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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:56 PM
    Looks like subscription payment might be working again. Chrome browser was the one used to pay, but presumably others work as well.
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 10:59 PM
    lowkey13, to a much greater extent than you might imagine, I largely agree with much of your recent postings here, but because of your sarcastic and antagonistic style, I have lost any desire to engage your substance right now.
    1470 replies | 40390 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 06:29 PM
    Histrionic much? Look, if you find this so "very tiring," what, then, is the purpose of your reentry into the discussion every few hundred posts? Clearly you must derive something from this discussion beyond the occasional impulse to meet head and keyboard? As I stated pretty early in this thread, I believe any attempt to define some immutable, univeral definition for "literary/literature"...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:46 PM
    Aye, but for the context of this discussion, pemerton pretty clearly describes from the beginning (I would argue, though others, like hawkeyefan, have framed this as almost from the beginning, i.e., with some early supporting posts) the intent behind his use of the term "literary." Rather than people jumping in and obfuscating the discussion with arguments over alternative definitions, why...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 05:24 PM
    Well, of course, and I agree this is why we will never agree on the argument: because of the definitions. Context matters, especially when it comes to such nebulous concepts as "literary/literature." I'm pretty sure pemerton, Manbearcat, (not sure about Bedrockgames), etc. don't consider these posts literary, though it's clear you do.
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 03:48 PM
    Yeah, a lot of the time, the people wanting to be contrary simply want to be asked, "Hey, are you okay with this.", then they respond with something passive-aggressively snarky, the DM then starts to explain why/make some concessions, and that player will then hold up their hands and say, "Seems fine, no need to pay attention to me." But having that conversation at the beginning of a campaign...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:23 PM
    I see that some are able to award XPs even after I have made the attempt and failed. I'm using Chrome, for what it's worth....
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 01:27 PM
    That's pretty cool.
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 03:58 PM
    Good point. Changed it. I really don't recommend Firefox over Sea Monkey for a couple of reasons: At least on my mac, when typing into search areas, Firefox can lag simply over typing. People might use Firefox as a general purpose browser. For security reasons, having a single purpose browser only used for one thing is useful. Especially when dealing with a depreciated element that might...
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:07 PM
    And it appears to be down again...
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 12:25 AM
    That you could do something and that it should be perfectly acceptable doesn't mean people wouldn't object to it anyway. Every time there's Dark Sun being brought up, I almost always hear someone complaining they can't play a Divine PC. Then they pick something else anyway. But more referring to the concept that the DM says "X is how it is!" and instead of explaining it or getting buy-in,...
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:51 PM
    Yup, looks like that was likely the problem. It is now up again.
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:08 PM
    Damage that doesn't have a keyword is untyped. Which would be weirder. And Bards are arcane casters in 4e.
    255 replies | 24180 view(s)
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 04:42 PM
    Looks like they fixed the compendium loading error, but not the login part yet
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 02:30 PM
    I can't log on today and compendium isn't loading fully. Looks like someone turned one of the servers off. If you're having the same problems, please submit help requests via the link on the first post...
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 05:20 AM
    They both do and they don't: Mechanically, fire is fire. Pretty much in every edition. Interpretatively, in every edition, the DM decided what they wanted fire to do. 4e's only real difference here is that 4e suggests that the DM talk to the players and tell them the kind of campaign they want to run and to get table agreement on it. And some DMs interpreted that as meaning the DMG was...
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 11:55 PM
    I think so. It may be some sort of weird security problem due to the website code being old. Maybe use your phone as a hotspot or go to the local coffee shop so no software such as school software gets in the way? Dunno, not having seen it myself for straightforward reasons.
    163 replies | 43578 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 10:45 PM
    I did you one better. Earlier I linked to an examination by Terry Eagleton, a leading literary theorist, on why the discipline of literary studies itself wrestles with the impossibility of an acceptable universal definition of literature/literary. Did you read it?
    1470 replies | 40390 view(s)
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 04:52 PM
    Right. I think one of the things that 4e implicitly does and almost veers into explicit, is the idea that the 'dying' state in D&D is a Schrodinger's Cat kind of scenario. In other words, someone who is dying, we don't actually know if they're dying or not. We can only know if they're really dying afterwards when they end up dead. They're on the ground. They seem to be doing badly, maybe some...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 08:35 PM
    Uncritical advocacy may not add anything at all. But critical analysis and discussion can help sharpen the focus of what separates the activity of RPGing from other endeavors. This is not to say that critical analysis of elements RPGing shares with other activities is ipso facto useless, but it does provide a locus for discussion on the unique attributes of RPGing, and I think that's pretty...
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:40 PM
    You are correct that lowkey13 keeps asserting this. But you are both wrong in your characterization of pemerton's position. Many times now he has articulated that all things being equal, literary presentation can improve the quality of a game, but that caveat requires that the core activity of TRPGing be not in the presentation itself but in the invitation to meaningful engagement of the...
    1470 replies | 40390 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 02:25 PM
    For my part, the answer to this question is yes, the collection of words that best invites the players to action, directly and explicitly, is the collection of words best suited to convey the situation. In such a way, wordcraft of the "literary" sort articulated by pemerton can impede direct and explicit communication, for it puts artfulness (including, perhaps, subtlety, implication, and other...
    1470 replies | 40390 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 03:53 PM
    Attempting to pigeonhole "literary" or "literature" into objective, unassailable categories is a fool's errand. As hawkeyefan points out several times, pemerton has been consistent in his use of a definition for this particular discussion, and he has clarified that definition for the purpose of this discussion when needed. I think what qualifies as literary/literature and why can make for...
    1470 replies | 40390 view(s)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 02:34 AM
    I'm interested for sure. :)
    1 replies | 246 view(s)
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  • heretic888's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 02:32 AM
    Hey guys, looking to start up a 4E group in or around Port St Lucie, FL. Hit me up if you're interested!
    0 replies | 130 view(s)
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  • darkbard's Avatar
    Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019, 01:35 PM
    Are you familiar with Posterazor? It may take a bit of fiddling to get each map to exactly 1" squares, but it does precisely what you want.
    6 replies | 405 view(s)
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  • MwaO's Avatar
    Tuesday, 21st May, 2019, 03:53 AM
    What you're describing as quantum, I consider realistic? If you're an Ogre fighting an 8th level PC, you fight differently than if you're fighting a 16th level one. Just as a highly trained fighter fights another highly trained fighter much differently than a world class one or a beginner. Watch an out-classed boxer fight Mike Tyson — he had 9 fights against opponents lasting less than a minute,...
    255 replies | 24180 view(s)
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Sunday, 19th May, 2019

  • 02:09 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    ... HP total still represents its ability to withstand an impact of given force. Or, alternatively, and still well within the bounds of HP as explained by Mr. Gygax, this particular giant, while just as tough as other giants, simply lacks the connections to fate and luck needed to avoid a particularly skilled thrust made by a dwarf fighter with his trusty bastard sword on the rd of Crackrock in the Forest of Grin, land of Kinergh. It is really that simple. And when we are talking about humans who gain dozens, possibly even 100 hit points, over time, it is pretty hard to justify it any other way, as Tony Vargas has just pointed out. You are factually incorrect on this point. I played at level 16, and nothing was going down from one hit, unless it was a minion. A level 1 (non-minion) goblin has between 25 and 29 HP. As a level 16 character, my at-will arrows still only deal 1d8+10 (or so). Even my encounter powers could fail to break 25, if I rolled low. I would leave someone like MwaO to comment on this in detail, but I find it unlikely to say the least. I'm sure it is POSSIBLE to neglect your attack capability to a great degree, but even level 1 PCs generally do the sorts of damage you are talking about here (Level 1 sword and board fighter, 16 STR, long sword, making an at-will attack, and assuming the player took even one feat which helps damage, is already at 1d8 + 5, and this is a low damage output PC using his worst attack. Give him 16 levels and he's now got STR 20, and at least a +3 weapon. This already got me to 1d8 + 10 and I have EIGHT FEATS to spend which can improve on that.). You're also unlikely to use at-will powers at all at level 16, you have 4 encounter powers, not to mention benefits from PPs, possibly racial and theme stuff, etc. Plus probably a dozen magic items worth of effects, your allies are constructing constant benefits, often to damage, etc. It would be very unusual for a fighter to do less than 20 points of damage at this level, and tha...

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 12:54 PM - Joshua Randall mentioned MwaO in post Get WotC 4e's Online Character Builder to work or get a sub
    ...fari. So you may want to update the first post to mention this. Source: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/336838/silverlight-plug-in-in-safari-12 As you noted, Firefox 52 is an option. However, your link is pointing to the regular Firefox ESR (extended support release) site, which is going to get you version 60 not 52. Here's a link to the Firefox FTP site where you can get version 52 https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/52.9.0esr/ You want the file 'firefox-52.9.0esr.mac-x86_64.sdk.tar.bz2' Download it Launch it - it will extract itself into a folder called 'firefox-sdk' Open that folder Open the sub-folder 'bin' Open the file 'Firefox' (note: you may need to Ctrl-click, then Open if you get the warning about it being from an 'unidentified developer') Immediately turn off auto-updates: Preferences, Advanced, Update, toggle to 'Never check for updates' Go to ddi.wizards.com, sign in, launch Character Builder, activate Silverlight Enjoy edited to MwaO for visibility

Tuesday, 15th January, 2019


Saturday, 29th December, 2018

  • 06:39 PM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned MwaO in post Different Recharge Rates
    I was going to say something like what MwaO suggests, a narrative reason for the low recharge rate. However, you can simply decree that PCs can only do a long rest 'once per week' or whatever you want. The other option is simply to pace the action sequences so that the opportunity to nova is limited (IE once the PCs get into the stew pot, things get hot fast). I like something along the lines of the 'artifact' though, it provides a choice. Other options might be that magic is a weak force in this world, the gods, arcane forces, etc. are limited and it requires a week of meditation, prayer, study, etc. to really 'recharge'. If the campaign focuses on a specific power source, then you can have more specific explanations, the higher powers (be it gods, vestiges, demons, nature, etc.) are simply stingy or constrained. You could also work out some trade offs. Give the players a chance to recharge their PCs at a higher rate now and then, at some sort of plot cost. This is good for 'stake setting' in a narratively driven game. ...

Thursday, 22nd November, 2018

  • 02:24 AM - pemerton mentioned MwaO in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    ...f 15th level AD&D PCs that I can conceive of is going to have a verisimilitudinous burned-out-shack-door matter in play (and I've never seen a module written for high level PCs which used a burned out shack door as an important obstacle). Likewise in 3E - a 15th level fighter will have the STR to trivialise the door of a burned out shack, a 15 level rogue the skills, and a 15h level caster the spells. But if you solved this problem in AD&D and 3E, and found some way to make doors of burned out shacks both matter in play and yet versimilitudinously flimsy, then maybe the same solution would Notice that the PC in the example is 8th level fighting an ogre. The fiction is built into the example. 28th level PCs don't fight ogres in chandelier-hung halls (as a general rule).Completely irrelevant. If the rogue had been trying to swing from the exact same chandelier at a L25 fighter half-demon ogre, the relevant portion of the example would not have changed.Two things. (1) As MwaO has pointed out (if I've understood properly), the DC for the swing is to make a successful combat move, not to practice your acrobatics. Using your acrobatic trickery to make a successful move against Orcus is harder than it is against an ogre. (2) I think you've missed the larger point. 4e is built on the assumption that the rogue won't be swinging from the same chandelier. The very clear advice on the tiers of play - found both in the PHB (addressed to players) and the DMG (addresed to GMs) - includes the idea that, as PCs progress through the tiers, so the locations where they engage in dramatic deeds also change. A GM who set out to use the door of a burned out shack as a challenge for a demigod; who frames demigods into chandelier-laden challenges against ogres; who has the braziers in Orcus's throne room no different from those in the chieftain's longhall (as opposed to, say, demon skulls filled with darkfire that inflicts both necrotic and fire damage), etc, is disregard...

Tuesday, 13th November, 2018

  • 10:12 AM - pemerton mentioned MwaO in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    What would be required to rebalance the game at paragon and epic levels? MwaO has made a suggestion. I would go further and say "nothing". A PC without a paragon path ends up with 1 less encounter power, 1 less daily power, 1 less utility, and no 11th and 16th level features, which are rougly comparable to a feat. A PC without an epic destiny ends up with 1 less utility power, and no 21st, 24th or 30th level features. The only thing there that will affect "the maths" is losing out on the stat boost which comes with most (not all) 21st level epic destiny features. Having one fewer encounter and daily power, and two fewer utilities, is the 4e equivalent of not having as many magic items in 5e. Any given encounter will be marginally tougher, and exhaustion over the course of the day will set in marginally earlier. Given that the GM in any event has to get a feel for how hard s/he can push the players and their PCs, this difference would just be another element in getting that feel. If one PC has an epic destiny and another doesn't, then that first PC will ...
  • 12:12 AM - pemerton mentioned MwaO in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    Are they optional? Do they provide a power boost that is necessary for the higher levels? From what I remember the books presented them as a non-optional part of character advancement.Hang on - so you don't want superheroics but you do want a power boost? You said this: Epic Destinies are part of the game... you are required to select one... correct? That's not strongly supporting that's requiring it. Sure anything can be changed with enough houserules and reskins but the point is that that isn't easy But in fact it's trivial to just not use an epic destiny. Or, as MwaO pointed out, you might mandate use of the same epic destiny for everyone (eg Destined Scion was mentioned). I think anyone who found that hard wouldn't be up to the task of modifying 5e in the sorts of ways that you and Sadras are saying can be done for those who want play experience X or Y.

Friday, 9th November, 2018

  • 01:26 AM - pemerton mentioned MwaO in post Mike Mearls on how 4E could have looked
    People with pointy sticks, so yeah, Goblins.I don't think that Hercules is seriously challenged by a group of Athenian hoplites surrounding him. Nor Lancelot, for that matter. Nor is Conan if he's able to get his back against a wall but otherwise is pressed by foes. A character who can seriously threaten a demon prince seems to me to be closer to Hercules than Samwise Gamgee in overall power/heroic stature. I think 4e does quite a good job of presenting such a state of affairs. I've got no real opinion on 5e combat other than that the monsters don't seem super-interesting. But 5e non-combat seems to me not to model "tiers" very well, for the sorts of reasons that I and others ( Garthanos, MwaO) have posted. The upshot (it seems to me) is that the DC for a high level fighter shoving his hands into the forge so as to stabilise the magic hammer so that the artificers can grasp it with their tools is impossible.

Tuesday, 17th July, 2018

  • 07:17 PM - Manbearcat mentioned MwaO in post The roots of 4e exposed?
    @MwaO I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with in my post. Can you hone in on the aspect you’re disagreeing with? Are you saying that you don’t believe there are inherent advantages to having closed scene resolution machinery player-facing or there aren’t inherent disadvantages to making the situation only GM facing? If you feel that way, could you maybe talk about other scene-based games that you’ve played and break down how the paradigm of play would change (or not) if the mechanics went from player-facing to opaque or GM-facing only. For instance, what happens in Marvel Heroic? How do players build their dice pools and choose to use them, interact with obstacles, make decisions about dealing with various threats (based on their die size)? 4e has similar analogs with choosing to: -augment with secondary skills (and how mechanically) - deploy Encounter Powers - deploy a Ritual, maybe spend a Daily/Surges/$ = 1/10 of-level magic item - if the situation is dire and they want to pull...

Monday, 25th June, 2018

  • 02:26 PM - darkbard mentioned MwaO in post MwaO's Frankensteins
    Working on any new builds these days, MwaO? Have anything to report about how any of these are working out in play?

Monday, 11th June, 2018

  • 12:25 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned MwaO in post Revised 4E Wizard Class with Freeform Spellcasting System
    ...easily add a Heroic Tier Sustain as a Standard Action (just like Sustain as a Minor at Paragon). See above. You could easily duplicate this, dunno why I never had Unconscious there to begin with although that said (IIRC) I think I left it out simply because I thought it was too powerful. You can have effects without damages. Bigby's = Variable of the Sphere delivery system Fireball = Close enough Stinking Cloud = Only requires a delivery system moved from Paragon Tier - I possibly moved it to begin with for balance issues (can't remember exactly why). Web = Close-ish, but specifically needs a difficult terrain effect - which (I noted in the document) hadn't been designed yet. I disagree. With an extra 1/2 page (or less) we could do absolutely anything. Probably about 3 lines away from doing everything on your above list. I think a little standardization (in terms of ranges etc.) is perfectly acceptable. Honestly, I think it would be interesting to hear someone like MwaO who's got a really good handle on powers and tactics and the subtle trade-offs between different things. There's a LOT MORE GOING ON with 4e powers, particularly wizard ones in PHB1, than you seem to believe. The differences between powers can be quite signficant even for subtle variations. Much of 4e tactics is based on this. For instance you called Thunderwave "overpowered", but you are INCORRECT. Its a good power, but close blast 3 is a very tough thing to use consistently in tactical situations with the rest of the party to consider (you will QUITE often end up hitting at least one ally with it). This reduces the power's potency considerably and puts it on a par with others. Also push CAN be a useful effect, but it can also be utterly worthless much of the time. Similar analysis can be done with other powers, and really only extensive testing and analysis can tease these things out. Yes, you can add rules to include the effects I noted as missing, but I assure you that the addit...

Sunday, 10th June, 2018

  • 03:28 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned MwaO in post Revised 4E Wizard Class with Freeform Spellcasting System
    True in theory, but not in practice. I'm certainly not going to start disputing your experience, but I found this to be quite true in practice! There will always be players who get more of a kick out of exploiting the rules to gain an advantage. The trick is not having loopholes whereby those players always dominate the play. My point is that extensive experience tells that the ONLY way to do that is to make the set of combinations and their effects very limited in significance and to keep tactical considerations fairly secondary, such that there's not much of an advantage to being clever. You cannot 'not have loopholes', not unless your system is exceedingly simplistic, and even yours isn't THAT simple. MwaO has already pretty much broken it once. You can fix each thing he finds, but I guarantee you that by the time you fix all of them, you won't have any more options, maybe less, than an Essentials Slayer. Then it would do in 2 pages everything the core rules currently does in 100+ pages. No, that's my point, it won't even be CLOSE to as much stuff. 4e powers can do a vast, and in fact pretty much open-ended list of possible things. Your system (and I'd look at Slayer as being an example of the same thing, Knight also) doesn't allow for anything like CaGI, or RoS, or RoB, not even to start on the paragon and epic level fighter powers. This is the example which is BEST in your favor, fighter. Every other class is hurting much more. You can't even come close to the flexibility of a 4e Wizard or Cleric. Not even Essentials' designers cracked THAT nut, though I think they may have considered it and tried! I don't see it being as black and white as you suggest, more likely that play...

Sunday, 8th April, 2018

  • 08:31 PM - Joshua Randall mentioned MwaO in post Seeker-Ranger hybrid: +1 Dwarven Thrower vs. +2 vanilla vs. other
    Playing a 4e Seeker-Ranger hybrid using throwing weapons modeled on MwaO 's miscibility table guidebook. Using battleaxe main-hand and handaxe off-hand, so far. Currently 3rd level. Game has turned out to be extremely magic item stingy for RP reasons, so this might be the last time my character finds a magic item for a while. I have the opportunity to take a Common or Uncommon item up to level 5 *or* a +2 vanilla magic weapon. So that means: a +1 dwarven thrower weapon, or a +2 vanilla weapon, or something else (see below for the 'else' items). I see a lot of advice that this type of character benefits from a Dwarven Thrower weapon. Pop it on a Waraxe or an Ugrosh and you get to throw a much bigger dX than the wimpy handaxe's d6. Plus claim the +1 attack with a 'thrown' weapon from the Seeker. Alternatively a +2 vanilla handaxe would of course have a higher attack/damage than a +1 anything else. Other items I've looked at are: Shadowdance Armor - to be able to RBA (Biting Swarm) or Throw & Stab from in melee without provoking OAs. Power Je...

Tuesday, 9th January, 2018

  • 05:09 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned MwaO in post A gathering of Martial Controllers - what do you think
    I am not sure, I actually intend it to be the same as scale or of negligible difference, I want to have varied stats that do not have to pump hugely into a particular secondary one of the rarely mentioned benefits of heavy armor. I seem to recall the optimization crew going for plate for fighters not scale. Additionally can't that Rogue easily have better than the above with his primary attribute using hide and an offhand defensive dagger with his rapier? Hide has some check penalties that Rogues probably don't like, which is supposed to keep them in leather. At that point things like TWD, defensive dagger/parrying dagger/spiked shield can provide an equivalent AC (though obviously you still get something by moving to hide, except it requires a feat, which I'm pretty sure works out that you don't really come out ahead). I'm sure MwaO could shed more light on the exact details of all that.... I don't recall plate being especially attractive to fighters actually. You will get a point of AC, but again at the cost of a feat, and with scale you can pick up an ancillary benefit to another defense instead, which largely makes up for the point of AC anyway. I'm sure there are some fighter builds where plate is a good choice, but they aren't the most common ones AFAIK. IMHO plate armor was basically designed to be a sort of stealth class feature for paladins, though its not really one that gives them a distinct advantage per-se. Its more of the 'fighters are gritty warriors, paladins are shiny knights!' sort of optics. Truly 4e seems to go far out of its way with these little mechanical subtleties to create flavor without actually just plain coming out and laying its cards on the table. Never was a fan of that aspect of the game...

Tuesday, 26th December, 2017

  • 05:08 PM - darkbard mentioned MwaO in post Fey Beguiling vs. Sly Gambit [Now with multiple, albeit eccentric, builds!]
    MwaO 's clear insight got me thinking that it would be a good idea to post a full build here to see if others might spot some fuzzy thinking on my part. Some prefatory notes: This isn't an attempt to build a powerhouse CharOp build but rather a solid character that stays within concept (a Drow Cleric who serves the Leader role in the group), contributes both in combat and in Skill Challenges (the game would hypothetically be split between the two--nearly all of game play divided pretty evenly between combat scenarios and SCs), and ameliorate the Cleric's clear weakness as a Leader: enabling allies. Other group members: Controller Half-elf Vestige Warlock (build within a few threads of this), Halfling Rogue party face, Half-Orc Two-blade Ranger. Since Drow are DEX/WIS and Clerics really can have any score as a secondary, I decided to maximize the ability bonus to DEX and build around movement and initiative rather than go the INT route (which would open Flame of Hope; but, then ...

Sunday, 17th September, 2017

  • 03:49 AM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned MwaO in post What was the final clarification for the timing issues of Divine Challenge and Divine Sanction?
    The trigger is not targets. The trigger is an attack power that doesn't include you as a target. Resolve the attack power. Attack powers are resolved through a sequence of STEPS however, of which targeting (IE declaring the target(s) of the attack) is IIRC the FIRST step, followed by attack roll(s), and then allocation of damage. The pre-RC interpretation which was considered fairly canonical on Q&A was basically the Tony Vargas interpretation, the effect is triggered as soon as the attacker declares targets and they don't include the paladin. However, as MwaO alludes to there is an errata which states that any effect which has no explicit interrupt timing is considered a reaction (and thus takes place entirely after the triggering effect completes) unless this interpretation would make said effect void (in which case it will then have interrupt speed). This was a quite overbroad and highly fraught errata. There are MANY things which it doesn't explicitly nullify, and yet it makes them virtually worthless, leading to a preposterous amount of wrangling and argument. Admittedly, there were a few corner-cases that it solved, but at a big cost IMHO. It was one of the MANY "errata that should not be" that sprang forth from WotC in the later days of 4e. Still, I don't think DC/DS is one of the things this errata screwed over. I think they still work fine, they just might not negate an attack in this one corner case. Their major purpose in any case is to inflict Defender punishment damage on enemies ignoring the paladin, and they still do this ...

Wednesday, 21st June, 2017

  • 07:13 PM - Garthanos mentioned MwaO in post Two Fisted Swordmage Build?
    The Swordmage problem is only eclipsed by Monks - who literally have almost no mechanical incentive to do anything other than hold items in both hands... so when I make the Martial Artist class he needs a penality of some sort if he doesnt have his hands free/open? MwaO or just a benefit dependent on having the hand free in more 4E style

Monday, 10th April, 2017

  • 01:08 AM - darkbard mentioned MwaO in post Maximizing Traveler's Harlequin's Master of Many Paths
    Tinkering around with the idea of Traveler's Harlequin as the PP for a Rogue MC Sorcerer based off an earlier discussion with MwaO. What are some possible ways to best exploit the ability to pick up additional MCs via the F11 via combos, etc? Master of Many Paths (11th level): You can choose class-specific multiclass feats from more than one class. You gain one additional feat, which must be a class-specific multiclass feat.

Saturday, 11th March, 2017

  • 10:12 PM - AbdulAlhazred mentioned MwaO in post Combats and Ressources (again...) - How to condense Adventures
    I think what MwaO and Tony Vargas are both basically saying is, once you cut out half the encounters, so its now a 5 combat encounter module, you'll be able to to present it as a one character day adventure, and it will be just as challenging as it was intended to be. Now, this might require re-arranging some of the plot somehow. I don't know, I actually never got around to reading or running the module myself, so I just don't know. If there's some travel involved and it was originally 5 encounters, travel for a day, 5 more encounters, then maybe you need to do something a bit more creative. Maybe its easy enough to make the travel just a minor thing that takes a couple hours and not a day. Or you can eliminate all the encounters in one of the areas (or maybe turn them into a very trivial minion kind of single encounter maybe just for plot purposes).

Sunday, 26th February, 2017

  • 08:02 PM - darkbard mentioned MwaO in post Skill Utilities and Their Impact on Play
    MwaO, quite a skilled optimizer, has begun a guide rating Skill Powers from an optimization perspective that should prove an ideal complement to this thread! http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?527270-I-ve-Got-That-Utility-Skill-Power-Guide&prefixid=wotc


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Sunday, 9th June, 2019

  • 01:37 AM - Tony Vargas quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    . Every time there's Dark Sun being brought up, I almost always hear someone complaining they can't play a Divine PC. Then they pick something else anyway. Nerds will be Nerds, I guess. ;) Really, i see that contrary impulse in myself pretty clearly, and all too often...

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019

  • 11:02 PM - Tony Vargas quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Player: "Well, I really had my heart set on a Cleric..." … said no D&D player, ever. ;) OK, maybe not none, ever, but, relatively few, and even fewer who have ever been frustrated in that ambition, since the traditional Cleric was the perfect fusion of utter necessity (only source of CLW @1st level, old-school undead encounters assumed Turning and were overwhelming without it) and complete lack of appeal (mace-wielding, pseudo-Christian, Van Helsing?). ... And, Source was a keyword, so you couldn't(shouldn't?) really re-skin it. A point of Dark Sun was no Gods, and you could excise the Divine Source from 4e without the devastating repercussions of traditional D&D sans the all-important Cleric. Ardents & Warlords could admirably fill the leader role for any Dark Sun party. No need of Clerics (or Shamans or Veiled Society Bards or Defiler Artificers, though that last might be interesting, very Mad Max...) That was one of the real strengths of Source/Role, if a setting did...
  • 06:47 AM - thanson02 quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    They both do and they don't: Mechanically, fire is fire. Pretty much in every edition. Interpretatively, in every edition, the DM decided what they wanted fire to do. 4e's only real difference here is that 4e suggests that the DM talk to the players and tell them the kind of campaign they want to run and to get table agreement on it. And some DMs interpreted that as meaning the DMG was trying to take away the DM's power, when it was really saying, "Hey, we realize, some D&D players can get really passive-aggressive. Why don't we get everything understood so no one decides to blow up the campaign because they've been secretly pissed off for the past two months?" Player: "Well, I really had my heart set on a Cleric, but this is Dark Sun? Thought divine PCs weren't allowed..." DM: "Nope, divine PCs are fine, but have to tune to various elemental spirits rather than deities." Player: "Oh, ok, that's great!" vs Player(sullenly muttering unintelligibly under breath about 'Stupid Dark Sun'): "...

Monday, 3rd June, 2019

  • 10:21 AM - thanson02 quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Basically, it is more of a social problem than anything else. You have to make your players understand that failing a skill challenge can be a really good thing and make them excited to see what happens if they win or fail it. And figure out if your players want more roleplaying or more combat and get honest answers from them. This is one thing that I noticed from my disagreements with folks who hate 4E (also, this has become a long thread, so if someone else brought this up and I missed it, cool :cool: ) is the narrative focus of 4E. It is very cinematic in style. The flavor text of the exploits and spells clearly states how these things look when they are done and it, at least for me, allowed me to really explain what is going on in a cinematic way. Also, as a player I love to look at the flavor text and visualize how my character performs his exploits (like the fighters) so I can describe to the party what he does, instead of rattling off a list of abilities playing out. Also, as a...

Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

  • 05:58 PM - Tony Vargas quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Right. I think one of the things that 4e implicitly does and almost veers into explicit, is the idea that the 'dying' state in D&D is a Schrodinger's Cat kind of scenario. In other words, someone who is dying, we don't actually know if they're dying or not. Yep. Particularly if you're delving deep into what hps might be 'modeling,' you determine that they're, well, non-deterministic. Because, /really/ RPGs don't model the imagined world - 'realistic' ones /try/ to, of course, but it's futile. Because the imagined world isn't real, it can't be modeled, there's no way to check your model's accuracy or use it to make predictions. Instead, it'd be closer to the truth to say that, if modeling anything, RPGs model stories in their genre. A 'main' (or ensemble or even supporting or 'name' villain) character is hit and goes down. There's a moment (or few) of tension for the viewer, as we go "yeah, there's no way they're killing him off... oh, well, maybe they're going for a GoT thing... ...

Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019

  • 07:19 PM - Tony Vargas quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Sure I can. The Ogre hits on a 12 when taking normally unacceptable risks, on a 20 when taking acceptable risks. It judges the normally unacceptable risks as acceptable because it realizes it won't contribute at all if it doesn't do that. Options like that go way back. I mean, 3e had 'fighting defensively,' sure, but back in the day DMs would assign all sorts of modifiers. Before there even was a barbarian, one DM I played with would let you 'rage' (I don't think he called it that) getting an attack bonus & taking an AC penalty - something my Druid in his game did on a number of occasions, because Celtic warriors, though not the notorious berserkers, were known for such things, and I was trying to break the hippie stereotype too many players had of the class back then. In 4e, I pulled a trick like we're talking about doing with monsters, but with NPCs, once. In a adventure-within-an-adventure scenario, the regular PCs were trying to obtain the aid of guest-PC wizard, who was semi-r...

Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 07:40 PM - Saelorn quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Sure I can. The Ogre hits on a 12 when taking normally unacceptable risks, on a 20 when taking acceptable risks. It judges the normally unacceptable risks as acceptable because it realizes it won't contribute at all if it doesn't do that.Well, I'll give you this: That's an entirely new argument. It's not a good argument, by any means, but it's new. An ogre can't choose to become susceptible to instant death, in exchange for increasing its accuracy. Even if it's assuming a reckless fighting style (which is represented through other mechanics, and doesn't change your HP total directly), that wouldn't make them susceptible to death through random spider bites and curses. An impact or energy transfer that only deals 1 damage would be utterly incapable of killing an elephant, even if the elephant is asking for it. And even if an ogre could choose to have 1hp, though, why would it? If these ogres are acting in the capacity of underling, then an underling with 111hp is far more valuable than...

Monday, 20th May, 2019

  • 10:53 PM - Saelorn quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Err, that's not exactly what the person was talking about. Basically, if you're using an at-will, you should be able to defeat low level creatures really fast.If they aren't talking about the fighter's basic attack with a longbow, then they aren't addressing the issue I'd raised. I was giving them the benefit of the doubt. The decision is automatically made by the DM based on the PC's level. High level fight? Minion. Low level fight? Standard. Done. An 8th level Standard Ogre Savage as an example is the same creature as a 16th level Ogre Bludgeoneer.You're not saying anything new here. A high-level minion will die the first time it's impacted by a single arrow, and a lower-level standard enemy will not. A fighter at level 12 (or 22, or 30) can kill a level 16 ogre bludgeoneer by shooting it with an arrow, but can't kill a level 8 ogre savage with the same shot. So, what's the truth? How grievous an injury can this ogre actually sustain, before it collapses? Or are you honestly claiming t...
  • 09:08 PM - Saelorn quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Here's the general rule of thumb about at-will damage: If you're a striker in 4e, you ought to be doing your level*2 damage. Creatures gain 8 hp per level, so if you gain 2 every level, you kill an at-level standard in the same number of hits.You're talking about strikers, though. I'm talking about characters of that level, in general. The assertion was that any arrow from a level 16 character would deal enough damage to kill a level 1 goblin, which is why it should be fair to model them as a minion, since they're dead in one hit either way. Rogues and Rangers aren't the only ones capable of firing a bow, and my fighter can definitely kill a level 16 minion far more easily than a level 1 standard goblin. That's even more true of wizards. In practice, strikers wouldn't want to spend their attacks on minions, since their bonus damage would wasted. Minions are exactly the sort of thing that wizards are supposed to deal with, specifically because wizards are good at dealing trivial damage o...

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 08:53 PM - Scoops quoted MwaO in post Get WotC 4e's Online Character Builder to work or get a sub
    You shouldn't have to make a new account I'd think then. Just curious, did you try it with the Sea Monkey browser? That digital river purchase site is really old code, maybe there's some silverlight in it somewhere. Also, if you don't want to try something new and strange, like downloading a new piece of software, try IE11. It's what I use for this (and only this). Win + R, type "iexplore.exe" into the box and hit enter. Yes, I've tried Sea Monkey, Safari, IE, Chrome and Firefox. I've cleared cache and cookies in each one. I've gone to the link on the first page to try and buy a sub and to my subscription history to renew a lapsed sub (which is what I did in the past). Every time the same point of failure: when it asks me to log in again, it says "waiting for store.digitalriver.com", then it directs me to https://store.digitalriver.com/DRHM/store and shows a blank page with a 504 error, saying the page took too long to respond.
  • 12:22 PM - Scoops quoted MwaO in post Get WotC 4e's Online Character Builder to work or get a sub
    I'd either ask them to relink your old account(because they changed accounts at some point after the forums died) or just make a new account. I think that's a lot easier, especially if as an example, you're just using Sea Monkey's browser for just DDI. Then you don't have to worry about changing logins on your usual browser. I'm not sure if that works(because no one has told me if that's what they did and I already have an account...), but I think that should be a lot easier. I tried making a new account, the same thing happens: whenever I go to purchase a subscription and it asks me to log in again for confirmation, hitting the log in button just times out. For reference, on my old account, I had a subscription as recently as August 2018.

Tuesday, 5th March, 2019

  • 04:35 PM - Celebrim quoted MwaO in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    It is really strange that a 20th level PCs would ever be assumed to not improve at things that they saw for 19th levels, even if they themselves didn't do that. I think it is abundantly realistic that a 20th level incompetent is roughly as skilled as a 1st level expert in all things. The problem with the word realistic is the same that it has been since its ubiquitous use in the 1980's, namely that too often 'realistic' is used to pretend that subjective preferences are objective truths. Can you rationalize the 4e system to create in game meaning for the rules? Sure. You can go further and suggest it has verisimilitude to certain sorts of genre. But you can't actually prove that it is 'realistic'. You can pretty much apply this to any skill in the book. Or not. You're arguing here with someone else that isn't me who said things I didn't say. That's quite possible, but whether you are aware it or not, you are edging into one of the most divisive issues on the EnWorld f...

Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 11:59 PM - Saelorn quoted MwaO in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    You might want to check out page 274 in DMG. Monsters literally increase defenses and to-hit at the exact same rate that PCs are expected to get bonuses in defenses, to-hit and attack.The difference is that 4E assumed you would only fight things of roughly-equal level, while 5E characters are supposed to fight things of any level up to their own. A fighter in 4E needs their +3 weapon to stay on track with expected foes, while a fighter in 5E can keep using their +1 weapon forever, and won't notice anything wrong in most instances. While the latter character will be relatively less accurate than they probably should be against harder foes, the fact that at-level encounters are less frequent means that there's not a huge sample size for that deficiency to make itself felt.
  • 09:07 PM - Celebrim quoted MwaO in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    All 4e does is represent the mechanical reality of hp in D&D as per Gygax. Let's not start that again. 4e models a very different reality than the one 1e does, not the least of which is Gygax never suggested that hit points ought to be easily recoverable from a night's rest. Let's not pretend otherwise. You can fully describe the reality that 4e models and defend it without resulting to spurious claims that it isn't any different than the one modelled by 1e. There are two huge differences. And while it is true that every edition is horrible at modeling injuries and generally does not try, injuries in 4e are actively deprecated as even a thing. There is a scale to this. There are differences in degree. The last thing we need is to resurrect one of the great battles of the edition war, namely, that 4e was actually truer to 1e than 3e had been.
  • 06:22 PM - wingsandsword quoted MwaO in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    4e is extremely good at modeling realistic expertise. A 20th level Wizard can auto-succeed on Arcana checks that would be expected to be difficult for 1st level Wizard to succeed at doing. Or a 20th level Rogue disarming a trap that might end up with a poisoned 1st level Rogue. And you'll never end up with a scenario where an untrained incompetent beats out the supercompetent expert with any consistency. The only way to get realistic expertise as a default of the system is to tell DMs what DCs will make the expert feel like an expert. And then build your encounters accordingly. If you don't do that, you'll end up with the Bounded Accuracy article's example of verisimilitude where the incompetent Next PC succeeds at opening the Iron Shod Door 15% of the time and the Next expert succeeds slightly more than twice that at 35% of the time. Which is completely without realism even as it is touted as such. Yet it's utterly awful in modelling injuries. Get mauled to within an inch of your li...
  • 06:18 PM - Celebrim quoted MwaO in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    4e is extremely good at modeling realistic expertise. A 20th level Wizard can auto-succeed on Arcana checks that would be expected to be difficult for 1st level Wizard to succeed at doing. Or a 20th level Rogue disarming a trap that might end up with a poisoned 1st level Rogue. And you'll never end up with a scenario where an untrained incompetent beats out the supercompetent expert with any consistency. The only way to get realistic expertise as a default of the system is to tell DMs what DCs will make the expert feel like an expert. And then build your encounters accordingly. If you don't do that, you'll end up with the Bounded Accuracy article's example of verisimilitude where the incompetent Next PC succeeds at opening the Iron Shod Door 15% of the time and the Next expert succeeds slightly more than twice that at 35% of the time. Which is completely without realism even as it is touted as such. I agree with the overall thrust of your observation, although I think you confuse your...
  • 05:23 PM - billd91 quoted MwaO in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    5e math is literally 4e/2 math. You should expect a level 20 fighter to get a +3 magic weapon if you play in a 'typical campaign' ala page 133 of DMG, which makes the increase from levels 1-20 usually +9 additional(+2 stat, +4 proficiency, +3 weapon), where in 4e, you'd expect it likely to be +18 additional(+2.5 stat, +10 level, +4 weapon, +2 expertise). Ditto for important skills, which are +2+4 vs +2.5+10 or +6 vs +12. The big difference is 4e is super-transparent about expectations and 5e is trying to thread the needle of OSR people believing Bounded Accuracy wasn't abandoned and everyone else doing numbers as expected by running a 'typical campaign'. Which creates some problems when not everyone at WotC is aware of what Jeremy Crawford did, such as Adventurers League which hands out too many magic items, which then breaks numbers. Looking at the math in 4e without also looking at the target side makes it an incomplete picture. 5e is literally not 4e math in the sense that it is...

Friday, 1st March, 2019

  • 11:48 PM - Arikabeth quoted MwaO in post 4e ask a simple question, get a simple answer
    "Retraining doesn’t allow replacing a power that has no level, such as a cleric’s healing word; a power designated as a feature; or a power gained from a paragon path or an epic destiny. If a power has no level but you chose it from a list of powers, you can replace it with a different power from that list." So Death's Shadow falls into a weird category of 'Power gained from Domain Features'. You probably shouldn't be able to retrain it, but I can't possibly think of what's the harm in allowing an Essentials PC to pick powers from the same list as other members of the same class. It has a level, so that should be okay. I'd be more leery with Binder being allowed to retrain the accidentally leveled at-will into a regular Warlock at-will, though. Thanks for the reply! I'm still a tad confused by the wording on the warpriest domain powers though. On page 88 in HotFL it says "level 1 domain feature: benefit: You gain benefits associated with your domain, which include special featu...

Sunday, 24th February, 2019

  • 11:47 AM - Raith5 quoted MwaO in post Why do people still play older editions of D&D? Are they superior to the current one?
    I think 5e can be expressed as 'Greatest Hits Edition' in many ways. . If you play previous editions for 'education' (rather than fun), I think the value of doing so is that it will give a you a better sense of the strengths and limitations of 5e. I have played all the editions of D&D and I think 5e's success is capturing the good elements of many editions, and really streamlining everything, even though it did indeed cut back on the options for PCs (compared to 3e and 4e). Playing previous editions also can enable you to draw in good game elements or ideas from previous editions.

Friday, 1st February, 2019

  • 11:33 PM - Teemu quoted MwaO in post In Defense of 4E - a New Campaign Perspective
    Good skill challenges have interesting consequences for failure — either way, you got to talk to the duke, but now the stronger noble is your enemy instead of the currently weaker one. And if you plan that twist out in advance, you'll get a lot of great ideas for where the campaign can go. Basically, it is more of a social problem than anything else. You have to make your players understand that failing a skill challenge can be a really good thing and make them excited to see what happens if they win or fail it. And figure out if your players want more roleplaying or more combat and get honest answers from them. I think this is spot on and sometimes missed when discussing skill challenges. Interesting failures are incredibly important when implementing skill challenges.


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