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  • Kid Charlemagne's Avatar
    Today, 03:54 PM
    Has anyone created any guidelines for Parkour in 5e? I've got a bunch of roguish players (not all actual rogues) with high dexteritys, low strengths, and a fear of walls, climbing, etc :) I've been kind of winging it to this point but am thinking of trying to come up with a set of guidelines to allow them to use Acrobatics to parkour through some issues - parkouring up walls in narrow alleys,...
    4 replies | 45 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:43 PM
    32 replies | 540 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 08:39 PM
    Seriously? Somebody held you down and drilled into your tooth against your will? Medical procedures without consent are criminal acts. If what you are saying is true, you’ve been seriously assaulted by somebody who should be in prison. I don't really know what to say. You have dentists holding you down and torturing you against your will, dentists fraudulently forcing you to undertake...
    32 replies | 540 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 07:59 PM
    Dentists aren’t usually on the NHS, and we rarely have dental insurance. My dentist is private and I pay for everything. $80 sounds quite reasonable.
    32 replies | 540 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 07:43 PM
    Zardnaar watched Marathon Man’s torture scene and thought “I can do that!” In other news, I have never heard of a dentist who would do a filling without a local anaesthetic.
    32 replies | 540 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 11:16 AM
    Sounds to me like your insurance is the problem, not the dentist.
    32 replies | 540 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 10:45 AM
    5d6 monsters vs 7d6 players are trivial. The match total assumes the MDPs are roughly equal.
    5 replies | 5404 view(s)
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  • the Jester's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:22 PM
    What are you referring to? AFAIK they haven't changed a thing about it, and it's functionally superior to earlier edition versions of the spell.
    67 replies | 39248 view(s)
    0 XP
  • the Jester's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:57 PM
    That's a great example of poor adventure design. Never unfairly rob the pcs of a well-earned victory. Contrived "he gets away no matter what" stuff is great for a novel, but D&D is a game.
    47 replies | 1238 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 01:48 PM
    IANAD, but periodontal maintenance probably means you have gum disease, which can be halted/held at bay by ongoing maintenance but the damage can't be reversed. Those 20 years without visiting a dentist is probably when that set in.
    32 replies | 540 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:07 AM
    ICv2 has a gallery of miniatures from Descent into Avernus, as well as the upcoming DM Screen. The minis include Zariel, Mad Maggie, Sylvira Savikas, Mahadi (a Rakshasa), Thavius Kreeg, Little Lulu and Slobberchop, Lucille, as well as Joe Manganiello's character, Arkhan the Cruel. Click here for the full gallery.
    9 replies | 1931 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 08:14 PM
    Blackadder is second only to Fawlty Towers. There is literally nothing even close to being as funny as those two things.
    95 replies | 1974 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 05:30 PM
    This September, Nightfall Games will be launching a Kickstarter for the 2nd Edition of the 1993 British RPG SLA Industries, where the titular corporation rules over a dystopian world. "SLA Industries is a role-playing game of urban horror, set in The World of Progress; a vast world of ruin and decay. At the very heart of this world lies Mort City, a false beacon of hope upon an...
    7 replies | 1556 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 12:00 AM
    Probably not in a Dredd campaign. Magic fits in with a bunch of other worlds of 2000ad but Dredd is more sci-fi. Maybe if they were psionic artifacts instead?
    3 replies | 183 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 04:42 PM
    No. I was definitely a geek, and hung around with my geek friends, but there was no bullying. I get that other people have different experiences.
    95 replies | 1974 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:52 PM
    Liminal is a new RPG by Paul Mitchener, just launched by Modiphius. It deals with "the boundary between the modern day United Kingdom and the Hidden World- the world of secret societies of magicians, a police division investigating Fortean crimes, fae courts, werewolf gangs, and haunted places where the walls between worlds are thin." UPDATE: The core book appears to have already sold out. ...
    0 replies | 1614 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 03:42 PM
    Two new miniature sets are now available from Modiphius, for use with their Star Trek Adventures RPG. These are the Original Series Landing Party, and the Iconic Villains sets. These are 32mm scale, unpainted resin miniatures. This set contains one male officer and one female officer of the Andorian, Denobulan, Tellarite, and Vulcan species, as well as two male humanoid miniatures. ...
    0 replies | 1156 view(s)
  • Kid Charlemagne's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 02:41 PM
    One bit of possible inspiration: the recruitment scene from "The Untouchables" where Kevin Costner and Sean Connery are trying to find honest cops in Chicago to add to their team. "that's the future Chief of Police..."
    14 replies | 454 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 11:10 AM
    At the moment they’re in PDF but we do have print plans.
    12 replies | 293 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 11:09 AM
    These books are already written. :)
    12 replies | 293 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 19th June, 2019, 12:18 AM
    TBBT is a sitcom. Sitcoms are generally the same, just the characters change. There have been sitcoms featuring wartime medics, upper class toffs, pretty people in New York, and everything in between. The characters are always the butt of the joke. This time it was scientists. The fact that geeks finding scientists in the same mainstream sitcoms as everybody else gets them upset kinda...
    95 replies | 1974 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 08:42 PM
    Hello poster, all right? I’ve moved this to the promotions forum for you.
    1 replies | 172 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:58 PM
    Beast-tamers, gunfighters, tinkerers, savants, and more! The Kickstarter for A TOUCH MORE CLASS has now launched! This brand new book includes nine new class for your 5E game, and the Kickstarter also includes the original book, A TOUCH OF CLASS, which contains seven original classes! In 2017 we produced A TOUCH OF CLASS, a softcover book containing seven new classes for your 5th Edition...
    12 replies | 729 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:32 PM
    Well, OK then.
    90 replies | 3594 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 05:11 PM
    They do that for two reasons: 1) it’s more visible on the store shelf 2) you can put your own stuff in it too
    90 replies | 3594 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 18th June, 2019, 03:36 PM
    Beast-tamers, gunfighters, tinkerers, savants, and more! The Kickstarter for A TOUCH MORE CLASS has now launched! This brand new book includes nine new class for your 5E game, and the Kickstarter also includes the original book, A TOUCH OF CLASS, which contains seven original classes! In 2017 we produced A TOUCH OF CLASS, a softcover book containing seven new classes for your 5th Edition...
    12 replies | 293 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 09:48 PM
    Do they?
    111 replies | 4703 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 08:54 PM
    Wiki threads.
    2 replies | 111 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 04:35 PM
    Morrus replied to Armour skill?
    Off the top of my head I can't remember page numbers, but small or light = 2, medium = 3, large or heavy = 5.
    7 replies | 238 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:44 PM
    Morrus replied to Hand Bombs
    Two rolls. One to determine where it lands, the other to attack all in the resultant burst.
    4 replies | 178 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:43 PM
    Morrus replied to Armour skill?
    No, that’s the opposite of what I just said. :) It literally just does what it says in that paragraph — to benefit from higher quality equipment, you need an appropriate skill. You can’t benefit from an exceptional quality pistol without enough ranks in pistols. Same with armour.
    7 replies | 238 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:24 PM
    Morrus replied to Armour skill?
    It's used exactly the way you quoted, from page 23. Lets you benefit from higher quality armour.
    7 replies | 238 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:22 PM
    You roll the damage as normal and divide by two. There's no stun charge limit.
    2 replies | 150 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 11:11 AM
    Morrus replied to Hand Bombs
    See Burst attacks on page 99. Area attacks use a single attack roll (in this case AGI (throwing) or similar) vs VITAL DEFENSE of all targets, and a single damage roll. Otherwise it is resolved just like any other attack roll.
    4 replies | 178 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 17th June, 2019, 12:11 AM
    The sixth adventure in the War of the Burning Sky adventure path is here! A 5E fantasy adventure for 11th-level characters. In search of the Torch of the Burning Sky, the heroes set out for Sindaire and Castle Korstull, the canyon fortress where Emperor Drakus Coaltongue was slain. Witness the mighty and terrible face of war in a world of magic!A critically acclaimed high fantasy...
    3 replies | 783 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 16th June, 2019, 10:56 PM
    The Origins Award winners are in, and Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition takes the roleplaying game award, with WotC's Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes winning the RPG supplement category. The full list of winners: Game of the Year: Root (Leder Games) Board Game: Root (Leder Games)
    2 replies | 2671 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 15th June, 2019, 10:18 PM
    DO YOU NEED TO SHOUT?
    112 replies | 2361 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 05:28 PM
    Tough crowd. It was OK.
    8 replies | 645 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 03:34 PM
    Morrus started a thread Secret Faces of Velsburg
    Secret Faces of Velsburg. While traveling through the wilderness the adventurers come across a small hamlet plagued by a recent rash or murders committed by 'The Ghost'. The longer the party stay in Velsburg however, the quicker they realize that the supposedly bloodthirsty spirit preying upon the settlement is not the remote village's only mystery. In this sidequest to save Velsburg the PCs are...
    0 replies | 137 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:46 PM
    Sounds like Eric Noah's old April Fools joke from back in 2002. http://www.enworld.org/ericnoah/aprilfools2002/april02.html
    8 replies | 645 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 02:09 PM
    The plan is to upgrade from vBulletin to Xenforo, which is an entirely different software. No, there is no ETA.
    85 replies | 6758 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 01:03 PM
    Really. Both of you. @Riley, ordering people not to reply to you is not how to handle a disagreement. Either politely disagree, or use the block function. @Immortal Sun, calling people names is DEFINITELY NOT how to handle a disagreement. I will also add -- if you report a post, and then immediately respond to it with namecalling or insults, we are *not* going to look favourably on it. ...
    350 replies | 10578 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Friday, 14th June, 2019, 12:05 PM
    Yep!
    85 replies | 6758 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:12 PM
    D&D Beyond has provided yet another of it's data dumps of 12 million characters -- this time telling us character alignments are most popular in D&D. Chaotic Good wins, followed by my least favourite as a DM, Chaotic Neutral. Chaotic Evil is the least popular. The developer does say that this does not count the percentage of characters with no alignment selected. You can see the...
    302 replies | 3286 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 09:31 PM
    I can see it.
    85 replies | 6758 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 07:57 PM
    Paizo has just released the landscape GM screen art for its upcoming Pathfinder 2nd Edition GM Screen. "Protect your important notes and die rolls from prying player eyes with the Pathfinder GM Screen! This beautiful 4-panel landscape-style screen features stunning artwork from Ekaterina Burmak on the player's side, and a huge number of charts and tables on the GM side to speed up play...
    7 replies | 3789 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 04:14 PM
    Simple. They aren't in any rush!
    16 replies | 680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 02:02 PM
    Not as written, no. But it’s your game!
    1 replies | 123 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Thursday, 13th June, 2019, 11:28 AM
    The Swedish 1990's-set sequel to Tales From The Loop is now available from Modiphius. Based on the paintings of Simon Stålenhag which portray a "retro futuristic suburbia", Things from the Flood takes the 1980s kids and makes them 1990s teens. Somewhere out there beyond the cordons, beyond the fields and marshes, abandoned machines roamed like stray dogs. They wandered about...
    7 replies | 1198 view(s)
  • Kid Charlemagne's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 09:15 PM
    I don't want the Plane of Fire to be quite that deadly; portions may be, but overall I want it to be difficult and challenging but survivable for mid-level PC's. I've also got a variant Planar set up going: The elemental planes are located inside the (otherwise) hollow Earth. The inside of the mantle (facing in towards the center of the globe) is where the Planes of Earth and Water are -...
    7 replies | 329 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Kid Charlemagne's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 07:45 PM
    The next big arc of my campaign (5E, players are 6th level) is likely to involve the Plane of Fire and the City of Brass, and I'm curious what other people have done with those. My plan is to make the Plane of Fire a vast desert wasteland with Egyptian motifs; sometimes places swallowed up by the desert end up transported to here. The City of Brass itself I'm kind of wishy-washy on; past D&D...
    7 replies | 329 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 04:01 PM
    For something to currently be in the public domain it needs to have been created somewhere round the 1920s or before. The Black Company won’t be public domain for about 60 years yet.
    25 replies | 1421 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Wednesday, 12th June, 2019, 11:55 AM
    It's D&D, Pathfinder, AND WOIN! :D
    1 replies | 217 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 09:53 PM
    I work better deadpan.
    166 replies | 5825 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 09:04 PM
    But you can’t write rules under the assumption that people will ignore them.
    143 replies | 5927 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 08:50 PM
    And now it’s my turn! What is an /s?
    166 replies | 5825 view(s)
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  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 08:17 PM
    Yep. That was the joke. It was a significant part of lots of peoples’ posts. :)
    166 replies | 5825 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 07:49 PM
    The A TOUCH MORE CLASS Kickstarter is less than a week away -- it launches next Tuesday -- and the amount of content you can pick up is growing! Not only can you also get the original A TOUCH OF CLASS, the new A TOUCH MORE CLASS, but you can also get THE MASTERCLASS CODEX which compiles them both in a beautiful hardcover, along with much more! This Kickstarter allows you to pickup some...
    0 replies | 1839 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 06:52 PM
    Oh man, there’s loads of them!
    72 replies | 3064 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 04:04 PM
    It's not like a car. It's much more subjective and much more of an art. You can directly and objectively measure a car's horsepower or weight, but you can't do that with an RPG. I don't think anything can substitute for actually trying the thing. All the graphs in the world won't give you a sense of how you feel when you play the game.
    56 replies | 1864 view(s)
    4 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:52 PM
    Heists are always fun to play. Heck, ex-D&D designer Rodney Thompson built a whole game around them. Now, the San Jenaro Co-Op is bringing 25 heists in a hardcover book to Kickstarter! The book is system-neutral, and includes different genres -- sci-fi, fantasy, and so on. You get a detailed map, information on guards and traps, and so on. Here's the fluff text: "Heists are some of the...
    7 replies | 1844 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:35 PM
    The official Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual D&D book has snuck up on us, and is releasing in the next week or so. Artist Aviv Or has shown off some of the artwork she did for the book on Twitter. "I started with designing Positions - a character's role in the company on top of their standard D&D class - as iconic characters. Like the Cartographer, who's about discovering places...
    20 replies | 1388 view(s)
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 11:00 AM
    We simply upgraded the sever to https.
    85 replies | 6758 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 01:29 AM
    Completely inappropriate. I’m afraid you’ll need to find some other community. Goodbye.
    143 replies | 5927 view(s)
    4 XP
  • mythago's Avatar
    Tuesday, 11th June, 2019, 12:34 AM
    Someone has already linked to a blog post by one of the con organizers, who explained exactly what they did, who they talked to, and why they took the actions (banning him from the con) that they did. And he did not name the person or encourage anyone to shame or shun him. Where on earth are you getting this idea that it was 'very poorly handled'? Is this the thing where we assume exclusion is...
    419 replies | 18081 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 09:06 PM
    It hasn’t proved to be a problem in any of my games.
    16 replies | 680 view(s)
    0 XP
  • the Jester's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 07:22 PM
    I don't think very many campaigns use the same enemies for most fights, but I'd say the "horde of bad guys" trope is well represented in most campaigns. In this context, I would define "Common" as "Most campaigns feature this type of fight with relative regularity." Pretty much any adventure that features kobolds or goblins uses it, as do most that are focused on other humanoids as foes; the...
    135 replies | 4261 view(s)
    0 XP
  • darjr's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 05:02 PM
    There are still some hard coded non https links. Mostly the likes and smiles icons.
    85 replies | 6758 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 01:02 PM
    Those of you who are fans of Richard A Knaak's Dragonlance novels, The Legend of Huma and Kaz the Minotaur, may already be familiar with his Rex Draconis novel series. Now you can grab a free 15-page D&D NPC collection from this world! "Rex Draconis RPG brings D&D novelist legend Richard A. Knaak's brand new high fantasy series, the Rex Draconis Saga, to the tabletop. Using the D&D 5th...
    7 replies | 1638 view(s)
  • mythago's Avatar
    Monday, 10th June, 2019, 02:35 AM
    It's not true rehabilitation when it comes with a sense of entitlement. Sometimes the price of crummy behavior is that there are consequences for bad behavior - like having to earn back trust over time. Or even people choosing to decide they don't want to risk being on the receiving end of that crummy behavior again. As long as we're talking about things that piss us off, I'm very, very...
    419 replies | 18081 view(s)
    7 XP
  • the Jester's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 07:11 PM
    I will dispute that it's an exception to the norm. I'd say, depending on the campaign, it might even be quite a common type of encounter. Just because you don't often see it doesn't mean it doesn't come up for others.
    135 replies | 4261 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 06:17 PM
    Enthusiasm. While a GM invested in the game they’re running can’t guarantee a good game, a GM not invested in it does guarantee a bad game. Our group is always happy to play any game or system which somebody is excited about running. Because the system takes a back seat to that.
    18 replies | 752 view(s)
    1 XP
  • the Jester's Avatar
    Sunday, 9th June, 2019, 05:37 PM
    That rather misses the point of having multiple settings in the first place.
    31 replies | 1274 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Morrus's Avatar
    Saturday, 8th June, 2019, 10:05 PM
    Woosh. :) It’s a joke.
    166 replies | 5825 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Piratecat

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Tuesday, 21st May, 2019

  • 09:17 PM - CleverNickName mentioned Piratecat in post Favourite D&D edition that’s not 5E
    Even though the thread is closed, Piratecat encouraged me to link it back whenever it's relevant. So whenever an edition war crops up, I like to add levity with this little gem I created long ago. Come on fellas, don't take it so seriously. This is a game.

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019

  • 12:49 AM - innerdude mentioned Piratecat in post What Game Did You Leave D&D For?
    ...ep the combats interesting. No "bounded accuracy" and stacking feats meant my level 8 monk player could get his character up to 35+ armor class without even breaking a sweat. The inquisitor class in the hands of a highly competent player . . . insanity. So I started tooling around with other systems. Fantasy Craft. Legends of Anglerre (Fate 2.0). GURPS (as a player, not GM). Then randomly came across a $10 copy of Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition at my LGS while in grad school. Didn't even play it for 18 months after I bought it, then tried it for a short, 2-3 session Firefly "fling." Two years later, finally put a group together to try it for full-on fantasy campaign when Savage Worlds Deluxe came out. That campaign ran 14 months, and we've never looked back since. Of course, now six years later I'm ready for a little more diversity. Already have Genesys and three sets of dice. Bought Night's Black Agents, and will almost certainly buy the new Gumshoe fantasy game that Piratecat is publishing. The problem I have with D&D/d20 now is that truthfully, system-wise it feels like a step backward---even for something as elegantly put together as Fantasy Craft. I've been doing skill-based systems for so long now, that going back to class/level based character design feels like a slap in the face. Plus, Savage Worlds gives me so much more of the right "feel" and emergent play that I'm looking for as a GM. My current list of games I'd actively choose to GM looks something like this: -Savage Worlds -Genesys -The One Ring -Gumshoe / Night's Black Agents / Ashen Stars / Swords of the Serpentine ----Six feet of dirt--- D6 Fantasy Star Wars D6 Something PbtA (Dungeon World or Masks) Novus Fantasy Craft Fantasy AGE / Dragon Age Burning Wheel (though this is a pipe dream, my players would never go for it) ----Another six feet of dirt---- GURPS HERO Runequest ---30 feet of crap--- Any d20 system not named Fantasy Craft (D&D,...

Friday, 14th December, 2018

  • 04:41 PM - Henry mentioned Piratecat in post Burning Questions: What Do New DMs Need to Know?
    ....com/robinslaws/ Robin's Laws of Good Gamer Mastering -- be observant to the activities that give your group of players their "emotional kick". Some people love acquiring new skills and tricks and powers for their PCs; some love solving complicated problems or traps; some love pure roleplay moments; some love multiple things. Learn over time to deliver a small spotlight of each to each player for their specific thing, and in my experience you'll have them camping out on your doorstep for the next session. ;-) More seriously, you can't go wrong finding those emotional drives and learning to incorporate them - but it does take time, and learning more about your players as you go. Largest piece of advice here though: Above all, relax, have fun and DM. You'll get better with practice. "You have permission to suck." Matthew Mercer sucked as a GM, once upon a time. Chris Perkins sucked as a GM, once upon a time.* They kept running the game, and learning. *Kevin Kulp, also known as Piratecat , never sucked as a GM. He was Born in GMing Perfection from the Womb, and Blessed Upon the World that We may Know the Template to Judge All GMs by.

Saturday, 12th May, 2018


Thursday, 18th January, 2018

  • 05:39 PM - Gradine mentioned Piratecat in post Capers – A Super-Powered Game of 1920s Gangsters
    I'm not gonna lie, this sounds pretty damn awesome. The artwork in particular seems super evocative. And having read/watched some of the Dread adventures Piratecat has done, I'm all the more interested in a product he's put some work into.

Wednesday, 22nd November, 2017


Wednesday, 8th November, 2017

  • 04:49 PM - Joshua Randall mentioned Piratecat in post Secret GM Notes
    Due credit to Piratecat for this one: In his 3e adventure Of Sound Mind, there's a section where the characters each have scary dreams caused by the big bad. The advice is to hand each player a paper with their character's dream on it, give them 30-60 seconds to read it, and then take the paper away -- to simulate how hard it is to remember dreams when you wake up. I did this and the players' minds were BLOWN. Some of them attempted to recount their characters' dreams (with hilarious, to me, mistakes) while one player utterly refused to discuss his dream because he / his character was so disturbed. Great technique and one I highly recommend as a one-off. (You really can't use it more than once.) = = = = = Different group. High level (17th level) 3e party traveling the Astral Plane en route to plot location. They come across a mind flayer and his (strong) group of thralls and (wisely) don't immediately attack. I (the DM) have the mind flayer begin bantering with the PCs, inquiring where th...

Tuesday, 10th October, 2017


Thursday, 4th May, 2017

  • 04:19 AM - Henry mentioned Piratecat in post Traveling The Black Seas of Infinity With The Call Of Cthulhu RPG
    Ditto to trystero 's remarks - i own CoC 4th through 7th editions, and with a few minor exceptions they are 90% the same in rules content. The core mechanic hasn't really changed, even less so than D&D, and Piratecat who used to frequent these forums said once that CoC was a game so simple he actually ran games of it before he even read a copy of the rules. :) As for 7th edition, I have yet to have a chance to run it, but I look forward to, it has a number of new neat rules (the chase rules, the pushing mechanic, minor changes to combat options, the advantage mechanic, etc.) that I think will only add to the fun.

Saturday, 31st December, 2016


Thursday, 29th December, 2016

  • 08:07 AM - Knightfall mentioned Piratecat in post Hexographer Map for P'Cat's Spira
    I had an inch to create something new using Hexographer and this map i what came out. A while ago, Piratecat sent me four parts of a map that was entitled Gauntian Map. I had asked him if he had such maps, as he used for Defenders of Daybreak. I ended up creating a Campaign Cartographer 2 map using those maps and a couple of others he sent me, but I was never really happy with the result. This map turned out a lot better, IMO. I've tried to stay true to his vision but I did add a few ideas of my own, especially for the regions of the map that were filled with nothing but wide-open expanses. (For example, I assumed the lands south of the Godshelf are supposed to be mainly desert.) I'm sure there are parts I got wrong, but was a fun little project nonetheless. Cheers! KF p.s. The reason the bottom of the map is blank is because the maps I had only reached so far when enlarged as underlays in Hexographer. In the free version, I can't remove rows or columns. Now, if Pcat wants to give me some ideas to help fill in that region, I'm up for it. I'm already assuming that he'll have som...

Wednesday, 2nd November, 2016

  • 02:42 PM - Mercule mentioned Piratecat in post Dragonborn reproduction - eggs or live young?
    OK. I was going to pop in and say "marsupials" but Piratecat beat me to it. So, I'll give an honest answer. Note: This is all me not caring about canon and just going with what works, for me. Dragonborn are of the humanoid type, but biologically* of the dragon class (much like lizardfolk are humanoids of the reptile class). The dragon class doesn't exist on Earth, but is a peer of mammal, reptile, etc. and combines traits of both mammals and reptiles. Notable characteristics include warm-bloodedness, egg-laying, and having both hair and scales. Though there may be outliers, they do not nurse their young or have mammaries or mammary-like structures. * Note: I'm not a biology expert. I don't actually care about getting the details right, just close enough to move on with playing a game.

Saturday, 8th October, 2016

  • 02:16 AM - Imhotepthewise mentioned Piratecat in post Iron DM 2016 (The Complete Game Thread!)
    ... honored to be found worthy of moving forward out of the first round. GuardianLurker is a tough opponent. I feel lucky to have inched ahead of him. As you say, the 750 word count is brutal. I cite that as the reason some of the sentences in my entry are not quite all there. Hizzhonor the judge Iron Sky zoomed right in on the sentence I found to be the weakest in the writeup. I delight in finding reasons to use real world places for adventures. I have known about the Kentucky Bend for some time now, and am glad this entry gave me a chance to work with it. The percentages of back story to adventure is something I have been criticized hard for in previous entries. I fought hard to avoid a railroad adventure. Like GuardianLurker, I could have used more word space to flesh out the backstory so I could make a better adventure. As to the adventure, I wanted to offer the PCs choices. I started DMing in 1979 as a “No!” DM running very linear adventures. Today, thanks to Piratecat and Dungeon World, I am a “Yes!” and a “what do you do?” gamemaster, letting the characters lead the story. As to the ingredients (I am soooo happy I did not draw the Pink Socks!): Hungry Darkness is Belle, who I saw as a not so powerful vampire as very smart and crafty. She’s in it for the long haul, not seeing an easy way out the fix she is in. Not so interested in making a meal of Preacher, because it is too much effort to take down a holy man when there was easier prey around. Doomsayer is Preacher, who I saw as a con artist trying to survive in a bad spot. Not a spellcaster, holy man, or even physically threatening, he took on a persona he knew would make him interesting as food. The holy book, chosen for its looks not its content (any one see city street preachers and their well worn bibles?) is only part of his costume. Belle doesn’t bother to check its potency, and the lesser vampires assume since she doesn’t attack him they sho...

Saturday, 1st October, 2016

  • 04:34 PM - Rune mentioned Piratecat in post IRON DM 2016! (Sign-up and Scheduling)
    I know it's a long-shot, but I'm going to shout out to some heavy-hitters from days of yore: el-remmen, Wulf Ratbane, seasong, incognito, Enkhidu, Quickbeam, ajanders, Pour, Plane Sailing, Piratecat One more slot to compete in IRON DM 2016! Step right up!

Saturday, 30th April, 2016


Saturday, 2nd January, 2016


Friday, 11th December, 2015

  • 10:16 PM - Janx mentioned Piratecat in post Failing Forward
    ...GM shouldn't let there be a hat shop" and a "yes he should let there be a hat shop" reason. That's pretty much a road block. The GM needs to answer the question of "is there a hat shop" or not, so in the presence of two conflicting arguments of relatively equal merit, he still has to make a decision for which those reasons don't resolve it for him one way or the other. If the GM has truly mapped the entire town, he can simply defer to the map. It's not his decision at all, other than the choice he made earlier during the map making process to put one in there or not. But then, that might have been an oversight, as he made a mistake and didn't think of hat shops as a possibility. So now we're second guessing his prior decision making skills, which might have been a random town generator that simply lacked the option for a hat shop, in which case, no town in his world has a hat shop, despite it being a reasonable possibility. I would say this, from what I can tell online, Piratecat is a famously excellent GM who improvises a lot. Thus the quote "You want there to be a haberdasher, which means you have something awesome in mind, so there's totally a haberdasher there for you." would not be a violation of his duty, because it is exactly what his players should expect from him to make his game excellent (for those who enjoy his style of game).* Thus, a value judgement of "saying Yes to enable awesome is Wrong" as per your examples can be invalidated as being subjective, based on the kind of GM/game style being run. I do think that "being fair" is generally valued across all players, so the argument for saying "no" with the intention to always block the players is generally a bad thing because it violates the fairness (and thus Trust) guideline. So what's GM to do? I suspect the guidance for a GM to the question of "Is there a haberdasher nearby" is to answer Maybe, or Yes in most cases. Yes is for GMs who favor an Improv style where there rule in imp...

Tuesday, 8th December, 2015

  • 11:31 PM - Umbran mentioned Piratecat in post Why Aren't Designers Using The GUMSHOE System?
    Piratecat is about to put out Timewatch. So, there's one designer using it. I think, however, that you overestimate how many games are really published at all. By my count there are already 7 GUMSHOE games out there, and Timewatch will make 8. How many more systems do you really expect there to be using one system core? To answer the question, we should note that GUMSHOE is really designed to handle mystery/investigation/procedural style games. It is at its best when you have a "problem/mystery of the week" kind of adventure design. It doesn't do dungeon crawling well, for example, and isn't designed for particularly rules-detail-heavy combat. All in all, it is a system that does what it does pretty well (I'm about to use Ashen Stars for a campaign for my group), but what it does isn't necessarily what everyone wants to do. And that's okay.

Friday, 13th November, 2015

  • 03:36 PM - Umbran mentioned Piratecat in post Prophecy and Visions
    I have all kinds of ideas about that with alt-history/time travel/prophecy stuff... Imagine if a time traveler went back to show Adolph Hitler & his parents the consequences of his future actions and how he is remembered, a la "A Christmas Carol". Does the vision of the future- assuming they believe what they have witnessed- change anything? Ask Piratecat, author of Timewatch. :)

Wednesday, 16th September, 2015


Thursday, 20th December, 2012

  • 08:35 AM - Knightfall mentioned Piratecat in post Which of my continents do you want more information about?
    This blog post is for Piratecat and Psion... Voted! FYI... I've been doing some revising of the continent map for Janardûn. I think I'm nearly finished revising rivers and tweaking terrain. Once it's finalized, I will upload the revised map to the campaign group and link it to the wiki. But, if you want something relatively new regarding then read this snippet that I posted over on The Piazza back in August. Janardûn has always been a challenge for me to move forward with. Trying to come up with a solid premise for such an isolated land that is dominated by psionics has always seemed to allude me. There is very written about it that isn't already on my (old) wikipage or on the old EN World thread. And some of the info on that thread is a bit out of date, especially the deity information. The concept of psionic knights is an important one for the continent. In some ways, the Insightful Order of the Republic is to Janardûn what Jedi Knights are to the Star Wars universe. But that is rough comparison, at be...


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Saturday, 26th January, 2019

  • 12:34 AM - Lanefan quoted Piratecat in post Create or Destroy Water spell ruling
    I dunno. If he's been appraised by the container guild as a container, I think the answer is pretty clear. I'm a little more concerned that he's normally full of blood, not water. Reminds me of our line back in the day whenever someone new turned out for broomball: "Nice. New blood. Still in the container, too."

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019

  • 09:14 PM - Reynard quoted Piratecat in post What Game Did You Leave D&D For?
    I <3 D&D - I just finished one ten-year-old 5e campaign, and another one is still going. That said, I fell for GUMSHOE hard about five or six years ago. First it was the space game Ashen Stars, then the super-spy game Night's Black Agents, then I wrote TimeWatch for time travel (and hacked it into a 1930s two-fisted pulp game), and now I've got a fantasy GUMSHOE game named Swords of the Serpentine coming out this year. It's a very different game than D&D -- it models swords & sorcery novels and lets you manipulate politics to change society around you -- but holy crap, am I finding it fun. After owning if for a couple years, I am planning on running my first Timewatch adventure at a game day this spring. I am excited to the leave the fate of the timestream to the League of Ordinary Gentlefolk (nobodies from across time).

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019

  • 02:38 AM - steeldragons quoted Piratecat in post If you were able to design your own version of D&D, how would you do it?
    Not to hijack, but you'll appreciate this. :) 104018 OMGOMGOMG!!! You're an action figure!!! That's so cool. I'm so excited for you guys (and Sagiro). That's just pure awesomeness. Ok. ok. Hijack over. I promise.
  • 12:20 AM - Ratskinner quoted Piratecat in post [Gumshoe] Playtesting for Swords of the Serpentine (fantasy GUMSHOE) is now LIVE
    http://site.pelgranepress.com//nas/content/live/pelgranepress/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Swords_350.png Hey, I wrote another game! We're kicking off playtesting for a swords & sorcery GUMSHOE game by Emily Dresner (Dungeonomics author MuLtiplexer) and myself, and I wanted to to give interested folks a heads up. Details on what the game consists of and what's different about it can be found in the link below, and I'll give folks a reminder in this thread when the playtest launches 1/1. I'm really excited to see it get played; there's social combat and societal manipulation mechanics in there (want your northern barbarian to carve out a kingdom, or your thief to manipulate city politics? That's how!), and it will be fun to see what players do with those. http://site.pelgranepress.com/index.php/swords-of-the-serpentine-whats-in-that-playtest/ If you enjoyed my storyhour back in the day, you're probably going to like this. Holler with any questions about the game or the playtest. Wow...

Monday, 7th January, 2019


Friday, 4th January, 2019

  • 11:23 PM - RangerWickett quoted Piratecat in post If you were able to design your own version of D&D, how would you do it?
    The fighting game is a fascinating challenge. You'd probably have to tie your damage and your move to your attack success roll to make it nice and fast, I dunno. Cutting down on dice rolling is part of it, particularly since I want there to be a few more decision points in how you attack. So attacks would do flat damage, and you only roll d20s. (Sorry, other polyhedral dice. You slow things down.) The two main mechanics were both inspired by the new Legend of the Five Rings card game by FFG, where you can choose between five different 'Rings' when you attack, and if you win you get some bonus effect (Air steals their honor [aka life total], Earth steals their cards, Fire strengthens/weakens a creature, Water taps/untaps creatures, and Void sucks their fate [aka mana]) you can lose from running out of honor, OR you can lose by having your 'stronghold' broken. Each player has four provinces and one stronghold, each with their own quirks for how you defeat them. You have to 'break' th...
  • 02:47 AM - RangerWickett quoted Piratecat in post If you were able to design your own version of D&D, how would you do it?
    I know, right? I loved 3e (possibly inappropriately, if you know what I mean, and I think you do), and 5e is a joy. I'm seriously irked that I've really just run the game instead of played it. We just finished a 10 year campaign that had started in 4e. That said, I had to dodge this question entirely when designing Swords of the Serpentine. It was definitely a process of "think of what you love about sword and sorcery heroes, and model that," instead of "recreate D&D with a different rules set" -- that latter would have been a disaster. So I asked myself "how can I hack TimeWatch or GUMSHOE in general into something that feels like epic fantasy?" Then I playtested the hell out of it - over 200 people over 2 years, which isn't so bad for basically one GM - and cut everything that didn't completely delight me. Pkitty! Wait, Swords of the Serpentine is your baby? I've scrolled past the cover of it on Facebook a few times, but somehow that never clicked. *reads a snippet about the game* ...

Thursday, 3rd January, 2019

  • 04:56 PM - Henry quoted Piratecat in post If you were able to design your own version of D&D, how would you do it?
    I know, right? I loved 3e (possibly inappropriately, if you know what I mean, and I think you do), and 5e is a joy. Bad Kitty! (gets water bottle) That said, I had to dodge this question entirely when designing Swords of the Serpentine. It was definitely a process of "think of what you love about sword and sorcery heroes, and model that," instead of "recreate D&D with a different rules set" -- that latter would have been a disaster. So I asked myself "how can I hack TimeWatch or GUMSHOE in general into something that feels like epic fantasy?" Then I playtested the hell out of it - over 200 people over 2 years, which isn't so bad for basically one GM - and cut everything that didn't completely delight me. If it plays anything like the fantasy gumshoe I remember (the one with the beggar-kids) then it should be a lot of fun, can't wait.

Friday, 30th March, 2018

  • 03:23 AM - quoted Piratecat in post Game Mechanics And Player Agency
    Part of the secret is buy-in. Games like The Dying Earth or Skulduggery are based around the idea of convincing people to stuff they wouldn't want, and there's a huge amount of laughter that comes from that. You have to know how it works going in, though. I think these are the two most important takeaways from all this discussion. If players come into a game knowing how it runs, they're going to know that sometimes they'll be on the receiving end. But knowing how it runs also means sometimes you'll be on the dealing side. As long as you're willing to role with the rolls then there really isn't a problem. And frankly, most of the time when an NPC is trying to convince you to do something, what's really going on is the DM is trying to move the game forward. I for one like to be a good little fishy and bite all the hooks.

Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

  • 05:52 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Piratecat in post What are your rules for classic swords and sorcery?
    is slow sorcery just plain incompatible with fun in a RPG when you tie player characters into it? I see a risk of "You guys go adventure. We'll be sprinking powders and chanting for the next few days." that I think everyone would want to avoid. For any clearly un-fun thing that an RPG might offer, there's somebody who thinks it'd be fun. ;) Something that's slow is a question of logistics. Is there time to do the ritual? OK, we do the ritual, if there's no problems, after that we continue on. Sure, if there's a ritual that needs to be done while something more exciting is going on, or a ritual that needs to be stopped by doing something exciting, the hero (and thus, generally, the PCs) should be doing the exciting bits. OTOH, if the ritual culminates in some excitement, like the quasi-resurrection in Conan the Barbarian, or if the everyone participates in the ritual and you just move to the next thing, that's fine. I also think it's fine to have background magical powers that are e...
  • 02:20 PM - Dioltach quoted Piratecat in post What are your rules for classic swords and sorcery?
    A related question, to Johnny3D3D above: is slow sorcery just plain incompatible with fun in a RPG when you tie player characters into it? I see a risk of "You guys go adventure. We'll be sprinking powders and chanting for the next few days." that I think everyone would want to avoid. I think that issue is tied to the fact that in classic S&S magic is used mostly by the bad guys, or for non-combat healing. I seem to recall the Grey Mouser casting some spells, but only using charms and scrolls, am I right?

Tuesday, 12th September, 2017

  • 11:33 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Piratecat in post What are your rules for classic swords and sorcery?
    I'm currently writing a new Fafhrd-and-the-Gray-Mouser-style sword and sorcery game My initial though on reading the thread title was "why use Gumshoe for S&S?" After reading this far, it's "Oh, duh, of course..." ;) That sound like it could be just awesome. , and in doing so I've written up my core tenets of "this is what I want sword and sorcery to be." I'm really curious, though. When you think back to Conan, Elric, etc... what defines swords and sorcery for you?Well, there's a hero who uses a sword, and a villain that uses sorcery, and at the end, there's a hero who uses a sword. ;P

Tuesday, 11th July, 2017

  • 02:50 AM - Manbearcat quoted Piratecat in post Congratulations to the 2017 ENnie Award Nominees!
    A quick glance at the website shows that it didn't start shipping until about mid-May. Products had to have been published by April 30th, 2017 to be eligible. Blades in the Dark is eligible for next year, should they choose to submit it. Figured that was the case (right on the cusp of eligibility). Thank you. Much appreciated. I sure hope he does; it's superb. Absolutely!

Friday, 7th July, 2017


Wednesday, 28th June, 2017

  • 10:53 AM - Silver Moon quoted Piratecat in post Where are all the great spy RPGs?
    Night's Black Agents is an astonishingly good spy game. Toss the supernatural aspect if it isn't to your taste; either way, I find it ridiculously fun in a way that Spycraft just couldn't reach for me. I will have to try that one. Big fan of spy stories, but most don't work well for RPG's for reasons already stated (largely individual vs. team play). I played Top Secret back in the late 80's and early 90's and found it clunky. I found that D20 Modern seemed to work pretty well as a game system for spy stories.

Sunday, 25th June, 2017

  • 10:15 PM - Egg Embry quoted Piratecat in post Owlbears, Comic Sans, and Goblins in Space: A Look At Free RPG Day Offerings
    ...of TimeWatch to play this mission. You’ll also need a pencil and a d6 for each player, and some poker chips (or coins, or glass beads) for use as action points. Six fast-start TimeWatch Agents customized to the mission are included, or you can easily use Agents that your players create themselves. ---- And here are the correct Investigative abilities for the PCs: OCHOA: All bolded abilities are rank 1. QUILL: All bolded abilities are rank 1 except for Research (rank 2). Hacking (rank 2), Notice (rank 2), and Science! (rank 3). COL. THOMAS BLOOD: All bolded abilities are rank 1 except for Charm (rank 2) and Streetwise (rank 2). JULIE D'AUBIGNY: All bolded abilities are rank 1 except for Military Tactics (rank 2), Charm (rank 3), and High Society (rank 2). ROGO: All bolded abilities are rank 1 except for Military Tactics (rank 2), Timecraft (rank 2), Intimidation (rank 3), and Taunt (rank 2). HEELER: All bolded abilities are rank 1 except for Medical Expertise which is rank 3. PirateCat- Thank you for the quick response and errata. The introduction you shared gives a good sense of the adventure and what to expect. I appreciate you taking the time to provide it here. :) Thanks Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer Check out EN World Gaming at the Kids’ Table posts to read reviews of The FirstFable RPG, Monster Slayers, and Mouse Tails

Sunday, 4th June, 2017

  • 02:56 PM - aramis erak quoted Piratecat in post Who's the king of licenses?
    I feel so ignorant around licenses. Does anyone have an idea of what a license might cost, in round numbers? And I know it varies tremendously by license, but I'm definitely curious. Varies widely, but I'm aware the star wars license is in the 6-7 figure range upfront cost. Some are way less - in the low 4 figures for some. Those were licenses of game A to game B, where Game A was not a big seller, but had a fanbase. Further, most have had a profit share component in addition.

Tuesday, 30th May, 2017

  • 08:21 PM - Morrus quoted Piratecat in post Who's the king of licenses?
    I feel so ignorant around licenses. Does anyone have an idea of what a license might cost, in round numbers? And I know it varies tremendously by license, but I'm definitely curious. Definitely varies. Usually a royalty rate with an advance/guarantee (often annually) against those royalties for a fixed period, often about 3 years-ish.

Tuesday, 17th January, 2017

  • 09:20 PM - Jer quoted Piratecat in post Do magic missiles automatically hit
    I once repackaged a beholder as nearly a dozen dead wizards necromantically sewn together into a single levitating arcane golem's body, heads and arms sprouting off the torso at weird angles, each with wands or a hand to cast with. Completely freaked them out. To be fair, I'm just reading it in a forum post and it has ME freaked out...

Tuesday, 29th December, 2015

  • 12:22 AM - KlumsyK quoted Piratecat in post Use Magic Device for rogues
    Hey Curt, what if you're a rogue with the "use magical ability" feature (that I'm sure I'm totally misremembering the correct name of)? Hey I found a thread that answers this question specifically! unfortunately i cant post in the link because Im a new user. this is what is said: An exception to the rule is the Use Magic Device feature of the 13th-level or higher Thief (Roguish Archetype): "You ignore all class, race, and level requirements on the use of magic items." D&D 5e designer Jeremy Crawford clarified, "The intent is that Use Magic Device does allow a rogue to try to use a scroll."


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