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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 09:25 PM
    Valid concerns can be expressed without relying on double standards. It's not that hard a bar to clear. And, answering concerns in detail is not dismissal.
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Today, 09:02 PM
    My BECMI campaign had a few characters hit Immortal status, but I don’t really remember much of the actual sessions. I think I cribbed/copied a fair bit from Dragonlance, complete with Fizban showing up. As for 1e, we had a campaign that lasted as far as 16th or 17th level, though by that time we had crossed into 2e. That’s a little clearer in my head. The PCs fought (and defeated) Orcus...
    2 replies | 85 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 09:00 PM
    Gotta ask: which Gamma World? Like, what's the copyright date? IDK about "epic" (that implies all sorts of things to me that are not synonymous with dungeoncrawling), but the long arc implied by zero-to-hero leveling and the "need" to have stories paced to enforce 6-8 encounter/ 2-3 short rest 'days,' both work against a purely episodic approach.
    4 replies | 257 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 08:03 PM
    Ok, I can kinda see why. BTW, a friend & fellow GM back in the day used to say "Pop like a toad!" usually in reference to some monster or character being attacked by something quite potent, or taking a lot of damage. Never did get the reference...
    2 replies | 172 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 07:52 PM
    Sci-fi for two of the 9 Traditions and 2-3 of the 5 Conventions (depending on how far the Progenitors are taking it in the story, and the Syndicate & NWO don't need to go there, at all) - cyberpunk for only one of each. In no one plays a Virtual Adept or tangles with It-X, no cyberpunk. No SoE or Void Engineers, no space opera. You might get some Tom Clancy level sci-fi from the Progenitors...
    49 replies | 1187 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 07:28 PM
    Sure. Focus fire is the obvious example - hp damage imposes no penalties, so, focusing on one enemy at a time is always the best tactic, and accepting hp damage in return for enabling some other objective is often a pretty easy choice. Nod. That kind of pedantic player calculation, though, actually can enable a genre-appropriate action on the part of the hero - apparent 'risk taking' or...
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:57 PM
    Oh, wow, so exactly like a Companion character, then? That's nice. Odd choice of name, when Companion hasn't been used for anything else, and Henchman is so much more traditional... ::shrug:: … and in a product called "Essentials" it can hardly be just another example of the reflexive horror of all things 4e … Edit: Oh, wait, maybe not "Henchman" because Villains have Henchmen (or...
    18 replies | 450 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:12 PM
    Also the ratio between types of rests is a factor. As we all know, D&D has always depended on pacing to impose balance upon class resources and encounter challenge levels. In the olden days it was just spells/day classes vs unlimited sword-swinging classes vs encounters/day. 5e added short rests and classes that primarily used them. And it has resource-rich, moderate & poor classes, of...
    18 replies | 426 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Today, 06:03 PM
    I'm with you on most of these, but two of them, I think, the underlying reason is too compelling: A hard 1 spell/round limit might be simpler. From the start of your turn, to the start of your next turn, you can cast /1/ spell, it might be a bonus action spell, in which case you can make an ordinary attack or other action, a regular action spell, or a spell you cast as your reaction - but once...
    20 replies | 650 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Today, 05:20 PM
    Shildoor sees Kaleth attack and decides if the thing lives in water, breaking the tank might work. "Break the tank?" he half asks, half announces. So slams the silvered flail into the side of the tank. Attack: Damage:
    1369 replies | 43020 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Today, 04:21 PM
    Zyzzy moves over to the rock. She traces a line on the exposed circuit of her forearm and points at the nearest guard at the end of the ramp, a bolt of electricity flies from her fingertip to toward the guard but the guard moves at the last second. Aiming with her finger is not the same as piloting a ship. Zyzzy casts Energy Ray. Attack vs EAC Lightning Damage:
    59 replies | 1606 view(s)
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  • Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
    Today, 03:24 PM
    I finished Swanwick’s “The Iron Dragon’s Daughter.” It was okay. It started off really spectacular, with this industrial-urban fantasy set-up. But somewhere around the middle, it started to meander, and had to work too hard for the climax of the tale, which in turn robbed it of some of the impact. There’s some wonderful world-building, but the part that really ended up mattering at the end didn’t...
    10 replies | 436 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Today, 02:49 PM
    The most common issue I hear about extra bodies on the field, like summons or pet classes, is that that player's actions during an encounter take up more time. With this I see two cases: 1. Some players have sidekicks and others don't , leading to those players taking more time and slowing down play for everyone else. 2. Everyone has a sidekick. Meaning all actions take longer and there's...
    18 replies | 450 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Today, 11:33 AM
    I've said as much myself about the RAW multiple times in this thread. That said, it doesn't really matter if a belief system has holes in it so long as people believe in it. Sure, the PC can be the blasphemer who believes the taboo is pointless. Odds are, he's going to get a lot of push back from the world around him because it doesn't really matter if he's right or not. At least not to those...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
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  • bid's Avatar
    Today, 01:41 AM
    Alchemy Jug 28 Bag of Holding 31 Bag of Tricks 25 Broom of Flying 24 Carpet of Flying 24 Cube of Force 10 Hold my beer!
    281 replies | 6698 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 11:28 PM
    I agree insofar as it shouldn't simply be impossible for a druid to strap on a metal shield without some kind of in game justification. However, belief systems are based in belief, and not necessarily logic. At the end of the day, people believe their belief systems, often in spite of a lack of proof. Belief systems can be self contradictory, and people will still believe in them. Just because...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:31 PM
    13th Age, a d20 game similar to 5e, makes the changing automatic. They have at-will, per encounter (instead of per short rest), and per full-heal-up (like long rest). But a full-heal-up comes every four encounters. Could be on the same day or spread across several weeks. Players can take one earlier, but it costs a campaign loss.
    18 replies | 426 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:02 PM
    The dryad wouldn't know just by walking into the bar, but she would sense the druid's connection to the primal if they interacted. She wouldn't consider him trustworthy because it would be like seeing a priest wearing the vestments of a good deity, but wearing the holy symbol of Asmodeus around his neck. It screams something isn't right. If the druid knew in advance of his interaction he could...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:59 PM
    I completely disagree that changing the length of rests will screw over some classes. Nothing but changing the frequency of encounters between rests. And that's entirely up to the DM. Let's try this. Group A averages two encounters, a short rest, two encounters, a short rest, and two encounters and then a long rest. Group B has the exact same frequency. No disadvantage on either, correct?...
    18 replies | 426 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:20 PM
    You'll want consider what to do with abilities that grant proficiency to saving throws, such as the Monk's Diamond Soul feature, the Rogue's Slippery Mind feature, and the Resilient feat. It's simple enough to just ban the feat, but the classes with features that grant proficiency should arguably be compensated in some way.
    15 replies | 425 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:57 PM
    Wanting to play a Space Marine in a standard D&D setting is not equivalent to a Druid wanting to don a breastplate for a disguise, and neither is equivalent to the players of a half orc and an elf wanting their characters to get along. If something doesn't exist in a setting, then it doesn't exist. It's a restriction of the meta. A DM can make allowances for a player (okay, you can be the only...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
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  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:23 PM
    What sort of rule system do you like? You are going to probably have to go with a toolbox, or a game that has its own world/ lore that can be easily tweaked. Do you like Fate? GURPS? Savage Worlds? Hero? Gumshoe? Are you willing to scrounge around for out of print games? Angel, (sister rpg to Buffy) is really easy to mold into something totally divorced from the tv show. It's hard to give...
    49 replies | 1187 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:45 PM
    I've always wanted to run a modern day game where the PCs are ordinary people by day, but enter a Dreamland by night where they are D&Desque characters. At first it would seem that these two aspects are distinct, but it would become apparent that these two worlds are connected in some fashion. At night they would be Big Damn Heroes, but by day they would need to manage the risks they take (as...
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:37 PM
    Go for it. Changing how long a rest takes are even some of the official variants in the DMG. The 5e Adventures in Middle Earth basically has that you never get rested enough on a journey for a long rest unless you stop at a sanctuary like Elrond's Last Homely House or something. I'm working on a campaign idea right now that has a lot of travel and exploration and I want to be able to work...
    18 replies | 426 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:28 PM
    Tell your dentist you need the normal cleanings covered by insurance, that it's a hardship. See if you get at least 2 of the 4 covered, and the others cheaper.
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:26 PM
    This sounds like criminal charges and a lawsuit. Too bad it's likely far past the point you could do that. While this is very believable from 20 years ago when it happened to you, luckily I have a hard time picturing this happening in the US now. Malpractice insurance is hideously expensive compared to other countries and no medical professional I know would dare risk something like this...
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:20 PM
    Once I feel asleep with my head under my pillow and I awoke with no teeth and a mouth full of quarters. (Monty Python voice: "I got better.")
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:08 PM
    To me it's the fact that extracting and refining significant enough quantities of metal to fashion armor isn't easy. It reeks of civilization. Leather, by comparison, is fairly easy to fashion. While I'm not a hunter myself, I have it on good authority from a friend of mine who is that basically all you need to tan a deer hide is the deer's brain. (But please keep in mind that there can be...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:01 PM
    When the topic is "without a healer", you keep using "with a healer" as part of your arguments. We've gone back and forth a few times, I don't think it's worth it to continue. But you do have a good point - you're not looking for a way to simplify the game, you're looking for a way to simplify play for a table. At that point you can always customize for that table. Heck, you could simplify...
    20 replies | 650 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:12 AM
    I'm just recently well enough to return to running my campaign, and the first session back I ran an underlevel complexity 4 SC to handle progress toward finding a certain goal in the Elemental Chaos. It was mostly RP, but at some points, failure could trigger a quick encounter.
    7 replies | 306 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 08:54 AM
    IDK. walls are typically made of stone, their not nearly as dense as some PCs can be... ;P But, seriously, go right ahead. If a creature can become non-corporeal or something, it could slip right through the grapplers' fingers. Not out of line at all to add something like that, or just rule it on the spot. The game, itself doesn't think of everything, and, while a module is meant to do a...
    47 replies | 1266 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:57 AM
    It is outdoors on what are essentially plains, there is plenty of space to walk side by side. So you have: Swithun and Surina . . Everett And Perin, Br. Pelegon, and Drake left to place.
    408 replies | 12001 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:38 AM
    Yeah, most saves not scaling is an obvious problem. Cancelling out the initial +2, though is just shifting the issue to 1st level in a way. I wouldn't have raised the save DC, instead, give the initial +2 to the normally-proficient saves, and just the scaling over that to the bad saves.
    15 replies | 425 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:29 AM
    I happen to be prepping a new campaign right now, though the order was slightly different because it's family that I'm teaching the game to. They all came up with character ideas first, and from that I have a bunch of ideas of what they are looking for that I need to weave together. Anyway, my campaign notes doc has the following headings: Player Interests (broken down by each player, and...
    39 replies | 979 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:15 AM
    I'd make sure that every ability score has uses in every pillar of play. Some of the pillars may be dominated by skill use so that's effectively already covered, but others not as much. And combat is a pillar of play, so I'd like INT, WIS and CHR to have some effect on combat even for non-casters. For example, if INT also covers speed of thought and wits, make it determine Initiative. This...
    45 replies | 952 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 05:09 AM
    A lot of people seem to be answering "how long to get a session ready", so I'll answer that as well. To get a homebrew campaign ready to hold a session 0 with the players is probably 8 hours over multiple weeks. I come up with some interesting stories that we could explore, put together the rough idea of a setting that specifically supports that*, flesh out broad-strokes-only some of the...
    39 replies | 979 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:03 AM
    rec.games.frp.storyteller and alt.games.white-wolf were very active back in the day, though discussion covered mechanics and PbP as well as more. But what sorta made that claim ring a little true, to me, was the way oWoD books were written & Organized: they were generally pretty good cover-to-cover reads, but terrible in-game references. There was also an increasing emphasis on the...
    49 replies | 1187 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:51 AM
    Sure, the DM is as free, in 5e, to narrate success when players declare the characters flee, upon realizing they've taken on something too much for them too soon. 13A even has a formal mechanic for it, a "Campaign Loss," I think it's called.
    47 replies | 1266 view(s)
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  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:45 AM
    IMC, druids worship the primal forces. A nature God is a humanized embodiment of one or more of those forces. It's an important distinction. For starters, if I have a druid player I tend to throw in other druids and the like for them to interact with (and get a chance to utilize the druidic language). In addition, much like celestials may be favorably inclined towards a cleric or paladin of...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:34 AM
    I played AD&D 2nd without a healer - and it drastically changed game play. We would be holed up in caves for weeks trying to recover from a single encounter. 5e lets us play the same style of game regardless if we have a lot of healing or not. Since the point I was making is being able to play without a healer, then yes, that's the time it's most noticeable. Let's assume that among the...
    20 replies | 650 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 06:26 PM
    That is a really good idea, and on more than just the topic of simplification. Doesn't that rapidly overwhelm proficiency scaling/BA? (Or did I miss that being replaced with a similar level bonus?)
    20 replies | 650 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 05:49 PM
    Consuming Action Surge - which a 5e Fighter in a standard/assumed 6-8 encounter/2-3 Short rest day would get to use about as often as a 4e daily* - might make sense, to activate a more powerful mmaneuver. That or multiple dice, though hilights the problem with not level-gating maneuvers in the first place: all BM maneuvers must be 3rd-level appropriate abilities, so getting your 4th&lower...
    76 replies | 2446 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 05:24 PM
    Count each formation if regulars or undisciplined mob as a swarm. A modest sized battle becomes readily doable with regular rules, and individual high-level creatures can interact with them in a reasonable/playable way. One thing I'd do was let swarms inflict full damage on eachother with ranged&melee. Swarms of same-size creatures occupying the same space? Maybe not? Some kind of "fighting...
    51 replies | 1966 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:29 PM
    With you on both with a small change. I used average damage for monsters while letting players roll. Players like to roll, and get little enough time on their turn as it is (as a fraction of combat). If I can speed up all of the foes that's already a big win.
    20 replies | 650 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:19 PM
    The near-healerless party I ran for absolutely disagrees. Healing surges enable additional play styles and unlocks forcing a player into a healing role if no one wants to play one. I can see your point in a traditional party mix, but it has a very big effect in allowing players to play what they want - especially new players who don't have a "someone plays a healer" tradition.
    20 replies | 650 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:11 PM
    Blue replied to Flurry of Blows
    The "Immediately" does not refer to when you must spend the Bonus Action, it refers to when you must spend the Ki point. So you take an Attack action, must spend a Ki point immediately, can move, can spend a Bonus Action to get two attacks. On the other hand, you can break up you move before and after your action, and if you take an action that has multiple attacks you can move between. ...
    16 replies | 510 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 11:55 AM
    Keep in mind that while I am debating for druids being able to wear metal armor, that is purely based on my reading of the rules. It isn't something that I or any of my players have ever done, nor do I foresee happening. It's simply an option that is there. Such a druid would be a heretic, and I suspect that any player who did so in my game just for a few points extra AC would have a powerful...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
    5 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:56 AM
    Nod. None of those eventualities would be accomplished by simply giving the guns in question moar damage - That'd simply result in a dead hero, or, if the numbers added up just right, an unconscious one, in 5e making death saves. Now, there have been moments here & there in D&D history when a weapon attack might do something aside from just hp damage. In 5e that's locked in the BM subclass.
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 03:14 AM
    Its not like 1e casters would lag multiple levels behind, the Fighter, their whole careers. All casters didnt even consistently level slower than all non-casters. You just described LFQW. Yeah, a fighter hit things steadily more often, doing more damage, on average each round. An MU's magic missile did steadily more damage, too, and he got more of them, and more & more higher level spells...
    22 replies | 789 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 02:35 AM
    Strictly Order Of Hermes, then. Arbitrarily narrow, but doable - an Horizon Realm or just some little college town the Ascension War doesn't quite reach, with Bygones instead of other supernaturals.
    49 replies | 1187 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 12:22 AM
    I suppose that's varied a bit from one edition to the next. Back in the day, there was a rule along the lines of "sleeping or otherwise helpless creatures can be slain at a rate of 1/round." In latter eds, there were 'Coup de Grace' rules that made it a lot more likely, but not guaranteed, that you could kill a helpless victim. In 5e, hitting a downed character will kill it pretty quick. ...
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Saturday, 22nd June, 2019, 12:11 AM
    If you're watching that scene in the movie, do you really expect the hero to get shot dead in that moment? Seriously? That's not to the contrary, at all. That's what pemerton would call 'orthogonal.' It's really nothing to do with it. Whether you conceive hps as 'plot armor' (they represent narrative reasons why your character won't die) or 'luck' or skill or 'ability to defend yourself'...
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:54 PM
    Prof to AC as long as you move on your turn could work.
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:28 PM
    That was the FASE-RIP system RIPped off from the first Marvel Superheroes. Thanks for the reminder. I can add those to my list, too. ;( I'm a huge GW fan, and the most-D&D-ish editions, the 1st, 2nd, 4th, Omega World, and the last (7th, by my count, which said "D&D" right on the box, and had clear 4e DNA) were generally the best, most fun & over the top. Hopefully, any 5e-based GW...
    93 replies | 4452 view(s)
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  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:24 PM
    Once you ave gum disease, you are at a high risk of it returning. Gum disease is linked to heart attack and such. Insurance companies only want to pay two cleanings a year (or one cleaning every six months, which works out to be the same but you can't schedule the second too close or they deny it). Dentists want to permanently move you to every three months because of chance of recurrence....
    33 replies | 573 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:16 PM
    I don't think that's quite fair. I mean, yes, casters were generally Tier 1 & 2, and non-casters 4 & 5. But it was hardly new nor unique to 3e, worse than ever, perhaps, but only a /little/ worse than an ever that had always been pretty darn bad prior to 3e, and isn't exactly a whole lot better, now, with 5e. At the same time, it's a little over-generous: ToB hardly closed that gap. It...
    22 replies | 789 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:14 PM
    I remember a while ago that someone showed the math that reducing the penalty meant it was an appropriate thing to use more often, and the feat ended up contributing more total damage. This was with the 1:2 ratio of damage. But I'd be concerned about reducing the penalty - that actually made it stronger. It was several years ago so I can't vouch for the math, but if correct than the effects...
    49 replies | 1055 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:32 PM
    It peaked at 5 or 6, in the oWoD as I recall. And one of them, Mage, you could take careening off into almost any genre. Virtual Adepts & Akashic Brothers vs Iteration X & Syndicate: Cyberpunk. Void Engineers vs Nephandi: Space Opera. NWO vs Sons of Ether: James Bond. Traditions + Technocracy vs Marauders: superheroes. Marauders vs Nephandi: Tokusatsu. Syndicate vs Euthanotos:...
    49 replies | 1187 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 10:07 PM
    It's a truism of internet discussion that if you make a general statement about what people have done, someone will pipe up with a testimonial to the exact opposite. This time, it's me. My longest-running AD&D campaign went from '85 through '95, and used not a single published module. But then, I never ran modules after the first year or two with the game. I played in enough - and in...
    350 replies | 10604 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 09:37 PM
    There is a lot of complexity, but it's hard to jettison without depriving players of options. Obviously, first, don't use any optional rules. Feats & MCing are just added complexity. Bonus actions and concentration add complexity, for instance, so do reactions - removing everything that uses them would reduce the complexity of the game. Not removing the mechanics (which might render a...
    20 replies | 650 view(s)
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  • jmucchiello's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 08:29 PM
    Zyzzy nods to Skitter. "If we are to be ranged support we should split up. When they go in, I will try to reach that rock over there (ooc: assuming there's a large enough rock to hide behind within 30 or so feet) so they can't hit us with a grenade."
    59 replies | 1606 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 08:24 PM
    Yeah, the primal spirits felt a trifle forced or out of left field, maybe the decision to include a Shaman class had something to do with it? Druids as a remnant of 'old religion' always appealed to me, in 4e, Druids gaining power from ancient pacts with Primordials would have been more evocative, IMHO, making them natural underdog rivals to the divine classes, and being consistent with their...
    72 replies | 2870 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 08:02 PM
    Nod. Feel or expectations seems like it's the main stumbling block Hit points can and do model the same sorts of things when swords, arrows, fireballs, and lightning blots are flying around. But itty-bitty pellets of streamlined lead start flying around ...
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:41 PM
    Ah, so you know my players! ;)
    47 replies | 1266 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:38 PM
    I don't suppose there's a whole lot of functional difference between HP as 'plot armor' or hp as 'ability to defend yourself.' Either way, if you're being shot at, you're not being hit, or taking less serious hits, whether it's modeling author force (plot armor), divine intervention, a sixth sense, finite luck, or desperate defense. Picking one of those possible interpretations and calling it...
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:29 PM
    IIRC, Steve Jackson himself came right out and said it. May well have been in one of the GURPS books. But, remember, we're talking acknowledgement of 'inspiration' - there's no hint of plagiarism or being 'derivative' or anything like that. There was a lot of rancor between GURPS and Hero System fans over which was really 'first' in one sense or another. GURPS was the first RPG, as far as...
    14 replies | 501 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:47 PM
    Exactly. The DM /can/ narrate a villain's escape if he and his group are playing for a dramatic story arc, or, he can narrate his capture/death because the players like 'getting it right' and subverting genre tropes - or he can call for checks, set DCs, and 'let the dice fall where they may' like an old-school wargaming judge. They're each equally valid under the 5e DM's role - a big part of...
    47 replies | 1266 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:35 PM
    I don't suppose there's a whole lot of functional difference. Either way, if you're being shot at, you're not being hit, or taking less serious hits, whether it's modeling author force (plot armor), divine intervention, a sixth sense, finite luck, or desperate defense. And in some genres, bullet-time would be just fine. In most genres, characters being shot at do move & dodge, defending...
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:11 PM
    Actually, I was referring to the druid armor section in the PHB where it says "won't". Crawford's clarification simply makes it clear that there is no RAW mechanical consequence for doing so unless the DM rules otherwise, and that it isn't even unbalanced to allow it. As I've said more than once in this thread, the DM is free to rule as they please for their own game. I was simply pointing...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:54 PM
    Nothing most 70+ y/o athyreotic stroke survivors aren't taking.
    307 replies | 8016 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:49 PM
    I'm not sure any particular range of integers is automatically fun. The fighter /is/ supposed to be "Best at Fighting" (with weapons) (without magic). Feats and magic items shouldn't be required for that. If that's the case, a tweak to the standard rules (before feats, w/o items) might well be in order.
    44 replies | 1192 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:44 PM
    box (n.2) "a blow," c. 1300, of uncertain origin, older than the verb, possibly related to Middle Dutch boke, Middle High German buc, and Danish bask, all meaning "a blow;" perhaps imitative; box (v.2)"to beat, thrash, strike with the fist or hand," late 14c., from box (n.2). Meaning "to fight with the fists" (intransitive), whether gloved or not, is from 1560s. Related: Boxed; boxing. So,...
    46 replies | 1557 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:40 PM
    Obviously, do what you want for your game, but this seems like a strange way to read it. It seems that you (as well as others in this thread) are reading it to be prescriptive. However, by my reading as well as Crawford's clarification in Safe Advice, it is descriptive. Per RAW, you don't cease to be a druid just because you put on metal armor. It's simply that the average druid considers it...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:38 PM
    My apologies. I did write it a bit snarky and you did nothing to deserve that. I was in the wrong.
    106 replies | 3702 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:38 PM
    In 5e, that's not even a switch or an override, it's just making different rulings. The villain tries to escape, the DM narrates successful escape, the players try to stop him, the DM narrates failure, the party tries to track or pursue him, the DM narrates the pursuit taking them to a side-encounter or dead end. Perfectly orthodox 5e play dynamic.
    47 replies | 1266 view(s)
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  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 05:34 PM
    Wow, when you put it that way, the fighter sounds, not at all great.
    44 replies | 1192 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:11 PM
    All is good, you're very respectful in our discussion. Okay, let's try it like this. Death is just another condition, curable during or after combat once a party can cast Revivify. Just like a Dispel Magic (another 3rd level spell) might end some other condition. It's best to avoid, but doesn't need to be focused around unless the costly material components are a problem. As it is, it...
    60 replies | 1902 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:02 PM
    Fair enough. For me, minions are less about level treadmill and more about that the idea that monster stats are fluid and abstract. The ogre vs low level party is a significant threat to them on his own. The ogre minion is the same creature, but now he's up against a high level party. He needs to go all out on offense in order to have even a snowball's chance against them, hence his offense goes...
    51 replies | 1966 view(s)
    2 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 01:57 PM
    I liked the ideas in Bo9S. I think I played both a Crusader and a Swordsage and had fun with them back in the day. I wouldn't mind them making a reappearance in some form as long as it's done well, but I doubt it's a significant priority for WotC right now. Maybe if they fall under the OGL, someone could make a version for DM's Guild.
    22 replies | 789 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:38 AM
    The other big difference is that minions dealt enough damage and have sufficient attack bonus to make them scary. Albeit, Bounded Accuracy more or less handles the attack bonus part. Sure, you could use a kobold as a 5e "minion" against a high level party, but the damage from that kobold will be piddly at best. Even in vast numbers, they won't have the threat that comes from a proper 4e style...
    51 replies | 1966 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 11:17 AM
    Rulings aren't 'house rules,' they're a necessary DM function, especially in 5e, where essentially every action resolution technically includes a ruling from the DM. The thing about a starting point is you move on from it. The Rules of 5e are Written, as much as possible, in natural language, so they are naturally ambiguous. When the rules aren't perfectly clear & explicit, you make a ruling,...
    32 replies | 976 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Arilyn's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:52 AM
    The Strange interests me more.Have you played it?
    93 replies | 4452 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:32 AM
    That'd work for a lot of 'em. There's 5 other saves but rarely for 1/2.... ...does 5e also have Mettle, I wonder?
    51 replies | 1966 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 04:02 AM
    Charger feat requires using Dash as your action, then gives a bonus action attack for +5. So it gets no benefit for Extra Attack. Actually, it doesn't even use the Attack action to qualify for this thread, sorry.
    10 replies | 391 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:54 AM
    5e is designed around each and every other person in an encounter having exactly one action between your actions. (With some epic creatures that are supposed to act as multiple creatures breaking that). When both PCs and foes have abilities and spells that last until the start of your turn and could have no affect not because you did anything wrong, but because you rolled better on...
    60 replies | 1902 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:39 AM
    I was talking about how I rate success. As you said, that's the important part to determine to you are meeting your goal. This is a place where having a different goal leads to different tactics. With most of the DMs I've played with, it is quite hard for a character to be killed in one round. Between mostly only hit with area of effect, with others havign abilities to heal as well, and...
    60 replies | 1902 view(s)
    0 XP
  • Fanaelialae's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:26 AM
    I realize that not everyone will agree with this, but as far as I'm concerned the text is quite clear. The Sage Advice clarifies any ambiguity that might exist. It says that druids WON'T wear metal armor, as opposed to saying CAN'T. Hence, it's a taboo. There are no mechanical repurcussions for a druid wearing metal armor (though the DM is of course always free to rule otherwise for their own...
    279 replies | 6102 view(s)
    3 XP
  • Blue's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:19 AM
    And they should realize that you can't make a full mage without making it a bit overpowered. And they should realize you can't make a holy knight without making it overpowered. And they ... Oh wait, if all of the classes are overpowered, then they ae all balanced against each other. So declare every other class overpowered and then create a beastmaster of equal power.
    106 replies | 3702 view(s)
    1 XP
  • Tony Vargas's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 03:15 AM
    3e had swarms (and hordes? for size M participants, I think it was), and so does 5e, so I see no objection to the observation.
    76 replies | 3136 view(s)
    0 XP
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About Blue

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Date of Birth
September 7
About Blue
Introduction:
I like heavy RP, shades of gray campaigns, both to run and play in.
About Me:
I was an orphan that was raised by wolves in the sentient forest primeval. Later I found out that my father was a god. I only roll 20s. Fnord. I write award winning arias to be sung in languages I have designed. I DO NOT sparkle in the sunlight. I have climbed K2. Uphills, both ways, in the snow. I don't always drink beer, but when I do, it's --- URK.

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Currently running 13th Age. The younger dragons move with inscrutable purpose, and savage ritual breed a hybrid for unknown reasons. Chains capable of holding the soul of a dragon now find themselves around an urchin, while a sliver of the soul of a dragon incapable of being chained lies in hidden in a young man. The Koru - mountains animated by their Kami - walk the lands, while the Kami twisted by the poisons of the underdark swim to the surface as Living Dungeons. The once dead find new life without regaining it, and the never living find life but not their own. The Orc Lord breeds new orcs with the gifts of elves; the dwarves with their mastery of clockwork and the Victorian/Roman Republic Dragon Empire resist. The High Druid seeks heartwood from the trees holding up the sky - last time a High Druid did a ritual of this magnitude, vampires became slay-able with but a stake of wood. Dark secrets of Ages past surface, but whom will they favor? Who will control them?

Zeppel
My Character:
Currently playing in a homebrew 4e game called Ascendancy of Darkness. Civilization is falling, has mostly fallen - will a misfit band thrown together by magic they don't understand be able to help. I run Smoke, the aging longtooth shifter Runepriest. Run by Dragon magazine author KS.

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Country:
USA
Game Details:
Currently running 13th Age. The younger dragons move with inscrutable purpose, and savage ritual breed a hybrid for unknown reasons. Chains capable of holding the soul of a dragon now find themselves around an urchin, while a sliver of the soul of a dragon incapable of being chained lies in hidden in a young man. The Koru - mountains animated by their Kami - walk the lands, while the Kami twisted by the poisons of the underdark swim to the surface as Living Dungeons. The once dead find new life without regaining it, and the never living find life but not their own. The Orc Lord breeds new orcs with the gifts of elves; the dwarves with their mastery of clockwork and the Victorian/Roman Republic Dragon Empire resist. The High Druid seeks heartwood from the trees holding up the sky - last time a High Druid did a ritual of this magnitude, vampires became slay-able with but a stake of wood. Dark secrets of Ages past surface, but whom will they favor? Who will control them?

Zeppel
My Character:
Currently playing in a homebrew 4e game called Ascendancy of Darkness. Civilization is falling, has mostly fallen - will a misfit band thrown together by magic they don't understand be able to help. I run Smoke, the aging longtooth shifter Runepriest. Run by Dragon magazine author KS.
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Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

  • 12:54 AM - FrogReaver mentioned Blue in post Another attempt at fixing the -5 / +10 issue
    It sounds to me like the calculation you are talking about likely had 1 to many assumptions in it. There is no way to know what distribution of AC's a player will face in a given campaign. As such I would question the assumptions of any math conclusion drawn about which is better or which is worse. That said, the general principle you talk about is always going to hold - there will always be a breakpoint where using it more often for less damage will be more beneficial than using it less often for more damage. The question is where is that breakpoint and do reasonable distributions of AC's for s given level hit that breakpoint. Blue - I created a simple excel sheet that can take into account: 1. Number of attacks made at various AC's 2. Always making the optimal choice between using the -0/+0 and the -2/+4 or -0/+0 and the -5/+10 3. (+3 attack bonus estimate for precision attack when used) 4. All variables can easily be changed manually to display most examples. In my case I used a level 5 fighter with defense style and a great sword. The sheet calculates DPA. It turns out that for an equal weight in all AC's 11-20 that the -5/+10 wins out. For more of a bell shaped distribution on AC 11-20 the -2/+4 wins out. With precision attack the -5/+10 wins out. Etc. That's at level 5. By level 20 even on the bell shaped distribution the -5/+10 wins handily. If I skew the distribution more toward 18 AC and leave out all enemies with AC 13 and below the -5/+10 still wins out at level 20.

Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 04:48 AM - FrogReaver mentioned Blue in post In-Combat Healing: How and Why?
    Blue Forgive me, but I need to reorder your comments to make a point At many tables death happens rarely enough that it's better to prioritize your healing resources in order to minimize offensive actions lost (to kill the opponent quicker and reducing the chance of death) rather than spending actions overhealing to prevent it from happening. 1. Death is rare. Agreed. 2. You suggest we should minimize offensive actions lost. Why do you suggest that? To reduce chance of death. -I partly agree. We want to reduce the chance of death. -However, I contend that if death is so rare that healing (using my tactics) isn't worthwhile then death is also so rare that trying to minimize offensive actions lost in order to reduce chance of death isn't worthwhile. But since you agree that reducing the already small chance of death by minimizing offensive action lost is actually worthwhile then you should also agree that minimizing the small chance of death by healing (using my tactics) is a...

Saturday, 27th April, 2019

  • 07:08 PM - Ark the Pie King mentioned Blue in post Way of the Pistol Monk. Is it balanced?
    Blue, The monk already gets a save-or-die power baseline. It's Quivering Palm. I can understand the rest of that though, for sure. Too bad, I really like it thematically. I might take a crack at writing something myself, I'm not sure. I've kind of fallen in love with the concept at this point. It's a lot more interesting than playing a Ranger which was my fallback lol.

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 10:10 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Blue in post Poll - Best Old School Starting Adventure to Run for Teens
    Heya, So, due to popular demand here in the Stately Pleasure Dome of Xanadu, I've been thinking of running an old-school, AD&D (1e) campaign for a group of teens (7th/8th grade) who are already familiar with 5e. Before getting to the poll, though, I'd like to remind everyone that the people on this forum are AWESOME and AMAZING! When I sent out a request for information earlier, not only did fellow forum denizen Blue respond, he helped out by going above and beyond the call of duty. Thanks to Blue, this campaign/ersatz attempt to learn Gygaxian vocabulary will be getting off the ground! Thank you, Blue! So anyway, I'm thinking of building up to X4/X5 (as I haven't run those in ages), but I'd like to start them at first level. We are playing standard rules, but can use the B (basic) modules. I am including modules that I can and would want to run, but I am NOT including B1 and B2 since I just ran the 5e Goodman Games versions of those to try out a few months ago. So, what say you all? What is the ideal starting adventure? Choices- B3 (Palace of the Silver Princess) B4 (The Lost City) B5 (Horror on the Hill) N1 (Against the Cult of the Reptile God) T1 (The Village of Hommlet) U1 (The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh .... THE ORIGINAL!) What say you? Explain in the comments!
  • 08:24 PM - vostygg mentioned Blue in post [GUIDE] I Fought the Law and Won: The Rogue Guide
    ...er DPR at all levels if you ignore the possibility of BB's secondary damage, significantly so in Tier 1, but by the time BB starts to scale, the gap is pretty small as a share of the average damage; small enough that IMO the combination of the control effect and being able to do something else with your bonus action is well worth it. Example TWF (level 5) Main Hand (base damage): (1d6 + 4) * 0.6 = 4.5 Main Hand (crit damage) : 1d6 * 0.05 = 0.175 Off Hand (base damage) : 1d6 * 0.6 = 2.1 Off Hand (crit damage) : 1d5 * 0.05 = 0.175 Sneak Attack (base) : 3d6 * (1 - 0.4*0.4) = 8.82 Sneak Attack (crit) : 3d6 * (0.05 + 0.4 * 0.05) = 0.735 Total: = 16.51 Thanks for cross-checking my work, @Esker I actually agree with your computation for sneak attack crit damage, since it corresponds with the observation @Blue made, which is that most people are likely to apply Sneak Attack damage the first time they hit. When I adjust my math to use your computation instead of the one I was using (i.e. 3d6 * (1 - 0.05 * 0.05), this is what I get: ------------------ Rogue 20 TWF - DPR ------------------ Level 1: 9.54 Level 2: 9.54 Level 3: 12.72 Level 4: 13.32 Level 5: 16.51 Level 6: 16.51 Level 7: 19.69 Level 8: 20.29 Level 9: 23.47 Level 10: 23.47 Level 11: 26.66 Level 12: 26.66 Level 13: 29.85 Level 14: 29.85 Level 15: 33.03 Level 16: 33.03 Level 17: 36.21 Level 18: 36.21 Level 19: 39.40 Level 20: 39.40 I also looked over my math for the Booming Blade DPR and realize that I had a copy-paste error. Here is the updated table, which very likely corresponds with what you were seeing: ---------------------------- Rogue 20 Booming Blade - DPR ---------------------------- Level 1: 7.00 Level 2: 7.00 Level 3: 9.27 Level 4...

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 03:42 PM - Laurefindel mentioned Blue in post Musing on some variant and homebrewed rules: feedback and insight wanted
    Oooooh, I had forgotten about hit dice Blue There’s is also a possibility to expand on the hit dice mechanics, like spending a hit dice to heal an exhaustion level on a short rest. I’m not looking for extra HD use for the sake of extra HD use only, but there is wiggle room in the system there IMO if I need it.
  • 02:27 PM - Celebrim mentioned Blue in post Vampire's new "three-round combat" rule
    Blue: So, I'm going to cut to the chase and say that I think based on that response we are largely in agreement about things, and that the real crux then is "How do you go about achieving the desired result?" And there are two camps about fixing this problem. One camp is that, if this is a desirable result, then you should achieve it by application of narrative force. That is to say, by rules or rulings or narration, the GM should tell the players that the desirable thing has happened and that the game should explicitly empower the GM to do this, because it is desirable. The "three round" rule we are discussing is one example of this application of narrative force. The problems that I see in this camp are many. One is that it requires a high degree of spontaneous imagination and foresight. The GM is required to in the midst of the stress of running a session also invent imaginative and creative things to happen which lead to further creative and imaginative things. This is hard...

Monday, 8th April, 2019


Monday, 4th March, 2019

  • 10:15 PM - ContrapuntalAnt mentioned Blue in post [GUIDE] So art lies hid by its own artifice - an artificer guide
    ...e from playing ANY combination if that's what they want to play. This is my subjective opinion on the efficacy, primarily in mechanical terms, of the options available. This is a RPG, and the most important part is to have fun. I apologise for giving an impression that different in any way from that, and will make that clear at the start of the first post. 3. To that end, I will change the red criterion from "avoid at all costs" (wording taken from other guides) to a different descriptor. On reflection that is horrendously negative wording. 4. There are undoubtedly other parts of the guide which are currently deficient. Hopefully I will address these parts in due course, but in the meantime do feel free to continue to identify them. But could you perhaps start with the assumption that I am creating this in good faith? While I fully and truly appreciate the content of your critique, it was posted in what came across as quite an acerbic tone. Apologies if I have misread that. Blue: thank you for the continued commentary/additions! I don't have time (/energy, long day!) to go through those numbers at the moment, but it's always good to get some quantitative analysis for those who like comparing that way :)

Sunday, 3rd March, 2019

  • 12:38 AM - Ash Mantle mentioned Blue in post Swordlord [Fighter Subclass, PEACH]
    ...ur different pools, based off important ability scores, refreshing on any rest, means that you will never really run out. It's not very 5e in execution. I'd change it like this: Parry - use as often as you want, remove usage limits. For others - you gain a pool of (hmm, what to call it? Shift? Momentum?) equal to Proficiency plus the higher of your STR or DEX modifiers per long or short rest. This is higher then you had - going from ~5 (at 3rd) to 11 (@17th) instead of ~3 to 5. Costs will reflect this. Riposte costs 2*. Projection of Blades costs 1 per attack. One With the Blade costs 4. * Riposte is like a Battlemaster that just uses a single maneuver, but it's one of the better maneuvers. Having that doable many times per short rest on top everything else would be a huge swing in DPR, more than . So a cost of 2 - still can been done a lot, but not out-doing the battlemaster plus doing lot else. Now it's a real cost if you want to spend. Thank you very much, Blue, for your amazing critique and analysis! It's really much appreciated and has really been very helpful to me, especially to my first instance of creating a 5e class! Yeah, good point on extending out the flavor, I'll need to write more fluff and have it integrate more into the theme of the Swordlord and what their training regime and always constant need to duel have effectively produced. The misty step bonus action is also a good one, another idea was to also be able to extend the reach of the weapon within those class features, though that may also be too strong. What do you think? Yeah, I'll need to think of a more consolidation of resource pools so that they don't key off too many disparate aspects. Your idea of a shift or momentum pool to use their abilities from is a good one. I was actually thinking of having their bonus Strength modifier to Initiative to effectively come into play at 3rd level instead, being more in line with other classes and subclasses that get...

Wednesday, 27th February, 2019

  • 04:29 PM - Ratskinner mentioned Blue in post Why the hate for complexity?
    I'd agree with both Blue and Flexor the Mighty!. I mean, when I was young, I got into game complexity a lot. But I think it was barking up the wrong tree from the goals of play for which I come to an rpg. I'm perfectly happy to play a complicated war or battle game like SFB, even. I think there's definitely a place for complicated rules for competitive environments. However, that's the long way around for a game that's trying to create an interesting story. (And not all gamers come to rpgs for that purpose, either.) And honestly, that's why I come to play an rpg. I think, in a historical sense, a more fundamental problem is that traditional rules are not geared towards "story" at all, so much as they are geared toward a very loosely-drawn idea of "simulation" of a fantasy world.* So, this leads to "fudging" rolls and rules. I mean, you can't have the people who were prophesied to save the world in episode 1 get eaten by a randomly encountered Troll in episode 3....so, if I'm going to be fudging rolls, why...

Saturday, 23rd February, 2019


Sunday, 27th January, 2019

  • 05:11 PM - FrogReaver mentioned Blue in post Looking for math: Halfling Lucky vs. Elven accuracy
    @Blue I did the calculations and it looks to me like you have 2 scenarios 1. The +1 Dex from Elven Accuracy increases your dex mod to the same bonus the +2 would In this case elven accuracy is better against all AC values and climbs to a 21% more damage against AC 20. 2. The +1 Dex from Elven Accuracy doesn't increase your dex mod to the same bonus the +2 would. In this case halfling's with lucky are better across all AC's. They are better against lower AC's than higher ones. The relative damage increase climbs to 9% more damage against AC 11. (All this was without factoring in critical hits) Elven accuracy makes critical better and the margin that the halfling is better in case 2 is so razor thin for most ac values that after the impact of the critical hit is factored in I expect Elven Accuracy to slightly lead across most AC values except the lowest. Comparing to a build that just has advantage the halfling lucky and advantage build only increases your damage output by 1%-4% ac...
  • 02:39 PM - Fevvers mentioned Blue in post [GUIDE] Raven Soul : thematically optimising Shadow Blade for insane damage
    Blue & RogueJK These are both enviably excellent builds! I hadn't thought of going Celestial - interesting idea! Getting Revivify at 6th level is awesome and you've built up the SB damage beautifully. Very nicely balanced! When I'd been considering Warlock, Hexblade seemed to be the logical choice. I like how you've got the Extra Attack in. For quite a while I tried to shoehorn this build into Obliza's outstanding Sorlock build, indeed that was the initial inspiration for it, substituting SB/BB for EB/Hex. It just sort of grew from there. Oh yes, the Bladesinger+ builds - so seriously crunchy! I love how you've reached 20 DEX at 8th, and taking Tough at 10th alleviates the Bladesinger glass cannon problem, and at a reasonable stage in the character's adventuring life! I have a Paladin 2/Bladesinger x character, who attempts to force the SB/BB opp attack by sticking close to an opponent and Smiting. She's a bit of a beast... thematically I treat her as though she has taken an 'O...

Saturday, 26th January, 2019


Friday, 18th January, 2019

  • 10:28 PM - jasper mentioned Blue in post Resurrection Complications
    I disagree with Blue about the replacement level. I would say avg of party or equal to lowest level. And dausiil I have no trouble bringing new pcs. Some times you were two days short before you fell on the nade. Aka Game Over Man. Oh the Chart I would add some bad with the good. Like vulnerability to necrotic. But nice chart except for using the second most hated die.

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019

  • 08:57 PM - TwoSix mentioned Blue in post New warlock invocations
    Breath of Night: I'd make it base level or level 5, not level 11. Brimstone: Make it also add your Charisma modifier to damage per beam, but it doesn't stack with Agonizing Blast. So you can take Brimstone and do 1d12+Cha fire damage, or take Agonizing Blast and do 1d10+Cha force damage. If you really want options of damage type, you can take both. Eldritch Chain: So that's an increase of 5% * 15-16 average damage per beam fired, so about 0.8 damage per beam. So a 1.6 DPR increase at 7, 2.4 at 11, and 3.2 at 17, that isn't tied to accuracy. Feels a little low, but it does stack with every other add-on to eldritch blast, so it's probably OK. Downside it that it makes being a hexblade EB caster even better than it already is, which doesn't feel great. Eldritch Line/Doom: I wouldn't tack too many things onto those, contra to Blue's suggestion (Sorry!). You are turning into an AoE, which means you're turning it into an auto-hit for all of those extra abilities, unless you add text that a successful save means the targets aren't repelled or slowed or any other negative effect. Even the auto at-will damage part is pretty good. Hellrime: I'd probably repeat my suggestion from Brimstone about making this an option to take instead of Agonizing Blast. This + Repelling Blast + Lance of Lethargy (XgtE) might be too good, but considering Repelling + Lethargy is already a thing, it's probably OK.

Monday, 7th January, 2019

  • 12:03 PM - 5ekyu mentioned Blue in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    Blue "The article mentions failure, while the chart shows danger -- these are VERY different concepts when discussing "old school" vs. "new school". Failure is not only common in "new school", but at times is to be embraced. Because failure isn't the boolean "you're dead, game over" common to old school, but another fork of what's being told" This is to me a key element I see in many discussions along this variety and the characitures of positions presented -- way too many times it is portrayed as if character death is the only stakes. If your players and their characters are invested in the world as more than just map pins and resource modes to be harvested, there are often much more things at stake. I recall bringing an entire gaming group to tears over the death of an NPC that was an interest to my PC with an introduction letter to the characters first wife (also dead) asking her to help the new dead girl get along and so on, mentioning a few of her good qualities and rough edges, et...

Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019

  • 10:57 AM - Harzel mentioned Blue in post What solution for "Cantrips don't feel magical"?
    ...ons per day then skill slots, all the way up through 20th. Here's a breakdown I did in an earlier thread: The baseline we have from this is that casters will be mostly not-spells until double digits, and even at 20 will still have a good chunk of actions more than spell slots. Back in pre-cantrip editions casters needed to default to mundane solutions - wizards throwing darts, etc. Using mundane solutions also does not make casters feel magical. The idea of a few cantrips per day doesn't work - it still leaves mundane solutions for most actions until the highest of levels. So how do we combine the contradictory ideas that (a) at-will magic makes magic feel mundane that several people have stated, and (b) have that casters can contribute meaningfully in a magical way without having to resort to mundane actions? I don't think a direct compromise works, so what solutions orthogonal to mundane=mundane and at-will=mundane can we find? As one of the "cantrip skeptics" whom I think Blue is referencing, I'd like to chime in here with a few points. 1. For me, the primary objection to the extensive availability of at-will magic is that I cannot (or at least to this point have not been able to conceive of a way to) make it coherent with a setting that is not high-magic. 2. The fact that it (for me) debases magic by making it ordinary is somewhat a secondary concern until someone says, "Oh, but we must have cantrips so that we can do something magical every round." Accepting for a moment that casting a spell every round is necessary to 'feel magical', claiming that pew-pewing Firebolt every round satisfies that need just feels farcical to me because you have now reduced the label 'magical' to a very superficial bit of fluff. 3. As much as I would like to constructively contribute to a thread spawned (in part) in response to my own bit whining, for me it is simply not the case that my PC must be able to cast a spell every round in order to 'feel magical', and, unfortuna...
  • 03:39 AM - LordEntrails mentioned Blue in post What solution for "Cantrips don't feel magical"?
    Blue, as you note, damage output is just one way to evaluate class balance. But to concentrate on it is really .... unfortunate. There is so much more to D&D than just combat, and so much more to combat than just damage output. Every table will have to figure this out for themselves. Because the importance of damage output is going to vary at every table, and with each DM, and each campaign, and maybe with each session. In the end, imo, if cantrips don't feel "magical", you need to figure out what "magical" means. Because D&D is a game that involves lots of magic, so "rarity" is a poor definition of "magical", imo. To me, the magical feeling of cantrips is about perception and description. And at my table, to get a more magical feel, I try to get myself and my players to describe magical actions using magical terms. It works for us.


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Monday, 24th June, 2019

  • 06:38 PM - 5ekyu quoted Blue in post Changing rest periods
    I completely disagree that changing the length of rests will screw over some classes. Nothing but changing the frequency of encounters between rests. And that's entirely up to the DM. Let's try this. Group A averages two encounters, a short rest, two encounters, a short rest, and two encounters and then a long rest. Group B has the exact same frequency. No disadvantage on either, correct? Now, it turns out that Group A was actually using a variant with longer rests needed, but the DM was also doing a more relaxed pace. The sun has risen and set more, but the difficulty hasn't changed. Well, actually, I am telling a bit of an untruth. Classes that regularly benefit from the DM doing short days will be pulled back to their balance point. So those full casters (for example) who are more powerful then the other classes because the DM is only doing 1-3 encounters a day will find themselves to be "screwed" compared to that -- but just being brought back in line with the short-rest and ...
  • 06:12 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Blue in post Changing rest periods
    I completely disagree that changing the length of rests will screw over some classes. Nothing but changing the frequency of encounters between rests. And that's entirely up to the DM.Also the ratio between types of rests is a factor. As we all know, D&D has always depended on pacing to impose balance upon class resources and encounter challenge levels. In the olden days it was just spells/day classes vs unlimited sword-swinging classes vs encounters/day. 5e added short rests and classes that primarily used them. And it has resource-rich, moderate & poor classes, of either sort, so there are broadly 6 types of character class resource schedules in 5e, vs two back in the day. Resource-rich classes have /lots/ of abilities, generally spells, and lots of their in those abilities, with a lower at-will baseline. Examples of daily resource-rich classes are all the full-casters, but the Warlock, which is the sole resource-rich short-rest class. Moderate-resource classes still have ...

Sunday, 23rd June, 2019

  • 06:49 AM - Saelorn quoted Blue in post House ruling toward simplicity
    I played AD&D 2nd without a healer - and it drastically changed game play. We would be holed up in caves for weeks trying to recover from a single encounter. 5e lets us play the same style of game regardless if we have a lot of healing or not.Not quite. Fifth Edition (with all healing at default) lets you play a particular style of game, where you handle a particular amount of quantifiable opposition within a defined period of time. If you have more healing (twice as many healing surges, for example), then you can handle more than that. If you have less healing (no healing surges, for example), then you can handle less. Regardless of the setting, if you have more opposition than you have healing, you're going to be in trouble. If you have more healing than you need, then things are going to be slow and certain. There's nothing sacred about the default healing rules. In fact, many people consider them to be quite problematic, because it requires such a great amount of opposition within a ...
  • 05:40 AM - FrogReaver quoted Blue in post Ability Score Rebalancing
    I'd make sure that every ability score has uses in every pillar of play. Some of the pillars may be dominated by skill use so that's effectively already covered, but others not as much. And combat is a pillar of play, so I'd like INT, WIS and CHR to have some effect on combat even for non-casters. For example, if INT also covers speed of thought and wits, make it determine Initiative. This both pulls something away from the "god stat" of DEX as well as making INT more reasonable. I like how 13th Age does this - several combat related scores use the MIDDLE modifier from three. So your Mental Defense (think 4e like save, where it's a target like AC), which the target used for mental manipulation, psychic attacks, stealth, trickery obfuscation and the like, is determined by the middle modifier of your INT, WIS and CHR. I go back and forth on int for initiative. The start of a fight is really about reaction speed. Speed of thinking may make a small impact there, but really in intense p...

Saturday, 22nd June, 2019

  • 11:41 PM - gyor quoted Blue in post Is it possible that the Revised Ranger is not dead?
    And they should realize that you can't make a full mage without making it a bit overpowered. And they should realize you can't make a holy knight without making it overpowered. And they ... Oh wait, if all of the classes are overpowered, then they ae all balanced against each other. So declare every other class overpowered and then create a beastmaster of equal power. We're already got summoners. We already have polymorph. We've already got people who can cast wish. If that power isn't enough to cover a decent 2nd melee combatant then I can't conceive of the power levels you want. Summoner need some low level work as there is no combat summons at 1st and 2nd spell levels, unless you include the investation cantrips.
  • 09:58 PM - Saelorn quoted Blue in post House ruling toward simplicity
    The near-healerless party I ran for absolutely disagrees. Healing surges enable additional play styles and unlocks forcing a player into a healing role if no one wants to play one.I played AD&D for years, and we never had a healer. You just don't end up getting in as many fights. The only time you might need healing surges is if you both 1) have no healer, and 2) are following a pre-written script with unavoidable encounters. Otherwise, you can make do with a combination of rest and healing potions.

Friday, 21st June, 2019

  • 11:54 PM - TwoSix quoted Blue in post Another attempt at fixing the -5 / +10 issue
    I remember a while ago that someone showed the math that reducing the penalty meant it was an appropriate thing to use more often, and the feat ended up contributing more total damage. This was with the 1:2 ratio of damage. But I'd be concerned about reducing the penalty - that actually made it stronger. It was several years ago so I can't vouch for the math, but if correct than the effects are counter-intuitive. For example, if your options are +0/+0 (normal) and -2/+4, then the -2/+4 will be the mathematically correct move enough more often that the total damage added over hits will be more then if your option was -5/+10. -5/+10 is more of a concern when you build around it and get either buffs from your party (bless, etc), or buffs from your DM (higher ability scores, regular +X magic items, etc.). Assuming a bog standard level 1 greatsword attack (+5 attack, 2d6+3 damage), normal attacking is superior when AC >= 20, AC 19 is equal, -2/+4 is better between ACs 18 and 14, and ...
  • 11:35 PM - FrogReaver quoted Blue in post Another attempt at fixing the -5 / +10 issue
    I remember a while ago that someone showed the math that reducing the penalty meant it was an appropriate thing to use more often, and the feat ended up contributing more total damage. This was with the 1:2 ratio of damage. But I'd be concerned about reducing the penalty - that actually made it stronger. It was several years ago so I can't vouch for the math, but if correct than the effects are counter-intuitive. For example, if your options are +0/+0 (normal) and -2/+4, then the -2/+4 will be the mathematically correct move enough more often that the total damage added over hits will be more then if your option was -5/+10. -5/+10 is more of a concern when you build around it and get either buffs from your party (bless, etc), or buffs from your DM (higher ability scores, regular +X magic items, etc.). It sounds to me like the calculation you are talking about likely had 1 to many assumptions in it. There is no way to know what distribution of AC's a player will face in a given camp...
  • 11:24 PM - FrogReaver quoted Blue in post In-Combat Healing: How and Why?
    All is good, you're very respectful in our discussion. Okay, let's try it like this. Death is just another condition, curable during or after combat once a party can cast Revivify. Just like a Dispel Magic (another 3rd level spell) might end some other condition. It's best to avoid, but doesn't need to be focused around unless the costly material components are a problem. As it is, it either requires a very large single hit, or it requires three failed death saves (time and/pr additional damage done once down). The exception of that is a chicken-and-the-egg issue - you need to make sure that your last (usually only) character that can revivify doesn't die. But outside that caveat, what is the point of in-combat healing? Well conditions, especially unconsciousness, can cost actions. Lose every character's action and you've lost the battle. So the goal of in-combat healing needs to be to reduce that loss. Death, frankly, doesn't reduce actions any more than unconsciousness does. I...
  • 04:56 PM - CapnZapp quoted Blue in post Is it possible that the Revised Ranger is not dead?
    And they should realize that you can't make a full mage without making it a bit overpowered. And they should realize you can't make a holy knight without making it overpowered. And they ... Oh wait, if all of the classes are overpowered, then they ae all balanced against each other. So declare every other class overpowered and then create a beastmaster of equal power. We're already got summoners. We already have polymorph. We've already got people who can cast wish. If that power isn't enough to cover a decent 2nd melee combatant then I can't conceive of the power levels you want.Your post comes across as a bit snarky, but I have no problem with any of your conclusions
  • 03:36 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted Blue in post Is it possible that the Revised Ranger is not dead?
    That does seem to be the more common (though not exclusive) play experience. It really makes me wonder how a house rule that all "recharge on short rest" abilities are multiplied by three and recharge on a long rest instead would work. Has anyone actually played with something like that? I'm sure it would be a bit uneven, but the disparity between long rest and short rest classes is probably my biggest complaint about 5e at this point. I think making Short Rests shorter, or simply being freer with them, is a better solution. If Warlocks at 5th level have 6 3rd level slots, and more At-Will abilities than most, they’ll just past the normal power level, and be able to do stuff like use all their slots for the day in one fight, and still be pretty effective in the other fights of the day. We're already got summoners. We already have polymorph. We've already got people who can cast wish. If that power isn't enough to cover a decent 2nd melee combatant then I can't conceive of the power ...
  • 06:20 AM - LordEntrails quoted Blue in post In-Combat Healing: How and Why?
    5e is designed around each and every other person in an encounter having exactly one action between your actions. (With some epic creatures that are supposed to act as multiple creatures breaking that). Says you. Funny how re-roll initiative is one of the optional rules listed int he DMG. When both PCs and foes have abilities and spells that last until the start of your turn and could have no affect not because you did anything wrong, but because you rolled better on initiative, there's a big problem. One reaction suddenly can become a lot less effective. Or a lot more. Sure, combat is chaotic. Rerolling initiative every round messes up every one of those assumptions, invalidating the design. They could have designed differently if they were having a variable initiative, but it wouldn't have been as streamlined. No, no it does not mess up anything except your assumptions and expectations. It doesn't break anything in the rules themselves. And it doesn't "even out", because creatur...
  • 12:50 AM - FrogReaver quoted Blue in post In-Combat Healing: How and Why?
    However, when it comes to in-combat healing, I have a different measure of success than what you propose, which by nature encompasses it* but also asks more. (* Except at Tier 1, where insta-death is more likely.) "Minimize actions lost due to adverse conditions such as unconsciousnesses." So this expands healing from just HPs, and it also gives a goal for how much healing. In that case I think my proposed in-combat healing tactics definitely minimize actions lost due to adverse conditions such as unconsciousness. It also adds in an interesting, somewhat gamist, prioritization. A PC who goes soon after the cleric (soon = without foes between them) can always be stood up from zero HP to not lose an action, while one who has a lot for foes after the cleric before their next action (perhaps in the next round) needs to be kept farther from zero to make sure they don't lose an action. You assume that the ally fell just before your turn. It's also possible that he fell right after his tu...

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

  • 03:34 AM - ZenBear quoted Blue in post Conjure Animals Encounter CR
    The difference between theory and practice is that, in theory there's no difference... In other words, you can arrange elements that come in to a particular CR, but in play it it can be a lot stronger or weaker. Especially depending on the synergies with it's abilities, with it's allies and depending on the PCs that fight it. Heck, a melee heavy party can find a bunch of foes with a climb speed and ranged attacks to be well above their CR rating in the right environment. The numbers are there for a guideline - not a proof. Indeed, and I have run an earlier version of this creature before with three melee mooks as support against a party of newbie players, and it went down in three turns without dealing a tremendous amount of damage, even though it got the drop on them casting Stinking Cloud. In practice, a melee leader is a prime and easily accessible target, so running high on the DCR allows it to have at least a little fun with its various debuffs before it gets focused down. I was ...

Sunday, 16th June, 2019

  • 01:23 AM - Esker quoted Blue in post Making the most of a Halfling's Lucky feature
    You know, it occurs to me that it's not only the "multiple d20s = better value from Lucky" thing that's a fallacy, but actually, so is the "multiple attacks = better value from Lucky" thing. Since the increase in accuracy is the same on every roll, rerolling 1s gives you the exact same benefit on one big attack that it does on multiple small ones, if the total damage is the same (since average DPR is just accuracy * average DPhR). You don't use it as often, but when you do, the increase in accuracy buys you more. Which means that a ranged arcane trickster with sharpshooter and a familiar might actually be one of the best to take advantage of the ability, since they can hide / get help for advantage on their single attack pretty often without spending anything, except sometimes their owl's HP. Though again, halfling is not without downsides (no darkvision, no access to elven accuracy).
  • 01:21 AM - Esker quoted Blue in post Making the most of a Halfling's Lucky feature
    Size though kills this. With their small size any weapon with Heavy is at Disadvantage, which would cancel out the Advantage of Reckless. GWM requires Heavy. Ah, yeah. Forgot about the heavy property. It was already going to be pretty lousy anyway since they can't start with 16 STR so they'd perpetually be at -1 to hit and damage compared to any other race that gets a boost to strength. How about a sword bard xbow expert/sharpshooter using faerie fire constantly?

Saturday, 15th June, 2019

  • 09:39 PM - Esker quoted Blue in post Making the most of a Halfling's Lucky feature
    Advantage is helped by lucky in a different way. It's two rolls, so two chances of Lucky coming into play. But ignoring the double 1 case, the chance that the reroll is the best roll is a little less than half (since we already know the other roll is above a 1). So it triggers twice as much but is only meaningful half as much - not that it's bad, but it's not as huge a help as it might seem on first blush. I think your conclusion -- that Lucky helps about as much when you have advantage as when it doesn't, on average -- is more or less right, but I think the reasoning is missing some pieces. On most rolls the number you get doesn't particularly matter, only whether you meet the DC or not (or, in the case of an attack, whether you crit). So rerolling a 1 and getting a 2 technically increased your roll, but isn't going to make any difference outside the easiest of easy rolls. On a straight-up roll (no advantage or disadvantage) with a baseline success chance of p, Lucky increases...
  • 04:28 PM - MechaPilot quoted Blue in post Spell Points and Problem Spells
    In general there's a vibe that casters are already more powerful than at-will characters. Do you find that this exasperates the issue? Either through direct observation or though player choosing more casters then they would in a normal party distribution? I don't find it exasperating the issue. The additional resource flexibility tends to make casters feel more free to use spells they think are right for a given situation without worrying about "oh, man, but I have to burn one of my higher level slots to cast that because I've already used up all the slots for that level." It's been my experience that if you (the generic you) have a first level spell that seems right for a situation, but you're out of first level slots, you'll probably try to square-peg-round-hole a higher-level level spell for that situation because why not if you're already burning a higher level slot. As far as more distribution of casters, no. My players tend to have two or three favorite classes that they stick ...

Friday, 14th June, 2019

  • 02:40 PM - Raunalyn quoted Blue in post D&D to change its name next year
    I can't get the article external to BBG to open up, my guess is it's a joke. Branding is the strongest thing going for D&D, they wouldn't change it. The timing is suspect, too. WoTC and the D&D devs are well known for having fun during April 1st.

Thursday, 13th June, 2019

  • 09:01 PM - Saelorn quoted Blue in post Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
    I've never read 7th Sea but I see others gushing about it, enough that it's on my list of "want to try" games. I'll take this as a warning though. Any specifics you can share about why it didn't work?I read through one example, which (IIRC) was about a player spending some sort of resource to make it so an enemy in the next room did not have a weapon on them, and I knew that it wasn't for me. Which is unfortunate, because the setting and core dice mechanics from 1E seemed pretty interesting, so I was looking forward to a straight update of that.


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