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  • pukunui's Avatar
    Today, 04:47 AM
    Hi all, I've had an idea for a cool little magic coin. Currently, both of my campaigns are set in the Forgotten Realms, which has goddesses of both good and bad luck (Tymora and Beshaba respectively). I was thinking it would be cool to have a coin - on one side is an image of Tymora, on the other an image of Beshaba. When you flip the coin, if it lands with Tymora's image facing up (heads),...
    3 replies | 11 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Today, 01:45 AM
    Another thing to note is that the rarity of items are not necessarily based on how easy or hard the spells are to get normally... they are based upon what the designers decided were genuinely how rare they thing the items should be in a default campaign. A Ring of Invisibility is such an iconic magic item (in literature if not D&D) that I suspect they didn't want to make them commonplace in...
    6 replies | 292 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:37 AM
    I want this to be good so much... but this trailer... doesn't look very good.
    26 replies | 478 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:28 AM
    In 3rd edition I love the expansion books that focus on a specific climate. There's Sandstorm for desert adventures, Frostburn for arctic adventures, and of course Stormwrack for sea adventures (which I am using for a campaign right now). These books are a fantastic help in creating a campaign that is very different in tone, style and theme than normal D&D campaigns. I especially love the various...
    77 replies | 4834 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:09 AM
    Reminds me a bit of the "fire" world from the Death Gate Cycle as well.
    21 replies | 430 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:26 PM
    That and a couple binders and dividers, and brothers, you’re there.
    9 replies | 269 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 09:13 PM
    Yeah, I just use pen and paper. There’s no substitute- the OS is always current and it never crashes. The monthly subscriptions are minimal.
    9 replies | 269 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 07:13 PM
    Nah. See also alchemist fire for ideas on how to resolve.
    11 replies | 275 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 06:14 PM
    It seems like the create bonfire spell might be a decent basis for ruling what happens here.
    11 replies | 275 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 11:11 AM
    I started off my long running pirate campaign with two players in a jail tower, and two other players climbing the tower to free them. I wanted the campaign to start with action right away, and with an event that brings the party together. During this session the players could also recruit other prisoners as members of their crew. This also served to introduce some of the bad guys and set the...
    19 replies | 418 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:38 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    I've actually used the idea of smoke build up in a couple of battles in my pirate campaign. The players had been exchanging fire with the crew of another pirate ship for a few rounds, and I described that so much smoke had started building up that they had great difficulty seeing their opponents. It adds a neat bit of extra flavor to a battle while also changing things up a bit.
    160 replies | 4902 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 10:33 AM
    I'm looking forward to it.
    6 replies | 231 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 05:38 AM
    Well no politics surfaced in the game. A fun, short, solo one-shot led by Mercer. I felt that Colbert was seriously getting into it. I have to say that this seems to be Mercer's super power. I think many of these celebrities come to it for a quick fun promotion, play it as a kind of gag. Then, after a few minutes, you can see their demeanor change as Mercer starts spinning the story....
    14 replies | 786 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 03:12 AM
    It's notably closer than the Sword Coast, and is connected to them via the Sea of Fallen Stars at least.
    5 replies | 388 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 02:17 AM
    I might have to watch this. Picard has always been my favorite ST captain.
    14 replies | 304 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:49 AM
    Actually, there's fine print at the end indicating WotC's copyright. Didn't notice it at first.
    62 replies | 1824 view(s)
    2 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:25 AM
    I don't know who owns the IP for the old D&D cartoon characters, but they're using WotC's dragon designs for Tiamat's heads. I wonder if there's any copyright violation going on in this ad?
    62 replies | 1824 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Friday, 24th May, 2019, 01:11 AM
    Yes, Chris Lindsay was talking about this some time ago. Does it make you feel any better knowing that they are going to use a part of the Realms that is not on the Sword Coast? Turmish isn't all that far from your beloved Old Empires.
    5 replies | 388 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 10:04 PM
    Me personally, I don't really care about "immersion." But I would care as a player if I'm asked to make a check without declaring an action. So as DM I would just honestly remind the players that they have X, Y, and Z as quests and that (if this is truly a sandbox game) they aren't required to complete them, but that taking actions A, B, or C would definitely result in those quests being...
    47 replies | 1711 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 08:59 PM
    I think that's definitely a good attitude to have and it helps if the players are onboard with purposefully putting their characters in bad situations sometimes, trusting that the outcome will be fun for them even if it's bad for the characters. That's certainly the spirit of the game as outlined in the rules in any case. At the same time, as a player, I also want to honor the DM's prep...
    47 replies | 1711 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 08:19 PM
    Man, I don't know if I'd want to live in a world where as DM I'm not encouraging stupid actions.
    47 replies | 1711 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 06:51 PM
    Basic Rules, page 3, in the paragraph about "winning and losing" in D&D. The "win" conditions are as I specified. This is the section of the rules that tell us what the game is supposed to be about (even if people don't play it that way sometimes). It does not say that the adventurers have to have a good time - it's the players this is referring to. The adventurers could be torn to bits, after...
    47 replies | 1711 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 05:01 PM
    The thing with burning down the house is that as with any particular course of action the players consider, they are well-served to pass it through the filter of the goals of play. The game defines those goals as the DM and the players creating an exciting, memorable story of bold adventurers who confront deadly perils and having a good time doing it. So the question the players could stand to...
    47 replies | 1711 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:06 PM
    Wow, you jumped on that adventure fast! I just got my book a couple days ago and haven't even cracked it open.
    47 replies | 1711 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:04 PM
    That is my reading, though I would say a sword is also an object. I think the main thing here is that incorporeal movement is just that - movement. Push a sword through this creature and it will take damage. If it instead moves through the sword, it takes no damage unless it ends its turn on the sword.
    18 replies | 379 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 02:38 PM
    "For the purposes of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or vehicle that is composed of many other objects." (DMG, pg. 246) Walls are also considered objects. They are mentioned in this section as well.
    18 replies | 379 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    5 rounds of reloading is a bit harsh for 3.5, which is why I made it only 1 round of reloading. It may not be realistic, but I think it is more fun to play that way.
    160 replies | 4902 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:42 AM
    All of these details I like. The fact that the previous movie didn't follow up on the Knights of Ren was a big flaw in my view.
    6 replies | 231 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 11:35 AM
    I doubt D&D's contribution to HBO will be judged based on just the last season. They have had so much success with this show, that I don't think they care that the last season under performs. I think they are mostly happy that the show ran so long and pulled in so much revenue for them.
    24 replies | 484 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:41 AM
    Interested in learning more about the minis. I've gone to mostly 2D card-stock minis as I can print out and cut out (using a Silhouette paper cutter) everything I need the night before. I did back the most recent bones Kickstarter, but now that I have to paint them...ugh. Also storing painted minis is an entire additional cost. If there were something similar in quality and durability as...
    7 replies | 203 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:28 AM
    Not a fan of Rush, but YOU BET I'd tune in for a game of D&D that he played in. I bet he'd be great. Ben Shapiro is another person I'd love to see play. They'd bring their large audiences to the event, raise money, and give the hobby greater exposure. I know that we now live in a world where the social-media mob will, well, mob the organizers of any event that dares invite someone with...
    14 replies | 786 view(s)
    2 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:21 AM
    Donate a few bucks and you can vote for what he'll play.
    14 replies | 786 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Thursday, 23rd May, 2019, 03:20 AM
    Also, keep in mind that the ship rules are NOT spread out. You have the basic rules needed to run nautical adventures in the PHB and DMG. The rules in the appendix of Saltmarsh are extra, expanded rules. Just like all the downtime, racial feats, and tool proficiency, etc. rules in Xanathars are some extra crunch for those who want it. You can still play D&D just fine with the PHB & DMG. ...
    31 replies | 1997 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:08 PM
    Another option, only with less work, is to just play D&D 4e.
    73 replies | 1908 view(s)
    12 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 07:46 PM
    The rules of the game don't seem to indicate I should care about this as DM. The only exception is to encourage players not to waste game time or their characters' lives on bad assumptions and I do that. It seems more likely to me that Intelligence is seen as a dump stat because there is only one class and a couple of sub-classes that use it regularly for attack rolls and DCs and very few...
    580 replies | 20945 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 03:55 PM
    It's frankly hard to say what's at the core of this discussion anymore. What I do know is that if you want to call "thinking" an action, then because of the rule that players determine what the characters think, then there can be no ability check here since there is no uncertainty as to the outcome. The character thinks what the player says he or she thinks. I don't see any complications...
    580 replies | 20945 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 02:24 PM
    Well, the good news is that climbing in D&D 5e is a factor of speed and ability checks are only necessary if there's something about the climb that makes it uncertain, such as a slippery vertical surface or few handholds.
    179 replies | 8223 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:46 AM
    Also, Renly believes that Stannis in an unlikeable king. He may have the stronger claim, but not that many people want him as their king.
    14 replies | 391 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:43 AM
    I'm pretty sure you are incorrect. HBO is unlikely to share our sentiments about those two. Game of Thrones was HBO's pride and joy for years. It was pretty much the only reason to have an HBO subscription. D&D's writing may have gone downhill as they surpassed the books, but their efforts to adapt the books into a succesful tv show will not be ignored by HBO. All D&D have to do is tell HBO they...
    24 replies | 484 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 11:39 AM
    I recently acquired Myst 3 Exile for the PS2 at a sale. I'm replaying it now. Ah, nostalgia and frustrating puzzles.
    51 replies | 4770 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 09:00 AM
    I buy both. I love the physical books because they are beautiful and I like to sit without electronics sometime and page through a book. I like D&D Beyond because I can have my entire D&D library in my pocket in an easy to read, easy to search format, cross-linked, and off line. I am very much likely the current thematic, modular format. Just got Ghosts of Saltmarsh and it is such a great...
    31 replies | 1997 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:45 AM
    Well, your wallet is your vote. I'm really liking what Matt Coleville is doing with Stronghold & Followers and his mass combat rules, but I'm interested in seeing what WotC will do with mass combat. I've been impressed with how well WotC has designed rules expansions in Xanathar's and Ghosts of Saltmarsh. They are simple, use existing mechanics in sensible ways, and capture the spirit of 5e...
    31 replies | 1997 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:34 AM
    Rappan Athuk. For any level. I'm running a campaign using the newly released 5e version. Massive book. Just start them at the Mouth of Doom.
    22 replies | 842 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 08:30 AM
    Well, this is the first terrain product that has me considering buying it since I went to a horizontal digital display. Generally, I only buy "dressing" pieces or creature miniatures, since all my battlemaps are digital. When I was really into physical terrain, most 3-D products turned me off. Way too expensive and often not convenient for use at the table. I instead would make my own...
    7 replies | 203 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 05:26 AM
    I think Grey Worm had enough sense to realise that murdering Jon would’ve had much more dire consequences than murdering some defenseless Lannister soldiers.
    108 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:34 AM
    I think it’s wise to divide the combat encounters between big set pieces and minor skirmishes. Because by doing that, you can spend your prep time designing your set piece encounters while leaving “trash” combat encounters (random encounters, unexpected fights, etc.) to a very quick and improv-friendly rules set. If I were in your shoes and table-time was at a premium, I would run my minor...
    46 replies | 1466 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:07 AM
    *cough* https://thedragonprince.com/character-reveal-moonshadow-elf-assassins/
    54 replies | 8552 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:03 AM
    A sore elf.
    54 replies | 8552 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:58 AM
    Already at over 53,000. My prediction is that they will hit and exceed their goal on Thursday, while they are streaming.
    14 replies | 786 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 12:36 AM
    4E - easy vote. Happy to see 5th keep so many of its innovations.
    198 replies | 6197 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Bawylie's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:34 PM
    I had the same thought for the exact same reasons as your OP some time ago. First thing I thought of was to differentiate between sleep and rest. I decided sleep was as necessary as food and water, but didn’t itself automatically mean “rest.” Then I decided that proper rest had to be in a kind of sanctuary - a home, at minimum. To me, rest has to be reasonably free from stress or peril....
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    1 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 06:24 PM
    Yeah, but what's the other option? NOT put out any more rules? At some point, the consumer needs to decide for themself what it is they need to play their game. Do they need vehicle rules? Do they not? If they do, is expecting them to buy a new book that has them included in it really too much to ask? And what's the other option... do a reprint of game mechanics in 3 years time that...
    31 replies | 1997 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:55 AM
    Don't give them ideas for a new show.
    108 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:52 AM
    Considering how much the show went downhill the last two seasons, I think another series might be a terrible idea.
    24 replies | 484 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:50 AM
    I watched this last episode in a packed movie theater. It was disappointing, but not as disappointing as I expected it to be. There were a few enjoyable moments, plus some stellar acting from Dinklage.
    108 replies | 2867 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 11:35 AM
    A series set in the waning days of Valyria, that perhaps culminates in its destruction and leads to the Targaryens’ conquest of Westeros could be cool. I find the whole “Doom of Valyria” thing fascinating.
    24 replies | 484 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:36 AM
    Not quite Mike Mearls in a box but it’ll do. Thanks! 😉
    31 replies | 1997 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:14 AM
    His politics aside, the man is a true fantasy nerd. He is very intelligent, quick witted, has an encyclopedic memory of Lord of the Rings lore and I think it'll be a hoot to watch him play. If he makes the game about politics, well, I'd be disappointed. As long has he keeps it about the game and raising money for a good cause, I really don't care about his politics. I don't make my...
    14 replies | 786 view(s)
    6 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 05:04 AM
    Holy jeez... did you actually remember that post from way back when, or did you just happen to stumble upon it? I barely remember posts I've put up two weeks ago, let alone ones that are six years old, LOL! I clicked on that link to read what I had said and then only barely remembered saying it. ;) Not that I was wrong mind you... no, in fact I was pretty spot on I think. Heh heh.
    198 replies | 6197 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 12:52 AM
    That sounds like an empty threat at first that he was forced to follow through on. Telegraphing a rival adventuring party is a ton of fun and I use that a lot as time pressure. And I use the same party in every campaign - the iconic characters from D&D 3.Xe i.e. Tordek, Lidda, Jozan, Mialee et al. It's kind of a running joke and a little competition is a fantastic way to encourage the players...
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 12:37 AM
    Did the DM telegraph to the players that there were rival adventuring groups in the area? That is also a good time pressure. I bet it was more the gotcha that made the players salty.
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 12:35 AM
    Then you go back to town every time you need a long rest, presuming you can do that in a town. This may increase the amount of time it takes to complete an adventure both in-game and in real time, depending on whether travel back and forth to town is played out. If there is danger on that travel, player may rightly decide to curtail the delve to conserve resources, potentially reducing the amount...
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:25 PM
    The Five Minute Workday can be corrected with time pressure in the form of quest timers and/or wandering monsters.
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 10:24 PM
    It depends on the scenario really.
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 09:51 PM
    I do that right now in most dungeons. It works fine in my experience. Players figure out a way to deal with it and carry on. Typically that just means multiple trips back and forth to the dungeon, either resting nearby in the wilderness or back in town. Or they get a Leomund's tiny hut if they're of the appropriate level and have a caster that can cast it. Depending on how complex I want to...
    53 replies | 1529 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    I don't think that is true. Of course. But the players have plenty of access to healing and protection of all kinds. Deadlier combat simply means the players will have to play differently, and think more about their strategies. This is a fair point, which is why I think any spells and special abilities that work against projectiles, should also work against bullets. This includes...
    160 replies | 4902 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 08:00 PM
    This is supported by the "Degrees of Failure" rules in the DMG, page 242. What is old is new again!
    179 replies | 8223 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 07:43 PM
    Wow, I hadn't really thought about it in this way before, but that really is what's at stake. On the surface it's all "hey, we're just checking to see what your character knows, 'kay?" Which doesn't seem that unreasonable, especially if you are used to a paradigm where the DM just asks for checks sometimes without an action stated by the player and the player doesn't look too closely at the rules...
    580 replies | 20945 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:21 PM
    Thinking of the overall situation and challenge instead of thinking of it solely as a combat challenge may help you build into the scene elements that encourage the players to try other things. Alternate goals for the monsters and PCs other than reducing enemies to 0 hit points, plus aligning your rewards accordingly help a great deal with this. Feel free to check out some of my short-form...
    20 replies | 661 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 05:01 PM
    How the character thinks is in the control of the player, not the DM. As a result, there is no uncertainty - the character thinks whatever the player says he or she thinks. No doubt. The players in the example did not attempt to recall lore. One said he or she wanted to go buy some scrolls. The other said, only after the incredulous DM raised an eyebrow or the like, that he or she...
    580 replies | 20945 view(s)
    1 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 12:04 PM
    I was not entirely convinced by some of the choices in the final moments of Game of Thrones' floor routine. Some of the moves were not well-rehearsed and were therefore poorly executed. But, boy, did they stick the landing!
    108 replies | 2867 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:50 AM
    Well, I found that ending satisfactory. The Starks won the game after all! Brandon Stark is now king of the Six Kingdoms, while Sansa Stark is queen of the North. Meanwhile, Arya Stark is set to displace Barbie as queen of the waves, and Jon looks like he may just end up king beyond the Wall. That was *almost* a smile on his face when he looked at all the wildlings around him. Oh, and the...
    108 replies | 2867 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:47 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    The reason I disagree with you, is because I feel firearms should be the first and obvious choice for the players, and melee should be their backup weapons. As I said, I run a pirate campaign, and if all my players still ended up using bows and swords, then I'd feel like I had failed at establishing a pirate campaign. Historically guns were more deadly, so they should be a lot more powerful than...
    160 replies | 4902 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Monday, 20th May, 2019, 11:39 AM
    Just beautiful. I want to give more xp!
    4 replies | 265 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:25 PM
    Rather than creatures falling unconscious at 0 HP, they instead break and run away full speed never to come back. And attackers do not get to make AoOs against them as they run off, the creature just bolts and gets away. This includes PCs by the way. As soon as they hit 0 HP their morale breaks and they make a run for it. Now if you want to allow them the chance to return to help their...
    20 replies | 661 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:48 AM
    Imaculata replied to Firearms
    How I handle firearms in my 3.5 pirate campaign, is to make them clearly better than regular D&D weapons. They do more damage, can fire multiple shots, and do triple damage on a crit. They can also be combined with weapon-specific feats/abilities, such as using the Quickdraw feat to draw multiple preloaded pistols in a round and fire them. You need to give firearms a strong advantage, or players...
    160 replies | 4902 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:40 AM
    Yeah, both actors were heavily criticised. People were furious about Ledger playing the joker... but turns out he might be one of the best Joker's of all time (second only to Mark Hamill in my opinion). Then again, DC is having an epic dance with failure lately. If they get Batman right with Pattison, it's probably on accident.
    25 replies | 584 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:34 AM
    Well, I still play 3.5, so my answer is obvious.
    198 replies | 6197 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Imaculata's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 07:22 AM
    Yeah, when I watched the first episode for the first time, I wasn't convinced that it would become as good as it ultimately would. If it weren't for the cliffhanger ending, I might not have kept watching the show.
    14 replies | 391 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 06:18 AM
    Sunday in the US. So we won't know till it's Monday here already.
    70 replies | 4337 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:17 AM
    For nolstalgia, 1e. But I wouldn't want to play it now. If I had to play a D&D edition other than 5e, I suppose it would be Basic D&D (Moldvay / Metzner (but not Expert/Companion rules), which for some reason you are categorizing as OD&D. But more likely, if I couldn't play 5e, I wouldn't play D&D, I'd play Dungeon Crawl Classics.
    198 replies | 6197 view(s)
    1 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 05:08 AM
    Did you book it through Kickstarter or were you already a WeWork customer?
    3 replies | 228 view(s)
    0 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 01:12 AM
    The plural of nemesis is nemeses.
    7 replies | 304 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Sunday, 19th May, 2019, 12:01 AM
    But you won't be the first or the last Greyhawk fan to be disappointed. :-(
    70 replies | 4337 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 11:59 PM
    Most campaigns never get anywhere near 20. If you are not expecting to play to high levels, you are not likely to shoot yourself in the foot. Multiclass as much as it takes to build the character concept that you are going for, whether that is for story, for power gaming, or both. One thing I am thinking about is doing one shots or mini campaigns at Tier 2 or Tier 3 levels. I would tell...
    27 replies | 712 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Saturday, 18th May, 2019, 11:43 PM
    Meetup.com subscriptions now include free WeWork room reservations (https://help.meetup.com/hc/en-us/articles/360004656412-What-is-Meetup-WeWork-) I've been to WeWork sites for business meetings and they are nice, but I didn't pay much attention to the overall setup. How feasible is it to meeting with a gaming group at a WeWork site? Reserving from Meetup.com has two options, up to 25 and...
    3 replies | 228 view(s)
    0 XP
  • DEFCON 1's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:30 PM
    Oh, of course not. Nor should they. But for a class whose formatting is based on the Warlocks, I think it is much, much better that each of the seven subclasses has their own list of "invocations" to select from, rather than the Warlock's where there's one single list and all the patrons select from it. I'd rather have a 20+ page document where all the selections for a particular subclass...
    72 replies | 3135 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 04:28 PM
    Yes, if the player declares an action that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. In this example, including what you added, we have two action declarations: (1) The barbarian wants to go to Ye Ole Magick Shoppe to buy some thunderwave scrolls for the wizard and (2) The wizard's player wants to retroactively give the barbarian a reason to take the aforementioned action...
    580 replies | 20945 view(s)
    0 XP
  • MNblockhead's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 06:56 AM
    Didn't see this posted in EN World or on RPG News, but I thought it was pretty big in terms of the attention it will bring to the hobby. Stephen Colbert will be playing in a mini-adventure run by Matt Mercer (of Critical Role fame) for Red Nose day, a charity that fights child poverty: https://critrole.com/red-nose-day-choose-stephen-colberts-adventure/ You can donate money to help...
    14 replies | 786 view(s)
    4 XP
  • pukunui's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 09:40 PM
    I dislike the emphasis on “pets”. The turret in particular is too video gamey for my tastes. The new archivist feels more like a psionic character than an artificer. I do like the unique approach to spell casting, though.
    72 replies | 3135 view(s)
    1 XP
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Friday, 24th May, 2019

  • 06:20 PM - jaelis mentioned iserith in post Control Flame in Combat?
    Personally, I wouldn't let you use the clothing as fuel. But if they are standing on something flammable, sure. I agree with iserith that the create bonfire mechanic seems applicable.

Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 09:27 PM - 77IM mentioned iserith in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    ...enging issues, you don't get XP. Burning down a house is something anyone can do, and takes no special effort - oil, toches, whoomph! Done. Why should they get a reward for that? IF burning down the house doesn't do anything towards the goals, then there's no XP to get, and no XP to "lose." So I agree with that part. My point was that, if the house is full of dangerous enemies, then burning it down definitely DOES do something towards the goals. It does a lot. Awarding or withholding XP based on the PC's method of achieving the goals turns one of the primary decisions the players get to make into a meta-game decision. Rather than "How should we overcome this challenge?" it becomes "How does the DM want us to overcome this challenge?" IF burning down the house doesn't do anything towards the goals, then why did the players decide do it? My players are not stupid people. If that really seems like the best course of action, maybe I've miscommunicated somehow? I agree with iserith that the players do bear some responsibility for making "fun" decisions instead of purely pragmatic ones. For example, for most PCs, the purely pragmatic decision is to sell most of your starting gear and become a farmer. ;) My group of PCs literally met at a bar (location 8, the Empty Net) and decided to adventure together for purely meta-game reasons. One thing I'm considering is giving characters a Wisdom (Insight) check to get "hunches" about the consequences of major actions. Like, "maybe you'll miss important clues if you burn the house down." This would really just be an excuse for me to tell them things at a meta-game level, without breaking immersion. I'm hesitant though, because for some people doing that would break immersion even worse.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 01:34 AM - Bawylie mentioned iserith in post Brainstorming TotM
    ...big set-piece "Marvel Battles", but I was curious if there are other DMs out there who have the same issues using TotM in 5E. The biggest issue I see with TotM in 5E is that it puts all the stress for managing and directing the flow of the action on the DM. I think this strips a lot of agency from the players, and can leave the DM with all the blame if the fight "goes south". What, as a DM, are your experiences with narrative combat in 5th? Are there any special tools or systems you use to make it more accessible for your players? I think it’s wise to divide the combat encounters between big set pieces and minor skirmishes. Because by doing that, you can spend your prep time designing your set piece encounters while leaving “trash” combat encounters (random encounters, unexpected fights, etc.) to a very quick and improv-friendly rules set. If I were in your shoes and table-time was at a premium, I would run my minor skirmishes narratively. (I can’t emphasize enough how important iserith ‘s advice is, so definitely keep a “Go back to 1” post-it handy). Anyway for narrative skirmishes, I want to dispense with absolute positioning in favor of relative position. You see this is some of the rules sets mentioned up thread. For me, there are only two zones/areas I need and two I *might* need. I need: 1.) the Melee. Everyone who’s in the melee can move around and hit anyone else in the melee. These combatants are all engaged, close, whatever you want to say. They’re in melee. 2.) at Range. Everyone not in the melee is at Range. When you’re at range, you can shoot spells or missiles into the melee or at anyone else at range. I might need: 3.) Above - aka “the dogfight” for aerial combats or higher platforms. 4.) Below - aka “the pitfight” for submerged or lower platforms. That covers basically every range/area I need for a quick and dirty narrative combat. Special considerations: •Anyone can move into or within the melee freely, but anyone leaving it must Disengage (...

Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 06:10 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    *ducks back in, waving a white flag* Totally, totally not trying to start anything. Honest. I just want to point something out iserith. When three different posters, at least, at three different times - myself, Oofta and now Tony Vargas, all come to the same, or at least very similar conclusions based on what you are posting, perhaps, and I'm not saying this is true, but, perhaps, the point you are trying to make isn't as clear as you think it is. I mean, you're dismissing Tony Vargas because apparently he's been scarred by edition wars. You dismissed oofta so hard that he's still on your ignore list. You dismissed my points as well. I'm not saying you're wrong here. I'm not trying to pick a fight and my horse in this race is long dead. I'm just saying that perhaps, just maybe, your point could be misconstrued. I mean, heck, once you actually pointed out an actual example, I realized that there is not much difference between your table and mine, I just don't insist on such strict adherence to formula - I skip steps. Otherwise, the end results between your table and mine are probably pretty close. How...

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 03:43 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    But you haven't answered the underlying question. Does Francis the Guard exist? Can the player track them down in that town, now that they have pulled that from their backstory? I'll try to answer that, and maybe this will help pemerton, too, who keeps trying to get me to define this boundary. Francis the Guard exists if that suits my purpose. He exists only in the player's imagination otherwise. Or he died. Or maybe he does exist, but this isn't Francis. As iserith points out, the player has absolute control over the character's thoughts and beliefs, and the DM has absolute control over the environment. Both may cede some of that authority if they want, but that is going outside the rules. Now, I think your question (and maybe pemerton's...I may be wrong) is really asking the question of how you define a clear boundary, to prevent players from trying to grab too much of the DM's authority. That what's needed is some kind of clear rule, that can't be debated or refuted, right? No. Wrong. This isn't a problem of unclear rules. This is a problem of players sometimes being jerkwads, and I don't need rules to protect my games against jerkwads. I have a door for that. I also don't need rules to protect me from jerkwad DMs. This door is a magical door, and it also works, albeit in a slightly different manner, as protection against jerkwad DMs.
  • 03:37 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...nsider that a perfectly fine thing for you to assert. Trouble is, it doesn't change the fact that you will get no special treatment from me unless your character also has spent CharGen resources on whatever lore skills are necessary to actually learn facts about monsters. If you, as a player of a character that has no lore skill regarding monsters, assert that your character was told a lot of stuff, the very fact that your character does not have a bunch of points spent on monster lore proves that what you were told was probably incomplete, or common knowledge, or just plain wrong. The facts on your character sheet disprove your claim of special knowledge - or else they don't. That call out to your background may perfectly explain why you do have all that lore on your character sheet. Or it may just explain that natural 20 you rolled to identify this particular monster. Again, according to some of the people I've been discussing this with, you are completely wrong. In fact, iserith went so far as to state in the insight thread that a player never has to justify why their character knows something. There is no roll, there is no story, the player says their character knows earth elemental are vulnerable to thunder damage, so their character knows that. Now, iserith was also very quick to state that assuming what you know is accurate is a dangerous thing, because the DM could have changed anything and your assumptions might be woefully inaccurate, but I disagree with the premise, not the exception. It was why I disagreed with the Elder telling you all the monster secrets, that everyone seemed to agree was perfectly okay. No CharGen resources needed, no lore rolls required, you know what your character thinks, therefore you know those facts about those monsters. However, when it turned to a social event where a roll could be bypassed, the player was outside the rules of the game, as everyone has stated repeatedly. That was why I brought this up, because o...

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 08:29 PM - Satyrn mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Quoting Myself For Great Justice! That was me for most of 3e! I meant to also say that I started DMing so much better when I adopted what I think of as the AD&D mindset. I didn't change the rules of 3e, I just started asking the players "whaddya do?" instead of n telling them whatta do. And then 5e came along doing the same! I wasn't even part of the playtest . . . I'm glad you were, though, @iserith. :p
  • 03:41 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I would say that D&D 4e prior to Essentials with its embrace of "Yes, and..." and encouragement of the DM to accept ideas outside the character's control that the player proffers could be such a game. There's a sidebar in the D&D 4e DMG that uses an example from one of the designers wherein the player suggests there is a trap on a statue that is protecting a treasure. The DM rolls with it, they play out the trap challenge, and the player's character gets the treasure. But even that requires the DM's assent and the limits (the designer above remarks that HE would be the one to decide what treasure it was!) are likely understood formally or informally in the form of a table rule. I wasn't planning on jumping into this thread, and this post is far back in this thread, but were you iserith, not the one who told me repeatedly in the insight thread that the DM cannot and should not tell a player what they think? This was your justification for players having knowledge of monsters that they otherwise might not have, because the player got to decide what was reasonable for them to know, and the DM could never tell them that they could not think that. So, since this "Francis the Guard" example evolved from the "Orc Elder" example of hearing stories which told them the weaknesses of monsters, where does it go to far? Is the player correct about having been raised in an orphanage? Is the player correct that they were raised with a boy named Franics at said orphanage? Is the player correct that Francis and the PC were very close and dear friends? Is the player correct that this guard looks like Francis? Is the player correct that this guard is Francis? Is the player correct in that Francis the Guard still thinks of them as a friend and wants to help them out? ...

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 08:22 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    @Elfcrusher, I'm with @5ekyu on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks. "Obvious locations" is a form of telegraph. If a player is thinking, "This door to the treasure room is probably trapped" then we are talking about player skill, right? That's why the only way to not telegraph, at all, is to place them randomly. Or maybe you had a different idea in mind when @iserith and others started talking about 'telegraphing'? Maybe you thought, oh, I don't know...how about: signs that say "trap here". If so, I'm glad we had this little chat and cleared that up. Now, I think 'obvious locations' is a particularly uninteresting form of telegraphing. Sure, it still relies on player skill, but not a very engaging or rewarding form of player skill. Or really very much skill. I never get that little rush of satisfaction, the one that I get when overcome something novel and interesting, just because I remembered to check for traps in an obvious place. But, hey, it's telegraphing. I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to be a strawman. "Devolve"? No. Play that way in the early 1980's because that was what the adventures required, and even because it seemed fun at the time? Sure. And, anyway, I was pretty clear that I was just tr...

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 12:11 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...thread, Elfcrusher gave an example of a player authoring shared fiction invovling the stories told to a young PC by trial elders. I don't think many posters regarded this as a usurpation of the GM's authority. The general response to my post seems to be that the player deciding that the gate guard is her/his PC's childhood friend Frances is a usurpation of the GM's authority. But in some other recent threads I've seen criticisms of a GM narrating failure as some sort of oversight or carelessness on the part of the PC as a usurpation by the GM of the player's authority over deciding what his/her PC does, thinks and feels. Likewise there's a widespread view that it would be usurpation for a GM to decide that a PC didn't do what the player has said s/he does, because the GM thinks it is inconsistent with the PC's stats. These boundaries aren't crystal clear to me, and I'm a pretty experienced RPGer. I don't find them clearly articulated in the 5e Basic PDF. I'm sure I could get by in iserith's game playing a "man with no name"-type character, but nothing in these threads has given me any indication of how I might go about playing a character who is genuinely embedded in the social context of the gameworld - even though the Tika/Artemis sidebars, and the more general tenor of chapter 4 of the Basic PDF, all give me the impression that the game is focused on such embedded individuals. Goal and approach is - as I understand it - all about engaging the fiction so as to mitigate the difficulty of the challenge (or, perhaps, aggravating it so as to earn Inspiration). I'm not disputing that a boundary can be articulated which explains why I pull out my crowbar and use it to lever the door open is OK but There's my old friend Frances, one of the guards now - I ask her to let us through is not. I'm just saying that I haven't seen it articulated yet. And although you emphasise not carrying baggage from one game to the next, at the moment the only grasp I am getting on the boun...
  • 05:23 AM - pemerton mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...pthread, Elfcrusher gave an example of a player authoring shared fiction invovling the stories told to a young PC by trial elders. I don't think many posters regarded this as a usurpation of the GM's authority. The general response to my post seems to be that the player deciding that the gate guard is her/his PC's childhood friend Frances is a usurpation of the GM's authority. But in some other recent threads I've seen criticisms of a GM narrating failure as some sort of oversight or carelessness on the part of the PC as a usurpation by the GM of the player's authority over deciding what his/her PC does, thinks and feels. Likewise there's a widespread view that it would be usurpation for a GM to decide that a PC didn't do what the player has said s/he does, because the GM thinks it is inconsistent with the PC's stats. These boundaries aren't crystal clear to me, and I'm a pretty experienced RPGer. I don't find them clearly articulated in the 5e Basic PDF. I'm sure I could get by in iserith's game playing a "man with no name"-type character, but nothing in these threads has given me any indication of how I might go about playing a character who is genuinely embedded in the social context of the gameworld - even though the Tika/Artemis sidebars, and the more general tenor of chapter 4 of the Basic PDF, all give me the impression that the game is focused on such embedded individuals. It's somewhat related in that players being able to establish this sort of thing during play can mitigate or aggravate the difficulty of the challenge to the player. A player establishing that the character is old friends with the guard, who is presumably the obstacle in the challenge, may be mitigating the difficulty. Conversely, a player establishing that the character has a strained relationship with the guard (perhaps as a means to portray a personal characteristic and earn Inspiration) may be aggravating the difficulty of the challenge to the player.Goal and approach is - as I understa...
  • 05:02 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...with you actually. I honestly think that the difference between us is pretty small at the end of the day. Really, about the only difference is that I will skip the step where the DM calls for a roll, sometimes. Otherwise, most of our scenes will play out exactly the same. I recently had a perfect example come up in our Dragon Heist game last session. During the session, the PC's finally retrieve the Macguffin, only to be ambushed by Bregan D'arthe (sp) drow. Fight ensues. During the fight, half the party runs away with the Macguffin, leaving the other half of the party to slow down pursuit. One of the PC's left behind announces that she will show the fake Macguffin that the party has (that they picked up in an earlier session) and declare that she has the real thing, in order to confuse the pursuers. She then rolls a Deception check without me asking. I roll Insight checks for the drow and play continues. Now, as I understand it, the big difference here between me and iserith is that iserith will call for that Deception roll rather than the player simply going ahead and doing it. Our group skips that step simply out of expediency really. We're all experienced gamers and most of us have DM'd for a lot of years. We know, pretty accurately, what declarations will call for a roll without being told. Again, it's simply an extension of play experience and experience with playing with each other. OTOH, I doubt that the outcome would be any different at iserith's table. And, really, I suppose this is a good example of goal:method, with the change that we skipped a step. Now, frequently, again because we've played together so long, we don't even need to make a declaration - it's a common enough action that it's just understood. "I scout ahead - Stealth X" is a perfectly acceptable thing to do at my table, again, because everyone understands exactly what's going on and there's no need to add in the extra steps of the DM asking for rolls. So, yes, ise...
  • 01:34 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...rly implemented, or misunderstood, players may try to "talkie talkie" the DM or think it's "mother may I." Of course, those sorts of DMs and players will try to do that anyway, so honestly I'm not sure how much of a weakness it is. /snip So, the only weakness is if someone doesn't do it right. Ok. /snip I’m sorry, has anyone said that there is a 100% perfect approach with only strengths and no weaknesses? Didn't you ask me for cites not so long ago. There's one right there. And, as far as smooth vs better goes, I'm sorry, but, that's complete bollocks. My game is running smooth=good. My game is running rough=bad. That's plain English. Endless dodges don't actually change that. It's not force, but, rather, default. Please. For all the complaints about misunderstanding, you folks do seem bent on defending some pretty disingenuous points. Yeah, robus is right. The other thread showed me the light. I'm already running it goal:method anyway according to iserith, so, well, this conversation is rather pointless. I did try to unsubscribe once before. We'll see if it sticks this time.
  • 01:02 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    ...to see proof of the claim (if they aren't familiar with the PC), since anyone can claim to be noble, which the player may have in the form of a scroll of pedigree (noble starting equipment). If the scroll is produced, then the character is permitted entry (automatic success). If it is not produced, an ability check may follow depending on how the player has the character respond. The challenge to the player is to get the character past the guards. The difficulty is made very low by applying the background feature and pedigree scroll. But, there was no approach. Other than a decision I made at character generation. Aren't there two parts to your approach? Sure, there's a goal here, but, what's the approach? I'm not drawing on anything. .... Y'know what? I just realized that I've been playing goal:approach all the way along. If all it takes for an approach is being able to point to a line on my character sheet, well, hell, the only real difference between my table and iserith's is I tend to let the players call for rolls. And not even all the time. Sometimes I, as DM, call for rolls too. Wow, iserith's goal:approach system is so broad and vague that EVERYONE is doing it. Well done you sir, you've convinced me. Everyone who has ever sat down to play an RPG is using goal:approach methodology.
  • 12:57 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Again, no force. Choice does not equal force. But, iserith is saying that there is no choice. That DM centric is the default state and the presumed state of the game. If I'm playing 5e by the rules, then, by default, the rules place me front and center of the game. So, where's the choice there? Again, this is just another case of playing silly buggers with semantics. It's not forcing you to be front and center, it's "defaulting" to front and center. :erm: Gimme a break. It's not "better", but, it's "smoother". On and on and on. Any criticism is immediately deflected with this sort of pedantry. There would be a lot less accusations of misunderstanding points if folks would actually stick to plain English instead of trying to dodge any potential issue with this sort of garbage. Several criticisms of arguing in bad faith and then every time there is any criticism, a complete retreat into bad faith pedantry. Like I said in the other thread, if folks were willing to accept that no approach is 100% perfect and contains both str...

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 06:39 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I think this is malformed: you're asking if this action declaration violates a principle of the DM not controlling characters thoughts before establishing that the action declaration violates established norms on who has this authorial control. In other words, we can even reach your last question before resolving the authorial control one. And, simply, in 5e the GM has this authority, the player does not. So, again, we can't reach your last question without stipulating that the player has already broken the rules. In which case, I think your question is mooted. Yes. And also 'yes' to iserith's response. Now, in my own games I welcome this sort of thing, even though it's technically a violation of the Player/DM division of authority. If for some reason I didn't want the guard to be the Francis the player knows, it would just turn out that he's mistaken, this is not Francis. IT'S HIS EVIL TWIN!!!! Or just somebody who looks like Francis. But, anyway, it's not an action declaration, it's the player assuming some of the DM's role.
  • 11:22 AM - pemerton mentioned iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    In D&D 5e, players describe what they want to do. They decide what their characters do, how they think, and what they say. That's all they can do.Does this mean that you don't agree that the player can establish the backstory for Gord the Barbarian that was flagged upthread? Or - and I'm not trying to impute views to you, just trying to map out some of the relevant space of possibilities - would you see that as a suggestion to the GM which the latter is free to accept or reject? if we're talking about boundaries, mine are basically the same as @iserith's, although...I'm hazarding a guess, here...I think mine are a little looser.That's what I'm getting at in the paragraph just above this one. I welcome players adding to the fiction outside of their character, especially if it's about their background; not sure if iserith does that. In last night's session some low level characters encountered a partially used necklace of fireballs. One of the players announced he was going OOC and said, "I'm pretty sure I know what this is but I don't think my character would know." I said that's cool, he can have his character know or not know; it's all the same to me. But if he chooses to know, maybe he also knows why. The player said, "Ahhh..." and immediately invented a 'well-known' fairy tale from his homeland. Another player (first time at my table; he kept saying things like, "I'll use Insight...") wanted to know if he had any friends/associates in the city who might have some particular information. I said, "Describe this friend."...
  • 10:35 AM - pemerton mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... clever than me and catch all the clues I left them." <snip> I could also make my lich like the Riddler, desperate to prove itself smarter than anyone else and layering clues upon clues into everything. I could make him a jester, chortling and making bad puns while fighting the heroes where a rubber chicken suit. I can make anything. But, what makes the right impact? Sometimes, it is to have the joke character, sometimes the character who is too consumed by ego, honor, or duty. Sometimes, it is the character who will utilize every resource to its full potential, no games, no compromise, they will come at you with everything they are capable of. Which villains do you think are the most viscerally satisfying to take down?There are many ways to establish the nature of threats and of consequences than the ones that you canvass here. But I won't pursue that any further in this thread given that I started another for that purpose! ********************************* But, iserith, don't you find it strange that the only people who apparently understand the way you run the games are also the people that agree with you? That everyone who disagrees with you apparently just doesn't understand what you're doing? Something to cogitate on since we're all about that self reflection right?Well I'm pretty confident I understand how iserith runs 5e although I have never run a RPG that way and can't envisage doing so in the future. (I've run AD&D and B/X, and those are designed to be run more-or-less in iserith's way, but I wasn't good at it then and am not good at it now; the really successful AD&D games that I ran were heavily drifted from the default expectation.) One recurrent point of disagreement I've noticed has been the significance, on the "goal and approach" method, of player descriptions. I think it's clear that "flowery language" is not relevant. It's not obvious to me that some degree of eloquence is not relevant, given that the player is expected to stat...
  • 03:22 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Y'know, I have to apologize for the "talkie talkie" thing. I thought it was funny and cute, totally not meant as a shot or anything like that. I see that it has very much taken on a life of its own, and that's totally my bad. Sorry about that. When I say, talky talky or talky bits, I'm simply meaning those parts of the game that revolve around the social pillar. As opposed to the hacky bits or looky bits. :p Yeah, humour is always tough. But, honestly Elfcrusher, I've never seen this as you folks needing to defend anything. iserith is 100% right in saying that this is what the 5e books expect. It is right there in black and white. I can't really argue with that. My point has always been that anyone, like me or Oofta, saying that we have a way that works better for us is immediately dogpiled on as coming from dysfunctional tables or not understanding other approaches or whatever.
  • 02:10 AM - Hussar mentioned iserith in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...uly authentic sushi. Some folks like sushi. Some folks like teriyaki chicken sushi. Some folks like avocado sushi. Does that mean that most folks are wrong for liking sushi that isn't authentic? Or only folks who eat traditional sushi are the ones who really know what sushi is? Or that folks are wrong for liking teriyaki chicken sushi but detesting ikura (fish eggs) sushi because they just don't "really understand" or apparently haven't really tried the "real" sushi? It's unbelievably arrogant to continuously assume that everyone who tries a particular way of gaming will like it and that if someone doesn't like it, they obviously just haven't done it right. The onetruewayism stench in here is getting very, very thick. I play the way I do because I like it better this way. Not because it's better for anyone else or following the rules, or runs smoother (although I do think that it does run faster - less steps=runs faster) or anything else. I've tried it the way you and iserith and co. are talking about and it doesn't work for me. It's slower, and forces the DM into a central position that I DO NOT WANT TO BE IN since the DM now has to constantly ask for rolls rather than just letting the players drive the game.


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Thursday, 23rd May, 2019

  • 08:53 PM - 77IM quoted iserith in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    Man, I don't know if I'd want to live in a world where as DM I'm not encouraging stupid actions. LOL, I don't want to discourage stupid actions, either. ;) So much of the advice on this thread sounds really punitive to me. "Deny them XP! Give them a bad reputation! Let them know they've screwed up the adventure and now the town will be destroyed! Nyaaaah!" This is boring to me. I seek a world in which every player decision, smart or stupid, leads to ever more interesting decisions...
  • 06:39 PM - Elon Tusk quoted iserith in post Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, off to a good start
    Is hurting enemies and destroying traps in a house by setting it on fire from the outside so different than disarming traps and killing monsters that are restrained by Hold Monster? It's a different method. It could harm innocents inside or destroy items or clues, but using a fireball in combat often has collateral damage. Is burning a house different than shooting a fireball into a cave? If creatures inside the house aren't killed, they will likely take damage. They might even flee the house to keep from taking more damage in which case the PCs could have readied action to attack them. Burning down a house is not the usual method of tackling the problem; I'm not sure how you could say its not more inventive than the normal way of going room by room and fighting what's there. I don't see how a sandbox campaign would automatically consider burning down a house a failure. The thing with burning down the house is that as with any particular course of action the players consider, they ar...
  • 03:08 PM - Yaarel quoted iserith in post Incorporeal Movement
    That is my reading, though I would say a sword is also an object. I think the main thing here is that incorporeal movement is just that - movement. Push a sword through this creature and it will take damage. If it instead moves through the sword, it takes no damage unless it ends its turn on the sword. That too is a confusing part, because the ghost is only ‘resistant’ to weapon attacks. So it is semi-solid so that a sword *can* damage it.
  • 02:51 PM - Yaarel quoted iserith in post Incorporeal Movement
    "For the purposes of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or vehicle that is composed of many other objects." (DMG, pg. 246) Walls are also considered objects. They are mentioned in this section as well. Yeah, the example mentions a sword hitting a ‘wall’. I assume the wall is the object, not the sword. But where it says ‘not a building’, can easily seem to mean a wall is not an object. Later, a castle wall is called a ‘big object’. It seems the ‘building’ is an exception because it is actually an assemblage of separate objects. Thus each individual object needs to be considered. Such as the hit points of a glass window, versus the hit points of a thick stone wall.

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 06:36 PM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    It's frankly hard to say what's at the core of this discussion anymore. What I do know is that if you want to call "thinking" an action, then because of the rule that players determine what the characters think, then there can be no ability check here since there is no uncertainty as to the outcome. The character thinks what the player says he or she thinks. *sigh* You know, I know why we keep going in this circle. Because you could care less about players using out-of-character knowledge, seemingly in any form. But this is also why a lot of people see Intelligence as a dump stat, because two of the biggest uses for Intelligence are Investigation and knowledge checks. Oh sorry, Intelligence checks using proficiency with the intent to recall lore. But, if players get to determine that they already know the lore, then there is no need for those checks. If they just tell you they know something, then that is what they know. The only check upon that is that they might be wrong out of the...
  • 07:31 AM - Charlaquin quoted iserith in post Brainstorming TotM
    I prefer maps and tokens and use Roll20 even for in-person games. But one thing I learned about TotM is that the standard play loop is even more important and the DM is well-served by internalizing that process and using it. The standard play loop is (1) The DM describes the environment, (2) The players describe what they want to do, and (3) The DM narrates the results of the adventurers's actions. The key thing here (and this applies to any game, not just TotM) is that this is a loop, meaning that after you've narrated the result of someone's action and their turn is over, start back at (1) The DM describes the environment. Many DMs just go "Okay, John, you're up next..." skipping over (1) and going straight to (2). By doing so, this opens up the floor to questions about who is standing where and what the current PC is in the position to do. A side conversation ensues between the DM and player that interrupts the flow of the game while everyone gets back on the same page. With a map and tok...
  • 02:07 AM - Saeviomagy quoted iserith in post Unsatisfied with the D&D 5e skill system
    This is supported by the "Degrees of Failure" rules in the DMG, page 242. What is old is new again! Right... and in this case, our max-level, max-strength, trained in climbing barbarian can feel confident that he can attempt a moderate climb and not risk death! Effectively reducing DCs by 5 feels better than where DCs are currently, because it brings results into the 'cannot possibly fail' region more often, but it's still an across the board change that requires the DM to do a lot more than is written into typical skill checks, and will still often be invisible.
  • 01:09 AM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    How the character thinks is in the control of the player, not the DM. As a result, there is no uncertainty - the character thinks whatever the player says he or she thinks. That debate seems to be the core of this, no? So, since you know my position is not the same as yours and you asked "why is there a check" did you not expect that this would be how things would go? You wanted to know which action caused the check, "thinking" was the action. No doubt. Slow Clap, great sarcasm. But yeah, this stipulation causes more complications as we discussed in the last thread. As you know. And again, you knew my opinion, so what did you expect me to say here. The players in the example did not attempt to recall lore. One said he or she wanted to go buy some scrolls. The other said, only after the incredulous DM raised an eyebrow or the like, that he or she suggested a reason for the aforementioned task to the other character. No attempt to recall lore here. If there was, I mig...

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 05:10 PM - CleverNickName quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    If you "can't camp" in the dangerous forest, where you imagine "a safe place to camp" would be?Sorry, I missed this question yesterday. To answer your question, I dunno man, I'm just trying to work my brain muscles here. Maybe there's a defensible cave or a well-defended camp of friendly elves nearby that is relatively safe. Maybe the druid or wizard could use an Arcana check to find a nearby nexus of leylines where Tiny Hut coud be cast. Maybe the ranger could find a safe location with a high enough Survival check. Or maybe there's nothing that can be done: you need to get home before dark no matter what. Honestly it sounds like you just want more exploration challenges in your D&D experience which is perfectly doable without messing with long rests. The resting issue is resolved with time pressure. For exploration which usually includes logistics, there just has to be meaningful travel pace (tying into time pressures), Activities While Traveling with useful trade-offs between tho...
  • 01:01 AM - CleverNickName quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    Honestly it sounds like you just want more exploration challenges in your D&D experience which is perfectly doable without messing with long rests. The resting issue is resolved with time pressure. For exploration which usually includes logistics, there just has to be meaningful travel pace (tying into time pressures), Activities While Traveling with useful trade-offs between those activities, ration tracking, weather, and random encounters. I would also suggest the variant encumbrance rules which will increase the incentive for pack animals and hirelings.I don't really want to mess with long rests either. It's just a thought exercise, trying to look at this new staple of D&D from a new angle. I'm not writing house-rules or anything. I suddenly noticed how dependent my group has become upon them, and wanted to step back and look at them.
  • 12:44 AM - CleverNickName quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    Did the DM telegraph to the players that there were rival adventuring groups in the area? That is also a good time pressure. I bet it was more the gotcha that made the players salty.Could be; he told us there would be consequences but we just assumed it meant more, bigger monsters. It had never occurred to us that we could fail a mission without ever rolling initiative.
  • 12:16 AM - Satyrn quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    No reason you can imagine, anyway. As established upthread, particular knowledge about earth elementals is not required to buy scrolls of thunderwave. The barbarian might just like the sound it makes, as it reminds him or her of stormy nights on the steppe, safe under the protection of a yurt, drinking fermented aurochs milk with Frances who later became a town guard. One day, in the somewhat-distant future (or maybe tomorrow if the opportunity arises) I am gonna reply to some post of yours with a joke that references Frances the town guard. Perhaps the joke will be about how Frances the town guard considers himself such an experienced guard he decides he need not bother reading the newest edition of the legal code, and goes about happily enforcing outdated laws
  • 12:15 AM - CleverNickName quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    The Five Minute Workday can be corrected with time pressure in the form of quest timers and/or wandering monsters. On occasion, players have used Stealth skill checks to hide while resting or sleeping, such as covered in soil, camouflage, or so on. Depending on circumstance, it has worked.I'm not saying that long rests are a bad thing, or that taking them too often is something that needs to be corrected (personally I think they are, but that's a topic for a different thread.) I'm curious about how the game would change for your table if Long Rests in dangerous areas just wasn't possible for any reason like in an old-school CRPG. It's not about outsmarting or evading the Grue; I'm asking everyone to imagine that the Grue will always eat you no matter what you do, even if you're in a Tiny Hut. What then? For me, it's hard to see a downside. Resource management would be a huge problem for my group, since we have become accustomed to the Five-Minute Workday. Most of our gold would get s...

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 11:39 PM - Toledo quoted iserith in post Long Rests in Dangerous Places -- What if NOPE?
    The Five Minute Workday can be corrected with time pressure in the form of quest timers and/or wandering monsters. Heck, in my group, we normally get a wandering monster check (from a D4 to a D10 check) any time we stop to do a 10-minute ritual spell. Sucks for us - over half of our encounters are normally random encounter monsters. Also, in one campaign, we get a level of exhaustion if we sleep in medium-heavy armor; therefore we have to take off armor to sleep. Nothing better than being a fighter with AC 11 or 12 and expected to hold the center of the line. I've had more encounters where I've almost died coming out of a slumber to fight than staged encounters. IF I can find a master armorer, there is a rumor we (I) could get fitted plate armor which means you can sleep in it and the wearing encumbrance weight would be reduced in half. Honestly that would be better for my character than +2 plate. Sigh....
  • 06:31 PM - Celebrim quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    How the character thinks is in the control of the player, not the DM. As a result, there is no uncertainty - the character thinks whatever the player says he or she thinks. You'd think that would be easy to explain and without controversy. There's just nothing in the rules to support [mental checks to be allowed to perform some action]. It's an approach that appears to be derived from other games and a particular gamer culture. It's a bizarre form of 'mother may I'. I don't doubt you are right that it's not unusual, but it can't be logically supported IMO by any tortured path. There are plenty of GMs and even some players that seem frustrated by and even offended by the undeniable fact that the player's mind extends into the game universe and interacts with it. GMs and players with an aesthetic of simulation feel this somehow invalidates the game in some fashion. The player is supposed to be pretending that he's whatever character he created, and if the player brings any o...

Saturday, 18th May, 2019

  • 05:47 PM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    Yes, if the player declares an action that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. In this example, including what you added, we have two action declarations: (1) The barbarian wants to go to Ye Ole Magick Shoppe to buy some thunderwave scrolls for the wizard and (2) The wizard's player wants to retroactively give the barbarian a reason to take the aforementioned action to satisfy what appears to be an incredulous DM's questions about the validity of the action declaration. So what is the Arcana check for? What uncertain outcome does it resolve? What is the meaningful consequence for failure? Or, if you decide you don't like that rule, what actually happens if the wizard's player botches the Arcana check? Does the wizard not have the knowledge to retroactively give the barbarian a reason to buy the scrolls? If so, does that mean the barbarian's action declaration is made invalid and he or she can't take that action at all? Okay, let us take this a bit at a tim...

Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 02:32 AM - Chaosmancer quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    What is the Arcana check for? I don't see an action declaration from the wizard in your breakdown. I'll assume that was a serious question. For seeing if the wizard's character does actually know that knowledge. Arcana is the skill linked with knowledge about elementals and their strengths and weaknesses after all. And as a DM, I can call for checks, correct? That's not the DM's problem. It's up to the players to play their characters effectively. I'm not saying it is a problem, but you keep using it as a defense. Everything is fine, because the smart play is to verify. But, just because it is smart does not mean that is what the player will do. And you know what is a DM problem? The players not having fun. Which is something which I could see happening in extreme cases of this whole discussion. My players do because they have an incentive to. As an example from my current Eberron campaign, the players found a chamber in the dungeon containing crates covered in brown ...

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 04:48 PM - lowkey13 quoted iserith in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    Paladins. Lots and lots of paladins. Preferably gnomes dual-wielding rapiers. If the game ever drags, all I have to do is "could I have more gnomes? More paladins?" The answer of course is always YES! (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) YEAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I have a penchant for silly names in my games, both as a player and DM, because I find them funny and, because others find them funny, they are more memorable. Presenting NPC names this way is good for retention. I struggle to remember NPCs with the usual fantasy RPG names, but you don't forget even minor NPCs like the Marguul bugbear gladiator, Dikpik the Unsolicited, who showed up without notice to harass the PCs or one of the players remarking "You're smaller than I expected." I .... hmmm..... you know, I have to admit, I didn't expect you would be a fan of the punny names. Then again, the pun is the highest form of humor. I learned that in 6th grade. Or from a Cheech and Chong movie. But I rep...
  • 03:34 PM - Hriston quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    I can't really speak for the social contracts at anyone's table but my own. From the perspective of the rules though, that expectation does not hold up well in my view since the outcome of all action declarations are decided by the DM who is empowered to use the rules to inform his or her decision but is never beholden to them. (This necessarily includes something as simple as taking rope out of a backpack, even if this is probably too granular for most groups in a practical sense. It is an action declaration after all.) Because of this, as a player, I have absolutely zero expectation that the things on my sheet will matter in all situations, though if the DM is consistent in his or her application of the rules and the internal logic of his or her setting, I can probably reliably predict that it will or will not matter. Sometimes I will be wrong though. If the DM is not consistent, then all bets are off. This argues for consistency in the DM's approach, whatever it may be, more than anythin...

Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 07:48 PM - Tony Vargas quoted iserith in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    No more than anyone should expect me to perfectly execute the approach I use and discuss here on enworld, especially after three or more Jamesons. But I know what I'm supposed to be doing per the rules and I try. So, yes, you imagine that the rules assume perfection on the part of the DM. It's OK. That's how I see it, too. Afterall, if they're not working from that assumption, they'd have to put checks on the DM's role which would set the rules above the DM rather than vice-versa. It's maybe not the best way of saying - like I said 'trusting the DM' is a more tactful way of putting it than 'assuming perfection.' Perhaps another way of putting it is that the rules assume the DM will have a better chance of knowing/implementing what's best for his group, specifically, than the designers would. A lot of words to say "People can play how they want." Which is and has never been in dispute. To say that the game is actually down with that. I mean, people /can/ play any ed, or any gam...


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