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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 08:48 AM
    I've incorporated many of the downtime activities in Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGE) into my campaign. This includes training for languages. But to learn a new tool, I use the PHB rule of 250 days, instead of the XGE rule of 10 workweeks minus the character's intelligence modifier. I'm finding myself waffling on which time requirement to use for training in a new tool proficiency and...
    3 replies | 114 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 07:42 AM
    Exactly. The velocity (measured in feet per second (FPS)) of a bullet will depend on the firearm's caliber, the projectile's size and shap, the air density, and other factors. Gun nerds being what they are, there are LOTS of sites that provide this data. For example, the bullet database on gundata.org: http://gundata.org/bullet-database/
    5 replies | 114 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Today, 07:31 AM
    I have no hard data on this and am not inspired to look it up, but it rings true. You want to build momentum early, preferably before you even go live. I stopped "watching" Kickstarters and now just pledge as soon as I learn of one I'm interested in and make a calendar event before the close date to revisit and make sure that I still want to support it.
    2 replies | 86 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 06:57 AM
    In my games, pretty much never. They have backup characters at the ready and already written into the ongoing tale. So they tend to tap that character in rather than try to resurrect the dead one.
    13 replies | 240 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Today, 01:26 AM
    Rings of protection add to AC but do not protect you from damage. It IS nasty to sneaks and casters, but they have adapted and try very hard to funnel enemies to the fighter and otherwise pick their targets and opportunities carefully. So far, no complaints. Even when they get slammed. They take calculated risks and understand they sometimes do not pay off. No quadruple damage. One case of...
    55 replies | 997 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Today, 12:05 AM
    Here’s what I’m doing re lethality. 1.) If you’re not wearing armor of some kind, you take double damage when damaged. 2.) Called Shot: you can attack at disadvantage to bypass armor (thereby dealing double damage). Enemies can do this too. 3.) Any attack that deals damage in excess of a creature’s constitution score forces that creature to make a death saving throw. If they fail, they are...
    55 replies | 997 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:48 PM
    Here’s something I’m playing with. Every monster group and each player rolls a d8 at the start of combat. That’s your starting position. The person with the highest roll goes first, then resets their d8 to a 1. Each time anyone takes an action, everyone advances their d8 by 1. When your d8 reaches 8, it’s your turn. After your turn, it rolls back to 1. You can go again when your d8 reaches 8....
    43 replies | 1043 view(s)
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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:51 PM
    The first thing that comes to mind is that there’s only one post on that page and it’s by a poster that you’ve blocked (or who has blocked you).
    2 replies | 77 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:45 PM
    The player may well be. The character might not be.
    46 replies | 1302 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:37 PM
    We don't even have to go that far with it. We don't have to establish ANYTHING about the character's knowledge for most actions to be perfectly reasonable.
    46 replies | 1302 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:30 PM
    The character doesn't have to know a single thing about the polymorph spell to take the proposed action as a toad. For reasons known only to science fiction, some people want to make the toad's dimwitted jump into danger and death dependent upon the character knowing something about the polymorph spell. Those two things are not necessarily connected in the fiction.
    46 replies | 1302 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:18 PM
    I have a system where I run one-shots and, after someone has played several one-shots and demonstrated they are a good fit for my regular group, then I invite them to the player pool. As a result, I never have to kick someone from the group these days since we have a screening process. In the past, I have definitely kicked players from the group. Chiefly this was due to bad fits...
    20 replies | 673 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:56 PM
    This bit is important I feel, and it is also how I run my random encounters. Just because the table says "dragon cave" or "wizard's tower", does not mean the players stumble upon this encounter right away when I roll it. I may keep the encounter for later, until a fitting moment arrives.
    432 replies | 11642 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:49 PM
    That is a gorgeous map!
    236 replies | 20923 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:46 PM
    Whenever a player in my game makes a speech, I always ask "What do you say?". I don't expect my players to improvize a fantastic speech on the spot (props to them if they pull it off though), but I do want to know what they say and how they say it. It can be in first or third person, but I do want them to make a little bit of an effort. Only if I'm in doubt regarding the success of said speech,...
    19 replies | 377 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:48 AM
    I haven’t had chance to read it yet but I flicked through it and it looks stunning!
    1 replies | 152 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:44 AM
    Understand coin weight and include the weight of chests in your loot descriptions. Many common treasure scenarios would provide extraction challenges if actual weight / encumbrance was taken into account. Other options: Living plants and fragile animals. You have to get this plant from a greenhouse to your quest giver through inhospitable terrain, while avoiding damaging it during fights...
    2 replies | 126 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:33 AM
    I don't require or pressure anyone to engage in 1st person conversations, though I'll engage it it with players who enjoy it. That said, acting is perhaps my weakest area as a DM. But I would require more detail than "I make a speech." You don't have to give the speech, but you have to describe the content and what you are trying to accomplish so I know what roles to require. Are you...
    19 replies | 377 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:45 AM
    Does the rate of scaling matter? Say you could heal up to 5d8+M as a 5th level spell, but only 4d6 heal/thp (also a 5th level spell)? Which then? Or 9d8+M as a 9th level spell versus 6d6 heal/thp? Which spell do you prefer?
    24 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:40 AM
    What I do is not care about how a player arrives at a decision since that's not part of my role as DM - I only narrate the result of what they try to do. In addition, I already know they're going to be making choices that are fun for everyone and will help create an exciting, memorable tale, so nobody needs to police anything. But also, many purposeful actions chosen by the player can easily be...
    46 replies | 1302 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:30 AM
    What if you had to choose between options 1 and 2? A heal spell for 1d8+2 or a spell that heals 1d6 and grants an equal amount of temp HP?
    24 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:33 AM
    Ok, let’s concretize this scenario a little bit: You’re a 1st level fighter with 15 CON and 6/12 HP while halfway through a goblin den. Your cleric (or whatever) buddy can cast one of the following 3 (hypothetical) spells: 1.) A spell that heals 1d8+2 HP. 2.) A spell that heals 1d6 HP and grants you an equivalent amount of THP that lasts until expended or 1 hr (whichever comes first)....
    24 replies | 470 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:45 AM
    My monocle fell. Sir, I thought you were a reputable member of our club!
    124 replies | 3356 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:43 AM
    Oh god. I stopped playing TTRPGs about the time 2e game out, until I started again with 5e. I'm playing 5e and newer kickstarted games and have not wargammed in decades. So I'm not a grognard. Just old.
    124 replies | 3356 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:38 AM
    Nah, I'm not taking myself seriously. We're all arguing about something unimportant for the fun of it.
    124 replies | 3356 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 10:28 PM
    I would say it's just the D&D Thought Police who would be whining here and I'd be happy to explain to any of them, players and DMs alike, why that's totally counterproductive. Almost as counterproductive as wasting a 4th-level polymorph spell to turn a 7-hp goblin into a 1-hp toad. That's an Int-1 move right there. Toad-level tactics.
    46 replies | 1302 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 10:17 PM
    As I show here, the toad jumping into the ally's blade is not contingent upon the fighter knowing anything about the polymorph spell. And if the DM is one of those folks who is hung up on Intelligence scores determining what a player may declare a character as attempting, then he or she can just say the toad has Int-1 and makes bad decisions.
    46 replies | 1302 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 09:52 PM
    The fighter doesn't have to know that he or she can "suicide" his or her way out of a polymorph spell. That knowledge is not required for the player to describe the character in toad form leaping at the extended blade of a nearby ally. And if the DM for some reason demands an explanation as to why the toad did that, I've already given you one upthread. One of many that could easily be imagined.
    46 replies | 1302 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 08:32 PM
    I guess I'm an unreasonable DM then. While the spell does say that the creature is limited in its actions due to its new form, this appears to chiefly refer to physical actions like speaking, casting spells, or doing useful things with its hands. There's nothing in the spell that to my knowledge suggests the player is not in control of his or her own character even when that character is...
    46 replies | 1302 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 05:19 PM
    The character retains his or her alignment and personality and, since mental ability scores have no meaningful effect on what the player chooses to do unless the player decides they do, the player ultimately decides what the toad will do which could reasonably include impaling itself on the nearest ally's sword so as to end the spell. If the battle takes place on land, I agree with the idea...
    46 replies | 1302 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 12:47 PM
    I am of the same mind. A 20 on a random encounter, means an exotic encounter in my campaigns. This can be good or bad, but it is usually something quite interesting.
    432 replies | 11642 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 12:42 PM
    I call fights all the time. No need to draw out a boring battle where the players are just swatting away at the last few remaining hitpoints. Also, I have enemies surrender or flee when they are about to die. Not every enemy in my campaign fights to the death. This also helps shorten fights.
    30 replies | 1211 view(s)
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  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 12:38 PM
    METAGAMING (Ducks for cover)
    21 replies | 743 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 01:50 AM
    Fair enough. A bit thoughtless on my part to dismiss the cost of valet parking. I've been there. Parking at Con of the North does suck if you don't get in early on the same day and never move your car and don't want, or can't, spend the $5/day on valet parking.
    21 replies | 456 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 21st February, 2019, 01:46 AM
    There's probably nothing more grognard than some old curmudgeon like myself arguing over what a grognard is. In that spirit... Lots of discussion about this already, but I'll give you this. Real grognards use rulers.
    124 replies | 3356 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 11:56 PM
    I would not go so far as to say it's pointless. I would just say it's useful, but not particularly fun in and of itself. I mean, I even use it sometimes in exploration and social interaction challenges just as a way to manage spotlight and make sure everyone has a more or less equal chance to participate, which is all it really is used for in combat anyway.
    43 replies | 1043 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 11:41 PM
    In D&D 5e doing stuff later in the round is usually a factor of the Ready action or using a reaction to do something. A high initiative is especially useful if you have class features that rely on you going first. It's also good in situations in which you are surprised since you'll be able to take reactions faster and reduce the chance that the monster goes twice before you get to go once...
    43 replies | 1043 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 10:14 PM
    My thoughts on initiative is that there actually isn't a whole lot of fun to be wrung out of that process. The fun part is what follows. So to the extent you can get initiative done faster, so much the better, and I find that the default method works just fine in that regard. The main thing for DMs to remember is that like monsters all go on the same initiative count. When DMs don't do that, the...
    43 replies | 1043 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 04:47 PM
    In our group, we call that "Pulling a Valmarius."
    63 replies | 1460 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 01:31 PM
    I love doing this as well. Or I'll ask my players to roll a D20 to determine what happens during their travels, and they know that a 20 means "YIKES!". Telling the players the odds can create suspense, while also showing the players what rules you are using. I like to be as open as possible when it comes to my rulings as a DM.
    432 replies | 11642 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 08:16 AM
    This is my main issue with it. As a DM I don't want to tell players how to play their characters beyond the parameters agreed upon during session zero. As a player, I don't like feeling that there is a right way to play my character in order to get DM rewards. I do, however, think that a DM should be aware of PC backgrounds, ideals, bonds, and flaws. The best reason for this, and the best way...
    63 replies | 1460 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 01:30 AM
    Even in one-shots with pickup groups, I trust the players to claim Inspiration on their own within the limits I described upthread. I don't want to be involved in "approving" someone's claim to Inspiration and, as long as players are engaging in good faith, there's never a problem. So I'm effectively outsourcing keeping track of everything to the players which reduces my overhead as DM and gives...
    63 replies | 1460 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 20th February, 2019, 01:14 AM
    Snake Oil: a substance with no real medicinal value sold as a remedy for all diseases. I'm not seeing it. I certainly did not take the position that Inspiration is a remedy for, well, anything. It can be a great incentive for players to portray their characters to established characteristics.
    63 replies | 1460 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Phulactery was used for "soul jar" in the 1977 monster manual entry for Lich. It seems a good choice based on existing definitions of the term, especially if Gygax is using the early Christian definition of the term to mean a receptical for relics or going back to the old Greek meaning of amulet/charm (which has connotations of "protection"). It is interesting that while the term is used in...
    21 replies | 743 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 07:03 PM
    a gerontophobe.
    124 replies | 3356 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 05:19 PM
    And truth be told... the rules for all of this stuff is so spread out and vague enough, that it doesn't actually matter what words are used or mean... you're meant to just take everything written in all the different sections of the book (under Dexterity, under Actions in Combat, under vision, under cover, under the Conditions chart etc.) and just create a set of rules that work for you. Is...
    15 replies | 409 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 05:13 PM
    You should play at my table then - it's a huge part of the play experience.
    63 replies | 1460 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 05:13 PM
    Agreed - I will straight up not join a game that uses them. Sometimes the DM doesn't announce these as house rules before though and they turn up in play which is a critical failure all on its own.
    63 replies | 1460 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 04:56 PM
    So I guess the real way to look at it is that there is no mechanical difference between being hidden and being unseen. The only difference is that hidden is just one of the methods by which you become unseen. If you are hidden, it means you took the Hide action and beat the Wisdom (Perception) of the person who was trying to notice you. And thus having done that, you are now unseen and gain...
    15 replies | 409 view(s)
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  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 04:36 PM
    Well, I guess technically both. If you are Invisible as per the condition, your attacks have Advantage, and attacks against you have Disadvantage. So we're both right. :) (I forgot the second part of the Inivisble condition was that it granted attacks with Advantage as well.)
    15 replies | 409 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 04:27 PM
    There is almost never a cost to earning Inspiration though unless the DM is of the mindset that the PC needs to pay a price for it (which he or she doesn't have to be and, to my mind, shouldn't).
    18 replies | 567 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 04:02 PM
    I believe it's the other way around-- being Unseen is what grants other creatures Disadvantage when they try and attack you. For you to gain Advantage on your attack, you have to be Hidden. And that occurs after making a Dexterity (Stealth) check and rolling higher than the perception of your target.
    15 replies | 409 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 03:52 PM
    'Unseen' means that you have been blocked from a single sense-- sight. You cannot be seen by the target, whether that is because you are behind a solid piece of blocking terrain, behind heavily obscuring terrain (like darkness, heavy rainfall, thick underbrush), or are invisible. Unless you are behind a solid object and there's no physical way for an attack to hit you (say you are around a...
    15 replies | 409 view(s)
    5 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 11:14 AM
    I’ll second this. It’s driving me nuts!
    3 replies | 135 view(s)
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  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 08:33 AM
    That describes very little of the DMG. One can argue on how useful the DMG is for a helping a new DM understand how to run the game, but a large portion of the book is advice on how to structure adventures and campaigns. A more easily digestible summary of how to run a game is the DM advice in the 1e module Keep on the Borderlands. Goodman Games updated it for 5e but it is unfortunately very...
    25 replies | 643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 07:16 AM
    This is why I think the DCC Lankkmar mechanic of fleeting luck works so much better. Luck in DCC is a resource you can spend to give a plus one modifier to any role (except for thieves who can us luck points to role a d3 for each luck point spend and add the sum to their attack/save/skill check roll). You have a luck score. But you also have "fleeting luck." You gain fleeting luck by...
    63 replies | 1460 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 07:06 AM
    I've tried a variety of approaches. When played using RAW, I didn't like it. It was easy for both DM and players to forget and I don't like the idea of the DM rewarding players for role playing. It is up to the players how they want to play the game. Then I let the players decide when to award inspiration. That didn't help. I like the fleeting luck mechanic of Dungeon Crawl Classics, but...
    63 replies | 1460 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 06:47 AM
    Yes. In one of my 5e campaigns I did milestone leveling. Eventually, I would like to do it again, but even moreso. My idea is to play 20 8-hours sessions. Each session was one adventure with everyone at one level. The conceit would be that this is a group of heroes that were off doing their own things but every few years would be called together to address some threat. In the actual...
    34 replies | 1211 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 06:18 AM
    This. Really, this is all you need. Rather than reading lots of how-to guides, browse the DMG and then watch some recorded live-play streams. I recommend anything run by Chris Perkins. A while back, Chris Perkins recorded some videos where he ran a game for the Robot Chicken writers that included voice over explaining what he was doing and giving other advice. The purpose was to help new DMs...
    25 replies | 643 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 06:05 AM
    dungeon master grognard OSR (old school renaissance) spell slots character sheet megadungeon adventure module meat shield action economy tank (as in a type of meat shield)
    21 replies | 743 view(s)
    3 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 05:39 AM
    Most of what I would recommend have already been covered by others. I like to mix the tropes. Rappan Athuk is a good example. Another is Curse of Strahd. What I would do I were creating a campaign from scratch that was centered around this is first not let the party know that this is the end game. At low levels: The party starts learning about and being ask to infiltrate, destroy, twart...
    17 replies | 540 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 05:18 AM
    Unseen and hidden are different because there are multiple senses that can be used to detect someone's positions. You can be unseen but still give your position away because you can be heard or smelled. If you are in a ranged battle and the enemy sees you jump behind a large tree, you are unseen. But they know where you are. You are not hidden. Being hidden gives you all the advantages of...
    11 replies | 339 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, 12:50 AM
    Here's how I use Inspiration in my games: The Case for Inspiration. It easy. It's intuitive. It's low overhead for the DM. It leads to great results. In my games, players earn Inspiration 20 to 25 times in a given session. Their characters are coming through loud and clear.
    63 replies | 1460 view(s)
    6 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 11:12 PM
    That's a pretty cool and useful looking backpack. The only thing is that the straps look like they may not be that comfortable or sturdy. In any event, the next time I'm in Ikea, I'm going to take a look at it.
    21 replies | 456 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 10:38 PM
    Matt Colville on YouTube. Videos all about being a dungeon master, including coming up with and running adventures.
    25 replies | 643 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 06:37 PM
    My experience is that even if the player has an "easy" characteristic to claim for Inspiration, there's a certain amount of social credit that comes with using even the "easy" ones in a way that is just a bit more clever than the last guy or gal to have claimed Inspiration. So what I'll see is someone holding out on that "easy" one until the perfect moment for the most impact, sometimes even...
    18 replies | 567 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 05:51 PM
    Another thing that might hinder them is that many bonds, ideals, and traits oftentimes can be so wide-open or wishy-washy that they literally could be applied to almost anything they do and thus they just feel odd trying to claim it. If someone has a trait of something like "I always look for the best advantage in any situation", that's so obvious and applicable that it might just wash off of...
    18 replies | 567 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 04:54 PM
    One other side note, as some people I play with who are also DMs are discussing it in Discord: Players who aren't particularly system savvy might not see Inspiration as valuable even with its low cost and high return. In a sea of options, it may not stand out as a thing they should be regularly claiming and spending. There may also be a correlation to how much action-oriented content is...
    18 replies | 567 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 04:32 PM
    It's weird when players given the option to gain a resource that gives them advantage when they need it at practically no cost don't go for it. I suspect this might have something to do with the difficulty of the challenges being presented in the game, but it could be many things.
    18 replies | 567 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 04:10 PM
    I put all this on the players so I don't have to remember anything or suggest to them how to play their characters: The Case for Inspiration.
    18 replies | 567 view(s)
    2 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 04:03 PM
    This is exactly how I do it. None of the PCs in my games have bonds, ideals, or personality traits (outside of how they choose to roleplay)... the only thing they have is a Hubris-- a Flaw. Every PC has that one thing that is their tragic flaw... the one thing that if they ever were going to be done in by because of who they are... that Hubris would be what caused it. This is basically taken...
    18 replies | 567 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 01:01 PM
    Frankly, I prefer to determine as many outcomes as I can without rolling dice, unless the outcome is uncertain. So while I 'could' determine randomly if a particular faction is at a specific location, as a DM I know if it is likely for the faction to be there. Just like I know if there are wandering monsters about. I could roll randomly to decide if the players encounter monsters, but my...
    432 replies | 11642 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 12:38 PM
    I often try to instill terror in my players by describing the twisted shapes of certain monsters, and making it clear that their characters could suffer the same fate.
    15 replies | 492 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 09:13 AM
    I'm running the recently Kickstarted 5e version. Unfortunately, the best place for any Frog God Game discussions--whether Rappan Athuk, the Lost Lands setting in general, or other FGG materials--is their Discord channel. Their official forum is not very active, nor is the Rappan Athuk subreddit. Discord is a terrible plat form for trying to search and read through older conversations. But if...
    10 replies | 445 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 08:58 AM
    Xanathar's by a wide margin.
    26 replies | 839 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 08:55 AM
    As Richards and S'mon, I store my Pathfinder and Kobold Press cardboard pawns in the original lattices, but then I put these in clear sheet protectors in three-ring binders. For other flat minis, such as paper minis that I print and cut for Arcknight flat plastic minis, I organize them into envelopes with the category or creature name written on them, which are then stored alphabetically in...
    7 replies | 257 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 08:44 AM
    Well, I had a great three days. Some items I would add to my packing list: 1. A small pocket knife. I always carry one, so I didn't have to put it on my list. But it was surprising how often I was taking that thing out lend to DMs or other players to cut packaging for new games and game aids. 2. Spoons. I brought most of my own food, but forgot to pack utensils. Sucks when you go to...
    21 replies | 456 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 08:32 AM
    Man, that seems like a huge hassle to avoid paying $5 for valet parking.
    21 replies | 456 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Monday, 18th February, 2019, 01:06 AM
    For me it was Curse of Strahd. Thus far for 5E I've run two Tyranny of Dragons games, two Curse of Strahd games, and have just started two Eberron games. For ToD I used most of the chapters in Hoard of the Dragon Queen in some fashion, but as I set it in Silver Marches, it was purely the dungeons and selected NPCs. Most background material was taken from the 3E Silver Marches book, and I don't...
    26 replies | 839 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 08:06 PM
    I stripped them right out of the section on Alignment in the Basic Rules, so while I can claim credit for the adaptation of Inspiration, I cannot claim the definitions.
    11 replies | 384 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 03:57 PM
    Yes, this is how I run Inspiration for most games: The Case for Inspiration. And for my Planescape game, a setting which makes rather a big deal out of alignment, I added this bit: Alignment In the rare times when the forces of Law and Chaos are in balance, alignment matters little in the grand scheme. But in these dark times, with coterminous Planes of Evil influencing events on Clichéa,...
    11 replies | 384 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 03:41 PM
    Alignment rules, in many cases, justify why a lot of monsters may be wantonly slaughtered without a hit to the ol' conscience. According to those rules, the evil deities who created certain races made those races to serve them and "have strong inborn tendencies that match the nature of their gods." So most orcs, for example, are evil, act accordingly and deserve what's coming to them. As well,...
    15 replies | 492 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Sunday, 17th February, 2019, 02:10 PM
    Afraid not. I suspect it's because the ones connected to the Backgrounds in the Player's Handbook already indicate an alignment connection to one of the four corners and middle of the chart (good, evil, lawful, chaotic, neutral). Plus, I think story-wise it is easier to have connections and feelings towards that which you are and do in the world, rather than it is just grand philosophical...
    11 replies | 384 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 11:29 AM
    I’m partial to Lucas’ idea that the dark side is a cancer and that “restoring the balance” means getting rid of it completely. Note how in the OT, it’s “the Force” vs the “dark side of the Force”. No one ever says anything about a “light side”. And in RotJ, Luke says he can sense that there’s still “good” in his father. The “light side” is an EU concept, and sadly it seems Disney has...
    179 replies | 3344 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 05:27 AM
    The galactic status quo as of the start of the new trilogy already more or less did that. Plus, the whole Chosen One prophecy is in itself a retcon, since it only really comes up in the prequel era.
    179 replies | 3344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Maybe Rey is the real Chosen One, not Anakin. Maybe she's even an embodiment of the Force. The Force made flesh, as it were. That said, Finn had an awakening. R2-D2 had an awakening. Maybe that stable boy in TLJ had an awakening too. I won't argue with that. There's a lot that could have been done better in execution ... in *all* the Star Wars movies, not just the latest ones.
    179 replies | 3344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Saturday, 16th February, 2019, 04:25 AM
    Isn’t it obvious? Prior to Episode VII, the Force was asleep. People had to work hard (some harder than others) to tap into it. But now that the Force is awake, people can tap into it without as much training. Personally I like Rey, but then I have three daughters, so I’m undoubtedly biased.
    179 replies | 3344 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 12:52 PM
    Lovely work. Not enough DM's create round dungeons, or include round elements in their mazes, so props to you sir. I also like how part of the dungeon has collapsed, thus breaking the symmetry that is so common in lots of D&D maps. Can one of your next maps perhaps include lots of height differences? Balconies, bridges and the like? I think those types of dungeon designs we also don't see...
    236 replies | 20923 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 07:42 AM
    Makes sense, if you're driving. But even then, I would think something like a collapsible cargo crate with roller-back wheels and handle would be more convenient (e.g. https://www.amazon.com/Office-Depot-Mobile-Folding-16in-H/dp/B00DB8O26Q/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_201_bs_lp_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=E8PVZY1RP183SR0G3SPV)
    21 replies | 456 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 15th February, 2019, 07:37 AM
    Here are my initial thoughts based on my 5 years DMing 5e and having tried and created many different DM screens. NPC reactions This is something I can more easily make up on the fly. I leave this to my role-playing. Even if I wanted to leave this to the dice, I can't see having a table that is both rich in detail and readable for something like NPC reactions, even if it took...
    2 replies | 190 view(s)
    0 XP
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Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 08:31 PM - Satyrn mentioned iserith in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    In Curse of Strahd, I had a hag transform a PC into a toad then dump a BOX FULL OF TOADS around where the PC was so the party could not tell which toad was their toad. The character was a known dancer and the clever player started dancing (with a Performance(DEX) check) to help identify herself -- and it worked! That's an awesome story. And it's a good example of why I'd encourage the OP to heed iserith's earlier advice: "The character retains his or her alignment and personality and . . . the player ultimately decides what the toad will do." Let the player play his character, or you won't get awesome stories about dancing frogs. 104977

Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

  • 03:17 AM - 77IM mentioned iserith in post How often do you use the Inspiration rules?
    I give each character Inspiration 2-3 times per session, but I totally and completely ignore the Traits, Bonds, Flaws, Etc. It is absolutely ridiculous to expect the DM to remember 5 characteristics about each and every character, and be on the lookout for them constantly. For my next campaign, I am considering the iserith method or something very similar, to address this problem. I also allow Inspiration to stack, mainly so that you can still be rewarded for roleplaying even if you already have Inspiration. I also find that players tend to take riskier, more ambitious actions if they are sitting on a big pile of Inspiration. This helps the game move along faster.

Monday, 18th February, 2019

  • 04:24 PM - Sadras mentioned iserith in post Finally getting some use out of Chapter 4 (Other than Backgrounds)
    I put all this on the players so I don't have to remember anything or suggest to them how to play their characters: The Case for Inspiration. I did do this @iserith, and even followed AngryDM's article on Inspiration, but my players did not engage with it - so I did what I did. Honestly I expected it to be more difficult to remember everyone's characteristics and try incorporate them, hence I only introduced flaws (for now) but surprisingly it went well. EDIT: I think as they become more accustomed to being "compelled" the more they will engage with the process and start negotiating with me.

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

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

Saturday, 2nd February, 2019

  • 11:10 PM - Satyrn mentioned iserith in post JC Tweets: How Close to official rulings do you consider them to be?
    I see. So then would you agree that in absence of a wotc rule clarification in sage advice on something that what JC tweets about it is the next best clarification we have? No, I don't agree with that. I place no value in what WotC says. I have gotten a far better understanding of how to play 5e "by the rules" from iserith. I have learned how to present encounters better thanks to Saelorn ( I ignore anything he says about metagaming, though!). I have learned the glory that is the gnome paladin from Oofta. I could go on, but my point is that my game is better without listening to WotC.

Thursday, 31st January, 2019


Thursday, 24th January, 2019

  • 06:25 PM - 77IM mentioned iserith in post Skill Checks (non time sensitive) homebrew fixes
    And what I'm saying is that I don't agree with that statement because success shouldn't be automatic, even if the only cost is time. You guys are talking past each other. If there's literally no cost for failure, then success and failure are indistinguishable: "Sure, it's DC 20. On a success, you do it in a reasonable amount of time. On a failure, you also do it in a reasonable amount of time." iserith seems to be saying, "Don't roll in that scenario; just get on with the game." This is a pretty good way to do things. Sacrosanct seems to be asking, "Rolling can be fun; how can we introduce a cost for failure, outside of combat?" This is also a pretty good way to do things.

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019

  • 09:49 PM - aco175 mentioned iserith in post Is a Ranger still part of a group while scouting?
    If I was the DM, I would make a few encounters that are set and a couple random ones that would be rolled for. I would let the ranger use his cool abilities like iserith said above. I would also allow the ranger to be close when one of the set encounters happened. For instance, I may make a waterfall encounter where the group must cross some stones or a log to avoid falling over the waterfall. Maybe some goblins are on the other side shooting arrows. Now the group can withdraw and maybe get lost from the ranger, since he is no longer guiding them, or they can try to cross under fire to engage. The player of the ranger is now either out of the fight since he is scouting maybe a mile or so ahead, but that is not fun. I would give the rest of the party a round or two getting shot at and then have the ranger appear behind the goblins already on the other side. This would allow the other PCs to cross earlier and allow the ranger some cool time by himself.

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019

  • 07:24 PM - Satyrn mentioned iserith in post To Kill or Not to Kill?
    I took him to mean "chase rules" as a seperate sub-system from existing mechanical bits. It seemed like he was implying that "chase rules" were some kind of change from the usual rules. I can see how it looks like I implied that, but @iserith is right when he suggests that what you do meets my criteria of "some sort of chase rules." I'd also be happy with the DM flipping a coin, saying "heads your caught, tails you're not" when I try to flee. Unless I was running from a sloth, because that would be embarrassing. What do you mean I only have a 50/50 chance of outrunning a sloth? It's a sloth! Anyway, what I was really trying to imply is that I don't want the DM to decide how to end the chase based on what makes for an interesting story.

Thursday, 13th December, 2018


Wednesday, 12th December, 2018

  • 04:03 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    ...t playing a 5 Int Sherlock isn't contrary to the rules, though, and a refusal to acknowledge that is a...canary test?...of a deeper issue about player agency and a right to contribute to the fiction. In other words, it's fine to oppose it for aesthetic reason, as long as one is not claiming that it's "wrong". I've no problem playing a 5 INT as not a drooling moron, because I don't think it represents that, either. Yes. And if I *did* want to play a drooling moron I might start with 5 Int, but that in itself is insufficient to describe the character. Oh, goodness, someone has forgotten their on a discussion forum. Of course it won't affect my table -- or will it? Because, in that 3 year old thread that was linked a few pages ago about NPCs using skills against PCs, I was on your side of the argument. Go read it, you'll see. I made a lot of the same arguments you and @Ratskinner are making (and @ccs). But, starting in that thread, and in a few more where I got mad at @iserith (I've accused him of trolling, too, much to my future embarrassment), I started looking at how I run games, what I was doing, and realized that a lot of my dissatisfaction was how I was running -- what luggage I was bringing with me. I've changed my style since then, sought out a few good non-D&D games to sample different concepts altogether, and fashioned a different playstyle that's much more @iserith and @Bawylie that my old one. Oh! THAT explains it! In this thread I keep thinking, "Man, I remember getting so mad at Ovinomancer and his style of argument that I came close to blocking him. But he's totally rational and reasonable. Maybe it's some other topic we disagree on...? Strange." And, yeah, iserith and Bawylie have had a huge impact on my style, too. When are you guys going to kickstart a DMing guide?
  • 03:52 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    ...ie is also cast. After all, the most consequential actions, the most dramatic circumstances, all involve dice. It’s only natural to reach for the dice when something is important to us. Some games even push the drama such that EVERY action must be important and therefore necessitate dice. I agree - it’s not distrust or disrespect. It’s more like ‘ratification’ maybe. But the trap you can fall into is inadvertently substituting the ceremonial ritual for the drama it is intended to resolve. Which, IMO, is why you sometimes see play devolve into “I roll perception,” “I diplomacy the guard,” “Can I roll Arcana here?” And of course none of these things are actions that an adventurer might be carrying out - they’re game mechanics. I kind of want to try a 5E game without any dice at all. I wonder if I can keep the drama and uncertainty or if it just turns into a math problem. Yeah, fair enough. I should have added the caveat that once you understand the rationale that iserith and Ovinomancer so eloquently expressed in this thread, and you still refuse to let the players just narrate their reactions, then it's an issue of trust and respect.
  • 01:37 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    .... Maybe it'll make him change his mind, or maybe it'll provide a new avenue for discussion, or maybe it won't. If I don't ask, only the latter is sure to obtain. What he does at his table isn't going to effect you and I think this thread has done a lot to show that both sides are right,neither side 100% but enough that we can understand that yeah people are viewing things differently and that's ok. Neither side is engaging in bad or hurtful game play, it's just a difference of opinion in a rpg that aims to have much of it left up to the players and DM. Oh, goodness, someone has forgotten their on a discussion forum. Of course it won't affect my table -- or will it? Because, in that 3 year old thread that was linked a few pages ago about NPCs using skills against PCs, I was on your side of the argument. Go read it, you'll see. I made a lot of the same arguments you and Ratskinner are making (and ccs). But, starting in that thread, and in a few more where I got mad at iserith (I've accused him of trolling, too, much to my future embarrassment), I started looking at how I run games, what I was doing, and realized that a lot of my dissatisfaction was how I was running -- what luggage I was bringing with me. I've changed my style since then, sought out a few good non-D&D games to sample different concepts altogether, and fashioned a different playstyle that's much more iserith and Bawylie that my old one. So, yeah, maybe this is the start of a change and maybe it isn't, but whether or not it affects my table right now, this is still a discussion forum where we talk about pretending to be elves. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the argument that we forget that we are all on the same side. We love rpg's! There are few enough of us out there lets agree to disagree and still hold each other in a positive light. You told us what you would do, how you feel about it and why. That's cool man, I would have no issue with playing in that game. That...

Tuesday, 11th December, 2018

  • 11:20 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Yes. In games I run just being a PC offers you no particular protection. PCs & NPCs can effect each other, NPCs can effect other NPCs, And PCs can effect other PCs. Protection from what? "Persuade" isn't an offensive spell. EDIT: As others have said earlier, @iserith's method treats all examples in the exact same way: 1) Something is described 2) Players state goals and methods (or DMs state goals and methods for NPCs) 3) If outcomes are uncertain, roll some dice So let's look at all four combinations: An NPC tries to persuade another NPC: Both are under control of the DM. If he so chooses (say, if he wants to leave the result to chance rather than insert his own bias) he can roll Persuade and use the result. A PC tries to persuade an NPC: The target is under the control of the DM. Again, if he wants to avoid relying on his own biases, he can as for a Persuade roll, and then interpret accordingly. That is, a high roll doesn't automatically mean the PC gets whatever he wants. A PC tries to persuade another PC: The target is under the control of the player. If the player thinks the outcome is uncertain he/she is free to ask for the first player to roll Persuade to get a sense of how persuasive their character was, and can use that to help in...
  • 08:38 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    To be fair, the title of the thread is “skills used by players on other players.” PvP is the main point of contention here. The reason agency is bound up in the discussion is because agency is a big part of why many DMs don’t allow PvP. Yes, I realize that. But there are factions disagreeing about two things...PvP and agency...and much of iserith's argument (which I ascribe to) has nothing to do with PvP, it only informs the way he handles PvP. The way you would handle an NPC trying to persuade a PC is exactly the way you handle a PC trying to persuade another PC: You simply ask the targeted player "What do you do?" It's perfectly consistent and 100% in line with RAW, but when some people get frustrated trying to prove otherwise they seem to fall back on, "Well, if you want to houserule away PvP that's your business." His argument has nothing to do with PvP.
  • 08:32 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    It’s about one character trying to convince or deceive another. Some DMs like to resolve that with an Insight check, some like to do it with a Persuasion or deception check, some do a contest of both... And, as I noted previously, it's further complicated because we're entangling two issues: PvP and agency. Honestly I think this whole debate would be more clear if we stuck with a scenario where an NPC was trying to persuade a PC. The most important parts of the debate would still be there, without PvP clouding the issue. Earlier somebody said something about @Blue also using house rules, and he responded that "not allowing PvP is a house rule" or something like that. But I think the person meant how he is using skills in general. (Funny how I can't remember now if I said something or it was iserith or Ovinomancer....)
  • 02:13 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    Since iserith said that he'd handle the same situation one way if the speaker was an NPC and another if the speaker is a PC, we've already proven there is uncertainty. There wouldn't need to be a check for an NPC if there wasn't.No. You're not following. iserith can determine if the situation is uncertain fir an NPC because that's in his control. He could also have determined it automatically succeeded or failed. His choice in that example was not axiomatic. If it's a PC, then the DM doesn't have that choice at all, the player does. Again, the step where confusion exists is #3. There are three choices there -- success, no roll; failure, no roll; and uncertain, roll required. You are fixating on the last and ignoring the other two. iserith could also have said no check was needed for the NPC.
  • 01:22 PM - Blue mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    In all your cases, you get to 3 and decide that the PC's declared action is uncertain. @iserith gets there and applies the rule that players get to say what they think and decides there's no uncertainty: it's whatever the players say. Iserith is 100% consistsnt in his adjudication. Since iserith said that he'd handle the same situation one way if the speaker was an NPC and another if the speaker is a PC, we've already proven there is uncertainty. There wouldn't need to be a check for an NPC if there wasn't.
  • 01:08 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    When talking about consistency in applying the rules that's for the DM, not the players. It's 100% consistent. Again, the play loop is: 1. DM describes environment. 2. Players declare PC actions 3. DM determines if actions are auto success, auto fail, or uncertain. If uncertain, call for checks. Added is the rule that players have the sole power to decide what their PCs think. In all your cases, you get to 3 and decide that the PC's declared action is uncertain. iserith gets there and applies the rule that players get to say what they think and decides there's no uncertainty: it's whatever the players say. Iserith is 100% consistsnt in his adjudication. If I had to point at the confusion, it would be that you've interalized a play concept from eariler editions that mechanics are to be preferentially used to resolve conflicts. 5e has moved away from that (though you can still do it) with how it structures play. Now there's a distinct pass to determine auto success/failure and only then go to checks. In this latter case, the guideline that players have full control over thier PC thinkings and feelings means that for questions on that front are the players' purview, not the DM's. You clearly do not have to be agree with this, but that doesn't mean it isn't well thought out or consistent.

Monday, 10th December, 2018

  • 08:57 PM - Beowülf mentioned iserith in post Skills used by players on other players.
    @iserith is asking a valid question. By “skill usage” do you mean a player saying “I will use my Persuade skill” or do you mean the player narrating an attempt to persuade, and the player/DM who controls the target deciding the outcome is uncertain and asking for an ability check? (Because, as has been pointed out repeatedly, the former case is not RAW 5e.) On another note, it seems the waters are being muddied because the scenario in question involves TWO contentious aspects: the use of social skills on players and PvP. We could break this into two topics: What happens when a player tries to Grapple another player? What happens when an NPC tries to persuade a PC of something? Although answers will differ, for any one person the answers shouldn’t change when recombined back into the original question.


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Saturday, 23rd February, 2019

  • 07:38 AM - Elfcrusher quoted iserith in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    The player may well be. The character might not be. Wait, this is like one of those Koans, right? /wink I'm betting some of the anti-metagaming police don't even understand what you are saying here. They think they do, but they don't. (And maybe some of the pro-metagamers, as well.)

Friday, 22nd February, 2019

  • 04:40 PM - Cap'n Kobold quoted iserith in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    The character doesn't have to know a single thing about the polymorph spell to take the proposed action as a toad. For reasons known only to science fiction, some people want to make the toad's dimwitted jump into danger and death dependent upon the character knowing something about the polymorph spell. Those two things are not necessarily connected in the fiction. This post is probably the reason why people might think that the character is trying to end the spell on them deliberately: The character retains his or her alignment and personality and, since mental ability scores have no meaningful effect on what the player chooses to do unless the player decides they do, the player ultimately decides what the toad will do which could reasonably include impaling itself on the nearest ally's sword so as to end the spell.
  • 04:33 PM - Yunru quoted iserith in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    The character doesn't have to know a single thing about the polymorph spell to take the proposed action as a toad. For reasons known only to science fiction, some people want to make the toad's dimwitted jump into danger and death dependent upon the character knowing something about the polymorph spell. Those two things are not necessarily connected in the fiction.Personally what I find confusing is that some people want to argue against characters knowing how spells work.

Thursday, 21st February, 2019

  • 10:17 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted iserith in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    The fighter doesn't have to know that he or she can "suicide" his or her way out of a polymorph spell. That knowledge is not required for the player to describe the character in toad form leaping at the extended blade of a nearby ally. And if the DM for some reason demands an explanation as to why the toad did that, I've already given you one upthread. One of many that could easily be imagined. My imagination isn't that great. Give me five more explanations. I am thoroughly unimpressed by this flimsy smokescreen attempt to divert the fact that the spell's only problem is player metaknowledge. I mean if the wizard cast the spell on a goblin, and the goblin-toad "miraculously" jumped on the spear of another goblin, everyone here would be whining and moaning about how the DM had hosed the wizard's player.
  • 10:12 PM - Blue quoted iserith in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    I guess I'm an unreasonable DM then. While the spell does say that the creature is limited in its actions due to its new form, this appears to chiefly refer to physical actions like speaking, casting spells, or doing useful things with its hands. There's nothing in the spell that to my knowledge suggests the player is not in control of his or her own character even when that character is temporarily in the form of an Int-1 toad. And, physically, there's nothing stopping a toad from jumping onto the business end of an ally's blade and, if the DM wants for some reason to complain about it, the player can just say - no doubt after a sigh so big that it can be heard clear across the world - that the toad's got an Int-1 and made a bad decision. I believe the earlier poster was talking about the case for if the character-toad realizes that they can end the polymorph by taking sufficient damage. There's a line to walk where the DM should never tell the player how to play their character, and the D...
  • 09:31 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted iserith in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    I guess I'm an unreasonable DM then. While the spell does say that the creature is limited in its actions due to its new form, this appears to chiefly refer to physical actions like speaking, casting spells, or doing useful things with its hands. There's nothing in the spell that to my knowledge suggests the player is not in control of his or her own character even when that character is temporarily in the form of an Int-1 toad. And, physically, there's nothing stopping a toad from jumping onto the business end of an ally's blade and, if the DM wants for some reason to complain about it, the player can just say - no doubt after a sigh so big that it can be heard clear across the world - that the toad's got an Int-1 and made a bad decision. I'm going to call you on this. Show me anything that suggests a random fighter somehow knows that he can suicide his way out of a polymorph spell. Is it in the spell text? Nope. Is it in the fighter write up in the PHB? Nope. Combat description in th...
  • 07:42 PM - Satyrn quoted iserith in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    The character retains his or her alignment and personality and, since mental ability scores have no meaningful effect on what the player chooses to do unless the player decides they do, the player ultimately decides what the toad will do which could reasonably include impaling itself on the nearest ally's sword so as to end the spell. If the battle takes place on land, I agree with the idea proposed upthread - a shark. Or really any creature that has a substantial amount of hit points and 0 feet speed on land. A giant sea horse would be really very funny but a killer whale has a lot of hit points to chew through. Plus think of all the "Free Willy" jokes! A whale is a much better choice than a shark since they can still breathe. And I can effectively foreshadow the polymorph by littering the area with pots of petunias.
  • 07:36 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted iserith in post Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell
    The character retains his or her alignment and personality and, since mental ability scores have no meaningful effect on what the player chooses to do unless the player decides they do, the player ultimately decides what the toad will do which could reasonably include impaling itself on the nearest ally's sword so as to end the spell. If the battle takes place on land, I agree with the idea proposed upthread - a shark. Or really any creature that has a substantial amount of hit points and 0 feet speed on land. A giant sea horse would be really very funny but a killer whale has a lot of hit points to chew through. Plus think of all the "Free Willy" jokes! Unless the fighter routinely stabs himself in the middle of a fight, has been polymorphed before, or seen someone else escape polymorphing this way, I think any reasonable DM would require an arcana check when that course of action is suggested. With a toad's int., I think that is a tough check to make.

Wednesday, 20th February, 2019

  • 11:51 PM - dnd4vr quoted iserith in post Initiative options?
    Perhaps focusing on making all other aspects of the game more fun (for example, increasing the number of meaningful choices the players make in all challenges) would be a more worthwhile endeavor. We understand going first for certain features is what makes them work, but otherwise it seems like a pointless mechanic. So, I agree, which is why I'll probably just suggest we get rid of initiative altogether. The game seems likely to run just as well because it is so simple in actions. But, first I'll wait to see if anyone else has other ideas...
  • 02:46 PM - Nailen quoted iserith in post How often do you use the Inspiration rules?
    Here's how I use Inspiration in my games: The Case for Inspiration. It easy. It's intuitive. It's low overhead for the DM. It leads to great results. In my games, players earn Inspiration 20 to 25 times in a given session. Their characters are coming through loud and clear. I read that post a couple of months ago, and we have tried to implement this idea at our gaming table. The players are happy with the idea, and I would say its been a relative success. They aren't going crazy with trying to shoehorn their character traits into every encounter, but they are definitely thinking about what those traits are and trying to role play them.
  • 12:32 AM - Aldarc quoted iserith in post How often do you use the Inspiration rules?
    You should play at my table then - it's a huge part of the play experience.No, thank you. I'm not interested in buying snake oil.

Tuesday, 19th February, 2019

  • 06:16 PM - dave2008 quoted iserith in post Finally getting some use out of Chapter 4 (Other than Backgrounds)
    There is almost never a cost to earning Inspiration though unless the DM is of the mindset that the PC needs to pay a price for it (which he or she doesn't have to be and, to my mind, shouldn't). OK, I thought the comment I was responding to suggested a cost/lack of immediate benefit (whether real or perceived) was in play. My mistake. EDIT: I see I was conflating your comment with the OP. My mistake.
  • 03:45 PM - dave2008 quoted iserith in post Finally getting some use out of Chapter 4 (Other than Backgrounds)
    It's weird when players given the option to gain a resource that gives them advantage when they need it at practically no cost don't go for it. I suspect this might have something to do with the difficulty of the challenges being presented in the game, but it could be many things. Actually, it is a fairly common human condition. We tend to take the option that is perceived to be better/safer now than one that could help us more in the future. Not universal - but a very common response.

Monday, 18th February, 2019

  • 11:37 PM - guachi quoted iserith in post Finally getting some use out of Chapter 4 (Other than Backgrounds)
    It's weird when players given the option to gain a resource that gives them advantage when they need it at practically no cost don't go for it. I suspect this might have something to do with the difficulty of the challenges being presented in the game, but it could be many things. I think it's lack of confidence in knowing your character. In my current campaign, all of one session old, I explained your version of awarding inspiration. They understood (or at least seemed to) and a benefit is that the game is a married couple and two sisters. One of the sisters is new to the game. However, because was player knows one other player really well I think they are a little more comfortable. I even had one player, the newest, change one of her traits spontaneously . She had her character react to a situation and decided that was her trait and not whatever she had written down. I was fine with it and so we're the other three players who suggested it would be fun.
  • 04:39 PM - Sadras quoted iserith in post Finally getting some use out of Chapter 4 (Other than Backgrounds)
    I suspect this might have something to do with the difficulty of the challenges being presented in the game, but it could be many things. Interesting, did not consider this. Thanks. Might be something I need to discuss with the table.
  • 04:24 PM - Sadras quoted iserith in post Finally getting some use out of Chapter 4 (Other than Backgrounds)
    I put all this on the players so I don't have to remember anything or suggest to them how to play their characters: The Case for Inspiration. I did do this @iserith, and even followed AngryDM's article on Inspiration, but my players did not engage with it - so I did what I did. Honestly I expected it to be more difficult to remember everyone's characteristics and try incorporate them, hence I only introduced flaws (for now) but surprisingly it went well. EDIT: I think as they become more accustomed to being "compelled" the more they will engage with the process and start negotiating with me.

Sunday, 17th February, 2019

  • 08:03 PM - Satyrn quoted iserith in post Ideals, Bonds, Flaws system for 5e Alignment
    Yes, this is how I run Inspiration for most games: The Case for Inspiration. And for my Planescape game, a setting which makes rather a big deal out of alignment, I added this bit: Alignment In the rare times when the forces of Law and Chaos are in balance, alignment matters little in the grand scheme. But in these dark times, with coterminous Planes of Evil influencing events on Clichéa, what one believes and how he or she acts on that belief matter a great deal to the outcomes manifested in this primordial, often unseen struggle. Copy and paste the appropriate alignment for your character in the Ideal section of your personal characteristics. You can claim Inspiration for either your Ideal or your Alignment. This effectively gives you 5 different ways to achieve your 4 Inspiration for the session. Lawful Good. I can be counted on to do the right thing as expected by society. Neutral Good. I do the best I can to help others according to their needs. Chaotic Good. I act as ...

Thursday, 7th February, 2019

  • 07:20 PM - Satyrn quoted iserith in post Build to Balance an All Damage Party
    A wizard with all utility spells (buff, control, debuff). For extra fun, don't take a single damaging spell. I was gonna suggest much the same thing, except all the utility spells should be buffs, only. Like, don't attack the enemy, don't affect the enemy at all.
  • 01:38 AM - Aiden_Keller_ quoted iserith in post TftYP - Running Sunless Citadel
    I don't know what Deekin Scalesinger is, but if it's cute, kill it with extra fire! https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Deekin_Scalesinger A kobold that can potentially join you in the Neverwinter Knights Video Games.... DO NOT KILL DEEKIN!
  • 12:38 AM - Charlaquin quoted iserith in post [New DM Question] What about Simultaneous Movement?
    That sounds reasonable, but I'd have to further review the rules for movement to determine whether the Ready rule is an exception to the limitations of movement. I’m pretty sure it works. The Ready action is pretty much the only place where movement in combat is refrenced that doesn’t frame it in terms of how far you can move on your turn.


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