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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...
    11 replies | 242 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 | 418 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...
    112 replies | 3319 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 | 319 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...
    112 replies | 3319 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 | 5885 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...
    80 replies | 2176 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,...
    80 replies | 2506 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...
    217 replies | 6559 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 | 1203 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 | 2232 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...
    80 replies | 2506 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 | 5488 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.
    81 replies | 2947 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 | 2145 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 | 2145 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...
    20 replies | 528 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...
    132 replies | 9267 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1484 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 | 1484 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...
    81 replies | 2947 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? ...
    132 replies | 9267 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...
    81 replies | 2947 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 | 5885 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 | 5885 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...
    132 replies | 9267 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'". :)
    132 replies | 9267 view(s)
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  • 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 | 71273 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 | 1861 view(s)
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  • 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 | 1861 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 | 1948 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 | 5885 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 | 5885 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 | 1772 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 | 5014 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...
    132 replies | 9267 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 | 1948 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 | 887 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 | 5014 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 | 5014 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 | 2017 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 | 1848 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 | 1030 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 | 1411 view(s)
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  • 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 | 5155 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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Wednesday, 25th January, 2017

  • 04:19 PM - SkidAce quoted 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...

Tuesday, 24th January, 2017

  • 06:32 PM - happyhermit quoted Jer in post "Easter Egg" on the cover of Yawning Portal
    It appears to be a coin with smoke/steam/magic dust rising off of it. ... Ok, that's weird isn't it? That seems weird to me but I suppose it's all relative, and we are talking about D&D here. :) I honestly though it was probably some famous magical object that everyone knew about but me.

Thursday, 19th January, 2017

  • 11:16 PM - Saelorn quoted Jer in post Unearthed Arcana:Are they revealing limitations in the 5th edition system?
    That assumption continued into 3rd edition and to a large degree became even more expected because in 2nd edition most of the character options that expansions would add were for new characters you were going to make while in 3rd edition the expansions were new things like Prestige Classes and Feats that you could add to your current character.This is misleading. If you wanted to play a particular Prestige Class in 3E, you pretty much had to have everything lined up at level 1. They guaranteed this by putting prerequisites for every Prestige Class which you were unlikely to meet if you weren't planning to take that class, and they did it as a sort of balancing measure so that the class features could be awesome since you were paying the cost by taking worthless feats and skills. The rest of your post is spot on.
  • 08:18 PM - Corpsetaker quoted Jer in post Unearthed Arcana:Are they revealing limitations in the 5th edition system?
    I do. D&D players have been trained to expect it. It started in the 90s with 2nd edition - the assumption that you would be getting regular expansions to the game via splatbooks, or settings, or just rules expansions. That TSR (and later Wizards) would be putting out at least one book a month, probably more. That assumption continued into 3rd edition and to a large degree became even more expected because in 2nd edition most of the character options that expansions would add were for new characters you were going to make while in 3rd edition the expansions were new things like Prestige Classes and Feats that you could add to your current character. 4th edition continued that trend to the point that they changed the writing focus and design focus to make it very obvious to everyone exactly how expansions would plug in to the design. The 5th edition release isn't just a return to a simpler version of D&D, it's a return to a different set of publishing expectations. Expectations that n...
  • 04:40 PM - R P Davis quoted Jer in post WotC's 2017 Convention Schedule Includes New Hascon, No GenCon
    Meh. GenCon is huge and expensive to go to. Last year Wizards decided to go to a number of smaller cons instead of putting all of their eggs in the Gen*Con basket and it seems like it worked for them. (I don't claim to know the backstory behind this but as a business decision the idea to go to a lot of conventions around the country instead of one convention in the middle of the country seems sound). Let's remember that the RPG group in Wizards is basically as small as a tiny company as far as staff size goes. And as far as the money they bring in from RPGs (not incidental licensing, but the games themselves) they're probably doing allright but not in the moneymaking area they were in, say, 2001. It makes some sense that their budget for travel to cons would be limited and that there would be a higher perceived benefit in going to a lot of smaller cons instead of one giant one. While that's true in terms of budgeting and hard numbers, there are intangibles surrounding attendance at ...

Tuesday, 17th January, 2017

  • 10:30 PM - AaronOfBarbaria quoted Jer in post Tales from the Yawning Portal: A better title would be "Nezram's tales of adventure".
    But naming a book after something that has established lore for a long time and not really sticking to that lore is not a great way to sell it to existing fans either.The established lore has been adhered to to an acceptable degree according to the majority of the existing fans present in this thread. I doubt there will be a difference among the existing fans not present in this thread. It has the word YAWN right there in the name."Yawn" is a verb. There are no verbs in the title of the book.

Thursday, 12th January, 2017

  • 07:50 PM - hejtmane quoted Jer in post Why Good Rogues Should Not Use a Bow
    So only Evil rogues should use bows? (I kid, but your post titles make me think we're talking alignment here not effectiveness). (ETA - Dang it - Tony Vargas got the joke in first...) Anyway, this is a problem with players belief in what a rogue "should" be (the sneaky guy who is fragile and can't take hits so should stay at the back) not matching what the 5e rogue actually is (the deft swashbuckler who isn't as fragile as you think and mathematically shouldn't be getting hit very often anyway). I've found this mostly to be a problem with players who have played D&D since the old days or who think the of rogue as "a thief, like Bilbo in the Hobbit". Not so much of a problem for players who came in post 3rd edition or who glom onto the class as more Han Solo or Jack Sparrow types than Bilbo types. Or from players who are actively looking to be an effective ranged combatant and assume that must be the rogue because it would have been a thief when they played back in the 2nd edition ...
  • 04:41 PM - Charles Rampant quoted Jer in post Would this fix Champion?
    Right - there are good reasons for playing a Champion other than it being a "first character", but it is definitely designed to be the "simple fighter" option that many people complained was missing in 4th edition. To be fair - I'd love to see a "simple" option for various other classes. When I get new players in who really want to play a spellcaster the sorcerer mostly works but it would be nice to have a spellcaster class that had just a few options for the players who aren't resource minded. Unlimited attack cantrips solve part of this, because they don't have to worry about casting all of their spells in the first battle and then sitting around wondering why spellcasters in D&D aren't as cool as they were hoping to be. But there are still a few options to absorb even with the sorcerer. I actually think that the Sorcerer is more complicated than the Wizard in play. You've got two separate spellcasting resources to track, not one: spell slots and sorcery points. The best option, I...
  • 03:53 PM - lowkey13 quoted Jer in post Would this fix Champion?
    To be fair - I'd love to see a "simple" option for various other classes. When I get new players in who really want to play a spellcaster the sorcerer mostly works but it would be nice to have a spellcaster class that had just a few options for the players who aren't resource minded. Unlimited attack cantrips solve part of this, because they don't have to worry about casting all of their spells in the first battle and then sitting around wondering why spellcasters in D&D aren't as cool as they were hoping to be. But there are still a few options to absorb even with the sorcerer. In the old days, you'd just stick the noob (aka, younger brother) with the Cleric and be done with it. ;)
  • 03:16 PM - lowkey13 quoted Jer in post Would this fix Champion?
    Whether the Champion doesn't compare in "effectiveness" or not I question. I haven't seen a problem with it. The lack of variety isn't a problem - it's a design choice. Agreed. While I slightly differ in your opinion (there are many experienced players that enjoy playing the Champion, and there are players that appreciate being able to concentrate their "options" on out-of-combat choices) the simplicity in the Champion is a feature, not a bug, of this class. I understand that there are people that don't like the class, but as I pointed out supra, it's fine to not like something, but there are times when the issue isn't the class, it's with what the person wants. If someone says, "I want to play a Wizard, but I hate spells," then they are probably better off playing or tweaking another class than proposing a spell-less Wizard.

Wednesday, 11th January, 2017

  • 04:04 PM - lowkey13 quoted Jer in post reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips
    The spell doesn't say that you can dissolve corpses with it - it's magical acid that does damage. There is nothing in the rules that says that you have to treat it like real acid. There was a choice made to allow the player to use the spell that way. That's not a problem with the rules, that's a problem with the ruling. If you feel that your players are abusing the rules and you're the DM then you are supposed to say no. That's just the way the game is played and always has been. I'm blessed with players who don't abuse the rules because I refuse to play with players who abuse the rules - they don't get invited back. But then again I'd applaud a player who decided to use their acid splash cantrip to solve a problem outside of combat, rather than feel that it's a problem that needs to be solved, so we're also playing a different game in that respect as well. Well, not to derail the thread, but as has been pointed out before, the Acid Splash cantrip is only supposed to target a crea...

Tuesday, 10th January, 2017

  • 11:45 PM - FormerlyHemlock quoted Jer in post Why Good Posters Should Not Make Sweeping Statements
    This is why Good players always send goats across the bridges first. Scares away the trolls. Note to self: my next adventure needs to be more Zork-like. There's an impassable bridge with a half-dozen trolls underneath it, and to cross you need to repair the shattered window so the widow will cook you up a nice goat stew which you can pour all over the bridge to distract the trolls so you can cross the bridge (once) without getting eaten and retrieve the spool of thread on the far side.
  • 11:42 PM - jaelis quoted Jer in post Why Good Posters Should Not Make Sweeping Statements
    This is why Good players always send goats across the bridges first. Scares away the trolls. And the Evil players send gnomes.
  • 08:20 PM - Satyrn quoted Jer in post Why Good Rogues Should Not Use a Bow
    So only Evil rogues should use bows? (I kid, but your post titles make me think we're talking alignment here not effectiveness). (ETA - Dang it - Tony Vargas got the joke in first...) This is why you post the joke right away. Then if you have something of actual value to add, put it in a follow-up post.
  • 05:58 PM - ArchfiendBobbie quoted Jer in post Unearthed Arcana Introduces The Artifcer
    I have to admit - I've run Eberron games and I'm not seeing why attunement is a problem. What makes you think that attunement is a dealbreaker for Eberron? Seems easy enough without getting rid of attunement. Feats that give you extra attunement slots. Dragonmarks let you use certain items without having to be attuned. Dragonshard items allow items to be created without causing attunements. Certain combinations of items only take one attunement slot. (Like, you can attune up to 3 wands at once for only one attunement slot. Or maybe that's what a wand sheath does!) Edit: I had posted a long argument here, but when I looked back on it, it wasn't coherent. I don't trust my ability to post coherently right now. The cold meds are kicking my butt. So, I'm bowing out.
  • 04:39 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Jer in post Unearthed Arcana Introduces The Artifcer
    My issues have little to do with rarity/non-rarity of magic items. Different amounts are appropriate for different campaigns. My issue is that it’s a step towards making magic items humdrum and everyday. It’s why I never hand out a plain +1 sword. Instead, it’s Voidshard, a blade that’s made of pure darkness. It may only be +1, but give it a good name and description and maybe an extra power like conferring darkvision, and it’s a whole lot more interesting and magical. As I said in my first post, I like the class, but for two features. It’s something I’d allow in my campaigns, but there are things I feel could be improved upon. But if you're playing in a campaign with artificers, you've already decided "magic items aren't going to be so rare". Otherwise, why have artificers? The classic use for artificers is in a setting like Eberron - where streetlamps are lit by apprentices with wands of light and wands of magic missile aren't an uncommon item. If you're not playing in a w...

Sunday, 8th January, 2017

  • 12:42 AM - M.T. Black quoted Jer in post WOTC Production Schedule
    I would not be surprised if this ended up being how it shook out. With the "other" years seeing a Spring release like Curse of Strahd - an older adventure expanded out into a full Adventure Path with supplemental material. Yeah, I could see that happening with Slavers, for example.
  • 12:12 AM - Demetrios1453 quoted Jer in post Tales From The Yawning Portal - 7 Classic Dungeons Updated To 5E!
    This is why what Wizards needs to do the next time the revamp the Forgotten Realms campaign setting is: * Make a single, system neutral "Atlas and Gazeteer to the Realms" (or whatever they want to call it) set in year XXXX. * Stop advancing the timeline in the setting material and leave it up to individual tables to do what they will. Honestly, all they really need to do is another SCAG-type book, and focus it on Cormyr/Sembia/Dalelands/Moonsea and surrounding areas like SCAG was focused on the Sword Coast/Savage Frontier/Western Heartlands region. That would cover the other main region of the setting where a lot of people set their campaigns. And, since SCAG has already covered a lot of the setting's general information like gods and races, this book could use the remaining page count to cover the rest of the setting in relatively broad terms (enough to know the important information for each region, but not town-by-town detail, similar to what the Gray Box did, although probably s...

Saturday, 7th January, 2017

  • 05:55 PM - Jester David quoted Jer in post Tales From The Yawning Portal - 7 Classic Dungeons Updated To 5E!
    This is why what Wizards needs to do the next time the revamp the Forgotten Realms campaign setting is: * Make a single, system neutral "Atlas and Gazeteer to the Realms" (or whatever they want to call it) set in year XXXX. * Stop advancing the timeline in the setting material and leave it up to individual tables to do what they will. That exists. It's called the Forgotten Realms Wiki: http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
  • 02:33 AM - pemerton quoted Jer in post Tales From The Yawning Portal - 7 Classic Dungeons Updated To 5E!
    *shrug* Different people, different preferences. I have a good deal of experience with Castle Amber. It is very old-school (in the best ways) and very creative. I have also run it in 5e (twice). It worked really well. One of my all-time favorite modules.Maybe some mis-communication: I've got nothing against X2, and hope to run it again some time. (If I do, it will probably be using AD&D as the system). I still think the RPGnet thread is funny and interesting. I'm not Iosue, but I have a lot of experience with Castle Amber. <snip> Given what you've written, you didn't get to the best parts of the adventure.As I said, my memories from playing it are zero. Refeering it, I remember the barbarain boxing against the magen, and maybe the lion-headed guy, but it's all a bit shaky but for the killer tree. The adventure is inspired by the works of Edgar Alan Poe, Clark Ashton-Smith and HP Lovecraft (with a heavy dose of CAS) and it's a horror/fantasy adventure for D&D written ...


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