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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...
    98 replies | 2667 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 | 270 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...
    98 replies | 2667 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...
    112 replies | 5621 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...
    66 replies | 1636 view(s)
    1 XP
  • 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,...
    78 replies | 2385 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...
    197 replies | 5901 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 | 752 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 | 1187 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 | 2206 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 | 1283 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...
    78 replies | 2385 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...
    223 replies | 5334 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.
    72 replies | 2722 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 | 2130 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 | 2130 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...
    17 replies | 488 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...
    127 replies | 8883 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 | 1477 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 | 1477 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...
    72 replies | 2722 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? ...
    127 replies | 8883 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...
    72 replies | 2722 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...
    112 replies | 5621 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...
    112 replies | 5621 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...
    127 replies | 8883 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'". :)
    127 replies | 8883 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 | 71188 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 | 1837 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 | 1837 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 | 1932 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? ...
    112 replies | 5621 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?
    112 replies | 5621 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 | 1754 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...
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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...
    127 replies | 8883 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 | 1522 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 | 1522 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 | 1932 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 | 991 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 | 991 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 | 880 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 | 5002 view(s)
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  • 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 | 5002 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 | 2007 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 | 1832 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 | 1022 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 | 1402 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 | 5084 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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Saturday, 30th June, 2018

  • 04:19 AM - Ancalagon quoted Jer in post What was the big difference between 4e and "essentials"?
    It was probably me over the in "essence of 4e" thread. Thank you for the reply! The encounter building math worked better than 3e (and I would argue than 5e) mostly by virtue of the fact that player resources were mostly per encounter instead of per day - modulo a daily power they would likely be hitting every encounter at basically full strength, so it was pretty easy to judge what the stats needed to be. Huh. That is a very interesting point. And really important I think. Of course this design would make encounter building easier (and also would require a rethink of the "short rest vs long rest classes" balance of 5e (which is a pet peeve of mine). So it looks like a huge plus. On the other hand, it makes smaller fights, random encounters etc less meaningful because if you easily defeat the 7 goblins but had to use 3 spells and lost 20 hp... well there was a cost to that little fight, it had meaning, it impact the rest of your day. Do these little fights have va...

Monday, 25th June, 2018

  • 07:35 PM - ehren37 quoted Jer in post Do you increase monster hit points?
    I tend to also add more creatures rather than more hp. More creatures give the bad guys more attacks/round which I find to be more balancing than just upping hp. I will sometimes add more hp AND more attacks to a creature, though. Mathematically its equivalent to adding more creatures into the mix but it's sometimes easier to manage a single creature with multiple attacks instead of multiple creatures with one or two attacks each, and sometimes it's more thematically appropriate. It also takes up less space, allowing for more mobile fights. Cramming 5 PC's, a henchman, and 12 enemy combatants in a dungeon and you have a very static encounter.

Friday, 22nd June, 2018

  • 11:02 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Jer in post What if there were no attacks of opportunity?
    For theater of the mind style, the game is better without OAs. With TotM, your life gets a little easier if the combat is 'static' - that is if melee types tend to engage and fight and not try to switch targets or run past eachother too much. You get a sort of de-facto 'front line' 'melee range' and everyone else can stand as far back from that as works for them. AoOs encintivize the static front line, FWIW, but you can also just put convenient choke points in most battles, or... You don't actually need AoO to play a sword-and-board protector type and keep the squishies safe. All you really need is a rule that says that if you want to stop someone from moving past you to get to someone behind you, you can force them to engage with you instead of whoever you're protecting. No free attacks, just a "if you want the little guy you're going to have to go through me" sort of rule. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this anymore, but: Hey, 13th Age already did that. It's called Inte...
  • 11:23 AM - Zander quoted Jer in post Origins Award Winners
    No. I used to think that too, but that's not the case. The members of the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design are the ones who have the vote on the actual Origins Awards. The Academy an honorary organization that is made up of some subset of GAMA members who can apply to get in and gain membership through some process that isn't publicly known (so very much like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the way they handle the Oscars). You might imagine that being an Origins Award winner automatically qualifies you to be an Academy member or at least to have some say on future winners, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I won an Origins Award a few years ago and, as far as I know, no particular privileges flow from that. :.-(

Thursday, 21st June, 2018


Tuesday, 12th June, 2018

  • 07:07 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted Jer in post Mythological Figures: Thor Odinson (5E)
    From a game perspective, a lot of gods from our mythology could be considered high level PCs who aren't really gods at all, so long as they aren't worshiped as gods in the game world. They'd make for interesting cameos, or even maybe PCs for the right campaign. Heck most high level PCs could probably replicate the exploits of Thor or Hercules without anyone raising an eyebrow. I agree, this makes a lot of sense. In Greek myth, the boundary is kind of blurry, too. Many of the heroes are actually demigods, meaning that they had divine ancestry of some sort. While not common, some become gods, Aesclepius and Heracles being two notable examples.

Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 07:18 PM - TwoSix quoted Jer in post Psion class (Mearls, Happy Fun Hour)
    There's got to be a moderately famous Realms character that uses psionics, doesn't there? I've got nothing - but my Realms knowledge is a half-mile wide but an inch deep - enough to run games in the setting but not enough to care if I get details wrong while running games in the setting. (Also would they use "psionics" in the title? Even if the book is all about psionics, it seems like it would be a weird thing to put on the cover. But "Elminster's Guide to all things Mental" probably wouldn't be a good choice either...) Well, that's the thing...none of the other books have been by people who represent the topic, they've been by people who have observed the topic. Volo (and Elminster) aren't monsters, Xanathar isn't an adventurer, and Mordenkanien isn't associated with any of the factions profiled in the book. "Psionic character's guide to Psionics" would be to on the nose, compared to the other books. Granted, I said Drizzt as a joke, but I think they'll look for something m...
  • 06:59 PM - SkidAce quoted Jer in post Psion class (Mearls, Happy Fun Hour)
    There's got to be a moderately famous Realms character that uses psionics, doesn't there? I've got nothing - but my Realms knowledge is a half-mile wide but an inch deep - enough to run games in the setting but not enough to care if I get details wrong while running games in the setting. (Also would they use "psionics" in the title? Even if the book is all about psionics, it seems like it would be a weird thing to put on the cover. But "Elminster's Guide to all things Mental" probably wouldn't be a good choice either...) Rajaat's Guide to Psionic Domination. ;)
  • 06:24 PM - TwoSix quoted Jer in post Psion class (Mearls, Happy Fun Hour)
    My gut says the former - something like a Xanthar's Guide to Everything where the player chapters are the psionics rules and classes with the DM's side as psionic items and monsters and discussion of using psionics in a campaign. And then is followed up by a Dark Sun adventure book. That way it appeals to players and DMs who have no use for Dark Sun but would like to play a psionic character somewhere else (like the Realms or Eberron or Ravenloft), as well as DMs who might just want to drop some differently flavored magic items or monsters into their games. Drizzt's Guide to Psionics?

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

  • 06:27 PM - Jester David quoted Jer in post Two New Settings For D&D This Year
    Also too - and this is all just my opinion - I'm not sure the hunger is there for new D&D settings like there was back in the 90s and during the d20 explosion of the early 2000s. There are so many options available now setting wise that a new one really would need to bring something truly different to the mix. The 90s was a big experimental time for D&D when it came to settings - how far can we push this game engine designed for vaguely Dark Ages fantasy game play. Can we do fantasy space? Can we do fantasy horror? What about fantasy Victorian horror? Does it have to be European - we had an Asian supplement in the 80s, what about Arabian Nights style? What about different kinds of fantasy - can we push the game engine to handle a pseudo-Renaissance level of tech? Can we do weird other-dimensional fantasy? Can we dial it back to its roots and still do John Carter of Mars style fantasy? At this point a new setting would need to bring something new to the table and not be a rehash...

Friday, 18th May, 2018

  • 12:25 PM - Marandahir quoted Jer in post Another 10 Mordenkainen's Tome Questions!
    Blame Paracelsus. He invented the little buggers. While yes, you should blame Paracelsus for first equating the word Gnome with a diminutive fantastic people (γη-νομος (gēnomos, "earth-dweller"), the mythical people he was referencing, the Pygmy Tribe (Πυγμαῖοι (Pygmaioi, "tribe the length of the forearm") date back to Classical Greece as described by Pliny and Aristotle. However, Paracelsus' use was as the Earth-elemental, akin to Sylph of the wind, Undine of the water, and Salamander of the fire. If anything, his Gnomes were more akin to Daolings in D&D! There are four others who share at least as much of the blame for "inventing the little buggers" as we know them today: First, Nicolas-Pierre-Henri de Montfaucon de Villars, the Abbot of Villars, who in 1670 equated Paracelsus' Gnome term with the European mythological archetype of the mine-living jewel-hoarder faerie people - from which we also get Dwa...

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 07:48 PM - tardigrade quoted Jer in post Mechanics of Revived Settings; your thoughts?
    That's what TSR did, though. Very true (for the supplements and novels, at least - apart from the SSI games I don't recall any other PC adaptations until Baldur's Gate, and I can only think of ones from DL and FR. It's entirely possible I missed some, though). It doesn't prove the opposite either, though, and awareness of the setting on this thread seems pretty high. I saw the request for a setting summary upthread; some of this has been said already, but basically: - Bloodlines. Regents (mostly kings, not always) derive actual magical power from their heritage, which gives them extra abilities including realm actions (IIRC non-blooded regents were technically possible but massively hobbled). Bloodlines derived from specific dead gods, giving related powers, and blood power could be stolen by slaying other blooded characters or creatures. Non-blooded characters could become blooded by killing blooded characters; it wasn't 100% about heritage. - Nature of magic. There was a very C...

Wednesday, 21st March, 2018

  • 05:32 PM - Kobold Avenger quoted Jer in post Marathon, Broadway, and Catacomb: Upcoming D&D Products?
    So by that logic I can now state that Broadway is absolutely going to be Bigby's Book of Bombastic Battles. It's so obvious now that you point it out :) (After Volo's, Xanathar's and Mordenkainnen's various books, if they leave "Bigby's Book" just sitting there, I'll be disappointed.) Bigby is the hand guy, I'm surprised there isn't a cantrip that does force damage from a hand of force slapping the targets face, a Bigby's Bitch-slap.

Sunday, 18th March, 2018

  • 02:04 AM - Parmandur quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    That's what I assume is going on here too. And you're right about PF being a pain to DM - it's basically like DMing 3.5 D&D - neither of which I will go back to again. I'll happily DM BECMI or 4e or 5e games, but I just can't sit down and DM a Pathfinder game. Even though I spent years running 3e D&D I just don't enjoy doing it anymore. I think this might be true, but I think they need to be careful. What they're proposing for PF2 looks to be as big a shift in that game engine as the shift from AD&D 2e to 3e (or for those who think the shift from 3e to 4e was bigger, that one - I personally think 2e to 3e was the bigger shift but mileage varies on that question). They're the experts and they can do what they want but to me that seems a bit wrongheaded - it seems like it would have to alienate the existing player base that you need to evangelize for you. This has played out badly at least twice in the history of RPGs that I can think of - first when White Wolf shifted from their o...

Friday, 16th March, 2018

  • 06:10 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    That's what I assume is going on here too. And you're right about PF being a pain to DM - it's basically like DMing 3.5 D&D - neither of which I will go back to again. I'll happily DM BECMI or 4e or 5e games, but I just can't sit down and DM a Pathfinder game. Even though I spent years running 3e D&D I just don't enjoy doing it anymore. I think this might be true, but I think they need to be careful. What they're proposing for PF2 looks to be as big a shift in that game engine as the shift from AD&D 2e to 3e (or for those who think the shift from 3e to 4e was bigger, that one - I personally think 2e to 3e was the bigger shift but mileage varies on that question). They're the experts and they can do what they want but to me that seems a bit wrongheaded - it seems like it would have to alienate the existing player base that you need to evangelize for you. This has played out badly at least twice in the history of RPGs that I can think of - first when White Wolf shifted from the...
  • 06:02 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    That's what I assume is going on here too. And you're right about PF being a pain to DM - it's basically like DMing 3.5 D&D - neither of which I will go back to again. I'll happily DM BECMI or 4e or 5e games, but I just can't sit down and DM a Pathfinder game. Even though I spent years running 3e D&D I just don't enjoy doing it anymore. I think this might be true, but I think they need to be careful. What they're proposing for PF2 looks to be as big a shift in that game engine as the shift from AD&D 2e to 3e (or for those who think the shift from 3e to 4e was bigger, that one - I personally think 2e to 3e was the bigger shift but mileage varies on that question). They're the experts and they can do what they want but to me that seems a bit wrongheaded - it seems like it would have to alienate the existing player base that you need to evangelize for you. This has played out badly at least twice in the history of RPGs that I can think of - first when White Wolf shifted from the...
  • 04:44 PM - dave2008 quoted Jer in post Pathfinder 2 - More on Dying, Resonance, & Much Math!
    CON is already a good stat to pump up. Tying magic item usage to it would likely make it too good. I was just interested in what made more sense, less concerned about ability score balance. I do see an argument for force of Will, i.e. Charisma though as @ MechaTarrasque pointed out in post #9
  • 01:14 AM - SkidAce quoted Jer in post How do you handle loot from enemies with mighty or evil weapons?
    If you decide you'd like to make something more out of it, keep in mind that it can always show up again because they didn't destroy it. They're fighting a group of orcs and one of them has a familiar looking flail - is it really the same one? And if so, why did it come back to them? If they get rid of it again or just leave it behind it can show up in the hands of an even more dangerous opponent. Until they actually decide to do something to "unmake" the item it'll keep showing up in the hands of foes who are trying to kill them. That kind of curse can make for a nice running subplot, or even plot if one of the players feels like picking up the ball and doing something with it. I would give double xp for this post if I could.

Thursday, 15th March, 2018

  • 06:05 PM - MechaTarrasque quoted Jer in post What PF2E means for D&D5E
    This is absolutely right IMO - Paizo will be fracturing their player base with this move. I don't say that out of malice - every edition change leaves a portion of the players of the old edition behind. 1e to 2e had holdouts. 2e to 3e had holdouts. 3e to 4e had enough holdouts that Paizo was able to create Pathfinder and capture enough of those 3e holdouts to fund an entire game line for multiple years, but there are still groups that play 3e. PF1 to PF2 will have holdouts. Hell even 3.0 to 3.5 had its share of holdouts, and that wasn't even a full edition change. The big threat that Paizo has is making a game that causes their own entrenched player base to decide that it's time to jump off - much like during the 3e to 4e change for D&D. And in the short term there doesn't even really need to be an alternative for them to jump to - with the amount of Pathfinder 1e material available currently and the ability to buy old edition material digitally, you could run campaigns for years...
  • 04:48 PM - kenmarable quoted Jer in post Pathfinder 2E's New Death & Dying Rules; More on Resonance
    I have a question here, because I have been wondering if this is actually a problem in Pathfinder or not. Are people actually complaining about the Christmas Tree effect in Pathfinder? Or is this a perceived problem that is being carried over from other d20 games and there's an assumption that there's a problem? I ask because I can't believe that gamers are uniform in their hatred of the 3e Magical Item Christmas Tree effect. There have to be a portion of gamers who actually like it because there isn't anything in D&D that gets 100% uniformity of opinion. Maybe they're a tiny group, but I expect them to exist. And if they exist I'd expect that they might have migrated to Pathfinder. Because that's the system that supports that style of play. So I'd be curious to know if it's actually perceived as a problem at the table for Pathfinder groups, or if it's a feature, or if it's not something anyone thinks about because it's just "how the game is played" and they work around it. ...


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