View Profile: Li Shenron - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:38 AM
    I think you did the right thing. Min/maxers will just try to pick the best option mechanically. Non-variant humans are not good for min/maxers, although they are perfect for many other players. But I don't see the reason to change something in the game to do a favor for min/maxers, for the simple reason that a min/maxer's game is by definition about finding one of the best combos and pick that,...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:20 AM
    5E : the proficiency bonus ("one bonus to rule them all")
    32 replies | 1005 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:08 AM
    3-6 players can easily play 6-10 PCs - nothing limits them to one each... :)
    290 replies | 7806 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:51 AM
    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...
    20 replies | 488 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 01:01 AM
    Yeah, a swarm of wraiths could really mess up your day. In fairness, 1e did generally assume a larger party size: parties of 6-9 PCs were commonplace. Most 0e-1e modules were written with this kind of party size in mind - check their intro notes and you'll see. It wasn't until 3e that the party of 4 PCs became the standard.
    290 replies | 7806 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:15 AM
    If they won initiative. But if they lost they'd be eating a 92-point blast of fire (46-point on a made save), with potential subsequent item losses on failing the initial save, when the dragon breathed on them before they got to act. Chances are that'd turn the 6-9 character party into a 3-7 character party, with each of the remaining characters down a bunch of h.p. and possibly down some...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 10:00 AM
    And that's what makes them great!
    290 replies | 7806 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 09:43 AM
    And IMO the game works even better if some of those things are modified to be perhaps a bit less simplified and-or a bit more realistic. Ease of recovery is trivially simple to alter. Armour actually works not too badly as is. The turn-based system can be made much less rigid simply by rerolling initiative each round (and allowing ties). Adding a wound-vitality or body-fatigue system to HP...
    205 replies | 4567 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:56 PM
    There's one thing rather notably missing from any of the above write-up, which would if included end up slowing play considerably: social interaction; either between PCs and-or between PCs and NPCs. This is where a huge majority of characterization and character development occurs, to the point where if you intentionally strip it out you haven't got much R left in the RPG. Also, what happens...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:33 AM
    Round here the general reaction I seem to recall was that the novels were OK but the modules were generally awful, in that a) they expected the PCs to be led by the nose far more than most modules of that era and b) for anyone who hadn't read the novels, large parts of them made little to no sense.
    290 replies | 7806 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:29 AM
    That 60% or 80% or even 99.5% of encounters were/are resolved by combat is not the point, at least not the one I'm getting at. My point is that in 1e by RAW all that combat would still, in a typical published module* and given typical play, only represent about of the x.p. you'd usually earn for the adventure; with a very small percentage coming from non-combat encounters and the vast...
    290 replies | 7806 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:17 AM
    side note So much for 5e's promise of reining in the numbers bloat - yikes! /side note
    205 replies | 4567 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:12 AM
    I'm not the world's fastest reader but I can get through a typical FR fiction book in one evening*. To have the game-at-table progress at that speed would be ludicrous. Hell, the players wouldn't even be able to get through a quarter of the spoken dialogue in that time, never mind the travel, exploration, information gathering, combats, and all the rest of what goes into the amount of...
    57 replies | 1493 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 10:05 AM
    Who cares? Internal consistency very much cares, in that it somewhat demands that the rule that was got wrong must then stay that way for the rest of the campaign such that the campaign/setting can be and remain consistent with itself. Which means, take the time to either a) get it right or b) think long and hard on the downstream ramifications of whatever wrong ruling you have in mind before...
    57 replies | 1493 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:13 AM
    It'd never get that far. During the second reload phase (or maybe even the first) one or both of the duelists would say screw this and just charge the other one with fists swinging...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 10:32 PM
    I have to add my voice to the growing chorus here: how would (or could) this work with any kind of open-ended or sandbox-style game where the DM didn't have a pre-planned story in mind? I ask because if your idea is that ND&D only cater to the pre-planned story type of DM then it'll lose a very big - as in, enormous - core element that makes D&D as successful as it is: flexibility. As it is...
    57 replies | 1493 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 11:31 AM
    Well, first off just because it's an Age of Sail setting doesn't mean conventional adventuring can't exist. In such a campaign the early levels could be maritime or navy based*, with the characters moving farther away from that as they advance (either that, or becoming fleet commanders etc.). * - it'd be easy, for example, to run U1-3 Saltmarsh series with the characters based on ships rather...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:24 PM
    I haven't ever had this problem that I know of, but I use firefox. Maybe it's a chrome thing?
    25 replies | 491 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:19 PM
    Same; on a desktop using firefox if that helps at all.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:10 PM
    In fairness, I think Lylandra was referring to newbie players rather than characters. But yes, and back to the theme of system flexibility, 0-1-2e are far more flexible as regards in-party level variance than either 3e or 4e are; 5e has trended back towards this flexibility which is excellent. (EDIT: billd91 got to this ahead of me, upthread) And that brings up another issue I have with...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 09:03 PM
    Agreed. Still is. A number of reasons, mostly revolving around not wanting characters getting rewards they don't deserve. Milestone levelling brings everyone up no matter how much they did (or didn't) contribute, where I much prefer the reward be more commensurate to the individual risk taken. I've used individual x.p. forever and I've yet to see it as discouraging newbies. If anything,...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 08:54 PM
    My experience shows the kill rate to be more or less the same across the levels (except 1st level, which is higher); the difference is that higher-level types can either afford revival spells or have them available within the party, meaning that while the kill rate is the same there's much less actual character turnover. The cause of death changes - less come from direct combat, more from...
    290 replies | 7806 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:13 AM
    The word you're looking for is 'flexibility'. 0e-1e were flexible enough (yet, amazingly, robust enough in their own cobbled-together way) to handle almost anything you could throw at them. Couple that with a design ethos that didn't always take itself too seriously and the result is pure gold. Later editions started taking both themselves and the game far too seriously on the whole,...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 07:00 AM
    I can think of three, of which Leatherhead already hit one and Ashrym narrowly missed another: Classical Roman/Greek sword-and-sandals (say, -200 to +200 era) Age of Fighting Sail (1750-1850 except neither the steam engine nor industrial revolution come along to ruin it) Full-on Steampunk (1875-1910 era)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 06:53 AM
    Sources or not, though, Riley37 does - somewhat obliquely - raise an interesting point: reward mechanisms in RPGs have changed over the years, and it'd be interesting to know if there's ever been any competent research done on how playstyles adapt and morph as a result of these changes both within successive editions of a game and across the hobby as a whole. An easy example of what I'm...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 10:19 PM
    My very simple answer to the thread-title question: because it isn't real. A fine corollary thread could and should be titled "Why aren't we OK with sex in RPGs", as I've seen numerous posts over the years in here from DMs who don't even allow inter-PC romance, never mind sex.
    290 replies | 7806 view(s)
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:49 AM
    Just because violence is in the game, it doesn't mean that all possible violence has to be in the game. In all my D&D games, certain kinds of violence will never be featured (rape is one, anything specifically against children is another), and other kinds can be mentioned but are not narrated in detail (torture).
    290 replies | 7806 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 08:41 AM
    Good-only Paladins, and Nymphs that can kill you just by being looked at.
    77 replies | 2784 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:27 PM
    Lore I'd like to see 'officially' reintroduced: Some settings from 2e - Mystara/Known World and Birthright just to name a couple - and their associated lore. The idea that some races or species simply cannot be some classes e.g. no Dwarf Wizards, and the lore that backs this up. Racial antipathy (some others here already hit this one) And then there's one piece of lore I'd like to see...
    77 replies | 2784 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:16 PM
    This was and is all fine. The problem with Pallies as written is that having one in the party forces all the other players to play characters who the Pally will find acceptable...which means not only no evil characters allowed but no chaotics either. Bleah! After about 25 years of humming and hawing I finally redesigned Paladins last year such that they can be any one of the four extreme...
    77 replies | 2784 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 08:03 PM
    Games I've read and-or own but would decline to play based solely on that reading: 4e D&D. Pathfinder. Various d20 knockoffs. Late-era 2e D&D with all the splat. 3e and 3.5e D&D are games I've played so thus don't qualify for this list, though I'm not sure I'd ever want to play either again.
    79 replies | 3042 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:48 PM
    Probably true, but as the thread title not only includes the word 'literary' but highlights it, it only follows that some time then has to be spent nailing down a) what the OP specifically meant by the word and b) what the word means to everyone else in general. These two things so far don't appear to be the same, and this difference represents about 500 posts so far. And even this comes down...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:23 PM
    I'd say that's a matter of opinion. Without words, there is no framing; and without the right words the framing very likely isn't going to come off in the manner intended. Perhaps, but it's still a slimy creature with big teeth and an attitude that the PCs have to deal with in whatever manner they see fit. I'm saying it's possible to present the creature as consequential etc. without even...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:15 AM
    Where I wouldn't mind some of this. :) Comes down to expected pacing, as so many of these things seem to end up doing: it's an open-ended game* with no set schedule for what adventuring has to be done by when; and if long-winded descriptions of what, why and how a character does something is what keeps (a) player(s) engaged, I'd say to the DM "Sit back, crack open a beer, relax, and let it...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:09 AM
    I can bring my experience of teaching D&D 5e to our own kids, and also both 3e and 5e to many adult beginners/casual gamers, but I'll focus on the purpose of teaching a 10yrs (my youngest were actually younger when we started playing). You are absolutely right to avoid excessive rules explanations at all costs. In fact, I suggest you teach nothing about the rules before starting. It's not...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 10:05 AM
    Though sometimes, "just another creepy monster" - something new that the PCs (and players!) haven't seen or heard of before - is exactly what's required at the time. As in: DM rolls give a random encounter, DM quickly thinks to self: "Hmmm. Do I throw yet another monster at 'em that they've seen and beaten a hundred times before, or do I dream up something brand new right now that suits the...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 09:31 AM
    Even that's counterintuitive, as 15 - 18 = -3, not +3. You skipped mentioning the step that says 'reverse the +/- on the answer given by the formula to get the AC you'll hit'. Either that, or you got it backwards and it should be .
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:57 AM
    One thing that occurred to me via seeing a few posts a couple of pages back is this: One thing a description or narration should strive for, however else it's delivered or phrased, is to answer any obvious questions before they need to be asked. The example given was, I think, something like "You enter a room. Passages exit to the north and west. There's a staff." in its simplified form. ...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:44 AM
    Situationally dependent. As far as possible I try to have enough prep done well ahead of time (as in, even as far back as setting design) that a session can largely run itself if it has to; meaning that if they're either in mid-adventure (meaning the adventure's already as prepped as it's going to be) or in town during downtime I can largely wing it all. But, if I have to prep something and...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:33 AM
    Candians - from Candyland, maybe? ;)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 12:32 AM
    Oh, I'm all about the practical - but I also don't mind if it's dressed up a bit when and where it can be. I also freely admit to being myself rather poor at doing so when I DM. I blame beer. :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 10:30 AM
    10. Slow-Motion Overthrow: Some halfway-powerful individual (a Mage, when I used this one) wants to overthrow the King and take his throne. The villain is patient and is running this as a 5-10 year operation; he also realizes the biggest threat to his plans will be mid-to-high level adventurers. But, he also knows that if he can kill off or drive away all the local low-level adventurers now...
    7 replies | 391 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 10:12 AM
    If they want to go murderhobo, then murderhobo they go. I-as-DM am not going to stop them in the metagame: they can play their characters however they want. Consequences in-game will (or won't) arise depending on the in-game situation - what was done, and-or to whom, and-or whether there were survivors and-or witnesses to tell the tale, and-or whether the PCs can be found, and-or whether...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 09:59 AM
    Ahead of? No As a part of? Certainly! Quality prose, unless completely overdone, is far more likely to add interest than diminish it.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 09:55 AM
    Following quote altered slightly by addition of numbers to make my response easier to parse... Where I say a GM should focus on using 2 to make 1 more interesting and-or immersive and-or exciting whenever she can, because 1 is always going to be there no matter what and at whatever quality it was going to be at anyway. Why not dress it up a little?
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 08:22 PM
    Update: for me at least, things seem to be working again as normal at the moment - I can give xp, reply-with-quote works, and so on - though it seems a bit slower than before.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 08:16 PM
    I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure THAC0 was kicking around in Basic before this - which probably explains some of the confusion, as many of us kinda lumped Basic and AD&D together at the time mostly by using Basic modules in AD&D games. This, however, I don't mind - it reflects the warrior learning more about the foe she's facing as the combat goes on. And there's still some guesswork...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 07:18 AM
    Is isn't. But I still never used THAC0, for two reasons - one philosophical and one practical. Philosophical reason: both as player and DM I want the combat matrix (or later, BAB) to be DM-side info rather than player-side. Practical reason: for me as DM it puts in an extra unnecessary step in figuring out whether an attack hits or not; that step in fact being that I have to start the...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 07:07 AM
    Problem with that was - and still is - those adjustments can change back and forth fifteen times within a single session! Someone casts Strength on you - change adjustments, and again when it wears off You're firing a missile instead of swinging an axe - change adjustments (unless your Str and Dex just happen to give you the same to-hit bonus) Your axe is +2, your bow is +1 and your sword is...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 06:55 AM
    However, as there's times when it does matter, wouldn't it be best policy to treat these things - clarity of narration, inclusion of all relevant material, and good enough wordsmithery to hold the players' interest - as if they matter all the time and just get them right?
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 10:47 PM
    Can't xp those who reported the same issues I'm having, so they'll have to be virtual xp this time. :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 10:41 PM
    In part that's why I've never used THAC0. :) Which, going in to any battle, I posit you shouldn't; though figuring it out as the combat goes along is fine - it reflects the in-combat knowledge-gathering of your fighter. Same happens if you don't know the actual cutoff point - a high roll gets the hit, a low roll doesn't, with the added benefit of some tension on middling rolls when you're...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 10:29 PM
    Which very neatly gets you out of having to describe much detail at all, as the mechanics can cover all sorts of things at once. Mechanics like this are a cop-out, I think - instead of just calling for Brawn tests (low granularity of detail) I'd far rather be told the actual situation and then asked what my character specifically does about it (higher granulartity of detail). 'How shallow?'...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:55 AM
    How else do you do it? It's not like the combat matrix is player-side information. In this instance telling the DM your THAC0 is needless info for her. Just tell her your roll and your then-applicable bonuses and-or penalties; and she'll worry about a) the combat matrix and b) any bonuses/penalties that you don't know about. Why? Less for the players to worry about, and once you've done...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:49 AM
    Which represents a big underlying philosophy shift: it moves that information from the DM side (combat matrix) to the player side. I'd rather it stayed with the DM.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:42 AM
    I'm about as old-school as it gets and I've never used or liked THAC0. As a DM, I just use the 'rule of 21' (if the roll + bonuses - penalties + target's AC + attacker's fight level (a.k.a. BAB) adds to 21 or higher it's a hit). As a player, I'd rather let the DM worry about it. It's what she's there for. :) EDIT TO ADD: That said, I've never yet had a problem with the concept of...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 7th June, 2019, 06:10 AM
    You still need to paint the picture and make it all clear somehow, even if the players are already fully engaged. Why? Because if you don't you'll end up with players imagining or "seeing" the same situation in completely different ways both from each other and (worse) from you the DM, and reacting to it based on their own interpretation of what you-as-DM said. I've had this happen...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 5th June, 2019, 01:51 AM
    Well, not yet they haven't. All they've done at this point is shown interest and, in effect, said "show me more". That said, if they keep coming back to subsequent sessions of the same game then yes, they've bought it. :) True; and one of those reasons could well be the quality of the DM's narration. Is it flowery or is it dumbed-down? (too much of either could send players packing) Is...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 09:22 AM
    If you liked Volo's for the monsters, I think you will also like Mordenkainen's, even tho it doesn't have the in-depth monsters ecology chapters as Volo's, it still has plenty of monsters to use (the demon princes of nearly-unusable CRs are just a few pages). I think you can easily look at book previews just googling for them, so that you get a better idea at the page counts of different...
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  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 09:17 AM
    No, the world exists for ME, the DM!
    44 replies | 1321 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 11:10 PM
    Yes, for several reasons: 1. Not everything that happens in the setting is dictated or even affected by what the PCs happen to do or not do. The world is bigger than they are. That said, obviously at the table more attention is paid to things the PCs do and-or affect. 2. An NPC now could become a PC later. By that I mean if John's character dies at 7th level and doesn't come back John...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Monday, 3rd June, 2019, 10:51 PM
    All of which becomes utterly irrelevant without the answer to this one single most important question: are they GM cows or player cows? (and, if both, how do you tell them apart?)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 06:27 AM
    The Lost City - 25 Desert of Desolation - 26 Isle of Dread - 27 Castle Amber - 23 Red Hand of Doom - 19 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth - 13 Easy choice for me, for the time being: vote down the only one I'm not familiar with. :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 06:22 AM
    Ioun Stone 0 Never really been sold on characters wandering around with several of these things, looking like their own little solar system... Necklace of Adaptation 19 Necklace of Prayer Beads 13 Pearl of Power 16 Periapt of Health 3 Scarab of Protection 18
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Sunday, 2nd June, 2019, 06:13 AM
    I was almost completely with you up to here. But then... ...you said this. Why does murderhobo play ruin your investment? They're still interacting with your setting, aren't they; and isn't that the goal? Expecting them to interact with your setting in the particular way you want them to is a high-speed road to madness. :)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 09:26 PM
    Spell Compendium - Divine Spell Compendium - Arcane Every spell out there from any edition or official supplement, converted to 5e (or to another single edition - the point is that all the spells get converted to the same edition and put in one place).
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 08:20 PM
    While all quite true, what you're not saying is that this also demands a certain level of suspension of disbelief from the audience in order to ignore these elements. Different people hit their tolerance for such things at different points on the scale...and in different media. I'll suspend my disbelief far more readily for a TV show or movie, for example, than for an RPG. Why's that, you...
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 08:09 PM
    Both of these are true in my case: the setting is tailored to the type of campaign I want to run: broad, open-ended, where lots of things can happen but there's no guarantee that any or all of them will. Put another way perhaps, it's kind of a sandbox setting but set up for either sandbox play, story-based play, or (most of the time) a combination of these.
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 08:04 PM
    True, though if you've tailored your setting around one particular group of characters it's just that much more work to re-tailor it once 4 out of those 5 starting characters no longer exist...which might well be the case before the first adventure is done. Which one? There's at least five of them now... To me, it's largely on the players to find ways in which to involve their characters...
    106 replies | 3525 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 10:50 AM
    This assumes you'll have the same players at the table all the way through. For a short campaign this is fine, but for a long or open-ended one the more you tailor it to the starting players the harder it'll be to find and integrate new players later when the existing ones leave for whatever reason.
    106 replies | 3525 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 10:47 AM
    Which all sounds good but it very quickly runs hard aground on the failure of one critical underlying assumption: that the characters that start the campaign (and thus for whom the world/setting/story is built) will be around long enough for it to matter. Characters die, particularly at low level, and are replaced by different characters. Later, characters retire or are cycled out for...
    106 replies | 3525 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Saturday, 1st June, 2019, 10:25 AM
    No. The weapon is what it is (and if it's that famous the PCs will probably know what it is, or can easily find out) regardless of which if any PCs ever go looking for it or what their particular weapon proficiencies might be.
    106 replies | 3525 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 09:19 PM
    Internal consistency is far more important to me than getting the rules bang-on right every time. What this means in play is that ideally once a DM makes a ruling, then as far as possible that ruling becomes baked in for the rest of that campaign even if it's wrong (i.e. it becomes a house rule); particularly if that ruling had any significant impact on what happened in the fiction. Yes this...
    50 replies | 1713 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 09:02 PM
    Again, the original question was along the lines of what is required for an RPG, not what is unique to them. Also, even a completely GM-less game is still going to end up with one person who does the social co-ordination required to get people together on an ongoing basis...which falls exactly under the definition you quoted above: "A key person who co-ordinates/organizes/runs things and-or...
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 08:55 PM
    My goalposts remain firmly planted. Step back from the table and look at the overall process: Who suggested Fiasco? Who provided the rules? Who schedules and-or hosts the games? Who ends up getting the calls from players who can't make a session? Almost invariably the answers to at least any three of those questions end up being the same person...and that's the 'one key person' I'm...
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 08:48 PM
    Doesn't have to be a 'referee', though it could be. But there's always one person at the core; one person who - even if not the referee or whatever - at the very least initiates things by saying "let's play "...and who usually then provides the rules and who often ends up being a facilitator to some extent (convincing others to play, scheduling and co-ordinating, etc.). And yes, this 'one...
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 07:47 AM
    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...
    127 replies | 4565 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Li Shenron's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 07:43 AM
    As much as I liked 3.0 splatbooks back then, I do not want 5e to turn into 3ed, or any other edition for what matters. So the only supplements I would like to see in coming years are extra monsters books. Alternatively, I am fine with settings-specific books.
    71 replies | 2939 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Friday, 31st May, 2019, 01:31 AM
    Try it without one sometime...if you can. Someone has to take the initiative and get the game together one way or another; and though in different games/systems this can involve different duties and responsibilities as hawkeyefan says, the end result is the same: without this person there is no game.
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 08:12 PM
    5. A key person who co-ordinates/organizes/runs things and-or keeps things going (e.g. a DM or GM; or the person who books the LARP or public-game venue; or the host of a referee-less RPG, etc.)
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 10:33 AM
    Ioun Stone 13 Necklace of Adaptation 28 Necklace of Prayer Beads 14 Pearl of Power 20 Periapt of Health 17 Scarab of Protection 20
    304 replies | 6236 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 10:30 AM
    Keep on the Borderlands 16 Dragons of Despair 10 The Lost City - 21 Desert of Desolation - 20 Test of the Warlords - 20 Isle of Dread - 21 Castle Amber - 23 Red Hand of Doom - 21 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth - 17
    210 replies | 8232 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 10:17 AM
    Beer.
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 10:15 AM
    If it's an NPC or an opponent, by and large yes. If it's a PC I'd say it's on the DM to narrate the basic effect ("You prove unable to resist the dragonfear this time") and then it's on the player to somehow convey how that looks to the others present e.g. does the character cower down into a little ball, or stand there shaking and babbling, or back away more or less quickly, or flee screaming,...
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 08:41 PM
    Somewhat, yes. Plot is what's in place ahead of time, and-or is the framework. Story is what results from building on this framework (said 'building' in a typical RPG would be the simple act of playing the game). Plot-ahead-of-time isn't always necessary for a story to result, but once it has it'll still look in hindsight like the plot was there all along even if it wasn't.
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 08:35 PM
    Short answer: narration is still needed just as much, but here its work is more to translate those table mechanics into fictional events that the imagination can then work with and the players/characters can then react to and-or interact with.
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 08:29 PM
    And, again, occasional lack of clarity...see below... Clarity is one part of what makes a good presentation good. Narrative quality is another. Good underlying material to present is a third, but it's the least necessary of the three. There's some old Judges' Guild modules that signally fail at both clarity and NQ (and even when the achieve clarity, they often present the most evocative...
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
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  • Lanefan's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 08:27 PM
    In its writing? Not often. Maybe some WotC 4e modules such as Keep on the Shadowfell - the presentation in some of those make them seem like they'll play better than they actually do. (no I don't run 4e but I have converted several of its modules for my own game). B-10 Night's Dark Terror is another such - it reads much better than it plays, as I've twice now learned. But I have seen the...
    1470 replies | 40285 view(s)
    1 XP
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Thursday, 20th June, 2019


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Tuesday, 28th May, 2019


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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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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:

Friday, 5th April, 2019

  • 07:25 PM - lowkey13 quoted Li Shenron in post D&D Products That Were Never Used By Anyone?
    I want to believe that at least the authors would give it a try before selling :) All I know is ... if the playtested the Immortals Rules, they were probably trying copious amounts of drugs at the same time. Because you had to be either high, or in middle school (BUT I REPEAT MYSELF!) to play with those rules.

Wednesday, 27th March, 2019

  • 02:40 PM - Umbran quoted Li Shenron in post Chinese Government Burns Cthulhu RPG Print Run
    The uproar is understandable, but aren't we forgetting the most important point here: Cthulhu does not like this. How do *you* know? I submit that it didn't *tell* you so, because you are still capable of putting together a cogent sentence, which we wouldn't expect if you'd had direct communication with such an elder being. Cthulhu is not a god out there looking for human respect and worship, like some puny narcissistic human god looking for validation from mere mortals. Cthulhu sleeps, and then wakes, and uses the planet as a large buffet table. What we do in the meantime is irrelevant.

Friday, 22nd March, 2019

  • 03:36 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Li Shenron in post Does it ever matter which round you are in?
    With fewer, if any, spells and effect that last d-something rounds, it's certainly more abstract than in past editions. But yes, I've totally had combat encounters where something is going to happen after X number of rounds. If you're underwater and/or holding your breath, rounds might matter, especially if the PCs have been holding their breath for a while already. There are some spells that conceivably could run out, but even if those spells last a minute, that's what, ten rounds. How many fights even go that long? 2). Is there any situation where it really matters whether the initiative cycle has restarted so that you're in the next round? :uhoh:
  • 03:16 PM - billd91 quoted Li Shenron in post Does it ever matter which round you are in?
    Is there any situation where it really matters whether the initiative cycle has restarted so that you're in the next round? :uhoh: From the player perspective, I believe it hasn't mattered much since initiative became cyclical in 3e. Every PC's round runs from start of turn to start of next turn. It's just external stuff where it might matter for the DM's timing.

Monday, 18th March, 2019

  • 01:25 AM - Saelorn quoted Li Shenron in post Why the hate for complexity?
    A lot of people who like complexity actually like their own complexity. Almost everyone I know who is a fan of high-complexity games uses house rules in RPG because they are unsatisfied by how things are designed by the authors. I might be wrong, but I have developed the feeling that their true motive is simply wanting to be in charge, and perhaps even wanting to believe they are better than professional designers. It might be just a casual correlation of two different things, but at least it's something I've noticed first-hand in gamers I know. And I am also partially guilty of this myself!I think it's less about wanting to be in charge, and more about having a strong vision for what they want from a game. One of the benefits of a complex game is that they can give you a lot more detail about the outcome of an action, but unless you have the exact same vision as the game designer, you probably don't want those specific details. I can say with absolute certainty that any halfway-competent amat...

Friday, 15th March, 2019

  • 11:01 PM - BoxCrayonTales quoted Li Shenron in post Mind if I pedantically complain that monster manuals butcher myth/folklore/fairytale?
    D&D is a game about killing monsters, so if the monsters don't already to conform to that role, then they either need to be changed to fit or omitted from the game. Other games are not about killing monsters, so if you really want to give the creatures a fair shake, then you'd be better off dealing with them there. If you really want an accurate take on the wendigo (for example), then you shouldn't look for it in a game that assumes every problem can be fixed with a sword.Iíve always been frustrated by the inordinate focus on violence in RPGs. Plenty of fantasy stories resolved encounters with non-violent solutions. Iím not suggesting adding mental/social hit points or using a genuinely universal task resolution mechanic a la Risus, but I wish the rules had offered XP for any method of conflict resolution. Well, if we're going to be pedants here, no, it is not creatively bankrupt to re-imagine monsters as something different from their lore. However, taking my pedant hat off and lookin...

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

  • 03:23 PM - DEFCON 1 quoted Li Shenron in post Not your average HIDE questions
    Similarly, Keen Smell grants advantage to Perception thanks to the fact that you are using an extra sense in addition to sight and hearing (generally speaking, I think Keen Smell is on the weak side... I think even non-magical creatures such as a hound dog can almost invariably find someone by smell, so even granting a Stealth check in the first place is maybe too generous, but this is beyond the point). Heh... yeah, especially when you add in the fact that really the only time its ever going to come up "in-game" is probably out of combat when the PC is running away from the guy with the hound dog. At that point the narrative will usually take over for the DM and they'll just make rulings as part of some sort of "chase scene" where the PC is trying to run away while also not getting hounded (pun intended) by the guy and his dog. Stealth checks and Keen Smell will all get mushed together into some sort of skill check melange as the DM tries to make the scene interesting and compelling. And a...
  • 03:17 PM - Rya.Reisender quoted Li Shenron in post Not your average HIDE questions
    I think the Hide action tells that the others roll a Wisdom(Perception) check, so Passive Perception isn't used in combat by default. That's because Passive Perception is said by the RAW to be used (a) to represent average results for tasks done repeatedly, and (b) when the DM just doesn't want to roll dice. But then of course the DM can always choose option (b), and you can also argue that "keeping an eye on anyone trying to hide" in combat qualifies as a task done repeatedly. Actually the Hiding and Surprise rules pretty concretely refer to passive perception. It's an exception to the common rule.

Monday, 11th March, 2019

  • 07:32 AM - Azzy quoted Li Shenron in post Natural Weapons; What's Your Take?
    Uhm... it rather sounds to me that the Tabaxi creates a precedent that it must be specified for a natural weapon to be usable as unarmed strikes. You can indeed see it that way, or that, since no other creature that has natural weapons has descriptive text that describes what natural weapons are or how they interact with other rules, that the Tabaxi's description is how natural attacks work and interact is the assumed norm rather than a special one-off as it is not contradicting any existing description or rule.
  • 01:20 AM - Yunru quoted Li Shenron in post Natural Weapons; What's Your Take?
    I don't think that Alter Self creates a general rule for the game. The game is exception-based so if only Alter Self says that your unarmed strikes damage increase, it means it's a specific benefit of Alter Self. Of course it doesn't, but then again, each race's Darkvision is different and specific to them, but they all match the basic mechanics of the general rule (with only the tint being different). Is it unreasonable to expect that whatever the general rule is for natural weapons (since it's never specified) to do likewise, given that every instance of them having a specific ruling all alter Unarmed Strikes? (at least there are monsters who do e.g. bites and unarmed attacks separately) Sure, but there are also monsters who do bites and claws separately, or Tabaxi players under the effect of Alter Self who could do the same. Or Tabaxi players who decide they're going to headbutt someone instead of using their claws. Three possibilities, including my vote: they are a differen...

Sunday, 10th March, 2019

  • 10:11 PM - Satyrn quoted Li Shenron in post Natural Weapons; What's Your Take?
    Why? I don't think you "wield" your natural weapons, just like you don't "wear" your natural armor. But if that had to be the case, I'd rather rule that tabaxi monks don't work than to be forced to rule something more general. I just have a real hard time not thinking my cat is wielding his claws when he can so readily lash out with them when I disturb his sleep. :uhoh: That said, this whole poll is unanswerable for me. Like I think the claws simply shouldn't work with Pact of the Blade because the feature is clearly about a material item, there's no way I wouldn't count the claws as a monk weapon since a hefty part of Martial Arts is about using your body itself as the weapon and a natural weapon is definitely a part of your body.


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.
161 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...
8634 +4 5 Monday, 3rd July, 2017, 12:28 PM Wednesday, 27th December, 2017, 03:56 PM

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