View Profile: Tony Vargas - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 07:05 PM
    Benny89, if someone is interested in a DPR-only focused two hander this is useful. But Soulblighter said two levels of Hexblade - that doesn't let you use two handed weapons with Hex Warrior. You'd need a third warlock level to pick up Pact of the Blade to do that. Charisma also helps other aspects of a character including saves, more skills than STR, spell DCs, etc. If someone is looking...
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 06:43 PM
    I enjoyed the 2016 Ghostbusters, but the only character with the same zany pull as the original three ghostbusters was Holtzmann. (Sorry, I like Zeddemore, but he didn't have the same oomph as the others.) I didn't come away with feeling it was unrelated, just that it was only loosely related. There was comments from the federal (?) official that this sort of thing had happened before and...
    12 replies | 199 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 06:31 PM
    Several game systems have archetypes for quick character creation, as well as more in-depth character creation rules to cater to different player interests. 5e has something similar. Just use the defaults listed for every class in the PHB. All you have to do then is pick race, class and generate some ability scores.
    54 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 06:29 PM
    I think this may not be a universally held opinion. To present as evidence, I and many others have fun just building characters. Be it to see how the come out mechanically, to see if they can realize a concept within the game system, just to explore some facet. Heck, I still create the occasional Champions superhero even though I haven't played in half a dozen years and my Champions GM has...
    54 replies | 860 view(s)
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Today, 12:49 PM
    Experience points are designed as an in-game reward for achievements. You reward the character when he accomplishes a task, like overcoming an obstacle or defeating a worthy adversary. It can also be used to reward the player for arbitrary actions or decisions outside the game mechanics, such as good roleplaying or a clever/entertaining idea. When discussing failure as a learning experience,...
    37 replies | 1049 view(s)
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  • Eubani's Avatar
    Today, 11:55 AM
    Guess which class can also do this......all of them.
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Today, 03:45 AM

    36 replies | 970 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:11 PM
    I've actually had a lot of luck with one of the the free wiki sites instead of a dedicated one. Gave my players access to it as well and tasked them (with reward) to writing up recaps and adding their own notes about NPCs and places. Between categories and the ease of linking ti was very easy to find and update information, I didn't miss RPG-specific breakdowns. And it would definitely be...
    1 replies | 132 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:25 PM
    Lots of fun! Some comments below. If I don't say anything, it's because it's great as it is now. I'm make it an unattended, non-magical object. Just to prevent abuses. "I destroy the straps holding his armor" or "I destroy the cursed dagger". While I'm sure there are times this is best, in general Fire has a lot more resistances and immunities. So I'd be tempted to give a bit...
    11 replies | 278 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:24 AM
    Also remember that the wizard gets to prepare more spells than the sorcerer knows. An average wizard will start prepping four spells at first level, while a human divine soul with magic initiate gets 4 spells known. Both of them get to add one more at second and third. Then fourth level happens and the wizard increases int, so it's 8 prepped spells versus seven known spells, then 13 vs 11 at...
    81 replies | 2491 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:54 AM
    No one except a psychopath is evil in their own story. They are doing what they think best. Perhaps it's releasing (natural) rats with a (natural) plague to wipe out a logging settlement that deforesting at a ruinous rate, or the miners. Perhaps they see domestication of animals as unnatural and liberate flocks of cattle and sheep. Perhaps they see arcane magic and it's owlbears and other...
    36 replies | 970 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:50 AM
    I had a thread last month about what can a Wizard do that the other casters can't. The end result was flexibility. They have a wider spell list than any other class. Even though the Cleric and the Druid can prepare every day like the Wizard, the Wizard's spells cover well more types of things you want to do. Their weakest is buffing up hit points - they have few healing spells directly, but...
    81 replies | 2491 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:31 AM
    Thanks. Hussar mentioned Netflix queue and I got interested. *shakes fist in mildly amusing way*
    12 replies | 276 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:06 AM
    Based on this post I just looked for this on Netflix and it's not available. Wonder if it's country specific - I'm in the US.
    12 replies | 276 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th January, 2019, 05:58 PM
    Clean laundry - I have a washer/dryer for that. Now Fold Laundry - that's serious magic. :P
    88 replies | 2088 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th January, 2019, 05:33 PM
    This may draw a little more attention in the Char Op forum as prone is certainly a standard Char Op trick. I think MwaO still checks there pretty regularly.
    4 replies | 280 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th January, 2019, 04:49 PM
    Wow that is fine
    31 replies | 2418 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th January, 2019, 04:41 PM
    I do seem to recall a leader trick that lets you keep someone prone somewhat more continuously.
    4 replies | 280 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 15th January, 2019, 02:38 PM
    I am not in a position where Spare the Dying is regularly useful - and I'm pretty up on first aid that I could attempt the low DC check. Assuming that real life mirrors the HPs and dying methods of 5e. :) Prestidigitation was my first choice but I stopped myself. While it would deal with a lot of things to free up time - cleaning, folding laundry, etc - I had to admit that Guidance would...
    88 replies | 2088 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 14th January, 2019, 06:44 PM
    I've used that concept in a RPG system I was designing many years ago. But I wouldn't apply it to levels above individual skills - success or failure of a large group effort does not imply anything about the individual successes and failures. To use a modern example, a User Interface designer could design a poor to use interface, a developer could implement it brilliantly, a QA person could...
    37 replies | 1049 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 14th January, 2019, 09:31 AM
    I was thinking of their forays to other places through portals, to take resources. They feel to me a bit like British and other European nations privateer forays into Africa and Asia. In some ways it's an exciting period, until one takes the point of view of the inhabitants of those other places. I suppose reflecting on my concerns, I have seen gamers several times recently responding to...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 07:54 PM
    Greece is one of the key foundations of Western European culture, and Steampunk celebrates a recent age of incredibly inequitable imperialism. My European side highly values the rich elements of our culture from the many sources. Another side, looks with mild despair on how thoroughly certain narratives are recited. The point we're at, I feel we could be celebrating every effort to be diverse,...
    80 replies | 3650 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 07:43 PM
    It seems likely players of a setting will gravitate around a main name. I want to put my feelings frankly, because I feel like our hobby can do good work here. If the name is the European name, then that entrenches or recites a colonial narrative. I would love to see the Maori-inspired name as the primary name - the one on the cover. That said, it is your creative work and I don't have any...
    63 replies | 1463 view(s)
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 06:05 PM
    What exactly are you trying to address about it? That players shouldn't do it? That it doesn't work too well? Or that it works too good? Or that there aren't enough hoops to jump through? I think you need to be more specific about what it is you are trying to fix before you start fixing anything. That goes for any edition, any system, any problem. First, terrible name. How about Armor...
    44 replies | 1182 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 05:37 PM
    I've never seen the TV show, only the print ads and commercial trailers (and those, quite some time ago), but Blades in the Dark might fit the bill. Or, perhaps, one of its many hacks. See its Google+ group before that shuts down or the game's official site, Blades.
    20 replies | 558 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 04:39 PM
    Unlike in some earlier editions, multiclassing is not only not the only path to a powerful build, but it's somethign where you need to work to make sure you don't accidentally shoot yourself in the foot. You can definitely make good multiclassed characters, and Paladin / Sorcerer is a classic, with Paladin / Warlock also workable. But a straight Paladin is also in the front part of the power...
    12 replies | 554 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 04:08 PM
    But able to stand very, very still, for a really long time.
    63 replies | 1463 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 04:06 PM
    I feel like fictional cultures are essentially footed in real-world cultures. Lantan seems like an early-Steam-age mercantile culture... the beginnings of capitalism and perhaps a touch of robber-barons (murderous kleptomaniacs, really). It has a strong touch of European and colonial history about it. When I think about it - and this is absolutely not a criticism or aimed at anybody - it can...
    80 replies | 3650 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 13th January, 2019, 03:48 PM
    It's a good idea albeit perhaps riff the name off Aotearoa. New Zealand is the colonial name for it after all: which feels at odds with the Maori cultural theme.
    63 replies | 1463 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th January, 2019, 11:50 PM
    So I can be a high level fighter, and get worse at my fighter abilities if I ever stray and take a level of something else? A fighter 14 has better fighter abilities than a fighter 14/rogue 1. Oh heck no. I don't mind abilities based off class level, but not ones that get worst/lost if I multiclass later. And the flip side - a fighter 6 that suddenly gains more fighter abilities than...
    44 replies | 1182 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th January, 2019, 09:41 PM
    Blue replied to Throw an Object
    If you would like to introduce feats to throw further, things that would separate an Olympian from any other poor shlub, please feel free. Otherwise I think it should be quite obvious that just because someone is strong doesn't mean they are pushing up against the Olympic records.
    18 replies | 575 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th January, 2019, 09:09 PM
    So, in really pushing the limits of the 澱etter late than never philosophy: yesterday, finally, I had an opportunity to play through this encounter. It was a blast! Here is a brief recap for any who might be interested. The set up: Kalarel, Mage of Saruun, secretly betrays that order of arcanists through investigations into the Dark Arts. He has become a worshipper of Orcus and seeks to open...
    31 replies | 2418 view(s)
    6 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th January, 2019, 02:36 AM
    good call...
    13 replies | 588 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th January, 2019, 01:16 AM
    No not complex I thnk... initiative and attack granting. (even some defensive boost is there) She is sporting full coverage plate in the Artwork... so there is that. =)
    13 replies | 588 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 12th January, 2019, 12:30 AM
    Blue replied to Throw an Object
    I'd take a different route. A light, aerodynamic weapon is at worst 20/60, regardless of STR. Heaviest of those is 4 lbs. So I'd say that's the top end for throwing. Looking at the Variant: Encumbrance, 5 * Strength is the max before you are encumbered, so anything over that I would make a 5 foot throw tops. Then just prorate between those two, and maybe halve it for things that aren't...
    18 replies | 575 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 11:44 PM
    I owe you an apology. Someone I responded to recently was talking about most games don't allow feats, but in reviewing your comments I see it wasn't you. It was not an intentional strawman, but it was a problem of my understanding that is all on me. So again, my apologies for that.
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Eubani's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 11:24 PM
    I would suggest half the die for balance. At any rate I believe that Superiority dice and manuevers should of been part of the core fighter and also allow to add to ability checks (and saves thus freeing up the space indomitable takes up).
    21 replies | 630 view(s)
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  • Eubani's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 10:24 PM
    Unfortunately Action Surge proves far too useful in combat to use it elsewhere, as a fighter you already are behind compared to other martials for most of the game without gimping yourself further.
    21 replies | 630 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Could the "bigger on the inside" paradigm also cover where the things on the inside are actually smaller so more fit? trekno-babble.] Decreased space between atoms, or tighter electron orbits?
    17 replies | 427 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Yes. And doctorbadwolf has been attempting to say that "a majority of D&D characters don't use feats" is the same as "most D&D games do not allow feats". I don't think those statements are the same, what Jeremy Crawford said does not support the second. The majority of my characters don't have feats - but a good chunk of my characters haven't gotten their second ASI yet (I rarely go for it...
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 09:11 PM
    And I'm calling that out as a unsupported statement. You're the one presenting it, please provide some proof.
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 09:10 PM
    And this is a nonsensical response, since we've already established that in featless games having extra ASI gives +1 to 3-5 skills each and therefore boost fighter even when feats are't used. Please note that I did list ASI/feats, not just feats. In other words, my original was a perfectly sensible response that you failed to understand. So, let's try this again. If a player has the...
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 08:34 PM
    I didn't see anything about limiting the checks to being only critical. Nor would I know how to judge that mechanically. Is it critical you don't fail a climbing check and fall 40 feet at 6th level? If you want to add something to a base class, it should really fit that class thematically since every memeber of that class which reaches that level will have it. If you have a strong...
    21 replies | 630 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 08:13 PM
    To me the desire is for heroes to be badass and do things others cannot do... sometimes that means needing a tool to enable the job and the story includes acquiring the tool (but even with the tool the normal person should not be expected nor really able to do it as that is both anticlimactic and undermines the awesome of the hero ... ie then the tool is then the one which is badass. ) ...
    481 replies | 112483 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 06:57 PM
    From a mechanical balance, I wouldn't mind allowing Indomitable to allow a reroll of an ability check (which includes skill checks). It's arguable a weaker use of a limited resource, though technically a increase in flexibility without any diminution of the existing is a power boost. From a theme balance, I don't see how being Indomitable can help you, for instance, recall the third husband...
    21 replies | 630 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 06:48 PM
    Very cool CapnZapp! Please let us know how it goes. Does Acecerak know where the PCs are? If so he can teleport in more than 60 ft away and be out of range of Counterspell the first round.
    60 replies | 1853 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 05:38 PM
    But as far as I know, they haven't called out that the games are featless, which is what you are suggesting. As a matter of fact, the point about humans having more feats suggest that they are monitoring if characters have feats, which is a COMPLETELY different question and one that does not support that fighters can't take feats. I'd say that the vast majority of my characters before their...
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 05:33 PM
    How is this a problem with the class? If players have the option to be good in other pillars of play and they opt to be better in combat instead, is it valid to say the class has nothing to do in other pillars? If the bonus ASI/feats were restricted to force feats that affected other pillars of play, that would seem to meet your criteria of what you want, by limiting player options.
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 04:12 PM
    Fair 'nuff! Certainly, I don't think the terms sandbox and Story Now are equivalent, though sometimes people use them this way (I used to myself before being educated to see the difference). I suppose the confusion can come about through the tilting in both towards Player-Driven play, although I think such play is largely Illusionism in sandboxing (pemerton would call this...
    481 replies | 112483 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 03:45 PM
    This puts forth pretty nicely the response I was formulating to S'mon's post above about 4E being ill-suited to "proactive sandboxing," presuming that what he means by this is a kind of Story Now play! Adherents to such play such as yourself, pemerton, Manbearcat, I, etc. have been beating the drum that 4E is the edition of D&D that most facilitates such play, though perhaps S'mon has not played...
    481 replies | 112483 view(s)
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  • Jacob Lewis's Avatar
    Friday, 11th January, 2019, 12:33 AM
    I think I found the culprit...
    14 replies | 944 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 10:33 PM
    I agree with that. What do you guys think of doing it in two passes? In the first pass, we collect all of the "bugs": things people think should be fixed, but not the solutions. We can then rank those (a poll for instance, or even a "survivor" contest). In the second pass, we take the top X bugs and call for solutions. Admins would collate those. We might then publish the top X bugs, each...
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 06:38 PM
    I enjoyed All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault, but was not enamored with it. Some of the parts of the deconstruction of where super powers came from was quite novel and some of the strongest bit. On the other hand, I didn't like the "Dark" side as the general antagonists and felt that social changes would be even stronger then presented. But the writing was decent, so maybe I'll...
    13 replies | 394 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 05:52 PM
    I'm hesitant to accept that most people don't use feats - I know someone from Wizards said it without showing their sources but I've never seen a game run without using them. I'll address it, but I don't think it's "most people", or even a majority. Fighters get extra ASI/feats - that's exactly my point. They can "keep up with the Jones" in terms of ASI/feat usage as still have a whole set...
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 05:30 PM
    My apologies, you are correct. I am so conditioned only to think of ability score modifiers having impact in 5e that I glossed right over both when you said it and the numbers when you gave the example.
    203 replies | 6415 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 03:33 PM
    This, and some of us saw the guy behind the curtain early on. However I think there are tropes that need rescued. One is with explicit Macguffin pieces .. ie you need to have the silvered weapon to have a chance defeat this type of shapechanger, next game it may require a certain flower juice to be fed to the boss shifter and various other things. The McGuffins once achieved turn your...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 10:17 AM
    she is attacking along side those she aids.. so definitely not a lazylord.
    13 replies | 588 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 09:49 AM
    That and lots of initiative... and probably something like the martial practice equivalent of the ritual which allows one to achieve a nights rest in 1 hour. The above I call "Inspired Recuperation" btw.
    13 replies | 588 view(s)
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  • Eubani's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 08:14 AM
    Whilst that method has some pros it does not change the issue that it is the same base as everyone else who gain abilities/spells to back it up and the fighter does not.
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Eubani's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 07:59 AM
    A bit of humour, but I stand by what I say when in that part I say there is an outcry whenever it is suggested the Fighter gets something.
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Eubani's Avatar
    Thursday, 10th January, 2019, 06:14 AM
    Fighters have sacrificed nearly all exploration and social ability to be the best at combat. The problem with this is that the fighter despite this sacrifice is not the best at combat and is a bit behind till 11th level where it pulls ahead by a small amount. Problem is that according to WotC stats the average game goes up to 12th level. Many trot out the over used line of "the player should...
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 11:11 PM
    Blue replied to The Gishiest Gish
    A: Gith have no noses. B: No noses? How do they smell? A: Awful! (I'll let myself out.)
    14 replies | 777 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 11:08 PM
    As I've matured as a gamer, I've grown to dislike really big effects from critical hits. Cut off your leg sort of thing. On the other had, I don't mind when they introduce a bit more variation like 5e, where it's less than the effect of another hit. But I do have two great critical hit/fumble stories. First one was in AD&D or AD&D 2nd - whichever had the monk. I was playing a Wizard who...
    26 replies | 825 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 10:30 PM
    You have damage. Hopefully your wizard focuses on crowd control and debuffing instead of a 3rd damage. You have traps. You have rural exploration. You have INT based skills. You need a frontliner. You need healing and buffing. You need a face. I can give you any two of those, but not three. Front liner + healing: Druid. Either Moon for direct front lining or Sheppard for summons...
    34 replies | 1049 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 10:10 PM
    Yardiff, I too have sometimes trouble following what you are responding to. It seems you always Reply to Thread button so it shows up at the top level. If you would be willing to try, it would be beneficial to me if at times you used the Reply / Reply with Quote buttons instead so it was associated with the comment that inspired your post. Respectfully, Blue
    203 replies | 6415 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 10:05 PM
    As from the original post, at 1st level you need the most help. You have 2 slots for an estimated 26 castings. Considering 2 short rests a day, that's about 6 guaranteed cantrip uses, and then chances that your action is just completely wasted, which is even worse then firing a crossbow with lousy chance to hit. So that doesn't fulfill the "being magical and not needing mundane solutions for...
    203 replies | 6415 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 09:55 PM
    Okay, Bards get Jack of all trades and more skills, I'll give you that. Warlock base class gets nothing to make them better then fighter at social and exploration activities. But both warlock and fighter get class features to spend which can grant them additional abilities, like the Beguiling Influence invocation or the Skilled feat. If the warlock or fighter decide that they want to spend...
    260 replies | 8316 view(s)
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  • Eubani's Avatar
    Wednesday, 9th January, 2019, 04:56 AM
    You may want to check the Psion Mike was putting together on the Mike Mearls Happy Hour stream on Twitch.
    7 replies | 544 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 11:22 PM
    It feels to me like we should try and resolve this part first, before setting anything else up. Because it's important to have alignment on vision and parameters prior to setting up structure and getting a wider audience involved.
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
    2 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 11:13 PM
    Okay, this sounds like a good outline to start with. I can be an admin. I'd like to try and do it here because I feel more connected with this community. Could we make the home here and post announcements and surveys on reddit? Right now I need to sleep, but this feels like a marathon not a sprint so I'll be back on to continue the conversation.
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 09:52 PM
    So it seems like there could be some sense of convergence around @TwoSix and @Sword of Spirit suggestions. I'd prefer WotC got onto it, but I can see that a community project could be pragmatic, and maybe influence what comes along down the line. How might we create that cabal?
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 09:40 PM
    Some posters introduced strawmen and unwelcome digressions into this thread. Okay, that's simply part of what internet conversations are like. Could be down to misunderstandings, bees in bonnet, that sort of thing. But... why do you imagine that WotC are paying close attention to the most common house rules?
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Tuesday, 8th January, 2019, 03:45 PM
    Sounds fun! Might be a good match for a Blades in the Dark hack....
    2 replies | 200 view(s)
    1 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 11:25 PM
    I think that is a good question: would it be a Pandora's box where no one could agree on anything? Do they need to? We'd get to hear what the designers' identify as issues with the rules. They hear more sides to the story, and have more data available, than individual DMs do. So we'd gain the benefit of their time and expertise, and hear how they might fix those issues. For me that would have...
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 10:56 PM
    Good idea. Something like that could very well advance the conversation. I'll take a pause and then come back with a new thread for collating "proud nails", matched by one on reddit to cast a wider net. With then perhaps a survey for the community to rank them.
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 10:30 PM
    This sticky has links to a lot fo different guides for each class: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?653398-A-Collection-of-D-amp-D-Class-Build-Guides-Wiki-Thread-the-Second This particular one was saved when the Wizards of the Coast forums closed, and the owner never claimed it to update. So you might find more recent and more updated advice in other guides. Since raging...
    12 replies | 579901 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 10:01 PM
    Outside teleporting type things to get you out of there: Glibness / Modify Memory - Make a social situation go the way you want Power Word Stun - non-damaging, and just what you need sometimes. Animal Shapes - to escape (flight, burrow, etc), attack, what ever for you and all of your bathhouse friends even if they have no weapons. Dominate * - Ways to deal with different interlopers Crown...
    10 replies | 559 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 09:46 PM
    Blue replied to Shield cantrip
    Shield already scales the exact same way. +5 to AC means 25% of the attacks will miss because of it. It doesn't matter if that 25% is 10-14 on the d20 or 13-17. Yes, there's a little bit of oddness around a 20 always hitting, but that's the least part. My focus had been that Shield already scales, and that was really the only point I was was up to speed to address. You mention tHP and...
    60 replies | 1670 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 04:18 PM
    Blue replied to Shield cantrip
    This is trivially proven wrong. Please show us one non-damage cantrip that scales with level. Even other defensive cantrips like Blade Ward do not. It scales because the attacks are bigger and therefore you will resist more damage - just like Shield will with a static bonus to AC.
    60 replies | 1670 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 04:14 AM
    The problem is, cantrips are valuable. Cantrips are 疎lways on. Whereas something like Illusory Script is useful once in a blue moon. Instead of competing with cantrips, it might make more sense as a kind of low-level minor ritual, that is cast for free as long as it is known.
    38 replies | 874 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 04:04 AM
    Oh, I want this spell and it's 4 but I only have three left. Didn't that one have a not-quite-as-useful but a point cheaper spell that'll fit my same need? *sigh* Let me browse the lists again. Doing the math isn't the only fiddly bit. That said, I don't mind fiddly as long as players are prepping off-table. I can easily come up with several variant spell lists and say "I'm preparing my...
    38 replies | 874 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 04:02 AM
    There are plenty of utility spells that are great for their little niche. That does not equate to being overpowered. Feather fall isn't overpowered. It's not even useful - until it is. Water breathing - same thing. Speak to Animals & Animal Friendship, add in Speak with Plants and Speak with Dead. Locate Object, See Invisibility. Magic Mouth, Sending, Tongues, Comprehend Languages. ...
    38 replies | 874 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 03:57 AM
    Check out this assessment of 5e spells. What is the Most Powerful Spell? Post any thoughts about specific spells.
    38 replies | 874 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 03:47 AM
    @FrogReaver D&D 5e does a great job at removing broken spells from the spell list. Spells that are too powerful, to the point of interfering with the enjoyment of the game, are absent. D&D 5e removed the spells that are too powerful, but unfortunately has not yet removed the spells that fail to be powerful enough. Spells that suck need to demote to a lower spell...
    38 replies | 874 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Yaarel's Avatar
    Monday, 7th January, 2019, 03:14 AM
    I sympathize with the original post. I see it as something like a quasi-official compilation of 宋ariant rules that are fixes for certain troublesome mechanics. It is a gaming resource. Players might discover a certain mechanic turns out to be problematic for their play style. So they can look up the variant rules and see if there are any fixes for it that they might want to use instead.
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th January, 2019, 09:57 PM
    Well, I'd like to see something from them about that. Part of what it means to be a "professional" is ability to critique ones own work. I think they are professionals, and therefore I suppose that they are conscious of things here and there that didn't pan out as well as they hoped. Mike Mearls has hinted as much from time to time in his videos. It's great to have shiny new material. One of...
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th January, 2019, 09:43 PM
    I did think of that. It's part of why I'm interested in what they might list. This could come to feel like an argument between disposable and endurable cultural artifacts. This doesn't seem like a sound argument. Partly because it makes it hard to understand why anyone ever bought any of the D&D books. What were they looking for, if it was all "do it yourself"? One of the vexing...
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
    4 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 6th January, 2019, 08:34 PM
    My experience, at least in the UK, was that the schism was caused by 4th edition. I didn't see any split around 3rd to 3.5... Hmm. So if that is what you think I am saying, then I can see why you are opposed to it. But it is not what I am saying.
    97 replies | 3503 view(s)
    0 XP
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My Game Details
Town:
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Game Details:
I run a light-hearted Encounters-style 4e/Essentials D&D campaign that's open to the public.
When I get more than 8 players, we split and run two tables.
Every Wednesday at 5p for 2 hrs, Illusive Comics & Games, Santa Clara, CA.
http://www.illusivecomics.com/events/95/dd-pixies-pirates/

My wife runs a home D&D 4e campaign started June 2010.
7 regular players.
Episodic, but with an overall plot-arc.
Currently Paragon level.
My Character:
Brother Enoch, a Human Radiant Servant and refugee from a zombie apocalypse.

A 1-3rd level character of one sort or another in Encounters, typically a leader or controller.

Damrak, an heroic-level Kobold Bravura Warlord.

Abu Hazeen, a 'Djinn' bound in mortal form (Stormsoul Genasi Windlord/Prince of Genies/Emergent Primordial)

Past characters include: Lt David Freeborn, a Demigod Battle Captain; Varinhal Mith'renial, a Wizard of the Spiral Tower; Blaize Fairchilde, Deva Devoted Cleric; Nappo the Lion, Gnome Resourceful Warlord; Stephano di Orsini, Brawling Fighter; Ghourah the Foresworn, Dragonborn Warlord; Kern Ilgrath, 1/2 Orc 'archer' (Slayer); Vincent Draco, Mage (Enchanter); T'kli, Shardmind Warlord|Shaman; Herrak Shield-Biter, Dwarf Berserker; Illara, Watershaper Druid(Sentinel);

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Thursday, 20th December, 2018


Page 1 of 16 1234567891011 ... LastLast

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 04:53 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Tony Vargas in post On Variability, House Rules, Research, and the 1e/5e Difference
    ...ystems that had no resemblance to the rest of the game. As I've often recounted, I tried to run an AD&D campaign with psionics; it was terrible and was quickly abandoned. I modified the original rules- it was still terrible. The only time it worked was when I ripped out the system completely and replaced it was a complete homebrew based on Julian May's books. An easier example for most people to grok is the Armor Class Adjustments Table. IMO, it was Gygax's wargamey routes trying really, really hard to make "fetch" happen. While it made sense in theory (a flail is good against plate armor, while a jo stick is not), it suffered from several issues- first, the lack of clear explanation as to what constitutes armor class, second, the fiddliness of the rules, and finally, the fact that the vast majority of the time, unlike a wargame, you would be fighting monsters with natural AC, and it was unclear what, if any, modifier should be used. So IME almost all tables did away with this (except Tony Vargas !). Communication Breakdown, It's Always the Same. Explaining life before the internet is like explaining life before cell phones, or before ATMs (you had to go to a bank, when it was open, and take out the amount of money you needed to hold you over!). You just take it what you have now for granted. But just think- not only do we have rulebooks, we have the ability to post questions to forums (such as this one), conduct research, and even get tweeted responses ... not to mention you can always watch streaming video of how other people play! But it wasn't always like that. Imagine each gaming group trying to figure out how to play on their own, with maybe some crossover to other gaming groups in the area and/or the FLGS (or, um, Waldenbooks); sure, maybe (MAYBE!) there would be a convention, but the majority of players and DMs didn't go to conventions. There was Dragon Magazine, if someone subscribed. But otherwise, there was a high degree of variability in home campaigns because the...

Sunday, 25th November, 2018

  • 02:41 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Admittedly this didn't come online until late heroic, and then really took off in paragon - maybe that's the point I'm missing. It was definitely @Tony Vargas point of view with Martial Controllers or atleast the polearm build one. I am looking at medium range Warlord style enemy manipulating martial controller.

Monday, 19th November, 2018

  • 03:48 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    You're not trying to make an acrobatics check against a stationary chandelier in that example. You're trying to make a combat move that happens to involve a chandelier while an at-level opponent could use that opportunity to bash your head in. The DC changing represents that the harder opponent you happen to be fighting is making it progressively more difficult to attempt the same task. Tony Vargas used that principle and came up with a rather innovative way to use caltrops for those in the caltrop field with no adjacent enemies they can move carefully and take no damage(shift) or quickly and take minor hazard damage however with an adjacent enemies interfering its more like the Caltrops are an extra attack from the enemy interfering with you being careful of the caltrops.

Sunday, 11th November, 2018


Saturday, 20th October, 2018

  • 09:59 PM - Satyrn mentioned Tony Vargas in post What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?
    Except nobody is arguing that the DM can't change the fluff. :) Hey, I'm not arguing anything. It's just my life's mission to point out this fact repeatedly when discussing gods in 5e. Well, it's more like one of my life's continuing side quests. My life's mission is to top the Laughs columns. I'm almost there. I'm topping the Laughs Given by quite a wide margin over Tony Vargas and I'm closing in on him for Laughs Received. Once I catch him, its just TwoSix and . . . . . . lowkey13. Sigh That one's gonna take a while.

Wednesday, 10th October, 2018

  • 02:40 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Warlord Flavor (One favorite of mine)
    The Hector build Warlord passes up on some of the limelight of regular inspiring of allies in favor of battlefield control, which goes even beyond that of the Tactical Lord. They gain the Gifted Manipulator feature in place of Inspiring Word. Gifted manipulator grants extra move distance (not as much as the Mage Enchanter) and extra damage when you induce an enemy to harm their ally. (Friendly fire style attacks) - these are not massively on the Warlord list but new ones are in the works. But some powers like the following seem very very Hectorish and so I am wondering if I over did the benefit or if its too complicated to use... beware I can do that too @Tony Vargas. Usually the enemy aids you involuntarily but sometimes being ultimately convincing works even better 102207

Thursday, 9th August, 2018

  • 08:30 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Out of combat balance - skills trained and known
    Just for a comparison In HERO for agility skills they have Acrobatics - same skill Breakfall - subsumed in acrobatics Climbing - subsumed in athletics Combat Driving - combat riding feat Combat Piloting - more combat riding not differentiated Contortionist - subsumed in acrobatics Fast Draw ? independent ability allowing drawing a weapon as part of the Attack or drawing and sheathing as one minor action. Lockpicking - subsumed in thieving Riding - subsumed in nature usually but see combat riding feat Sleight Of Hand- subsumed in thieving Stealth - same skill Teamwork - not sure how this relates it is a combat teamwork bonus wrt coordinating with others enabling maybe simultaneous attacks? or something I thought HERO was supposed to be clear @Tony Vargas

Thursday, 26th July, 2018

  • 12:10 PM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ... tell them to, move pieces (literal or notional) around maps in accordance with the D&D rules for doing so, etc. Until someone actually uses the guidelines of the RPG to create that adventure, there's nothing to really do with an RPG.This isn't true either. When I wanted to play Classic Traveller with my friends, we sat down and started playing: PC gen; world gen; patron gen; GO! (Further details here.) They're playing Against the Giants. They're playing whatever campaign they happen to be playing. We use RPG's to create the campaigns which is essentially the game that we play, whether it's some massive dungeon crawl or some high rp court intrigue game. Or combinations thereof. And the campaign that I play is distinct from the campaign you play. Unless we're using the same module, it's virtually impossible for two campaigns to share any points of similarity. Doesn't that mean, at that point, we're essentially playing different games?I mostly agree with Umbran and Tony Vargas on this. Was I playing chess, or the Sicilian defence? Presumably both. Was I playing D&D, or Against the Giants? Presumably both. Maybe there's a better analogy? I see RPG's as having three levels. At the top, you have the RPG itself which we use to build a campaign. At the next level, you have the campaign which, in my mind, is the game that this group is going to play, and at the third level, you have the session, which is roughly analogous to a single instance of the game. For most games though, you only have two levels. The game and the instance. You don't use charades, to use the example, to build a specific kind of pantomime game that players then play. You just play instances of charades. There's no higher level tier, such as what you get with RPG's.Does what you say apply to My Life with Master? DitV? Even The Dying Earth? And even for RPGs that have "the campaign", how is that different - in a structural sense - from dealing a hand? Or agreeing at a casu...
  • 03:13 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned Tony Vargas in post Morale systems
    ...eader ability. The solace in numbers element would need to be something else. Perhaps an ability enemy has bonus hit points per ally currently on the field. (and loses them when they die) I do like the idea of thinking morale is all in terms of hit points. Yeah, my thinking and practice has evolved through 4 stages: 1) 4e - there simply is no provision for morale as such, except for the highly broken Intimidate implementation (which is IMHO garbage). This indicated the lameness of having a system that breaks with the "get the enemy to 0 hit points and he's defeated" paradigm, which is a good solid paradigm. 2) Morale system v1 - This was just basically an adaptation of what happens in AD&D (which is how I would classify Lost Soul's mechanics too). It requires managing morale as a separate system and has the same disadvantage as the Intimidate system from 4e, it creates a 'second path' to defeating monsters, with attendant problems. 3) Morale system v2 - This was basically what Tony Vargas is proposing here, that morale is some sort of a hit point penalty which creatures take when certain conditions are met. This DOES fix the issues with #1 and #2, now you have one thing to worry about, hit points. I've already stated why it is unsatisfactory, as it is ESSENTIALLY just cutting monster's hit points. 4) Morale system v3 - (this hasn't been implemented) Model morale as a positive influence on creatures hit points when they are in favorable morale situations. Thus leaders effectively heal their allies, bolstering their hit points. This would most likely have to be coupled with a system like #3 where hit points could wane due to situational factors. However that might be able to be factored into a combination of initial hit points and the effects of at least some powers. As you can see, coming up with something that is both workable and satisfactory is hard. Mostly I have come to the conclusion that it is not really worth it. Instead simply downrate the levels of weak mora...

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 07:04 PM - Cyber-Dave mentioned Tony Vargas in post Why I feel so abysmally let down by the "Ravnica" news...
    @Tony Vargas Cyberpunk is, in many ways, cynical or dystopian. It is also, in many ways, utopian. Arguments about whether it is utopian or dystopian are standard critical fair. Quite frankly, in my opinion, cyberpunk is innately ambiguous more than anything else, at least when you examine any given set of texts synchronically. I believe that a diachronic analysis is required in order to make anything even resembling a clear interpretation of the genre as a whole or a specific set of texts from the genre tenable. All that, however, is beside the point. The point is: a romantic text can be hopeful, cynical, or both. Romanticism has virtually nothing to do with how hopeful or cynical a text is. Likewise, your claim that cyberpunk and steampunk are innately different on the level of spirit is not accurate either. Steampunk largely owes its existence to William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's The Difference Engine. That text is considered to be the foundational steampunk text. The text is, in many ways, a...
  • 02:57 AM - Hussar mentioned Tony Vargas in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    Think about what you just said Tony Vargas. You take the game, ok fine. Then you added a pre-deigned adventure. Whoops. Now I知 not playing just the rpg anymore. Now I知 playing that adventure. IOW, I can稚 just play the rpg. The rpg is the game creation engine and operating system, but the actual game is that module. I don稚 think you池e actually disagreeing with me.

Sunday, 22nd July, 2018

  • 04:01 PM - Aldarc mentioned Tony Vargas in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    Oh, come now, it was a triumph of expostulation...:cool:Despite how heated many of these threads get, I have increasingly found myself drawn to many such threads in General Roleplaying Games. Because a lot of the insight on game design, game theory, and play approaches provided by you, pemerton, Hussar, Maxperson, Lanefan, Manbearcat, Imaro, Bedrockgames, Tony Vargas, among many others unlisted, has been incredibly engaging for me, as it I can apply those insights and approaches to games outside of D&D.

Friday, 20th July, 2018


Thursday, 19th July, 2018


Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 03:51 AM - MNblockhead mentioned Tony Vargas in post Please share advice for running first game at a convention
    Tony Vargas Thanks! Regarding "Judge", yep, the menu and GM registration page are titled "judging" and there are two registration options under "judging": "judges" (GMs who pay a registration fee and can both judge and play) and "Referees" (registration is free but the GMs can only run their own games, not participate in other events). http://conofthenorth.org/judging/

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

  • 09:07 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post Would you allow this?
    ...y acting on it, does not make you invisible. It ONLY makes you unseen and/or unheard. I love how you are now claiming the discussion is about being unseen, when you were clearly arguing that it makes one invisible. Invisibility is defined in the 4e book and stealth does not fit the definition.You're wrong about 4e - it's in the rules for Stealth in the PHB2 that a succesful Stealth check makes you invisible to the person you're hiding from, which means that they can't see you with normal vision. (Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to see you with Blindsight or Tremorsense.) And as I've already said, 5e refers to being unseen - which in many circumstances is functionally equivalent to being invisible. I don't know what you think this whole discussion is in aid of, but I certainly don't need schooling from you in how 4e works, given that I've run far more of it than you; and I don't need schooling in the 5e skill rules, either. As I already said, but which only Tony Vargas has replied to - my take away from this is that non-magic users in 5e are significantly hosed compared to their 4e versions, and in many ways it seems even compared to their earlier edition versions. (Eg in AD&D hiding in shadows is as good as invisibility once you are hidden and assuming potential observers don't have infravision, although there are no very clear rules for moving and remaining hidden.)

Friday, 13th July, 2018

  • 08:19 AM - pemerton mentioned Tony Vargas in post OSR/older D&D and XP from gold - is there a "proper" alternative?
    4e's reward system is magic items.I agree with Tony Vargas in having a different view of this. In 4e, you get XP for playing and (via the parcel system) get treasure for earning XP, so magic items aren't a reward either. The "rewards" in 4e (as in, stuff that isn't a guaranteed result of playing the game, and which is obtained, or not, based on player decisions) are either in the fiction ("story rewards"), or else the thrill of victory in some particular encounter or other circumstance. I'm not familiar with Traveller, is combat the primary mode of play? Is it how you advance your character? Generally speaking, RPGs tend to have a heavy focus on character advancement, either through unlocking new abilities with levels/XP/etc., obtaining loot, or a combination of both. I would say that the "victory condition" for most such RPGs, in as much as there can be a single defined victory condition in such games, is such advancement. That's how you know you're "winning" at D&DClassic Traveller doesn't have very much PC advancement in the D&D s...

Thursday, 12th July, 2018

  • 01:09 AM - Hawk Diesel mentioned Tony Vargas in post The Bullymong: A Symbiotic Player Race
    ...d the feedback helped. I enjoyed reading through your thoughts. If you are still thinking about the Rock Throw ability how about this alternative: Four-Arm Smash. With your Bullier you can use your action to smash the ground with all four fists. When the Bullier smashes the ground, pick a point up to 60 away. Each creature within a 10 radius of the chosen point must make a Dexterity saving throw. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Strength modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 3d6 bludgeoning damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases to 4d6 at 5th level, 5d6 at 11th level, and 6d6 at 17th level. After you use your four-arm smash, you can't use it again until you complete a short or long rest. That way you don't need to have it be dependent on too many rocks being around or not enough. The mechanics stay the same. I added the bludgeoning damage because you didn稚 indicate a type. That's a great idea! Tony Vargas Thanks for the reference. I haven't read the series but I've heard good things. I've updated the original post with more flavor text and history. I also changed the name Bullier to Bulliox. Other than that, I think at least for now I will keep the name until someone suggests something better. I'd like it to be something that would be two interesting names that can be smashed together, similar to how Bullymong can become Bulliox and Mongo.

Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

  • 08:18 PM - Oofta mentioned Tony Vargas in post 6e? Why?
    Tony Vargas, You think 4E was better for new players, I don't. In my experience it may have been easier for the first few levels, but unless you used the online tool it became overwhelming. In my experience at mid-to-high level play 4E devolved into an unholy mess of conditions, interrupts and people trying to parse the wording of their powers like it was computer code. You also make a lot of assumptions and statements about my motivation, background, who I played with or not, that "old school" players rejected 4E simply because it was different. You keep stating things as facts that are nothing more than your opinion. It's insulting not only to me, but to everyone who didn't like 4E to say that the reason people didn't like 4E was because we couldn't get used to change. You liked the game. Good for you. I enjoyed it for quite a while myself but, like most people I played with, eventually burned out on it.
  • 06:55 PM - Oofta mentioned Tony Vargas in post 6e? Why?
    Doesn't it just work? Sorry for the pointless notification, @Tony Vargas. I just typed his name after the @. Huh. When I type @Tony Vargas, and do a preview it doesn't show...maybe when I submit? EDIT: Apparently that does work. I learned something new today, does that mean I can go home?


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Friday, 21st September, 2018


Friday, 10th August, 2018

  • 05:22 PM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Out of combat balance - skills trained and known
    Hero is a tragic example of skill proliferation creating incompetence. Even as powers were consolidated & rationalized in the 4th ed BBB/HSR to create a true universal system, skills from the other hero games and open-ended background skills from Champions II made a mess of tge system. Steve Long's tenure has only made it worse. I am very much liking the Engineering as a replacement for Dungeoneering. Adding a Dex skill I do not think will be going down that path. That looking for more Con skills and Str skills is probably a foregone bust. But another Dex skill may be viable. It could give a nice consistency for skill stats that way.

Monday, 6th August, 2018

  • 12:46 AM - aramis erak quoted Tony Vargas in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    ...now, I was going to say that you can't play, say, Traveler with D&D rules, but there /are/ RPGs with which you could fairly accurately play other RPGs, by not only modeling all the same characters, challenges, and setting info, but also while aping the other game's system artifacts... ...it's a tad hilarious to do, actually. My name appears in the credits for d20 Traveller rules... T20 Traveller's Handbook. It's got some quirks, like it was playtested with half the XP rate given... so high-level play is not as well balanced as it should be. The game engine can be thought of as a system architecture, yes... but it's much more profound an impact than playing, say, Lego Star Wars on Playstation2 vs Game Cube vs Wii vs X-box. Still, lots of people talk about, "Lets go play some X-Box" without stating which software they're going to be playing.

Sunday, 29th July, 2018

  • 11:45 PM - Lanefan quoted Tony Vargas in post Suspense in RPGs
    There are at least two sides to every argument, sure. In here there are often about five, roughly equating to one per D&D edition. :)

Saturday, 28th July, 2018

  • 10:52 PM - AtomicPope quoted Tony Vargas in post Why I feel so abysmally let down by the "Ravnica" news...
    The popularity of Prime Rib goes back to the industrial revolution. So we're talking "Little Wars." So Red Box. Huh! I would guessed 1st Edition.
  • 09:02 PM - Lanefan quoted Tony Vargas in post My Attempt to Define RPG's - RPG's aren't actually Games
    There's a reason that having a GM seems like one of the big, obvious, distinction between TTRPGs and CRPGs/MMOs and non-RPGs: because a GM who overrides the rules as a matter of course (see other threads on 'fudging,' 'balance,' &c), is helpful when the rules are lacking, and the more the rules lack, the more necessary the GM. Yet there's no distinction at all, in that a CRPG/MMO still has the equivalent of a GM sitting there in the background: a combination of the programmers who write the game and the program they actually wrote. The difference is that in a TTRPG the players can (usually) interact with the GM on a personal level, where in a CRPG/MMO they cannot. Can anyone think of an RPG where the GM seems almost superfluous? Yeah, mine, some nights; when all they want to do is argue among themselves. :) Hussar - you're getting pushback upthread on your use of the word "engine" to describe what an RPG is; might I suggest "chassis" instead. Lanefan
  • 04:06 AM - AbdulAlhazred quoted Tony Vargas in post Mundane/Simple Fighter Pre-build
    BTW, I don't suppose there's an easy way to format a table in the board's markup that others could easily fill in, is there? Create a thread and check the 'wiki' option, then anyone can edit any post. The table markup is just basically the same as in HTML with the usual square brackets (I believe you also MUST specify a table width if you want vBulletin to render it reliably).
  • 03:21 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Morale systems
    The structure could be as simple as X successes before 3 failures, Intimidate primary, advantage: each bloodied standard enemy counts as a success... Interesting ... I kind of missed that thought.
  • 01:59 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    I know that both as player and DM I sometimes roll dice if I'm stuck for something, just to give me a nudge (even if that nudge is saying "that's a really stupid idea, don't do it!"). Completely outside the rules, and as the results of such rolls are not relevant to anyone except me I'm free to ignore 'em anyway.OK, but that's not what I'm talkking about (and I think obviously not what I'm talking about). I'm talking about a game in which - in virtue of the GM being free to narrate anything at any time regardless of rolls - no dice roll is anything more than a "suggestion" to the GM. Like buy a movie ticket?That's certainly one possibility!
  • 01:56 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    I don't think there is spectrum between a "sandbox" and a "railroad". One is a game and the other is a story.I think this is a slighlty tendentious way of putting it!, but I tend to agree with the underlying claim I call this the players railroading themselves - the GM, knowing the characters and what motivates them, can put down fifty adventure hooks and know exactly which one will be chosen.Why use the phrase railroading themselves? Isn't it just clearer to say choosing? specifying where the authorship comes from is superfluousMaybe I missed the broader context in which this comment was embedded - but given that the principal activity of a RPG is narrating events that involve fictional elements, I don't see how it can be superfluous to talk about how authors those elements and those events! If the GM authors everything that matters, what is the funtion of the players? Pure audience? One thing I've noticed too is that the player's perspective on the level of freedom available to t...

Friday, 27th July, 2018

  • 06:03 PM - robus quoted Tony Vargas in post Using goals to guide perception vs investigation ability checks
    Just like Spot & Search in 3e, really. Ah, not familiar with 3e but good to know.
  • 03:56 PM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    I guess it comes down to faith in the rules governing what the dice mean, vs faith in the GM. If you grok the rules and find them worthy, abiding by the dice even when a result seems, in the moment, to be off somehow is reasonable. If you find the rules impenetrable or inadequate, such trust would be misplaced. Of course all that's a little overblown (as is much concern for the topic), unless you are pretty deeply invested in the RPG expeeience.It's not about being deeply invested, or otherwise. It's that if I wanted someone to tell me a story, I'd go about it some other way than rolling dice to make suggestions as to what they should tell me.
  • 05:12 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    I've known it to happen in AD&D, 1e too, but don't think it was in the spirit that Gygax intended, rather the 'player knowledge' objection was part of the rapid shift from wargames to RPG, that had little to do with the mechanics or presentation.I agree absolutely that it wasn't intended by Gygax, which is why I used 2nd ed AD&D - which formalises the shift from wargaming to "storyteller" RPGing - as my touchstone. (The idea that it's a shift from wargaming to RPG I reject: playing D&D as a wargame is one very traditional mode of RPGing, not something that contrasts with it.)
  • 04:43 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    Dungeon World is a well known RPG that, if played in accordance with the rules, is neither railroad nor sandbox. I was obliquely asking for more examples of how Dungeon World was "both railroad and sandbox." That sounded interesting. Though he said: "...neither railroad nor sandbox"; except that I am interested in how that works also.Like dragoner said, neither railroad nor sandbox. Not both railroad and sandbox. Here's a rough account of what a railroad is: Railroad: The main events of the shared fiction are determined by the GM, either in advance, or perhaps by improvisation in the course of play. By determining and event I mean deciding what fictional elements it will include (or at least the main ones) and deciding how it starts and what important consequences flow from it. (Speaking loosely, this is "the story".) The function of player contributions to the fiction is largely to add colour (often by way of characterisation) and perhaps to determine some minor details of events...
  • 03:52 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post Everybody Cheats?
    ...ard becomes both the wealthiest (it's nearly unavoidable) and the longest-serving - meaning she's made herself the star in that most of the story continuity is going to end up going through her. So, one of my old gaming buddies, before he went off D&D entirely (he became a GURPS fanatic), ended up 'stuck playing the cleric' one time and managed really well. First of all, he played an evil cleric, then he'd heal the party /very/ selectively, engineering things so that they'd all end up dead at convenient points in the adventure, and he could collect all the treasure, all the exp, and head out to recruit a bunch of new 1st level dupes to do it all over again... ...what you describe, and what he experienced, were, IMHO, degenerate cases of D&D play, they illustrate how badly wrong the game can go with the wrong DM, an embittered player, or even with the table just acquiring some bad habits.I was going to post that what Lanefan describes seems rather pathological to me, and then saw Tony Vargas's post doing the work for me! Even if one pulls back from words like "pathological" and "degenerate case", there are so many assumptions built into what Lanefan describes - about how the GM handles scene framing, about how players decide what PCs to roll up, about how the group handles party formation, about how treasure works in the game, about how "story continuity" works - that it's not worth trying to unpack them all. I'll just say that I think none of the assumptions being made there holds at my table, except for the assumption about treasure, which did hold in one of our old RM campaigns set in GH. Replacement characters seem like an issue if there's going to be this conceit that survival is a key objective. In 1e (and, I assume the other classic versions of that period), your replacement character was freshly-rolled, new stats, 1st level. But, the 'skilled play' paradigm of the day /did/ expect you to use the knowledge you'd gained in playing that character when playing...
  • 03:26 AM - Garthanos quoted Tony Vargas in post Morale systems
    I do like that idea. It's one less odd-rule-out (Intimidate is unusual working the way it does in combat), and one more thing to do with SCs. i have been thinking most every man skill actions like the recently conceived Distract and adjusted Aid Defense and ANY skill applied in combat as a standard action need to balance directly against At-wills due to action economy or they will not get used or will get over used...
  • 03:05 AM - dragoner quoted Tony Vargas in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    ...but, I was obliquely asking for more examples of how Dungeon World was "both railroad and sandbox." That sounded interesting. Though he said: "...neither railroad nor sandbox"; except that I am interested in how that works also.
  • 01:54 AM - 5ekyu quoted Tony Vargas in post So I ran a 6-8 encounter day...
    I do get weirdly hung up on facts, which can be really problematic in a lot of internet discussions, I find. i give you hilarity points for that one, given previous choices you have made in this conversation. you also gets points for form. enjoy.
  • 01:19 AM - pemerton quoted Tony Vargas in post The Sandbox and the Railroad
    Well, as long as it's easy...Here's another take: If people want to post about playing D&D, and issues that have come up playing D&D, go to town! If they want to wonder how those issues might be resolved, that sounds sensible. If they don't want to consider any of the resources that are out there, and easily discoverable, that might help solve those issues, well that's a bit odd but their prerogative. If they're going to assert that those issues can't be solved, or - based on experience only with D&D and variants - are present in all RPGs, some contradictions can be expected!
  • 01:13 AM - 5ekyu quoted Tony Vargas in post So I ran a 6-8 encounter day...
    So, the only way a choice matters is if it makes you 'better' than the next guy in some hands-down, way? Kinda zero-sum, i'n't? You mean add another layer of 'concern,' don't you? Because that is /also/ the case, still in 5e (albeit, less so than in 3.5, and more so than in 4e). If the imbalances harmonize, sure. ;) Party vs 'known' undead: the cleric turns them, and can preps spells just to deal with them, the wizard, likewise, can prep the best spells he knows, the 'known' casters can spam the spells they do know that work best in the situation, etc... You're getting into Class Tiers with that question, really. It's potentially additive, at least, sure. You saw it in AD&D modules. The undead encounters would be huge compared to other sorts of monsters, because the cleric would turn/destroy some of them, but there'd still be an encounter left. Does it always make sense to have more zombies than gnolls in a dungeon? Yep, definitely getting into Class Tiers with that point. Y...


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