View Profile: Li Shenron - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Today, 10:54 AM
    I just focus on important spells. I've never played 5e at high level, but I would write down a list of maybe 10 spells prepared and ignore the rest as if the NPC had prepared other spells for out-of combat use. Of those 10 or so, I would focus on highest level spells. If the battle lasts so long that the NPC runs out of slots and has to use low level spells, he either tries to flee or I...
    21 replies | 712 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Today, 10:36 AM
    I was with you all the way to here, but this is where you lose me: acting very much is roleplaying. An actor, pretty much no matter what else might be involved, universally does one thing while on stage or screen: plays a role.
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Today, 10:26 AM
    The quote tags in the post I'm replying to here are a bit of a hot mess, so if some quoted bits don't quite make sense it ain't my doing. :) Aye, that I was. Because it's a great big setting out there with lots of stuff in it? Why wouldn't she? And sometimes she'll be right, and sometimes she won't; and the same can be said for the players. The players control the fiction by what they...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Leif's Avatar
    Today, 04:13 AM
    Posting is going to be iffy for me for awhile now: Today was my first day of six days of work in a row. I may be able to post some late in the day, if I have any energy left to work on my character, or I may just be totally wiped out from heat and effort. It's like an oven outside here, and the humidity is diabolically high. Hell and Arizona have nothing on Arkansas -- those are dry heats. ...
    1386 replies | 84416 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:45 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Er...in 1e splint-and-shield by RAW gives AC 3, doesn't it? (and by common house rule where shields give 2 AC points, that'd be AC 2). That's going to lower the odds of hitting a bit, and thus the DPR.
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:41 PM
    Agreed - it's one of PF's better productions, and largely adaptable to almost any system with a bit of work. Well, this assumes both players and PCs are looking at things first and foremost in terms of DPR and so forth rather than characterization and flavour...which kinda brings up a peeve of mine, that being players who only view their characters in terms of how much damage they can give out...
    146 replies | 5231 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:25 PM
    Quite right, and most often it will be. My point is simply to say that there's no good reason that it always has to be, hence my example of looking for one thing in the Duke's desk and finding another.
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:23 PM
    For any number of reasons, some that you might like and some you might not: - to introduce new or unexpected elements to the fiction (whether pre-authored or generated on the fly) - to give the players (as their PCs) something new or different to think about; or to get them thinking a bit more outside the box - to, in the specific example given, point out there's more than one way to...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:27 AM
    Fair enough. I'm coming from an old-school background where sometimes it's the healer that's down and if you don't get that potion into him half the party are hooped... :)
    146 replies | 5231 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:15 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Our body-fatigue point system (developed in about 1983) ends up working almost the same. Everyone - even peasants - has body points; for humans these are rolled on a d5 with a Con-based minimum (2 unless your Con is truly awful, 3 if it's pretty good; and a lower roll becomes set to the minimum) and are locked in for life unless some tragedy like losing a limb permanently alters them. Your...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:09 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Tony Vargas , to compare apples to apples, what happens if you put up your happy little 1st-level Fighter against its clone (i.e. another Fighter-1 with all numbers exactly the same) in each edition?
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:02 AM
    If memory serves, I believe IRL that if an unconscious person is put into the correct position to avoid choking it is in fact possible to get a liquid into him-her, as swallowing is a reflexive action much like breathing. Given that, no reason not to allow it in the game. :)
    146 replies | 5231 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:59 AM
    Er...in my example the PC does achieve what she hoped for: she found incriminating evidence against the Duke. That the evidence didn't take the exact form specified in the action declaration doesn't reduce the success, or turn it into a failure - and that's just my point: a roll of success gives success, but the GM should have some latitude to narrate what form that success takes if something...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Leif's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 10:53 PM
    I don't know, the chargen just wasn't flowing for me today. I don't know, I just don't know....
    1386 replies | 84416 view(s)
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  • Leif's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:59 PM
    Devon Shield, Half-Elf Druid / Ranger / Guardian
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 08:45 PM
    Not quite, in my view. When the roll shows 'success' the GM is bound by that to narrate a successul outcome...of some sort. This successful outcome doesn't (or at least IMO shouldn't) necessarily have to directly match what the player had in mind* as long as the narration reflects an overall success for the PC. My example above, though not the best, tries to show this: the search doesn't...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 16th July, 2019, 09:13 AM
    I have to say no in at least 80-90% of the games I've played. Most of the times IMXP a PC race has only a minor and very occasional impact on the story, such as providing some benefit in character interaction (e.g. you have an Elf in the party so you can try ask support from local elves for a shortcut through the forest) or otherwise an impediment (you can't really take a half-orc into the...
    102 replies | 3370 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:29 PM
    Technically true, though the 1e DMG also in various places says - in flowery Gygaxian prose, of course - the much-more-to-the-point Burning Wheel edict you quote below. It also suggests (more than once, I think!) that rule changes be carefully thought through before implementation, wich rather goes against the notion of changing rules on a whim. In general this is fine - 'don't be a dick'...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 10:02 PM
    The Book of Erotic Fantasy very vaguely - and IMO very badly - waved at this, but that was it as far as I recall (though I'll freely admit that there was probably a lot of d20-era stuff that passed me by and-or never even made it to this market). This was one of my many great disappointments with the BoEF, in fact; that it didn't go much more deeply into fantasy-race inter-breeding, genetics,...
    146 replies | 5231 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:51 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Per round was everywhere, as most things couldn't be used or done more than once per round anyway...and that hasn't really changed. We've both house-ruled in that some spells can only be cast once a week and added various magical devices that only do their thing once per week or per month (or in one currently-existing case per year, though the item's owner hasn't figured this out yet). ...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:42 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    If one assumes that the party in each game loses few enough hit points per day on average that the characters all survive until tomorrow, then the comparison is valid...except: In 5e you can be at 3 h.p. and lose a boatload of 'em, but you'll only go to 0 whereupon you'll fall over and start making death saves and during that time someone can cure you up. What this means is that any attempted...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:31 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Interesting. I always thought this was an ancient house rule adopted before I started playing - never knew it had an official basis. I can think of gobs of per-day things and even a few x-per-hour devices but I can't for the life of me think of anything that recharged after a turn.
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 09:13 PM
    Even though this thread's in 'General RPG', given that historically D&D has represented more or less 80% of the RPG market and player base (and still does) talking primarily about anything else is going to quickly send much of the potential readership off elsewhere. Using other systems for comparison is great. Ignoring the primary system, however, seems a bit foolish. Good question. To...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:53 PM
    This to me is a false premise, in that not all (or even all that many) challenges need only have two clear mutually-exclusive outcomes to still be defined as challenges. Outcomes often run on a scale, with highly-desireable at one end and highly-undesireable at the other and a whole lot of other options in between. Which is fine provided it's done within the framework of the game mechanics. ...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 08:11 PM
    This leads into a whole other field of study, should one be so inclined, and that's to go through the Monster Manual, find all the cross-breed races (e.g. Tabaxi is part human, part cat), and then from there figure out what can in theory breed with what and-or have what in its bloodlines. Can, for example, a half-orc breed with a half-elf and produce an offspring that is genetically 1/4 elf, 1/4...
    146 replies | 5231 view(s)
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  • Leif's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 03:41 PM
    I remember Shayuri as being one of the best, most reliable posters on ENWorld, so I'd say something has definitely happened. But it may be as simple as a computer problem.
    1386 replies | 84416 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 15th July, 2019, 11:03 AM
    Somewhat surprised to see more than one mention here of non-LG Paladins being a pet peeve, where my biggest gripe with them up until recently was the opposite: that they could only be LG. Reason this was a problem was that their rigid codes etc. very much restricted what alignments/classes/character types other players could hope to play. With Paladins having more than one alignment option, a...
    146 replies | 5231 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:52 PM
    To answer a few of those: 2. Because once the eggs hatch the feeding-the-young process might be largely mammalian. Nothing says Gith biology has to have anything to do with our own... :) 3. Same way electric eels in the real world do it, or a close variant. 1 and 4, though... :) As for mine:
    146 replies | 5231 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:39 PM
    See below... Agreed with the second part of the above quote - speeding up combat can make a big difference. But the first bit I'd take some issue with. Sure, at campaign start the players/PCs might be presented with five objectives...but is that all they're allowed? What happens if they find (or invent) a 6th and a 7th? I'll try to dream up an example here - forgive me if it's not the...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 11:12 PM
    To save quoting a bunch of recent posts and replying line by line, I'll just sum up with this: The title of the thread - "Players choose what their PCs do" - almost sums the whole thing up before we start. Put it instead as "Barring external pressures e.g. magic or game mechanics, players always choose what their PCs (attempt to) do and always choose what/how their PC thinks and-or feels"...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:36 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    If 5e had really lived up to the degree of modularity promised during design and playtest it might actually have been nicely on its way to being just the system you posit is impossible: a functionally complete system that'll keep GM B happy but fully modular and kit-bashable such that GM A can mold it into the game she wants to run without too many unforeseen knock-ons. But, that modularity...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:28 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    To make 5e play the least bit old-school you'd have to change some rules too, so it goes both ways. There's many examples, but I'll just start and end with resting and recovery rules...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 09:25 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    And then far too often take all that information and somehow use it to make the wrong decision, often for reasons external to the actual process (in RPG design, it might be furthering of an idea just because it's yours even though objectively it's not the best; in the corporate world it might be choosing an objectively lesser design because it's more profitable...that sort of thing). Question...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 14th July, 2019, 08:59 AM
    However - and this seems to be getting ignored here - in choosing which side you win on you're also choosing which side you lose on (which, to reverse your words above, also means you cannot succeed this challenge); and in the RPG sense it's most likely the chosen loss that'll have the consequences attached. And yet again I ask you: does every challenge have to be a binary succeed-fail affair?...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Leif's Avatar
    Saturday, 13th July, 2019, 02:31 PM
    Thorn is gone? What happened?
    1386 replies | 84416 view(s)
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  • Leif's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 09:34 PM
    I've done some reading about chargen and so forth, since I have little or no memory of my previous time in the game. I think I want to play a Druid named Devon Shield who quickly became disillusioned with the way that people and other creatures were misusing the natural world. He decided that he couldn't just stand idly by and so became a Ranger. When he attained mythic status, his call was to...
    1386 replies | 84416 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 06:20 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    In any era players pretty much always had agency over their own characters - or should have (more on this below) - which is fine. As time has gone on, however, players have slowly been given more agency over and access to things and rules beyond their characters - which is not fine. That said, a part of player agency over their characters is being allowed to play what you-as-player want...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:09 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    No, sadly, it's highly relevant: someone who cheats at char-gen is much more likely to cheat at other times. Best to nip it in the bud right from square one and have done with it. Hardly the first time I've been in the minority... :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 05:04 AM
    Why does it have to be limited to a binary pass-fail outcome, is my question. Having the goals of getting the piece of pumpkin pie and getting the piece of apple pie leads to at least four possible outcomes: 1. You get both. 2. You get apple but not pumpkin. 3. You get pumpkin but not apple. 4. You get neither. And this is ignoring any nuances and-or repercussions arising from any...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:46 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    This assumes one can select the spells that end up in one's book. In 1e you could pick a few spells (or have them rolled random) when starting out at 1st level, but after that it was all based on what you could find (via loot) or buy or swap with other PC MUs...and you had to roll to learn each one, with low intelligence making this roll more difficult.
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:43 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    We don't start brand new groups very often but we're always reshuffling the lineups within the parties that are out there. Yeah, sometimes a character visualizes better than it plays - I've had several of these over time, and I either retire them or get them killed off once I realize that whatever I had in mind just ain't gonna work. The flip side, though, is when a character that really...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 04:39 AM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    And people love it! That is, if the eagerness with which any Deck of Many Things is greeted is anything to go by.
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:53 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Not necessarily - I've had parties take their dead back to some major temple in town and pay for a raise way way WAY before they were anywhere near 9th level. :) That said, getting access to raise in the field is very much a tipping point for long-term character survivability. Yes, but your example was of someone with Con 17, which is a high-90's resurrection chance.
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:48 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Over the years I've had many wishes cast in my games and of those I can only remember one that was specifically cast to improve a stat...and even then only after a fashion: the character wished he was psionic. But I've never had a problem with devices, tomes, etc. showing up that increase stats. It feels much more like an in-fiction reward for adventuring than any sort of auto-increment...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:40 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Rolled on the table in full view of everyone else? I'll guess not. It goes beyond that - in old school much more so than new, there's always the underlying threat (or promise?) that some effect from some random table or randomly-generated device somewhere might completely change your character: alignment change, stat change, race or class change, etc. Put another way, there's an overall...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 10:27 PM
    Lanefan replied to OSR Gripes
    Er...only if it had a penalty due to a very low Con score. An 11th level Fighter in 1e as written would have 9d10+6 h.p. The average on a d10 roll is 5.5; 9 of those gives 49 (rounding down) + 6 for a total of 55 h.p. And just how many Fighters made it all the way to 11th without dying once or twice? Remember, in 1e every revival ocst you a Con point...
    231 replies | 7901 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:29 PM
    Levelling 1st to max in 10-12 sessions would mean level-ups about twice per session, thus your players would spend half of each session bookkeeping and rewriting their character sheets. That, and such a campaign would have to be on a pretty hard railroad to prevent players from (oh the horror!) deciding to veer off-story and maybe explore the setting a bit deeper...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 09:21 PM
    Given a decent level of immersion there shouldn't be all that much difference between the two. Not all tests are strictly pass-fail. Sometimes all options lead to varying degrees of failure and-or success e.g. choosing the lesser of two (or more) evils. The questing knight, for example. Forget Excalibur for a moment, and let's just say he's on a quest to retrieve a McGuffin. (let's for...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:55 PM
    AFAIC all of those are fair play - I've had effects crop up in my games over the years that have done all these things. One easy example of a forced change to character concept is a forced alignment change e.g. from a Helm of Opposite Alignment. But that's both mechanical and forced. I think the type of challenge being brought up here is less (or not at all) mechanical or mechanics-based....
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 08:35 PM
    Yes, and IMO that's an outright glaring error in how 4e handles these things. Put another way, it dredges up the old glass-cannon monster design issue from 1e and dials it up to 11. Why in the name of sweet bejeebers would a designer take a known problem and intentionally make it worse? Not bizarre at all. I'm saying it's mkstaken because to make that system work one has to make a...
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  • Leif's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 07:29 PM
    Average HP? Gear per the standard PF chart? Never mind, found it.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:05 AM
    Correct: they are not the same. The latter describes an action, the former tries to tie a result to it. The key word there is IF, which remains undetermined until-unless game mechanics resolve. After that happens and it's determined that the wink succeeded in melting her heart then yes, you can bundle action and result together. Which means describing the result before this point is...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:54 AM
    And by that we can reasonably extrapolate that for game purposes a cave troll has lots of hit points and-or a high Con score. Each reflects the other. Just as you can't say a creature described as being particularly tough (relative to other creatures) in the fiction doesn't have lots of hit points, you can't say a creature with lots of hit points (relative to other creatures) isn't tough. ...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 12:40 AM
    (chart snipped to save space) The chart says how many events were offered but doesn't say how many of them sold out, or got cancelled due to not enough interest. It's a decent guide to who was willing to run what type of game but not so useful in gauging player interest. 2003 was my first GenCon and I'll freely admit to not remembering much of it (I ran on about 8 hours total sleep over 4+...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:41 AM
    Never mind that their odds of making that resurrection survival roll keep dropping along with their Con scores...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:26 AM
    Agreed so far. Oddly enough, it's not the GM's notes that are put in jeopardy here: it's the player's notes. :) Why, you ask? Because one expects that a player is going to have some sort of basic idea about what makes a character tick, and will maybe even have some notes to that effect e.g.: Chastain rose to knighthood from the common ranks, and though he tries to be noble he cannot...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 09:14 AM
    Hit points per se aren't a part of the game world but what they describe - a creature's general degree of toughness and resilience - is. Take a typical ogre. They're usually pretty tough and can take a few solid hits from pretty much any other ogre before going down - this is represented in game mechanics by their usually having a decent amount of h.p. - let's for argument's sake say 60 each....
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 08:56 AM
    It didn't. The invokation and use of a mechanic (the Resist Passion roll) kept it at 'test', which was then failed, thus giving the GM the right to narrate the results of said failure. All is good. But the second statement without any mechanics involved isn't a test, it's a manipulation. It's magic, which allows a certain amount of bypassing the normal rules. Same idea, in a way, as how...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:34 AM
    And generally speaking, D&D is NOT supposed to be a model or simulation of real life. If you want a top-accurate representation of it, go fight monsters in real life. - Li "I've owned a piano for 20 years, never played it but had a very successful career in medicine, how come I am still not a good pianist" Shenron
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 07:26 AM
    Because. It could be like you say, but it just isn't. When it was (4e), a common complaint was that the character who never ever wielded X or used Y was getting better at it just by doing nothing, and better than a fully-dedicated character just a few levels lower. It's simply a design choice, and every design choice as well as its opposite can be criticised for not making sense...
    224 replies | 5808 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 04:44 PM
    The game multiverse is not our universe, the laws of nature don't have to be the same. Normally I expect reasonable similitude with RL locally, meaning that macroscopic effects such as gravity, combustion, heat, light and sound etc. can be expected to work like IRL. On the other hand, beyond locally I encourage the pkayers not to care, and by that I mean beyond the reach of the characters...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 07:35 AM
    But you can. Remember the key rule of 5e that it is up to the DM to grant a check in the first place? You can decide to grant a check for a "premium" result only to a character who has expertise. The only thing the game doesn't do this is exactly to codify this for you. Partly because there are so many possibilities that it would take a whole book just for that, and partly because...
    43 replies | 1352 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:49 PM
    Depends on level of system mastery. I saw Clerics broken in official-only 3e pretty early on, long before 3.5, but it took a fair bit of system mastery (and robotic heartlessness) to accomplish. With the splats, the level of mastery required to break 'em is much lower; as in not far from zero.
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 09:30 PM
    Before anything else, check with your distracted players whether they are seriously interested in the game. It can happen at any age, but might be highest at yours, that some people are actually just dragged a game while all they really wanna do is just hang out with friends. They will first be easily distracted and next they can become disruptive.
    31 replies | 1313 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 11:04 AM
    Actually, no you haven't. You always had - and still have - control over the action declaration, and when to make it, and how; but any action declaration is merely an attempt to do or change something in the fiction and is thus not invalidated by either success or failure thereof. But you don't have - and never had - control over what the the outcome might be*, thus the GM calling for a roll...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 10:52 AM
    All true, but those are PCs influencing NPCs. We're looking for examples of the less-common reverse, where NPCs can influence PCs without magic.
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 10:10 AM
    I don't support any, but if I did, it would be adventures.
    27 replies | 1024 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 08:28 AM
    No clear winners here, but only slight advantage to Draconic (generally I have magic books and stuff written in this for tradition) and Orcish & Goblinoid because they are pretty much in all my campaigns.
    11 replies | 497 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Leif's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 01:46 AM
    Scotley, just how tough is a small elemental, anyway? Will hit dice be set by size, or tied to my HD?
    1386 replies | 84416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 11:00 PM
    To be fussy, it's a reaction; which may lead to or cause subsequent actions to come from you/the PC.
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:59 PM
    Something else, I think: without a conception of the character one is trying to portray to base said portrayal on, one's portrayal risks being inconsistent and-or conflicted. The advocacy then comes from the portrayal, as informed by the concept. Strange though it may sound, I agree with you here. Character emotions very much should be fair game for testing. But testing, not manipulating....
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:49 PM
    The first one that leaps to my mind are 4e forced-movement (push-pull-slide) effects in combat; and trample/pushback rules in earlier editions. And traps, where an NPC actually sets them off just at the right moment. But those are physical effects, though still mechanical in nature. A PC being mentally influenced without magic - Intimidate, Bluff, and Persuasion skills can try, if a DM has...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:38 PM
    When a PC is around, minions have 1 h.p. When there's no PC around, they have h.p. suitable to whatever creature type they are. A bar full of minion brawlers can have an ordinary bar fight without a PC present, but once a PC shows up things get weird because the very presence of the PC changes the mechanics for all those minions. Consistency, meanwhile, flies off across the lake... In...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:31 PM
    And as that also has no context or mechanical references to back it up, neither - quite intentionally - does my reverse example. In fact, that was my whole point in making that example: a player trying to affect an NPC should be bound by the same strictures as a GM trying to affect a PC in the same way. In the original example, the PC declares both the action (the wink) and the outcome (the...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:21 PM
    It's difficult to do before the campaign actually starts, in that despite best planning you don't entirely know how the player dynamics will mesh, nor what combination of PCs they'll bring in, nor whether your setting/ideas/etc. will gain any traction even if you've broached them ahead of time and got an OK. Once things get going, however, it's pretty easy to at least educatedly-guess how long...
    48 replies | 2197 view(s)
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  • Leif's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 02:17 PM
    Thanks for your two cents. I'm not at all familiar with this progression.
    1386 replies | 84416 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:31 AM
    With you so far - no disagreement yet. But here it falls apart. I use the eyes of a game-world inhabitant - say an innocuous bartender - to look around. I see the bar full of common working people who look ready to fight, and yep: there they go. Fists flying, bottles smashing, a good old-fashioned donnybrook - black eyes all round and maybe a few broken bones, but in the end nobody dies...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:18 AM
    Because none was referenced in the example given. Had a mechanic of some sort been referenced, from any system, I'd have had no problem with the example as given. But as no mechanic of any kind was referenced to give context, the example as written is nothing more than a GM taking agency away from a player. All we got to work with was a GM saying "The maiden winks at you and melts your...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 10:07 AM
    An immersion-oriented player is going to try his-her best to do exactly this, as that's the whole point of immersion: to perceive things as your PC would perceive them. Obviously. But that's just table knowledge. No, but in theory they would have perceptions, knowledges and beliefs given that they are in theory sentient inhabitants of their setting; and those perceptions, knowledges and...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 09:56 AM
    Backed by mechanics, then, and all is good. However this was not stated, only the narration without anything else to back it up - and around here I've learned to make no assumptions. :)
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Leif's Avatar
    Sunday, 7th July, 2019, 04:58 AM
    I like the small earth elemental as a companion option. That's actually what I was hoping for.
    1386 replies | 84416 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 09:32 PM
    I count a campaign as being whatever happens within a particular game world or setting under the same DM involving one or more vaguely-continuous parties that share a common root. Players and PCs come and go over the long run. So, on that basis my current campaign will hit session 796 tomorrow night (assuming no random life interrupts); it's been running since March 2008. And it's still got...
    48 replies | 2197 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 09:17 PM
    Nor is anyone. But it's still a useful example in that conceptually there's no difference between these two: DM: "For no particular reason you lose 50 h.p." DM: "For no particular reason your heart is melted by the maiden's wink." The esoteric and bad-country-song questions of whether a melting heart really does or can cause 50 h.p. internal damage I'll leave to others to hash over.....
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 09:13 PM
    Absolutely. No controversy there. The "and melts your heart" bit, as that's where the controversy sits. Not only does it make a pile of assumptions (starting with that the PC even noticed the wink in the first place), but it then forces the PC's reaction. No die roll, no chance to resist, no way to avoid the effect. And that forced-in-the-fiction reaction then forces the player at the...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 09:02 PM
    It's on the GM to say what she means and to use the right wording as far as possible, and there's a great big difference between the following: "The maiden winks at you and melts your heart" "The maiden winks at you and tries to melt your heart" The first is an absolute - it's a done deal. Your heart is melted. And most players won't generally accept this or a GM who regularly does this...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:49 PM
    The influence isn't direct, however. Ideally it goes GM-at-table ==> magic-in-fiction ==> PC-in-fiction ==> player-at-table. (italics show where the legitimizing game mechanics come in) Short-circuiting it straight to GM-at-table ==> player-at-table is simply the GM taking arbitrary control over what the player does with her PC. The player can cut some of this off by giving more detail...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:34 PM
    I'm quite surprised to see this coming from you, as you've otherwise consistently been one of the more strident voices in here regarding the sanctity of player agency. Simply being told that the maiden melts your PC's heart with a wink - without reference to any game mechanics - takes player agency and chucks it out the window. I bolded the bit that matters - that there's a failed check...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:23 PM
    That's a level of GM control over PCs that I suspect would cause mutiny at most typical tables. It also gets the whole idea of cause-and-effect backwards: you've got the effect retroactively forcing the cause(s) (which, by the way, isnt how things work!) rather than the cause(s) leading to an end effect.
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:18 PM
    Question, as it's not noted in your example: is this narration coming out of the blue, or is there any sort of game mechanic backing it up (e.g. a missed attack roll, a successful defense roll, the Swordsman has some sort of magic bolstering his defense capability, etc.)? If the narration is coming out of the blue i.e. the GM has arbitrarily decided that the PC's attack leads to this result...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 08:05 PM
    In the fiction as viewed externally by real-world viewers, yes; because it's been set up that way. But as viewed from the POV of a character within that fiction? No. That character would have no way of knowing any of this - it would just carry on living its life. And it's that viewpoint that I use when looking at game/system/world design - does it end up producing something that is...
    681 replies | 18319 view(s)
    0 XP
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Tuesday, 14th May, 2019

  • 05:31 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Li Shenron in post How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game?
    ...like frying pans that one can reproduce via a stock pattern. Armor (or probably anything wiht a high enough sale value to make this worthwhile for the wizard) isn't one of them - nobody buys plate armor "off the rack". It is a piece of custom work, like a modern bespoke suit, where you have to sit down with the client, take their measurements, discuss materials, and otherwise determine exactly what the customer wants. Every step of design a normal smith does *before* putting hammer to anvil still has to be done by the wizard. And, like any professional, the price you pay is not just paying for the individual item, but all the education of the craftsman that goes into making the item. For a smith, you're paying for their proficiency with the tools, essentially. For the wizard, you are paying for that proficiency, *and* the years of hazard to gain levels to be able to cast the spell. Yes, but also no? I think that the only good way to approach this was already stated by Li Shenron - "I do nothing, because I do not play an economy simulation game, I play a game of adventures." Which is true. Let me use an analogy- we all enjoy science fiction, right? (This should be the audience for that comment!) Well, if you've read a lot of scifi, and historical scifi, or even real predictions of the future, the one thing you will see over and over again is that people might get one or two things correct, but miss everything else. The old, "Where is my flying car" problem. In other words, people can sometimes extrapolate one or two things, but fail to see how other areas advance (computers, genetics, biology, chemistry, and so on) and also don't see how things interact with one another. So you have people inhabiting Ganymede, but not computers (to use golden age Sci Fi as an example). It's the same here- to invert Arthur C. Clarke, any magic is indistinguishable from high technology, right? If we pre-suppose a decently high magic world, with endless cantrips, and ever...

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 01:25 PM - TaranTheWanderer mentioned Li Shenron in post [5e] Rakshasas cannot be counterspelled (mostly)? Is that how you would play it
    I know nothing about 5e Rakshasas or how counterspelling affects them but, traditionally, in previous editions, these monsters were nasty and nigh invinsible to magic. Giving them the ability to ignore counterspelling seems in line with him w scary they could be. Iím assuming they have magic resistance which isnít near as powerful as it used to be so, as Li Shenron says above, having a couple creatures with that as a feature seems fine. Iím not sure how that affects their CR. Edit: read them up. If counterspell affects a creature, they'd be immune. The spell doesn't actually have a target. It doesn't say 'targets a creature casting a spell' or 'one spell'. It just says, 'if a creature casts a spell'. I'm not sure I'd go by Crawford's ruling. Thematically and narratively, I don't see counterspelling as hitting a creature and negating their ability to cast. I see it as casting the spell in reverse, or finishing the final syllable of their spell but using a counter-key-word. Which makes sense why you can't counterspell a wand. I see it as an unraveling of the spell. Yeah...talk to your table.

Sunday, 11th November, 2018

  • 09:06 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    Click Clack brings both hands up to the side of his head. "Oh no! That should not have happened. I seem to have broken your Modron. Unless it always acts like this. I will leave before I do more harm." Click Clack Turns and starts out into the street. As he is leaving. "Try to find me if he starts acting... More Strange, or starts reporting errors from Primus." Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Friday, 9th November, 2018


Monday, 8th October, 2018

  • 12:30 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    Click Clack stands in the doorway, looking around at the party, focusing on Lex last and trying to copy his winning smile. The result is something fairly unsettling. For all intents and purposes he seems to be analyzing the other Modron in the room. Click Clack is odd for a Modron. Marked by damage and with a greenish almost tarnished tint to his body and wearing a faded stamp imprinted in the upper right front corner of the side of his "head" that looks like the emblem of the Society of Sensation. Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina Most in the party have heard of the society of Sensation (Often called Sensates). Their mission is to experience all there is to experience, in order that one might learn more of the multiverse. A Modron being connected to them in any way other than as a tool would seem odd. In general the Harmonium distrust them, and the feelings are somewhat mutual. The Harmonium doesn't like the members of the Sensates that have a tendency to roar around drunk on whatever sort of liquor and ale and cause all sorts of trouble. But secretly, some members of the Harmonium see the political power of the Sensates and worry... they're accomplishing more through song and dance than the Harmonium has in all their years in Sigil.

Tuesday, 14th August, 2018

  • 11:27 PM - Radaceus mentioned Li Shenron in post EB's KotB: (Group 2) Soul of the Lions
    Ungar strains to keep a visual on the melee ahead. Signalling his spiritual weapon onward to its mark as he forces his stumpy legs to propel his stout frame to the action. I'm not sure how far the edge of the Plant Growth is yet (set 30' behind giant on round 1, 100' radius, perimeter approx 70' ahead of giant...perhaps less if it careened off its course), but the Swamp giant was restricted to 1/4 movement, is the creature moving faster than the Spear and Ungar? previous round Spear moved up 20' from 70' and starting this round it is losing ground at 80'? Also Ungar dashed 50' to close from 90' but is only 10' closer this round at 80'...asking for a friend :) note: War Caster feat allowing cast in combat with weapon and shield in hand Dashing, round 2 Active spells: ~Spiritual weapon (6/10 rounds) ~Bless (concentration) (7/10 rounds; @Li Shenron, @KahlessNestor @JustinCase Saves: Move: 50' towards the swamp giant (dash action) Action: Dash Bonus Action: Move the Spiritual spear 20' towards the swamp giant Free Object Interaction: Reaction: Concentration: Bless (targets: Sahrax, Lorelei, Tassarion; add 1d4 to attacks and saves Conditions: Inspiration: Movement: 25 AC: 18 (chain 16, Shield+2) Main hand: Hand Axe ( Spear thrown) Off Hand: Shield HP: 38/51 HD: 5/5 1d8+3 Channel Divinity (1/LR) Spellcasting: Spell Attack Modifier= +6 Spell Save DC= 14 Spell Slots (1st level(3/4), 2nd level (2/3), 3rd level (1/2) Character Sheet

Wednesday, 1st August, 2018

  • 02:42 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    "Yeah that one sounds familiar. Yesterday I think." If people are feeling that this is dragging on too long tell me what information you want to get out of him and do a roll to get it. I'll try to speed the dialog up. @Fradak @mike peabody @Li Shenron @Deus Machina

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018


Wednesday, 18th July, 2018

  • 12:24 AM - mike peabody mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    [ooc Li Shenron Persuasion check please![/ooc] *Barrages Shadowknave with statistics and outcome probabilities which, despite their density, allow him to see how futile it is to hold out against us/grants Li Shenron a d6 Bardic Inspiration die*

Friday, 13th July, 2018

  • 12:37 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    "I wouldn't expect a Box to understand. I'm not that important, just a loose end as soon as she finds what or who she needs. I should have known better." "Modrigaarz... Is that the Basher everyone is talking about? Roughing up hivers and asking questions? As for the other one, Eliath you say? I've heard of him. But how do I know you aren't going to just pen me in the deadbook soon as I give you your answers. I'll tell you what. This one doesn't look crooked." He motions to Sir Reginald. "I recognize that emblem. Give me your word, no make a vow. That you will personally make sure that I leave here safely," He looks at his naked body with a bit of shame and frustration. "With my things. Then I'll answer your questions." Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Thursday, 12th July, 2018

  • 12:28 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Interigating Shadowknave
    Shadowknave looks confused. "I... I don't know. I was told they had raised it." He thinks for a moment then anger flashes across his face. "This is a setup isn't it. Who sent you to kill me? Give me that much before you pen me in the deadbook, it was that thing of no bowels Toranna wasn't it!?" (Those from Sigil or who have been here long enough recognize the term thing of no bowels as a pretty strong insult) Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Friday, 29th June, 2018

  • 11:38 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    "If that will be all... You can untie me and I will be on my way. Unless of course you good people would like to untie me and continue this conversation. I could use a drink..." Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 10:56 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Morning Day 2
    "Hey, everyone, our guest is awake." Are the words that you hear from Leau as you open your eyes and see a bruised and defeated looking Half Elf sitting on the floor of the abandoned building Lazaka calls his Kip. A cool breeze blows a smoke through a broken window, the smell of molten metal fills your nostrils and reminds you of a blacksmiths forge. The "guest" is still tied up and gagged, his head slowly moving around seemingly looking for a way out. Lazaka is no where to be seen at this moment. The only other living thing in the room, a single rat peering out of a hole in the base of a wall. Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina
  • 08:33 PM - EarlyBird mentioned Li Shenron in post EB's KotB: (Group 2) Soul of the Lions
    98624 Welcome to the second IC thread for the Keep on the Borderlands game. Should be an interested group of like minded characters here which led to me drawing out something very special for the inaugural game. As I said in the first groups IC, this will have different adventures, and sometimes different players as we change out and people get reassigned. Not sure how all this will work, but we will crash through and change, tweak, and upgrade as we go. So hang on for what I hope is a fun ride. Party at the moment: @Li Shenron @KahlessNestor @Radaceus @JustinCase @jonathonhawke LINKS: General OOC The Lion's Den - IC And the RG And we are off....

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

  • 12:16 PM - Greenmtn mentioned Li Shenron in post Greenmtn's Planescape Game IC
    Unless anyone has more they want to do beforehand will move forward to the end of the long rest tomorrow. Shadowknave will be awake. Fradak mike peabody Li Shenron Deus Machina

Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 08:40 AM - Tormyr mentioned Li Shenron in post Common Houserules?
    I am with Li Shenron: try vanilla 5e for a while first, get used to it, make changes or add optional books like Xanathar's as appropriate. Also as mentioned before, 5e is fairly well balanced out of the box. So different DMs have different things that they don't like (certain feats, gnomes, paladins, gnomish paladins, etc.), but there is not really a universal "apply this list of fixes" which has made me pretty happy. As for house rules in my game: A chance of failure when bringing back the dead. Once a party reaches level 5 and gets access to revivify, death is likely not permanent. In my 3-year 5e Age of Worms campaign, I really only had 1 permanent death, and that required having a large creature swallow the unconscious PC and talk his body away into the darkness to return as a favored spawn of Kyuss. I have adopted Matt Mercer's resurrection rules. https://geekandsundry.com/use-critical-roles-resurrection-rules-in-your-own-campaign/ They add a chance of failure, allow other party members to contribu...

Tuesday, 12th June, 2018

  • 11:32 AM - Coroc mentioned Li Shenron in post UA: Giant Soul Sorcerer
    Ahm can any one give a hint where the idea of this is from? Is this some Eberron Thing? What is this Ostrerria world and how does this fit into the multiverse? as Li Shenron correctly states normally in D&D only Storm and Cloud giants got a Little sorcery. Tbh a hill giant being some Kind of mage to me Looks even more stupid than a dwarven wizard. A hill giant can compete with Trolls and Ogres for being dumb and stupid, what innate spellcasting or arcane bloodline should evolve out of them? At least the (eastern originated) Ogre Magus makes sense but it still does not make Standard ogres look more intelligent.

Monday, 28th May, 2018

  • 12:52 PM - Coroc mentioned Li Shenron in post Tuesday May 29 Happy Fun Hour with Mike Mearls - more psionics!
    Li Shenron Maybe they were unsure if it did balance well or saw Balance Problems on higher Levels? 2nd ed psionics was interesting because it did have "attack" attributes of the psionic rather than saving throws of the target, but it was a complex additional mechanic to learn, maybe they just wanted to keep it simple this time.

Friday, 25th May, 2018

  • 04:52 AM - Harzel mentioned Li Shenron in post SURVIVOR Supplement Edition--Volo's Guide Wins!
    Corrections for Li Shenron's votes being lost. Shady Dragon Inn (B/X)--13 Rogue's Gallery (1e)--16 Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (1e)--13 The Magic Encyclopedia (2e)--17 Creative Campaigning (2e)--18 Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide (2e)--15 Arms and Equipment Guide (2e)--15 Complete Guide to Villains (2e)--15 Arms and Equipment Guide (3e)--16 Spell Compendium (3e)--17 Magic Item Compendium (3e)--18 Tome of Battle (3e)--11 Tome of Magic (3e)--15 Dungeon Delve (4e)--16 Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook (4e)--16 Player's Strategy Guide (4e)--1 Volo's Guide to Monsters (5e)--17 Xanatharís Guide to Everything (5e)--16

Sunday, 13th May, 2018

  • 07:01 AM - Harzel mentioned Li Shenron in post I am not ready to ready the ready action...
    The circumstances in which I see the Ready action used are some that others have already mentioned: mainly when opponents make themselves otherwise unattackable by moving in and out of cover, incorporeal movement, or moving back and forth from the ethereal plane. Li Shenron, do your players ever encounter such situations? The rest of this is a bit of a rant; take it with a grain of salt (or the seasoning of your choice). I think not telling beginners about Ready is an understandable (trying to keep it simple) but ultimately unfortunate choice. D&D bills itself as a team-oriented game in which you can attempt anything. Yet the structure of what for many groups is the most significant part of play - combat - features each PC acting individually while everyone else is frozen in space and time. The Ready action is the system's sole concession to enabling joint efforts, and the sort of reactions to other combatants that "attempt anything" ought to include. (Of course, the system penalizes anyone who uses this workaround, but that's a different part of the conversation.) Leaving out the Ready action further emphasizes the individual-turn-taking nature of the combat system. As to the observation that the only time the OP's players attempt to use a "ready" mec...


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Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 10:47 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Li Shenron in post Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?
    common complaint was that the character who never ever wielded X or used Y was getting better at it just by doing nothing, and better than a fully-dedicated character just a few levels lower.It's an ancient complaint. Your wizard throws darts at goblins, crawls through tunnels, solves a puzzle lock, collects a cache of GP - and he learns to cast a new spell! He's not any better at darts, or opening locks or anything he did do on the adventure. Because XP are about as concrete as hps. It's also a complaint that other systems answered long ago: the way characters in BRP advance their skills, for instance, totally intuitive, comparatively realistic.

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019

  • 08:53 PM - Quartz quoted Li Shenron in post How Would You Build And Play A Necromancer
    but I would change the narrative at least to make it look more like a necro: Unseen Servant can be described as a ghost, Cloud of Daggers may change to a cloud of sharp bones, or make Tiny Hut look like a crypt or a tomb. This: it's just SFX.
  • 08:12 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Li Shenron in post How Would You Build And Play A Necromancer
    I would change the narrative at least to make it look more like a necro: Unseen Servant can be described as a ghost, Cloud of Daggers may change to a cloud of sharp bones, or make Tiny Hut look like a crypt or a tomb.I like it. One of my players went crazy, in 2e, with "Sense Shifting," a spell that let you do that sort of thing, change what another spell looked like. In 3e you could do it with Spell Thematics, in a limited way, which very much fit what you have in mind, above. In 4e such re-skinning was explicitly a player option according to the how-to-read-a-power rules. In 5e, that's more a DM thing. But, like asking for a new Background, doesn't seem unreasonable.

Sunday, 30th June, 2019

  • 10:48 PM - Mercule quoted Li Shenron in post What is the Ranger to you?
    So it's not really that a class-based system is stupid, or that a class-less system is stupid. What is stupid is wasting time trying to turn a class-based system into class-less or a class-less system into class-based. I can see where you are coming from, but in my experience with high detail rules heavy point buy systems they tend to make for terrible games. I can think of some ways around that such as character burners, but class based systems have one huge advantage - they enforce breadth of skill that makes it much easier to play ensemble games with everyone contributing. Both of these are true, so I want to clarify that I'm not opposed to class-based games, on principle. After 35 years of playing D&D off-and-on, I've kinda played through or have seen played through most of the "vanilla" implementations of the class archetypes. They're good to have available, but can also feel like a straight-jacket, sometimes. You can multi-class the heck out of things to get some builds. In some ...

Friday, 28th June, 2019


Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 06:41 PM - Charlaquin quoted Li Shenron in post Sidekicks instead of Extra Attack?
    What about characters who gain no extra attacks nor cantrips? You mean Rogues? Their damage scaling mostly comes in the form of Sneak Attack, so maybe Sneak Attack dice? Also, if all my cantrips don't scale, do I get my sidekick for free? All damage dealing cantrips scale, so if you havenít taken any damage dealing cantrips, I wouldnít exactly describe that as ďfree.Ē The main problem here is that extra attacks and cantrips are not comparable with each other, and they are not comparable with sidekicks either. Extra attacks and cantrip scaling are absolutely comparable, they fill the exact same role in the system math, multiplying the characterís average damage per round at specific level intervals. Are Sidekicks comparable to that? In some ways. Two attacks from a fighter is certainly comparable to one attack from a fighter and one attack from her warrior Sidekick. One 2d8 cantrip is comparable to two 1d8 cantrips. Obviously Sidekicks can do more than just damage, so in other ways that isnít ...

Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 03:20 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Li Shenron in post Underwater Spellcasting
    It's also an assumption, and just as flawed, that that there MUST be a penalty. . Not working normally =/= must be a penalty. Those are two completely different things. If you look earlier as my post on how I did them, sometimes it is less effective, and sometimes itís more effective, and sometimes itís just different beingnneither better or worse, depending on what youíre wanting to do. Also, I think this falls into the ďreasonable expectationĒ category, much like how itís used in court. What would a reasonable person do in the situation. Like my parchment example. MUST there be a difference in how writing on parchment underwater differs from writing on in on a dry desk? Well, no, but itís a reasonable expectation that it will be different based on how we apply real world logic to scenarios where there are no rules explicit for it.
  • 11:17 AM - Tony Vargas quoted Li Shenron in post Underwater Spellcasting
    And ruling NOT to add any house rule is perfectly legit. Rulings aren't 'house rules,' they're a necessary DM function, especially in 5e, where essentially every action resolution technically includes a ruling from the DM. What I quoted is the RAW and that is the starting point for everyone. Just because you don't like it and don't want to play without a house rule on top of it, doesn't mean everyone should do the same. The thing about a starting point is you move on from it. The Rules of 5e are Written, as much as possible, in natural language, so they are naturally ambiguous. When the rules aren't perfectly clear & explicit, you make a ruling, deciding which plausible interpretation to use in that instance. When the rules don't cover something, you make a ruling, deciding how to resolve the action that lies outside their scope, or your game halts. Your ruling is that a spell with verbal components can be cast under water, even by a caster who'll drown there, and will work normally....

Thursday, 20th June, 2019

  • 07:52 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Li Shenron in post Underwater Spellcasting
    Without specific rules in 5e, the DM must make a ruling. Seriously, the observation that "no rule says you can't" doesn't mean "the rules say you can." Nor vice-versa. It's 5e, Rulings not Rules. Even when the rules seems to say one thing, and the DM rules another, it's not a 'House Rule' it's a Ruling.
  • 05:49 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Li Shenron in post Underwater Spellcasting
    Without specific rules in 5e, spellcasting works normally underwater. . I think this is an assumption, and a flawed one. There is no way an rpg can have a rule for everything, especially when many things can be handled by a reasonable real life comparison. We do it in games all the time. There are no rules about how many calories you need per day, or what happens if you donít defecate, etc. There are no rules around how things work in a vacuum, or how gravity may affect things. That doesnít mean a vacuum or gravity has no effect then. We apply real world experiences to many things in the game without a specific rule, and this is similar. Each individual DM may do it a bit differently, but to assume that because there is a lack of a specific rule that means there is no change is flawed. Are there specific rules about what happens if you open a jar of liquid underwater? Does that mean nothing happens to the liquid in the jar when you open it underwater? Is there a specific rule about writ...
  • 04:38 PM - TBeholder quoted Li Shenron in post Underwater Spellcasting
    Without specific rules in 5e, spellcasting works normally underwater. There are no penalties of any kind such as disadvantage on the spellcaster's possible attack roll or advantage to the target's saving throw, and there are no concentration checks necessary. You can normally cast a spell that has verbal, somatic or material components underwater. Yes, also verbal component, because you can speak underwater even if you cannot breathe. The game says nothing in terms of rules about the level of precision required by verbal/somatic components. There is some fluff text about "intricate gestures" and "specific pitch and resonance", but there is absolutely no rule saying when the circumstances make it impossible to cast, except the specific cases of being gagged or silenced for verbal, and not having a free hand for somatic. Therefore, everything else is up to the DM to house rules. All of the above, however, could also be said about magma. :devil:

Friday, 7th June, 2019

  • 05:29 PM - Gradine quoted Li Shenron in post Baldur's Gate III Announced; Powered by D&D 5E
    Mmm... I don't think so. First of all, I seriously doubt the game will be turn-based, but rather real-time. That already makes it NOT like D&D, and invalidates a large portion of what is in the core books. I wouldn't assume that; the original games were made to look like they were real-time, but under the hood they were primarily turn-based, at least as far as actions/attacks go. And Larian's Divinity: Original Sin games are legit turn-based, as in, it's Character B's turn, where do they move and what do they do? I'd argue that Larian being involved makes the game more likely to be turn-based than not.
  • 09:21 AM - Baumi quoted Li Shenron in post Baldur's Gate III Announced; Powered by D&D 5E
    Mmm... I don't think so. First of all, I seriously doubt the game will be turn-based, but rather real-time. That already makes it NOT like D&D, and invalidates a large portion of what is in the core books. Sure there will be Fighters & Wizards, Elves & Dwarves and many other iconic D&D elements, but in the best case it'll be just a little better than Neverwinter Nights, and probably not all classes and races, which certainly will be somewhat reduced because of stuff that just won't be applicable. Spells in particular can't all be in the game, but likely also not every skills. Feats might get some attention or not at all, but in the best case only some of them will be applicable. I'm 99% sure it will be turn-based. Baldur's Gate was turn based (but could be played realtime if I remember corectly) and Divinity is too (highly tactical turn-based).

Friday, 31st May, 2019

  • 07:03 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Li Shenron in post Revised Artificer Survey now available
    I largely hate the Artificer class in all its incarnations. I would have liked it only if it was done to represent a non-magic character e.g. a MacGuyver-type, but the game already has too many casters. So I am very undecided whether I should express my deep dislike to it, or if I should encourage them to go through with it as-is (or even purposefully suggest changes against my taste) so that I make sure I won't be tempted to waste my money on the Eberron book. I like the tools, crafting, and infusions as well! The pets, while i don't hate them, i think they should each do less. Personally, i'd remove the attack functionality from the Iron Defender and the Homunculus. As is, the Artificer already has access to damaging cantrips, and a form of Extra Attack, so they won't be lacking basic combat power if you remove the acid squirt or the iron jaws. Taking away basic attacks and making the constructs more specialized and purpose built gives each subclass a unique character. Archivists have an ex...
  • 05:01 PM - Charlaquin quoted Li Shenron in post Revised Artificer Survey now available
    I largely hate the Artificer class in all its incarnations. I would have liked it only if it was done to represent a non-magic character e.g. a MacGuyver-type, but the game already has too many casters. So I am very undecided whether I should express my deep dislike to it, or if I should encourage them to go through with it as-is (or even purposefully suggest changes against my taste) so that I make sure I won't be tempted to waste my money on the Eberron book. Yeah, Iím not a fan of (natively) spellcasting Artificers either. Whatís cool about the Artificer is the idea of a character who canít do magic herself, but creates magic items to do overcome that limitation. Theyíre the D&D Batman, with no super powers of their own, but enough gadgets that they donít need powers. Let them craft potions, scrolls, and wands to cast spells with, but donít give them spell slots. That was one of the key points in my feedback, anyway.

Tuesday, 28th May, 2019

  • 11:33 AM - ccs quoted Li Shenron in post How do you feel about player-on-player dice rolling?
    Well yes, but then I have to ask: if a monster wins a persuasion/intimidation check against a PC, do you force the PC to behave in the way the monster wants? If it's a deception check, do you force the PC to believe? I don't. I just tell the player that the monster looks very convincing, but ultimately I let the player choose how to follow that. And so I would do the same on a PvP contest. It's not on the scale of charm, mind control or dominate etc, but in short, if it's to dice rolls, yes. Especially if you as a player expect to ever be able to use any of those skills vs NPCs/monsters. Afterall, you'd expect me as the DM to in good faith play that guard etc that you'd just successfully persuaded/intimidated or whatever. Wouldn't you? So why shouldn't I expect the same from the players? The moment players break that in my game is the moment that they lose the ability to make those skill checks themselves for the rest of the campaign. As far as PvP? Other than requiring everyon...

Thursday, 16th May, 2019


Tuesday, 9th April, 2019


Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 05:05 AM - MNblockhead quoted Li Shenron in post Your most used accessories?
    All of them custom-made, do they count? Of course! Can't imaging NOT customizing a DMs screen, even if it is just putting post-it notes on a purchased one. I like the recent DMs screens from WotC (did *NOT* like any of its precursors) -- I have the one with the red dragon flying away griping a fighter in a claw -- but one you've DM'd for awhile you don't need to look up half the stuff printed on it. So I've pasted references I find more useful over the ones I don't need. In particular, I made a chart based on the DMG variant mob rules to easily determine how many of a particular enemy are needed for an auto hit based on AC. I also put campaign-specific post-it notes on my screen to remind me of any homebrew or variant selection for the campaign I'm currently running.

Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 08:22 PM - Winterthorn quoted Li Shenron in post Your most used accessories?
    Lego minis, spell/action cards, DM's screen and (obviously) character sheets. All of them custom-made, do they count? No battlemats, we measure distances with rulers (also custom-made with Lego). As both an AFOL and a DM, I salute you! Excellently done!! :cool:


Li Shenron's Downloads

  Filename Total Downloads Rating Files Uploaded Last Updated
Light Character Classes for Monsters
Just for fun, I mocked up some rules for "light" versions of PHB classes to be used as templates for monsters.
168 0 1 Monday, 16th July, 2018, 02:53 PM Monday, 16th July, 2018, 02:53 PM
Quickstart 5e character sheet (beginner friendly)
This is my first attempt at a simplified 5e main character sheet (derived from the official WotC 5e character sheet), that is aimed at being the least intimidating to beginners as possible, by minimizing the amount of information included, and offeri...
8756 +4 5 Monday, 3rd July, 2017, 12:28 PM Wednesday, 27th December, 2017, 03:56 PM

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