?
    Have you ever run a capture scenario? If so, in what system? How did it go? How did you adjudicate the rescue/escape? (I'm thinking especially of scenarios where the fact of being captured is the fosuc/challenge of play. The Slave Lords isn't a capture scenario, as the capture and release is just colour to set up a survival scenario.)
    3 replies | 204 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 10:13 AM
    I've boded a few words/phrases in your post that seem relevant to what I'm saying. If certain things cannot or must be done, that implies that outcomes of declared actions are not all at the discretion of the GM. If certain things are left up to the table, that implies that outcomes of declared actions may not all be at the discretion of the GM. Which in my view is quite consistent with...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 06:14 AM
    Well, as I understand a RPG it's about pretending to be a different person, often a more adventurious person, in some sort of challenging situation. It's not about suggesting to someone else what story they should tell. In other words, I don't play RPGs to describe what I want my PC to do. I play RPGs to (among other things) describe what my PC is doing. What you describe here appears to be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 06:05 AM
    In the abstract, sure. But here is Hussar's argument: X is true because I believe X, I'm an English teacher, and therefore I would know. And here is your argument: X is true because I read it in a book, and the book is right because the people who wrote it would know. Those arguments are both appeals to authority. Maxperson, every argument I have ever seen you run is logically...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 29th October, 2018, 12:15 AM
    Bollocks. Even Wikipedia has noticed that it's not: An argument from authority, also called an appeal to authority, or argumentum ad verecundiam is a form of defeasible argument in which a claimed authority's support is used as evidence for an argument's conclusion. It is well known as a fallacy, though it is used in a cogent form when all sides of a discussion agree on the reliability of the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 11:47 AM
    Maxperson, you might want to reread my post noting that (i) and (ii) refer to some steps that your (1) to (3) left out, not to your (1) and (2). I find this a bit hard to follow, because you say that the players work some stuff out but that nothing changes in the fiction until the GM works some stuff out. To be clear: is it your view that the players never bring about any change in the...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 11:39 AM
    OK, but your house rules don't constitute a "built-in assumption" (your phrase). In fact, if you had to house rule, the assumption probably wasn't built in at all! Are you talking about the fiction, or the real-world basis on which the fiction is established? Climbing is something that happens in the fiction. Rolling to hit and damage is something that happens in the fiction. (So is a climb...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 10:22 AM
    (1) Where is this assumption built-in? Not into AD&D, which uses different to-hit tables for a half-orc depending on whether the half-orc is a PC or NPC (see Gygax's DMG p 74). Not into 4e, which uses different character build principles player-side and GM-side. (2) The GM narrating the results is not "cutting to the chase". It's not a mode of action resolution. It's framing and/or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th October, 2018, 10:12 AM
    ENWorld is the only forum I know where "appeal to authority" is treated as a fallacy rather than good evidence! I've never been to France or spoken to a French government official. How do I know France's capital is Paris? I learned it from an authority! Fallacious me!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 10:44 AM
    There is a step or two missing here - between the players describing what they want their PCs to do and the GM narrating the results of the adventurers' actions, we need to (i) work out what actions the adventurers take, and (ii) work out what the results of those actions are. Step (ii) is more than just the GM makes it up. 5e D&D has dozens of pages of action resolution mechanics. Step (i)...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 04:56 AM
    Right. This was one of the possibilities I canvassed in a post upthread. It's a matter of table practice, taste, mood, how much the GM wants to taunt or be generous or whatever . . . I tend to do my best to follow what seems to be the logic of the system. 4e tends to emphasise information for tactical choices; Burning Wheel tends to emphasise blind declarations - just to contrast two systems...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:55 AM
    Sure. Even a character not immune to Magic Missiel by default can rasie a shield spell if targetted by it. But in cases where this doesn't happen, to target a creature is to damage it. Just as to hit a creature with a weapon attack is to damage it, as the 5e Basic PDf indicates (p 73, emphasis added): You make the attack roll. On a hit, you roll damage, unless the particular attack has...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:47 AM
    Says who? This depends entirely on the system. It's mostly true of 4e, but not completely. It's not true of Burning Wheel, Marvel Heroic RP or Prince Valiant. It's only partially true of Classic Traveller (which applies morale rules to PCs). To me, this seems like an irrational principle. The mechanics happen in the real world. Characters in the fiction influence one another. PCs can be...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:30 AM
    Right. The game rules are what they are. They can be inconsistent, eg if one rule contradicts another with no apparent way for resolving the contradiction; but that's not the case here. The Shield spell not being liked by Lanefan doesn't mean that it's a mistake. That might be a statement of your preferences. It's not relevant to making sense of the 5e rules, though. 5e is not a blind...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:10 AM
    But being targetted by magic missile and being damaged by it are the same thing, in the fiction - because a magic missile automatically strikes damages whomever it targets. So if it's not time travel in one case, it's not time travel in the other either. Whether the GM announces the targetting prior to rolling the damage, or does the two simultanesously, is simply a matter of table practice...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th October, 2018, 01:06 AM
    Does the adventurers denote the PCs or the players? It's most naturally read as the PCs, given that the players of a RPG aren't doing anything especially adventurous. Which implies that when the GM narrates the results of those actions, it is already established, in the fiction, that some actions have occurred. Who establishes that? Presumably the players.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:39 PM
    I'm not sure what you mean by "freeform". In this thread I can't tell whether you (and other posters) regard a player deciding the names, occupations, etc of his/her PC's parents as "freeform" or not. I would have regarded my RPGing as pretty conventional, mostly playing pretty traditional systems, if it wasn't for threads like this. The idea that generating a particular response in a NPC, or...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:30 PM
    Whose theory? That's the whole point of my post, which is an elaboration of one aspect of what (I take it to be that) Aldarc is saying. Some people like to play a RPG in which the GM decides everything that happens except (perhaps, if there is no fudging of the combat rules) who gets beaten in fights. Others don't. And it's hardly a new idea. I already cited Classic Traveller which has rules...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:22 PM
    Storyline is one thing that isn't part of the RPGing approach that Gygax advocates. I don't know what his actual play was looking like in 1978-79, but his PHB and DMG don't contemplate storyline play. They have detailed advice on dungeoneering play; some advice on hexcrawling; and have hints about urban play, but don't actually present urban environments as anything beyonds places to restock and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:17 PM
    Yet that is exactly how the 5e Shield spell works: Shield 1st-level abjuration Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you are hit by an attack or targeted by the magic missile spell . . . An invisible barrier of magical force appears and protects you. Until the start of your next turn, you have a +5 bonus to AC, including against the triggering attack, and you take no damage...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:08 PM
    So you're not actually interested in talking about the sort of play that Gygax advocated in his DMG?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:05 PM
    I agree that blind declaration is sometimes more exciting. If less tactical. But that's not the argument that Lanefan and Maxperson were running. They were talking about "time travelling", not what makes for more or less fun at the table.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:01 PM
    I said that Gygax doesn't assume that the GM is the sole author of the ingame fiction. In the example, who authored the existence of a high bluff overlooking a river suitable for the building of a small concentric castle? The player did, not the GM. That is not an example of GM-driven play!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 09:50 AM
    For me, the issue is not about whether or not a GM is playing a NPC "wrong". It's about who gets to influence the content of the fiction. In real life, people sometime act in surprising ways - surprising even to those who know them well. Sometimes people who seem unbreakable or incorruptible succumb to pressure, or to temptation. This was at the heart of the debate in the Traveller thread I...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 09:35 AM
    This goes to the heart of your argument with Aldarc. Where is this rule stated - that a player can't change the fiction?
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 09:30 AM
    So the criterion is realism, except when it might contradict D&D rules, and then the criterion is simplicity? If simplicity is the key, then it's simple to roll attack and damage together, and to allow the Shield spell to be declared in response to a hit even though the damage has been rolled. (And to echo Ratskinner - I think the "simplicity" of D&D is easily overstated.)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 09:16 AM
    You pose the question "What else is the GM supposed to do?" and then ignore the answer I provided - use the system mechanics! And it's not as if that answer is purely hypothetical - I've been running Classic Traveller that way, and there are other systems (some more modern than Traveller) that have even more elaborate social mechanics. EDIT: noticed this in your post which hadn't registered...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 03:17 AM
    That's not my experience at all!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 03:15 AM
    Why do you think the world "you" refers to in your sentence? Here is what I am sceptical of: that there is such a thing as farily refereeing the Duchess's reaction, which is comparable to fairly refereeing the result of poking a stone with a 10' pole. I think the reason is obvious, but in case it's not I'll spell it out: the reactions of stones to being poked are fairly simple, fairly obvious,...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Friday, 26th October, 2018, 02:48 AM
    But it's simply not true that, the instant the GM says that, the result in the ficiton is magic missile streaking from the NPC to the PC. That's a "rule" that you're making up - and clearly it's not a rule that is consistent with the 5e rules, precisely because it can't accommodate pretty mundane features of those rules (like the Shield spell). Here's another, equally banal, example: a player...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 11:43 PM
    No shame in that!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 11:40 PM
    There's too much going on in this to unpack it all. So I'll just say a couple of things. (1) The only meaning of author stance that I'm familiar with is Ron Edwards': In Author stance, a person determines a character's decisions and actions based on the real person's priorities, then retroactively "motivates" the character to perform them. This can be contrasted with actor stance: In...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 11:13 PM
    What am I supposedly agreeing on? It's very easy to see the places in Gygax's DMG where his basic principles come into collision with his detailed prescriptions, and one can also see tensions between what seem to be his own table practices and his advice to other GMs. But in any event, Gygax doesn't assume that the GM is the sole author of the ingame fiction. Here's one example, from his...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 09:49 AM
    But the Shield spell doesn't state this. Nor does Uncanny Dodge. Imagine a context where the GM says "It's the NPCs mage's turn. <rolls some dice> Tara, you take 11 hp from magic missiles!" That would not be atypical in D&D play, at least as I've experienced it. Presumably it doesn't preclude Tara's player declaring a Shield spell. Or an Uncanny Dodge. I think describing it as "time travel"...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 09:17 AM
    On despotism: clearly describing a ruler as an enlightened despot is not intended as a slander! And if one takes away the enlightened, or puts it inverted commas, that's not a slip-up but a deliberate expression of opinion about whether enlightened despotism is a genuinely feasable or desirable mode of government. Likewise in the D&D context: if someone deliberately describes a certain GM-ing...
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 08:37 AM
    I want to say that, so far from barking up the wrong tree, I agree completely with you! There's not time travel; and the view that there is results from misinterpreting the relationship between mechanical procedures and fictional events. And I still think that someone who describes these powers as "time travelling" ie who misdescribes them, is undermining their credibility as an expositor and...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 08:32 AM
    In D&D, damage is a mechanical phenomenon - an adjustment to a hit point total. In the fiction, a character is hurt or distracted or worn down or otherwise brought closer to defeat. This occurs when the relevant action is resolved. In a system - like 5e - that permits interrupts of various sorts (like the Shield spell and the dropping-to-zero rules), the action is resolved once all the interrupts...
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 06:28 AM
    What's your basis for saying this? Suppose my PC has 16 hp left, and suffers 16 hp of damage. S/he now has the potential to be dying. I contend that that was not a blow that clipped the tips of my PC's fingers! It hit my PC somewhere that has the potential to be fatal. Narration around hits and damage in D&D has always been rather flexible - Gygax in his DMG argues that this is a virtue of...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 06:18 AM
    This goes back to my comment about Maxperson's account of the 5e system. If you think that declaring the result of a damage roll ipso facto establishes some fiction; or that declaring a reduction to zero hp as unconsciousness rather than death is "time travelling"; then you're clearly interpreting the mechanics differently from how the 5e authors intended their mechanics to be interpreted. At...
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  • MichaelSomething's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 03:59 AM
    Has anyone tried a real time initiative\combat system? Bet that could work!
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th October, 2018, 12:38 AM
    But I was talking about the rolling of the damage. With a blowgun, if I'm hit then I know how much damage is coming in yet can use Shield. So why can't I wait until the damage from a sword blow is rolled - but then use Shield before it is opposed. (There's also Hriston's excellent point about rolling practices.) But how is knowing whether the arrow is coming for my head or my thigh...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 09:55 AM
    But that principle doesn't tell us whether or not the damage gets rolled before I decide! Here's one way to look at it - I'm more likely to cast Shield if the arrow is coming for my head than my thigh. And one indicator of that - in D&D - is the damage roll.
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 09:28 AM
    Maxperson's "time travel" argument relies on a distinction between rolling to hit and rolling the damage. I'm curious what he says if there is no damage roll. And more generally, I find it interesting that Maxperson is very quick to tell us how the 5e rules should be understood (on this thread vis-a-vis clerics and warlocks; on another current thread vis-a-vis initiative), and yet is revising/...
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 09:24 AM
    I agree. Even if we bracket the general rule, there's another issue - if the GM knows what the player has done, then s/he knows that any attack against the rogue will rebound, even if the creature doesn't, which makes action declaration hard on the GM's side. One option would be to reword the ability: on the creature's next turn, if it has a melee attack as a standard, move or minor action...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 08:47 AM
    What if it's an attack that does a static amount of damage? (Eg a blowgun)
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th October, 2018, 01:37 AM
    It's an example from the published rules of AD&D. It's completely workable. You can tell whatever story you want to about how the 4th level mercenary captain worked his/her way up from the ranks, or was trained at the King's court, or whatever other fiction takes your fancy. You can even have the captain improve his/her command ability if you want - the point of the "incapable of working upwards"...
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 11:27 AM
    I don't do a lot of horror RPGing, but recently ran Cthulhu Dark and enjoyed it. I've also played the Cthuhu variant of A Penny for My Thoughts which produced some pretty wacky stuff. I'd play either of those ahead of traditional CoC.
    22 replies | 581 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 10:26 AM
    What happens when a non-hencman NPC in 1st ed AD&D gains an XP bonus (eg from looking through a Deck of Many Things) or suffers an XP penalty (eg from reading the wrong magical book)? The rules don't provide a straightforward answer - the GM has to extrapolate and make a ruling. What happens if a mercenary captain loses a level to a wight? Can s/he - who is normally "capable of working...
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 08:41 AM
    You seem to have confused a player declaration of effect with an ingame event. (And this rule is from 4e - one of many aspects of 4e that carry over into 5e.) OK. But that hardly seems relevant to interpreting the game rules. I ask again - do you regard it as RAW that a king's champion must mete out death, or must have meted it out, such that a PC fighter whose player uses the drop-to-zero...
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 06:56 AM
    Levels in themselves are weird (and "gamey") because of the way they group together, and homogenise, various elements of human capability. Ability scores are similar in this respect (eg there are at least some human beings who have good reaction times but don't actually move very fast, and/or have poor balance; but in D&D these traits all tend to track one another via DEX). But it's especially...
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 04:59 AM
    I don't think you'll find me saying that. The process of authoring a RPG is (obviously) different from the process of authoring a book: most obviously because the audience is also the author, and there is both the real-time dimension to that and the consequent lack of editing. I think Galahad is an excellent example. On a slightly related note, on of my favourite things about 4e is that a...
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 04:54 AM
    double post deleted
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 04:50 AM
    Maybe. It depends what's going on both in the fiction (given the established fiction, the framing of the (failed) check, etc, what sort of thing might happen next?) and at the table (what were the players looking for from the check? what was at stake?). Maybe in the crime lord situation, the lead they are talking to suddenly collapses - dead, poisoned! That could easily make sense if (eg) one...
    13 replies | 757 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018, 12:44 AM
    A complicating factor here is that AD&D doesn't really have an action resolution system! There's combat which has its own fairly detailed system; there are thief abiliites, which at least as presented are purely task resolution except perhaps hide in shadows; and there are some rules for dealing with doors and traps. Fail forward depends on there being a player intent behind the action...
    13 replies | 757 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 22nd October, 2018, 11:51 PM
    Right. If one reads Hussar's post, or the text of the game he posted, T-Rexes walking unnoticed through town has nothing to do with it.
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 22nd October, 2018, 11:47 PM
    That's not what the text says! I'll quote it again (Basic PDF, p 24): hey are well acquainted with death, both meting it out and staring it defiantly in the face. This syntax is not ambiguous in any way. Who is the subject of meting it out? They, ie, fighters. The 5e Basic rules say that fighters are acquainted with death because (among other things) they mete it out.
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
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  • pemerton's Avatar
    Monday, 22nd October, 2018, 11:40 PM
    I thought in 5e you could get XP for defeating foes, not just killing them. And I didn't know there was any rule in 5e that NPCs need to earn XP to gain levels; or to put it another way, I dind't know that in 5e the XP rules were a model of how things work in-fiction as opposed to a device for establishing the progression of the PCs.
    1795 replies | 57729 view(s)
    0 XP
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About DMZ2112

Basic Information

Date of Birth
December 21
About DMZ2112
Introduction:
28-yr DM ISO chat, pbp, or pbem playing opportunities and players for weekly short game
About Me:
My name is J, and I’m a male human in my late 30s. I’m True Neutral (dedicated, not unaligned). I’m a career dungeon master -- this will be my 27th year of running campaigns through every edition of D&D since Basic D&D, and Pathfinder -- but I’ve been challenged to play the game more, to broaden my perspective, so I’m trying to get my name out there. As a long-time dungeon master, though, asking someone else to run for me feels self-important. I apologize for my audacity.

I’m looking for a traditional, "old-school" campaign, something that would be called a ‘sandbox’ today, but I think we just thought of them as ‘D&D campaigns’ back in the ’80s. A game where there’s a cohesive, persistent setting with wilderness and plot lines throughout (and plenty of dungeons and dragons), but where the players decide which unknowns to explore, which plots to tackle, and in what order.

I’m looking for a game where it’s understood that the rules provide important structure to the story, and things like encumbrance, overland travel speed, and the supply of iron rations are taken seriously as realistic controls on character action. I want to play with players who think of the rules as strengthening the game, not as something to be beaten.

A long-running game with some history seems most likely to meet these requirements, but I would also like the opportunity to begin at 1st level. I’m not picky about how the campaign handles character death; I would like it to involve some kind of level penalty but I also think it should embrace continuity through protégés or other NPC relationships.

Fundamentally, I want to earn everything my character has. I want to start with nothing, build a fortress at name level, and fulfill an epic destiny. I want my character to have a life outside the dungeon, and develop relationships with both PCs and NPCs.

If this game were to surface, I would play it in any system or setting. I have a preference for the polish and depth of 5th Edition D&D and Pathfinder, but I would learn or relearn most anything for this opportunity.

I'm fine with text or voice chat, and I'd even consider video for the right group. I prefer a shorter game that meets more often (I find two hours every week to be ideal), but the only thing I really can’t do is play for more than four hours out of every two weeks. Evening or late night Eastern time is ideal but I have some flexibility. Play-by-post or play-by-email are also options.

If you’re not running a game like this, but it sounds appealing, let me know. I’d be willing to share (read: <50%) dungeon mastery responsibilities for the right group.
Location:
SE PA, USA
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If you can be contacted on social networks, feel free to mention it here.

Google+:
zoshakjm
Twitter:
dmz2112
My Game Details

Details of games currently playing and games being sought.

Town:
Uwchlan
State:
Pennsylvania
Country:
USA
Game Details:
I am the coordinator and primary gamemaster for the Lodge, an online tabletop club based in the Midatlantic US. We are currently looking for three new members. We have six standing members between 30 and 40.

The Lodge has an informal interview process, but all genders, ages, and experience levels are welcome -- our only restriction is that you must be friendly and looking to have a good time around the gaming table.

We meet every week on Monday from 8:00-10:00 Eastern and are generally involved in long single campaigns to enable complete story arcs, detailed setting exploration, and satisfying character development. We are currently playing a 5th Edition D&D campaign set in a homebrew setting.

Games we have played in the past include D6 Space, WH40KRP, Pathfinder, nWoD, Shadowrun, and 2nd Edition AD&D.

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/\/\/\/\/\
The dungeon master is not a god. Gods are NPCs.
----------->
"I think it all began when some sages started talking of the World Tree,
and were allowed to go on doing so. Madness, sheer madness.
Give me the Great Wheel, and I know where I stand."
~Lord Snelgarth, Ed Greenwood's The Herald
\/\/\/\/\/

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Pennsylvania
Country:
USA
Game Details:
I am the coordinator and primary gamemaster for the Lodge, an online tabletop club based in the Midatlantic US. We are currently looking for three new members. We have six standing members between 30 and 40.

The Lodge has an informal interview process, but all genders, ages, and experience levels are welcome -- our only restriction is that you must be friendly and looking to have a good time around the gaming table.

We meet every week on Monday from 8:00-10:00 Eastern and are generally involved in long single campaigns to enable complete story arcs, detailed setting exploration, and satisfying character development. We are currently playing a 5th Edition D&D campaign set in a homebrew setting.

Games we have played in the past include D6 Space, WH40KRP, Pathfinder, nWoD, Shadowrun, and 2nd Edition AD&D.
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Sunday, 9th October, 2016

  • 10:57 PM - ghabrel mentioned DMZ2112 in post 4e to 5e Balhannoth Conversion
    DMZ2112 Thank you again for keeping up the dialog. I do really appreciate it. So here's an updated stat block. I'll respond afterwards. Balhannoth Large Beast Aberration CR 23 (50,000 XP) AC 19 HP 802 (24d20 + 280) Spd. 20’ -----Attributes----- Str 29 (+9) Dex 27 (+8) Con 24 (+7) Int 8 (-1) Wis 20 (+5) Cha 3 (-4) -----Abilities----- Skills Insight +12, Stealth +15 Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 15 Languages Deepspeech Armor Natural Proficiency +7 -----Special Abilities----- Flailing Tentacles The balhannoth has six tentacles. If attacked directly, they have an AC of 17 and 61 (8d8 + 24) HP. If reduced to 0 HP, the tentacle is severed or otherwise neutralized (damage done to individual tentacles never applies to the balhannoth at any point). A neutralized tentacle takes a full day to regenerate, and cannot be used until then. Tentacles are never affected by area of effect attacks or spells. The...
  • 09:16 PM - ghabrel mentioned DMZ2112 in post 4e to 5e Balhannoth Conversion
    DMZ2112 Thank you very kindly for responding; I was getting antsy. Now let me go in order... I did add some stuns. I can understand how those could be excruciatingly frustrating... Opportunist was actually a direct grab from 4e. I don't remember 4e clearly enough to remember what combat advantage was back then, but I almost didn't include it because I didn't think it would be getting it often. That was before I transferred Reality Shift, and I wasn't even thinking about the advantage from stun until you mentioned it. In all honesty, I completely made up the slam and throw attacks. I may have gotten a little carried away. It made sense to me that getting chucked into a wall by a giant, aberrant slug might knock you out. I'll reconsider that. I never know what to give monsters as reactions. I even made some doppelganger variants with the Reactive feature (may make a reaction every turn), but didn't give them any special reactions. Any pointers you could give me there would be much appreciate...

Tuesday, 20th January, 2015

  • 12:13 AM - Hussar mentioned DMZ2112 in post Dragonlance Reflected in D&D5
    DMZ2112 - the only issue I might have with your KoS progression is that by making the switch at 4th level each time, the character never gains that second attack until 13th (total) character level. That's a pretty bit thing to delay for so long. I'm playing in Raunalyn's Dragonlance campaign using his Knight of Solamnia rules. I was thinking of switching into paladin with my fighter, but, then I realised that if I did that, I lose out on that second attack. It might be better to keep KoS as a single fighter class. Just my 2 cp

Tuesday, 9th December, 2014


Wednesday, 29th October, 2014

  • 08:55 PM - Mercurius mentioned DMZ2112 in post How do you think "Epic" play will work (if at all)?
    DMZ2112, I see you saying two things: 1. You don't like the use of the word "Epic" for high level play (with large numbers), even to the point of calling said usage "disingenuous." 2. You'd prefer that WotC focus on epic-as-adjective rather than Epic as high level, ramped up numbers. Again, I don't disagree with you that Epic shouldn't simply be larger numbers. As I said in my last post, I'd like to see more of a toolbox approach so that DM's can pick and choose what high level elements they want to use. I think you could also include a section on how to make a story more epic, that is, giving it a grand and heroic vibe to it. But whether or not the equation of Epic = high level/big numbers is right or wrong, it is what people associate it with, and how WotC has used the term - both in 3E and 4E. We'll see what they do with 5E, but you might have to accept that for the last 15 years, Epic = high level.

Tuesday, 16th September, 2014

  • 11:43 AM - pemerton mentioned DMZ2112 in post The Multiverse is back....
    ...ecially because you cut some of my text, so what you quote is not a sentence.) Are you asking what I meant when I referred to "the way that the 4e mechanics are put into service to make the setting work"? If you are, then here are some answers: the use of the "leader" mechanics, inspirational/non-magical healing, and power sources to smoothly eliminate PCs who draw power from the gods; the use of inherent bonuses to handle the relative absence of bonuses from magical items; the introduction of themes - in effect, expanding the paragon path and epic destiny mechanic into the heroic tier - to handle background, including psionic wild talents, as something separate from class. Are you asking why I am not sure that I actually want to use Dark Sun for roleplaying? If you are, the answer is the one I gave in the post you quoted: I don't see how Dark Sun easily incorporates the sort of player protagonism that I enjoy in RPGing and that I think 4e's mechanics are oriented towards. As DMZ2112 said, it's about "doom by status quo".

Tuesday, 27th May, 2014

  • 05:46 AM - Tovec mentioned DMZ2112 in post Archsuccubi
    Its not about the Manual of the Planes, its about the MM, which will be out this year, and there will be at least a page, maybe more devoted to the Succubus especially now that she is not just a single creature type, but a whole Catagory. Plus its just a personal guess, but I'm betting Malchanthet will be in the Succubus section as an example of an Archsuccubus. Maybe others as well, or other types of Succubus. Plus fluff on the Succubus' new ecology, and backstory. They are not going to wait to begin exploring the planes for the manual of the planes. I agree with DMZ2112. I think they should definitely keep that kind of thing out of the core books. Succubi are excellent creatures to put in a Monster Manual, they really are. WotC can also probably get away with making them "Any Evil" by whatever system they're using to define this. But it is a storm they don't want to walk into blindly as soon as the put Malcanthet and the word Devil or the word Demon anywhere near each other. And worse if they put neither title to her, I think. No one really cares about the minor other archfiends, they're not the big names that people are going to recognize and adhere to. If you saw.. Levistus as a Demon for some reason that would cause a lot of problems and more than a little bit of pain, but no where near as much as seeing Asmodeus to be the king of all Demon-kind. But this can be avoided to some extent. I've been advocating for such separation for months (years?) now. Have the default succubi, label it as a fiend. Don't specify how it fits in or what type of fiend ...

Thursday, 8th May, 2014

  • 05:51 PM - Scrivener of Doom mentioned DMZ2112 in post Anything new on release dates? (As of May 8)
    DMZ2112: It is strange that we only have conjecture at this point considering we are but three months away from GenCon. But I am sure WotC knows what they are doing.... fjw70: Thanks for solving that mystery: I think it did come out of a vague or even faulty recollection of the Pax East panel. :)

Saturday, 12th April, 2014

  • 03:47 PM - Plaguescarred mentioned DMZ2112 in post Dragonlance Lives
    DMZ2112 - I have the 3.5 Dragonlance Campaign Setting, my players just didn't play much 3rd. And it didn't see print for 4E. So it will be fun to see support again for DL.

Saturday, 29th March, 2014

  • 11:42 AM - Omegaxicor mentioned DMZ2112 in post Help Improving "fetch" quests
    @nomotog wow, I hadn't thought of that, I don't know that hiding the ingredient in the gears of a trap will end up as a success, I imagine my players wandering around looking for it...FOREVER :P @ MichealSomething the second link seems a bit redundant, since it appears in the video, but that is great, I might borrow that quest for the future. @DMZ2112 I like those ideas, particularly being attacked by other people who want the item, I think I need to decide on the ingredients to decide what else I can add around them Thanks everyone, I'll have a think and hopefully come up with a good idea EDIT: I have tried everything to get "MichealSomething" to link but it doesn't

Tuesday, 11th March, 2014


Wednesday, 8th January, 2014

  • 09:58 PM - Grogg of the North mentioned DMZ2112 in post Dungeon crawls = narrow hallway combat & door jam combats, ugh!
    I agree with DMZ2112. Combat is noisy. Have either monsters in the room the PCs are fighting at circle around and attack from behind or have monsters from unexplored rooms come join the fun! Nothing will scare the pants off your wizard than a big nasty undead walking up behind him and draining his life force away. If you can, throw an incorporeal undead into the mix. Have it float through the fighters and go right after the casters. Or if there are intelligent undead, like wights, have them attack and retreat, leading the PCs into an ambush. You can even give them ranged weapons. Lastly, have a door completely barricaded shut from the side your PCs are on. Chances are they'll want to see what's behind it. After they pry of the barricade and open the door, they can find a tentacled eldritch abomination from beyond space and time. It reaches out, grabs someone and drags them off to a time and place unknowable to mere mortals. Your group may or may not appreciate that. :P

Friday, 13th December, 2013


Friday, 22nd November, 2013


Thursday, 17th October, 2013

  • 04:57 PM - I'm A Banana mentioned DMZ2112 in post Wandering Monsters: The Little Guys
    Basically what you're saying here is that YOUR IDEA of a goblin should trump everyone else's. I want a D&D game where everyone's own idea of what a goblin should be trumps everyone else's at their own table. So Pathfinder fans can have fun with funny little sadists. And DMZ2112 can use his own goblins. In fact, if they follow 4e monster design principles in that there is a math gospel (something I'm pretty in favor of), it should be pretty easy to do that: altering statblocks should be no problem.

Monday, 30th September, 2013

  • 05:04 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned DMZ2112 in post 7 Advantages to Retelling your Adventures
    @DMZ2112 : I couldn't agree with you more. I never read that particular interview with Gary Gygax (sounds really interesting) but it's something he would say. Also, it makes a lot of sense. I'm also, first and foremost, a storytelling GM. I really enjoy writing, creating adventures, and the retelling of tales of adventure. I think the embellishment of the game after the fact is just as important as the role-playing going on during the game. In fact, I'm sure many times the game was just played as the players themselves would act naturally, but many things developed afterwards in the retelling. It's interesting you should mention it because I recall one game I ran at a convention where a few people were really 'forcing' themselves to act as their characters and the whole effect was a little bit odd. You almost get better game-play when people don't quite worry so much about properly portraying their characters and let the characters develop naturally as part fictions and part reflections of th...

Tuesday, 24th September, 2013

  • 09:23 PM - Cadence mentioned DMZ2112 in post Kender are a core race?
    ...potential DM had a reasonably strong picture in their head of the basics of the campaign world the story will be set-in? In that case, if the player suggests a race and rationale for them being in the world, and the DM still can't see it, is saying no arrogant on the part of the DM or just part of job they volunteered for? (e.g. a Kitsune ninja in an Egyptian themed game, a Dwarf Cleric in a human only world with a specified pantheon, ... ) These are all D&D creatures, and belong in D&D. There is no such thing as setting-exclusive. If it's a good idea for your games, you crib it. If it's not, it's not hurting you by being there. And since no one is making you play a kender, or use them at your table, it's not hurting you to let someone else play them. In a way, aren't all D&D creatures "setting-exclusive"? If your campaign world doesn't have some race (humans? elves? dwarves?), I wonder if having them integrated throughout the core rule-book would be kind of annoying. As @DMZ2112 notes in post #33, the rule book sets up default expectations in the player's heads. With extra races you are in the position of having to tell them what limitations your world is operating under instead of presenting it from the positive side of all the wonderful opportunities they have. For me, having Tieflings and Dragonborn and whatnot in the 4E PHB's is part of what gave me a bad first impression of that edition... out of the gate it announced "we're not going to line up with traditional-D&D, get over it". I'd like the traditional classic core races presented as being the standard ones that usually pop-up (but check out your DM's campaign notes!). Having one other race from each of several settings presented in the core book as "hey, look at these cool ideas to expand the basic world (and go buy some campaign books!)" would be fine by me too. And having all the extra ones from 4E listed as "other popular races that may be in many campaigns" seems reasonable to me for inter-ed...

Monday, 23rd September, 2013

  • 03:58 AM - Challenger RPG mentioned DMZ2112 in post How to Teach a GM to be a Player?
    ...y kind of embarrassing seeing as I'd begged everyone to play, but I just couldn't keep my focus on the game. Throughout the 5 hour session, I was a 0-level farmer the entire game forced to be a servant to a crazy old wizard. Apart from failing miserably at the basest of tasks, I wasn't really allowed to do much. I guess you could say I was spoiled by playing 1st level heroes all the time, and that it was a great role-playing opportunity. However, there wasn't even a single battle in the entire time I was playing (and I'm still 0-level in that game as far as I know). The other players enjoyed themselves immensely so it must have been just me. Mishihari Lord: Kudos on trying not to be 'that guy'. I think most good GMs try to do the same, but it sounds like you've succeeded. I'm not sure I actually agree with the advice in the column, as most of it has basically been used to try to keep me in line as a player. However, thanks for saying some of it was helpful (if not the premise). @DMZ2112 : Well, I guess I agree and disagree. To some extent I agree that a GM needs to have a tough skin to do his job. Some of my players say they'll never GM me as a player, but that can make it hard for them to GM games. I know I might not be the best player, but if we work together (and not against each other) I think the only way to pull it off is to keep trying. If you just quit, you can never succeed. The part where I disagree is with the points in the article being perfectly valid. I know I'm the one who wrote it, but they were mostly tactics used on me by other GMs. I guess I may have come up with a few of them myself, and it's good to know they can be helpful. Also, it's interesting you should say they can be used against other kinds of player entitlement. I'd never thought of that, but it's quite true. *** Thanks for the great comments, everyone! I'll definitely be passing on this info to some players-turned-GMs. I really like the idea of giving the former GM administrative ...

Saturday, 13th July, 2013

  • 03:24 AM - pemerton mentioned DMZ2112 in post L&L 1/7/2013 The Many Worlds of D&D
    On the issue of "creation" vs "destruction", and "expansion" vs "invalidation". This depends heavily on whether one cares for the tone/theme/resonance of a story element, or what one might call its "procedural" details. For me, fusing the Shadow Plane (as characterised in quotes in my previous post), the Glooms of Hades and the Negative Material Plane does not invalidate anything, but rather validates the theme and tone of these elements, because (to borrow DMZ2112's phrase) I no longer have to come up with ad hoc and unsatisfying reasons why two thematically near-identical things are really two. It's only if I'm focused on procedural matters like which spells work in which plane, or the fact that shadows (from the Plane of Shadow) suck STR whereas wraiths (from the Negative Material Plane) suck levels, that the diference between these elements has any significance. For someone coming from my perspective 4e is validating of the D&D cosmological tradition. That's why I thought when I got it, and still think today, that Worlds & Monsters is one of the best D&D books I own.

Wednesday, 26th June, 2013

  • 12:35 AM - Balesir mentioned DMZ2112 in post Legends and Lore 6/23: System vs. Content in D&D Next
    One thing I had in mind when I asked my question about short rest flexibiity is spell duration. I haven't looked through the latest spell packed with durations in mind, but I was thinking that durations of 10 minutes, 1 hour etc become 1-encounter buffs or multiple encounter buffs depending on how long a short rest takes.If they are intending to make rest durations and such variable, this sort of spell/effect duration seems unnecessarily bothersome. DMZ2112 is dead right when he says that the "game time" duration of rests is irrelevant; all that really matters (for game play) is what you can get done in them and what effects outlast them. Making spell and effect durations fit with exploration system "turns" and short and extended rest lengths seems like a no-brainer, to me - and then the easiest way to enable variable rest length with that is to make the durations for rest-y stuff "one short rest" or "one extended rest".


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Friday, 31st August, 2018

  • 06:35 AM - MostlyHarmless42 quoted DMZ2112 in post Dragonlance Reflected in D&D5
    I'm still not really comfortable about telling players, "You can specialize in this kind of magic or be this alignment, but not both." The elephant in the room here is evocation. There are no white robed war wizards? That poses all kinds of questions. In previous editions, Wizards who specializes in Evocation or Conjuration could be any of the three colors. Black robes were Necromancy and Enchantment, Red robes were Illusion and Transmutation, and White robes were Divination or Abjuration. There may have been restrictions on those who wished to take the prestige class, though that was up to the DM. To be honest? I would strongly reccomend you keep the knight orders and wizards as nothing more than backgrounds or a feat choice at most. Designing a bunch of subclasses is a large time investment and frankly doesnt even accomplish much in terms of actual gain for the game. If you really feel the need to restrict stuff, do the following: Crown knights: any fighter Sword knights: cleric ...

Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

  • 08:08 AM - Derek Alford quoted DMZ2112 in post Do You Think Spare the Dying is a Problem?
    Spare the Dying improves PC survivability, but rather that it returns them to combat as an afterthought, leaving the cleric still free to take a standard action in the turn (which could be used to heal the risen PC further). You seem to be mistaken healing of any sort gets them out without the need of Spare the Dying (which takes an action the same as 3.5 standard action). All healing word dose is auto pass a medicine check to stabilize leaving the target unconscious.

Sunday, 27th May, 2018

  • 11:13 PM - Blue quoted DMZ2112 in post Clerics of Life: Broken, Bad Design, or Working as Intended?
    And throughout it all, the Cleric of Life just kept healing. He didn't run out of healing options until the bitter end. In general, the party's resources were depleted by the time the last echo of steel on steel faded away, but everyone was on their feet. How did the cleric do for the other 5-7 encounters in the day? If the answer is "the party didn't have 5-7 more encounters that day", then you really have no comparison to evaluate. The #1 point I hear about encounters being easier than expected has to do with characters with daily resources who get to use them in just a few encounters. It is an often repeated myth that harder encounters offset this correctly, I can reiterate those arguments if you are interested. If the cleric had one encounter, and the foes were hampered by the environment from using their full abilities, then running low near the end actually represents an underachiever who never would be able to handle their share of the load in a full adventuring day.

Saturday, 22nd October, 2016

  • 05:48 PM - Parmandur quoted DMZ2112 in post Ed Greenwood's 'Death Masks' and Greyhawk
    Did somebody say [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker]? I actually really enjoy Neverwinter (the MMO), but you do need to take a step back and acknowledge that it is trying to capture the feel of D&D without actually using any of the mechanics. It was based on D&D4 and even then the rules translation was pretty loose. Also you need to not get caught up in the lockbox economy. The occasional store purchase is not the end of the world, considering that the game is free otherwise, but if you get sucked into the Pokémonesque companion and mount collecting all is lost. As for Planescape being the default setting, I'm not sure I agree. I own all of AD&D2 Planescape, and was really into it once upon a time -- the "core cosmology" of D&D5 is definitely based on those ideas, in the same way that Planescape itself was based on the ideas of the AD&D1 Manual of the Planes, but it's had three editions to evolve through. The only clear reference I've seen to Planescape since 2000 has been th...

Saturday, 8th October, 2016

  • 09:47 PM - Mirtek quoted DMZ2112 in post Ed Greenwood's 'Death Masks' and Greyhawk
    Can you point to this happening outside of a Dragon or Polyhedron article? Well, first of all those were fully canon. Beyond that it's mentioned in various sourcebooks (e.g. The Code of the Harpers mentioning that Elminster and Khelben may be often not available to be called on due to being on Oerth or Krynn) and other novels (the Lost Gods trilogy started with a FR novel, book 2 was a DL novel and book 3 was a FR novel again with the main protagonists from book 2 having teamed up with the FR party from book 1). For Duty and Deity is an adventure bearing the FR label but dealing mostly with Grazzt and his realms and mentioning Iuz and Iggliv a lot. It's also written somewhere, can't remember where, that Elminster is the reason why Fistandandilus is staying away from Toril and that Mordenkainen and Khelben hate each others guts.
  • 08:23 PM - flametitan quoted DMZ2112 in post Ed Greenwood's 'Death Masks' and Greyhawk
    Someone's going to have to explain to me how Mordenkainen is a nod to Curse of Strahd. Does he appear in that AP? Yep. He was driven mad in a fight against Strahd. The players can help him recover, and he's also a valid reading for "Who is your ally against Strahd?"

Monday, 18th January, 2016

  • 01:52 PM - TwoSix quoted DMZ2112 in post [UPDATED AGAIN!] CURSE OF STRAHD Will Be Available March 15th
    Brace yourselves, though, we are totally getting young, hot, tormented, sparkly Strahd von Zarovich. Oh man, if this adventure makes the party pick between being Team Strahd and Team Random New Werewolf Character, they can't take my money fast enough!
  • 07:13 AM - pukunui quoted DMZ2112 in post [UPDATED AGAIN!] CURSE OF STRAHD Will Be Available March 15th
    It's good to have this confirmed, although after Tyranny of Takhisis ... Wizards hasn't been shy lately about appropriating non-FR IP to promote FR ...Sigh. One more time: Tyranny of Dragons is *not* Dragonlance dropped into the Realms. There's actually a lot of Realmslore behind it, going back at least as far as the 90s, if not even farther. The *only* thing ToD has in common with the War of the Lance is the plot to bring Tiamat/Takhisis into the world. In all other particulars, the former bears no resemblance whatsoever to the latter.

Saturday, 2nd January, 2016

  • 06:15 AM - Tanarii quoted DMZ2112 in post Clerics of Life: Broken, Bad Design, or Working as Intended?
    Little bit of thread necromancy here, but it turns out this discussion is not over in my head. It turns out that everything I've described up until this point in the thread has been wrong, at least insofar as I didn't realize the quantity multipliers were a thing. I just noticed them last night. If you include the multipliers, the numbers are even more off, and encounters get even easier. What are other dungeon masters' experiences with this system? Do you find that the combination of XP budget and quantity multipliers is giving you accurately challenging encounters? Even accounting for the size of my party (eight PCs) according to the guidelines in the RAW, a x3 multiplier for 11-14 enemies seems egregious.You probably should have started a new thread linked back to this one. Folks aren't likely to notice this post, with a new question, many pages into to the post and made a year later. Unless they do what I just did, and read the entire thread through in one sitting. :p IMo the force ...
  • 12:46 AM - derickmoore25 quoted DMZ2112 in post Clerics of Life: Broken, Bad Design, or Working as Intended?
    Agreed! You have to be careful when you build encounters with that many enimes the encounter xp system isn't designed to figure more then 20 enemies. So you can't accurately calculate difficulty the encounter multiplier increases evwry 3-4 monsters. If I had to guess I'd say that encounters multiplier fore figuring difficulty should of been between 10-15
  • 12:34 AM - FormerlyHemlock quoted DMZ2112 in post Clerics of Life: Broken, Bad Design, or Working as Intended?
    Another question I'd be interested to discuss is this: if the Cleric of Life is working as intended, and we agree that it provides the whole group with a CR multiplier, what is that multiplier? I have yet to run a group with a Cleric of Life in it, but I've run groups with Lore Bards, who are actually much better healers than Life Clerics. My informal observation is that healing magic is never indispensable (since HP is only a second line of defense; it's almost always better to spend movement than HP) but it is useful, especially for groups with high AC. The value of healing is essentially tied to how many rounds of enemy actions it negates, which is high for someone like an AC 23 Paladorc (with Shield for AC 28) or an AC 21 Bladesinger with Blur up, and lower for someone like a Recklessly attacking AC 16 Wolf Barbarian or other DPR-focused character. (Yes, damage resistance helps, but generally IME it just offsets the Reckless bit, and damage taken per round is still high.) For a truly op...

Thursday, 10th December, 2015

  • 04:51 AM - Remathilis quoted DMZ2112 in post It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like RAVENLOFT
    You are assuming Strahd and Barovia are not divisible from the Ravenloft setting and this is unfortunately not true. Expedition to Castle Ravenloft makes almost no mention of the Ravenloft setting at all. Expect to see Strahd, yes. But speaking historically, the presence of Strahd does not indicate the Ravenloft setting, even in products published after the setting was established. But they just recently reestablished Barovia is a demiplane in the shadowfell in the DMG. Twice. The truth is, Strahd IS Ravenloft, and they have explicitly spelled out where Strahd is. Therefore, Ravenloft = Strahd = Barovia = demiplane in the Shadowfell. They are not dropping Barovia on Faerun, they aren't doing another domain lord, and they aren't using a dollar-store Strahd clone when the real one is available for brand purposes. The only thing stopping this from being certain is the notion that they could just do something else with undead as baddies completely unrelated to anything Ravenloft altogether.

Wednesday, 9th December, 2015

  • 11:11 PM - Benji quoted DMZ2112 in post It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like RAVENLOFT
    The dev team does love their celebrities these days. /That/ is a little disappointing, because frankly we need another rehash of I6 like we need a stake through the left ventricle. I really love what's been produced so far but if I had one gripe, it's this. A new unknown villain that represented a new addition to the D&D mythos could be badass. But instead we've already been told that, for example if we get to Greyhawk it'll be Iuz. SO any ravenloft AP- no mystery, it'll be Strahd & maybe Soth (they might save him for Dragonlance). Eberron's gonna be The Lord Of Blades Or Vol. Another Adventure will no doubt have the Devils. Yet for my money, the most interesting Villain of the 5e era so far is Vizeran. A (as far as I know) original creation.
  • 06:00 PM - Alzrius quoted DMZ2112 in post It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like RAVENLOFT
    As a big fan of Planescape and a believer in the Unity of Settings, they should certainly exist, but I'm not sure how I feel about the assertion that portals out of Ravenloft are as common as portals in. That sounds like the Dark Powers lying down on the job. At the very least I would expect that the keys to portals out of Ravenloft are an order of magnitude more esoteric (and far more demanding of personal sacrifice) than those for portals leading in. I don't think that anyone was positing that Ravenloft has Planescape-style portals to Sigil that lead out of the demiplane (unless I missed something earlier). The scan showed earlier was simply saying that portals out of Ravenloft can and do exist, but that's about it; it flat-out mentions that most of those are going to be impermanent in nature, which is sort of a nod to the whole "weekend in Hell" theme that the setting originally had. Even those that have "requirements" to open strike me as being an excuse for the sort of "near-impossib...

Sunday, 15th November, 2015

  • 08:02 AM - FormerlyHemlock quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    No, that's true. It's also not their fault that their Wizards licensed products (specifically) are so expensive. But I'm not calling SmiteWorks out over their "free trial," or even over their VTT-required implementation of the D&D5 DLC. I simply stated that none of it is targeted at my demographic, because of the aforementioned paywall. I have dispersed my criticism in an appropriate forum in the vain hope that someone who /is/ responsible will see it and take it under advisement. Is that not what we are doing here? Screaming into the void? What makes Enworld (owned by Morrus) the appropriate forum for communicating with WotC? It looks more like thread hijacking than appropriate communication. It might be more effective to contact WotC directly. Call (425) 226-6500. It will be a better use of your time and of Enworld readers' time.

Wednesday, 11th November, 2015

  • 10:15 PM - Umbran quoted DMZ2112 in post Onyx Path: Business As Usual... For Now, At Least
    Paradox can't be worse. It can always be worse. Sparkling Ventrue My Little Gangrel Toreador Primogen is Bob Ross Malkavians. No need to change that. :p And so on.
  • 08:46 PM - Dire Bare quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    Come on, Morrus, show some perspective. I'm not asking for a free-to-play D&D5 digital solution. I'm asking for a D&D5 digital solution that is /only/ a D&D5 digital solution, and not also an expensive VTT. That's a paywall -- being forced to pay for something I don't want in order to get something I do. Fantasy Grounds' ludicrous pricing scheme for largely irrelevant bells and whistles are not the source of my frustration; they merely salt the wound. SmiteWorks is providing a tool that isn't to your needs. That doesn't mean their pricing is "ludicrous" or that D&D 5E digital is being held "hostage". It simply means that this isn't the product for you. Happens every day, man. WotC has hinted that they are looking into other options into bringing 5E digital solutions to the table, when and if that happens, and what those future packages will look like is anyone's guess, they might not meet your needs either. Even with the awesome new free trial deal, I haven't bought into FG yet ...
  • 08:25 PM - Morrus quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    Come on, Morrus, show some perspective. I'm not asking for a free-to-play D&D5 digital solution. I'm asking for a D&D5 digital solution that is /only/ a D&D5 digital solution, and not also an expensive VTT. That's a paywall -- being forced to pay for something I don't want in order to get something I do. Fantasy Grounds' ludicrous pricing scheme for largely irrelevant bells and whistles are not the source of my frustration; they merely salt the wound. I don't think it's FG's fault that you don't want a VTT! They're a VTT company.
  • 08:10 PM - Mirtek quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    What I am interested in previewing is the forthcoming DMG DLC that apparently includes new tools,There's an upcoming DMG DLC for FG that will work without FG?
  • 07:54 PM - Dire Bare quoted DMZ2112 in post Fantasy Grounds Now Offers Free Trial; Plus D&D 5E Basic Rules Now Included In All Licenses
    Unfortunately this does nothing for me. I /know/ I don't want to spend money on a Fantasy Grounds license. I am not interested in previewing (or using) the baseline VTT functionality. What I am interested in previewing is the forthcoming DMG DLC that apparently includes new tools, and, to a lesser degree, all of the D&D content. I am glad that digital D&D5 books will exist in some form, but I do not appreciate them being held hostage behind a truly massive paywall consisting mostly of software I will never use. Hostage, huh? Those bastards! I say we storm the SmiteWorks Keep to free the hostages! How dare they charge for the work they've done creating those tools and inputting all of that data! I mean, I could do that for free . . . . over the next decade or so . . . .


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The Halfling Horde (Levels 7-9; Old Tower]
The Halfling Horde is a Dungeons & Dragons Next adventure for four to six characters of 7th through 9th level. The adventure involves a nomadic horde of halflings coming into conflict with a town, Round River, newly founded in their sacred grounds. ...
14028 0 1 Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM Saturday, 1st March, 2014, 04:14 PM

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