View Profile: Greg Benage - D&D, Pathfinder, and RPGs at Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Greg Benage's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 08:40 PM
    To be blunt, with very few exceptions (Malazan, The Expanse), every RPG campaign/setting I've created, played in, purchased, read, or heard about has been pure hackery when judged on even the most forgiving literary standards. And that's fine. The only bit of it with any real merit, and the thing that sets RPGs apart, is what the players do, the stories their characters create in play.
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  • Greg Benage's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th June, 2018, 05:39 PM
    Nah, I'm not gonna have the "chest break" to just give it to 'em. They failed to get the conch, but by releasing Felgolos, they can get a line on another giant lord. They've already visited Chief Guh: They obtained a map in Harpshield Castle showing lands promised to the Iceshield Orcs (I made the Ear-Seekers in Chapter 1 a clan of this tribe), and the map revealed the location of Grudd Haug....
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  • Greg Benage's Avatar
    Monday, 18th June, 2018, 06:29 AM
    Just wanted to update this. We're thirtysomething sessions in and the PCs just went after Countess Sansuri (I added a lot of Tier 1 content, see earlier in thread). Sadly, they killed her and then discovered that her conch is in a Leomund's Secret Chest that only she could trigger. They withdrew to lick their considerable wounds, then decided to go back in -- they had heard Felgolos's bellowing,...
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  • Greg Benage's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 09:58 PM
    If the base damage is 10, Dueling is providing a 20% increase in expected damage per attack regardless of the target's AC. I'm not sure why we'd be interested in that. That's why both TwoSix and I stipulated a hit chance and adjusted the math accordingly. If your base damage is 10 and your hit chance is 65%, your average damage per attack is 6.5. If you have Dueling style, that +2 is a 30.7%...
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  • Greg Benage's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th June, 2018, 09:45 AM
    Okay. (2/6.5) * 100 = 30.7%. Proceed.
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About Greg Benage

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Wednesday, 20th June, 2018


Monday, 18th June, 2018


Saturday, 16th September, 2017

  • 11:31 AM - pukunui mentioned Greg Benage in post [SKT] Players want to 'own' Nightstone
    Greg Benage: My understanding is that the Nandars of Nightstone were part of a much larger family. There are no doubt other Nandars in Waterdeep who would have rightful claim to the village, although it's possible none of them would want to stake that claim.

Tuesday, 27th June, 2017

  • 01:27 PM - Charles Rampant mentioned Greg Benage in post Cleric's level 20 Divine Intervention stories/examples
    I think it is like Wish; the ability is worded in such a way that it isn't game breaking, but leaves the option open for the DM to break the game if (s)he wishes. Imploring your deity’s aid requires you to use your action. Describe the assistance you seek, and roll percentile dice. If you roll a number equal to or lower than your cleric level, your deity intervenes. The DM chooses the nature of the intervention; the effect of any cleric spell or cleric domain spell would be appropriate. If your deity intervenes, you can’t use this feature again for 7 days. Otherwise, you can use it again after you finish a long rest. At 20th level, your call for intervention succeeds automatically, no roll required. So on this, the story provided by Greg Benage above is a perfectly acceptable use of the ability, and one that fits with its intent. The God pulls the cleric out of danger by casting the perfect spell for him. But if your character is expecting Helm to personally show up and start punching a dragon, then they're only going to get that if you, the DM, decide it'd happen.

Wednesday, 21st December, 2016

  • 04:35 AM - pemerton mentioned Greg Benage in post Sacred Cow Bites The Dust.
    Before I had players that would go out of their way to force more fights for xp, that never let anything live if they could help it, and now.... if they butcher a bunch of npcs, it is because they are annoyed or bored, not because they are being rewarded at a system level.I've never really had this experience. If players are forcing fights to earn XP, which - but for the XP system - they wouldn't be engaging in, doesn't that just show that something is wrong with the system? That is is not driving play in the way that people want to play the game? I Find milestone is more about what you are going to encounter and works well when running adventure paths or linear campaigns but xp is more about what your characters have experienced and i prefer it when I run sandboxI agree with Greg Benage - "milestone" is about pacing, and that does not particularly depend upon AP vs other campaign styles. At the moment I am running two 4e games - in one I have awarded XP per the 4e rules, in the other I'm not bothering and we'll level the PCs when we feel like it. In practice I don't think there will be much difference, as the 4e XP system is basically a pacing device anyway - you get an encounter's worth of XP for every hour or so of play (be that via XP award for combat encounters, for skill challenges, or for free roleplaying), and so it's seems sensible enough to do away with the intermediary device and just award the levels based on pacing considerations. As a DM, the now-known-as-Milestone-Advancement always fell...cheap? Mile stones are, for me, a lazy way to level and it also have the pernicious effect of encourage the 5mwd. If the XP system is basically "You get XP for doing these things which you would be doing anyway, because they constitute playing the game", then ...

Sunday, 26th October, 2014

  • 11:46 AM - pemerton mentioned Greg Benage in post The Multiverse is back....
    Greg Benage - you're right that I'm not a Gadamer guy! But like Alzrius, you seem to be making assumptions about my philosophical views. I haven't indicated whether I am in the mainstream of analytic philosophy or not; I have made any comments about my own view. My point is that there is a mainstream view in the community of anaytic moral philosophers, that that view is one of the objectivity of moral truth, and that view isn't held in a simplistic or unreasoned manner. From your post, you seem to agree at least with the first bit of that, even if you think the reasons for that view are overly simplistic. Also, in at least some of the Continental tradition, the scepticism about objective morality extends to scepticism about objective or "mind-independent" truth more generally, which means that the contrast that Alzrius regards as self-evident - between (say) physical and moral truth - will still not be accepted by them. Do you believe that field of moral philosophy has changed/evolved ove...

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Sunday, 17th June, 2018

  • 09:34 PM - Dausuul quoted Greg Benage in post Balancing D&D
    Okay. (2/6.5) * 100 = 30.7%. Proceed. Duelist does not grant damage on a miss. You have to multiply the Duelist damage by the hit chance as well: 1.3/6.5 = 20%.
  • 12:19 AM - TwoSix quoted Greg Benage in post Balancing D&D
    Okay, so Dueling Fighting Style is +2 damage per attack. Assuming 10 base damage and a 65% hit chance (no Archery), that's 6.5 damage, which means Dueling is a 30.7% increase. Is Dueling OP? It's just one 1st/2nd-level class feature...GWM/SS are feats! What percentage increase in damage would be "balanced"? I’ll let you check your math again before I make a fuller reply.

Saturday, 16th June, 2018

  • 03:17 PM - TwoSix quoted Greg Benage in post Balancing D&D
    I know you've posted about GWM/SS a lot, and data isn't likely to change your mind. That's okay, because your experience matters more than data. But...apart from the combinations, it really doesn't make that big a difference (tables from Xetheral on GiitP): 98481 If you're interested, I can post the table for attacks with advantage. In any case, if you have a baseline 65% chance to hit, you're on the "8" row (assuming you're keeping up with your attack ability score, in addition to taking the feats). If you have Archery fighting style, you're on the "6" row. So, anyway, I don't think it's that I'm "lucky," I just think its okay for martial PCs to take a feat that allows them to do a bit more damage with their heavy weapons and longbows. I guess my take away is that the table shows more than "a bit more" damage. Most of the attacks you make are going to be in the top-left corner, for example. Base damage over 12 is the province of spells, magic weapons, and sneak attacks. And enemies with...

Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 09:21 PM - Oofta quoted Greg Benage in post Balancing D&D
    I know you've posted about GWM/SS a lot, and data isn't likely to change your mind. That's okay, because your experience matters more than data. But...apart from the combinations, it really doesn't make that big a difference (tables from Xetheral on GiitP): Bahh ... what's this facts and information thing? We have a generalized unsupported opinion here that it's BROKEN! BTW, this seems to match up to my analysis as well. Most options are fairly close especially once you consider the opportunity cost. The white room scenarios also don't take into account defenses, etc. Of course a lot is going to depend on campaign. If the enemy never has AC higher than an ogre or if you hand out belts of storm giant strength like candy, the chart will look a little different.
  • 11:15 AM - CapnZapp quoted Greg Benage in post Balancing D&D
    In short, I only have a problem with the combinations of the elite feats and the lack of support for other styles. Lucky you :) Anyway - how does your Shield Brawler and Thrown Weapon Master feats work?

Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

  • 06:07 PM - DQDesign quoted Greg Benage in post Second Dungeons & Dragons Product for Fall 2018: Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
    Also, the only thing more mind-blowing than the amount of IP Wizards has opened up for commercial use on DM's Guild is the amount of complaints about what they haven't opened up. Anyone looking for life advice from me? Try less hard to be unhappy. You are totally right. Thanks Publisher for having published a setting and a half in the last four years. We deserve no more. Thanks Publisher for locking settings you don't care about from independent developing. We could ruin them with our childish and horrible ideas. Thanks Publisher for producing 5E products about locations and settings well-supported in the last four editions. Desiring something else is sin. Happiness, as usual, is mandatory. Thanks Publisher.
  • 01:19 AM - LordEntrails quoted Greg Benage in post The Next Dungeons & Dragons Storyline Will Be...
    Different strokes and all, but yeah, a bit of a let down for me from speculation about an Undermountain megadungeon or planar adventure path. Catacomb will be UM. Besides, if it's not, there's always Ultimate Undermountain. Mentioned it elsewhere, but it would be neat if this were part 1 in a series, much like the Tiamat books. That's my genie-wish anyway. Book is proper big for a small level range still, though. Waterdeep must be quite well defined indeed. There was mention of replayability and seeing different parts of the city on each play-through. If it has value as a source-book as well as an adventure I hope they carry that forward into other adventure products. I suspect they are relying on the Guild Adepts to be putting out higher level adventures for Waterdeep add-ons. In fact, I think it can be pretty much assured that's what the Adepts will be releasing. Appearntly there is a part 2 to this. Which is Undermountain. Catacombs... (as has been said from the start).

Saturday, 2nd June, 2018

  • 08:25 AM - Paul Farquhar quoted Greg Benage in post The Next Dungeons & Dragons Storyline Will Be...
    Different strokes and all, but yeah, a bit of a let down for me from speculation about an Undermountain megadungeon or planar adventure path. Yeah. Giving it some thought, this sounds like something that might appeal to my players. A comic heist might be right up their street, when I would rather be battling across the barren wastes of Arthas or flying my starship into the unknown! Although the last time they attempted a heist it went appallingly badly...

Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018

  • 09:19 AM - Psikerlord# quoted Greg Benage in post Game Theory. CR and 5E Encounter System.
    I've never used the "encounter building" rules and didn't notice any game theory in the OP, but I think 5e's easy mode is all about death saves. I think it has nothing to do with feats, though I have complaints about some of them for other reasons. The death save mechanic and subsequent whack-a-mole effect also scales with party size. You get a six character party and half of them have healing word (plus Healer, plus Lay on Hands, plus...), and there's really very little suspense even in super deadly battles. As long as you're not in TPK danger, you're not really in danger. I tried the exhaustion levels as a cost of being knocked unconscious, but our experience was that it made the game less fun without actually increasing the sense of danger. I'll probably just chuck it all and go back to negative hit points and bleeding next campaign. You might find this of interest, some other options to make 5e more challenging: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241570/5e-Hardmode
  • 12:40 AM - Zardnaar quoted Greg Benage in post Game Theory. CR and 5E Encounter System.
    I've never used the "encounter building" rules and didn't notice any game theory in the OP, but I think 5e's easy mode is all about death saves. I think it has nothing to do with feats, though I have complaints about some of them for other reasons. The death save mechanic and subsequent whack-a-mole effect also scales with party size. You get a six character party and half of them have healing word (plus Healer, plus Lay on Hands, plus...), and there's really very little suspense even in super deadly battles. As long as you're not in TPK danger, you're not really in danger. I tried the exhaustion levels as a cost of being knocked unconscious, but our experience was that it made the game less fun without actually increasing the sense of danger. I'll probably just chuck it all and go back to negative hit points and bleeding next campaign. IN addition to being very efficent the 1 hp thing of the healer feat is funny for whack a mole. We discovered in late 2014 that feat+ level 3+ Thief bonus actio...

Tuesday, 20th March, 2018

  • 09:54 PM - MNblockhead quoted Greg Benage in post Mearls on AD&D 1E
    I think it's hilarious (and somehow appropriate) that most of this thread is arguing about the provenance of THACO. :) Less eloquently than Mearls, I'd say Classic D&D is comprehensively and pervasively weird, and immersion in the weird is indeed a unique experience. * The books and boxes were weird. The physical product didn't look like anything else in my house. * The art was weird. * The fonts were weird. * The language was (very) weird. * The rules were weird. * The creatures and spells were weird. * The names were weird. * The environment of play was weird. * Actual play -- what you did when playing the game -- was super-weird. The weird rules -- along with all the other weird elements -- definitely contributed to the pervasive weirdness of it. The game is such fertile ground for nostalgia precisely because of this pervasive weirdness. You ditch some of the weird elements and keep others, you lose some of the weirdness, the pervasiveness of the weirdness. D&D with slick art i...

Monday, 19th March, 2018

  • 03:31 AM - Yaarel quoted Greg Benage in post Mearls on AD&D 1E
    Immersion in the weird is part of the Hero's Journey, but not all of it. It's the part that pretty much every Classic D&D game had, even when most of them lacked most of the other elements of the Hero's Journey. Immersion in the weird is a unique experience, and the comparison to the hard-to-describe experience of a horror movie is apt. Thats a good point. D&D adventures can intentionally model the heroes journey. Start at ‘home’, where life is normal. Discover an unfulfilled desire. Go on an adventure to find out how to fulfill the desire. While on the adventure play up the weirdness. Gain strength in unfamiliar dangerous environments. Discover what prevents the fulfillment. Come back home to overcome the challenge that prevented the fulfillment. Then end the adventure with a new normal.

Thursday, 14th December, 2017

  • 10:59 PM - Bacon Bits quoted Greg Benage in post Anyone Using Adventures in Middle Earth Journey/Rest Rules in Regular 5e Game?
    "No Long Rests in the Wilderness" And thus the barbarian hordes lost the war. "I dunno, chief, I was filled with battlelust before we marched, but after a couple skirmishes, I really feel like I need some peace and tranquility to get my rage back. I can't get a good night's sleep with all these guards around, and my tent is soooo uncomfortable." The actual rule is: While on the Road, Player-heroes may only take short rests. Long rests are only available as part of a successful journey event, or at the discretion of the Loremaster who has decided it necessary. A "journey event" is an encounter that happens on the road. Here, it means that it's possible for the party to, for example, encounter a particularly hospitable and accommodating homestead on the road where they're able to long rest for the night. It doesn't mean, "If you happen across some giant spiders in Mirkwood, you get to long rest after killing them off." The example given in the Player's Guide is the party finds...

Sunday, 12th November, 2017

  • 12:57 AM - Morrus quoted Greg Benage in post Rants Regarding the Corporate Castration of our Beloved Hobby
    Yes, of course. One hundred percent agreed. (Though McDonald's might be irked at your traditional construction of their trademark. On the other hand, it's not a Big Mc, so maybe it's their own fault.) To be fair, I eat there about once every 3 years. Their branding isn’t at the forefront of my thoughts. :)
  • 12:51 AM - Morrus quoted Greg Benage in post Rants Regarding the Corporate Castration of our Beloved Hobby
    That's cool. I think companies/creators should be able to decide for themselves what people can do with their property To an extent. There are uses which override that, for important reasons. We wouldn’t want MacDonalds preventing me from blogging about my thoughts on their Big Macs, for example.
  • 12:50 AM - MechaPilot quoted Greg Benage in post Rants Regarding the Corporate Castration of our Beloved Hobby
    That's cool. I think companies/creators should be able to decide for themselves what people can do with their property. . . . Within reason. Fair use laws need to play a role as well.
  • 12:39 AM - MechaPilot quoted Greg Benage in post Rants Regarding the Corporate Castration of our Beloved Hobby
    EvilCorp gives away the basic rules to its game for free. EvilCorp issues a free license allowing anyone to create and sell derivative work based on their IP. The license is sufficiently open that it spawns a major competitor to their business built on publishing a version of EvilCorp's game (as well as a host of smaller competitors cloning older versions of their game). EvilCorp doubles down and creates a marketplace for anyone to sell their commercial derivative products, and even opens up additional IP for commercial derivative products in this marketplace. This inevitably leads to complaints about EvilCorp's greed, since they don't quite allow anyone to do absolutely anything they feel like with their IP. I'd be astonished, except that it's so predictable. While true, that's only indicative of a small group. For example, I don't think people should be allowed (for their commercial benefit) to do "absolutely anything they feel like" with a company's IP.

Friday, 10th November, 2017

  • 04:38 AM - HermanTheWize quoted Greg Benage in post What do you think of this WotC retweet?
    This isn't a political forum, and I don't mean this as a personal attack, but maybe pick up a newspaper. You can even stick to the headlines on the front page. This is demonstrably untrue. What laws are racist? What law says you can discriminate? I'll wait.....

Thursday, 26th October, 2017

  • 06:52 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Greg Benage in post Thoughts on this article about Black Culture & the D&D team dropping the ball?
    No, of course not. Because I haven't had the same experiences, I haven't been personally affected by the perpetuation of these stereotypes, I don't and can't see something like the treatment of Chult in ToA the same way, and because the most important voice to hear is the one who has had those experiences, has been personally affected by the stereotypes, and who therefore has something unique, and personal, and insightful to say about the material. Because that was the voice no one listened to when ToA was developed. Plenty of voices like mine had their say. Can you define 'those experiences' and 'the stereotypes' in any way that doesn't refer to skin color? Because it seems you've thrown up a wall of words that comes out to the same place. For instance, a respected scholar on sub-Saharan cultures wouldn't meet your criteria if they'd not suffered the stereotypes or experiences you're using to define who should be talking. Have we completely discarded the marketplace of ideas, and moved to...
  • 06:04 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Greg Benage in post Thoughts on this article about Black Culture & the D&D team dropping the ball?
    Come on, man. The article itself suggests different approaches that could have been taken. And the real point of the article is that Wizards could have found plenty of black gamers who would have been enthusiastic about sharing their insights and ideas, but Wizards didn't bother to do that. I have my own ideas (mainly creating a rich, vibrant and diverse civilization rather than a monolithic pseudo-pan-African pastiche culture steeped in harmful stereotypes), but my ideas aren't the ones Wizards needed to seek out. Because you have the wrong color skin? I mean, there's plenty of room to do a better job, sure, and there's lots of good things said in this thread on the topic, and some unfortunately bad things, but Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! While I recognize that there's lots of ground to cover before the US gets to parity with minorities, the idea that acceptable knowledge can ever be based on melanin levels just staggers me. It's a step backwards. Good ideas are good ideas regardless of wh...


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