View Profile: Tony Vargas - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 12:31 PM
    My apologies, I misinterpreted your response.
    41 replies | 689 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Today, 12:00 PM
    For that kind of project, remember that Archery and Dueling scale implicitly with Extra Attacks. Defense scales both with number of attacks received (the more received, the more damage it will mitigate) and at the margin... how to explain that? Say a foe needs 14+ to hit my Plate and Shield AC of 20. What is +1 worth in that situation? In one sense, it is worth 5%, but in terms of reduction of...
    41 replies | 689 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Today, 11:48 AM
    Archery is probably the strongest fighting style, so I partly endorse your opinion, but if it came down to a straight choice between Archery and RAW Sharpshooter, I would always take Sharpshooter. The power-attack is that strong.
    41 replies | 689 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Today, 11:38 AM
    For me, Intelligence isn't necessarily a key stat in combat. Experienced creatures whose lives depend on it (pretty much any that have lived long enough to challenge PCs), will fight effectively. As an aside, a house rule I have also, is that creatures in a fully magical world usually have some rudimentary understanding or sense for it, just as they can guess the shining, sharp end of a spear...
    58 replies | 1216 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Today, 11:33 AM
    It seems like you are saying that melee party members will either be able to spread damage taken or deal significantly more damage than their ranged comrades because those will be provoking OAs and somehow stop them focus-firing. Is that right? To paraphrase Yoda, there is no "try and focus fire": there is only "focus fire". Taking OAs might end up with the ranged character out of the fight,...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Today, 01:42 AM
    edition warrior you remain
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:10 PM
    Who knows why James Grover was asking the question. Perhaps it was to figure out if he should multiclass to fighter or take a feat/ASI level. Perhaps he's looking at doing system tweaking or designing a new class. "Hmm, should I give another fighting style at 6th or an extra feat?". He had a reason to ask it, why shoot down the question?
    41 replies | 689 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:03 PM
    It's not just feats, it's feats/ASI. +2 DEX, for example, can be +1 AC, +1 to hit/damage for every ranged and finesse attack, +1 to Dex saves, +1 Init, +1 dex checks and skills. As a side note "+2 to every attack roll you ever make" seems to be referring to a fighting style that actually only applies to ranged weapons. There is no fighting style that will grant +2 to hit with melee...
    41 replies | 689 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:38 PM
    It goes beyond that. Everything WootC does has consequences in attitudes. When the favored soul and the storm magic sorc came out, many DMs openned to homebrew and o make concessions for the sake of a character. Then hings died out a bit, but then when the Storm Magic was modified for publication DMs received a message "The favored soul is overpowered" and "the sorcerer is perfect" some even...
    756 replies | 83869 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:09 PM
    Among other things, Mark of Healing describes how "You can master and perform rituals in the restoration category and the Remove Affliction ritual as if you had the Ritual Caster feat." Since Remove Affliction *is* a ritual in the Restoration category, what purpose does this verbiage serve?
    162 replies | 64039 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:49 PM
    #5 Much rarer to lose an action because no foe in range. #6 Better fighting style for applying damage. #7 Similar/better feats then melee (depending on weapon choice) #8 Better able to target foes with Concentration to force checks. #1 This assumes that foes aren't trying to focus fire and dogpile one, and aren't willing to accept an OA in order to do so. And that the foe doesn't...
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:31 PM
    Repeated from the thread this thread originated with...
    58 replies | 1216 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:29 PM
    An efficiency advantage can be gained, however. Say some opponents expect to deal 10 damage a turn, to a party HP pool of 100. While the party deals 10 damage a turn, to those opponent's HP pool of 100. Initiative will decide the outcome in this case, in the tenth turn. If through one member dodging, the party reduces their damage by 3, while reducing their opponent's damage by 4? Those...
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:19 AM
    It can get a bit problematic, especially around feats like Sentinel. One approach is to let the dice decide. For example, in the case where a character wants to implicitly shape the behaviour of hostile creatures, I might rule that they need to make a Charisma (Deception) check, against those creatures' passive Wisdom (Insight) scores. Likely with disadvantage as I assume that creatures...
    58 replies | 1216 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:53 AM
    I have encountered in play the following uses of Dodge - A. the caster who has a SoS holding down key or multiple creatures, or a clutch buff on their GWM Barbarian or whatever, backs off and dodges B. the character or foe that cannot both close and attack this turn, moves their Speed forward and dodges C. the dog-piled character that is tar-pitting multiple foes while ranged characters...
    58 replies | 1216 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:22 AM
    Should reinvigorating call be "can't use it on them again until the subject/target finishes a short or long rest"?
    492 replies | 12275 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:08 AM
    I like hearing design thoughts on house builds ... I found the Variant Fighter very interesting
    492 replies | 12275 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:03 AM
    A bit of an observation, the edition war was between 3e and 4e players, yet somehow the grognards won? I think lowkey is up to something. Not exactly correct, but partially right for the wrong reasons at least. I mean I think that WotC is in the best position to give us a good quality list and stuff to make gold worth it, in the same way I think they can give us a good warlord. However...
    756 replies | 83869 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:52 AM
    Agreed nice for Warlord I approve though I think Battle Ready could also be just any fighter. So those who opt for Strength get their favored secondary as initiative (and its barely more than a tweak) Yeh I think both of these are minimal fuss modifications, I even like the Battlemaster name being a pretty fair synonym of the "War" "Lord"
    492 replies | 12275 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 10:22 PM
    Agreed, a half-elf also looks pretty good. Better, maybe, as half-elf stats are an ASI better than human. So although half-elf spends their feat at 4th on Prodigy, perhaps for the human that ASI is taxed away anyhow. And you get Darkvision. What's not to like?
    21 replies | 641 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 10:17 PM
    Shield + Defense style perhaps, +3 AC. Or Rage for Resistance. The party might want damage to fall on the Barbarian (if there is one) as healing put into them is doubled. An option for ranged characters is to carry a shield and one-handed weapon, ready to step in if needed. Mechanically, they could even stow their bow at the end of each of their turns, ready to make the switch.
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 08:22 PM
    I agree that he needs to count on spells, but also... Invisibility creates the possibility to Hide, but is not Stealth. Enhance Ability needs a reasonable Persuasion to work with, since it gives advantage. Knock is really loud! At 4th level, you can Levitate twice, and can't Fly. I mention this to say that I think for his character concept to work, he needs to think about which skills...
    21 replies | 641 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 08:18 PM
    Nerfing magic items won't break anything. It will reduce or nullify the pay off for some strategies. For instance, if Bob has a +2 Sword and a Ring of Protection, then Jane's Bless will read - ignore this spell unless you roll higher than existing bonuses. Unfortunately "higher" can differ between Attack and Saves, so it is a bit fiddlier than I think ideal. Anyway, the point I wanted to make is...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 06:06 PM
    For me, it is that very "any" which opens up the second reading. I agree that, RAI, one single ally is probably the correct ruling. But RAW? Hard to say with such screwy wording!
    162 replies | 64039 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 03:27 PM
    Re: my post above, looking more at spells I question whether you need Charisma (Persuasion) or (Deception). Enchantment Wizard has plenty of spells that simply make people friendly/cooperative/mindless-slaves to your will. A similar argument applies against Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) of course. Why struggle in a grapple when you can Misty Step out? Why climb when you can...
    21 replies | 641 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 02:55 PM
    I like the concept! When I envision characters, I think about how they will be from level 4 to level 12. I don't worry about higher, because one spends little time playing there, nor lower as levels 2 and 3 typically fly by. With that in mind, the first thing your idea makes me think about is its MAD nature. For instance, say we take - Variant-Human with Prodigy. That will get you one skill,...
    21 replies | 641 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 02:30 PM
    I've dialled my 3ed thinking on magic items way back, and am pretty happy now with 5ed. I like that even a +1 sword is a storied item, and a +2 sword should be legendary. Due to that, I've followed the path of adding more non-combat benefits on items, or combat benefits that don't translate directly into killiness. Tier 2 characters should probably have about one combat relevant item apiece....
    70 replies | 1308 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 02:25 PM
    Yes, it's annoying.
    45 replies | 1663 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 01:59 PM
    Depends on the feel I'm going for the campaign. Though I detail how replacement characters due to death, due to retirement,a nd new players coming in get treated at the beginning of any campaign. In a "Damn Big Heroes" game, they'll come back same level. This is probably my most common. I've done stables where everyone had 3 PCs and you can advance a lower level character when a higher...
    19 replies | 420 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 01:34 PM
    Great minds think alike! Unfortunately, I don't have a great mind. I was wondering if it's a stealth playtest for Eberron airships.
    100 replies | 2465 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 01:30 PM
    How about the College of Glamour instead of the College of Blades? Spending a bonus action and bardic inspiration to give multiple allies temp HP plus a free reaction move that ignores OAs is a rather warlord-y thing to do. And without concentration so you can have some of that buffing going as well. Yes, that doesn't leave the fauxlord very melee-oriented, but I'd rather have ally-boosting...
    14 replies | 518 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 03:35 AM
    If you do have the offline character builder or find it somehow there is a tool for customizing it that I really like using -called CBLoader
    4 replies | 198 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 03:00 AM
    A couple of ideas I had seem like they could be used by Warlord/Fighter variants One was a low level feature that helps out the Strength based character called Battle ready For most the beginning of a battle is something they have to react to and its reflexes that take over but for you its a fulfillment of your expectations and your plans. You may pick and alternative stat (instead of...
    492 replies | 12275 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 13th November, 2018, 01:44 AM
    Quick response - love your goals. updating the concept - good there were options that seemed to never make it to the table with the 4e Warlord (in spite of it being already very role versatile and having a lot of support, I think actually battlefield control could have been better and having some striker functionality? intrigues me) . Teamwork also vital (this is missing from the feel of...
    492 replies | 12275 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 10:46 PM
    Okay, back from Switzerland. My ToBeRead pile stayed at home, I needed to travel light so it was all kindle. (My "lowest cost" flight had zero checked bags, so I needed to fit 5 working days and a travel-back day in my carry-on. Plus all my work materials.) Didn't get as much time to read as expected, was out and about Basel. Wonderful city, very clean. But I did end up reading all seven...
    13 replies | 294 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 02:43 PM
    I like the generalising to all force damage type (probably want to reference "type" rather than effect, for consistency with other RAW). I dislike extending the duration, as Shield is very strong in play, in its current one-round form. I also dislike the up-cast preventing force spell damage altogether: that's way too extra. Taken together, the duration and force damage prevention would...
    11 replies | 546 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 02:20 PM
    I suggest solving your problem by turning the solution over to your players. Take a page from 4E's handbook and present this as a Skill Challenge wherein PCs need to achieve X number of successes before 3 failures; each PC declares an action that makes use of a skill or ability as it fits the fiction; you apply new pressure on the group after each roll, successful or not. You may be surprised how...
    12 replies | 1120 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 12:04 PM
    Relating to this question, I've been pondering Sharpshooter and Crossbow Expert. I believe it is highly justified to make Sharpshooter apply to heavy ranged weapons, just as Great Weapon Master applies to heavy melee weapons. Were that so, it can't stack with the Hand Crossbow bonus attack: forestalling the most egregious use. A residual question in my mind is if "Once-per-turn" is justified...
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 10:45 AM
    Vices sound like a fun element! A factor I can relay from my own homebrew experience is that when long rests are made longer and/or more conditional, short rest classes can become heavily advantaged. I think if one changes, the other has to be changed in tandem. Otherwise for instance Warlocks get to massively outcast Wizards and Sorcerers over a day. Barring Crossbow Expert / Hand Crossbow...
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Monday, 12th November, 2018, 06:33 AM
    Zealous Sanction (Cleric E7): "The first time any ally hits the target before the end of your next turn, that ally can spend a healing surge." Is this a one time effect, i.e., only on the first hit can that single ally spend a healing surge, or does this apply to each first hit by each ally before EoYNT?
    162 replies | 64039 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 11:36 PM
    The rest rules are definitely problematic. It seems like they were balanced around a six encounter adventuring day, with two encounters per short rest. Unfortunately, especially in an outdoor campaign, that doesn't really happen. I've switched to 24 hour long rests, 4-8 hour sleep/trance to refresh abilities, and 1 hour breather to spend HD. That's working reasonably well in balancing long rest...
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:22 PM
    The system outlined by you and further defined by MoutonRustique is the guideline for creating characters above level 1 with level-appropriate gear. The charts in the DMG lay out a level-by-level progression, wherein as a party, the group acquires L+4, L+3, L+2, L+1 magic items and 2(L) mundane loot (where L = value of magic item of current level, so 360 for level 1, 520 for level 2, etc.)....
    4 replies | 172 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 03:01 PM
    I have a chart somewhere about that is a more complex Wealth by Level which Wrecan worked out and it had columns showing variation if you used things like inherent bonuses. Although technically even the most fully implemented inherent bonuses really just removes bland magic items from the table not necessarily anything else.
    4 replies | 172 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 02:53 AM
    This comparison helps greatly and is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
    162 replies | 64039 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 02:20 AM
    I like that! Such loot then occupies a liminal space between pure monetary value and a somewhat more limited (but situationally more valuable) version of a magic item.
    7 replies | 304 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Sunday, 11th November, 2018, 02:17 AM
    I know this was kinda the CharOp consensus, but I can also kinda see how the above proviso lends itself to both readings. I guess I'm looking for a definitive reason that rules out the alternate reading. Why wouldn't all MC daily healing options confer the full encounter power as a daily power? (I'm not challenging the more limited interpretation; I'm just trying to understand why the other is...
    162 replies | 64039 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 09:46 PM
    For MC Feats like Master of Stories, whose utility power is limited with the following proviso, "The auraís healing benefit can be used only once per day": does this essentially turn the encounter power into a daily power and thus the healing can be invoked twice during the encounter but only during one encounter per day, or does the healing function one time and one time only per day? Is...
    162 replies | 64039 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 08:07 PM
    This, good sir, (inadvertently) solves a problem that has vexed me for ages regarding loot in D&D: of what use is nonmagical gear gear, like golden chalices, sparkling gemstone earrings, and jewelled swords, to PCs that would prevent them from simply converting said items to magic items (particularly in my 4E gaming, where the system assumes such)? The answer: loot is magic items. The princess's...
    7 replies | 304 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 11:52 AM
    I'm curious about this. As written, it looks to me that Hexblades just barely keep up. What are you finding in play? What (if anything) is yielding distorting levels of damage?
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Saturday, 10th November, 2018, 12:58 AM
    Yes I can build Zorro that feels like Zorro at level 1 but put on a few levels and I can get all the stuff
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 11:23 PM
    I agree about that obviating the cover and range penalties completely seems a bit extra. Still, we also want players to have fun with their feats. So for me the goal is a feat that still feels very strong, but doesn't overshadow other strategies. It's to do with the interact with Crossbow Expert, that thoroughly breaks it. GWM requires a heavy weapon, so I think it is justified here. The...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 09:39 PM
    I think the text captures that pretty well. It's before you make "an" attack, you can take -5 on "the" attack roll. I don't think GWM works that way. I believe you get to decide attack by attack.
    7 replies | 226 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 06:03 PM
    The issues with Sharpshooter, especially in conjunction with Crossbow Expert, are well known (GWM damage at 120' away FTW!) As part of discussion about ranged in another thread, the following tweak suggested itself... Sharpshooter v2 You have mastered ranged weapons and can make shots that others find impossible. You gain the following benefits: Attacking at long range doesn't impose...
    7 replies | 226 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 05:06 PM
    Great to see you here, Nausicaa! Though you had already faded from active participation on the WotC CharOp boards before I started posting regularly there (as darkwarlock), I found your previous posts and guides invaluable. Many thanks!
    44 replies | 123693 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Friday, 9th November, 2018, 01:42 PM
    We might be in greater agreement than appears on the surface. Here you point out that melee has better defense or (ignoring CEx/SS silliness) does more damage, or both. A direct comparison could be a Defense style, sword-and-board Battlemaster, with an Archery style, longbow Battlemaster. Sword-and-board will have +3 AC over the archer, all else being equal. Their damage is approximately the...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 11:36 PM
    Shas is talking 1e as much as I can't tell...ie thief having a percentage to climb walls
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 11:18 PM
    But you can't have hits bouncing off armor..... Like they were misses... Cause that isn't a hit... Ask Shas
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 11:16 PM
    Or this actually because Smaug ran out of luck... Convenient for the hero?
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 05:43 PM
    I think it is useful to have pillar archetypes in a system: they help define the space for viable strategies. The question that CEx SS poses for me is whether it was a design error, or a pillar? I believe many would agree that it was a frank mistake, but why? Perhaps for many groups, the melee character who discards defense to go all in with the heaviest weapon they can wield, fits their...
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 02:04 PM
    well there are multiple fear responses you could get some freezing up and being in the way... so you might need some loud social move to make some of them move ;)
    12 replies | 362 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 12:02 PM
    Using the same assumptions I posted above, these are the values for CEx SS. I didn't post them before because I tend to politely ignore that character option. Battlemaster with Archery, Crossbow Expert, Sharpshooter, Precision, Hand Crossbow Tier 1 Maximum average/round = 20 Maximum average/day = 300 assuming about 3 encounters of about 3 rounds each Likely average/round = 11 at Tier 1, I...
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 10:21 AM
    Hmm. Posting up values already produces a wall of text, and it is sometimes difficult to know where to strike the balance of what to include. First the characters are points buy, in order to compare like to like. Level required thought. People sometimes "prove" that something is okay (or not okay) by choosing an arbitrary level where the numbers stack up the way they want them (due to access...
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Thursday, 8th November, 2018, 12:28 AM
    Very nice by the way!!!!
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 05:32 PM
    What on Earth do you mean?! (Me = puzzled.) The "likely average" includes the accuracy. The "Maximum (average damage)" does not. The reason for showing both, is that the former (likely average) takes into consideration accuracy and downtime, while the latter (maximum average) gives an indication of the potential to improve the damage if those factors can be ameliorated.
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 04:53 PM
    Once spells get involved, it becomes difficult to predict what will happen. I think you can observe that crowd-control on the whole favours ranged attacks. Thinking about those specific spells, at level 4 a Bard probably adds more to most fights with Greater Invis. which gives advantage on attacks and disadvantage to attackers, unless they have truesight, or Haste. It's better to Haste a...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 03:29 PM
    Ranger Hunter, with Archery, Hunter's Mark, Sharpshooter Tier 1 Maximum average/round = 20 Maximum average/day = 300 assuming about 3 encounters of about 3 rounds each Likely average/round = 7 Likely average/day = 106 Tier 2 Maximum average/round = 76 Maximum average/day = 1140
    115 replies | 3707 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 03:10 PM
    Yes and we go with that rather heavily "defeated" can also mean fleeing the scene of battle. Or other power specific fiction which make sense.
    12 replies | 362 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 04:31 AM
    But isn't that still something external not internal?
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 01:55 AM
    That could be a second form of impairment Of course do an intimidate on every last one it could clear the area pretty well.
    12 replies | 362 view(s)
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  • MoonSong's Avatar
    Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, 01:08 AM
    I'm reluctant to watch the show, I've liked Sabrina for a long time. And I don't mean just the Sitcom, I used to watch the cartoons as a kid-and I don't mean the Disney and postDisney ones-. To me Sabrina is meant to be this cutesy and lighthearted thing; I'm not ready to see it as scary and chilling black humor. Also I'm not a fan of the devil pact in the new adaptation, I liked that witch just...
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 06:08 PM
    This seems like a good argument, as I take your point about spamming Sneak Attack or Martial Arts. They're pillar functions of their respective classes. So I can see one route for Warlock that doubles-down on a less diverse strategy. I want to think about that some more. Also true. The joined-up part of Warlock is the chosen attack (EB or Blade) and Invocations. In some test runs with...
    118 replies | 3828 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 11:20 AM
    Not really. I have extensive reasons behind what I suggest. A strategy I use to swiftly prop-up or knock-down a concept is to peg it out near the edge of the envelope. And avoid investing time in precision costings and so on, until after I can sound out if it is reasonable. To give some insight, if we ask ourselves "How might we cause more interactions across things Wizards can do" and consider...
    60 replies | 1719 view(s)
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  • clearstream's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 10:07 AM
    I agree Eldritch Blast could be more of a class feature (see my question on that below), and for the sake of interesting play I am pursuing an intuition it that could be broadened to damage-dealing cantrips generally. Regarding Rogue maximising Sneak Attack versus Warlock maximising Eldritch Blast? I know the builds you mean and have played one, going the Riposte route. A Warlock needs to choose...
    118 replies | 3828 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 09:26 AM
    I think i agree most of the time individual stats are hardly needed even in a dangerous situation. In a battle they are part of a huge skill challenge. The movies feature heros teaching and guiding joe blows in advance of an onslaught to minimize burned down town transforming them into surprise effectiveness it might be history checks to guide them so as to minimize their deaths or get them...
    12 replies | 362 view(s)
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  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 05:58 AM
    Alongside the concrete uses of the practical arts, I am thinking I may include example skill challenges and how they might interact with them. As well as a Without the Art Sidebar section for each.
    336 replies | 34457 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 05:42 AM
    Yes and that was hilariously extreme disconnection between the fiction and the function was gobbled up and made a sacred cow.... hell magic missile was changed to sometimes miss? They couldnt have that.
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Tuesday, 6th November, 2018, 01:36 AM
    Fanning edition wars and caving to them got him his current job. edit: i know pointless snark
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
    1 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 11:45 PM
    Please remember that I'm not arguing about Hex being good or bad, only about Eldritch Blast with the Agonizing invocation. As you say, at higher levels there are better casts than Hex. I also agree that Hex is not reliably "on", contrary to some analysis I've seen on these boards. In play, it's often down for some number of rounds. In an adventuring party, using the spell and concentration slot...
    118 replies | 3828 view(s)
    2 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 03:53 PM
    It's not a paucity of choices, but lack of interaction between them that concerns me. It's interesting to look at what came out after core. Bladesinger I think is a straightforward desire to support interesting and varied gish classes. Too strong, in my opinion, and treading in design-space best left to other classes, but indicative of intent. War Mage in Xanathar's seems quite joined up, albeit...
    60 replies | 1719 view(s)
    2 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 02:39 PM
    I agree with your sentiment! My goal isn't making Wizard's stronger. More instead of being a grab-bag of OP effects, make the class and its archetypes have a greater sense of purpose; features that interconnect across tiers of play. One can hand-wave that their purpose is utility. For me, doing everything isn't a purpose. Even doing everything in an OP way. One might argue more concretely...
    60 replies | 1719 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 02:32 PM
    Bringing your example to the table with my adjusted practices and the DMG2 guidelines. The Dwarf without a relevant practice could do as you said or spend a surge to get an autosuccess and if your Dwarf had the Martial Practice Forge Mastery, he could have an auto success along with an Endurance check to not have to pay that HS.
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
    1 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 01:57 PM
    Specifically in terms of features that connect up through multiple tiers of play. Of course Wizards are powerful (straight-levels in Wizard continue to be the bar for power in D&D), but the seem more like a toolkit than a coherent class. I wondered if they would get a whole lot more interesting if one could layer spells more? Great example! And Twinned spell applies the same spell to both,...
    60 replies | 1719 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 01:51 PM
    Bladesinger is stupid, even without it. I don't think there is much value in designing for capstones: the first few tiers are where almost all play occurs. Given identical effects can't beneficially stack, what is way, way too much? Greater Invis. on the GWM Barbarian and Haste on the 1HS Battlemaster? Double Dominate Monster? I mean, my intuitions match yours, but it would help to have some...
    60 replies | 1719 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 01:47 PM
    Interesting points. Hex and Hellish both are both conditioned on events: for the sake of argument lets call those satisfied. I think combats run about five turns, so... Tier 1 4th Warlock vs CR 2 creature Rebuke caps at 6d10 * chance of failed DEX save = say +3 vs Warlock's DC 14 = 50% = 17ish + Toll x5 = 32.5*.5 = +16ish = 33ish Hex caps at 4d6 * chance of hitting = say AC 13 vs Warlock's...
    118 replies | 3828 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 11:56 AM
    clearstream started a thread Bolstering Wizards
    Is it right to say that Wizards have languished a little, compared with the lustre of other classes in 5th? They seem (to me at least) not as joined up, with satisfying payoffs, as other classes (thinking especially about Battlemaster and Warlock). Given their possibly distinctive utility role, I wondered about bolstering them with something like - Dual Focus At 5th level, you develop the...
    60 replies | 1719 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 11:25 AM
    What is your example? I mean, I like things like Ray of Frost, yet they still seem to not stack up unless brought nearer Blast. With Maledictions, I could stick Lance of Lethargy on Ray, and stack Repelling, to push away 10' and slow 20'. I'd happily trade that off against better range and +3 points of damage.
    21 replies | 622 view(s)
    0 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 11:20 AM
    My thread title for obvious reasons lead initial posters to believe I was targeting a nerf. My goal is to broaden viable strategies. In play the 120' range is almost always sufficient to give 100% up-time. It's true Agonizing Blast is essential: it's an example of narrowing viable strategies by making one strategy over-shadow. We've discussed a few ways that it can be improved. One is to...
    118 replies | 3828 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 05:30 AM
    Him most definitely he went gathering his feats one by one finding tutors as he went along to do so (yes he learned them supernaturally fast rather like PCs) ... it was very D&D like character and one mentioned as a fighter in 2e phb. Eventually he learned some that maybe related more to demigod status like his Warp Spasm but it was really just an extension of Berserkergang.
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Garthanos's Avatar
    Monday, 5th November, 2018, 05:22 AM
    When a DM starts talking about chin ups and things they can personally do when you are talking about figuring out what Heroic and Paragon level or Epic Demigod Heros can accomplish ... you can guarantee mages will make your warriors feel like utter chumps
    822 replies | 11120 view(s)
    5 XP
  • clearstream's Avatar
    Sunday, 4th November, 2018, 10:58 PM
    I like the idea of Blast being basic to the class so that it feels less like a cantrip/invocation tax. Even if the outcome is the same in terms of features count! Blast steps away from the other cantrips with each tier, until by tier 3 there's no real option. It even stands out in cross-class comparisons once up-time is considered. It doesn't give the huge hits of GWM, but outputs constant...
    21 replies | 622 view(s)
    0 XP
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My Game Details
Town:
Santa Clara
State:
California
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);

Tuesday, 13th November, 2018


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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 Iím not playing just the rpg anymore. Now Iím playing that adventure. IOW, I canít just play the rpg. The rpg is the game creation engine and operating system, but the actual game is that module. I donít think youíre 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 60í away. Each creature within a 10í 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 didnít 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?
  • 06:46 PM - Satyrn 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 @.

Sunday, 8th July, 2018

  • 05:21 PM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Disarm Let Us Count the Ways.
    What I think @Tony Vargas was saying wasnt worth it was the effort of of going through and recomputing all the individual elements of here it is without tool and ie all the rigor of going through and making sure after you remove those truly dependent on items bits and so on just isn't valuable as the purported benefit in comparison to just laying on a broad brush stroke like using weakened. The use of inherent bonuses and making heroes explicitly better at improvised weaponry would be a couple of things we can do to make sure they arent more impaired if taken in detail than the quick and dirty general rule.(Weakened being the QAD)

Saturday, 7th July, 2018

  • 05:34 AM - Garthanos mentioned Tony Vargas in post Disarm Let Us Count the Ways.
    Now while I have been focusing on martial powers that do the disarm dance... but we can definitely have some spells which I think would complement the concept very well. Some very classic ones even. (A heat metal weapon one) I am actually considering making some of them somewhat pay for the value of multi-targetting with less tactical control.. Tony Vargas suggested disarms which allowed options ... perhaps options the target can decide on. This could be another way to establish some class based patterns to the disarming. Disarming Keyword Patterns of effects emerge for disarms what if they are a thing of there own then you can have magical items,elegant martial techniques and feats and so on which interact recovering from being proned by disarming attack as a free action with this glove or that loyal weapon or similar things perhaps ... Powers with the keyword can have there own finishing condition of cowed and mostly harmless in the immediate sense this like unconcious is a non-deadly alternative


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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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