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  • Jer's Avatar
    Today, 04:28 PM
    Jer replied to Homogenized Races?
    I mix it up depending on how far up the magic scale the beings we're talking about are - the more magical a group of beings are, the less naturalistic I play their cultures and languages. For example, elves in my worlds tend to be pretty magical and tied to the rest of the fey, so the idea that they all speak a magical language that hasn't change since the dawn of creation is generally fine to...
    8 replies | 173 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Today, 12:29 PM
    A lot of my favorite 13th age mechanics are already mentioned, so here's another one: you get two ability bonuses during character creation, but only one comes from your race. The other comes from your class (and it can't be the same as the one you picked from your race - you choose between two). This little change actually open up a lot of room for players and I love it. I also think Fate...
    10 replies | 388 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Today, 01:58 AM
    To screw with my kid's head. (Literally this weekend: "What do you mean wraiths aren't vulnerable to radiant damage? Check that again that has to be wrong." They've just been assuming that radiant damage was hitting the undead harder - until they met one with enough hp to make them suspicious. Good times...) Please don't ask this question - someone may post a diagram and then I'd need eye...
    111 replies | 3214 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:21 PM
    I'm not sure if this is the same thing that you're saying or not, but... My thought is that any "similarities" between PF2 and 4e arise because the developers of both are in similar headspaces - i.e. "the 3.5 D&D engine has certain balance issues that everyone knows about and make it hard to develop for - how can we fix the engine to make it more balanced so that it's easier to extend?" If...
    5 replies | 307 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:18 PM
    Oh no - we're now in the pedantic thing about D&D that I hate, which is "arguments about what hit points are". Not hit points themselves, but the arguments that they spawn...
    111 replies | 3214 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:01 PM
    As a DM, I like the idea of this (depending on how its implemented in the monster stat block). I like the idea of monsters having particular roles, and the idea that all of the monsters can lock down combatants and keep them from moving is something I'm less and less enthused about as the years go by. I also like the idea that only the PCs who are supposed to be engaged in melee are able to...
    114 replies | 5863 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:16 PM
    100% yes, because I make it matter. In fact, I consider it one of my primary jobs as the DM to take the story hooks that the players have given me for their characters and figure out how to use them. If a player is playing an gnome in my game, then gnomes are somehow going to be in the foreground of my game. If nobody is playing an gnome, then it doesn't matter and gnomes will regress into the...
    77 replies | 2119 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:46 PM
    Troupe style play! Yes - that's almost how we played Ars in college. Almost because it was more often the case that we'd have more than one of the wizards in the group and we each had multiple henchmen that we could choose from. (I actually enjoyed playing my henchmen characters more because, well, I was an Ars newb and didn't know the magic system inside and out like some of the others did,...
    79 replies | 2470 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 03:16 PM
    Jer replied to OSR Gripes
    I don't know how prevalent this is, but... I know a DM who is a big OSR booster. When I asked him a question much like this his response was basically that "modern" game engines had rules for everything baked in in one of two ways - either there is an explict rule for it that the players know because it's in the player-facing rulebook, or because the game uses a "core mechanic" for task...
    209 replies | 6355 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Friday, 12th July, 2019, 02:39 PM
    If you just looked at prior history in 2000, 10 years seems about right. The core of AD&D 1e came out over 3 years, but regardless of which year you pick (77-79) there was a roughly 10 year span until 2e was released in 1989. Then 3e was released in 2000 (though IMO that timing had as much to do with TSR's corporate struggles as it did for a "natural" span between editions). Looking at it from...
    24 replies | 758 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 05:02 PM
    What are you hoping to get out of this kind of change? Is the goal to make character creation more random and force people to make more decisions between playing "optimal" characters in classes they don't want to play vs. "suboptimal" characters in classes they do want to play? Like a player that rolls a Str cap of 24 and a Cha cap of 16 is now faced with the choice of the sorcerer they...
    51 replies | 1201 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:26 PM
    But that isn't a fighter archetype - that's a protagonist archetype. That kind of character could become the Dread Pirate (rogue) Roberts or discover their inborn sorcerous abilities or be forced to make a pact with an archfey to save their life. Or meet an old retired mystic from a lost order of psionics users who gives them a laser sword and teaches them how to harness their inborn psionic...
    106 replies | 2230 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:45 PM
    Jer replied to Player's Attention
    I regret that I have only one XP that I can give for this post. The power dynamic of the group at the table - including the ages of everyone involved and how everyone is related - plays into how the DM can handle the situation. If you don't have a handle on that dynamic, and you just follow generic DMing advice, you are as likely to make things worse as you are to fix a problem. Over the...
    31 replies | 1293 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:54 PM
    Heh. I play D&D because it's what other people want to play, mostly. My friends want to play heroic fantasy characters facing epic threats against the world, so we play 13th Age. The kids I run games for specifically want to play D&D because it's what they have access to and what their friends at school talk about, so they wanted to learn it specifically. Mostly what people want to play is...
    79 replies | 2470 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 02:13 PM
    The answer to the question that is the title of your post (i.e. why isn't everything scaled by proficiency bonus) is "because 4th edition did it the way you suggest and it was one of the things people complained about that they adjusted for 5th edition". There's an argument to be made that some folks weren't complaining about the idea of advancing all of the skills by the same amount, just the...
    224 replies | 5484 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 03:38 AM
    In 13A the sorcerer also gets a random chaos effect on the round they lose to gather power. It's either some kind of small but automatic damage to nearby enemies or a bonus to your defenses until your next turn starts. I know the sorcerer in my group typically has zero problems making that trade off and uses gather power whenever they can.
    79 replies | 2900 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 10th July, 2019, 12:56 AM
    Mystara exists in a completely separate multiverse where "Crystal Spheres" don't exist and an infinite number of Outer Planes do exist. Mystara exists in a solar system similar to our own, in a galaxy that may be the Milky Way because Mystara is very likely an Alternate Earth in a very Old School sense. The only way to travel between Mystara and what were once known as the "AD&D Worlds" is via...
    38 replies | 2143 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 06:05 PM
    No, the premise here is that Wizards controls the lore on their publication schedule. And that some people would like to have access to the spoilers.
    38 replies | 2143 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:56 PM
    The problem isn't a dice pool where you compute a total - if that's the case you take the average as you say, or maybe average all but 3-4 of the dice and roll them so that you can have the thrill of getting some randomness in the mix. The problem is with a dice pool where you care about the numbers, not the total. In Exalted, for example, you don't care about the total, you care about the...
    19 replies | 514 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 05:44 PM
    I get that. In fact I'm a fan of adding +level (or +fraction of level) to things in general for level-based systems - it's not only an easy mechanic to explain, it also makes character level matter and it makes it easy to keep threats scaled appropriately if everyone is adding the same number to things. What I don't get is combining that with a scale of 5 levels of proficiency - it feels like...
    131 replies | 9192 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:52 PM
    I mean, that would be my guess. If the single biggest retroclone for 3e is disallowed by the rules of the poll, so it's unsurprising to see 3e with a goose egg right now. And I wouldn't say PF is 3e but "better" - because better is subjective. It's 3e that is being actively supported, which is important for some folks.
    39 replies | 1483 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 03:05 PM
    When I saw this poll, I thought "well, the answer is going to be 5e overwhelmingly, because that's what most people talk about around here." And lo and behold, that seems to be the case. I am a bit surprised at the small number of 2e folks given the love it seems to get in comments, but that may be because of the lack of widely played 2e clones - the retroclone folks have done a lot with B/X...
    39 replies | 1483 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 9th July, 2019, 02:22 PM
    I'd like this unpacked a bit, because I don't get that criticism. With an approach of "wait until you see if you succeed or fail at a roll and then narrate why you succeeded or failed" I would argue the player has ALL of the agency. If anything I could see a criticism that it takes the control away from the DM, as the DM has to give up some control over how information flows in their world to...
    79 replies | 2900 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 07:23 PM
    When I looked at the playtest last summer an attack was attribute modifier + level + proficiency bonus. Looking at the example of character creation that they posted on their blog last week it looks like this is still the case (except that I thought proficiency bonus was -1/+0/+1/+2/+3 for untrained/trained/expert/master/legendary and now it looks like its +0/+2/+4/+6/+8). So kind of both? ...
    131 replies | 9192 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 05:59 PM
    Is it still roleplaying if you are only able to play yourself though? And for the way I play you have it backward - first you use the resolution mechanic to see if your dumb barbarian can solve the problem, then you go into the explanation of what the roll means. That way if you succeed then you can play out the "Gronk has brilliant idea" moment where the dumb barbarian actually comes up...
    79 replies | 2900 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 03:06 PM
    I have two players in my group who had a really bad experience with a D&D Next playtest event at Origins. I didn't get to attend that event with them for some reason but their impression of the system was that it was boring and led to a playstyle that they hated (i.e. overly cautious and unheroic - or "like one of the crummy versions of D&D we played in junior high, back before good games...
    114 replies | 5863 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 03:01 PM
    Selling printed copies as a convenience for folks who wanted a printed copy should be against the law? Why? The playtest documents were available for free on their website as a PDF. If you wanted to print them on your own computer you could. If you wanted a printed copy it would probably be cheaper to just buy one of the printed books Paizo was selling though - once you calculate how much...
    114 replies | 5863 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 8th July, 2019, 02:45 PM
    No - that's not what I'm saying. The THAC0 chart for fighters and other "fighting man" types was +1 per level. Not for everyone else though. Every edition prior to 4e had combat bonus progressions that varied by class. Prior to 2e "To Hit AC" tables varied by class - different classes used different tables. In 2e these tables were codified such that the "Warrior" types improved their THAC0...
    131 replies | 9192 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 03:32 PM
    That question was answered when the OP titled the thread. Because on the Internet "if the headline of an article is a question, then the answer to that question is 'No'". :)
    131 replies | 9192 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 04:35 AM
    Well, the playtest was, so it would be really weird (and possibly legally indefensible- though IANAL) if the final rules weren't OGL. Plus it would be a dumb move on their part. Wizard's attempt to roll back the OGL when they released 4e was a dumb move on their part, and would be even dumber for Paizo, who needs community goodwill far more than Hasbro does to survive.
    1012 replies | 71256 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 4th July, 2019, 01:54 AM
    Personally I think collapsing classes down is folly - but if you're starting down the path of "all classes are just subclasses of some core idea" then the monk could be viewed as a warrior who wears no armor and fights unarmed, a rogue is a warrior who wears light armor and uses sneaky tactics, a ranger is a warrior who wears light armor and focuses on ranged attacks and/or two weapon fighting...
    60 replies | 1860 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 07:55 PM
    Every class is redundant. My proposal is to create a single class called "Adventurer" and then create a point buy system designed to allow anyone to build up any of the existing classes via point allocations... I'm sorry - what were we talking about?
    60 replies | 1860 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 04:00 PM
    I mean, "Method 0" in the sense that IIRC Gygax explicitly pleaded with the reader to NOT USE THIS METHOD to generate characters because it's just terrible for AD&D. 3d6 in order works fine for OD&D, where there were a handful of basic classes and stats mostly gave some minor bonuses (though truly awful stats in your class prime requisite would mean that you had to earn a lot more XP to...
    67 replies | 1945 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 02:41 AM
    Honestly, while I might be checking in on the Pathfinder 2e news and flipping through the books when I see them, I doubt that even with major positive reviews I'll be jumping on board until a new Beginner Box comes out for it. There's just something about a good intro product to get me on board for a system even though I've been gaming for almost 40 years (good Lord that can't be right, can it? ...
    114 replies | 5863 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 06:29 PM
    Has anyone actually seen the final product yet? I thought it wasn't out until GenCon?
    114 replies | 5863 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 06:16 PM
    I think it's because the XP rules are only in 5e because they're a thing that D&D players expect to be there. Much like how the game still hands out monetary treasure but doesn't really give you much to spend it on or how stats still range from 3-18 even though the bonus is generally the only thing that matters - it's there because it wouldn't be D&D without it, but I don't think the design team...
    45 replies | 1766 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 05:00 PM
    If I were your GM I would have had White Court vamps just dripping with mockery every time you showed up anywhere they could remotely be. You're one of the cool, beautiful psychic vampires and you choose to own a game store? And feed off people showing up to buy Magic cards every week? Sure you might have power, but at what cost? AT WHAT COST??? Even the guys feeding off the strung out...
    101 replies | 5011 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 2nd July, 2019, 03:54 PM
    I would add to that the fact that everyone has a single proficiency bonus that scales with level at the same rate, rather than different Base Attack Bonuses/THAC0/To-hit charts by class. 5e took the "add 1/2 your level" mechanic from 4e, changed it to (roughly) "add 1/4 your level +1" and nobody blinks at it. The "if you're not proficient in it, you don't get to add the bonus" instead of...
    131 replies | 9192 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 09:03 PM
    Jer replied to BECMI for 5e?
    I actually think the boxed sets having new rules is something that on a case-by-case basis is fine - so long as the reason for it makes sense for the target audience. I also think duplicating those rules in another book - if it's appropriate - is also fine. The sidekick rules, for example, fill a need that is really common among folks who are trying to learn the game, which is that it's often...
    35 replies | 1544 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 07:30 PM
    Jer replied to BECMI for 5e?
    To be fair - what (Holmes) Basic was supposed to be was a clean introduction to the game that would allow you to transition fairly easily to the Original D&D booklets. It wasn't supposed to become it's own game line hived off from the core trunk - that only happened due to the ugliness of Gygax wanting to claim that AD&D was a different game from D&D to avoid paying Arneson royalties AD&D books....
    35 replies | 1544 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 1st July, 2019, 05:21 PM
    We used 3d6 down the line, allowing you to adjust a score in your "prime requisite" on a 2-to-1 basis with another stat (i.e. subtract 2 from the stat to add 1 to your "prime requisite" score). If you got less than a 9 in all of your stats, you rolled up a new character. Later we went with 3d6, assign them however you want. Of course, we were playing Basic/Expert D&D so stats barely mattered...
    67 replies | 1945 view(s)
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  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 07:25 PM
    Oh yes - I will actually just have the table of stats next to me and adjust stats on the fly. I've even reached the point where I can improvise a new monster in 13A by using the stats on the table and some ideas of how its attacks should work. The scaling by level system works well, and if I screw up and make things too hard the Escalation Die mechanic ends up covering a lot of design sins too...
    27 replies | 995 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 06:56 PM
    I like how 13th Age solved this problem, which was that if you're firing into melee and you roll a 1, you have to reroll the attack against your ally in the melee instead. If there are multiple allies, it's GM's choice (which I resolve as a random roll). There's a general feat you can take that negates this chance. This fits well with the more theater of the mind nature of 13th age ranges as...
    28 replies | 1059 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 04:42 PM
    There's a set of products for 13th Age called "Battle Scenes" which are basically something like this - 3-4 combat encounters that have been given a rough narrative to link them together if you want, but can also be broken apart and just used as single encounters. These include interesting terrain on the map, suggestions for win conditions that aren't just "kill them all", and narrative hooks...
    27 replies | 995 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 04:09 PM
    There is no definitive Greyhawk adventure. Because Greyhawk fans don't agree on what Greyhawk is. Some will hew to the idea that the only stuff that "counts" is the stuff that was published before Gygax left. Others will insist that everything pre-Wars is the only stuff that counts as Greyhawk. Still others love the post-Wars stuff but will reject the 3rd edition Greyhawk products as not...
    21 replies | 886 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 03:55 PM
    I hear you - I'm fine with Fate but the rest of my group really isn't. That said, the Fate Accelerated rules are lightweight enough that I think the Dresden Accelerated book would be easy enough to port to another system (I've toyed with using Icons actually - for some reason my group is fine with Icons where they aren't with Fate and I can't figure out why because the two games share so much...
    101 replies | 5011 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 03:54 PM
    I suspect that's because the Dresden Files franchise is as close to "generic urban fantasy setting" as you can get. And I don't meant that as a knock - I personally love the Dresden Files - but that Butcher has basically created a series that is as close to "D&D fantasy" as a genre as the urban fantasy genre gets. His world is basically a "kitchen-sink" world of fantasy and horror tropes - much...
    101 replies | 5011 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 06:24 PM
    Honestly this is my answer. There isn't enough information for me to know what I would do. For example - is this a "clue" that the adventure needs the players to have in order to keep moving? Will the game grind to a dead stop if someone doesn't figure this out? Then they're going to figure it out and we'll need to work out a justification for it. (My usual tactic on this would be to find...
    63 replies | 2016 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Tuesday, 25th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    I don't recall ever playing in a D&D game prior to 2nd edition AD&D that would let clerics wield edged weapons (and none of the groups I played with in that span had monks or druids in it, so the other two never came up). There were consistent grumblings that the rule against edged weapons made no sense, but mostly from folks who didn't play clerics anyway as I recall (I was almost always the...
    49 replies | 1846 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 07:30 PM
    I have run a few scenarios where the trolls have figured out that if they build their lairs in water, the threats of both fire and acid are reduced. The first time a group of experienced players encounters a group of trolls in a half-submerged room with waterfalls pouring in and a drain going out is always exciting (first as they quickly figure out that their fires aren't going to work and the...
    26 replies | 1029 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:53 PM
    I've toyed with a lot of different approaches over the years in different campaigns. Beyond just a vanilla "the gods are real, they grant spells, don't worry about it" model that I tend to default to if nobody cares enough to make it a campaign point, I've also had: * The gods are real, but they're basically the Marvel Comics version of the gods. They don't sit around granting spells to...
    31 replies | 1410 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Jer's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:38 PM
    To me, with the questions they asked and who they sent the survey out to (i.e. people who follow them on Facebook and Twitter) this survey has the feel of them seeing if the kind of fans who follow them on Facebook/Twitter would be interested in buying a campaign setting boxed set that was targeted at the folks who are buying boxed sets from Target. I know there was an interview posted with...
    92 replies | 5140 view(s)
    1 XP
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Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 09:36 PM - Mercurius mentioned Jer in post Speculating on the Future of D&D
    Really nicely characterized Jer. The only place where we might differ is in our understanding and usage of “kitchen sink.” I see it as a term for a setting that is not tightly thematic ala Dark Sun, but offers a wide range of cultures and themes and emphasizes diversity of play options over specific thematic flavor. So while I agree with (and really like) your take on Greyhawk and FR, I consider both to be kitchen sink settings that offer a wide range of cultures and themes to choose from, even if the Realms might be a more “extreme kitchen sink” and Greyhawk a bit more specific in thematic flavor.

Monday, 12th February, 2018

  • 05:07 AM - Nevvur mentioned Jer in post How long til you modified 5e?
    ...mizability of 5e to earlier editions, assuming you have experience with any of them? (open question if anyone else wants to respond) @Satyrn: You mentioned inventing new monsters doesn't count as modifying. I respectfully disagree, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn I'm in the minority in defining homebrew content as such. The distinction for me is whether the thing implies consideration of mechanical impact on game play. Something to do with the mystical developer's "stamp of approval" some GMs prefer or require before giving a thing serious consideration for inclusion in their own games. Not that anyone needs WotC's approval to modify the game and have fun doing it, and anyway, custom monsters are some of the lowest-impact form of house rules (again, as I define it). Even so, I'd like to avoid derailing the thread with a debate about semantics. However you and others approach the question and select an answer is fine by me. Clarifications in written responses are appreciated. @Jer: I hope my explanation to Satyrn explains the difference between the thread title and poll question - that is, there's no difference as far as I'm concerned. I did state that rulings on nebulous systems ("situations... that aren't explicit in the rules" in your words) should be excluded. If you feel otherwise, that's fine. I'm not going to try to police the thread, so again, people can answer the question/poll as they see fit. Also again, clarifications like yours are appreciated. @ad_hoc: You wrote that it's impossible not to house rule. Adventurer's League players, in theory, should all be operating under the exact same set of rules. A person who has only ever DMd AL would have a "Never" response if they're abiding by AL guidelines. That's not always the case, of course. However, as defined in the OP, rulings are not house rules (see response to Jer). @redrick: You identified an interesting grey area - codification of a ruling. I feel there's a difference between codification of ...

Wednesday, 25th January, 2017

  • 04:19 PM - SkidAce mentioned Jer in post Cosmological Layout
    ...er planes in the middle band connected - are Shadow and The Bright and the Inner Planes "just" other material planes or are they special? (And is The Bright your own take on the Feywild or something else?) Are the Astral Dominions where the gods live? Does your cosmology have Devils? If so, where are they - astral or in the Abyss. And what's Limbo in your cosmology? And are the Spirelands the entirety of the Great Wheel cosmology from 1e/2e or is it just the outlands? Or is it something different and you chose that image to be more evocative of an idea than a way to incorporate Planescape material into your cosmology? So many interesting questions raised by an image - thanks for posting it! Thanks everyone for all the input. This cosmos had a lot of rough edges that have slowly morphed into the final state you see here over the years. I wanted it to be similar to the layout we started with in 1e, but incorporate the ideas and thoughts from other literature and sources. To Jer 's questions. Material Planes: Think Spelljammer Spheres without a solid boundary floating in the Void (custom plane) like our universe or solar system would be. So there could be one or several planets to a sphere. Shadow/Bright: Reflections of a material sphere created by the ringing of the Carillon of Stars, not every sphere has both or either of them, although many do. Influenced by Positive Energy and Negative Energy. Bright is Feywild based. Side note: the gods rang the carillon once trying to create more worlds and said "oops" and since it cracked when it was rung, have never fixed it. Connections: The Ethereal Plane flows and ebbs in varying densities across the cosmos. Low Ethereal = low magic. Ethereal only leads to other material spheres along special established paths. Shadow and The Bright are reached from their connected world via the Ethereal. Each Bright is a mostly self contained reflection (or is it?), while Shadow seems to lead eventually to all manner o...

Monday, 9th January, 2017

  • 08:45 AM - pemerton mentioned Jer in post Tales From The Yawning Portal - 7 Classic Dungeons Updated To 5E!
    If mad house dungeon was what they were going for, X2 is the way to go. Someone linked to an RPG.net play through with 3.0 rules from 2004 and it's hysterical.That was me. I plan on running X2 in about two months when my party is the right level. After four serious adventures I think a loony one is a good break. But White Plume Mountain, for whatever reason, doesn't quite meet my threshold for acceptably crazy.I think that S2 is just crazy. But it has nothing else going on. Whereas (as Jer and lowkey13 pointed out) X2, while (in my view at least) also crazy, has a sometimes sinister creepiness also going on. That is, the two modules aren't just different in degree but I think in kind also.

Friday, 2nd December, 2016

  • 07:01 AM - doctorbadwolf mentioned Jer in post Do you care about setting "canon"?
    ...omain, so I've blurred the distinction between the two in my 4e campaign, leaving it a matter of moot philosphical debate whether it's just an extension of the Feywild into the Astral Sea and rather the immortals/exalted there are actually/also fey or not - whatever, the case, neither fey nor immortals consider themselves 'mortal' in the sense that natural creatures are.... Oh, and the one time a played an Eladrin, he insisted on calling himself a 'High Elf,' and, on a point of religious/philosophical/family dogma, refused to acknowledge the elf/eladrin/drow trichotomy. Great explanation. My half elf bard was half eladrin, and the eladrin Feylock I played later viewed "High Elf" as a lady human term used by people who can't be bothered to learn the proper Elven term for an Elf whose blood still carries the old Fey magic. But yeah, other than some reorganizing of how the planes are understood, and statistical representation....I'm still not sure what actually changed. also what @Jer said. Especially about Arborea and the Feywild. Of course, I also have the feywild and the Shadowfell as kinda the same plane, with different regions and domains, and honestly I prefer my planes to be a lot less distinct and rigidly demarcated. Basically I have an Otherworld, which includes bits of both, and some other stuff. And the elf gods live there, as does the Raven Queen, and Mask (who isn't quite FR mask. More chaotic neutral god of trickery, and not giving a damn about your cosmic balance malarkey) and even some of the more wild demon lords, like that one Minotaur demon. about gnolls. That is a huge change. It is a change that takes them from being "savage" antagonists that can be fought or bargained with, or PLAYED, and making them only capable of being one thing, because they literally can't NOT rampage. It's a complete contradiction of past lore, and wildly changes the niche they fill in the world. If gnolls were just hyena-orcs before, they aren't anymore. They can'...

Monday, 25th January, 2016

  • 10:49 PM - Xethreau mentioned Jer in post DM's Guild Five-Star Freebies
    Jer and kyalan - I am in the midst of reviewing a set of additional products--mostly adventures! Hopefully I will be done with them sometime tonight. In the mean time if you guys or anybody else wants to contribute reviews, please do so!

Wednesday, 19th August, 2015

  • 08:48 PM - Talmek mentioned Jer in post Help! Any 5e adventures I can hand to kids?
    Jer It's funny that you mention Glitterdoom as that is what the kids will be playing next. I really ran FSF as an experiment (that I'm totally stoked about with the kids actually wanting to play) but now that they are hooked I think that we will be doing that one soon. Based on a review of the material Glitterdoom is a bit shorter (17-20 pages cover to cover) whereas Fey Sisters' Fate was somewhere closer to 30. Additionally, it appears that based on content and adventure setup Glitterdoom will play similarly to FSF. Hope this helps!
  • 08:29 PM - Talmek mentioned Jer in post Help! Any 5e adventures I can hand to kids?
    Hi Jer, I would recommend "The Fey Sisters' Fate" by Goodman Games. I ran it for my kids (11, 9 & 7) in a couple of sessions (8 hours total) and they had a blast with it. It's a pretty linear quest path (good for kids) and the plot is also straightforward with minimal NPC involvement. I would recommend it to any new GM regardless of age as long as their audience isn't looking for an open-world/sandbox experience. Good luck!

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Monday, 15th July, 2019

  • 08:19 PM - zztong quoted Jer in post Pathfinder Second Edition: I hear it's bad - Why Bad, How Bad?
    Do you know if other front line type characters have the option of picking up this ability? I'm thinking mostly of paladins and melee clerics here. If you're willing to multi-class, yes. I did it with a Wizard. IIRC (Playtest Rules) you could have 1 AOO per day for 1 Feat and unlimited AOO per day for 2 Feats.

Saturday, 13th July, 2019

  • 11:55 AM - Garthanos quoted Jer in post Doing away with INT/WIS/CHA
    In 13A the sorcerer also gets a random chaos effect on the round they lose to gather power. It's either some kind of small but automatic damage to nearby enemies or a bonus to your defenses until your next turn starts. I know the sorcerer in my group typically has zero problems making that trade off and uses gather power whenever they can. That is very nice... I was still thinking a minor action un-related but this is better its like the after effect in that ti can be customized to the specific muli-round action. I like it. And of course given my purview for for martial equity now I am trying to think of something interesting for martial during the initial stages of a multi-part combo.

Friday, 12th July, 2019

  • 03:46 PM - Celebrim quoted Jer in post OSR Gripes
    The more information the game gives to the players - via rules, skills, etc. - the more it ties his hands and the less he likes it. (This is also part of why we don't game with each other - we have diametrically opposing views on player collaboration at the table and neither of us enjoys the others' preferred style of play. He also likes everyone to start out as a level-0 dirtfarmer and earn their fun through dozens of character deaths before you finally get the right kind of luck to get someone to survive to a level where you have enough hit points to get through a fight, which is a style of play I literally no longer have time for.) You aren't overturning my stereotype of OSR GM's here. I mean I've already got people up in arms so I'm not going to really delve into this, but there is a school of GMing out there - lets call it the John Wick school - where an RPG is only fun if the players have no agency and as soon as the players start to have some control then its time to ditch the...

Thursday, 11th July, 2019

  • 07:55 PM - Saelorn quoted Jer in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    What I don't get is combining that with a scale of 5 levels of proficiency - it feels like two mechanics that solve the same kind of problem in two different ways have been combined together. It also seems like it would lose some of the elegance that adding +level to things gets you. Though maybe it plays differently than it reads.It's two different problems. The level bonus addresses the issue of epic heroes being better than novice ones. The proficiency bonus addresses the issue of individual distinction within heroes of the same caliber. What I don't get is why they need both proficiency bonus and ability modifiers, since those both address the issue of distinction within a tier. It would make more sense to use either one or the other.
  • 06:37 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Jer in post Fighting With Style, Fighting Styles as Level 1 subclass choices
    But that isn't a fighter archetype - that's a protagonist archetype. That kind of character could become the Dread Pirate (rogue) Roberts or discover their inborn sorcerous abilities or be forced to make a pact with an archfey to save their life. Or meet an old retired mystic from a lost order of psionics users who gives them a laser sword and teaches them how to harness their inborn psionic abilities to fight blind and manipulate weak minds. All of that is to say that for 5e D&D those are things that are background elements for the other classes before you start playing them. Why should the fighter class work differently? Exactly. The farm boys I can think of off hand from modern fiction are Luke Skywalker and Rand Al'thor, a Monk and Sorcerer, respectively. Wesley could easily be argued to be a Battle Master Fighter, but I'd certainly play him as a rogue. As a fighter he'd require the Skilled feat, whereas as a rogue he'd need no specific feats. Going back to Wheel of Time, you've...
  • 05:26 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jer in post Why don't everything scale by proficiency bonus?
    The answer to the question that is the title of your post (i.e. why isn't everything scaled by proficiency bonus) is "because 4th edition did it the way you suggest and it was one of the things people complained about that they adjusted for 5th edition".I guess that's the elephant in the room, yeah. 5e took a lot of thing 4e did very well, but overtly, and kept traces of them that didn't work nearly so well, but were less obvious. Proficiency is one of them. And, yes, granting scaling across the board would be obvious, and thus have invited renewed edition warring. But not really that different. The big change from past eds to 4e was not the magnitude of scaling or the blanket nature of it, but the parity. Prior to 4e, saves had scaled at different rates, skills (when they existed) at different rates, and especially, Attack Matrixes/THAC0/BAB at very different rates. 4e equalized all that. A Fighter's sword attack and the wizard's dagger attack scaled at the same basic rate...
  • 05:15 PM - Monayuris quoted Jer in post 40 Million People Have Played D&D [UPDATED!]
    Wait - it doesn't? Are you saying that the DM doesn't have to run more characters than the players do? The DM has to run all of the NPCs the players encounter including all of the monsters - the players only need to worry about one character. If you get your fun out of immersing yourself in a single character - either because you like to immerse yourself in a role and play it to the hilt, or tactically because you like to figure out how all of your different abilities can be used on a battlefield, or for any other reason players have for enjoying playing a single character, then you aren't going to get that fun out of being a DM. Are you saying that the DM doesn't have to lose more battles than the players do? If you're DMing right you will lose and lose and lose again because if you don't your players aren't going to come back. If you get your fun out of the thrill of winning a battle, you aren't going to get that fun from being a DM. Are you saying that the DM doesn't have to get ...
  • 06:44 AM - Scrivener of Doom quoted Jer in post 40 Million People Have Played D&D [UPDATED!]
    This attitude is pernicious and wrong. The main reason that players don't want to DM is because they don't find DMing to be fun. Us weirdos who like to run the game, coming up with dozens of characters and plots, losing hundreds of battles, and generally having to play second fiddle to the "stars" of the game are the strange ones. It's like the difference between being an actor and a director - neither one is lazier than the other, they each get fulfillment from different parts of the creative process. (snip) Pernicious, eh? Players are fundamentally lazier than DMs. There is far less work to do as a player. There are fewer responsibilities, especially between sessions. Nevertheless, they're still a necessary component of the game and thus have value. (And as a DM-for-life, I'm glad they're lazy. :) ) As for the director and actor analogy, being a director means being responsible for the performance of *everybody* involved in the film; being an actor means being responsible for your ...
  • 04:38 AM - Monayuris quoted Jer in post 40 Million People Have Played D&D [UPDATED!]
    This attitude is pernicious and wrong. The main reason that players don't want to DM is because they don't find DMing to be fun. Us weirdos who like to run the game, coming up with dozens of characters and plots, losing hundreds of battles, and generally having to play second fiddle to the "stars" of the game are the strange ones. It's like the difference between being an actor and a director - neither one is lazier than the other, they each get fulfillment from different parts of the creative process. (And there are those who enjoy both. I rarely get to play the game anymore - once a year or so when I'm at a con - because I DM all the time. It's a different experience playing vs. DMing, and frankly even though I like playing, I prefer DMing. That doesn't make me better than my players, it just makes me someone who gets more enjoyment from running the game than they do.) This is kind of what I've been alluding to in wanting something that makes DM'ing easier to pick up. Being a DM...

Wednesday, 10th July, 2019

  • 02:55 AM - Parmandur quoted Jer in post WotC's Secret Lore Book
    Mystara exists in a completely separate multiverse where "Crystal Spheres" don't exist and an infinite number of Outer Planes do exist. Mystara exists in a solar system similar to our own, in a galaxy that may be the Milky Way because Mystara is very likely an Alternate Earth in a very Old School sense. The only way to travel between Mystara and what were once known as the "AD&D Worlds" is via a "reality shift" - a powerful magical effect that alters the very fabric of space and time and allows elves, dwarves and halflings to have character classes (unless the DM says otherwise, in which case it works however the DM says it does). Citations - The D&D Immortal Set and "Up, Away, and Beyond" in Dragon 160 by Bruce Heard. Of course, later Mystara became an "AD&D World" itself and Mystaran characters showed up in Planescape and Ravenloft supplements, but that's how I continue to play it when I use Mystara. Also I do the same thing for Dark Sun and Eberron because the idea that these two...
  • 02:30 AM - DMMike quoted Jer in post Help Reading Dice Pools
    The problem is with a dice pool where you care about the numbers, not the total. In Exalted, for example, you don't care about the total, you care about the number of dice that roll 7 or higher - each die that is a 7 or higher is a "success". And you care about the number of 10s on top of that because 10s count for 2 successes instead of 1. And you might care about the number of 1s that show up because if you get no successes at all and roll at least one 1, then you botch (though if you somehow manage that on 40 dice then you are having a real bad day). Oh, well then I'm with Blue: that's just poor design. The game isn't scaling well when you're spending your time reading dice instead of role-playing. But since that doesn't solve OP's problem... Still: don't. :) Since you have to beat a number of successes (guessing here), divide that number by 10. 4. 2. Whatever gets you closer to a number of dice you're comfortable counting, and preferably results in an integer. Divide the nu...

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019

  • 08:00 PM - Parmandur quoted Jer in post WotC's Secret Lore Book
    No, the premise here is that Wizards controls the lore on their publication schedule. And that some people would like to have access to the spoilers. And, on top of that, have a metaphysical model to explain things like how Dragonlance and Eberron fit in with Greyhawk and Mystarra.
  • 06:06 PM - TwoSix quoted Jer in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    I get that. In fact I'm a fan of adding +level (or +fraction of level) to things in general for level-based systems - it's not only an easy mechanic to explain, it also makes character level matter and it makes it easy to keep threats scaled appropriately if everyone is adding the same number to things. What I don't get is combining that with a scale of 5 levels of proficiency - it feels like two mechanics that solve the same kind of problem in two different ways have been combined together. It also seems like it would lose some of the elegance that adding +level to things gets you. Though maybe it plays differently than it reads. Yea, the initial goal of the proficiency levels was to open up new abilities. A lot of feats and abilities were tied into having expert or master or legendary level of proficiency in a skill. But playtesters in general didn't respond well to increasing proficiency without noticeable increases in the die roll modifier.
  • 04:55 PM - TwoSix quoted Jer in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Honestly I'm surprised they kept the big numbers that scale with raw level when they are also keeping in proficiency bonuses. It would seem like you could get by with one or the other. The Paizo developers stated specifically early in the playtest that they want moderate to high level heroes to be able to take down hundreds of low-level enemies without being threatened; it was the particular flavor of high fantasy they wanted. You can certainly fault them for the design goal (it's not an aesthetic I particularly favor), but the decision to add +level to all proficient checks is a fully intentional one.
  • 04:03 PM - Sacrosanct quoted Jer in post POLL: What edition of D&D did you most recently play/run?
    I mean, that would be my guess. If the single biggest retroclone for 3e is disallowed by the rules of the poll, so it's unsurprising to see 3e with a goose egg right now. And I wouldn't say PF is 3e but "better" - because better is subjective. It's 3e that is being actively supported, which is important for some folks. I mean, I guess parts of that could be subjective, but I think it's also an objective claim to make because we can measure the reactions of players and rules revisions of both. For example, we know they are essentially the same rule system. Did PF have to do a .5 revision shortly after publishing? Does PF have a lot of complaints about CODzilla, and Angel summoner vs BMX biker? PF had the advantage of letting 3e go through all the mistakes, then launched from there. So it's fair to say it's objectively better than 3e. If it has all of the good things, but not nearly as many of the bad things, it's better, right?
  • 03:11 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jer in post Doing away with INT/WIS/CHA
    Overall, Tony Vargas, I don"t think that your point of contention in this thread is that far removed from several of the talking points of the OSR movement that tend to focus on player skill rather than leaning on character mental and social abilities. Just sort of a logical conclusion of those talking points. I'd like this unpacked a bit, because I don't get that criticism. With an approach of "wait until you see if you succeed or fail at a roll and then narrate why you succeeded or failed" I would argue the player has ALL of the agency. If anything I could see a criticism that it takes the control away from the DM, as the DM has to give up some control over how information flows in their world to give the players room to improvise those kinds of checks. I phrased it "can be critisized" because I'm not terribly convinced of the criticisms, myself. ;) The key loss of agency isn't in portraying the character, which, if anything, can be done more convincingly, but in influenci...

Monday, 8th July, 2019

  • 08:19 PM - zztong quoted Jer in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    Honestly I'm surprised they kept the big numbers that scale with raw level when they are also keeping in proficiency bonuses. It would seem like you could get by with one or the other. A number of people have proposed an option where DM's get to pick the bonus per level rate. I've only seen non-Paizo people discuss it on the Paizo boards. In response to their blog about the +0/+2/+4/+6/+8 rate +0/level was suggested, though it wasn't popular.
  • 06:23 PM - zztong quoted Jer in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    No - that's not what I'm saying... Ah, I get you now. Thanks for the clarification. I didn't play 4e beyond the first year and remember very little about it. I've only played 5e now for 3 sessions, about 10 hours, so I wasn't able to see the pattern you were identifying. I would say that the appeal of the 5e +1/4 approach, to me, isn't so much that the characters differentiate themselves in different ways. The value to me is that the compressed math keeps the monsters I like viable. A fast-moving mathematical "level treadmill" is actually unappealing to me as both a player and a DM, so I'd probably like a 4e +1/2 over PF2's +1/1. I don't mind characters progressing at slightly different rates -- that actually still works when the overall mathematical range remains compressed. This is partly why 1e/2e worked -- the exponential XP scale meant characters rarely got above 11th -- and why DMs who capped D&D 3x and PF1 games at levels like 9.
  • 06:14 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jer in post Doing away with INT/WIS/CHA
    Is it still roleplaying if you are only able to play yourself though? Yes. You're playing "yourself" (that is, someone with exactly your mental capacity & emotional reaction &c), but in a body with very different physical and supernatural capabilities. Some argue it's the essence of RP, that without that immersive sense, you're just moving a pawn in a boardgame. And for the way I play you have it backward - first you use the resolution mechanic to see if your dumb barbarian can solve the problem, then you go into the explanation of what the roll means.That's a generally good way of handling checks, but it can be criticized as reducing the player's 'agency' in his character, and any sense of immersion, as the player is left unable to make more choices for the character than general objectives. Because if your dense barbarian is the one solving the puzzle, then you're going for a comedy beat, right?"Now, if we move these sliding pieces into exactly the right configuration, ...
  • 06:08 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jer in post Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?
    The issue is framing it, in advance, as a scenario with win conditions. That can very easily butt up against the notion of establishing a story through play as opposed to playing through a pre-established story.Win conditions have to be in advance? A serious account of someone who turned up to play Burning Wheel, played through something like DL or similar, and didn't notice.So, only substituting a /system/ would count? That seems extreme. That is, an actual account of someone playing a game which expects and is built around narrative practices, and who used that system to (i) deliver their pre-packaged plot and (ii) didn't have the players notice that their engagement with the game's expected systems and approach made no difference to (i).That seems doable via clever "illusionism" (though maybe not quite the Forge sense thereof). No.Crap, double-negatives. No, it's not supposed to be about that, or no, it's not not supposed to be about that so it actually is about that, or...


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